The Serin Mystique, Volume 15, Issue 4
You have the distinct honor to hold the 4th Issue of Volume 15 of the1) Cabal Reports (see Justice, Warlords, Legion, Keeper, Knights, Consortium)
Serin Mystique. This edition holds information regarding many of the great
events of our day, including the rise of two new immortals and a discussion
on the nature of goodness and evil. From all of us at the Consortium, we
hope you enjoy.
2) News (see RisingShadow, Pendulum, GuardStrike, TheFall2)
3) Obituaries (see Borgharv, Gwevym, Abellyith, ThreeLegion, Myrina, Rhoa, Lumubella)
4) Battle Reports (see Battle1, Battle2, Battle3, Battle4)
5) Poetry (see JackTheHat, Witch'sRap, PromisedPoem, GrimBuddy)
6) Interviews (see LumubellaInterview, MohglinInterview)
7) Reflections (see ArcaneAdvice, Spirit, Honor?, Pauwyrfection)
8) Good vs Evil (see Introduction, XhaouResponse, SolmundiResponse, SerraResponse, KaliResponse, LumubellaResponse, DogranResponse, RhoaResponse)
9) Stories (see ShoeLife, BloodySacrament)
10) Current Events (see Magistrate, Contest, Tyranny)
This Mystique brought to you by:
- Polymath Ilromie Illistarre
- Doyenne Serra
- Oracle Wylsin Plindane
- Oracle Ocelia
- Chronicler Kilvar
- Chronicler Villidan
- Chronicler Valindra Skitterwit
- Annotator Pauwyr Rauwyr
With thanks to our Immortal Guides:
- Lady Vanisse the Myth Weaver, Mirage of Fortune
- Lord Phostan, Headmaster of the Consortium
- Lord Varliv, Supreme Magistrate of Serin
1) Cabal Reports
The halls of Justice have been fairly quiet with the noted absences of
Commander Solmundi and his officers. Fortunately, my Lord Kedaleam has made
his reappearance, and inducted two new shaman recruits, Revanse and Praoli.
We now see them patrolling the streets of Seringale often. Thus far, not
much criminal activity has been noted, although a few long-standing warrants
still exist. The new recruits have been already put to the test by Dogran,
which has made at least one of them feel a bit dour. But of course, one
cannot let one's guard down with the Legion. With time, the mettle of our
new recruits will be tested and honed. I hope they prove themselves worthy
of my Lord's favor.
Praoli did find favor with Kedaleam, but Revanse did not. Several officers
have been through the ranks of Justice recently and Commander Solmundi both
returned and fell from grace. He now leads the Justice with an evil eye,
the very definition of a Tyrant. Which young officer will be the first to
make their name under his guidance?
The Warlords have seen many members cycling through the halls of honor,
with varying ability to uphold their ideals. With the loss of Thoom,
leadership was dry and the younger Warlords seemed content to wander about
like Legion. Tearea has been recently promoted to Warmistress and she
claims that she will guide the cabal back to a path of glory.
The halls are currently accepting applications, if you dare to face the
Members inlcude: Tearea the Standard Bearer, Szrevan the Blade, and
Shaghroth the Young.
Having, by chance, crossed paths with the Sinister Minister, I asked
humbly for some bit of insight into the current matters with the Legion. He
merely spoke that the Legion is recruiting and that his ascension has left a
void in the ranks. What will come of this, only time will tell. But the
eye does spy the Demon-Elf Aelaldric as a rather potent member of the cabal.
Something to keep an eye on indeed.
penned by Villidan, Chronicler of Literature
The Keepers of Balance had shifted back into their hold. While they may
be looking for members to join, it doesn't seem any mortal denizens are
members. They seem to be waiting to see how their dear pendulum swings to
know when they will come forth and fight to preserve their balance.
penned by Villidan, Chronicler of Literature
A great era of Light has ended. With the loss of both Executor Rhoa and
Archon Lumubella, the Castle halls are devoid of activity. While we have
survived many droughts, never in my life have I seen the Knights without any
form of mortal Leadership. Lord Ceridwel yet presides over the Halls and
seeks out those who bear honor and bravery in their hearts to join in the
fight against darkness.
The halls of the Consortium swell with talent. With repsentation of both
Mystics and Heralds, there is no shortage of journalists. The halls are
Serra. The ink flows freely, so ensure you do nothing not fit to print. At
least not where we can see. The Consortium is guided by Vanisse the Myth
Weaver, Headmaster Phostan, and Supreme Magristrate Varliv.
Members include: Polymath Ilromie Illistarre, Doyenne Serra, Oracle Wylsin,
Oracle Ocelia, Chronicler Kilvar, Chronicler Villidan, Chronicler Valindra,
and Annotator Pauwyr.
