Monday, 29 March 2010

The Journal of Givovanni deVito

The Shipwreck, William Adolphus Knell

First Entry

Three weeks after Nightfall, Year of Enlightenment 1021. By the Broken Coast, the Black Continent.

I sit for a while, and look at the title of this book, the date of this entry. I have not kept a journal in years. We were taught by the Order to keep a journal.

  "To Record, Actions Right and Wrong,
   for the Betterment of Process,
   for the Betterment of the Black Hand,
   for facilitating Our Ascension.
   To be held in Evidence for all Time,
   for Ourself, for our Brothers --
   for Man."

I did, diligently keep my journal. I recorded all actions. All the wrong actions taken. Unforgivable, Abominable -- Evil. I kept my journal until that one night, after which I could not bear to see on paper my own actions any longer. I am ashamed to say it took many more years, until I finally turned my back on the false teachings of the Temple, of the ravings of the Arch Primarch.

And then, walking as I did, on the most treacherous of paths, paying lip service to the Temple, all the while helping those I were to prosecute -- I could not very well keep a journal. Its discovery would have earned me the black mark, and swept me straight to the Cleansing Fire alongside those poor souls I would help.

But now, when Destiny has forced my hand, and I have openly declared my fight against the Temple, on this forsaken continent, I feel again obliged to write down my actions, for myself, for my brothers -- and for Man. These days, I am as much kin to Dis as to my companions, and I fear greatly that the young master should be left on these shores without some of my hard earned experience to guide is wrath against his transgressors. Those that in the name of the Good of Man have burned his family and stolen the lands rightfully his.

The task is daunting. So much has happened, so many crimes have been committed -- and the cruel winds that sweep Eria blows only stronger and faster; the Storm to End All truly is coming.

We came to this cursed Coast pursued by the Temple, and the very Deep itself. Forced onto the rocks by an unnatural wind, denied access to our destination, the ports of Wessel in the north.

We walk now among myths become flesh, having been saved from death by starvation, or death by the hand of the Orc -- by Flaman of the Fire People. It appears Fate has plans for the young master here in the South, I hope these fearful Beings of Fire can help him understand and harness his Gift. Dis knows we will need all help surviving our predicament and hopefully join up with the Host of Man, and maybe some day see the Shores of Home again.

It is these people that have graciosly given me Book and Ink -- and I will do my best to write down such things as may one day help in the Fight agains the two Enemies of Man -- the Ignorance Within and the Darkness of the Deep.

Perhaps, in time I will find the courage to record my own actions as Sensor for the Black Hand -- but I cannot yet think back to those horrors. I must look forward, and hope to do some Good here, among these enemies of our Enemy, that I might stand upright when the ferry man at last finds it in Him to grant me passage to that far, fair shore.


Storyteller's note: This is Written by Eirik S, and is from the Book of Awakening, a game running parallel to the Book of Reckoning. 

Saturday, 27 March 2010

Word: Hello

Origin: The use of "hello" as a greeting on the telephone is credited to Tomas Edison (Alexander Graham Bell wanted the more naval "Ahoy!").  The word itself comes from the Old High German "halâ", which was, apparently, used when hailing ferrymen.

Hello appeared in litterature as early as 1833, e.g. The Sketches and Eccentricities of Col. David Crockett, of West Tennessee.

Sources: The BBC television program Qi and Wikipedia

The last chapter

In the previous chapter, not written, the Pius Cabal built a temple to Arkon outside Rederhafen. The reason was that by so doing, the Older God could work a miracle; the Host of Man, encircled on the Dark Continent, marched home through Arkon's Gate.

This chapter started with Banzel's Masterpiece. It involved building a grand machine, combining the ship's Navichron and the Dragonheart. The new contraption, Banzel's Apparatus, would then allow the Cabal to teleport the Pius, with all her crew.

As Banzel, Galan and van Zaar were hacking out the spesifics of the Masterpiece, Drake and the Prince went to visit the Host. Drake had decided that he needed a seal-breaker (some artifact designed to break metaphysical seals), and that the Draccian Wolf Lords of the Host would possess such an item.

Thus he came before Lord Vargas, the leader of the Wolf Lords, presenting his request, which was promptly denied. Lord Vargas quoted the previous handywork of the Worlock, and said that he did not deem it wise to aid in furthering that craft.

