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Library: The Rise of Magic, The first of the Lost Times tales.

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Author: Yari
Date:Nov 2 1995


   Memories, when they come to me, are normally without reference, 
They seem as though they may have been yesterday, may have been a 
millenia ago.  Nothing is more unpleasant than that sort of 
disorientation.  Not that there are not other unpleasant aspects of 
my existence, but that is certainly the worst.  There are, of 
course, moments of extreme lucidity, and it is only that I am 
currently in one of those increasingly rare times that I am able to 
relate this to you.  
   It began when I was a man...a man, it seems so far removed from 
me now that I sometimes doubt even my most clear memories of 
humanity.  I was powerful, indeed, the finest mage that ever was to 
live, I fashioned myself.  I invented the study of magic as it is 
now known... it is this history that I shall relate now.  I am 
ahead of myself, ordinal relations matter little to me, I have been 
too far away from it to remember... I shall begin again.
   I spent my early days as a lone mage, plying my magic in new 
ways that the strict Order would not allow.  Of course, I had 
attended their schools, sucked them dry of the information they 
made so readily available, but I quickly learned that their ways 
were the ways of control, of limits.  I knew that if you only 
unleashed the magic that it would grow, expand to levels that the 
cowards were afraid to attempt.  Aradhiel and the fools of the 
order would squander their collective might(such as it was, pah!) 
by assisting the common folk, those less gifted.  I watched as the 
order was besieged by these very folk with endless minor tasks, it 
is no wonder they did not outlast me, but their downfall is not my 
message here.
   Rather than involving myself in inane detailed studies of how to 
move heavy objects and how to enhance the senses(These were such 
simple tasks, I could scarcely imagine the lives of those who chose 
to make this a profession!), I took my magic to the realm of 
combat.  I realized that if the forces used to move a great stone 
were focused, directed in new, powerful ways, that they could be 
used to deflect blows, or to lessen their force.
   Working in secrecy while still under the pretense of being a 
student at the Order,(This was remarkably easy.  The members of the 
Order were extremely complacent about defense, they believed that 
there simply were no threats to be concerned with.) I began at once 
to experiment with various methods of making the forces bend to my 
will, to closely mimic the properties of conventional material 
armours.  
   I discovered a somewhat useful side effect of this study.  I 
noticed a strange sensation while attempting to sit down as one of 
these shielding spells was in effect.  For a moment, I almost felt 
as though I would float above the seat.  Levitation never appealed 
to me as a useful means to win a battle, but I experimented with it

nonetheless.(Curious to me is that my levitation work was never 
really embraced by those whose hands it would later fall into.  
Indeed, to this day, the only levitation spell I devised that the 
modern study of magic includes is what you call "water walking", a 
simple minor elevation spell.  The rest have been lost to all but 
me, and I suppose I am in no condition to teach the art to anyone.)
   Once I had taken this shielding magic to the extent of my 
powers(indeed to the extent of ANY powers, for I was the only one 
with the knowledge, the vision, to make this happen...) I began to 
experiment with ways to utterly stop the blows from landing.  No 
longer did I limit myself to simply physically stopping them, I 
began to try to purposefully confuse the attacker, so that the 
blows would not even land in the first place!
  I began with a crude method, bringing forth a burst of light so 
intense as to temporarily blind anyone who looked directly at it.  
Crude, but effective.  I noticed that certain colors would blind my 
familiars for longer periods, so I began to experiment with this.  
I varied the intensity, time, and color of bursts, sending 
phantasmal spheres of light to dance around the attacker's 
head...it disorients and makes the target miss outright.  Then, I 
began even more ingenious ways of confusing the foe...  Spells that 
literally scrambled my image, by bending the light, so that I 
appeared to shimmer, or blur...spells that would confuse the mind 
of an attacker... and my crowning achievement in this area, a spell 
that would make many images of myself, so perfect that a foe would 
attack them, thinking that they were real! 
   I conducted my experiments on animal subjects, in complete 
isolation and secrecy, over the course of nearly half a century.  
Perhaps it could have been completed more quickly, but unescapable 
material needs absorbed much of my effort.  By this time, I had 
managed to accumulate wealth enough to purchase a small estate, a 
tower on a hillside.
  The day came when I decided to test my new protective spells on a 
human subject.  I journeyed quite far, to a distant town.  In this 
town, I found a drinking establishment, a charming place, I forget 
the name, something about a flaming bat or some other nonsense.  I 
actually had not planned for the test to occur in such a crowded 
place, but I ought have known, a tavern, a place where intoxicated 
warriors frequently pick fights with outsiders, but in my haste and 
relative youth, I suppose I overlooked these things.
