Author Topic: [The Ordinary Journal of Aethelwine Silver]  (Read 4459 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Aethereal

  • Hero Member
  • Status:
    Offline
    Posts:
    3832
    • View Profile
on: March 11, 2019, 02:38:53 AM
[An entry was made a day before the ritual that would inevitably suffer from interference and result in the transformation of Goblori into giant-maggot-Lori...]

Those who came before me always seemed changed after traversing into the 94th. It seemed and indeed many declared or otherwise behaved in a manner that suggested it was a spiritual experience. My thoughts in response to this was that perhaps they had encountered some kind of salient consciousness, psychic terror or some manifestation of the divine – like a cloud that enveloped and consumed them as they broke through the gate.

It wasn’t really anything like what I thought it would be, of course – a delight, yes and certainly a place to which I felt immediate affinity but nothing that I had not already glimpsed in my mind’s eye. It was not a surprise or revelation – yet it was a marvellous thing to behold with my own eyes.

I can see how it would change many, inspire others, destroy the resolve of some and for me it was a confirmation. There is so much to do and my thoughts certainly turn further towards the necessity of answers even as a darkness threatens me: the further realisation that something terrible may have happened. That I may have died, that I am in the nowhere place surrounded by others who have been damned to roam this place – but I, I did not deserve this. To never see my family again? To abandon my siblings, to be lost to them, to be lost to everything that came before? There was so much yet to do, so much I had not done.

What am I then? What am I now? What should I be? What can I be? She asked me: what are we doing? Where are we going?  What is this place? I thought I had an answer for her yet my answer is put into question.

I am left with doubts and uncertainties.

Though one thing is certain – I must carry on. For who I was? I regret to say that I do not know and worse, do not think so. It hurts to think about it, or to admit it or submit to it, yet I fear I may be lost forever to my sisters, to our home, and the future that was to be. It hurts so much to think like this, that now I am surrounded by strangers and am myself a stranger in a strange place.

Yet as I perch here, I recall how I broke through the gate in the company of friends and a soul who I truly trust in this place. I pushed through the obstacles alongside those who were at least trustworthy enough to work alongside me, in shared purpose. They were so good to even reserve for me a key, no squabble at all – I hadn’t expected that.

1.

Nothing will ever replace them, of course. I will remember them forever if I can. And I will dedicate to them my every success and should by strange fate we ever be reunited, let me be the very best version of me that there could be.
« Last Edit: March 11, 2019, 04:06:00 AM by Aethereal »
---
'Even life eternal is not time enough to see, all the folly and despair of poor Humanity.' - To Life - A Shoggoth on the Roof



Aethereal

  • Hero Member
  • Status:
    Offline
    Posts:
    3832
    • View Profile
on: March 11, 2019, 04:35:19 AM
[Some people do not handle failure well, perhaps because for one reason or another nothing has matched their brilliance and or their challenges have always been in fields within which they hold affinity and mastery, calculations made with precision, plans executed flawlessly, minimisation of chaos and unknowns... all very clinical, confined to laboratories, libraries, scholarly inquiries, willing and aware assistants, advantages of superior resources and an arcane tower. What happens then when they are flung into a realm that denies them the foundation upon which they were dependent, so utterly unknown and full of unknowns...]


ALL MY WORK ALL MY EFFORT ALL MY TIME AND ENERGY RUINED! YOU WRETCHED THING HAVE RUINED EVERYTHING! EVERYTHING!

NOT JUST ME – THEY ALL INVESTED. THEY ALL SUFFERED. THE CULIMINATION OF OUR WORK...


... futility ... HORROR ... pain ...

They all had such faith in me, and it’s all amounted to failure.

DENIED THE CHANCE AT UNDERSTANDING SO MUCH MORE!


Lori, dear Lori... I would pray for you if I knew there was something or someone out there who cared. I fear the Lady of Mysteries is not here. I fear those who do not understand will hunt you. I just fear for you, Lori.


It all feels hopeless now. What use is there in seeking out more and more, only to fail again and again? What has our Ordo Arcanum done EXCEPT FAIL?! I’ve brought together failure and disaster and I’ve lacked the wisdom to avert it. Time after time.



[Then, like a mantra, a great repetition of words burnt into the page while the mind wanders elsewhere.]

Failure is just the means through which we learn.
Practice makes perfect.
Failure is just the means through which we learn.
Practice makes perfect.
Failure is just the means through which we learn.
Practice makes perfect.
Failure is just the means through which we learn.
Practice makes perfect.
Failure is just the means through which we learn.
Practice makes perfect.
Failure is just the means through which we learn.
Practice makes perfect.
Failure is just the means through which we learn.
Practice makes perfect.
Failure is just the means through which we learn.
Practice makes perfect.
Failure is just the means through which we learn.
Practice makes perfect.
Failure is just the means through which we learn.
Practice makes perfect.
Failure is just the means through which we learn.
Practice makes perfect.
Failure is just the means through which we learn.
Practice makes perfect.
Failure is just the means through which we learn.
Practice makes perfect.
Failure is just the means through which we learn.
Practice makes perfect.
Failure is just the means through which we learn.
Practice makes perfect.
Failure is just the means through which we learn.
Practice makes perfect.
Failure is just the means through which we learn.
Practice makes perfect.
Failure is just the means through which we learn.
Practice makes perfect.
Failure is just the means through which we learn.
Practice makes perfect.
Failure is just the means through which we learn.
Practice makes perfect.

Failure is just the means through which we learn. Practice makes perfect.
Failure is just the means through which we learn. Practice makes perfect.
Failure is just the means through which we learn. Practice makes perfect.

Failure is just the means through which we learn.
Practice makes perfect.


1.
---
'Even life eternal is not time enough to see, all the folly and despair of poor Humanity.' - To Life - A Shoggoth on the Roof



Aethereal

  • Hero Member
  • Status:
    Offline
    Posts:
    3832
    • View Profile
on: March 12, 2019, 07:16:54 AM
[Lucidity settled in ... at least during the day spent elsewhere and far from other "people".]

I don't know where Lori is, I know she escaped and that has been enough for me. I needed time alone, with my truest friends, those who never let me down and I never let down either. Perhaps my equivalent of one of Sylyn's reckless drunken binges - yet so much more productive. I've ushered in Rumbler and let him roam wherever he likes whilst I perch upon his shoulder and gaze upon the skies and horizons in search of much needed perspective.