Dogran the Sinister Minister rises above the rest of his flock and
ascended into the Halls of the Immortals. He shepherds the remaining now,
seeking to increase the numbers of the Legion to cover the realm in
darkness. If you need any further proof of this, look to his most recent
While interviewing Warmistress Tearea on a different matter, she
mentioned offhand that the Warlords were now influenced by the pendulum, but
refused to elaborate. Have the Warlords struck an accord with the Keepers
to enforce balance throughout the land? Have they taken over the fortress?
Apparently, I must win a duel to learn the answer, so we may never know!
Rest assured, this historian shall continue the search for the truth.
Funny enough, I was about in Mocker's when a young upstart, Rizeth
already so young is marked Wanted by then Justice. But as one of the
officers attempted to rouse the guards to take effort in apprehending them.
None answered. Quite humorous while also dangerous, if those who are to
keep the peace can't even control their own guards what are we to do?
The Fall of Solmundi Part 2
The truth has come to Light. Commander Solmundi has fallen to the Darkness.
I know not if there was ever hope for him, though I believed in the efforts
made by Archons Lumubella and Alkas. Would it have made a difference were
they to have survived to this day? In fact, I find it merely a relief that
they did not witness his fall in person.
The Commander was weak with confusion and anger as he stood before us that
day in North Square, contemplating the world and his place within it. He
scorned light and love, then placed his hands upon his Helm of Justice and
twisted viciously. It was his neck that gave out in the end.
As he lay there, a horror rose in our guts that he would not rise. What
happened was even worse. Rise he did, but with a darkness in his eyes. It
seems it was neither Dogran nor Vhrael who had their eye on this jotun who
should have been a bastion of the Light for Davirus, Lord of Blood arrived
swiftly to take him away. Solmundi was granted power beyond the realm of
mortality and we shall never now be free of his tyranny.
Borgharv the Holy Shaman
If you find the pace of these obits incredible,
Don't look now, for here lies a dead bull!
O, Borgharv the Priest,
He now makes a feast
For the worms--if they deem him edible.
Gwevym the Holy Kight
But what of Gwevym the Holy Knight?
Did he truly surrender the fight?
Re: an oath broken,
An elf, outspoken,
Left him without a taste for the light.
Abellyith the Battlemaster
Ding dong! Another Warlord is dead.
Lost a duel, then later his head.
A hoof-shining dwarf--
We'll miss him, of course--
Though I couldn't understand what he said.
Three for the Price of One
Tezguul the Grand Spectre of Beguilement
O, the Legion graveyard is hopping,
And its novitiates keep dropping
Like flies. Bye, Tezguul!
Maybe next time you'll
Think twice before belly flopping.
Groushtar the Battlemaster
O, the Legion graveyard is swelling,
And where it ends, there's no telling--
Farewell to Groushtar,
The giant who went far
Underground. The death bells are knelling.
Rhaizo the Shadow Master of the Marama Kuei
O, the Legion graveyard is growing,
And it shows no signs of slowing.
Rest in peace, Rhaizo--
Meh, if you say so,
Though pieces might be more apropos-ing.
Myrina the Grand Mistress of Seasons
Has anyone heard from Myrina?
Before you ask, I haven't seen her.
Her training was grueling--
The talking, the dueling!--
Now it's quiet inside the arena.
Rhoa was a rather mighty paladin, serving the Knights mind, body and
soul. She did not seek the 'glory' of being Executor, but rose to the title
through putting her effort in her work. She has slain many an evil doer and
cause many to flee at her presence, while also beating back any of those who
challenged her. While there are some losses, she stood with her head high
most of the time. Her honor is as iron-clad as her oaths to her cause and
city. May the next who rise to her place serve just as well.
Lumubella the Bright
There once was a dwarven royal
With a heart both kind and loyal
To friends she was an inspiration
To enemies a harsh castigation
Now, to both, another body beneath the soil
Lumubella fought bravely throughout her life to protect the City of Valour
and any who sought protection from the dark. Strong of will and strong of
arm, she yet stands as an inspiration to the rest of us as a pillar of the
light and goodness in general. This world is darker for this loss.
You are missed.
4) Battle Reports
Tayina vs Abellyith
The clash started with Tayina attempting to pin Abellyith down. Going in
strong with her crossbow to use her magicked arrows to drown him. The
skirmish continued back and forth, arrows flying, steel clashing on flesh.
