The Great Library of Palanthas

An Aesthetic shows you to a small reading room.

Stories of Ansalon from the view of Nethaxion.

A little gully dwarf runs by and says 'Wordwrap Off 65 80.'
The gully continues 'Eyes hurt? Turn Color OFF!! (regular story dates)

Astinus says 'Enter the main library here to view only the author list.'
Astinus gently places a giant book on the table in front of you.
You note the spine bears the word 'Nethaxion' scribed in glowing orange ink.

Author:    Nethaxion      
Date:      Sat Aug 26 16:37:30 2017
Subject     Nethaxion: An End, and a Beginning I

Smoke hung heavy in the air as Nethaxion approached the small village. The stench of burning flesh was unmistakable, and the cloying odor clung to his robes as he descended into the hamlet. Charred ruins lay scattered about the main thoroughfare where once houses had laid, simple in build but sturdy and well maintained as were their remaining neighbors. Like unto a living thing, the shadow of Death was pervasive in this place, casting a pallor over the once peaceful town. Riding upon the wings of war, the plague had come to town.
Almost like shadows themselves, the remaining townsfolk slunk down the rutted dirt road that ran the stretch of the village, obscured behind rags and cowls in an effort to avoid the disease themselves. To a one, their eyes were downcast, and they would quickly cross the street to avoid contact with one another. Near the center of town, the skeleton of a small hut smoked and smoldered, the latest in a series of vain attempts to contain the spread of the sickness. Black rats scurried from shadow to shadow, thriving in the pestilent wake, far bolder than they should have been.
Nethaxion urged his mare down the street, who a obliged after snorting loudly, clearly sensing something was amiss. In happier times, the presence of a robed stranger would have garnered many stolen glances and whispered musings in a town where everyone knew each other. Today, the withdrawn villagers paid him no heed at all, as if their souls had already departed and were simply waiting for their bodies to acknowledge this. Nethaxion held a red cloth to his mouth and nose as his horse continued down the street, continuing for a distance before turning east towards the woods. He was happy to leave the dying village behind him, just as he had been happy to leave it ten years prior.
Memories arose unbidden and assailed him as he approached the small hut on the edge of town. Some happy, of times spent with his mother, though those were few in number. More frequent were the memories of a drunkard, administering wild beatings that would leave Nethaxion battered and bloody. Memories of days spent fighting the knot of hunger gnawing at his stomach, for the food money had been depleted at the small tavern in town. Memories of nights spent in terror, hiding in the root cellar or under his small bed while his mother screamed and sobbed as she was struck again, and again, and again. Memories of his father.

Author: Nethaxion Date: Sat Aug 26 16:39:29 2017 Subject Nethaxion: An End, and a Beginning II

The hut, as always, was in disrepair, its haggard appearance a grim reflection of its owner's soul. A single wooden post has been driven into the ground before the structure, painted red and a fresh addition to the otherwise aged ramshackle that comprised the premises of the property. The intent of the post was clear: Quarantine. The wooden door, gray and weathered within a twisted frame, hung lazily open. The interior was shrouded in darkness, and completely devoid of any semblance of habitation.
Nethaxion knew what awaited inside. Word has spread of the sicknesses that had been enveloping towns, large and small, sweeping along in the wake of larger conflicts. Unnatural and unlike others illnesses, it spared none as it struck down the strong and weak alike, perfectly impartial as it scoured the land. Only the rats and crows reveled in the aftermath. Steeling his mind against what was to come, Nethaxion swept down off his mount and strode into what had once been his home.
The stench of decay was immediate and powerful, sweeping past the cloth held to his face with disdain. Choking back a gag, Nethaxion surveyed the interior as his eyes adjusted to the gloom. The emaciated figure of his father was sprawled in the dilapidated bed in the corner of the single room that comprised the hut, unmoving. The interior of the hut was much as he remembered it from years past, though more run-down than it had been when his mother had lived there.
Again, memories assailed him as he thought of his mother. Perpetually thin from giving her portions to he and his father, his mother had been a handsome woman with bright eyes and a smile that, even when forced, had always comforted Nethaxion. He remembered her eyes the most. Eyes full of pride as he grew. Eyes full of fear at his father's drunken abuse. Eyes staring blankly as she was dashed against the stones of the fireplace on the night that his father had finally, inevitably, gone too far.

