The Sacrifice

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The Sacrifice of Aaoskar

So rises Chris' Mass, 429 years, 171 days since the Victory of Lanival the Redeemer.
perc moons
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Katamba is a first quarter moon and is not visible. Although you can not see it, you can sense it should rise in about 5 anlaen.
You are certain that Katamba is fifty-four degrees below the western horizon.
It is contributing a moderate amount of mana.

Xibar is a full moon and is not visible. Although you can not see it, you can sense it should rise in about 2 anlaen.
You are certain that Xibar is thirty-four degrees below the eastern horizon.
It is contributing a very strong amount of mana.

Yavash is a waxing crescent moon and is not visible. Although you can not see it, you can sense it should rise in about 5 anlaen.
You are certain that Yavash is forty degrees below the western horizon.<br
> It is contributing a moderate amount of mana.
Roundtime: 9 sec.
R>
R> perc

Xibar is dominant, while Katamba and Yavash's influences are weak.
Psychic Projection and Moonlight Manipulation spells are favored.
You sense that it's sunset.
Roundtime: 3 sec.
R>

From the darkness you hear a voice say, "Thank you for our discussion over the past few hours."
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From the darkness you hear a voice say, "Yes, I admit it was a great and insightful conversation. Although initially I felt threatened with the way you were staring at me intently. I almost drew my blade."
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From the darkness you hear a voice say, "I'm glad you decided to drink a few pints with me instead."
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From the darkness you hear a voice say, "Indeed, I learned that you are a moon mage, and you gaze at people and everything with an unsettling scrutiny."
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Aaoskar laughs!
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From the darkness you hear a voice ask, "But I have to ask, why have you brought me here, in this dark place?"
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From the darkness you hear a voice say, "Oh! Right."
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Aaoskar gets a small metal monkey holding half of a Trothfang fire pepper to its mouth from inside his magister's backpack.
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Aaoskar gets a wooden torch wrapped in resin-soaked cloth from inside his magister's backpack.
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Aaoskar points his metal monkey at a wooden torch wrapped in resin-soaked cloth and a flame shoots from the creature's mouth, making the torch quickly catch fire.
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Aaoskar says, "I brought you here because I want to show you something."
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Aaoskar taps a complex sigil.
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A column of smoke trails off Aaoskar's wooden torch.
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> Aaoskar asks, "Isn't it beautiful?"
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Aediac says, "I see that it glows red, very faintly. As if imbued with magic."
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Flames waver off of Aaoskar's wooden torch.
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Aaoskar says, "It is. It is also very old. I am certain it holds a magic kept secret for hundreds of years."
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Aediac asks, "That seems significant. Do you have any idea what secret the sigil holds?"
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Aaoskar says, "I do not know for certain, but I suspect it holds a secret we may use to fight the Arbiter in Darkenss."
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Aediac asks, "I am lost. How? Would you care to explain?"
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(Aaoskar pauses for a moment, furrows his brow, and glances at Aediac Ruahen.)
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Aaoskar slowly says, “That is …. difficult. But I will try.”
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Aaoskar paces back and forth.
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Aaoskar says, "To understand the significance of this sigil you must understand the history of the Seers."
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Aaoskar says, "Like many other moon mages, I learned the history of my guild through the stories handed down through generations. But in listening to the stories, I noticed gaps. Timelines didn't match up. The actions of central figures did not match their purported goals. At that time, I still trusted my mentors' assertions that the stories were true, but what I saw led me to question whether this was, indeed, the case. So I began to dig deeper. It became an obsession."
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Aaoskar says, "It would take years for me to explain everything I learned. Suffice it to say that in the past-centuries ago-members of my guild disguised the truth of their involvement in dark arts by telling stories woven with falsehoods. They knew that a lie told often enough becomes accepted as truth."
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Aaoskar shakes his head.
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A column of smoke trails off Aaoskar's wooden torch.
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Aediac asks, "Your guild's history is a lie?"
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Aaoskar chuckles.
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Aaoskar says, "Not entirely, no. Every story has a grain of truth. What happened was that the elder mages changed the narrative-shifted small details which diverted culpability and disguised the truth."
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Flames waver off of Aaoskar's wooden torch.
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Aaoskar says, "Centuries ago, this plane of existence came under attack from forces beyond. It became apparent to Seers that certain knowledge and unforgiveable magic was needed for the greater good of Elanthia, even though the use of such magic was forbidden."
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Aaoskar says, "They believed this knowledge and magic would prevent Shadows from beyond this plane from descending, enveloping, and consuming us all."
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Aaoskar says, "Although this magic was condemned in public, it was encouraged in private by Seers who foresaw a coming storm with great clarity."
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Aaoskar says, "Eventually, the greatest of all Seers unlocked the secrets that were so desperately sought and so desperately needed."
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Aaoskar says, "But all knowledge and understanding has a price. This great Seer had to sacrifice a portion of their connection to the Plane of Probability and a small piece of themselves. This caused the Seer to laugh at and mock their former self in a brave attempt to retain enough of their sanity to walk the treacherous path that no other at that time could walk. And worse still, the Seer had to sacrifice their last remnant of innocence and unsullied goodness within their heart."
