Tammuz's Journal
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On a porphyry pulpit lies this leather tome, inside a sanctum sanctorum of cyclopean stone. Bereft of believers the place rests in peace, adorned as the book, with creatures of sea.

Writings Prior to Avalon

This section contains writings from the time Tammuz fled Shimin (May 5th XX09) to the time he arrived in Avalon (November 27th; XX09). It contains all of the info in my characters Background section, but from a IC 1st person perspective. This includes a brief description of his city Should this journal be found IC by another player, any specific info not in the character background that is desired is availiable upon request. All entries are signed alike. All entries are in a Bazrami dialect of Common except where noted. Some entries are marked {Secret Page}, these pages have been altered with the Secret Page spell, and appear to contain prosaic reflections on daily life in Common.


I had a Dream, But it was Not All a Dream

I had a dream, but it was not all a dream. It was in no palace nor pleasant pavilion, but a barren place that I was received by a Beryl Beauty. She was of such serpentine grace, and her face had the look of divinity. Her dress was of aphotic smoke and her skin of pale viridescent flame. Her lips were of such full and sanguine virtue, that they did make all others seem starved and cadaverous. Her hungry eyes were entrancing , and seemed to drink ones visage drop by ambrosial drop. And my ears did listen to her wisdom drop by dulcet drop. And yet, from her I had the sense of a predator. Was she loved? Was she feared? By me she was both loved and feared. And so did I become drunk on the both amative and abominable absinthe of her persona.

What are these dreams? I have many dreams, most of them fleeting, fading like a pale gray dawn. Indeed. The dawn is my enemy, waking me my from slumber, my unconscious study. A few of them are more disturbing- more memorable, hinting at some hidden song, some verse written in my veins that my soul sings. What of this one, so far from disturbing, desirable even? Does it have any meaning?

I have never told any else of my dreams, most especially not of that whisperer in the darkness, otherworldly voice from within. I have become, aware of some other force, some thing just outside of my perception. I cannot say what it is, or where it came from, but I can say with certainty that it is ever present and that it speaks to my soul. I can hear it better in the late hours of the night, or rarely during the day when the sky is overcast. It is a cacodaemoniacal whisper, so easily lost in the cacophony of everyday occurrences in the waking world. I find that it becomes even clearer, when I walk alone in the burning places; centers of true passion and desire, such as the red light district or the like. But, it is clearest anywhere, where despair has seared away all belief in faith's reward, and love and hope been reduced to but bitter illusions. I have heard its voice in the streets and slums of Avalon as much the arid desert when I first fled Shimin, and heard the echo of its call from without prison walls, as well as in the wasteland.

However, today I made an exception-I spoke to my landlord; someone close enough so as to not be a total stranger, yet distant enough that I do not think I would suffer from his opinion, nor care for loss of his favor. And what did he say?

He said I should seek a whore.

On that note, I will say this: There are others like me. We arcane kings are without Queens; we are men without women. If we had them, we’ve lost them or left them behind to take up the lives we have. We are all seeking something, something fleeting, something impermanent. The sort of thing men have to keep going after, its not the kind of reward you can hold on to and keep forever. And so, we keep hunting. This is the type of human I think, that attracts entities from the other side of reality.

I think this harlot, this whore, this angel of mercy, this keeper of secrets might sell me some of the salvation and fulfillment I see in her visage. Her, and others too. Perhaps this dream is a portent of something to come? For all my powers learned have come from visions from within. Even the changes in my body, I knew instinctly they would happen, even if I did not know the how or why, or in what form they would come. But what are What am I willing to part with, to have and to hold what I desire? To find know my mother? To see Neelam again? To raise up my dead? To savor our revenge? What will I give for all that?

What will I sacrifice?

And when I will I have the opportunity?

The Traitor's Son


A Mystery

A mystery has occupied my time as of recent. One night, a friend, a priestess, Servia Cassius seemed disturbed and quit the Arcadia inn. She asked me to walk with her and we talked for a while, while I escorted her home. Not to many nights later, there was a murder in her former room- of a woman who looked almost exactly like her. I and a handful of concerned parties investigated. We find some scraps of cloth and a ring, whom Eddie, a member of the city watch said belonged to The Syndicate. It seems this criminal organization is tageting her, due to her efforts at reform in the slums of Avalon. A clerical wizard aquaintance, Eisen, was able to scry using the ring, and discovered that it belonged a man that appeared to be a carpenter, who wanted to 'avenge' Servia. Currently, we are determined to let the neighborhood think servia dead. Eddie, and another member of the city watch, Kaze, and I will go into particularily dangeorus section of the slums, 'The Dead Zone' to try to gather information.

A friend of mine, Lyle, is a bounty hunter- and I suspect he may have knowledge of the underworld parralell to that of Eddie if not greater. Unfortunately, I have not been able to speak with him too much on this matter. When I first told him of the murder, he seemed to think that her over protective brother Lucius may have been involved. I doubted it. Highly. When i went to speak with Lucius, I was told that Lyle was in love with Servia and had broken into her room. As she sleapt, he tried to place a ring on her finger, when her brother found him. He fled, though not before threatening them with a crossbow and trademark poison bolts. Kaze promised Lucius that he would aprehend him. From what I understand, according to Kaze there is no bail in this city. If found he would have to remain jailed until he could stand trial. Of course, I know not what evidence there is, but two peoples word. I am not sure what has gotten into him-presuming what Lucius has said is true, as since the murder he has not allowed us to see Servia, so I could not ask her myself. Perhaps if Lyle can help us put the quietus to this crime syndicate a judge may see it as a sign of his character, and reduce a sentence, or perhaps the ruling city council may grant him a pardon.

The Traitor's Son


Two New Allies

Two new allies have presented themselves in our current endeavour. I met two people today, one of whom is quite important. The first is an old orc, Edgar. He seems to be fairly affable if crude fellow, who enjoys drinking. From what I have learned, he is of the roguish variety, and said if I needed any help in 'shady' things to go ahead and look him up. We could use someone like him.

The next is a Crescenti man, a psion whom says he has recieved dreams of Servia's death. He came to Avalon looking for a woman of her description. Indeed, he walked right through the tavern door, sat with Edgar and I, and two women - a Layla and Riel, the latter of which is a recent friend of Perada Maer, the only other Warlock I know here in Avalon. We talked a bit, and he mentioned looking for a woman of Servia's description, saying he was recieivng what he believed to be divine visions, or what I suspect amy be visions of the future. In any case, I hinted in code that I wished to speak with him on the matter, and with the same words confirming what others at the table said and seems to be the word on the street- that sevia is dead. Saying something along the lines of:

"Yes, perhaps these visions were a portent of what was to come. She was an /important/ priestess working to reform this city, to please. It especially pains me to speak, because she was a friend /to me/. In fact, I was there right when she was discovered later. How I wish she were still breathing."

Carefully enough that some one of superior intellect (as I have heard psions to be actually) would recognize with very careful listening, as well as careful thought about my speech as a whole- yet were anyone to bring up suspicion it could be easily, and plausibly denied as their imagination.

It was then that he spoke to me in my mind through telepathy, and that I responded by him reading my thoughts as I am unable to project them as he can. In summary, I still have caution not trusting him entirely, but- given Servia's saintliness he amy have indeed been sent. I informed him that Servia was indeed alive, and that was the reason why his visions would not stop calling him to search for her and the ring which we found, and that we were going to do reconaissance in the slums. I agree with him that he would be helpful. I have decided to introduce him to my companions, but-make no mention of his psionic abilities, as they like Warlocks are misunderstood.

INSTEAD- I will inform my companions that a Crescenti man newly arrived came to me one evening, had a drink at my table, and told me of strange dreams that seemed to describe the murder of a woman, and I told him that indeed I knew such a woman who was dead. I will ALSO inform my companions, in a deception -that I TOO have had dreams. Specifically of a Crescenti man who had violet eyes as his and his face, who came through a doorway. I have dreams that precede the awakening of new powers and powers yet to come, so perhaps they will not think it implausible that this deception is not a bluff BUT true.

I can only hope that I have not poorly placed what trust I have, indeed, the higher one places their trust in one man the farther it has to fall. I also hope I do not regret decieving my comrades. But as Edgar said, you do what you have to do.

The Traitor's Son


The Real Enemy?

It was the same night we went into the slums, that everything changed. I think. In truth our search of the dead zone yielded nothing. We spoke to a family, and it seems the man who owned the ring as scryed by Eisen and others were working for the syndicate, if reluctantly. A woman, the man's wife lamented his apparent death, punishment for trying to turn away from The Syndicate. We also learned from her that Lyle, who was known in the slums, was telling people that Servia was alive. As we left we spotted a man watching us from a rooftop, we went after him but regrettable could not catch him. Later that evening while I was looking around on my own, I ran into Eisen, Tonia, Dakheel, Quintus, and Eddie even. Apparently it seemed Dakheel's visions pointed to a house which they were going to investigate. Inspecting the property we were answered by an elf, who would not show his face. He acted as though he were some important person, and said The Syndicate desired Servia dead because she was a threat to the organizations resources whom she had "converted" after they spent years of work. Indeed, the criminal organization that harvests from the slums, does is not unlike a cult in ways. Quintus offered 500 gold for the "loss" of each of the men (as far as I knew only one was actually deceased), but the elf refused, demanding 4000 each. Unwilling to negotiate to leave Servia alone, Eisen and Eddie snuck in the back and attacked. Ultimately several thugs were felled as well as an arcanist who provided more than a challenge for all of us.

That seems to be the end of them. But was that arcanist the real leader of The Syndicate? Is it really over, just that easily? Or was the man we captured only a higher up, willing to go to prison, to take the fall for their real leader, a figure who remains yet to be seen? Could The Syndicate have been a front for a more sinester conspiracy? I cannot know. I can only speculate. But if The Syndicate is really gone from Avalon I must wonder whom will fill the power vacuumn created by the organizations absense. Will the smaller gangs fight for the right to control the slums? Will it start all over again? Will it give rise to something worse? Either way, there will be blood.

The Traitor's Son


Bloodlines

They do not know me; they call my works abomination and my deeds lustful bids for power. My works are great, it is simply that their minds are too small to grasp what they are; I need not seek power, I have power that comes to me not of my volition but of its own accord-there is no need to pay, to barter, to trade anything for what I own. I inherited it, it is a sanguine legacy, a memento of some ancestor unknown. And one of them says even says I am everything that is wrong with being one of their 'caste'. Fool. What caste? To what caste do I belong? Did I not leave that entire life behind, far away in some other land? What is it doing here, has it followed me all this way? I have no caste. None. Oh, do they mean instead to say that I am like them? In ways. But I am still very different from them, and everything they percieve as 'wrong' with me has nothing to do with their 'caste'. Nothing. Fool…no, that is not strong enough. If I am as they say, an 'ass' - a braying, wild, stubborn thing they are surely an ignorant bitch on the leash of all those that would criticize them for being what they are. Oh, how I would find their education delightful. They say also that they are 'not ruled by a bloodline' that there is a difference between 'what we are and we do.' They ARE ruled by their bloodline- its existence, their loathing of it, their denial of it -THAT is what keeps them where they are, what threatens to drive them away from their sumptuous inheritence, to cheat them out of their inborn greatness and wonder, to force into some mundane half-existence like that of the countless masses.

So what if there is a 'beast' in you? Let it run free.

Never let others perception of your bloodline rope you into a life LESS than what you are capable of.

I am not ruled by anything except my own will. My will is to be what I am.

I shall not hide or deny this fact. I LEFT that faraway land of confusion, land conformity to be all that the gods shall allow me to be. They say someone shall crush the serpents head if I continue as I am. Why? What for? For what crime am I guilty? None. None of their foolish laws, or attempts at subduing the chaotic beauty of the world has yet been transgressed. Not that I fear to transgress them, were it my will I would break all the rules, and step all over them If I so pleased. And what if they say they come for my head in the name of justice? When I am yet to do anything? One of them said that I 'mock' their beliefs. Well should any follow through with that, that threat-let us call it what it is, oh THEN I shall make a mockery of their ideals.

Let them come.

I shall call out all the flaws, all hypocrisy in what they are doing even as they heft the blade of my persecution. But really, it wont be me mocking their ideas- I dont actually need to say anything. I dont need words, for their actions shall speak enough. And hearing the truth they will either continue blindly forward like idiots, or they think for themselves, they will question, and THEN they will cringe at what they are-one whose actions do not mesh with their 'ideals' of fairness, justice, honor, love unconditional and all. They will see that their faith as they practice it, is a lie.

"Who is the greater 'monster' now?!", I shall cry to the heavens.

They will weep, and they will scream, and they will rend their garments, and beat their fists on the ground. And then I shall my tilt my gaze from the heavens look down on them and whisper-

"You."

The Traitor's Son


Stricken

It would seem that Servia is under assault again. But now it appears to be disease, congenital disorder, or some other seemingly corporeal ailment. Beset by terrible blisters, entreme heat, pain, and catatonia or paralysis in the literal blink of , the supernatural cannot be totally ruled out. Albeit- it has been let on that this condition is controlled, r at least has been attempted to be controlled with some sort of medicine. I cannot speak of its effectiveness. I do not know if this is related to one of her "spells" she mentioned having in the marketplace when I spoke with her and some 'Lady Adele'. If it is, I never imagined anything like this. Still, she told me she had recently recovered from one of these spells thanks to her brother. The alchemists involvement makes me question what sort of medicine is in involved. Certainly he could have conconcted a medicine cheaper than it would be perchased from a apothecary, or…could he have tried devising one on her own? Exactly what sort of medicine she is taking and why will reveal whether this ailment is a documented phenomena or something new, or even one of a kind. I simply hope it is not contagious as some speculated.

I do recall her bodygard mentioning to all of us present during that feverish ordeal that she had prieviously attended to some person staying in the inn, and also seemed agitated when she passed by her old lodgings. I suppose I will have to ascertain just how long this has been going on, to decide whether The Syndicate might be involved. Of course, the condition could be psychosomatic, as according to the warforged, his charge was unsettled by that room the girl who looked so much like her was slaughtered in. Should it seem necessary, I do have other resources I might call upon. This medical mystery has my interest piqued, not only for its own sake, but because Servia is too valuable to be lost. I do lament tonight the loss of my pet. I considered it, but I doubt they were the catalyst for all of this, even though her episode immediately preceded my pets destruction by her power. Albeit, the last coherent thing I remember her saying was 'I'm sorry?' in a questioning fashion. It could have been an involuntary response, I'll just have to ask her in person when she comes around again. For some reason, I have half a mind to expose her to a stronger necromantic aura, as a kind of experiment just to see what happens, but I have half a mind not to. The whole situation is rather curious.

The Traitor's Son

He had a Dream, But was it All a Dream?

He had a dream, but was it all a dream? By his description, this dream and others of his seem to be what most dreamers would call nightmares. The distinction, honestly, is subjective. I am sure many dreams are someone elses night terrors, and all phantasmal killers and visions of destruction, others fantasy lovers and visions of heaven. I have had dreams of possessing eldritch powers and taking on abyssal forms, represented through explicit symbols and scenes of horric gore -and later, had exactly what those promised. I have had the pleasure of meeting a bard who has had dreams of commanding fearsome powers, that in his own words are "great as any wizard or even greater". He described to me one of his dreams, in which by music he set the sky on fire and let it rain on all opposition.

Naturally I professed that no bard that I know has ever by his will wielded evocations beyond what arcane scholars classify as the sixth degree. An arcane evocation like that would be of the ninth degree, or perhaps well beyond it treading into the territory of epics and legends which bards know so well, depending on the scale of this rain of fire. He believed perhaps it had something to do with meter and pitch, and I did admit that it was known that music, sound, and even the voice in the form of song or verbal components could warp reality and make it more to our liking. He wanted to know where he could learn more, and I agreed that if I had time I would look into it for him. While I have never heard of such things, I do believe that they are possible. If there are two things I believe, its that all things are possible through magic and though rarely- dreams come true and nightmares are made real.

The Traitor's Son


Soul Sold

I've been asked, if I've traded my soul for something, and let me tell you-that is something I could never do. Its too valuable. You trade your soul for something and who or whatever has it has all they could ever want from you. They have your life. Frankly, at that point you cant give or bargain anymore. I would sooner give an eye, a hand, a limb, or almost any corporeal part so long as it weren't vital for knowledge. Knowledge is power, and I would use that knowledge to acquire more power than I had lost. Sure, one might think "Oh- I'll just use what I've gained until I die anyway or become immortal in the meantime."

Watch your back.

You're a fool if you think they wont hasten your final death. That's right, they'll probably try to collect as soon as possible, and if they dont do it themselves they'll send others to do you in. I know. How? It's what I'd do, and I'm sure the Princes of the Abyss, Lords of The Nine, and probably The Gods are at least smart enough to do the same. All of these Entities, I dont actually trust any of them, respect perhaps, but never trust-not with my soul certainly. You should never willingly give that up, thats your heart and mind, thats you freedom there! Albeit I will admit, if you're not strong enough to keep it, whether that means being easily hoodwinked or too weak to resist it being taken by force, maybe you dont deserve it at all.

I've been told not to "meddle with in dark arts" and I've also been told what I do, by virtue of what I am, is an affront to The Gods. The Gods? What Gods? When someone says "The Gods are believe this-", "The Gods want that-", "The Gods dont like-", just what the hell Gods are they talking about? There are Gods, Entities that are legitimately divine and of vast power beyond most peoples imagination that would indeed support me by their virtues, or at the very least follow a philosophy of pragmatism accepting what I do as means justified by its ends. Thats the funny thing, when people say "The Gods" that dont really mean all Entities worthy of the title.

Oh-and let me say a bit about titles. Recently that tea sipping swordsman insists Lucy is a "Lord". He's a Lord of Nothing. No, that sounds too good for him, he's not a Lord at all. Supposedly he's earned this title by Birth, which I think is utter bullshit having. Now, I dont mean to say he doesnt have it by Birth, just that he didnt earn it. Anyone can be Born, albeit- a goodly number of children die in their first year, but just living isnt saying much. Neither does having children, anyone can do it quite easily, a good number without even trying. I left a whole NATION behind, a whole culture of dammned titles. Except instead of 'Lord' they were things like Brahmin. And dont think I'm some sorry, sad-aloney, uppity lower class peasant either. I was one of the Well Born in that foreign land, my grandfather who raised me, was of the priestly caste, and we lived well. I never made anyone call me anything but my name, and though obviously dressed like it, I never intoduced myself that way to anybody. Of course, now secrets out-my blood, my legacy is actually of Pariah and something unearthly, but that all the powers came just before I left for Summer Country, after I was already full grown, a man. But the point is-I worked very hard in my studies, to try to be someone actually deserving a title by virtue of ability or knowledge, and even know when I introduce myself it is as "-Adventurer, Author, Scholar, and Silver Dragon Slayer" by my exploits.