   A paladin was there, one of the old breeds, before the ascention 
of Faerwon, and he was the first to notice me.  I could feel his 
stare, and nearly lost my nerve immediately.  I suppose that his 
holy nature perhaps saw something in me that I had not even yet 
recognized, but he was instantly aware of me.  Eventually, he 
approached.  Exactly what he said, I do not recall, it really does 
not matter, in the end.  He was a warrior and he would do nicely.  
I acted intentionally suspicious, disrespectful(you know how 
paladins are about manners, petty fools), practically begging for 
him to fight me.  When he eventually committed to a fight, I used 
every defensive method I had ever devised to protect myself.
   As I had anticipated, his attacks were ineffective.  Stumbling 
about, he missed most hits entirely.  Blows that did actually hit 
home would dissolve false images of myself.  A few times, he was 
lucky enough to select the correct target to attack, but he would 
either miss me altogether, or his blade would be turned aside at 
the last moment, and whistle harmlessly past.  While he was 
attempting to kill me, I pummelled him to death by throwing objects 
at him with my magic.  Perhaps not so elegant, but successful.
  I had my first real victory, and made a hasty retreat before the 
rest of the stunned patronage could recover and perhaps attempt to 
stop me.  Using my remaining energies, I teleported myself 
home.(Another one of my inventions, teleportation...surprisingly, 
it's not as difficult as one might think, simply a matter of 
concentration and a combination of both magical motion powers and 
the altering capabilities of sense enhancement)  Looking back at 
this, my first outright fight using my new magic, it is laughable.  
   I had picked a fight with a drunk paladin, who in all likelihood 
could barely see straight regardless of my clever defenses.  At the 
time, I viewed this as a great victory, one that signified my 
superiority over physical warfare.  After more testing of my 
abilities, all of which met with complete success against both 
human and non-human foes, I felt myself to be more than a match for 
any physical threat.
   I hatched a plan that would bring me wealth and fame.  From my 
citadel, I would become a king through my magic.  I had the ability 
to best the strongest warriors, I had no match in magic the world 
over, I felt ready to begin my own empire.  I began by making a 
protective force, a Royal Guard, as I called it.  I used my magic 
to put creatures in thrall, an idea I hit upon while slaying a bear 
in the course of my experimentation.  When I cast my confusing 
lights spell,(which I had begun to call fairy fire, not like modern 
fairy fire, for which I had a different name) the bear seemed 
transfixed for a moment.  By altering the patterns of light 
discharge, I developed a method with which to transfix these 
creatures on a more permanent basis.  Indeed, I achieved the 
ability to alter a creature's behavior simply by force of will, 
with these patterns.  I learned that certain patterns seemed to 
cause pain in their senses, while others seemed to soothe them.
   Using these abilities, I tamed the most savage beasts.  Bears, 
wild cats, even some of the lesser species of Wyrms I was able to 
bend to my will.  I placed them around myself, throughout my tower, 
as my personal guard.  If I had not already firmly believed in my

invincibility, I certainly did so now.
   I began to offer protection to the local population.  I started 
quietly, convincing individual families with displays of my power, 
frequently appearing while levitating(it was here that I found some 
utility in my studies of levitation), perhaps with a bear or, when 
I felt particularly well rested, with one of the ill-tempered 
Wyrms.  Gaining influence was, in the main, simple, these folk had, 
of course, never seen such magics.  The only people who had ever 
witnessed my "original" powers were either dead or, in the case of 
that bar incident, intoxicated.
   This influence was not always gained so simply.  A small commune 
of farmers resisted my attempts to impress upon them the necessity 
of my protection.  I had two options, as I perceived things.  I 
could eliminate these farmers, indeed, my Royal Guards could have 
easily overwhelmed them, or I could make them wish to join me.  
Independence was not an option, and I did not yet wish to use 
violence as a means to force submission.
   This in mind, I devised a clever set of illusions, to imitate a 
horde of Will O' Wisps encroaching upon their lands.  When I next 
happened to travel by, the farmers asked me to rid them of the 
invading Wisps.  I vowed to return and drive them out.  The cowards 
hid in their barn as I fought the "monsters"... a pity about the 
three houses that the Wisps managed to burn before I could destroy 
them, is it not?  Needless to say, these Wisps never bothered these 
good people again, and they were among my most loyal followers... 
and eventually, the cause of my downfall.
   This commune quickly grew into a small town, largely through the 
efforts of these farmers.  Belig, their leader, took it upon 
himself to spread the word about me, using my name as a symbol of 
order in a time where order was scarce, to say the least.  "Come to 
live in our town, the great Arcanarton would not let anything 
befall his loyal followers," he would say, to just about anyone who 
passed.  Like a fool, I encouraged this, I revelled in my growing 
fame, and did not fully anticipate its ramifications.  
