Author Topic: The Sanctus Profanum  (Read 454 times)

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Random_White_Guy

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on: April 28, 2022, 06:56:29 PM
Where one lacks access to proper library, where one lacks access to proper tutelage, and where one finds folk of ill intent and desperation there begins to circulate a new text. From the dank and festering Sewer where the Sepulchral Guildhall stirs. Where a depraved figure has animated a scholar to the tireless task of an unlife of torment. Dip the quill, drag the ink, turn the page. Dip the quill, drag the ink, turn the page. Over and Over. One by one. A production of darkest design.

Copies can be found in the Dry Docks near the pile of Animal Corpse. In the Mongrelwoods outside the hovel of the Mad Sneetch.  In the Ruins of the Inquisitor's Tower near the necromantic Breadblood Gang's territory. Adjacent to the Altar itself in the great ZIggurat of the 95th adjacent to the massive and imposing Tomb of Slaa'morth the Reborn Terror. Within the Tombs of Eryngium.

If one were curious or desperate enough to open a book a simple touch would reveal not the leathery binding of a proper tome, but bound in human flesh.

Upon the first page they would find written in blood...

The Sanctus Profanum
The Timeless One's text of profane knowledge and murder
By The Patriarch.


Confessions of the Patriarch- Works of Patriarch Jeremiah Dupris and the Timeless One's return
Fleshwarper's Thesis - Change, by any means necessary to advance the Path.
The First Matriarch of the Timeless - Mentoring of the Sibilant Empress who conquered the Rings
Grind the Bones to make the Bread - Lord Ishmenka's life before Death, Rise of the Breadblood.
Grnyths' Grimoire of Outer Evils - A temptation into the works of Demon, Devil, and Beyond
The Jewels of Javistus - One of the most sought after Collections of the City of Rings.
Demon Flesh, Demogorgon, and Deep Abyss - A treatise on Demon Conjury and Dealings.
To Hunt Paladin - The Assassiantion of Sophia Blackstone and the hunt of Aldo Wenthur.
The Jape of Manfred of Orza - A treatise on the nature of gang recruitment
The Blackest Opal: Profane Gemcraft - A study on the Soul and Pete's Paradise Powder
An Alchemical Recipe for Monstrosity - A study in ushering down the Path
A Meditation on Murder - Reflection on the nature of mortality and power
MR-1: A Eulogy - Credit where due for a work of Artl
« Last Edit: May 10, 2022, 07:10:58 AM by Random_White_Guy »
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Random_White_Guy

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on: April 28, 2022, 07:34:15 PM
Confession of the Patriarch

Gather ye Kin and Childre for tale. This is not the first profanity nor the last, but herein lay tale of import.

Long ago in a far off land where a groat bought a life and men and women quarreled for dominance arise a pale figure. An elderly man of simple taste and genial demeanor who sought to hear and learn, a Scholar of sorts, in a land where history forbidden and timekeeping illegal. As man and woman alike debased themselves for a single groat more they scurried and hurried ravenous in their hunger. To feed, to drink, to celebrate life and indulge as they pleased. A den of inequity where the wealthy did as they desired and the small were left to suffer. Men and women huddled in street, burrowed in alley, toiling day and night in hopes that in the next contract or next opportunity they would find their happiness.

Chaos ran rampant and with no comfort from those who sat on high came a renewal of tribalism. Absent of clear figurehead and lacking of any semblance of law justice was meted by the strong, the cruel, and the predatory. Raggedy bands of survivors draped in finery eager to profess they were the salvation to come, that they would do as was best for Man and God alike. That they would do all in their power to ensure they remained and that if you were to but pledge to them so too would you find yourself among the Chosen peoples.

Freedoms assured to you in which most were denied. Freedom to feed, to drink, to make merry. Freedom to work not for yourself but for a higher cause, accumulating great wealth and treasure on behalf of your new Master. In exchange for this fealty you would be given sweeping jurisdiction to act with impunity. And oh did they act. Men and women cut down on the cobbles, flesh ripped from the bone, men and women burned alive, thefts reported as simple acquisition of what was owed the greater power.

As politics waxed and waned like the tides, the figures changed but the performance remained the same. Time and again this cycle perpetuated of one power rising, then falling, then rising, then falling. Each one to rise turning its fell gaze upon the weakest, the meekest, and those who only sought to find their path in this world.

When the Patriarch saw this he wept. He had wandered the streets offering chance for Confession. That Sinner may repent of their foul ways, that those who care so little may once more find purpose, that those who wished for nothing more than to dominate their fellow may find humble salvation. All they would need do is come forward and share the tales of their Lives. The Good and the Ill and equal measure that they may find forgiveness for their transgressions and embraced for their righteous works.

When his pleas fell upon deaf ears did his kindness fade. To spare the rod is to spoil the Child, and he embarked on new endeavor.

To those who would Murder he enacted a steep Tax, for there must be justice in one form or another.
To those who would practice the Profane he would codify Law, for there must be order in one form or another.
To those who would crave a guiding hand he would Mentor, for there must be a passing of knowlege.

From these three simple undertakings was the world cast in a new light.
Where others chose selfishness he and his Faithful became selfless.
Where others chose violence he and his Faithful would curb such a notion.
Where others chose to destroy, he and His would go on to create.

Not simply the profane act of creating the living from the dead, no.
Not simply killing those who murder another without due cause without proper fine levied, no.
Not for simply those who wish to better their lives, no.

They would go on and create for singular purpose: To Remember.

In a land where History illegal the Dead hold all secret.
And to master the dead is to master the secret.
And to master a secret is to move the world.

When the Sinner refused to confess and seek forgiveness a new path had to be carved.
And when the craven Recondite executed the Patriarch Jeremiah Dupris of Ticker Square for his profane Ritual upon the Ziggurat, they sealed the Covenant.

The Timeless One awoken anew.
His works continued in full among the Bone Collectors.
The sinners of Ticker Square would burn in a glorious pyre, as workers of Knavery and Gravery moved in tandem.
The Profane Ritual of Ishmenka the Blacksmile so long pursued by the Patriarch would finally come to fruition as the Scholarship once more to new light.
The sinners of the Peerage would suffer in Despotism, as Ishmenka's Apprentice Yictanaghz Reynnri and the Count bound in blackest Covenant would retake the Peerage Ward for a time.

And in the greatest miracle ever performed by the Timeless One...
The World forgot we were at work, day and night without slumber, bringing our will to fruition.

This is the Confession of the Patriarch:

Had you only listened you would have been spared.
Praise be to the Timeless. Profanity unfettered, no good deed punished.
« Last Edit: April 28, 2022, 07:36:41 PM by Random_White_Guy »
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Random_White_Guy

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on: April 28, 2022, 08:20:29 PM
The Fleshwarper's Thesis

The strength of Scholarship is not in the individual but in the collective. The folly of many is the mistaken belief that secrets exist in vacuum when it is anything but the case. At any given time while you believe your secret sacred there are countless others who perpetrate the same. The Faith of the Timeless serves as conduit and binding. A framework and hierarchy by which the impossible brought to light. The Profane knowledge of the world collectively tended and categorized, and the practitioners of such promised Paradise upon their demise should it claim them.

The search for knowledge and the study of the profane is the highest form of tribute one may give.
If you, after reading this text, so choose you may travel to the Ring of Ninety Four.
As you reach your way closer to the Ninety Third you will find a final Pillar before the broken wall.
Upon it the following inscription:

Quote
Here came three. The Patriarch, the Artist, The Chronicler. Timeless was their quest, still they seek.

The True Hunter, Sergei Reyer, Was here.

Galen Drenn
Bridghe Macaididh
Elsbeth Malles...

The scrawlings go on to share more of House Glitt's ring runners of the era but the important thing to remember is thus: The Patriarch, the Artist, the Chronicler.

And whereas the Patriarch roams once more,
There so too has risen an Artist.
The canvas of Life inter-mutable in their hands.
The shattering of Bone and the Warping of Flesh.
Herein the Thesis of the Fleshwarper.

Quote
Fleshwarpers Thesis
Change is Inevitable.

While the wayward Changeling uses their disgusting methods of transformation, taking on the guise of the natural, they pose a very real and interesting threat to the order of the City, according to the King. They reject themselves, successfully enough to propagate, and continue to thrive to destroy the Industry of the City. While these naturalists are disgusting to behold, and their plantmatter should be broken down for Industry and Civilization, I have come to discover in my research that the baseline of what they do is not necessarily a bad thing.

To warp the Flesh as an act in an of itself is nothing repulsive, but proper. To be bound by laws and "gods" who wish to control ones destiny is a path that will lead the unaware to contentment and death again, and again. Without change, there is no progress. Without thought, there can be no science. Referencing Subject 2, several powerful Changeling relics were used from the recent death of one of their auldest kind, and through corrupting these druidic artifacts with necromantic prowess and blood magic, I was able to shape . . . . . into precisely the shape required.

