|NPC Sell Price||1 Coin|
| Reforgeable |
| Museum |
|The Study||9||Blavier of Myles||1531|
|The Expedition Volume 1||4||Royal Inscriptionist||1531|
|Uncanny Remains||7||Unknown Soldier||1531|
|The Expedition Volume 2||5||Royal Inscriptionist||1531|
|Grim Adversity||9||Unknown Soldier||1531|
|The Expedition Volume 3||10||Royal Inscriptionist||1531|
|The Expedition Volume 4||11||Royal Inscriptionist||1531|
|The Walls||24||Unknown Soldier||1531|
|The Apprentice, Part 2||14||1138|
|The Apprentice, Part 3||25||1138|
|The Follower, Part 2||11||1143|
|The Follower - Part 3||9||1143|
|Until we meet again||10||???|
The authors for the first 11 journals are revealed in game after reading each one. After that, all the future authors are revealed when you finish reading Until we meet again.
I came to visit my Grandparent's tomb inside the catacombs, and pay my respects. When I finally arrived I discovered the tombs had been destroyed, someone had dug up the bodies! Who would do such an evil thing?
I noticed two parallel streaks connecting the uncovered grave site to a tunnel I had never seen before inside the Catacombs. Whoever decided to desecrate a sacred burial ground and drag the bodies away, they will surely pay!
After I exited the tunnel, I came upon a large room. It was inlaid with many skulls, a plethora of its stonework was deeply cracked, the wooden tiles completely rotten and cobwebs littered the ceiling, as if no one stepped foot in here for years.
I heard something, a deep growl, and it was coming from deeper inside of the tunnel. I need to go further and keep following this trail but I can't help being afraid at what possibly lurks inside.
As I relentlessly pursued the body snatcher, I heard the groans get louder and louder. Although I was scared, I gathered up my courage and kept going. As I turned the corner I saw it.
Carefully picking up the remnants of a broken sword beside me, I slowly began to approach it. As I was nearing combat distance, I stepped on a bone, alerting the creature. As it turned around, I dropped my weapon and my face turned pale.
It was a distorted face of sorrow and anguish. Pieces of flesh were slowly falling off her, as if she was a rotten fruit. It was the face of my Grandma. "G-grandma, is that you?" I asked with expectation, but my own naivety betrayed me.
It stepped towards me, a cruel grin stretching her face to unbelievable proportions. That face terrified me, I even threw up. Then she - no - it lunged at me. With tears flowing down my face, I turned around and began running.
I don't know how long I ran for, but the feeling in my legs gave out long ago. "That wasn't her, there's no way!" I wanted to plead for help, I wanted someone to comfort me. But deep down I knew the truth, and that help would never come.
Worn out, I finally backtracked to the tunnel's entrance. "I need to report this to the mage association, they can solve this predicament!" But what happened was most definitely evil magic.
—Karylle, Karylle's Diary
This is the lab report of Dr. Myles, the scientist of the Mage association, in conjunction with the officer Roy of the Adventurer's Guild, and Documentation of the Catacombs. Roy will be my assistant with this, and also future Lab Reports.
Early Autumn 10: Today the mage association hauled an undead organism into the lab, and I was given a brief description of what it was doing in the Catacombs. Unfortunately, I was not present during the capture process.
The creature matches most historical descriptions of undead humans known as Zombies. This specimen resembles an old female, seeming to have originally died from old age. We christened the newly discovered Zombie, New.
New is the first Zombie seen and recorded in over 400 years, when the infamous Kaeman returned to the Castle. When compared to the previous records of Zombies, we found striking similarities, just as we theorized. They only care for human flesh.
Early Autumn 16: Upon further study we have discovered that the traits of New are as follows; Simple wounds are patched over time, although its process of rotting seems to be natural. They also have a sense for humans that are within their vicinity.
Early Autumn 29: During our daily necropsy, we realized that its tissues are regenerating faster than before. In light of this evolution we have to take our testing to the next stage - fresh human corpses.
Autumn 6: New gave birth to another Zombie. We named the newborn Two. While it is still unclear how the contagion spreads, this alarming discovery raises multiple questions. These answers can only be found in the Catacombs.
Autumn 7: Two is far too powerful. We have failed to curb its vicious tendencies. Officer Roy was found dead in the testing facility, ripped limb from limb. Both Zombies are now exterminated.
—Blavier of Myles, The Study
The Expedition Volume 1
"Very Well." The King grasped his scepter and spoke resolutely. "I shall send a garrison of highly trained militia to further investigate the Catacombs. If dark magic is at work there, we will take care of it swiftly."
The atmosphere in the room became more serious but the court seemed relieved. Rumors were spreading in the Kingdom concerning the living corpse found in the crypts, and after the tragedy in the facility, people's mindsets started to worsen.
General Dan would lead the expedition, accompanied by Solomon. The King believed that sending a mage from his personal guard would appease the villagers. Once again this subterfuge was seen through by the court members.
At nightfall, the garrison had gathered enough resources for at least 5 days of traveling, but only the bare minimum of necessities. The group of 50 soldiers and 3 mages would take their leave in the morning, right as the rooster crows.
-Royal Inscriptionist, The Expedition Volume 1
We entered the Catacombs. I still have no idea what we are looking for in the death hole, nobody tells me much anyways. After all, in the army, I'm at the bottom of the food chain.
Before entering this giant graveyard, I couldn't believe any of the stories. But now that I'm here, I'm not sure what to think anymore. This place is darker than a moonless night, everything is tainted with shadows
Everywhere I look I see stone and dust. I don't want to be buried in a forgotten place like this. Now that I think of it, most of those people were probably soldiers like me, or what remains of them.
Tens of thousands died on that fateful day, this place probably took years to build. I hear people whisper about the Wither King... nonsense. Fables and legends are for songs, there is only blood and steel.
We were almost through when one of the young recruits screamed. In his hysteria, I heard him mention a talking skull. Can't blame the poor lad, those skulls seem to look at you all the time.
"It's warning us..." he murmured. If there is one thing that I know for sure, those little tricks won't work on the sergeant. I've had my fair share of insubordination, already learned that lesson ten times over.
Still, that look of fear in his eyes, it seemed so real... This kid is creeping me out. In fact, the whole place is giving me goosebumps. Did that skull just turn towards me? those shadows are deceiving me.
-Unknown Soldier, Uncanny Remains
The Expedition Volume 2
Halfway through the second floor, one of the scouts noticed an irregularity. We followed him through a corridor which opened into a large crypt. The tombs kept inside all seemed broken as if the whole place had been looted.
Solomon asked for all the soldiers to stay outside of the room, and then called the rest to inspect the crypt. After what felt like half an hour the mages and scientists gathered around General Dan and the King's mage.
There was no trace of any remains, the bodies and anything else those tombs used to protect were gone. This development corroborates the suspicions of evil work in the Catacombs, the expedition must press on.
Whoever took those corpses left no clues behind. There are signs of human activity, but all those trails and footsteps lead to nowhere, just as if they walked right through the walls.
After nearly 16 hours, it was time to rest. Because the crypt was large enough and had just been inspected. General Dan ordered the men to gather inside and spend the night.
-Royal Inscriptionist, The Expedition Volume 2
A scream broke the silence of the night. It came from right next to me, maybe 3 meters, no, less. My first instinct was to look for my sword first and think later. My mind was still blurred from waking up, and my eyes could barely see.
That scream again, full of terror. My fingers grabbed onto a familiar handle. I turned my head towards the sound and raised my sword in front of me, voices echoing from the rest of the room.
