Translation by Shota
In my studies, I oft find myself delving into history for answers to my questions. I stumbled across an odd tome hidden within the temple of Luathas some time ago. At the time I was unable to decipher the arcane writing penned within, but as my studies increased, I began to translate the ancient tome. The author of the writing is still unknown to me. Throughout the text he simply refers to himself as 'The Scribe'. At first I thought it was a simple ledger of day to day events, a novelty at best. But as I read deeper into the text, I found references to places and names that hold great meaning to wizards. The following translation is the highlights of what became to be known to the members of the Acadamie as 'The second Affront to Luathas', which was the herald to what the rest of the world called the Shadow Wars. Here I present the highlights of the translation, the most relevant parts which outline one of the key events in the history of the Acadamie Arcanus.
~Danaan 1703, 5th Moon, 3rd Day
'...after nearly nine weeks of searching for Thoth's missing apprentice, the remains of Ulreich De'Sangre was finally discovered in the depths of the Acadamie Crypts. His desiccated corpse had been mutilated nearly beyond recognition. Though some feel it might have been better if the body had not been found. Vile arcane marks were carved into the flesh of the unfortunate apprentice, making it look as if he were used as a... sacrifice in some foul and unholy rite. Though how this could have occurred within the halls of the Acadamie is beyond even Master Logan's speculation. There were rumors of a 'Cult of Death' some time ago, who claimed they could cause the dead to rise again, but they were unsubstantiated. Logan has ordered the body to have a proper burial and the family to be compensated for their tragic loss. All the Deans of the Council of the Acadamie have been sworn to silence in this matter. The allegations against Tezerah Thoth concerning the disappearance of his apprentice Ulreich have been formally dropped due to a lack of evidence...'
~Danaan 1703, 5th Moon, 20th Day
'...another apprentice has gone missing. Master Logan has ordered the Adept Tezerah Thoth confined to his quarters until clear proof can be found as to his involvement. A search of Thoth's study has revealed that his research has gone into... dark areas. An ancient black stone tablet etched with dire glyphs, thought to have come from Kadath* was found secreted behind a row of books. Notes for a partial translation have revealed a chilling insight. When questioned on how he acquired the tablet from the securely locked vaults of the Acadamie, he remains grimly silent, unmoved by reason or threats. Apparently the tablet contains knowledge of a fifth and sixth element, the elements of Light and Darkness. Most of the Senior Members of the Acadamie have uneasily put such preposterous notions aside. Jerich has been enlisted once again for his investigative skills. Perhaps he can discern the depths of this mystery...'
*Texts speak of the Aosda 'opening a portal to Kadath' and releasing the darkness within. Kadath is from where the Dubhaim are believed to have come from.
~Danaan 1703, 7th Moon, 13th Day
'...what a truly dark day this has become. This morning Jerich was found dead in his quarters after imbibing some foul blackish concoction that anyone has yet to discern the nature of. A letter was found, outlining his confession of the murder of both of the missing students and his apparent manipulation of Tezerah for some dark purpose. In it he states that the 'Legacy of His father' drove him to such extreme measures. Until now though, most had taken the young man's claim of being the last descendant of Jaalyn Sarag with a grain of salt. The letter continues to ramble on how the 'Secrets of Kadath' were whispering to him in the Darkness. Apparently his obsession with his research drove him to madness, for he concluded his letter with a most cryptic phrase: 'Once and twice again, when Fire* fails, Darkness like no other will spread across the land'. Tezerah has been formally cleared of all allegations and been given leave to continue his studies into the tablet in an effort to try and discover what drove Jerich mad.
* This was an odd portion of text. The direct translation was 'Srad', which is of course fire. But in two instances, a Dean of Srad sacrifices himself to try and save others. Could this have been a foreshadow to events that were yet to come? Is the so-called 'Madness' of Kadath somehow impart a twisted form of Prophecy?
~Danaan 1703, 10th Moon 19th Day
'...Tezerah Thoth's long days and nights of research and study have apparently paid off. In a secret Council, the Adept has revealed what his has learned of the so-called 'Dark Element' to Master Logan and his most trusted Elemental Deans. The demonstration of the energy unleashed shook the four attending Wizards to their core*. Each one left the meeting with a disturbed, haunted look. Logan was uncharacteristically silent throughout the meeting. When Tezerah finished his 'demonstration', the only words Logan spoke were: 'Let this knowledge be sealed and forgotten. I charge all who stand here to silence in this matter.' After which the tablet and all the notes and research were sealed within a box forged of cold iron and placed deep within the Vaults of the Acadamie. In the days that followed, Tezerah requested a leave of absence to recover from his arduous study, which Master Logan readily granted...'
*The details here are sketchy at best. Could this 'demonstration' have been the first form of the Strioch spells? Or could it have been something more? Something that still remains hidden to this day?
~Danaan 1703, 11th Moon, 28th Day
'...another foul abomination has been discovered. It's origins are as of yet unknown, yet the havoc it caused speak only of evil. This is the third such creature found in as many weeks with rumors of others roaming the city and surrounding countryside. Each one has been a dark, twisted abomination that resembled nothing more than some sort of twisted larvae with oddly jointed clawed legs. The last one was discovered in the Acadamie cemetery by the night watch. The foul creature had dug up several graves, mangling the bodies within. Even more disturbing is that tracks and markings suggest the works of several creatures working together. Only one defiled grave contained no trace of remains. The grave of Jerich Sarag, which disturbs me to say, looks as if something burst out of the grave, rather than being dug up. This can not bode well...'
