Winter 74th, 453
Routine events have occupied me the past few days, Guild business. I have spoken to several who are interested in the Guild of late, some show promise, some... less so. But all deserve at least an explanation of what the Guild is like, what to expect. So many of them fail to grasp the enormity of the task of attempting to become a Mystic.
But what hovers at the back of my mind, are activities of Lord Tenebrion and his brothers. They do much, and say little, and at each report, each account of a meeting I hear of second or third hand, I gnash my teeth, thinking of the questions which those present did not ask. They give away so much, casually, and ask nothing of Lord Tenebrion in return. He plays our lack of cohesion against us.
Of late there are two stories which have surfaced. The first involves Tenebrion's search for a party of adventurers. The reports indicate that he wishes to have a Scarmis egg. From what I understand, those to whom Tenebrion spoke agreed upon a Portal Stone as a fair price. There are many ways to acquire Portal Stones, but so few ways to pressure Tenebrion for information.
More recently, reports have surfaced that Tenebrion and his brothers are working on a device which might be used to measure Ether build up, something which might allow us to monitor what is happening in Purgatory. Tenebrion claims he is discussing it with his brothers, negotiating whether or Mystics from Puddleby might have access to such a device. This seems to me to be nothing more than a talking point, something to drive the price up. Given what sort of exchanges he is want to ask for I dread the thought of what such a device might cost... but.... I must have one.
Perhaps something can be arranged...
Winter 61st, 453
Mysterious events. The above sketch was drawn on the island Tenebrion calls home, just outside of the Poppy Field which marks the beginning of the property he claims as his own. The twin portals you see, resembled those created by the Portal stones, which are provided by Tenebrion. As we watched them, they appeared to be cycling, present for a time, then sealing up, and then being renewed again. During this time I, and the other mystics present, could sense them sucking Ether into them at a furious rate.
Henryk accidentaly stumbled into the eastern one, and ended up on the Ethereal Plane, given such a successful experiment, no one risked probing the western portal. Sadly, Highlander also stumbled into the western portal during his return from a quick foray into the Poppy Field.
During the time the portals were open, I was able to locate Tenebrion in the Ethereal Tower. My guess is that the portals were related to something he was doing in the Tower. Several of us attempted to contact him via sunstone, and were abruptly informed that he was busy and that we should leave him alone. Eventually, the portals sealed up and vanished. It was my hope that Tenebrion would agree to speak with us after he had finished his work, whatever it was. However our only communication from him was a general sunstone saying "Bah," following which he left the lands, apparently in disgust.
Speculation as to what was occuring leads me to two possible conclusions: Either Tenebrion found the concept (or perhaps the acuality) of Raw Ether so near his home either distasteful, or dangerous, or else he had some less obvious purpose at the other end for which he required large amounts of Ether.
Winter 58th, 453
The above sketch, courtesy of Forey, depicts an invasion which occurred a day or so ago. The earliest reports spoke of a rift or perhaps a portal, which was located in purgatory. The creatures you see here, for the most part are those which inhabit the Ethereal Plane. I suppose it is not unreasonable to speculate that they traveled through this portal into purgatory, and from there, they found there way to our Altar, and thus into the Temple, and into Puddleby.
It is my understanding that the battle was relatively brief, and that the large collection of available exiles were able to defeat the menace in fairly short order. No matter how short the battle however, this event is further indication of the general instabilities in Purgatory.
A suspicion nags at my mind.... has anyone ever attempted to use an Ethereal Portal stone while
in Purgatory? I suppose no one will step forward and admit to such, but I wonder. Is there any
among us who might have such a stone, and might be foolish, or malicious enough to try such
a thing? A name comes to mind, one who might do such a thing. I have no proof, only doubt, but
the name Tyking II comes, all but unbidden, to my lips.
In other news, Xrith has finally completed all the quests set to him by the Council, and by it's agents. He has at last joined the Guild officially as an Apprentice.