Albert was there, frantically trying to grab onto something. He's trying to crawl, or so I thought. I realized that Albert's hand was covered with blood, his fingernails making an atrocious sound on the ground.
I could sense a dark mass behind him, a man. "ALBERT!" I screamed as I lunged forward. My blade pierced through the assassin, and as I got closer, a light revealed my enemy. Visions of horror.
No eyes, and barely any skin. The face of death. My heart paced to a crawl, I couldn't move. Its rotten hand grabbed my arm and started to crush it like a twig. The pain brought me back to reality. I screamed and tried to free my arm.
The creature held on to it, but I kept pulling with everything I had. During the struggle I fell on my back, the thing lying over me. Something warm dropped from its jaw onto my neck, blood and flesh. Albert, or some of him.
There was an explosion of light, I closed my eyes. A weight got taken off of me, moments later I understood why. A spell landed on the creature, tearing it apart. The fiend flew across the room and landed behind Albert.
Something cracked in my arm, the hand of the beast was still pressuring it with inhuman strength. I managed to grab the thumb and freed myself from its grip. The hand landed on the ground and kept moving towards me.
Another lightning strike, the hand stopped. Solomon was standing next to me, holding my shoulder. His lips moved but I couldn't hear him, he was pointing at my arm. I turned my head in the direction of Albert, but he was dead...
—Unknown Soldier, Grim Adversity
The Expedition Volume 3
A zombie attacked our group during the night, killing one soldier and breaking the arm of another. The 2 guards on shift were standing in front of the only entrance to the room and swore that nothing came from that corridor.
Somehow that zombie ended up on the opposite side of the Crypt that we thoroughly investigated only hours before. What is even more concerning, is what it did to those soldiers.
It first planted its teeth in the skull of one of the soldiers and took a large bite out of his brain. How Albert survived for so long is a mystery in and of itself. As a precaution, we burned his body.
Even after losing limbs, the detached body parts kept operating on their own until the brain was destroyed. Our current theory is that the amygdala has to be intact for the zombie to function
Solomon noticed fluid on the chainmail of the other soldier, where the hand grabbed his arm. It can hardly be described without deeper analysis. This liquid could be a clue to those transformations or even the cause.
The expedition left the room less than an hour after the incident. The group was reaching the end of the second floor when we got confronted by a mother apparition, the new creature killing 3 of our men before getting taken down.
No doubt the undead we found was a Wither Skeleton, the same creatures that were described attacking the castle centuries ago, led by Kaeman, the self-proclaimed "Wither King"
Skeletons, dark as the night, overbearing in nature, with bones akin to onyx, seemingly fragile but as tough as steel. This one was holding a stone sword and was strong enough to cut through a man wearing full armor with a single swing.
Solomon believes that the Expedition must return to the King's Castle at once, we have reason to believe that Kaeman survived and took hold of the Catacombs. Our group isn't prepared for a confrontation with the Wither King.
General Dan ordered the troops to march on, insisting that we at least explore the third floor before turning back. After all, we still had enough resources for another 4 days of travel.
-Royal Inscriptionist, The Expedition Volume 3'
The Expedition Volume 4
Before our encounter with the Wither Skeleton, we heard plenty of odd noises. But during our time on the third floor, just like the first one, there was a deafening silence that caused great anxiety in us all.
After a few hours, the group entered a large room, probably the largest one yet. The room had giant water pipes landing into large pools. Proof that the sewers had connections with the Catacombs.
The General said it was time for a break, so the group started to prepare for lunch. Solomon reiterated his wish to return to the Castle immediately. After a short debate, General Dan agreed to end the expedition.
Suddenly, someone yelled that enemies were coming. The sounds grew louder and louder, before encompassing us completely. We were surrounded, hundreds of those creatures, how could they be capable of such coordination?
Giant spiders crawled out of the sewers, zombies appeared from the hall, and a volley of skeletons came from the other direction. The General immediately called for a rally and a desperate battle ensued.
Somewhere in the chaos, I saw an opportunity to retreat. I landed a stun spell on a group of enemies near the entrance of the hall and quickly made my escape. A small portion of our group followed me into the passage.
I do not know what happened to Solomon, the General, and the rest of the militia. I found refuge with a couple soldiers far away from the battle, but I could sense a presence watching us.
One of the rescued soldiers was acting odd. He started mumbling to himself, and knowing the Catacombs, I was ready for whatever this could be. He started screaming "GET OUT!!!", and clawed at his eyes. Then he stopped.
Suddenly, he leaped at his comrade and tried to pierce him with his sword.I used all the mana I had left to stun him before he could kill. The color in his eyes was gone, as if he was being mind controlled.
The Catacombs hide an entire army of incredible strength. Someone has to come back alive from the expedition at all c...
-Royal Inscriptionist, The Expedition Volume 4
I saw it all. Monsters everywhere and every kind, in an instant chaos reigned over the room. We were all in battle formation around Dan, pretending to be in control, everyone was scared for their lives.
I fought alongside Dan many times, the man is a legend, but how foolish can he be? Nobody in the group comes even close to his skills, we are all fodder to those foes. We should have tried to escape instead of fighting.
The army of undead ran straight at us. “Their brains, aim for their brains!” someone yelled in the back. How can I aim for the brain of a skeleton that doesn’t have one? This magic is beyond anything that they know.
The sound of swords slicing through bloodless corpses, almost like chopping down wood. Zombies are terrifyingly strong but most of them have no equipment, nor technique, just fearlessly running to their end.
I think it was Solomon’s spells slowing them all, their movements seemed sluggish, compared to when they entered the room. The mage looked exhausted already, his face contorted by the concentration.
More and more came, it seemed endless. I saw a mage escape with a few soldiers, I wonder what happened to them. And then, it happened. The battle was raging when another of those giant black skeletons entered the room.
The obsidian looking creature ran straight at the General, who had noticed it. Dan faced towards it with all his might, the battle veteran was even bigger than the skeleton. He raised his two handed sword and held it above his head.
It was over in an instant. The skeleton was wicked fast. I held my breath almost as if I was bracing for impact. Dan’s massive sword cut through the air incredibly swiftly, breaking the enemy's sword in half and the skeleton with it.
We finally had hope, if anyone could get us out of here alive, it was General Dan. After defeating the Wither Skeleton, the colossal soldier turned towards the rest of the forces and released a battle cry, we all responded.
Coming out of his apparent torpor, Solomon spoke. “Something is coming... We need to get out of here!” The mage started running towards one of the entrances. “Dan! We have to!”. I looked towards the other entrance, and I saw it.
The nightmare creature entered the room, it looked half human and half wither skeleton, with multiple heads. It levitated over the corpses and in an awful scream, threw a dark spell right through the General. It was over.
Whoever was left from the expedition started running in total disarray. I followed Solomon, who turned just in time to create a magic barrier, protecting us from more of those demonic spells.
I don’t know what happened to Solomon, my only concern was with getting as far away as possible. Further in the corridor I saw a dead soldier, who probably escaped earlier. He was holding a torch and other materials, I would need them.
Eventually, hours after I escaped the undead horde, I came upon a room full of empty tombs, and that’s where I decided to take shelter for the night. I moved some pillars to block the doorway to prevent things from sneaking inside.
The next morning, everything had gone a lot smoother than expected, nothing came for me while I was resting. No signs of the expedition either, but I had to stay quiet if I wanted to escape this place alive.
I walked through hours on end. It was impossible to find the entrance of the third floor, so I took a short rest. With an excess of coal on my hands, I decided I would draw markings on the walls, to identify where I had been previously.
