The Great Library of Palanthas

An Aesthetic shows you to a small reading room.

Stories of Ansalon from the view of Orryn.

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 small leaflet on the table in front of you.
You note the spine bears the word 'Orryn' scribed in unearthly white ink.

Author:    Orryn          
Date:      Sun Jan 20 06:10:32 2008
Subject     Introduction of Cowardice

Sunlight poured in through cracks, if they could be called that they were
so large, in the wall illuminating the shack that he shared with Bernard. A
slight turn in position and he was able to see Bernard still sleeping on his
mat. A sleepy smile played at the corners of Orryn's mouth as he roll onto
his side and closed his eyes again. It was rare that Bernard slept late, but
it wasnt something Orryn was going to pass up. 

A familiar thought surfaced in the periphery of his mind for a second,
quivering its fear as it expected to be ruthlessly crushed as it usually
was. He was really awake though and the thought was given a seat in the
front of his mind and entertained. I dont really know much about the
Bernard, do I? Oh, sure, he knew the basics. The man was nearly blind and
hard of hearing. He had probably seen close to 50 winters come and go. He
had had a hard life, something he never spoke of, but Orryn could easily see
it in the lines around Bernards face. Something bad had happened to Bernard
and it revolved around mages, specifically those few who belonged to the

Bernard was always odd around people who used magic, but if someone in a
white, red, or black robe came around he simply disappeared. Orryn wasnt
sure if it was fear, anger, or a mixture of both. Oh well. He didnt need to
know much about Bernards history honestly. That was all the warning the
thought got before Orryn crushed it yet again. All he needed to know was
that when his parents died from some disease and he was left an orphan,
destined to die in the deep cold that suffocated all of Palanthas, Bernard
had found him and taken him in. Bernard who even then was nearly blind and
had no income and less food had taken on another mouth to feed. That was
enough for Orryn.

As sleep got a stronger grip on Orryn his thoughts began to drift again. One
in particular surfaced and Orryn was content to let it replay the memory it

He was around 9 years old at the time. He watched his younger self run into
the shack. No. That wasnt right. He ran into the shack, hot blood pouring
down his face, covering his lips and mouth and dripping down into his left
hand. His right held his nose, trying to shield it while refraining from
touching it. Tears spilled down his cheeks and washed away the edges of
blood. Bernard was sitting on the floor and slid something behind him as
Orryn rushed in.

By the gods, boy, what happened to you? He started to stand but before he
could even get to one knee the boy was in front of him.

I nicked some bread and was on my way back when one of the other boys
spotted me. He told me to give the bread to him. Orryn gave a short sniffle
and was quickly rewarded with a sharp burst of pain. When I told him no he
punched me and run away with the bread.

He pulled his hand away from his nose and Bernard saw what he had expected.
The entire thing was shifted off to the right of the boys face. He had
broken it pretty good.

Bernard whistled softly as he looked at the boy. When you do something kid,
you dont do it half-way, do you? Hold still, I know how to fix this. He
brought his hands up to the boys face and placed his thumbs on either side
of the nose. A wet crunch and a shriek of pain was all it took to get it set
back in the center of his face where it belonged.

Bernard eased down into a cross-legged position again and quietly sat
watching Orryn sniffle to himself as the pain subsided. Finally after a few
minutes of this Bernard cleared his throat, drawing the boys attention.

So? You just going to sit there all day whining? Thats not going to get us
any food.

The boyed blinked back at the old man in confusion. W..what? I cant go back
to the market. The guards saw me take the bread, they will recognize me if I
go back today. 

Yeah. They probably will. But I really dont want to wait until tomorrow to
get some food in me and that means you got to get some today.

Orryn just blinked again. Was he really telling him to go steal more bread
and risk getting caught to get some food before tomorrow? I cant
go back into the market and the other boy took what I had..

Bernard just sighed. Well, do you remember what the boy looked like? Orryn
gave a quick nod. Then you know where our food is. Go get it back. 

The boy blanched a bit at the thought. But, he's bigger than me. I cant beat
him in a fight..

The old man shrugged. Then dont be nice about it, boy. You dont have to walk
up to him and sock him in the snoot. Find where he is, sneak around him and
whack him hard. When he falls down, take our bread back and run back here.

The boy looked down at his feet and quietly murmered I cant do that..he
would see me first and then he would hit me again. 

"Yeah. So. Thats what happens when you get in a fight. You get hit. It
stings something fierce, but you cant be afraid of it. You have to accept
that youre gonna get hurt a bit. If you cant do that, then you need to learn
to be sneaky and hit them good before they hit you. Chances are that wont
always work though so once again you have to accept that your gonna get hit
and its gonna hurt. Otherwise youre gonna have more people breaking your
noise and more days where you dont get to eat. 

Orryn just frowned and didnt say anything.

The old man sighed again and looked at the boy. Orryn. Boy. We cant have
this. You have to learn to stand up for yourself. Now this other boy knows
that he can just knock you down and take what he wants from you. You think
he is going to let you walk by next time he sees you with food? No, he is
going to make sure he has something to eat and he is going to do it by
hitting you again. So one way or the other, you are gonna get hit again.
Either by standing up to him and taking back what you earned or by getting
kicked around and letting people take what you deserve away from you. Those
are your options. What will it be boy? 

Slowly Orryn looked up at Bernard and saw the kindness, worry and patiences
that covered his face. Isnt there any other way? Getting hit really hurts.
Cant we just wait until tomorrow and you can come with me maybe? 

Bernard shook his head. No. I wont go with you and let you use an old man as
an excuse to stay a child. You have to find some way to get our food from
this boy. You also have to teach him that you wont let him hurt you anymore
and that means you have to hurt him. You dont want to hurt him real bad, but
you want him to know that your not going to just lay down and let him take
things away from you. Now go wash the blood off your face and then go fix

Orryn looked like he was about to cry again, but he understood what Bernard
was saying. He got up and left the shack. As he walked outside the warmth of
the sun made him feel a bit better. The warmth of the sun on his face, in
his eyes, blinding him. 

Orryn awoke with a snort and lifted his arm to shield his eyes. Sure enough,
the sun had moved far enough across the morning sky to shine in his eyes and
wake him up. Another glance at Bernard's mat showed him in still in bed.
Orryn frowned. It may be uncommon for Bernard to sleep late, but for him to
sleep this late was unheard of. 

He stared at the old man on his mat for a while. Something seemed off. Weird
about the way Bernard was laying. It took him a few seconds to clear the
remnants of sleep from his brain and focus, focus like Bernard had taught
him, to spot the problem. 

Bernards chest wasnt rising and lowering like it should be. It wasnt doing
it at all... Fear and adrenaline shot through Orryn's veins and he was on
his feet and across the shack before his brain registered throwing his
blankets off himself. Bernard wasnt breathing. 

Author:    Orryn          
Date:      Wed Jan 23 07:32:32 2008
Subject     Continuance of Cowardice Pt I

Orryn sat in Bernard's chair with his head in his hands, his dark brown
hair spilling out between his fingers, as he reflected on the day. He had
taken Bernard's body outside of town this morning before the sun came up. He
figured it would be the best time since the streets would be less cluttered
with traffic and he could move faster. That and his carrying a dead body
over one shoulder would draw much less attention in the pre-dawn light.
Attention he simply didnt have the energy to bear. The gate guards gave him
a hassle, but he had expected as much. No, he didnt hurt this man (they
still checked the body for wounds and his person for weapons), yes, he knew
bodies that werent taken proper care of could cause disease, and yes he knew
he was supposed to call the clerics of Mishakal to handle it. He already
had, in fact. They had given him permission to bury the body outside as it
would have been Bernard's wish, not to mention he didnt have the means to
afford even a pauper's grave in the cemetary. 

After a good half an hour of questions and fact checking with the Temple of
Mishakal he had been released to continue on. He carried Bernard a good mile
outside of the city, avoiding the roads entirely, to a place they had
visited once. They had come out of town when Orryn was maybe 13 years of age
to simply see what lay outside of the walls of Palanthas and revel in what
they found. Orryn had never left the walls of the city before and had found
sights outside to be both intoxicating and more then a bit intimidating.
They had stopped near a grove of wild apple trees and rested a bit from the
noon sun under thier shade. The apples were green, they always were,
apparently crab apples like these never got large and red like a proper
apple should. That didnt deter Orryn from trying one and Bernard from
laughing at his face when he tasted how sour they were. It was one of
Orryn's favorite memories, one he often visited when times seemed a bit
rough. He believed that Bernard treasured it too. 

He went off to the side of the grove a good hundred feet and set Bernard's
body down. His shoulder, back and legs burned fiercely from the excertion of
the walk. He took a moment to sit in the shade of the trees again and recall
that afternoon spent here 6 years prior. When the ache had subsided enough
he got back up and walked over to where he had left Bernard. Picking up a
large scoop shaped rock he had found on the way he dropped to his knees and
began to break the ground, tearing it up and shoveling it out of the way the
best he could with the rock and his hands. It was good soil here, so it dug
up easily but he still had to dig a hole close to six feet long and as deep
as he could manage. It took the better part of what sunshine was left in the
day to complete his task. 

When he finally decided the earth was good enough to hold the man who had
raised him and made him into who he was he layed the body in the ground and
began pushing dirt back in, stopping occasionally to tamp the ground as
solid as he could with his hands. It was much faster work filling in the
hole and he had a good mound of dirt piled up in a short time. Some quick
searching around and Orryn was able to find a sizable fallen branch, nearly
a log really, that he placed at the head of the grave. He still wished he
had something better to mark the grave. Even though he had buried the base
of the branch in the ground, it would be knocked over in a short time by
wind. He had to satisfy himself with carving Bernard's name in the wood as
best he could with the sharp point of another rock. 

By the time he had returned from his duty it was dark. One of the guards who
gave him a hard time in the morning was back on duty and remembered the boy.
As he let Orryn back in the gates the guard clapped a hand on his shoulder
and held him there for a second. I, uh,  he coughed quietly Here. You look
like you worked up a fierce appetite today. He dropped a couple copper coins
into Orryn's hand and gave the boy a soft shove towards the lights of the
local inn. Orryn nodded dumbly and walked on. He had gotten some bread and a
bowl of porridge and a mug of watered down ale to wash it all down. It
tasted like ash in his mouth, but he knew it wasnt for want of a good cook.
He was simply too miserable to get anything other than nourishment out of
his food right now. 