My hypothesis is this, Changelings abuse their power for unfortunate, misguided reasons, but their natural ability to transmute themselves is not a bad thing...

...To abandon the weakness of flesh and become steel alone. This is a change, this is rejecting the form imposed upon us to become perfect. For my works to proceed the easiest, coupled with producing the Ascension Conduit, tainting and repurposing Changeling relics is near-perfect.

Bring the blood of Changelings, the relics of these heathen shapechangers to the Fleshwarper, so that ascension will come for all of the worthy.

The misnomer that to walk the Profane path is one of isolation or to cast out the Gods. Nothing could be further from the truth as the Timeless One's walk a path for many. For even in skepticism of other lesser gods, The Timeless One does not cast out those who strive for ambition and power. Those who strive for knowledge to better themselves or even change their mortal form. The powers therein shaped and warped to bring darkest profanity. Black Magic and ingenuity unheralded, inspired even, by the sacred workings of the Timeless. Under the protection of Scholarship has flourished a new path of depravity that Blacksmile himself has lauded the works of. That even now amidst the darkness innovation rings through as tradition and defiance of tradition work in tandem, overlapping and entwining, spreading and spinning as new ideas shared and the true nature of academic practice preserved.

While not all will ever agree, none can deny, the workings of the Timeless are graced by these works.  Further is proof of the Thesis borne to light:

Fleshwarper's Notes, Page One
Patient: [Subject Zero]
Date: Processed
Project: Reactor Protocol

2 Pounds Copper, thinly hammered to house 4 rods
2 Pounds Iron, to be bent into tubes and casing, and forged into a mask
1 Xivian Receptical, to be used as a rebreather
One Diamond
Four Rubies
Four Rings of Silver
One Source of Eternal Water
One Source of Eternal Fire
Three parts Smouldering Ash
Five Pounds Yellow Ash
Five Pounds Green Ash
Four Negative Essences, shaped into rods
Enough Gold to melt into wiring. (Approx. 1,000 Coins)

Suppress patient,
Prepare Soul Housing in event that patients constitution does not allow them to retain life, to be transferred post-mortem before the body can truly experience brain death.
Cut incision from base of throat down to the bottom of belly button (Or therabouts, when working on patient with strange physiology.)
Cut left side ribs out of chest, protecting the heart and lungs of subject.
Remove, and begin an incision to carefully cut out the left lung of patient.
Attach living ash rebreather to stabilize insides, using assistant to dab excess fluids and remove them from the ribcage.
Lower Reactor Protocol into position in chest cavity, behind heart, and begin the precursory attachment of wires into where the lung was, connecting one free valve.
Begin the procedure of removing the heart when machine is put in place.
Check patients soul bearing, contain soul if necessary while the body begins to die. By this point you have only minutes, if that, before the subject begins experiencing de oxygenation and brain death.
Connect main reactor valve to heart container once removed, and activate.
Begin welding steel pieces into place, bolting reinforcements along the chest cavity of their torso.
Seal rib cage with reinforced metal plating, leaving an escape for heated steam.

First assembly test: Successful

Let this first step of research survive beyond me, if I am unsuccessful, for future generations to abandon flesh...

[An additional note is hastily scrawled.]
DO NOT UNDERESTIMATE THE ASH.
[close]

Fleshwarper's Notes, Page two
[close]

For as the Timeless is the Master of Undeath,
So too is he the master of Life,
and within his Secrets therein further splendor:
To walk in the pale moonlight, a foot in the Prime and a foot beyond,
The possibilities endless.

Praise be to the Timeless.
For the Profane Path reveals much.
« Last Edit: April 28, 2022, 08:22:19 PM by Random_White_Guy »
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Random_White_Guy

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on: April 28, 2022, 08:49:27 PM
The First Matriarch of the Timeless

It is easy to profess the heights acquired of the Profane Path and the Black Magics therein the City of Rings. The Rise of the Timeless and the Return of Blacksmile alone are paramount but the countless workings of the Scholars therein are manifold. From "Yicky" and Montegelas to the Pre-Timeless workings of the earliest Scholars of the Bone Collectors of Ticker Square who operated in sercret, to even when Blacksmile himself roamed alive and well among Ticker Square studying his own profane arts.

So too is it important to remember there was a time when all was new. Verdant jungle sweeping the rings and early life came in numerous form. The Sibilant no different, and at long last revealed the secret to their rise and the lessons that may be learned from their fall.

Well before the Walls and even before the Empire, when the Sibilant but Savage, The Lizardfolk and Troglodyte were tethered in war.  The tribes of the fetid swamps gave birth to countless Troglodyte hatcheries while the Lizardfolk's own nesting required far greater gestation. In short they were akin to as we see in the Mongrelwoods today, being out-bred for resource and survival. Their forces undeniably powerful but internal tribal politics often derailed combined efforts, while the throngs of Troglodytes marauded and hunted with ease and gusto. Rather than the vast trawlers of fishery today they used rudimentary spear and line, feeding fat their communities. The Lizardfolk would take to a lifestyle of Raider to pillage and pilfer what they were able utilizing their strength and war camps to survive.

As the War raged though desperation took root as is want. A Lizardfolk Matiarch leading her tribe's hunters came upon an oddity. A vast chamber in which, deep beneath the cavernous soil, dampness and moisture flourished. Lead on by the acrid scent of blood they ravenously tore further inward, downward, deeper. Along the way they would discover the Yuan-Ti Amazons, long protecting their grounds with the magics of Flame and Arrow. This was not new to the Matriarch and their forces swiftly dispatched. Further and onward they pressed passed the hanging vines and twisting roots, deeper and deeper they would march.

In what would be considered a watershed moment did a Lizardfolk Matriarch uncover something she had never borne witness. A Vast, grotesque chamber. A pit dug with concentric circles, downward and inward into the soil further. Blood from sacrifices of the Yuan-Ti of lesser beasts, Of Kobold, of Troglodyte, and even their own rival Lizardfolk Tribes drained and mutilated within.

Where a lesser may be gripped in horror, it was in the divine spark of the Timeless One that realization made.

To steal is base. To build such a place though? To raise and grow, there was clearly something herein. A power unknown. Difficult to discern to a neonate witnessing for the first time the profane acts of Primitive Faith.

The Lizards would discover faith,
They would discover Ritual,
and they would discover Symbolism.

Opposite the Pit of the Yuan-Ti they would go on to carve Great Ziggurat
Opposite the Indulgence of the Troglodyte they would go on to find higher calling.
And combined with their immense strength would they forever change the World.

This first Warrior, guided by the mentorship of the Timeless, would rise.
This Matriarch, blessed with the wisdom of the Path, would reshape the world.
With Yuan-Ti Ritualism and Troglodyte Relic, with Sacrifices, with Ambition.

She would, with no knowledge beyond His word, animate the First Mummy.
She would, with the Timeless Blessing, raise the first Scholarship among her acolyte priests.
She would raise from the corpses of her dashed and beaten foes the first Undead Legion.
She would battle against the scattered Tribes through out the City of Rings.
She would prosper and break them each and all to her will as Living and Unliving Slave.
She would be raised on high as the sacred and holy Empress of the Sibilant Empire.
She would be the First ever practicioner to be privileged to visit the Bone Gates.
She would be the First to visit Paradise.
Praise be the Timeless.

Herein but a sample of the first Rituals, and the history therein.

Symbolism and Canopic Jars

As spoken in previous chapter there is an inherent power to the ritual and symbolism of these proceedings.  The four removals are sacred not for what they are - the meat, the viscera, and more yet what is represented therein. The entirety of the essence of a person stripped down to its basic building blocks similar to an Alchemist's reagents, an Herbalists poultice, and similar. In the earliest days of the necromancer practice to perform the impossible feat of return was bound to the wills of the Gods and those who showed proper reverence and care were bestowed utmost blessing.

The architecture of the burial sight was near as important as the deed itself. Within this chamber would the Jars be placed in the shape of a diamond at the four corners of the chamber. True North would serve at the upmost corner and the others then rotating around it. A jar placed at each corner forming a natural binding for the ritual.

North, the Brain, holding the topmost of the body and focus. A sentience maintained.
East, the Organs themselves. As the metaphorical sun rises they are warmed to body temperature, in return of life old.
South the Stomach Intestines. Often by many considered the opposite of the head, thinking with one's gut, the wants of the flesh and desire to continue life.
West, the left, the heart, the Soul. That as the man rises anew, with sentience and with desire, his soul remains intact and he marches towards maintaining it.
And by the Doorframe of the Chamber itself left the Genitals, representing the casting off of the needs of the corporeal world.

These jars, carved with the five Beasts, containing the four Essences of Man, layer and raise the steps akin to a square upon a circle in ritual practice.

