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  • scratch_flannigan
    scratch_flannigan  2 days ago

    Section Six starts in 1.75 hours. That will be 7pm CST (GMT - 6).

    Good(ish) characters of LEVEL 10 or below.

    We will meet at the Iron Minogon in Webster's Landing. Just assume that your character received a mysterious invitation.

    I will be IG as Taran if you have any questions!

  • Zhymm
    Zhymm  1 week ago

    Happy Turkey Day (i.e.Thanksgiving Day) to all our US players. And Happy Thursday to all others!

  • Zhymm
    Zhymm  2 weeks ago

    Uh, what happened to my message? Two paragraphs now random impulses across the interwebs ...

    Take care, Scratch.

  • Zhymm
    Zhymm  2 weeks ago

  • scratch_flannigan
    scratch_flannigan  2 weeks ago

    RL calls me away from Section Six tonight, folks! sad

    Should any of you want to go ahead and run it, please feel free to do so! smile

  • Crayzee4dnd
    Crayzee4dnd  3 weeks ago

    Sam and Hugdish's wedding will begin in about 4 hours from this post. Yay!

  • scratch_flannigan
    scratch_flannigan  3 weeks ago

    Section Six starts in 2 hours. That will be 7pm CDT (GMT - 5).

    Good(ish) characters of LEVEL 9 or below.

    This week will be a bit different, with time being "frozen" at the end of the last event.

    There will be a portal in the Iron Minogon that will take your character to the very start of the Temple level in the Yuan Ti caves.

    If you did not join last week, that is perfectly ok. Just assume that you caught up with us like we do whenever someone shows up late.

    If your character has never been on a section six mission, you can assume that you stumbled on us while exploring !

    It is a little unorthodox, but we will make it all work! biglaugh

    I will be IG as Taran if you have any questions!

  • Squidget
    Squidget  3 weeks ago

    Edrick and Vae in the same day? heart suprised

  • scratch_flannigan
    scratch_flannigan  3 weeks ago

    Hello Edrick and Vae!

  • Oberon
    Oberon  3 weeks ago

    Seeing you here makes my heart smile! heart


Forums
The Island of Thain :: Forums :: In Character Discussion
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The Shape of Magic

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Cuchuwyn
4:28:03 am GMT 05/05/21
Cuchuwyn Registered Member #24041 Joined: 4:19:01 am GMT 01/24/17
Posts: 1706
What
have
I
done?



"Little is truly known of the fonts of magical essence colloquially known as the "paths" to many natives of the Island of Thain. It is generally believed that there are four, and that they exist in some semblance of balance, though the nature of this balance is highly debated. There are some who believe that each exerts equal influence on the other three, and that by doing so, they "pull" the isle to a stable middle equilibrium. Others speculate that there are two pairs of "poles", and give these various monikers to describe the essence of each- heart and mind, spirit and reason, creation and entropy, and so on, with little agreement as to which "pole" or "path" would most likely pair with, or counter, another..."

From "A Survey of the Natural Magic of Thain" by Kalen Greengrass, Wizard of the Greenvale Academy of Magic

"Run..."


"By its nature, the plane of shadows is a mirror to what many call the "material" or "physical" plane- albeit a strange and twisted mirror, for things that may be present in one may not be in the other, owing to the difference in time and how much of an "impression" an object in the material plane made upon its counterpart. As such, venturing into the plane of shadows is both familiar and alien, as there may be buildings, landmarks, and even individuals whom one may recognize from their material forms, intermixed with fragments of things long past, or things yet to come..."

From "The Darkest Shadows: A Survey of the Mirror of the World" by Yerexia Thrum

There is no time. Hours pass, or seconds, or years. I cannot tell.