A thought comes to me.

Why did it take such grief and agony for me to realise a great potential source – if not THE SOURCE –  of the issues with wizardry here? The Lady of Mysteries is not here! Her favoured practitioners who push progress in the Art through methodological study and dedication to the Weave suffer because She Herself is not with us. It appears so clear to me now – that I was a fool to not have felt or seen it earlier. That what I have been tapping into is... somehow altered or something else?

I do not believe in traditional luck, much like the Seer Tenilue or Magus Kantora. Everything is determined by our readiness and ability to deal with unknowns and our ability itself is improved by knowledge and understanding the nature of things – of all things, the more that is known the more that can be known and accounted for.

My failings have been associated with not being able to predict the greatest unknown: my fellow “people”. These living conscious entities much like myself, but quite usually not like me at all. These are the things I must adapt to, for they surround me and I cannot escape them, work or survive without them. They operate in ways that are more alien to me than my elemental friends and allies from elsewhere. The sheer variability manifest in them is becoming more and more my new fascination and frustration as they work against me, with me, parallel to me and even distant from me and towards their own ends.

For example, what were the motives of the saboteur? He risked his own demise in interfering in the manner he did. Expanding on this, it was entirely possible that others were present as agents of sabotage – too many people were invited and trusted, though in part it was the numbers who rallied around Lori who made it all happen.

I can see clearly in the aftermath of the ritual where the weaknesses and limitations were:

  • The guardians had no real clue and reacted slowly and without clarity – though I forgive them for it, they were part of the weak link which allowed the saboteur in. Security effectively was not adequate nor appropriately trained.

  • We gathered at the Ponds – apparently unsavoury types linger there and seemed to have followed us.  The rendezvous point was compromised.

  • Execution did not go anywhere near as smoothly as planned, people didn’t seem to read my ritual notes and I had to make too many clarifications.

  • The Halflings were not properly prepared – meaning participants should have been rehearsed. This should have been done long before execution. I assumed too much of their readiness, I am not used to working with ... incapables.

  • Everything drew too quickly to the appointed hour – more preparations could and should have been made prior.

  • We had to improvise with the Halfling participants, Alfrida whilst “performing” admirably was clearly a poor choice as a channeller. Not a big concern as the third Halfling was introduced as purposeful redundancy in case the others failed – though the number three was an experiment in numerology as well.

  • The progress of each step would have benefited from a trained ritualist who would do nothing but announce and conduct the processes being undertaken so that I could focus on my work instead of fulfilling this role in addition to my own. This cost a lot of valuable time and led to inefficiency.

  • There was also room for further arcane tweaking to increase the coherency of the entire ritual and the cohesion of its parts – the full details of which I’ve already established in my aftermath study.

So, contrary to my initial regrets and thoughts, I was  given great opportunity to understand more. Just not the things that I was hoping to gain understanding of.

It all really boils down to this: I didn’t properly factor in that I was not in an academy working with apprentices and peers with years of experience under their belt. I also lacked a proper awareness of the possibility of sabotage, and despite the location being ideal in terms of divined auspiciousness, security wasn’t properly considered.

1.

I also need to repay Soppira for that act of idiocy she pulled upon me earlier. One does not cut someone - with a scalpel! - who is clearly distraught. I was never out of my mind, I was merely... [The sentence remained unfinished.]
---
'Even life eternal is not time enough to see, all the folly and despair of poor Humanity.' - To Life - A Shoggoth on the Roof



Aethereal

  • Hero Member
  • Status:
    Offline
    Posts:
    3832
    • View Profile
on: March 12, 2019, 11:32:49 PM
I was merely grieving and trying to cope with the sheer gravity of what had happened. Milos was a good man and he did not deserve to die at the hands of the Arbiters. His... consumption? It was killing him but he kept smoking carelessly. Chief Inspector Milos Andelko, retired, he told me – he only wanted to run the rings, perhaps in search for a cure, or to merely escape the madness of the 99th. His fears were oh so real, the loss of memories, the loss of self. Lori told me that he believed in me, he told her to tell me everything: a thing that worried her deeply which apparently she has told nobody besides the two of us. I believe I helped alleviate her concerns at least.

1.

I was “abducted” today they tell me. Truth is, my mind was elsewhere, the things that I have had to deal with I’ve never had to deal with before – and oh does it test and try the spirit. I barely even registered the pain, before I lost consciousness. Yet my abductors didn’t seem intent to do me harm.

The Daring Fleet seem noble enough of intent, pursuing a worthy path to discovery, though it may be doomed given how long the captain and his crew seem to have been stranded. It’s good to test the boundaries here, so I approve of their work. I think they’re pirates though - yes, I think that’s what they are. With a taste for the dramatic, as Sid put it.

What surprised me more than the “abduction” though was how a great host of the Blooded Shields and others, certainly thanks to Volantis, came looking after me. I feel honoured by their concern, something I lacked for myself at the time. Andert, Burmala, Dagna, Frank, Alfrida: I’ll remember them all – they’re, as Lori would put it, good folks.
« Last Edit: March 23, 2019, 10:35:36 AM by Aethereal »
---
'Even life eternal is not time enough to see, all the folly and despair of poor Humanity.' - To Life - A Shoggoth on the Roof



Aethereal

  • Hero Member
  • Status:
    Offline
    Posts:
    3832
    • View Profile
on: March 14, 2019, 08:18:04 AM
[Then came a day that would leave a scar that might never be forgotten, a strange and sad rollercoaster of a journey at the end of which newfound hopes would go to meet their miserable, mournful demise.]

BETRAYAL!
COMPLETE AND UTTER BETRAYAL!

Nightmare of my nightmare,
Terror of my terror,
I see your wicked, treacherous face, unrelenting as you spit upon me your curses,
Unrelenting as your every blow against my body damages something far, far deeper,
Treacherous and wicked thing, how did I become such a fool as to trust you?
You have become the very thing I sought to escape through my Art,
You brutish, physical monstrosity, violence is the only thing any of your kind knows – and you have proved it to me now and eternally.
You are just another bully. A bully who thinks in their lunatic-deranged mind that somehow what they are doing is right.

