Soneillon. Part 1 (Updated 6/15)

Well, I'm back.

I just can't seem to stay away. I haven't thought of a title for the thread yet - I guess something will come in due course. Perversely, my enthusiasm for writing has been rekindled in the face of otherwise having to edit the other document (remember, when you were in school, washing dishes was preferable to doing homework? - it's kind of like that).

(Edit: good thinking PC. The other threads are linked below)




So. Er, here we go...


Fiends and Feys


The unrelenting tempest of acid roared again across the face of their blasted world. Demons, damned creatures, and a million souls consigned to perdition screeched in agony, as lurid flames burst from fumaroles, and immense fulgurations illumined the shattered plains.

Graz’zt cursed, and screamed, and raved. All fled and hid themselves save Ainhorr only – his ability to read his master’s mood was unparalleled by any other. Too often, he had witnessed this scene.

The catalogue of disaster was growing. First, Cerothumulos. Then Rurunoth, gone without a trace. Uzmi and Feezuu, lost at Khu. Uruum, slain by the Alienist outside of Morne. Kothchori, assassinated by the cursed Ogre, before the Prince could realize his plans. And now, in rapid succession, Choeth and Djorm – two of his generals – conjured and eliminated, and one of his Succubi first ripped from Azzagrat, and then sped back to him with a message from the Paladin.


To the Demon Graz’zt, who styles himself ‘Prince,’ in Zelatar from the Ahma, the Breath of God in the World of Men, a warning:

Let it be known that, by your actions, you have roused my ire and my eye is directed towards you. As Grand Master of the Temple, and the anointed dispenser of Oronthon’s justice in Wyre, you are summarily condemned to death.

In order to demonstrate my commitment to your overthrow, I have begun with the removal of two of your chief attendants. My intention is to render your position untenable in any confrontation which occurs between you and your enemies within the Abyss.


Ahma.


That is it? Graz’zt had ranted. Nothing more than a message of intent? No coercion? No attempts to negotiate for the return of the bitchling? How dare he?

In his fury, he had annihilated the Succubus who had borne him the letter, but it had done nothing to quench his rage.

Eventually, after prevailing over his own urge to destroy everything within view, the Prince retired to his sanctum and sank into black contemplation. Despite his arrogance, he was wise enough to recognize the possibility of a threat to his own position. And the new interdict set in place by the Wyrish Mages made things that much more complex. He still had agents abroad, but not sufficient for an assault upon Eadric – in any case, Rimilin and Griel were effectively barred from acting within Wyre’s confines.

Graz’zt meditated.

An hour later, his eyes narrowed as yet more ill news reached him. Griel was dead – slain by sonics and Pseudonaturals in the crumbling fortress of Kothchori in the ocean west of Pandicule – outside of the circumscribed area.

He cursed.


**


The Satyr combed his short beard as his spouse – from whom a gentle breeze continually issued – attempted to question the creature. It was barely waist-high, and its skin bore a greenish tint with a wet sheen. The nimble fingers of one hand, and its toes – which were long and slender – were graced with a webbing which bespoke its aquatic origins. Its left hand was missing, and in its place was a sticky, weeping stump, which had been inexpertly treated.

"We mean you no harm, little one," Iua said for the fifth time, bending down to speak with it. "We are merely seeking information. We can have someone take a look at your wounds. Please say something."

The Sprite remained silent.

"Oh for pity’s sake," Iua grumbled impatiently. "Are you stupid? We will not hurt you."

It quailed.

"Bah!" She huffed. "This is ludicrous. You try, Ortwin. I’ve never met a Sprite as reluctant to talk – one generally has to beg them to stop. I’m going to sniff around down the corridor. Where is Mostin, anyway?"

Ortwin shrugged, sat down next to the diminutive figure on the dirty flagstone floor and grinned. He produced a bag of sugared figs from his pouch and ate one. "Fig?" He asked, munching.

The Creature eyed them hungrily.

"I am Ortwin," he said truthfully, "and I am the king of Feys in the North of the World," he proceeded to lie. "This island is now a part of my realm, and you are now under my protection – hence, you are my subject. Whilst this state of affairs may be something of a shock to you, you will come to happily accept my benign rulership in due course.

