Ancient Tomes Weekend Challenge (20, 21, 22)

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Ancient Tomes Weekend Challenge (20, 21, 22)

Postby Gossamer on July 19th, 2018, 11:41 pm

Legendary Tomes
Weekend Challenge (20, 21, 22)


This weekend is about rare surviving knowledge from both before and after the Valterrian; namely books! Tomes are very special and incredibly valuable in Mizahar. Most normal books are the type people write as journals or use to take notes in. They rarely consist of a full textbook anatomy such as an introduction, a table of contents, chapters, and an index. In this competition we’d love for you to create a book that is unique to Mizahar but is an actual Tome... that is a book that is set up as almost a textbook. It should be a legendary awe-inspiring thing! Create a whole new ancient tome. It doesn't need to be pre-valterrian but it certainly can be. What it has to be, without a doubt, is an incredibly significant and special piece of literature.

Legendary Tomes Should Include:

Title Really Capture The Spirit Of The Book
Author Who Wrote The Book - Not Just A Name But A Biography
Preface Introduction To The Book
Table Of Contents List of Chapters With Their Page Numbers
Appendix Extra Information To Put Near The End Of The Book
Glossary Alphabetical list of definitions and pronunciations of special or unusual words

To go along with this general writeup about the tomb, a 1k+ long story involving the book should be included! Who wrote it? How did it become legendary? Is it Pre-Valterrian? How did it survive if so? Where is it now? Does it have any special qualities such as is it sentient? Cursed? Does it hold knowledge that will change the face of Mizahar? Include all these things in your story!

You don't have to write the contents of the book, obviously, but you can infuse your writeup with hints and examples from your book. This is your chance to bring your character's interests and hobbies to life! It's also a chance for you to stretch your creative wings and explore something in Mizahar that might be undeveloped. We are open to all sorts of submissions... so be brave, write bold, and challenge your comfort zones.

The following people opted in by participating last weekend in the per-qualifier. Now if for some reason they cannot participate this weekend (or don't feel up to it) they can gift their slot to a friend! The clincher is the friend must write 2K (instead of 1K) to be included!


If your name isn't on the list but you participated, you forgot to update your signup post with your completed word count and thread link. :(

Please have fun with this! Be creative. These books will go into the wiki just like the weapons and past prizes have as very real things to be inserted in the game. Everyone will receive a participation prize. The most voted for Tome will receive a Grand Prize!

You have until 9pm Sunday PST to post your Ancient Tome.


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Ancient Tomes Weekend Challenge (20, 21, 22)

Postby Kynier on July 21st, 2018, 4:35 am

Title The Divine Nature: A glimpse into the epitome of mortal potential and the secret power of the divine.
Author Therese Agila – (306 PV-358 AV) A once well noted scholar that specialized in the study of gnosis marks and divine interventions. Therese is better known for other works like Krysus: Murder begets Murder and Sylir: Our Guiding Hand.
Preface The difference between gods and mortals was death. Until the Myri the Usurper slew Ruros. What is it that separates our abilities from theirs? Is it something as small as the difference between Jamoura and an ape? After decades of researching the divine beings and the influence they’ve had on the world I’ve assorted my thoughts on what the gods may truly be.
Table of Contents
  • Chapter 1: With Respect to Dira (page 1)
  • Chapter 2: The Usurper (page 12)
  • Chapter 3: Mortal Limitations (page 26)
  • Chapter 4: Res (page 41)
  • Chapter 5: The Divine Essence (page 66)
  • Chapter 6: Soulmist, the Missing Piece? (page 89)
  • Chapter 7: Transcendence (page 99)
Glossary Resala – The essence that separates mortals from the gods.

For millennia the gods had been revered and feared across the world. The people who were not followers to any particular deity still exercised the appropriate respect to their power. Though they were well known and would spread their influence far and wide, the intentions of the divine were always left a mystery. Why were these powerful beings involved in mortal affairs? How could the actions of a single mortal be detrimental to a goddess’ will? A woman from the Suvian Empire, Therese Agila, spent her life trying to discover the answers to questions like these.

At first her efforts were spent trying to catalog the gnosis bestowed by every divine being. Through this approach she was able to understand what made certain gods reveal themselves to mortals and why. Every time she found someone with a gnosis mark Therese would dedicate herself to learning their story. Not all were willing to discuss the nature of their faith with the scholar. Sometimes she would be deterred with violence, others with silent indifference. And over the course of a few years she can to understand that certain gods and goddesses paid more attention to mortals than others.

After the first decade of research and publishing, Theresa’s examination of the divine beings became more provocative. With the deaths of Sylir and Ruros, Ivak’s love for Kova, as well as the Valterian, she began to wonder what it was that made the gods different from mortals. Therese began to interview priests, priestesses, and the few well versed mages that existed about their views on what truly set the divine apart from the rest of creation. With responses ranging from “they just are” to “a secret magic” Therese spent years theorizing what it the truth of it was.

What sparked what would later become heretical views, was a review of her notes from an interview with a reputable Reimancer. In the interview he elaborated on the initiation ritual for someone else to become a Reimancer. How it was that something needed to be imbued first before one could produce and harness it on their own. To Theresa it sounded like a rudimentary variation of the divine and their gnosis marks. How it was that no mortal had the power until they were graced with the power of a deity, much like a mage’s control of the elements. Therefore, it couldn’t have been a secret magic, just one advanced beyond mortal understanding.

Theresa began writing out her thoughts on this theory. How the divine had massive amounts of something that produced their divine power, like mages and their djed and res. She invented a term for it, borrowing from the ancient tongue to make it. Resala. The essence of divinity. When a mortal is touched by a deity their body is infused with Resala to create, or empower, their gnosis. Therese was surer of her theory when combined with the tale of Myri the Usurper and the birth of Krysus. That unlike res, Resala never fades from existence. Thus the power of the two slain gods were taken by mortals that rose to godhood.

Late into her research she feared the theory was too outlandish to be understood. That the layman wouldn’t be able to understand the concept, and she needed something that they could more easily grasp than mage terminology. For months she toiled over the challenge, unable to think of a way for the less educated to be able to perceive it. Until one day she was part of a caravan traveling through the ruins of an Alahea city. Ghosts appeared to terrorize the living only to be foiled by a few Spiritists that had been traveling with them.

Inspiration struck again. There was a way for mortals to gain immortality, albeit in a way they wouldn’t prefer. But witnessing the living utilize soulmist to affect the dead was a new key to her theories. Therese interviewed the Spiritists for the remainder of the journey to better understand what how their discipline worked. It wasn’t a perfect fit into her work, she understood that, but in the future it may inspire a better educated individual to further her research. So Therese included into her work the details of Soulmist so that it could be related to Resala, the way a drop of water could be related to the oceans.

In her later years Therese worked on the drafts of her last, and self-proclaimed, greatest work. That a mortal could ascend to godhood once they learned to produce and harness Resala. The first chapter is dedicated to questioning the difference between man and god. That without Dira’s influence on the world there would no longer a great divide between the two species. Chapter two tells the story of the goddess of war and victory. This was to set the base for the argument from later chapters while solidifying chapter one’s claims. The third chapter describes the limited abilities of a mage’s djed and the gnosis marks from many divine beings. How with great study into magic, rewards for unrelenting faith, or a combination of both all but a few of the greatest individuals fell short of a deity’s glory.

Chapter four included many details from interviews with mages talking about a Reimancer’s initiation. As well as a description of the compound and the exclusive nature of its creation. In chapter five Therese introduces the term Resala and begins on her theory of a single element that the gods have access to, or the ability to create, which grants them their power. For chapter six, a long elaboration of ghosts and soulmist is written. Then a comparison of Soulmist to Resala to suggest that it is within mortals to produce the ethereal essence that grants a certain form of immortality. In the final chapter the conclusion of how mortals could potentially obtain godhood without needing to slay any of the current divine. That the secret rested in the mysterious essence of Resala. Once enough was infused into the mortal body said mortal could begin to produce it on their own. Creating a gradual rise in the deity ranks.

