Shadowplague

Travelling Journal: Volume I

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“An untamed surge of magical energy unmistakably born of conjuration has erupted from the west. Could this finally be the phenomena I have been waiting for? In any case I must leave my home behind and with it the solitary life I have come to take comfort in. I will miss the way the frames of the humble structure groan in the wind and the gap in the mossy roof that would admit just the slightest trickle of rain water. This place will always remain mine and perhaps one day I shall return to reclaim it but will I be a changed man. The road I walk has many twists and bends, turns and even dead ends. Yet it is my naked ambition and enduring will that will guide me safely through the thrashing waves much like the concealed rudder of a great sea vessel.”

“The night has descended upon me and looking up I see the crescent moon, scything through the insubstantial clouds like a God’s scimitar. The fire crackles, spitting inanimate fireflies into the air around me. I sit waiting for the coming of dawn, my eyes unconsciously peruse Cervante’s crumbling tome which lies open before me, whilst my mind and heart clandestinely ache for the familiar comfort of Brëy. It would take but a moment to conjure him forth from his slumber but alas I must adapt to my new surroundings and company. A Dragon born man slumbers to my right; he seems to wear his dubious morality as armour and wields a lethal blade, bound by the strictures of some foolish code. Besides him snores a warrior untaught masquerading for too long as an ambitionless barkeep, his skill with a blade is evident but I am interested as to whether he will be able to make something of it. Hidden furthest from me, amongst the shadows shed by the flames, lays a venomous serpent. His fangs wait concealed for the moment, but I fear they hunger for the taste of my flesh. He is certainly a dextrous fellow with a disturbing awareness of the arcane. I should snap his neck now and be done with it, but perhaps he may yet prove resourceful."

“The magical emanations grow stronger still. As we dispatched a raiding party of what I have been reliably informed as Kobolds, we discovered an ancient obelisk. Its exact origins are unknown to me, but the runes indicate the presence of powerful conjuration magic. Honey sweet arcane emanations trickle down my skin and I find myself reaching out to them. But as my palm meets the cool surface of stone my mind is overwhelmed with ecstasy as a vicious crackle of energy propels me backwards. The trunk of a great tree brutally kills my momentum and I slump down towards the ground. Bark and leaves explode about me as I move my hand to my head, revealing the warm stickiness of blood. How could I be so reckless, I have come too far to die a fool’s death! My head pounds for a moment, but my mind wanders intoxicated by a foreign power whilst warmth spreads throughout my body and dances across my skin. Never have I felt anything like it. I must locate the source of this energy immediately.”

“We have been trudging through the dusty halls of this obscure place for long enough. Dried blood coats the soles of my boots as we make our way unerringly through halls paved with the mutilated corpses of kobolds. It would appear Buck is a natural when it comes to dealing out death, a powerful ally to have I suspect. The others seem more cautious in their steps, particularly the rogue. He reveals himself to be well acquainted with the ways of magic and I suspect he is here to prevent me from attaining that which is mine. My distrust of him grows by each step I take through these cobwebbed passages, perhaps some investigation is required. The creatures that we have encountered so far all appear to have an unusual essence to them. I suspect a form of summoning magic has been used here and by the looks of it a powerful one, but who would be skilled enough in the conjuring arts to perform such a feat? Hopefully the answers with which I seek will be revealed to me sooner rather than later.”

“I have managed to salvage a stone of some kind from the body of Master Fadel. I am sure he will not miss it whilst I investigate its nature and origin. It seems to be a mineral I am unfamiliar with and it is inscribed with some form of arcane sigil, a floating spell if I am not mistaken. However its meaning and purpose eludes me. This rogue is certainly not what he seems. He holds on his person a whole bag of these stones, perhaps they are a form of spell casting that even the masters of Mageholme are not aware of. It does not surprise me, for all their airs and graces they are clueless to the magic that surrounds them. Perhaps one day I will teach them the true power of that which they claim to wield oh so proudly. A noise at the barred door sounds like a grumbled screech and the banging of metal against wood… more goblins…”

“Well it would appear the cards held so closely to his chest have finally been revealed to me. Hugo Fadel has revealed himself to be a Spellthief: apparently a secret order of thieves that hold the sole intention of maintaining a magical harmony. Fools, magic cannot be bound or monitored by mortals. It is a transcending, thriving energy. The creator and destroyer of all things within this world, free to be shaped by all those wishing to bathe in its glorious inexhaustible potential. If the council of Mages knew of their existence, they would be rooted out and exterminated like insignificant ants. Whether the council would be able to see past their books and egotism to notice such creatures is another matter entirely. Unfortunately he is now aware of my own nature, and with this knowledge the delicately threaded veil is in danger of being unwound. This curtain cut of secrecy and seclusion must not be revealed until I am prepared to don my polished crown and mantel constructed from the true power of conjuration. Until then I alone am not strong enough to stop those that would uncover where my true heart lies. For now the life and soul of his familiar are the only strings that knot his mouth shut, I shall have to keep an eye and ear close to his person.”

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