When I left the tomb area earlier, something seemed off. I was almost certain there was a dead end to the left of the hall, but now it’s opened up. Did it collapse during the night, or am I going crazy?
After hours of exploring, and charting out a basic map, I returned to my previous resting place by following the coal lines drawn upon the floor and walls. However, when I made it back the room was no longer there.
I walked off to the left side of the corridor, would my mark still be present? Everything was fine, I noticed the opening was there, it was not a dead end. But as I followed my marking, it was cut off rather abruptly.
There was no smearing on the ground, it was as if the stain was peeled off. It looked completely unnatural. As I walked further, I cast my gaze to the ceiling. There was a black streak, looking directly into my eyes.
There was no mistaking it, it was the one I had drawn, but it was now on the ceiling? It was as if this place was… moving? My Lord… How is this even possible? I have to find a way, I have to…
Are these walls alive? Who’s doing this? What a terrible joke, why don’t you come out and kill me already? I don’t even have food or anything to drink. GET IT OVER WITH! DON’T YOU SEE?! I’M AS GOOD AS DEAD!!!
As I walked past the walls, I could hear a faint cry, and now, every time I looked at them, they stared back at me. It’s as if they were made from the souls of people! I’ll die right here, and maybe I’ll join them.
All I have left is coal… Yes, all I have, coal. coal, coal, coal, coal, coal, coal, coal, coal, coal, coal, coal, coal, coal, coal, coal, coal, coal, coal, coal, coal, coal, coal, coal, coal, coal, coal, coal, coal, coal, coal, coal, coal, coal
-Unknown Soldier, The Walls
The first time I saw it was on the first floor, a large floating eye. Nobody else noticed. It was looking straight at me. I didn’t tell anyone, but I know what I saw, that thing isn’t human, but it didn’t seem like an enemy.
It appeared again on the second floor, twice. Again, I was the only one who saw. It seemed interested only with me. I can tell when it is watching, there is a strange sensation in my head when it happens, and I know exactly where to look.
At this point I am fairly certain it was trying to communicate. Nonetheless it completely vanished after those 3 encounters. But something else happened during the battle on the third floor. I felt a different sensation..
Even before the Wither Skeleton appeared, I sensed a powerful spirit, long before Solomon noticed it. Was he too absorbed by his spells? How could I perceive it faster than a mage, especially one of the caliber of Solomon?
Later, I escaped away from the battle, but quickly the original feeling came back. It was watching me again. I pulled my sword and turned towards it. “What do you want from me?” It came out of the shadows, the watcher.
So much power coming from this eye, I could almost touch it. It was far too strong for me to handle. - What are you? Why are you following me? -Special. The loud voice echoed in my head, it wasn’t coming from my consciousness.
- I’m special? What do you mean? -Your mind… Hard to read. - Read… My mind? -Your name. - What, why do you want to know? -Your parents, who are they? - I… I never knew them, why are you asking this?! It asked for my name again.
As it got closer, I could feel its presence intensify. - GET OUT OF MY HEAD, I’LL KILL YOU! My sword was heavy, and my knees were weak, the world collapsed on me as I fell. I could still hear the voice. -So your name is Sadan, I see...
-Sadan, The Eye
We completely defeated the humans on the third floor. I would have eradicated them myself if Necron hadn’t made an appearance. It shows how important it is for him that we stay hidden for as long as possible.
I don’t understand, do they think our army is still too weak? Why do they want to hide our presence for so long, we could rule over the humans on this side of the world, instead of… rotting down here.
We still don’t know what caused this group of humans to explore the Catacombs, but now it is clear they had suspicions of what was inside. No matter what, we have to make a move, I think the plan is to send Storm after the Castle if they flee.
At least I got confirmation that none of them escaped the Catacombs, and their group only had a few days worth of resources, the Kingdom will understand soon enough what happened. We must strike before they realize their expedition failed.
Only 2 humans are left alive. It seems like Necron wanted to interrogate the mage, and the other one, I have no idea what the ‘stalker’ wants to do with him. Necron is very fond of that eye, so it’s free to do whatever eccentricity it wants.
A gust of wind blew by a man with dark hair and eyes, who was walking away from the Academy’s building. Necron looked terribly angry. Heated conversations with his professors were common, but after this one his mind was boiling.
“How dare they, how dare they threaten to expel me from the Academy! They should know all too well, I can’t… I need to know what kind of magic killed my parents, all those people! 17 years went by and they still didn’t change their minds.”
“The worst student they said! Then why don’t they help me instead, I can feel my potential growing, I can sense mana all around me, I was born to be a mage. I just need… something. Even I can’t describe what exactly I’m lacking.”
“It is almost as if I can hear mana and understand it, but I can’t speak its language. Yes, that’s it! It speaks to me but I can’t ‘answer’ it back, or not well enough, at least for now.” He stopped walking as he said that.
“But if they expel me, where will I go? I have nothing, if only… If only they could trust me, I need to read those scrolls, it is vital. I am drawn to them, every day that goes by makes it even more clear, the answer to all my problems.”
“If I could open a single scroll, I would instantly realize. But I already know, maybe I’ve always known. That forbidden magic, what is locked and labelled as taboo, THAT is my language. I will reveal it to the world, and save them all.”Show Author-The Watcher, The Apprentice
Another vision, like usual it felt like someone else was controlling it. From there he could see the castle, but in shambles, like if centuries had passed. Most visions appeared from a different time, where the world is more advanced.
The vision took him down the mountain, all the way down, a large portal was standing there on the ground, he had seen it before in another vision. Standing next to it, a group of adventurers he also had seen before, years ago.
-”Lathrop… Lathrop!” -”Y-yes Dr. Emmett?” he said as he emerged from the dream. -“Lathrop, I need you to do something for me, and how many times do I have to tell you, stop idling around the breach, you are perturbing my tools!”
“Sorry Doctor, it’s just… I saw the Eye again yesterday, the one I talked to you about.” “Yes Lathrop, of course, the ‘floating eye’. I’m sure that was very interesting. However, I am serious, this experiment is important, you know that.”
“I need you to deliver a letter to my colleague in the wilderness, and quickly. As it is getting very late, you can spend the night at the inn after delivery. I’ll give you enough money for a room and a good meal.”
“When you return, don’t forget to bring back groceries and some chalk.” “Understood, I will be on my way then Dr. Emmett, have a good evening, and if you study on the balcony, make sure to keep yourself warm.” “I shall Lathrop, thank you.”
Lathrop went down the ladder, entered the house to grab the letter and money the Doctor left for him and exited the house in the direction of the zipline. After a few steps, he turned around to look at the house. For some reason he felt sad.
He had lived in this house his entire life. Soon after birth, the calamity made him an orphan, like many others. On that day, a magical breach got created at the top of the mountain, almost invisible to the eye.
Soon after, Dr. Emmett started studying the breach to understand what could be across it, but never succeeded to travel through it. In over thirty years, the breach opened once, and only Lathrop noticed it, in fact, he was expecting it.
Lathrop was fortunate enough to be raised by Dr. Emmett after he moved into the house of his late parents. He learned how to read and write, and met many great mages and scientists, all close friends of his adoptive father.
For as long as he remembers, the breach showed him visions, sometimes even talked to him. At first it was vague images and colors, sometimes in his dreams. He learned to live with it, as if it was his own consciousness.
While the doctor always acknowledged that his visions were due to the breach, their depiction by Lathrop always made them seem incoherent and therefore he couldn’t draw the line between hallucinations and reality.