Anyway-they use that phrase "The Gods" to make it seem as if all the higher powers of this world are somehow unified, or in agreement on whatever the issue is. Some people want to believe I have no morals.

I have them.

They're just different.

The Traitor's Son


Invasion & Intrigue

Avalon has just been subject to the largest dimensional cross-rip and subsequent demonic incursion in its known history, at least to my knowledge. I must say that this event unprecedented, it is the closest I have ever had privilege to be to such a large number of demons or any outsiders at all -albeit I was not actually present. A small company of demons somewhere around a dozen more or less suddenly phased into existence in the middle of a church ceremony-some say a wedding. By public description they sound like dretches -but there was also something else I have heard, a chain wielding cacodaemoniacal psychopath . This does not sound like a demon to me, but more like a Chain Devil, of course one must not underestimate the limitless variety of "life" in the Abyss, demonic or otherwise. The Abyss is chaos, vast and infinite chaos which knows no bounds to its creativity. Indeed, chaos is creativity.

To summon ten or so demons of the calibur of a dretch for an operation of several minutes would require around 2000 gold by my estimation to pay each of them if it were by some sort of Lesser Planar Ally. (of course given the chance to defile a 'holy' place they might have well waived any payments) Every casting of a fourth degree divine rite would net you only one of them, unless it were by a Greater Planar Ally a spell of the eigth degree -three of them. Of course there is always the possibility that it was done by the arcane Lesser Planar Binding, but that will still require several castings of that fifth degree arcanum or else by Greater Planar Binding, again three castings. One must still consider that many demons, included Dretches have to ability to summon more of their own. Perhaps this greater chain wielding demon summoned several underlings before they all translocated into the temple or onto the temple grounds via Greater Teleportation.

What this all translates into- is that IF this event was orchestrated by an arcane or divine student - they would be one whose knowlede and power is greater than my own at this time, someone more than well accomplished if all of this was prepared in a single day OR else it might have been planned by a single person over the course of a few days, or perhaps still by several people of like powers to my own if they worked together. I do believe The Syndicate is likely involved, albeit they might not be. One cannot rule out the possibility that a dark cult is at work -but to what lord? There are so many possibilities, but considering all of them I MUST meet whoever is behind this. If not to speak to them just once, then to at least raid their supply of books, documents, and magical materials.

People are afraid. For them this means they are no longer safe, that things of Nightmare can lurk and indeed pounce from anywhere-even in the middle of a so called 'sanctuary'. One must call into question whether the site was ever placed under the effect of Hallow or whether it had been dispelled.

I in contrast- am quite excited and intrigued! What this means to me is that someone or something is at work, the world is in motion. The 'peace' or relative calm of this city is illusory- it started with the attempted murder of honored and esteemed Servia Cassius, perhaps continued with the kidnap of her maid Yuria -I do not know enough about that, and now demons have sacked a temple from within it seems. The chaotic beauty of the world is in that is never stilled.

Fear.
Excitement.
Panic.
Exhuberance.

These emotions are so different and and yet so similar in that both they stem from the fact that no one really knows what is going to happen. Its like the similarity between a moan of passion and a cry of pain, both beginning with a certain tightness in the chest and then an unexpected release.

I look at the faces in the bars and on the streets and wonder just what each individual feels.

Either way, its all anyone is talking about.

The Traitor's Son


And The Dead Shall Rise

Well I'll be damned. That was some rather impressive necromancy out in the streets the night before. Word is- a veritable horde of undead attacked the area in and around the city park. I reckon I myself could manage 20-22 or so presuming they were humans, and it sounds as though there were something around that number around the Arcadia inn -but I hear there may have been more elsewhere too. On top of that, there was a large 10-12ft tall hulk, perhaps an undead giant or else an amalgamation of things like a flesh golem, I'm not sure.

By the Styx, you'd be blind, and deaf, and daft not to try to connect this undead invasion with the prior and still very recent demonic incursion. I wouldnt be surprised if that druid summoning all manner of beasts in the park some time ago wasnt connected to. Call me a conspiracy theorist if you like, but it seems to me a very powerful group or individual, with very large resources is staging operations within the city walls. But of course one must ask -what are their plans? I'll tell you what their doing. These attacks are their way of telling the people of Avalon that they aren't safe anywhere. Their churches aren't safe, their cemetaries -all the sacred spaces, and neither are their streets. As long as everything is orderly, predictable, and safe-people are fine. People are normal. But in truth, people are panicky animals.

Now who's behind this? I would suspect the syndicate but that may not be the case. They were seemingly only concerned with the slums, and these events have all happened in the hear of the city, not the slums, not the underhive. I would keep an eye out for anyone who might be profiting from this: officials with sweeping changes to public policy or plans for martial law; "security" organizations offering protection where the city watch has "failed"; sellers of divinations, magical talismans, services, and all the like; anyone who claims to be a prophet of a new religion or leader of a new philosphy or an any existing ones, or anyone who suddenly comes out of the woodwork claiming to have a "solution" to everyones problems-be it a simple order to "repent" or a new way of thinking. In any war or crisis there will always be profiteers, but one must be on the look out especially for organizations, associations, and groups that stand to gain.

Someone has big ideas, but this is only the begining. They've yet to make their big move.

The Traitor's Son


Manifestus Maleficarum <Written In Parselmouth> {Secret Page}

What I have begun to study, is a dark, ancient philosphy. It dates back to times immemorial, to the very beginning when the first matter came out of the primordial chaos that today is the Abyss. A left hand path of thought that exalts the self and the indvidual, and glorifies passion, specifically anger, hatred, and desire. Its a way of thought that believes that people can gain strength and power, and indeed live by these passions.

"Evil" is the word used to describe this philosphy by the weak and the stupid. They name it so because they are afraid, and they should be. We are free in every way they are not, free from all limits on what we might do-free from traditions, free from mercy, and all other weaknesses. They cry "demon", cry "devil", cry "villain" they can name us what they like. Followers of this way of life heed not the cries of mewling babies. Its about survival. There are the powerful and the powerless; those with power survive, and the weak if lucky may serve or be exploited in some way or another, and if unlucky will more than likely die.

Those that follow this philosophy enrich themselves with death. The man who was like my grandfather, like my father even, is dead. So is the very first friend I ever had. Their memories give me power by fueling my hatred. My hatred is my strength. Their deaths were not in vain-truly those who who sought to hurt me by killing them made the worst mistake they ever could, by making me a much more potent enemy and worse yet by leaving me alive. Should I meet them I think I'll say "thank you, kindly" even as I'm peeling their skin, exacting my vengeance.

The "Light" is so concerned with aiding people unconditionally because they "love", but do they "care"? If they care at all for the future of civilisation, they would not weaken society by preserving those who cannot believe in their own powers, fight their own battles. If they should aid such people they should at least be gaining something- gaining power and control, gaining money, gaining knowledge, gaining fame, or at the very least gaining some amusement. One should always take at least as much as one gives. The "selfless" heroes who are powerless, poor, know nothing, unsung, and living with their own desires unpursued and unfulfilled because they wasted their time on other men's dreams-they are truly nothing at all. "selfless" indeed.

I can certainly see the value in taking one or a few select persons that have potential and raising them up, acting as a patron of sorts. But those are the few, the chosen. If you are truly powerful, you are a master, and every master must have an apprentice and perhaps minions as well. Certainly a master without an apprentice is a master of nothing. The interesting thing is-is that those who take a successor will undoubtedly be succeeded if their candidate is worthy, it ensures that even in death some life hungrier, and more powerful than oneself will be produced. Life goes on, the young replace the old, and the world moves forward. I think that's the whole point of having children. I understand I may have fathered many sons or daughters, and in some way it makes me proud to know that I am a father of abominations. Of superior beings that make nature's works pale in comparison, and Matra quake with fear.

Very frequently "Evil" however destroys itself, this is why the fiends like the demons and the devils will likely never dethrone the "gods", because they fight amongst themselves on their own planes and between each other in their endless Blood War. This philosphy has a belief that the individual should always strive for power, rise up above all others, and so very often followers of this form of thought end up at each others throats-and when they are allied, it is often by their mutual hatred for a common enemy. Hatred is such a fragile bond, and treachery is a virtue.

This way of life cherishes, relishes, indulges in the dark. There is no need for guises there, there is only the raw naked face free of cosmetics, the primal force-the raw demand that is life. We can be ourselves when we shed the mask of light and "good", we can be honest in the dark. Its only when no one is looking, or you think that no one is looking, that you can admit who and what you are and live according to your true will. I could live freelly without disguising, masking, or faking one damn thing, or one dammned opinion if I lived somewhere else-like Darkland, The Godscar, The Shatterlands, or even in The Abyss in Azzagrat or in The Nine Hells in the walls of The Iron City. The "good" want to attack such cultures wherever they find them because they dont understand. Each "Evil" culture's way of life is its own unique expression of what it truly is to "alive", not a failed attempt at being "good" or "just" or "pure". I have been criticized for raising the dead, by people living in a city filled with the walking "dead".

There are entire civilisations that understand this way of thought, this way of living. They get it. There are certainly gods who get it too, but curiously when people say something is "anathema" to the "gods" they are leaving quite a number of them out. Many fools are mistaken believing those that uphold such virtues cannot live a "civilised" life behind city walls. They certainly can. We are not lacking morals, our morals are just very different. Now-to live "peaceably"? Peace? Peace is a lie. The world is always in motion. Only a few have the mind to appreciate the chaotic beauty of the world.

The Traitor's Son


Good To Be King <Written In Parselmouth> {Secret Page}

Nothing like having your own demesne. But of course, land is expensive and not always easily taken from others nor held onto. I have the sudden desire, the vision to build a modest, relatively cheap Keep, perhaps around seventy-thousand and expand upon it when funds allow. Certainly it'd impossible to buy that kind of land within the walls of the city, and difficult to acquire territory outside of it. Why not then build OUTSIDE the very walls of the world? There is no limit to what magic can do, and through a spell of the ninth degree one can even create a very small "demi plane". I have the mind to attempt to make one to my liking, and then hire workers to build it on my plane. Of course-there is the matter of getting the men and their materials there which could be a slight impedement. But that aside, what sort of world would I concieve of?

Gravity as restrictive a mistress as she may be, is still a utilitarian thing. Albeit the ability to move heavy objects with ease would make construction of anything much faster, the walls may have to higher to ensure no one simply leaps over them. My realm will be dark. I have no need of those stars, hideously winking like weak candles struggling in the wind, struggling in defiance against the dark. In the same way there shall be no moon. The only illumination outside the Keep will come from flashes of soft thunder in a crimson, verdant, or even violet sky thick with billowing cloud that gives no rain as if the floodgates of heaven barred by deadbolt lightning. Though the storm will be a constant hazard to those who dare to enter my skies, the sound will be heard no more oft than once in every hour, and an appropriate number of times to help tell the time. I like variety, so perhaps the sky will include all three colors or it will change at random, so one never knows what they will see when the next peal calls their eyes upward. Dwarves make superior masons and being accustomed to living underground would find no trouble with working in the dark. And though it would likely slow the workmen, I should like an atmosphere that changes abruptly between hot searing winds and icy gusts that chill to the bone, all the time blowing in different directions stirring the cloud above. Now the keep, the keep must have lights WITHIN so that those who are welcome might see all its wonders regardless of what sight they have.

But what of the more intangible qualities, like Time? What if it were Timeless? On a Timeless plane no time passes, and any spells with a duration of anything but the most brief or instantaneous are permanent until dispelled. This would make it remarkable easy to set up defenses, especially with summoned creatures and walls of fire and other things. HOWEVER-it would be quite bad if one were affected by an enemy spell that immobolized one or incapacitated one or did some such nasty thing for any amount of time-as one would remain like that for all Time lest one had an aid take one from the plane to any other or remove the affliction. Or what if the Time was accelerated? Time could pass on the plane faster than it does outside, more time within than without. Imagine a plane on which one year was only ONE day on the prime material plane. Could it be done- a year would pass within, and everyone and everything would be a year older but if one returned to the Prime only a day would have gone by. If such a thing could be done, one could set up breeding and training programmes for half fiends. Immortal female fiends like Succubi or Lilitu would be bear and then raise half fiend children. In a little over two weeks Prime Material Time the children would be of adult age for humans and have almost two decades of martial or arcane arts under their belts. The female fiends being ageless already would be unaffected; their children would leave only to gather in barracks with time like The Prime Material plane and they themselves would only leave to be re-seeded by human males or perhaps the most outstanding and impressive specimens selected from their sons.

Of course, its still a "resource" game, there are limiting factors. If one year could really pass in just one day, one would also consume a year of resources in just one day, every single day. Unlike their mothers who need nothing, their children will need food and supplies lest one intends to raise them naked and have them live on their mothers milk well into their teens. Such a prospect is not likely to work, albeit-I would try anything once simply to see what the result would be, if not for science then for my own amusement. "For science", a battlecry that has "justified" so many things. I honestly believe a great number of things done in the name of learning are done simply for the joy of the anticipation for results unknown and the speculation of what will happen. Chaos. I actually am not entirely sure if demoness breasts can even lactate any nourishing substance or if they give only posion. It would be better I think to establish farmland perhaps tended to by the undead to raise animal and plant for consumption within the accelerated time field so that the plane might become self sustaining-although thats no reason not to "experiment" with many methods. There are other uses a plane with accelerated Time might be put to; one could also take time to complete a year's worth of spell research in the development of new spells, provided one had a library of and laboratory with all the materials and return to the Prime with new spells ready. It would also be useful for the creation of weapons or magical items which may take days or weeks to make many arms or sometimes just one wondrous item.

But what of other qualities? I should think my realm should be strongly aligned with the powers of chaos, and darkness. A realm that had traits like that of the Negative energy plane would make an intersting prison. It could be staffed with vampires would draw strength and all that would keep the prisoners alive would be their fetters enchanted with some protection like a Death Ward. Their escape would surely mean their death unless they were able to get offworld with the utmost swiftness. To slow any escape a higher gravity would be a fine inescapable obstacle, and the vampiric jailors need not be humanoid they might be Monstrous instead. That'll let them feel the gravity of their situation, and most of all make them kneel. Brings a new meaning to 'crushing despair' doesnt it? What to choose of all these possibilites? But why have one realm when I can have many? As I expand there is the option to grow one realm to a great size, or instead to make many small ones each with similarities but also their own qualites and then link all them through a system of portals. And what of a name, what name would one put to this demesne? I think I shall name it after myself in the way of Pazunia first layer of The Abyss was named after its lord.

Enough of the world, what of the Keep, the Castle itself?

The outside must be strong, imposing, fortified, perhaps even layered with metal and covered in iron barbs upon which thrust shall be many heads. Visitors should be stricken with awe and fear as they look on the faces of all those who have attempted to oppose me, and know their fates, know their faces. General decor will be Bazrami in architecture, with demonic and serpent motiffs. The walls within too will have iron spikes, upon which will be, torsos, and limbs and from the chandeliers will be hanged men. Any number of these could infact be hiding undead or be instantaeously made animate by some sort of trap or switch. In fact, some of the spikes might actually be hidden switches to secret passages unknown allowing guards or I to move secretly.

There will be fountain in the common area carved in the shape of a coiled serpent and will be filled to the brim with boiling. A Bloodfire Ooze on standby could create such an effect, while providing a hidden defense. Because it augments fire magic in its vicinity, fire using demons might be placed as guards to draw benefit A secret trap door could even be installed that formed the bottom of the fountain, allowing the floor of the fountain to descend, transforming into a Pit of Death into which I can kick people into. Most likely because they have displeased me or even because I find it amusing to watch the boiling blood come alive and consume them. An alternative might be use the fountain as a secret passage or portal to another plane.or basement or dungeon below with many passages patrolled by savage Jarilith, and vaults of the hidden and forbidden watched by things that should not be- like Laghathti, Akilith, Ekolid, Whisper Demons, and Draudnu. Somewhere in that veritable labyrinth of nightmares shall be "theatre" with performances of exquisite pain played by bloodthirsty bardesses with all manner of cruel instruments. I have concieved of many things, including "Mind Flaying Fiddles", "Violent Violet Violins" and a set of "Man Pipes"- a frame upon which several humanoids might be secured upright and then have metal pipes or tubes inserted down their throats of varying lengths, each producing a different tone as they are scourged, savagely beaten with iron bars, or as brackish boiling water is poured into their waiting stomachs. If any intrude to the deepest levels and escape with treasures without leaving behind all their insides, they wont escape with all their sanity.

My bedroom will have the furniture molded to the floor, and a permanent Major Image will make it appear as if everything is of bronzed flesh layered over muscle and bone, the surfaces will be warm and there shall be a faint pulsing likened to a beating heart, and there will be a raised pattern of veins on the ceiling. My study and my library will be chambers of bone. There will be guest bedrooms each with their own bath, all very different, though not likely any servants quarters. I think I shall staff it entirely with fiends under my rule, servants with no agendas of their own, tireless and consuming nothing. Inplace of servants quarters I shall have a few arcane laboratories, vaults for storage, or secure Astral Projection chambers. There shall be a spacious dining room, and the tables shall be laid with whatever guests desire be it daintities or damsels both sampled from all over the world. There shall be rows of pillars carved into the form of great spiraling serpents with the skeletal corpses of giants chained to them, all alight with a Continual Flame. In that room up a few steps on a raised platform shall I sit with marilith guards on either side of my Darksteel throne. Made of what is properly known as Adamantine, it shall symbolize the unbreakability of my rule, my hold, on MY world.

Certainly there will be Solomith and Arrow demons in the guard towers and there should be mighy Kastighur, Goristo, or Ghour to watch the gate. Vrocks, Chasme, ZovVut, and Nabassu will patrol the skies above my keep-the Nabassu directing patrols of ghouls below as might also Aartaglith.Since demons have an innate immunity to electricity they shall not fear the viscious lighting above my realm, and indeed it might do well to electrify entire rooms so that only invaders will suffer. There shall be one succubi to be a maid to clean, another a maid to cook, and a third to be the maid that the man of the house fools around with whenever it amuses Him. That's me. Further succubi may also serve as bards or entertainers. I will have a Shadowdemon or a Sibriex as an advisor on various matters, and a Bar-Igura as a butler and assistant. Lilitu and mumified priests will staff a "Universal Chapel of The Blackhearted"- a religious chamber that includes iconography of all Dark Gods, where visitors may worship whatever elder entities they serve or have faith in- and tend to forbidden libraries, lead ceremonies, the creation of undead, giving of offerings, general unhallowing and desecration, and other duties.

