Atilesceon’s Journal Pages

Old Journal Pages

On Mohiam…

Her influence has grown considerably among the crusade and the other Senhadrim. She is… appealing. She has been marrying her disciples to people of influence and it leaves me to wonder if she has plans for me too.

I am having a hard time getting through to her. She isn’t receptive to my suggestions and appears to be unwilling to consider my offer. Her disciples constantly accompany her, which makes it hard to build a rapport, let alone trust. A change in approach is in order. Time to grab the gorgon by the horns.

I am done with her and the games she plays. This is the last time she makes me look like a fool. But I found out her secret; she is not marrying her disciples off for mere influence peddling, this is an elaborate, multi-generational breeding program! She might have more friends on the council, but I am have more friends among the crusade. We will see who has the last laugh.

I have struck a deal with the Dark One. Those traitorous crusaders will pay for chosing her side over mine. They turn a blind eye to her manipulations and becoming willing pawns in her breeding program because they get supplied with wives, and abjurers to boot. I simply have to lure them to Gwenllygad. I will then be able to work on perfecting my creations for an eternity… and she will be there too. Forever. For me to do with as I please. Forever.

On the Arms of the Senhadrim…

Some of these fools are discussing their own mortality, what will happen to them once they pass. They are concerned that their death will have a significant impact on the war effort. I wonder how long it will be before the word “necromancy” will be uttered on the council floor.

Well colour me even more baffled by this than I already was. None of them brought up the usual solution to the problem of death, premature or otherwise. No, instead of necromancy, they are looking to me for enchantment advice! They want to infuse themselves with their own arms. Even the ageless lunatic Toruviel is considering it. The more thought I give it, the more I think it could work, even if I do think it’s absolute madness.

In an intense ritual which was not for the faint of heart, the first of the Senhadrim transferred their souls into their chosen weapons. Their sacrifice was hailed as by everone as bravery. I still maintain it is lunacy. Their souls might be maintained, but not all of them maintain their sanity…

On Lauriel Skycaller…

Mammon has granted me every wish provided I continue building war machines for him. I have minions that satisfy my lusts and every whim. I have riches beyond comprehension. I have the prior in Old Llygad, defeated over and over again. I have everything I said I desired. He has fulfilled the contract to the letter. And yet…

I should have been more careful with the contract I signed. I was to have Lauriel, but she is caught in Old Llygad much the same as the prior. I have her, but she will still never be mine.

On Tharizdun…

The Mad God, the Elemental Eye, Maškar, Hermod, the Aspect of Luck, Erevan, Hanseith, never has there been a deity so misunderstood. Never has there been a deity who sacrificed so much for the innocent in the Ethereal Mist. Now hunted by all other deities and powers, for the secrets of the Seal of Divine Animus. Trickery, misdirection and change is their domain, and for aeons they have remained undiscovered. Undiscovered by all but one; their most devout follower and the author of the Tablets of the Elemental Eye.

On the Seal of Divine Animus…

When Tharizdun had finally healed from the influence of the Shard of Evil and saw what they had wrought in the Elemental Sea, when they saw the extent of the eternal conflict of the Blood War, they recoiled in shame and horror. They took pity on the mortal creations on the planes of the Ethereal Mist and parted with a sliver of their divine animus to seal the mist off from the Astral Sea and the Elemental Chaos before going into hiding. As is the nature of their grace, the Seal of Divine Animus is ever in flux.

On Senhadrim Politics…

I joined the Senhadrim because I wasn’t a crusader. But the crusade is what held my fascination. Quickly, I learned that the Senhadrim was less of an organised structure, and more of a collection of individuals with an arcane or divine background who wanted to participate in the crusade. They all had their own ideas and ideals on how to collaborate with the Silver Crusade and the Senhadrim was an attempt to galvanise those differences. The council quickly became a place for debate and exchange, which sounds more appealing than it really was. In those days there were few institutions and every man and woman who was touched by the arcane had to do much of their research on their own. That lead to some wildly different approaches that proves hard to unite. In that sense, the clerics had an easier time integrating into the Silver Crusade, which consequently lead to many of them leaving the Senhadrim and helping the crusade directly. Without the wisdom of the clerics to lead the Senhadrim, the council became even more fractured. Mohiam focused on placing as many gifted diviners and abjurers among places of influence as she could, chasing a prophetic fantasy. NAME focused on efforts to appeal to solars and deva directly. And I tried to equip the crusaders with the war machines they required. Scorpions with lyrium tipped bolts and arcane powered trebuchets. Everyone was collaborating in a different direction, trying to undermine each other in order to secure the most resources. I am glad I am valued for my contribution. I no longer work for the mortals and don’t have to deal with the politics, but the goal remains the same.