The Prince asked for Grey Knights to serve as weapons-masters in the martial college he was planning to build on his newly gazetted land. He had more luck than his compannion.

Afterwards the prince went to the newly constructed temple, Arkonshov, and found it quite busy.

Not only the Pendrellians of the Host, who knew the god as St Marcus, and had seen his might when the Gateposts were erected on Cora, but countless others as well, had come to worship. The Prince spent the remainder of the day at the temple, speaking to the masses about the divinity of man, and the futility of worship. He was treated like a saint come amongst mortals.

Drake, sickened by the spectacle, and feeling insulted by Lord Vargas, left the Host and walked back to the city. On his way there, he came to a bridge, and there he found a steady trickle of rats coming the other way. He snatched one up and spoke with it. At first the rat seemed reluctant, but after being duly threatened it revealed that all the rats were leaving Rederhafen due to something dark coming up from below. So adviced, the Warlock hurried back to the ship and informed the Cabal.

Van Zaar, the Adeptus of Time, looked into the future and saw pestilence, fire and death. He also saw demons walking the streets, and at the root of it all, he saw the Kraken, leaving the port three nights earlier. And then the Cabal despared. It took them a while to disbelieve the whole thing, and in the meantime Banzel completed his work; Banzel's Apparatus was finished, and Mandan Banzel could style himself Master of the Arcana of Matter.

Only when the Prince returned, well after dark, did the Cabal spring into action. First Drake went to the site where the temple of Gilgul, Gulathing, was under construction. He called for the Lord of Justice, and he appeared. After having heard the plea, Gilgul warned him of the cost of releasing the Hosts of Nightmare on Rederhafen, and the Cabal saw the wisdom in that, and turned to other sollutions.

They decided to go after Armand, and the Prince sent his men to warn the Marshal of the Host about the danger.

Galan scryed for the Kraken, and found her in the Straits of Ahriman, sailing a storm, in plain view with her flag flying. The Cabal took the Pius out to sea, and using Banzel's Apparatus, teleported right behind the Black Ship.

The Prince charged the aft-deck of the immense ship, wielding the sword Deicide, and attacked Armand. As this happened, the Kraken let her anchors drop and unfurled her sails, thus capsizing the ship. On the deck, Armand called forth shadowy tentacles and grappled the Enæïd, while throwing himself overboard. As the Kraken sank, her crew threw grappling hooks over at the Pius, hoping to drag her under with them.

This is when van Zaar cast a mighty spell, undoing all events and offering the Cabal one more try.

Following the same strategy, only now focusing on destroying the anchors, and controlling the Gauntlet, the Cabal attacked the Kraken. This time the Prince managed to gravely wound the captain of the Black Ship, and as he threw himself overboard, the Prince jumped after, driving the sword through the heart of Armand.

As the dark mariner died, all the power bound in his flesh discharged with eldritch lightning and bursts of fire that blew in the side of the Kraken. Thus Captain Armand died.

Thursday, 25 March 2010

The Kraken, by Alfred Tennyson

Below the thunders of the upper deep;
Far, far beneath in the abysmal sea,
His ancient, dreamless, uninvaded sleep
The Kraken sleepeth: faintest sunlights flee
About his shadowy sides: above him swell
Huge sponges of millennial growth and height;
And far away into the sickly light,
From many a wondrous grot and secret cell
Unnumbered and enormous polypi
Winnow with giant arms the slumbering green.
There hath he lain for ages and will lie
Battening upon huge sea-worms in his sleep,
Until the latter fire shall heat the deep;
Then once by man and angels to be seen,
In roaring he shall rise and on the surface die.

"The Kraken" first appeared in Poems, Chiefly Lyrical. By Alfred Tennyson.

Source: The Victorian Web

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Elder Sign

Please take a minute to watch the following infomercial.

Have a good day.

Saturday, 20 March 2010

A Conversation in the Dark

The two men stood on the aft-deck of the great ship gazing landward. All was quiet -- grim sailors stood by their posts, and bar the faint green light of a single lantern the ship was cloaked in an impenetrable darkness. So close to the harbour it lay that the night-time sounds of the city could be heard drifting across the murky water.

"I have done as you commanded, my Lord," the taller of the two said, his voice low and throaty. "The men are in place, and the cargo is hidden and ready."

"Have you made contact with the Priest," the other man asked, smaller in stature but infinitely more imposing, his voice like a dagger hidden in soft, black velvet.