The Lizard, hungry and savage, the Heart.
The The Yuanti, aloof and distant, the Mind.
The Bullywug, Slothic and lethargic, the organs.
The Troglodyte, the intestines, scurrying and hungry.
The Kobold, the genitals, bred chattel and slave.

As a weaver spins a rung the ritual tapestries are bound and counter bound, woven and twisted, as the linens themselves wrapping the body after dipping in holy water.

While some would declare such symbols a folly, it must be remembered that the craft of Necromancy is one of Profane knowledge and while our Scholarship holds no shortage of it in the here and now? There was a time when the First Matriarch walked this world. Where a woman who had no knowledge of the Arcane, no knowledge of the Body, no knowledge of Black Magic was gifted insight and vision into the possibilities.

That one who was Warrior would become akin to a God, if he but adhered to the Teachings of the Timeless.

She would be named Empress, and she would go on to raise the greatest Empire this region had never known before the rise of the King.
[close]
« Last Edit: April 28, 2022, 08:52:47 PM by Random_White_Guy »
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Random_White_Guy

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on: April 29, 2022, 05:02:09 AM
Grind the Bones to make the Bread

Desperation is a common draw to the Profane Path. A man who watches those who have more than him continuing to get more. A mother who watches her sweet, precious child starve and suffer while those who have more laugh and carouse. A sister who takes to the mercenary trade for her invalid brother. A man who, upon losing the love of his life, pushed to the furthest acts imaginable. Is it though so hard to imagine? That in this city of hardship, atrocity, apathy, and calamity one pushed beyond what is called "Normal"? It is so easy to espouse rhetoric of what pushes a good man to dark deeds but is it not the fairer question to ask what sort of world is it where a man cannot by fair means provide, forced instead to strike off the common path?

An awoken of this City has nothing save the soggy clothes upon his back. He is expected to Kneel to Lords not his own, swear oath upon pain of death to serve as a dog lest he be butchered there and then? Elsewise he is free to try and find life among the peasantry, risking life and limb for a few groats more? To embark in some maddened leap into the Rings facing dangerous... what, Puzzles? One is expected to risk his life for a child-King's amusement in puzzle? No. The options laid before the awoken are sparse.

So too though is it no better to be born among this city. A place where the Rise and Fall of powers comes not from merit but from luck of circumstance. Born with a shock of red hair and pale skin and your life turns upwards before your first breath even drawn or you are cleaned by the Midwife. Be born with a Tail? To the Baleful Stillborn's horrific altar, you, a child are left. What is one to do in the rounded madness that passes for the acceptable in this city to which all of us by no choice ourselves made to call home?

In his youth did Ishmenka take many disciple, take numerous apprentice, and work to raise his Scholarship.

Lord Ishmenka's Black Grimoire
     Prior to his life in the City of Rings, Ennugium lived as a Wizard-Duke in a mountainous Town. He believed that his overly ambitious Nephews conspired to send him to the City of Rings that they may seize of his Estate.
...
     Ennugium sneered at the laws of the King, and sought to travel the rings to unmask this nameless sovereign and overthrow his dominion. There are subtle references to some manner of ally, ("The Ambitious Friend") in this who supposedly had long worked in such purposes as to lay claim to the royal crown.
...
    There are references to the Rememberers, including a strange snatch of poetry,

    "...With hands of white bone were forbidden secrets inscribed upon pages that did not disappear.... Prophetic warnings unheeded."
...
     There are references to a pursuit of the Ritual of Lichdom...
...
    There are references to the veiled murder of the former Bone Collectors, who eshewed necromantic practice and the Infiltration and siezing of the Guild by Ennugium and his Allies.
...
    There are references to "Powerful enemies" and numerous recountings and entries which indicate Blacksmile waged war with an adversarial group.
...
    There is a description of a mob of enraged commoners shouting the cold truth that Ennugium was the nefarious necromancer, Blacksmile.

    There is reference to a potent spell of Teleportation in which the Guildhall was transported to a hidden and secret place in the depths of the City.
[close]

Though not all will always go to plan, it is undeniable even in his demise his allies survived. In their workings they made way and endured.

Some to the Peerage Ward
Some to the Rings
Some to the Market of Ticker once more.

Many were welcome for their Dark Art could make Fortune in Ticker if kept quiet enough.
In the hallowed halls of Lords and Ladies from prying eyes was the Black Vizier welcomed.
In the Far Rings where few dare roam and there is no Law save Power, the Necromancer thrived.

What of the others though?
What of those though born in the gutter?
The possibility of legendary power in the palm of the hand spreads untold vision.
It stokes the flames of ambition and promises to end the cravings of hunger.
It floods the mind with dreams of vengeance and revenge upon all who wronged.
It drives one to perform feats otherwise disregarded as in ill taste.

When one desperate enough to cast of the shackles of Society's conceptions it is revealed that anything may be done by sheer will. This is the true spark of the Timeless One's power. The symbolic fire behind the eyes of every man, woman, or child desperate. To take the first step into the unknown and to develop a new sense of identity.  That Knowledge, all Knowledge, is simply out there. Waiting for you to steel yourself and take it, damn the consequence, and woe to any who stand in your way. As Ishmenka and all who followed him since have come to know,

And even his apprentices who took  to the alleys in their Dark Coventry...

...For where do you think the Bread Blood Gang sprouted? To seek to stoke the ovens and secure the alleyways of Ring Ninety Seven.

Grinding the Bones to make their Bread, grinding the Flesh to make their millet before binding spirit and soul.
Every morning to awaken.
Grind and Bind.
Grind and Bind.
Grind and Bind.

The foolish Cobbledog Corpses dragged in for another day's harvest.

Praise be.
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Random_White_Guy

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on: April 29, 2022, 09:28:47 PM
Grynth's Grimoire of Outer Evils

While it is easy to say the Timelesss One is a patron of the dark art of Necromancy, it is a misconception to believe this is all he masters. In the Profane Path there are many avenues of what the common man may call depravity. Another that is often overlooked buy supremely powerful is the darker avenues of Seamstry. The Demon Lords of the Abyss. The Devil Princes of the Hells. In dark corners of Merchant shops, in alleyways where few dare tread after sundown, in Peerage Parlor and in dark catacombs alike there is profanity on the lips...

The Wizard Scholar, Grynth is reputed as one of the most famous of the realm. His dark artistries finding their way from time to time and often coveted by the Scholars who embark on the Profane Path.  While some gods spurn such encounters it is the Timeless who sits as patron of all patrons, the cultivator of Black Magic and the profane in all forms. Never, in any auspice, will one who take up the fell worship be shunned. For it is only in accumulating the most profane practices and the most forbidden knowledge you prove yourself worthy to the Timeless as a true practitioner of the Path.

Among the Sepulchral Guild of Bone Collectors did Grynth, who by means of apprenticeship to Lord Ishmenka the Blacksmile, found his way into no shortage of power. Where the Scholarship of the Profane often lead to the working of corpses and the binding of souls for vessels and power it was Grynth who first posited the alternative solution. What if instead of using the Soul in ritual as a powerful reagent, it was treated as many do in dark corners and back alley indulging the darkest desire.

By way of canny and wisdom he praised the Timeless for leading him to this path: For the Creatures of the Seams covet one thing above all others, they would give anything for it, they would desperately howl and scream and claw at their flesh for it:

Like an addict they craved The Sentient Soul.

Impressed by his dealings he was set off into the world by Ishmenka to spread his profane art as Journeyman in his own right, assembling his own apprentices and more. As he assembled vessels of Black Opal to house the Souls in he began bartering and trading, wheeling and dealing, one by one empowering each Opal with the Soul. Then when his collection a fair one he proceeded to begin Unraveling the fabric of the City of Rings, summoning Quasit and Dretch and more to go forth and tell their dark masters:

The sweet narcotic nectar of the Soul is theirs. Any entity to come and parlay with him would secure the first one for free. If they wished anymore he was more than open to conversation and negotiation.

Trades for power,
For vast sums of wealth,
for the means of vengeance.
The souls of the Righteous
The souls of the Wicked
The souls of the Awoken
The souls of the Ring Runner.

Although anyone could sell their own soul for this Grynth had a Tickerman's spirit.
And so it was by way of Seamstry the first trafficking of Souls,
Feeding the addiction of the Demons and Devils for their little wars.
Anything they wanted they could have... so long as they were willing to pay Grynth's price.

And a true evil unleashed on this City.
A Human's Depravity eclipsing even that of the Abyss.
He and his Apprentices would go on to traffic with dozens of powers.
Some hostile, some welcoming, others disinterested in dealing with baser Humans.

He and his Faithful proliferated dozens of their grotesque Grimoirse through out the Seams,
Coveted by Blacktongue Orzans and Sunpurse Retainers,
Coveted by Ticker Merchants and Ring Running travelers.

