Shadows of Gaea
Student of Silvermoon Academy, skilled in the magical arts.
Life of an adventurer is not for the faint of heart nor the weak of body, both of which are qualities that I possess. The years of closing myself off from physical activities, my strive for knowledge over strength, have truly shown in the past few months.
But first I need to record my physical condition. It is worth noting that since I have met my companions, bathing and general cleanliness has taken a severe decline; although I did not think adventuring would be easy I should have known by how dirty my groupmates were when we had first met that cleanliness will be a lost luxury.
My dusty blonde hair, once kept short and well groomed has now grown long and shaggy, matted with clumps of dirt and blood. Lack of shaving cream nor a razor nor a mirror to gaze upon, I have been forced me to trim blindly with my dagger. I have no skill with such cutlery, my experience with blades prior to adventuring was in the kitchen and laboratories, unlike my weapon crazy comrades of whom deftly shave with speed that if I attempted, I would likely throat myself. Since I am unable to be clean shaven, the length of stubble varies as well as small lacerations that frequent my face.
Before adventuring I had not a single noticeable scar or even flaw upon my small frame. Now I have several scars on each limb and my chest alone is a roadmap to the battles we have been in. Needless to say, my healing skills have been put the the test, although I am a wizard and scholar, my ultimate goal was to become a doctor of sorts curing extreme arcane illnesses and recording the knowledge I learn upon the way, not to become a combat healer, tending to wounds as my companions and I receive them. The lack of cleanliness has me concerned that any illness one may contract would be spread due to my treating with hands coated with dirt and blood.
My red leather traveling robe is nearly beyond patching and is in dire need of a skilled tailor. It caked with dirt, sand, blood and some unknown substances, turning the once bright red color into a dull reddish brown. It emits a strange smell of old blood, dirt and perspiration that I have become accustom to. I crudely repaired the large incisions in the leather and fabric, although the magical nature of the robe resists damage to its structure, the potent enemies we have encountered have easily punctured through. The bottom hem of my robe has all but torn off while the remaining hem has gathered and unfathomable amount of dirt and grime.
My case of samples strapped to my left hip is overfilled with varying specimens. Poisons from rare spiders, acid from the gland of green dragon as well as a sampling of its blood. Polluted water from various sources, some contain different diseases, one is oddly a cloudy bright blue. Several unknown species of fungi from Firestorm peaks, two of which are indecent, one known to cause mild hallucinations, one deadly. Several vials of blood from rare and alien creatures.
My potion case strapped to right hip contains my alchemical supplies, severely understocked. I have not been able to gather supplies for my alchemy for quite some time. Only four of the twenty flasks contain any contents: Two large potions flow with life-force that I create every morning, one odd potion of hair growth and a large flask of magical residuum that glows due to its with its arcane nature.
My bookbag strapped to my pack is stuffed and overflowing with maps, sheets of data, scrolls of rituals, a few sketchpads and a large number of books I’ve either acquired or created during our adventure. The wealth of knowledge that I have collected along rivals all that I have been taught during at Silvermoon Academy. My prize Tomb of Understanding, which I am still deciphering, dominates the bag. With all this knowledge I have accumulated, the source of the disease and solution is still far beyond our grasp.
Thumbs, my mechanical companion, clicks and grinds due to sand and dirt in its gears. He has been destroyed a few times in the course of our adventure and it clearly shows, once completely a polished bronze, Thumbs is now a mixture of dull bronze, crude iron, bits of steel and few pieces of an odd transparent metal called Nephelium. Thumbs mood of late has been somewhat sour, although he cannot feel pain, he is in some sort discomfort which I can only assume is the rough state that he is in. Lack of oil and the buildup of dirt have lessened the lifespan of his internal clockwork and requires additional maintenance and cleaning preformed daily.
At the young age of 10, a son of a local baker in the great city Theron , I had been interested in all forms of magic. Every magical act was wondrous and spectacular, from the simple parlor tricks seen in the marketplace to the warmages that I read about in books at the library. I begged and pleaded my parents to enroll me in the local academy, but to no avail. My family, although not poor, was unwilling to spent the resources for my ‘ridiculous plight’ as they put it. They were partially right, few children from the working district get enrolled not to mention the hat my parents had for the magically inclined. I remember my father had said ‘The life of a baker is much more suited to your talents and childish thoughts should be left to your dreams.’