Yes, it will be good to be a Lord of my own realm.

It will be glorius.

The Traitor's Son


The Oath <Written In Parselmouth> {Secret Page}

The bodies of humanoid creatures can be sacrificed in special necromantic rituals and subsequently placed into globes of glass or crystal, so as to remain perfectly preserved and on display indefinitely. These globes retain all the imprinted knowledge once possessed by the corpse preserved within. This curious display is known as a "Husk Globe". Anyone at all can run a hand across the surface and command the occupant to speak telepathically by using their proper name and ask ten questions of it-albeit its responses are limited to what languages it knew in life, and initially only to what it knew in life. However, what is more interesting is the fact that it can actually learn new information as told to it while activated and then recall this information by asking the proper questions later. The nature of the creatures within I have read is strictly limited to humanoids, albeit I am not sure just what that means. Of course, and unfortunately, it excludes the ancient Aboleths with their racial memories that extend back into a time immemorial when all the universe was darkness, and the gods were no gods at all. But does it also exclude the mindflayers, demons, daemons, and devils of some basic humanoid form? And what of the giants then, could they be by magic reduced in size and sealed within one of these vessels? And why has no one been able to achieve results with non humanoids? These are questions I will have to answer.

I have developed a new and special interest in, and special passion for these objects.

Their costs are not so prohibitive that I cannot think of acquiring one, but they make up about a 7th of the cost of the very least expensive Keep I could hope to build. Some things are more important, some desires should be fulfilled first. However, because they are so weighty, and so valuable I think that the Keep I have envisioned will be the perfect place to store them. My Keep to come will not be a fortress of nothing, what is the point of having such defenses lest one have something to defend, and worth defending? In time after its construction, a single closely guarded chamber may come to hold a wealth of knowledge more valuable than all the building itself. For the value of the knowledge contained within, may far, far exceed its container. I have made it a new goal to acquire as many of these objects as I can, once I have completed the goal of having a place to store them-not that I would give one up simply because I didnt have the ideal place for it should I find one. From then on my funding shall be focused on the acquisition of more, the improvement of security, and the extraction and implant of Forbidden Lore. Books and libraries in the traditional sense can be quite large and are vulnerable to Time, but with these magical devices they can become quite compact and impervious to the pass of ages. I envision a collection of these globes a Library of The Spheres. Each globe has its own stand wrought in the form of a coiled serpent , a plate with the name of the occupant as well as the subjects they know, and sufficient privacy to question as one desires.

I have a plan to appoint my own servitors to the task of devising questions to ask of the Husks and asking them each week, as well as reading Forbidden Lore and other secrets into a private Globe of my own so as to store and protect this knowledge. I DID have the intention my Keep accepting visitors, individuals of a certain type -and now I think, especially those that would be interested in the knowledge I have. I shall secretly each of these rooms -so that those who believe their whispered desires and inquiries go unheard and their reactions go unseen will be quite dissapointed, not that they'd ever know. I might also employ incorporeal beings like Guecubu who are also naturally invisible as spies; albeit such creatures like these and wraiths typically have a distinct dreadful aura which can be sensed-though given that the Globes are necromantic objects, those that have never interacted with them before might assume that the feeling is normal. Because the telepathic response can be heard by any within thirty feet, it could also be simple to add hidden chambers in the walls or floors where spies might listen.

Through the questions visitors ask so shall I know much more about them, and by the change in their expression shall I know what answers they reguarded as favorable. In this way shall I continually add to my knowledge base, and shall I know more than anyone because only will I see the big picture, the value of the whole. Of course, that does not mean I can let the world into by library, for were it to become too widely known in the right circles, that could be its downfall. I shall reveal it only to individuals, not those who hold too strong an allegiance to an entire cult or race like the typical Illithid who most desired end is to join with an Elder Brain in death, though an outcast Alhoon may be considered. My security will need to match the risk of those who I might allow entry, I cannot make it known to someone or something that might too easily seize the entire place. Although I believe in principle libraries should be free, there could be further gains if I required a certain minimum "donation" for entry. In the future it could become quite profitable, netting me many secrets and wealth. It may not be appealing to most to share any of what they know, but you cannot jealously guard all.

You cannot gain without sacrifice.

Every creature carries secrets worth knowing, no matter how mundane or exotic the creature may be. The best way to spill that secret is with its blood, and I believe this method is the means. To search eternally for Forbidden & Forgotten Lore is a noble quest. To reduce the once living to dessicated husk, to enrich oneself with death, that is best. One can put a lifetime into experimentation just to gain one secret, or in one instant steal a lifetime of secrets. One should never flinch from sacrificing the living or subjecting them to interrogation and torture, and never regret the knowledge gained thereby. Most of the people I have come to rely on are not of the right outlook to consider such things. To get them to help me acquire and secure sapient, well read creatures alive, so they might DIE for my Library will require great subterfuge. The necromantic rituals require sacrifice. Sapient sacrifice as I well know it from studies of dark cults, must be of the living. However, that does NOT mean I cannot learn from the long dead. I doubt my peers would have much objection to acquiring the Husk Globes that already exist, and if all I wanted was a place to store information any creature would do and so I would have no trouble acqiring that on my own. Albeit I do desire the acquisition of powerful, knowledgable sacrifices, but that will have to wait.

Knowledge is Power
Darkness The Greatest Illumination
More is Hidden in The Dark than The Light
Study by Shadow, Know by Night

Knowledge Begets Knowledge
Seek Knowledge for Knowledge's Sake
Every Creature is Fit to Wield Power

Each One an Opener of The Way, The Key & The Gate

When the Keep is complete, so shall I engrave those words on the doors.

The Traitor's Son


Refuse The Sacrifice <Written In Parselmouth> {Secret Page}

The offering of children is one category of sapient sacrifice, one that I did not take the time to address specifically in my magnum opus. Why do people do it? It is because one's own children are the most valuable thing one can give up, or alternatively the most valuable thing one can steal from another. In the face of armageddon various civilizations have resorted to sacrificing children or infants, leaving them to freeze high atop mountains and mummify in the dry air, or casting them from high cliffs to die on the rocks below and sink into nighted depths unknown.

I must admit that I find this quite foolish. In a time of troubles if there is any sacrifice to be had to save a civilization, it is of whatever displeases the god wrath laid upon you-should that be the cause, or else of other people, but never the children. It is true one might have more, but the children are the only thing that might outlast you, the only vessels to carry your memories, the fact that you existed at all for generations renew themselves whilst monuments crumble with wear and war.

If an ogre cult were to steal a child of any race, what should they do? Ransom it? Perhaps. There could be good money or leverage to be gained in that. Eat it? Maybe, only if necessary however, as a child is far more valuable than food and I find it hard to imagine them getting into such desperate affairs. Sacrifice it? No. Never. As people grow and age the number of possibilities in their futures diminishes, albeit this is not readily apparent, but I tell you as a chaostician-an infant has more possibilities than their parents or anyone else before them. The sheer number of ways their thread might cross with or overlap with others in the weave of time and space is beyond astronomical, it is unlimited. I also hold true that there is no fate-we make our destinies, make real our dreams and others nightmares, earn our own 'happy endings' and send our enemies into fornever after. The infant and child is also more malleable in their views, outlooks, and their faith are shapeable and not hardened, firm, and inflexible like that of the aged-albeit those qualities sometimes endure until adulthood as seen in the cities of the free thinkers. What they lack in conviction that make up for by having open minds. With an open mind come dreams, I can respect someone with dreams or aspirations. The aged are often subject to the pitfall of forgetting their dreams, or being limited, so fettered to the dreams and traditions of those long before them.

I would laugh at any deity that truly demanded the sacrifice of a child. I firstly, would think them wiser than that. In my studies of legend and lore I have read many parables, and I have heard tell of one in which a man was asked to by his deity sacrifice his son-only to be stopped as he raised the knife, as it was a test of his obedience. I have also heard tell of another of a different deity who tested its followers so, to identify those that would recognize the folly in the act and refuse the sacrifice. The results of the same act serving as a test of character can mean many different things, and in truth what’s “right" and what’s "wrong" depend on whose giving the test. However, all but blind idiot gods can see the value in preserving a child is greater than their death. All but the most blood drunk can see how the situation might be turned to their advantage. And any Master knows that a Master without apprentices is a Master of nothing; although the selection for such is ideally one he young enough to be impressionable, but elder enough to take care of oneself-although that subject is fit to have whole volumes on it, so let me return to the subject at hand.

What a young mind lacks is hatred, and while your selfish child sacrifice might kill the weakest most vulnerable parts of your own soul, think instead of hardening the next generation. Certainly of one's own civilization, and if you are generous- of others as well, strengthening the stock of all life. If any are to die, let it be their parents instead, and if you make your name known to them you might gain a foe worth having in the future, though it may be many years that they prepare for their vengeance, studying from the book of rage. One might even turn them against their parents, whom they more often see as oppressors and in some cases might actually be so. Freeing a child from such a situation and giving them power and opportunity to carry out vengeance without repercussion might have merit. It helps that children are already capable of being incredibly cruel despite little if any real hatred in them, which I think hints at the true nature of sapient life. Their stems from passions and desires which remain rudimentary, undeveloped. Children are not merely weak; they are weak and most importantly never had the chance to be strong. To be cunning. To be sharp. And most of all, adaptable and willing to evolve to meet life's demands in ever changing world of chaos. There is nothing proved, no exploit worth remembering, no triumph, no glory, no trophy worth taking, no satisfaction of revealing ones master stroke, no outwitting of a rival and laughing at them as they perish, and no secrets learned. All you do is hold back great potential, great power sleeping. Such is the folly of archons and rulers who establish succession by "noble" blood alone. People are individuals. Why does a lord or prince deserve his title, if he has not rightly earned it himself? One cannot be born into greatness; from the multitude must a leader rise just as demon princes were spawned from the Abyss, just as great fiery stars coalesce from the nebulous mists of deeper space. Ignorance of this fact is why weak, inferior, undeserving princes have taken thrones, why clever peoples and radical thought have been suppressed, and why empires turn to dust.

What one seeks to do with sapient sacrifice is to enrich oneself with death, a noble quest. For one who can enrich themselves with death and with life is a god. Nothing can take away from them; all contributes to their ascension towards the infinite. It is not the death of innocents that is the goal. It is not an end, but one means to an end. Seek not the death of innocents, but death of innocence. The death of an innocent child is a wasted opportunity. The death of innocence in a child is the birth of pure soul. A pure soul is a great step towards becoming an ideal individual. Something on earth that aphotic philosophers, and black chaosticians can only aspire to be.

There is very little in the destruction of a child.

Very little except to see blood find new freedom, and bones be liberated from fleshy prisons.

The Traitor's Son


The Past Returns <Written in Parselmouth> {Secret Page}

It was in no palace nor pleasant pavillion, but in the Abyss that met her. "Seek a whore" said my landlord. Indeed, but I did not search, she came for me and stole me from my bed to know me better. Now I see with fiendish clarity! The meaning behind the portent on the very eve I wandered into Avalon. Who sent me the fever-dream of the mother of my abomination, the dream that proved not all a dream, but prophecy?

Was it you, Dark One? Or was it you, Nightmare King?

Great King! Strong King! King of Hades and Gehenna , King of Pandemonium and Archeron, King of Hell and Carceri, King of The Underdark and Abyss, King of All Lower Planes from Law to Chaos, King of The Styx!

Did you devise all this Old Man, did you put this together? What fell schemes do you treat us to now? Show us! Let us taste and see, and breathe deep the incense of your machinations- long has it been since I smelt that sickly sweet that hangs in the air. The aromatics of a charnel fire. This has all happened before, not merely many times but in my own line! Long ago the very same happened and I and those of my lineage before inherited a fiendish legacy. The Blood became weak, but every so often, surely enough it would make itself known as it did in me. History repeats. Even as I struggle to know the precise origins of my lineage, it reoccurs. Who knows how long it has been, centuries, a millenia? It matters not, rejoice! The past returns. The Blood is now reinvigorated, and a new Abyss-Borne to be, a descendent of darkness.

And what of the mother? She was a fine woman. She was the total sum of feminine ideal! What was, what is, what will be between us is a visceral passion. It may not be the lofty ideal held by many, but it is something shared by all. The raw demand that is life. In us and our spawn shall we foster the savage love that defies reason and threatens to consume everything-all life, all light, all souls. May never be it slaked! How could anyone think her a monster? A compassionate prostitute is she, as was my mother. I now have visions of an even greater triumph. I see Ishtara and Farah, but now also do I see my Eve, my Eventide, my Night Angel- Evenagelina. The three women in my life and my mother's grandchild. If it is a son I will name them Ozar after the man who was like my brother, and if it is a daughter I will name them Neelam, because its pretty. Connected by the bonds of our love and our mutal hatred, our enemies shall be laid to eternal waste. May there nightmare be made real! Let them suffer, and let us think on them no more, and turn our minds to greater things.

How fitting that the last night of our union fall in the sixth day of the sixth month, for not long away is the high unholy day of Malcanthet -Feast of Sighs & Screams. I long for the night that beside her I kneel, her belly bloat with corruption and thighs slick with molten steel. It is my darkest dream to watch the afterbirth dripping into razors for our spawn to wield. My nightmare to see it sever its own ties, suckle her weeping teats, and savor her poison.

Grow strong my spawn, nurse on her milk- black and billous green.

Grow strong.

The Traitor's Son


Observation Notes <Written in Parselmouth> {Secret Page}

I have had the rare chance to have repeated, civil contact with an outsider. This is a great opportunity for any demonologist, and so here I record my recent observations over the course of several weeks, although not quite yet one month.

Subject: Class VII Entity (Outsider)
Name: ??? (Many; true name said to be able to wrack with agony, likely Black Speech in origin)
Gender: F
Age: Unkown (even to Subject)
Type: Demon
Subtype: Tanar'ri (presumed by process of elimination, exhibiting no Lomara or Obyrith qualities)
Species: Unconfirmed (Succubus; Speculated, only known species to bear half-fiends to term )
Evolutionary Status: Advanced
Aura Color: Unconfirmed (speculated Yellow-Black)
Aura Intensity: Undetermined
(Knowing ones limits is important; the subject expressed hesitation at fighting a bear in hand to hand combat for the risk of losing its child; such a risk must have been significant despite demons being notably more durable than other forms of life. The subject prefers to hunt this way, which is uncharacteristic of Succubi who are poor melee combatants. It is not impossible that this durability simply does not extend to carried children.)

Subject Exhibits Following Physical Characteristics:
-Baseline Human Form
-Medium Size ( tall for apparent gender)
-Russet Skin
-Black Hair
-Multicolored Eyes (w/ swirls & changing hue )
-Claws
-Pointed Canines
-Carnivorous Diet (deer, small game; food is consumed raw; does not usually eat, but is motivated by 'cravings' during current pregnancy)

Subject Exhibits None of The Following Physical Characteristics:
-Horns
-Wings
-Tail
(These are usually Succubu traits; succubi may polymorph appearance but it is unusual that these qualities would be hidden but not other clearly inhuman traits. Calls species into question, may be matter of personal preference?)

Subject Exhibits Following Behavior:
-Sexually Agressive
-Perpetually Nude (feels clothing impedes movement; like 'chains'; subject feels 'like a slave' in them)
-Selfish and Impulsive (usually restricted; currently permitted to act more freely than normal)
-Affably Evil (Admits to doing 'Evil' things for profit and pleasure; enjoys killing -but has not displayed malevolence or unwarranted cruelty, demonstrates intimacy)

Subject Exhibits The Following Spell-like/Supernatural powers:
-Plane Shifting
-Supernatural Sleep

Subject Exhibits Some or All of The Following Spell-like/Supernatural powers:

-Ethereal Jaunting
-Teleportation
-Invisibility

The Traitor's Son


A Spiritual Exercise: Hypnagogia {Secret Page}

"The Hypnagogia"

A Spiritual Exercise Inspired By My Own Dreams

I. The Ancients of many cultures would go into caves, into the very most hard to reach places, and fast for days, painting by a weak light or sometimes no light at all, recording their visions. Go into a cave or if more convenient a dark room with no widows, where one shall not be disturbed. This is the first rejection of the ordinary world.

II. Take a common sacred text of any god, but especially one of gods commonly venerated in ones homeland and reduce it to ashes as a sign of rejection. This is the second rejection of the ordinary world. Collect the ashes in a vessel.

III. Take any number of small creatures, but prefferably an odd number (3,5,7,9,13) and all of the same type and stage of life cycle (all birds/chicks, all dogs/puppies, all cats/kittens, all rabbits, all elven children, etc. The last is not reccomended. That's what they call 'murder'. It's frowned upon in most societies. Consult local and regional laws before proceding in your spiritual pursuits.) drain their blood into the same vessel as above, mixing the fresh blood with the still warm ashes and allow it to go cold. This is the ink that will be used to compose the work, and the act is a sign of sacrifice. One cannot gain without sacrifice.

IV. One should be free from the influences of all drugs and substances, empty of food and bodily wastes. One should bathe before the work is begun. This is the final rejection of the ordinary world.

V. Prepare the preserved little finger from the left hand of a Wizard or Warlock, or Cleric, preferably not ones own. In the absence of that, a left claw from a fierce beast (tiger, bear, lion, falcon,etc) that was wild and not captive may be substution, but the former should be obtained if possible. This is the quill that will be used to write and draw the work.The act symbolizes wielding power, be it mysterious magical power or ferocious natural power.

VI. An odd number of sheets of clean white parchement shall be laid out. One need record on ONE side only, and needn't use the reverse. These are the pages the work shall be writen on. The act symbolizes the pure, stripped and laid bare to be defiled by the Nightmare experience one is about to lay upon it.

VII.One shall strip oneself nude, and sit in the prepared space in the dark. The door if any shall be locked, and if disturbed one must not willingly answer or turn away from the work to rebuke them or break ones concentration.

VIII. One shall take up the prepared writing instrument in the left hand and a bell in the right hand. The instrument needent be lifted except to dip it in the prepared ink, but the bell must be held raised at all times-high enough so it touches not the floor or ones body, but in a manner that one might keep it raised so without tiring. A possible method might be to tie a string to the bell and loop it over some hook or other thing pulley-like and to simple keep the string held in hand.