Tayina retreated her animal companions distracting Abellyith as she refocus
on her next approach after being dealt some devastating wounds. Eventually,
Abellyith sought her out, and delivered a final savagely wild swing with his
blade takes the victory from the Raknos ranger.
penned by Villidan, Bard and Dilettante of the Consortium
Lumubella vs. Groushtar, Dzaela
I observed two long and grueling battles waged by the Knight Archon
Lumubella. The first was against the Legion Groushtar. She drew him to
Darkhaven by attacking the master occultist. With an ice staff in hand, she
beat him around the city, forcing him to retreat many a time. When he
finally fled to rest, she quickly gained his item and escorted it to Valour,
where a great deal of time was spent fending off his attacks. While he
tried everything he could, there was not much he could do against her
healing and aura for the stablemaster. Many days passed, with nothing on
the horizon but a stalemate. Lumubella did not chase far from Valour, and
seemed intent more on healing the stablemaster than attacking him, so he
could only attempt to wear down the stablemaster as best he could. One
could sense he was beginning to despair and take some risks.
Just then the drow thief Dzaela appeared. She laid a tripwire in Valour,
which the fire giant tripped over and sent him fleeing from the realms. Her
ploy backfired, the thief then went after her presumably original target of
Lumubella. However she could not land the blackjacks (my dear has quite a
hard head, it seems) and neither could Lumubella land any faerie fires. So
they skirmished round Valour, then Seringale, and along the Eastern Road a
tad, with no particularly damaging exchanges throughout. This second bout
was not drawn on long, for the thief, having satiated her twisted pleasures,
scribed by Serra
Alkas vs. Rhaizo
This Renewal I observed the monk Knight Archon Alkas fighting the Legion
drow shadow, Rhaizo. It seemed Alkas had generally the upper hand
throughout the fight, with the drow spending most of his time hiding behind
all sorts of creatures big and small. This resulted in the untimely death
of Vinnie the Shopkeeper, after which Rhaizo fled out of town and Alkas went
chasing for days. When Alkas attempted to bring the fight to his cabal
instead, Rhaizo simply stood by the Shadowdemon guardian and waited. After
much time wasted in this manner, with the drow simply moping about quietly
in various corners, Alkas needed to depart. He sighed that most of his
battles appear to result in stalemates, as his enemies often disappear into
the shadows before he can find them. Still, at least the drow was able to
get up to no mischief. After Alkas left, the shadow huddled in the shadows
motionlessly for a brief time before departing.
It is most strange that the lands are gripped by winter when such a drow
comes about, for he seemed to be gripping nothing at all.
scribed by Serra
Lumubella vs. Groushtar, Rhaizo
Knight Archon Lumubella awoke to the two notorious Legions, Groushtar and
Rhaizo, prowling the lands together. She allowed me to watch the ensuing
battle, where the evil foes attempted to exploit her weakness to water with
the fearsome staff of storms and other water weapons. Though the damage cut
deeply, she was able to extricate herself from their initial onslaught and
While she rested, the Legions chose to take their fight to her cabal, in
attempt to force her to defend. Their water-based weaponry and Rhaizo's
potent dirt, blindness and poisons were quite formidable. However, the
Legions were underprepared with few Defender potions between them and
limited purple potions. During this first portion of the battle, Lumubella
focused her attacks upon Rhaizo, hoping to send him running quickly, but he
Because the Legions had begun their onslaught against the Castle's inner
sanctum, it provided a safe haven for Lumubella to recover. Stymied and
trapped between the Holy Knight and pious templar with no aura, the two
Legions seemed a bit stupefied when Lumubella suddenly switched tactics and
focused on the fire giant. Two mangling strikes with an ice staff sent him
stumbling into the arms of the pious templar who mercifully put him out of
his misery. He instantly left the realms, leaving his items to be
sacrificed to the Goddess Vanisse. The drow shadow fled back to Darkhaven
thereafter, making a few more half-hearted skirmish attempts, then hid until
Lumubella took her leave.
scribed by Serra
'Jack the Hat'
O what can one say
Of Jack the Hat?
Of the way he plays?
He trims the fat.
He bets the gold,
He wins the purse.
This story's old,
And it gets worse.
What can one say
Of the hat he wears?
How does one pray
To the cross he bears?
He bets the purse,
He wins the gold.
He chews the curse,
The fat tastes old.
And what of this loss?
What did you bet?
Of the coins you tossed,
Did you forget?
The cross is light,
The gold is spent:
In that cursed hat,
The money you meant
To win back--
Yes, yes. Heads roll for the tale
Of our friend Jack.
"Witch's Rap" by Valindra Skitterwit
I am the witch with the goblin's face.
It belonged to another,
But she's been replaced.
Skitterwit magic in my bones--
But this soul of mine,
It's a crone's.
