A Dream

A bit of ambience to enhance the reading.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I awake in a dark, incredibly misty forest. Arien’s eerie brilliance breaks through the dense canopy of the forest, alighting patches in a bloody hue.

As I push myself up from the mossy ground, I discover I am dressed in my night clothes, and my feet are bare. I wrap my arms around myself, rubbing my skin through the silken fabric, attempting to warm myself as my breath is visible in the frigid night air.

My mind races as I have no recollection of how I wound up here. My gaze moves to and fro, scanning the forest for anyone.

Snap

I jump and turn towards the familiar snapping of a twig underfoot, hopeful it is one of my guards, searching for me in the night.
“Mister Parata, Miss Gavriila?! Is that you?” I call out, the desperation and fear evident as my voice shakes. There is no reply.

I bring my right hand over my brow, shielding my eyes from Arien’s light as I try to see whom was behind me. As my vision adjusts, my eyes widen. Peeking out from behind a large oak is a short figure, features obscured by the mist, except for two silver orbs, orbs which seem to shine with impossible light.

I do not know when my feet began to move of their own accord, but as I prepared to run from the figure I found my feet having already taken the initiative. My mind barely registered as rocks and twigs embedded themselves in my delicate soles, blood pouring from the wounds as I ran. Running was the only action my mind gave a damn about.

I know not how long I ran, but it was long enough for my mind to calm a smidgen and take notice that there was no sound of chase behind me. Hesitantly I looked over my shoulder as I continued to run. I could see nothing giving chase, nor did I see the silvery orbs hiding amongst the trees. I released a long sigh of relief as I came to a stop, leaning forward with my hands atop my knees. My chest heaved as my lungs craved the oxygen they were depraved of during the pseudo chase.

And then I felt them, small hands press against my back and push me forward with a rough push. I tumbled, face and body scraping against a thorn bush that tore through my silk, finally coming to land with my face in the moss. I breathed deeply, my face still buried in the moss as I heard footsteps come closer, likely the steps of my assaulter. I did not want to turn over, but I felt my body forcefully rolled onto it’s back by those same hands.

“It is cute that you thought you could escape me.” I heard myself say, except my lips never moved. My fear gave way to confusion as I opened my eyes, desperate to discover what was going on. And I wish I never had.

Perched atop me, delicate arms holding them aloft, was me. But not me. The body before me was sickly thin, like the olive skin was draped across the skeleton and nothing else. I was amazed the arms and legs could even hold it aloft. This must have been the creature I saw before, as in place of my gunmetal grey orbs was those silvery orbs of unnatural origin.

“What… What are you?” I desperately inquired, my gaze drawn to those eyes.

“I am you… Or more correctly I am what you could be were you not so pitifully weak.” The thing uttered, it’s right hand moving to cup my chin “But soon my dear Vicannia, it will be you who are a fraction of me. Soon you will be but a shadow of Iuku.”

My breath caught as it revealed it’s name. Iuku leaned down towards my face, even as I could feel thorny vines erupt from the ground, digging into my wrists and ankles, ensuring I could not move or resist. Iuku’s face was but inches from mine now, her hand keeping my head from moving “Don’t resist my sweet little Vicannia. This is what you wanted after all. You wanted to be strong. I am merely giving you what you asked for.” Iuku whispered before their lips met mine.

Yet this was no kiss. Longer Iuku’s lips were pressed against mine, the weaker I began to feel. And as our eyes were so close, I noticed the strangest thing. Iuku’s eyes were beginning to fade, replaced by natural looking eyes. Though it was only as I noticed the gray surrounding the pupils did I realize what was happening.

All of Iuku’s body was beginning to fill out, the skin stretching as muscles and flesh filled in beneath. I knew what was happening yet I could do nothing but weep as my body was stolen away from myself, and I was reduced to skins and bones… A fragment.

Iuku released me soon after from the embrace, rising to stand over me. The body that had once been mine loomed there, looking over itself appreciatively.
“Oh don’t fret dear. I will be sure to use this body far better than you ever did. Though it is time for you to sleep now.” Iuku uttered, their hand waving over me.