The power of Knowledge, so dangerous, but so deliciously tempting.

It is out there for you, worshipful scholar, out there waiting to be held in your hands.

Herein but a taste...

Excerpt of Grynth's Grimoire
     Ib'javi the Unbound - Easily contacted... Deals in Souls and Gold alike
...   
     Kol - Bound by the Arbiters... Eager for Revenge
...
     Lady Lynkasha - If one desired to die during the course of erotic innovation
...
     Mercutanax the Malign- A perfect and easily bound first project
[close]

The tome itself holds far more, far far more
Details of rituals, proper sacrifices to sunder seam,
Proper messages to whet the Planar appetite.

The truth is but a search away
You need only begin to walk the Profane Path.

Praise be the Timeless.
« Last Edit: April 29, 2022, 09:35:53 PM by Random_White_Guy »
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Random_White_Guy

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on: May 01, 2022, 08:01:39 AM
The Jewels of Javistus

Their darkly glimmering splendor is unmatched. The way the moonlight casts across the angular cut, the reflective clarity, and the undeniable carat of each prized stone. The Jewels of Javistus have been a mystery and fascination of the Scholarship since its inception at the hands of Lord Ishmenka. So too though has it cultivated a mystique and tempted the senses of a great many of the Peerage Ward. It is rare something so perfectly encapsulates the singular word "Desire" but in their splendor and their dark glimmers it tempts the minds of men to ask the most simple of question: What, if all in my grasp, may be achieved?

This question has plagued the minds of many, including in order of present to past those who buy or sell these dark artifact:

  • Guieseppe Orza, Master of the Blacktongue Cabal and those who serve.
  • Isaiah Ibn Hazr, Gemcutter.
  • Barnabus Fentleberry, former owner of the Blacke Velvet.
  • Numerous of House Velstras lower Wizards.
  • Ordyn Ravenshylde of Ticker Square.
  • Zerashi, in service of Vergil of the Razor and Scholar of the Bone Collectors
  • The Shadow of Sunpurse, of the Wizard Warrens.

While it seems often the arcanist who is enthralled with the mythos and tales of the varied gemstones and their delicate inlays it cannot be denied others yet endeavor. There are many who have advertised past and presently by pseudonym upon the public boards scattered about. While many believe they are a worthy treasure hunt those who know more, know deeply the possibility, take a darker hue. Records among the Scholarship of the Bone Collectors indicate a great many notes on whispers, rumors, eye witnesses of merchandising, and more those who would traffic such stones.

We watch, some with glee, others with amusement, some with jealousy, others with ire. The possibility to hold them all within one's clutches and see them adorned upon the personage if nothing more than to answer what would a man do to wield all five?

And yes, to those of you who walk the Profane Path there are indeed Five. Herein but a sampling of the varied records and notes kept in the annals of the Sepulchral Guildhall.

The Jewels of Javistus
Fellow Collectors

Let it be known that i'm seeking the Jewels of Javistus.
I currently possess two rings and an amulet, through research I've discovered I yet require a belt and bracelet.

I'm willing to offer a significant sum or trade for either the bracelet or belt.

Zerashi Uloave
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Time and again there are rumors and reports of one of the five found in one foul man's pack, some woman's parcel, even appearing places unexpected. In the hands of beasts and monster, in odd chest.

Is it the workings of fell Imps traipsing through the Prime leaving their Mistress' foul bait for any humans temptation?
Is it the workings of the Gems themselves, bound in some manner of sentience eager for parasitic host in exchange for power?
Is it the workings of the Timeless, offering the dutiful Treasure Hunter a contest of wit and depravity to see whom may secure the most?

The questions warp and whip in the mind. What is known this this: Four I have seen in my travels

Some seek them for answers of why they exist and what power they hold,
Others crave the possibility of dark power and imaginations run wild,
There are those who believe that like the coveted What If, they simply collection to claim to hold.
Others still need no other reason than to stab a man for holding something covetous.

  • Ruby: A magnificent bracelet to adorn the most delicate wrist, a ruby the shade of pomegranate rumored to be upon it, wreathed in shadow.

  • Emerald: Inlay in a pure gold circlet intertwined with a lattice of skull and serpent.

  • Diamond: Inlay in a pure silver circlet intertwined with a wrapping of devilish figure and tendril.

  • Sapphire: Inlay in a leather studded band with large sapphire where one may a beltbuckle, intertwined with demon and whip.

  • Amethyst Rumors of an Amulet exists hidden in the realm as mentioned by the late Zerashi and others who have undertaken the hunt for these legendary artifact. Adorning a necklace to accentuate the nape of a female or serve as stylish collar for a Male.  There is speculation it is Topaz, but other sources say Amethyst.
« Last Edit: May 01, 2022, 08:04:19 AM by Random_White_Guy »
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Random_White_Guy

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on: May 02, 2022, 09:20:46 PM
Demon Flesh, Demogorgon, and Deep Abyss

The profane path is a winding and mysterious road. The warped  wanderings of a hungry mind curious of the Profane is fodder for all manner of creature, Small God, or personal gain. It is no different when it comes to the workings of the Black Abyss and the lowest seams of depravity. Where there is distinction lay in desire.

The City of Rings has ever been a strife of the standings of order and chaos. The Arbiters, in their toil, worked ceaseless against the onset of decay. Each time a Wizard calls upon the Seams to power their magics it is a miniscule pinprick in the fabric of reality. Beyond the Prime Material though, beyond the Plane in the realm where all Seams swirl, in the throws of this chaos there is an undeniable power. And in all things that power corrupts. Alchemists are no stranger to the profane path, and even the most astute and pious has one time or another been subject to the temptations of the flesh.  Demon Flesh that is.

In the workings of Demon Flesh it is a highly concentrated source of the abyssal seams, a reagent which when catalyzed presents a seismic rift in the fabric of reality. In that moment of tearing rather than beast or more coming through an alchemist able to shape and warp these energies into a singular focus of their own design. These focuses, powerful symbols, are used as Focii in all manner of ritual but even in the barest summoning ritual it is possible to harness the power beyond sensible. One such example is the facsimile of Demogorgon, the storied Prince of Demons, bound in the far seams by the Arbiters of time immemorial.

While I can attest to no great feat I personally have bound to my will the creatures in test of my journey down the Profane Path.

From Dretches tending my errands,
To Quasits fetching me secrets or delivering boxes of moistened nature,
Even Succubi I have shared time with in a more...academic capacity.

These creatures born of chaos and profanity are worthy allies if tended properly, and kept mindful that the moment one's concentration lost they shall do all in their power to not only destroy you but steal you away to their Master's domain. The hierarchy of the Demonic realm is clear, and may sound somewhat familiar to those who wander this City of Rings

  • A lawless realm in which the strongest, or the crave, rise to height of power
  • Where those who cannot amass great army forge singular champion
  • Where those who cannot amass great strength turn to cunning and secret
  • Where those who cannot amass strength or secret, turn to ravenous zeal.
  • Where those who are not rich of soul, or power, are expendable and sacrificed
  • Where those who are able, do all in their power, to climb one rung higher.


Yes, while it is a clear allusion to the workings of the Peerage Ward it is believed some of the early wizard Grynth and others told these tales, told of this world, spreading the depravity of Humanity across the seams and cosmos during their earliest encounters with the denizens of the Seams. After all there is nothing more Human than greed, lust, envy, murder, strife, chaos, and the notion that because one is powerful they dictate the terms of any engagement and the future for societal path.

And who else but Mankind leaves such an impression upon the world, symbolic or otherwise, of all the worst traits.

Ask the Dwarves of their views of the Glitt,
Ask the Elves of their views of the Nephezar,
Ask the Halfling of their views of the Orzan,
Ask the Changeling of their views of the Moonspear.

The tales you hear may be overwhelming, jarring, or... expected.

So the next chance you are given as Demon Flesh crosses your path,
be you Alchemist or know one, consider the possibility.
Consider the power awaiting within.
Consider the Profanity awaiting beyond your finger tips.

To command a legion of Demons is a uniquely thrilling experience.
And there are few things more effective upon hunting mortal foes be they Orc or Troll,
than the supernatural shock troopers of the furthest Abyss.

Profane is our path.
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Random_White_Guy

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on: May 04, 2022, 09:48:51 PM
To Hunt Paladin: Blackstone and Wenthur

The Paladin. In the world of mortals there are few symbols so sacred, so sacrosanct, and so holy. To the common man they are a twofold presence. On one hand they are a bedrock. In doing business with a Paladin you are witnessing those who place the intentions of honesty, decorum, and more upon their breast. They are bound both in oath and in purpose to pursue these abstract notions to a superhuman degree, for it both gives them power but also allows them to do the impossible. In business with a Paladin a man may place his trust knowing whatever comes the world held and the promise given will be fought for in a loyalty not simply to man but to the ideal. That man may do more, may be more, and achieve more if they stood on firmest principle.