Trust...
I have been too trusting.
Trust...
How could I give it away so?

What has trust done for me except let you take advantage of me so?

To treat me like your punching bag, letting your simple-minded frustrations out upon so...

Proving to me that I was only ever a tool for you, a means to an end.

SYLYN ANDEVAL the NINE-FINGERED
I HATE YOU – I HATE YOU – I HATE YOU
And I will never forgive you.

And then as if I were just your little doll, drained of all my magic you lift me up against my will, against my ability to resist and pretend it is all fine. It is all just fine.

No, no nothing is fine. You have ravaged and savaged me to my very soul. I will never be able to trust again.

But perhaps that is for the best.

And despite how much I hate you, I hate this even more. I hate feeling this hate. It makes me think about things I do not like to think about. It makes me think like I am sure you do – with violence and terrible things in mind.

You raised your sword up high – another image burnt forever into my mind – seeking to take my life... how could I ever forget that moment, the culmination of your treachery.

And now all that I feel is numb. You have robbed me of hope and joy, and I pray that fate delivers you your just rewards – as should be delivered to all the treachers of the world.

A broken, battered and bloody Magus finds himself the only solace left in the world.
[close]

[At some point later, as of forgotten afterthought a single numeral was burnt into the corner of the page.]
I.
« Last Edit: March 15, 2019, 06:34:37 AM by Aethereal »
---
'Even life eternal is not time enough to see, all the folly and despair of poor Humanity.' - To Life - A Shoggoth on the Roof



Aethereal

  • Hero Member
  • Status:
    Offline
    Posts:
    3832
    • View Profile
on: March 16, 2019, 08:52:19 AM
It seems to me that every peasant and their mother wants to tell me what went wrong, as if they, without knowledge or understanding know EXACTLY what went wrong. Well, of course they do in retrospective hindsight, no doubt spoon fed to them so they could actually articulate the necessary words to express some semblance of meaning.

I don’t need their words though. I too possess the benefit of hindsight. Furthermore I have conducted far more in-depth analyses than they are even capable. I will not make the same mistakes again.

These past few days have awoken within me something else – as I see, time after time, in my dreams, in my waking hours, when it all hurts, that vision of that spawn of a chromatic...I oddly enough find some sense in it. It hits me in a way that no longer hurts. Numbness is replaced with clarity.

In fact, I see things now with a clarity not-before-known. I will fix all that was broken. I will impose controls upon the chaos that I have through my tolerance allowed to fester. And I will myself, not be broken. I will not give in and I will not give up.

With power comes responsibility. With responsibility comes the necessity to be commanding. And so it seems to not be sufficient that I remain merely the binding that brings it all together, perhaps it is necessary that I must become the binder.

The veil of my self-conceit has been lifted through incredible pain and misfortune. For I have been burnt in a great pyre of my own torment, and from the ashes, I must be reborn.

I will never forget who I am, but I will never again be who I once was.

The Number is Three.
« Last Edit: March 16, 2019, 08:55:19 AM by Aethereal »
---
'Even life eternal is not time enough to see, all the folly and despair of poor Humanity.' - To Life - A Shoggoth on the Roof



Aethereal

  • Hero Member
  • Status:
    Offline
    Posts:
    3832
    • View Profile
on: March 17, 2019, 11:06:41 AM
Some part of me is scared of the new mistakes I shall make, the mistakes I feel I am already making. I’ve lied to myself again, or if not that, then I’ve replaced confidence with doubt. I’m trying to step down but they don’t want to hear it. I have more important things to do. People can’t be my problem, I have more important things to do!

I’ve not allowed myself to be alone here in this City of Rings – does it really help to be associated with a name or an organisation? The Arbiters of the One Hundred Scrolls, they are no doubt that which will be the reason to enact that one passage, long awaited, in our charter, so why not simply take the pre-emptive steps: disband and move on... somewhere else?


Quote
There is a chance that there is a good reason why an institution of arcanists does not exist in Ring 99 and or the City of Rings. It could be as simple as this being a backwater, or that some as yet unknown force shuts down such efforts or even both of these things in tandem or something much more disturbing. In the event that some entity arises to threaten the Ordo Arcanum’s existence, it will be disbanded promptly. We are not here to meddle in the affairs that might lead to this outcome. (Consider this the self-destruct policy, a last resort)

In my efforts to avert the attention of the Arbiters I’ve already made the mistake of attracting their ire by making my announcements of Ordo Arcanum’s rebirth. I regret it already. In my haste I named the innocuous, matronly Soppira the First Magus, but we have at least corrected her title to Matron. Even the Nephezar are concerned of drawing the ire of the Arbiters – there is reason to be concerned.

The only thing I know that I am truly good at doing is solving problems and making sense of a bigger picture – putting together those disassociated pieces to unravel the truths of reality. This is exactly how I have mastered my Art, to know the exact strings I need to pluck and by how much to achieve my desired outcome. The only thing I’d lose is the company of other mages and scholars, but wouldn’t my friends remain my friends?

For now, let me remain the Lorekeeper. But I will not be the First Magus again.

The Number is One.

As I sat in the Cube of the Arbiters, and I listened to the words of the Monitor I came to a terrible, terrible realisation. I dare not even write it. I will only add that I know now why the Arbiters presence was made at Lori’s Ritual of Restoration, in light of the Darkening of the 99th and in light of the revelation of the true changelings – not the druids, those keepers of balance, but something truly unnatural. I lack certainty however, as the Arbiters seem to condone or at least tolerate Pzatharun.

It makes my need of answers that much greater. The threats, the loss of memories, EVERYTHING is at stake.  EVERYTHING.

Of course, and I must now impose these secondary alternatives to these entries if I am going to try and retain a greater perspective and demonstrate to myself that I have truly learnt from the past:

I may also be overreacting. Yet even if I am, there has to be an insidious token of truth to all of this.
---
'Even life eternal is not time enough to see, all the folly and despair of poor Humanity.' - To Life - A Shoggoth on the Roof



Aethereal

  • Hero Member
  • Status:
    Offline
    Posts:
    3832
    • View Profile
on: March 18, 2019, 04:27:10 AM
I had meant to share everything with you, of this place. I wanted you to make your way here and then I would invite you inside and show you its wonders. I would talk with you about how we would manage it and the Arcanum; as the nature of the Tower and the Order seemed to me that they would conflict if brought together in full.