The walk back to the shack was a blur. He remembered stepping out into the
night, maybe a few of the street he passed and then he was sitting here, in
Bernard's... no, his chair. His chair now. Now and forever. 

When his parents had died he was too young to remember. He didnt even know
what his mother and father looked like. Bernards death though. It wasnt like
that, he didnt know how to deal with it. So instead of thinking about it, he
went to bed. 

He ran into the shack, a smile on his face larger than most had any right to
wear. Bernard looked up at him and had to stare for a few seconds before his
old eyes adjusted and he saw a half eaten loaf of bread under Orryn's arm. A
quick glance of the boy showed that he was in good, even great, shape too!
Well, discounting the heavy bruises that were forming around his eyes due to
having his noes broken earlier that day, but those didnt count. 

Bernard's eyes narrowed slightly. Where did you get that from, boy? I
thought I told you get our bread back, not steal more. 

Orryn missed the accusation entirely in his exuberance, I did Bernard! I
found the boy who had taken it and I got it back from him, here, see! He had
started to eat it, but I got what was left from him! He handed the bread to
Bernard to inspect. 

The old mans eye brows lifted halfway up his forehead. Ah, did you then.
Didnt you say this bully was bigger than you? How did you manage to thump
him hard enough to get back our bread without taking a lump or two

Orryn's grin got big enough then that his entire face should have collapsed
in on itself had not the gods themselves obviously been looking out for him.
Well, I thought about what you said earlier; about how I had to get hit one
way or another. Either getting back our bread or giving it away when they
took it. I thought about it a lot and I realized, you were wrong! If the old
man's eyebrows had risen earlier they nearly shot off his head at this, but
Orryn kept talking, I dont have to break his nose or take a rock to the back
of his head! I realized you were right, that was my, err, our bread that he
took and that I deserved it, not him. I worked to get it. I had to run from
the shopkeeper and avoid the guards. Not him. I deserved it! So then I
started thinking about how he was bigger than me. I didnt want to fight him,
he wouldnt just break my nose this time, but I couldnt let him keep what he
had no right to. 

The old man smirked at the boy. So excited he called Bernard wrong one
minute and right the next. So, how did you get our bread back from him

I realized I was smarter than him! So I ran back to where he had hit me and
started looking around and I found him really quick. He hadnt even left the
alley way before he started pigging out! Orryn giggled, actually giggled, a
little as he spoke. So I walked down the alley, just as bold as I could be
and I picked up a small rock. I got about ten feet away before he even saw
me and tossed the rock at his head! He was suprised at first, then he saw me
and just smiled real mean-like and stood up. I let him take a couple steps
before I just laughed really loudly. He stopped for a second and asked me if
I would still be laughing after he made me eat my teeth. 

Author:    Orryn          
Date:      Wed Jan 23 08:35:18 2008
Subject     Continuance of Cowardice Pt II

Orryn beamed with pride as he continued, I told him, "look at me, you
broke my nose earlier with one hit! You could probably do a lot more if you
tried. Do you think I would start a fight with you if I wasnt sure I would
win?" Well, that made him think, probably for the first time that year!
Orryn laughed loudly there. 

He wasnt ready to believe me though so I kept pushing. "Heck," I said to
him, "You're big enough I couldnt beat you if I snuck up with on you and
clubbed you with a rock before you knew I was there" I figured he would like
to hear something nice, keep him wondering what I was gonna say. "Thats why
I decided not to do it, hit you with a rock that is. I figured it wouldnt do
me any good so I just threw it at you to get your attention. Besides, I
wanted you to have the chance to apologize and give me back my bread" Well,
that didnt sit well with him. He got all red in the face and took another
step towards me. I took a step back and held up my palms to him and said,
"You might want to think about it, boy. I mean you might be able to hit me
pretty hard, but I think those two coming down the alley would hit you
harder if you tried." I got really lucky there because right before I said
that I saw a couple old hands come into the alley. I figured I had to end it
quick then cause they wouldnt like us in thier way. Of course, he didnt
believe me, not until one of them yelled at us. Called me a goblin faced
punk cause of my broken nose. Course he didnt know that. He thought they
were calling him names. 

Orryn shrugged and kept talking, He was bigger than either of them though,
guess he thought he could thump them pretty good if he hit them first. It
was all a sham though. Soon as he turned to face them I picked up a stick
and clobbered him but good! I whacked him a few more times to make sure he
knew I meant it, and to make sure he wasnt going to get up and come after
me. He gave a sheepish grin there for a second. The other boys just laughed
and cheered for me. Guess they didnt expect to see a me beat up someone
twice my size. I grabbed my bread and just ran back here. Orryn nodded and
finally quieted down long enough to start breathing properly again. 

Bernard just sat there for a few minutes, staring at the boy thinking it all
over. His cloudy eyes never left Orryn's face while he thought. Finally he
said Well, I dont see how I was wrong. I told you to either walk right up
and sock him in the snoot or sneak up behind him and hit him. Which you did.
Now, sure, you didnt get hit this time, but you might not be so lucky next

Orryn just gave an over exagerrated sigh and shook his head rapidly,
interrupting Bernard. No Bernard, you are missing it entirely! You were
right about the fact that I had to show him that he couldnt just take things
from me Thats why I hit him! If I thought that he wouldnt bug me again I
would have just grabbed the bread and ran when he turned around. But that
wouldnt teach him! I as good as had the bread when he stopped to listen to
me. The beating was to tell him not to try taking my things again. 

The old man just nodded in acknowledgement. He had seen the point just as
sure as the boy who took a beating saw it, he just wanted to make sure that
Orryn understood it on a conscious level. That it wasnt just a fluke of
events that turned out with the boy looking smart and more than a bit lucky.
He ripped a small hunk of the bread off the loaf and set it down on the
floor. It was mostly crust after all this time being exposed to the air, but
it would keep him for the day. He tossed the rest of the loaf to the boy. 

Well, since you worked so hard for it today, guess that really is your loaf
of bread. Enjoy it. He nodded to Orryn as he began to gnaw on his own

Orryn just looked at the almost half loaf of bread on his lap. You sure you
dont want more Bernard? I mean, I know its only a half loaf, but I got it
for us, I dont mi.. 

Bernard just held up his hands to forstall any more and shook his head.
Nope. Its yours Orryn. A growing man has to eat after all. 

Bernard just sat and watched this boy he had raised from an infant eat the
bread he had fought so hard to get. Not really a physical fight, though that
had occured. It was more of a fight to put down his childhood and learn to
be accountable for himself. He seems to have passed this test, though there
would be more. Many more before he could truly say the child who could
behave with suprising maturity was gone and a man had replaced him.
Hopefully a man who always remembered what joy childhood had held without
being stuck in the memories. 

Orryn had been correct though. Bernard had been wrong technically. There
were, basically, three types of people in the world: the strong, who would
always face danger head on, relying on the strength of thier body to carry
them through. Then there were the quick, who would see thier problems coming
and know to either sneak out of thier way or hit them from behind. Finally
there were the smart. The ones who would see thier problems and find a way
to defeat them with only thier knowledge of the problem and of the world
around them. 

The boy, Orryn, seemed to favor that last group. That made Bernard both
proud and terrified. He, too, had been one of the smart people. All his
vaunted intelligence though had failed him when he needed it the most. In
that moment when the darkness fell on him and he threw everything he had...
No. No, I will NOT think about that. Its done and gone Bernard shook the
thoughts from his head. 

There was nothing wrong with being smart. He just had to make sure to steer
Orryn away from the honeyed lies of Wayreth. Those traps he knew all too
well. He still bore the scars of thier snares. But, if Orryn were to
continue down this path, and lets be honest, he isnt suited for the other
two, he would have to be taught a few things. First and foremost, how to

There was time for that in the morning though. He turned and lay down on his
mat. He had already hidden his old spellbook. He had been a bit worried that
perhaps Orryn had seen it when he came in earlier with the busted nose. That
was not the case though. The boy was so concerned with his pain that his
ridiculously thin book had been easily hidden behind him. He would have to
make doubly sure that stayed hidden if he were to teach the boy to read. 

Good night, Orryn

He knew that Bernard was dead, but he still heard the old mans voice as he
lay down in that moment between sleep and consciousness. Good night, father.
He muttered before it finally claimed him. 

Author:    Orryn          
Date:      Tue Jan 29 04:25:54 2008
Subject     Mistake of Cowardice

Orryn's dreams were a discordant shuffle of images and emotions. There
was no theme, no order of events that gave any discernible meaning. There
was only light and sound and fear. Rage and sadness, joy and loneliness.
None overstayed thier welcome, though they all made many stops before his
subconscious finally gave up any hopes for sleep and waited. The next time
fear reared its many-fanged head Orryn awoke with a startled cry. 

He sat there, worn blanket bunched around his waist for a moment, gathering
his wits about himself as the images fled from his mind. Nothing. It was
still dark. He had only been asleep for maybe three hours judging by the
light outside. A sliver of Lunitari was visible meaning that it would be
full next week some time. Only the barest sliver of Solinari was visible and
would spend the next week disappearing completely. Nuitari was in
conjunction with Lunitari that night, though Orryn had no idea. He had never
seen Nuitari and didnt know how to track the moon. Bernard hadnt convered
that and he honestly didnt want to know. Orryn gave a sigh and quickly
reached up and grabbed one of the fireflies that had drifted into the hut.
He thought about it for a second, his fingers twitching open to release the
firefly before he made up his mind. He would break Bernard's first, and most
important, rule: Do NOT use magic. He used the excuse that it was late and
noone would know. 

Reaching down into that part of him that only years before he hadn't even
known existed, Orryn drew from the well of power that he found. He didnt
draw very deeply, the spell required only a minimum of power to trigger, and
a second later he felt the firefly pop in his hand as the spell fired. He
opened his hand and released the little ball of reddish orange light to
float in front of him. 

Perhaps it was foolish, but it made him feel better to use something that
Bernard had taught him. Helped him feel a bit closer to the old man for a
second. Bernard had never allowed Orryn to actually cast the spells. He had
taught him to feel the power inside of himself, even allowed him to draw his
fingers through it to get accustomed to its feel. But he had made sure Orryn
never used that power in conjunction with the words and gestures that he
practiced at night. 