“Sleep tight now my dear, sweet, little Vicannia.” Iuku offered in farewell as they turned away from me, even as the vines pulled me under the moss. Tears still streamed from my orbs as I realized what I had brought upon myself.

And the last thing I saw before darkness consumed my vision was Iuku disappearing into the mist of the forest.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

And she woke up, having no recollection of the dream. Though I did, and I await the day that dream becomes a reality.

Signed,

Iuku

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Guidance

Dearest Iuku,

Your words of wisdom have helped to guide me back onto the intended path. I am sorry for having strayed so far, but you have seen fit to guide a fool such as myself. I will never understand why one so glorious as yourself would waste their time with one as weak as myself.

Thanks to your timely intervention, our power is more secure than it has ever been. Once more we are gaining the favor of those who hold significant influence within this city, though having common enemies does make it easier.

Though it sickens me to spend so much gold on the pond scum, but as you so strongly reminded me, even the smallest of fish provide sustenance for the larger fish, and the freemen of this city are but that, the krill to be consumed by the whale.

Oh, you should be delighted to hear this. I am initiating the next phase of our original plan. By this time next year I intend on being wedded and pregnant with child. I do not care whom or what the man is, as he will be dealt with once new life is present.

What was rightfully ours will soon be returned to it’s destined vessel.

Sincerely,

Your Loyal Vicannia

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Losing Myself

Dearest Iuku,

I grow concerned… Over the last 5 years I have been within this infernal city, I feel as though it has adversely affected me. While it has certainly helped improve my power and influence, it has also, softened me. I feel myself looking upon heinous acts that I would delight in, only to be disgusted. The scum I used to view simply as items for my use, are now becoming objects with personalities. But worst of all, I find myself, in my weakest of moments, desiring the company of others than just yourself.

I’m worried Iuku. I’m worried of not only disappointing you, but worried that I will lose myself. Lose the cruelty and hatred that powered my actions. Worried that I will become just another gentrywoman, inseparable from the hordes of them that flock to this city.

I.. I don’t know what to do. Everyday I’m losing more of myself, and becoming someone I don’t recognize, yet I don’t have the foggiest clue how to undo the damages that have been done to me. Most nights I am forced to brew hopscalm just to ensure I am able to function the next day.

This uncertainty in what the future holds terrifies me more than any blade could. And I know why it does, as it will represent the ultimate failure. Failure to remain whom I am despite the world around me.

For the first time in my life Iuku, I am legitimately scared.

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The Ascension

Dearest Iuku,

Things are going marvelously well here in Lithmore. Surprisingly the schedule is advancing far faster than either of us could have hoped for. While I initially viewed the initiative as a setback, it has actually turned out to be our greatest asset, with it sparking a “Friendship” with Emma ab Kovar, a very influential figure within Lithmore. I never would have accounted for this in my planning, but unprecedented offer she made gave us the push we need. The push I needed more importantly to establish myself as a person of interest in Lithmore. Though I have been met with a mixture of approval and what I would qualify as fear. A fear of the unknown.

I was a nobody in their line of sight. I was not a noble, nor was I a gentry with a high-ranking position in the city, yet I managed to sneak my way into their circle, amassing influence without even trying. It is only natural some would fear this unknown force they are suddenly face to face with. This fear only increased when they learned of my… resourcefulness. Having the twins kill off that gnat in Vintrius was child’s play, though their price was a tad steep this go around, but their efficiency is well worth the price. Grandfather was right to bring them into the fold early on. The Serre Family would not be where they are now without them.

Though I derail from what I was saying. News of my success in Vintrius has been shared with the privy council, and I am certain it has spread beyond them as well. From what I’ve been told it was met with approval and glee by most, with only the typical opponent raising a fuss. I will deal with her soon enough. Her family has ran lithmore for far too long, it is time for them to fall, and I will be the one to strike at their foundation, a foundation they already weakened with their dual failures.