"When the light of itself comes into contact with its opposite- the shadow of itself- one imagines that each force must try to destroy the other- for when light is not produced by flame, or heat, or chemical, or even celestial magnificence, and shadow is not produced by shade, or spell, or some absence of light, but each are created of themselves, as the ideals of themselves, there must necessarily be no recourse to achieve balance between them. If an object lying next to a candle casts a shadow in the opposite direction of the flame's light, one might remove that shadow by placing another light to shine from the other direction. But when light and shadow are not created by something else, when they are instead created from the fundamental principles of the universe, then simply introducing them to their opposite will not negate them- for they are not byproducts, but rather the original reagents.

From "A Discourse on Pure Light" by Bamaeus Hood

If I have opened my eyes, I cannot tell. There is only light.
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Cuchuwyn
7:16:16 pm GMT 05/10/21
Cuchuwyn Registered Member #24041 Joined: 4:19:01 am GMT 01/24/17
Posts: 1706
The man crawls forward, his clothes in tatters, his body scored by a multitude of scrapes and cuts that ooze dark blood onto the ground beneath him. His fingers grasp a rock, nails torn and cracked and he pulls with a grunt and heaves himself a few more inches away from the darkness. In his other hand is grasped a candle, clutched in a fist so tightly that it is unclear if the man could open it even if he wished. As he pauses to breathe, the darkness seems to swell one final time, and the last ember of the candle is snuffed out, drawn into the void behind the man, which slowly releases him...


_____

The man sleeps. He does not know how long. When he awakens again, his body is stiff and sore, and his hand screams in protest as he forces himself to release the candle, one finger at a time. He does not know why he carried such a thing, instead of a torch, or a lantern. He rests again, the effort of even this little action having exhausted him...


_____

When he awakens again, his arms feel less heavy, and he rummages in a small bag at his hip. He finds herbs, bits of gem, and, what he was searching for, a flint and steel to light the candle, for it has grown dark while he slept, and the night is pressing in. He strikes at the pair, creating a spark, and holds the candle to it, carefully blowing to keep the ember alive. But the candle will not light. No matter how many times he tries, the wick does not seem to take the ember. The man groans, for there is no wood nearby to make a fire, no leaves even to burn. He sits in the darkness and waits for the sun to rise...


_____



((I will be running an event Wednesday at 7 PM for those interested))
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Cuchuwyn
7:09:57 pm GMT 05/13/21
Cuchuwyn Registered Member #24041 Joined: 4:19:01 am GMT 01/24/17
Posts: 1706
Selwyn,

I am afraid I have lost track of the days now since I first left the Academy. Ah well, I suppose it is of little import anymore, after all.

It was good to see you, old friend, even if only for a short time- my thanks to you and to the light for guiding you to me. Please also send my regards to the heads of the Academy as well, as I know it cannot have been a simple matter to let you go- you are too good at what you do, Selwyn, and the good you do is hardly worth exercising on one such as myself in any case. Still, I cannot pretend that your presence has not brought me a modicum of comfort in these times.

I am afraid I have not been entirely honest with you, Selwyn, about my condition. I hope you will forgive me, for putting things to writing that I could not say to you in person, for even now I can hardly admit them to myself.

When I was trapped in that dark and endless place, I felt it hungering, devouring anything that was too feeble or weakened to resist. For a time, the light protected me, and indeed when the pair of shades attempted to forcibly make me one of them, it burned away the part of me they could see- but it could not escape that place, Selwyn, nor could I, while the light of faith still shone. The darkness-- the void, they call it here-- it sensed something that might stymie it, if only for a time, and, senseless as any creature long-denied a meal, it began to feast.

Perhaps it is because I cannot put it into words exactly what happened that I have not tried to explain it to you before now. All I can say is that I sensed, more than felt, that my connection to the light was waning. I cannot express it better than to say that I watched as the candle which you have seen light my way I know not how many times dear friend, began to go dim in my hour of utmost need. I can hardly explain how I found my way out of the darkness, though even in the world of light it pursued me, nearly consumed the rest of me, would have had you and the others not arrived soon.

