Necromancer Guild Visions

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A list of Necromancer-associated visions.

Finding Power

(Race of the person on the table is the same as the person seeing the vision)

A crimson design etches across the air in front of you. Its origins are foreign, but a powerful desire accompanies it: it means everything you want, every possibility realized.

"You're forgetting something."

You stand in front of an iron table, scalpel in hand. Lying on the table is a half-naked Elf, unbound yet seemingly paralyzed. She stares up at you with wide, tear-brimmed eyes, while her breaths are accompanied with gasping, plaintive whines. Standing opposite of you is an elderly Human man in homespun clothes.

The Old Man says, "Glory. Immortality. Transcendence. Every promise that has been made is true. It's all hidden inside there," he looks down at the captive Elf, "Waiting for you to dig it out."

He returns a flat, expressionless gaze to you, "The moral dilemma isn't that necromancy demands a terrible price, but that you aren't the one that pays it. Are you worth her life?"

Heads and Tails

Howling winds blow past you, churning up an endless cloud of stinging, red sand. Partially obscured in the sand storm, you see wave upon wave of undead monstrosities throw themselves at a phalanx of brightly armored men.

Far removed from the carnage, two Humans look down from a rise. One is barely in his twenties and hidden by a long coat one size too large. The young Human clutches a curved, silver knife at his side so tightly that his knuckles have gone white. The other Human is short and elderly, wearing homespun clothes, carrying a farmer's hoe casually slung across his shoulder.

The younger man says, "It doesn't matter who wins."

The Old Man says, "Immediately? No, I suppose not. But the world will be better off one way more than the other."

"We're going to die! The Great Work is going to end with us."

The Old Man chuckles and says, not unkindly, "Heads, you lose; tails, you lose. Wasn't that the point all along?"

The Climb

You see a gigantic granite cliff towering in the pre-dawn gloom. The cliff is nearly sheer, interrupted only by deep gouges and blade-like protrusions. Darkness obscures the base of the cliff, while the first rays of morning shine above its crown. A young Human slowly climbs the face of the cliff, using nothing other than a curved silver knife as an impromptu pick.

The young Human pauses for breath within the base of a narrow gouge. He assesses the rest of his climb, only to lock eyes with an elderly Human who now looks down at him from over the ledge. The young Human cups his hands over his mouth and calls out, "Could you help me?"

The Old Man says, "Sure." He rubs his mouth, then points at the knife, "You know what they say about a man that only owns a hammer?"

A string of Gamgweth profanity echoes back in reply. The Old Man shrugs and walks away.

Awaiting the Triumphant

Your vision darkens, barely revealing a small room dominated by an ornate deobar writing desk. Thick curtains are drawn across the only window, leaving a lamp perched on one corner of the desk to throw fitful light on the scene. A slender man sits at the desk while an unnaturally bulging form stands at the doorway, both little more than silhouettes in the gloom. The man in the doorway tosses something onto the desk, where it lands with a metallic thud. He croaks out in a guttural voice, "What now?" Your point of view shifts to look down upon the object, revealing a leather-bound tome. The blade of a belt knife sticks out from underneath, pinned to the desk by the book's weight. The slender man gently traces a slender finger across a sigil of sharp angles that marks its cover. "Now," the word escapes in a raspy exhalation. He pauses for another moment and when he speaks again, his voice is strong and grim, "Now we await the triumphant."

The Melee

Violent winds howl in your ears, not quite obscuring a multitude of distant moans and screams. Your vision slowly comes into focus, revealing three figures facing each other, weapons drawn, amidst a swirling crimson dust storm.

To your left is a young Human man, wielding a curved silver dagger and covered by a dark overcoat. To your right is an Adan'f, holding a mattock and wearing a crude hauberk. Directly across from you is an elderly Halfling woman, in a blood-stained white robe and tensely gripping an oaken cudgel.