"Yes, my Lord, he told me his flock was prepared and awaiting the signal."

"Just make certain you succeed, Master Corvin. If you fail you would be better served by dying than to return defeated, the Queen herself has taken interest in this now."

The two stood in silence a while, each locked in his own thoughts. At length the sound of oars breaking the water could be heard, then from below a soft "Hoi there!".

Corvin bowed to the other man, went to the railing and without another word he climbed down the ladder to the small boat being maneuvered up to the massive black hull.

Captain Armand stood looking after the boat until it passed behind the harbour's breakwater before he said, "Take her out, Mr. Blunt."

Quietly like a great predator the Kraken slipped out to sea.

Word: Red Herring

Definition: A false lead.

Origin 1: The commonly accepted explanation is that when training scent hounds the practice was to drag smoked or cured fish, not neccesarily a herring, along the ground to create a trail of scent for the animal to follow. As the dog got more proficient and started following the much fainter scent of an animal the trainer would drag a red herring across the trail. If the dog could ignore the strong smell of the herring and follow the original scent it was deemed fit for the hunt.
Origin 2: According to Wikipedia, Origin 1 is a fallacy, and the practice of using a red herring to train dogs is questioned. The idiom reportedly comes from an article published 14 February, 1807 in the polemical Weekly Political Register where the journalist William Cobbet criticised the English press for mistakenly having reported the defeat of Napoleon.
Source: Wikipedia and The Free Dictionary

Thursday, 18 March 2010

I, Cthulhu

If you're in to cthulhiana and Neil Gaiman, here's a story about Old Squid-Face by that same writer: I, Cthulhu, or, What’s A Tentacle-Faced Thing Like Me Doing In A Sunken City Like This (Latitude 47° 9' S, Longitude 126° 43' W)?

Gaiman is one of my favourite writers, and especially American Gods and Neverwhere have inspired my metaphysics greatly.

The evil of RPGs

I just stumbled across this blog. After looking at a few posts I've become convinced that RPGs are evil and gays are hated by Jesus*.  Normally I'd keep my political POV out of the BoW, but here we have an overlap.

From the STR Freedom blog:

At STR we would never stoop to exploiting a topic as painful as a person’s death: However we feel that this evil man’s sudden death should serve as a warning to all those who oppose Jesus and his message of love and salvation.

Followed by this touching prayer: 

Dear God,
Thank you for using Gary Gygax as an example to all those who take your name in vain.
His death will serve as an example to occultists, homosexuals and Christ-hating liberals. 
Thank you for ending this sinner’s Life. 

WTF?!? That there has to be one of them double standards...

Oh, and note that Palin is listed as VP on four of the seven poll-options in the upper right corner. Figures. Ignorance and hate-mongering seems to be right up her alley.

*Yes, that was sarcastic.

The last chapter

We picked up where the last left off, at the gates of the Hermetic city of Septimus.

The heroes were let through both the Outer Gate and the Middle Gate without any problems. At the Inner Gate they were challenged by the Hermetic Adeptus Severa Septima Arachnidus. Before they were allowed entrance to the Inner Circle they were made to swear not to bring enmity or maliciousness to the tower. As it happened, Severa was a rather attractive woman, something the good Percival O'Conner noticed quite well. More on that later.

After the formalities were dealt with the Cabal was brought before the Master of the Tower, Lucius Septimus Arachnidus. They had a long conversation over a light meal with the Master, and many questions were asked and answered.

Afterwards they were lodged in a guest house and Adeptus Severa was assigned as their liaison. Banzel hung out with the smiths, and since the master smith was an Enæïd they were also joined by the Prince. The latter, believing his band to be the last if his people, also visited the smithy, as well as as many of the Enæïdùn he could. He had some issues with his people being ruled by anyone but him, and he also brought his concerns before Master Lucius Arachnidus.

Drake/M'narcel, or, since the Hermetics knew his Truename, Percival, got the lovely Severa to show him around in the gardens, under the pretext of learning more about the Arcana of Life. In reality he was trying his level best to disrobe the Adeptus, and he didn't take no for an answer. In fact, he pleaded with her til she gave in. And so it was that Percival came to be Severa's boy-toy.

