Prophetic Reflections (book)
Publisher's Note: at the author's request, this book is pub- lished with the permission of the Moon Mage Guild and its representatives. However, the Guild holds no responsibility for any inaccuracies or oversights on the author's part. First Edition, 371
The Artifacts and Events from the Mirror Wraith Prophecy In Relation to the Web of Fate and Plane of Probability
Chapter One - Star Stones and Inscriptions
Chapter Two - The Sphere and Other Sundries
Chapter Three - Threading Time and Space
Chapter Four - Presaging Dilemmas and Dedication
"The signs can no longer be ignored: a nexus approaches. It all started with a visitation from a mirror wraith. In re- turn for a few memories to stave off the chill of the void, it offered a gift..." -- Amiss DeRhi, Dark Weavings
Though the "gift" or prophecy of the mirror wraith has been discussed countless times, especially during the decade fol- lowing -- up until the Magus Tezirah Eilsina's brief release from the plane of probability -- few have spoken or thought on the connection of all this to the web of fate.
Fewer still would claim that the Prophecy began long before the mirror wraith visited Tamsine's shrine in Zoluren on the 32nd day of Akroeg, 351 (hereafter, for brevity - 351:31:1). It is this connection, the nexus that affects us as Moon Magi years after, which this text is to attempt to explain.
In all fairness to those involved - I cannot claim to be an expert on the happenings. In truth, having joined the Guild under Master Lomtaun Nedorath on Taisgath in the year 358, I gathered notes on much of the earlier events secondhand. My memory, also, I should note, is poor at best. (My notes, however, are precise, as the web weaves it to be.)
To fully understand the Prophecy as it relates to the web of fate, I feel it is necessary to look to the beginning, that of the origins of celestial magi, and the first inklings of our thoughts on the web.
Chapter One - Star Stones and Inscriptions
Around 356:100:3 within Ker'Leor, the Therengian obelisk was uncovered by a tremor not far north of Laakmir. Later, when trade with Qi'Reshalia was resumed, another was seen by stu- dents on Taisgath. And a third, in Zoluren, was rediscovered in Tezirah's mansion beneath the observatory on 361:303:8. Note, if the reader would: "rediscovered". This will become clear in time.
These ancient artifacts, I've devoted my life to understand- ing. As my primary study since joining the Guild, I like to think I have gathered some information on them over the past decade.
To describe them properly: at some point in time, each was a translucent spire of forty-five hands in height (fifteen Human feet or so), excessively inscribed with runes and lan- guages, and inset with a single gem on each side. Those gems were, and are: a red ruby, a crystal blue sapphire, a golden topaz, and an iridescent pearl. Each obelisk radiated celes- tial magic so strongly that even untrained senses could feel its strength.
It is this strength, likely, which drew the first seers over 3500 years past to the obelisks to learn of the plane of probability, the web of fate and its weavings, and our arts. But this seems a shaky claim. To explain: given that the ob- elisks are intimately intertwined with our moons and given that there are four gems, not three, then necessarily (as will be better shown later) Grazhir was around during their origins. Also, since they bear a golden topaz rather than a black stone like an onyx, Katamba's radiance was the same.
This leads back to the time when clans were prevalent, and history, sadly, was oral rather than written for the most part. Those of the Guild of Warrior Magi will be interested to note that the origins of their manipulations are also found around this era.
Celestial events, however, guided the clan leaders then just as they do now. Thee Mottl'd Tyxte) was written at this time, if Heritage Keeper Phildonius is correct in saying that Kat- amba was recently blackened in his discussion of the contro- versial tome. It can be assumed, then, that celestial magi were already in some form plying their trade of seeing the web's weavings.
Whatever may be argued, what is known currently is that the obelisks are tied not only to our moons but also in some way to the plane of probability and to the web of fate. Each gives, when studied, an inscription of the past, present, or future in some form, as seen by students first with the The- rengian obelisk, which, when activated on about 356:109:3, sent into the sky one beam for each moon, including Grazhir.
As Grazhir no longer crosses our skies, this was a problem, which caused the obelisk to melt after a dramatic outburst of celestial energy (killing many gathered around it), and seemingly altered our perceptions of time itself, which the obelisk's mysterious passages alluded to beforehand.
Similar circumstances surround the Taisgath obelisk during the Prophecy, as its scribings all related to the unfolding events until the closing of the vortex, at which time they changed to tell of enchanting that would soon thereafter pass to students).
It is said, also, by Lorethew Arkelli Feirgetha, in "A Study of The Progeny of Tezirah," that around 718 BL, "unsubstan- tiated reports as well as the sect's own private records state that a surprising amount of this knowledge came dir- ectly from a translucent obelisk artifact found in the area of the present-day Crossing," which leads me to believe that Lady Tezirah, as well as the future Progeny, came to under- stand more of celestial arts from the Zoluren obelisk, which resides currently within her one-time mansion. Thus the claim, also, that the first celestial magi did the same.