A blast of ruddy sand momentarily obscures your vision, but not the clash of weapons. Within a second the figures have turned on each other with murderous intent. Their three-way melee continues unabated as the storm rises around them, consuming everything with its stinging grit.

Kigot's Inheritance

Your vision focuses on a lanky Human male, leaning with both hands upon a balcony rail and staring up at Xibar.

A shadow detaches itself from the gloom behind him, revealing a feminine Elf.

The woman says, "He is an idiot, unworthy to wield Kigot's knife and you are of an even worse order for following him."

The man says, "And hello to you too."

"What was he thinking? The signs were not that obscure!"

"The hound thinks he's figured it all out. Though I wonder."

"What?"

"Did you know that the Bards can see things? Glimpses of different Philosophers over the century. The Moon Mages have visions about a young Necromancer with a knife and a wise old man."

"I..."

"Feeling a little exposed?"

"He is not the triumphant!"

"Someone will be and not either of us. The games are over, dear. Draw your knife or throw it down."

Shackles

You see a man of ashen grey complexion standing on a featureless plane. He is hairless and nude, his skin profoundly bruised and burnt. A black aura surrounds him, all sharp lines and jagged edges, except for his head: as it inches upward, the darkness gives way to a crown of braided sunlight.

Above and surrounding the figure is a semi-circle of creatures, vaguely Human shaped but made out of fire and sunlight. Some bob up and down to the beat of incandescent wings, others are merely suspended in defiance to gravity. Manacles bind their limbs and trail earthen brown tethers that connect to the plane below them, leaving them perhaps a few more feet of slack.

One of the fire creatures attempts to raise a blinding sword, but does not have enough slack to bring it above its head. The grey man smirks, but closes his eyes and lowers his head. He walks the distance between him and the creatures, then sits down amongst the tethers.

Xerasyth's Contempt

Your vision is wrenched away to a dusty road with three travelers upon it. A small figure, skin splotchy like guttered wax, skulks beside a taller and unkempt woman who strides with determined purpose. Further ahead, you see the silhouette of a tailed man who seems unaware of the company behind him. Around the road is nothing but barren, desolate waste that stretches as far as your mind's eye can see.

The two figures approach the third, striving to catch up. One clutches a butcher's blade tightly in each fist while the larger carries a dagger, pommel glinting with reddish light. Now clearly visible as a S'Kra Mur, the tailed man appears oblivious, though a palpable sense of rising malevolent intent washes over you. Just as the third traveler is overtaken and the woman's dagger is raised overhead to strike, he suddenly turns around. You catch a glimpse of red-gold scales, dull black eyes, and an amused smirk just before shadows writhe across your eyes and blind your sight.

  • Tachid was just struck down!
  • Sahfra was just struck down!

Powers Collide

Your vision is wrenched away to a grassy field. A purple-robed woman deftly glides through thick blades of grass that shy away from her presence. She approaches a green-robed man whose tail sways pensively behind him, as if waiting. His dull black eyes seem to glitter for a moment as he looks to the encroaching woman, "You can't even conceive that there's no point to this, can you?"

The woman is unresponsive, her severe features flickering in your mind's eye until there is not a lady but instead a grim, skeletal visage with writhing strands of ethereal white swirling behind her. As abruptly as they changed in the first place, so does the creature revert back to the woman with the frozen gaze.

The man shakes his head, annoyance clearly written upon his snout. He mutters, "Fine, if this is what you want." The man snaps his hand forward as an arc of blackness sweeps forth, green and red swirls writhing within in a pale mockery of life. The woman simply raises one hand as red and purple shafts of light sparkle through the air. As the wave of darkness passes, the woman's severe features are haughtily arrogant, and untouched, though the ground around her has become a cracked and dessicated patch of dirt.

As the woman prepares her counter-assault, your sight suddenly sees beyond the two figures, beyond their magic. A ravenous, shapeless hunger rises from the woman, greedily pushing outwards but always centered upon something that remains hidden from your sight. Facing it is an oozing blackness seeping forth from the man... old, and powerful. Despite its obvious might, the darkness feels frail before the hunger. Your brain hurts with intense pressure as forces you cannot comprehend fling themselves at each other, and your mind's eye mercifully closes just as you sense the black force retreating.