   Over the next year, my domain became more and more self-
sufficient.  My subjects demanded a large portion of my time, they 
wanted the assistance I had promised.  I decided that it would be 
wise at this early stage to oblige their wishes.  To facilitate 
this, and to eventually allow myself the time to continue my 
combat-related disciplines(A task that was to be delayed, as you 
are about to see), I turned my attention to the realm of 
teleportation.
   Travel took most of my time when assisting my subjects, so I 
believed that by making teleportation a fine art, I could save much 
time and effort.  I began to investigate ways of instantly 
relocating to an individual, ways to instantly transport to 
specific places that I was particularly familiar with, ways to 
instantly bring any individual I wished to me.  This was all quite 
simply accomplished, the art of teleportation, as I have mentioned, 
is closely related to the art of telekenesis, it merely required a 
mind like mine to conceive these new applications.  
   Similarly, these teleportation skills translate easily into 
clairvoyant applications.  I learned how to investigate my 
immediate surroundings without actually travelling, ways of seeing 
through the eyes of and hearing through the ears of distant persons 
without ever journeying further than the borders of my mental 
powers.  I started to use this last ability to keep watch on my 
followers, to make sure none of the "loyal" had any ulterior 
motives.
   This power was what first alerted me to the conspiracy to 
overthrow me.  Roughly three years after the town(which was now 
being referred to as "Thessalon") had been established, those loyal 
fools of mine, through their great advertisement effort, had 
attracted the attention of a Warlord in some distant land.  Spies 
were attempting to infiltrate my domain, conducting subtle 
investigations into the nature of my powers.  I began my 
preparations.  I ensorcelled more Royal Guards, my compound was now 
quite literally crawling with them.  With my ability to control 
them, to coordinate their efforts, they would be virtually 
impossible to defeat.  I even took it upon myself to master the 
largest Wyrm I had yet tried to impose myself upon, with resounding

success.(This Wyrm, I learned, was sentient.  He saw me as a great 
power, and we became allies.  To this day, the Wyrm lives, I have 
myself felt his presence on several occasions, which is as close to 
actually seeing him as I am able now.)
   Confident that my defenses could stop any attempted attack, I 
used my farsight to observe, and waited for the assault to come.  
It took quite some time to commence, apparently this Warlord had 
not been so near to mobilization as I had thought, but commence it 
did.
   Rumors of a band of warriors encamped to the west began to 
circulate through the town.  Finding them was a simple matter, and 
I used my farsight to observe their actions.  Choosing individuals 
from which to observe on whim, I began to get a fairly detailed 
estimation of their might.  Strong they were, yes, but with my 
guidance, I felt my Guard could repel them...until I saw Him.
   A...being... clearly, not human, and like nothing else I had 
ever seen.  Androgynous and beautiful, perfect.  A warrior, somehow 
the fighters around him did not seem to notice his nature, perhaps 
it was an aspect of my farsight that I could see so clearly, but 
this was obviously not a normal man.  I resolved at once to summon 
this person, to divine his nature, his threat to me.  The warriors 
were at least two hours away, I was confident that with my 
preparations, I could be done with this person and deal with the 
warriors within that time.
   I willed him to come to me...the strangest sensation came over 
me...the magic, something was wrong...the sublime being looked 
straight into the soldier's eyes... my eyes... somehow he knew of 
my presence!  The link severed, I was no longer aware of the 
farsight.   My vision began to darken...no, a dark patch appeared 
in the air!  The darkness began to solidify...into the most hideous 
being I had ever seen!  A demon!  Horns and teeth and eyes, cruel 
eyes, it was absolutely terrifying to behold.  For a brief moment 
we stared at each other in shock, the demon's gaze quickly turned 
to a baleful glare, and it leapt toward me!  Out of sheer reflex, I 
called down the magic to make my images, this demon set about 
attacking the false Arcanartons, at a rate that I could scarcely 
believe!  I needed to act quickly, and used all my mental ability 
to throw spiked objects at the beast, even jumping forward to cut a 
wound with my dagger!  The demon howled in rage...the last of my 
images fell.  Breathing raggedly, the fiend leapt at me, slashing 
at my extremeties with unbelieveably strong talons.  The pain 
exploded in my head, but I managed to bring my dagger around in a 
deadly arc, and deal the fatal blow.  Dagger sticking out of its 
neck, the beast collapsed.
   My wounds were deep and many.  After a time, I limped to a 
washbasin and began to dress them.  After most of the bleeding had 
been staunched, I went back and examined the corpse.  Such a beast!  