~Danaan 1703, 12th Moon, 25th Day
'...and after nearly a month of searching, the source of the 'Dubhaim' as they are now called has been discovered. In the dead of night, Tezerah Thoth, who had been missing since his leave of absence, was discovered attempting to break into vault of the Acadamie. Even more disturbing was the entourage of Dubhaim that accompanied him. Only through the efforts of the four Elemental Deans was the traitor defeated and captured. Though one, Marak, the Dean of Srad, paid for victory with his life*. And though they had stopped the traitor, his minions had managed to escape into the darkness with the tablet. When master Logan arrived and saw what had transpired, his judgment was swift and decisive. Thoth was declared a traitor and enemy to the Acadamie. Using an ancient rite, Logan stripped Tezerah's power from him, leaving him little more than an ordinary man. Logan's final edict was that Tezerah be imprisoned for the rest of his natural life, to receive neither visitor nor reprieve for his crimes and that his name be stricken from all records within the Acadamie. Thus said, the traitor was taken from the Acadamie and spirited away...'
*This lends credence to Jerich's cryptic message about Srad falling. The second time 'Srad would fail' would be a prelude to the third affront to Luathas, nearly fifteen hundred years later.
~Danann 1704, 1st moon, 8th day
'...and with the traitor locked safely away, it was hoped that the Dubhaimid would be eradicated. But fate, as it would seem, has other designs. For every one we find and kill, it seems two more take its place. The most recent ones were unusually large specimens, almost the size of a pony. Not only are the vile creatures growing more numerous, they seem to be growing more intelligent as well. What used to simply be isolated attacks, became small hordes. The small hordes have become frighteningly adept at sabotage, working in small and often suicidal teams. A group of almost a dozen was witnessed several days ago, gnawing and clawing at the mortar of a dam. Before they could be stopped, the weakened dam burst, drowning the Dubhaim, but also washing away a village in the process. Their random attacks are starting to take their toll. Almost as if each one is a small piece in a much larger game, working its own ends to one final terrible design...'
~Danaan 1704, 4th Moon, 11th Day
'...Thoth's screams will haunt the guards to the rest of their days. In the middle of the night, the shadows seemed to grow claws* and pull the condemned Tezerah into their depths with an unholy shriek. So frantic were the guards, they broke the door of the traitor's cell down in a futile attempt to rescue him. Unfortunately, by the time they breached the door, there was nothing left of Tezerah but his scream lingering in the halls...'
*If only we could understand how the Dubhaimid traveled through the shadows thus. Perhaps we could find a way to fight them more effectively.
~Danaan 1705, 9th Moon, 1st Day
'...the Dubhaim sightings have spread throughout the country. Tracking them has proved to be all but impossible, they come with the fall of night and are gone without a trace by the morning. It as if we are fighting against the shadows themselves. The Acadamie has all but barricaded the doors of Rucesion against the frequent attacks of the vile beasts, still they manage to sneak into the alleyways and sewers of the city. Worse still there are rumors that the traitor Tezerah still lives. Thus far none have been substantiated or verified with any physical proof. Though the most recent rumor is certainly the darkest. There have been stories of dark robed traveler who calls himself 'Gigean' wandering the roads near sunset, preaching of the coming of his 'Master'. One such story places this dark traveler meeting with the traitor Thoth. Such stories of bogeymen are usually dismissed, except for that the description of the traveler fits that of the deceased Jerich Sarag...'
~Danaan 1705, 11th Moon, 4th Day
'...has been verified. Tezerah Thoth lives. Two days ago he was seen leading a horde of Dubhaim to descend upon an unwary farming village. The screams that filled the air that night could be heard for miles. It was only through the unwavering determination of Ilivan, a Srad Adept, and Derek, an Athar Adept, that any of the peasants escaped with their lives. Of the two only Derek made it out alive, claiming that Ilivan had sacrificed himself to push back the horde and buy time for the villagers. Though grievously wounded, Derek had managed to make his way to Rucesion and into the relative safety of the Acadamie Halls to warn of the return of the traitor. In his report it was noted that he was accompanied by a dark robed person, who seemed almost a part of the shadows themselves. Though he could not accurately describe his face, as it was shrouded in shadows. Only horrible red pinpricks where his eyes should have been were visible...'
~Danaan 1706, 1st Moon, 1st Day
'...a day to remember. Never before has the Acadamie gathered in such number within the walls of Rucesion. I would wager that he recalled nearly every living student and former member of the Acadamie to be in attendance. At noon, he called upon all wizards present to swear an oath upon their very lives to seek out and battle the rising horde of Dubhaim and the traitor Tezerah Thoth. As he concluded his speech and laid his geas upon the wizards, a shining figure was seen to appear in the gathering. After the ceremony it was seen that the figure came to stand before Master Logan and presented him with a magnificent staff...'
For the next fourteen hundred years the War of the Shadows would be fought, with the plague of the Dubhamid slowly spreading across Temuair. During that time, the Wizards of the Acadamie were a beacon of hope and light in the darkness. In Danaan 3148, the 'light element' was finally discovered and used to fight the armies of Dubhaimid. But it was not until Danaan 3171that the War of Shadows was ended. Since then, the tide of the Dubhamid threat has flowed and ebbed. I doubt it will ever be quelled entirely, as they are now too much a part of this world.