Shouldering The Sins Of The Past

:: Written in Dwarven ::
:: On the parchment shoved in the back of his book ::

To father and mother,

I have found that I have access to a spell that will allow me to send you word of my travels in the world. To safeguard your birth names and my step brother Zeelik I have taken the liberty of using ancient words of the “rough hewn” ( Out of Character Reader’s Note: This one word is written in Elvish and says Dwarf, because that is what elves call them, Xerx’ses will not use the actual dwarven word Dwarves use to refer to themselves as a people ) and find names for you.

Mother I hope you like Darakh’zan for it means luminous and bright. Which is the light I see from both of my fathers when they look at you.

Father I hope you like Ros’tam Stonemace for it means strong, tall, which you most deffinately are. If you or Zeelik have no objection I will honor you by using Goldflail as my surname or clan name like the “rough hewn” have among them. Since you both used Anzuroq Stonemace makes sense for you both. I hope Zeelik is well and doing good deeds I know he will.

Well my first missive has a dire ending with uncertain future. May this one help to clear some things up, even if it raises other questions. Please go through:

* A’zad’s old residences = the word of entry is mother’s name. A’zad hoped one day we might join the world once more, I am uncertain now how this will play out.
* Where I found my first spell books (hidden in the half crumbled ruins of a dwarven military alchemist lab)
* The room where we have kept the art and relics of the past.

Just put them someplace safe as I may have need of them soon. Don’t save any rune weapons for me I think Luur’na, Mergerij, and Zeelik may possess the only ones aligned with the good and the light rather than the darkness hate breeds. If the gods see me fit to carry a lightbringer one day then so be it otherwise I will have this flail committed to memory and always carry it or one like it.

I have heard from another wizard out in the world that there are other Minotaurs that are good! I know of the Serelan Tribe from the trades during the night, but I seem to be far from home and we may not be alone. I am getting ahead of myself.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++

I was being sent to aid a group known as CrIsis to help bring my lord Osiris back from the twilight lands of Anubis, to the realms of Sun Lord, Ra. When She-of-Countless-Names raised her hand I was sent from the Realm of the Gods to where she needed me. Having been rejected by She-of-Countless-Names as a good creature or one that could be good. He tone was unmistakable for she has no faith our people can be redeemed for our ancestors sins. I found myself wondering why help someone that clearly wanted my species to be a footnote in history. I decided thusly: A lady whom has done countless good deeds asked for my help and whom am I really if I would not answer that call and provide aid even when I may be put to the hazard.

When Darkness faded I was on top of a tower that had a ceiling but no walls I could discern! Those in front of me were:
* An aged elf which reminded me of A’zad.
* a Dwarf by his stout stature and size.
* a Gnome! They are not all dead, amazingly, and yes, they are shorter than the Dwarf people!
* a Troglodyte, I did not expect to see one on the surface!
* I don’t know what to call the last of the two before me but they look like mis-shappen elves! After knowing about the destruction of the Baalgor Forest it’s not a great surprise that some elves may have been scarred by the war of the Fair and the Strong. It looked like these mis-shappen elves were a father and child.

It seems wherever I am my race’s past deeds proceeded me and everyone prepared weapons! I felt magic come at me but I was able to resist it. I held out my fist displaying the Ring of the Eternal Torch given to me by She-of-Countless-Names, knelt before them and said, “I am here to serve.” When I lowered my gaze to the floor I realized that for those on the surface I or Minotaurs were still the enemy. When queried by the group I explained I was Xerx’ses and that I was a wizard.

Without warning the group was attacked by the aged elven wizard in some kind of opaque bubble that began closing in on all of us! Unsure what to do I yelled for the wizard to take me and leave the others alone. If I was going to die I wasn’t going to condemn anyone else to this fate. I was surprised when the Gnome said he would vouch for me, and apparently something about his lineage made the elf mage pause and release us.

Upon releasing us I was further questioned and I showed the Dwarf, Master Overkill, my flail and spoken in the Dwarf tongue, and I learned my dialect was considered ancient. When I showed him the flail of prayers my stepfather, Ros’tam Stonemace, had made me; I recited the prayers in engraved on the heads of the bronze flail in the same dwarf speak. Master Kel-ed, the aged elf mage, approached me upon hearing my recitation of the prayer without a hitch.

While everyone seemed to have a hard time believing I was raised in the lost Fortress Etrinan, what I said and the engravings on the flail heads made them think there may be something to what I said. I then took off an ancient dwarf necklace which had Osiris’s symbol embedded in clear amber that I wore to show my alligence to Osiris the Lawgiver. Upon his review of the necklace, Master Overkill, swore a blood oath to the elf mage of the tower. He swore that he would not leave my side and he returned my belongings! After they pricked their fingers and made the oath they two hugged each other!

AN ELF AND DWARF HUGGED EACH OTHER IN FRIENDSHIP!!!