Lately the visions were getting more vivid. The Eye appeared again in a few reveries, and with it, more frequent and detailed dreams. Unlike the usual aimless ones, those looked as part of a plan, perhaps instructions for him to follow?
After crossing the wooden bridge, Lathrop soon reached the zipline where he began his descent to the Castle. The hour was late and he had to hurry, but he could not stop thinking of the eye and its call...Show Author-The Watcher, The Follower
The Apprentice, Part 2
The young man was standing on the bed by his window, his eyes lost in the canopy of the forest by the Academy. The movement of the leaves in the moonlight was mesmerizing. So much had happened lately, he couldn’t sleep.
The hand that he had left on his grimoire started tingling. Sigh - “You really don’t like me, do you?” He said as he took the old book to place it in his drawer. “It’s not your fault, nor mine.”
Laying on his bed his thoughts traveled to many different places. What was he going to do with all this free time? The Mage Exam was in 10 days, for the summer solstice, no amount of work would be enough to pass this test.
Already one of the oldest students, and only capable of executing very simple spells, the only reason why he was still allowed in the Academy was that the dean of the Association took him in as his own after the tragedy that befell his parents.
“That man…” He tightened his hand and spoke with disdain. “He thinks so highly of himself like he’s some sort of father figure to me! But all he does is restrict my actions, he doesn’t understand at all…”
As his eyes were starting to close shut, he heard a subtle sound, the rustle of paper on the ground near the door. Someone had slid a paper below it. He could barely see from that distance, but he was getting a strange impression.
Rushing to the door, he grabbed the item with both hands, he couldn’t believe it. Instinctively he opened the door, but nobody was there, no footsteps, nothing. His heart was beating abnormally fast. Who, and how?
The scroll in his hand was bursting with magic, but not the kind his teachers were forcing him to learn. Something else, something darker... He looked around once more and went back to his room, closing the door and locking it.
Everyone knew he was interested in those forbidden scrolls, that was no secret. Many times in the past he asked mages of the Association to make them public, arguing that we needed to understand darkness to conquer it.
Forbidden Scrolls are held in the vault of the dean, protected by heavy magic spells, stealing them is unthinkable. How did anyone manage to obtain one of those, and why would they give it to him now, of all times?
He took a deep breath, trying to calm down. The spell was written with different enchanting symbols. Closing his eyes, he could still see the signs through his curtained lids. The feeling was there, the one he waited so long for.
It was a simple spell, but he could learn it, he understood the mechanics and all the nuances. Mana was flowing rapidly through his body, he never felt so good, and so powerful. His eternal vocation was finally in his hands.
The dark spell could allow him to become invisible to regular magic. Quite useless he thought, but at least it was something, a confirmation of his affinity with dark magic... Maybe he could attach it to a talisman, or a ring.
What could he use it for? Invisibility essentially makes you immune to any kind of vision spell, or to enter weak barriers without notifying its creator. But there was only one barrier he knew, and that was the last place he wanted to be…Show Author-The Watcher, The Apprentice, Part 2
The Apprentice, Part 3
After only a few days, Necron had studied the scroll and learned everything about the spell, but it took him a couple more weeks to plan his next move. He could only think of one application for the spell, and it was almost too perfect.
For over a decade, after its defeat, the Wither King had been trapped in a cage on the edge of the main island. It was well guarded by mages and had a magical barrier, one that would alert the mages if someone entered.
However, Necron could sneak through this barrier without alarming anyone, but only if he used his spell correctly. Necron’s goal was to find where the Wither King is trapped inside the barrier, and question him.
He had spent the last couple of weeks pretending to help the guards with their chores. The mages didn’t really watch the cage itself, in fact, they would rather stay a reasonable distance away from it.
At sunset, most of the guards were off duty. Necron knew this was his time to act, so he cast his spell in a nearby forest, then proceeded to approach the barrier. Even with many precautions, he was still trembling.
He had never experienced such stress in all his life, what if something went wrong? As he walked near the East cliff of the island, he quickly entered the magic barrier, and from this point on everything was a theory.
Necron’s heart was beating so fast he could hear the palpitations. As he walked inside of the barrier, he was prudent in his actions, whether it be checking for magical traps or guards stationed on the inside.
But once again, there was nothing. Maybe he was being too careful, whatever the case, he was certainly getting closer. A few hundred steps into the barrier, he felt it… An intense magic power that resonated with him.
This foul energy seemed to originate from ahead, and as he approached it, he noticed that the energy was corrupting everything around it, the ground itself had even turned to varying shades of gray.
The grass and earth around him seemed to have lacked color for a long time. After what felt like an eternity, he finally saw it. A large and robust magic cage, standing on the very corner of the island.
The cage was made of pillars in a circle, channeling a maelstrom of energy inside, like a blue tornado. Necron could barely see through the dense waves of magic, but what he could see was enough to push his sanity to its extreme limits.
An imposing creature at least twice his size, with giant ribs as thick as a grown man’s arm, and three grotesque, dark shriveled heads, all distinct, yet expressionless. Only the middle one seemed to notice his presence.
Necron thought himself to be mentally prepared, but his hands still shook from fear and hesitation. As he walked towards the cage, he heard it. A deep, raspy voice spoke from within the swirl of energy: “You are using my spell.”
Necron stopped, he thought the Wither King would be able to speak, but it still came as a surprise. “Who are you, and why are you here?” the voice asked. “Why am I here?” Necron mumbled, becoming agitated.
He wanted to ask many questions, but when he gathered the courage to face his enemy, he couldn’t rid himself of anxiety. “My name is Necron,” his voice was unsteady, still shaken with fear.
“You killed my parents 17 years ago… My father was a war hero, and my mother protected me with her life!” Necron panted heavily, having cemented his name and burden to the Wither King. A brief silence ensued.
Necron tried to guess what this monster would say back to him, but he couldn’t come up with anything. “Is that why you are here, Necron?” The Wither King answered. “No...” Necron refuted.
“You said I was using your spell, what do you mean?” asked Necron.
“Fel magic, or a variant. I created that spell, and wrote the scroll myself.”
“So the rumors are true, you were a human before, called Kaeman?”
“That is correct.”
“Fel magic… What is it, and why do I have an affinity for it? Have you done anything to me?”
“I haven’t. Well, at least not intentionally. I’ve never met anyone with an affinity for Fel magic, it is quite interesting.”
The Wither King continued: “While I didn’t invent that kind of magic, I was the first human to study it, directly from the Dragon’s heart. But the Academy was against any kind of progress for the dark arts, they have their own agenda.”
Necron couldn’t help but think that this monster in front of him was a lot more human than he thought. Of course, it could just be a facade, but he enjoyed that they had the same opinions regarding the Academy.
The difference between him and the Wither King was that of night and day, yet, the longer they talked, the more he found a resemblance. Surprisingly, he quickly grew some sort of respect for the creature.
The conversation went on for hours. Kaeman was willing to teach Necron the basics of dark magic, but if he wanted to learn any more than that, it would come at a price...
He couldn’t fully trust the Wither King for now, but his sense of revenge had already totally dissipated, replaced by the excitement of having finally found a mighty master, someone who could understand him.
Necron knew that allying himself to the Wither King was a cruel joke at best, but at least he would be able to use dark magic, which he had an unnatural affinity towards. With the matter settled, he took his leave.
For many weeks in a row, Necron sacrificed sleep to come back, continuing his conversations with Kaeman, oftentimes going deep into the night. He had learned so much already but was only consumed by his desire to know more.
