Profiles in Magic, Volume 9 (book)
Profiles in Magic, Volume Nine
The Nameless One: Of G'nar Pethians and the Lunar Accord
Heritage Monographs, the official press of the Moon Mage Guild, proudly presents the ninth volume in the Profiles in Magic series. As with previous volumes, the information herein has been painstakingly researched and verified for authenticity so that readers everywhere can be assured of the highest quality. This book is the result of years of compilation by a dedicated staff of scholars and Guild representatives.
The weeks before and after the signing of the Lunar Accord were filled with a mixture of hope and caution, but most importantly, change. It seems that very few Moon Mages who were present left that historic event without being affected in some way. Some of the attendees were affected more than others, and this is tragically true of the G'nar Pethian representative. He arrived as a young hopeful man by the name of Rietyl Thumai, and he returned to his home as a man with no name. This is his story.
Chapter One: The Arrival
The days preceding the signing of the Lunar Accord were busy ones for Throne City. From all corners of Elanthia came eclectic groups of mages that were arriving for the First Magical Congress, and with them came a last chance at being officially recognized by the Seven Star Empire. Only five of the twenty invited sects showed up, yet such was the support for some of the groups -- and such was the enthusiasm that the Celestial Compact wished to portray for the arriving delegates -- that the city streets at times seemed filled with all manner of magic users.
They came by boat, by horse, by foot and caravan, and in some rare cases by a newly devised spell called a "Moongate." Many came early to partake of all the excesses that Throne City had to offer, particularly those of the Fortune's Path group, and they languished in bars, theaters and bathhouses by the dozens. On some days, the traffic filled Mir'Aevar Jegu so heavily that it overflowed to the next higher street, Dahl Aeliy. This only further disappointed the Emperor, who was not at all supportive of the Congress nor the Celestial Compact in the first place.
During one of those hectic days of arrivals and greetings did come a simple black carriage of not undistinguished design. It was battered and had suffered from the journey, but its cargo was intact, alive and eager. This was the carriage of a group referred to as the G'nar Pethians and their lead representative, one Rietyl Thumai.
Rietyl was as amazed as many other newcomers were by the first breathtaking views of the glorious Imperial city. Like most, he was curious as to what the next days would bring, and what, if anything, would result from this extensive meeting of minds. He stepped forth from the carriage with both hands full of books, quills, tomes and notes, and with his eyes hungrily searching the skies for portents. Servants hired by the Compact rushed down to assist with unloading, but he would have none of it. Rietyl proved himself from the very beginning that he was no pampered man, always insisting on handling his own sundry tasks on his own.
It was during his insistence on a hands-on approach to unloading his carriage's cargo that circumstance intervened. As he unloaded his carriage not far from the center of town, he gazed upon the stone dragons near the Palace's entrance. Lost in the marvels of the incredible construction, he then found himself gazing at a stereotypically surly group of Dwarves ascending the Palatial Grand Steps. This was none other than the entourage of Saranell II himself, and by sheer chance, their eyes met for an instant. After the Accord's signing and Rietyl's departure, a diary was found which is believed to contain his personal notes written during the Congress. In it, he remarked of having a peculiar nagging sensation which developed in the back of his mind at that moment. Over the course of the coming weeks, Rietyl would dedicate page after page in his diary to this initial encounter.
The talks began not long after the Pethian's arrival, and they progressed well, despite the intense arguing and bickering over such details as who sat where in the hall. At some point on the second day of the discussions, someone made the error of assuming one of Rietyl's assistants was the G'nar Pethian delegate. Rietyl was overly gracious and polite at the mistake, but the incident led to another mage asking why such an inexperienced individual was sent as a representative. Again, the young man responded with tact, answering simply that the elders of the sect had some unusual "quirks" which might make outsiders uncomfortable. Legend has it that Rietyl then made a wondrous speech on the virtues of youth and the desire for knowledge, but the words have long since been lost. In any case, Rietyl's word had proven him to be a man with intellect and grace, and for this, earned him the respect of the Congress.
It was on the third day that one of Saranell's advisors interrupted the gathering in a bawdy attempt to sow discord. Little is known about what precisely occurred, as the Celestial Compact was, for some reason, embarrassed over the incident and neglected to note the event in official documents. According to witness accounts, Rietyl approached the advisor and whispered a few brief words which so terrified the man that his eyes glazed over. The advisor retreated, and the situation was diffused.
After three long days of sharing lore and magic, Jares Braun then spoke those famous words memorized by every young Moon Mage in the years since. Rietyl, sitting at a table and surrounded by the other Pethian representatives and his voluminous tomes, allowed the last of Braun's words to sink into his mind. By his own admission, as written in a diary believed to be by the G'nar Pethian, he stated how this affected him.
"It was a wondrous sharing of knowledge, but it was also disturbing. While they are all so foreign to the Pethian ways, nothing I learned was shocking. Nothing answered my thirsts nor even hinted at doing so. I can not say this is true for the other mages at this gathering, for every small nuance we allowed them to see fascinated them to no end. Even my associate's eyes were of note, though I believe this both repulsed them as well as drew them in for closer looks."