A pure killing machine, its skin the color of coal, it occurred to 
me that it was a wonder that I still breathed.  All of this because 
of that thing...  The warriors!
   I reestablished the link with the last soldier I had viewed, he 
was in formation with the warriors, and I could see the tower 
looming on the hill!  How could they be so close?  I realized that 
this battle with the demon and my subsequent recovery had taken 
much more time than I realized, it was likely that I had gone 
unconscious for a time.  The warriors were upon me, and I was 
drained.  Dare I attempt such a battle in my wounded state?  There 
was little chance that I would be able to control all of my Royal 
Guard in my condition, without my guidance, they would be cut to 
ribbons!  My mind raced.  There was no recourse, it was time to 
escape.  I collected my most valuable items, mentally regenerative 
items that I had created, and what few magical tomes I could carry.  
With one final glance around I used one of my teleportation spells 
to escape.


   My defeat.  I would not have believed it, except that it had 
happened.  All of my plans, defeated by that...thing.  What was it?  
So perfect, it could not have been human.  In my retreat, a cave 
that I had prepared for this very reason(I did not believe that I 
could be defeated, but it would not do to be defeated without 
having contingency plans for such an event) I spent several hours 
in a state of total disbelief, nearly paralyzed with my rage.  In 
time, I focused my anger into more useful form of energy, study.  I 
must learn from this defeat, so that the next time, I would not 
fail!
   I determined to catch another glimpse of this mysterious being.  
I opened my link with my unknowing spy, to attempt to find him.  My 
warrior, much to my glee, was occupied in helping a fellow warrior 
out of the pitfall trap that I had set in the entry of my tower.  
Amusing, but not useful for my purposes.  I glimpsed another 
warrior who was beginning to climb the stairs, and opened a link 
with him... I watched through many in this manner, saw them 
collecting and logging my possessions, the end result of so many 
years of my work.  They, who had no idea what it was they had 
gained...my library, my magical breakthroughs so carefully 
transcribed, the various wands and other magical items I had 
left...my Royal Guard(all of which had been slaughtered, it 
seemed).  Many hours I searched, but was not to ever glimpse my 
objective.
   If I could not find the being, I would instead analyze the 
events that had led to my current situation, and increase my 
magical prowess in the areas where I found it to be lacking.  This 
process actually began as something of an accident.  I must admit, 
I was at somewhat of a loss as to in which direction to continue my 
studies.  Luckily(and this may appear to be strange luck to you), 
my wounds from the demon became infected.  My body was dying, I 
felt pain in ways that I had never known.  Perhaps I made a 
decision to do this, perhaps it was delerium, but I somehow made 
the patterns of light that had soothed the Royal Guard so often.  
   To my surprise, I actually felt stronger!  Curse my use of 
animals, I should have used human subjects, I had never thought to 
impose the patterns upon a human mind!  Boldened, I attempted it 
again.  Again, I felt almost instantly stronger!  How is this 
possible?  I began to wonder what the negative patterns would do to 
me.  Foolishly, I tried it.(I always had found the discordant 
patterns to be more effective than the ones that soothed, and had 
over the years made a few members of the Royal Guard actually go 
unconscious)  I immediately felt the most excrutiating pain, and 
nearly passed out.  Fortunately, I did not kill myself.  Quickly, I 
created soothing patterns over and over until I became, as far as I 
could tell, perfectly healthy!
   This was quite a development.  I had stumbled across two 
distinct concepts that I had never considered before.  One, I found 
that I could heal myself through magic alone, a very serious 
theoretical advance, indeed.  Secondly, and, perhaps far more 
importantly, I realized that magic itself can _cause_ wounds.  
Until now, I had used magic only to cause physical damage,(indeed, 
when I began actually constructing spiked, bladed, and poisoned 
items whose purpose it was to be thrown through magic, I had 
thought that in itself to be revolutionary) never had I considered 
that it could be ordered in such a way as to do harm.  
   By now it had been a week since my defeat.  I reluctantly put 
aside my eager desire to study these new concepts, for I knew that 
I must investigate the result of the invasion.  Looking through the 
eyes of my followers, I saw that Thessalon had been overrun by 
these warriors, everywhere I looked, they were being welcomed as 
friends, not as oppressive rulers.  Perhaps this new band did not 
require tithes like I had, perhaps it was for other reasons, but I 
could tell that I was not to be overly missed as a ruler.  The 
tower...it was in ruins.  Apparently, from the talk of the 
townsfolk, I had been killed in the fight, and the tower had burned 
in the process.  This was actually good news, it meant that I could 
continue my studies without interruption.  And, as they say, a dead 
man has few enemies, and fewer responsibilities, yes?