I'll read your fortune with a deck of cards
Sitting high on the hog in this house of bards.
What do I see when I peer into flame?
Simply that you will remember my name:
Valindra, Valindra, VALINDRAAAAA.
That old witch of Acadia's
Never gonna say to ya
'Take an oath to Valour.'
That shit is degrading ya!
One more time like a second attack,
Say it louder for the bitches in the back:
Valindra, Valindra, VALINDRAAAAAA.
A breeze drifts, carrying on smells so sweet,
Bringing on it tidings of one to meet.
I could not bare to not know of her,
Just the thought of that makes me shiver.
Her patience is like that of Stryth,
One would think it to be that of a myth.
Her beauty is unworldly, ethereal,
I honestly couldn't believe she was real.
But if one were to ask what she ever did for me,
My chance reply would be, why are you asking about Ilromie.
The Grim Buddy by Sileshi
Come in, old friend.
How have you been these long years kept at bay?
Will you take bread? Shall we play chess today?
Recall, old friend,
How we weren't close, or even friends, I'd say.
Will you take water? Or yet steal away?
Listen, ancient friend...
We've danced for long enough, so come what may,
Will you take comfort? Will you deign to stay?
Author's Note: This interview was conducted some time ago and lost in the
shuffle of submissions.
The Brightest Light of the Knights
Lumubella is a young dwarf, self-described as "a right holy terror," and the
youngest of twenty-two siblings. Her father, King Azemi doted greatly upon
her as a child, feeding such behavior to the consteration of her mother,
Queen Lucerne. Their kingdom rested deep in what is now Tenebria until the
day the trolls invaded. That day marked the loss of nearly all of the
Stoutheart clan, though Lumubella was, at the time, being tamed by the
discipline of the church.
Lone surviver of her family's slaughter and driven from her home, she turned
to her faith in the Lady Vanisse. Through the Lady's guidance she tempered
her taste for revenge, and sought the Knights as symbols of hope. Now, she
shines as the brightest young Knight of an age.
II: What is the greatest challenge to the Knights?
LS: Apathy. The people not bein' carin about our good works, or the efforts
we expend ter keep the innocents safe. That be creatin' an opportunity for
evil to sneak in and influence the minds and hearts o' those that otherwise
wouldn't be lettin' it in.
II: Do you think the Oath is effective?
LS: Even in my young life, I have seen many with truly evil intentions be
usin' it as a shield. All the while plottin' tings and strategizin' against
us. Only ter break it when it bein' convenient. An oath only be of value
to good, honest people. But... The Goddess do be preachin' ter be givin'
those a chance to turn a new
LS: I be fer givin' everyone a chance. But shame on me fer the majority
that forsake such a chance. And shame on me for those that be takin' the
oath and Ter make is simple, I be believin' it be worth it if we truly
change the nature o' even one person. But vigilance is always needed, hence
II: What do you see as the greatest asset for the Knights currently?
LS: Leadership. Though we be few, we be inspired and inspirin'. The
Executor be the most fervent I have ever seen. And Sir Alkas be the most
pious and good at heart. And we not be forgettin' Lord Ceridwel. His
presence always be a comfort and a hope.
II: Find you any conflict between your faith and the demands of the Knights?
LS: I haven't had any as o' yet. Though we be expected ter be makin'
miracles happen, I be prayin' there be some small place fer us in the
Goddess' heart. On the daily, even.
II: Is there any message you would like to send to readers of the Mystique?
LS: Be keepin' hope and light in yer heart, and good fortune be comin' yer
I had an occasion to take some time and speak with Mr. Mohglin Gooben-Bear.
Though he does not publicly advertise it, he confirmed to me that he is a
recent inductee to the Fortress of the Keepers of Balance. However, his
revelations ceased there, as he was reticent to share any further
information about the Keepers, such as their present members or other recent
inductions. He was also disinclined to speak in any other capacity for the
Keepers, aside from the fact that they are "present and watching."
Instead, I queried him regarding some of his personal feelings regarding the
state of the lands, and how the Balance may be effected. He was quick to
note the current overbearance of Lightwalkers in Serin. When pressed
regarding any preemptive actions he felt were necessary he responded that it
was not yet warranted. He did note that he felt that the Light is defined
by its opposition to the Dark. When there is no darkness "the light cannot
exist." He also mentioned that there were specific powerful Lightwalkers
that "will be needing checked," naming Dame Rhoa, the Executor of Valour
specifically. Though he did not elaborate on any specific actions that
would result in his attention, more that it was an intuitive feeling.
"Balance always comes," was his final thought on the matter.