Author: Nethaxion Date: Sat Aug 26 16:40:25 2017 Subject Nethaxion: An End, and a Beginning III

Coldness crept into Nethaxion's heart as he looked over the small, pitiful structure. One by one, the memories faded to an empty hollowness, a comfortable numbness he had relied upon over the years. Anger simmered briefly under his skin, but was quickly washed away. He looked upon the wretched body of his father and was surprised to see slight movement as his father's chest rose in a quick, shallow gasp, then exhaling in a rattling cough. Nethaxion gazed down at this pathetic wretch one final time before turning towards the door, dropping the red cloth to the floor.
At the threshold, he paused, looking back over his shoulder. His whisper, though soft, carried across the room.
"I pray that what you have suffered these last few days is but a fraction of what you suffer in death. May you find eternal torment in the depths of the Abyss, father."
Not waiting for an answer, Nethaxion gestured sharply and a flash of flame burst from his hand, washing over the thatch roof. A low moan escaped the corner of the room as Nethaxion strode forth, flames quickly climbing over the dry timber. Turning his gaze to the south, he mounted his mare and urged her to a slow canter.
As he left, he found no sadness or remorse lingering in his heart. In a way, he was grateful for the plague, for otherwise he would not have returned here to see the death of this place. There was a beauty in it, an echoing finality that cared neither for good nor evil. These thoughts whispered to him as he left the dying down, and his soul listened.

Author: Nethaxion Date: Tue Oct 31 15:37:32 2017 Subject HSQ2017 - Unleashing Darkness I

"Time to prove yourself, whelp. Go in, get the statue, and bring it back out. Then you can run with the Nightwolves for good." The final statement was punctuated by a stiff push that sent Nethaxion stumbling into the entrance of the ancient ruins. His palms were bloodied as he caught himself on the rough gravel before the ruined archway, it's face worn smooth by centuries of exposure to the elements. Grimacing, Neth rose to his feet, sending one hateful glare back towards the teen-aged bullies. "Fine. Just be sure you're still here in the morning," he muttered angrily back towards them. Jameis, the biggest of the boys, spit through gapped teeth and laughed. "Oh, we'll be here, pup. We're won't miss watching you flee with your tail between your legs." Turning away from the young ruffians, Neth pulled a few handfuls of creepers from the entrance and squeezed into the courtyard. The keep had been built into the side of a great peak within the Khalkist mountains long before the Cataclysm - and the state of the structures clearly demonstrated this. Nearly all of them had tumbled down centuries ago, and the weather had further degraded them to the point of being nothing more than great mounds of stone. However, these outlying structures were not the goal. Hewn into the side of the towering mountain known only as "Lament's Rest" to the locals, the ancient keep had stood against the onslaught of the centuries, its chambers and corridors carved from the very bones of the great peak itself. Pulling out his tinderbox, Nethaxion approached the great, yawning portal, lantern in hand. The air around the entrance seems to move as though from a great beast itself, rank with the smell of mildew and things rotting. It was evident that no living creature had been this way in a long, long time. Trying to suppress his growing trepidation, Neth struck tinder to the wick of his lantern and steeled himself. He would not turn back and suffer further embarrassment at the hands of those louts. Holding the lantern before himself, he stepped forward into the gloom. The first thing he noticed was the suffocating silence of the grand hall that served as the entry. Where moments before there had been the sound of birds and insects and the wind, now there was nothing. It was as though he had left his world behind, entering into a place where death reigned supreme. The only sound was that of his soft heeled shoes as he treaded down the ruined hallway, navigating around crumbled stone and furniture disintegrated by the passing of time.

Author: Nethaxion Date: Tue Oct 31 15:41:30 2017 Subject HSQ2017 - Unleashing Darkness II

Jameis has given him only vague instructions on where to look - Neth suspected it was because the boy had never been in here himself, or even spoken to someone who had. Neth didn't care. The lure of secrets long since forgotten was enough to pull him in deepeer, and he proceeded quietly down the hallway, ignoring the side passages to plunge deeper into the depths of the ancient fortress. Minutes passed uneventfully as Neth continued deeper into the keep, the surroundings slowly changing from large, accommodating chambers and halls to battlements and defensible points. After nearly an hour of continual movement into the depths of the keep, Neth found a great stone doorway with an ancient crest above it. A heavy, iron portcullis had been drawn down across the doorway, but it, too, had succumbed to the centuries. Thoroughly corroded with rust, the pitting metal bars flexed beneath his hands, but held firm. Carefully setting down his lantern, Neth grasped the portcullis with both hands and heaved with all his might. At first the metal only groaned and flexed, but a large section finally let loose with an explosion of rust, sending Neth stumbling backwards. The section of portcullis landed with a deafening crash, rebounding several times before finally coming to a rest as the echoes thundered up and down the previously silent hallway. Barely daring to breath, Neth remained frozen in his little bubble of light for minutes after the last echoes faded. Finally, he carefully picked up his lantern and peered into the throne room, and then squeezed his body through the twisted portcullis, wincing as he dug fresh wounds into his hands. Inside, the room was much like the rest of the structure: ruined and ravaged by time. A few pieces of rusted metal that may once have been arms or armor were found scattered amongst the rubble, but there was no idol, no great treasure. This was nothing but a tomb, the heart of a kingdom long since dead. With a sigh, he slumped against the back wall - and then gasped as the stone masonry behind him gave out, tumbling down into a natural cavern. Heart thumping, Neth peered into the impenetrable darkness, lantern held high. The stone passage was rough, not carefully hewn like the rest of the keep, and was likely an escape or bolt-hole cut to preserve the rule in the incident of an invasion. Unable to see anything, he cursed under his breath and stepped fully into the cavern.