I wanted to keep it a secret at first, but I grew ill and had to stay locked within. During this time however it seems you let yourself be poisoned. Poisoned by the whisperings of people weaker than you. You let them fill your distressed mind with such terrible things that you did something I can't forgive you for.

I wanted to share the glory of my position with you, and the Arcanum, in whatever small way it would have allowed me to. You refused my invitation and instead labeled me betrayer and animator.

I have nothing more for you, Aethelwine Silver.

You've hurt me terribly.



Isiratuu Naram-Sin


What have you done, Sylyn... oh what have you done?!

Just as I thought I could forgive you... that I could understand the reasons behind what you did to me...

You... who ... thought I had failed...

You have made of me my own worst nightmare. You have made me hurt a friend. You do nothing but inflict pain. You think that pain will strengthen me?

Oh ...

[The parchment here bears the stains of liquid droplets of sorrow and despair.]


I cannot bear the pain of being one of you. Of being a BETRAYER.

I... Aethelwine Silver... must pay the price which all treachers must pay.


I

MUST

DIE


[At some later point a single numeral is inscribed in a corner of the page.]

I.
« Last Edit: March 19, 2019, 11:44:13 AM by Aethereal »
---
'Even life eternal is not time enough to see, all the folly and despair of poor Humanity.' - To Life - A Shoggoth on the Roof



Aethereal

  • Hero Member
  • Status:
    Offline
    Posts:
    3832
    • View Profile
on: March 19, 2019, 11:41:46 AM
Did I kill Noril when he tried to betray me? (No, but he was an idiot to try my patience – not knowing where my mind was. The stupid whispers didn’t tempt me at all.)

Did I even try to hurt Sylyn after what she did to me? (I kind of did want to though... oh how I wanted to mark her like she marked me.)

No. No, I did not. So for a passing moment I had a grand idea, a marvellous plan, but perhaps I should first attempt to obtain forgiveness.

Nothing is as black and white as I was making it seem. Certainly all of this mess is in vast realms of grey. He says he has been hurt terribly – that he has nothing more for me. Well, didn’t I declare to myself that I would never forgive Sylyn yet after understanding where she came from I began to relent. And what do I feel about it now, knowing that her ... [A burnt spot of parchment as if the writer’s inscribing hand came to pause for too long upon the page] “actions” blinded me so?

I’m starting to not be able to feel – it’s reached that height of sensation. And perhaps that means logic and reason must set in.

I do not deserve death and he has overreacted by issuing it. There are truly too few scholars here for either of us to die over this nonsense – this misunderstanding. I will take the first step then, and see if he follows suit... it’s the least that I can do.

I’m not a treacher or a betrayer. Aethelwine Silver is my name. This is who I am. And I must do what a good friend does, remind the other what friendship is about.

1.
---
'Even life eternal is not time enough to see, all the folly and despair of poor Humanity.' - To Life - A Shoggoth on the Roof



Aethereal

  • Hero Member
  • Status:
    Offline
    Posts:
    3832
    • View Profile
on: March 22, 2019, 09:25:43 AM
I have been reflecting upon my career here in this City of Rings – beyond the misfortune, the mistakes, and the pain.

I come to realise that I have moved forward in my mastery of magic, within all of its schools:

Often what I have done amidst Ordo Arcanum is cultivate an image, build reputation, bond together disparate forces and inevitably played the role of an enchanter. I became incredibly good at presenting temptation (which at first I had such confidence in being truly capable of delivering) and watching people fall into their own desires, to the point that in my last such effort I felt like some devil or fae presenting a contract that I knew held risks, because by this time I knew that in this particular realm it may be that a touch of chaos may be unavoidable. So now I feel regret for poor  Siobhán Iníon Párthalán Uí Díomasaigh of Maliere, because I feel I should not pursue this in the way I tempted her so, I feel so guilty for tempting her, because it may be too late. I saw that desire in her eyes, she wants this, she wants the power – nay she NEEDS it and she will remember my promise and I will have to try. Let me do my analyses though, maybe there is a way to do this in a more controlled manner somewhere in between my offer and that of simply restoring her to her ordinary self, less risky.

So too have I woven illusions, such as the veil of Maestro Frogkin the Croaker of the Great Croaking to protect Magus Presto Gemkin and Ordo Arcanum. Though I lament in the end that I could not manifest a means to control the chaos he came to represent – I could have attempted to bind him or even banish him but that is not my way: I wanted my friend back. He also did not have anywhere near the support that Lori did, poor, poor Presto. Then again, poor, poor Lori... and well, I shouldn’t submit to self-pity but that was the second-worst day of my life.

I lost a great opportunity to practice my divinations when that wretched Errilam and Crowfeather shared their bed. Like minds, I suppose, those two. Yet if I had, I think the consequences may have toppled the balance of power in the Peerage, at least if I were successful – but all my misfortune suggests I might not have been. I will say however that that ritual was so much more concise and precise than that of Lori’s – plus the elven seer’s counsel would have been incorporated to magnify my vision. Nonetheless, I’ve begun to see things clearer now than ever before and all it cost me was to suffer some of the greatest torments of my life...

Dare I even mention beloved Conjuration? I need not. Yet I must: portals. I completely assimilated the elemental power of the seam to the Great Fissure in those earliest days of my awakening. I opened the portal to save Emily Winespill from the infernal imprisoners... oh my, oh my... I’ve just realised something. How DELIGHTFUL that I chose to finally sit down and write after these nightmarish days and nights. This could be a problem though. A big problem. Or possibly something else, I’m not certain but I know now what was being done. Yes, House Orza... I don’t like this revelation. Not at all. I pray for wisdom in the coming days for in this, my new home, I shall need it. I pray this wisdom does not come at the cost of yet more torment, but I fear I have become accustomed and expectant of pain.

Which brings us to evocation. Well, it’s the most conspicuous and perhaps even ostentatious school of magic. I’ve performed pyro-excavations aplenty, brought down barriers and obstacles and woven the magicks of destruction in tandem with my finer conjurations. It’s an awfully straightforward school of magic so I’d say there’s not much to be said about it except that I’ve utilised it well.