Why hire a trading company to act as a mercenary? Of course that is what she would assume. That boy could never dream of affording the Le Serre Trading Conglomerate, though the fact I practically own him makes up for this comment. Willing servitude is always the best kind of slavery.

Nonetheless the nobility and figures of importance now know I am willing to go to lengths they themselves would be hesitant to. Though should any of them contest the deed, I have a full retort ready just in case. Is it not nobler to shed as little blood as possible in the pursuit of justice, versus sending men and women to fight a battle not their own only because it suits one’s morals?

I should be ending this letter soon before I ramble further. You have always been my greatest ally, the only person I’ve ever felt comfortable revealing the truth of myself to.

I’ve sent you a copy of my initial proposal as well, as I am sure you would love to read it. Those in charge made a grave mistake when they dismissed it. Their pathetic kingdom could have seen a new age of conquest, trade and expansion. An end to their war with the Daravi… But instead they would rather remain stagnant, slowly killing themselves. Fine by me.

With Love,

Vicannia

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CCI Proposal

Dearest Iuku,

I have made a few changes to the proposal from the original version, mainly just removing some unnecessary bits. I hope you enjoy.

Sincerely,

Vicannia

 

—————-LOCATION—————–

A few months ago I hired a survey team to scout out the plains, with key instructions to look for several beneficial features in the land. They returned with several locations, though they all spoke highly one particular location: A Natural Harbor on the plains side of the Levusto Ocean, with soil suitable for farming, and easy access to the infamous Salt Steppes of the Charali Plains, but far enough away to not poison the soil. The harbor is also protected on two sides by steep natural cliffs, meaning the only ways in are through the valley and the ocean, both of which can be seen ideally from the the spot I intend to have the Colony built. On top of this, the climate in which this location is situated is no where near as harsh as the northern plains. The winters are, as my survey team put it, nearly non-existent. This takes away one of the biggest issues colonies have, and that is the first several winters, where most of the population dies off. That won’t be an issue given the climate.

Now this location of course does present an issue, and that is the Levusto strait, however despite popular belief, the Levusto strait it not impossible to cross, it just requires a skilled crew and proper ships, both of which I can provide. The other issue is how close it is to the Daravi Protectorates, however I see no issue arising from that due to one simple fact: That harbor has existed for sometime, the Daravi have done nothing to claim it. They’ve made no effort to invade the plains, nor have they attacked the settlements in the southern part of Vavard, which are also on the Levusto Ocean. The odds of them doing anything is unlikely. There would have to be some provocation on our end to elicit any type of response from the Daravi.

But above all else, this location provides a stepping stone for future expansion beyond what Lithmore currently knows, beyond what any of our maps reveal. For so long the land beyond the Levusto ocean has remained a mystery, but given this key location the Kingdom can entertain the prospect of exploration via ship, instead of via land. Not to mention the untapped resources the Levusto has to offer. Unlike the Kirulean the Levusto is nearly untouched by trade, meaning whatever resources are present within the water’s depths are there for the taking. I don’t believe I need to elaborate on what this means for future trade in the kingdom.

While there are risks to having a Colony this far south, the rewards outweigh the risk. The possibilities are there, we must only take the initiative to claim them.

—————-TRADE—————–

I shall now move onto trade, and how it shall work with the Colony. A large part of this will be relying on prior agreements my company has with various other trade corporations and merchants with Vandago and Vavard. I intend on taking advantage of these agreements to create proper trade routes between my colony and the two. As mentioned earlier, the colony will be situated near the Salt Steppes, and as we all know the salt from the Charali Plains is one of the most valued resources the plains have to offer, but for so long we haven’t had a reliable source of it. As part of integrating the Charali, I intend to trade with them, offering various textile goods, such as wool blankets, netting, etc, and tools particularly iron. Of course these will be rejected tools, essentially ones that are usable, but could not be sold in stores because of appearance. These can be bought cheaply enough in bulk, and the charali will not care as long as the items work, which they will. In return for these initial goods it is my hope to have the charali teach my colonists the land, what natural resources it may have that are not immediately noticeable.