His road has been long and hard, few indeed have demonstrated his stoic patience in the completion of his tasks. The only one I can think of who has had a path as difficult as Xrith's would be Rafmael. Xrith's patience will serve him well as he continues on his path.
After having watched his progression, almost from the first moment of his exile, it is gratifying to finally be able to welcome him as a member of the Mystic's Guild. This path is not for everyone. We try to explain this, but many refuse to believe. It is not a small problem to deal with those who become disgruntled along the way.
The Guild is demanding of those who would follow it's ways. And while it is true that there are many who have at least a little of what the Guild demands, there are very few who have all that the Guild demands. The Guild is strict, a thing that those who mutter that the rules should be altered should remember. If you do not measure up, if you lack what it takes, then do not say that you were not warned. We do everything we can to discourage the casual inquires, and to make sure that those who do enter the Guild have an extensive understanding of what lies ahead of them.
Winter 49th, 453
Today was a strange day, both disturbing and gratifying, today, we learned the names of Tenebrion's brothers. We had of course already met Umbrion, and Lugubrion had recently made an appearance with Tenebrion, but today, we discovered the identity of the other three. Their names are Melabrion, Sombrion, and Cimmbrion.
From my skrying attempts, I learned they were meeting at the tower of Umbrion, depicted to the left.
Prior to this time, Tenebrion had informed me that they wished to maintain their privacy, and did not wish to be personally known to exiles. That they have chosen to expose themselves at this time is potentially troubling, as it may indicate that they are about to attempt some major operation. My guess is that we can expect some form of increased contact from them. I also suspect that we can expect an increased activity in Purgatory and in the Ethereal Plane. Tenebrion, and his brothers have been very active in attempting to prevent us from traveling the planes. They have also been quick to blame our activities in the Ethereal Plane for the instabilities we have noticed in Purgatory.
The brothers want something from us, I'm not sure exactly what at this point. However, it is clear to me that they are making use of the instabilities in Purgatory as a barb to drive us with. It is even remotely possible, that they are the cause of these instabilities. I certainly can't say for sure, and I would not wish to communicate that suspicion to them at this time, but it remains a possibility.
I spoke briefly to Lugubrion via sunstone and asked him how his research into the idea that Purgatory might be merging with the Ethereal Plane was going. He responded that it was continuing, and that he would keep me informed, provided of course that I was willing to reciprocate, I hastily agreed of course, appearing uncooperative at this point serves no purpose.
Another event worthy of comment is depicted above. Tenebrion gave his servant, Tyking II, a Portal stone. Tyking II then headed to town, and opened a portal to the Ethereal Plane right there. This was an extremely unfortunate event, many younger, or more foolish exiles rushed through, all of them falling almost instantly. This of course resulted in more departs from the Ethereal Plane, which, based on my discussions with Tenebrion, I believe to be bad.
I cannot help but wonder at this choice by Tenebrion. Tyking II's foolish nature surely must be apparent to him. I find it very hard to believe that Tenebrion did not know exactly what Tyking II would do with a Portal Stone. And so, I am moved to ask, what are Tenebrion's motives in giving him one? Did he want Tyking II to do what he did? If I did not know better I would go so far as to say that this appears to be an act of not so subtle malice on the part of Tenebrion.
Winter 37th, 453
Upon leaving the library today, I heard the announcement of a trial concerning Lilit. Given Lilit's history I decided to view the proceedings. The case was between Lilit and Agrath, although a Fen named Sabbit served as Agrath's counsel. The location of the alleged incident was the Cavern under the East field, which Lilit calls the Sanctuary. Agrath claimed that she had gone there to hunt alone, to test her skills, while there, Lilit surrounded her with Undine, over powering her. Lilit then dragged her fallen body to the dark pit below the Cavern.
Despite the fact that Lilit claimed that the incident was nothing but a fabrication intended for the purpose of character assassination, the jury found her guilty. I suspect that this had a great deal to do with Lilit's past history. She was sentenced to 87 minutes in jail, and 5 days banishment.