As hard (or inappropriate, given my oath?) as it may be to believe I have also managed to perform a remarkable feat of transmutation, focusing on my inner-self I was able to polymorph into something I suppose I should have simply expected. A whelpling of the metallic dragonflight, specifically of Silver. It seems like this was more the latent remnant of the power in my blood that I never quite bothered to pursue – poor little sorcerers, they’ll never have the mastery of the Art that I pursue. I regret nothing.

As for abjuration - despite all the abjurers out there who, without true appreciation for the Art resort to belittling that which they do not understand, I can have nothing at all against this quite necessary school of magic. It was, sadly, a great learning experience in the ritual-interrupted as I channelled the restorative powers of the crystal in a final build-up of abjurative energy to match Lori’s transmutation. Sabotage and other shortcomings apparent in hindsight have only improved my understanding and capability.

Finally there is necromancy. I’ve been left this place by my friend, who I shall remember forever and cherish so for this final gift; though there are pangs that yet echo in my heart for what led us here. His focus, is, I think the one school of magic I have not properly investigated in my career here. With advent of the Darkening of the 99th, the announcement of the true changelings, and the curse of Old Sunpurse Manor, it may finally be time to prove myself. I shall study and witness if Isiratuu has left anything here for me. Perhaps I might open the doorway for his return? It is the least I could do.

So finally, I am here. The place where the forces that be seemed to have led me. The door opened, as if expectantly – something wanted me to be here, as it I was needed. The King’s Will? By the Doorkeepers’ mysterious guidance? By fate? By merit? To be cursed and damned here? Or perhaps, to finally achieve what I had begun to declare, that my work is done under the auspices of the King. Though... ha ha, I told a white lie about that, didn’t I. I just didn’t want to be struck down by the misfortune the stupid superstitions say comes upon those of my vocation, the wizard. I’ve suffered terribly, my torment could have broken me and it certainly has destroyed some part of who I was, and though I don’t believe in the unluckiness of a wizard’s magic – I swear to whatever is worth swearing to, that I have FELT IT.

I pray this is finally the chance to do something more than bemoan my failures. Can I bring greatness to my arcane brethren? Can I undo our reputation despite having contributed to its propagation so utterly with my past works?

I leave it all here with a passage I had the silly yet perhaps fortuitous whim to look over from my very first entry in this new life of mine, a glimmer finally of hope, of what feels like a dream, at last, realised:

Quote from: Excerpt from the first entry in The Ordinary Journal of Aethelwine Silver
Enough time has passed for me to determine a few things, and the path I should take here to establish myself. Whilst it is certain that I find the ubiquity of violence here to be petty, treacherous and tedious I shall need to find like minds in order to progress. The Peerage and Ticker Square both have potential but not all of the houses of the Peerage are known so it is still too early to tell. I think I will try to be independent somehow – my ideal is to join fellows such as Silandro and make it to the Wizard Warrens. There I should re-establish my tower and return to my research. Maybe connect up a portal to my old tower, that would be the most promising result.

[At last there are stains upon this parchment, of once liquid droplets not of pain or torment but rather the tears of blissful release or relief.]


Yet it is but a new beginning. And there is so much to do. Too much for me to do alone.

Three is the number, my number.
« Last Edit: March 23, 2019, 08:09:47 AM by Aethereal »
---
'Even life eternal is not time enough to see, all the folly and despair of poor Humanity.' - To Life - A Shoggoth on the Roof



Aethereal

  • Hero Member
  • Status:
    Offline
    Posts:
    3832
    • View Profile
on: March 24, 2019, 04:24:49 PM
Finally had the opportunity to catch up with Lori. I think the last time I saw her was when the “crew” joined me in my first visit to the Wizard Warrens. What a treacherous and fateful day that was. I’m so glad she’s been doing well, and also advanced her magic to be able to polymorph herself. Seems like it has been a lonely time though, from her words that she had been starved of decent conversation and meaningful bonding. Though I forgot to ask her about Daniel and his whereabouts.

It was also delightful to hear her congratulating me on my new post as Royal Court Wizard via whisper, as unexpected as that was. I’ve also performed my tests to confirm that she is not one of the shadowling changelings. I should inform Sylyn of this, though I doubt she doubted Lori one bit in the first place. It wasn’t doubt that was in my heart either, it was more the necessity of verification in order to develop a better means of discriminating between “changeling” types. A thing which, of all people, Wilbert Thornspike has convinced me of deserving categorisation under the one umbrella term – but boy is that little fellow touched by chaos and seemingly the aes sídhe. Note to self: determine the topics he discussed with Soppira.

I am now on the lookout for apprentices. Hanna has potential, as does Minna, though I’ve not properly spoken to the latter about this and both of their affiliations could be an issue. There is also Lori who I’ve attempted to guide and coach in the past, who also seemed optimistic about joining Ordo Arcanum back when I was the First Magus – though her condition back then was that she would join after her ritual of transformative restoration. Of course, that had to go awry didn’t it?

I remember so keenly that moment as I unleashed the abjurative and holy energies of the hin-folk and announced, in my ultimate folly:

“Behold – the culmination of our work!”

Only to be stunned by shock, horror, grief and dread as I saw poor Lori attempting to take the form of a human child, her words chanted like a mantra, clear in my mind’s eye, “...fresh new paths. No matter what.”

From goblin to child, to ultimately that form, that shape, that giant insectoid larval being, the great Mag-Lori.

Then the terrible cries of Grunskogal to the gods or any else that might listen. The presence of the Arbiters of the One Hundred Scrolls revealed. The battle and chaos that ensued. The death of chief inspector Milos Andelko at the hands of the Arbiters when Grunskogal refused to yield and the second great defeat of our Order, my magic, and for a time, my own will.


[There is a trail of burnt inscription as of a trembling hand before a gap then continuation of the script.]


I take solace in how far we have come since that day – to have reunited with Lori and recently demonstrated our ability to make an incredible duo. Such complimentary magicks, her transmutations an answer to my deficiency and the benefit of a fellow magus, dependable and capable of adapting to the field. I feel there is much that I can teach her, given she comes from a background devoid of arcane instruction yet I also feel she is more my compeer and equal in power than an apprentice - having learnt her lessons in the crucible of real world struggles. I’ve made my dedication now regardless, I will ensure she achieves her metamorphosis, no matter what.