"They have no inkling of what truly lies in the Garden, but this unification shall be a boon to our group, without a shadow of doubt. I knew this the moment Jares Braun spoke the words 'For together, we will create triumphs of the magical arts undreamt of.' Immediately, I found his words appealing the way a moth is attracted to a flame. Something in his final words, and in that silence over the banquet area after he spoke, whispered a hint. It whispered an answer that I must find."
Chapter Two: Something Gained, Something Lost
Weeks passed as the representatives argued the merits of what the next step was. They had all reluctantly agreed that unification was important and warranted. Before any would put their names down on any document, however, there were details to work out. The name of this new conglomeration had yet to be decided, for starters. While the others spent exhaustive hours in debate, Rietyl would often excuse himself earlier and earlier each session to browse through Throne City's vast libraries, archives and curio shops.
As the First Magical Congress continued, Rietyl slowly became more distraught and reclusive, preferring the company of ancient texts to those of even his other Pethian associates. His elegant conversations and witty parlaying slowly began to vanish, and he was often found staring at the Palatial Grand Steps when he was not reading books with greedy passion.
During one episode of reclusion, several days passed before Rietyl's absence was noted. When he was finally found in a backalley curio shop, his eyes were wide with a wildness, and he was sitting upon the floor within a circle of books and candles. His only words at the time were "I found one," which he babbled again and again. He would answer no questions, and the mages, who assumed him to be simply exhausted, escorted him to his suite for rest. It was after this that things began to get even odder when it came to young Rietyl.
There is also the tale of a young Celestial Compact member, the very same who had suggested the name "Moon Mages" during the week long debate, approaching young Rietyl during this time of reclusion. Rietyl answered only with an oddly inhuman growl before biting the boy, who then fled. Nothing has ever surfaced to verify this tale, and the authors believe it to be the product of the overactive rumor mill regarding Rietyl's unusual behavior.
Other strange events are much more substantiated in texts and the alleged diary of Rietyl. After an argument with one of the Progeny of Tezirah members, which was highly uncharacteristic for the lad considering his earlier polite demeanor, he returned to his suite and shattered every mirror in the room. What was further disturbing was how he cut himself with the broken pieces, creating a distinct pattern of interlocking sigils the entire length of his body. This fact he kept mostly hidden beneath his clothing, until it was revealed completely during later incidents.
Before Rietyl's idiosyncrasies developed into a full blown madness, enough time had passed that the document known as the Lunar Accord was drawn up and readied to be signed. The night before its signing, he went back to that same reclusive curio shop after hours, once again surrounding himself with seemingly random baubles, books and candles. Since the owner lived in an apartment above, he noticed unusual and obscene sounds coming from the store, and went to investigate. The name "Rietyl" was written in blood along the floor, and when the shopkeeper accidentally stepped into the puddling liquid to accost the youngster, Rietyl screamed as if he'd been kicked and then collapsed. When he awoke a mere moment later, he whispered softly, "Where have you taken my name?"
The tale spread like wildfire, yet Jares Braun was not about to let even such an unusual occurrence stop the Lunar Accord from being signed. One less sect could mean the difference between acceptance and rejection by the Board of Wizardry. Strangely calm, Rietyl awaited his time to sign and then stepped forward to accept the quill from Braun. After he had signed, he stood back and smiled crookedly as an uneasy silence fell over those nearest the parchment. It seemed as though Jares, and perhaps a number of other Celestial Compact members, might lash out violently at what was perceived to be an insult to all the work that had occurred in the past days, when one of the older Pethian assistants spoke up.
The attending G'nar Pethians all swore that their sect would honor the document with the unusual signature, and thus, they were represented on the Lunar Accord by the man now only known as "the Nameless One."
Chapter Three: A Departure
The days after the signing were stranger yet for the G'nar Pethians as well as the other mages at the First Magical Congress. Every meeting and gathering was routinely attended by the presence of "the Nameless One," brought in without a word by his associates, always right on time and utterly silent. He exited in the same manner -- punctual and without a word. Though there was the strange coincidence that the curio shop burned utterly and completely to the ground, the highly peculiar occurrences of the previous days were nonexistent.
It wasn't until the last day when farewells and other pleasantries were exchanged that yet another truly perverse event happened. The Nameless One was escorted into the proceedings as had become usual, but a quite horrific smile curled his lips. A dread silence hushed the room as the attendees noticed his new appearance.
The Nameless One had gouged out his eyes completely, leaving only empty sockets where once a pair of curiosity-filled eyes had been.
Looking pleased despite the recent self-mutilation, he passed around an engraved sandstone bowl which belied the once elegant words of Rietyl, and then exited.
"We wish to present our gratitude for the hospitality of the First Magical Congress. It is time for us to return to our home, but we are now united as it was always meant to be. Garden Be Seen."
With this gift given, the G'nar Pethians left Throne City immediately. It can not be said that the other mages did not feel at least some relief at this. In any case, the Lunar Accord was soon accepted by the Board of Wizardry, and the Moon Mage Guild was born.