So when the time came for Necron to help Kaeman in return for more teachings, he immediately agreed to the request. Kaeman wanted to escape, and to that end, he came up with a spell that could destabilize the magic barrier.
Although the spell would only last for a few seconds, it was by far the most complex and intense spell Necron ever had to conjure. He positioned himself on the south-east section of the cage and began to work it out.
At first, there was a small disturbance in the cage, then a ripple in the barrier’s energy waves. Necron was perturbed, surely the magicians sensed it. But it didn’t matter, the spell was almost complete, and then...
Tremendous energy poured from the Wither King. The disturbance in the cage became a turmoil, and quickly a hole appeared, growing visibly, the barrier in the skies distorting and twisting itself around it.
After a flash of light, the barrier was no more. “Quickly!” Kaeman exclaimed. He left the cage and fired a bolt of dark energy at the ground, not only breaking pillars from the cage but also part of the island itself.
Kaeman grabbed Necron then jumped into the void, but about a hundred meters deep the Wither stopped their fall and took the direction of a small opening on the cliff. As soon as they entered, he sealed the passage.
“Just what is… What is this place?” Necron exclaimed. The Wither King’s acute sense of death had identified that his cage was right above a place filled with corpses. “The Catacombs.” Kaeman replied.
He had planned his escape to look like an accident, a bi-product of his planning. While hidden in the Catacombs he would have time to heal and prepare his return, while he taught his new apprentice from the shadows.Show Author-The Watcher, The Apprentice, Part 3
The Follower, Part 2
Shortly after depositing the letter, Lathrop took the road that led to the Inn near the bottom of the Mountain. It was getting very dark and those roads were not safe at night, many people went missing in the last couple of years.
Ever since the mysterious explosion of the Wither King’s cage and its disappearance, strange events started to unfold on the island. While everyone is certain the creature fell in the void, many fear that the events are related.
As Lathrop approached the Inn, a silhouette entered before him, and he got an impression of deja vu. Inside the building the atmosphere was jovial, music was playing and a few people were apparently having some sort of contest.
Lathrop looked for a table on the side where it would be quiet and waited for the waitress. When he looked around, he noticed that in the opposite corner from him, the person he saw before was sitting alone as well.
They were wearing black clothes and had dark hair. The man had a long cape as well, and there was an odd square-like shape underneath it, obviously something they wanted to keep hidden from the common eye.
It was then that his feeling of deja vu became much more clear, he had seen this exact scene before in a vision! Although he could not remember much of it, he knew he was supposed to do something.
The waitress came and Lathrop ordered a meal, but he couldn’t stop himself from watching the strange man. Eventually, after another half hour, the man left his table and took the stairs for a room, where he would spend the night.
Almost as soon as that happened, a man with dark skin joined his table without asking permission. They looked tipsy, Lathrop thought that staying with them would mean trouble, so he got up to leave.
“Hey!” The man advanced towards Lathrop. “You look like a nice fellow. It’s just that I saw how you looked at the man who just left, do you know them? Never seen them round here before, and I’m good with faces!”
As the man was speaking, he stumbled backward, almost losing his balance. “Whoops… Maybe I had too much to drink? Heh.” The man’s words echoed in Lathrop’s head. ‘I’ve seen this before, in my dreams!’
Suddenly, and entirely out of his control, words flew from his mouth. “Yeah, I know him, just a merchant from far away who I had some business with before.” Lathrop felt a shiver down his spine. ‘Why did I say that?’ he thought.
The man looked at him, “Mmm, glad he’s not some kind of trouble or something! These days you never know, we live in a strange time. Sorry for the bother, I’ll leave you alone.” and he took his cup, then went back to sit at his table.
Lathrop left a few Coins on the counter and asked the hostess for a room. A few minutes later, he was in a nice bed ready to sleep for the night, but he just couldn’t shake this feeling, that something was about to happen.Show Author-The Watcher, The Follower, Part 2
At about 15 years of age, Livid was already counted among the most gifted members in the Guild of Thieves. A street boy who went from stealing fruits from peddler’s carts to a full-blown membership in the Guild.
When he turned 17, the Guild’s leader gave him his first assassination contract. A merchant paid a substantial amount for his competition to disappear, permanently. And Livid, despite his young age, had been chosen for the task.
Livid was certainly an exceptional thief, but that night he found out he was an even better assassin, and this newfound vocation grew in him, quickly becoming what he would call art. And every kill was his new masterpiece...
He would often talk about his contracts in gruesome detail with the other members of the guild, who hated it, so much so that they tried to ‘remove’ him from the guild. Unexpectedly, they were the ones ‘removed.’
Over the years he refined his technique, but he would eliminate his targets so easily that he could barely take away any pride in those assassinations. He was now looking for high profile prey, some he would struggle with.
That night, a mantle of heavy fog had rolled in down the mountainside, enshrouding the entire forest as well as the Inn nearby. Normal sounds were muffled, and everything seemed more subdued than usual.
For Livid, the night’s conditions were ideal. Tonight he would hunt, and the Inn was the perfect place to start. It was rather crowded, and at first glance, he couldn’t scout any prime victim, so he sat at a table and ordered a drink.
An hour later, a mysterious man wearing a large black cape entered the Inn and went straight to a corner table, not making eye contact with anyone. Livid’s attention turned towards what was under his cape, which looked like a small chest.
Almost immediately after, another man came in and sat down at a table on the opposite side, then proceeded to study the individual with the black cape for almost an hour, which intrigued Livid even more.
He had to find out who those people were. From what he could tell, the second man was not a threat, but definitely had valuable information regarding his potential target. Suddenly, the man with the cape left his table and went upstairs.
Livid walked towards the second man, pretending to have had a few drinks, and questioned him about the caped fellow, which turned out to be a merchant from far away. He couldn’t ask for a better target! It was settled, tonight, he would kill.
The merchant’s room was towards the left side of the Inn. The faint glow from a distant street-lamp illuminated the open window. With economical movements, Livid climbed the few meters separating him from the window.
A quick pull and he was sitting on the edge of the window. As he previously analyzed, the room was quiet and the merchant was asleep. Livid peered around, his other senses aiding his search, but no sign of the chest.
Unable to locate a safe place to walk without making any sound, Livid pulled out his dagger, he would have to kill the merchant before entering the room. The blade between his fingers, he readied his arm in striking position.
His concentration was halted by a sound coming from the right corner of the room that he had already inspected. One thing he knew; sound does not come from thin air - except when magic is at play.
Livid froze in place, holding his breath. The body in the bed was gone, he had been fooled! Before he could do anything, a sharp blade was running through his body. He could feel the steel cutting his heart in half.
‘So this is it.’ He thought, and he looked at the man holding the sword: young, but his face deeply marked, as if his skin was mixed with some sort of gray dust. This was no merchant, he was facing a mage, and a powerful one.
The blade was pulled out, it had inscriptions and motives on the edge. No blood flowed, and Livid couldn’t feel his body anymore. “H-how am I still alive?” He wailed. ”What did you do to me?!” Then, he fell on the ground, unconscious.Show Author-The Watcher, Murderer
The Follower - Part 3
The misty veil of fog slowly lifted, yet the night still obscured the path ahead. Lathrop followed the mysterious stranger from a distance, his silhouette barely visible in the darkness. The man now seemed to be carrying another, the one from the inn.
The sensation of deja vu was growing stronger with each step. Though he could not recall ever having witnessed it before in his visions. The man ventured on towards the coal cavern nestled deep within the shadowy woods.