It will be as the ancient one spoke: “Your truth is a strange and fickle thing with many sides; I hope you find the ones that please you.”

So too must I determine how to proceed with adapting to the magic of this world in pursuit of this fickle thing with many sides: the truth. As the Royal Court Wizard, am I now truly under the King's auspices (whatever that entails) and able to pursue my Art beyond the trappings and failings of misguided wizardry associated with the old world? Will I be able to instruct other wizards of this, that they may not suffer as I have?

I hope so, but the truth is I still have no clue. I don’t really feel any different. The tower should have answers yet I must tame the Warrens first – there is yet much chaos here from the shadow invasions, to the rogue and diseased friend-elementals and the odd rogue quasit. I think I want my demesne to represent my focus and so I must call forth a great guardian here or in Isiratuu Tower. Something spectacular, beyond anything I’ve tried before, from somewhere new and delightful, yet demonstrating my prowess and not untoward or dark. I am thinking... his Majesty’s hound. Yes, I am the Royal Court Wizard, I should tame the great hound. It would only be proper, would it not? Though if not, something equally potent to guard over mine brethren and I. Oh, I’ll be careful about it though, and practice first – no recklessness.

Oh, I also made Sylyn kiss the floor. She thought she could shrug off my spells and mocked me for it, then returned to punch me as if to rub it in. Well, I think I showed her what’s what and I will admit that I could not help but feel a slight bit of satisfaction in watching her squirm. I’d never have dreamed of causing her any kind of hurt before she did what she did to me. I don’t think I’ll trust her properly anymore, not because I don’t want to, it just feels like I can’t trust anymore not like I used to. I think she still has our best interests at heart and I will stand by her, but I’ve seen now how broken she is – and in truth I have begun to pity her. She really is a sad story going from one diversion to the next. If it’s not alcohol it’s something as eventually toxic in the end. Yet I appreciate her too. It’s hard – a mix of emotions I’m not sure I properly understand. I used to see her as a sister, but it’s impossible to see her that way anymore. She’s too mercenary in her attitude. Too apparently fickle. Though I do feel there is some sense of dedication to her and as long as that remains, it will be reciprocal.

From my conversation with Lori, I also feel she would look out for me if anyone tried to do what was done to me the first time I came upon Warrenwatch. I’ll ensure I do the same if it ever comes to that. Such is the demand of kinship and dedication. To suffer no suffering of one another.

Finally, I have learnt that Errilam the Viper continues to meddle in my affairs and that of Ordo Arcanum from the shadows and from afar. This man has his fingers in almost every pie and has in fact become impressively good at manipulating the world around him. It’s no longer a case of “dumb logic”, or if it is, it’s working for him. He’s amongst the leading ringrunning troupe, basically owns the Peerage and dispensary when present, and regularly meddles in almost every other facet of Ring 99. He continues to oppose me, largely indirectly despite my having taken no hostile action against him and even aided him on multiple occasions.

If only he were a more noble man and not some backstabbing lunatic, he’d have had my full support and I’d have even probably joined House Velstra. But his methods and general lack of ethics or standards is a severe obstacle to any proper cooperation.

It’s once again a case of my fellow “living beings” trying to name themselves my nemesis, but I refuse such idiotic notions. I still contend with something far greater and have in fact already been responsible for the death of a “god”. Hmm... I should write about that sometime. One of my successful rituals that I’d almost forgotten all about.

The number is three once more.
« Last Edit: March 24, 2019, 10:28:06 PM by Aethereal »
---
'Even life eternal is not time enough to see, all the folly and despair of poor Humanity.' - To Life - A Shoggoth on the Roof



Aethereal

  • Hero Member
  • Status:
    Offline
    Posts:
    3832
    • View Profile
on: March 27, 2019, 01:10:36 AM
I’ve stumbled upon a new barrier, one that I’ve never truly experienced here before. I suppose my needs were few, most of what I wanted came to me readily and luxuries were, in moderation, easily enjoyed. Everything all the more cozy since I came upon this delightful sleeping nightgown.

But no: I speak of the groat, gold, the medium of exchange, that thing which represents the ability to acquire material possibility and the services of others. This very material thing, currency, does hold value and so represents one facet of power, power enough to serve as fuel for the fires of ritual! And I, in my desperation (excitement or recklessness?) threw all of what I had into the tower barely making a difference to the restoration – in retrospect there were better more efficient ways to have utilised my savings to this end.

This realisation hit me when I sought to accomplish a task that required me to visit the 99th. After necessary purchases were made, I was left short of a fee that must be paid to inevitably permit me return to my demesne. I had to resort to bartering and actively seeking out people to proffer some token of magic in exchange for gold and I hated it, how soul destroying that is. Which made the archivist’s comment suggesting that I was “begging,” all the more painfully close to the truth. I, who am meant to be the Royal Court Wizard, reduced to scrounging about for coins! I even had to speak to Errilam – which could there for a moment have resulted in some profit, alas.

Yet there is a silver lining to these dark clouds. For it resulted in many lessons drawn from a most fortuitous encounter, from a woman who volunteered before anything else to tell me that she thought I would not want her company. Little did she know that I did not want her company at all, but I had to be polite – how uncouth would it have been to simply declare that I wanted her gold...

[For some reason that paragraph was left unfinished, a new line begun instead.]

Anyway, she quickly clarified that she did not think she fit in with civilised company as she scratched a spec of mud off her cheek. A fine compliment to me, I suppose, though it probably wasn’t intended – merely a means to discriminate between what I seemed to represent, and what she was comfortable with, I think. She was about to depart to the Ponds then, though she let slip her interest in selling scrolls. Which presented the perfect opportunity to, without reducing ourselves to indignity, engage in a talk of exchange and the promise of acquiring what I need.

It didn’t last long. I couldn’t keep up the facade of feeling content with what I was being reduced to – having already tried to convince others and failed and also regretting trying to claim Denise’s entire purse for a vial of chaotic potential in a game of chance, as much as I’m sure she would have enjoyed it, odds in her favour – not on these terms at least, not in such desperation. I spilled it all then, my mind, and I lashed out against the greed of the dwarves. Dwarves! Just as one particularly sweaty she-dwarf passed by. Though in truth I’ve nothing against dwarves, it’s just regrettable that they’ve become such an obstacle to me now.