A most interesting conversation, even if it was somewhat guarded by the
subject. The coming days for the Keepers of Balance shall be ones to watch
Sage of Arcane Power
I would like to preface this parchment with a disclaimer. Though I have
traveled Serin rather broadly, I cannot make any claims that what I am to
scribe here has its origins in the mind of Divinity. Rather, it's a result
of my knowledge, my experiences, and my training. Others may have different
knowledge, experiences, and training that result in them drawing conclusions
that differ from my own. I readily accept those different conclusions and
am eager to discuss and debate them on their merits. That being said, I do
believe my perspective may be valuable to some of the younger students of
the Magical Arts, so allow me to begin.
The foremost lesson that I would impart to young magi is the need for
experimentation. The Magical Arts are varied, sometimes subtle in their
application, and frequently mysterious. One cannot become rooted in a
single approach to any situation. What is effective in one situation may be
completely useless in another. The best way, in my experience, to become
familiar with the intricacies of those scenarios is to constantly experiment
and become familiar with one's abilities. A corollary to the first point is
the importance of making use of all of the skills, spells, and abilities
available to oneself. For magi, this frequently manifests in the neglect of
corporeal magical implements. More specifically, scrolls, staves, and
wands. There are a great many such things scattered about Serin and they
can be incredibly useful, especially to younger magi with limited mental
reserves. Any fool can pour a potion down their gullet. Those of us who
have the knowledge to properly make use of the more powerful magical
artifacts around us would be short-sighted not to do so.
Those are the two most important lessons I would impart to the young magi
entering Serin. I also have a few quick ideas for them to keep in mind, not
warranting such lengthy elaboration. * During early adventures,
particularly in solitude, initiate combat with creatures physically rather
than magically. If one loses their concentration while attempting to cast a
spell to initiate combat they will be subject to the creature's attacks. If
combat is started via a physical attack, the attacker enjoys the few
additional strikes. * Do not attempt to cast 'word of recall' while engaged
in combat if it can be avoided. One is much more likely to be unable to
properly concentrate on the spell while engaged in combat, and will suffer
from the resultant inability to act while they recover their wits.
Typically this will occur during an already dire situation, only making it
that much worse. * Following this point, do not rely solely on the 'word of
recall' spell to escape undesirable situations. There are many
circumstances when it will not be effective, or one may be unable to cast
it. Keep a recall potion handy for those occurrences.
I certainly have many other things to share with those who would be
interested, but I believe the venue would be better served as a
conversation, so as to directly address specific questions and scenarios
presented by the students. Of course I welcome any form of dialog anyone
may wish to engage in.
Sage of Arcane Power
I think back on my first steps into the wide world of adventure and the
eager boy that took them. Too excited to be prepared, too naive to be afraid,
but also fortunate to have found friends. For I have had many. Many that
have gone before me, and many that yet remain. It has been theirs and
your guidance, your counsel and camaraderie, and your friendship that has
shaped me into the old monk that I have become, and I am grateful to you
all for it.
There have been many battles against the ever encroaching darkness and
many hard fought trials in defense of virtue and Light but I have given each
Of them my all and have fought with my words as well as my fists to defend
The sanctity of all life. I give my thanks to each of you for your support in
Fighting that good fight alongside me. Serin is and always will be a place full
of strife and turmoil, for it is the nature of its Spirit, but it has grown to be a
safer place since my youth, and I hope that it will continue to be a safe place
for each of you.
Remember the teachings of peace:
With awareness depart,
With consciousness speak,
Find the wondering souls,
Bring the truth they seek.
The first step towards wisdom begins with perception my friends. I know
you will continue to fight for the Light, but do not forget the strength of peace.
For the Spirit in all life is valuable.
As I have grown to be more aware of the Spirit of all things, and become
more aware of the Spirit within me, it becomes increasingly clear the
connection that exists between all. It is my desire now to strengthen that
connection, that my Spirit might join the intangible world around us. Mourn
not for my absence, dear friends, for I shall not truly ever be gone. My Spirit
will rejoin the vibrant and torrential flows that exist in all the world around you.
Whenever a gentle and warm zephyr blows from the west, know that it is
the Spirit of Alkas Tyrzaphir come to help you feel peace.
What is honor? In fact, it is a question which one can only answer for
herself. That shall not stop me from trying to find the answer. Who better
That shall not stop me from trying to find the answer. Who better to
question on the matter than both of the remaining Warlords?
After great discussion, I learned that dishonor is far easier to identify.
The last Warlord with whom I traveled acted with such great dishonor that I
was forced to appeal to the Warlords for a response. Oohbuh recently turned
upon his group with no warning, slaying those who trusted him at their side.