Stepping cautiously into the cave, Lathrop removed his boots, wary of the sound resonating on the walls. The stranger and his burden were now out of sight, yet the sound of their progress still echoed through the cavern's corridors.
Lathrop descended one of the corridors, the footsteps before him his only guide. Suspicion grew as to their destination- the coal cave was an entrance to the ancient Catacombs, final resting place of the Cataclysm's casualties.
Echoes faded, Lathrop waited in silence, ears pricked for any sign of his quarry's passage. After a moment deemed safe, he resumed his pursuit. At last, he arrived in a large chamber, the catacomb’s gateway. The stranger was nowhere in sight.
Lathrop was about to inspect the grand wooden door in front of him, when a voice shattered the silence from behind him. "Why are you trailing me?" It asked, causing a chill to run down his spine.
His fear receded as he turned to face the man from the inn, and the large body next to him. The sensation of deja vu reached its peak and the same feeling he had at the inn overtook him. "I must," he muttered, "I have seen you in visions.”
"You speak of visions," Necron said, visibly intrigued. "What is it that you have seen in these visions?" "I have seen that by following you to your master, I will reach the full extent of my abilities," Lathrop replied.
Necron observed Lathrop in silence for a moment, then picked up Livid's unconscious body and slung it over his shoulder. He walked towards the large wooden door, which opened on its own. "Come," he said as he stepped into the Catacombs.Show Author-The Watcher, The Follower - Part 3
Following the ritual, Sadan hastened to his chambers. Confusion and anger warred within him. A few months prior, he had learned that his father yet lived, and was a formidable member of the Wither King army: Storm.
Today, he had finally met him in the flesh, if it could be called that. After consuming the late Solomon during the ceremony, his father had at last attained his third and final Wither head. Gaining immense power but at the cost of his humanity.
Sadan's blood boiled, he had spent months training, besting even his professor in several duels. And yet his father had not so much as a glance for him, instead choosing to become a creature of nightmares in his pursuit of power.
Did he still desire his father's approval? He would never relinquish his humanity to gain it, of that he was certain. No, his drive was still burning, just...different than before. He would surpass even a Wither with his own abilities.
Sadan swore that night, even if his body could never attain the power to rival his father, he would develop a technique so powerful it could defeat the strongest of creatures. And one day, it would be Storm yearning for his attention.
-???, The Father
Necron deemed the man who followed him, Lathrop, to be entirely harmless. He then resolved to bring him to his master, intrigued by the potential he had foretold. He would later come to regret that decision deeply.
Lathrop knew that he was meant to be there, his unshakable belief in the Eye and his visions were hard to justify, but something felt so familiar and reliable. Nevertheless, visions had never led him this far, from that point on, he was in the unknown.
Encountering the Wither King was a formidable challenge, the mere sight of the creature would drive many a sane person to the brink of madness. The three distinct heads regarded him with an apparent sorrow, and then spoke.
After a brief conversation, Kaeman led Lathrop to his personal laboratory and stood him before a massive orb, an ancient vision stone of uncertain origin. The Wither then commanded him to focus on the center of the glass.
The images within the orb swirled and shifted like a kaleidoscope, offering no clear meaning or pattern to Lathrop as he attempted to decipher them. The command "Find me" echoed in his mind as he became more deeply enraptured by the visions before him.
Lathrop focused on the reverberating phrase in his mind "Find me", as he did so the images within the vision stone began to slow, patterns appeared, and with increased focus, Lathrop started to comprehend the visions before him.
In this place where time held no meaning, the images flowed around him, but they moved neither forward nor backward. With even more mental effort, Lathrop saw a house, a child, a woman, and the source of that voice, Kaeman. He had found him.
As Lathrop emerged from the orb and returned to reality, he was completely drained, but the Wither King deemed the experience a success. Lathrop possessed a natural ability to use the seeing-stone and could survive the experience.
The following months were nothing short of torment for Lathrop, as he was compelled to use the orb every waking hour. His eyes improved dramatically, but he slowly began to lose control of the rest of his body.
Kaeman was resolute in unlocking Lathrop's potential, and anything that hindered that goal had to be removed. As Lathrop's limbs became a burden, they were surgically removed, starting with his legs and then his arms.
When Kaeman had finished his experimentation, Lathrop was no longer alive, nor was he dead. His eyes had grown and merged together, while everything else had been lost. Lathrop was no more, and I was now The Watcher.
-???, The Watcher
The transformation into The Watcher gave me mastery over the seeing-stone and immense telepathic abilities. No simple minded being could hide their secrets from me. The pain and suffering I underwent was worth it a hundred times over.
With the excitement of a bird learning to fly, I delved into a frenzy of experimentation. Each day brought new discoveries and endless possibilities. But I was still far from understanding my true role in the grand scheme of things.
Through my training, I have come to know every detail of the Wither King's history and the person he used to be. A powerful mage but also a fragile being, broken too many times. Though I know his story well, I find myself revisiting it time and time again.
His memories are too hard to decipher, but they served as a guide for me in the vision stone. At first, the memories were chaotic and disorganized but eventually I was able to put all the pieces of the puzzle in their proper place.
From being a top student at the academy, Kaeman evolved into a renowned researcher in the field of advanced magic. He was extremely diligent in his work, and his passion was boundless. He was always fully absorbed in his research.
Despite his immense success, the true starting point of Kaeman's tale lies with her. A farmhand who had been struck by an accident out in the fields, and whom he was charged with healing. Her name was Sarah.
Her wound was minor, and he only needed to visit her on three occasions. At first he was too blind to fully appreciate her charms. He had never given much thought to dating or starting a family, and had very little experience in that regard.
Sarah was a radiant beauty and despite her limited education, her sharp wit and intelligence shone through in her every word and movement. Her gestures were elegant, her speech poetic and imaginative, consistently surprising Kaeman with their originality.
Sarah also fell deeply in love with Kaeman. He could not fathom how such a pure and perfect creature like her could see anything of worth in him. He was but a product of a flawed society, a mere cog in a grotesque machine.
They soon joined together and lived a carefree life. With Sarah by his side, Kaeman's priorities shifted, he devoted less time to his research and pursuit of knowledge. He felt alive and content, with Sarah's happiness taking precedence over his own.
Mylah, their firstborn, was a healthy and peaceful child with a determined gaze that hinted at the strong woman she could become. She brought an endless stream of joy to Kaeman's life. But that era was soon to end.
No one could have predicted the Calamity. Jythar, the millennia-old dragon ruler, launched a surprise attack on the human realm with his entire dragon army, at a time when dragons were so rare that many believed them to be nothing but legend.
With the dragon army rapidly approaching, Kaeman and the other mages made their way to the Castle. Many kingdoms had already been decimated, and their only hope for survival was a trap of epic proportions that they had spent the day preparing.
When Jythar appeared on the horizon, Kaeman realized the true scale of their enemy. The dragon was immense, a giant among his kind, and its aura was infused with a magic unlike anything he had ever encountered.
Only two of Jythar’s generals were left, and close to a hundred dragon soldiers were still by his side. As predicted, Jythar took a vantage point atop the mountain to survey the castle and the army of mages before unleashing his wrath.
The castle, with its elite academy of magic, was the epitome of magical might in the realm. The trap set by Kaeman and his companions was basic yet deadly, and Jythar had unknowingly fallen for it.
As soon as the massive dragon touched down on the mountain, the mages' trap was unleashed, a surge of magic energy enveloping the dragon emperor, trapping him in place as the crushing force of gravity descended upon him.
