History of Dertalriosh Endaertheal'a, Volume 2 (book)

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The History of Dertalriosh Endaertheal'a
Volume Two
Spear of Sun's Flame Descending
by Melear Kadriash'nar'a

Chapter Three: Mage of Storms

It was nearly two generations ago, as Humans see time, though only one for Elotheans, that once again a great darkness spread across the lands.

A young mage, newly woken to his powers, appeared before Dertalriosh Endaertheal'a on a springtime morning. Quickly gaining entrance to the tower, the shepherd's son sought out the Guildmaster Sevaer, and was granted entrance to the Guild of Warrior Mages.

The young man was gifted in the arts of Magic, and dedicated to knowledge and learning. He advanced quickly through the circles of knowledge, soon reaching the rank of Archmage.

It was at this time, when his life had reached a crossroads, where any choice was open to him, that he learned of his family's death in a freak storm.

When he first heard of the news, accounts of the time say his eyes, normally filled with mirth and cheer, were slowly drained of all their light. The Mage, filled with mourning, locked himself into his rooms in the tower, and refused to leave, even to eat. For many months he remained within, and many young apprentices swore they saw strange lights dancing beneath his doorway in the wee hours of the morning.

Of course, all thought these tales were nothing but the fantastical weavings of restless minds. Perhaps, if they had been taken more seriously, much of the heartache would have been avoided.

When he emerged, many breathed a sigh of relief. He appeared unchanged, though perhaps a bit more somber than before his time of mourning. The relief was short-lived.

The mage returned to his studies, now driven to learn ways to control the weather itself. If before he had seemed obsessed with advancing his knowledge and power, now he seemed as though nothing in this world existed, save the knowledge he sought.

Something in his studies warped him from the good man he once was. Or perhaps it was before then, in his time of mourning when the strange lights were seen beneath his door. He no longer cared what methods he used to gain his knowledge, even resorting to torturing fellow Mages if he felt they were withholding a vital clue to his search.

For these crimes, the mage was expelled from the Guild of Warrior Mages, and from the city of Shard itself. Though many now curse them for the decision, it was felt by the Guild Council that he might repent of his ways. And so he was left with his magic intact.

Many years passed before the Mage was seen again, though dark rumors filtered down from the shepherds and miners. Rumors of a deranged mage who could call the lightnings from the sky, and burn entire villages to ash with a firestorm.

The people of Shard, who knew nothing of the Mage's crimes or outcasting, laughed off these rumors as nothing more than the superstitious mutterings of uneducated fools. In the end, it was shown that, superstitious or not, the hill-folk were wiser than the "educated" peoples of Shard.

On a late autumn day, when the hills surrounding Shard were glorious with the colors of changing leaves, a man appeared at the gates of the city. He demanded the city's complete surrender, or he would burn it to the ground, as the Dragon Priests had done centuries before.

The guards, angered by his insolence and stung by the reminder of a past shame, laughed in his face, and barred the city gates to him. It was the last thing they ever did.

The mage summoned a storm from the clear skies, and called the lightning down upon the gates, and the guards who had insulted him. Later, all that could be found of them were a few smoking fragments of bone littering the pavement on the opposite side of the city.

Standing unharmed amidst the destruction he had caused, the mage laughed quietly to himself. One last time he repeated his ultimatum, then withdrew to a hilltop overlooking the city, where a tent had been erected for his comfort. His darkling cloud followed him, its being a rumbling mass of lightning and power. Shard, he said, had one day to surrender, or it would be destroyed utterly.

Alec, old yet still very much in command of his people, summoned the Guildmaster of Dertalriosh Endaertheal'a before him. Since the Guild had seen fit to let the mage keep his powers, Alec decreed, it was the Guild's responsibility to prevent the abuse of those powers.

Several of the Guild's most powerful Mages were sent against the one who was called the Mage of Storms. All were returned to the gates of Shard as smoking corpses.

The Guildmaster despaired of being able to stop the madman, and turned to his Guild for help. None stepped forward with an idea, save one Mage, very young to the Guild and new to his powers. At first the Guildmaster was afraid to trust him, both for his youth and inexperience, and for...other reasons I will not go into in this tale.

As the deadline the Mage of Storms had set drew near, however, the Guildmaster had no choice but to allow young Kadriash to try his plan.

In the dark of the night, Kadriash hurried through the deserted streets of Shard, seeking out an old friend in the Moon Mage Guild. Though afraid, the young Mage, even newer to her powers than Kadriash was, agreed to aid him in defeating the Mage of Storms.

Surrounded by a cloak of invisibility, Kadriash and his partner crept beyond the smoking ruins of the city's northern gate, and towards the tent where the Mage of Storms waited for the sun's rise.

Whether by luck or intervention of the Gods, they were unseen by the Mage's minions. The tent itself was dark, the Mage asleep and his infernal cloud dormant above, only occasionally rumbling as the Mage's sleep was disturbed by unpleasant dreams.

No one truly knows what happened within that tent on that dark autumn night. In later years, neither Kadriash nor his partner would speak of it, beyond the barest of facts.

Somehow, the Mage had known they were coming, and was prepared for them. In the desperate battle that followed, the young Moon Mage stunned his mind, rendering him helpless against Kadriash's magic.

And also releasing his control of the stormcloud above.

Much of northern Shard was devastated in the storm that followed, as all the pent-up fury and power of the storm was unleashed against the home of the Elotheans.

Somehow, Kadriash was able to gain control of the stormcloud, though even he wondered how it was possible. His control was never as complete as that of the Mage of Storms, and he was forced to remain constantly alert. For the storm, though not intelligent, seemed to have a limited understanding of the world around it.

When Kadriash and the young Moon Mage, battered but triumphant, returned to the city, the stormcloud followed them. It would be a constant reminder of the evil of the Mage of Storms for the rest of their lives.

Though he could control the stormcloud in his sleep, Kadriash soon found that the closer he was to it, the more control he had. The Guildmaster, who was desperately trying to restore the Guild's name in the eyes of the people of Shard, used this greedily.

Though the stairs to the upper floors of the tower had been destroyed during the Dragon Priest conquest, the Air Mages created a floating pathway from the mist of clouds to ring the tower, and allow Kadriash access to the roof.

The Guildmaster began bragging that his Mages had not only saved Shard from the evils of the Mage of Storms, but now they sacrificed having a roof over their heads to protect the people from the madman's evil. Dertalriosh Endaertheal'a was given a new name, coined by a Bard during a sarcastic imitation of the Guildmaster's foolishness -- Stormwill.

Simple, direct, and a symbol of the dedication of the Warrior Mages to protecting the innocent from the evils of harmful magic.

Kadriash was soon made Guildmaster of Stormwill Tower, and I, his daughter, have followed in his footsteps. Both as Guildleader, and as guardian of the stormcloud.

I am one of the last to remember Stormwill by its true name. So that it may never be forgotten, I give to you this story of what we are, what we were, and what we may become again.

By my hand,
Melear Kadriash'nar'a
Guildmistress of Dertalriosh Endaertheal'a"Warrior mage" is not in the list (None, Bard, Barbarian, Cleric, Empath, Moon Mage, Necromancer, Paladin, Ranger, Thief, ...) of allowed values for the "Guild association is" property.