Zamidren's Ascent

You feel a moist chill that seems to come from your bones and radiate outward. A Human, bundled against the cold, trudges his way up an incline, snow crunching beneath his boots. An elderly man stands at the top of the incline, amidst undisturbed snow, watching his progress.

With slow, clockwork steps the Human reaches the top, only to be met with darkness. The ground gives way in front of him into a nearly vertical drop. The only thing the snowy night reveals of the landscape beyond the fall is the tops of a few giant conifers.

The younger man throws back his hood, while both men gaze pensively down the cliff. A roisan seems to pass before the Old Man breaks the silence. "You're worried."

Zamidren closes his eyes. He says, "I don't have the luxury of hesitating."

Despite the protestation, both men return to silent contemplation. Zamidren is the first to speak up again, saying, "We find out tonight if the philosophy is worthy of survival."
The Old Man, disturbed out of reverie, says, "Hrm? Oh, that. I was just thinking."
"What?"
"Don't think you'd survive the fall. Can't say you'd make the climb without breaking your neck. Won't even bet if you'd live through the wilderness that lies down there. The cliff, though? It faces east."

Markat Rescues

You see... nothing at all, though you smell stale, diseased air and acquire an inexplicable claustrophobic dread in the back of your mind. As time passes, your ears and eyes strain for stimuli with some measure of success: a faint movement of the air, bereft of any other sound, resolves into shallow breathing.

The stink and the threatening darkness hold your senses for a small eternity, before something shifts... above you? Before you can contemplate the spatial possibilities, there is a far too loud screech and a blinding explosion of light!

When your senses recover, you see a Dwarf in filthy rags, shackled hand, foot and neck in heavy chains at the bottom of a stone oubliette. A lanky Human man stands at the top of the oubliette, holding a torch above his head. The ragged Dwarf yells out, "Go away! Save the gibbet for someone whose neck can still snap!"

The Human responds, his voice a study in even politeness, "I'm sorry, sir, I had to rescue you without writing ahead. Have I interrupted something? I can always come back later."

"Wait! That voice... that voice... Markat!"

"Yes, sir."

"You little bastard! I should have made something out of your scrawny, broken corpse when I had the chance!"

"But, sir," Markat affects an injured tone, "If you had done that, I would not be here now and we could not have such a nice conversation."

The Dwarf growls out, "What do you want, Markat?"

Markat says, "I have been asked to present an invitation to you. One of the Philosophers has emerged triumphant and would be humbled if a Dwarf of your luminous reputation would agree to provide your wisdom in the dark days ahead."

"Hah. Who is it, boy?"

"Zamidren Book."

The Hound's Rebirth

"Go forth, my brothers! Let any tome which holds the Alchemy of Flesh be destroyed! Let any tongue that speaks its blasphemy be torn out! If a building may harbor one of these nihilist philosophers, then shall it be burnt as an offering to the most high! By sword, by axe and by spell this black folly will end!"

Preserving the Philosophy

You see Zamidren Book striding down a narrow, stone passage with grim purpose. He follows a track of dark red carpeting laid down the center of a polished marble floor, though for all the expense the walls around him manage to look closed in, bare and sterile.

Turning a corner, Zamidren faces a set of wide iron doors attended by Markat. The younger man nods in recognition and swings the doors open with dramatic force. He then faces into the room, bowing low and extending his arms wide. His lowered head does little to disguise the wide, sardonic grin across his face.

Inside, dozens of cloaked men stand in a rough semi-circle, interrupted by a man-sized obelisk that occupies the center of the room. Zamidren strides into a center position and stops. Seconds pass as Zamidren and the crowd stare at each other with restrained hostility.