Then at last I seemed to have stumbled into something more worthy of me. Unintentionally displaying my vulnerability to this woman from the Ponds resulted in her reading from her cards, my fortune, which would in turn lead her to become my salvation. I offered everything I had, and she chose the best possibility, the one that would restore my confidence: a favour from the Royal Court Wizard.

In the end, she chose company despite suggesting herself unworthy of it – how strange the things people say so conflicting with their own truths. So with as much gratitude as I could muster I accepted her tribute and set upon a journey fraught with danger, a sacrifice made in order to fulfil my duty in the fulfilment of my boon to her. So I taught her of the Rings and I showed her to the Little Labyrinth and I learned that she knew Lori, and was fond of her, back in the times of Goblori though she was aware of Maglori too. A friend of a friend could be a friend of mine.

Brinee, the Witch of the Ponds. A fair acquaintance who appreciated what I had to offer, and chose wisely the best option. I will remember you for your kindness in not letting me suffer indignity – and in the end, it seems I received the best possible outcome, because your company was surprisingly refreshing, you gave me what I needed, and our time together taught me a valuable lesson. Thank you, thank you, and thank you a thousand times.

I think I should make a point of offering these things that only I can provide to others, by virtue of who I am and what I now represent. A talk then, with the dwarves.

The end of this day marked another One.
« Last Edit: March 27, 2019, 01:19:37 AM by Aethereal »
---
'Even life eternal is not time enough to see, all the folly and despair of poor Humanity.' - To Life - A Shoggoth on the Roof



Aethereal

  • Hero Member
  • Status:
    Offline
    Posts:
    3832
    • View Profile
on: March 28, 2019, 09:25:28 PM
Who is he? Who is she? Who are these predecessors? I don’t appreciate threats. I will not suffer the same.

Was that her, appearing before the Customs office? What has he done? How long ago did any of this happen? Is he or she still present or are these projections but memories?

What loss does she lament? Is it even of concern to me?

This City is a ruin built upon ruins. Shambles and debris. I have inherited a great duty to restore that which was lost and I will not relent.  I have learnt, I have acquired wisdom through torment, and I will not let failure be repeated, whether my own or that of others.


As I spend more time with Lori, I find my mind wandering over the paths of her potential. She is everything I have denied myself the ability to be – part of me lives vicariously through her and in some significant way, my hand was played in making her what she is. Transmuter and changeling. I will take responsibility for what she will become, and though I swear that curiosity must be tempered in the fires of reason and deep analyses to prevent pain, suffering and chaos: this will be the last great risk I take, because I owe her nothing less.

The entomologist Malirre suggests that after her metamorphosis she will likely have a much more pleasant form. Yet I ponder the lifecycle of this creature, and its need to consume a vast amount of raw magic, such as that which exists at the core of one of this City’s peculiar, single-minded golems. The type and immensity of energy required to convert larva of this life form into imago is quite revelatory. It suggests the imago is a being of higher magic and perhaps not even entirely corporeal, otherwise she could merely consume vast quantities of mundane energy: the fuel of life, sustenance. Is it fair for me to declare she is not just one of my dearest friends but part of our ongoing work? That the results which await would be the redemption of my failure and promise to her? Maybe, in part, but I cannot claim full credit – she has survived alone for long and through my power she will until the true culmination of our work.

My anticipation is growing, but for now we shall continue our research together and improve our Art and understanding of our capabilities and limitations as a team. This is what my Ordo Arcanum was meant to be about, not being bogged down in the affairs of the short-sighted mundanes but the pursuit of true arcane enlightenment and mastery. Let them squabble in the 99th, they’ll find their answers there just the same but this is the home of the true scholars of the world – where I belong. My sanctum. My home away from home.


Sylyn finally visited. She showed me a side of her I had not truly seen before. She apologised. She showed remorse and regret. There was something else there: vulnerability. She trusts me, considers me family, and foolishly or not, I let my guard down again. She was willing to promise that she would not harm me again. I didn’t accept but I didn’t decline – let her make up her own mind since she said she would trust me. I do believe her actions have made me stronger even as they cost me (and Isiratuu), though I probably need to get over this state of paranoia it has caused; it’s having undesirable side effects. It’s just so hard to look at her and not see those images of the past, both good and bad, high and low.


Some of my neighbours have pursued research for the sake of research. Curiosity for the sake of curiosity, uncaring of the costs, unbridled like Magus Presto Gemkin. Things which I have learnt cannot be allowed to continue. With the return of His Majesty’s Royal Court Wizard there comes a return of order and distinction in the high Arts.

The tower in question contained a dark and cold facility, within which an experiment had gone horribly awry. Not enough safety protocols, no energy fields, and undefined parameters, not to mention a dedication to knowledge without true heed of the risks. An all to familiar set of circumstances, albeit magnified and thus even more need for it to be set right and not permitted to occur again.

News of the overrun facility made its way to the 99th. So they came to my demesne, Velstra and Nephezar, the latter having wanted to consort, foolishly, with an Arbiter. I believe the defences of my Ring should be amplified ten-fold the next time such insinuations are made – this is not a place for the uneducated, they will only do harm unto themselves. As evidence suggests that it is not wizardry itself that causes mishaps, but the presence of the uninitiated which brings about ruin. I also did not appreciate Adrian’s lack of acknowledgement of my demesne, in light of the injuries suffered within the facility – as I am sure he was aware he undermined my rightful authority in this realm. A minor slight perhaps terribly amplified by the grievous head wound.

I did notice that the Nephezar were not entirely soulless sorcerers, especially the former Sunpurse magus Nailah Massari – who seemed willing to aid and even ward me after my injury. I will always remember kindness and repay it in kind. It’s difficult to gauge the value in them though, since Eryeth was so closed and wantonly condescending to me. So confident that she knew everything about me from her sources. Angharad went down their path though. Oh dear sister, I hope you are coping without me. I hope Mildred will take over for me, I’m not sure if I should endanger both of you with an attempt to open a link between here and home – your safety is more important to me than anything in existence.

Careful trials must proceed, nonetheless. Minor translocation has been achieved.