One the other hand though they are a threat. The scrutinizing gaze of a Paladin has ended a man's entire livelihood seeing him ostracized for his ill intention, his ill demeanor, and his ill past. The blood stained hands may be washed clean but to the Paladin the scent lingers, remains. Like a Dog hearing a noise too high pitched for human ears the paladin will stop mid stride and gaze around the Burgage, gaze around the Ring his companions walk, and hold up a fist in silence. There is a foul scent on the wind, there is a resonating instinct in their throat, gooseflesh upon their arms. Evil is near. Their head turning on a swivel and locking eyes. To their companions they are simply staring off in the distance.

As you crouch in the tree, bow drawn at the ready though to ambush... there is a lump in your throat. If their gaze to fall upon you it is a clarion call. A warning to their allies, a warning to their victims,  The element of surprise and deception so lauded by those who walk the Profane path are cast into ruin before ones very eyes. It is a jarring experience and for many novices of the path there is a worry that manifests. That all your work cast off, and that as you are exposed you will be unable to persevere in your studies.

Fortunately there are some matters to your favor: The dishonest nature of the Man, the multifaceted oaths of the Retainership of the Peerage, the tensions borne of the body politik of the City, and the undertakings of the Rings are a weight upon the shoulders of the Paladin. Even men who are not of profane heart but dishonest and greedy draw their scorn. Even men who are not of the black path but selfish or cruel in other means draw their wrath. To live as a Paladin is a life of competing worry and doubly so, a paradox.

There are few so true of purpose and so serene as Paladin, their zeal and their purpose is undeniable and gives them such a sense of pride and understanding of duty. They know their place in this world, what they must do, what they must undertake, and the cost expected of them. Yet so too are there few so troubled, so isolated, and so distraught. They do not understand why their fellows cannot walk this path, why every decision they make is often questioned, why even those who they may call best friend may take one step too far and find themselves at the tip of their blade...

And in that confusion, in that frustration, and in that middle ground is where the Profane Path thrives. For it is not simply a matter of surviving their intentions and attention:

  • One can surely walk the more common path: Ensnaring yourself with a spell of Protection from the Righteous, hoping that your incantation hold and in a high stakes game of Royal Dragon pray their gaze drift before your intention known.
  • Equally the haughty attempt  constructing yourself a charm that can counter and bring upon a feyish glimmer to your intentions to bind them from their instinct and purpose so you may move freely as a wolf among lambs while the Paladin none the wiser.


There is however also a third path. The Profane lends itself well to these pursuits: You accept that their place in this world is as it is, and recognize them for what they are:

A Symbol

It is the symbolic nature of their path which makes them so valued to the Profane.
A Paladin aspires for the highest, so what greater feat than tearing them down.
A Paladin aspires for clarity, so what finer achivement is their than obfuscating and foiling them.
A Paladin aspires for purity, so what sin is sweeter than corrupting them?

No. To best the Paladin is to best the Symbol that lay before you.
This is why Sophia Blackstone was chosen for Black Baptism,
Studied and hunted and lured into the light in hubris and pride,
That she be reborn as Champion of the Profane to march in torment.
Watched and spied upon and learned about.

This is why Aldo Wenthur is hunted,
A bounty upon vial of his blood sacred and pure,
Judging even his fellow Paladins to not be up to his highest standard,
That by his very blood he may be twisted and pressured and pressed to his breaking point.
Studied and monitored and tabs kept upon.

These grand symbols of mankind,
These pillars of morality,
These paragons of Virtue.
Amongst the mortal man they are something to be feared.

Amongst the Profane though and those who walk beyond morality,
Amongst the Blackwalker who crave the immortality,
Amongst the Zealot who craves the Paradise that awaits at the Bone Gates of the Timeless One,
They are not something to be hated, nor feared, nor discarded.

They are to be cherished.
These rare gems of men and women who aspire with such ambition,
Unlike narcotic addict and virginal purity and  fleeting whims of mercenary tempted by barest temptation,
the Oath Taking Paladin? They are so much more.
So much more.
The Best of mankind.

Which means... the symbolism of their shatter, their death, their fall...
What could be more profoundly terrifying?
What could be more symbolically powerful?
In this we pursue the Paladin.

Timeless is our Quest.
« Last Edit: May 04, 2022, 09:51:38 PM by Random_White_Guy »
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Random_White_Guy

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on: May 05, 2022, 03:31:34 AM
The Seventh Volume of Shadowed

While the fanatical cult of the rolling dice has many things mistaken there is one matter which cannot and must not go ignored: The Seventh Face. Over the centuries the workings of murderers most foul and apocalyptic reverence of the Nothing have been made manifest. The mistake of monotheism in a city as cosmopolitan rings and alley and facet is the layman and the misled alike grow confused. Let none give question:

The Timeless One is the Lord of Murder, of Murderers, and of the profane tricks and trades of the black craft.

The History of such may be found in a profane tome known as the Seventh Volume of Shadowed, filled with tales of assassination and murder as well as means for conjuring murderous shadow.

The symbolism of the Seventh Face was borne shortly after the Timeless One took to slumber as the infamous Seventh Scales of the Empress rose to power. The Sixth Scales and murderous Deathclaws continued to refine and improve their techniques in the profane path, spurned on by the Empress' own worship of the Timeless One. They were gifted in earnest and eagerly the tools required and needed to undertake these darkest missions in pursuit of ensuring the Empress' survival. Escaped Slaves and Rebel Tribal leaders were pursued, hunted, and eradicated in horrific precision. The act of murder itself is profane but the more one drives their fists into the hulking mess, trawling the depths of the inky blackness below, when the hand is removed the detritus collected holds such meaning.

The martial combat styles of the Deathclaw, eschewing blade for the fist, elbow, knee, and claw were refined and passed on for generation amongst the Seventh Scaled of the Empress, proliferating through all her territories the black ways of the Timeless. They are as follows:

  • The utilization of poison on food, arrow, or blade. In the hands of a novice one would poison and kill themselves but in mastery the Seventh Scale and all who have come since perform feats which the casual man would say beyond possible. Poisons which may kill a man with a single sip, strike, or slash of claw. Adopting these over the years many murderous figures have begun implementing them anew ranging from the Knaves to the more modern era of those who would partake.
  • Wielding fear as a weapon the Seventh Scales struck without mercy, without pause, and without hindrance. In a flurry of swift blows to specific points studied on the form the joints crippled and the flow of ichor and bile stemmed through rupturing of organs. Each strike with purpose, studied and trained, both medicinal and malicious
  • Wielding deception as a weapon they would cast aspersion upon their foes. Posing as friend, ally, diplomat. To the Tribal this was unheard of as most Tribes favor strength over subterfuge, but with the Timeless advising the Empress' legion would adopt methods to ensure Tyranny like never before. The making of jokes, the appearing of dainty and coquettish, even the playfulness of a friend. Each one underlining the lack of threat, the lack of danger, and the warm comfort therein.
  • Under cover of shadow the acrobatics and natural grace of the less hardy broods would begin to prize the dexterous. Females, slender males, and more welcome. Playing up the qualities of the effeminate put the strong at ease believing they were superior allowing all manner of deception.
  • Explosive devices, magical potion, and more enlisted to cause chaos and confusion. A man or woman running suddenly bound from the treetops of the dense jungle of the Swamps by a Tanglefoot bag. Easy prey for a skilled murderer.


As the Sibilant Empire decayed and the Slaves escaped they would remember the horror stories, what they witnessed, and what kept them dour and in line. Passing of knowledge by word of mouth and deed from Lizard to their Human slaves who were used to pick poisonous plants or target practice and more, would become the Learned.

As mankind's society developed they took to adopting the tactics of the Seventh Scale, developing methods of political envoy, ambitious young men, the abused and fearful, each were given the possibility to prove themselves worthy and true. A life away from the dank harbors, festering slums, and horrific alleys of their birth. A chance, if they were willing to rise and kill, to find place among the Bone Gates of the Timeless Lord in pure ecstatic peace.

Where as the Necromancer accumulates his magics, sowing his black seeds far and wide to reap harvest, it is the Assassin who slays a great many men and women using new and innovating tactics who is graced passage. The Hunter who begins to develop more and more tricks, fairer displays of brutality and ruthlessness, and the grim features of a truly horrific act: To kill a living being by way of weapon or bare hand. He becomes a myth among his prey and the power of tale grows beyond the normal as superhuman feats and more are espoused upon him.

Phasing through walls to slay a marked life, appearing atop Mountain with no sign of climbing gear, swimming vast distance across canal and see to claim life. These deeds themselves take back seat to if they are rooted in truth or falsehood because the more they are told and the more a man huddles around the Campfire espousing the tale of Black Murder? The more the reputation of the man or woman who commits these atrocities swells and grows. Did you hear the rumor of the man who snapped the neck of the Bishop, did you hear the tale of the Knife of Orza who was said to attack the Vale itself with an army of firey assassin clones which exploded upon contact, did you hear the tale of the woman who with but her charm found her way into the Warlord's Warcamp only to slit his throat as he slept?