While the matter had apparently been "dealt with internally" I cannot fail
to report the initial response, for it speaks to the oversight of the cabal
Written by the hand of their Patron, the Dark Lord Davairus:
' While you are jamming nonsense into the mystique, ensure you include '
' somewhere "slap yourself", print yourself 20 copies and follow those '
' directions carefully and then I'll let you know how I feel about Oohbuh'
' creating a little chaos. We're all aware of Wylsin's ruthlessly cruel '
' looting, just so you know. '
To deny any wrongdoing by his cabal member and accuse a Mystic of 'cruelty'
in response to the only action available to prevent further tragedy... It
may be but my own opinion, but that is a feature example of dishonor. That
the Warlord in question was ejected from the halls over this matter fails to
excuse the implication that such actions were endorsed.
The Warlords were further in agreement that dishonor includes breaking the
terms of a duel and gaining assistance from others while a duel is in
process. However, they also determined that there would be no mercy for any
who might stand in their way during the course of a duel. There is no loss
of honor for a Warlord who is forced to leave additional corpses in their
path to victory. Having once witnessed a Warlord windmill about town, I can
vouch that such sentiment is historical!
Such opinions reveal only a facet of what is and his not honorable and only
in the minds of two mortals. The more important question awaits: can these
Warlords be trusted to act in accordance with your impression of Honor?
I confess, I agree not with every definition of honorable defined by these
Warlords and Warlords past. However, when I pressed Tearea for assurances,
she gave her word that the current Warlords seek to rectify the path of the
disgraced giant. She claimed "We fight with honor to seek glory for
ourselves and individuals, and also for the halls as a whole."
Only time (and I) will tell!
-Duchess Ilromie Illistarre, Sage of Arcane Power and Polymath of History
The desire attain perfection should be the sole journey for all living
and un-living beings in Serin. The ups, downs, storms, banners, and
dedication all blend together to develop the Paragon of Perfection: me.
Unfortunately, none of you understand or have what it takes to chisel the
sculpture, sand away the last layers, use straw to turn stone to flesh.
Reveal the image. Reveal the Apotheosis of Excellence: me.
You all see me, you all are drawn to me, you all want to be me, but you
Maybe one day.
Go for it.
I wont laugh.
Pauwyr Rauwyr, Mystic of the Arcane
8) Good vs Evil
Denizens of Serin,
At the behest of Lord Davairus, the Consortium is seeking an assortment of
opinions from the public on the question: "What do you consider evil?" We
are looking for thoughtful answers, which can be used to build a better
future. Such responses will be rewarded with an honorarium of 5, 000 gold
coins and the chance to be spotlighted in the next Mystique.
Please send all notes to the Consortium and you will be contacted in due
Serra, Doyenne of the Consortium
Polymath's note: This request has been closed, but the original message is
maintained herein for posterity.
With these sorts of things, I find it best to keep things simple.
Good individuals will stand up for the weak (i.e., ones who cannot defend
Neutral individuals will not stand up for the weak, unless they stand to
gain some personal benefit out of it.
Evil individuals will EXPLOIT the weak for their own personal gain.
Any attempt to define this further within the context of Serin will
certainly lead us into a theological debate that has remained unresolved for
Being a blind fanatic who leads others to their death because they fight
for an unjust cause IS EVIL.
The law guides us,
My dear esteemed colleagues and friends,
I have watched many struggles as a passive observer during my lifetime,
and listened to stories of even more. One such tale was told to me today by
Ocelia, of events in Serin's past that indicate a certain amount of fluidity
not seen in recent years.
This was a story that began with the Prophet of Chaos, Mkatos, who converted
the Knight Gaelyn and his sister Vella to the Darkness. Even now, he prowls
the depths of Tyr Unguld clutching the decapitated head of Sir Balan,
formerly the Hand of Olyn... When I first heard it, I immediately thought
of all of the other tales of Light being corrupted that I have witnessed -
all of the fallen paladins, and the tainting of Acadia, and the loss of my
own mentor, and felt a twinge of despair for all of the good souls lost.
And yet... Ocelia told me of another story, of the drow invoker Morgolta.
According to legend, she traveled once in a hunting party with Sir Tuston,
the High Priest of Aberdour, and somehow his presence and guidance led her
to renouncing her life of shadows and joining the Knights - even advancing
as far as becoming a General.
It makes me think, then, that the tendencies of Serinfolk are much more
fluid than our preconceptions today may have us believe. Hearts may grow
brighter or dimmer driven by those who inspire them. And I suspect it is
not by chance that the influential persons involved were adepts of Gods.