I admit I am at a loss, Selwyn. It is not that my faith is shaken- I believe in the light still, though it does not answer me. It is that-- it is as though there is a void within me now, a yawning chasm that separates me from what little ability I may once have had. It is this- this potential, or this experience, or this manifestation of faith, whatever you wish to call it- it is this, I fear, that the crushing darkness felt denying it its prey, and this it began to strip from me, in manners I cannot begin to guess. It is as though once I walked among the light- and now I merely look at the stars from an impossible distance- their small lights a cruel reminder of what I once thought would be my life's work- to know them, and to know the light. To have been useful, to have been able to push back against the darkness in my small way, to throw illumination upon things long forgotten, long buried-- I suppose I shall have to give such thoughts up, now. I am growing older, Selwyn, and without the light to aid me, what use would I be on an expedition, or some dangerous raid against a creature of darkness? I would merely slow the rest down, I suspect.

I suppose I shall be resolved to be grateful, in any case. I have continued to recover, physically at least, and will begin teaching at the academy again soon- if there are any left to teach. I have survived where many others may not have, and for that I cannot help but give thanks.

But if you have any thoughts, dear friend, any at all, that might alleviate this- this emptiness that I feel, you would do me a great service if you would relay them to me, no matter how ridiculous or farfetched they may seem to you.

I am, as always, yours in whatever light there is left.

-BH


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Cuchuwyn
3:39:56 pm GMT 05/31/21
Cuchuwyn Registered Member #24041 Joined: 4:19:01 am GMT 01/24/17
Posts: 1706
The Last Will and Testament of Bamaeus Hood

Selwyn,

Have faith dear friend. I know not if this message will reach you, or if the Light shall give you some sign, but I am preparing even now to depart to seek you out, and, light willing, to wrest you from the shackles of your oppression. I will say little of our plans, but remember always that faith is not the belief the light shall never go out, dear man. It is the belief that it will, one day, shine again.

I shall see you soon.

Yours in the light,
BH



The Last Will and Testament of Bamaeus Hood:

Being of sound mind and able body, I put pen to parchment now to make an accounting of what may be my last days, and to provide some direction, should the worst happen, and I am unable to return to my teaching and my research. I have faith in the light to see us through the darkest times, but faith and preparedness are not anathema to one another, and so I set down the following wishes and bequests:

To Mister Victen Delacroix, I leave the bulk of my research materials and notes, with the understanding that he shall return them to the Academy of Waterdeep when he is able.

To Miss Urgath-Rab, I leave the blue crystal which was used to divert the beams of light in our last expedition together. May it remind her that the correct path may not always be the simplest.

To Mister Ban De-Bar, I leave my padded cloak- may it protect him from the spiders of the north, and any other dangers he may come across.

To Miss Nicolette Everguard, I leave the candle of my faith. May it prove to be a light for her, as it was so often for me.

Whatever remains of my estate after this division, I would have it sold and used to help upkeep the Academy of the Silver Scroll, that it may yet be a place of learning for those who wish to grow.

Yours in the Light,

BH

The old man takes the first parchment, offering it to a local boy who informed him of the pirates who had taken Selwyn captive, and paying him several gold pieces to try to track the man down, in the hopes that the letter will be delivered, even if it means the pirates will be expecting them. Having no hope of concealing their journey, he feels it worth the risk to offer a friend a modicum of comfort.

The second parchment he folds, and tucks under a book at his desk in the academy, knowing it will be found if he does not return. He looks over his papers, his notes, his life's work, all the things he has learned and experienced. He turns away from the desk, and he begins his preparations.
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Cuchuwyn
5:17:04 am GMT 06/03/21
Cuchuwyn Registered Member #24041 Joined: 4:19:01 am GMT 01/24/17
Posts: 1706
A tired old man stumbles into the Academy of the Silver Scroll. He clatters up the stairs, and removes a bit of parchment from his desk, tucking it away inside his research notes. He eases himself into a chair, and pens several letters:

Selwyn,

By the time you read this missive, you will, with any luck, be ensconced back in the academy, safe once more from the threat of piracy and other such villainy. I thank the light every day for your deliverance, and pray that you will continue to be safe. Of the blade, I have heard little yet, though I keep my ears and eyes open, as you might imagine. I cannot help but worry for the lives of those who may come into contact with the thing, knowing that we in our way aided in its finding. And yet, I still cannot find any reference or mention of it, so I cannot begin to guess what it may or may not be capable of. It is, as you might imagine, quite frustrating.

