.-----..-. .-. `-. .-': : .' `. : : : `-. .--. .-..-.,-.,-.,-. .--. `. .'.-..-..--. .--. .--. : : : .. :' .; ; : :; :: ,. ,. :' .; ; : : : :; :: ..'' .; :' '_.' :_; :_;:_;`.__,_;`.__.':_;:_;:_;`.__,_; :_; `.__.':_; `._. ;`.__.' .-. : `._.' *!* Introduction *!* Mandahum's Story (Story about Mandahum the painter's sufferings and pain) Worshippers of Balfe (Story about dark sorcerers and blood dragon Balfe) Erratics (Story of secret basement meetings and the history of erratics) The persecutions (Story of six innocent girls that were being killed in persecutions) Ghostsingers of Dawnlight (Story of Cult of Dawnlight and Noble Ghost Board) Glory of Sorcerers (Story of Wizard Tof annihilating sorcerers and foundation of guild) The Last Erratic (Story telling about the foundation of guild) *!* The History of Thaumaturges *!* MANDAHUM'S STORY The history of the Mandahum the painter is somewhat strange. The people do not actually know how everything went, but stories are told and probably there isn't a person would know the truth. The people usually have heard a story that has something to do with a powerful wizard, a runebinder, who helped a painter, Mandahum, with cunning magic. But let's hear the story from the beginning. There once was a lonely painter Mandahum who lived in his manor. His manor was known because it was one of the biggest in the region. He had a garden that he used not only to support himself, but he also painted the appletrees and birds and such that were living in the garden. This man had only one dream. He wanted to join the guild of painters. The only requirement for joining was to make a painting that pleases all the members of the painter guild. Once again he had finished one of his paintings. He jumped on his horse, galloped to city, and banged the sand off from his heels. He ascended to the tower of the painters. The answer was the same, always the same, 'Mandahum, your paintings are full of lively creatures, but still they are all dead.' He took his painting, descended from the tower, kicked the ground filling his heels with sand, jumped on his horse, galloped to the manor back to design for a new painting. He threw his old painting away and took a new canvas and started painting. This time the painting would be perfect he thought. No more dead creatures, the creatures would be more alive than ever. Two long weeks and he was painting and painting days and nights. Finally the painting was ready. He jumped on his horse, galloped to city, and banged the sand off from his heels. He ascended to the tower of the painters. The answer was the same, always the same, 'Mandahum, your paintings are full of lively creatures, but still they are all dead.' He took his painting, descended from the tower, kicked the ground filling his heels with sand, jumped on his horse, galloped to the manor back to design for a new painting. He threw his old painting away and took a new canvas and started painting. This time it would require a fabulous idea to make a painting, a lively painting that would please all the members of the painter guild. No more dead creatures, he would make them more detailed and more alive than ever. This time the painting took four weeks to complete. He jumped on his horse, galloped to city, and banged the sand off from his heels. He ascended to the tower of the painters. The answer was the same, always the same, 'Mandahum, your paintings are full of lively creatures, but still they are all dead.' He took his painting, descended from the tower, kicked the ground filling his heels with sand, jumped on his horse, galloped to the manor back to design for a new painting. He threw his old painting away and took a new canvas and started painting. Impossible he thought. The members couldn't be pleased with normal ways. It would require more colour and better skill and more details. This time he would give his heart to the work and finally the painting was ready, and it took three months. Outside he heard a voice of a little girl that said: 'Hey Sir! Are you that man who jumps on his horse, gallopes to city, and bangs the sand off from his heels. The man who ascendes to the tower of the painters and paints dead creatures?' And Mandahum replied to the girl: 'Yes, and after that I take my painting, descend from the tower kick the ground to fill my heels with sand, jump back on my horse and gallop to the manor to design a new painting.' After time of chatting, Mandahum almost forgot something. He jumped on his horse, galloped to city, and banged the sand off from his heels. He ascended to the tower of the painters. The answer was the same, always the same, 'Mandahum, your paintings are full of lively creatures, but still they are all dead.' He took his painting, descended from the tower, kicked the ground filling his heels with sand, jumped on his horse, galloped to the manor back to design for a new painting. He threw his old painting away and took a new canvas and started painting. Those people are hard to be pleased. The whole sentence was filling his head. 'Mandahum, your creatures are dead', 'Mandahum, your paintings are dead'. 