Author: Nethaxion Date: Tue Oct 31 15:44:50 2017 Subject HSQ2017 - Unleashing Darkness III

It was the deepest, darkest cavern he had ever been unfortunate enough to find himself in. The small circle of light cast by his lantern was the only thing keeping the inky darkness at bay, the gloom and musty air combining to suffocate his senses. The walls were slick with some kind of green ichor, where even mushrooms and lichens struggled to survive. This room was nothing like the rest of the keep, and he felt dread finally creep into his heart. Neth turned and looked for a way back up into the throne room. Then his lantern flickered, and with hiss, went out. He was immediately enveloped by the inky darkness. He reached a shaking hand for his tinderbox, but then, suddenly, impossibly, the lantern relit. This should have been comforting, but Neth felt something wrong. The hairs on the back of his neck stood on end, and he knew without a doubt that something was right behind him. With a scream, he dropped to the floor, shielding the lantern with his body as he tumbled down the inclined floor, the light splaying crazily across the cavern as he rolled. When he stopped, he finally saw what had been behind him, and fear froze him in place. Standing over eight feet tall and only vaguely humanoid was a great, black monstrosity. It had no eyes that he could see, and its entire frame was lean and sinewy. Glossy skin, the color of charcoal, glimmered in the light of his lantern, stretched taut over the massive frame. Its arms hung nearly to the floor, ending in massively oversized claw-like hands. Over a dozen long, black tentacles with white spines fanned out from its back, twisting and turning in the air as though they had a mind of their own. Its face was long, angular, and eyeless. It massive maw, trifurcated into three jaws lined with hundreds of teeth, opened wide and trumpeted a discordant roar in Nethaxion's direction. He was frozen with fear. The creature stalked closer and closer, its maw closing slightly as it sniffed at the air. He couldn't move. He couldn't run. He watched as his death approached. Finally, as the creature moved within his circle of light, it howled again, lunging at him. Startled out of his shock, Nethaxion brought the lantern crashing down upon the floor and tumbling backwards. The glass shattered and ignited, bathing the area (and the horror) in a bright flames. It howled again in pain, and stumbled away from the conflagration. Neth knew that he was doomed. A few burns couldn't stop something like this nightmare. Using the last few moments provided by the flames, he turned and sprinted down the hallway, deeper into the cavern. He stumbled again and again, dashing himself against the floor, the walls, and whatever unknown materials littered the hallway. He didn't care, he wouldn't accept the pain. To accept the pain, to slow down for even a moment, meant death.

Author: Nethaxion Date: Tue Oct 31 15:46:43 2017 Subject HSQ2017 - Unleashing Darkness IV

After what seemed like an eternity - though, in reality, was only minutes - the wall he had been guiding himself with disappeared and he took one final spill, bashing his face badly and sending stars sparkling across his vision. Stunned, he sat up and attempted to rise. And that's when he saw it. It was lying on the floor mere feet from him, glowing an eerie, green glow, which somehow did nothing to illuminate the area around it. It was a large gemstone, inlaid with whirling black metal and sparkling on a long chain of the same material. It pulsed softly, and he feel something dark and sinister brush against his mind. With a roar, the creature finally burst into the chamber behind him, reeking of burned flesh. Trumpeting its victory, it leapt towards him, claws extended and monstrous mouth agape. Neth reached out and touched the pendant - and awoke with a start. The day was just dawning, and the light broke over the mountain and into the courtyard of the keep. Behind him, the mouth of the keep yawned wide, leading into darkness. Around his neck, he wore the green pendant, and he was battered and bloody - but he was alive. But however he tried, he couldn't shake the feeling that something terrible had happened - something had been released that shouldn't have. Something that would make the world suffer. It would have been better if he had died.

Author: Nethaxion Date: Wed Nov 29 01:56:46 2017 Subject Embracing Corruption: Part 1 - Betrayal

The first of Nethaxion's backstory pieces. Big thanks to Andro for his masterful editorial work. Enjoy!

Author: Nethaxion Date: Tue Jan 30 14:14:50 2018 Subject Embracing Corruption: Part 2 - Providence

The second part of my backstory. Again, huge thanks to Andro for his peerless critiques of my initial drafts! Part 2: (In case you missed it) Part 1:

The Storytellers of Ansalon, The DragonLance MUD

Astinus points to the massive wall of books behind him and bids you to make a selection.

Authors: All|A|B|C|D|E|F|G|H|I|J|K|L|M|N|O|P|Q|R|S|T|U|V|W|X|Y|Z

Astinus sighs as he recants 'We saved 807 books from Ansalon from before the great Cataclysm through today.'