I did not say it out loud but I praised Osiris that such a time was witnessed by my eyes! If two races (one of whom was among the races that faced off against the Lords of Chaos) that nearly destroyed the world could find common ground their was hope for me. I will never expect Isis to accept me and now I have to assume that none of the Gods of Light will accept me. I will continue to offer my prayers to the Lawgiver in hopes that world becomes a better place. If I can lend a hand to help make that world better place, then that is my fate. Find the right words for Zeelik because if I ever saw a hero it is my step brother, I want him to be warned but I don’t want to diminish his noble zeal.

After that embrace the elf mage, Kel-ed asked, ‘How can the Tri-Arcanum Guild assist CrIsis?’

The Troglodyte, whom refers to himself as Roggan asked for further training as a warlock. This also perked the Gnome’s interest as they both appear to study the mystical arts of Elementalism. Hoping to gain allies by joining a guild that seems to have at least one member accepting me. I asked Master Kel-ed if I could join the guild, and he didn’t say no! Apparently, my race is used to scare children into being good and most other races talk about us being extinct as a species! With that the group decided it might be advantageous if they all join the guild! I stayed quiet as I was unsure how to proceed for these people (even the ugly looking elves) acted like good folk from my tribe.

Decent and caring.

We were told to wait a day for the elemental head of the Tri-Arcanum, Master Wesvon, to be informed there were members of his arts wishing to join the guild. There was some talk about Master Wesvon being old enough to have been warrior at the tail end of the war between the Fair and the Strong. I am not sure I believe it but in any regard he must be aged and wise enough such tales abound regarding the Warlock. Master Overkill and I shared a room because of the oath and I am afraid I was a poor roommate as we did not speak much and he slept. I woke early and ran through the 24 prayers (eight of them each engraved on one of the flail heads), while the good dwarf slept errr snored through the dawn hours.

I used the cleansing spell upon myself so my sweat from yesterday would not let those I met to hate based on stench alone.

We were brought the council of the Tri-Arcanum guild they called forth for any practitioners of the Mystic Sciences and I stepped forward stating I was a Wizard. This gathered murmurs and shocked looks. I was accused within the first few minutes of being a worshiper of the Old Ones. I began looking around and asked the group of ugly elves and not so ugly elves where the worshiper was since I worshiped Osiris the Lawgiver. Then the unbelievable happened, Master Kel-ed stood in front of the assembled guild members and said, “This minotaur bears the Ring of Isis and the blessing of the gods, he is no worshiper of the Old Ones and any that accuse him must first face and accuse me of worshiping them!” Master Overkill also made a passionate stand for my defense and I have known them a merely a day, I do not know how I have been deemed worthy of such trust but I will not break it.

There was a power to his voice and he went on to state something about the Gnome, Tyvernos’, parentage that seemed to set the guild back. Have you ever heard of the Defilers? Why on Palladium would anyone want to be known as the child of a Defiler? That sounds pretty harsh, maybe the gnomes have become practitioners of the Dark Arts since the war of the Fair and the Strong?

The aged elf mage then was happy to help me find a teacher for some additional spell knowledge. As I was walking away the good gnome and the aged elf mage were getting into a boisterous argument over whether Wizardry or Warlock power was stronger. If Master Wesvon of the Elementalists approved his admittance then the challenge would commence! Gnomes these days seemed far more angry than the tales tell of them.

It would seem most elves that survived the war of the Fair and the Strong have been so scarred their descendants do not even have the same ears (more rounded), eyes, and just act like a different race altogether! They are everywhere in the tower, the poor creatures! The spell I learned over the next 3 days was how to see the invisible around us.

Also, during this time the good Gnome and the Troglodyte discovered a fiend of the hells hiding as a statue within the guild hall walls! They made it flee this plane and I was very surprised to see the quality of companions I would be joining. When we came before the council again there were quite a few seats empty but the majority of the council was present. We were each presented with a scroll in a language no one could read. I decided I needed to borrow Thoth’s eyes for his wisdom would allow me to understand any cryptic verse. Once the spell was cast I saw the quest and task we were to be set upon for our admittance since the fee was waived and we had people willing to vouch for us.

“…Worship only the Gods of Light,
serve only the Gods of Light…”

I pricked my finger and signed in my blood. When I had the chance to speak with Master Kel-ed I told both he and Master Overkill my true name and thanked them profusely for the honor they have shown me. The guild welcomes us and the group looks up and they apparently saw Ra! Yes Ra, Lord of light sitting among the wizards. I did not see him, nor did the wizards, but I’m not surprised, I am helping because it is the right thing to do. However, I know people willing to die for the gods may not be in short supply but those willing to do this and be capable of completing the task before CrIsis must be a much smaller number. I must be one of the last scraps of food on a plate they go looking for when the Gods of Light can find no one else. Please don’t let Zeelik feel this sting, if you do then harden him against the hate of ages and let him shoulder the sins of the past as I must now.

When we tried to leave and I stepped out into a whole city of scarred elves (by the lawgiver they are everywhere), those nearest to me screamed out…

“Old Ones!!! run!!!!!!!!”