   I prepared a new laboratory in this cave, and fully explored my 
subterranean surroundings.  I had to exterminate a bat colony, and 
a few small mammals had to be removed, but after these simple 
matters, I was the sole inhabitant of the caverns.  Perfect 
arrangement, a cavern in the middle of a hostile jungle, I was 
confident that I would not be found.
   I began by testing my new healing and harming skills on animals 
that I had snared.  I found that a simple discordant pattern was 
enough to kill a rabbit immediately!  This was more powerful that I 
had imagined, and over the course of the next year, through animal 
testing, I learned to intensify the patterns, to make them even 
more destructive.  Approximately ten discordant patterns were 
needed to slay a wildcat, this could be done more easily with 
hurling spells, and the spiked objects I had devised.  At the same 
time, I learned how to make fairly effective healing patterns, but 
it was more difficult to discern which patterns were best in this 
area than it was to see which were more painful.
   I resolved to acquire a human test subject.  I selected one of 
my former subjects and began to use my farsight to find a victim.  
I saw a vagrant(when I was their ruler, there were no vagrants) and 
began to see through him.  He was alone in the town, and it was a 
simple matter to summon him to me when he was away from the crowds.  
He blinked into existence, and I immediately set a dizzying pattern 
on him, and locked him into shackles attached to the wall.
   Once the patterns had worn off, he went through the standard

routine...demanding to know why I had taken him, demanding to know 
HOW I had taken him, then, when greeted by my most minor discordant 
pattern, he stopped his questions.  Grimacing in pain, he glared at 
me.  I healed him three times, he seemed to be in perfect shape.  
Curious, one minor discordant pattern was enough to require three 
of my healing patterns.  I asked him if he would cooperate, told 
him I would not kill him if he would only tell me how each of the 
spells affected him.  He said nothing, but curled his lip and 
muttered "Arcanarton".
   Ahh, he knew me, I could no longer allow him to live.  I decided 
that he would never cooperate, and therefore was of no use to me, 
and killed him with spells.  It took several, in fact it took nine, 
and his screams were loud enough to wake the dead.  A healthy adult 
man, nine spells.  I wrote this in my logs.
   Over the next few months, I stole one or two individuals to use 
in this manner.  Never did they cooperate, but I did eventually 
have a fairly good idea of how many of each types of discordia it 
would take to kill most individuals.(It is strange how plagues come 
and go like that, is it not?  Corpses, no visible marks, must have 
been a plague, yes?)
   Eleven spells was roughly average for an adult male, more for 
highly trained warriors, less for academic types.  This was 
interesting, but it was a bit too time consuming for my tastes.  A 
human warrior might well dissolve all of my mirror images before I 
could direct eleven(or more) spells at him or her.  I had exhausted 
this line of power, I was afraid, discordant patterns could only do 
so much in terms of raw damage.  Perhaps there was some reason why 
the patterns did not put warriors in as much agony as others?
   I knew from personal experience that my discordant patterns put 
me in the worst agony I had ever experienced, yet some warriors 
merely winced.  Since it took nearly so many to kill a wildcat as 
it did a man, while a wildcat is physically no match for a human, I 
reasoned that this was not a simple matter of training and physical 
toughness, but must be related to the mental capacity of the 
individual.  This would explain why academic individuals screamed 
in agony with spells that would cause a small grunt in warriors.  
Indeed, this was an interesting development.
   Since academic types were not what I perceived as a threat, but 
warriors certainly were, I all but deserted my research into 
pattern-based magic, and instead turned to more basic powers.  I 
realized that I had been searching in the wrong direction, that I 
had been guilty of that for which I had despised the Order.  My 
patterns had been in the manner of the close control of magic, 
strict ordering of patterns was limiting me, limiting the amount of 
power I could channel into harming an individual.  Perhaps total 
disorder would bring about better results?
   I tested my new destructive energies, a simple reworking of my 
protective spells and a total relinquishing of the patterns that 
would normally be formed, to make a force erupt inside a target, 
totally chaotic in nature.  In my haste, I tested this on the first 
object I found, my favorite dagger.  The weapon was utterly 
destroyed, disappearing in a puff of bluish smoke.  This was such a 
feat that I almost did not mind the fact that I had foolishly 
destroyed this weapon.  Almost.
   I was amazed at the simplicity with which this magic was 
enacted.  All these years, if I had been slightly careless in the 
way I had begun my protective field spells, I might have 
accidentally destroyed an object...or perhaps myself!  A 
person...what would this do to a person?  I decided to be more 
cautious this time, not rush to find a human test subject, and 
systematically test this.