2.
---
'Even life eternal is not time enough to see, all the folly and despair of poor Humanity.' - To Life - A Shoggoth on the Roof



Aethereal

  • Hero Member
  • Status:
    Offline
    Posts:
    3832
    • View Profile
on: March 31, 2019, 01:18:30 PM
I see the games that are being played. All for the most useless reasons. It’s pawn against pawn. The other pieces are unseen. They’re the pieces I have glimpsed though, all played upon a board that is more of a puzzle with its own pieces scattered too and it extends to the realm I seek to breach – a long game few of them will ever understand. I know I’m not capable of standing against these pieces (or am I?) but I don’t need to either. Yet should I succeed, all my fellow living beings will benefit. I am not a selfish being, unlike so many, if not all of them.

So how was it that I destroyed a god? Well, I needed a bit of help. And a ritual. The one who demanded the essence of a god, now he’s one to watch. Am I the only one who noticed? I guess the others who were there are no longer here. It’s a piece of the puzzle that belongs all to me now.


Adrian is at it again. More insistent than ever before. I cannot join him though, he still does not understand. To be a beggar amongst his family, to be subject to the whims of the Velstrans and that pathetic teenage Ruul – I knew how to deal with irksome fools like that, but being forced to interact with such petulance on a regular basis would drive me to madness or worse. Those sweet words he whispers are a snare at best, but he is a fine salesman offering up snake oil despite knowing it is a slow-acting poison that would effectively destroy my drive – which would be destructive to his ends. I was terribly amused by a certain exchange of quips though.

The Moment Of Truth, A Great Realisation That Would Shatter The Mind?
Quote from: Aethelwine Silver
"Look, you are encouraging me to make my bed somewhere I simply don't want to."

Quote from: Adrian Winespill
"Yes! You homeless idiot."
"Make your bed somewhere that can actually take care of you and stop sleeping on abandoned streets."
"At least let us build you a little shed or something."

Quote from: Aethelwine Silver
"My other problem is, I'd have to share my bed."
"Do you see what I wear? It's the sign of independence and I wear it proudly. My sleeping nightgown."
"It's a symbol of my truth."

Adrian Winespill: [He observes the padded nightgown...]
Adrian Winespill: [As if, for the first time, really processing that the wizard standing next to him has been wearing pajamas the entire time.]
Adrian Winespill: [Silence.]

Aethelwine Silver: [Cozy, comfortable, luxurious even, is how this silver and grey sleeping nightgown might be described. Well-kept, cherished and loved. The true mark of an independent magus.]
[close]


And now for my nightmare.


Lori is dead. They have killed her and supped upon her flesh.
Lori is dead. They have killed her and ate her head.
Lori is dead and it is Sylyn’s fault.
Sylyn has killed Lori. She fed them her flesh. Lord Norbert Velstra has consumed the soul of a Halfling in the form of what he thought was a succulent grub? The fool!

In all of these cases I always resort to the question of why. As if by understanding the mundane I should make sense of the arcane, and I do not simply mean magic, I mean the truth. A truth I know is out there, one that might drive lesser minds awry but not mine. Ever since I came to this City of Rings, it wasn’t just a matter of going back home, it was a matter of understanding why. It all begins with that simplest of questions: why am I here? Why are we here? There’s no readymade explanation and as this place begins to break to my questioning the picture I think is one that has a painter who draws with the substance of the multiverse.

Even my conversation with the aes sidhe was futile, so focused was the pixie on the next and most immediate step. Metamorphosis, dancing the dance, not being the composer. I can’t keep my mind in one timeline alone. I must venture forth and across them in tandem. It is not clear yet if this Tower is a distraction or necessity for it demands I serve a role, one that I have barely touched upon.

Lori is dead. They have killed her and supped upon her flesh.
Lori is dead. They are demons for eating her head.
Lori is dead. They know not what they have done.
Lori is dead. Our work did not culminate.

Death set her free?

Number THREE.
---
'Even life eternal is not time enough to see, all the folly and despair of poor Humanity.' - To Life - A Shoggoth on the Roof



Aethereal

  • Hero Member
  • Status:
    Offline
    Posts:
    3832
    • View Profile
on: April 03, 2019, 12:15:57 PM
I have done it. On my own two feet. With nothing but my own will and efforts. Nobody aided me, no Velstra smellstra, Nephezar deaf-bizarre, Sunpurse dumb-curse, not even Ordo Arcanum aided me in this. Only I, without patron (or perhaps in recognition of my intentions to work under his auspices, my patron, the King {and possibly the Doorkeepers}), have achieved this upon my own.

A bed of my own making. A bed of my own design. A bed that belongs to me and me alone!

Ah, yes, so it is that I have made my bed, at long last. Gladly, shall I lie in it! I shall embrace this place, it shall be my home. I dedicate myself to it and the role I have inherited. It is no diversion.

"I have made my bed, and now I shall lie in it!"
[close]

I needed no charity. No shed made by those who wish for me to share their wretched bed. I am not homeless. These are not abandoned streets. These are the flagstones of arcane majesty, my demesne.

I will prove that there is a place both for and of wise wizardry. Set apart from the mistakes, in light of reason, and true mastery: harmony and potency of the arcane. I do not have any issue with sorcery but I will not tolerate the undeserved scorn of the sorcerer, they have no greater position to me. All of Ordo Arcanum’s mistakes were associated with the works of our sorcerers – and the ritual, well, I’ve already acknowledged my faults and will never let those mistakes be repeated.

My retreat and need for solace comes to an end. I shall return to public life. So many new faces now in the 99th. I have lost touch with the people. Yet, I needed this – I needed to leave them all. Time to myself permit me perusal of my horizons, reflection upon all that I have done and achieved here and how it both went wrong and right. These tasks of restoration, did not merely restore Isiratuu Tower, they restored me.

I have an apprentice now. She remembers my work as the First Magus – I was known here in the Warrens before I even arrived. I have someone who depends on me now... someone not my equal, someone in need of my guidance. I will not let them down.

It feels so good to have made my bed on my own terms. And oh do I feel that I have earned this.

I shall play my part to restore the City, your majesty.

III.
« Last Edit: September 29, 2019, 01:42:31 PM by Aethereal »
---
'Even life eternal is not time enough to see, all the folly and despair of poor Humanity.' - To Life - A Shoggoth on the Roof