Interestingly enough, given that the obelisks are linked with the moons, having one gem for each, it would stand to reason that there is, in fact, a fourth obelisk somewhere, assuming it has not already been destroyed. From the "History of Mer'Kresh" by Lindryl Jinsaith on the ruined city found on M'Riss:
"Other stories claimed the Ancient Ones were mages who dared compare themselves to the gods and paid for their arrogance. Still more stories suggest this race of mages built the Star Stones, and that those megaliths are actually a portal to another world through which those mages disappeared. What- ever the truth, the city now lies in ruins, destroyed by time and volcanic activity."
The mention of Star Stones bears future investigation, but what is known is that at least two of the obelisks, by their link to the plane of probability, were portals to that plane, as with Tezirah's supposed execution on the Zoluren obelisk, and her subsequent return during the Prophecy at the one on Taisgath.
Chapter Two - The Sphere and Other Sundries
Her return, or activation of the portal-creating properties of the obelisks, is far from simple. In truth, it required the use of a sphere in both historically documented openings. The Sphere, or Deceiver Device, began five hundred years prior to her banishment, or about 1200 BL according to Magus Xathvier Calvaradde in his "Enchanting Researches, Volume 1". "It was composed of three pieces: two semispheres (one brass, one obsidian), and a crystalline key (which had, if I recall correctly from my hurried notes in that time) four gems, one on each side like the obelisks)."
Each part of the Sphere, again according to Enchanter Xath- vier (as was likely discerned by the Guild during its brief study), was composed of "no less than three Grand Squares on each of its three components." This is no small task, and understandably, took five hundred years to complete. Likely it was the Magus Tezirah, herself a skilled Enchantress, who finished the Sphere before Imperial Law sought her out.
It is the same Sphere that opened the portal to the plane of probability, likely releasing a shadowmaster and allowing it
to escape from Tezirah's mansion in 703 BL, where modern-day day River Crossing is located (assuming Tezirah resides on the plane of probability, and that the form seen was not simply some illusionary facsimile). This shadowmaster is an intelligent denizen of the plane of probability; their kind seemingly wish to take over or exist on the plane of abiding as well.
Centuries passed, and what I know of the Sphere's whereabouts during those times is sketchy at best. However, as the web wove it to be, in 230 BL River Crossing began to be built, probably over the remains of whatever city was there before. In time, Zoluren Observatory was finished, and beneath it, around 290 AV, Tezirah's mansion was rediscovered.
Excavators, students, researchers, and notable persons were gathered in the once-magnificent mansion, including Guildmas- ter Prime Taramaine Ennis-Braun; Lady Demosel Dez'Madielle, the Weaver of Fate; our current Guildmaster of Ilithi, Magus Mortom Saist; Lady Erzebet Crowther; and Grell Pel'cora, a mercenary hired by the Guild. They found the Sphere and the obelisk. As the web wove it, they assembled the device, re- leasing two shadowmasters, who killed many until Grandmaster Taramaine, Lady Erzebet, and Guildmaster Mortom harnessed sorcerous arts to stop them as they felt it necessary. The manipulations reacted violently with the obelisk's celestial energies; it shattered, embedding a piece of itself within Mister Grell. The Y'shai Shanrolias, also, was the first Y'shai to fall in the line of duty, his spirit lost, from the manipulations that created Y'shai. (Note - the Y'shai process was first discerned from "Arte of the Black Cockatrice,' if the reader is interested in finding more on Y'shai.)
After this, the Guild disassembled the Sphere, placing one semisphere in southwestern Therengia (which was accessed by the trapezoid), the other into an enchanted music box (given to Lady Penelope), and the final piece -- the crystalline key -- was held by Guildmaster Mortom after some years when he put himself (likely with Guildmistress Gylwyn's assistance) into a death-like stasis, and was interned within a sarcoph- agus within the Great Tower of Shard.
Unfortunately, I never quite understood this part, but either (as it was related to me) the trapezoid statuette contained the semisphere and was originally found within Therengia, or it accessed a statue in Therengia to reveal the semisphere.
The trapezoid itself was the same device used by Andraethu, Lady Demosel's brother, to steal souls, most often those of children. (Heritage Monograph's Profiles in Magic series delves deeply into the origins of these two, so I will not dwell on them here.) From what I could gather at the time, the trapezoid held a consciousness of some sort, which would twist the holder's mind and perceptions, causing them to see and hear illusions and insecurities in an effort to have the holder drain the souls of any nearby. Additionally, when not being used, it would drain the said possessor's spirit and slowly scorch their hands with its heat, which could only be healed when it had "feasted," in a sense.