Magic leaves a trace, even the smallest spell leaves a slight marker around
everything it touches. Bernard had explained. People who know what they are
looking for, Conclave Mages mostly, though there are others, will be able to
sense that magic if they are paying attention and start sniffin' around.
Those mages are nothing but trouble, so we dont let them know we are even

Then why am I doing this if I cant use it? Orryn had never fully understood
that part. Because you dont get a sword boy. The warrior has his blade. The
wizard has his magic That last part always had the ring of a memorized
proverb to Orryn. If you have to, absolutly have to you can use magic to
defend yourself. But not otherwise. Magic can do many things boy, but most
will only see it as a weapon. You dont pull out a weapon in front of guards
unless you think you're going to die. Dont use magic in front of anyone who
might report seeing you use it. Its not safe. 

Bernard had never seemed to chafe at practicing the forms without actually
casting anything. In the entire time he had known Bernard, he had never seen
anything that even hinted at knowledge like this much less used magic. Even
now, during thier practice, there was nothing to show for all of Bernards
words and gestures. That was Bernard' s final arguement though. 17 years of
living together and Orryn had no idea. You can hide your talents indefinatly
if you simply knew enough to not flaunt them. 

Flaunting them would get you a visit from the Robes, and if you were lucky
they would judge you inconsequential and leave you be. If you werent lucky,
they would cart you off to thier tower and maim you, rip your abilities from
you, or simply kill you. They were the bogey-men that haunted Orryn's

But they had never come around in the years he had lived here, and they
wouldnt come around now. Orryn got up and walked across the room to where
Bernard had slept. It took him a minute of scrounging, even know where it
was, to find and retrieve Bernard's spell book. He had always heard of mages
carrying around large tomes of magic. Bernard's book, further proof of him
not being one of those mages, was pitifully thin. It contained maybe 20
pages of thin slanted writing. The spells that Bernard had managed to
collect. Most were utilitarian, like the light spell, a few were defensive,
there were a few odd spells that really fit no catagory as well. One called
up a slight fog and the other made someone a bit more friendly. There was
nothing there that could actually be deemed as destructive of offensive
though. In the back was a drawing, and it was the drawing that compelled
Orryn to pull the book from its hiding nook. 

The picture always seemed so familiar to Orryn, though he could never figure
out why. It was drawn by Bernard in his younger years before he moved to
Palanthas and it contained a simple landscape. There were tree branches that
descended from the upper left of the picture and hills in the background.
The main portion of the image was a footpath through the grass. The path
meandered through back towards the hills but its progress was cut tragically
short by a road that it intersected. Wild flowers sprouted up through the
grass in odd places and a bird soared through the sky, forever frozen in
flight by Bernard's hand. 

It made no sense, but try as he might Orryn couldnt shake the feeling of
peace and familiarity that accompanied the image. It was as if it was an
image pulled from Orryn's memories or a place he had been but there was
nothing like this place that he knew of. Perhaps it was simply a sort of
lesson that Bernard had found important and wanted to record in some
unorthodox method. Though the most he could pull out of the image in terms
of a lesson was that every path eventually ended. But that required a bit of
grasping at straws because the intersecting road was a sort of continuance
of the path. Maybe it meant a man might die but his ideas, the direction he
was headed in life would continue on? He was never able to puzzle it out and
Bernard had never deigned to answer him. 

Orryn spent a couple hours just staring at the image, absorbing every line,
every stroke trying to discern some meaning. In the end all he got for his
effort was a headache and a feeling of exhaustion from having to cast the
Light spell a few more times. Bernard had mentioned that casting spells
would tire you out just like hard labour would, but Orryn had truly
understood until tonight. It was still dark out, probably 4 hours before
dawn, when he gave up and replaced the book in its cubby hole. The ordeal
had wore him out and this time when he fell into slumber there were no
images accosting his mind. No sounds rushing past his ears. No rush of
emotions. Just the image he had burned into his mind of the landscape
floated there, taunting him with the incessent feeling that he knew that
place the image related. All the same, his sleep was calm and peaceful. 

Sometime before the sun had even fully made up its mind about getting up and
bathing the city in its light, a slight cough intruded on Orryn's sleep. He
awake with a start and when he looked towards the source of the sound he
felt his heart freeze and his stomache fall through the floor. A man in red
robes stood in the doorway to his hut, his hand holding an orb of cold blue
light that revealed all the corners of the small room. He was looking
directly at Orryn his face an unreadable mask. 

Author:    Orryn          
Date:      Tue Jan 29 06:50:37 2008
Subject     The Coward's Mask pt I

Orryn stared at the mage and froze like a deer who know's its been
spotted by a hunter. He tried to wrap his mind around the situation. Why was
this man, obviously a mage, here? The only answer was the spells Orryn had
cast earlier. He knew. He found the spells touch and found a boy sleeping at
its focal point. Orryn was caught. He knew it. Oddly enough, that knowledge
was a relief. He believed it meant he and the mage were on even ground in
the arena of battle. They both knew why they were here. It was a simple
process then to start his web of lies. In his mind he had a series of tales
ready to spin. Which one would be the most believable though.. 

It was the longest 3 seconds of Orryn's life, him staring at the mage
paralyzed in fear, the mage impassively looking at him, reading him like a
book. Orryn chose his lie and crushed the fear in his chest. 

Scuttling backwards like a crab Orryn left the look of terror he no longer
payed attention to on his face. Please! No, Sir'rah! Your friend already
took all I had! He destroyed my home,  Orryn wished the shack had been a
mess instead of the clean room that he inhabited. It would have helped his
lie. I have nothing left to take! His shoulders and head hit the wall. He
had crossed the room, but he kept trying to go further. Make it look like
you cant get far enough away from him. Make him think your fear is due to
something else. 

The mage's eyebrow quirked up. I have sent noone here before me, boy Anger
flared in the back of Orryn's mind, quickly subdued before it showed on his
face. That was Bernard's word. Not his. Inconsequential, everyone calls kids
boy. Ignore it. Barely moving his face the mages eyes quickly scanned the
room in the light of his spell. Anyone who sacked this place left long ago
enough for you to set it right. Or they did a third rate job at shaking you

Orryn stopped backpedaling against the wall, but kept cowering. Then...what
do you want? I have nothing to take..The other man took it all. His eyes
never left the mages face. 

Perhaps I have the wrong... another quick survey of the shack with its thin
walls, roof the let moon light in and sparse conditions before continuing
house. I heard an aquaintance of mine recently passed. Last I had heard he
lived in the area. His name was Bernard Tulthos? Shock hit home and before
Orryn realized, it was on his face. 

Tulthos. He never knew Bernard's surname. Never knew Bernard had a surname.
Then the first part played again. Aquaintance? Bernard hated and feared
mages. The man was lying and Orryn caught him. The footing for thier battle
shifted and suddenly Orryn saw himself on the highground. How to use the

Y..yes, I knew Bernard, he was my father,  Another raised eyebrow. adoptive.
If I may, what's your name sir? Maybe I've heard of you? He often spoke of
his old friends.. Damnit! That might come back to bite him. He would have to
tell this fellow that, no, Bernard hadnt spoke of him after all, at least,
not to his adopted son. He hoped this man and Bernard really were just
aquaintances and not friends. 

The light from the man's palm dimmed a bit to a more comfortable level.
Julian. Orryn shook his head Not a suprise. The time we knew each other
became a bad memory for Bernard. One he couldnt shake. The mage, Julian,
shook himself from a brief memory and noticed the boy was still on the
floor. Please, get up. I am not going to take anything of yours or hurt you.
I just have a couple questions. 

Orryn got up at the mages request, but kept his back to the wall keeping the
room between himself and the man. Let him see a kid to scared, to
inconsequential for him to take interest in. The man who came here before
you..he had light like yours. Used it to search the room.. That should
explain any magic residue left in the room. 

The shadow of a frown passed over Julian's face. I see. Describe them for
me. Could be that they are Renegades. 

Orryn made up a description on the fly, committing the lies to memory so he
could repeat them later. 

The mage nodded, content Noone I have heard of by the description, but I
will pass the description. Anyone who uses magic without the Conclave's
permission might be a source of trouble. Though if this is the extent of his
power, Light spells, he is likely not a problem that the guards cant handle.
Though if he were to begin to cast more powerful spells... Julian shot a
look that seemed to imply something. 

Orryn smiled to himself as his vantage point got better. The mage fell for
his lie and was now going on a wild goose chase for a renegade. Orryn was
safe. I will let the guards know too, but this happens here in the poor
district too often. They wont find him. 

Julian nodded in acknowledgement. Then perhaps you can answer some questions
for me? Orryn nodded I'll try, sir 

The sun had risen high enough above the horizon now that it streamed into
the shack through the numerous cracks making the mages light redundant. It
winked out of existance and he folded his hands inside the arms of his
robes. Did your adoptive father ever speak of the Conclave? 

Orryn nodded again. Briefly. He said it was a place of power and to be
respected. Orryn lied. Keep it brief and dont commit to anything major and
stay on the mages good side. Survived the questions and you will never see
him again. 

Of course. The mage eyed Orryn for a second before continuing. Did he tell
you he once strived to don the same robes I wear? 

Orryn was confused, but again he masked it. From the high ground he stood on
he saw that question for the pitfall it was. The mage was lying to unbalance
Orryn. What was he after? Orryn deftly avoided it. No, he didnt speak much
about the Conclave, only occasionally mentioning it. 

Of course. Julian's eyes took in the room again before returning to the
boy's face. Do you have any of his possessions here? 

Orryn smiled and held out his arms to his side. Only what you see here. A
rickety chair, a bed mat and blanket. Orryn left the his spellbook out of
the list. 

Julian nodded and continued Finally, where is his body? I would like to pay
my respects if I may.

This Conclave bastard would never get near enough to Bernard's body to do
anything. Checking with the clerics of Mishakel would catch him in a
careless lie though. He let a bit of his anger tinge his cheeks in what he
hoped would be mistaken for embarrassment. He hung his head slightly as he
spoke I buried him in a private lot. He deserved better than a paupers
grave,  He raised his head in defiance I asked the clerics of Mishakel to
let me bury him. I snuck into a private yard and buried him myself. I dont
think they would be happy to have strangers visiting thier land for someone
they dont know is buried there. 

Julian smiled a bit at the boy's pride in his father. Very well. Thank you
for your time. I will let your respect for him reflect mine as well. 