The Prince, wishing nothing more than to set his people free, went into the Wild to brood. Not only had the Enæïdùn become servants of "lesser people", they had also taken to worship of gods, Arkon to be precise. Sitting alone in the wilderness his thoughts was suddenly interrupted by the appearance of a great white stag. Being a rather straight forward kind of guy, he killed the animal, thanked the Huntsman, and brought the kill back to the city.

Since the White Stag is closely connected with Arkon, and since the Prince was the last of the Royal line, this caused quite an uproar. The Enæïdùn of Septimus decided that this called for a blot, and shortly after the heroes found themselves eating the sacred flesh of the stag, drinking Aetlingamjöd, and bloting. The Prince got up and held an epic speech about the inheritance of Arkon, then the captain followed up with a just as epic song.

The blot lasted for three full days, and the participants all felt like they were sitting in Arkon's hall. Percy, by now drunk on love... er... sex, was seen dancing in a field of flowers he had created himself. Banzel also made a discovery, he found that by drinking Geminon's toast in Waymar Water he could remain sober. This of course led to there being no Water left when the blot was over.

Storyteller's note: The Cabal has called for a Grand Convocation of mages and supernaturalists. They have also recently dealt a few hard blows to several Enemies of Creation. The problem is that they cannot stay in one location long, because they are far too popular with those who want to kill them. They also have a few longer plays planned, plays that demands that they stay close.

Players, I suggest that you decide what to focus on next. If you want to prepare for the Convocation, and if you want to make the Pius airborne, staying with the Hermetics for a while isn't a bad idea. The city of Septimus is as good a place as any, better than a few even, to lay low for a few weeks.

Alternately, you can return to the war, and deal with what comes up.

On the Situation, a month or so will not lose you the war if you come back stronger and more prepared. The forces in motion are huge, and thus somewhat slow.

The question is: Do you want to fight now, or do you want time to complete a few longer projects? One doesn't neccesarily negate the other, but the question bears answering.

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Two videos

Gobelins - Annecy 2009
Gobelins School of the Image, apart from having an awesome name, appears to be a quite prestigious Parisian school. These are shorts made by second year students of Gobelins.

I Sell the Dead - Official trailer
This is now on my to-do list.

Sunday, 14 March 2010

Sidebar: University of Marburg

The High Craftsmasons of the Alemanii can trace their tradition back to the heyday of the Skythian Empire. Their mastery of craft and engineering can be witnessed both in the ruins of the old empire, all across Eria, and in the architecture of Maravia.

Maravia is a rich region between the foothills of the Elfswall and the river Garandal, south in present day's Enlightened Skythian Empire. It is an area of fertile river-valleys and ore-rich mountains. The abundance of resources have made its inhabitants influential as long as Man has lived in Eria.

In the Fifth Century of Enlightenment the Masons supported King Thedrich Blacksleeves in his bid for the Iron Throne, as well as in the following war with the Corinthians. Maravia was given to the order in perpetuity by the Emperor as reward for the support, and in  YE 410, the university was founded in the capital, Marburg.

By the death of Emperor Thedrich I in the Battle of Cortona, the Masons had become powerful enough to maintain their position in the turbulent centuries that followed. In YE 743 the Craftsmasons again helped put an emperor on the throne, making Helmand Alfgarde the first emperor of the Enlightened Skythian Empire.

Maravian steel is reckoned to be among the best in Eria, and weapons forged by the Craftsmasons are sought after in far away realms. Still, one of the most influential machines to be introduced to the world by the Masons isn't designed to hurt or kill -- the printing press.

After its introduction the world has changed. Knowledge and ideas can be distributed effectively and quickly, leading to the toppling of old theorems and the upsurge of new ones. The Pendrellian Reformation is one such example, the book-pyres in towns all across Eria is another.

The High Craftsmasons joined the Cabal of Pure Thought in YE 477, and up until the Pendrellian schizm the Masons and the University remained an influential member of the Cabal. In latter years Maravia has become known as a haven for heretics and Enlightened, and texts attacking the Lex Arcanum, the Temple of Man Supreme as well as the Presbyterian doctrine have been circulated from the university presses. The Council of Correspondents is believed to have originated in Marburg.

The war between Maravia and the Enlightened Skythian Empire is not one over land or taxes, but over ideology and control. When Emperor Constantinius Ada was named Protector of the Temple of Man, he demanded that the University of Marburg should cease printing subversive texts, as well as destroy any texts banned by the Arch Primarch. War broke out when the university refused and the emperor ordered troops to move in and enforce the decree.