Zamidren speaks, his voice loud and oratorical, "We are victims of unintended consequence. Lyras and her childish demons have brought the Temple to a head. We are being picked off one by one for the audacity of knowing of the Alchemy of Flesh. It is not so far fetched to assume that this room holds the majority of us that are still left alive. If we continue to do nothing, the philosophy dies with us! But there is another way."

Xerasyth Confronts the Old Man

You see a small farm, nestled in a shallow valley between hills to the north and south. Orderly rows of vegetable sprouts occupy the center, accompanied by a small, clear stream to the side. The silhouette of an elderly Human can be seen against the light of dawn, steadily channeling a row in the soil with the hoe. A S'Kra Mur approches the farm, his dull black eyes immediately drawing your attention. The tall man approaches the vegetable rows with a sort of reverence, taking care not to step upon any of the plants, or the soil.

The Old Man looks up from his work and says, "Didn't think I'd see you here."

Xerasyth, squinting against the glare of the sun, replies dryly, "Can't I be interested in a little horticulture?"

"Not much to it, I'm afraid. Seeds go in, water comes down, weeds pop up."

Xerasyth asks, "That's all? You expect me to believe you do nothing to help them along?"

The Old Man replies in a conversational tone, "No cows. Don't get much fertilizer around here."

Xerasyth says acidly, "So cheat. Simply will the carrots to grow faster."

The Old Man shrugs and says, "What'd be the point? If they grew faster, I'd just be planting them again sooner."

Xerasyth's voice grows insistent, "Alter the plans, too."

The Old Man shakes his head. "They'd waste the soil too quickly."

"Change the soil."

"This sounds like an awful lot of work for carrots."

Xerasyth's voice loses its theatric insistence, instead taking on a faintly sarcastic quality, "Really, must we belabor this metaphor further?"

The Old Man's tone remains uncompromisingly irreverent, "Suppose we could change the fundamental nature of the carrot. Make it grow faster and healthier, perhaps even preserve it indefinitely, I suppose. But what would a carrot do with eternity?"

He quirks his eyebrows at Xerasyth and continues, "And why do I care, when I still plan to eat them?"

Xerasyth smirks and asks wryly, "So everything that's happened is in accordance with your plans, then?"

The Old Man says, "I have simple desires and you do not have the ability to deny them to me."

Both men stare at each other in silence for a few seconds, before Xerasyth says in a blunt tone, "Lyras attacked me."

The Old Man says, "Did she? Didn't realize, though it's not surprising."

"While it's amusing to watch them all squirm, soon we'll be running out of live people."

"It seems like you're building to a point."

Xerasyth asks, "What do you intend to do about her?"

The Old Man turns away from Xerasyth without a spoken word and returns to his work on the plot of earth.

Xerasyth dryly says, "This is infuriating. You're supposed to be a guide."

The Old Man replies without looking up, "When you get older you'll find that a part of healthy living is figuring out what is and is not your problem."

Xerasyth shoots back, "Ah, so for all your usual melodrama, suffering is not on the agenda. Compassion? Basic empathy? Do any of these rank above carrots?"

The Old Man asks, "Do they suffer?"

Xerasyth replies dryly, "All life suffers."

The Old Man says, "Indeed." He turns back around to Xerasyth, looking him in the eye. "I wonder how much different the world would be if all the Necromancers running around took all that energy and instead spent it trying to understand why it is the way it is."

"I'd be dead and rather incapable of pondering the subject."

"Also true, but every mortal dies."

Xerasyth says, "Yes, that's what they like to claim."

The Old Man says, "It's scary, yet consider: if the gods will that I die, and I disagree with this, which of us is in a better position to make an informed decision?"

Xerasyth's eyes gaze at the old man with the dull stare of irritated familiarity. "We both know that's nonsense.

The divine aren't infallible, they just got here first and so they get to play at being gods. Their malice and caprice are fully equal to ours."

The Old Man nods, "Of course. It is a common mistake to assume that the Immortals are infinite or even in full control over their own destiny. Divinity is the fount of creation and shares the same problems with every other kind of spigot."