After the completion of the text, Theresa disappeared and her peers couldn’t find any trace of her research. Rumors began to circle that the gods took offense to her theories. Others claimed that there may have been truth to her ideas, and that the gods intervened to keep their power secure. Nightstalkers claimed that Akajia took the book and the knowledge for herself. Perhaps Gnora destroyed both the woman and the text to keep the universe in balance. While each god could find reason to keep the words of the text from becoming common knowledge, none every claimed responsibility.
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Ancient Tomes Weekend Challenge (20, 21, 22)

Postby Farris on July 21st, 2018, 11:02 pm

Title Beyond the Gateway : An Otherworldly Analysis
Author Lazarus Terrasian - (144BV - 189AV) A Nuit scholar trained in the halls of Sahova, Lazarus was known for little else but his insights into the discipline of Summoning. He and his Familiar spent decades venturing into foreign worlds, amassing a compendium of knowledge about them and the creatures that dwell there.
Preface A universe exists beyond Mizahar and yet the average person will never know of it, let alone observe their unique characteristics. What lives in these worlds? What benefit can Summoning bring to its practitioner? In this collection of notes, I will explain what I know of the worlds beyond Mizahar and my knowledge on how best to reach them.
Table Of Contents
  • Page 1: Foreword - Insights into Summoning.
  • Page 4: Chapter 1 - Fyrdenese Familiars and their World.
  • Page 31: Chapter 2 - Anashis, the World of Dense Fog
  • Page 37: Chapter 3 - Kavaki, Both World and Denizen
  • Page 58: Chapter 4 - Kseyden: A Basic Review
  • Page 62: Chapter 5 - Shoyden, An Outpost No More?
  • Page 73: Chapter 6- Swalden, Memosites and the Utility they Offer.
  • Page 91: Chapter 7- Zaiden and the Diverse
  • Page 148: Chapter 8- Jaleri, the Death of a Summoner.
  • Anashis - A Summoning World
  • Diverse - A civilization of humanoids that live on Zaiden. They eagerly fight for Summoners if there are treasures on the line.
  • Jaleri - A dangerous, hellish world that all but the most powerful, suicidal summoners should never open gateways to.
  • Kavaki - A Summoning World, but also an armadillo-like denizen of that same world.
  • Kseyden- A Summoning World.
  • Memosites - A gemstone that acts as a repository of memories left by past wizards.
  • Shoyden - A Summoning World once used as an Alahean Outpost
  • Swalden - A gas giant with a crystalline ring that contains memosites. Zaiden - A commonly used world with inhabitants called the Diverse.

Summoning has posed a dilemma for wizards for centuries. A magic that requires a knowledge of the universe at large brings a logical need to expand such knowledge. However, that pursuit also brings light a need to expose oneself to elements that are both unknown and most assuredly dangerous to the practitioner. What might come of such a practice? Who might engage in such a practice? Lazarus Terrasian came to the conclusion that if no one else was to pursue such knowledge, he'd certainly do so himself. While the disposition of the common Nuit prohibited them from such investigation, Summoning itself brought forth an answer. With the assistance of his Kirt familiar, Razili and a diverse range of personal magicks, Lazarus ventured forth in his pursuit of the alien.

Lazarus began his study by sending Razili back to Fyrden, a place the Familiar knew all too well. Able to see with his Familiar's eyes and venture forth with its talents, Lazarus' study began from the halls of Sahova. Several years of amassing notes on each of the species of Familiars brought Lazarus a taste of what else might exist outside of Mizahar and his journey continued. The discipline of Shielding assisted the Nuit in his efforts and he ventured forth with Razili to the next world they sought after. When it became known that Lazarus was traveling off world, the Nuit of Sahova were rather appalled at the practice. Many were abhorrent to study the discipline of Summoning altogether, seeing the threat that could potentially pose the Summoner but also the world around them. Lazarus was not punished for his endeavor but rather his reputation suffered. Pushed further and further into isolation, Lazarus and Razili mused upon the merits of using the discipline in this fashion.

The effort that Lazarus and Razili began to drive the pair insane. The repeated, intensive use of personal magic compelled them to take extended breaks from their pursuit. Overgiving was a natural result. Such respites did very little as the mind can only handle so much. Within Lazarus' room in Sahova there were piles of compiled notes and evidence that might be used later and his room sealed off from normal entry. There are sights the pair have seen that are not transcribed into word, but their dedication persisted, sixty years consumed in travel from realm to realm. It is unknown what transpired off world, but Razili never returned to Mizahar after their final journey to Zaiden. It can be assumed that the Kirt did not perish, for Lazarus returned without him.

Within the compendium each world is described in detail in their respective, from the composition of its terrain to the creatures that dwell within. Coordinates to such worlds are written underneath the Chapter text and necessary cautions are provided in the event that a Summoner gets ahead of themselves and creates a gateway without reading the contents of the chapter. Lazarus does not, however, detail his secrets in regard to traveling to other worlds and cautions other wizards about the detriments of going down that path. Each chapter also contains private musings about each world from both Lazarus and Razili, offering a diversity of opinion and thoughts coming from both wizard and familiar. The treatise on Fyrden is particularly long, with Lazarus expressing his personal views about the djed-polluted world and the inhabitants within. Interestingly, the Kirt familiar Razili does not offer insights about his own kind, with a great number of libel written in regard to the other species present upon the world.

Scribbled around the border of the book there are doodles that provide an insight about characteristics of each world, from fiery trails on the Jaleri pages to desolation and numberous creatures upon the Fyrden text. The tome is highly arcane in its very nature, and an Aurist's analysis might show its reader that the very material the book is created from is foreign to the world of Mizahar. The binding and cover are made from what looks like scales bound together with magic, the pages from a strange papyrus that is Shielded to be water proof. If read by an Aurist, the tome also creates a visual representation of each world, and shining text in certain spaces of the book lead to the opinion that memosites might have aided in the creation of the text. Though several have come into possession of the tome, its reading has driven its wielders to their doom, for such promises of power and knowledge often lead to such a fate. It is believed that the Gods rebuke the book and its knowledge, though the puppeteer God Sagallius has thwarted any attempts to destroy it. It seems that some wish for the knowledge to exist, for the ruin it can bring to its possessor has not yet extended to the text itself.

While Lazarus was on Mizahar, it was clear that Razili was performing other tasks elsewhere. The Nuit wizard spent the final years of his life in isolation, and when visited was fervent in his writings, muttering aloud when alone. Returning to Mizahar only further propelled Lazarus towards insanity, the bond shared between the two de-stabilizing him once they were separated. It is unknown why Lazarus did not seek the Familiar out, though it is assumed that their separation was purposeful. Lazarus Terrasian's unlife persisted for long enough for his compendium of knowledge to see the light of day, though he disappeared soon after. It isn't fully known whether the Nuit committed suicide or left his tome and Mizahar itself behind in an effort to recover his Familiar. Neither Lazarus nor Razili were ever seen or talked about again. Clearly, Sahova was pleased with their absence, though it brings to question: Where did they go? What was their fate and how did they accomplish the research needed for such a text? The world might never know and perhaps, it is better than it doesn't. Lazarus Terrasian is forgotten by the Nuit in Sahova, his final relic far gone from the island and in the world for whoever is worthy and lucky enough to find it.
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Ancient Tomes Weekend Challenge (20, 21, 22)