The mage turned to leave, then stopped and looked at Orryn again. One last
thing actually. When I spoke to the guards at the south gate they seemed to
recall a boy carrying an old man's body out the south gate earlier today.
Orryn's vantage point in the battle crumbled a bit Also, as I said, I was an
aquaintance of Bernard and I do recall the time after he left the Tower
grounds. He seemed a bit bitter at the events and at everyone, even me, who
was in Conclave. The ground he was on became very precarious very quickly as
the mage spoke. Perhaps he would spell well of us after this time, but I am
not sure. Finally, when the man came into your house earlier today and used
a Light spell to search it, why did you hold the ball for him? The spell is
all over your fingers. Orryn's advantage disintigrated and he was suddenly
in a sinkhole with the mage towering over him in this battle of knowledge. 

Author:    Orryn          
Date:      Tue Jan 29 07:01:02 2008
Subject     The Coward's Mask pt II

But perhaps I am misinformed. I am an old fool who has spent most of his
life in the Conclave after all. Julian shrugged. If that "renegade" comes
back to rob you again, remind him that if he continues to practice the Art
and grow stronger, he will become subject to our laws. Then we will speak
with him more in depth. One last thing Orryn, that is your name right? The
boy nodded dumbly Even if you dont believe me, I didnt lie to you at all
tonight. Something to keep in mind. The mage turned and walked out of the

Orryn stared at the door as the web of lies he spun with his own hands fell
to the floor and burned. He had known the entire time about everything. That
Orryn had cast the spell. He had warned him too. Right now Orryn was
inconsequential, but if he kept dabbling in the Conclaves domain, they would
kill him. 

Retching sounds reached his ears and it wasnt until they stopped that he
realized he had just vomited all over himself. 

Author:    Orryn          
Date:      Wed Feb  6 05:07:27 2008
Subject     Knowledge of Those Before

Orryn ran down the road as fast as his thin body would allow. It felt
like someone had stuck a hot coal in his side and every breath burnt his
worn lungs. He imagined this is how a blacksmith's bellows felt, if it could
indeed feel. All the surface thoughts flickered past his mind, each one
begging for his attention, each one ruthlessly shoved aside. There was only
one thought in the boy's mind: The Grove. 

It had struck him last night, the reason the image in the back of Bernard's
spellbook (though it was barely a spellbook in any traditional sense) seemed
so familiar. It was the self-same grove that they had visited so long ago.
It was in bloom in the pictures, the tiny blossoms growing on the branches
not yet replaced by thier sour fruit. The times that he had visited it with
Bernard the apples had been ripening on the branches. It set the memory and
the picture in a different enough light that he hadnt realized they were the
same place. 

As he rounded the last curve he spotted the grove, not 20 yards ahead of
him, and his pace picked up. His arrival was celebrated by falling to his
knees and gasping as he struggled to pull the book out of the worn sack he
had slung over his shoulder. It had bounced quite a bit on his run here, the
corners had jabbed him in the back and made him a bit sore. It was
inconsequential though. He flipped to the back of the book and stared at the
picture. Trying, and failing, to stand Orryn knelt there, his eyes
flickering around the clearing, trying to find the pictures perspective.
Just as his breathing became more normal he spied a small area that might be
right. He staggered to his feet and nearly fell again from the sudden rush
of blood to his head, but he managed to steady himself and half run, half
stagger to the spot. He put his back to a tree and looked ahead. Then lifted
the book and compared the views. Tree branches would have grown out, shifted
a bit perhaps, but not this much. It wasnt the place depicted. 

It took a half an hour of searching and comparing before he finally found a
vista that was too similar to the image for it to be wrong. He smiled, very
content with himself, as he slid his back down the trunk of the tree, its
scaly, grey bark leaving light scratches on his skin. He wasnt sure why it
was so important that he found this place, but it was. Perhaps because it
was another link to the man he both knew and would never know. While he had
been alive the little bit of knowledge Orryn had of Bernard had been
sufficient. Now that he was a memory though Orryn felt that he needed to
better understand his adoptive father to keep hold of him. The boy closed
his eyes and just breathed the fresh air, letting the thoughts he had
previously ignored float back into view. He touched them all, letting them
tickle his mind before moving to the next. As he relaxed and began to simply
enjoy being in the same place his father had sat years prior he picked up
the book to look at the picture again. 

Yes, it had been a bit risky to carry the book on him as he ran through town
and down the road. Perhaps a mage would stop him and find the book. Perhaps
the sack he had would finally tear out and the book would fall silently
behind him, lost forever. He needed it thought. Without it he wouldnt have
found this former sanctuary where Bernard had chose to sit and idly draw the
landscape. As he peered at the picture and compared it to the land around
him he began to take notice of the differences. The tree branches were
longer. The path was less visible, more worn. In the picture there was a
fresh mound of dirt. Reality had packed that mound down into the level
featureless ground. 

That really caught his attention. The mound in the picture did look freshly
piled. As if someone had dug a hole and then recovered it. It was probably
just an old ant hill or the like, but Orryn's curiousity got the better of
him and he began looking for where the mound would have been were it still
here. Locating what he believed to be right, he began to dig. 

Not even three feet down his fingers hit something foreign. Something buried
in the soil. 

Author:    Orryn          
Date:      Sun Feb 10 01:08:07 2008
Subject     The Inheritance

Orryn dragged his fingers along the edges of what was buried in the
ground, quickly making an outline of rectangle in the dirt. It was perhaps a
hand and a half wide and a little short of two hand lengthes long. He tried
to pry it up with his fingers but it seemed to be rather thick as well. He
couldnt get a good grip on it. Frustrated he began to dig around the edges,
trying to loosen the earth's hold on whatever it was that Bernard had buried
here. That was, of course, the only explanation. Bernard had to have buried
something here, something he didnt want anyone to find, but unlike the
free-booters who buried thier treasure Bernard couldnt make a map. So he
drew a picture. Orryn wondered if Bernard had expected that he would find it
or if perhaps he was unearthing something that the old man had tried to hide
from himself and anyone else who might learn of it. 

He prefered to think of it as the former. This was something Bernard had
buried and later decided to entrust to Orryn, should he ever prove he was
worthy of it. The discovery was the test of merit. Whatever it was, Bernard
had left it for him. This fueled him on, his fingers scrabbling through the
dirt towards his prize, no, his inheritance. 

He looked down into his hole and thought that, perhaps, he could pull it
out. It was about as wide as his fingers were long and it took some work,
but with a bit of effort he was able to wedge his hands under its sides and
pull it free. It came out with a quickness that Orryn wasn't expecting and
he rolled backwards off his knees onto his back. The object was wrapped in
an oiled cloth to keep the dampness of the earth away from it. Pulling the
brown rag off and dropping it on the ground the boy saw he held a box. It
was plain, unadorned, and made of a blonde or white wood. That struck him as
strange. A wooden box seemed to be a poor choice for something to be buried,
even if it were wrapped in oil cloth.

He quickly glanced around the clearing to make sure there was noone around
to see him. An entirely futile effort as he was far enough removed from
Palanthas that noone could be near without him knowing, but this was a habit
Bernard had worked to instill in him. Do not work magic around people. Okay,
so he added that last part. Even so he had to check before he opened it to
find something nasty. Reaching deep within himself to that well of personal
power, Orryn skimmed his hand across the top drawing just enough of it to
fuel the spell he recited. The power ignited the spell and he felt his eyes
tingle slightly in response. 

Carefully, carefully he set the box down and just stared at it. The cover,
the sides, everything about it. The slight glow of magic covered the box. It
was faint, but unmistakable. He had been right, someone had cast spells on
it, probably to preserve its integrity. He continued to gaze at the box
though, and as he did he learned more about the magic.

There were two spells cast on the box, one created the glowing image of a
stylized "B" across the top of the box. Someone mark, perhaps Bernard though
that seemed odd as Bernard had never cast any spells in the time that he had
taught Orryn. He wasnt even sure Bernard could cast spells to be honest and
the knowledge that Orryn wouldnt be able to just quit using magic after the
little bit of time he had spent with it made him doubt that anyone could
just quit, cold turkey. The other spell was the one that protected the box,
its glow brighter than the rune. No more information became apparent so he
dismissed the spell with a sigh. The tickling left his eyes as did the auras
on the box. 

He felt safe in opening it now though. No other spells were apparent on it
and he had seen no traps with his spell. His hands slowly lowered to the
sides and, finding the grooves where the lid met the base, pulled the top

Author:    Orryn          
Date:      Sun Feb 10 03:31:45 2008
Subject     The Inheritance pt II

Setting the lid aside Orryn looked into the box and saw two books, one
nearly as large as the container it was in and another, smaller book on top
of that. The larger book was bound in a red cover which seemed new pristine.
The smaller book had a brown cover and was well worn, its corners rounded
down. It wasnt wasn't in disrepair instead it appeared to be well used,
loved. As it was on top he took it first and opened the cover. The first
page was dated around 30 years prior, the writing faded but still very
legible. The writing was a bit rough, letters formed oddly and slanted quite
a bit to one side, but it was all spelled correctly. The author was not used
to writing but he wasnt ignorant was the message Orryn got from the script.

The first passage read: My parents have agreed to my apprenticeship to
Laucian and I will be leaving for his manor in a fortnight. I am a bit
nervous about leaving my families house to live with him during my training,
but the idea of what I will be able to learn keeps me from worrying about
it. Mother gave me this book to record my time with Laucian. He is a kind
elf but he is very different from anything I am used to and cant expect him
to listen to my problems. That's what mother says at least. I have spoken to
Laucian briefly and he seems to be a ...

Orryn quit here and flipped ahead a couple of pages skimming over what he
saw. The following passages spoke of the author's journey, his arrival at
Laucian's manor, and the beginning of his lessons. A few passages spoke of
suprise as he learned that his master was not only kind but caring as well.
The entries became more sporadic in thier dates and after almost a year
after the initial entry the author seemed to have forgotten his journal for
a while. The next entry was dated almost two years later. 

Master Laucian has finally agreed to send me before the Conclave! He says I
am not ready for the Test and I trust his judgement, but he is going to
introduce me to many of the key members. His reasoning is that when I am
prepared for the Test I wont have to worry about being nervous with meeting
them. While I am there I am to declare my alliegance both to Conclave and to
my choice of robes. The robes I choose are not necesarrily the robes I will
wear when I pass the Test. I guess its more of a request at who I would like
to continue my training. I wish I could have Laucian keep teaching me, but
different people have different things to teach and Master believes that I
might learn more from someone else. Again, I trust him. As much as I respect
Laucian and his beliefs I think I will declare myself a Red. Black is
obviously not for me and while I agree with the motives of the White I cant
help but thing that a world run by them would end just as quickly as it
would if the Blacks were in charge. Both seem to be extremes in thier
beliefs. Yes, Red will be my choice. Master of the Red Robes, Bernard
Tulthos. I cant wait!