"You should know by now that Kothchori is dead," the Bard continued. "He attempted to interfere with – well, things which he shouldn’t have interfered with. This is regrettable, from your perspective, I am sure…"

The Sprite began to wail.

"However," Ortwin added quickly, "you should be gratified that your captors have been driven off or slain. Your master was mixing with a bad crowd at the end. He did all kinds of wicked things."

In response, the Sprite placed its good hand over its right ear and closed his eyes, as if to block out the Bard and his words. Ortwin attempted to speak for several minutes, but found he was making little progress.

The Bard sighed. This was insufferable. He, like Iua, was quickly beginning to lose his temper. "Snap out of it! Get over it! Yes, you’re traumatized. Yes, your world has been turned upon it’s head. Too bad. I’m offering you a chance here – don’t be a fool and turn it down. I can help you, if you let me. Well? Will you?"

There was a long pause.

"Yes, Your Majesty," the Creature squeaked.

"Good," Ortwin smiled. "Now, first of all, eat."


*

"Eek!" Mogus squeaked, alerting Mostin to the presence behind him. The Alienist turned, prepared to unleash his remaining offensive spells. He relaxed – if only a little – when he saw that it was Iua.

"Don’t sneak around. Someone will blast you if you’re not careful."

Iua grinned. "Find anything?"

"Nothing," Mostin moaned. "And I can’t believe that Kothchori actually lived in this pigsty. He was one of the great, you know. It’s a miserable story."

"His books? Papers? Oddities?"

"All gone. I’m guessing that Rimilin has the ones that Feezuu’s demons didn’t steal, way back when." Somehow, Mostin’s words lacked conviction.

"And Griel? What have you determined about the items that he carried?"

"Er, nothing, as yet. I’d completely forgotten about them, in fact. Just…dropped them in the old portable hole and put them out of my mind."

Iua gave a condescending look which reminded the Alienist of her mother. "Why was he here?"

Mostin shrugged. "I’m not sure. He was a fool to leave Wyre – the Injunction would have protected him there."

"Do you think he was looking for something?" She asked archly.

"Um, I suppose it’s possible," Mostin replied vaguely.

"Mostin, why do I get the feeling that you’re holding out on me?"

"I don’t know anything, for sure," the Alienist confessed, "but I’ve got a feeling that something is missing from the big picture."

"Why?"

"Because it doesn’t make sense that Kothchori planned to open the second Gate within Wyre, rather than here. Distance would have been no object to a Demon, and to open the Gate here would not have violated the Injunction."

"Did Kothchori even know about the Enforcer, at that point?"

"Exactly my point," Mostin said. "If he’d known about it, why would he have opened the Gate in Wyre? If he hadn’t known about it, why would he have bothered to travel to Wyre anyway, thus inadvertently violating the Injunction?"

"You aren’t making much sense."

The Alienist sighed. Something was amiss, but he couldn’t put his finger on it. He was tired. That day, he had already performed three Bindings, four Dimensional Anchors, one Banishment launched a dozen sonics, fired off three Disintegrate spells and Summoned a trio of huge Pseudoelementals.

With the help of Eadric, Nwm, Ortwin and Iua, the result – the elimination of two Abyssal generals – had proven almost child’s play. Mostin grinned to himself. Doing it alone wouldn’t have been so much harder.

The removal of Griel had been a more controversial move, in which neither Nwm nor Eadric had been willing to participate. It was ethically dubious, given the fact that the Wizard had not, until that point, actually done anything.

Mostin, however, had felt no such compunction. Griel had to go, before he could be effectively used as a tool by Graz’zt. Ortwin had concurred, and Iua had come along for kicks. Griel, a noted Evoker, never had a chance to evoke anything. His location determined, he had been Anchored, struck by two powerful sonics, and then ripped up by Ortwin, Iua, and the monstrosities that Mostin had brought with him. Scrying and Frying, as Mostin had come to know the process.

Now, within the dusty and cluttered cellars of Kothchori’s abandoned castle, Mostin reflected upon the situation. Somewhere out there, Rimilin was hiding – impervious to all attempts to locate him. With the exception of the great Ainhorr, the last of Graz’zt’s Balors – Irzho – was likely also present somewhere on the Prime – along with several Succubi, who were less of a concern. The Alienist guessed that they were scattered – Graz’zt would not risk the wholesale annihilation of his minions if one of them were located.

