These books are found in the drawer of the small table at the entrance to Mythran’s home
Updated History of Pagan Vol I
Ages ago, in what is called First Epoch, there was considerably more land upon which humanity could walk. The Zealans, forebears to the Pagans, worshipped three who ruled the emotions. Amoras, beautiful and spirited, was the goddess of love and joy. Her counterpart was angry Odion, ruler of war, hate, and grief. Between them stood Apathas, he who controlled indifference, representing both the balance and absence of his two comrades. According to legend, these three gods and goddesses were responsible for bringing the emotions to light in their followers, though sometimes I think it was the people’s emotions that resulted in the appearance of these Ancient Ones, as they are now called.
Though the Zealans were not known for valuing peace between their various tribes, one leader did step forward to unite them for some time. He was the great warrior Khumash-Gor. He brought his people together by conquering most of the other tribes and then integrating them into his own. The unified community grew and prospered under his rule, until he was assassinated a few decades into his reign. After the death of Khumash-Gor, the Zealans fell again into quarrelling tribes. However, not until the coming of the Titans was their culture ever truly threatened.
Many centuries after the fall of Khumash-Gor, a mysterious entity began to speak in the minds of the Zealans. At first, those who claimed to hear the unusual voice were ridiculed, but when the message began to foretell danger, others found a reason to listen. The words of warning came as a shock to the Zealans and to the Ancient Ones. No one had ever heard of the champion of evil called the Destroyer, nor were they certain of his designs upon the world. However, the few people who learned of the Destroyer spread their message quickly. They constructed the Great Temple and the black obelisk, while the Ancient Ones commanded those who still obeyed to wage war against this new religion
Updated History of Pagan Vol II
The followers of the new order became known as Pagans. As they were directed, they began to concentrate their worship, through the black obelisk, choosing the very elements of earth, water, air, and fire as the objects of this worship. Soon the elements began to form into actual beings of tremendous power. When the Destroyer finally appeared, the four beings, the Titans as we call them today, rose up to fight it. During the terrible battle, the world was ravaged as the skies darkened overhead, the lands were torn apart by earthquakes and liquid fire, and the seas overcome by raging storms. The battle was long, but the Titans emerged victorious – the Destroyer was no more. However, the world lay in ruins.
The few people who remained gathered on this isle, which they named after the island’s volcano, Morgaelin. It was a dismal time. The Titans began to fight among themselves for power. The wars between the few surviving Zealans and the Pagans continued. It was apparent that something had to be done, yet the question of what filled everyone’s mind. After the defeat of the Destroyer, the people were faced with a great many problems. The wars between the Pagans and the Zealans were costing many lives, while the bickering Titans seemed almost worse than the Destroyer threat they had so mightily eliminated.
Updated History of Pagan Vol III
Foremost on the minds of the Pagans was how to handle the Titans — no simple task, I assure you. Knowing they could not best the four, nor wanting to since they considered the Titans their saviors, the elders elected instead to bargain with the elementals. They built four areas and made them sacred to the Titans, one for each. A man named Moriens went to the Hall of the Mountain King, the sanctuary of Lithos. He spoke to Lithos and begged for the quakes to end. Lithos agreed, but demanded that he receive a boon in exchange. He bade that the people would be given to him upon their deaths to serve him eternally in his Pit of Death.
The idea of burial was first introduced as a means for the people to be conveyed to Lithos.
Both sides accepted the pact, with Moriens granted the magical powers necessary to honor the Pagan half of the bargain. But as Moriens began to feel the effects of aging, another pact was formed, whereby Moriens could pass on his abilities to subsequent Necromancers – the term given to the mages responsible for sending the dead to Lithos
Updated History of Pagan Vol IV
Much time passed before Hydros could be placated. The hero and Necromancer Kalen found love with his Apprentice. Yet the Lurker, displeased that, unlike her brother Lithos, she had not the worship of the people, chose to take from Kalen his beloved. The angry Kalen sought the assistance of his patron, who was quite willing to assist in vengeance. Lithos told of a substance called Blackrock that could be used to seal Hydros within her Temple, for Hydros could not use her waves to wear down the mineral. Using his Necromantic powers, Kalen reshaped the Blackrock around the Temple and trapped Hydros inside.
Preparing to use the substance to completely remove all traces of water around the Titan, Kalen was stopped by the Lurker’s pleas. In exchange for her life, Hydros agreed to return the body of Kalen’s betrothed and confer some of the powers of Tempestry, the magic of storms and water, upon Kalen and all of his descendants. In addition, offered the Titan, she would end the torrential rains. Trapped even still in the defiled Temple of Flowing Waters, Hydros remains appeased.