On the Ebb and Flow of Magic…

The Seal of Divine Animus protects the Ethereal Mist from the horrors of the Elemental Chaos and the subjugation of the Astral Sea, but it also dampens the access to Mystra’s gift. As the Seal waxes and wanes, so does the Ethereal Mist’s access to the weave of magic. My departure from the material plane to Minauros has unlocked my access to the weave in a way I am still not able to fully comprehend…

On Crossings…

There has been a lot of talk among my peers about crossings, recently; areas where the fabric between our plane and the other planes in the Ethereal Mist are naturally thinner and could be more easily breached. There are fey crossings and shadow crossings, leading to the Feywilde and the Shadowfell, respectively. Oftentimes these crossings are guarded. A fey guardian can sometimes be persuaded to let someone cross by performing a ritual. A fell guardian can sometimes be persuaded to let someone cross by making an offering. What kind of ritual or sacrifice requires intricate knowledge of these realms and their mechanics. It is theorised that there are astral and elemental crossings as well, which allow for people to more easily cross over to the different plans in the Astral Sea and Elemental Chaos, but I have yet to find proof of this.

I have found where I will erect my tower. On the placid shores of Llyn Gwenllygad is where I will make my home. There are both nearby fey and shadow crossings, and I have found proof of an astral crossing now, too. The only thing that’s missing is an elemental crossing, but three out of four is beyond what I could have hoped for!

On the Blood War…

The Blood War. The eternal conflict which started out as a rivalry between the Elemental Chaos and the Astral Sea, has now warped into a war between the Abyss and Ba’ator, Tanari’i and Baatezu, demons and devils. Before the Pact Primeval angels were fighting a losing battle against the ever expanding potentiality of the Abyss. But once Asmodeus established Ba’ator as the primary afterlife of the mortals from the planes of the Ethereal Mist, angels no longer had to corrupt themselves in the fight. The baatezu could now recruit among the wicked arriving in Ba’ator and use the rest to fuel their war efforts. Once I understood how misery and suffering could be leveraged as fuel, I could start my research in earnest.

I have often wondered about the Seal of Divine Animus and why the two sides in the Blood War care so much about access to the Ethereal Mist. It is simple, really; the Abyss seeks to destroy all of creation, just like they did with the reality that the first demons came from. Ba’ator tries to prevent this, able only to fuel their war efforts with the souls of mortals who have strayed from the path set out for them by their divine creators. If the demons can destroy all places in the Ethereal Mist, they effectively cut the devils off from their only source of real power. After that, it would only be a matter of time before the demons take the planes of the Astral Sea.

Recent Journal Pages

On the Age of Arcanum…

The most innervating time I’ve ever lived through was the Age of Arcanum, when we were celebrated as pioneers and the heralds of all that was good and virtuous about magic. Before, and after, magic was considered something to be feared, the tool of fiends and all who served them. I went from a valued member at any court in the land, to a feared and reviled threat to any society I interacted with.

On the Senhadrim Beacons…

When the great waning set in, I observed with great interest as the last remnants of the Senhadrim slowly dwindled out of existence. I watched them blow out the lanterns, lock the doors and close up shop. But we all knew that the Seal would not last forever and there would come a time where the shop would be opened back up and the lanterns would be relit. They understood that when that time came, the Senhadrim Vaults would be valuable source of information. And so they left magical beacons whose signal, with the coming flow of magic, would start to shine more brightly until the vaults were once again unlocked and rediscovered. Their light is very faint, right now, almost imperceptible. But the former Senhadrim, like myself, will soon be sensitive enough to start picking up their signal again. Then the race to recover what’s locked away will be on.

On the Khazra…

The tribal khazra from the beastlands are likely to be our best collaborators, as they are more intelligent and dependable than the skaven and less uncompromising than the minotaurs. I have sent minions to establish contact with some of the tribes chosen to investigate what are now known as the Elder Foothills, as I wish to equip them with artefacts which  may be able to detect the beacons.

On the Minotaurs…

The minotaurs are Ba’ator’s most dependable and precious minion race. Strong, dependable and unshakeable warriors utterly devoted to the archduke they serve. They are militaristic and honourable. As such they are most often deployed to areas of strong military opposition or theatres of war. They do not suit our purposes. For now. The favour which my creations have curried with them might become useful in the future.

On the Skaven…

Of the different minion races, the skaven are primitive, cowardly and the least intelligent. Their only strength seems to be the sheer number their hives seem able to field. They are organised in clans, all of which seem to have their own crude specialisations (e.g. pestilence, assassination) and their society seem centred around the worship of the Horned Rat, a servant of Baalzebul, the archduke of Maladomini.

A note of concern about the loathsome skaven is that they are susceptible to demonic corruption and their continued subjugation during the Blood War cannot be guaranteed. We will have to keep an eye on their hives on Carceri for the next few millennia.