I began to teach myself the arts, an act of defiance to my father, sneaking into the library and borrowing books from the private sections. Much to my delight, many of the spells were simply elaborate recipes with exotic ingredients. I began to animate my toys with the magic I was learning, the companionship they gave only added to my desire. At first they would only move rigidly and with a small range of motion, but as I grew in power and confidence my old toys came to life. Fearing punishment I kept my new found gift I hid my knowledge of the arts from my parents, even going so far as to tell them I lost my interest in the magics. For awhile my life seem perfect; during the day I would help my parents with the bakery, in the evening I would sneak into the woods and play with my animated dolls. When I was 16 disaster struck; they called it Corpse Rot, a disease, and it ravaged our district. My own father took ill, and fell into a deep coma, but be he was only one among the thousands. I heard the rumors, that anyone taken by the disease was a heretic and believed in the evil gods, or the rumor that the local crime syndicate were poisoning anyone that had not paid their protection money. Of course we know now that the disease was due to the improper maintenance of the cementary, and many of the corpses remain missing to this day.
I looked at my dying father and felt a sense urgency to do all I could to save him. Having no skills in the healing arts, I ran to the ward that the healers setup in the local monastery. All the healers were too busy tending to those already taken to the ward and could not leave to tend my father, although my trip was not in vain. A robed man, with grey skin and grey hair, spoke loudly and with promise, he ordered the younger robed men around him to begin brewing some sort of concoction. I listened in intently, noting every action he ordered the men to take. After he finished he looked directly at me, he must have noticed my stare, and spoke ‘If you attempt this and fail, boy, the person you try to cure will die.’
The man was right as I think of it now, I was so foolish. I had seen the local alchemist at the ward, so Idiotically I ran to his business, broke in through the window and began to craft the elixir. After I had finish the potion seem to glow with magic and I knew that I had done it correctly.
I ran home and administered it to my father, his skin began to show some color. As I gave my father the last drops two men from the guard came and arrested me for breaking into the alchemists shop, for I had been seen. Unknown to myself, my father roused the next morning, with pain all over his body. Although I wasn’t there I heard later that my father had been told what I had done and it was the only time he approves of my craft, even to this day.
When I was released from jail, at first I had a grim outlook, thinking that my father had most likely died in the night. When I was brought into the jail’s common room to see not only my father but the grey on grey man, I was both surprised and worried that my fate had been sealed.
It turns out that the grey on grey man was in fact Professor Fornsworh from the Silvermoon Academy, and both he and my father were both furious that I ignored his warning but relived that I possessed some knowledge of the magic arts. I was enrolled at Silvermoon Academy that fall, at Professor Fornsworh insistence.
At the Academy met a boy named Jarkis Kralis, of noble blood. He immidietly took a dislike to me. On several occasions he tried to get me expelled from the Academy, but every time he failed to do so. It was during this time I learned how to create things called ‘clockworks’ a somewhat rare form of golemcraft.
Our first assignment in my golemcrafting class was to create a small animate object that could do mundane at least one mundane task. My first successful clockwork was a hand, it could walk, manipulate things, and do most anything a hand could do, but somewhat sluggish and as if it had all thumbs; jokingly I had named it Thumbs after this fact. I had presented to the class and was praised for its design. Jarkis’s golem could only move a five pound weight along the table, needless to say I triumped of him. I was so proud of myself, I should have seen in coming. when the Professor wasnt looking Jarkis destroyed Thumbs, smashed into about 5 smaller peices.
As you can see (pointing to my shoulder, a little clockwork hand sits comfortably) I rebuilt him sometime later after I had gain some more skill. Still, Jarkis and I continued our rivalry and we were about even in skill. We had almost been friends because of the rivalry, but something change in him one day. I could understand a young teenager getting upset and smashing something that beat him, but one day he seemed to have an evil aura about him that seemed to grow stronger day by day.
5 years after I joined the Acadamy, about 2 weeks ago, I was released from the Academy to do private study to write a thesis for graduation. Most of the mages have formed groups of three or four, rented a labs and are doing research on the major schools of magic. Not I, I heard of the of the magical disease ravaging the countryside and immediately began my trek to find the cause. Hearing that I was out to find the source of the disease, Jarkis set out on his own.
I saw him about 10 days ago by a small farming village of Clover, he attacked and nearly killed me. Something must have driven him mad, or someone perhaps, he did not act or speak the same as when he left the Acadamy.
Since that day Ive started seeing Jarkis in a dream surounded by death. The pitch black sky with only the moon sheds light, illuminating him from behind. The corpses litter the ground as I see my father, the disease taking him again, he starts to waste away and I cant do anything . Jarkis looks at me, but its not Jarkis is someone else. I gaze into his eyes and feel a sharp pain, I look down and awake.
I must find the disease before he does or else he could do something terribly terribly bad.