Postby Anja Nightwatcher on July 21st, 2018, 11:31 pm

Title The Search For The Legendary Tarrlon
Author Mikhail Avihar - (475 AV- ???) Born in Zeltiva and then later moved to Riverfall following his parent’s ambitions, Mikhail developed a ravenous appetite for adventure and discovery. He took many ventures into the Sea of Grass to study the dangerous fauna within, and wrote extensively on the subjects even at a young age. Eventually his adventures took him on multiple journeys into Falyndar where he found his true calling. Multiple books were written on the strange and dangerous fauna there, and this book contains his hunt for the most dangerous and elusive creature of them all.
Preface It is said even by the natives of this magnificent land that the Tarrlon is simply a legend meant to coax naughty children to bed. Not so, say I! The beast’s footprints through this land, though faint and difficult to find, certainly exist if you’re persistent enough to turn over the right rocks! In this book I, the great Mikhail Avihar, biologist extraordinaire, shall detail discoveries on most elusive of beasts!
Table Of Contents
  • I. Preparations and Preliminary Research (p. 1-5)
  • II. Legends and Superstitions (p. 5-20)
  • III. Anatomical Study of a Decayed Corpse (p. 20-50)
  • IV. Location and Habitat (p. 50-83)
  • V. Initial Impressions and Appearance (p. 83- 92)
  • VI. Diet And Hunting Behaviors (p. 92- 110)
  • VII. Social Behavior (p. 110- 130)
  • VIII. Aggressiveness and Combat Capabilities (p. 130- 140)

Mikhail spent most of his adolescence in Riverfall chasing the high of strange and dangerous beasts in the Sea of Grass and annoying both Drykas and Akalak alike. A series of near miss death experiences only fueled what many would describe as incomprehensible madness. Despite Mikail’s questionable sanity, he had an enthusiasm that inspired as equally as it annoyed and the man’s grand schemes and boundless enthusiasm eventually drew the attention of a pair enterprising twin soul Akalak businessmen, by the names of Shay and Gurin. Fascinated by Mikhail, the pair offered to finance a journey into Falyndar to bring back specimens for study in Riverfall. This slingshotted Mikhail’s mad, glorious, and prolific career.

Although fantastically enthusiastic, Mikhail was not a good leader or businessman. His travels were often poorly planned and rife with terrible accidents due to poor preparations, and casualties among his crew were frequent. Further complicating matters was Mikhail’s shaky relationship with the Myrians, who found him annoying at best. The only thing saving the man from repeated disaster was his wife Arabel. The Syna marked half-Myrian soothed tempers and provided much needed help through her Inavalti gnosis, saving the lives of the crew from disaster on multiple occasions. In addition, she was a talented warrior by her own right, and could hold her own in dangerous fights with the monsters of Falyndar.

Mikhail’s journeys into Falyndar numbered in the dozens, and his longest one lasted nearly two years. Whatever he couldn’t collect to ship back to Riverfall he studied furiously and his notebooks from a single trip could fill several bookcases over twice. His returns to Riverfall were typically filled with studies on anatomy, and new research techniques, while Arabel trained with the Akalaks and continued to hone herself as a talented warrior. The relationship between wife and husband puzzled most onlookers to the relationship, but if asked then Arabel would simply state that she found her husband to be one of the most inspiring men she had ever met, and he always seemed to lead her to adventure. Whispering tongues might slyly add that the word she was actually looking for was 'danger’.

During one of their dangerous misadventures to Falyndar, disaster due to poor planning once again struck. Mikhail, Arabel, and only a small handful of their crew survived a brutal attack by Akila Hounds, and with the death of the majority of their crew they found themselves stranded and unable to take their ship back home. One by one crew members were picked off by the violent monsters. Arabel led the group through the jungle and fended off attacks until they were able to find aid from a passing merchant vessel. Arabel’s prowess in combat earned the attention of the Goddess Myri, who offered the woman a place in her kingdom. Arabel politely refused, citing her reason as having to look after her husband who she knew would not be welcomed. This irked the goddess greatly, but she knew that her usual force would not work in collecting this warrior for herself, as the woman was as stubborn and fierce as a full blooded Myrian. Instead, she offhandedly mentioned the deadly Tarrlon in Mikhail’s presence. Naturally, the man became obsessed with what could be the pinnacle of his research. The Goddess assumed that such a deadly hunt would kill Arabel’s fool of a husband, and she would then be more amenable to Myri’s request.

Mikail’s research and discovery of the Tarrlon took over five years to reach completion, and required multiple trips to and from Falyndar and Riverfall. During this period, Mikhail’s obsession reached a climactic level, and most if not all the residents of Riverfall believed him to be quite mad. His Akalak business partners begin to find him to be more trouble than he was worth as he began to focus only on the legendary Tarrlons, and within a year they cut off all funding for his projects. This caused the man to dive into his own funding for his projects, scrubbing his savings bare. Concerned, and perhaps with a growing suspicion on what was taking place, Arabel tried to steer her husband away from the Tarrlons but was ultimately unsuccessful. Fearing for her husband’s life, the half-blood resolved herself to never leave her husband’s side.

Finally finding his first real lead in five years, Mikhail purged the last of his savings for one final expedition. He was forced to hire a crew from outside of Riverfall, as no one nearby would dare work for the madman. Their journey took them to Taloba where they were able to speak with an old Myrian who had sighted a Tarrlon long ago, then further into the jungles of Falyndar where they had their first sighting of a Tarrlon corpse. Mikhail studied it extensively, and began his first drafts of the book before even returning to Riverfall. Later, distance sightings were spotted of the rare creatures and Mikhail was able to compile even more information on the creatures. Arabel’s gnosis mark saved the crew from confrontation repeatedly, but the aggressive and intelligent Tarrlon began to grow wise to their tricks.

Mikhail finally finished his first draft of the book, but was dissatisfied with it. He demanded an opportunity to observe the beasts first hand, and commanded his crew to make traps. Thoroughly concerned now, Arabel argued against it but the man could not be convinced otherwise. The crew, now convinced of their leader’s madness, mutinied and departed with the ship leaving Mikhail and Arabel alone in the wilderness of Falyndar. Not even this could stop Mikhail, and he set to making the traps himself. The Tarrlon, finally having had enough, attacked.

Arabel was able to slay one of the beasts but was too late to save her husband from being gored. He died in her arms, still muttering about how beautiful the Tarrlon were. The rest of the pack of Tarrlon departed abruptly, and soon Myri appeared. Once more, she made an offer to have Arabel join her people, citing her power against the legendary Tarrlon as remarkable. Once more, Arabel declined, this time stating that she couldn’t possibly dedicate herself to a Goddess when she was so busy getting revenge against the fauna of Falyndar for taking her husband from her. Arabel disappeared into the wilderness with her husband’s manuscript. It’s believed if one were to go looking to hunt the Tarrlon, one might find her and the treasure trove of information the book offers.
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Ancient Tomes Weekend Challenge (20, 21, 22)

Postby Gossamer on July 22nd, 2018, 12:06 am

Now that the weekend is half over, I'm going to open this competition to the rest of the site. If you per-qualified, you still get to post your book. If you did not, you can now post an entry for a Tome to be considered. However, much like one given away prior to this.... you must write 2K to post your entry without having a per-qualification.

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Ancient Tomes Weekend Challenge (20, 21, 22)

Postby Nellie Hawkins on July 22nd, 2018, 1:44 am

Section Explanation
Title Sacred Rituals of the Sixth Finger
Author Atrik Jaun Draer (b. 376AV – d. 437AV) An avid worshipper of the God of Luck, Ovek, Atrik Jaun devoted his life to games of chance, wagers, and the art of gambling. From a young age, he exhibited uncanny ability in formal and informal settings, being just as likely to lay odds on a cock fight or the weather or how many hairs might be growing on his favorite bartender’s ass (the last happening only once, with undetermined results as the bartender in question refused to allow said hairs to be viewed for counting). Whatever the venue, Atrik Jaun was invariably successful more often than not and, when he passed, his fortune was the prize in the largest organized gambling event ever held in his native home of Kenash.
Preface I have been fortunate, in my many years, to have been lucky more often than not. Long have I dismissed out of hand questions on the how and the why of my good fortune, asserting that there was no secret to my success. In the following pages, I will prove myself a liar and gift to you, intrepid reader, the rituals that have granted me special dispensation from Ovek himself.
Table Of Contents
  • Chp. 1 An Introduction to Ovek (pgs 1 – 6)
  • Chp. 2 A Wager Worthy of the Divine (pgs 7 – 13)
  • Chp. 3 Celebrate Wins of Little Consequence (pgs 14 – 20)
  • Chp. 4 At Great Personal Risk (pgs 21 – 27)
  • Chp. 5 The Odds Are Never in Your Favor (pgs 28-34)
  • Chp. 6 The Ultimate Coin Toss (pgs 35 – 41)
Appendix n/a
Glossary n/a

Born into the Draer Dynasty of Kenash, Atrik Jaun was reared in an atmosphere of permissive latitude. He was encouraged to spend his days developing his talents, which from a young age, announced themselves in the sport of gambling. In his youth, Atrik Jaun experienced staggering victories as well as crushing defeats, his luck ran much the same as any other betting man’s, but his enjoyment of the risk far exceeded that of his peers. Atrik Jaun was known, on multiple occasions, to give thanks and sacrificial mizas to the Ovek, God of Luck, whether the young man was on a winning streak or a losing streak. Oddly, it was noted that Atrik Jaun seemed more pious and devout when he was losing than when the bones fell in his favor.

