Crucibal Beyond

Malygos Onyxian's Prelude

-8th day in New Haven
Why the Seer Council felt I should read this passage is as of now, beyond me. Near 40 years have passed since this Teleamon Gurion
wrote his plea.
Eight days have passed since arriving in New Haven to seek a revelation to the visions that plague my thoughts and dreams. Though blessings to the council for not casting me away on sight. My ebon skin and sharp pupils is generally enough to warrant exile on suspicion of demonic heritage. They seem to believe I’m actually of a draconic lineage. Perhaps then, the seers might discover information from my shamanistic tribe’s origin, or possibly our broodmother – I have little to no knowledge nor memory of it’s beginnings.

-12th day in New Haven
The Seer Council have asked me to document and describe my visions over the past weeks – still mumbled and a bit cloudy, they are indeed becoming more vivid… This is what I have seen:
Surrounded by darkness and shadows, feelings of sorrow and despair upon me, the air filled with shrieks of pain and fear, stands a tall, twisted dead tree. The fruit of the tree are skulls and dismembered bodies, some still moaning and twitching. From far beyond the tree slowly walks a shadowed figure – chanting something I can’t understand. Stopping next to the tree, the chanting ceases. The ominous figure is garbed in tattered shrouds. Only darkness under it’s hood. From it’s waist hangs a chain with what appears to be a skull of metal at the end. He begins to speak, but I can hear only bits of what he says.
“Unhallowed are these lands… mumbled…haunted by the men…mumbled….
are ever watching…. mumbled …. cave in ty.. mumbled…. acidoph.. mumbled ….
pieces..mumbled..forge hell’s…mumbled .. might be the end. . . .”
I pray the council can make sense of this. I feel a drawing in my spirit. Not knowing where it might lead, I am compelled to follow.

-13th day in New Haven
After giving my testimonies to the Council, they have asked for samples of blood and hair to help aid them in their research and divinations. During the collection of these things one of them noticed my mark on my left arm. I was quite disturbed at his reaction of this finding. He dropped the tool in his hand, and a look of absolute fear and concern consumed his face. He began whispering to another in an unknown language.
“Have you seen this mark anywhere else before?” He asked me, as the other seer member swiftly left the room.
“I have”, I told him. “A small number of my kin have the exact birthmark as I.”
This seemed to not settle so well with the mage. Moments later the other seer returned with a robed half-elf with a large tome tethered to his hip. The half-elf flips through some pages in his book, stops and scrolls down the page with his finger and reads to himself. He looks at the mark on my arm, then back at his book and flips it around to show me.
A sketch of an iron skull, open-mouthed, with onyx inlaid eyes is shown in the book. Remarkably similar in size and shape to the mark on my arm.

-19th day in New Haven
Since their collections it’s been quiet around here. They’ve left me be most of the time, save for when they’ve brought me something to eat. I’ve felt almost like I were a prisoner. I’m guessing it was around 11 in the morning when they fetched me. I was lead into a magnificent chamber. Artful tapestries adorned the walls. Pillars, emblazoned with arcanic runes. At the center of the back wall hung a fifteen foot tall painting of a red-robed half-elf with fiery red hair. The image in the painting was in motion, the wind flowing through his hair, his chest swelling with his breath. Under the painting was a plaque cast in gold, large enough that I could read it from the other side of the room which read:
THRAXX
THE MAKER
Sitting below the painting in a crescent form, was the Seer Council. One of them called for me to stand before them. I felt like I was going before a judge to hear my punishment.
“For seven days we researched your origins, Malygos Onyxian. From delving into old tomes of history, performing arcane divinations, to exploring your forgotten memories. What we found has been…. disturbing, to say the least. Yet, quite conclusive. You do indeed have the blood of dragons in your veins… black dragons. Your mother was a half-dragon, the other half, human. Her name was Rowena, she resided in Tyrus as a priest of a long forgotten god before she died. You and your kin hatched, from eggs that were placed far below the city. Through some divine means the eggs were placed in a sort of stasis untill not long ago. Though, this isn’t the most disturbing part of our findings.” The Seer tilts his head back slightly, he gains the look of concern and untrust as he takes a breath and continues. “Your father… was an elf. His name…” He closes his eyes and whispers something to himself like a quick prayer. “His name was Skylurk Fei.” I could hear the mage swallow in his obvious discomfort. “He resided in the unholy Typhon Swamp in a great temple devoted to the dark. He too was a priest of the same fallen god as your mother. Except he was the High Priest of that god. A most potent being he was. The High Priest of the god of death. You see, Skylurk was ironically, a hero to this world. He was a member of the five Heroes of New Crucibal. The painting behind us, of ‘The Maker’, Thraxx, god of the arcane, was one of his companions. All of the heroes ascended, and became deities to this world after the gods of that time were erased in time by a higher power. That birthmark on your arm is very similar to the unholy symbol representing Skylurk. But today the Darkness shrouds Crucibal, keeping his and the other gods’ influence from us. So tell us Malygos, what do you intend to do with this newly discovered geneology?”
The mages’ eyes pierce my very soul, as if looking for the answer themselves.
“I think a plan for me has already been decided”, I respond.
“It seems the seeds of the gods are germinating. We’re not sure whether to take your sudden presence as a sign of more promising days, or as a grim omen of darker times. Let us hope it isn’t the latter… One thing though is certain. Skylurk is waiting for his revenge.”