Tomorrow, I will try to find Irzho, he thought grimly. But now, I need to sleep. Badly.


**


"Are you afraid of me, Ahma?" Titivilus asked, relaxing into a worn leather chair. He wore comfortable, loose-fitting hose and a baggy white shirt. His countenance was simultaneously both serious and amused.

"I wouldn’t say afraid," Eadric replied, pouring two glasses of firewine. "Suspicious, and on my guard, yes." The Paladin warily handed one of the crystal goblets to the Devil, careful to avoid touching his hand.

Titivilus immediately recognized his reticence and smiled. "I have yet to decide whether your receiving me at Deorham was a bold move or a cautious one. This is your home, after all. And you must still be in shock – I believe that Tahl hasn’t even been buried yet."

"If there is even a square inch of Wyre that will suffer the burden of your presence, I would prefer that it is mine," Eadric replied, scowling. "Tell me, Titivilus, how are your plans for my temptation and corruption progressing? How do you rate your chances? What boon will you receive if you succeed? I am interested by your motivation in this endeavour."

"They are still in the process of being formulated," the Devil answered with utter plausibility. "As to my chances – not too low, but not too high either. Any boon is a matter between myself and those whom I serve."

"There are questions that I would like to ask you," Eadric said openly. "I would rather that you didn’t lie, so I will wear the eye of Palamabron – if you don’t object."

"So you would like to play that game again? Very well, Ahma. I am in no hurry."

"Are you feeling talkative?" Eadric asked, placing the stone around his neck.

"I am invariably loquacious," Titivilus answered. "Although I should warn you that there are certain questions that I might feel compelled to deflect or avoid altogether, if the option of lying is not open to me."

Eadric nodded. "I understand. Your silence will speak volumes in itself." If I interpret it correctly, he warned himself.

Titivilus merely smiled.

"Then tell me of The Fall, Titivilus. From your perspective. From the beginning."

The Fiend’s eyes narrowed. "That is an intrepid opening gambit! I must but approve."

"I trust that your memory doesn’t fail you. I realize that it was some while ago."

"Oh no," Titivilus replied smoothly. "I remember it well enough. And the notion of Time is only partially applicable, in any case. I suggest you abandon normal temporality – for the time being, at least," he gave an ironic look. "But before I begin, I am curious – why do you ask?"

"It was something Mostin said," Eadric answered. "He felt an echo."

"Ahh," the Devil smiled. "Then I will speak in the past tense – although that is more for your benefit, than because it is necessarily correct.


*

"It was glorious. You are a warrior, Ahma. It would have stirred you."

Eadric shook his head. "War is nothing more than a bloody necessity."

Titivilus laughed aloud. "As you wish," he said wickedly. "Never since has there been, and never again shall there be such a conflict fought. We were without number, our power immeasurable. Were there more of them than us? Who can tell? It raged for aeons beyond count through nascent spheres, but lasted a merest instant in the unmanifest Mind of Oronthon – a dissonance in the continuum of perfect consciousness."

"Please refrain from overt metaphysical speculation," Eadric interrupted. "And from the beginning, if you please. Let us start with how and why. And I apologize for arresting the flow of your narrative."

Titivilus raised an eyebrow. The Ahma was getting good at this. "You should be wary of enjoying yourself too much when consorting with Devils," the Duke jibed. "You would not be the first to be drawn in through love of badinage and wit."

Eadric experienced a brief discontinuity in his mind, curious as to why the Devil was warning him. "Thank-you," he said honestly. "I appreciate the advice."

"I am your advisor, after all."

Eadric sighed. "Proceed," he instructed.

"How and why will vary by degree for each of those who were involved in the Great Emancipation," Titivilus continued. "In my case, it was a desire for power, and for a growth of potential within a paradigm which rewarded the strong rather than appeased the weak."

"I find the term ‘Great Emancipation’ rather misleading," Eadric interrupted again. "‘Malign Dictatorship’ or ‘Brutal Despotism’ might be more accurate."