IX. In the dark one shall begin meditation as the elves do -with the eyes wide open. One may perform any chant or mantra one wishes as long as it is not of the ordinary world and its faiths. One may also burn incense if one desires. Should one by chance fall asleep and close the eyes one will drop or release the bell and awaken to begin again. The goal is to be neither alseep nor awake, but dreaming awake.

X. In the dark one shall continue this meditation, refusing all food or drink until the work is done be it hours or many days. Given enough time of fasting, meditation, and darkness one will inevitably have visions. Very often disturbing. Using the instrument and the ink, one shall draw whatever visions or write whatever symbols one sees in the darkness. One may use slow careful strokes as though one were making a deliberate cut upon flesh as with a scalpel drawing blood, swift violent strokes as with a scourge, or any manner that comes to one. It matters not ones natural artistic ability, allow the dream forces to flow through one and guide ones hand. If one is disturbed by Visitors not at the entrance of the chamber, but at the doors or gates of one's darkened mind one must not willingly answer nor speak unto them. Do not abandon The Work. Savour the fear. Draw what they look like and record what they say, or what signs they reveal.

XI. Continue this until the ink is gone, or the paper is gone, whichever proves to be the limiting factor. If the ink becomes too dry before it is completely consumed, it may be thinned or moistened by adding a small amount of Curse Water. If one is forced by weakness of will to flee or abandon the chamber before The Work is complete, when one-indeed IF one returns one must crush the pages and burn all this, extinguish the fire with Holy Water. Sprinkle these ashes in the wind and be rid of them.

XII. When the work is complete, place the dried pages in a folio or some appropriate container. DO NOT willingly look upon them. SEAL IT in the dark and swear not to willingly gaze upon it except on threat of death. Upon sealing it in the dark, it stops being yours. This act is a sign of premature burial and the horror of such, as well as an oath of secrecy. If ink remains cast it in a fire and let it burn and seethe, when it is gone put it out with Holy Water lest it attract unwanted things, and set the ashes on the wind.

XII. The Work is not for the author but ment to be seen by another, be it the next day or another age, be it in the next room or another nation. Should you look upon it before any other it shall lose all its meaning. Destiny shall carry it through time and space. If one likes, one may insert also an introduction and afterword - but these ought to be placed into the folder or container before the work is composed. DO NOT guard it from any that might wish to steal it, let it be taken by those who might and let them open it if they wish. DO NOT give it away however, DO NOT willingly put it in anothers hands. Instead, let it be TAKEN, or placed where it may be found by any-be it left in public space or hidden in public library. Let fate be your guide. When light shines upon it, its revelations or cryptic signs shall become the blessing or curse of he whom opened it. Your Nightmare is theirs now.

Leave the room for what should be the first time. Let your eyes adjust to the light, breathe deep and be free of the stale air, and enjoy the open space. Go outside.Then take a bath and wash yourself of The Work.

XIII. Revel.

Take in the ordinary world and worldliness, and know how good she is. This period can be as long or as short as you wish, but absolutely no longer than it took you to create The Work and no shorter than a single night.

Feast upon daintities especially meats cooked rare and sweets.
Drink strong spirits.
Smoke strong tobacco, hashish, opium, or strange drugs.
Dance, shout, and partake of other gayities.
Indulge in masturbation, wild sex, or sodomy.

Do whatever you wish or do not wish.

Forget your authorship, let The Work go where it goes, perhaps leave it in a pub or some tavern that very night, or place it upon Library shelf. Only you will know the right time and place, let go of it whenever you feel inspired, or else hold on to it until another demands it from you or else keep it in your private things until your deathbed even. It is in the hands of fate.

Preparation Summary

Time
-Ideally at least 3 days

Location
-Lightless Space that wont be disturbed.
(Prior Desecration and/or Unhallowing optional -Consecration and/or Hallowing upon completion is reccomended in this case)

Materials
-1 Sacred Text (your choice)
-Odd Number of Live Offerings (Sapient Sacrifice NOT reccomended- YMMV)
-1 Preserved Left Little Finger of a wizard, warlock, or cleric. (or Wild Animal Claw Substitute)
-Odd Number of Sheets of Pure White Parchment
-1 Vessel for holding liquid ink to be prepared
-1 Sealable Container for holding the parchment once dried
-1 Bell
-Fire Source
-Incense (optional)
-Holy Water (optional -use as necessary in disposal procedures)
-Unholy(Curse) Water (optional -use as necessary, or not at all)


The Two-Edged Sword

"The Two-Edged Sword of Secrecy"

A Treatise by The Traitor's Son

Secrets. We all think we know the value in clandestinity or furtiveness, but few truly do. Many a delver and dabbler all too readily presumes the well and intentionally hidden to be truth. Just because some information is hidden or little known, does not mean that its secretness is any more proof of veracity than is the open or widely known nature of some other information. One who is to be a Keeper of Secrets must have the ability to descern which secrets are true and which secrets are false, and know when to hide or conceal this trueness or falseness. Secrecy is a two edged sword that may cut the seeker of a secret unexpectedly, as can it be a weapon whose twin blades cut two ways in favor of its wielder. And should it not, for what worth is a weapon that bites ones own hand?

Think you of the fact that just as it is in the nature of Man to hide and conceal and withold, is it also in his nature to lie. Would a lie not be more believable if started with a "Sshhh! Dont tell anyone, but" ? A rumor is the simplest example, for although many rumors are started casually some are deliberate. Rumors might also serve as a subtle form of thought control, for it is in the nature of man to change what he hears just a little, enough that eventually no one will be sure just where the information came from.

A prince might accept someone into his ranks whom he knows to be untrustworthy. Now, we all know a prince is judged by the people who serve under him, and they are a direct reflection of his wisdom for a wise prince has trustworthy and useful servants and an idiot prince untrustworthy and mutinous ones. But what if the prince recruited the rat only to tell him a fact, and tell him to tell no one else? The man with the running mouth would surely tell the wrong people, unkowingly doing his masters work. How wise is the prince that makes use of even his followers flaws! Or suppose a spy had been discovered, ones first instinct might be to torture BUT watching and observing them, can unveil what they seek to know and the type of person they work for, indeed the identity of whom they work for and what they already know by virtue of what they do not seek to know. Giving a known spy false information, might serve as a way to confound the enemy. A prince might have several prisoners in his dungeon, but he knows the enemy approaches and will surely take his stronghold when they arrive. Suppose he or trusted official under him converses with another in front of prisoners, perhaps with a guard, paying the captives no mind. When the prince has escaped the captives will be rescued and debriefed by the enemy, and unknowingly spread the falsehood the prince and his advisors have prepared. Perhaps the enemy now believes the prince has escaped to some place he has not. And if resources permitted and one were truly cunning, one might lay a trap in a false stronghold, also in a secluded place, its hiddeness mistaken as proof of its veracity. Likewise, simply because a rogue discovers a hidden place does not mean it serves the purpose it seems, it might only be a distraction.

No one understands better the secret that is a fallacy than the Devils, though the Demons understand it too. They and their cults promise to give secrets and power, but mind you that all this is to their advantage, as it is with anyone who divulges secrets. When someone offers you a secret, you must ask yourself always "why are they telling me this?" and descern how and what it is that they have to gain. If they tell you why themselves, question their motives. A man who does not question is worth nothing. If it was not divulged with hidden intent, with purpose, then it was divulged as the result of arrogant bragging or foolish blathering. Do be careful to tell the difference, and know that intent might be veiled as such. If you go searching to learn that which has been hidden by Devils or Demons do not be surprised if it is a trap of sorts, and the arduous road to get there to weed out those that aren't useful to them.

Do the gods lie? Absolutely, foolish is he who thinks otherwise. All of them do. Every one of them. But mind you not all false secrets need be made of untruths. It is quite possible to decieve by omission. A few facts might be left out deliberately, it might be determined that some information is "irrelevant" to what they need you to accomplish, or in the case of mortals simply forgotten. A series of smaller secrets, small truths might be gathered in one place and presented in such a way to lead a discoverer to an easy false assumption or else a falsehood might be mixed with facts, perhaps even claimng the veracity of some conclusion. Although mind you also that this need not be deliberate. It is entirely possible that a scholar or anyone might use what little they know and garner a false conclusion, and then hide this "revelation" keeping it in secrecy. Although too do scholars lie for their gain, telling and writing of that which they have never proven as fact and presenting accounts of that which they have never seen. Of course these types of deceptions are usually well publicized, and rarely kept secret-although when they are, they are distributed within small circles as you would expect.

Now, not all things should be kept secret. Indeed one should never let on more than is necessary, but one should not fall into the trap of being totally secret and clandestine. It is quite dangerous going totally alone, we must accept that even the gods are not all knowing and neither is any man. Many a prince has fallen into these modes, making all his decisions in solitude, only to go forward with a plan and finding fault in or opposition to it, and then suddenly change his mind. He appears weak, uniformed, and indecisive. One should not shun ones counsellors and advisors. It is no secret that secret societies exist, and to be a secret something need not only be known by one. Let your advisors know your thoughts, though not your most intimate thoughts, and seek their aid in matters unknown to you, and consider their advice. I say "consider", because ultimately they do not make your decisions, but at the same time one must have trustworthy people to handle at least day to day decisions in your stead. If you were wise in choosing your advisors and your allies, or as the case may be, your fellow conspirators you can be assured they will not easily turn against you. Though be aware, they will keep their secrets, and know that even allies spy upon one another. So go ahead and leave them not unwatched.

Realize and understand all this, accept it all as Truth.

And by the Styx! Let no man know you do.

The Traitor's Son


The Game

To travel in alone on dark and treacherous road, to brave the slings and arrows of misfortune and fear neither death nor failure, to play the most dangerous game, to risk everything - that is what it means to be an adventurer. Not all adventures or exploits worthy of song and prose begin in crypts or caverns, or in the dark corners of the earth. Sometimes they can begin in the most prosaic of places and never stray far from the back alleys, and bedrooms of a city that has another side, one of secrets in which the streets run red with rumors and untold hearts are inflamed.

Let me tell you of the House of Dee.

Many know of them I'm sure, and as many or more of their most prodigal son. Or they think they do. Long has it been since his last revel, and there is likely much speculation as to what occupies his mind. Most would suspect melancholy, but I know it as a sudden twist of faith. Let it be known, the Lord of Dee is a pious man. Although in ways that would few would recognize, most being hypocrites, would call it blasphemy. But to whom does he owe his winnng hand? A Color Flight of Black Dragons? Another? Or does that Grim Sleeper awake? It is become clear to me that Dee is become a Black Abbot, and I would be none too surprised if he quit his mistress' boudoir for an abattoir, or if many of the former have since become the latter. I know not the limits of his depravity or piety, but I know it must occupy all his time for none too easily could a man establish what he has. But I must admit, and I must - that I have neither seen nor heard of what lies beneath the marble. We all know well, those of us that are learned, that neither is seeing believing nor word of mouth reliable. Sight deceptive and rumor viscious.

It was out of love of The Game that I sent him missive, let him know what I knew -or it would seem so. It was all speculative really, but writ cleverly so as to make it seem as if I knew more than I did, and made clear nothing was sought. I am no blackmailing mummer or extortionist clown, there is no motley upon my brow. I only acknowledged him and warned him that if he continued as he did he would be found. I did not at all discourage him however, nor could I expose him in truth anyway-for the undoubtable evidence I possess is that which no court would call admissable and were it such, be servicable only as an all too costly gambit.

At best I hope him to become a laboratory for my most phthartic projects -the ones that carry the most risk for the philospoher, as he has many more resources for precautions and equipment than I can currently hope to possess. But of course I would never ask these things of him, but rather tell him of such ideas so that he might steal them for his own or modify them, try them out and gain or lose -but so long as I am told or might spy to learn the results, I benefit as if I had done these things myself and yet have done nothing at all. I know not if he is a braggart, one to talk of his exploits -I cannot say whether he will speak but he most certainly listens. My eyes tell me his security is greatly increased, but I doubt he is become all safe -especially from me. But why has he done this? Does he take my cautions seriously? Or did I put fear in him? And am I dealing with the student or the Master? Were a he a Master he would not have been so ill-prepared, or if indeed he is then he is arrogant or else he wanted to be known and his recent activity is only a deception. It is also quite possible that there is a master hidden in the House of Dee and the Lord himself is only the apprentice, to a much cleverer, more dangerous mind. I have a plan to deal with him, and I think, a possible collaborator. We'll see.

A House divided against itself cannot stand. I cannot help but wonder how long the House of Dee has before it falls. The Lord of Dee is but one part, but were the truth become known it would forever be an indelible mark. What honor would be left and what reactions there would be? Oh vitriolic criticism to be sure, but who can say exactly what all would play out by the end of it? It would be beyond scandalous I think, but schismatic. No matter what the future holds it will be interesting and I am sure to learn much along the way. Indeed, man is at once the greatest artificer and the laboratory, and the Lord of Dee is no exception.

The Traitor's Son


Society Within

Isnt it amazing? Give a man a secret sign, a password, perhaps a fancy ring and he'll do almost anything. By nature people are drawn towards secrets, and to secret societies. What is it that drives them? Some say will to power. And indeed such societies can bring much wealth and many connections. Some say will to pleasure. And indeed a brother or sisterhood could provide access to many things. Some say a will to meaning. And indeed joining such a group can give one a sense of belonging to something greater and more significant than oneself in a chaotic uncaring world, and most of all -a sense of being accepted. I say it is all of these things. When one asks why a man would forsake his former friends or family to join a cult or secret order, when one asks "what can they provide?" or "What are they looking for?" those are the reasons and the answers.

How does such a group begin? Sometimes it begins with a single charismatic individual who in turn acquires several subordinates. Othertimes it begins with a small group of Founders who join together. There are advantages and disadvantage to either one. If there is one Master at the center of everything, then there is one driving will behind the organization-not to say that individuals may not eventually acquire their own aims. While the organization has one will, the Founder has no advisors. If his subordinates are truly that, underlings , they are not likely worthy of giving him advice when he needs it. If he becomes misguided who will correct him, and who can do so without being muitinous and who would he listen to anyway? Furthemore should this single individual fall, the Order will come apart. In the second case there are any number of Masters each one considered an equal to all the others. They are knowledgable in different areas, and each an advisor and ally of the group. When the group makes decisions there is not one will, but several, each with a different viewpoint. I like this model myself, however one must deal with politics within the group. For the groups success the Founders must not constantly fight for control-and on that note, the number in the circle should be odd so that any decision that can be determined by a simple yes or no will always come to a decision; however, one must be sure that all members of the circle are strong individuals. If there were only three in the circle and one proved weak, they might be charmed or hoodwinked by a second, and suddenly the group only has two wills-and one of them has more votes and thus more say. While three is a minimum, I would think five or seven ideal, with at the upper extremes no more than thirteen. Uniting these Masters should be an ideal or goal that cannot be pursued or attained by one, nor ever upheld or kept by one. As long as these Masters share information so as to coordinate their efforts, the results will benefit all. Often this shared ideal comes in the form of the dogma or ideals of a Deity, but othertimes it is the hatred of a common enemy. I would not advise forming an Order around a mutual hatred, as it forms a fragile alliance at best.

What then shall be the Founders first act? The Founders should be talented people, they should be Masters. A Master must have an Apprentice. A Master without an Apprentice is a Master of nothing. Each one should have three to five Apprentices. Each of them should be chosen with care, and indeed they should be encouraged to test these Apprentices, even secretly before they are even aware of the Master's existance. Each of a Master's Apprentices needn't know about the other Apprentices existance-in truth, perhaps it is best they dont and that they be conviced they are singular, and are special. When the time is right, the Apprentices should be told to find and carefully select subordinates -and most importantly, these subordinates must not know that their Leader is an Apprentice to anyone, or of the existance of their Master at all. And of course in turn, each Apprentice does not know of his Master's other Apprentices, nor that their Master is part of a larger circle of Founders. Should any among these subordinates prove capable enough, their Leader should ask them to seek subordinates of their own if they have not done so already. In this fashion the organization will grow, its tendrils growing in lengthy and complexity. Leaders will have a variety of responsibilities, and they should give orders to the various cells under their command.

A very interesting property is that few are aware of the full scope of the organization. Indeed, each arm as it were can be put to a different task and even made to work with one another or work against each other without knowing they are working together at all. Spying on the part of the Founders will reveal the full extent of the network, and false orders will reveal where there are leaks if any, and who or what needs to be cut off. The Leaders, those of the Second Circle may give their group a special name, and dispense whatever secret signs they wish to their subordinates, those of the Third Circle and insist that each of their subordinates with underlings give these signs to certain underlings so that they might recognize anothers underlings when performind dead drops or other exchanges. Leave the nature of these names and signs to the Leader, one of the Master's Apprentices -it makes them feel empowered to have some creative control as it were, in addition to leading others. Extensive spying on the part of the Founders may reveal just what all these signs, signals, codes, and names are.

From where are these Apprentices to be chosen? Think first of the fact that one must extend reach into three distinct territories. One must first realize there are in fact three worlds. The first is the Overworld, this world is made up of the upper class. They are powerful, influential, and a valuable resource. The second world is the Underworld. This world is the criminal, shadow side of civilization. They too are powerful and influential, albeit they might also include simple thugs or thieves which can serve their own purpose. Do be aware that just as the Overworld has its political parties and noble families, so too doed the Underworld have its organizations. One must be very careful that the Order or Society not become known to these Underworld organizations, that is to say-the whole core of things, as opposed to a single branch or arm which only appears to stand alone-although in my opinion even that should remain hidden. One must also be sure that these arms are on good terms with the Underworld and do not engage in any activities to which powers of the Underworld already has claim. If it is possible, it is beneficial if arms of the Order can infiltrate the ranks of Underworld or Overworld organizations. The third world is made up of all the people in the street, as much the people in the taverns as the people in the back alleys and the depths of the underhive. Many underestimate their usefulness -a rumor or whisper spilled into the ever flowing river that is the street can spread misinformation with incredible speed. Likewise by listening in on the talk of the taverns much can be learned. Every person that walks is an eye or an ear, or a hand in some cases, and their use might not cost more than a drink, ahot meal, a little coin to buy a woman, or coin for such a woman herself.

The Traitor's Son


Lost Les Innocents

Les Innocents.

The Innocents in the most modern, standard academic Common dialect. For those foreign to the Summer Country, these two words conjure memories of halcyon days, idyllic childhood, and pastoral settings. For the rest of us they signify the loss of innocents and innocence, a tragedy that has left a wound on the world that may never heal. Long ago there was a fortified city, built by a order of priests, and holy warriors for the lost children of Avalon whose parents had died or abandoned them. It was a place of love and light, like no other.