Of course this only the first step of the trading, as once my colonists have settled, I intend on opening further manners of trade with the charali, however I will explain those in more detail further in the proposal. Though I will say that the end plan is to secure access to the salt steppes, removing the middle-man which is the Charali. And no, I do not mean killing them or anything of that sort, but I would much rather hire them to collect the salt, instead of having to trade with them to get the salt. Though this is easier said than done as the Charali’s culture has no use for Silver or Gold… Yet. Once the colony is more established and self-sufficient, and begin producing goods beyond what they need to survive, and once the Charali are better integrated into the colony, I intend on creating a kind of exchange program to hire the charali. Those Charali who work for the Colony will receive a token of sorts, be it wooden beads or small brass circles. At the end of every week, they are given a token, per charali. These tokens can then be traded with the colonists in return for goods. It introduces the Charali to our more common payment system, and it also teaches them how save for something larger or greater. And we also come out ahead as we don’t actually have to pay them for the salt they collect, at least not until silver and gold have a meaning and use in their culture. I imagine one day it will, and on that day the token system will be removed, replaced with proper currency.

Goods from the colony will be transported to the rest of the kingdom via ship, at least until proper land-routes can be established and secured that lead from the colony into vavard. Again the Levusto Strait is a concern, but as I mentioned earlier it is not impossible sail with the proper ships and people. With the Levusto Strait leading straight into the Kirulean, the salt, mahogany wood and other goods from the colony can be dispersed and sold to Vandago, Vavard and the coastal domains of Lithmore.

So in summary the main trade will be salt, and Mahogany wood, which only grows in the Charali Plains, though in the future I am hopeful to expand it further to include more of the Plains Natural Resources, along with resources exclusive to the Levusto Ocean. However those are long term goals and it is more important currently to ensure the survival of the colony.

—————-COLONISTS—————–

Next we shall move onto the life blood of the colony, that being the colonists themselves. As I am sure you are all aware, I did several bouts of campaigning, with the first being highly disappointing, resulting in fifteen volunteers, though the second attempt was more successful resulting in one-hundred fifteen additional volunteers, with a myriad of much needed skills. Combined with the mariners I have hired from my company and a Vandagan architect, the total population will come out to 139 people. Of the volunteers 86 are men, and 43 women, with three separate families being a part of the colony, two of which are newly married and have hopes to start their family in the colony and the third having two sons, aged 7 and 12.

It is also worth noting I’ve received a letter from the Dean of the University, Feamanuslaewyn ab Renwap, stating that he is interested in being a part of the colony, and assisting in the conversion of the Charali. Given his mastering of the known tongues, including Charali, I feel that he will be an integral part in properly integrating the Charali into our culture, and given his advanced age he can likely do better in convincing the older charali to convert than the younger colonists can.

The amount of skills the volunteers bring is abundant, Including, but not limited to: Farming, Animal Husbandry, A single Blacksmith, Prior medical knowledge and experience, Cooking, Sewing, basic hunting and survival, and carpentry. There are more though they are not as important to the main survival of the colony. My mariners are also skilled in sailing, fishing, including onshore and offshore, and diving.

Now as for the transportation of the colonists to the Colony, I intend to have the colonists arrive at the colony via two separate routes, one overland through vavard via wagon with a paid escort, and the second via the levusto strait, led by my veteran mariners and consisting of the architect, carpenters and men strong enough for what happens next. Both groups shall be supplied with food suitable for travel, such as preserved and dried meats. The sea route shall arrive before the land route, and shall be carrying supplies essential to the building of proper defensive walls and the future construction of top priority buildings, along with basic livestock. Any further buildings will require harvesting the natural resources around the colony, or have more supplies shipped in. By the time the overland colonists arrive, the basic defenses should be constructed, along with a temporary shelter until proper homes can be built.