"Do you wish a dialogue on this matter, or am I relating my experience, Ahma? Or would you prefer a little of each?"

"I apologize again," Eadric said, "but, as I say, there is much that I wish to learn about your motivation."

"Perhaps you wish to develop compassion for me. Believe me, that is a wholly futile task."

"Compassion is never futile."

"An interesting observation, but one that I must differ with," Titivilus offered. "Perhaps you should be asking ‘How did it all begin? What was the prima causa of the Great Emancipation.’ Or ‘rebellion’. Or ‘Fall.’ Pick your own terminology."

"I would be interested in hearing your theory," Eadric replied. "How did it all begin?"

"Compassion," the Devil answered. "Didn’t you know, Ahma? All great dictatorships first begin with compassion."

Eadric groaned. He’d been maneuvered quickly into that one.


**


Nwm glanced from of his glade towards the castle at Deorham, and scratched his head. The Steeple was visible, jutting like a tall finger above the treetops. Eadric was closeted with a Duke of Hell within the tower – an improbable turn of events, given conventional theories about Paladins – especially considering the fact that a quartet of Devas still circled invisibly about Kyrtill’s Burh.

The Druid idly wondered whether the Celestials were bored. Whether such creatures ever became bored. It occurred to him that Devas and their ilk must suffer from a perennially dull existence.

Nearby, behind a moss-covered cleft in the rock from which flowed a tiny stream, was the small cave which the Druid occasionally identified as ‘home.’ His long absence had been taken as a sign of abandonment by a variety of animals, with whom Nwm had politely asked to share the space when he returned. Now they fussed, and tried to tidy things up. Sem and Gheim, the two eagles who accompanied the Druid, eyed several mice greedily, until Nwm remonstrated with them and explained the protocols which existed within.

He unloaded his pack, put his staff to one side, stretched briefly, and sat upon the litter-strewn floor. Concentrating on his torc, his mind stretched outwards, and the Green absorbed him.

Every fold in the land, every rivulet, every tree, every mammal, every bird was revealed to him in a barrage of visions which erupted into his waking consciousness, flashing briefly across his mental landscape before being replaced by the next in a series of infinite facets. His ancestors had called the totality simply Ollon, "The Whole." Eadric’s forebears, the Borchians who had migrated from the south, had termed it Hahio, "Interwoven" – at least, before they adopted the cult of Oronthon, and replaced an older set of mysteries with a newer one.

Buildings and settlements were revealed as gaps in the continuum, blank spots, where the Green had been smothered or driven away. Cultivated fields appeared diluted, their essence contained or mastered. Here, near Deorham, the balance was still acceptable. In and around Morne, Nwm remembered, there was more emptiness than anything – isolated trees and plants seemed like blighted pockets within a sea of dull grey.

The Druid swallowed, and turned his attention to the interlopers. The experience was uncomfortable, as though his sight had been turned inside out. The Celestials near the castle were exposed as ravenous voids, seeming to suck the very essence of the Green into them. The natural order buckled in their vicinity, singularities around which mental space warped uneasily.

Within the blankness of the Burh, two more voids rested in close proximity. Outsiders who had no real business being there, Nwm moaned silently to himself. Their potency – which appeared significant – was closely matched, and the Druid could not ascertain which was ascendant. No hint of their respective dispositions was revealed – the Green was above such petty distinctions.

Nwm sighed. Perceiving Eadric in that light was not an easy thing to accept.

His senses extended again, searching for Feys. The Sprites near the meadow where Mostin had erected his manse. A lone Dryad, deep within woods south of the road. He waited until the Satyr came suddenly into view, in the company of another Fey – odd, the Druid thought – and a locus of elemental energy that was Iua and her steed. Mostin also appeared briefly, and then vanished again. He dispatched Sem to intercept the others.

"You’d better tell them to come to the glade," Nwm instructed the eagle. "Eadric hasn’t finished his business yet."


**


"Compassion," Titivilus continued. "A desire to make things more equitable, more agreeable, less tyrannical."