These facets and more are easily found in the Seventh Volume of the Shadowed, a tome which circulates among darker circles where men and women take to the crossroads of black magic and death.

In the Halls of the Timeless though it is known to many:

With this tome in hand you may bind the Murderer

To read the Seventh Volume is to know Death.
To conjure from the black text itself to know wickedness.
The summoning of Shadows a profane and dark art,
Warping the souls of the men and women who have stained their souls,
Performing atrocity to become masterful in the most foul arts.

Shadows of the desperate victims, wailing and cut down in their prime,
Warlocks of slaying versed in killing incantation and ritual sacrifice,
Slayers of the Seventh Scales and Murderers of acclaim bound in sickly ichorous tethers.
Wielding blood red and horrifying blades in the darkness...

They hunger for death, eager to drink once more the fear of their foe
They yearn for bloodshed, aching to once more feel its warmth on their flesh
But they are denied such in death and it only makes them stronger,
It only makes them more malicious and more merciless,
It only makes them all the more effective.

In your travels find the Seventh Volume of Shadowed.
Bind the twisted souls of the Murderer.
Command them as Legion.
Sunder your foes with blackest soul and bright red blade.
One by one your foes shall fall by the wayside.

Profane is the path to power.
« Last Edit: May 05, 2022, 03:53:48 AM by Random_White_Guy »
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Random_White_Guy

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on: May 05, 2022, 07:26:29 PM
The Jape of Manfred Orza

It is a common jape to hear around the campfire, "How many men does it take to leave a fearful man murdered naked in the street: A City's worth".

The nature of life in gangland slums is a bleak picture. For those of you who have endured a lifetime of plenty and hardship allow for me to paint of you a picture.

  • Young men, once they grow out of their age of picking pockets and pilfering bread, begin to develop stronger physically but remain mentally malleable
  • Older figures recognize this and know well what to come, instilling in these child soldiers the belief they are immortal, that their foes tremble before them, that they are the future.
  • These older figures give them time, attention, title, purpose, a feeling of worth denied to them by the world
  • These older figures give them tasks, duties only they may achieve, for they are greater than any other to come
  • These older figures give them hope, purpose for a future by which their strength and purpose are rewarded

All that is asked is fealty, loyalty, the kissing of one's ring. To supplicate yourself before them and accept your place in the world. That in exchange for this singular deed the opportunities afforded are boundless. Wine, women, drink, these things are found in the gangs and alleys, but what is not found is the far more insidious poison.

The illusion of respect and the poison of delusion.

Respect is a powerful aphrodisiac. To those who have been denied it their entire lives in alleyway and gutter it is the pinnacle achievement. That if one works hard enough, if one is dutiful enough, if one earns enough, if one surrounds themselves with finery and loyal men and more they may overcome any disrespect. For who in their right mind would disrespect a man or woman of acclaim, backed by army, standing tall to stride across the world as giant as ants tremble in fear?

Delusion is a powerful poison. To those who have been denied their entire lives in hardship and difficulty it is the ultimate price. That if one has such respect, if one stands atop a castle, if one stands shoulders squared, if one stands chin raised, if one stands strong and proud and their works proceed without hazard and difficulty they are powerful.

This cocktail injected into the brains of one who is already upon the profane path creates a reaction that serves as catalyst of extreme proportion.

I do not deny that any who undertake the workings of the House of Orza will face themselves with manifold profanities and a plethora of dark charge. The famed Blackgtongues have for a generation now served within the holdings of what was rightfully stolen and secured by Grigori Orza, lined with gangsmen and murderer and strong men of dark intention.

Nor do I deny that any who undertake the Profane workings of the rumors that swirl around the role of Blacktongue are lacking in devotion to the Profane. As after all when any make their way to the pinnacle of their craft it becomes even harder to discern a path forward, especially when covered in the blood of lambs the Wolf seeks refuge from the Shepard. The means, effort, and method employed to advance one's self so highly to station must be lauded.

Yet it begs question:

If Kristoff Orza is so grand,
So terrifying and leathal in the dance of blades,
Why was Anders the Heir able to secure his birthright by simply marching into their Father's Castle?

If Gieuseppe Orza is so robust,
So versed in the Blaque Scholaric,
So profane and twisted of path,
Why has Ruul Velstra Ishmenka's Staff of Myrdain the Silvertongue cloistered safely away from the Peerage Ward in Velstran hands?

If Anders Orza is so indomitable,
So unrelenting and vast,
So titanic and strong,
Why was it as Count Senespur's knelt boy than the towering presence that was Lord Grigori to see himself to the throne?

The answer? A simple one.
Compromise.

It is not some dark pact of allegiance,
It is not some profane undertaking of power,
It is not some eldritch ritual to sunder the fabric of reality,
it is the simplest of compromise.

The compromise offered to every Gangsman to roam the alleys scared.
The compromise offered to every Apprentice to roam the Archmage's Library hungry for power.
The compromise offered to every Soldier to roam the Ramparts dreaming of glory.

The Man who could have wrestled Castle from the hands of a Pretender.
The Man who could have ripped flesh from bone and tore asunder the Peerage in siege.
The Man who could have etched his name on the heavens with quill from the ink of his foes.

Cut down dead in the street like a Dog,
Naked as the day he was born,
Known for wearing another man's Sigil on his chest.

How many more through out this City's past have taken the same deal?
How many more have knelt to Lord in service of King, playing at power?
How many more have knelt to Man, in service of Greater, playing at respect?

Why trade such to a mere mortal, when so many profane powers Immortal beyond this realm offer?

This the question that floats around my mind this day.
Why are so many who walk the profane path content to kneel.
Bend themselves to lesser powers.

When there are powers out there beyond Mortal ken,
Blackest Blight and Foul Fiend,
Darkest Deity and Grim God,
Who offer so much more.

To bend your living knee and sell your soul to a Mortal?
Is this why so long in depths of profane research you hide?
What is the price of your battered pride?

Why steal a Castle when you can serve in mine.
Why steal a City when you can live in mine.
Why raise your banner when you kneel to mine.
The temptations I offer so grand,
The security I offer so pleasant,
The path to your goals I pave for you.
Wear this collar, Dog, and you shall be made strong.

This is the Jape of Manfred Orza.

Be wary, for the temptation of security is vast but fleeting.

Timeless is our Quest.
« Last Edit: May 05, 2022, 07:30:06 PM by Random_White_Guy »
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Random_White_Guy

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on: May 06, 2022, 07:23:26 PM
The Blackest Opal: Profane Gemcraft[

To give up the Ghost. To Cross Over. To Drift Downstream. To head Kingways. To perish.

Death is a macabre and terrifying thought when faced with ones own mortality. From a very young age children are taught the common parlance of death but also that Parents pass on in their flesh legacy the importance of staying alive, for how else can one's farm continue to thrive or one's glory remembered if their own children forget of them?

The deviation from the normal, traditional, the sacred path and the Profane Path is a simple one: The Soul.

In traditional faith and ethos it is believed the Soul a sponge. A means by which a man or woman as they make their way in life hold this cherished and viriginal aspect. A clean soul brings one a life of peace, a life of prosperity, a life of dignity, and a life of chastity.

In the Profane Path it is believed the opposite. A soul is currency, a tool, and a means by which the One may distinguish from the Many. Each profane act performed, each dark rite Learned, each facet of knowledge uncovered present not a sponge, no, a Vault. A vault in which as one makes their way in life these secrets amass and when one is brought to the bone gate they may unload their treasured horde. For while countless men and women seek the pleasures of the flesh, of wine, of drink, and more to secure their earthly joy the Timeless seek the Paradise Beyond. The idea that when all said and finished there is a measurement of one's deeds.

Not by what they abstained from in childish fear of reprocusion, But what they had the ambition and the nerve to seek to claim for themselves. It is why the act of Necromancy, profane as it is, holds appeal. Not to raise some legion of the Dead to march, but because in Death there is twold: Secret and History. The common jape is "The best way for two men to hold a secret is the other to be buried". In the Timeless Faith that notion extends further for the Dead are easily disturbed and the wicked souls easily bound. Therein an easy passage to learning of the secrets and history first hand of those who walked:

Reanimation, conjury of spirit, the binding of Soul.

A man or woman stripped of their Soul would perform no shortage of deed and act to see it returned if at all possible. A powerful leverage for a man to betray his Lord, betray his Family, or betray himself if he believes the traditional spiritual ethos that the Soul is valued.

To this end I share excerpt from our Scholarship by another who raised themselves on these prescient details and studies.