As for the Integration of the Charali into the colony, this shall be done in steps. The first step is to convince the charali to give up their nomadic nature, as that is one of the main problems preventing proper integration. This shall be done by teaching the Charali people how to farm and how to properly breed animals, both of which require them to stay stationary. It also eliminates their main reason for being nomadic which is to hunt down their food. I believe they will pick up quickly on the animal husbandry given their prior experiences with the wild horses of the plains. The next step to integration shall be the trading between the Colony and Charali, as detailed earlier in the proposal. This will also include the first attempts at converting the charali to Davism, though I will detail that in more detail further down in the proposal.

It is my hope to have a set up similar to what Lithmore City has with their Charali immigrants, where they are allowed to live in a settlement outside of the city, but are also welcomed to live inside the city and be a welcomed part of it should they so choose.

—————-CONVERSION—————–

Now for the most important part of this initiative, and that is the Conversion of the native Charali. My surveyors informed me of a medium sized clan of Charali who travel near the natural harbor and salt steppes. These shall be my target group as it is impossible to convert all the charali at once. The surveyors noted that the Charali seemed peaceful, as they were able to meet with them during their travels, of which the clan indicated that it had been sometime since they saw foreigners. This shows that this clan has had prior contact, as at least one of their older members was able to speak severely broken lithmorran, but lithmorran none the less. This is a great advantage for my colonists, as it opens up at least some form of basic communication between the two, instead of relying on alternative methods which can be misinterpreted.

The conversion of the charali shall be done in two ways. The colonists will try to teach the faith primarily to the younger charali, who are not so set in the culture yet and still have open minds. The children are the key to the future as one day they will lead the charali, if we influence them and bring them into the faith early, they can then teach the future generations without a constant need for supervision by an order official. The older charali will be the most difficult ones to convert, though I have a plan for that, which by some standards may be harsh.

While many cultures have different views, fear and self-preservation is usually one common trait that can unite otherwise different people. Due to prior experience with missionaries, the Charali have adopted certain aspects of Davism into their faith, such as demons and saints. Those in charge of the conversion from the colony will be utilizing the events of the Farin quarter, and the daravi involved, along with the demons encountered during it to provide a very real example why those who do not have their tainted souls cleansed by the holy pyre are at risk to turn into demons.

I know it is a harsh tactic, but I can not see anyway to convince the older charali to turn to davism as it’s not like they will be eager to turn away from their current beliefs without good reasons, and a very real threat is a vital reason. Of course those handling the conversions will be asked to do so in a delicate manner, as it is not the intended purpose to cause panic, but to reinforce that souls left to wander are a very real threat.

On top of the prior tactics, the charali shall be openly welcomed to join the colonists during masses, along with having confessions taken should they wish. The worst we can do is force the religion upon them, instead we must slowly coerce them into joining it themselves, believing that they joined of their own free will when really we’ve been there guiding them to the choice.

It is also worth noting that should I get approval and people from the Lady Justiciar, I would like to teach the charali the basic concepts of law, and that not every crime must be met with death or banishment. While not a top priority it is a side goal which I believe will do wonders for the future of integrating the charali into our culture.

———————————

Let us be the future we want to see for the plains.

 

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8 years of Knighthood. Were they worth it?

12/5/368

8 years… 8 years I’ve been doing this. I never thought I would live this long as a Knight.

Even as I sit at my desk, on a day that should be somewhat joyous, I can’t help but look back on the last eight years. I look back at what the Knights were and what they are now, and I can’t help but feel I am a relic of the past, not fit for the current system the Knights have become. Like a gear that is long rusted, but is so far back in the system that it’s hard to replace without removing everything else.