-26th day in New Haven
Malygos Onyxian of his own tribe entered the chambers of Jandria Astrakhal of the Cassandran Disciples in a second-story townhouse in New Haven near the Temple of Cassandra.
“We understand you are low on funds, Malygos.” she said, “So our chapter of the Disciples have decided to have you earn your keep while here in Thraxx-Arkana.”
“I understand, milady.” The half-elf replied.
“Up north, in the mountains, a few weeks ago, a strange race has appeared. They live on islands in the sky. At first, we thought these to be colonies of the Stratonimbus Kingdom, but we have seen no emissaries or giants in the region. We are concerned. I am sending you along with a contingent of dwimmerlaiks to the region. Enkidor the lammasu will be be at the rendezvous point near Wyvern Falls. There he can ferry you to the sky-islands. I hope your mission remains a peaceful one.”
She placed a small chest before Malygos. “Here is three-thousand gold pieces. Outfit yourself well.”
“Thank you, Lady Astrakhal. I shall return as soon as I am able with a complete report.”
Jandria smiled, “I know you will.”
As Malygos left her presence, Jandria cast the crystals that were in her hand the whole time upon a vellum sheet with diagrams drawn in silver and gold on it. She considered and studied the mess of crystals and regarded where they landed. She opened her window shutters and stared at Malygos below making his way to the outfitters.
“Your destiny awaits you… I’ve supplied the wealth, now you supply the hope, scion of death.”

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Tempest's Prelude

Drip. drip. drip. Must have been another stormy night last night. My ceiling always leaks when there is a big storm. In fact I can’t remember a night when it didn’t storm in some way or another, for all of my life has been in the shadow of a storm. I can remember when I was eleven and for a brief moment there was a time when I thought I saw sun light, things people talked about from books that I couldn’t read. It was the night I was separated from my parents. I remember the night clearly: A huge storm was rolling in and when it hit the farm, so did they. Although I only got a brief look at one for a moment as lightning lit up his face, I knew I would never forget what a devil looked like. My mother yelled for me to run and run I did, I ran and ran until I started falling, it felt like I was being tossed over a waterfall. Cold and wet I landed on what could only be described as a storm cloud, dark grey and pungent with the smell of dirty water. At that very moment in the middle of a raging storm I saw it, it looked like a firefly but almost too bright to look at. A tiny light floated just before me. I lay there still and motionless hearing only the beating of my heart and falling water. Even though I was sure I was laying in the heart of the storm I had never been so warm in my life. The light never left my side, it just sat there equally as still. Finally, I mustered up the courage to reach out and touch it. Instantly exploding into a light show of mesmerizing brilliance, time came to a stop. I stood up and picked a raindrop from the air.
“Amazing, is it not?” a powerful voice announced from behind me, frightfully loud and beautiful simultaneously, like a lion, deep and crystal clear. I turned around slowly confronted once again by the light, this time in the form of a human. Unlike the devil I had seen earlier, this time the light was so bright I was prevented from seeing it.
“What kind of trick is this?” I remember thinking to myself and then came an answer…
“This is no trick!” again the thunderously loud voice spoke. “My name is Palaeluc and I need your help.”
He spent what seemed like hours explaining how I died and our two fates had crossed paths at the barrier that prevents life from leaving and gods from interfering with Sejanna. He told me how he had come to my world to seek justice for the death of his young brother Luce and how a hasty error had cost him his own life as well and at this very moment there was a chance for hope. Now both of us had been born to a new fate. He offered his life force to me and in doing so asked that I do one task:

“You must kill ……”

As Palaeluc began to speak he was cut off by a bright flash instantly followed by a tremendously loud boom. Slowly the rain began to fall again as did I and the light, who was now transforming back into a small light.
“Who had he named?” I thought. I could not make out the name spilling from his lips, nor could I hear the death warrant he delivered aloud. Fearing I might not get a chance to think on this more, I yelled out, “I ACCEPT!”