'Impossible, why do they not like my paintings', he cursed. This time the painting was perfect, it was colorful and detailed and it had taken two years of his life to finish. When he came out of his manor, he saw a wizard in purple cloak. The wizard was standing in Mandahum's garden. The wizard asked Mandahum 'I'm a travelling vagabond, and hungry. May I taste the delicious fruits of your garden?' Mandahum replied 'The garden is my life, but the paintings are my heart, you can eat the fruits of my life, but do not break my heart.' As Mandahum was about to leave, the people around the manor had come to mock him. They were shouting 'Mandahum, your paintings are dead, your creatures are dead.' and Mandahum was about to cry, since he had done nothing wrong and he had not deserved this kind of behaviour from the other people. Suddenly the visiting wizard intoned 'Mandahum, the creatures are dead only in the eyes of another one'. The frames of the painting gave a ticking sound as small symbols appeared to the frames one after another. He jumped on his horse, galloped to city, and banged the sand off from his heels. He ascended to the tower of the painters. The answer was the same, always the same, 'Mandahum, your paintings are full of lively creatures, but still they are all dead.' He took his painting, descended from the tower, kicked the ground filling his heels with sand, jumped on his horse, galloped to the manor. Never to return, since the painter guild was no more. The echoing words had triggered a spell on the painting. But he had learned a valuable lesson 'The life becomes death only in the eyes of another one' WORSHIPPERS OF BALFE After several years, Mandahum's life was over. The life really hasn't been smiling to him. He was never able to complete another painting and it was obvious that his motivation had been the challenge that he no longer had after the destruction of the painter guild. After his lonely death, his manor was empty for a long time. There was an old law that allows the country to repossess land if nobody no longer owns it. As Mandahum had no will nor children, the manor was taken over and it was given to viscount Jade. Thus all the paintings Mandahum had ever painted now belonged to him. Included in those paintings there was the old picture still had the mysterious rune of death. During the years, it had developed a mind of its own. A small lizard in the painting had transformed into a dragon. During the next days, everything looked very normal, but a bit later viscount Jade started acting very strangely. He cancelled meetings, and stopped travelling. It sometimes took weeks and you couldn't see viscount at all. During next months viscount Jade started getting visitors. The visitors were not noble people, they were odd people, people in cloaks and capes, dressing dark. They usually appeared at night time when nobody was there to see. Suspicious action had been noticed by the villagers, and rumours spread quickly. The people were talking about mystic society, some were speaking about witches. Whether it was the curiousity or something else, they wanted to know what viscount is hiding in his manor. It was one night and everything had been planned. The viscount had been getting visitors all evening. The villagers had collected a wide group of members who would make a raid to the manor. The moment came. The villagers pounded down the door to the manor and trampled in. The manor looked empty, but after quick search they realized that everybody was in the cellar of the manor. As they run to the cellar they saw something horrifying and astonishingly scary. There it was, the divine blood dragon Balfe. It was no longer in the painting, it was living, flesh and bones. It was being worshipped by viscount Jade and his odd new friends. It was some kind of witchcraft they were no longer able to control as the villagers interrupted the ritual. Using the chaotic second, the divine blood dragon Balfe crashed out through the wooden ceiling to the sky heading to the village to destroy it. The villagers had new problems, to stop the dragon from ravaging the city. They had no time for the viscount, as there was no time to lose. But it was too late, the city was in flames, ignited by the powerful dragon breath. As the fire finally ceased, there was only ashes and old ruins of stone buildings. As the city had been burned, the dark sorcerers had left and there was no sign of viscount Jade. They had fled from the anger of the villagers. But everything wasn't fine. It was decided that the people who are believed to be guilty to the annihilation ought to be killed. That day was the beginning of persecutions. ERRATICS The persecutions made time harder for the people who used magic. Sorcerers also had to invent ways to practice their magic, but they discovered it to be very hard because holy warriors and paladins of the church were all the time watching after their every move. One day, someone of them came up with an idea of a secret sign. At those times sorcerers gathered once a week into a place to share their secrets with each other. Safety is sure and that's why all the meetings were held in a basement of a member. Sorcerers agreed that erratics would be used as secret signs. By putting a small erratic on the doorsteps, they were able to know where the next meeting would be held. That is the story of erratics, but times have changed. Nowadays there are a few erratics that can be seen, but those are only to make people remember the story. Erratics have more or less symbolic meaning. THE PERSECUTIONS The persecutions took place and hundreds of people were being killed. Some of them were actually witches, but some