But I shall not trouble you overlong- write to me soon and tell me of your voyage, and of the academy. May the light watch over you.

-BH

After writing this first, he makes several copies of another letter, addressing them to Lomir Kelmont, Teron Dian, and Celestine:

My Friend,

I am afraid I write to you with ill tidings. A relic of some sort has been discovered, one taking the form of a sword, found within an old giantish ruin. I suspect, but cannot say for certain, that the blade may have ties to the Rift. A band of mercenaries and pirates known as the Bloodravens has seized control of it, and may seek to use it for ill. They were last seen in the northlands, near the docks where the Frozen Sphinx often puts into port. I warn you that they are both dangerous and numerous, and should be approached with great caution. I would tell you more, but I am afraid I know little else- other than that they have murdered a number of innocents already, and will likely do more such deeds unless they are stopped. I write so that you and your associates may be warned, and in turn, warn others.

I am, as always, yours in the light,

Bamaeus Hood.
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Cuchuwyn
2:10:44 am GMT 07/05/21
Cuchuwyn Registered Member #24041 Joined: 4:19:01 am GMT 01/24/17
Posts: 1706
Dear Selwyn,

I write this missive from the reading room within the Academy of the Silver Scroll. A room that has of late become my refuge, for it requests visitors to maintain the quiet state of repose upon entering, and I find that quiet is a rare commodity. Several things of import have transpired since my last message, and I apologize I have been a poor correspondent, that I have been too difficult to find for your messengers at times- let me attempt to make it up to you now, at least in part, by giving a detailed accounting of my travels.

I will begin by saying that the problem which has vexed me for some months now has not changed. My magic is still hidden from me, just out of reach, like the proverbial torment of the man cursed to always hunger, and each time he reached for the ripe apple overhead, a wind pushes the branch beyond his fingertips. Each time he stoops to drink, the pool at his feet dries up. But I make do, Selwyn, and part of the reason I have been so long in writing is that I have found a way to continue my experimenting, even so. I was in a pawnbroker's shop recently, when a strange creature jumped from one of the barrels, rather disturbing everyone. The owner chased it out, but seemed rather nervous that we might call the guards, for another shopkeep had been driven from the city recently for harboring such creatures, and worse. He offered up a rather strange lantern as a means of keeping our silence, and while I confess I had little intention of reporting him in any case- it was clear the creature was there by accident- the lantern itself is rather remarkable, and I paid a fair price for it. It contains the most peculiar crystal in lieu of a candle, a crystal which, when struck lightly or rubbed with a warm palm, shines ever so brightly, rather brighter than a simple candle could. However, to obtain this crystal, for the lamp did not have it when it was purchased, only a setting for it, we were compelled to venture to a cavern full of the strange yuan-ti, the snake cultists of the isle.

Never have I heard such a hissing and noise, Selwyn, and I dearly hope that I never shall again. It was all we could do to hold them off, until at last we found an altar, where we found the crystal I have described above, nestled in among sacrifices and other strange symbols of occultism. It fit the lantern perfectly, and we were each rather gratified that the pawnbroker's information had been good- for it was he who first suggested that such a crystal might be found in the deep places of the world. It was another of my party, one Evangeline, who suggested that the Yuan-ti sometimes delved that far, and that we might look there, though I know not how she came by that knowledge.