With Jythar immobilized, the battle raged on. Archers stood guard as the mages unleashed their powerful spells upon the dragon emperor. But the dragons fiercely defended their ruler, sacrificing their lives to intercept the incoming spells.
Despite the staggering losses, the tide of battle began to turn in the favor of the castle's defenders. The powerful barriers protecting the castle held strong, and even the two generals of Jythar's army seemed to be on the brink of exhaustion.
But just as hope began to rise, a miracle occurred. Defying all known laws of magic, Jythar, perched atop his mountain slowly rose to his feet, unfurling his giant wings and standing tall, casting the battlefield into shadows with his immense form.
The sunbeams filtering through the holes in his wings revealed the truth to Kaeman - the emperor had already passed on, possibly for hours. The unusual magical aura he felt earlier was Fel, the magic of the dead.
An otherworldly scream erupted from Jythar's jaws, and for a moment time seemed to stand still. Then, a blast of dark energy burst from the behemoth, releasing him from the trap and decimating everything in its wake.
As the dragon's scream rent the air, time itself did pause. And in that moment, the Rift opened at the peak of the mountain, the same Rift through which I would communicate with Lathrop in the years to come. But that is a story for another time.
As if the dragon had made a pact with magic itself, he sacrificed his own soul for a brief moment of power and freedom. The blast of dark energy killed thousands upon impact, including his own dragon soldiers.
With mighty strokes of his immense wings, Jythar took to the air once more, his soul's sacrifice having won him but a few short minutes of liberation. Soaring through the skies, he circled the realm, leaving no corner unchecked.
In his death throes, Jythar's anger consumed him as he recklessly laid waste to all in his path, as if the earth itself was his enemy. Even his own general, Chozon, was not spared, losing his left wing in the blast as he fell to the ground.
As Jythar’s pact with death came to a close, he fell to the earth, motionless but consumed by dark flames. The dragon's goal was achieved, leaving the realm in shambles. The familiar terrain had crumbled, shattered into a multitude of isolated islands.
Far from the castle’s walls, Jythar landed on one of the newly formed islands in the realm, a tranquil land of swine herders known as Taika. Meanwhile, the conflict still raged on, despite only a few survivors remaining on both sides.
As the dragon emperor fell, Kaeman's mind raced to his loved ones. Though his home was not in the vicinity of the castle, he feared for their safety in the aftermath of the blast. He could not return to the fight until he knew they were well.
When he reached his home, Kaeman's heart sank as he saw the roof had caved in. Fearing the worst, he sprinted the remaining distance and burst into the house, calling out for his wife in a state of panic, his eyes frantically searching for any sign of them.
Unfortunately, Kaeman was too late - his beloved wife and daughter lay dead under the debris, their bodies entwined in a final embrace. The dried tears on Sarah's face told the story of their last moments.
In that instant, Kaeman was consumed by a grief too great for words. He couldn't accept the truth, there had to be some mistake. His mind was in such turmoil that he didn't even realize the battle had ended when he finally came back to himself.
A thought crossed Kaeman's mind. If magic could allow Jythar to cheat death, perhaps he could learn to master it himself. With a spell, he preserved the bodies of Sarah and Mylah, in the hopes of one day bringing them back to life.
In the aftermath of the Calamity, there was much to be done, but one of the first tasks at hand was to deal with the body of Jythar. The heart was steeped in Fel magic and was corrupting everything in its proximity.
The council decided to remove Jythar's heart from his swiftly decaying body, and agreed to bury it deep within a rocky isle, one with a verdant landscape, but of little significance, where the potential harm it might cause would be of lesser concern.
Kaeman proposed a motion to the council to study the heart of Jythar. He argued that understanding this power was crucial in order to defend against future threats. The council ultimately denied his request, judging the risk too large.
Determined to uncover the secrets of Fel magic despite the council's rejection, Kaeman stepped down from his position at the academy and announced his leave. In reality, he traveled to the heart’s island and established a research facility.
Working in secret, Kaeman devoted himself to his research, only leaving his hidden laboratory at night, and improving the facility during the day. None knew of his preservation of the bodies of his family, and so none suspected his plans.
Though his innate ability with magic was strong, Kaeman found the study of Fel to be a labyrinthine undertaking. He knew that mastering even a fraction of its power would require years, possibly decades of dedicated study.
With each passing year, the island became more twisted and corrupted by the Fel magic emanating from the dragon's heart. The once lush flora and fauna began to wither and die, giving way to twisted and corrupted creatures of pure Fel.
The land underwent a metamorphosis, the soil transforming into a petrified white, from which whispers echoed. The minerals and stones coalesced, becoming as black as midnight and rose in spikes that reached towards the sky.
As the island grew more dangerous, fewer and fewer humans ventured there, giving Kaeman more space to conduct his forbidden research. He was making steady progress towards mastering the forbidden arts.
He started by experimenting on small creatures, gradually moving on to reviving a small corpse for a few hours. As he continued to perfect his technique, he felt increasingly confident in his abilities. Finally, he felt ready to attempt the ultimate test.
Seven years had passed, and Kaeman's experiments had taken a toll on his body. He knew he must act quickly to bring his wife and daughter back, for he wanted them to know him as the man they once knew, while he still retained a human form.
In the still of the night, Kaeman brought the bodies of Sarah and Mylah to the heart of the island, where the Fel magic was at its strongest. And with great care, he cast the spell he had spent years perfecting.
Using his own body as a conduit to filter the raw Fel, he channeled the dark magic into theirs, breathing new life into their lifeless forms. The process was taxing, but he refused to falter, driven by his unwavering determination.
And then, amidst the pulsating glow of the Fel, he saw movement. His loved ones stirred to life once more, and in that moment, Kaeman knew he had succeeded. His eyes closed in triumph as he ended the spell, his being filled with a newfound serenity.
As the Fel magic dissipated, Kaeman made his way to his wife's side to assist her in standing. But the ritual had left its mark, her skin now had a strange consistency and her eyes seemed to have lost some of their vibrancy.
Precociously placing his arm on her back, helping her sit, he used his other hand to turn her face towards his. She looked at him in silence with an incredulous look. “Oh, Sarah,” he said as tears ran down his face.
Kaeman recognized that his wife and daughter had not truly returned to him. Though their bodies animated under the power of his magic, their minds remained vacant, as if they had lost all memory of who they once were.
With a heavy heart, Kaeman returned his wife and daughter to his laboratory. He devoted himself to their care, but as the days passed with no improvement, a sense of hopelessness began to cloud his thoughts.
Sarah and Mylah no longer needed sleep or sustenance, they simply stood or sat, wandering aimlessly. Though they showed no aggression towards Kaeman, they would occasionally strike out at any insects that crossed their path.
At times, Sarah would fix her gaze upon him, as if recognizing him. It gave Kaeman renewed hope that their souls still lingered within their bodies, and that he simply had to find a way to restore them.
One day he even witnessed Mylah reach her hand to hold her mother’s, and his heart swelled with emotion. That moment will forever be etched in Kaeman's mind. It was a small gesture, but this renewed sense of hope grew stronger in Kaeman.
Overcome with emotion, he stepped forward to enfold them both in his embrace, holding them close for several minutes as a family united, yet forever changed by the cruelty of fate. 'My love, what happened to us?' he whispered.
The love he held for Sarah and Mylah was boundless, and he knew that he would not rest until they were whole once more. He would spare no expense, no effort, no time - he would do whatever it took, whether it be seven years or a hundred.
Time marched on, and while Sarah and Mylah remained unchanged, Kaeman's knowledge of magic grew exponentially. He began to unlock secrets of the soul that no man had ever discovered before.