were not. Some people used persecutions as false reason to get rid of their annoying neighbours, and some children of the richer families sometimes gave in their father. Most of the horrible stories only go in the family, and some stories are never told and are remembered by nobody. However the history remembers six stories of innocent girls who were being found guilty of witchcraft, but later on their part in witchcraft has been found small or even non-existant. Below are the longer stories that describe the sad fates of the patrons. Rusalka of Water Rusalka is a water wraith of the lake. Her story is very sad. Rusalka was taking a bath by the lake when a young paladin arrived. Rusalka, shy of her nudity, told the paladin to turn his look away from her. Paladin reacted instantly, and turned over so that Rusalka could come out of the lake and to wear her clothes. Despite the fact that this paladin had given his promise to this lovely girl, he glanced over his shoulder wishing to have a peek. Unfortunately Rusalka, who was still in the lake, didn't notice a thing as paladin's eyes withered in fear as the serene surface of the lake didn't cast a reflection of her, as she was a witch. Paladin rushed over and took a strong grip of her neck and started to pull her under water. Rusalka, nonetheless she was a witch, was weak and unable to resist, and therefore young and powerful paladin drowned her easily. From this day on, Rusalka lies in the water, seducing men, and drawing them under surface as a revenge of the unjustified deeds done to her. Joann of Love This is the story of Joann DeGran. She was a beautiful girl, perhaps a little superficial and extravagant. She had a way with words, but nevertheless she was never able to find the right one. She was working hard in a bar, the purposes of which were not actually that pure. She was dancing cabaret, and making old men feel comfortable in the bar. One evening, a middle-aged man, many years older than Joann, asked Joann to join for a dinner. After a minutes persuation and exchange of money, Joann agreed. They left holding their hands when something happened, something that Joann had never expected. Man's wife showed up. Joann's eyes winced in terror as she innocently kept on staring the man. Man's wife, a butcher's knife wielded in her hand, overwhelmed by rage, rushed and mercilessly struck the knife through Joann's heart. From this day on, Joann's ghost still haunts men whose hearts and purposes are not as pure as they might seem. Kiranja of Compassion Kiranja was a young girl who was studying to be a nun when she grows up and her only mistake was the curiousity towards black magic. She lived in a convent which had a very lovely garden. Kiranja herself liked to play in the garden and to take care of the bushes and trees that were planted in the garden. Especially, above all else, Kiranja liked a cherry tree that blossomed every year so beautifully. She spent five years to take care of the tree and with all her love and compassion, she was able to make the tree come alive. Whether it was God's ways of forgiving her curiousity towards black magic, or a wonder that had happened, but you can't imagine the joy it brought to a young woman. Kiranja slept a wonderful dream and the next thing in the morning she travelled to the garden to see her cherry tree. She was astounded as she saw the tree had been cut down. She was crying, tears were falling along her cheeks. All her love and compassion was slowly changing its form to hate and hatred. She cursed herself and struck a dagger through her heart. That day on she has been haunting innocent minds with pestilence but yet she hasn't lost all her compassion or love. Milana of Arts Milana was extraordinary, but a little bit extravagant. She had vision and her father was very willing to give anything she ever wanted. She used to work in a hair salon to earn some money for her studies. She studied arts and her teacher said she was very gifted. After three years of working in hair salon and studying arts, she had developed a skill to see everything in very tantalizing way. Her father, who was a great hero in the kingdom, talked to the king about organizing an art contest. The king was thrilled and it also encouraged young Milana to paint a picture. The day she had waited all her life finally came. After hearing the results, Milana rejoiced as she heard she had won the contest. That was the happiest day of Milana's life. A year later Milana met a handsome man, bard was his profession. Milana liked his sense of humour and they first started seeing each other secretly but then her father found out, so she introduced her true love to him. Rober Dangar, Milana's father, was very eager to know that her daughter had finally achieved that many things during her short life. It was november, and the first snow slowly piled up in the streets. It sure looked beautiful. The trees were all covered in snow. She was happy. As her man came to pick her up, she put her winter dress on, and they left out to the streets. The snow was glittering and the sun that was shining reflected from the snow to Milana's eyes. It was very dazzling. Milana started piling up snow to make a snowman. After a couple of hours the snowman was ready. It had a rake in its left hand, a carrot as a nose, and an old hat taken from the scarecrow. 