Orryn blinked at that last line. Impossible. That mage, Julian, had been
telling the truth? He wondered for a second if this wasnt all a set up, but
he brushed aside the thought. If they wanted to get him they could just take
him, they wouldnt need something so elaborate. He flipped ahead a few pages
skimming what he saw until he found the passage stating that Bernard was
going to take the Test. He quickly skimmed that and went to next entry. He
had to know why Bernard changed. 

I cant believe it. Even with all the preparation that Masters Laucian and
Harkin could give me I..I failed the Test. Everyone says I am lucky to even
be alive after failing but I am not so sure. Yes, I am alive but my life has
been redeemed at the cost of my magic. Apparently I passed out after the ...
incident. They ended the Test and brought me to my room. After I woke up and
since then I have attempted to cast spells. Any spell I could think of. Any
spell I hadnt used already during the test. My strongest spells of
protection, weaker spells of attack, even cantrips. They all evade me! I
recite the words perfect, the gestures are correct but when I try to draw
upon the magic to feed those words and gestures I find nothing. So yes, I am
alive and yes, perhaps I am lucky. But I find my luck to be suspect as I
dont see a point ot life without magic.

Flipping ahead even further gave more insight into who Bernard used to be.
After he failed in his Test he lost the ability to use magic. As time passed
Bernard began to blame the Conclave. How many others had the Conclave killed
or maimed in thier attempt to choose who could and could not practice magic?
Had the arrogance of the Conclave not been so complete how many more mages
would be alive to lend thier intellect, thier ideas to magic. How much
greater would magic be? Under all that though was Bernards hurt at his own

In the end he was watched until they were certain he was healthy and then
told that he would have to leave the tower. Just like that he was abandoned.
He hid his spellbook in his bags and smuggled it out of the tower. He got an
fellow apprentice to enchant the box and he hid his spellbook in it. He
hoped that one day he would heal and his magic would return. Then he planned
to use his magic to try to topple the Conclave. As he grew older though, the
edge on his anger dulled. Eventually he gave up his plans and decided to
simply live his life. That was when he buried the box here. 

Orryn had to assume that this was shortly before Bernard took him in.
Looking around he realized it was getting late and he didnt have much
daylight left. He put the books into his sack and began his walk back to
Palanthas. He certainly had a lot to think about on the way. 

Author:    Orryn          
Date:      Tue Feb 12 04:51:59 2008
Subject     The Cowards War

Orryn sat in Bernard's chair, leaned forward his head in his hands. His
thoughts were numerous and bounced around his skull like a kender in a
knick-knack shop. They all had one thing in common though: Conclave. He had
been raised to distrust mage in general, Conclave in particular. He never
knew why but Bernard avoided them and so he did as well. When he began to
learn magic, strangly enough from Bernard, a little of the explanation came
out. If he used magic around the Conclave he would be take and either made
one of thiers, which was the less likely of the options, or killed. He had
always known there was more to Bernard's fear than that though. Why was a
man who either couldnt or wouldnt use magic worried about them. Yes, he did
seem to have a good understanding of the concepts of magic use, but he never
once cast a spell. 

The final pieces were laid out for him to peruse and as he did it began to
make much more sense. Bernard had tried to join Conclave and his magical
talent was weighed and found wanting. Instead of telling him of his limits
and letting him reach the extent of his power, they had neutered him.
Perhaps, though, they hadnt found him too weak to be useful. No, the other
made more sense. He was too powerful. He threatened thier egos and thier
established power. Thus they had stripped his power from him. There were
other potential answers that were visible to even Orryn's untrained eyes but
he rejected them all. Accepting them even as a slight possibility would mean
that he would be accepting that perhaps Bernard was wrong. That his fear was
a paranoid illusion, or a delusion. It would mean accepting that Conclave
was not out to get him, as he had been instructed, and that perhaps they
werent the bogeyman they were made out to be. 

He couldnt, or wouldnt, accept that. It was not a viable option. So he
ignored it and paced around his hut chewing his thumb as he thought. Three
steps carried him across the room. Three steps carried him back. A quick
turn and three more steps and he was staring at the wall again. He continued
his pacing until he reached a decision. To be honest that decision had been
made already, but he hadnt realized he had already accepted it an hour ago.
Conclave could not be trusted. Even Julian, the mage who found him and knew
he was using magic but left him be was a source of danger. Yes, he had let
him alone for the time being, but he had also threatened Orryn with future
violence should he "continue to practice the 'Art' and grow in power". Such
a silly and arrogant name for magic. Art. It served its purpose though to
delineate thier ideas of the boundaries of magic. It was something for those
who already had everything. For those who were nobles, the high society, to
practice and use. For them to determine how it was used and to be offended
at should someone "unworthy" dabble in it. Vulgar use of thier precious
bauble would not be allowed and thus the Conclave was formed to protect
thier self righteous ideals. Granted the members of Conclave might not be
Noble in title, but the ideas and beliefs were the same. Set up a
organization to separate the masses and decide who was allowed in and who
was to be kept out. Place yourselves above the rest and eventually they
would accept that you were thier better. 

Orryn's hands began to ache and he realized he had clenched them into tight
fists. Frowning he forced himself to open his hands and flex his fingers as
he closed his eyes and slowed his breathing, forcing himself to relax. After
he calmed a bit he took a step back, in his mind, and surveyed the thoughts
that were plaguing him. One by one he went through and quieted them down. He
refused to listen to them, to let himself be distracted by them any longer.
They complained, of course, and tried to make themselves heard, but it was
no use. 

When he was done he walked over to Bernard's chair and pulled his sack over
to his feet. Reaching inside he pulled the box out of it and began to open
it. He looked at the smaller book inside for a second, his hand sliding over
it feeling its grainy cloth cover against his fingers. Then he set it aside
with an almost reverent care before reaching back inside to the larger book.
He already knew what it was, not only had he read about it in the journal,
but he had peeked at it when he had arrived home. 

Opening Bernard's spell book he began to browse through its spells. The
man's demand for cleanliness and order in thier ramshackle hut was something
that he had obviously practiced in other avenues of his life. Then book
immediatly launched into its spells, however if you flipped to the back
there were perhaps 5 pages set up as an index of the book. Each spell was
listed by name, then later cross referenced against whether it was an
offensive, defensive, informative, or general use spell. Each page that
contained a spell was also headed with a short desciptor that explained the
basic principles of the spell. This one would fire missiles of force. That
one would cloak him in a shroud of invisibility for a time. That one had
really piqued his interest though when he read the words necesarry to cast
the spell they seemed made of smoke and shadow. They would not form in his
mind as others would. Bernard had mentioned that some magic would be beyond
him for a time and he chalked this up to that.

There was another spell the interested him though. It was labeled simply,
Charm Person. It was labeled as a general use spell that would force a
person to view him in a more friendly light allowing him to make requests of
them so long as they were reasonable. It was very promising to him. Anyone
could swing a stick, metaphorical or real, and bludgeon an enemy. But to get
him to see your side of things? It was a tactic that was very appealing to a
person who did not want to be hit. Plus it was a bit insulting to force them
to do what you wanted. He read over the spell and committed it to memory. 

Soon he would begin to move. To forge alliances that he could use to find
out more about his enemy. He was naive enough to believe that could make a
change to the current status quo of magic, and to that end he began to

Author:    Orryn          
Date:      Sat Feb 23 09:59:02 2008
Subject     The Cowards Flight.

Orryn sighed and rubbed his cheek and chin with his hand as he thought
about what the inn keeper, and every inn and tavern keeper, had told him.
Sorry kid, noone has come around wanting to meet with you. Time after time
that was the same answer. In some faraway corner of his mind the thought
registered that he needed to shave, but he subliminated it and kept his mind
on the current problem. Well, that's not the answer he got from everyone.
One innkeeper had relayed to him that a half-elf woman had spoken to him
about setting up a meeting. It never happened though. He didn't know if she
got spooked, or if he simply showed up at the wrong time, or, worse yet,
were they on to him? Had she been captured and silenced? Forced to talk? He
shook his head briefly. In the end it didn't matter. They had never spoken,
she had never gotten his name since he had never used it even with the inn
keepers. It was a shame if something had happened, but it wasn't his

He needed information on the Conclave. Information on the people in
Conclave. What were thier names? What robes did they wear? Did the focus on
spells of destruction? Spells of divination? Spells of necromancy? Too many
question and no answers to be had. At least he had found a place to stay.
Orryn wanted to stay in his hut, the hut he had been raised by Bernard in,
but it was not possible. They knew where it was. They knew how to find him.
It had taken a rather extensive amount of Charm spells, but he had persuaded
a small family to let him stay with them. He was thier cousin from the
country and a bit of a bumpkin. His parents had died and they were willing
to take him in until his brother, a merchant in Kalaman, could come by for

Yes, a prodigeous amount of charm spells. He wondered if perhaps he had
abused the family with his work. There were times when they seemed..dull
witted. They would be in the middle of a task and then simply stop and ask
him if this is what they should be doing. It was all very odd, like they
were becoming simple as milk. He decided to stop using his spells on them
unless it was necesarry. Again, their well being was only secondary in his
mind. He couldn't afford to risk losing this little bit he had managed to
secure for himself.

He dropped a couple coins on the counter and thanked the inn keeper. No need
to keep looking. If anyone was going to come forward, they would have. The
fat man just nodded as he wiped down a mug. Orryn turned and walked out of
the tavern, chewing on his thumb as he walked back to his 'cousin's house'.

He was so lost in thought he almost didnt notice the kids standing in the
street in front of his destination. He blinked for a second as his mind
returned to his body. Whats going on? 

One of the kids, Orryn felt he should know his name, he was always playing
outside with his friends, glanced over his shoulder for a second. His entire
face was lit up with excitement. Someone came to visit your family Andrew, 
That was the name Orryn had given the people here. I bet he's a mage! He had
those big robes like they wear. He was.. Orryn's stomach turned to a ball of
ice. Not now! He ignored the rest of what Josiah, he remembered the kids
name suddenly, said. He had to know what was going on inside. It had to be
risked. He got closer to the wall of the house, near the room where they
would always entertain visitors. Keeping clear of any windows and pitching
his voice low so noone could hear him, he mumbled some quick words, his
fingers turning a copper coin over and over in his hands. He released the
magic in him and the coin felt warm for a second in his hands as the spell
settled over him. 