8 years ago today I joined the Knights, under leadership of Argider de Roldan, perhaps the best knight to have existed in my opinion. Though I technically tried to join a year or two before, when Lloyd le Tarrow was Earl Marshall but personal matters got in the way. Though Argider died or did he retire first then die? I can’t remember. All I know is that it wasn’t too much later that Haidar de Abn’Zahi took over as Earl Marshall, though that was incredibly short lived as he couldn’t handle the pressure. Then came Arynon von Eclen, the deserter. He was good knight, pushed me a bit but ultimately I can now understand why he did, but at the time I hated it. Though eventually he abandoned the knights, though at the time we all assumed he was either killed or kidnapped, since no body was ever found, and it would only be much, much later that we discovered he had abandoned his position as Earl Marshall due to pressure and feeling like he couldn’t properly do his job, and came back to Lithmore with a new identity. Then came my time as Earl Marshall… 3 years I spent trying to lead the Knights, despite having no prior leadership experience. I like to think I did good for what I was able to do, though I let my anger get the best of me so many times, and allowed myself to be lead along by others. So much happened in those three years, from having to remove Kaerrick de Winter from the Knights and the position of Grand Master due to heretic behavior, to having Cambrea vanish without a trace.. it was about that time I started losing my grip on the Knights. Then came Casimir and Karrina. I was forced into making him a member of the Knights, as it was supposed to be his penance. More like they just wanted someone to babysit him. Those two lead a coup against me, and instead of dealing with the political powerplay that was soon to come I just said fuck it and stepped down, though less than gracefully and once again in a manner in which I let my anger fuel my words. Next came Karrina ab Vazien as Earl Marshall, with Casimir and Ariel there pulling the strings. And from there we all know how it goes. Vazien, Moradar, Myself, Keswick and now Rovar. 7 different Earl Marshall’s, not including my two separate terms which would bring the count up to 10, in only 8 years. That is ridiculous.

But beyond the leaders that came and went in those 8 years, there were also so many different pages, squires and Knights that it’s hard to keep track of. Afterall so many of them either get killed, leave the Knights or just become missing in action. Yet somehow, despite all odds, I’m the one who remains. Heck I’m the only Knight stationed in Lithmore that is still active from 8 years ago. Yet I don’t feel like that at times. I don’t feel like the pain, the time and the effort I have put into defending lithmore matters to anyone. They take it for granted, as if I owe my blood and sword to them. There is no respect, or even acknowledgement… it’s just blank. Even the squires and pages don’t acknowledge it, or look to me for advice. Hell maybe if they did more of them wouldn’t die.

In the 8 years I’ve been in Lithmore as a Knight, not once have I been the victim of an obvious spell outside of combat. Never have I been hexed or breathbinded. Never have I had an item mysteriously appear on my person. Does that mean I haven’t been the target of a mage? I can’t rightly say since mages have spells up their sleeves that are not easily identifiable or noticeable, but I like to think that isn’t the case. And why is it I haven’t been the target of mages? Well I can’t say I have an answer for that, but I like to think it’s because I don’t flaunt my position as a Knight. So many of these mages who are targeted and harassed by mages bring it upon themselves by taunting and proclaiming their power as Knights, calling mages worms and other such things. I on the other hand respect mages for what they are, creatures that we can’t pretend to fully comprehend, with powers at their fingertips that are incredibly deadly if used right. I respect them like I would any opponent, as a worthy adversary and not some creature whose sole purpose in life is for me to kill. They aren’t an animal to be hunted, but living beings who have given into darker temptations, and whose soul is my duty as a Knight to bring in to be saved. It is this point of view that I like to think keep the mages from harassing me with their spells… The fact I treat them like a human being even in combat. Though demons on the hand, I don’t treat them with the same respect, and often let my rage fuel my combat against them.

Though I am rambling now, not that it’s hard to do when you have this many years of experiences and stories. I hope to one day be able to tell my children and grandchildren these stories, but of course I am likely to die in combat before that can happen. Here’s to another 8 years, however unlikely it may be, to serving the Knights, and more importantly protecting the innocent and those who can not protect themselves.

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The Finale

10/4/368

Is my death in vain?

Even as I plummet to the ground, the air whizzing past my ears, I find my mind not drifting to my inevitable death, but instead to the impact I made.

I feel this is a question many mages ask themselves when they are on the brink of death. And why shouldn’t they? Afterall a mage is practically pre-determined to die less than natural ways from the instant they are awakened. Many accept this fact and instead focus on making sure they leave a lasting impact on the world, much like the mages of old. But did I?

