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M B: Diary Of An Alchemist


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Memory is a fleeting thing.

I’ve lost my library, and I wouldn’t be able to hold a normal book or scroll even if I still had them, but this scroll is truly amazing.

It has no substance, and I cannot hold it, yet it is always with me, and when I want it to it can record my thoughts.

I will use it to prevent forgetfulness.

Day one

I remember how I got here.

The trapped book in the castle, the portal.

I don’t know where I am, and it seems that I no longer have a body.

And yet, I am not dead. At least, I do not think that I am dead.

This place is unlike every afterlife I ever heard of.*

I will explore this new land, and see what I can find.

Day two

This place is amazing. With a single thought, I can conjure a creature to fight for me against the hostile beings that seem to live in this land. Back home, only the greatest of sorcerers can manage such a feat!

I cannot wait to get to a place of safety, where I can see how my old skills work in this place.

Day three? Or is it still day two? Time is so hard to measure in a land with no night

I do not understand this.

My skills, the skills I have worked for years to perfect, are useless here.

I can summon creatures and warriors to fight for me, but the simplest transmutation of one base metal to another is beyond me. There is magic in this world, but all of my knowledge seems useless in controlling it.

I can’t keep track of time any more. I do not need sleep, and the sun does not set.

I will keep numbering these entries, for the sake of keeping it organized.

Entry 4

I still cannot use my magic.

It’s not the lack of power that stops me. I can sense the power all around me, and it seems that I can use it almost instinctively, but I can’t consciously direct it. The elements are strange here. Acting almost of their own will, and the reagents I am used to working with do not exist in this place.

I have found some Nightshade, but that’s the only reagent I can recognize.

In a way, this land is fascinating. In another, it is frustration incarnate.

I will learn about this place all I can before seeking a way back home.

There’s no telling what useful knowledge I can find here.

Entry 5

I think that it is a long time since I’ve last written in this scroll.

The days are endless and never changing, but it feels like a long time.

I have talked to many of the inhabitants of this world, and a lot of them have interesting tales. It seems that only a small number is native to this place, and that most are travelers from other realms, not unlike myself.

I have made few breakthroughs in understanding this world.

I have found new creatures to summon to my aid, and have increased the power of the ones I had before, but I am no closer to regaining my old power then I was when I first came here.

It also seems like there are places in this world that are blocked to me. Entire lands that I cannot enter. It is frustrating to think that the answers I seek may be in one of those places, beyond my reach.

Entry 6

This world is rife with rumors.

Along with the war that seems to be brewing here, it seems that the knowledge I seek is within reach.

There have been tales of ancient documents explaining the ways of magic. I must seek the people who possess those documents.

This could be the key that I’ve been waiting for.

Entry 7

I have managed to gain access to the documents, and it sees that this scroll can keep copies of them for me.

How quickly have I grown accustomed to the convenience of having it.

But having the documents is proving as frustrating as knowing nothing.

Fragments. All I have are fragments.

The fragments seem to contain information about how to control the elements, and even how to control light and darkness. But I cannot make sense of these fragments.

I must have the complete documents.

* This place is, in fact, similar to one afterlife I know off. I don’t know how much time have passed since I wrote that first entry, but I’ve learned about this place since then. People fight all day long, and yet they do not die. This bears resemblance to that old Nordic myth of Valhalla. The pub that has started to appear lately seems to reinforce that observation.

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Entry 8

I have made a new discovery.

It seems that not all of my knowledge is worthless here. The baser knowledge, the more mundane applications, are still working.

It is hard to work with the festivities going on. There are more people around then I've ever seen outside the sanctuaries at any given time, and the noise is deafening.

I guess I could go and find some place more secluded to study in, but there is pleasure to be had in good company, good drinks, and a good smoke.

My studies will wait for another day. It's not like I am pressed for time.

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Entry 9

This has been an interesting... day? week? I don't know. Time is so hard to measure here.

I have had a most enlightening conversation with the Celestial Observer.

It seems that he has managed to find and ascertain the names and meanings of the 5 planets on our sky.

Those planets, it seems, stand for Fire, Lake, Water, Mountain and Wind.

These look very close to the classical 4 elements I was used to, but the addition of Lake confuses me.

Could this be the reason my powers aren't working here? The addition of a fifth force?

I will need to study that in further detail.

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Entry 10

This day...

This day has not been good.

Part of a large group, I came to the Gates of Ages, to help in one last effort to save the Firestarter, phrog.

I cannot recall all who came to help him, and I will not try. But we made a fire. As large and powerful as we could, and it seemed to help.