It was around Atrik Jaun’s 17th birthday that his friends, and more specifically his rivals, began to notice that his losing streaks were becoming fewer and farther between. At first this was tolerated with good humor – after all, any true gambler knows that you win some and you lose some, and Atrik began to win mizas, jewelry, land, and slaves with great regularity. His family, the Draer Dynasty, were thrilled to put Atrik Jaun’s newfound wealth to good use, building and strengthening their position in Kenashern society.

But when Atrik Jaun failed to uphold his duty to “lose some”, jealous rumors began to circulate. It was told, in whispered confidence, that Atrik Jaun had devised some magical means to ensure his seemingly unending string of victories. Some asserted that he had begun sacrificing slaves won in wagers to appease the God of Luck. Most outrageous were the claims that the young Dynasty had simply drugged his competitors and removed from their person the valuables which were at stake in his games. Though Atrik Jaun fervently denied all accusations of wrongdoing, the festering jealousy had already taken root. Lifelong friends began to shun the young man and, when he was reduced to seeking entertainment with the freemen of Kenash, they too refused him at their gaming tables. Atrik Jaun had been ostracized by the elite and the baseborn, alike, and was entirely without opportunity to partake in his only true passion: gambling.

So it was that Atrik Jaun undertook to travel, seeking out cities where his particular talents were as yet unknown. Through personal journals kept while on the move, we know that Atrik Jaun funded most of his journeys through wagering, taking the paltry sum of 50 gold mizas as seed money, wagering it against transportation, sustenance, and whatever small comforts could be had on the road. While this was sufficient to get him to his destination, Atrik Jaun also notes that no caravan he had traveled once with would have him join again. It seems his luck continued to alienate his fellows throughout his life, a fact which saddened Atrik Jaun only for the inconvenience it caused him in finding opportunities for wagering.

In his travels, Atrik Jaun had begun to be approached by beggars, con men, and thieves – all sought the key to the man’s unfailing luck. Atrik Jaun maintained that there was no secret, rather that he simply was due for his share of losses soon. Though persuasion by way of mizas, flesh, and violence were all attempted, the man answered them all with pleasant denial. This response was rarely met with good humor, and Atrik Jaun frequently found himself under attack from his would-be partners when his answer did not meet with their expectations.

In one such instance, it was sheer misfortune on behalf of his attackers which saved the lucky Dynasty’s life. Atrik Jaun had taken rooms in Sunberth for a season, his caravan having refused him further transportation on to Zeltiva, where he had hoped to spend several seasons. Surrounded by a gang of thugs, all armed with weapons intended to bleed the truth out of him, Atrik Jaun was certain he was about to pay the ultimate price for his many years of good fortune. He raised his voice in fervent thanks to Ovek, for the gift of a life filled with wagers, wins, and even losses as the men began to close in. Knowing there was no help to be had in the lawless chaos of the city, Atrik Jaun quickly made his peace with his impending death and mourned only that he had been denied a final game.

But his prayers to Ovek were answered, if not in the way the man expected. Members of a gang that had been warring with the organization Atrik Jaun’s attackers belonged to took offense to the man’s execution – they had been attempting to kidnap him and own his secrets one way or another, and were not inclined to allow their rivals to deny them the opportunity. In the ensuing violence, Atrik Jaun managed to sneak away from the men, more focused now on killing each other than on him, and made his way to the docks. For a staggering sum of mizas, he was able to secure passage out of Sunberth, headed for Lisnar.

Atrik Jaun had booked passage with a ship of would-be treasure hunters who thought his good luck might extend to them. Once aboard, it was several years before Atrik Jaun managed to secure his release from the ship; the crew was eager to have the man accompany them on several expeditions which led to the discovery of minor treasures. Though nothing discovered was worthy of a great fortune, the treasure hunting crew managed to accumulate enough assorted wealth while in Atrik Jaun’s company that they were willing to part ways with him, after reaching the shores of Zeltiva. Atrik Jaun had finally reached his destination.

It was while residing in the port city that Atrik Jaun turned his hand from wagering to writing, finally laying bare the secrets of his long string of fair fortune in one short collection. The book is written in patterns of 6, the number frequently associated with good luck. Six words in the title, six chapters of six pages each, and all the collected knowledge of why and how Atrik Jaun managed to obtain and maintain the continued favor of Ovek, God of Luck.

After his death, the book was included in the personal fortune staked in a grand gambling event in Kenash. The victor of the tournament, a freeman by the name of Constano Smithson, is said to have scoffed at the book, its humble appearance and small size, and left it atop a midden pile, sitting on the rotting remains of his dinner - roast granidile.

His was not a popular opinion, however, and the book was quickly retrieved by another of the competitors, Rubina Lorak, who went on to build upon Atrik Jaun’s fortune through the use of the secrets obtained from his book. Constano Smithson, conversely, continued to gamble and fell upon a losing streak of such magnitude that he wagered away his freeborn status and was taken as a slave – by the Draer Dynasty. It was on their swampy lands that he met with his final great tragedy, killed by one of the granidile that inhabited the mucky waters of Kenash.

Though the book has not surfaced in many years, those who are aware of its existence believe it to be a direct connection to Ovek himself. Citing the gambling prowess of Atrik Jaun, the tragic death of Constano Smithson, and the following success of the Lorak Dynasty, it is now believed that the book, if found, must be treated cautiously. Ovek may be listening at any time, and bad luck is his to dole out as well as good.
Last edited by Nellie Hawkins on July 22nd, 2018, 2:08 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Ancient Tomes Weekend Challenge (20, 21, 22)

Postby Crylon Stonecraft on July 22nd, 2018, 1:45 am

Title A Million Little Gears- A compendium of Knowledge of Gadgeteering and Golem Design
Author Katchas Alon (Catch-Us All-On)– A Skilled Gadgeteer and Golem designer in Pre-Valterrian Alahea around the time the Suvan War broke out. While he wrote other books and manuals he is best known for this somewhat mythical tome as he is said to have died creating it when he was almost eighty. Not a mage himself, he was said to have a strong theoretical understanding of magic from Alahean mages he knew and worked with.
Preface What is the true dividing line between sentient beings and animals? Technology. Our creations and use of it, our knowledge pushing us forward and higher. Let us never forget, let us never step backward. This book is a true capture of my life's work and knowledge, a true capture of Gadgeteering as a science and the basic principles required to understand and use it.
Table Of Contents Chapter 1- An introduction to the principles of Gadgeteering. (page 4)
Chapter 2- An introduction to the principles of Metalsmithing (page 8 )
Chapter 3- An introduction to the principles of Carpentry (page 12)
Chapter 4- An introduction to the principles of Capturing Designs and blueprints (page 14)
Chapter 5- An introduction to the principles of Mathematics (page 16)
Chapter 6- The Beginners Introduction to True Gadgeteering. (page 20)
Chapter 7- The Basic Principles of Golem Design and Manufacture. (page 26)
Chapter 8- Golem designing, does and don'ts. (page 32)
Chapter 9- An examination of materials for gadgets and golems. (page 34)
Chapter 10- Advanced Gadgeteering for the experienced. (page 37)
Chapter 11- An Examination into Gears and Springs. (page 42)
Chapter 12- The Argument- Anthropomorphized or Mechanical. (page 52)
Chapter 13- An introduction to Physics. (page 57)
Chapter 14- Looking to the future. (page 62)
Appendix A- A diagram of the 6 simple machines
B- blueprints of some common beginner Gadgets
C- blueprints of some common basic golem
D- blueprints of common gear designs
Glossary Automata

Katchas Alon was born the summer of 5875 BV, twenty five years prior to the Suvan War breaking out. Born into a family of Gadgeteers who had worked for and with the Alahean Empire, it was clear from a young age Katchas would go into the family's line of work.