He continues, "But... consider if there was suffering in the universe before there were gods. It'd provide little wonder that the infinite could give birth to the finitude. Has humanity ascribed to malice and caprice the built-in limit to the suffering they can endure?"

After a pause, he finishes, "It's pitiful, not being able to die."

Xerasyth sighs, "Why on earth should we feel pity for the Immortals, or even care what 'suffering' they may endure?

All that matters is that we ourselves can master hunger, eliminate disease, kill death itself. Nature's evolutionends with us."

The Old Man says, "It's not very likely, but I'll give you the benefit of the doubt." He slings his hoe over his shoulder and begins to walk away. Xerasyth stands with a considering expression on his face, watching the receding form. Before it vanishes, he says,

"I see you are determined to sit this one out."

The Old Man says, "If the subtext of all this necromancy business is that you know better than everyone else how to order creation, then all I can do is get in the way. Go back and face obliteration yourself; prove you deserve something greater than what you were given. Build a cathedral from your sins, but don't be surprised if it turns out to be another lonely, pointless abattoir."

As the Old Man vanishes from sight, the expression on Xerasyth's face slowly shifts from irritation to contemplation.

The Hunger Turns

A cacophonic dissonance spreads through your being, a crack in the edge of your mundane sight widening. Oozing darkness pours through it and floods your senses, as you sense wrongness, something calling to you. With a detached sense of dread, you realize that you're feeling a terrible Hunger, something that was always lurking at the edge of your sight but now making its presence actively known. Though the Hunger dims somewhat, it remains present, as if constantly watching and waiting for you to slip up.

A Necromancer Is Born

You focus inwardly searching for insight into your future. You find yourself lying on a marble slab. Though no chains bind your body, you find yourself completely unable to move. A large metal slab takes up most of the circular room, surrounded by sigils carved into the dark marble floor of what you realize is a tower. Marble obelisks rise at the four cardinal points, each one crackling with energy used for some unholy purpose.

Chanting surrounds you from robed figures at the edge of your sight, though your eyes focus on a glowing orb hovering above you. Green-tinged tendrils of dark crimson snake their way hungrily toward you, and though you try to scream, no sound comes out. The magic rushes through your eyes, blinding you and wracking your mind, your body and your soul. Just as you feel you can stand it no longer, the vision suddenly ceases, as if severed by a sharp knife.

Inside the Buzzard

You feel a jarring rush as your mind separates itself from the sensations of your body. You find yourself in a dust-shrouded chamber, containing obsidian pylons with deeply grooved spirals carved into their sides. A luminous red miasma hangs in the hair, partially obscuring three figures: a middle-aged Gor'Tog, a S'kra Mur of indeterminate age, and an elderly Human.

The Old Man walks around the dungeon, though its Gor'tog keeper seems oblivious to his presence. He pokes a finger into one of the pylon's grooves, tracing it, "You know," he calls to the S'kra Mur, behind his shoulder, "it's funny, if you just turned this symbol upside down..." he trails off, musing.

The Old Man turns around, regarding the other two figures. The Gor'tog continues to not register any presence, though the S'kra Mur's eyes track him. "There's two ways we can do this. First, I don't suppose you'd like to take the opportunity to beseech the Immortals for mercy and accept their luminious glory into your soul?"

The S'kra Mur spits on the ground.

The Old Man shrugs. He steps toward the metal shard and critically examines it. After a long moment, a thin smile escapes his lips, "The most dire truth of them all, stuff you won't find on any book in Zamidren's shelves, is that we live in a world where our actions have consequences. Something to think about."

With that, the vision fades away.

Alduath Fails

(Cleric Vision)
A tingling, euphoric sensation takes you by the soul. You see a darkness, pitch black yet pulsing in a profane parody of life. An arcing spear of silver light pierces not just the Void, but that source of darkness blacker than the void, and a great evil dissipates forever.