Furthermore, the tale of Morgolta indicates that once upon a time, there was
more tolerance in Serin, as the Dark and Light could travel together and
converse freely without needing to resort to violence. I have endeavored
several ventures of this in recent times, but the tremendous disapproval I
faced for it seems not to have existed in the time of Sir Tuston. For how
else could a Paladin Knight, and Executor, have aided a drow invoker and
gained her loyalty, and even love?
I believe the path to peace is to build bridges with those we do not now
understand. Serin's cities and citizens have grown apart and friction
rises. But it does not need to remain so, for it has not always been so.
My brief forays into Serin's history only barely scratch the surface, yet I
believe there is a great deal there from which we can learn, which may help
to shape our future.
What is evil?
It is easy to go about every day with the feeling that we know in certainty
what the answer is to that question - that we can easily distinguish between
good and evil based on one's history, beliefs or actions. It is another
thing, altogether, to take up ink and quill to put the words to parchment.
Is evil a societal or natural construct? Is every drow evil simply by
existing, or is it their actions that deem them such? If a being is raised
and taught that evil acts are the proper way of life, and they are given no
other choice to explore alternatives, is it fair to judge them as evil when
there were other options presented? Can an elf become evil by murdering
people even if those acts are carried out with good intention?
What is evil?
Elves are perfectly suited for answering this question, as we are one of the
oldest races to inhabit Serin, and one of the only races to be born pure,
apart from the storm giants. Many individuals from the lesser races choose
to walk in the light, but we elves are born into it. This blessing, our
culture, and our values give us a unique perspective to assess this
It is my belief that evil is both a societal and natural construct. Some
creatures, such as the illithids, drow, duergar, fire giants and quasits are
naturally evil - they are born into darkness, with their souls already
twisted and corrupted. Who is to know why some creatures are born thusly,
while others are born pure. Most of the lesser races are born with a clean
slate - able to forge a path for themselves and find their way to the light,
the darkness, or walk the path of balance. If one of the lesser races born
into darkness, such as a drow baby, were to be raised from the moment of
birth by a loving family of elves in an elven society, would it be able to
break the wicked shackles of its heritage? Perhaps, though I know not of
any such cases.
The worst of evils, I believe, are the moral evils - murder, assault,
torture, extortion, abduction, and the like. Essentially these are evil
actions carried out by sentient beings that attempt, cause or allow harm to
occur to another individual through their actions. Even if one does not
directly cause the harm to occur, if they derive pleasure from witnessing
it, they are marred with evil as well. An example here would be a drow
taking pleasure in watching someone being tortured. They may not carry out
the act themselves, but they are surely evil for partaking joy in such a
The magnitude of an evil act is amplified if it is carried out upon someone
innocent or unable to protect themselves. While some acts are always
despicable, others require context to discern whether they are acts of evil
or not. Take murder, for instance. A Legion soldier butchering an innocent
civilian purely for entertainment is indisputably evil. Hypothetically, in
comparison, an elf is not evil for slaying a drow that had constantly
harrowed, tortured, and murdered that elf's most cherished companion. In
the first example, the Legionnaire killed an innocent civilian purely for
pleasure. In the second example, the elf did not seek the drow's head
purely for pleasure. They sought to avenge the pain that was caused by the
drow, and they sought not to avenge themselves, but someone that they shared
a deep bond of love with.
What is evil? What is not evil?
Evil is the manifestation of cruel intentions. Evil acts, as
aforementioned, are carried out with the intention to strengthen oneself at
the detriment of another, or to satisfy one's cruel pleasures. Evil people
seek to control and exploit others for their own gain. Those who are
blessed enough to walk in the light, such as the elves of Serin, find these
evil intentions to be abhorrent. Goodly beings are not motivated by greed
or the advancement of themselves at the detriment of any and all others.
Goodly beings seek to form relationships, to find a sense of community, and
nurture others and foster the improvement in the realms as a whole. Some
goodly beings must be strong and capable of waging war, however, for the
light would surely be snuffed out from the realms if they were all
pacifists. Those able to competently battle, such as myself, must stand
before the tides of evil and fight and die so that other friends and
companions may live. Actions carried out by these warriors of the light are
not fuelled by evil or corruption - they are fuelled by love and a desire
for peace. Yes, they shall draw the blood of their enemies and they shall
slay them, but they do so out of necessity - not pleasure. I would gladly
lay down my arms the moment they are no longer needed to protect the ones I
Nothin' in this world be inherently evil. Evil bein' in what people
think, and say. And failin' ter listenin' ter it willingly or no bein' what
make one evil.
My answer is simple.
I am the nature of evil.
Dogran the Sinister Minister
Perhaps too simple of an answer: I consider evil to be exactly what the
word means, and you know it when you see it. That is certain.