Now all that remains is a burnt out husk and an ever changing dregscape shaped by the hands of ancient shadows, a waste silent except for echoes of pain that carry through the ages. Countless numbers perished in an inferno that consumed everything. Nothing can restore the land to what it once was. Divine Fire cannot, for fire made it what it was and still it burns. It is one of the burning places, the places where all hope has been burned away in the immolation of innocents. A Flood cannot wash away the wickedness, nor drown the sorrows of the damned. It would make the land a brackish Charnel Bog of legend and lore-a place of high and mighty slaughter later covered in water, filling the dreams of those who travel there to the brim with fright, wiping their memories away, and dissolving all will to leave. Such bogs form from places steeped with suffering, and I have no doubt the taint of Les Innocents has the potential. How did it come to this?

A dark cult found its way into Les Innocents, removed all who worked in the orphans interests, and turned it into very different. What was there purpose there? I do not know entirely, or perhaps I do not ''want'' to put all the possibilities to paper. I can only speculate. In any case these cultists having removed all influences sought to remove the guardian of Les Innocents who had failed to notice their subtle infection. This guardian was mighty dragon, and when the assassins struck they could not prevail-but the ensuing battle started a fire, and in the end left no one alive but the guardian. Broken, the guardian left, having lost all their in themself unable to cope with their utter failure. To what demon, what dark deity, what eldritch abomination did these cultists pray? Whose will did they carry out? Their Lord has but one name that is not a name,but an attempt to put a description to an unimaginable foe. They say He was a " Dark One."

I know this name, I have laid with his servitors and I and all my others drawn into his schems. He has returned to this land. It was only recently that Avalon was laid siege to by The Dark One and his Priests, and his Demon Army. Avalon seems to remain, but how easily, could she have been obliterated. Like Lost Les Innocents. Avalon's spirit seems to be strong but scores of her churches and her temples were destroyed and their clergy dismembered from within. Like Lost Les Innocents. In the ''same'' land the ''same'' tragedies befall the ''same'' innocents, the only difference are the names.

I do not know if the fate of Les Innocents was always intended or an unexpected failure in his plans. Seeing what has happened to the ruined city, I cannot say whether he gained or lost from what could be a mass sacrifice or an accident. But I can say that it would not surpise me if his order has taken refuge in that place.

The Traitor's Son


On Incorporeality & The Unorthodox Containment of Spirits

On Incorporeality & The Unorthodox Containment of Spirits

A Treatise by The Traitor's Son

Incorporeality is a curious existance. One can see and hear, but has no sense of touch nor anyway to interact with the physical word except by great acts of will. A peculiar phenomena may be noticed by any magician who has tired to become incorporeal for the first time and been dissapointed to find that incorporeality does not a passwall make. A creature of approximately human size cannot pass through an object or barrier greater than feet feet in thickness, indeed, the "depth" as it were that an incorporeal being can pass is relative to its size. And by that fact no incorporeal creature can hope to pass through one side of the world through the core and out the other lest it was at least as large as the entire world itself. An could incorporeal being can hide inside of a wall, but it must always remain adjacent to the exterior. Thus an incorporeal being could enter a rectangular pillar five feet across in every direction from any side and exit from any side.

But why? There are some theories. The first is that this is a fundamental Law of Umnos, the god of time and space. The undead were not created by the gods, and so this fudamental law may have been imposed by the will of Umnos, master of barriers. Others believe it is an intrinsic fear within incorporeal beings-while inside solid objects the incorporeal cannot see, and they have nothing of any sort of touch. Passing into a solid object is like loosing all sense of self, being left with nothing but ones thoughts. There are those that hold that all who are incorporeal must contend with this overpowering unconscious instinct, and will not venture deeper into anything beyond a certain size or thickness, lest they become utterly lost in it.

In any case, regardless of the reason-it is because of this that barring teleportation or demanifestation, incorporeal creatures can in fact be trapped underground, in especially thick vaults, collapsed mines, buried cities or dungeons. It is also by this fact that they might be contained by entirely mundane prisons. One could prepare a great cube of lead with a hollowed space, baited into the trap, one could place an equally thick lid upon it and then lock or melt it closed to be put in the ground or cast into the sea. There are tales of large stones or monuments entirely mundane said to bind or contain spirits-these local legends may very well be true. On the subject of the sea, incorporeal creatures can move through water as easily as air, but the same is not true of solid ice. Were an incorporeal creature under the water, potent magic migh freeze a great mass of ice around them, trapping them in an small iceberg. It is even reasonable that an incorporeal could be buried alive, or undead-in which case it might survive to accidently be disturbed and freed in the future.

The Traitor's Son


Ripple

There is a subtle difference between needs and wants. She whispered in my ear that I could call her, that she would come as soon as she could. If she could. If I needed her. At first I thought that might be necessary, but in less than a moon she came of her own accord. I have not seen her since, but I trust she is kept busy and so I will not trouble her. I cannot say what she does, what her duties are. She says that He has been more lenient, albeit she is still a slave. She does not easily show that she suffers, she is a Daughter of Fortitude. I asked her if I might pay His price and she begged me not to, saying only she knew too well what He might do-so very fearful for me. I loathe her master as I love her dearly. He denies me as she entices me.

At first I felt as though I had come to terms with His antics and the intrigues of His House, but only now do feel the ripples. My rival-indeed the first man that I ever came think as one even if only a little has since quit the town stealing his sister, the champion of the lost, the good shepherdess with him. The bard was in her care-still mute and shot through, fulgarated with the pain of his experience. It seems the tea sipping swordsman left with them as well. I learnt all this from the child- now more a woman that they took in who is now left all alone again.

They did not, would not, or could not say why they left. Perhaps it was the search for a cure? I must recall the woman too was stricken with what seems more a spiritual illness than anything. Or perhaps Lucy simply thought the city had become too dangerous, with which I would half agree. Those who have been chosen cannot so easily evade their destiny, they cannot run, they cannot hide -it will find them again until they are willing to face it and either accept it or put the quietus to it by their own blade. I doubt I will see Lucy and the lot of them again. Along with them I must include Lucy's colleague, the only man I think to challenge me intellectually, and the first person I met when I arrived many, many moons ago. I do not know what has become of him, but Lucy seemed dissapointed to learn he had suddenly vanished. I cannot know whether he is somewhere far away in fetters, or flayed alive, though I would rather think him otherwise.

I do not care much for the multitude. Unless it interests me or relieves my ennui, thousands can go to feed the fires of doomsday. I only care, truly, for the few and the ripples are reaching out to far more of them than and in more ways than I knew.

The Traitor's Son


Ocean of Fear

Through a few novice adventurers I have learned of goings on around a nameless reef somewhere between Cargando and here. Ships that passed by the reef were boarded by serpentous eel men armed with spears. Crewmen were snatched from the deck and taken into the waters where most presumed they would never be seen again.

Sometimes they returned.

In boxes unfortunately, although not in the holds of their ships nor to the homes of their loved ones. Instead, these coffers crafted of lashed together driftwood landed on their beaches, containg their preserved faces with pears inserted into sockets like glass eyes. It is one with to deface the remains of an enemy and wear his face like a mask, and another to actually send it back to them. What is remarkable is that the sailors in question did not all hail from the same port, but were taken from different ships of different nations and cities. On must reason then that the eel men were of sufficient intelligence to understand where the ships had come from, and of the constituition, or resources to transport them back to where they came.

Though the fledgling mercenaries dispatched a number of them I do not believe this is the end of the conflict. At least I can say that it is no mystery to me why these kidnapping and slayings happened. It was no matter of territory or an act to warn anyone away -though finding an alternative trade route would have been smart- nor was it to prepare grim victuals. It was ritual sacrifice. What is already obvious to me is only confirmed by the altar of white coral made so crimson by their blood. I know this rite. I have heard of it before-it is performed by the races of ocean but as I understand it, but I believe them to in vain. What could they gain? That which the venerated of this cultes is known for giving was clearly not bestowed upon them, for by description of the bout they weilded no magic arcane or divine, and their lair yielded no books, scrolls, or written knowledge indicating they were learning or retaining anything. Though they were cultists, I do not think them of any import, but I can tell they have greater reach than most would want to believe, and so they must not be underestimated.

The Traitor's Son


Descent

The Underdark.

The very name canotes what we hope and fear-what we fear most and hope does not exist. There is an underworld beneath our feet that often gets overshadowed by that of the lower planes, but it is no less dangerous.

It was recently that a Wizard, Tellian died in the arms of an aquiantance. When I asked of his injuries at least, it seemed there were none. I can only presume what sent him to the grave was a consumptive fear, indeed I know well how madness and woe can devour a man leaving him absolutely gnawed as if by an animal. Following his notes, she, I, and others ventured deep into the underdark where we discovered a well hidden Illithid stronghold. There within we encountered relatively light security-five thralls in all, five illithids, and an Ulitharid that lead them. The Ulitharid are special, and are always regarded as something likened to a prophet or chosen one among their race. They are a rare breed that live twice as long on average, and always hold prominent positions in their community. You'll know one when you see it for they are much taller head and shoulders above the others and with more tentacles too. He put up a decent fight, but in the end died on his knees hoping he could take one of us with him using a Reciprocal Gyre. More problematic was the iron golem we encountered in chambers further along guarding a room of brains in storage.

Along the way freed discovered a handful of prisoners, mostly drow women -but also an Avalonian dwarf by the name of Darwyn. By his account he was doing some scouting searching for brewing materials-mostly fungi, when he ran into a group of drow. He went after some of them but was drawn into a larger ambush, and went unconscious when he was hit by a poisoned arrow-the well documented sleep poison of the drow no doubt. However when he awoke he found himself not in their captivity, but within a sealed room with a small window. He was alone with the women, all of them stripped naked when he realized he was in the hands of the mindflayers. I can only imagine that when he was initially capured, likely to be killed at their leisure-the drow were ambushed by an Illithid brain raid. It seems they were held for several days before we came along.

However, there was more than that.

For within the depths of the underdark we also encountered a Thing That Cannot Be Named. The Unnamable is a creature that has been called to our world before; our information indicates the illithids made use of it once long ago, when a "traitorous" Alhoon or illithid lich-perhaps traitorous is a double negative for the illithids loathe undead-sent the creature away when his race tried to make use of it. It was within a special room in the stronghold, with a psionic device containing a hundred crystals that by my reckoning, seemed to bring the room and another place in far realm space coterminous with one another. Upon entering the room and crossing a bridge to the device the chamber sealed, and it was only with careful trial and error and a bit of luck that we managed to make it work. But it seems the grasp of its tentacles may yet extend further than expected, even across the boundaries of time and space. To be sure we defeated it, but we did not KILL it. Or as the case may be-destroy it, as The Unnamable may very well be unkillable. That is not dead which can eternal lie.

A portal opened right in Yuria's vicinity some days later and what has been derscribed as a large, furry, four armed humanoid with a vertical mouth emerged. A lot of people were involved in the skirmish and it seems David was badly hurt and one commoner killed by some of the people involved when their minds were subject to intrusion. No one was abducted forunately, but I would not be surprised if it happened again. Considering the sheer number of portals that were opened a few months ago, and a fairly recent rift that opened into Avernus one might at first presume that some local instablility has developed. Speaking with those involved with the latter, it seems one of them was targeted in an unrelated personal matter-and so I believe this to be the case in our own issues with extraplanar assailants. The question is, who is targeting Yuria? Certainly the illithids might be exacting some vengence-And…. it is not unreasonable that they might have gleaned some information on her from their recently dead brethren-a pity we did not think to completely destroy their brains.

However there is the more unsettling possibility, the one we ought to fear most and hope isnt true.

The Traitor's Son


With Great Power

I have learned that the Alhoon wielded a sword with a blade likened to the starry sky, and with it he sent The Unnamable away. Yuria tells me that the Unnamable is a eater of minds, and relayed a tale of how in a fit of pleasure triggered by a caress of madness, her release spilled in the form of Quintessence-that silvery substance that is space and time condensced. It is well known that it might be used to preserve anything for all time so long as it is coated, but what is miraculous is that the dense, quicksilver nectar of her release transfigured into a living human being. A man, a farmer from neighboring lands that could not explain how, but knew that recently or in ages past he was 'taken' away, and 'eaten alive' in some fashion. The girl suspects that the man was taken from within the same way the otherwordly beast came from out of time to attack her in the inn, and prior to such -tormented him in the night, the same way as she by an alien prescense. So now do I name The Unnamable, "The Devourer"

The sword, as we had learned was to be found in a mountainous region with orcs. We discovered such a place, a "Scar Wall Keep" or "Castle Scar Wall" in orcish lands where the tribes had done away with all other races for two-hundred miles around. Circumventing their forces and their champion Ury Sevenskulls of The Deadwatcher tribe, we crossed a lake filled with serpentous beasts and ventured into territory into which they would not follow, felled an Umbral Dragon, dispatched a skeletal guard, and entered the dread halls of Castle Scar Wall. There sword, who is called "Arcanaethall" was possessed of a mind of its own. It was held captive by a Chain Spirit, a spirit of one who failed to protect something dear in life. In time others who came to inhabit the keep were chained, bound by the spirit in such a way that the would persist in unlife and the Chain Spirit rendered invulnerable until its 'anchors' were uprooted. Among these anchor spirits were Lady Nihil, a she-devil from whom I rescued my party. Her Words of Blasphemy left all but myself paralyized completely, save a wizard and northman -"White Hawk" who was weakened almost beyond retaliation. Completely unaffected, I removed their paralysis and allowed us to continue the fight. Within one of the castles towers was a temple to The Dark One, forever tended by a Demilich, Bishop Zev Ravenka-he too we dispatched, although with greater difficulty than all the others. With the spirits banished we claimed the Arcanaethall who was a sight to behold, glossy black and speckled with points of light that made looking on the darksteel seem as if looking up into the heavens of a lost world drifting through alien seas. I could not look directly upon it as one cannot look directly at the sun, its power was too great. From it we learned that it was made to destroy the abberant, the chaotic, and the dark, and all combinations thereof. It only allowed itself to be weilded by the Alhoon by means of some secret bargain between them. The girl tells me she knows The Devourer's mind, and I was thrilled, ecstatic to see that indeed so alien a mind could know terror. Though such alien physiologies may be beyond all need of sleep, they are not beyond knowledge of fear, and so they may yet suffer waking Nightmares from which there is no release. They have not escaped The King, but are more firmly under that crystal heel than any other.

I did not leave empty handed, for within the stores of the despoiled temple of The Dark One did I acquire a potent staff of necromancy, and by my reckoning it must be no less seven or eight centuries old. It is not all depleted, but less than half so. A little later, another of The Dark One's temples did I ransack, when I assisted in a raid on a mansion. Lady Blacktree of Avalonian nobility is an unusual woman. She was high born but ran away to become a soldier before returning, few such fiery women have I met in my time. She informed I and others that the The Dark One's various priests, who since The Siege had been present proselytizing or acting as apologists, had only been allowed to stalk the streets because they held a number of The Council's own. In the ensuing raid we freed the children, and felled the whole of their cultists. I had hoped to leave a few alive to put to questioning, but the dozen or so others with me proved too blood drunk and brainlocked by battle frenzy.

It didnt please me that there were no curious writings, or items of intrigue there within-nothing I had never before seen. The mage that lead them, tried to petrify me, but by the stregnth and fortune afforded me by The Styx did I overcome him. After the raid I arranged a meeting with Lady Blacktree and the authorities. I desired to have total privacy with the deceased, and by means of Speak With Dead and Gentle Repose, question them until all relevant information had been gained. If I had been able to locate the remains myself, It would not have been beneath me to go after them with a shovel, reburrying them each week. However, I was not allowed the desired privacy, nor more than one attempt at questioning. Because of the former I made use of a flowing scroll rather than The Styx. Nonetheless I established decent rapport with her, and learned that the mage was "Gadron Sturik". He was not "the master" which a guard tried to warn, but only a hired hand who was not involved at the sight extensively, nor did he hold knowledge who was the proper owner.

I tried to convince Lady Blacktree and the authorities to dig up the basement for more clues, as well as send all of the deceased into oblivion by way of The Barghest's Feast. They did not have coin for the former nor stomach for the latter. How they could not follow through with ending the existance of men who openly acted directly against them seeking no less than the death of their loved, I will never understand. When the opportunity presents itself-you must crush a scorpion beneath your heel, lest it slip under a rock and await to sting you in your sleep. I know where the deceased lie, they are petitioners of The Dark One beyond in the sleep of death, but not beyond nightmare's the reach. It is good at least that they decided to burn the remains, but this alone is not total proof against their ressurection nor is it guarentee that Sturik did not have other safeguards such as Clone necromancy. When our bussiness concluded, by way of The Dreamlands I sent missive to six who were present during the raid, and eight who were not-but whom I was sure would hold an interest in looking into whom Gadron Sturik and the true "master" were.

What was more, as I had predicted, The Dark One's hands had come for Perada and stolen the pregnant half-drow away -from the mansion did we free her. I told her to be careful when we escaped The Dark One's prisons in the Abyss. In her belly is the child He hopes to be one of his Generals, the one he wants her to bequeath all she knows. Of course, I am sure in due time He will come for me as well, for in the womb of another doth reside my seed, and my own half-fiend progeny. I have not forgotten. Even if he should hold me to being the dark tutor of that elven child yet born, or my own child whom I could not deny- I am no servant of His. I am not His Disciple.

They knew one day would break,
my endless waves of hate upon them.
Watch now, two temples down,
how I bring them hell
and in a deep sea of loathing, how I drown them.

This deluge they cannot escape,
the tides of terror are upon them.
Under a diamond heel,
and with great power, have I ground them.

The Traitor's Son


Temptation <Written in Parselmouth> {Secret Page}

Temptation.

It is the allure of darkness.
It is the Succubi's seduction.
It is the Glabrezu's promise of glory.

Temptation. Never did I imagine I would be made to face and overcome it.

It is traditionally a tool used by those who seek power over others. Even I have used it, just today in fact, when I tried to tempt a beastess, a gnoll blademistress, into joining with I and my colleagues as we sought out The Tears of Heaven. I was quite surprised to see an entire group of female warriors, I did think them the sort to have a matriarchal society. We had utterly defeated an elite group lead by a Flind under orders from a mysterious man who had gained power over their tribe, whom also sought The Tears of Heaven.