In any case, with the crystal implanted in the lantern, it creates a vibrant and directable light, though the crystal itself is not wholly of this plane it seems, and the light that shines through it is likewise from some other place. I have attempted to determine from whence it comes, but the experiment was only partially successful- a group of assistants and I managed to split the light rather like a prism, but when introduced to darkness *in order to see if it was powerful enough to penetrate magical darkness), the light simply absorbed the darkness, making streams of blackest black between the crystals we had set up to contain the various beams. We were forced to abandon the experiment before the darkness could return to the crystal itself, which may have had rather disastrous consequences.

Still, the fact that it seems to be able to absorb darkness suggests that the plane it is attuned to may also have that property- and such a property, Selwyn- it may lead to a cure! For I must tell you of one further escapade.

In an attempt to cure my affliction, Miss Celestine and Master Gnu brought me to the very heart of the earth itself, a place of fire and magma, to a ruby the size of my own person. They bid me commune with it, which I did, though privately I wondered at them, attributing so much power to a simple gem, no matter how large and resplendent. But Selwyn, I was the fool- for even as I touched the stone, a light shone through me, red as blood, and I saw my very hand seem to wither where it touched the gem. And within- a shadow! Curling, writhing, retreating before the light that sought it out, a shadow! Some part of the darkness I must have brought with me, quite unintentionally, some remnant of the void that even now eats away at me, and my connection to the light.

For I have not told anyone this Selwyn, but I am weakening. I can barely hold my old sling and spear, and even a short jog is enough to wind me. Something inside me is eating away at me far more rapidly than simple age can account for - and I fear if I do not purge it soon, I may have only a little time left.

And thus, Selwyn, I beg you to forgive me in my neglecting or correspondence. It was not out of disinterest, nor because I have been idle and lackadaisical, but rather that I have been searching, praying, seeking- for anything that may effect a cure.

Soon I shall have to make a choice, and I pray the light shall guide me true, and that I shall be wise enough to see the guidance. If this is to be my last missive, know that I have always considered you a dear friend. But let us hold out hope, Selwyn. The Light of the world is hope, and I have faith in it yet.

Yours in the light.

Bamaeus Hood


P.S.- What do you know of star-metal?
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Cuchuwyn
6:32:20 pm GMT 07/14/21
Cuchuwyn Registered Member #24041 Joined: 4:19:01 am GMT 01/24/17
Posts: 1706
Dear Selwyn,

A most remarkable thing has happened! Something of the utmost significance, I feel, at least certainly to this soul whom it impacts most! I can hardly write for the shaking of my quill with the excitement I have felt since this unprecedented and wholly unexpected event, but I shall try to give you an accounting of my latest adventures, and I do hope you shall pardon my hand if it shakes somewhat in the writing.

Not a day ago, sir Gnu and I set out to conduct another experiment to attempt to find a cure for my rather unfortunate condition. Little did we know how the light would shine upon us! We had not gone far when a strange occurrence caught our eyes at the crossroads of this isle: flames of blue, which wreathed a curious formation of standing stones. Even as we watched, animals began to rush towards it, disappearing within the flames. We stood aghast for some time, before Sir Gnu, and another fellow by the name of Renzo, found that they could hear whispering voices seemingly coming through the flames. Sir Renzo, being something of a scholar himself, recognized the voice as speaking some form of draconic, and was able to translate at least enough to understand that whomever it was was crying out for help. Naturally, we were intrigued by this, and upon further investigation, discovered that the flames were indeed merely an illusion. I drew forth my symbol of the Light, and we plunged into the unknown!

What strange sensations assailed us in this new world beyond the flame! We found ourselves in a place not entirely unlike our own home plane, though the sky was of brightest white, and a curious snow began to fall. Advancing, we found a strange spirit that seemed to take the form of an older gentleman. He spoke to us of the dangers of the place we had entered, and told us that if we lingered too long, we would become as children- forgetting our pasts and becoming young again. Even as he spoke, we could hear the eerie cry upon the wind, of the draconic tongue which I now knew to be calling for aid. The old man refused to tell us much of the other dwellers of this place- only urging us to be quick about our business.