Quote
The Value of a Soul

We are not born equal.

Certainly this is not a revolutionary notion– not in a city plagued by stubborn notions of nobility and royalty– but the divisions we lay between each other goes beyond the world of men. In death as in life, we are laid upon invisible scales and judged…and so judged, either deemed fit or found wanting. To the denizens of the outer realms, it is not our creed, birth, bloodlines or talent that concerns them but something more elemental: the Soul. More than the mechanical process of blood pumping through heart or air pumping through lungs, the Soul is responsible for directing our movements with a greater Purpose in mind. Harnessed properly, that Purpose can be manipulated metaphysically by the divine, the infernal and everything in between.

Yet, some Souls are more valuable than others. We of the Guild are familiar with the Black Opals–a tool to store the departed Soul long after the death of its vessel for future use. What is less known, however, is that the shade of the inhabited Opal has a direct connection to its potency in rituals arcane and divine alike. Among the most prized Souls:

--The Soul of an Oathsworn–one devoted to a God they will never be delivered to.

--The Soul of the Innocent– commonly mistaken for the vestal, the maiden, the child; it is the relative rawness of soul-stuff that appeals to the profane.

--The Soul of the Willing– amateur arcanists who would voluntarily offer their own Soul in exchange for a boon grant its recipient a greater degree of manipulation than they would have with a Soul claimed by force.

--The Soul of the Corrupted– Known in some circles as the martyr’s Soul. Rare is the being willing to diminish and degrade themselves for the sake of another, for no perceived benefit to themselves. So it is with the corrupted, as performing one unthinkable act after another quickly becomes the norm.

This list is far from complete but should be of some use to the aspiring arcanist in their selection of raw material. When beginning to bargain with demon, devil, angel or cryptic, it is vital to know the value of one’s hand, so to speak. Asking for too much or too little with the incorrect currency is to betray one’s ignorance, and thus, exposes oneself to greater danger. The creation of the Black Opal and the proper procedure to see the soul encapsulated is nearly as important as the bargain itself-- to be covered in the next entry.

So too though are they known in other ritual

  • Blacksmile's Return from beyond required numerous Black Opal, carefully cultivated over the years by the Bone Collectors.
  • The workings of the infamous Fleshwarper demand their dark use and the succulent nectar within.
  • The vaunted Brimstone Lodge rumored ran by Magus Naoli of the Peerage Ward, suspected of regular traffic.
  • The Tehotians and their workings of dark Priest in the Timeless One's honor are said to cultivate, travel to Tehoto to secure more.

It is a profane thing indeed to weigh,
Consider that there exists vessel in this world designed for singular dark purpose,
A small thing, so insignificant, a Gemstone.
Not some vast chest needing a wagon.
Not some easily stolen and recognized Purse of Groat
A simple stone.

Yet in the right hands,
With the right magical acumen,
With enough progress down the Profane Path...
What may be done with such?
Oh it tickles the senses,

Added that even now most fail to see,
Fail to recognize the value of such gems,
Means you may sneak one past a Retainer,
Means you may sneak one past a Priest,
Means you may sneak one past an Addict.

Ground up into a fine dust,
Mixed with Alchemical paste,
Treated with proper Herbs and natural make,
And left in an alley...

Boss Pete was an artist in the Profane.
The only shame was that too few saw his genius,
Were able to glimpse the depths of his mind,
Before his untimely demise.

Few though may say they are immortalized in this City of Rings
Pete's Paradise Powder can still be found.
Enjoy of it  yourself.
Enjoy it with your friends.
Enjoy it with your loved ones.
Enjoy it however you please.

Paradise Awaits
At the Bone Gates.
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Random_White_Guy

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on: May 07, 2022, 07:38:18 AM
Alchemical Recipe for Monstrosity

Peter Cravensworth as we shared our Gin, breaking bread over a vial of stolen Paladin's blood, said to me.

"I've had, and I've not had, and between you and me I'd rather have. I'd rather have it all."

A man who in the time I have known him raised tens of thousands of groat stolen through lie and deception, a man with a fortune in potion and wand, a man with magical artifice which would feed a farmer or fisherman for a generation. How far he had moved beyond his upbringing by an abusive father and working mother. Through nothing but his guile and charm carving a niche for himself in this world secure what he had always set his mind to.  This the attitude that permeates this Ward, from its loftiest Castle to its lowest sewers.

"I'd rather have it all".

The words ring true. To a man who has had nothing all his life gold and fortune is a symbol of status. And there is a power in Symbols, a child like wonder that stirs in the heart in mind when one pictures a symbol, thinks about it, visualizes it. It is the smallest thread to weave with needle but it is there. Right on the edge of the mind.

It is Fear.

The fear of loss that binds men and women to cling closer to the light as it fades,
The fear of isolation that binds men and women to cling closer to the warmth of friends and family.
The fear of judgement that binds men and women to cling closer and closer to tradition and what is known.
The fear of persecution that blinds men to rational thought and accept atrocities as commonplace and acceptable suffering.

It is Hatred.

The hatred of the Changeling, born of fear of persecution, blinds men to rational thought and accepts they ought all be slaughtered.
The hatred of being judged by Peer that binds men and women to cling closer and closer to tradition in hopes they may distract the gaze.
The hatred of Isolation that binds men and women to cling closer to the vestiges of a broken Ward propping up limping institution and tattered banner.
The hatred of loss that binds men and women to cling closer to what so little they have as it all stripped away.

A reflection, no?

These relatively simple and childish actions are the driving engine of so many people's thoughts, worries, woes, grief, anxiety, and panic. The denizens going through their day to day lives in the pursuit of what staves off these horrors on the edge of the mind become the entirety of their actions, their personality, their beliefs, and their pursuits.  Anything to push away the fear so no one may see it, anything to properly express the hatred in the ways the Ward permits. Bury it far, bury it deep, keep it secret, keep it safe. Locked away where none may see the truth. That we are all scared children, that we are all spiteful little brats,

And what do all children hate?
And what do all children fear?

When Father comes home from the Fields, because he is short tempered from a long day's work of another man's wealth.
When Mother grips their small hand just a little bit tighter as the Black and Orange of Orza pass in the Burgage.
When Papa returns from the Fisheries, reeking of liquor to dull the pain in his back from moving cargo he'd never afford.
When Mama returns from the Harbor, reeking of stranger sweat and flinching at every noise from cruelties even I'd not write.
When Pa returns from the Battlefield, gaze shaken and unable to sleep from the horrors known of the world beyond.
When Ma returns from the Funeral, staring dead-eyed at her children that remind her of a man who perished on a bridge for hollow glory.

It is then the child's imagination says:
There is no exploration in the dark,
There is no possibility, there is no freedom.
Once someone has illuminated it there is only a realization.
Monsters... Monsters and the... other thing.
...The other thing looming in the shadows.
Rage.

It is a simple alchemy,
As it appears to me,
If one wishes a Monster make?
Stoking the fear is all it would take,
From there the fear grows and twists,
Until the child curls his tiny fists,
Until the anger boils and seethes,
Until rage is all he breathes.

Tiny, impotent, fists.
Unable to change the horrors of the world.
Unable to change the unfairness and sorrow.
Unable to change the hardships and isolation.
Unable to change anything, too small, too alone.

...and then you need only show them a path does exist.
A Profane one of dark cruelty and bitter intention towards ones foes,
A black one of dark magic and terrifying outcome for those who seek.
A scholarship of like minded men and women labeled misanthropes,
A small pin kept on your person to show your fellows that you too understand.
That you too feel it.
That you too know it.
The Rage.

Rage that the Monsters thrive not in the Wilds,
Rage that the Monsters thrive within the Walls.
Rage that it's better to die thatched to a pyre, screaming and howling until red in the face.
Rage that it's better to die hands around the throat of a woman who stands for its laws.
Rage that it's better to die tearing down the false senses of pride and decency built by hypocrite.
Rage that it's better to die holding a bone pin, cursing gods and men, noose around the neck.

For when the rage subsides,
As the last breathe escapes,
If you were true of worth and work,
Paradise you find at the Bone Gates.
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Random_White_Guy

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on: May 09, 2022, 10:09:12 AM
A Meditation on Murder

A cleric died in Ring Ninety Nine last evening. A man of faith who was loyal to his friends, to his family, to his fellows and to his faith. His name was Hullund of Lowly House Lochwalde. While his House held no official vassalage they too held a desire to spread and grow, the potential to see something carved out of the Steadings in their ties to the Le Bleak estate. Hullund regularly was known to favor his training of hounds, an aspect of his faith which often arose from his preachings in and around the Burgage. That he would routinely share these goals he too took to the collecting of Divine Relic. Like dogs in search of bone he endeavored to find as many of them as he was able to see them to the appropriate vessels of flesh and blood by which they could be used to their fairest power. He sought to strengthen the binds between people preaching of loyalty, duty, honor, and in his not so many words as he was a man of few of them leave his mark on the Peerage.