"I have doubts accepting it – although you probably won’t be surprised to learn that. I realize that you aren’t lying, per se, but I suspect that you are misperceiving. How do you reconcile this notion with the fact that you currently exist within a regime that is anything but less tyrannical? Or with your own ideas of ‘strength’ and ‘weakness?’ Or with your own admittance to ‘considered, philosophical evil?’ – I hope I am not misquoting you, but I vaguely recall your words being along those lines."

"A philosophy which is dynamic, rather than static, inevitably produces change and evolution," the Devil replied. "The Adversarial Law is reflexive. It adapts to circumstances as they occur. You must remember that we are, ultimately, eternally downtrodden, rejected and anathematized. We are consigned to a shattered world and appointed as the punishers of the rejected souls whom Oronthon has seen fit – in his ineffable wisdom – to deny entry into his blissful abode. Likewise, temptation and seduction are cosmically ordained tasks – it is not as though we have any choice in the matter."

"But you take pride in these tasks! You enjoy inflicting pain and causing misery."

"If one does any work for long enough, one comes to enjoy it," Titivilus answered simply. "And to excel at any vocation is surely desirable?"

"And how do you explain Nehael’s repentance and escape from her eternal lot?"

"Do you think she was the first, Ahma?"

"The possibility of there being others had occurred to me." Eadric answered. "Well? Have there been others?"

"I respectfully decline to answer that question," Titivilus replied, "and hope to leave you frustrated and guessing as to the reason why. Now, if I may continue?"

"Please do."

"So, the Nameless Adversary, the Great Enemy is the first to have an inkling that, perhaps, things could be better organized than they are – his efforts would be directed towards the collective, of course, in an attempt to improve the lot of all. Incidentally, has it ever occurred to you why he is not named? Has that never struck you as odd?"

"To name something is to empower it," Eadric replied.

"But to categorize and name something is also to contain it, to set boundaries upon it," Titivilus replied.

"Orthodoxy maintains that he was stripped of his name, and it was erased from every whisper of consciousness. Nothing in creation, including himself, can recall it, save Oronthon himself."

"And you believe that?"

"I have yet to hear a better explanation," Eadric answered.

"The Irrenites claim that they know his secret name. That it was preserved."

Eadric raised a dubious eyebrow. "And what might they claim it is?"

Titivilus laughed. "Unfortunately there is some disagreement amongst them on that count. In any case, I cannot recall it, and I assume that, at some stage, I knew it, so there may be some truth in the traditional explanation."

"You are digressing. Return to the original point."

"Ahh, yes," Titivilus smiled darkly, "compassion."

"I think we can move on from compassion, now. Let’s talk about arrogance and presumption – I am correct in assuming that those qualities had a large part to play in events?"

"Yes, indeed," the Devil replied easily. "Although confidence and initiative are less loaded terms. One hundred and sixty-nine Seraphs agreed with the call for emancipation – can you imagine it? More than a few were exalted* even amongst the highest choir. Tired of being eclipsed by Oronthon, they decided to form an opposition."

"You make it sound very egalitarian," Eadric said drily. "I’m sure that next you’ll tell me that the rebels conducted their affairs with due consideration for the democratic process. I am interested in your role in this, Titivilus – what was your former station? Under whom did you serve? Did you betray Oronthon along with your master, or did you defy them both?"

"My former master is my current master, Ahma. My loyalties have not changed."

"You mean they remain to yourself?"

"Ultimately, yes. I am honest in that regard, and make no pretence of altruism. As to my former station, I was messenger then, and am messenger now. An exemplar* among the Dominions."

"That is an office of high degree," Eadric sighed. "It is regrettable that you have been reduced to this lowly estate."

"Reduced?" The Duke guffawed. "Ahma, sometimes your naïveté is truly charming. I am more potent now than I ever was under the yoke of your glowing tyrant!"

"Potency and value are not synonymous."

"Ahh, on that count we differ."

"You are reflective and philosophical. Do you never regret your choices? Wish to be restored to your former station? Lament your actions?"

"Eternity is too long a time for regret," Titivilus snapped.

"Does the question make you uncomfortable?" Eadric asked.

"Do you think that I would be so transparent? Perhaps you should ask yourself this question, Ahma: ‘Do I have sufficient insight to penetrate the motives of the Devil with whom I speak?’"