He had guessed right. He could hear/feel the thoughts on the other side of
the wall. It took a couple more seconds of concentrating as the information
became clearer. There were three people inside the room. A couple seconds
more and he knew it was Pol and Lilah, the family he was staying with. Thier
thoughts were, for lack of a better word, soft. The other person's mind was
the complete opposite. The thoughts from that one were hard like steel and
seemed sharp to boot. He had cast this spell once before, simply to know how
it worked. Thoughts should always be firm, like a good fruit. He couldnt get
anything but emotion's from the Blade, whereas the others were an open book.
They were telling this man everything, his name, what he looked like and
when he could be expected back. The emotions he got from the Blade were
excitement tinged with disappointment. 

Orryn bit back a vehemenent curse as he withdrew his spell. He had been
smart enough to use a false name even with this family, but the spell he
would use to disguise himself in public wouldn't last near long enough for
him to use it around them. This man, probably a mage, knew his description
now. He had to leave, quickly, and leave as little trace as possible. 

He prepared to cast his last Disguise Self spell but stopped when he caught
sight of Josiah. He had seen Orryn return. He didnt have time to be gentle.
He reached into the hidden pocket he had sewed into his vest and grabbed the
small vial of of honey oil he kept there. Releasing a drop of it onto his
finger as he chanted. The words and cadence were similar to Charm Person,
but more forceful. The power built and released as the oil evaporated in a
quiet flash. The strands of magic he was used to twisted and became a whip
thin cord of power that flew out and stabbed into the boys temple. He was
completely open to Orryn's Suggestion now. 

Josiah, get your friends together and go play down the steet. If anyone
asks, you havent seen me all day. Understand? 

The boy nodded mutely and then the emotion returned to his face. This is
boring guys, lets go play hide-n-seek! Last one to my house is it! The kids
all shrugged and followed thier leader away. Orryn was already down the
street and around the corner by the time they had solved the problem of who
was it. Everyone he passed saw a half-elf man with white hair and hazel eyes
walk by. He had one place he could go, though they wouldn't be pleased with
him bringing potential trouble to thier door. 

Author:    Orryn          
Date:      Wed Mar 19 21:59:41 2008
Subject     Irony.

Orryn sighed and drug his hands through his hair yet again. Problems were
mounting and still he had no real allies in arms for his cause. He had spent
most of the past few weeks moving from place to place looking over his
shoulder for the Blade conclave had sent after him. He didn't know the mages
name, and he hadn't actually seen him since he had to run from Pol and
Lilah's, but that worried him more for some reason. At least if he had seen
the mage he wouldn't have this damnable paranoia. 

The constant running had begun to strain Orryn. He could manage to scrape up
enough copper some days to rent a room at one of the inns, other nights he
ended up sleeping wherever he could find something to keep the rain off his
face and wind off his back. Over all it was very tiring. 

Combine that with the fact that he knew he was growing more powerful but he
just couldn't find spells to match the power inside him. He still avoided
casting magic unless he needed it, though he would admit that he seemed to
need it more lately, but the spells in both of Bernard's books just didn't
cut it anymore. Apparently he had already outstripped the level of power
that Bernard had been able to attain before his ability was raped by the
Conclave. In a way he felt proud of that. However it still led him to think
of Bernard. That subject was a giant tangle of emotions that he tried to
avoid if possible. Sadness, anger, joy, frustration. It was all there and
all very confusing. Forcing his thoughts to quiet themselves, he focused
about the problems at hand. 

His largest, and most immediate problem was the mage tailing him. The Blade.
He was the reason that Orryn had to run. The reason he spent more nights
curled up in a tight little ball trying to avoid the cutting wind. 

That was the second problem. The running and lack of a place to stay. Things
were so much easier when he was living in that little shack but too many
people knew about it. That place was off limits to him now. 

His last problem was the lack of spells. He knew that if he were drawn into
a conflict with this mage he would be in a very one sided battle if he was
trained. Orryn's spells were very limited, and for multiple reasons. He
found he had a very good knack for Enchantments, but his ability to Evocate
or Transmute was, to be honest, non-existant. That didn't really bother him
truth be told. He loved the feeling he got from controlling someone elses
very thoughts. Being able to tell them to dance a jig and then seeing them
do it was, to him, true power. Anyone could swing a fist, but to have others
swing thier fists for you? That's the sort of power that Lords and Nobles
commanded. The sort of power that he would need to truly combat those
arrogant Conclave mages. 

His repertoire of spells was fine with him. However his inability to gather
new spells left him rather defenseless. He had tried the various magic
stores around town, but too many of them were slaves of the Conclaves dogma.
None were willing to sell him the spells fitting his ability. He had managed
to Charm one of them but even then he couldn't convince the fellow to allow
him to buy the spells. It was just too far outside the beliefs he had been
indoctrinated with. His options were limited, but what options there were,
were very clear. 

He would have to stop searching for information on these mages and start
searching for the mages themselves. Find one who was isolated and vulnerable
and enthrall him. Failing that, well, anyone could swing a club. He would
just have to do it himself. 

With that done he would be able to scavenge thier spell books and start
building a power base of spells with which he could pop the Conclaves
inflated ego. Get them to understand that they were not the rulers of magic.
It is something that everyone should be allowed to learn and use as they see
fit. If they couldn't see it, then he would force them to see it. 

Author:    Orryn          
Date:      Tue Mar 25 05:13:31 2008
Subject     Relocation

Orryn swore loudly, tired of biting back on his anger, though it did no
good. The same wind which drove the rain into his skin carried away his oath
as if it had never been. To make matters better the ship chose just that
moment to lurch suddenly in the waves. This had a two-fold effect on the
young man who had never before set foot on a ship. The first was to send yet
another wave of nasuea through his already twisted stomach. The second was
it caused his hand to slip of the guide rail so that he lost his balance and
crashed to the deck, his head contacting the pole with what should have been
a resounding ring. As if to spite him though, the wind simply carried that
away too. 

Slowly climbing back to his feet with an even tighter grip on the rail he
decided Zeboim and Habbakuk be damned he wasn't going to put up with this
nonsense any longer. Walking across the deck, though at times it was more
sliding and stumbling through the driving rain, he made his way to his
private quarters. Originally he had been marked to share it with a young
warrior bound for Caergoth. A short conversation with the man told Orryn
that he felt nervous about leaving his kid sister with his aunt and uncle. A
quick spell and even quicker talking caused that nervousness to grow into
full blown distrust of the uncle whom he suddenly realized he always thought
to be a bid weird. He quickly packed up his gear and left, knuckles white
around the hilt of his blade. It was getting easier each day to delve into
peoples minds and force them to your bidding. There were times when he
didn't even need the spells. Just his own words would get the desired

This all faded from his mind though as he stepped out of the rain into the
room. Shaking his cloak and hanging it on the hook he reached up to tenderly
touch his head. There was a large lump growing already. Another lurch in the
sea sent a larger wave of sickness through him. Falling to his knees he gave
a few short heaves. He would have ruined the carpet had he not already
spilled the contents of his stomach over the railing a minute ago. When his
stomach calmed sufficiently he walked over to the chest at the base of his
bed and pulled out the pouches he had packed. He grabbed the book he needed
and did his peculiar stumbling walk over to where the remnants of his dinner
were. Sitting down on his bed he quickly flipped through the pages of the
book until he found the spell he needed. Rope Trick. Quickly reading over
the spell his heart sank a bit, but he resolved to try it anyways. If it
worked it would solve this damn rocking and swaying problem. He grabbed the
stale corn bread off the plate and crushed it in his hand. Not very pure,
but it would pass. Probably reduce the time the spell lasted a bit, but it
would be worth it. Grabbing a blank sheet of parchment he wound it into a
twisted cord and held it in the opposite hand. It had to work. He read over
the spell again to make sure he had the words right before he spoke them.
After the fifth time reading them to himself he felt he had it correctly. 

Chanting softly to himself he recited the words, following along in the book
to make sure he got it right. He reached down, deep into himself, into the
well of personal power that fueled his magic and pulled up as much as he
could. Pure brute strength would have to count for something. He finished
the words with the proper upward inflection on the final syllable and felt
the power he had gathered trickle out of his grasp, like water through his
fingers. He threw the paper and bread crumbs across the room and screamed in
frustration. It was a Transmutation spell. He knew it wouldn't work, but the
idea of being able to climb into a space not attached to this infernal boat
was too great a promise to be ignored. He closed the book and replaced it in
his packs before laying on the bed. 

The constant swaying of the ship was only worse on his back and nearly
caused another dry heave, but he squelched it down and focused on his
breathing. In and his stomach grew and his mind drifted. Out and his stomach
flattened again and he forced his mind to return. A couple minutes of this
and the movement of the ship felt less. He was able to then focus his
thoughts on the previous days. 

He had put out feelers and sought information about Conclave. Thus far they
hard turned up naught. The mages were elusive and didn't like people knowing
about them. Recently however he had found out that there were a group of
mages in Caergoth. Mages who were not aligned with the Tower. It was a bit
risky to go sniffing around for them but it was a source of potential allies
or at the very least, information. He felt it was an acceptable risk. They
wouldn't report him to any Conclave mages for fear of thier own skins and he
was confident that he could sway thier minds should they have

He knew that getting out of Palanthas would only serve him well. It would
distance himself from this Blade that was breathing down his neck as well as
let him see more of the world. At the very least it meant that he might be
able to at least find someone in Caergoth who would sell him knew spells. He
had given some thought to simply taking what he needed and running, but he
didn't know the town well enough to evade a shopkeeper much less a guard.
No, it would be a bad idea to try that approach. 

He let his mind continue to wander over the past few days. Soon his mind
began to drift in other directions as his concentration began to waiver.
It wasn't long before sleep overtook him and left him to restless dreams.

Author:    Orryn          
Date:      Sat Mar 29 07:09:09 2008
Subject     New location, New job.

The warm breeze blew past Orryn, batting his cloak to the side like a cat
would a string. It carried with it the breeze of the sea and memories of his
journey here. He couldn't help but smile in spite of himself. Yes, he still
swore that the journey had taken him through the bowels of the Abyss before
arriving here in Caergoth, but that alone was a reason to celebrate. Combine
that with the love he had found for this city in the past month here and he
couldn't help but smile. It was quite a bit further south than Palanthas so
it was cooler during the days and it was downright frigid some nights, but
it was a bit smaller and more ..quaint? Fishing had always been a part of
many peoples lives in Palanthas, but here it was many peoples lives. There
was a large amount of fish brought in each day on the boats, which of course
caused many other people to try thier hand at scrimshaw. His first week he
had been targetted by nearly every starving artist who could lay hand to
scrimshaw knife. Apparently he had outgrown his wide-eyed tourist appearance
though. Mostly they no longer tried to ply thier wares on him. 

