Folly of Luathas
"High Price of Divine Knowledge"
by Bellina in Dark Ages
I am not sure where to start, the beginning would be good I guess. I am Bellina, a rogue by trade, a lover of dark passages, and a coveter of all things that are to be found there. Nothing that is lost, should stay that way, I tingle when I find something no one has seen for eons. I live in Recesion, but my true home is deep within the crypts of Mileth, while there I have found some wonderous things, this is a tale of one of them..
I do not know how deeply I had delved, I had happened upon a chest and while opening it, was poisoned. In my delusional state I wandered deeper and deeper, hiding in the shadows to avoid deadly beasts. I wandered where none had been in a long time and as the poison slid through my veins, I lost all direction of where I was. Finally as I sat wretching the last of the vile poison from my body, I took note of my surroundings. I shivered, never had I seen this area before, no telltale boot marks showed that others had been here. My own foot prints meandered and crossed back upon itself, gods above, I was really lost. I did not have my usual magic scroll, I must have dropped it. I wandered for hours, no stairs could be found. None going up that is, I saw up ahead a set of old, rotted wooden stairs going down into the gloom. I should have known better, but with a fogged head I started down the stairs..
They shattered under me of course, I tumbled deeper, striking my shoulder and numbing my arm. My trusty soori flew away into the darkness, "Great", I thought, "now I am really in trouble." I landed in a heap and swooned in pain, reaching into my boot for my last Hydele Deum. I drank deeply, I felt better, but was still without weapon. I looked around and could recognize nothing again. The dust here was deeper and more settled than I had ever seen. The area was lit by a strange glow that came from nowhere and everywhere at the same time. This added to my befuddlement. I searched in earnest for a way to the surface. I came upon an old stone chest, crumbling with age, I searched around it looking for traps, remembering how this all started. Seeing nothing, I opened the chest with trepidation, as the lid slid back and broke on the floor, a huge dust cloud erupted from the long closed chest, as the dust settled I found a crumbling book..
Quickly as I could I scouted my area, placing many small traps that could immobilize beasties before they could reach me. I sat down to my new treasure, with widening eyes, I gingerly opened the crumbling cover. The following is what I could gather from the book, most of the book was ruined by time and my clumsy hands, read on and be amazed as I was. The first pages were destroyed and unreadable, I gently blew the remanats of these pages off of the rest of the book and began reading..
"... gods did not always bicker as they have for the past few decades, the oldest among us can remember when the gods worked together. Seeing not eye to eye, but working to make Temuair a more complete place for their followers. The gods did not oppose one another then, they saw in each other portions of that which they each governed. Ceannlaidir saw love as a combat of the hearts and a battle to be won. While Gramail saw everything as a series of laws that unfolded before his wizened eyes. Divine delusions? Some would say so, but these delusions brought peace. In this time some of our young gods did not exist as of yet. Fiosachd was a very young godling at this time, a handsome rogue with a nose for...", the books is gone here, the lower part of the page nothing more than a fine powder. I blew this off and continued at the next ledgible place.
"... bread conflict, god noting that as they held more mundanes in their thrall, they gained more power. Each now sought to gain more and more followers. This brought about Holy Wars and inquisitions, no gods' followers holding sway anywhere for very long. War raged and happy was Ceannlaidir, he grew frighteningly strong as more and more warriors flocked to his Battle Halls, his temples of War. Through this all he sought the victory which had evaded him for all time. Taming great Glioca, no matter what force he mustered, waht tactic he used, she smiled and turned it aside with amazing grace and always smiling. Her compassion and love seemed ever to thwart him. Luathas sought out the god of war, having lost many followers to the death of war. Knowledge was dying on Temuair, arcane works destroyed, vast libraries laid to waste. Something had to be done. Luat..." Another section lost to the ages, I moved on to the next readable area and continued to read.
"...' can help you Battle Lord, win your unwinnable battle, but you must in return help me save knowledge on Temuair. Stop your wandering warriors from killing those who hold the knowledge, and I will give you the insight to solve your enigma.' said Luathas. 'Tell me what you know Old Mage and I shall leave your followers safe, for now.' growled Ceannlaidir. Luathas lowered his voice and began to lay out scrolls and sheafs of paper on the war table of Ceannlaidir. Unnoticed a sliver of shadow moved closer to the table and watched intently as the two gods discussed their plans. Many hours later Luathas departed the keep of Ceannlaidir, followed rather closely by his own shadow, as he left the Hall of War, his shadow slipped from him and moved away, heading far to the north. Fiosac..." More damage prevents accurate reading here. Clearing the way I read on.