He learned to read and do simple numbers when he was two, and made his first simple but functioning gadget by the time he was three. When he was ten he began to study at various institutions across Alahea, focusing on the knowledge he would need in his work. Mathematics, Metal and Wood working, Physics, drawing and design, and most importantly Gadgeteering.

Having finished various advanced studies and apprenticeships, when he was twenty he began to work directly in the families main business of designing complex works of gadgeteering - most prominently golems.

Though it has never been verified, it is said by some that Katchas was marked by Harameus at a young age and believed that he would transform the world by use of his machine creations which he dreamed of filling the world with. Machines to make everyone's lives easier, to ease the drudgery of life through technology.

Alas he was never able to complete this vision, as before he was able to rise to the top within his families business the war with Suva broke out he was pressed into service. He was made to focus on ever more deadly and complex golem designs for use in the effort.

Pushing aside his personal dreams and interests Katchas focused his entire being on ending the war in the way he best could, by making and designing mechanical weapons. All for the future, and going back to the work he truly dreamed of.

Katchas had been surprised by the war, but had not expected it at first to carry on. Surely, he reasoned, peace would ensue when Alahea overwhelmed Suva with their technological expertise? He still dreamed of some day overseeing a new society driven by his work, designing machines for the people and the empire that did not kill or destroy. Transforming the way society worked and people lived. However as the war carried on year after year, if anything it seemed to be growing in ferocity. He continued to innovate in his design and work with golems, but he began to see no quick end was in sight.

By the time he was seventy Katchas had come to understand the truth, the war would carry on for decades or perhaps even centuries more! This meant he would not live to see this change, this transformation into something else. Some other person, some decedent or future gadgeteer would have to carry on his dream.

It was at this time that Katchas began to pull back from designing golems, and focused on the future. On continuing his work once he was gone. One of the Animators he worked with offered to turn him into a Nuit, but this did not appeal to Katchas. Becoming nothing more than a living mind inside of a fleshy corpse golem? He knew this was not for him, not how he would carry on into the future? It did give him an idea however, perhaps magic was the answer?

Katchas spent the next decade researching and writing. He would spend the days speaking to authorities on magic and other more esoteric topics, while he would spend his nights writing down everything he had learned over his long tenure as a gadget and golem maker. Magecrafter and alchemists, writing on gears and springs. Summoners and Spiritists, writing on all of the things one needed to know to progress to a fully fledged gadgeteer and golem maker.

When none of these minds were able to help him find the answer he was in search of, he pressed on to other methods. Prayer, asking the gods and goddesses for help and assistance in his endeavor. Everyone from Izurdin to Leth, Akajia and Eyris, Lhex and Qalaya. And Harameus. It was even said that Katchas spent time with summoners, and attempted to make deals with Extra-dimensional beings.

Whatever the end result, Katchas was said to have died in 5795 BV at the age of eighty. This is contested, as by this time he had grown increasingly reclusive in his search for carrying on his dream into the future, and had not been seen in public for several years.

It is unclear what happened next, if he truly died or something else occurred, but five years later in 5790 BV his life's work appeared, the final book written by him which was said to have encapsulated it all. Those who knew him and his writings and who read the book “A Million Little Gears” said it was his writing style and judged it authentic. At least, the bits of it they were able to read.

For while it is unclear what was done to the book, it undeniably had various odd quirks and qualities.

It was firstly said to have been written in an ink that was only visible at random, though those who read the book seemed to think it was not truly random but based on some sentience's control of its visibility. An opinionated sentience.

If someone for instance tried to read one of the more advanced sections before understanding the earlier bits, they would find those sections blank. It would also at times only have one chapter visible, forcing the reader to scroll through it to find what was readable, and at times making them reread the same bit multiple times.

One reader was forced to read the first chapter seventy two times before another chapter appeared, though he later admitted that he had not really understood its contents until that last reading. And on the occasion when someone tried to copy the contents of the book, all of its writing appeared to vanish for them.

The book also seems to have not decayed or taken any damage over thousands of years, looking the same as it did when first revealed. Of course, being a valuable tome, it has been treated and stored with reverence. It is unclear if the book simply has not taken any damage from said storage and safe treatment, or if it is truly more durable than normal or perhaps even has a self healing function and if so how strong of a one.

Its last odd quality is the writing itself when read. Whatever the native written tongue is of the person reading it, the writing appears in that language. It can only be read by one person at a time, if more than one try to read it at once the words will vanish. But whatever written language the reader knows best, all of the writing will appear in that language to the reader. However it still requires the reader to be on the correct page to read it, and everyone finds the same words on a given numbered page. The size of the font itself appears to change so as to keep the writing on the correct page. Depending on the language and how long or short worded it is, at times this can make the text quite small or overly large.

While numerous mages have tried to examine the book and understand its methods of working, none were able to find anything unusual. When inspected with Auristics for instance, not only did they find nothing but a simple mundane book, they found no writing at all in it by means magical or mundane as said inspection would cause all of the words to vanish the same as attempting to copy its text.

This tied with the odd disappearing and language shifting nature of its writing has left some to posit that the book is actually blank, and through whatever method Katchas found to carry on his words its writing is directly conveyed to the reader and their mind simply interprets it as writing on the pages.

Over the centuries and millenia of the Suvan wars it was passed about from one person to another, often being used as an introductory piece for aspiring Golem makers, and for those able to read its last chapter serving as a pointed reminder of a hope for the war to end and what could be done with the craft afterwards.

As luck would have it the book was on Sahova when the Valterrian occurred, and so was spared its greatest furies. It stayed there for several hundred years before disappearing around 400 AV, leaving some to believe it was stolen though by whom it is unclear.

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Ancient Tomes Weekend Challenge (20, 21, 22)

Postby Dovey on July 22nd, 2018, 5:42 am

A Truthful Deography of Priskil

Author :
Dra-Eynvir (321 - 378 AV) was a priest and ardent follower of the god Sagallius.

Born in Kalinor to a Symenestra mother and her Myrian lover, from his earliest days Eynvir was even more of an outcast than the typical Dra. Though Eynvir's father was a gentle man who saw Kalinor as a refuge from the violent world he had left behind, his status as a member of the race which had driven the Symenestra from their first and most glorious city was never forgotten by the family's peers. As the son of this man as well as a half-breed, Eynvir was socially isolated and had no close childhood companions.

Because he was an only child, and scorned his father in the futile hope that his fellow Symenestra would be impressed, this left Eynvir's mother as his only possibility for personal connection; but before Eynvir was eight years old his mother had grown disillusioned with her once-passionate love affair, and longed to regain the sense of belonging she had lost in having a child with an outsider. She rejected Eynvir's affection, growing cold toward both her son and her Myrian lover, and seeking to reconcile with her full-blooded Symenestra family who wanted nothing more to do with Eynvir than the bonds of blood demanded.