We pressed on still, encountering other spirits, some of them quite rude, but all seemingly having been trapped in this place for long enough that they had become little more than wisps, with hardly any corporeal form left. I shuddered at the thought, dear Selwyn, of leading others into danger, not to mention the danger of becoming such a spirit myself! It drove us on, and though we could not understand all that the spirits spoke to us of, we felt the urgency of the place even so. As we walked, we could look down and see, past the narrow ledge where we carefully trod, an endless space, white as the sky, seemingly filled with fog, though I suspect some other explanation is closer to the truth. Soon we came to a large chasm, on the other side of which fell a heavy snow, though again it only appeared as such to our eyes. In fact, in speaking with one of the spirits, it was revealed that it was a powerful magical field, and the source of the strange youth that they experienced.

And yet, the call! Selwyn, we heard the crying for help still, and what could we do? I held up my symbol of the Light, and Sir Gnu and Sir Renzo made their own preparations, steeling themselves for what we expected to be an assault on our mental capabilities- and we stepped into the storm.

What sensations I felt I can hardly describe! Suddenly the aches and pains of age were washed away as though by a gentle tide. I felt a new man, but equipped with the wisdom of experience. I was a heady feeling, dear Selwyn, to think I might have more time, have the vigor and strength to see my research completed. For several moments all I could do was revel in the fact that there was no pain, no grind of joint upon joint.

But the cry sounded out once more on the wind, and brought me back to myself. I sensed already, even in the few seconds I had been engulfed by the storm, that I had nearly slipped, and I redoubled my resolve. My body began to feel as itself again, and we pressed forward. Soon we saw the source of the cries which had so haunted us- a creature of such strange appearance I can hardly find words to put to parchment. Lizardlike in appearance, though bipedal, and speaking in a guttural, hissing cry which we had heard even through the realms. Clearly a being of some power, though I readily admit that outside of a few manuscripts and legends, I had never encountered such a creature as the one now facing us across the strange mists.

It spoke to us in common, and told us the story of how his- for it was indeed a male of the species- people strayed from their ancient ways, putting their faith in new forms of power. He spoke of the savage Tel'Mordere, who hunted his people in the great and vast Heartwood, of how they were forced to become increasingly warlike in order to survive. That here in this place, he had been banished by his people, his spirit uneasy, unable to pass on, but unwilling to leave his people undefended.

And he spoke of a darkness. One that he said we had brought with us. His eyes met mine, the odd snakelike pupils dilating with something akin to anger. He spoke of a purging, that if we would agree to aid his people, to restore him to them, that he would help us- help me.

Selwyn, sometimes the light shines and lights a path, and sometimes we must choose whether to take it. I confess, I know little of the people this being led- whether they are good souls or ill, whether aiding them would bring brightness to the world or cast it further into shadow. But I took the path that was offered, trusting in the Light to guide us all.

The ritual was fairly straightforward. I was sat upon the misty ground, the snow of magic falling upon me- falling through me. And I bid Sir Gnu shine the rather remarkable lantern I described to you in my last missive upon my form. Almost immediately, a shadow began to billow forth from my open mouth, a horrible, vile, black mass that seemed almost sentient- Sir Gnu and Sir Renzo fought it valiantly, but like smoke it twisted from their weapons, lashing out at them with tendrils of hate and darkness. The glade where we sat began to dim, and I could feel hope dimming with it. I prayed to the Light once more Selwyn, hoping that with the strange essence no longer within me, I could reach for the Light again. I took up my candle- my hands shake even as I write this now. I took up my candle, and closed my eyes, and reached out for the Light- and found it! The flame sprang to life for the first time in months. The Light, with Sir Gnu and Sir Renzo's redoubled efforts, was successful in driving away the essence, dispersing it into nothingness. I remember collapsing upon the ground, exhausted from my exertions, like a runner who has not exercised in many months, and over-exerts themselves upon their first return to activity. When I looked up, the strange lizard-man had returned, his eyes studying us all. Once again he made us swear to aid him, and his people, an oath we were only to happy to make, given the circumstances.