In any case, similar to this was the music box which held the second semisphere, given to Lady Penelope, whose state of un- life allowed her to ignore its effects. As I understand it, the music box would drive the holder insane with the sounds of the spirits of children. Again, the Heritage Monograph series details what little is known of Lady Penelope's life and her many contributions to the Guild, if the reader is interested.
Even so, how the Guild came into possession of or created the trapezoid and music box remains a mystery. The use of the two to protect the semispheres seemed safe enough, but as the web wove it, things came out otherwise.
In time, the Council recovered one semisphere, taken from Andraethu for further study, while the other was recovered from Chyolvea Tayeu'a and the Mountain Elves by Lasarhhtha Oshu'ehhrsk, a S'Kra Mur Bone Dancer, necromancer and Dragon Priest descendant with the help of some students of our and other Guilds. Lasarhhtha, like many others, had spoken with the mirror wraith, who convinced him that the Sphere was the key to letting his ancestors rest.
Guildmaster Mortom's key saw brief travel through the prov- inces when he awoke to Lasarhhtha's attempt to possess it, around the turn of the year in early 362. Some students did their best to keep it from the Bone Dancer, but failed since the semisphere in his possession was seemingly drawn to the key. Ultimately, Lasarhhtha gained both key and semisphere, while the Guildmaster attempted to regain his bearings after several decades of stasis.
Meanwhile, Lady Demosel visited Zoluren Observatory briefly where she was attacked by shadows using manipulation which she was presumably able to sense with the help of a mirror wraith talon. After a struggle, the shadows succeeded in hitting her, whereupon she seemed, strangely, to grow trans- lucent. Her talon no longer functioning properly, she was drawn into the shadows and disappeared into -- I'd theorize -- the plane of probability.
Thereafter, through an unknown method that apparently utilized the Tears of Grazhir as focal points (as I under- stand them) rather than moonbeams -- Lasarhhtha sent Lechsu, another necromancer, to recover the semisphere from the Coun- cil during a meeting. Magus Khaman Vairson, student-elect to the Council, Grandmaster Taramaine, and Lady Annisean Crow- ther (Lady Erzebet's daughter, then recently appointed to the Council in her place), survived his attack, although the others of the Council fell (save, also, the Prophet Dothrein -- the representative of the G'nar Peth who rarely showed up at meetings), seven traveling the Starry Road, while three remain in sleep within the Imperial Stargazer's Medical Pav- ilion in Throne City at this writing, may they soon recover. The sects, also, some having lost faith in the Council and others as a return to traditional teachings, began to open their doors to students in these times.
With all three pieces, Lasarhhtha attempted to assemble the device at his ancestral manor south of Leth Deriel. Each time, as with those documented in the past, the device would release one or more shadowmasters as well as disrupt the web of fate. Students across the lands sensed these disturbances through fate and probability, until the Sphere was recovered from Lasarhhtha, and returned to the Council.
On 362:236:6 the Guildmaster Prime gathered all the students interested and spoke with them on Taisgath. Having been mis- led by the mirror wraith, like Lasarhhtha, he activated the Sphere, trying to sever the connection between the plane of abiding and the plane of probability, but instead opened a vortex through which the Magus Tezirah returned. With the assistance of Lady Demosel, who returned through the same vortex, Tezirah was pushed back into the drab, silent land- scape of the plane of probability, leaving the Guild to re- cover, and to note a changed obelisk.
Chapter Three - Threading Time and Space
The fluctuations from those times persist, as was notable by the feeling of a ripple through fate and probability shortly after the vortex closed. What the web weaves seems unclear, though there have been stirrings over the years.
As for the web of fate and plane of probability, themselves, much can be drawn to aid understanding from the happenings of the Prophecy. Having briefly looked into the vortex, the plane is distinctly different from, though similar to, the plane of abiding -- a pale sunset with little to distinguish above the horizon from below it, strange winds and clouds -- the plane of probability is a seemingly colorless and silent landscape.
Through the use of her aforementioned mirror wraith talon, a strange magical artifact, the Lady Demosel is able to travel the plane (although how is speculation on my part). I would theorize that, since mirror wraiths seem to be reflections from the plane of probability to the plane of abiding, the talon acts as a link, much like moonbeams, to its landscape.
Moonbeams and Moon Gates, for that matter, as well as other arts of our Guild, are known to be intimately linked to the plane of probability. Though rather than traveling into the plane, itself, we simply travel across it, or use it to link one point in space with another. While the Turtle, with the shards of Grazhir (like the smaller shards of Grazhir which fell inactive after the Comet Zelkaes left Elanthia's prox- imity in the year 361), seem to use other shards of Grazhir as links, like moonbeams.