"... 'closer to me goddess, I shall win this war, though you have bested me ever before.' spake Ceannlaidir through gritted teeth. Weilding the magics and reading from the scrolls of Gnosis, he was pulling Glioca from her nightly travel across the sky and luring her to him. 'Victory shall be mine now,' he smiled as she lighted apon his mountain top ' come closer tender one, we are to be one this night.' They lay for many hours on that mountain top. Ceannlairdir rose frequently to read a passage from the scrolls or to release some mystical energies and keep the night still. It is said on this night, there was no war on all of Temuair, and many claimed to have seen the stars dance a fanciful dance across a moonless sky. As morning approached the god of war was exhausted, he stilled himself for the most difficult part of the magic he was weaving. 'With this rising sun, and magic, I shall make you my bride and my follower, Lady Compassion..' smirked Ceannlaidir. Glioca stared at the approaching dawn with vacant eyes, her glorious robes spread out on the mountain top. The Battle Lord reached for the last piece of paper that had been given to him and began to read over the arcane symbols, he began a thrumming chant that caused the very earth to tremble with power. Further he read, the power crackling around he and the Lady of Love. Nearing the end of the page he looked at Glioca and smiled, feeling a sense of total victory, as he looked back at the page, the letters dissolved and fell away, the scroll that was timeless being destroyed. 'NOOO!!!' he screamed, looking about he noticed a cadaverous form leaning against a tree. 'You dare oppose me Lord of Decay. Know you what you have done?' Ceannlaidir exploded. ' Yes I know what I have done, I have kept the balance even instead of tipping horribly in your favor.' rasped Sgrios, almost smiling. 'You have ruined my battle, I could slay you where you stand.' screamed the Lord of War, jerking his huge sword from its scabbard. 'Tsk tsk, have a care Warmonger,' spat Sgrios as he pointed at Ceannlaidir. Even the great lord of destruction could not stand the fury of the war god, the same can not be said for the things about Ceannlaidir. His armor fell away as dust, his mighty sword crumbling into pieces, plants about him became piles of wilted leaves and twisted brambles. Ceannlaidir fumed as he stalked the Lord of Destruction, seeking to slay him barehanded. 'You can not really seek to harm me, you can not kill death.' grinned the emaciated form of Sgrios. Closer Ceannlaidir came til he heard a faint cry, he turned and was nearly toppled by a look of utter disdain, on a face that had never frowned before. Tears fell from her eyes and she stood gasping for air, nude and still filled with the power of the spells that had been cast upon her. 'You have done this horrible thing to me for a petty thing, to win a battle you should not have tried to wage Lord of Battle, know that the love I held for you has be...' " I gasped angrily, since more of the book was gone here. Many of the following pages were nothing more than a word or two. Piles of dust now gathered near my feet as I sifted through the waste for more words to read.
" ...' have I done. I, the god of Gnosis, should have forseen this. It is my mistake that shall ends all the days of Temuair.' wept Luathas. 'I must find a way to set these things aright, the balance must be maintained.' Luathas sent his finest messengers to Gramail and the Law Bringer came as quickly as he could. They spoke for many weeks, many things were brought to light, only to be sifted over, then discarded. 'I may have a way,' muttered Gramail over a book as old as time, 'it is not an easy way but it may just work.' The two gods again fell to discussion of the plan to save Temuair from the powers of Sgrios and Ceannlaidir combined." More dust fell to the floor from the dried papyrus. I shifted the heavy book and looked for more to read.
" '... is your son Glioca and I shall help to educate him, as I would any godling, it is my duty.' smiled Luathas. Much time had passed and Glioca had borne a child of her night with Ceannlaidir. The wars had raged across all of Temuair as the armies of War and Destruction crushed all before them, these were very dark times for all mortals."
" 'am Cail, son of Glioca, holder of the harmony of love and war.' spoke Cail, he had grown strong under the watchful eye of Luathas. Books were made known to him, as his father forbid him to learn of weapons in fear of his great strength, even at his young age that he might strike at the father who had caused his mother's only pain. Tall he grew, powerful too. Soon none could stand to him in battle sessions that were set up by Luathas. Ancient books on martial prowess were given to him, even a copy of the fabled Book of War, was given to him by Luathas. It was nearing time to tell the young god of his truest beginnings."
" ' Father, hear me father, for I am your son. I come to you with the love of my mother and the power of the lands of Temuair themselves, to stand before you and deny you victory. Too long have you and the Plague Lord ruled this beautiful land and wreaked havoc on it, this ends now. Stand and face me, or do..."
" '... Can not ally myself with Glioca for fear she discover what I have done, in helping Ceannlaidir. I must help Cail, to pay my debt for my foolish mistake. It seems that the balance has been restored. Cail and Glioca offset and Ceannlaidir and Sgrios, and we other find our ways to advance Temuair as they battle. I can only hope that one day, my mistake will work itself fully out and I can return to the side of..' "
I stand my back and shoulders aching from holding the heavy book. I jump as a small rat wanders by. I snicker at my own fear and place the book back inside the decayed chest, it is too heavy to carry for long and I have to make it home. I move out of the lighted area and let my eyes adjust to the darkness again. the book invades my every thought as I look around for a way out.
I am not sure of the author of this book or it's validity, many scholars disagree with the beginnings of the Gods War Era. I will wander my way around and make it back to safety I hope, this is a tale that must be shared over a strong batch of Hemlock Tea in the Piet tavern, oh how I miss those warm chairs and smiling faces now. I search now in vain hopes of finding a way back to home and out of my self made exile. Stumbling through the darkness, I come upon a chest. That familiar tickle starts at the base of my spine as I think of treasures to be found. "Forget it!!" I scream into the darkness, chests are fun, but enough is enough. Up ahead I see a sparkle in the darkness, edging up to it slowly, I find the grinning skull of a hapless adventurer. A chill settles over me. I search the pile, I find a magic scroll much like those I use. I look back into the darkness where I left the crumbling parts of an ancient books and smile, this will be a great story. I read the scroll...