The atmosphere wasn't the only reason he enjoyed this town though. The
people here seemed to buy into the lies of the Conclave much less. Perhaps
it was because they didn't grow up in the shadow of a cursed Tower of High
Sorcery. What ever the reason though he found life here much easier. He
still hadn't found any shop keepers who would sell magical scrolls to him,
even with a spell to loosen thier inhibitions, but he had found other
methods. There were a few opportunistic former mages here who would, for a
small donation, teach him one of thier spells and help him get it to a
servicible point before dismissing him from thier abodes.

He had, over the course of the last month, managed to earn a measure of
trust from a smaller group of Renegades. He was biding his time before
presenting his case and asking if any of them would be willing to join his
cause but until then they had managed to prove very useful. 

That was when he snapped out of his thoughts and remembered he was on a task
for his new friends. He quickly glanced around and stepped into a darkened
alley before chanting the familiar words and passing his hand over his face.
He felt the spell trigger and glanced down at himself. His trousers were
replaced by the image of a ratty pair of dock pants, his loose tunic now was
a sleeveless vest and his arms and shoulders had the look of a man who spent
much of his day in the sun. He knew, without having to look, that his face
appeared different too, but this was all normal to him anymore. Giving a
small smile at his abilities he walked out and headed towards the docks. 

His spell would disguise his appearance, but any of the group could do that.
He was chosen because he could act the part as well as look it. He made sure
to smile broadly and nod at everyone he passed on his walk. When he arrived
at his destination he leaned against the support beam for the wharf and
pulled out his dagger. It was much too large for this, but it fit his
disguise and so he whistled happily while he cleaned his fingernails with
his 'pen-knife'. G'day, brotha' he would say as people passed him. It was
odd even as he thought it, but he made a point to stand out just enough so
as not to be truly noticed by any of the sailors or dock guards. 

In time he saw his mark arrive. It was a fat man in very common clothes
today which made him breath a bit easier. That is who it was supposed to be,
but they would occasionaly change things up to make it harder to get a bead
on them. Mundane efforts were no match for Orryn's friends though, who
counted a very talented Diviner among thier number. Putting his magically
disguised dagger away he gave a short nod and slowly headed for the street
leading away from the docks. He was far enough away and walking slowly
enough that the fat man, who was closer, could get his package and head
towards the same street and still beat Orryn there by about 10 paces.
Incidentally, that was the young mages plan the whole time and sure enough,
he wasn't disappointed. He would have to be sure to give Andros a small
portion of his own share of the take for the very excellent information
gleaned from his divining. 

Orryn tried to weave through the people walking the street but he was having
a hard time keeping up with the fat man who was obviously trying to get back
to his destination with the package as quickly as possible. He thought about
casting a quick summon spell to call up a dog or an illusion spell slow the
man down but discarded it quickly. Too many people who might see him cast it
not to mention he didn't know how the man would act if confronted with
something potentially threatening. He flexed his fingers and hands and cast
one of his weakest, easiest to hide, spells; Prestidigitation. 

Author:    Orryn          
Date:      Sat Mar 29 07:45:38 2008
Subject     New location, New job. Pt II

He quickly directed the flows of magic about half the distance between
him and the fat man ahead of himself and began to weave balls of light
around a kender who was being questioned by the guards. The kender,
predictable as all his kind, became highly excited and began to chase the
light as it spun around him laughing and grasping for what could not be
caught. The guards gave a short yelp of suprise and took a step back for a
second, though the yelp attracted the attention of most of the people
between Orryn and the fat man. They stopped moving to watch this spectacle
give Orryn more than enough room to manuever between them and get within
range of his target. A loud *thump!* and a soft moan told him without having
to look, that his spinning lights had led the distracted kender right into a
wall. The crowd of course was amused and distracted giving him all the time
he needed for his last spell. His hands were already in the position for the
spelly before a whim changed his mind. Instead of his strongest enchantment,
he would challenge himself a bit. He recited the words to one of his
favorite spells and smiled as the man missed a step as its effect settled on
his shoulders. Hey, brotha'! Wait up! Orryn jogged to catch up the the fat
man, who was waiting and smiling stupidly. 

Ya' about left me behind back there! Didn't the boss tell ya he would be
sending me to walk ya back? Orryn grinned darkly, flexing his own small
muscles which, of course, cause the illusion to flex its much larger
muscles. Can't let noone get the boss' prize, eh? Eh? 

The fat man's enchanted mind took the information it was fed and he frowned
at his new friend. Shh! No, the boss forgot to mention but I am glad for
your company. Now just keep quiet and let's make sure nothing happens. 

Orryn grinned and nodded Easy-peezy brotha'. He made small talk as they
walked a couple blocks before he put his hand on the fat man's shoulder. Oy.
Wait a tick. Glancing up and down the street he frowned as he spotted a
couple of men walking behind them. In all truth they were just two people
enjoying thier day, but they would serve quite nicely. Start walkin',
normal-like brotha'. Don't look 'round, but we're draggin' a couple'a


We're bein' followed! Shut up and walk. They're peepin' you, they know you
got it. We keep on like we are and it's trouble. We split, you head right
then double back towards a guard house. Give me the package and I'll take it
to the boss.A paniced look from the fat man and Orryn interrupted him before
he could speak. It's the only way brotha'. They are gonna follow you. Hand
it off and lead them away. I can get to the boss no worries. Besides, ya'
don' want them bashin' yer skull do ya? I can' fight back better if need

Again the man's ensorcelled brain processed what it was fed and he finally
grimaced and nodded Here, friend. Don't let them get it, or the boss will
have both of our heads. Orryn nodded grimly and slipped the small velvet
pouch into his "vest". 

With that the fat man, fully trusting his friend, slipped off to the right
and down the adjoining road to elude his persuers. Orryn laughed derisively
and opened the pouch slightly as he walked, peeking in at its contents. 

Inside he saw beetle shaped figurine molded from some black material with
silver lines giving it an outline of wings and carapace. It was about half
the size of the palm of his hand and looked rather nondescript. He muttered
to himself as he pulled the strings tight, closing the pouch. He had no
doubt, well little doubt, that it was magical. That was the entire focus of
his renegade friends, magical items. However it seemed to be a bit boring to
be putting this much effort into collecting it. To be honest though, it had
been easy enough with Andros' information. Telling himself to be content
with the results he tucked it into his pocket and dismissed his spells of
illusion. He headed back to the warehouse his friends called home to prepare
for the evening. Apparently they were going to set up a deal with a buyer
and wanted him to watch the warehouse. He understood that while they did
trust him this much, they didn't trust him enough to take him along yet. He
was alright with that for now, though the thought of giving them a
Suggestion or two did cross his mind. In the end though, he figured it would
be best to stay back and earn thier trust. He had learned his lesson about
overusing his compulsion spells. No sense ruining someones mind with spells
when he could just be patient and get the same results. 

Author:    Orryn          
Date:      Sat May 31 18:55:21 2008
Subject     (SQ) Memories

Orryn lay on the floor of the warehouse he once called his base
resembling nothing more than a burned and torn pile of rags with a few peeks
of sooty flesh peeking out. One leg was folded up backwards, twisted so that
his foot was near his hip while the other leg stretched out in front of his
body and his arms were in no better shape. It was a very uncomfortable
position that he lay in, but it didn't matter at the moment. The fine white
sand that clung to the corners of his eyes kept him in a deep magical sleep.
He would be quite sore when his captors woke him, from both the blasts of
magical energy he had not quite dodged and the position of his limbs, but
for the moment all physical sensation was lost to slumber. 

His mind however was not restrained in any such manner. It was a wild and
untamed mind, one that had had enough discipline to strengthen it, but not
enough to even begin to reign itself in and attempt to break the Archmage's
spell. Instead it cavorted and danced among the memories it had collected,
specifically those most recent ones. 

After he had first arrived in the city and met his new companions they
didn't really trust him enough to reveal much about thier operations. He
didn't blame them in the least. He too knew how trick Conclave could be and
paranoia was considered a positive trait because of it. As such they had
instead sent him out of the city with one of thier own, Garrick, to hunt
down some information. At that time he didn't completely comprehend thier
intentions but again with the knowledge he had now he didn't blame them. 

Rumors had recently surfaced about a trove of godly treasure that had been
hidden and sealed away from prying eyes. It had been protected by Shinare,
but lately the whispers about its location were growing larger and more
common. This motley group of renegades, led by Andros' scrying and
divination, believed that meant that it was now attainable. With thier
interest in magical items it was easy to see thier sudden interest in any
sort of 'godly treasure'. So they had suddenly found a way to test a new
potential friend and lay hands on some wonderous items. If thier friend
proved untrustworthy, well, Garrick was very skilled in the art, if it could
be called that, of big things into smaller, bloodier things. 

The plan in motion Orryn and Garrick packed some trailpacks and left the
city for a nearby shrine to the goddess of wealth. Thier arrival found a
shrine, normally quiet and pleasant a place of various foul smells, crying
babes and arrogant 'adventurers'. It did not take much thought to realize
they were all seekers of Shinare's wealth. 

Truly, Garrick, I knew we would have a bit of competition, but this mass is
far more than I had anticipated! Orryn's eyes scanned over the crowd in

Yeah. This many people could cause a real problem. A dark grin slowly crept
over Garrick's face Though they may be a great boon too. I have been wanting
to try a couple new spells... On the road would be best, away from prying
eyes. Let's talk to the priest first, then we can dispatch those we find.. 

Orryn wasn't a kind man, but the thought of killing every seeker they came
across was deplorable. However he didn't say anything and followed his
bloodthirsty friend through the crowd. Clearing a path presented to problem
as Garrick simply used a cantrip to give a small electrical jolt to anyone
foolish enough to not move. Soon enough they found themselves standing
before the shrine guards who watched over the priest who was trying to make
his voice heard over the din of the crowd. 

Quiet! Quiet you folk! I have been in communication with the Goddess and she
has told me many things to relay to all who would seek her gifts! 