At least, that was the intention. Something... happens. The spear of silver shears into the shadow-mass, revealing a glint of yellow light. It is pale and dull, lacking the luster of gold and divinity, yet somehow blinding to the touch. There is a confusion of forces, and the righteous euphoria dancing through your soul turns cold.

Xerasyth Reborn

Your vision blurs as hazy swirls of miasmatic fog overlay all you see, accompanied by distinct sensations of pain erupting from many areas of your body. As the vision deepens, the pain recedes and your vision is replaced by a bleak laboratory, scalpels and other cutting instruments arrayed neatly beside beakers of burbling liquids that pierce the colorless landscape with their vibrant hues. Though the feeling of pain lingers in the furthest regions of your brain, the look of the place exudes a strange comfort that your conscious mind immediately attempts to reject as false.

The deathly quiet is pierced by footsteps. A stout Human man with thinning white hair steps into view, peering around the laboratory intently. "Ah," he says finally, "There you are. Are you finished in here yet? There's a lot of work to do, and soon. She's not going to wait much longer." He looks expectantly towards a part of the cold, grey room that you cannot see.

Another Human emerges from the miasmatic haze at the edge of your vision. The expression on the newcomer's face is undeniably jovial, and his green eyes have a hint of mischievous sparkle, "I was just putting on the finishing touches, Mr. Book. Sorry to make you wait." The green-eyed man tosses a bit of something, red and gold in color, over his shoulder, discarding it as he follows the white-haired man out.

Reality Cracking

Your eyes itch slightly and you catch something at the corner of your sight, an image of something reaching through the cracks in reality, hungry to feast. Maybe it was just your imagination.

On A Boat!

You think you notice a dark claw scratching at the back of your eyes. Strangely though, it doesn't hurt, and though the vision in your right eye dims several times, it's soon back to normal.

Some sort of a dark shadow seems to jump in front of you, but when you look again it's gone.

The topsail of the ship seems to twist and distort, threatening to fall on you. When you blink and look directly at it, the sail seems normal again.

Wriggly wormlike spots swim in front of your vision, translucent and broken. After a long moment they're gone again.

Your vision ripples a bit, as if something was swimming through reality but staying just out of sight.

Your vision blurs a bit, and your eyes feel just a little uncomfortable. However, it stops after a few seconds.

You're also talking to yourself, which is probably not a good sign.

Flippant Flame

You see an elderly Human farmer, hoe in hand, working in a garden. A pillar of fire and sunlight erupts some feet behind him, a screaming flame that somehow that does not consume the vegetation beneath it. The sunlight brightens and dims rhythmicly, while the crackle of the flame transforms into a polyphonic voice.

"They need to die."

The Old Man replies nonchalantly, "Everybody dies."

While it has no body language to speak of, you intuit that the flame is not amused. An awkward silence holds until the Old Man speaks again, "Can you do anything about the demon?"

"No."

"Then you have a very serious problem. Good luck with that." With that, the Old Man returns his attention to his vegetables.


Vision 1/23/14

Flitting darkness edges your vision for just a moment before coalescing into a seeping ooze that begins to swirl, oily and slick. Languid streams of it move through the air to touch all that surrounds you -- caressing, corrupting. The substance seems at first to pay you no attention, and you find yourself unable to not watch its every movement with a detached curiosity. Slowly, the substance turns towards you and that is when you see the hands? Are those hands? No, not hands, not hands at all, but the cracks in your mind refuse to see them as anything but. Just hands... just...

Black and cold, the hands reach out for you -- grasping, pulling. Their sharpness slices at your flesh and all becomes copper and honeysuckle.

Weightless. Limp. Immobile. It calls. Falling, falling -- wait! Your mind screams as your soul reaches upward grasping, pulling. Its sharpness slices at the rot and muck it finds, leaving sticky, sodden lumps of useless material in its wake. Too soft to stop your fall, too weak to stop your fall...