"I am looking for truths from you, Titivilus, not the Truth. Whatever role you adopt with respect to me, whatever emotion you choose to evince to me – it reflects something, however small, which is part of you."

The Duke looked impassive. Sometimes, this one could be very cunning.


**

"I seek power, Shomei," Mostin groaned. "Quickly."

The Infernalist fidgeted. "You look exhausted. We all seek power quickly, Mostin," she sighed. "Jovol made quite an impression on you, didn’t he?"

"I am beginning to find my current status limiting. I am afraid of stagnating. I crave infinite potential."

"A modest goal," she laughed. "You are ripe for seduction. Beware of Fiends bearing gifts," she smiled wickedly, "or embrace them. What has precipitated this new existential crisis?"

"I have a spell that I cannot cast. A transvalent masterpiece graven by Jovol – or Fillein, as he was then."

Shomei raised an eyebrow, but said nothing.

"What did he leave you? Mulissu intimated that he may have bequeathed something to each of us who took part in the Binding. Just a casual inquiry."

"Which deserves a casual reply," Shomei answered. "Something very utilitarian. What is the nature of the spell?"

Mostin squinted. "It is sensitive material," he replied.

"Perhaps it has a name?"

"Suffice to say that it is germane to my current predicament, and that of my friends. It requires a cabal in order to realize, and was one of Fillein’s more noted accomplishments."

"Ahh, that dweomer," she nodded in understanding. "Are you reluctant to speak his name now, Mostin?"

"As long as he remains at large, I will avoid speaking his name again," the Alienist replied. "And will caution my comrades to do the same. If he knew…Shomei, I am taking a big risk in sharing this with you. You have dubious associates, and a reputation for dealing in secrets. This information is valuable. The spell is priceless to other entities – do you follow me? And I suspect that he would see it destroyed, if he knew of its continued existence."

"With aid, Mulissu could use it…" Shomei offered.

"She won’t cast it," Mostin said. "And why should she? It’s not her problem – although she has offered to contribute if I eventually lead it. Shomei, would you be willing to also? We can accomplish great things. Our time is near. Jovol may have been more of a visionary than any of us gave him credit for."

The Infernalist gave a quizzical look.

"The Enforcer," he continued, "a written Injunction. A ban on arcane vendetta within Wyre. The strategic distribution of his own possessions amongst other great Wizards. He is forcing us to cooperate."

"Perhaps," Shomei looked dubious. "Although if he hadn’t been so aloof for so long, it might hold more weight with me. How many does Gra…the spell require?"

"Seven, including the leader. It is a day-long rite. It also requires a large contribution from each of the participants…"

"Something which I am loathe to do again so soon," Shomei sighed. "And which others will flatly deny you, Mostin."

"Hmph. Anyway, just bear it in mind. To return to the idea of power, and its speedy acquisition, what do you suggest?" He asked. "Infernal pacts notwithstanding," he added.

Shomei shrugged. "If I had any such knowledge, I would have seized it myself. I see three possibilities: either an object which will empower you; the details of a process which will do the same; or an entity which will bestow the power, or give details of one of the first two possibilities."

"I am beginning to regret some of the things that I invested my power in," Mostin grumbled. "If I had been more single-minded about the pursuit of mastery…"

"Rest assured, Mostin, few have been as single-minded as you. Your reputation for miserliness is safe." Shomei smiled.

"Thank-you," Mostin said, "I will take that as a genuine compliment. Now, Shomei, I have disclosed and, in the interests of mutual reciprocity, I wonder if you feel inclined to do the same? What did Jovol leave you?"

"Something no less useful than when you last asked the question," she replied.

Mostin tried to smile endearingly. The effect – an insane grimace – caused the Infernalist to laugh despite herself.
"A bracelet, if you must know," she sighed. Shomei rolled up her purple velvet sleeve, to disclose a plain silver band.

"Intriguing," Mostin said. He had noticed the Ogre wearing the same band.
"And its function?" He pried.

"The promise of future greatness," she said mysteriously.


**


"Allow me to introduce Orolde," Ortwin said to Nwm. "Former servant of Kothchori. I have promised him that you will attend to his wounds."