The group was apart of a larger army some ten miles or so away. This leader was known only as 'The Boss', oddly enough our employer, represented by a Faerie Dragon, was also known as 'The Boss'. I doubt they were connected, for if they were, it would seem schizophrenic to send to groups after the same prize, pitting them against each other. All we understood was that the gnolls had learned where The Tears of Heaven were enshrined and that they planned to put them to 'no good purpose', whatever that meant. Though I was curious-WHY would someone need or steal such a thing to make so POWERFUL a HEALING elixir? When someone could be healed through other means? Perhaps such a thing might be valued by Asmodeus who still bleeds after millenia from his fall into Bator, his blood pooling in boiling lakes that spawn endless legions of Pit fiends. It may be that the divine Tears of Heaven are capable also of healing or hastening recovery divinely inflicted wounds.

The Flind and all her sisters slain, I told her she would surely face execution upon return, and that there was no point in going back. Furthermore, what chance did she have to taste The Tears of Heaven? There was only so much of so potent an elixir, so little that the ladle was but a thimble and so powerful no mortal ought dare to have more than that. Just comming within the vicinity of that place, far outside the temple complex carved into the cliff face, extended my life by what I reckon to be a year and a day. I can feel it. Surely, she could not think that she would be among the chosen to recieve any of it-certainly not after her failure? She was severely wounded and on the brink of consciousness, and most important of all-wracked with terror. She was mine. I spoke the ancient tongue, and invoked its power before I made my proposition, in the hopes that she would bend to my will. However, much to my disapointment, someone made the mistake of healing them. Still stricken with horror, and again able to flee, they escaped into the jungle. There was little reason to pursue her; I had already learned enough and they were only so valuable a pawn.

However, I learned today that Temptation can be found in unexpected places, and that it might even be used by those divine powers that so abhor such methods-or so they claim. Heresy? No. Hypocrisy. That's what it is.

Bypassing the defenses there within: a simple Blade Barrier, a windstorm, a curious pair of angelic faces that cried with the Wail of The Banshee, and more annyoing a pair Iron Golems-those two being the second and third I have encountered, and the third and forth adversaries almost wholly immune to magic- we at last discovered the vessel that held The Tears of Heaven. I watched my companions sip of The Tears of Heaven. One, by one, they sipped just a thimble full and I did I see all wounds erased, and see their mortal vessels filled to the brim with vitality and life. These were the tears of the gods who wept over the ancient wars, waged since times immemorial that ravaged this planet, healing the wounds of the world.

And then. It was my turn. My turn to partake of the elixir. Indeed, I had been promised this-no monetary reward were we offered by our employers.All we were offered was the chance to sip but a thimble full. I took took the thimble, I filled it with the shimmering quicksilver substance, and I lifted it to my eye that I might see it better. And then I thought: Of what worth was gaining many years, and perchance unlimited life from The Tears of Heaven when I will become Ageless long before Life's End? Its heretical, as IF I didnt believe I would recieve it, or was so weak willed, as IF I was afraid I could not earn it in my time. Of what fate would I or anyone partaking of it be deserving, save severance?

The weeping gods of this world had set a Temptation before me.

It was The Gift, the very same one that still awaits me now, not yet earned. So often do they claim that the Right Hand path of their religions is different from the way of the Left Hand, that their way was righteous and all things earned with hard work and dedication. So too do they slander the Left Hand path, that of the Dark Way, the Path of Shadows as an EASY road paved for the WEAK.
The USED.
The DESTROYED.
And the DAMNED.

What fallacies. What hypocrisy. What MADNESS was this?!

And then, I threw it away.
And turned my back on that idea, forever.
I turned my eyes from my companion's exuberance, and left them behind with only their bemused expressions.
And I left that thimble on the floor.

To fools it may seem sweet to savour sorrows, let alone sorrows divine, but it was surely best to leave them on the ground. Right where they belonged. Their tears are weak, and so are they meant for the weak. A salty, syrupy poison to be craved and all too eagerly consumed by the weak mortal masses, by "saints" and "heroes", like so many thirsting whores, never be they slaked. I am a stalwart Son, as the Mother of my Child is a daughter of fortitude.

We cannot be tempted by you, for we know all too well your ways.

The Traitor's Son


The Game Goes On

The House of Dee, what a mess, what a mess you've got yourself in! And how intriguing a twist this is! He is neither student nor master as I first thought, and writ of many months ago. No-he is a fool caught in the middle of a trap he set for himself. Either as a result of what he was gaining be it coin or something more carnal, out of desire to belong, or else out of fear-and I am certain the latter is an element. My Eyes tell me so; clearly he and his House have reason to be agitated, though I hope most of this is not due to some bungling on the part of my Eyes.

It turns out that The Lord of Dee in some way or another, got himself involved in many small plots, and related organizations. He had the brilliant idea, or else was cowed by each of them in turn, to allow them to meet and conduct there business on his estate. The exact number remains unknown, but I can say that they frequent him enough, that unexpected guests are a more than regular occurance. Whats more, these various factions are not all at rest, but have begun to quarrel. There are signs that things are comming to a head, and The Lord of Dee either lacks the will or the power to dismiss them. Indeed, I suspect of all his security now. Surely he can see what is happening, but he orders his guard to do nothing. In fact, it may very well be that these hired hands are not his own. If he has no control over them, he could be a prisoner in his own home. Either that, or the lot of his mercenaries stand little chance at opposing those who are upon him now. The various factions which were snapping at each other like angry serpents now close in on him like the fingers of a great hand, soon to become a fist.

One thing is not as it should be, my Eyes have not returned from their deeper investigations. Could they have betrayed me? Not likely, I have never heard of such a thing, not in these cases and should it be so, it was certainly against their will. Could they be trapped or dead? Either is a possibility, and between the two of them I would prefer dead. It simplifies things. I know The Lord of Dee is personally incapable of making either a reality, so I know that Dee's poor choice of friends are the culprits. If they are smart, and I would rather them fools instead, then they know death is not the solution to everything. Torture has its merits-although they will have a hard time torturing this one I am sure.

Now is the time for action. I could very well let this all play out, but I have some suspicions. I am too curious as to who all the "players" are in this city. I can almost certainly count The Syndicate and their Devil schemes amongst them, but there are clearly others here. With The Dark One's cultists formerly exercising some control over The Council I would not be surprised if a refuge like The House of Dee was instrumental in their operations in the city.If they are there, I must make them suffer grievously. Now, who shall be my hands? And how to make them act on what I have learned, without them questioning how or why I have learned it? And on who's behalf do I act? On The Lord of Dee's? Or others? Certainly to save him is to earn a favor.

The Game goes on.

The Traitor's Son


Seven Deadly Sins

Seven.

Seven were their number.

Angeliano.
Gabriel.
Dakheel.
Lucius.
Quintus.
Perada.
Tammuz.

Seven seeds yet to come to fruition. What nightmares may come? What might they have set upon the world? Is it their fault? No, not all their fault. They were dragged down into that Abyss, and subdued, and according to the demoness Evangeline- shown their darkest dreams and desires, the worst parts of them, and their hearts and minds shattered.

They escaped that place.

They left sanity behind, and brought madness and woe with them.

They left something else behind too. In black pits and gilded cages, they left behind demon lovers. Although, this 'love' was the worst kind, and more than likely one sided. They are scattered now, only two are left within the city which in which they began. Three: Angeliano, Lucius, and Quintus left together to some parts unknown, in the company of a Priestess who will remain in the memory of the poor, the used, and the damned 'living' within that dead zone, that void within the city walls. One, Dakheel went to his wives and his children in his foreign land, returning thus only once to say goodbye to his Disciple and those that knew him. Another, Gabriel rose up to freedom and went to his wife, another Priestess who was friend to that selfless Servia. It was on his wedding day, and in that chapel that the first fiends appeared, the ones that would steal him away, and herald the demonic deluge. The two are parted ways. I do not know what made him leave, but I have little doubt it was what happened in the underworld. He put that sword of his to my throat, looked me in the eye, and said to me-that demons, 'like me'stole his chance to give himself to his wife. So I know he gave himself to them.

I understand that Dark One planned all of this, and by his command what were the best warriors in all Avalon, perhaps Summerland, taken to breed generals. And too were they to be kept, so that each might teach their spawn the ways of the sword or the arcane, or of whatever talents were they. Still, what sorts will come of these 'unholy' unions?

Angeliano's spawn surely inherited his strength, and some of that natural cunning. I think he was a touch choleric and too easily accusing, especially when he vented his frustrations upon an innocent Warforged whom he falsely suspected of kidnapping. Afterward he actually broke down and cried, and that was not the very first time. Angeliano was a Lord of Shadows, a master of a special magic for which one must give up a part of his soul. I have heard him recount before of how the dark was not 'evil' and only how it is used makes the differents. And they said my powers were forbidden? Hypocrites! How ignorant were they of his discipline, for them say he walked a razor's edge and say I am clean fallen off, as if there were a differnce. Fools. We were not so different. Dare I say, we were the same. Their ilk often say they 'damn' themselves so that others might be saved. I say more often 'the greater good' is offered up on the alter of self interest. When he crawled out of that pit, I am sure he must have been haunted by the 'enemy' within. No matter, he is gone now. If that Dark One wishes this ones spawn to inherit his talents, I can say that within Avalon there may yet be a teacher. I have watched Kaellack fight, and I know his powers and knowledge are much the same both in his Shadow magic and his blade wizardry. Gabriel too was a blademaster. A very smart man, he was much more than a simple fighter. There are several that know his art, but none that quite strike me as being anywhere near his level of mastery. Another attribute of his that could not be ignored was his zeal. I know his wife would be a hard one to break, but if she would not teach, perhaps by simply watching the Soldier of Bahamut's child learn.

Dakheel, was a potent psion and crystal master. And I can say that he and he alone, was the only man I truly feared when I still knew fear, which was why I was glad he was my friend. He was also very wise, and of very sound mind. I cannot express just how much hate rampantly breed in my heart, when I saw him since he returned from the Abyss; how much blood could have dripped from my eyes when he showed me in my mind how he was tortured, and how his kin put under threat by that cruel mistress that now bears his seed. Most of all I remember tasting his fear, and how the evidence that he was positively gnawed was clear. Nothing but a skeletal mind that man is. I am sure his spawn inherited some of that natural talent-but who would instruct them now? I also understand the he forged some sort of pact that, presuming it is kept, that neither he nor any of his family would ever be bothered again. Alas friend, your deal does not protect all that is dear to you! He instructed Yuria, his disciple, a girl that is not human as she seemed but Elan in all his ways. The disciple has outshone the master! Now I watch as she takes on her own apprentice, a halfling girl, a heritor in some fiendish blood beset by her ancestors in some scheme or another. If that Dark One were to seek a teacher for Dakheel's spawn, in my opinion no greater could there be than his former student who was like a daughter. And seeing as that Dark One is not limited to dealing with demons, I can see how a Devil like the haflings grandfather could be a gateway to the Elan girl if a direct approach is not subtle enough. Given her attitude towards me, were her master's spawn to seek her out, I could see her as accepting of so apt a pupil.

All this thus far and soon to come, is speculation-made even more uncertain by a fact to me he revealed. He would only willingly mate with his mistress when she agreed his family would be safe. But why did it matter, would not a single act of rape upon that man satisfy their goals? Perhaps they thought to corrupt him? Or-as he proposed, perhaps the child desired to be sired from that union had to be born from a willing mortal for some reason? And only then did she leave him be? Even with my background in demonology and arcana I cannot be completely sure if some greater rite were at work. It is from his description, and how he professed to me-that he had failed his absolute alliegence to his wives, that I call these spawn deadly 'sins'. The seven should have been heroes, but if The Dark One's plan required at some point they give in, AND these enfants terribles are to be a true blight upon Therafim as generals in His army-then these children are also the result of their failures as 'heroes'.

Lucius was a talented wizard, and a brother to that Servia. I watched him love his sister dearly, and sometimes too his temper flare to defend her from all he saw as a threat. He called himself a 'lord', a title Angeliano respected, and one that I put little faith in. I care little for nobility, or traces of such ancestery, they have little meaning in comparison to ones own accomplishments. I remember when he was just a scarred man, all wrapped in bandages dragging that savage beauty of a slave girl around with him in the markets, I never suspected that in my heart and mind at least, he would become a kind of rival to me -to always silently strive to be better than. For many years I understand, he was sperated from his sister-the result of some family tragedy that left him and her the last of their line. I think he wanted to restore some of that percieved prestige and honor. Should I meet his spawn, I'll make sure they know who their father was. What will happen to his name, Cassius when the 'abomination' that rightfully shares his lineage, is loosed upon the world? So much for that. In any case, while we were not good friends -albeit like Angeliano I think we could have been true friends if we met under different circumstances. I can say like his counterpart magician, Eisen, I appreciated them both on an intellectual level. I have no doubt his spawn will inherit his mintellect. Besides the man himself, I would say Eisen would be a fitting teacher in his stead-but he is mysteriously gone or dead. However, I see as good or better a magician in White Hawk the Wizard and Northman with whom I have become aquainted.

And then there is dear Quintus. He was a man who laughed, and could make me laugh. I find it hard anyone, no matter how cruel, could actually want to harm Quintus. Quintus was always smiling, even in the face death that man could smile. When I saw him for the first time since his ordeal, the half elf was utterly broken. Mute and locked inside his own fleshy prison. I think he wanted to scream behind those dead eyes, but all he could give was his music. He would play when given his instrument, and play until someone took it away from him. Without it, all he could do was stare into space. I understand he took to writing sometime afterward, almost compulsively -but then just like that, he plastered all the pages to a wall in the shape of a man, and set it alight almost burning down the Arcadia inn. That is how we discovered his journal, and so we never learned what it was he destroyed. But I know. I am sure he meant to burn the memories of his existence in that hell, and sweep the ashes from the ground. I have never known a better musician than him, he was a virtuoso. I do not know if he himself had a master, it may be an inborn talent for which Quintus' child needs no teacher-if such things can be passed along in the blood.

Perada, Perada, Perada-what a special case she is. She is unique in that among the lot of them she was the only female. She is a witch, as Tammuz is a warlock. Each of them inherits a pact, and so too are each of some lineage generally looked upon with disdain-be it of The Underdark or The Abyss, they are regarded as abominations. One of them, believes they are 'unruled' by their lineage and that it can be put behind them; while the other believes that the legacy they hold within is a source of pride and power, and so they have no shame, no matter how dark it may be. Both of them were treated differently than all the others, quite well by their lovers. The demoness Evangeline tells of how Perada spent two years by a twist of time and space with them, until it came to an end.

What is particularly interesting, is that Perada's case is that her lover betrayed his master and set them free. I am sure there is much insight he can give us, but his dead now, or so It would seem. Perada is the only one of the seven to have and to hold her spawn, for she is female and now resides on the Prime. She is not safe however, as once to date cultists have tried to recover her. To me, this says there is still an interest in her and she is not forgotten and will NOT simply allowed to be 'the one that got away.

What will their demonic mothers teach them? That the world despises them? That is undoubtable. That their fathers hate them too? In all but the warlock's case, its probably true. That a traitor prevented their fathers from seeing, believing, and embracing their mother's blackest truth? Absolutely. I know what they will do-they, their mothers, and their bretheren seeing the traitor is dead will come for their 'lost' brother, and his mother Perada again and again. If she should refuse they will kill her at all costs, because in their eyes she's a traitor too.

Perada's child knows the comfort of two parents, something I did not. But otherwise, my eyes see their future in my own life. If Perada cannot protect that child I know what they will do-they'll take them in like the cult that they are. If she prevents their demonic influence from finding its way into the childs heart, such that they will not willingly fulfill the destiny laid out for them, then they will forever be marked for death. Or else everyone the child holds dear will be put at stake to force their compliance. In either case they may lose everything.

I know what it is to be haunted.
I know what it is when everything's gone.
I know what it is to be

The Traitor's Son


Silver Eye of Terror

The Wheelwright Trading Company principly deals in all forms of mechanical things, most especially those driven by internal timing or 'clockwork' mechanisms. A year ago, the company was inherited by Alfonso and Mercer, the sons of the former head. In recent months they ran into some trouble when the main workshop on an island somewhere between here and Cargando became isolated. It was inhabited by a population of gnomes, being adept in that sort of thing, hired on by the company.

Under contract by the Wheelwright Trading Company we went to right whatever matters had gone on there. When we arrived on the beach, we found the isle deserted, and the small settlements abandoned. There a terrible silence-save the wind, and the island seemed bereft of life. We uncovered a strange warded cylinder buried under the house of the gnome who seemed to lead the camp. The container itself by my divinations, seemed to have been in the Wheelright posession for generations and it was passed by them to its most recent owner, a rather old, moderate male gnome of some sort.

Shortly thereafter we spotted someone watching us, and following the figure stumbled upon a tribe of 'cannibal' haflings that inhabited the island. In truth they would not eat there own, but this does not exclude other sentient groups from which they might take heads or trophies. They principly worship Matra and while not malicious, are quite territorial. Fortunately most of our group could communicate with them in the Trade Tongue, and gathered that the gnomes had been picked off and taken to a camp further up the mountain. According to the haflings, the gnomes were 'dead inside'.

They described mechanical things that by all of our memberships reckoning, seemed to describe Clockwork Horrors, self replicating machine beings-which they called 'The Starfallen'. The haflings told us how to reach this camp, and their female leader gave us the ultimatum of going up the mountain, or leaving, but going nowhere else -lest they offer our blood to their thirsty jungle.

When we reached the camp we found some empty buildings and a handful of gnomes, who seemed to be alive and not undead or constructs at all-albeit by the reckoning of our resident holy woman, they were 'corrupted' by some vile influence. In the camp there was a large hole, like a well almost or perhaps a shaft into some sort of mine.

Eluding detection, we made our way down expecting to find Clockwork Horrors trying to gather resources-but instead we found a Mockery Monarch. If altered by arcanum, the common Ankheg egg can produce a Mockery, a kind of magical beast that swallows humanoids whole before expelling them from its body. Though they appear the same, their insides are in fact eviscerated while a centipede like 'drone' controls and sustains the body from within. The monarch is incapable of reproducing in any other fashion, and while possesing no spell resistance, has the extraordinary ability to turn almost any spell directly back on its source or caster. Nonetheless, we destroyed it and the other creatures around the opening of the shaft. As it turned out, the shaft and chamber had been bored by the monarch, and was in fact a nest.

Within several cocoons we found alive, if unconscious haflings yet to be converted. A little further up the mountain we found a meteor impact crater, with a hollow center indicating that the 'Starfallen' things the hafling tribe described did in fact come from the Void. Because such things interest me, I did by best to sample a small fragment of the meteoric to add to the collection of sentimental curiosities I have acquired over the course of my worldwide investigations.

