The First Land Herald/428-03-24

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Article Number: BI75
Dateline: 428-03-24

Many persons in this land are aware of the dangers posed by sorcerous magics, yet it is not every day that one has the opportunity to observe at first hand the most calamitous effects that such powers may have upon those who attempt their practice. Lately, however, the world has been afforded a stunning case study in the perils of sorcery, as well as in the resilience of a young woman who fell prey to the malign workings of this most unnatural of magics.

Some may have heard, being spoken abroad this past winter season, the name of Iskra; still others may have met her and heard her own voice as she lately spoke out quite strongly in warning against sorcery. For Iskra, a young Prydaen who had once studied as a Warrior Mage, had cause to know better than most the ill effects of sorcery. In the course of her studies and experimentations, she had had the great misfortune to fall prey to a sorcerous spell of her own devising, which escaped her control and seemed to take on a life of its own, and alas for Miss Iskra, the place at which the spell decided to take up residence in its lively workings was inside the space of her own head.

Iskra, a mere novice in the guild but possessed of any young mage's abundant inquisitiveness towards magic in all its forms, had according to her own account been perusing a text in the Crossing Empath Guild detailing various life and healing spells. Not realizing the terrible consequences that might result in doing so, the young elemental magic student attempted in her curiosity to cast one of these spells herself, but, unsurprisingly, found this impossible to do. However, Iskra sadly did not give up the matter at this point, but instead persisted in her efforts. Being particularly an aficionado of lightning magics and having yet learned few Warrior Mage spells beyond the most elementary, Iskra reported that she had attempted to use the magical concepts which she understood from the lightning spell Gar Zeng to help her cast the empathic spell, with fearsome results. The most horrible lightnings created thereby, compounded of elemental and life magics twisted unnaturally together, rose up like a great storm inside the mind of the poor mage and proceeded at once to wreak havoc there. Such an encounter with a sorcerous spell has never before been recorded.

Losing first her sight, then even the ability to sense elemental mana, the young Prydaen in a steady succession of disasters in time found herself in hospital and cared for by empaths who brought her forth from a state of deepest insensibility, but were next to powerless in the face of her affliction's most awful progress. Iskra gave up all hope of regaining her facility with the elements and took up the mantle of a moon mage instead, at which point she began bravely to speak up throughout Zoluren on the dangers posed by sorcery, both to the unwary and to the overly ambitious. But most sadly, Iskra's condition continued still to decline, until her body was left entirely paralyzed, even as the ferocious lightnings continued to rampage vigorously about in her head. It was thought she could live but a short while longer in such a state, and one might have thought her entirely lost.

But happily, all hope was not yet expired for poor Miss Iskra. Though she had lost her magic, her sight, and even at the last the ability to stir so much as a finger, she had not lost her allies. Aid was sought by them from Grand Inquisitor Liurilias, a fellow Prydaen with both knowledge and experience of magical curses, and before too many days more had passed, he was brought to Iskra's side where she lay at the Half Pint Inn, helpless and suffering. A number of other allies were brought there also, to lend their own gifts to the ritual which it was hoped would banish the sorcerous magics from Iskra's head and harmlessly contain them in such a way that they could not cause further mischief. Besides Father Liurilias, Perune, Ayrell, Ruea, Annais, and the author of this account were all assembled to assist in the ritual, and later on were joined by Elec. Though Father Liurilias had the lead of the ritual, still each person present had their part to play, and their own small bit of assistance to lend.

Father Liurilias began by directing his prayers to the Triquetra, the traditional gods of the Prydaen people, and it was clear to those present that his prayers were listened to, and answered in the most literal sense. He seemed to hear the voices of the gods in his own head, and translated their demands, first into words, and then into action. Iskra herself was wrapped carefully up for warmth, and where she lay stretched at length upon the floor of the Bards' Corner, figurines of the Prydaen gods were placed on either side of her head. Most importantly of all, a vessel was created for the containment of the spell once it would be purged from Iskra's mind, and this took the form of a tiny wooden bead carved by the Cleric in the shape of a cat's head. The Empath Annais was called upon by the Triquetra, through the translation of Father Liurilias, to invest the bead with life and vigor, and this being done, Father Liurilias himself intoned several mystical words in Prydaenese, while tracing symbol upon symbol over the surface of the bead, each in turn flaring and then appearing to sink into the ebony surface without a trace.

In addition to the Triquetran figurines and the vessel to hold and neutralize the sorcerous spell, a small portion of the elements was also required for the proper working of the ritual. This was provided by those other persons who were present that had some connection to the elements, and each of these in turn took in hand an amulet of senci, provided by the Warrior Mage Perune, and invested it with a bit of the essence of Fire, Electricity, Water, and lastly also of Mind or Will. Meantime Ruea created in traceries of holy water upon Iskra's brow, the sign of the Triquetra, and this being done, the amulet was placed there on the sufferer's forehead, in the center of the sign.

Father Liurilias then turned his attention upon Iskra herself, and caused a pure white light to shine forth from his hands and to wrap the afflicted young woman briefly in their brilliance. The Cleric began an incantation in Prydaenese, pressed the wooden bead into Iskra's limp hand, and began to sing a song in praise of the Triquetra and the beauty, comfort, and wisdom with which they have filled this mortal world of ours. He finally concluded with these words: "Blessed Eu-Demrris-Tenemlor, hear the entreaty of your Chosen. Let your will take place to mend this kit broken by untimely happenstance. The vessel is prepared, bless it that it may draw the hurt from her body, mind, and soul. Enliven the token of Demrris' vitality that it may rejuvenate the flesh of her form and give the life you ever intended she have."

And as Father Liurilias then sat back peacefully, bright light like silvery flames began to flicker and flash between the figurines on either side of Iskra's head, and from thence to the amulet upon her brow, and finally to the cat's-head bead cradled in her palm, where it settled with a pure white brilliance that was nearly blinding. As this came to pass, Iskra's body began first to twitch, then to spasm, and then to contort itself into the most agonizing forms and gyrations, while a hideous purple-brown smoke began to flow from her neck, and a fearsome white froth to pour forth from her mouth and nose. Just when it began to seem that her frail body could take no more, a small ball of light, of the most evil violet hue, burst forth from her neck in a fountain of blood, and proceeded to waver between the two statues, shoving fierce electrical tendrils at either one while emitting the most hideous shrieks, as if of agony and fury. But at the last, with another terrible shriek, a roar of wrath, and a brilliant pulsing and flash of lightning forklets, the malicious spell energies vanished over the carven surface of the ebony bead, as entirely as if they had never been at all.

All of those looking on were naturally quite impressed by this extraordinary display, and no less so to see that with the vanishment of the purple light, so too had the wound in the young Prydaen's neck disappeared, and even the pool of blood that it had so painfully produced. Iskra, left quite exhausted by her ordeal, nonetheless had regained not only an appetite, but all mobility and even the eyesight which she had been without for so long, though very sensitive from disuse. And so after a short time of speaking with her and ascertaining the weakened but promising state of her mental and physical condition, the allies who had come to her aid left her now to that healing and comfort which sleep alone may minister.

In the weeks since this astonishing ritual, Iskra has continued to steadily regain her strength and health, and appears set to make a very nearly full recovery. However it is greatly to be hoped that as the traces of malign sorceries are erased from this young mage's brain, the warnings of this tale linger heavy upon the minds of others, a timely and dire warning of the perils of Sorcery.

Oscearo Stillwater

Real Date: Unknown Date




Half Pint Inn