   All inanimate obejcts, I found, are more or less easily 
destroyed.  Living objects, they are a slightly different matter.  
I found that in general, the more advanced the life form, the more 
difficult it is to override the body's ability to prevent such 
destruction.  Small creatures were almost always instantly 
disintegrated, while larger creatures, wildcats(and eventually 
humans, as I was to learn) sometimes took several attempts, if it 
could be done at all.  Unfortunately, this was a bit more than I 
had wanted.  If one disintegrated a person, it was impossible to 
keep that person's possessions from being destroyed as well.  This 
was useful to deal a decisive blow to minor foes, but was not 
particularly useful against serious threats.
   Perhaps a slightly more directed form of that raw eruption was 
in order.  I formed the energy into a shape, and used that to 
attack an object.(Curiously, when I did this, I noticed a small 
shimmer in the air where I summoned the force.)  This I sent 
forward at a rock.  The rock, as I suspected, was not destroyed, in 
fact, it was only moved slightly and heated a bit.(This heating was 
quite important, although it took me a while to recognize its 
importance)  I began with animal testing, after realizing that this 
sort of magic had little effect when it came to inanimate objects.  
I found that this new "missile" magic was more powerful than even 
the worst discordia!  Not only that but it was simple, very simple 
to enact!  In light of my work in protection spells, which is 
essentially a different sort of focusing, I ought have realized 
that this could be possible, but invention cannot be rushed, I 
suppose.  I knew now that I needed to test it on humans.
   I spent the next year or so refining this magic.  I found that 
the psychological impact was almost as devastating as was the 
actual spell, for when a human saw the shimmer moving toward it's 
body, it always caused great terror...I enhanced this with a small 
light pattern, making it appear as if a glowing arrow was moving at 
the target.  I enhanced this direction of my studies to the point 
where two, perhaps three such spells could kill a normal man.  
Unheard of power, I had not hoped that I could achieve such deadly 
results.
   After a time, I determined that I was no longer making 
significant advances in this area, and again was at an apparent 
magical dead end.  I was not overly disappointed, though, for I had 
decided that I did not require more offensive capability, and as 
for my defensive capability, I had never been stronger.  
   It was time again to build a power base, but Thessalon had 
evolved too far to be easily brought under my sway.  Perhaps the 
local populace in this jungle would be suitable, but I needed first 
to create a new Guard.  Normal animals, I decided, would not 
suffice.  Again, I decided to subdue Wyrms, but that would be the 
only type of creature that I would have in my new Guard.  With my 
enhanced knowledge of offensive spells it was far simpler to tame 
them than it had been in the past, and after a time, I had several 
lesser drakes under my sway.
   Curiously, as I was bringing Wyrms into my fold, I observed that 
of the more recalcitrant ones, the ones I was forced to slay, some 
seemed to resist my magical attacks.  Something in them was 
naturally resistant.  In these cases, I had to either escape, or 
quickly cause discordia to dispatch the beasts.
   Since the discordia could kill these beasts, while my arrows 
could not, I reasoned that it was not that the beasts were any 
stronger, or that they could not be harmed by magic, but more that 
it was the manner in which the damage was caused that determined 
what spells would work on individual beasts.  This led to my study 
of damage types.  I found that by changing the nature of the forces 
involved to closely simulate the various elemental and naturally 
harmful forces of the world, that I could indeed kill these 
resistant beasts by simply rearranging the magical structure.  It 
is actually the same spell, but altered to simulate electricity, or 
fire, or total vacuum.  In an artistic moment, I assigned 
interesting visual effects to each, lightning bolts, harmful 
illusory spores, that sort of thing.  I thought it quite amusing, 
my victims never quite got the joke, I suppose.
   Once I felt that I had enough Wyrms under my influence to bring 
the disorganized locals under my sway, I ventured out into the 
jungle.  Much to my surprise, I was not in the company of 
disorganized locals at all.  I found that a race of fair-skinned 
giants were living there, which already had an organized rulership.  
   An interesting society, matriarchal in nature, I decided to 
approach them as an ally, rather than as a ruler.  I invented a 
persona, using the name Notranaca(which I found to be rather 
amusing).  Apparently, I am a better actor than I had previously 
believed, their queen, Zoe, a dabbler in magic, was actually quite 
quick to trust me.  She believed that I was a peaceful mage who 
wanted her protection while I spent my days studying in my caverns.  
Her mirror that she carried with her glowed slightly with an aura 
of power, but I do not believe that even she could see that.  These 
people were a threat to me, and I would have to learn a way to 
bring them under my rule.