Of interest, was the sunstone traffic between the various onlookers at the trial. Tardalus spoke quite disparagingly of Lilit, and Drenn defended her. What I find intriguing, is the fact that both of these men are members of the Nox Sorora. Possibly this is indicative of internal strife within the Nox Sorora, it is difficult to say. There have been rumors that Lilit is not currently in favor with Naamah, the Matre of the local chapter.
For those not familiar with Lilit, she is a member of the Nox Sorora
(The Sisterhood of Night) which is a religious organization with a large presence in Puddleby.
Also of possible interest to the reader are the entries in the Puddleopedia
which contains a number of relevant writings. Lastly, there is a organization which opposes the
Nox Sorora, which calls itself Lumen Vigilans
who present a negative view of the group.
I did however, manage to attend the reception which followed the wedding, Cassandra as you can see, looked positively radiant. Malkor .... Malkor appears to be splattered in vermine blood, but that's probably just an error on the part of the artist who made this sketch... at least.. I believe it's an error.... It really does look rather like he's splattered in vermine blood, and at his own wedding too, how appalling
The party was lovely, although Slyph did drink rather more than I believe she intended to. I can't say for certain, but it appeared that she made a pass at Manx at one point, and somewhat later became quite maudlin over Malkor, before finally leaving in tears. Malkor was the soul of decorum, and managed to avoid asking for money more than once. He also generously agreed to add the value of an Uli Flower the party goers found to the (considerable) debt he owed to Kira. So all in all, a good time was had by all.
Winter 29th, 453Today I spoke with Nevyn and Sutai. We met at the Flower Circle in the Northeast forest, where Nevyn conducts on going investigations. It is a strange place, a dead patch of ground, surrounded by fertility and beauty. We speculate what it might be, or might have been. A focal point perhaps, an impact point... it is difficult to say.
We exiles are not the first to inhabit these islands. We are perhaps, the first Ascendancy Penal colony here, but even that is not certain. Regardless, we do know that others lived here before we did. We are unsure who those inhabitants were, personally, I suspect the Winged Centaurs. From The Story of Falinea I glean the following:
"But after many years a band of orga appeared in boats on the shores of this sacred island, with many of their Shamans and Warlocks. The orga began to hunt down the inhabitants of the island, killing with weapons of violence and of magic. The Winged Centaurs and their allies would have defeated the evil, but for the appearance of earthquakes and curious round stones of blue that allowed the orga to decimate any living being touched by one. The earthquakes increased in power and at length all the Winged Centaurs were killed by fire or magic."
Given that this is the isle on which the Orga have such a strong presence, and given the many ruins which are scattered here abouts, I believe that Puddleby itself was the seat of the Winged Centaur civilization.
I am unsure as to the life span of the Winged Centaurs, those who have conversed with Falinea, will attest that she speaks of the events of the war against the Orga as quite recent. Yet, the destruction we see, and the relatively few ruins which remain speak either to the totality of the acts of the Orga, or of the passage of many years (by human standards).
In other news of a more day to day sort, an individual named Refareus came to town and held a series of races and games of hide and seek. The grand prize for these games was a Potion of Energy. The winner of these games, the noble Achates, was kind enough to donate it to the Alchemists, that they might analyze it and make the recipe available to all of Puddleby. As is recorded elsewhere, the recipe involves a myrm egg, a scavenger bird feather, and a bottle of water. The rumor is that the potion increases the speed at which one can run.
Winter 13th, 453Neige has returned to the lands.
It is with somewhat mixed feelings that I greet his return. I am glad to see him certainly, however I see his return as a measure of his own indecision, regarding the course he should follow. He was convinced that his course should take him away from Puddleby, and towards the mainland. At the time he told me his plans I wondered if he truly knew himself as well as he believed. However, I allowed his sincerity, and his self-conviction to sway me, and I allowed myself to believe that he would really follow through with his plan.
But in my heart ... I felt he was being untrue to himself.