Facts and/or rumors:

  • The most known High Mason was Maravius the younger who constructed the Fortress of Cora.
  • The Masons are the Keepers of the Crimson Stone.
  • The Masons are in alliance with the Ordo Hermetica.
  • The Masons are controlled by a cabal of magicians.
  • The University is controlled by a group of Outsiders.

Friday, 12 March 2010

A Dream

A city lies before you on the rocky plain. Your steps are taking you towards it. You feel like you should turn around, but relentlessly your feet pull you southward, towards its menacing gates.

You feel exposed and vulnerable as you cross the open land. Hateful eyes are watching you, from above, from the jagged hills, and from within the city. There is nothing you can hide behind, and still, betrayed by your own feet you walk on. As you walk, you pass the enormous skeleton of a dragon.

Coming up to the gate of the city you become aware of the skulls covering the ground outside the walls. Thousands and thousands of them, small and large, broken and intact, so many they have to stem from the death of a people. You understand that the lord of the city will not be satisfied until the skulls of all the peoples of Argos litter these plains.

All of a sudden the portcullises start to open. Startled, you slip on the skulls and fall backwards, flailing out as you break the surface. Cold, dark water blinds you as you try to get hold of something. Anything. All sound is gone, you can hear nothing but the weight of cold water on your eardrums. Your clothes, soaked and heavy are dragging you down, and you know that soon you will have to breathe.

You wake up, gasping, and then you fall asleep again. You dream restless, haunted dreams for the rest of the night.

Storyteller's note: You dream this the last night in Septimus.

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

News and Rumours

Storyteller's note: Last chapter the characters went off to the orient, cavorting with mystics and mediums for a week and a half. Here's some of the reports they were presented upon returning.

Artist: Rado Javor

  • The elves have stopped attacking. Large areas are now under their control. A force of five thousand sent by the Parliament to enforce the University of Man has vanished.
  • Civil war has broken out in Pendrell. Reports tell of fighting between the Macharite army of the uncrowned King Rowar II and a Parliamental army.
  • Wezellian forces are pursuing the retreating Pendrellians into Corillia.
  • The Wezellian Navy has been defeated by Pendrell in the Battle of the Gap, one of the largest naval engagements in centuries.
  • The queen of Narbonne has declared a pogrom on the Lasarites of Gardanelle. Reports tell of the execution of entire villages.
  • Arch Primarch Inocens IX of the Temple of Man Supreme has named Wezell an Enemy of Man.
  • No ship has come from the Waymar Islands for a month now.
  • Dark cults have taken control over several Corinthian cities.

Last chapter

The Cabal had returned to Wezell after having unleashed doom on Pendrell. Upon returning they were received as heroes, lauded, rewarded and knighted, and they were set up in a quite decent and well guarded mansion on the outskirts of Rederhafen.

After A few days of doing Important Stuff (both Ylvana, Galan's wife, and Octavian, the Hermetic, left for their respective homes; both had Important Stuff to do) the Cabal decided it was time to get back in the game again. The old spy, turned magician, van Zaar had a Plan. As his Masterpiece involves travelling back in time, and having studied the works and ramblings of Franko da Cola for more than a decade, he proposed that the Cabal reach out to the Bodhisattva of Time. Da Cola had met this figure, under the name Grå Bekk in his travels -- van Zaar felt that speaking to the wise man on the mountain was crucial to the success of his plans. There was also the added possibility that the people of the East would join in the Great War.

And so the Cabal gathered on a eastward-facing terrace on their mansion, and as the sun came over the horizon they called for Grå Bekk. Galan, being the Master of Ceremony in most Space or Mind rituals rapidly got contact. However, since the old man on the mountain didn't feel like shouting to someone a world away they had to come to him, he was nice enough to show Galan the true path though.

Thus the Cabal stepped through the portal and came to the Mountain of Time, where, true to form they had to endure a long and hard climb up the winding steps to the summit. The bodhisattva, an old man with Fu-Manchu mustaches, sat in a pagoda in the middle of a lush garden, looking like he'd been sitting there for a long time.

They asked him many questions, and got some answers. He showed them the Empire in the Middle of Time and many wonderous sights. Drake managed to offend the old man somehow, and so they decided not to push their welcome further.

At the foot of the mountain there was a short debate about whether or nit they should wander East, into Cathay and devote themselves to bringing that empire into the war, or West, back to Rederhafen. They chose West.