In his loneliness, Eynvir turned to the solace of the written word. He became an avid reader, and as he grew older, he discovered the joy of putting pen to paper to create enticing stories of his own. These stories were not always entirely fictional; despite being fated never to embark on a Harvest himself, Eynvir had absorbed lessons on the persuasive arts required to tempt potential surrogates, and he eagerly repurposed those teachings for use in his written work. A short, stocky, rather clumsy excuse for a Symenestra in reality, he delighted in creating tales of his life which twisted the truth in his favor, portraying him as strong and capable and his dismissive peers as jealous of his physical and intellectual talents. The flaws of his fellows (and willful misinterpretations of their virtues) were woven throughout his stories, making the tales both more painful to their targets and more superficially plausible. Used in such a manner, Eynvir's way with words won him no friends, and when at sixteen years of age he found himself growing too heavy to navigate even the roughest cavern wall without help, he collected his things and departed without ceremony.

Eynvir traveled the cities of Mizahar for three years before making his home in Zeltiva, where he finally learned of the existence of the god Sagallius.

The book from which he gained his information was vehemently opposed to Sagallius' influences, and warned readers of the god's cruelty and caprice. But with every description he read, Eynvir grew more fascinated. Here at last was a god free from hypocrisy. Unlike Viritas, who claimed to value the unity of bloodlines but whose Symenestra had treated Eynvir as an outcast from his own heritage, Sagallius made no claim on any sphere of life he was unworthy to patronize. Was he manipulative? Did he use people like toys? Well, he was the god of manipulation and puppetry - who had the right to do so if not he? He had clawed his way from humanity to godhood, placing himself far beyond the reach of those mere mortals who wished his destruction, and all through the subtle powers of - magic, yes - but also the tools most familiar to Eynvir, hidden observation and carefully chosen words.

Eynvir knew he himself could never ascend to such heights. But by offering his own talents to the service of such a god, he was certain he could rise higher than he had ever before imagined.

Preface :
For the entirety of my early life, I embraced wholeheartedly the common notions concerning the goddess Priskil. How, I should have asked if any had confronted me with my present beliefs, could the goddess of light, hope and vigilance possess any other temperament than a benevolent one? How could her intentions toward the mass of mortality be aught but to bring us comfort in our distresses, and to preserve us from that despair which takes so many lives, either by the desperate action of the afflicted against themselves, or through the enervation of the soul precisely when action is most urgently required?

This, as I say, was my perception of Priskil throughout my youth, and I am certain that many of my readers presently share it. As a historian, however, it is my duty to search impartially for the truth regardless of any contrary preconceptions I may possess, and once the veracity of disputed events is revealed, my duty becomes likewise to distribute the knowledge I have gained. I am aware that the truths revealed within these pages will shock and in some cases anger my readers; a few of these, may all good gods prevent it, will perhaps be so far incensed as to seek to commit violence against me. Such risks are, alas, inevitable for any writer who dares to speak against the powerful, and especially against those who have cultivated their good reputations as masterfully as Priskil has done. To any who are resolved on taking such action against me, I ask only that you confine your vengeance to my own person. My friends and associates ought not to share in the destructive results of your fury.

Let us now move - not to happier topics, for the central topic on which we have to treat is not a happy one - but let us move to matters less immediately personal to myself.

Table of Contents :
Preface (page 1)
Introduction (page 2)

I. Goddess of Light: Her Original Powers (page 12)
II. Priskil in Prehistory (page 31)
III. Her Seduction of Aquiras (page 73)
IV. Pre-Valterrian Influence (page 92)
V. The Valterrian (page 137)
VII. Her Theft of Aquiras' Heart (page 174)
VII. Sagallius' Intervention (page 205)
VIII. The Formation of the Order of Radiance (page 229)
IX. Her Ongoing Deceit (page 245)

Appendix: Answered Objections (page 268)
Index (page 270)
Glossary (page 274)

Appendix: Answered Objections :
I provide this appendix for the purpose of alleviating some of the concerns of my readers, by replying to a few objections I have encountered in the course of my research and whose rebuttals have not found a logical place within the previous chapters.

Priskil is the goddess of hope, a positive aspect of existence. How, if she is really the goddess of that domain, can she possess a vicious character?

This objection makes great intuitive sense, but when explored further may easily be shown to possess no foundation at all. Hope is generally considered a great boon to mortal beings, and Priskil is accordingly thanked and praised by the wide majority of the population. However, and contrary to this general belief, hope is not an inherently positive characteristic at all. Anyone who has even a passing familiarity with the term false hope will at once grasp my meaning. Hope can be used in a positive manner; I alluded in this volume's preface to some of the means by which it assists mortal beings in their extremity. But false hope is utilized to soften resolve, to delay decisive action, to prolong emotional agony, and in general to destroy the ability of mortal beings to attain mastery over their own fates. It is in this manner that Priskil wields hope - as a weapon against us all - and in this manner that she uses it to disguise her true intentions.

I have always heard that Priskil, with Aquiras, was virtually uninvolved with the world prior to the Valterrian.

To this objection I give a simple answer: history is very easily forged. It is precisely Priskil's wide-ranging influence which has resulted in the modern belief that she had no influence over our ancestors, as well as in our society's complacency regarding the extent of her influence today.

Priskil's followers have helped me in the past.

I do not wish to malign the entire body of followers Priskil possesses. It is entirely possible that many have been duped into their obedience; in such a case I urge the recipient of their goodwill to be grateful to the individual performing the deed, without imputing good intentions to the deity that individual admires. However, Priskil is a master of deception, and her shining reputation necessitates that she spread a sentiment of gratitude to her throughout the population of the world. As such, I urge wariness regarding her followers, as any help they offer may come attached to honeyed words, seemingly harmless, which seek to entangle you with her cult of devotees.

Glossary :
  • Deography - the biography of a deity, especially having to do with their influence as a deity on the world; a term coined by this volume's author
  • False Hope - A sentiment of hopefulness unwarranted by the actual circumstances; used herein to describe Priskil's wielding of hope as a weapon with which she softens the will of mortals

Story :
Of all the vocations a young Eynvir had imagined might fall to him in his adulthood, that of propagandist had never struck him as a possibility. And yet he had been training for it nearly all his life.

The stories he had written, bitterly satirizing his schoolmates - their parents - the pair, too, whose lust had generated him. Those tales had served for nothing but amusement; they had never altered the reputation of a soul, nor had he hoped they would. Of course, that had been back in moldering Kalinor, where nearly everyone knew - or at least knew vaguely of - nearly everyone else. Out here in the world, where you could fart without somebody telling your grandmother about the smell, they might have made for far more effective slander.

But that had not been their purpose; instead they had prepared him for a much grander destiny. Thanks to those early efforts, as well as the little pieces he had been putting together over the years, his craft had become polished enough to deliver his true magnum opus, the pinnacle of his service to Sagallius - a volume of studied misinformation - scholarly enough in seeming to earn it a place in a reputable library or private collection, so long as the proprietor was sufficiently careless. And carelessness could be drawn forth from someone, with the right sort of manipulation.

Eynvir was not particularly concerned about the fate of his volume once it left his hands. If it was useful to Sagallius, the god would find a way to preserve it; and if the half-Symenestra's masterpiece proved useless after his years of work, well, he would prefer never to know.

His Deography found a home in the collection of a wealthy Zeltivan man who fancied himself a scholar, but who Eynvir believed would never have the patience to read any farther than the preface. He was wrong - blessedly so, at least for him. The man contacted Eynvir by letter less than a year after the sale of the volume, extolling his wisdom and the virtues of his work and begging him to drop by soon so that they could discuss his research over tea. It was an opportunity Eynvir could not pass up.

Their meeting went fantastically well. Although he was not so charismatic in person as he was on paper, Eynvir had rehearsed his points well, and in writing his book he had learned his 'research' almost by heart. By the end of the afternoon the man was absolutely convinced: Priskil was an evil deceiver who had duped even her fellow gods, Sagallius had only taken Aquiras' heart to prevent Priskil from gaining power enough to become a true tyrant, and Priskil's sway over mortal emotions, via her patronage of hope, had, so far, prevented the truth from becoming known to the world.