   I spent the next few weeks observing Zoe using my farsight.  Her 
skills as a mage were actually more advanced than I had imagined, 
she even knew the most basic of my protection spells.  Clearly my 
libraries had not been destroyed in the fire at the tower, for this 
was surely my work.  Try as I might, I could detect no subterfuge 
involving her forces against me.  Perfect.
   My Wyrms, I realized, would not be strong enough to stop these 
amazons if they made a concerted effort to invade me.  I needed to 
find stronger allies.  My mind turned to the incident with the 
demon.  If I had a horde of demons in my sway, I would be 
unstoppable!  How to summon these demons was the problem, I had 
only seen one, as you know, and to find that demon had been a 
mystery, a product of that strange being.
   Since I had no new ideas for how to go about finding such a 
being, I reopened my studies of teleportation, thinking that 
perhaps it was the act of teleportation that had allowed the demon 
to find me, and not the being itself.
   I concentrated my studies on drawing out the teleportation 
process over a longer time.  I found that if you properly altered 
the lines of force in the spell, it was possible to slow the 
opening of the dimensional rift, to the point of its being a 
visible process(teleportation is not immediate, contrary to popular 
belief, simply very fast).  By practicing this, I was actually able 
to open the rift and maintain it, and resist the inward pull.  I 
was able to open a passage between any two locations that I so 
chose in one step.   Since I was able to halt it in progress, I 
felt that I had mastered the act of teleportation.  Nothing in 
these studies had reproduced the feeling of...wrongness that I had  
so long ago experienced in the moment just before the arrival of 
the demon.  I now began to contemplate how I might intentionally 
cause a problem in the teleportation.
   The most obvious concept, it had somehow eluded me for so long, 
I was actually surprised.  By invoking both a summoning spell and a 
relocation spell at the same time, I should cause a contradiction 
in the powers.  I tried this very idea.  Immediately I felt the 
wrongness I was looking for!  The lines of power crossed, the 
spectrum darkened, the darkness coalesced....then, without warning, 
dissipated.  A failure, but I was confident that I was close.  I 
tried it again, once more, no demon.  On the third try, as I had 
hoped, a demon appeared!  I could scarcely contain my glee(a 
strange reaction to such a creature, perhaps), quickly activated my 
amulet(a device I had created for this occasion.  One does not make 
the advances I had by being unintelligent) and my mirror images 
appeared.  The demon attacked with the same frightening speed that 
the other one had, but this time I was far more prepared.  I easily 
dispatched the being with my most powerful attack spell.
   Encouraged, I continued my research into summoning demons, and 
through this, I first formed my alliance with Xarithos(not an easy 
feat, Xarithos was always quite difficult to control).  Combining 
my intentional contradiction in the teleportation spells with my 
previous research into the halting of such spells in progress, I 
found that it was possible to create a rift through which demons 
could pass freely from one world to another!  This revelation, with 
Xarithos's assistance, allowed me to form quite a host of demon 
protectors.(One of the conditions of this arrangements was that the 
demons must be allowed to kill my Wyrms.  Actually, I was quite 
happy to let them do so, it solved my problem of having to do it 
myself, and it allowed me to better gauge the abilities of my new 
Guard.)
   During this time, with my rather impatient demonic "friends", I 
was forced by certain incidents to devise more defensive schemes 
and escape methods.  Xarithos would not tolerate the destruction of 
any of "his" host, and I would certainly not tolerate death.  
   I began by attempting to enhance my spells that would blur my 
image, by bending the light around me even more.  I was apparently 
more disciplined at this time than I had been when I first 
investigated this sort of spell, for I instantly became almost 
totally invisible.  I had almost completely diverted the light from 
my form, and most individuals could not detect my 
presence(Xarithos, for some reason that I was never quite able to 
deduce, was almost always aware of my presence, perhaps that will 
remain a mystery forever).  It seemed that light bending was now 
exhausted as an option, so I worked at enhancing my other 
protective spells.  I achieved success in all areas, to a greater 
or lesser degree, but I wanted more assurance that I would not have 
to fight a demon to the death(surely HIS death).
   Escape was the next option.  I realized that I had no way to 
escape quickly enough to completely avoid these lightning-fast 
demons' attacks.  I developed a system of teleportation that was 
enacted by a mere whim, one that required almost no concentration 
on my behalf.  This fast action was balanced by the fact that I 
could only teleport to a single location, the one place in the 
world that I knew best, my laboratory.  Try as I might, I could not 
alter this.  No matter, any demon that might have attempted to 
enter my laboratory would not have had much success for various 
reasons, so I felt it to be a location to which I could safely 
escape.
   I felt the time was nearing when I would take the demons to war.  