When I woke from what I thought surely was a dream I found myself lying face down in the dirt covered in foliage. Standing up I took notice of my surroundings. Instantly I knew I was standing in our farm house. I had also grown several years. I spent the next couple years trying to manage the farm but I couldn’t manage. I moved on to Desiderata where I started to find myself wanting to fight. Always confronting wrong and finding myself confronted two to one, three to one or even five to one, but every time I managed to fight my way to the top. Whenever I was in the heat of combat, this song played in my mind. It was so beautiful and moving it was like food for my soul. I moved south: Down the edge of the Wyrmlands with a desert to my left and vegetation to my right. I made the easy decision to go west toward Andrist.
Again, I would find myself in a fight I surely thought would end my life hearing the music louder now, a silent melody in my mind playing to the beat of my fist.
And true to my inner song, a band of slavers made their way over the eastern dunes. Their camels overtook me and they clapped me in irons. Five to one I could probably have escaped, but ten to one? Not likely. I didn’t put up much of a resistance. I would bide my time. The way I bided my time in the gladiator pens.
“He’s an escapee!” One of the slavers remarked as he pulled up my shirt and saw my gladiator’s brand.
“Ah! Someone will pay a pretty for his return, I think.” Another one chimed in, probably their leader. “Put him in the chain gang with the others. We’ll make our way to Terminus and make our profit there.”
And that is where I currently find myself. Walking with just enough water. Just enough food. Awaiting the perfect moment for my liberation….

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The Journal of Teleamon Gurion III

The following excerpt was found in the Thraxx-Arkana Archives….

“The Dark is upon us. What a luckless world we are. It seems our history is comprised of long stretches of misery and despair interspersed with momentary periods of heroic glory and peace.
I pen this journal on Presipar 12th, 2440 AT, according to the Old Calendar; 296 of The Dark.
The Prince of the Undead, Orcus, may his name be forgotten in time, rules the southwestern portion of Sejanna while another Demon Prince, the Faceless Lord, Juiblex, may his name be forgotten forever, rules the Edgeriven peninsula and further northeast into the Gruul mountains. Argos, once a grand metropolis is now a parody of its former glory. Infested with zombies and wraiths, guarded by demons and other vile entities, Argos is held in proxy by his lieutenant, Drastik the Pestilent. His rule is terrible and swift to those whom he disdains.
The gods have abandoned us for centuries. Long ago, when the Sejannese Circle were active in these parts, when the great heroes Merik, Tima, Luce and Aerlin discovered the plot of Juiblex and slew his son, Aristobulus the Balor; but too late, for Aristobulus had already called up the Dark Firmament which barred access to the gods from their worshippers. That was the beginning of The Dark and it has not abated. The Sejannese Circle stole the Wand of Orcus from the Balor who had stolen it from Orcus himself, as well as the very Aegis of Zeus, a fallen god of ancient days.
But neither of these artifacts could aid our heroes as they had ultimately failed. In an inn known as ‘The Wandering Fool’, they made their last stand against the forces of darkness and were brought down by it at the very last.
Now New Crucibal has changed.
The south and west are infested by the undead armies of Orcus, the demon oozes of Juiblex and their minions.
Lor Pando holds them off in the northwest from the dwarf-hold of Silverhome (formerly Lor Susshro).
The arcanists of the world have holed up in the Vale. Beyond the Old Sentinels’ Gate they have set up a magocracy called Thraxx-Arkana ruling from the capital city of New Haven. The Isle of Evermist, ruled by the city of Oracle, was sunk into the Thalassic Sea long ago during the Second Rebuilding by Thraxx Nasrath while he yet was mortal and walked the lands of Crucibal.
The halfling shires of San Simeon were quickly conquered by Orcus’ forces and the resident populations enslaved. But it is prophesied that their god, Simon the Savior tricked The Dark into letting him pass and he put himself into a bastard sword called Justifier who will claim vengeance for the halflings one day.
The Ivrian Kingdom, or what remains of it, spends every last penny defending itself against the endless hordes of undead that threaten its southern borders.
Lor Pando became independent of Ivria less than a century ago but it helps Ivria as far as it can, for it too is under threat.
In Central Sejanna, the ancient pacts that New Iparia had with the sacred dragons of Draconis Prime have been broken. While the metallic dragons have remained faithful to New Iparia, the chromatics have allied with the Tyrus Empire to the north. Over the badlands of Draconis Prime, now called The Wyrmlands, dragon riders of New Iparia clash with Tyrus in the dusty skies.
The Radiant Forest to the south is a battleground. The radiant elves fight against the demonic and undead hordes that have already taken the western half of their forest.
Far to the east, the Blood Coast remains what it always was, a haven for cutthroats, malcontents and pirates. It has become a central location for the hiring of mercenaries in the employ of Ivria, Pandoria, the Radiant Forest, and the Deathlands of Orcus and Proteus, the lands of Juiblex.
Such is the state of affairs in Sejanna as of this writing. I pray, knowing the gods cannot hear it, for some heroes to drive away these demons and their foul undead contagion but fear the end may come before that day arrives.

Your Servant,
Teleamon Gurion III
Wizard of Warwick
Thraxx-Arkana 2440 AT 296 The Dark

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