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Aediac says, "What do you mean by this? I do not wish to make assumptions about your thoughts and intention. I want to know."
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Aaoskar smiles.
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A column of smoke trails off Aaoskar's wooden torch.
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Aaoskar says, "Yes, you are indeed wise. If only more people would behave as you do."
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Aaoskar says, "The Seer acquired immense knowledge and magic that would let her face creatures from the Plane of Shadows that she saw looming on the horizon. The great Seer was Tezirah. This is her sigil."
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Aediac says, "I know that name. She was a sorceress."
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Aediac asks, "What you have told me worries me, but I will not rush to judgment. Tell me, if this is the sigil of a sorceress, why does it need to be opened? Won't that invite calamity? Can you not use predictions of the future to prevent disaster?"
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Aaoskar says, "The gift of foresight allows Moon Mages to see what is to come. Sometimes we see good things on the horizon, but other times our vision is completely filled with images of death and destruction."
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Aaoskar quietly says, "We even see the deaths of the ones we care for the most."
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Aaoskar says, "Moon Mages do have some ability to tug at the Web of Fate to prevent portended evil and warn others of great catastrophes. Some believe this to describe in entirety the burden of being a Moon Mage. But such beliefs are naive and simple. The true burden of being a Moon Mage does not lie in manipulating fate to divert malevolence. No. The burden borne by Moon Mages is the knowledge that there are times when we must do nothing. There are times when fate requires us to allow evil to occur..."
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A column of smoke trails off Aaoskar's wooden torch.
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Aaoskar's features take on a look of resolve as he takes a deep breath and throws back his shoulders.
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Aediac asks, "Wait! I thought this was just a history lesson, but now I question your motive. And what does this have to do with the sigil?"
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Aaoskar nods.
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Aaoskar says, "It helps you to understand why I must do what I am about to do."
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Aaoskar gestures at Aediac.
Aediac collapses as if dead.
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Aaoskar says, "Sometimes we must choose to do evil with our own hands."
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Flames waver off of Aaoskar's wooden torch.
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Aaoskar smiles halfheartedly as he kneels beside Aediac. A tiny flash of red light glints off the surface of Aediac's pilgrim's badge as Aaoskar carefully places Aediac's hands on his chest. Aaoskar stands and gazes down at the unmoving body.
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Aaoskar says, "You see, Aediac, this plane of existence is under attack once again, threatening to unravel the Web of Fate. The Arbiter in Darkness and the Plane of Shadows have declared war. If we are to stop them, we will need to make use of their weakness. Creatures from the Plane of Shadows are weakened and harmed by Teleologic sorcery. Tezirah was the most powerful Sorceress of all time. It is my firm belief that the knowledge She possessed can be harnessed to defeat the Arbiter. But to be worthy of that knowledge we moon mages must be willing to make sacrifices."
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Fingers of flame flutter from Aaoskar's wooden torch.
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Aaoskar says, "Tezirah became unbound from a moral code-she sacrificed her innocence in order to harness the powers of sorcery that she and others of my guild used to beat back the Shadows. If Her knowledge is to be harnessed once more to save this plane, we must be willing to do the same."
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Aaoskar says, "You were right to be wary of my gaze. I was following the path of your life's thread as it wove through the Web of Fate. I was looking to see if you would remain innocent throughout your life. Innocence is what I saw. Left untouched, you would become a truly righteous man. You would lead men with honor. You would find the love of a good woman, raise a family, and die an old man. But I cannot allow that to be. I believe that in order to harness the power required to save this plane I must be willing to go to exactly the same extremes Tezirah did."
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Aaoskar says, "If I wish to unlock Her sigil and the power that almost certainly resides within it, I must be willing to be like her. I must be ruthless. The most ruthless thing I can imagine is severing the thread of an innocent. Unfortunately, you fit the bill."
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(Aaoskar sighs, resigned.)
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Fingers of flame flutter from Aaoskar's wooden torch.
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Aaoskar says, "It must be done. I wish there was another way."
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(Aaoskar nods to something in the shadows.)
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A column of smoke trails off Aaoskar's wooden torch.
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Aaoskar's wooden torch goes out and crumbles away.
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Brennarose comes out of hiding.
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Brennarose gets some holy oil from inside her multi-strapped carryall.
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Brennarose rubs some holy oil on Aediac.
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Brennarose grumbles ominously, "May Ushnish's ire not focus on me, nor on my family, that disease and famine may pass us by. May he spare our town from his wrath, lest lava flow and floods strike down."
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Brennarose removes a blackened steel ankle knife from her ankle.
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Brennarose peers at Aediac rather uncannily.
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Brennarose slices a haralun kythe at Aediac. The kythe lands an annihilating strike (Urrem'tier would be proud!) that cleaves off the top half of the skull, exposing the brain!

  • Aediac is slain before your eyes!

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Brennarose slips a haralun kythe in her black velvet garter, tightening the ribbons securely below her knee.
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Aaoskar gives Brennarose some coins.
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Brennarose nods to Aaoskar.
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Aaoskar says, "It is done."
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Lowering his head in reverence, Aaoskar sweeps his wool cloak aside and bends in a formal bow.