Eynvir had made a convert, so to speak, but he sensed the opportunity to effect a still more ambitious success, with the help of his god and his masterpiece. He offered to preside at a sort of academic conference, as he put it - a tea, or a dinner, to which the wealthy man might invite his scholarly friends, so that Eynvir might give a talk on his research. His host at first was terrified by this proposition, exclaiming that he could never cross an awful goddess like Priskil so boldly as that, but Eynvir soothed him. Over the course of hours, the follower of Sagallius convinced the man that he was brave, that his loyal friends would protect him, that Priskil could not hear through walls and that it would be a glorious act of valor to defy her in this manner. Perhaps, he intimated, this effort might even found the resistance which would ultimately bring the wicked goddess to her knees!

So the meeting was held, its guests a gaggle of men and women similar to their host; mildly prominent figures in the young city, their influence due mostly to the extent of their property rather than any political aspirations, and who held high opinions of their own intelligence. Eynvir's bunkam would have been plainly evident as such to anyone who had made any real, technical study of the gods, but in a post-Valterrian world such people were few and far between. Certainly the host of the gathering had no such people in his acquaintance. The small crowd was, by and large, convinced - and those most alarmed by the information presented began meeting regularly to discuss it. Eynvir presided at these gatherings as well, steadily hardening their attendees in their hate of Priskil, as well as in admiration for the only god who saw her for what she was - Sagallius. They were not true followers of Sagallius, for they did not worship the god in his true nature nor seek to advance his interests except in this one area, but they made excellent pawns. Eynvir was able to reveal his gnosis to the group, and gaining his third Cordas mark at about this time, he also gained a set of willing puppets with very convenient connections. His own material prosperity advanced and his efforts on Sagallius' behalf were flourishing.

But no good fortune lasts forever. Until the year 377, Eynvir's pupils had been advancing their cause in fairly subtle ways - for instance, declining on one pretext or another to loan money or rent property to devotees of Priskil. But now one zealous follower decided to begin spreading the truth outside their little secret society - and she was not nearly so adept at judicious secrecy as Eynvir was. Word spread of the heretical group, and followers of Priskil - and also of Eyris, Yahal, and other deities aligned with truth or with Priskil's goals - became outraged. Pious political figures were hardly any more delighted to welcome a Sagallian sect to Zeltiva, and soon those members whose identities had become known were losing money, connections, and opportunities. In fear at this crisis, the group began to rebel against Eynvir's control. They refused to allow him to puppeteer them using his Cordas mark, and as they all knew his identity, he was powerless to control them against their will. What was worse, the follower who had revealed the operation had shown several people Eynvir's book, with his name emblazoned in the byline. The city knew who had begun the heresy, and it wasn't happy with him. He could not possibly stay.

Eynvir had trouble even finding a merchant to sell him travel supplies. Any foreign trading caravan willing to take him with them was swiftly informed of the scandal and invariably changed their minds. The follower of Sagallius was forced to travel alone, relying on his minimal survival skills to protect him as he trekked toward Lisnar, where he planned to take a false name and start his machinations anew. But he never reached his destination; the wilderness proved too much for him, and he perished along the way.

His book remained in the collection of the man who had originally purchased it, through whose hospitality the heretical group had been founded. He remained a lifelong believer in Priskil's wickedness, though he took no further action against her than to stubbornly preserve the book which had converted him. Upon his death his belongings were divided among various heirs, and the fate that befell Eynvir's work then is unknown. Very possibly it was burned; still, it may have been preserved, through the meddlings of Sagallius or the simple workings of fate. Perhaps it is even housed in the archives of some library, in one city or another across Mizahar, with librarians all unaware of the pernicious volume of falsehood collecting dust on their shelves.
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Ancient Tomes Weekend Challenge (20, 21, 22)

Postby Anibesa on July 22nd, 2018, 8:28 am

Title A Study on Sea Dwellers
Author Kyron Ephet (181BV-102BV) and Olin Ephet (142BV-83BV). A father-son duo that worked together on gathering the knowledge held within this tome and writing it. Kyron was a renowned anthropologist, traveling the world and taking notes down on every race and culture he encountered, though he quickly became enamored with races and cultures that revolves around the sea and made it his life goal to document every detail he could about them. His son, Olin, grew up traveling with him, and at his 15th birthday joined him in his research, though Olin quickly grew towards the scientific side and began attempting to find ways to allow humans to live beneath the seas who ultimately disappearing during his work and was presumed dead a year after his disappearance.
Preface Those that dwell in and around the sea have fascinated us for centuries, and this book contains details of the races, creatures, and cultures that spend their days in and amongst the sea. Also contained within this book are my studies on how we, as humans, may one day be able to survive beneath the waves.
Table Of Contents
  • Page 1: Foreword - What to expect when searching the seas.
  • Page 8: Chapter 1 - Ivyess: Gifted Shifters and Sea Snakes.
  • Page 26: Chapter 2 - Svefra: Nautical Humans Blessed by Laviku.
  • 37 39: Fish People Hidden in the Depths?
  • Page 48: Chapter 3- Otani: Musically Gifted Fluid Beings
  • Page 56: Chapter 4 - Fauna: An Insight into the More Common Sea Creatures
  • Page 61: Chapter 5 - Legend: A Brief Look into the Sea Creatures of Legend - Are They Real or a Work of Folklore?
  • Page 68: Chapter 6 - An Analysis of what is Required to Survive Beneath the Waves
  • Page 81: Chapter 7- Gadgets: The Testing of Gadgets and Tools Designed to Help Us Live Within the Seas
  • Page 90: Chapter 8- Drugs and Magic’s: Which of These Will Aid Our Evolution?
  • Page 102: Chapter 9- Changing Physiologies
  • Page 120: Chapter 10- In Memory of Kyron and Olin Ephet
  • Anatomical Drawings of All Creatures Mentioned.
  • Blueprints of a Vehicle to Sustain Life Beneath Water.
  • Ingredients and Instructions to Create Elphad.
  • Anatomical Diagram of Gills and how they work.
  • A Glyph for Morphing
  • Elphad - A drug designed to allow humans to sustain their lives underwater - further testing required

Kyron had been born in Treval, Alahea, where he had met his young wife. Together they traveled to a smaller town on the shoreline where Kyron discovered his love for anthropology and for the seas, and so together the young couple decided that they would travel and see what they could learn from the various different cultures and races that surrounded the seas.

They left the town they called their home in 162BV and made their way onto a boat to explore the seas, and Kyron found his love growing and growing. Most of their time was spent on boats out at sea, or in their own camps on the shoreline where they could see what was happening at sea, sometimes even sharing a drink and food with the odd sea dweller that happened upon them.

Around 150BV, Kyron decided to begin writing a book detailing all of his findings, and at first the book was just a collection of paper scraps with labeled drawings of those he had encountered, detailing their appearances, and in the events of coming across a recently deceased member of these races he would try to cut them open to see what was beneath the surface of these beings.

Eight years after the start of his book, Kyron had to take a break from his writing when his wife gave both to a son, Olin. Together they raised the boy, until Kyron’s wife fell ill in the Winter of 132BV, dying shortly after.

Distraught Kyron refused to let his young son out of his sight and quickly found himself returning to his work, using Olin as a form of help as the young boy seemed to be more effective at getting information from those they encountered without offending them.

As Olin grew older he chose to stay with his father, becoming just as engrossed in the races and cultures as his father had been, though Kyron’s mind was slowly beginning to deteriorate due to his old age and neglect of his own physical wellbeing.

The care of Kyron fell to Olin in 108BV and the man looked after his father whilst attempting to continue his research until the death of Kyron, three days before Olin’s fortieth birthday.
Olin chose to bury his father at sea, taking a boat out and letting his fathers body sink below the waves to be at peace with that which he had dedicated his life to.

After this point, Olin began to work harder and harder on the book his father had started, seeing it as the only thing left to live for. Olin started to capture the creatures that he and his father had written about in order to vivisect and analyze them, and then as time went on his research changed to ways that he himself could manage to live beneath the waves with the objects of his passion.