However, we were not mistaken in our interpretations. Though we found no Clockwork horrors on the island, when we bypassed the wards on the man sized metal cylinder we found it filled with documents, plans, order forms and other papers-all indicationg that the island was manufacuring all the parts required to build Clockwork Horros, and shipping them to be assembled elsewhere. The only gnome I found who seemed to match the description of my divinations was already dead, and reduced to a dried up husk of humanity.

Those sly dogs.

What are they up to? To me it appears the either their father was always manufacturing weapons -although for who? Or else their sons recently decided to take the company in another direction. Given that Avalon where the company is based, experienced the largest siege and extraplanar incursion in its history, I would not be surprised if the city itself or surrounding nations have begun to stockpile such things. Nothing illegal anywhere, but this is what all the philosphers call 'playing with fire', and dont I know what that is.

How queer we know more of distant planes than the Void in which sits our own terrestrial sphere; perhaps no more so than the fact we know as little of that vast mystery that is Ocean.

I turned to deific inspiration. What I set out to do was to clear some of the cold nebulous haze that hangs in the gulf between this star and others, and so I focused my thoughts on the void in my own mind. This is what I divined. I asked of whether the events on the Wheelwright isle were the work of an uncaring universe, or orchestrated by a mind.

"Children like Men were thrown upon a gravel bed. At hands of an angry mob, were they scourged by a wrathful lapidation, and was its black made red. The Children like Men were left hollowed and dead."

I interpreted this metaphor to mean that the 'black gravel bed' is the black gravel beaches of The Wheelright Assembly, while the 'Children like Men' are the gnomes and haflings on the island. The 'wrathful lapidation' was the meteor impact, which like a stone cast in execution by a mob-was a deliberate act. They were 'hollowed' by the Mockery Monarch, which in effect eveiscerated them leaving them little more than husks to hide the Mockery drones. Knowing this, I next needed to determine where the falling star had come from. Of course, it came from above-but it was altered to carry the Monarch's egg which could have only been derived from Ankheg eggs altered my a combination of the arcane and alchemistry. I reasoned that it must have had a terrestrial origin, and then been flung as if it were a bullet from a sling or some missile from a siege weapon, or else simply dropped upon the island from some flying apparatus, or a creature capable of such.

I wanted to know how I could learn of the objects origin.

"The most ancient science, the eldest philosophy."

Every civilization has developed astronomy and astrology. Before all other sciences, people first looked to the heavens and sought to understand them. I know that since the Wheelrights reported that their island became isolated months before they sent us-for a little while now its been difficult to acquire clockwork things-then the meteor must have fallen months ago. So I wondered…had anyone see it?

Men have been navigating by the stars for ages, and so I inquired first of the captain of our vessel, a slate haired man of some experience. He was no stranger to such phenomena. The isle lay between here and Cargando, an area frequented well enough, but alas he had not been in the area. As soon as we made port, I wrote a missive to the harbor master, inquiring if he could tell me what ships made passage out of Avalon taking a route through the area, that would have put them in the general area at the time. It wasnt official bussiness, but with some incentives, I was able to acquire a list of ships and their captains. Armed with this information I learned though local sources of the regular places of the patronage and met each of them in turn. All of them over their years had been witness to many anomalies, from auras, metallic objects, to lights going up and down like candles in the night-most sea men are.

However, sometime around the period and in the area in question, three of them had seen a falling star of some peculiarity. It was a of a distinct 'black' hue- I am aware that such objects may have tails of red, violet, green, yellow, orange, or blue depending on the general alchemistry of the rock. The color may change over the course of its descent depending on the layering of metals. This 'black fireball' emitted no light at all, but silently streaked across the starry night like so much smoke. According to their accounts it appeared the shooting star didnt come ACROSS the Lune, but seemed to come directly from it.

Done with men of the sea, I sought men of science. I able to visit the Trevalis Society of Natural Philosopy, only miles away at the Academy in neighboring Trevalis Town. Offering tell of my own encounters on the isle, the accounts of the seafarers, and a meteor fragment I'd procured wile on the isle initially as something of a souveneir. Firstly, the fragment was composed mostly of adamantium ore-not typical meteoric iron as I had presumed nor typical of Lune Stone-although there are few samples. Secondly, in their records some seventy years ago a 'pitch black fireball' has been seen to impact' or dissapear in the midst of its path across the Lune. It was the expert opinion of Mr. Orenbough, one of the societies most esteemed members, that the two objects were the same or of the same classification and that the object that fell on the Wheelwright assembly island may have arrived and 'left' Lune for some reason or another.

If the object arrived from Lune, that colors it very differently than had it only fallen out of the void. Lune is a very dangerous place, that is far from uninhabited.

Abberant things of all manner, which includes the Illithids, Neogi, and Linnorms no less-have taken refuge there and the first of the three are certainly capable of such machinations. To many the Lune is a 'pretty' thing, but to me as should it be to any educated man, it is face of ghastly pallor looking down on us, silently scheming in all its silvery malevolence. People fear the wrath of distant deities, unaware of what 'higher' powers are so much closer.

Still there remained the mystery of who was making use of all of the Clockwork Horrors the Wheelwrights were secretly manufacturing.

"As there are Two Moons in Heaven, are there Twin Suns* on Therafim. Though the spokes reach out to many, they all reach out to them. Avalon is the axle."

I interpret the 'twin suns' to be 'twin sons' of the Wheelright family. The Wheelrights company reaches out all over the world, but it all leads back to them.

Avalon is the adventuring hub of the world, and is also the home where the Wheelrights company is based-and so I come to the conclusion the Wheelright sons themselves or someone very close within their corporate 'family' is making use of them.

Although I am certain it would be an unwise decision to reveal to the Wheelwrights that I know of their operations, I am sure there could be little harm in telling them of my present theories. What I am assured of , is that they are not working in conjunction with the beyond things that crawl in the dark Lunean craters-albeit, they or their late father may have had the misfortune of crossing them or their path.

The Traitor's Son


And They Call Him

His eyes are as primordial fire, and his blood is as colloidial ice.
His face is as a moonless night and his tongue is as a silver knife.
His Legions march across burning sands and plains of rime alike.
His name is found in forbidden lore, and they call him

Abigor. Commander of sixty legions, he is one of Hell's many nobles. He has amassed a good deal of wealth and power on the prime and put it to the cause of removing Abyssal influence from the plane. Legion Devils by decree of Asmodeus must be paid wages, and so material wealth limits the number of soldiers any Lord of The Nine or their vassals might have.Such funds can also be used to support diabolic cults and their activities, as well as be used to bait mortals into selling their souls or making smaller exchanges that will inevitably damn them. To this latter end he also employs a significant number of harvester and pleasure devils more properly termed Flaxugon and Brachina respectively.

He has been known to meet mortals, taking the form of an attractive man of whatever race he deals with. In these guises his horns and tail remain, are only be concealed with considerable effort and only when he must walk openly among the people without being noticed. By others description, his true form blends the body of a goat with a dragon, and at once a man as night-black as Grazz't. Albeit I think he would loathe the comparison to a Demon Lord, and so too would Grazz't to be compared to a Hellish Prince-so I would not advise anyone to do so in the prescense of either one.

I write these things not merely from memory or musty tome, but from conversation with scholars more willing to discuss the topic, and with diabolists more dedicated to their art than myself. I am a generalist, one who has been versed in more than a little of everything- but NOT everything. It is for this reason that others expertise is still valuable. The warring cults of the world are servicable for such information, and I know of many scattered individuals be they solitary students or small cabals. I myself, will likely put my mind to the mastery of Hellfire, but there many other pursuits I must continue before then. The cults are not my enemy, I am more pragmatic than that. But cannot force myself to stand idly by when their plots grow too large or too far reaching to ignore, putting my assets and aquaintances at risk; when they prove worthy of my ire for whatever reason;-or when I simply want what they have.

Until recently, he handled his mortal ventures on the prime personally it seems. However, that has changed. I have become aware of a young hafling woman, an Abby -whose name may well be derivitive-, who is supposedly his great (or likely many more greats than would be feasable to write or spake) grandfather. He has sired children before, but these sons and daughters are all abominations, beasts of legend whose lashing tongues are incapable of speech and whose diseased minds are unable to reason. Their savagery is more likened to demons than the denziens of The Nine. This I think, like his imperfect guise -is one of his flaws. So it stands to reason that any direct descendents of his, must have come through his half-fiend sons and the rape of other races, halflings among them. As an Abyssal Heritor my blood is not like that of demonic half-fiends or tieflings, but old, old dilluted blood that was suddenly re-invigorated. I wonder what the first generation of tieflings of his line were like, and how many generations it took for the blood to thin as it has. Still, I am sure there were signs of her lineage early on, as I myself recall a beastfolk of some unusual heritage myself, remarking that my soul like his own, stank of brimstone.

Abby was unaware of her lineage until not long ago, where eyes and teeth changed, and then horns and tail grew. In my own case, for juxtaposition, came the first change in my eyes when they ignited with their inner light; then my skin changed months after my flight from Shimin after I had arrived in the city; after I returned from forty nights in The Abyss my eyes changed from their former green to yellow; and finally my atrophied wings (painfully) grew. My canines are like hers only in appearance-one of them is false, an implanted magic fang. The other was filed to better match the other by a tribeswoman I came across.

Still, I wonder how much of Abigor's tale is true. He is known as a corrupter and a seducer, through and through. I firstly have to wonder if he simply didnt decieve her into believing she shares lineage with him, so she could be used. After all-simply that she has fiendish blood does not mean she is specifically his descendent. Currently he has bequeathed the deeds to what properties or assets he holds in the realm of the living. She does not yet know of exactly what the deeds are too, but I know that nothing is without its price. There must be a price to being Abigor's heiress. She has either already paid, or will soon pay something, even if its something she wouldnt miss -whether she is aware of it or not.

The Traitor's Son


Flirting With Danger

Flirtation. An old man in my foreign land once told me that flirting was like poking a sleeping tiger as much as you can without rousing it from its slumber. You use "dangerous" words and gestures to poke the sleeping beast that is base sexual passion to THREATEN the platonic nature of the relationship with its awakening-but you never go that far.

I must profess that I am a flirt. I flirt with danger, madness, and death in my pursuit of that which one is not supposed to have such as forbidden lore -and indeed the very use of black magic OR ANY arcane magic is such a flirtation-but I am ALSO such with the women of this city. It is not so much a willful thing as something in my nature. A man is known by his passions, indeed lives off of them, drawing sustenance. They stir my passions because they are the most dangerous and powerful women in the world. Allow me to elaborate. In my relationships, I threaten the platonic nature of our interactions-not with becoming lovers in the classical sense, but more like becoming rivals. I find it so ironic, much as ash is at once filthy and clean, that to me loving and hating's often the same.

Tonia. Whenever we are in the same room she mutters phrases like "we have an understanding" when others notice the visible tension in her, like enormous power restrained, as if she might leap upon me. I actually felt the weight of her hammer one afternoon in the Arcadia inn, though she apologized for it. I think she has always been slightly suspect of me, and reprimanded on and off for some 'blasphemy' or another. She is trying to be something of a doctor, but I know at heart she is an angel death, always speaking of 'Tamara's Mercy' and final death-more than a few times of my own. I Some ignorant arse asked "does anyone like you?" and suggested I actually ought not sit near her or her friends. I considered reducing him shriveled husk of humanity right in front of everyone, but refrained. Shutting up the likes of him was no show show of might, and making so bold a move at such a time, and in so public a place would gain me nothing, not even visceral pleasure. That fool wouldnt understand. I remember her giving the most rousing speech once, a real 'fire and brimstone' performance, denouncing all my virtues, philosophies, and indeed my way of life. There could be nothing more stirring than the sound and the fury of that woman's voice.

I cannot say exactly when it was that things became just as they are today, but I know when my interest became truly piqued in her. It was when I fully realized how close she was to that Gabriel. It only became stronger when I knew they were to wed. I recall when we were all up in the mountains, rescuing some woman who had been snatched by rogue Rocs. We had killed the first while its mate soared high above with that helpless man in its grasp. Tenacious Tonia, soaring on Angels wings, flew up out of my reach to save him. Truth be told, I wanted to see him picked apart and eaten alive- if not because it'd be amazing to see such a majestic creature in action, then to seperate him from her -but if I allowed that to happen, I would be passing up the chance to show my superiorty. Show that the dark was as strong, or stronger than the light. That and its always useful to have another meatsack around waving a few feet of steel, keeping annoying creatures away. I tried to raise the dead Roc as a flying zombie, but it failed, though at least I was treated to what Tonia was actually capable of. Shortly after it was felled we were ambushed by Ropers and I made a second attempt, hoping to make the Roc into a skeleton. Unfortunately, without desecrating the site of its death, it seemed there would be no animation. I had one more chance, when she was weak, and unconscious after the battle. When she awoke she could not deny the savior in front of her eyes, and perhaps a touch of humiliation; if I could not do it by saving that soldier of Bahamut, then I would do it directly to her. I intended to heal her, but Gabriel got in the way 'returning' the favor.

Imagine how amused I was when I learned he was snatched away on their wedding day no less; I would get tangled up in his dissapearance, the whole experience being something of a mixed bag-I was at once satisfied and disatisfied by the end of it all. Right after that I and someone he just met exchanged some minor words, and with no real provocation he drew his sword and put it right up to my throat. The other person wasnt even upset, but he was. We looked each other dead in the eye, and neither one of us flinched. He asked me to fight him. I told him I no desire to fight him, and that I had no idea why he had become so beligerent, and that maybe The Abyss had rubbed off on him. I walked away. He called me a coward, and I told him that I had not destroy him that day. I am quite sure with my full power at my disposal in single combat I could have beat him. But if we were to fight, I would not attack first, no, no. If I did he would be 'defending' himself, I was smarter than that. But if he did strike first, that would an opportunity to sully his 'honor' and his reputation by reporting him to the authorities. Just when it seemed to be over, who comes along but Tonia? Fuming and fiery, disatisfied from nearly every church in the city being infiltrated and anihilated from within and seeing Servia-at the time the most prominent figure in the relgious community as 'weak', she called for 'cleansing' and made to raise her hand against me. Gabriel didnt intervene, but only mentioned that if I hurt her "I'll kill you." What an arse- someone wants a fight, and if I make to do anything other than submit to slaughter…he has problem with it? Not that her call for cleansing was anything less than the mindless drivel of a crusader-but I liked her passion anyway. Before she could levy a spell, I told everyone in the inn to flee because it had become a dangerous place. I almost told the man to to keep his 'bitch' on a leash, but that would be impaling the tiger. As people began to swiftly empty the place, Servia showed up and intervened unexpectly, diffusing the situation.

She apologized later, but made me promise I wasnt 'corrupting' Servia, who was as much my friend as hers. If she 'ever found' that I had, there was no turning back, I'd always be tracked, and she would hunt for me if it took until the day she died. How lovely that sounds comming from a woman like her. Thats Tenacious Tonia for you, and I believe her. She's like a dog, or maybe a Hound Archon that sinks its teeth into something and doesnt easily let go. But what Tonia fails to understand is that I need them- Servia, herself, everyone -to be who they are, that is why they are useful to me. I do not wish to 'corrupt' any of them, because I do not require more people like myself. No, in fact, honestly, if any of them were to flirt with the precipice of darkness as I did long ago, I would be the first to reach out and pull them back. It seems Grimm, a Turos I came across some time ago has expressed similar fears-I honestly had no idea anyone was actually keeping 'tabs' on me, at least according to his daughter whom I recently me. If that old longhorn is watching, I know Tonia is.

Tonia and Gabriel seperated recently, I would presume I have his ordeals in the underworld to thank for that. And yet, I am not all sure I approve of it, one must admit the slight loss of allure, as she is no longer another man's wife. However, there are other agents divine that have caught alsomy eye. Dahlia and Inara are two paladins who arrived in Avalon at what I guess was about the same time. There are a few more female holy warriors, and likely some men too-I am not all sure of their numbers, but I know they all arrive in the wake of the Demon Siege. Dhalia is the more talkative of the two, while Inara is the more aloof- a quiet, kind of plain faced, but pretty woman. Of course, I know they are suspect, Dahlia was even prerturbed once by my healing magic; Tonia more recently resisted my magical assistance. While they are both strong women on the battlefield, Inara shows a particular fortidude that is more that admirable. Its inspiring. I-and others have tried to heal her before, in fact the first night I met her she wandered into the inn, all beat up. She resisted it each time, stating that she intended to learn from her mistakes, and refused to simply erase her hurt if it werent life threatening. I wonder what she looks like in full? I'm sure she's beautiful. She must bear many scars that dont normally show, a testament to her survival.

Paladins, like Knights are a curious sort. Unlike Tonia, these sorts have 'codes' by which they must abide, indeed their very identity as such is rooted in their adherance. In a way you can do and say all sorts of things around them as long as you are within certain 'boundaries'. For them to act out of passion and do anything suddenly that they might regret- Albeit, I will say that their passion and their hatred for the dark is also what fuels them -is a temptation. I do not think myself a tempting "Devil", I simply act however I want around whoever or wherever I am so inclined, but perhaps my very prescense tests their will and threatens their 'existence' as does there's mine. Do I make them stronger? Do they make me stronger?

Paladins aside for a moment, my thoughts turn to Perada, a friend of Tonia. I recall when I met the half drow in the street, instantly knowing my eldritch power for what it was. She was the second of my own that I met, self styled, sharp-tongued, mysterious, driven, seemingly shameless and of considerably greater power than myself-by several orders of magnitude in fact. At once I felt a kind of rivalry brewing in me. Over time, I eventually caught up though. I was surprised when learned she actually had something of a 'day job' as a waitress. What was she doing there? At first I thought it might be some sort of odd hobby, but she explained to me that her intention was that she wouldnt keep exploring, delving, and the like, and would take up an ordinary 'life'. What kind of living was that-in comparison to all she was letting go of? I on the otherhand became absolutely certain I would not merely be a teacher anymore, or fit for the lives of 'common' people- nothing against peasants or anything. There is also how she views the use of the power that suffuses our souls. Whereas I belive I am entitled to use all of them as I please, no matter what they might be, Perada thinks differently. She also feels that by embracing my truth, the whole of what I am-even being proud of it, that I am somehow a slave to my blood. That I 'ruled' by it. I instead see her as neglecting to embrace the whole of her free will. But perhaps she had foresight I did not. She is with child now, and unable to perform contract work as before-perhaps some mundane skill is servicable to support herself. Albeit, she is not alone, but has found companionship in her high-elven lover Shalya. I did not meet her child's father, but I know what he was, and I know her children will have a strong infusion of fiendish blood. When I suggested that could avoid the risk of carrying the child to term through magic, she was offended- intending to live through it and survive for the sacrifice of its father who died for her. I will say she is very brave. And I would not think to threaten her child, not merely because I find the thought abhorrent, but also because there is no force more swift and unyielding in its retaliation in this world than a mother, nor one more willing to sacrifice itself or others. Perhaps she channels more of the drow matrons than I know.