Around us, the strange magic swirled, and the creature told us that, if we wished, we might embrace it- become young again, become something else. I cannot say with certainty what the others did, but for myself Selwyn, I had experienced one miracle already, and was blessed enough simply to have the Light return. The storm raged around us then, blocking our view of the spiritual shaman, and when next I could see, we had returned to the odd standing stones. Unsure if it was a dream, or perhaps a vision, I reached for the Light again- and once again my candle lit!

Even now Selwyn I am unsure how this has come to pass. I have seen things which even a week prior I would have discounted as little more than ravings. But the Light shines upon us all, whether we believe in it or not. And now, I must begin preparations, for I have an expedition to organize. One that shall take us, I fear, deep into the uncharted forests of the Heartwood. One that may help give clarity to this rather remarkable experience.

I trust this letter will find you well, and in good health.

Yours in the Light,

Bamaeus Hood








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Cuchuwyn
4:51:42 am GMT 08/03/21
Cuchuwyn Registered Member #24041 Joined: 4:19:01 am GMT 01/24/17
Posts: 1706
Dear Selwyn,

So much has happened, I scarcely know where to begin. I suppose I should preface this entire missive by stating that the children we have been looking after at the academy are coming along just fine, and that while there is certainly some lasting damage from the recent unpleasantness, things are slowly returning to a more normal rhythm. Unfortunately, that is nearly where the normalcy ends. I have made mention to you of the strange lizardfolk we encountered before, and I am sorry to say that they have proven far more bestial than our initial meeting would have suggested. Indeed, there appears to be a rather deadly schism currently affecting the tribe, with some members opting to remain loyal to their ancestral spirit, while others have grown attached to a new sign- a bit of star that fell from the sky, which seems to grant strange powers. I have taken the liberty of attaching a small sample of this to this missive- if you discover anything unusual about it, do please let me know.

But more than that Selwyn, I have become rather convinced of late that this isle, strange as it is, must have local deities, or spirits, or aspects, or whatever term you wish to use, which are quite unknown to the wider world. While you will certainly find followers of Helm, or Torm, or Mystra, or the darker side of the pantheon as well, just as many, if not more, follow local powers- Andarus of the Eternal Light, various elemental aspects- one I believe is known as F'tark, or possibly F'tarek, who seems to be associated primarily with fire. Others I have heard rumor of, but have little more than that thus far.

And then of course there are the powers of darkness. the primary duo seems to be Zentarus, a kind of brother god to Andarus, who is said to have followed his brother into death during some cataclysmic event in years prior. And then there is the one known colloquially as the foe, a kind of play on the name its followers give it: The Faceless One. It is said that its hand is felt in many events on the isle, albeit indirectly, though of course it is difficult to ever establish the truth of such things.

And it seems that these Darrowscale worship yet another entity, the Krytist, which may be fey in origin, or may indeed by another aspect- it is all very unknown, and quite exciting! Imagine Selwyn, a place where the Light shines down and imbues itself not only into the distant pantheon, my views on whom I trust I need not repeat here, but on these, if not minor, at least local entities as well! It is a place, and a prospect, rife with the potential for experimentation and discovery. Indeed, one wonders if there are those who might recall these entities being formed, a recollection which could not but help to further the cause of the understanding of the nature of the Light and how it imbues itself into all things.

Still, even to study these entities at all is a boon to my work, and I must thank the Light for it. I trust you are well, and that the Academy continues apace.