So many years I fought, fought against the order and the very mage community I sought to unite. So many acts I committed in hopes they would add up to one final strike. I look back at a scene not even hours ago, where I stood in river square, bold as they come with multiple spells protecting me. I revealed the truth infront of the crowd who had gathered to witness Rhun’s pyring. I revealed the order for what they were, revealed that mages had played a major part in helping and protecting this city when the Order couldn’t. Of course the Knight’s present refuted my claims at every possible chance, and used their faith as an excuse for their inability to protect. But even for all of his boisterous refutes, I saw that bead of sweat form on his brow. This single bead, formed not by heat as the natural breeze saw to that, but instead formed by one simple fact; He was scared. He saw the people’s reactions to my words, saw that they were not so blind as to deny the truth. He saw their minds turning against the Order and it scared him.

When I walked into the square and said I came to deliver truths, I was not lying. All I ever wanted, all I ever worked for, was this moment. The moment when I planted the seeds of doubt into the minds of Lithmore. The moment I made the blindly faithful reconsider what they had known. If even one person loses their faith and sees the order for what it is, I will have been successful, and can die knowing I finished what I started so many years ago.

But beyond the effects of my actions on the Mundanes, I hope that this shall serve as a lesson… No, an inspiration for my fellow mages. With enough time and patience, they can turn the people against the order. This is the key to victory. They can kill order members left and right, they can burn their cathedrals to the ground, but this won’t win the war, for it will only serve to reinforce the faith. To win they must deprive the order of what strengthens them, and that is the belief of the people. Turn the populace against their faith and you take all power from the Order, for they are nothing without their worshipers.

I open my eyes now, and see the cold stone of which the pyre stands upon inches from my face. I know I am milliseconds from a quick and excruciating death. And in these final moments I whisper one final plea, in hopes that if there truly is some higher power out there, that it will hear it.

“Let them learn from my death.”

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Soon…

9/30/368

Everything I’ve done these last several years, from the burning of the Daravi Camp to the theft of the chalice… Everything has been leading up to this one strike against the order. And little do they realize they will be the instrument of their own demise. So little I’ve had to do to see my plan come to fruition.

However even I could not predict what would happen before my final act could take stage. Not that I am complaining, oh far from it infact. The acts of some mage has only reinforced the stage for my act, strengthened the insecurities floating through this city.

When the curtains rise in four days time, my fellow mages shall learn that true power is not determined via sheer strength or skill of magic, but by how well you can control the minds of others without them even knowing.

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The Show Must Go On

1/14/368
It’s always fascinating when one combines multiple spells.

I must say my little test in the crossroads was a roaring success. Not only did I publicly humiliate Silverclaw, but I managed to do so without revealing every aspect of the meeting was pre-planned; From her attempting to attack me to my departure. Though I could have never expected it would succeed so well. I worried she would catch on that my veil of light and dark worked both ways. While it protects me, it prevents me from doing a damn thing to her, though thankfully I don’t believe she caught on to that fact. Future encounters will rely heavily on manipulating their belief that I have managed to craft a spell that keeps them from attacking me, without negative side effects for myself. Afterall if the city believes that their Knights and Order can not so much as touch me, that will create doubt, doubt which I can manipulate to my advantage. I must be very careful in future encounters.

I did not expect quite as large of crowd as showed up, though ultimately I am glad I went with the illusion route. Making them believe that I had somehow devised a way to give myself the wings of a crow, and use said wings to gain flight was fascinating. Heck I would be lying if I didn’t say I had fun with that. Such a simple combination of spells resulted in a rather wondrous effect, and I like to think I did not muck up the movements of the wings at all. I had to spend many, many days watching the flight patterns of birds to truly replicate the movements of their wings, else I fail and reveal that the wings are nothing more than illusions, and that I am merely taking flight through another spell’s effect.

I’m walking a very fine line, and one wrong step on my part will undo everything I’ve worked so hard to create. This is my masterpiece, and the whole city is my audience, and I mustn’t disappoint my greatest critics.

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