Arguments raged about the best way to return the heat to phrog, with Necromancer Mortis on one side, claiming that his elemental can give the heat needed, and stormrunner on the other, weary of the elemental's ability to steal life.

Eventually, phrog began to stir, and uttered the word "necrov".

Spurred by his voice, I went to Necrovion, to scout it and see what I could find. We did not know if he was begging to be taken there, or warning us that they are the ones responsible for his condition.

In Necrovion, I came across a large bonfire, in the Way of Cleansing.

I cannot say that I approve of that fire. Burning books has always been anathema to me. But it was a fire, and bigger then we could have made ourselves.

I returned to phrog, and suggested that we take him there.

With Granos scounting ahead of us, and with Renavoid and Junior assisting us, we got phrog to the Necrovion gates. From there, most of my companions could not continue, and Renavoid, Junior, MRD and I went on alone.

We got phrog safely to the bonfire, and the heat from the flames seemed to be helping, when Renavoid had to leave us to return to his archives.

In his absence, we were attacked by members of the Necrovion Sentinels, who came to take phrog prisoner. MRD and I stood our ground, and I was able to contact Renavoid, who came back to assist us, but in our battle, phrogs body was tossed into the flames and was burned to ashes.

To me, it appeared that all of our efforts were in vain, and that the Firestarter died after all, in fire instead of ice, but the appearance of Azrael, the Silent Reaper gave me new hope.

He claims that phrog's name does not appear in his book, and though I cannot say what that means, I can't help but be comforted.

I will stand vigil at the fire today, for as long as I can sustain myself.

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Entry 11
The last period of time was rather... hectic
As I was leaving Necrovion, I ran across Wodin Ullr, who told me that I have been accepted into the Guerrilla Golemicarum, and informed me of my duties.
After that, my time was rather full. Between my search for the Documents, my research of the ones I already possessed, and my new duties to the Guerrilla, I was kept too busy for anything else.
Events happened during that time that I only heard of by word of mouth.
In fact, I was so busy with my work that for a time I missed the fact that Khalazdad has split.
And then I was called by BlackThorn, my mentor, to the Aramory.
A group of Lorerootian and Golemus warriors, under the leadership of GlorDamar and BlackThorn, gathered there, knowing that the Black would soon make his move.
We have set lookouts to watch over the House of Liquid Dust, knowing that whatever was to take place would take place there, and the rest of us prepared for battle near the Aramory.
BlackThorn and Calyx have finally manage to convince SageWoman to take refuge inside Golemus, and we could all breath more easily, knowing that the Black would not be able to touch her.
After an interminable wait, we got word that the Black was on the move from Wind's Sanctuary to the House, and that the Sentinels were gathering and following him.
I do not know how such things are measured, but it appears that the time was not yet right for a confrontation, and so the Black stood outside the House and lectured his followers, and everyone else who cared to listen.
At this time, BlackThorn led a few of us to the House, to be there when the time for battle arrived.
This, for me, was extremely fortunate.
Khalazdad was still talking, telling stories to his listeners and asking them for their insights about those stories.
I was able to answer him to his satisfaction, and his reward was another of the Documents that I am after.
Soon after, the Archivist arrived, and told us that the time has come.
Battle was joined, with the Sentinels attacking almost everyone in sight, and summoning shade armies to fight for them.
Nevertheless, the tide of battle turned in our favor, and it wasn't long before the Black had to admit defeat.
Beaten, he walked into the House to die.
This was not to be, however. Soon after the Black walked into the House, the White arrived. SageWoman and Calyx were contacted, and they, too, came to the House of Liquid Dust.
With the White serving as a conduit, SageWoman pleaded with the Black to come out and rejoin his other half. The Black, of course, refused.
I will not repeat the following conversation. My memory is faulty, and I am bound to forget important parts.
In the end, SageWoman offered herself as a sacrifice, and the White was allowed into the House.
None but Khalazdad know what took place inside that terrible place, but the Khalazdad that came out of it was neither the Black nor the White.
Whatever happened there, the man who walked out was Khalazdad Greymantle, whole again and in control of himself.
I think...
I think that all of us who stood there were torn between the happiness of seeing Khalazdad restored and the sorrow of SageWoman's death. All except Calyx, who told us to have faith and that SageWoman was not yet lost.
The Priestess was right, of course. As soon as Khalazdad oriented himself, he walked over to SageWoman, and said that he revoked the Black's acceptance of her sacrifice.
I was too far back to see what happened next, but we could all see clearly when SageWoman came back to life.
After that, it was all over but the congratulations and partying.

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