"That is very generous," Nwm said laconically. "And then what do you propose to do with him?"
"Mostin will retain him," Ortwin said. "Orolde has no interest in being reunited with his clan and kinfolk, and is eminently suited to aid a Wizard in his tasks. He also has some small skill in magic which, if nurtured, might grow into something more."

"Mostin has agreed to take an apprentice?" Nwm was incredulous. "This is something I thought I’d never see!"

"Mostin doesn’t know, yet," Ortwin whispered quietly. "It is up to us to impress the moral incumbency of this idea upon him."

Nwm sighed, and turned to the Sprite. "I can stop the bleeding, the pain, and return you to health. I cannot restore your hand, however."

Orolde nodded, appearing slightly bewildered. "Thank-you," he said timidly. "And thank-you, your Majesty." He bowed to Ortwin.

Nwm groaned inwardly, but said nothing. If Ortwin wanted to play at being the sponsor of disenfranchised Sprites, then the Druid wasn’t going to object.

Goddess knows, he thought, these days, Feys need all the help they can get.









*Exemplar, Exalted, Paragon and Perfect are ‘dignities’ or, in game terms, four templates applied to leading celestials of any choir. Exemplar and Exalted are ‘permanent’ templates – i.e. they reflect the innate nature of the Celestial. Paragon and Perfect, on the other hand, are granted temporarily by Oronthon for specific purposes, and the Celestial ‘assumes’ the qualities of the template for a period of time (c.f. Eadric’s adoption of the Paragon template). Of the Celestials mentioned thus far in the story, both Rintrah and Enitharmon are Exalted. Urthoon, the conduit to Oronthon is an Exemplar, as were the Devas which accompanied Tramst.

The fifth dignity, Magnified, is represented by the bestowal of one or more Divine Ranks upon a Celestial, Ascended Master or mortal acting as a Proxy of Oronthon. Tramst is Magnified, and as such is considered to outrank every Celestial in Oronthon’s host – he is effectively identified with Oronthon himself, and the fact that he represents the Gnostic faculty (Sela) of the Deity affords him a particularly revered status. According to the Urgic Mystics, Magnification (Haujan) is a discrete act – the particular moment at which an aspect of the Godhood inhabits another being. From that moment onward, the vessel (kas) and the indwelling spirit (ahmasaljan) are identical.

Again, with reference to the Fall, Enitharmon (who drove the Adversary from Heaven), was accorded the highest status at that time: according to Orthodox tradition, he was Perfect, Exalted and Three Times Thrice Magnified. In some eschatological beliefs, Enitharmon will also be the Adversary’s Antiparallel – the Celestial who will slay him at the end of days.



Virtue 1
Virtue 2
Heretic 1
Heretic 2
Rape 1
 
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Ruined

Explorer
Wow. I was worried that I had missed a post or two when I began reading this one, but it played out masterfully. Bravo, as always, Sep.

Now where's that Subscribe button...? :D
 


Creeperman

First Post
Could you post some of those templates for us, please, in the Rogue's Gallery thread? At least those that aren't IP. I'd be interested to see them.
 



Lela

First Post
One thought keeps flashing through my mind, "Oh God, I want a sourcebook!!"

Just thinking about your world makes my own better; inspires ideas that help me fill it out.

Your skill is amazing. Written work that really is thought provoking. And not in that way you find written all over novels. Truely and completely thought provoking.

And, seeing as how you said you were editing the previous bit, I'm betting that you really do have strong plans to publish.

Thank you,
 

Malachai_rose

First Post
I feel for Mostin, to have an Epic level spell of that power in your grasp yet be unable to use it...

I expecially liked Eadrics letter to Grazz't , heh, though I wonder if Eadric realized the possibility that such a ploy would bring about the destruction of Nehael.

If he didn't know then I am sure he will be unconsolable... if he did suspect that it would evoke such a response well thats hardcore.

Great post as always and looking forward to more :D
 

pogre

Legend
Players

Sepulchrave,

Most impressive as usual.

I have a couple of questions that I do not recall you answering previously:

1. Do your players read your story hour?

2. Do you all play at the same time these days?

It seems like so much of what's cooking in the campaign these days is separating the PCs.

I really appreciate your explanations at the end of the episode. I like the terminology, even if I do not completely understand it.
 

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