On Kalauranthalasis…

That poisonous wyrm has been taken prisoner by those fanatics, and word has reached us to confirm that it was in possession of two of the Tablets of the Elemental Eye. If it wasn’t for my experiments here, I would seek them out to swell the collection of the Dark One. Perhaps there are those willing to compensate me for me for this information?

On the Upright Man…

None of our agents has been able to get close to the Upright Man for a very long time. The last time anyone of ours got close they disappeared… but not before confirming that they didn’t have one, but two of the tablets in their collection of antiques. It has proven nigh impossible to get anyone close to the situation since. If I can get close to one of their underlings, however…

On Dr. Arkenward…

Out of professional curiosity I track the movements of some of the promising wizards around, and this one caught my attention when he was appointed as the court abjurer to the current ruler of Lyria. His only form of compensation was an old and dusty stone tablet from the royal collection. Could it be? Dr. Arkenward will get more of my attention…

On the Daerlan Empire…

The expansionist tendencies of the illustrious emperor Wilhelm var Adelheim-Stoltenborg are impressive, but his decree that the practice and pursuit of arcane inquiry and discovery be regulated and only limited to the military is a travesty. Despite my own proclivities towards the military – I did join the Senhadrim with the express interest of aiding the crusade, in all my youthful naivety – I begrudgingly admit that this leaves many areas of discovery unexplored. Their aggression, however, did unearth one of the tablets from the personal collection of the Daerlan arcanist outlaw known as Griswald the Grey.

On the Szygani…

During my time in Lyria, before departing the Senhadrim and the crusade, the phenomenon of the szygani was a rarity so much as to be unknown. Since, hostilities, in what is now Mazuria, has lead to a diaspora of these curious people. Notoriously unaligned and reviled, their natural arcane connection is undeniable. They are one of the last to openly worship Tharizdun, in the form of Maškar, and therefore it didn’t surprise e to learn that one of the Tablets of the Elemental Eye was rumoured to be in the possession of one of them. It is unclear to me who; if there is any truth in their thieving nature it could literally be any of them.

On the Ritual of Returning…

As I want to be prepared for the possibility of returning some of the prisoners of war, and of course those who occasionally have found their way to Gwenllygad, I have devised a ritual which would allow me to let them depart. It has been modified, over time to separate the visitor souls from the prisoners of war. In my younger years, when I was still hopeful that Lauriel could be reasoned with, I adapted the ritual to allow for prisoners to be returned, too, but I have since destroyed any written evidence of that. The ritual is lengthy and requires a crossing to the right realm in the Ethereal Mist. The ritual is also very costly, as it requires the consumption of a voluntary soul, as the “burden” of imprisonment needs to be taken on my someone. Below are the details of the ritual, as well as my ongoing research on how to mitigate that almost insurmountable cost.

On the Senhadrim Vaults…

Recently we have started to deploy several of clans of the loathsome skaven in search for artefacts among the old crusader vaults. Some valuable things were recovered, some of the old Senhadrim arms among them. Their souls are being interrogated as we speak. After my departure from the Senhadrim, when the seal slammed shut and the age of arcanum came to a close, the Senhadrim created vaults of their own where they hid their treasures. I am almost certain we will find at least one or two tablets among those collections.

On the Devil Mammon…

During my time at the Senhadrim we knew the legends about the archdevils that ruled over Ba’ator. From the lore, we all developed a particular idea about each one of them. When I got in contact with the Dark One, I was quite surprised to learn that the lore was not even remotely close to the truth. No opulence, no gaudy jewellery… no, just a hunger for power and influence. The currency is not gold or precious gems, it’s knowledge, it’s influence, it’s clout. It takes all kinds of shapes, like souls. Like my soul. But sometimes it’s more material. Like the three tablets in the Dark One’s collection. I have yet to learn what the purpose of the collection is, but I dare to hazard some guesses…

On the Demon Pazuzu…

Pazuzu goes by many names. I call them the great corrupter. They swayed Asmodeus to abandon the “glory” of servitude. They have long ago targeted Tharizdun for corruption, and while that didn’t work, I am convinced Pazuzu is going to try again. How do I know this? Because I have learned that Pazuzu is in the possession of five of the Tablets of the Elemental Eye. It is said that with fifteen or more tablets, it should be possible to locate the Illusive One. If the demon gets to Tharizdun and manages to corrupt them, like the Shard of Evil once corrupted the Mad God, then nothing will stand in the way of the Abyss destroying all planes in all realities.

On the Crimson Guardian…

I am very proud of my creation. After water, I have now mastered stone. It shall serve as the guardian to the portal to and from Old Llygad. I have imbued it with the possibility of a directed lightning attack. It ejects flames on all sides and it can self-repair. It takes a moment for these abilities to take effect, and during that time there’s an option to alter or abort these functions.

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