Updated History of Pagan Vol V
More years passed and a wise man named Stellos was contacted by Stratos, Titan of Air, in the form of a mystic voice. She gave him the power to heal the sick and wounded. Kalen learned of Stellos’ abilities and visited the elderly man. He brought with him the hopes of returning life to his beloved. Stellos spoke with Stratos and was told that much time had passed since the spirit was with the body. Only a great cost could she be resurrected. A giving man, Stellos agreed to pay the unknown fee.
He sent his spirit deep into the realm of Air and saw many unusual things. Finally, as the wizened man came upon a great brilliance, his body’s mouth opened on the ground below breathed life into Kalen’s beloved. He returned to his material form only to learn that he had forever lost his vision. So thankful was Kalen that he called upon the ground to form the foundation for a building, which Stellos opened as a place of study for those who wished to learn the tenets of Air. In addition, Stratos granted one further boon to the kind and gentle Stellos — that of immortality! To this day, Stellos aids and teaches the magic of Theurgy upon the formation at Argentrock Isle.
Updated History of Pagan Vol VI
Centuries after the miracle of Stellos, five Theurgists sought to quell the raging fires of Pyros, Titan of Fire. They took their knowledge of history – never forget the value of studying the past, my friend – and speculated that Blackrock might be used against Pyros as well as Hydros. They set about gathering as much of the dark material that they could, as well as collecting knowledge about the magics necessary to shape it. Drawing a pentagram upon the ground, the five began to call upon the Lord of Flame as ready to offer a sacrifice.
When Pyros appeared, however, they instead used a large chunk of Blackrock to bind him within. Trapped within the fragment, Pyros was unable to hurl fire from the great volcano, and to this day must perform the minor requests of those who possess the Blackrock. I am saddened to say that the Sorcerers, as they are now called, are misunderstood and feared – nay, loathed – by most Pagans. Considering the dangerous tasks performed by their predecessors, it is a pity that such people would be hated so. Ah, the effects of ignorance..
Letter I Mythran’s Plea by Mythran
To anyone who will listen,
I am sending this warning ahead of me through the Ethereal Void. I have recruited wisps to carry my words far and wide. I am in dire need of help, and your world may soon face similar peril. You are not alone, and you are in more danger than you realize.
I am Mythran, scholar and arcane practitioner of a rare school of magic called Thaumaturgy. I am the last Thaumaturge on my world, perhaps the only one remaining anywhere. Someday, I will pass on the formulae and enchantments I have learned, but for now, I am alone.
I come from the fallen world of Pagan. Now named for those who conquered it, Pagan was once a beautiful planet ruled by another civilization known as the Zealans. Now, the main continent of Morgaelin sits in ruins, conquered by beings from beyond our world: the Titans of the Four Elements.
I know you are out there, across the Ethereal Void, unaware of the threat that results from being noticed by such powers. I saw your display of magic, a careless beacon in the night. With those spells, you both announced you had something worth taking and marked yourself as a potential threat. The Titans will now respond. They are more powerful than anything I know. They are likely a step ahead of me, and their cults and agents are already moving through the shadows of your world.
I am crossing a distance unimaginable to come to your aid, but I cannot claim altruism. What I am doing is not just for your world, but also for my own. With my counsel, it may be possible to save both our worlds. If you get this message, please respond.
Letter II Heigel’s Introduction by Heigel
I have received the message you sent by wisp. I hope you will receive my response. I am Heigel of Moonglow, a mage from the world of Sosaria and a citizen of the kingdom of Britannia. I study wisps and try to share knowledge and lore with them. I believe we have much to learn from Xorinia.
A few months ago, my people cast a moongate spell as part of a conflict with another party who was misusing powerful magic. I believe this is the spell you were referring to. It created a connection between our world and a constructed locus. We often make use of moongates across Sosaria, but this was a rare instance where a powerful version of that spell was cast through the Ethereal Void. I will admit that this is not my area of expertise. However, I can get more information from my associates if you would find that to be helpful.
I admit that I found your words troubling. We have dealt with threats from the Ethereal Void before, but most of our magical study and practice focuses on manipulation of the physical world around us. Britannia has forces that can and will face such a threat, but it would be helpful to know what we should expect. Can you tell me more about these Titans?
Letter III Mythran’s Warning by Mythran
I am sending a book of my world’s history to you, along with this letter. If the pattern on your world is similar, the invasion will begin with whispers and promises of protection against a being known as the Destroyer. Worry will cause many to flock to this growing cult, who will build cairns for the elemental despots. These cairns will draw the Titans closer to your world. I hope you can stop them before they can build and empower a great obelisk to smash the threshold of your world. I do not know if any mortal power can stand against such beings.