My folly of independence as Arcanarton would not be repeated, I had 
Xarithos at my side, we would not be bested.  During the planning 
stage of this campaign, I returned to my laboratory after a long 
strategic discussion with the demons, and was greeted by a shocking 
sight.
   Two men were in my study!  They had their backs to me, they were 
busy investigating my shelves and the artifacts that were on them.  
Fools, I would kill them now!  Silently, I activated my amulet 
causing my images to multiply, and summoned an arrow as strong as 
any I had ever made.  The deadly force burst forth... and self-
destructed as it approached them!
   They turned, I felt the blood leave my face.  It was he, the 
being, the same one that had been with the warriors who destroyed 
my tower so long ago!  They were identically dressed in full battle 
armour, both wearing the same dragonscale belts that I had learned 
to hate so long ago.
   He turned to his companion, who, from what I could see, was just 
a normal man.  "One moment, then we'll be on our way."  His 
companion nodded and simply looked at me.  No fear, no malice, just 
a man.  I may not be able to hurt this strange being, but this man, 
I surely could kill.  I called my most forceful electrical spell 
and sent it streaking at him!  
   The strang being made a slight gesture, and the spell was 
destroyed.  "Now now, Arcanarton, do stop please.  I was simply 
showing my friend here your work before I took it away.  And please 
calm yourself, your anger is not helping anything."
   I was shocked.  I quickly composed myself enough to begin to 
analyze the situation.
   "Come now.  You cannot prevent this, so don't waste your energy.  
Do you wish to know why, hmm?  Ahh, you are not ready to speak, 
understandable, I suppose.  Mortals..."  He chuckled and glanced at 
his companion, who smirked, seemingly accustomed to this sort of 
comment.  "Why... why... the question that is on everyone's 
mind...well, at least, on yours.  I suppose that I'll tell you, 
since you seem incapable of forming the words at the moment."  He 
grinned, a small, impish grin, and sat at my desk.
   "You've come far in your studies.  Too far, I think, for one 
mortal, but then Tonze disagrees.  He wouldn't let me destroy your 
work, so I have decided that it is to be disseminated, given to the 
mortal world at large."  I started to speak, but he halted me by 
raising his hand.  "I know, this will not please you, but you 
really have no choice in the matter.  Unlike my first attempt to 
stop you, this one will not fail.  I will take away your ability to 
rule by giving you equals.  It is the only option, I cannot allow 
you to rule unchecked.  Your first libraries are now a part of the 
world, your knowledge already partially disseminated, I shall now 
complete the job."
   "Yes, I knew you were watching so long ago, I was actually 
surprised that you had never seen an immortal.  Summoning me was... 
unwise, as you discovered.  Had it been anyone but you, the demon 
would have triumphed.  However, you managed to survive...no 
matter."
   "Well then, I believe that this issue is resolved," he said, and 
stood.  I tried to speak, but found that I could not even move!  
How long had I been held like this, I did not know.  The entire 
time he had spoken, I had not even attempted to move.  He glanced 
around once more, and in a blink of light, disappeared.  His 
companion bowed gracefully, then he too disappeared in a blink.  My 
vision blurred, I felt the earth move slightly, and when my sight 
returned, my notes, my entire library, was gone.
   Whatever force had held me was released, I collapsed to the 
ground.  My work, taken from me again.  I should have been angry, I 
should have felt cheated, but instead I was ecstatic!  An immortal, 
there were immortal beings, who, from what I had learned here 
today, governed the lives of mortal men!  Why should I bother with 
petty battles between amazons and dragonscale-belted warriors when 
I could become immortal?  Immortality.  There was no other goal 
worth pursuing.

   My quest for immortality, and my ultimate fate, must be left for 
another time.  Already I can feel my disorientation returning, I 
will go back to my rather confusing existence soon.  In a way, my 
immortality was achieved when my magic was released to the world.  
The name Arcanarton is rarely spoken, but my work, that which was 
all I cared for in life, still lives.
   It is curious to me that the modern day "masters" have not 
realized that all magics are so closely related.  It is this 
oversight that has made them so stagnant in tems of continuing my 
work.  They spend time devising such complex trappings as words and 
materials that are so very important.  Bah, it is merely a matter 
of concentration, words and materials are simply a method for one 
to focus one's mind.   It is lucky, perhaps, that my immortality 
has taken the form that it has, for I am certain that even with the 
bulk of my ability given to the world at large, I could overwhelm 
even the most powerful of the contemporary mages.
   If I ever am able to undo what I have done, you can rest assured 
that my name will again become one of power, one of order.  Until 
then...I wait...and wait...




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