Like Perada I have come to know the mysterious Shellindra, who too is a half drow. I do not know where she came from, but she is also master of some different power. It a shadow magic, not well understood. She claims to be in the city on the behalf of some 'organization'. I am not all sure what this entails, but it intrigues me so and she could just as easily be a spy for a cult, The Syndicate, or something different. I have not witnessed her in a fight, but I would guess her less ferocious as lioness, and more subtle like a knife in the back-but thats all speculation. And I love speculation. It was not so at first, but she seems to have acquired a thinly veiled disdain for me. Looking at the company she has acquired, Paladins for example, it seems to have rubbed off on her. Or else she is very cunning as to look as though she is like minded. I admit that I couldnt, they cramp my style too much. Last I met her, it was in the street while she was traveling with Dahlia. While the latter was civil if very reserved, it seemed as though Shellindra became agitated after a while and didnt "want to be here" anymore. Her breath became sharp, and the shadows seemed to shiver as she quivered-but with what? Fear, of me? Or was it-anticipation?

Kara‘nydraess, a golded dragonblood sorceress is another friend of Tonia, I often see them together. I remember when I first met her, noting how I was- albeit not from birth -of some similar such scaledness. I recounted my last expedition at the time, of how I and others sundered a Draconic cult and their ’god' Shimmerscale. Rather than impressing her at all she was rather offended. When I asked why, she asked me what I would think of her if she introduced herself as a hunter of 'lizard' men, not knowing of my true fiendish blood. I could only admit that I wouldnt really think anything at all; I pointed out that while dragon blooded, she was not a dragon and that Shimmerscale and his cult had stolen the women of a community and decimated the rest of the population. I had nothing against dragons, I simply had a job and I did what I had to do. And did it well against a formidable foe whose entire race as a whole was legendary. This explanation didnt do it for her, and when I saw how deep her claws sank into the wood of the table, I changed the subject and commented her on how sharp they were. Many times I've been 'accused' of using 'honeyed' words, but truth be told- I've never complimented anybody on anything If I didnt at least believe it myself , anymore than I would speak ill of something I favored. Albeit, in that particular case I had incentive to do anything else than argue with an angry 'dragon'. That moment set her attitude for our encounters from there on out, although I suspect Tonia had influence. I will note that while she was the one who destroyed my first zombie- a dwarf who'd been poisoned and died in the road -she praised my skeletons of Illithid thralls when we in the midst of the Underdark, and then seemed to go right back all over again.

I often sit by the fire in the Arcadia inn, looking into the flames contemplating. There is a newly arrived naga blooded, Scylia, who seems to spend a lot of time in front of the fire herself indulging in its bountiful radiance. I casually mentioned my place in The Trades, how many fire places it had, and its always well stocked coal room. She seemed to take this another way, and told me not to expect her to suddenly "hop all over" me just because of it. I recall getting a rather similar if more vulagar remark from Perada at a gambling parlor called 'The Tradewinds', back before she was waitress when she was a bookie- or she might have still been a waitress and I might have been drunk -but anyway, I was telling her how I'd been winning and just much money I was putting on black when she retorted with something like "dont expect me to start slobbering for cock". I am a man who talks about his achievements. Everyone does it to some degree or another, but sometimes it feels to me as if in the minds of many its okay except when I do it. No, never when I do it, never, never, never. You travel the world, you wield the most dangerous powers, you play the most dangerous games, maybe you've almost died a few times and seen a few things that still keep you up at night, but you've got money now so you've looked at buying this wonderful little place with a skylight. Whatever-people dont want to hear about it. Not even once. So why do you keep bringing it or the like up every night? Because thats who you are, and what you do, and it cant be helped that most people aren't literate enough to read,write, or give a damn about you- or let alone all the little things screwing with you AND THEM behind the scenes. When are they gonna figure it out? When there's no more gods, no more graves, nothing left to see? When there's no more life, no more death, but something in between? When its almost the end of the world?

But damn. I've digressed.

Anyway, I asked her to go ahead and tell me about herself and it seems she's had a rough time of it. She has metaphorical "cousins" who eat infants, plunder villages, and hole themsleves up in lairs with their man and their loot. She says it sounds like "fun times" but that she doesnt engage in herself. People usually make attempts on her life in the name of protecting themselves wherever she goes even though she's done nothing wrong. No ones done so since she's been within the city, but there are several people that have begun to annyo her but not enough to warrant their deaths yet-"but who knows how many fools are alive that'll soon be dead?" she says. She's mercenary now, and quite good at defending herself. To me she's sounds a natural born killer or else a killer that was born as soon as somebody laid eyes on her and saw her as an abomination. She suddenly became very quiet, and didnt say much even when I vindicated her, and then proceeded to warn me that she was "obviously" becoming irritated and that it was never a good idea to annoy a woman that can crush the life out of you and have venemous teeth. Charming. Snakes are supposed to be like that, but it aint worked out for me. I'll keep an eye on her, somehow I get the feeling she'll need someone to help her out of some trouble.

Scylia's not the only one I've seen by the fire come these colder months. Stray is a devout follower of Fenris I've seen Stray carve a man to pieces, only the lap the red from her weapon and give a gorey kiss to her consort, an orc who calls himself 'Red Bear'. She's hot blooded and struts around, asserting her dominance wherever she goes as if she owns the place. When she comes through a door she's got everyone's attention I think, certainly all the men. I noticed her the night I took part in a raid upon a hidden temple of The Dark One.

She noticed me too.

Not too long afterward one night, she comes right up to me at the bar and asked something along the lines of "what are you besides evil?" I feel that word is a just another term tossed around by those that refuse to embrace the night, or at least accept its existance. I dont know where she stands, but I do know she said she "didnt care" as long as I didnt get in her way. Putting semantics aside, she and I both know what I am. In any case, admitting to anything in that inn-certainly self proclaiming or at least agreeing that one is "Evil" is not the most sound idea. I wouldnt admit to such a thing any more than a thief would admit to the same. Watch one do it, and see how swiftly are eyes are on him. I have a very distinctive style, but I doubt most men in this city know my name or anything of what I do for a living. This began an overly long argument that I could forget-but I know she remembers. Ever since Servia left, on and off I guess, I have offered my knowledge and my experience to those on the lower rungs of their mercenary or adventuring careers. Not long after, that she began to act as a sort of 'wise woman' offering her council on ocassion in the form of simple tales. Later, she even managed to snatch away newcommers with I was engaged, albeit with a snarl and a bit of what the guards gave her. I would be a fool to think I could have a monopoly on the patrons of the inn anymore than the minds in any marketplace or forum. Certainly there's value in opposing views. I used to be a teacher once, and while this isnt exactly rival professors in arcane or academic debate, I think I shall come out more cunning for it.

I saw her Red Bear once, just in passing by chance sitting by the fire, arms around his knees, maybe rocking a little, it was hard to tell.I overheard him mention "The-Devil- That-Is-Not-A-Devil…" thats what he calls me- obviously so uneducated as to lump all fiendish lineage under one variety -though I dont think he saw me.
It wasnt long after our first encounter in the temple, after which I had done some digging and fowarded my findings through the dreamscape. It appears that or my animation of the fallen cultists disturbed him. That makes me smile. IF its as I believe, then thats better than Wracking an ignorant fool. Better than hearing them beg, for sweet oblivion as they lay in their fleshy prison, blind, paralyzed, and terrified, as you watch the blood drip from their eyes-and all without even trying, there's neither evidence, nor a crime! Only his own weakness. Oh how I like to imagine the lamentations not of Stray, but her manfolk in the night! Maybe he retreats to some god forsaken grove or lonely little copse, curls up like a dead leaf on the ground, and threatens to crumble and blow away until he inhales in her earthy redolence and feels her touch again.

Maybe. Unless I bother to waste time scrying for him, there's no real way to know.

Stray is not the first tribeswoman I've ever met I've traveled with Julietta, Luna who used to serve Servia's house, and Cherile Plainsrider- the first person who ever hugged since I watched my family die and the first person to remind why I took up this life. All of them strong, all of them passionate, all beautiful and all red haired interestingly enough. The other two have moved on, but Julietta is one I still have contact with. I have traveled with her ocassion and found her amiable, she is one of simple tastes "good ale, good friends, and loves with large cocks" in her words, are her idea of a good time. She finds no friction with me or my ways, we once discussed the feasability of making small skeletal animals into childrens toys-much to Tonia's chargin, and she has affectionately-or perhaps only drukenly reffered to me as "puppet master of bones". I made some attempts at teaching her how to read, but these were interrupted by The Siege and my time off the Prime. For all this, she stirs nothing within me, although she is a good friend. While I would not eagerly trade places with any foe on the other end of her adamantine blade, I feel no innate 'risk' being around her.

But you see, this is why my Evangeline is my ideal woman. Amoral and deviant enough to make things "interesting", indepedent and spirited enough to have dreams of her own, and most importantly- manipulative enough to get what she wants, as well as make any man question whether he was acting out of his free will. In this way she's as dangerous as they come, but its not from any dislike of who I am or friction with what I do. I know she's lied to me, I know she'll do it again and I'll forgive her-whats more she did it for the greatest enemy, albeit against her will as a slave to her master-or so I'm told. That much I believe because I know the master under whom she's yoked, and much freedom she must have felt, if for a moment when she was on her own and how she professed being with me was the most selfish and impulsive she's been allowed to be in too long. She isnt afraid to use me or my resources to her advantage in her own plans, as would I her-but we have a child together, and so our interests for now are vested in them and what they need. Truth be told, she doesnt know that should I live long enough, I will become immortal. Not indestructable, for even gods die, but as long lived as she. I know unscrupulous elves will take human lovers as short-lived 'pets' or 'playthings' or else marry them because they know they'll die off quickly and this could be the same. I'm fairly sure I dont chance too much mortal harm from her at least in the forseeable future. In the long term I dont know how far this will go or what will bring, and I dont know that I'll always wake up in the same place, seeing as at least once she's abducted me, but I know the last forty-one times I've lay with her I didnt die in my sleep.

The only oddity or exception to all these women, would be Lucy. While he was around, he was something of a 'rival', but very different from Eisen or his analogue, White Hawk. The latter two were much more cordial, scholarly men who were open minded, much like Dahkeel-I like that. But Lucy in contrast was at once fiery and cold, though I think he only behaved towards me so because of what he thought I might do to his sister Servia. Much the same with Gabriel on occassion actually, but I dont think there would have been anything betwen us without his wife. Lucy was more than just someone to match intellects with, there was the threat between us and it was real-I was once asked to be his assassin in fact. Pity he's not around anymore, I never got to tell him about it and how I refused to do him in because then I wouldnt have a second best. I'd love to see his reaction to that. I damn The Dark One for sending Lucius and his sister away.

I miss him.

The Traitor's Son


Beyond The Veil

"The gods of this world are at war. They have their own plans that stretch into strange eons, throughout which alliances are made and broken. They could not exist without the mortals of this world, nor could they war without them. They draw their eternal life and power from their adoration. All life, all light, all souls is naught but their provender nor any ordinary man more servicable or less disposable than a pawn. However, not all are pawns. If they did not love and reward at least some of them, the common man would give up that bitter illusion called 'Hope', that says he as an individual actually means something in the greater scheme of things.This is the Truth. Truth is hard.

Those who die are not 'judged' by the deities, but rather their soul naturally gravitates to a plane most aigned with them, where they will continue to exist among entities that are like minded. If you were a cruel master, a subjugator of men, and adherant to the supremact of One-prepare of Hell. You will begin on the lowest rungs with innumerable competitors in a world of treachery, all aiming to be the most useful and the most obedient, all seeking to rise up, as you are beaten back by an iron hand. If you were governed by your own desire, forever dissatisfied, and a rider of you darkest passions-now begins your descent into The Abyss. You will be thrown into a land of confusion, some say the most dangerous place-a world where even the plane itself hates its inhabitants and revels in their destruction. If you believe that ennui is a killer, you'll never be bored-although you may be eaten. And if you were somewhere in between these two extremes, but concerned with corruption, cruelty, and consumption? So awaits The Grey Wastes of Hades.

Some would ask 'If this is so, why would any who know, do anything than always treat others as they themselves would wish so?'. Who says they do not? Oh yes, there fools who are only accustomed to preying upon others, unprepared to be preyed upon themselves. There are those who are slavers, who are unprepared to kneel. There are those who are schemers, unprepared to be an unwitting pawn. There are those who take what they want, but are unprepared to robbed and be raped. All fools, all doomed. But if you are a firm believer in the dark way, the way of the strong and cunning, then could there be more perfect a world than one of the same? What do you believe that the fiends or the gods, or anyone is doing on the Prime but trying to make this world into a match for their own? The world that awaits you is only a punishment if you deny reciprocality. Otherwise, you are going home.

But beware! Going into the afterlife is NOT the same as visiting those planes in your mortal form. No. When you arrive you shall be stripped of all power that you had alive and perhaps the knowledge that you know. When you arrive in Hell or The Abyss or any other place, your memory may be fragmented or it may not whilst you are unaware that you are dead. Bathed in the primordial chaos of The Abyss, or kept under the of 'care' of Pain Devils -after a few centuries or so, long after the hope of True Ressurection goes, you will attain a new form. You will eventually either become a Lemure, or any type of demon. Yugoloths are an odd exception, as they do not derive from any mortal soul but only with their own. So begins your new existance, and so will you be likely to be conscripted into The Blood War or some other conflict. The transformation will likely erase all memories of your mortal life. Devils never remember, lost souls in Hades will forget, but demons-they're different; there are indeed a rare few that can recount their days in life and say they have no regrets.

But of course, this is only true of those whom had no faith, or placed their trust in the cults of the demon lords or the diabolic conspiracies. Those eho devoutly serve a deity will be drawn to their gods lordly realm. Depending on the deity a divine agent may appear before them to lead the way, and other times they must prove their worth by making it on their own by a perilous journey. Upon arrival most will be made to forget their mortal life, and live out a new one as a devout servant, and most will retain a form that is as they were in life. Ressurection or any number of spells only work if the departed wishes to return; the family of most common folk cannot afford the spell for those that die violently, and chances are it will be money wasted because the spirit does not wish to return (or should they be consigned to Hell, they may not be able to). People who accept the chance to raised are not common, and are unusual cases as attempted revivals go or else recall some special reason for living. Should they be raised, they lose all memory of their experiences within the realm and regain their old ones. Exceptional souls may be allowed to retain their mortal memories, knowledge, and skills to fulfill some purpose, but otherwise lack any other abilities they had in life, and forget their time in the realm if they are returned to life. The only firsthand accounts of such realms come from divinely inspired texts and those that have traveled their while alive.

But what if you want to keep all knowlege, all powers, everything? Seek eternal life. If you attain it you may yet become a god in your own right."

- The Traitor's Son


Humanoid Transmutation

Every school of magic has its questionable use. While necromancy has the most ill reputation, the Transmuter may come under as much scrutiny too. Think you of the fact that with an arcanum of the 8th degree granting the feat to 'Polymorph Any Object' into any other, it is possible to elevate completely non-living matter to at least animal intelligence. A stone, even a pebble, or a corpse or even just a hunk of meat can be changed into a humanoid. It neednt be of the same mass, as magical energy can be converted into mass to make up the difference. Certainly we would all agree it would be 'wrong' to change a man into a swine and slay him to provide rashers of bacon with ones breakfast. But what of the reverse?

Would it be wrong to turn a swine into a man perchance to taste his flesh and know that which is taboo?

Into offering to deity or demon who would not know the difference when consumed?

Into others entertainment in blood sport or plaything to alleviate ones own ennui?

Into a humanoid specimen for vivisection or observation of disease in clinical study?

Into a Warforged to take apart, perhaps to know where the metal meets the meat?

Into any humanoid to test a spell, toxin, or mithridate?

One must realize that such a thing, is NOT a construct at all. In theory transmutation changes a thing into exactly what it appears to be. A man turned into a swine is a swine, it is not a man at all. But of course it was a man, its true form, and so it has all the rights of such. So what does this say about that which was never alive or at least never sapient made into a sapient being? Does it gain all the rights of a sapient thing temporarily and then lose them again? So what if it dies, is killed, is raped, or used or some other fashion -when it will return to its true state? It can hardly be said to have really existed at all, although one can argue about what the very act says about a person all one likes.

If it comes down to an issue of intelligence, I assure you-that the span of twenty minutes or even a few weeks is not enough to learn anything when one knows nothing. But to be sure, a transmuted thing by a spell of such degree gains all the mental faculties of the real thing. HOWEVER-it is not as an outsider granted a working knowledge of the world. It knows nothing, and at best is no more capable than a mewling baby. But then there comes the question of duration. What if-one were able to make such a transmutation permanent such that it would last indefinitely? Why the humanoid would live for as long as was its natural life span, then die, then go to waste-leaving ashes and dust in tomb or grave. And yet all the while these remains would bear the faint aura of the magic still in place. Would that make all the difference in the 'right' or 'wrong' of it?

Studies by some 'curious' men have shown, that if a child is ignored and never spoken to, they will never learn to speak if not taught by a certain age, and surely be rendered forever an imbecile. So it stands to reason that if something were permanently polymorphed into an adult humanoid it would never learn at all. An interesting experiment would be to permanently polymorph something into an infant form, hypothetically fully capable of growing and learning. Oh, it would take many years, but in this way a true artificial humanoid could be produced And then imagine! What if they were ever subject to a Dispel Magic? What then?All of it, all of them, utterly wasted. All returned to nothing. Can they be said to have 'died' in anything more than the imagination? But what if they passed into an Anitmagic Field that would but suppress the transmutation-and then were removed reverting back to the assumed form? Would they become an adult or an infant again? And if the former over the later, would their memories too be intact? And could they be subject to a Trap The Soul or might they offer their soul to a Devil and then cease to exist? Whats more, does it mean that one has created a soul out of nothing and then just as easily made it go away?

What is it they call exploring the questions whose answers are most feared? Answers they argue 'man was not meant to know' to justify their cowardice? Answers to ancient riddles and mysteries whose revelations they say will drive you mad?

'Playing Gods', thats what they call it.

Take the game seriously enough, and you wont be playing for very long.

Take it as thou wilt,

The Traitor's Son

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