Eomer the Rogue, Thordek the Fighter, Enoch the Cleric, Thu’fir the Blade Lord, Endo the Monk, and Beck the (former) first mate of Ocean’s Majesty, are all in the capital city of Fol Thron. Having been tricked into freeing some sort of evil Lich from the past, they have fled to this city in searach of aid and answers.
Enoch begins the day by finishing work on the Book of Norvus. With the aid of the books on load from the Archives, he is able to make short work of the final two chapters:
Mistress Myran Allidia was the sole ruler of Khelberg. With the other members of the triumvirate defeated, she now became Queen Allidia. Her blindness made her fearful and filled her with a lust for vengeance. Her injury pained her at all times, no no healer could undo the damage she had suffered. She came to hate and despise all Humans for Lorman’s betrayal.
The injury dealt her by Lorman had both stolen her sight and disfigured her. She became reclusive, and ordered that the windows of the tower be shut and no lights lit inside. The Citadel was ever dark, for she believed that all of her servants should share in her blindness.
Until this time she did not have great renown with magic, but once blinded she pursued magic both night and day, rarely sleeping or stopping to eat. The years of her rule grew long and she became as strong as many of the great sorcerers of old.
Queen Allidia had been gentle and beautiful to behold when the triumvirate was formed, but the long years of scheming, battles, pain, and arcane studies had left her dark and twisted. Her appearance was almost that of a Dark Elf, though she would kill any who stated so openly in her presence.
She became a skilled seer, and probed the minds of her subjects, wary of traitors or spies. And so she is, even to this very day.
Few of the scribes of Mer Tesoro have the wit to translate this work as I have written it, and fewer still would bother to translate a work of history that could be read more plainly elsewhere. Therefore you the reader are both a scholar, and an outsider not yet tainted by the curse of this land.
Under the rule of the Sightless Queen it is heresy to proclaim that the curse of Fiore is anything other than a fool’s tale. Although I made it sound like mere folklore at the start, it should be plain to any that have read thus far that the curse is real. In all the long years of war and bloodshed, no leader has ever sought to share the mines, none has ever known peace, and none has been willing to let the mines lay idle long. What else other than curse can explain such madness? What else besides the curse could explain how an entire nation of people could become so full of lust for gold that they would poison their own farmlands in the mining of it? Why did people not flee the lands when war came, even when their defeat was sure? What would make even the gentle Elves stand and fight to the death over mere treasure?
I implore you, the reader: Do not take any of the treasure of Khelberg for yourself. If you have any, throw it away. Do not spend it! Do not bring the curse down on your own head, or you will be doomed to forever desire the riches of Khelberg and the blood of those who gather it.
I have hope that it is possible to break the curse, and in my long years of secret study I have found many clues as to how such a deed might be done, although much knowledge has been lost or hidden beyond my reach.
The spirit of Fiore was bound by Dwarven magics deep below the mountain. If that work could be undone, perhaps it could be freed again? If Fiore were freed, would it not lift also the curse on the land itself?
But how to free it? Where is Fiore imprisoned, and can such a place still be reached? If so, what would one do to break the spell? Perhaps books existed with the answers long ago, but if so they were lost or destroyed during the rule of the Lich King. There may be some hope, though. To the southeast of the mountains was once the Magus Archives. Many books were kept there and many secrets hidden from the eyes of Mordan. The Wizards that kept the place were slain in the battle against the Lich King, and the location of the archives are now lost. But there is a slim hope that if they could be found again, perhaps some hint of the Dwarven spell could be learned.
The Magus Archives were built soon after the inception of the Guild of Mages itself. I have sent secret messengers to Dunlock to speak with the Council of Masters, and although their books do record that the Archives on Mar Tesoro existed, they do not have the location.
Since the Archives were constructed by Wizards, it would be foolish to go charging blindly into the wilderness in search of the site. The Wizards doubtless concealed the site, or at the very least sealed it with magic. It has never been their way to leave knowledge unguarded.
I have done what I am able, but I am no hero. In translating this long and difficult work, you the reader have proved yourself to be both learned and patient. I beg you to act on this knowledge, to break the curse of so many long centuries. I warn you again, do not corrupt yourself with the treasures of Khelberg, or you will join the others in the cycle of violence and betrayal. Use what strength and craft you have to end this misery.
With all hope,
With the book complete, Enoch returns to the Archives for his reward.
The Best of 2014
My picks for what was important, awesome, or worth talking about in 2014.
DM of the Rings
Both a celebration and an evisceration of tabletop roleplaying games, by twisting the Lord of the Rings films into a D&D game.
Internet News is All Wrong
Why is internet news so bad, why do people prefer celebrity fluff, and how could it be made better?
Batman v. Superman Wasn't All Bad
It's not a good movie, but it was made with good intentions and if you look closely you can find a few interesting ideas.
A video Let's Play series I collaborated on from 2009 to 2017.