I am traveling toward your world along a broken pathway created long ago. Using an Ethereal Travel spell of my own creation, I am making small hops across the lifeless void. The Dark Path gives me guideposts so that I can make my way without getting lost. It is difficult and dangerous work, so I have been returning to my home between legs of the voyage. My home is an extra-dimensional abode, sitting between Pagan and the Ethereal Void.
The gate magics you mentioned sound remarkably complicated, yet you speak of them quite casually. To complete passage to your world, it might help to know more of the esoterica related to your moongates.
Letter IV Heigel’s Research by Heigel
I never considered that an outside observer might find a Moongate wondrous. My people take them for granted and cast the spell frequently. The words of power are “Vas Rel Por”. It requires three common reagents: Black Pearl, Mandrake Root, and Sulphurous Ash.
I have spoken to some arcane experts on my world about the fundamental nature of Moongates. An associate named Dryus Doost gave me the simplest explanation of how gates distort the fabric of reality. He explained that the shortest distance between two points on a piece of paper is to fold the paper so the points overlap and poke a hole through. Each time a Moongate is cast, it opens a hole into the Ethereal Void where our world’s arcane geometry is more flexible.
Another mage, Gilforn, is one of the few people who has ever added to the permanent Moongate network. He wouldn’t tell me much about how he created his gate. He mumbled something about being taught the spell by shadowy figures in a strange dream:
- init kal vas gres
- trak sek-de ter-mer..
- re in ew tu-tim in-ten
- re grav behi trak-por
However, Gilforn was helpful in explaining that permanent gates require a material focus when they are cast. He gave two examples. The first was when our king trapped a dangerous being in the Ethereal Void, he used a powerful moonstone. The other was the gate spell you observed which was created with a focus of four rare gems. Gilforn did mention that blackrock can be a good focus, along with a few other magical substances I did not recognize.
Can you tell me what your plan is once you make it to Britannia?
Letter V Mythran’s Plan by Mythran
Your information on moongates was very helpful. It is similar to the way the explosive destruction of the great obelisk let the Titans into our world. The first part of my plan is to delay the creation of any doorway that allows more of the Titans’ servants into your world. Hopefully, your people recognize the threat and work to stop it.
For the rest of my plan. I need your greatest warriors and mages to come together and be empowered with the magics of the Ethereal Void. These Warriors of Ether may have the ability to stand against the Titans before they lay waste to your world. I don’t have all the pieces yet, and I need time to prepare. Last night, in a dream, a mouse told me that recruiting had already begun. I need you to figure out the rest of the rituals needed for the Warriors of Ether.
Good luck, my friend.
The Reagents of Thaumaturgy by Mythran
Reading through the many tomes of Thaumaturgy, the perceptive student is likely to notice something unusual about a few of the reagents. While a novice to any school of magic will find the names of most reagents unrecognizable, the reagents of Thaumaturgy are confusing for a simple reason. A universal collection of words and rituals must also have a universal set of material reagents, components that cannot be limited to a single dimension.Thus, the unusual reagents.
The casual reader will focus on the obvious questions: What are these creatures? A Dragon? A Newt? How many wings does one of these bats have? However, the trained mage will know that such details are irrelevant. Since magic is simply the manifestation of the caster’s will rewriting the present, it stands to reason that the methods for bringing this will to the surface are not limited by the caster’s plane of existence, dispelling magic notwithstanding.
Therefore, as it is possible to cast spells through a variety of means, the physical representation of the components are not relevant, assuming they enable access to the necessary energies. In such an instance, the thorn of a rose may very well be a reasonable substitute for the scales of a serpent.
Spell of Etheral Travel – Ort Grav Por by Mythran
Invoking this powerful ritual permits the caster to traverse the interdimensional realm known as the Ether. A mage’s first few castings of this spell will prove awkward, for inexperienced mages will have difficulty determining their destination. With time, however, the mage will be able to dictate an arrival point and appear there. Note that this spell should not be confused with a spell of teleportation, for the former permits travel only between dimensions, while the latter permits travel only within a dimension.
The necessary components for this spell are hard to specify, for they seem to change depending on both the casting location and the destination. Usually the components include material native to both of the dimensions. In general, setting five pieces of the material – no piece smaller than a man’s head – on the ground in the form of a pentacle and concentrating on one of the chunks, all while speaking the words of power, should permit the dimensional gate to transport the caster.