I cast an Invisibility spell and stepped back inside and the group talked with Kel-ed about a way to make me blend in. It took another 5 hours but I was given a talisman that disappeared along with me! I will study this amulet since I do not understand how it functions. With a disguise in place we left to go meet King Hafton of Wisdom! Oh I can’t wait this noble elf brings me hope that those that strive to the light may meet people such as King Hafton! The walk to the castle was slow because I had to follow the group to avoid kicking one of the ugly elves. They remind me of herd silonars they are everywhere and speak some tongue I do not understand in this city called Wisdom. Every now and then I can hear bits of Elvish tongue, all I can gather is that I am in a realm called Wisdom in lands in the east. I maybe be east of the New Kingdom but I cannot be sure since our knowledge of beyond the wastelands is limited at best.

With Master Kel-ed’s help we reach Hafton Palace and I take great care to not bump into, step on anyone as I make my way in with the group. Per my keeper’s request I make sure I keep tapping or my hand on his shoulder. The monarch appears to be of untainted Elven Blood and his palace is right out of stories I read of the tales of the City of Baalgor. I am not going to mention that it resembles a elf Knight’s fief is size and scope rather than a King of the New Kingdom, but the color windows make the light dance in a rainbows inside the hall and all of the architecture blends from one area to the next. It is so fluid like a river I suppose, oh I got to see one of those as well!

King Hafton spoke of another city called “Lorn” and a Duke there he feels is an explample of one’s backside! I can think of a couple people that fit this description. I can think of a couple people that fit this description. It would appear my new comrades had been in said town recently and there is noted fear of a dark presence making the Duke act this way. It would also seem they were chased out of town before the validity of those claims could be ascertained. Hmmm, I am sure we will return there some day. Several times during our meeting I noticed the King look at me directly even though I was invisible to everyone else. The King even came up to me and said, “If a servant of the Old Ones can seek peace and light then I will do the same!”

I dropped my spell and became visible to all which put several palace guards on edge, however, his declaration of seeking peace with a realm called the Wolfen Empire, this seemed to make my companions relieved. I bowed my head and didn’t know what to say, either people saw into my heart and new I strive to be worthy of those that dwell in the light or they ran in fear and disgust.

Soon after this I re-instated the invisibility spell and we left only to meet two friends of the group:
* Terramore, an elf
* Tyrone, one of the ugly, scarred elves

They informed the group about an attack of Fenry Demon Wolves, over a dozen of them. Thanks to a stone golem the group calls Gina they were able to break away and bring the ship here to Wisdom. The warlock Roggan took this news hard it may be possible that the golem is powered by an elemental essence that Roggan cared for. When we finished with business in town I said a prayer for Gina.

“…Great Ra, Lord of Light, I beseech thee,
Grant the essence of Gina safe passage home to its plane of existence,
through its bond to Roggan so to does it have bond to the Pantheon of Light,
May it be given
Water and soil,
Gem and Crystal,
Sky and flame,
All things that make creation,
and spirits such as Gina may feed upon.

In your name

Amon Ra…”

I know I can’t craft prayers like my birth father, you, or Luur’na but it seemed to inspire Cava the deformed elf to utter words and his were quite better than mine.

After Roggan gathers what he needs he explains that he wishes to transfer his soul into the golem! Several of us try and talk him out of it and I explain to him that this is to similar to how rune weapons are made and those souls are bound for eternity their bodies! It was then both Cava and Overkill drew forth a runic axe and runic sword! I will never escaped these weapons of ancient power it seems, at least I know what I would be getting into. While I never bound or was chosen to wield the Lightbringer staff Saraph that used to belong to my birth father. I talked to it daily and I know it was a staff made before the war of the Fair and the Strong. It was a spirit of light that chose this path and the great lord of all knowledge, Thoth, the wise created the staff and gave it to Isis to bless her followers with. It has known Elf, Dwarf, and now Minotaur owners and saw the complete length of the bloody war between the haughty Elf and unforgiving Dwarf. It seemed they were trying to talk to their rune weapons but were not having a great deal of luck.

When I looked up Roggan was gone and when he return much later the following day he had snuck off and performed the ritual, he had become the 18 ft tall Iron Golem! When I looked up I thought jokingly this must be what being a Dwarf feels like, HA!

Sadly, mother, the rest of my time here in Wisdom was less exciting, I gave all my gold to help repair a boat owned by the group I know I would upon and use soon. The group purchased medallions allowing me to turn into something called a “Hooman” twice turn of Ra’s gave for a half of an hourglass each time. Well adventure awaits I have companions and we embark on a quest I can only imagine about.

Your son,
Xerx’ses Goldflail

>> Written by Xerx’ses, Wizard of the Golden Flail on Selestra 5th in the year 111.<<


Tri-Arcanum Sigil picture by AZ-Rune Art, commission him at artist@agodrebuilt.org
Elf by Marcio Fiorito.

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