Rhoa the Executor of Valour, Sun's Embrace
Its first glimpse of consciousness was when it found itself wrapped around a
foot. A smelly, hairy, halfling's foot. Fortunately its owner was not
particularly heavy. Still, when the full weight of the pudgy halfling
landed on the shoe, it couldn't help but squeak. Life as a shoe is not
particularly exciting on most days. One is simply lifted, transported a
short distance, then trampled over and over. Such repetition lends to idle
thoughts and imagination. This is how the shoe came to dream.
"If only I had someone to talk to," thought the shoe. It had a tongue, but
it was usually plastered to the top of the hairy halfling's foot. So all it
could manage was "Mmfff" most of the time. It had eyes, but they were full
of shoelaces and couldn't see very well. Still, it felt as if some kin was
It discovered that indeed it had a mate when the halfling finally returned
to his home and put his shoes by the bed. As the halfling snored oblivious
above, the shoe leaned over to its new friend. "Hello," it said.
The scarlet scene beheld of gnashed bone and scattered marrow. Within
the mess is a sacred sign, like a gift from those of high. The pieces mixed
and place with subtle care, not seen from the eyes unless one is above. A
skull lied shattered, stained ivory on crimson as the scene is shown. This
is not a massacre but worship. Praise given to one who fills and fuels the
core of being. At the thought of such, one can't help but remember the
prayer. And in feared reverence and solemn belief the head hangs low while
reciting the words.
"May the streets be painted blessed crimson. May the vessels that carry
blood to the brain be closed. May bones be unnaturally warped on a fulcrum
And then a sudden sound, a crunching of twigs. The feeling of a presence
behind and then, nothing. Blissful nothing. A price paid for treading upon
a place of the most sacred of worship between one and their god.
Composed by Villidan, in tribute to our Implementor of Blood.
10) Current Events
Earl Varliv Greybeard has taken over the administrative duties associated
with the Consortium under the title of Magistrate. This vaunted duty was
granted to him by one of his immortal rivals, the Great Lady Vanisse.
History shows that Earl Greybeard was once a leader of the Mystics, prior to
the merger which created the Consortium. During his mortal days, he advised
closely the Legion of Darkness but claims now to have no further connection
to them save their noble title. As a landed noble myself, I know not how
such severance can be made while retaining such distinctions but he yet
The burning question on everyone's mind is what this transition of power
means for the Consortium. I am happy to tell you that the Earl intends to
allow me full reign over our publications and day-to-day matters. I shall
ensure that this transition is peaceful and causes not interuption to our
regular publications. Time shall tell if this change is for better or
worse. He is yet unlearned in the ways of the Consortium but we are
Scholars all. He shall be educated.
Scribed by Duchess Ilromie Illistarre, Polymath of History
The Third Poetry Contest was held with great success within the Mocker's
Tavern, hosted by the Polymath of the Consortium, Duchess Ilromie
Illistarre. Wylsin, Lunaia, Braunin, Sileshi, and Lord Resatimm were all in
attendance. During the recitations of the poems, the God of Death felt
inspired to devise his own lines of verse, which turned out to be quite
offensive against one of the greatest Scholars of our time: Serra. While
the God insisted his poem be considered for the prize, it was not submitted
prior to the deadline and therefore was not considered.
The winner of the contest was Lunaia with "Align".
After a long adventure fighting many elder dragons, Kali, Ilormie, and
Wylsin stood before the forge, studying their reward for such effort. When
who should stop by but Commander Solmundi, a jotun paladin of great infamy.
With hardly a word, he sacrificed the spoils of the trio's adventure and
left behind only the smell of horse and hatred behind.
When confronted, Solmundi showed no remorse for his actions, calling the
treasures 'trash' and insulting the three who sweat and bled for their
reward. Given sufficient cause, a challenge was issued by Ilromie. A duel
to the stun, within the arena, with honor restored to the victor.
Little could she know how deep the dishonor in the 'paladin' ran. After he
won the duel, Solmundi unleashed his wicked steed upon her, watching
silently as it struck her in her surrender. As with the rewards he
callously sacrificed, this 'paladin' showed no remorse for her death and in
fact blamed her own spells for causing it.
It is fact that this is not the first heartless assault made by the
Commander against this elf. The first came some years before this event,
when both stood outside of town at the executioner. The elf was disarmed,
having just paid her fine for doing nothing more than holding a weapon that
offended him. Then, freed of that weapon, he chose to strike her, for no
other reason than his own anger.
Let this passage serve as a warning to any who might trust him for the
training he received in his guild. This one does not safeguard goodness or
act with chivalry and kindness. No, he is a cruel tyrant interested in
nothing more than the death of any who dare to speak against him.
Be always on your guard.