Orryn smiled as he listened. A new possibility presented itself here, one
that would make thier road shorter and less clogged with the remains of all
the other seekers. This was no time for finesse though, so he pulled a small
stopper of honey oil from his pouches and tapped his friend on the shoulder.
Watch.. He drew reached down within himself, finding the center of his being
and the lake of power that dwelled there. Lately that power had grown and
was far deeper and wider than it had been when he first began his studies,
but he ignored that and instead focued on reaching in and drawing power from
it. He spoke softly, his words easily lost to the throng of people and the
priests own yells. Noone heard him finish the spell and only Garrick beside
him felt the whip crack of power that extended from Orryn and drove itself,
like a tent spike, into the priests temple. His yells stopped for a second
while the Domination took effect. 

A moment, priest! Orryn spoke loudly but his voice was covered by the din.
It made no matter though, the magic holding the priest responded and he
looked over towards the young mage. Sorry to interrupt, but we come from the
Temple of Lady Shinare in Palanthas with news. The Prince of Lies has been
giving out false information on this quest, we need to hear the clue the
goddess has given you and make sure it is the same as the one from the High
Priest in Palanthas.. 

The priest paled visibly at the thought that his information might be untrue
and leaned down to speak with them. This is what was revealed to me: 'There
is a crossroad that brings West, East, and South together. There is a sign
post...' Then something else, about the North, but I cannot recall.. 

Orryn nodded sagely, Yes, that is what many have been told. Fortunatly we
were able to catch this in time, Shinare be praised! The true message is
this: ' Near the lake with crystal waters, 
A tree of iron hides is well, There awaits a message wondrous,
There awaits a Golden Bell.'
The priest smiled as he heard the false message and thanked the mage. He stood and began to deliver the message while Orryn, and a rather sour looking Garrick, walked back through the crowd to begin thier search for a crossroad. Author: Orryn Date: Fri Jul 11 06:41:04 2008 Subject Idle Time Orryn paced back and forth in his room, his feet racing to keep up with his thoughts and anger. If he hadn't been chewing his thumb he would have screamed until his voice echoed off the walls of this arrogant tower. He had joined with the Conclave to further his understanding of magic and power. He had been a bit shaken to find out the amount of devestation that had been brought to bear on Caergoth during his magical slumber at the hands of Leodas and Jendaron. Despite his prejudices against Conclave and those two in particular, he didn't believe that they were responsible for the explosion of the warehouse. The death of his friends, however, he did lay squarely at their feet. That was beside the point at the moment though. He had joined because if they didn't cause the destruction the instigator would have had to have been a renegade mage. That much power wielded by one who didn't wear the robes of the Conclave made Orryn's head spin. He could understand a bit better now thier reservations about renegade mages. Understand and respect. However in the time he had spent here he had learned very little. In fact all that he had learned was that he was a prisoner and he would not be taught any true magic for quite some time. Apparently there had been a scare with a Renegade mage in thier ranks right before Orryn's arrival and that caused them to treat him as a prisoner. It was only after his complaints that he had been given any instruction at all, though it was all in the basics of magic. There were seven schools of magic: Necromancy and Enchantment, which were the domains of Nuitari, Illusion and Transmutation which was the focus of the followers of Lunitari, Abjuration and Divination which Solinari favored. That left only Evocation and Conjuration which were not claimed by any of the three groups. The rest of what he had been taught was similar. All of it was information that Bernard had already covered years ago and was a complete and utter waste of his time. Since he was not a true member of Conclave yet his lessons, if they could be called that, were handled by all three orders. He was very suprised the first day that Jendaron showed up, looking no worse for his actions in Caergoth. Orryn had been sure that he had died in the warehouse explosion and couldn't hide the shock from his face before Jendaron made a remark. Julian, the red robed mage he had met so long ago in Palanthas had stopped by, though not to teach any lessons in condescension as the others did, but to visit. He seemed genuinely pleased to see Orryn, which made the young mage a bit wary. The worst though, was the mages in white. They would look at him with a mix of pity like one gives a person cursed with a simple mind and severity like a parent about to scold a child. Oh, thier words and actions were the defination of polite and proper, but it was the attitude that Orryn was some poor soul who had to be uplifted out of the muck that set his teeth on edge. Combine that his last 'lesson' was from one such mage and the simple fact that his 'lessons' were trite and pedantic and Orryn felt that his anger was justified. Orryn's mind flew back to the time when he could go where he wanted and do as he willed. It was better than what he had now; a 10 feet long by 7 feet wide box where he could be put and ignored. Labeled "Non-threatening" and ignored. He caught the line of logic his mind was trying to lead him down and stopped in his tracks with a throaty growl. He grabbed that rebellious thought and pinned it down and force it to look again upon Caergoth. The warehouse, the land where the warehouse had been, a flaming pit of nothing. Jendaron, the most powerful black robed mage, presumed dead by Leodas, the most powerful red robed mage. Leodas himself beaten and bloodied hanging on a balcony looking not long for this world. Himself alive amidst the fury of some shadowy group of renegades due only to the appearance of two Conclave Archmages. He forced his mind, himself, to replay those scenes and to burn them into his memory again. That is why he was here in the Tower. That sheer, unfathomable power was terrifying. His focus reinstated, the young mage walked to his bed and sat on the edge and placed his hands on his kneeds and focused on the thump-thumping of his heart still pounding with residual anger. Breathing slowly and focusing on the words to a spell to divert his mind he slowed his pulse and soon had his body under the same control as his mind. Orryn turned his body and lay back on the bed. It was hard and yet somehow lumpy at the same time. Orryn could only assume magic was the culprit here but he paid it no mind, instead focusing on another day. A day when he had been free and without direction. A day when that same freedom had cost him more dearly than he cared to admit. Sleep soon found him and with it, dreams. Author: Orryn Date: Sat Nov 14 16:51:37 2009 Subject Education pt 1 Orryn glared balefully down at the lump of tallow resting contentedly on the table. His hands formed a sort of barrier around the offending piece of fat, fingers splayed and palms flat against the cool stone surface. All his focus, all his mental faculties were focused entirely on that small clump; the strange shape it took when dropped on the table had already been memorized and filed away, the smell, slight as it may be, was stuck in his nostrils, even the taste, though long gone, still clung to his tongue. Every aspect of the component was sorted, filed, and stored. Each piece separate and yet still all part of the whole. Sweat beaded on his forehead as he opened himself up to the well of magic that resided deep within and he took a slow steadying breath before dipping his hands, metaphorically speaking of course, into that well to draw on the familiar power that was his magic He was loathe to admit it, but over the past few months the mages here in the tower had been quite successful in their tutelage. He had, at first, been more then a little arrogant due to his mostly self taught abilities. He had had someone to guide him in the beginning, a man who had saved him from starvation or worse and had raised him as his own child. Bernard. He had once been in a position similar to Orryn's own, an apprentice at the Conclave of Mages trying to learn and prove himself. He had failed though, a point that many of the mages here had taken the effort to point out time and again. In his failed Test, capital 'T" on that, Bernard had lost the ability to draw on the power of the Moons and could no longer work magic. He had left the tower, smuggling out his old spellbook, and ended up in Palanthas, the Lord City. Palanthas, the Jewel of Solamnia; a city where anyone could disappear without much effort. A city where someone could easily avoid the scrutiny of those they had thought were their friends and allies. Of course, this was what the mages told him, but he knew the truth. He had found Bernard's journal. A book in his father's own hand detailing how he had been stripped of his ability. His will raped and power stolen from him by those who were jealous of his potential. It was this man who had guided his first few steps. Who had helped him learn to place on foot before the other and held his hands to help Orryn keep his balance. Every step after that, though, was his own. Bernard had never mentioned any names but that may have been for the best. There was a time when Orryn wouldn't have been sure that he would have been able to keep from throwing himself at the person responsible had he known their name. Not that Orryn was particularly strong or capable with his fists, but such was his devotion to his dead adoptive father that the thought of any other course of action would have been burned away by the holy rage that would be invoked by such knowledge. This is all beside the point though; the point being that disgusting little globule of pig fat slowly melting on the stone table. Author: Orryn Date: Sat Nov 14 17:05:24 2009 Subject Education pt 2 In a low monotone Orryn recited the words burned into his memory and drew the power of the Moons into his mind. He knew what should, what would happen. He simply had to unite the possible with the actual and allow the spark of magic to connect the two so that they merged. At the correct point the young apprentice uttered the phase that would 'ignite' the spell as he combined everything, the information about the tallow, the knowledge of what it was about to become, and the raw power of magic, together into one neatly organized bundle and released it towards the pinch of lard. The components of the spell came together faster then his mind could follow and then, just as fast, they slid apart and each separate piece fizzled as if they had been coated with that very bit of fat and tossed into a skillet. The spell complete, reality returned to the young man in a sudden rush of sound. The slight breeze in the room began to register on his flushed cheeks and his mind reeled as he tried to recall what Julian was saying. ---pected as much, so do not worry over-much about what happened, or didn't happen as it were. The sheer skill that you handled the Hold Monster spell with indicated that you had, consciously or not, focused on the spells meant to ensnare the mind. The look on Julian's face, as if he had just swallowed the little lump of lard, let Orryn know what the Red-robed magus thought of his focus on that school of magic. Orryn, for his part, put on the mask of the dutiful student and nodded in agreement. I know Magus, and I could have told you as much, but you insisted on making me try the Grease spell. Transmutation and Evocation both evade me, but I have made my peace with that. Julian handed the young apprentice mage a cloth to wipe the sweat from his brow I did insist, and for good reason. I took you as my apprentice and to teach you properly I have to see, to know, what you are and are not capable of. Your own estimation of your skill, and your limits, is not enough. A rebellious part of Orryn's mind rose up and had a caustic retort to that statement prepared but he swatted it aside with all the concern one would give a buzzing fly before it was able to gather up enough steam to rush out his mouth. Of course, Magus Every day it was getting easier and easier to do what was expected, to say what was expected, and to ensure that he did all he could to learn what these mages had to teach him. This was because every night the dreams came. The memories of that warehouse in Caergoth, his friends barely more then charred meat and the two Archmages, Leodas and Jendaron, who had been sent there to reclaim stolen items, desparately clinging to life. Those dreams, that memory, they were what spurred him forward. The devastation wrought by one unknown mage caused him far more concern then he would have ever let on. And so he school his tongue and actions even as these traitors to his So he continued to school his tongue and actions even as these hypocritcal mages schooled his mind. He could make a show of humility for as long as it took so long as the end goal was the same: freedom from the holding cell they called his quarters and freedom from thier oppresive double-standard rules.

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 824 books from Ansalon from before the great Cataclysm through today.'