'What next?', Milana asked her boyfriend. Her boyfriend shrugged and turned around to admire snowman. It was not an ordinary snowman, since Milana really brought some artistic impression to it. While admiring the snowman, Milana had picked up some snow and had created a snowball that he threw at his boyfriend. It was a thunderous smack in the ear. Milana's boyfriend turned over, just to find out that Milana was quick enough to throw another ball at him. Milana giggled and started creating a new snowball. His boyfriend joined the game and created a snowball too. When Milana was ready with her snowball, she turned over, and found out his boyfriend had thrown a ball at her. Whether it was meant to be a fate or sarcastic joke of the Devil, the truth is that the picture was getting a serious turn. The ball hit Milana's eyes and it turned out the small rocks in the snowball had damaged Milana's eyes making her unable to see. The colour of her life was forever lost. She was like a rose that couldn't bloom ever again. Rudely she was forced to give up her profession and hobby. Week later, they got married. Milana lived old with her husband, until she died. She wasn't mad at her husband but her spirit is still living and troubling with the past, and protecting new painters from the trial and error. Alina of Fertility Alina was a small girl when both her parents died. She didn't want to go to orphanage but it seemed like she had no other choice. According to law, that young girl has to live in an orphanage until she reaches the mature age of fifteen. After six years in orphanage she was finally able to travel back home where she had been living with her parents. During the six years, the farm was no longer in that good shape it had been before. Alina was hard-working and optimistic. She thought she could turn farm back into what it was six years ago. She worked 12 hours in a row having no holidays and after 6 years of work, the farm was finally providing good livestock and victuals. Then it was time for the harvest. It was very hot in the end of summer season. It was the hot summer season of Drogenhem, the warmer sun. (At those times it was believed that there was two summer and winter seasons. That's because there was two suns, Birboa and Drogenhem. Drogenhem was nearer, that explains hot seasons.) When Alina came back from the harvest party in the evening she saw a strange shimmering light phenomenon in the horizon. As she approached her home, she saw the shimmering light being caused by a sea of fire that was burning her farm. She cried 'No! Six years work and now I'm losing it all in minutes!' She freaked out. She started running towards the field of flames and forgot she was still wearing the same dress she used in party she was coming from. Her hem of the skirt soon catched fire and Alina was too slow to escape from the field of flames. Her ashes (was they hers?) were later sprinkled to the river. Sonia of Stars Sonia was a girl who had all the necessary skills and abilities to become a real sorcerer. Sonia studied stars and their movements in the sky. She knew about planar travels and conjunctions between the star patterns. Sonia was a strange girl. She didn't sleep a lot. It was very usual for her to leave during the night and to walk the streets of town just gazing stars and learning about their positions. When the day was dawning she returned home and slept but a few hours. Despite the fact she was manic-depressive and feeling lonely at times, it wasn't such a big deal to her. She enjoyed herself and the small things she knew about astrology turned her on, yet she wasn't aware of the dangers that lurk in the shadows at night. It's unsafe for a young woman to walk out at night, since it's time of the burglars and muggers and generally time to leave inns without paying the rent in the morning. The more she studied the circulation of stars, the more she became aware of the concepts of astrology. She soon learned to understand the language of the stars. She made a few predictions and found out she was correct. She became excited, and one night she was out long, she saw a shooting star. As the legend tells 'if you wish from the shooting star, it might as well come true'. For ordinary girl, it would be normal to wish for a 'charming prince' but Sonia was willing to know her destiny. The star flew away and Sonia started walking back home, by the time she found out that her wish had come true. She finally found out what kind of destiny might be for a girl who was late at night walking the narrow streets in the alleys. Day was not yet dawning when she was stopped by a man behind a corner. 'What do you want from me?', Sonia asked and you could feel the sensation in the air that she was afraid. The man, who was obviously drunk, didn't answer but the expression on his face probably told Sonia pretty much, what he was wanting. 