Another notable art was Lasarhhtha's, which created a small mote of light near Chyolvea Tayeu'a, marking the spot for him to (presumably) set a moonbeam by in the coming andaen, and then return to the area. A more permanent sort of link to the plane of probability, this art would be a boon for any Magus that wishes to travel long distances.
What is known is that the plane of probability is a place, separate and distinct from the plane of abiding, which we, as Moon Magi, tap into to sense visions, or weave the web of fate. Conversely, the web of fate seems not so much a plane but rather a linking of events across time.
On a smaller scale, each person could be seen to have a web surrounding his life and his self, which is what we affect by weaving the future, while on a larger scale, each person is simply a strand on the web as it relates to all things across time -- each meeting of two people being an intertwining or crossing of strands, while many strands meeting could form a nexus, as per Lady Amiss' treatise.
Simply put - the plane of probability is more concerned with space (and spatial theories), while the web, itself, is more concerned with time and its passing.
Drawing on the group prediction attempts, first observed by Councilman Zeltir Cra'Feldor around 361:144:4, several magi can gather together to open a larger hole to the plane of probability, and through that, tap into the web of fate to see more of the future. While doing so, the group felt a chill breeze and noted a mist forming upon the walls before a distant cry was heard. After a roar which grew louder as the floor shook, a cloaked figure appeared, and the group seemed to snap back to reality, so to speak, learning of the future, but they were unable to interpret the knowledge.
Unfortunately, each such attempt resulted eventually in the release of a shadowmaster, or as with the one on Taisgath, a disturbing vision. And so this line of research was put aside at the request of the Council until the future.
Even so, this allows certain connections to be drawn about the plane of probability, the plane of abiding, the web of fate, and the structure of reality, I feel. One theory, to which I hold, is that the plane of abiding is surrounded by the void, which, in turn, is surrounded by the outer-lying plane of probability, while the web of fate, literally like the strands of a spider's web, runs through all of them, and across time.
To simplify that: if the reader would picture Elanthia with the moons floating around it, Elanthia is like the plane of abiding, and the space between Elanthia and the moons is akin to the void. The moons themselves and their orbital paths would symbolize the plane of probability. If one connected the moons, space, and Elanthia by lines in this analogy, the lines would be that instant of time on the web of fate.
In this system of understanding, we gain our visions through the web of fate as it relates to future time, being sensitive to it, while our weavings, conversely, tap into the plane of probability to access the web of fate, where, presumably it would be simpler to sense.
Given that, the obelisks and Tears of Grazhir are permanent links from the plane of abiding to the plane of probability, the obelisks tapping into the web of fate and relating it through their inscriptions (though I cannot speculate as to how or why), and the Tears of Grazhir existing as beacons to travel by means of the plane of probability, either through the turtles or perhaps other ways as well.
Interestingly enough, however, the piece of the Zoluren obel- isk lodged in Grell Pel'cora's chest glowed blue and dragged him around the provinces around 360 AV. Strangely, the obel- isks "summoned" him, or so he later claimed, ending (on the last recorded Locate) in the sewers near Tezirah's mansion, even before it was revealed to students by Lasarhhtha. What this means in relation to the obelisks and their properties, I can only theorize.
All that said, this does not address whether all things are woven by the web of fate (fatalism), or whether our actions are our own (free will). That issue alone would take volumes to discuss properly, yet the structure (and previous corres- ponding theory) can be useful in their explanation, if the reader wishes.
Chapter Four - Presaging Dilemmas and Dedications
Ultimately, all debates aside, I trust the reader has found some information of use within this text. If any inconsis- tency, problems, or lack of information is noted, contacting me with the Thoughtcast manipulation would be ideal, because I hope to revise this work over the years in future editions.
In fairness to all involved, if any misinterpretation, con- demnation, or conjecture is noted, I urge the reader to in- quire further from other sources on these issues. It is not my goal to posit moral or ethical thoughts within this text, nor to validate any thoughts of that sort in relation to any events. Theories, like all things, are dynamic and change in time as the web weaves them. I am, however, always open for a debate.
Credit and thanks for making this text possible go to: the authors mentioned, for their sharing of information; to those involved in the events of the Prophecy, especially discus- sions and assistance in filling in the pieces from before my time; to Lady Psychi Starwoven, whose thoughts and debates influenced my years greatly; to Magus Zelion Ca'Davre, a notable scholar of the Progeny, without whom parts of this text would not have been possible; to my apprentices, who continually force me to understand things; to Lady Nayann Fresnateia, whose remarkable insights and thoughts have in- fluenced this work greatly; And last to Master Lomtaun Nedo-rath, whose years of guidance still serve me well.