Back in their own paradigm again the Cabal found that eleven days had passed while they sat with Grå Bekk. Undeterred, they set out again to gather allies in the fight against the Deep. This time they sought out the Ordo Hermetica, or more to the point, a Master Lucius Septimus Arachnidus. Galan had been given instructions of how to reach Master Septimus.

Following old paths Galan took the Cabal to the northernmost city in the Hermetic State, the city of Septimus.

Chapter end.

Thursday, 4 March 2010

A random intermission

~Hänsel and Gretel 1945~

Again Peter Oedekoven captures my imagination.

~public transportation~

some people are really taking the bus.
and they should.

...just that.

Word: Prosit

Origin: Latin prodesse, meaning: be useful, be advantageous, benefit, profit.

Meaning: In Norwegian it is said after someone sneezes, and it's origin hails back to the belief that the sneeze is an omen, and by saying prosit it can be turned to good. Alternately, there is the belief that when a person sneezes the soul is trying to leave the body, only by countering it with a timely "prosit" can this be avoided.

The Germans use prosit as a toast, by the way.

Source: Wikipedia

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Next chapter

~Ironbellies break the Wezellian line~
Picture hosted by Anubis Studios

Since the Cabal will have had a couple of days in Rederhafen before the next chapter, they will have picked up some news and rumors about what's going on. Here's a few.

  • The King of Pendrell has fallen on his own sword -- he is dead.
  • The elves are attacking Pendrell and they're unstoppable, where they strike no humans are left. They have almost cut the country in two.
  • Duke Rowar Garwellyn of Ayre has mustered an army and has claimed the Oaken Throne of Pendrell.
  • Wezell lost the battle of Arber Bridge, Pendrell has burned Zaarbrügge.
  • War has broken out between the Elektorship of Maravia and the Skythian Emperor.

Monday, 1 March 2010

Tolkien on Storytelling

Picture hosted by Strange Horizons

Having reread The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings recently I have gained a great deal of respect for the craftsmanship of the great storyteller Tolkien. The following quote from The Hobbit puts some light on the paradox of a good story, and sums up why his writing is legendary.

Now it is a strange thing, but things that are good to have and days that are good to spend are soon told about, and not much to listen to; while things that are uncomfortable, palpitating, and even gruesome, may make a good tale, and take a deal of telling anyway.
The Hobbit, J. J. R. Tolkien

Take Bilbo's first visit to Rivendell. In less than three and a half pages Tolkien gives us a sense of a long and wonderous stay in the Last Homely House, then the adventure continues. The House of Elrond is left in our memories as a place of peace and wonder.

Artist: J. R. R. Tolkien
Picture hosted by the Last Homely House 

A short history of the Hermetics

From Octavian's perspective.

When the Elf had been driven away and the Great War ended, the fragile alliance of Man broke. All the rivalries and feuds that had been building for so many generations of warfare made the last centuries of the Empire of Man no more than death throes.

My Order was cast out of the Dominion of Reason, as the lords of men called their flawed vision. After having fought side by side with our brothers for hundreds of years our craft was outlawed, and we were banished. We were give their leave to take ourselves land, as long as it was not on the map. We chose the land of Oron, that which you call Thule, where on the Plain of Kardas the Obsidian Tower stands.

It had been used by the elves early in the war, but they were defeated and driven out by Master Banifex Flambeu's cabal. My Order had kept the location and the state of the Tower to ourselves, and so the
Ordo Hermetica left the Dominion of Reason.

Our Masters had seen this coming, and so we were prepared. Already before the Covenant had our people built Göteshafen, and our Order stood ready. We brought all our books and secrets and bound our Order to the Obsidian Tower. There were many hard years before we managed to gain control over the Tower and the land.

It was in those years that we encountered the remnants of the
Enæìdûn. Their people had almost ended, and they had been driven to a last refuge in the mountains. They were hounded by all the savage tribes of men and goblins that are the scourge of the Wild, and so a pact was made between the Masters and the Proxima.

This alliance proved prosperous for both parties, and since then the Hermetic Society has prospered. The lands are safe, and all enemies kept out. The Tower now watches over rich and fertile lands, and all enemies are kept out.

My Order has grown powerful over the centuries, but we have also become ignorant. Still, there are those who have been watching the world and who sees what is happening.