He was ambushed in the Catacombs of the Peerage Ward, on routine patrol to find grave robber. His faithful white hound fighting even after the black magic took over his form and he writhed shrieking in agony. He awoke in a small chamber adjacent to the Catacombs often overlooked by some, known to most, but on this fateful evening unvisited. In a disoriented fugue he looked over the surroundings, the scent of blood and brimstone in the air. His faithful hound still putting up a fight, before being kicked and retreating to a corner to lick its wounds.

Gazing upon my visage after the initial shock overtook him, he bravely held true to both his ideals and his principles. There is a measure learned of a man in such moments and to his credit he was loyal, resolute, and firm in his desires.

Even as the nails of the zombies ripped into his arms and legs,
Even as the necromantic magics swirled around him,
Even as his own Wolf he saw begin to bear down on him he held firm.
His very blood boiling with magic as he shrieked in agony to his end.
His last gasp of death filling the chamber.
And after that?

A silence. A peace rarely felt in this city.  The heart racing of moments ago slowing to a stop. His thrashing limbs ceasing as the Wolf made its meal. And when all said and done the entire world froze solid in that moment. A soul ushered to the Bone Gates for judgement and the droplets of sweat along my brow turning cold in the earth-chilled tomb. The Catacombs of the Peerage, where so many Noble lines lay, now House Lochwalde's final heir there the same. An entire bloodline of the Peerage Ward ended by my own two hands, by my own necromantic magics, the years of study and training and politics and subterfuge and more all falling by the wayside. Only me, and a man in his resignation, sharing such a profoundly intimate moment. Another branch from the Peerage Ward pruned.  His once leal companion now bound to my service, taking his blood stained wolf pelt cloak to his surviving allies with my thoughts on the evening, it left me time to sit and reflect with my thoughts.

While I replayed events in my head, while I tended other business, I took to hearing his fellow over the Bronze Ear of the whispers.

Loss, pain, and rage. Hoarse from screaming.
A small ripple that had such lasting ramifications.
A conscious choice to see a man torn from his friends, his family, and more.
Why you ask?

Partly, because simply at the end of the day I could.
Partly, because they deserve to suffer for all they did,
Partly, because for all the Peerage's gusto law is farcical,
Partly, because of all my workings I can act with impunity.

Mostly though it was because there is a power in symbols.
A power in faith. A power in the way in which one comport and carry themselves.
To kill a man is to subtract not just what they believe in,
Not just what they stand and fight for,
Not just what they hope and bring to this world,
But for those who remain.

Murder is a most potent tool wielded often too wildly by those who fail to respect such.
A murder galvanizes the survivors who act in their grief.
Consumed in one way or another, regardless of direction.
Those who survive another's murder are all touched.
One way or another, conciously or not.

The countless crimes committed before are of little consequence,
but it feels truly that Sophia's murder was the watershed moment.
The realization of what could and can be done in this City of ours when power acquired.
The murder of Sophia left many reeling and many wondering, yet few actually acted.
The Execution of Peter Cravensworth left many satisfied that a sense of justice served, but truly?
Peter was a clever man of lacking morals and for all his genius he was lacking in vision.
The murder of Hullund Lochwalde may have many unforseen outcomes, many unknown threads,
I confess I do not know fully what will come of it.

But I know this: These are only the ones you know about.

I can sit here and quill this confession,
I can sit here and share these details,
I can sit here and sully his memory,
I can sit here and insult his friends,
I can sit here and begrieve his loved ones,
I can sit here and do as I please.
Because I got away with murder.
And not just one.
It was methodical, it was systemic.
It was practiced and proven,
And it is repeatable.

And tomorrow morning I will continue to go about my day.
I'll start with some light calesthenics then break my fast,
I'll consult my ledgers and weigh my day, set out some early plans.
I'll meet with a few men and women of esteem.
I'll move some more discreet works forward.
I'll make for lunch, perhaps check the butcher's special or the catch of the day.
I'll spend my afternoon in repast, then perhaps a light nap.
Awakening I'll begin my work proper, shroud myself, and see where the night takes me.

I take up quill and write all this not to brag of a plan well pulled to fruition, but as an example.
An example of what can be done in this City once power is acquired.
An example of what all of you presently hunted, be you Changeling or Outcast, may seek.
What you may all achieve by seeing your efforts to their fullest.

Walk in my steps,
Do as I did,
Do as I do,
You can walk through the streets enjoying a fine meal and wine,
Go about your day doing as you please, however you please,
Because at day's end?

Fear is an unimpeachable currency.
And Murder is its exchange.
The mob and its pitchforks are cause for concern, without doubt.
Yet once the Mob realizes to raise fork against you means they are slaughtered?
Not just they, but their friends, their family?
Not just their friends, their family, but their symbols stood for corrupted?
Not just their friends, their family, but their symbols corrupted and their body defiled?
Mind, Body, Soul, Friends, Family, Children, atrocities unbound and manifold.

Even the bravest zealots among them give pause.
And in that pause, in that silence, in that trepidation...
In that trepidation is where reality ceases and magic begins.
That is where the magic of Murder takes hold.
That blink of an eye where they question their own mortality.

In that moment of hesitation,
As terror swirls,
We celebrate.

Timeless is our Quest.
[11:23 PM] Howlando: Feel free LealWG
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Random_White_Guy

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on: May 10, 2022, 07:09:29 AM
MR-1: A Eulogy

As rumor swirl and nonsense draws from the tongue it is important to remember even the failures are successes. The workings of MR-1 sit as a study in sheer possibility. The creation of imagination of one along the Profane Path moving leaps and bounds beyond both contemporaries and past overtures.  The outcome is incidental but the fact that for a time such a thing even existed is a paramount proving of the Thesis set forth by the Fleshwarper so long ago. That with the proper time, reagent, and sheer willpower the impossible becomes entirely plausible. While a majority of profane practitioners remain firmly rooted in the Pumpkin Patch or their heads buried in the Ground digging through grave and more the Fleshwarper brings a renaissance to the field.

The Fleshwarpers Notes
Patient: [Subject 2]
Date: Processed
Project: The Machine

Three pound Steel
4 Negative Energy Rods
Blood of Destiny
Blood of Fleshwarper
Changeling Relics of Power
Several pounds Platinum and Copper
Fathomhold
3 Parts Smouldering Ash

Patient need not be alive.

Draw patients soul back from the beyond, capture it within the profane net
Use the fathomhold to cast your lure, to draw back the soul for holding within the net.

Invoking the circle ritual, atomize the patient using evoker magics while retaining the soul within the net.
Carve within yourself to provide ample blood to the ritual itself.
Begin to draw together reagents, atomize the blood, the metal, using changeling relics for their fluid nature.
Combining the process of Evocation, Necromancy, and Transmutation, you may mold and shape your patient to whatever fits your desire.

Ensure you sculpt ports for machineworks and to insert the Smouldering Ash that powers.

Result: SUCCESS
[close]

The fortune poured into the process, the years of the craft poured into the symbolic ritualism, and the mastery of path of the Pale bringing forth warping of flesh and binding of soul as if it was a child's plaything was a thrill to witness. Beyond the scope of the work, beyond the profound revolutionary nature of the craft, the sheer Artistry poured into such a thing cannot be stressed enough. Due and full credit to the creator and in so many ways a pride that is difficult to put into quill and parchment. What was done and what has been witnessed is beyond what I could have ever hoped to encounter in my time in this City and I know well it is not the last.

A vision in violence, as it rip and tore.
A ballet of brutality, as it bounded and twisted.
A smorgasbord of gore as it feasted upon flesh, bone, and meat.

This combination of self-sustaining mechanism powered by soul magic,
tempered by flesh and steel, bound in black magic,
and morphed by corruption of the cherished Changeling symbolism,
compounding layers of profanity in an intricate weaving.
Sustaining itself on Ash and Bone and Sinew and more.

When I read of the notes even I was skeptical,
Yet to talk with it, to hear of its faith, its future hopes.
To witness what it had become.
An abomination to many,
But to those in the field a masterpiece.
Beauty incarnate with a visionary flare.
A treat to the senses and a joy to the mind.

Let such sit a lesson to you would be practitioners.
The past is important to study but the future comes from beyond.
In the ether and the realm of imagination where the intersection of plausible and impossible overlap.
Willing the impossible to life by nothing short of Black Miracle.
I am grateful to the Timeless for the time I had in its presence.
And equally I shall mourn for its untimely demise.

But for a time?
Marvelous. Simply marvelous.
And with no doubt in my mind,
One of the singular greatest feats of Scholarship

Praise be the Timeless,
And bless all who move such mountains.
To advance our art so far forward.
« Last Edit: May 10, 2022, 07:15:58 AM by Random_White_Guy »
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