He found a mage to teach him morphing, and whilst he was learning that he started looking into devices he could create to allow him to live beneath the waves. Many of these failed, and the few that worked only worked briefly and would force him back up to the surface to obtain more air and to fix his contraptions.
Desperate Olin even turned to drugs, researching what different drugs did and trying to find one that would allow him to breathe beneath the waves, though every drug he tried did not work. Several times those he was with had to drag him out of the water before he drowned himself and within five years Olin had to be resuscitated twelve times.

Seeing the failure of these drugs Olin began working on his own. A concoction he named Elphad that was supposed to allow the human body to filter oxygen from the water. The creation of this drug took a long time and as he worked on that, Olin had managed to learn morphing to a point where he felt confident.

Several times he tried morphing a set of gills, though each time he succeeded in the creation of the gills when he then attempted to use them he found them ineffective. He grew restless and dissected many fish in the hopes that he could understand their gills more fully, though each time he failed at morphing a set of functional gills.

By this time he found himself hearing voices in his head begging him to use his magic and join the sea, and though he shook it off at most occurrences, there were several occasions on which he had to be dragged back away from the sea.

In the last few weeks before his disappearance, Olin was quieter, working on his book in almost complete science as he crafted a glyph in the very last page that would allow someone to morph a set of gills.

His prototype of the drug Elphad was finally finished, and Olin eagerly took the drug, quickly morphing himself a set of gills at the same time before he took an attempted swim beneath the waves.

Olin never returned from this swim, and those who had been accompanying him waited for the rest of the season to see if he would return. When he did not his companions took his book and listened carefully for rumors to see whether there was any sign of him reappearing.

After a year with no news, Olin’s companions assumed that he had drowned in his madness. They carefully crafted a final chapter in the book, paying tribute to Olin and Kyron, and warning any potential readers of what such an obsession may do to them.

This tome remained with Olin's companions until they found a library in Alahea that would take it, and there they left the book. The library was destroyed in the Valterrian and the book hasn’t been seen since, though rumors of such a book remaining with the Svefra have been heard by those that were willing to listen.
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Ancient Tomes Weekend Challenge (20, 21, 22)

Postby Sophia Sunshore on July 22nd, 2018, 11:25 am

Title The Shape of a Being
Author Shaledar Formspinner (182 b.v. - ??). A formidable wizard, his intelligence unmatched by very few, Formspinner spent his life unravelling the mysteries behind the art of morphing. His notebooks on the subject have been copied dozens of times, but it is The Shape of a Being, his own personal compendium that is the most sought after, and yet rarely seen volume.
Preface Morphing is the art of becoming something you are not. Or is it the art of becoming what you really are? Here I detail how you can choose the face you wish to wear, though proceed with caution dear student, and do not forget who you really are.
Table of Contents
  • Introduction – Pg 1
  • Why Would I Ever Need to Be Someone Else? – Pg 4 – What uses does morphing have?
  • To Begin You Must Forget – Pg 10 – You must clear you mind in order to separate your ‘self’.
  • I Wish My Eyes Were Green – Pg 14 – Partial human transformations.
  • Who Needs a Knife When You Can Just Grow Claws? – Pg 23 – Partial animal transformations.
  • I Want to be Like You – Pg 32 – Advanced full human transformations.
  • Everybody Wants to be a Cat – Pg 49 – Advanced full animal transformations.
  • Don’t Try and be a Chair – Pg 60 – You still need to learn how to fly, and other warnings.
  • Wait, Who Was I Again? – Pg 70 – Mutations, overgiving and other warnings.
Appendix Full page illustrations of human and animal models.
Glossary n/a

Story :
Morphing is an ancient magical art, some say the first form of magic that people ever mastered. The Shape of a Being is currently the only known volume that details most, if not all, one would need to know about the discipline. The man who wrote the tome is an entity unto himself. He called himself Formspinner, and legend says that he never wore the same face twice, so every person he had ever met would never be able to point him out to another. It was rumoured that the wizard had a wicked sense of humour and would often play pranks on the denizens of the towns he lived near to. It was not unusual for a citizen to interact in some way with a friend or family member, only for them to have absolutely no knowledge of the event when they next met. Allegedly, the only person who knew the man’s true face was the woman he loved.

However, like many tales of great wizards and scholars lost to the ages, Formspinner’s is also shrouded in tragedy. He was an incredibly smart child, gifted with intelligence that not many are fortunate enough to possess. When he was still a fairly young boy, Formspinner unlocked the art of morphing using information gleaned from an ancient text that has since been lost to time. He lived with his parents in a tiny little house in an area where magic was feared. When the boy one day changed his very being into that of a house cat, they were terrified, convinced his soul had been taken by something maleficent. They sent him away with barely the clothes on his back.

Formspinner wandered the wilds wearing the faces of any and all animals he came across in order to live. And live he did, for many years, cut off from contact with people. It was not until he decided to settle near a town in his adult years that he began to remember who he had been. A boy, a person. And like all humans do – he fell in love with a woman, and for her Formspinner bought himself back into a human life. He was happy for a time to live a ‘normal’ life, but in the back of his mind he always longed to be in the wilds wearing the guise of a great cat, a bird or even a fish.

His now wife, Catina, saw this in him and she encouraged him to write his knowledge down so that he would still have a connection to the magic, and also have a purpose. He found that he did not need morphing alone to fulfil himself, instead he revelled in the knowledge that others might be able to enjoy the craft too. Along the way, he taught Catina the secret to morphing, and she helped the wizard compile journals filled with notes and illustrations. The two of them eventually left for the wilds together, leaving behind most of their possessions bar their written works.

Over time Catina slowly became obsessed with morphing, although she was not as skilled as Formspinner himself. Eventually, she forgot who she was having spent too long in her alternate forms, and as a consequence also forgot Shaledar. At this time, he had been putting together what would be the pinnacle of his life’s work – The Shape of a Being. Overcome with grief and anger, he decided that the tome should never be seen by anyone else, lest they fall into the same madness as his beloved. He could not bring himself to destroy the book however, so he abandoned it deep in the wilds where he hoped it would be lost to time forever.

The last anyone saw of Formspinner was a few years before the Valterrian in the wilds around what is now called Lhavit. Nobody knows if he survived the event and all that remains of the great wizard is the knowledge he left behind.

Only one copy of Formspinner’s full works is thought to be in existence. The tome is a beautiful thing to look at. When you first pick it up you might be greeted with a soft leather cover adorned with beautiful paintwork of the inky blue feathers of a raven. You may put it down again, only to come back and find the same leather cover, however this time golden in colour and adorned with the black-brown rosettes that decorate the pelt of a deadly jaguar. Much like the subject it covers, the tome imitates its craft through the ever-changing paintwork on the leather casing. After one has been in possession of the tome for a period of time, the volume may even begin to depict details from the students favoured morphed forms.

It is a somewhat philosophical, and occasionally witty, yet practical guide to morphing. Formspinner was passionate about his craft and wanted to ensure that any prospective student would be able to become a master themselves. There are many today who still know Formspinner’s name, after all it is shrouded in legends of the wizard’s various deeds, however nobody in recent times has ever seen the book. It is thought that the unique properties of the book – namely its ability to change its appearance – is the cause of this.

Around 150 years ago the book was purchased and stored with a collection of other magical tomes. Later, when the collection was to be moved, The Shape of a Being was nowhere to be found among the covers of the fairly bland collection. One of the books had blank pages and it was thought that it may have been the tome, since all other volumes were accounted for, however all inspections both magical and mundane failed to reveal any such claim. The tome has not been seen since. Because of this, it is speculated that the volume will only reveal its true cover, and thus the contents, to one who is of the correct mind and gift to truly master the art of morphing.
NOTE: During the Fall Sophia is a Dhani, specifically a golden eyelash viper. See here for more detailed info.
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Sophia Sunshore
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