Three more years had passed, and Kaeman often ventured forth from his laboratory to further his research. It was during one of these absences that the castle's routine inspection of the island uncovered his hidden laboratory.
He returned to find his laboratory in shambles, all of his precious scrolls stolen. But the true horror lay in wait for him as he entered his private chamber. The corpses of Sarah and Mylah, mutilated beyond recognition, lay before him.
The scene was a cruel echo of their first death. The shock of it sent him spiraling into insanity. He had labored so tirelessly, clinging to the faint hope that he might one day reclaim those cherished moments, and now that hope was utterly lost.
But what enraged him the most was the desecration of his beloved by the hands of those who knew not what they did. Short-sighted mortals, making hasty choices, always acting impulsively, cowering in fear before the unknown.
They had brutally murdered the ones he held dear, savages. In his darkest hour, as he knelt amidst the remains of his beloved Sarah and Mylah, he cursed the barbarous soldiers who had taken their lives.
But his life was now at an end. Both the ones he loved and his own life were beyond salvation. Silently, he gathered the remains of Sarah and Mylah, and departed from his laboratory, setting his course towards the island's core.
As he stood before the heart of Jythar, Kaeman summoned the magic to aid him in his quest for vengeance. He cast a spell, even at the cost of his own life, in hopes that he would be reunited with his beloved Sarah and Mylah in the afterlife.
As he stood at the threshold of death, Kaeman finally understood the true essence of Fel. The power of sacrifice. By giving up his own life, he had unleashed a magic more potent than any he had ever wielded before.
As the spell was unleashed, his body rose into the air, engulfed in dark, swirling flames. He felt himself expanding, growing stronger as the power of Fel flowed into him. Opening his eyes, he saw something else had joined him in the maelstrom of magic.
He saw the remains of his beloved, Mylah and Sarah, merge with him in the turmoil. Mylah's head fused with his left shoulder, and Sarah's with his right. He could not comprehend the meaning of it, as the power flowing into him was too overwhelming.
As the spell reached its conclusion, Kaeman stood transformed, his body now completely withered and consumed by the dark flames. No trace of his former self remained, and where once there had been but one head, now there were three.
As he surveyed his surroundings, Kaeman recognized the enormity of his new form. Kaeman knew that he now possessed a strength that could not be measured, and with it, the power to seek the justice he so desperately desired.
Fueled by his burning anger, Kaeman's thoughts turned towards the castle. A decade after the Calamity, he would unleash upon them a terror greater than they had ever known. And if Jythar was the Dragon Emperor, then he was now the Wither King.Show Author-The Watcher, Memories
My knowledge of the seeing-stone growing, the Wither King charged me with remaking it, reshaping it to suit his needs. It was a difficult task, but not insurmountable, and I knew precisely what he desired.
I was determined to please my master, and so I devoted myself to studying his life before the Calamity. I spent months examining every aspect of his past, every detail. By the end of it, I knew the members of his family better than I knew myself.
And so, I set about using the orb to create a world identical to the one he had known, I was the architect of this dream, and I built it with care, ensuring that it would be a place where the Wither King could relive his halcyon days.
The end result was a dreamlike realm, where he could lose himself in nostalgia and forget the harsh realities of the present. A world where the tragedy of the Calamity never occurred, and the faces of Sarah and Mylah still shone with life.
With the completion of the new orb, the Wither King spent days lost within its dreamlike realm. Inside, he was Kaeman once more. When he emerged, he thanked me, a rare display from him and a sign that he had regained some of his former self.
With my task complete, the Wither King then told me he needed me no more, charging me to remain loyal to my new master, Necron.Show Author-The Watcher The Orb
Necron was greatly troubled by his recent audience with his master. For since bringing me to serve the Wither King, the tyrant had been consumed by a new obsession, and Necron's worst fears had been realized.
During their discourse, Kaeman informed Necron that he would abandon his designs and entrust the Catacombs to him, granting him complete autonomy over them. He had relinquished his drive and at last found solace.
Henceforth, Kaeman declared to Necron he would retreat to a secluded chamber deep within the Catacombs, where he would spend eternity in solitude, lost in contemplation of the Orb I had created.
As he prepared to retreat into his sanctuary, Kaeman had one final request for Necron, to defend the entrance to this sanctuary with his very being, as he would himself work on a powerful spell to safeguard his slumber.
Necron accepted, and Kaeman offered his apologies for his shortcomings as a master, a clear indication that the once-terrible Wither King was no longer the same malevolent ruler. But Necron was soon to understand why.
Despite his initial reluctance, Necron never bore me ill will, for we shared a common devotion to our lord and master. He could empathize with the torment I had suffered, and acknowledge the role I played in helping Kaeman conquer his demons.
In the aftermath of my master's seclusion, Necron and I had many hours of discourse, and it was through these conversations that he came to understand the true nature of the man he had served.
Despite his newfound understanding of Kaeman's motivations, Necron could not deny the devastating impact of his master's departure. Not only did it cripple the army they were building, but it also delayed his ambitions for decades, perhaps centuries.
Necron was forced to re-evaluate his strategy. A larger, more formidable army was now a necessity. He would have to find even stronger soldiers and instruct them in the ways of necromancy. Even the construction of a factory may be necessary.
One thing was clear, Necron could not allow the truth of the Wither King's departure to be known, for without his protection, the Catacombs would be exposed to danger.Show Author-The Watcher, Necron’s Dilemma
Until we meet again
As the expedition sent forth from the castle in the late days of 1531 failed to return, whispers began to spread like wildfire. With each passing day, the concern grew that the Wither King had survived and fled to the Catacombs.
The kingdom had known defeat at the hands of Kaeman once before, and they were not prepared to face him again, let alone an army of tens of thousands of undead risen from the Catacombs' crypts.
Fearing the worst, many began to flee. And when Necron sent his strongest soldier Storm to attack the castle with a fraction of his army months later, the castle was already mostly empty.
The castle, which had withstood the Calamity and the Wither King's attack, now lay in ruins. The prestigious mage academy, a beacon of knowledge and power, was also brought to ruin, swallowed by the void, signifying the end of an 800-year legacy.
In the end, Necron had his revenge, but during his conversations with me, he came to see that his own ambitions were not as honorable as his master’s. His quest for revenge was ultimately for his master, not just for himself.
Though Necron abstained from the battle, his army emerged victorious, but their leader felt no pride in their triumph. In the wake of their success, he announced to his commanders that their campaign for domination was far from finished.
In reality, Necron found himself reflecting on the journey thus far, looking back at where he started, he was amazed by how far he came. He had created not just an army, but a community. The realization made him question his desire for conquest.
The Catacombs army's attack on the realm proved to be their last. Necron, despite his impulsive nature, turned his attention to fostering and guarding his growing community, and dedicated himself to shielding his master from all harm that may come.
As you delve deeper into the pages of these journals I have left for you, the fate of the Catacombs may become clear. But understand, dear reader, that it is still too early for you to fully grasp the role you play in the grand design of things.
Until we meet again, I bid you farewell.
The Watcher.Show Author-The Watcher, Until we meet again
- Completing 10 Dungeon Journals for the first time unlocks the Achievement "Librarian".
- After reading through all the Journals the player can see the author of each Journal.
|July 7th, 2020||Catacombs Release||Journal Entry Added.|
|February 16th, 2023||Final Dungeon Journals||Journal Entry renamed to Journal.|
|Last dungeon Journals added.|
|Journals now unlock an entire story part.|