I am, as always, yours in the Light,

BH
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Cuchuwyn
1:04:53 am GMT 08/16/21
Cuchuwyn Registered Member #24041 Joined: 4:19:01 am GMT 01/24/17
Posts: 1706
An Advertisement in the Steinkreis Times

The following would appear in the next edition of the Times, with similar advertisements or entreaties being delivered to places such as Sandburrow, Greenvale, Feywood, Hamley, and the Northlands:

A call for knowledge:

I am seeking any of scholarly bent who have knowledge of the local deities, aspects, or entities of supernatural power that call the isle of Thain home. If proofs of such knowledge are presented, an appropriate compensation may be discussed at the time. I wish to gather what knowledge I can to begin a survey of such beings, that they may become more widely known and studied. Serious applicants may inquire by post, or appear in person to:

Bamaeus Hood
The Silver Scroll Academy
Steinkreis
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Cuchuwyn
2:57:31 am GMT 09/04/21
Cuchuwyn Registered Member #24041 Joined: 4:19:01 am GMT 01/24/17
Posts: 1706
"of course, there were other gods on the island: Ceriana and Vorel, Umbra...

But Andarus was preeminent to most, and, through the Celestial Knights, the most influential."

-From: A Star in the Darkness, Author Unknown

Dear Selwyn,

I write to you on a fine and sunny morning in the waning days of autumn, as the leaves of the isle begin to turn vibrant colors and the dawn air is crisp with possibility. Far different surroundings than the humid and stifling air of Waterdeep, which even you, scholar and stalwart of that city as you are, must admit can make a body feel hemmed in, like some animal in a cage. Often we speak of fall as a season for slowing down, for preparing and harvesting and storing, that we may endure the winter to come. But in this sense, the isle I find myself on has been the throes of such a fall for more than a season- indeed, in many ways it has been an autumn of the soul for a long time here.

For you see, Selwyn, I have learned that upon this isle once lived local deities, as I have written of to you before. But it seems that many, if not all, of these deities have perished, largely in a great struggle that became a cataclysmic event for this isle.

And this is what I mean, Selwyn, when I say that this isle is Autumnal in nature- since the fall of the home deities here, others have risen, aspects of the very elements that make up this place, but in all my studies and in all my discussion with other learned men and women of the isle, it is generally agreed that these aspects, for that is what they are called, seek to preserve the isle, not to have it grow. They seek, in other words, to maintain a certain balance, to uphold basic truths, to, if you will allow me to extend my metaphor further, brace against a winter of dark forces, the demons, devils, and various creatures of the void and beyond, who would all seek to swallow this place up.

Now, let it not be said that I do not believe in the efficacy or necessity of preserving knowledge, of strengthening bonds, and of preparing for dark times- you and I both know such things are of course necessary- when a great harvest is recorded, one does not scatter the excess to the birds and wild beasts. No, one stores it away, for times of scarcity, and times of want.

But I fear that if nothing is done, Selwyn, the autumn of Thain may become a dark winter indeed. Without forces arrayed against those that stand against the pure of heart and the good of spirit, what hope can there be but to shout defiantly into the maw of death? Perhaps that is to be the fate of this place- but what if it was not? What if, instead of winter, a new spring might dawn, heralded by the Light- by progress, and reason, and justice?

Because Selwyn, gods must come from somewhere, no? They, powerful as they are, must be formed of the very essence of the Light of itself, the power that is faith rather than the power of the weave. And of course historically, these entities have come into being naturally, but Selwyn, is there any reason that they could not be made? I understand that what I say perhaps seems mad, perhaps even heretical, but let us use our rational minds- if the Light of itself could be concentrated into a large enough area that it became self-sustaining, and if that essence, that proto-deity, if you will, were imprinted upon with certain values, would it not continue to grow in power as others came to believe in it, as they came to view it not just as an experiment, but as a new god? Perhaps you may think me mad, Selwyn, for even suggesting such a thing. But I do not feel mad. I feel like the traveler who, after a long night of the soul, finally looks up and sees the dawn breaking.

This isle needs help, Selwyn, and no one man or woman is enough. But perhaps, if there were something they could believe in, if the Light of the world could be shown to them not just in theory, but in practice- what could not be accomplished?

I would hear your thoughts on this, dear Selwyn, even if they run contrary to mine.

I remain, yours in the Light,

BH
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