A deep, unrelenting panic consumes you as you see it now, really, really see it! How foolish you were, how proud. Never like this how could it be? This thing, too strange to be called even a creature, let alone a man. Of all the horrors you've seen, all of the horrors you've created, all of the horrors you've *been*, never did you even imagine this, this *thing*, this shifting thing that is everywhere now. And yet, here you are. Are you? Are you even here? It stares at you with its no-eyes. Stares, and begins to eat.

A grating sound echoes ever so softly in your ears, transitioning into a wet mewl before fading completely. The colors of the world rush back, too bright, too sharp, yet a flitting darkness remains just outside of your vision, causing a slight pain behind your eyes. It is a sense more than a sight that lingers with you, however. A sense of waiting.


Vision 02/27/2015

Your vision darkens and blurs, resolving once again into an urban scene. A woman, cloaked in tan and crimson robes, approaches a well-to-do man from behind. The robed woman surges forward and locks the man in a neck hold! The steel of her jagged knife glints with unnatural light as she holds it above the man's struggling chest. Just before the knife violently falls, the woman whispers into the man's ear, "Your hands... so strong, so flexible. Perfect. I must have them."


Vision 12/20/2015

Reality seems to shudder and strain under an enormous weight as your vision goes white. Against the pale backdrop you see the silhouette of an Elf, walking along a path of black tar sprinkled with ivory. The Elf stops and performs an elaborate gesture, causing the path around him to change. Tendrils of blue energy, half-cloud and half-lightning, first snake along then envelope the path in both directions. In a final display the now bright path folds in upon itself, the line becoming a circle.


Vision 12/20/2015

Your sight is suddenly snatched away by an intense vision, but you first hear a scream of feral anger rather than see it. The image of the Faldesu river appears, quiet at first but then beginning to churn and boil. Skeletal figures rise from it, dancing at the hands of an unseen puppet.


2016 Preview "Vision"

Two men stood outside, watching the starry night. One was forever young, the other forever old.

The young man, noticing his company for the first time, asked, "Who are you?"

The Old Man responded, "I am who I am."

This resulted in a pause from the young man, then a smirk. He said, "So you grace me with your presence finally."

"I reckoned it was time."

"What do you want?"

"Complex question, despite looking simple on the face of it. I want many things. To laugh, to grow," a pause, "to consume."

"There are very few things that scare me anymore and your off-handed remarks do not count among them."

"I did not come to scare you, I came to ask for your help."

"My help? What could I possibly offer you and how could you possibly make me care?"

"There is a change in the wind. I can feel it. The Moon Mages will soon notice it, too. I know in my gut it's another Necromancer."

"And you suspect me?"

"I still have a reason to care about the Philosophy. It must survive for at least a short while longer. I want you to help them."

The conversation drifted off with that, and both men stood quietly under the sky.

Finally, the young man spoke again, softly, "You've made a mistake."

The Old Man asked, "Oh?"

"You appeared here without summons, tried to threaten me with your honeyed words and then have the audacity to ask me to help some miserable upstarts. Not only are you a fool, but you grossly overstep your place."

Before the Old Man could react, the young man threw his hands outward. A blaze of blue energy, half-lightning half-cloud, erupted toward the Old Man and shredded his form like so much mist. When the magic cleared, what was left standing was a naked, grey figure, burnt beyond gender, with a halo of sunlight adorning its head. It mutely stared at the young man before vanishing where it had stood.

"Of course," the young man mused to himself, "With time, we can get ever so confused about who our friends are."


Sunday Feb 12 Vision

The stench of fetid seawater and spoiled milk overtakes you, leaving your senses disoriented and reeling. As you pull yourself together, you see shimmering, shifting sand. The image clears further, and you note the form of a robed person prostrate before a dark, hulking mass. Just as the sands overtake your vision again, you hear what sounds like stone grating against stone. The images fade, leaving you back in the here and now, though a voice echos through your mind for several moments yet, saying, "You will be Tallnah, The Beginning of the End."