'Please, Mister, don't hurt me, I'm begging you!', she stuttered. Man didn't listen, he pushed Sonia to ground, clumsily starting to undress her. Sonia cried for help but there was nobody listening and man just laughed as she weakly struggled against him. Ironically, the day she lost her virginity, was the most painful day of her life, and unfortunately, the last. GHOSTSINGERS OF DAWNLIGHT By some strange curse, the young girls' spirits were doomed to wander in the shadows and they were not able to rest and they began to wander in their ghost forms. It by some accident was a new interest for many dark sorcerers. They called themselves as 'Ghostsingers of Dawnlight'. The ghostsingers were normal people, sorcerers, who tried to expand their spells and magic to the spiritual plane. They tried to summon spirits and ghosts from the other dimension, from the limbo. They attempted to turn themselves into ghosts as well. They thought the eternal form would make them more powerful. Some of them succeeded very well, some of them were just wannabes who were playing with the tools of destruction. But the cult wasn't so organized. There were different visions on how the spirits should be summoned. Some of the sorcerers were satisfied with necromancy, but some people wanted to join the forces of eternity. Thus was the group divided. Some people returned to the ranks of Sodogar. Then there was ghostsingers, some of them who succeeded. They joined the forces of eternity, entering limbo. They return only when the miraculous music of Taloca is played. The other people call themselves, the necromancers of Dawnlight. Their kettledrum can be heard wherever they go. They are singing in the name Dawnlight. The legend tells it requires three single words to say goodnight. GLORY OF SORCERERS The Guild of Sorcerers has a long and vivacious history. There are still many sorcerers who live to tell about the old days to those who dare to ask. They are the former students of Sodogar, the mad archwizard, who attempted call to power against his brothers. These old sorcerers still remember archwizard Sodogar, and his power very well. After Sodogar died when casting his most destructive spell, the disruption, the sorcerer guild was mainly based on primitive magic and was not harnessing all the power that universe had to offer. It was quickly noticed that sorcerer guild didn't develop any new spells after Sodogar's death, and his brothers managed the guild badly. Everything was going down, and the power of magic users were being questionized by the many other guilds in the realm of Winterkill. Yet they believed that other guilds are still inferior in front of their supreme magical arts and they claimed that no other guild could defeat them without the assistance of many other guilds. For adept sorcerers, it was unbearable to see how wrong they had been. The Sorcerer guild was under attack. It was not attack by a guild, nor attack by two guilds, nor several. It was attack by a single person, by powerful Archwizard Tof. Survivors say that everything was so quick. The magic was flowing through Tof's hands as sulfurous smoke ignited the furniture in the hall of guild. That was his sign that he had given a challenge. The novices were most eager to protect the guild with the magic they had learned. The magical missiles were being launched back and forth, but with no help. The sorcerers started to panic and their missiles became more inaccurate and they were hitting walls, and finally the walls collapsed and seconds later the ceiling came down as well. They were all dead, except for few people. The powerful adept sorcerers of Sodogar were still alive, and so was Archwizard Tof, and the battle had only started. As the sorcerers were furiously concentrating on casting their disruption at Tof, it was already too late. 'Is this your supreme might?', Tof asked and continued 'For this we have been afraid of for days and nights, for weeks and months, for years, even decades and centuries, is this the supreme might of sorcerers?'. They replied shortly 'Yes, this is the might of sorcerers, the power and magic invested in us will detonate a lone attacker painfully and corruptively. Sodogar's hammer, the disruption'. Tof was clapping his hands and said 'If that single spell, the protection of yours, the hammer you say, is the one that will end my day, I am convinced. The disruption, the Sodogar's hammer. You can pound me but I'm the nail, on which your hammer is planned to fail. Your only weapon is your weakness, the inability to concentrate on many tools. You use hammer, when you need a saw'. They were speechless, they were stunned, and they had been defeated by wit, not by might. Tilting their heads down the sorcerers were left in the ruins to wonder as Archwizard Tof's hazy form slowly disappeared to the black veil of shadows. THE LAST ERRATIC As Archwizard Tof had disappeared, it was more than obvious that he wouldn't satisfy to the complete annihilation of the sorcerer guild. They had been defeated, but it was not enough. As the sorcerers were so badly defeated, it awoke many kind of ideas and feelings. The adept sorcerers were speaking of constructing a new guild for sorcerers as few people were ready to follow Archwizard Tof's teachings. A few people left the sorcerers behind, they were the ones who already belonged to the 'Ghostsingers of Dawnlight'. They wandered in town as they noticed a black erratic, in front of a small cottage. It was a sign from Archwizard Tof, it would be the meeting place for the new members. As they entered the cottage, they saw a familiar person, a powerful wizard, in a purple cloak with an emblem of the viscount, welcoming them inside playing tunes with a kettledrum of Dawnlight. They opened their mouth to speak: 'Can we join you, master? The sorcerers are dead, all dead.' Archwizard Tof nodded, but didn't show underestimation as he said, 'My thaumaturges, they are dead only in the eyes of another one'