On the eve of his departure, he made a public display. Something ill-advised, I felt it was a rash act at the time, the burning of a bridge so as to convince oneself one is really not going to cross back over. And yet, here he is again, and now he will have to build that bridge anew, for it is one he will need.
But that will come in time. "Patience with others...."
He told us that he had gone with a party to visit Lord Tenebrion, and that while there, they met one of Tenebrion's brothers. Tenebrion has 5 brothers. Umbrion, whom we had met previously, and whom we know is not kindly disposed to us, and 4 others, who's privacy Tenebrion has always protected up to now.
The brother whom the party was introduced to was Lugubrion, who apparently is also some sort of scholar, just as Tenebrion and Umbrion are. It seems from the discussion which Neige bore witness to, that Lugubrion studies the Planes.
Apparently Lugubrion believes that the Ether flowing from the Ethereal Plane is not moving at a constant rate, however, he believes there is a pattern to the movement. Possibly something akin to a pulse. Entil'zha, who was there suggested that perhaps the Ethereal Plane and Purgatory were in the process of merging. This thought intrigued the two brothers and they ended the interview in order to investigate further.
If Entil'zha's speculation is correct, then the implication are disturbing. I cannot imagine how such an occurrence would be good for us. However.... it might give rise to some speculation as to how Purgatory came to be in the first place.
I must seek for a vision stone of the meeting, many details critical to my analysis are often lost in casual retellings such as this.
Winter second, 453This day (or rather evening) saw a failed attempt at a Full Moon raid of the Orga Camps. Despite considerable strength, and some fairly good organization, we were unable to take the 4th camp.
Our early attempts resulted in the loss of several key healers, including Zippy, and Iho. What you see here is our attempts at rescuing them. Unfortunately, they were too deep in for our teams to reach successfully. Eventually we were forced to give up the attempts, and wait for the camp to clear at midnight.
The combined effort necessary to reach this place is enough to give one pause. I find it difficult to imagine asking for assistance to obtain what lies beyond the 4th camp for myself. I suppose in time I must, but that will not be for a year or two I imagine, I do not expect to be ready before then. The handling of the item which Exiles recover there is a serious undertaking. The reports I've read, of the rings that were used before the war, seemed to indicate that they were easy to use, these items, are more difficult.
I have concerned myself muchly with Guild business of late.
By far the most momentous event, is Nevyn's graduation to Mystic. It is with great joy that I viewed this occurrence, Nevyn was always a personal favorite of mine, I am glad the Council finally chose to recognize all the hard, and often thankless work he has done for the Guild.
In other news: Since my own (recent) graduation, I have taken on three students. The first of these was Anienne L'Roile, who came to me recommended by Lundar. The second was Drablak who found me on his own. The third was none other than Rylleho, long absent from the lands, but just recently returned. I think of Rylleho very much as a contemporary, and agreeing to be his mentor is very much the least I can do, given all he did in the past to aid me. I hope the Council will choose to recognize him soon for all his past efforts, though I suppose they will wish to see him "settle in" first. The Council is very insistent about candidates for advancement being those who will actually serve the Guild, rather than those students who choose to fritter away their time in the Library.
Others to whom I have spoken recently include the stoic Xrith, who proceeds with his quest with the same steadfast deliberation I have witnessed of him in the past. I have high hopes that he will be successful at some point soon. I have also spoken to Taladwy, and to Zemnon, both of whom are just beginning to consider what profession they shall undertake. Both of them appear to have the mental acuity necessary for the Guild, but.. time will tell.
And on this auspicious day, I shall begin a diary of my own, this, the Book of Suns. Herein I shall record the various exploits and other items I think worthy of interest. Whether anyone will read these words, of find them of the slightest interest, remains to be seen.
While many have influenced the creation of this work, most of all I must thank Babajaga (and she who clicks for Babajaga) for the example of her beautiful diary, and for her vast technical skill in creating it and making it work. Many others have influenced me, but her work has by far held the largest sway.
All contained herein, are the works of Callia the Mystic,