Teachings of Oxfre Pepel (book)
The Teachings of Oxfre Pepel
Excerpts from the Journal of Blacklark Ravenspawn
A note to the reader:
What follows is a collection of entries from my personal journal. The events recorded herein took place over several months during the early 350's. Before he left us, Teacher Oxfre requested that we pass his lessons on to others, and so it is out of respect for his wishes that I submit my scribbling for the perusal of future Warrior Mages.
A golden bear wandered into town today. This exquisite creature was obviously a familiar, but for some reason I was unable to determine its owner. It sat quietly for a few moments, and then growled:
- Lyodin sanrar ger
- Gweld dael
- Li aes mod din moreg
- Albir li alreid
The bear repeated this message many times over the next few roisaen, and then lumbered off as unexpectedly as it had arrived. What can this mean?
Throughout the three known provinces there have been reports of familiar sightings in recent days. I have heard that a golden owl delivered this message:
Lyodin ban sanrar gaenwen Albir li alreid
There was also rumor of a golden panther in Haven that carried a similar message. Many mages, myself included, are both excited and puzzled by these visits. Tomorrow, I plan on joining a small group of mages who will be searching for this aes mod (fire tree) which may then point us toward the alreid (teacher), or perhaps the gweld dael (path of death).
Extraordinary happenings took place today. A teacher, apparently the teacher we were told to seek, appeared outside the doors of the Crossing guild. He was an Elothean by the name of Oxfre Pepel. He had no distinguishing features aside from a single white streak running through his hair. I know I have seen such a streak before, but I cannot recall upon whom. This teacher spoke at length to the mages gathered around him. Or rather, he answered the questions that the mages asked him.
When Oxfre was asked about the aes mod and the gweld dael, he replied:
"To find the path, one must first learn of the tree."
He then informed us that he himself would teach us about the tree, but first a suitable location would need to be chosen. It was immediately decided that the very spot where we stood was perfectly acceptable, whereupon Oxfre reached into his sack and produced a small fir sapling, saying:
"The beasts spoke of the tree and its worth. The beasts shall one day lead you. When the leaves come, then so shall they."
He then kneeled down upon the ground, scooped up a small amount of dirt with his hands and planted the sapling. Standing up, he continued:
"Ye must use the tree, but not be left with it when the time comes. Ye will face a manifestation that will try you for four obstacles. Pass the obstacles, and ye shall be given the knowledge, fail, and death is yours alone. One will seek the truth, one will seek the tree, one will seek the lore, and one will take from you that which is rightfully yours."
Glancing at the crowd now surrounding him, Oxfre said:
"Do not seek together, since this must be a lone venture, but seek alone and seek bravely. But do not let a comrade fall, lest ye lose the knowledge."
And as he gazed at the newly planted fir sapling, he added:
"When the leaves have come, ye will be ready."
The teacher then traced an arcane sigil in the air. A sigil so arcane, I did not recognize it.
"The tree there is your key," he told us, "it holds knowledge for those that walk with the others they call."
Oxfre then gestured, and a thick mist quickly surrounded him.
"I feel weary," he said from within the mist, "I must leave now."
And with that, an immense explosion erupted from the center of the mist and a huge wind surged through the area, literally blowing us in all directions. But by the time I had scrambled to my feet and made it back to the guild doors, Teacher Oxfre was nowhere to be found.
Oxfre appeared again today, at long last. He settled himself by the fir tree. He seemed very pleased by its growth, and said that he didn't think it would grow any taller. He made no mention of the damage the tree had sustained when the guild was destroyed, but instead, Oxfre simply observed the mages who had gathered and asked us if we would care to learn of the tree's use. When we all expressed immense interest, the teacher smirked, tapped the tree with his fingertip and said:
"Here is your first lesson. Learn well."
Chuckling at the blank stares he was receiving, Oxfre continued:
"Of course, once you have learned the lesson of the tree, ye must also know of the lore and the truth. Ye search for the lore already, if ye are of the guild, but the truth is easily found. All that is holy is true."
Oxfre then shuddered slightly, saying:
"But then of course, there is the gweld."
Noticing the murmur rippling through his audience, Oxfre nodded, adding:
"The path of the gweld is what you may need to seek. There are many paths, choosing the right one is the tricky part. Ye may face that which the path is named for, or ye may receive the knowledge ye seek. The amount you learn will determine which path ye take."
Winking at us, he whispered, "The amount in yer head, that is."
Glancing at the tree, and then at his rapt students, Oxfre smiled a strange smile and said:
"Well, since the tree seems fine, and ye know ye must learn of the tree, the lore and the truth... I suppose I should leave you to study your lessons."
And he did just that. He left us pondering his cryptic words.
I am afraid I must record sad tidings today. Oxfre Pepel may be gone forever. No one knows for sure. I believe that he sacrificed himself, in the end, to pass the knowledge of the familiars onto us. But I am getting ahead of myself.
The teacher appeared this morning by the tree once more. He even lit a small campfire there that burned with a blue flame. I was not present to witness what took place, but I will record the tale as it was told to me.
Some mages that were talking with Oxfre happened to ask him about the corpses that had been discovered near the fallow fields, north of Shard: the panther, owl, bear and lynx that had been killed in such horrible ways. Oxfre seemed very surprised to hear of the corpses and wished to see them. So he and the mages made the journey to Ilithi. Along the way,
Oxfre supposed that the dead familiars were messengers he had sent long ago. He said the messengers had never returned.
"There would be only one that would kill them," Oxfre sighed. "Beyond the gweld path and beyond the wall of foreboding exists one who hates and admires such creatures; the one for whom the gweld path exists. Another teacher, a teacher with powerful magic."
Oxfre then went on to explain how his messengers had been sent to show us the origin of the gweld path.
Upon arriving in Ilithi, the mages escorted Oxfre to the place where the dead familiars lay. Oxfre sadly examined their remains one by one, gently petting them. He confirmed that they were indeed the messengers he had sent, and said:
"This was obviously done by he who awaits at the gweld."
Suddenly, there was an explosion of light, and death spirits unexpectedly swooped upon the small party. Deftly slipping into the shadows, the teacher warned the mages:
"He knows we approach, he who awaits."
A battle ensued, the few mages versus the ever-increasing numbers of undead. During the melee, Oxfre was able to locate the origin of the gweld path, and he cleared away some bushes that had been concealing it. By the time the mages had valiantly defeated the death spirits, the gweld path was revealed for all to see. Oxfre then presented each of the mages a kort potion, saying:
"Thank you for showing me my lost friends. It appears they tried to show the way, but were killed for their efforts."
Handing them their potions, the teacher smiled at them.
"Please take this gift, 'tis a potion that feeds that which is hungry. All of the guild will need a potion like this if they wish to continue their lessons."
With that, Oxfre grew solemn. Glancing westward, down the gweld path, Oxfre sighed:
"Now, if you will excuse me, I have some unfinished business to attend to... a lesson that I must learn alone."
Bowing low to his students, Teacher Oxfre headed down the gweld path. After a few moments, voices could be heard arguing from deep within. And suddenly, there was an ear- splitting scream......and all was silent once more.