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The Book of the Dead - by Lord Cardinaris

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The Book of the Dead

This book has the power of the dead and the will of unlife. It is the compilation of our combined knowledge, those unprepared feel free to read and learn, but read at your peril. For if thou are not prepared then suffer you shall. Those at one with life and unlife, read on with impunity, use this knowledge and expand it's teachings - those not of the Faith had best be strong in spirit or perish they shall. In this tome is our knowledge; years of learning, testing and sacrifice - finally realised with the combined ancient knowledge of the Mor Silvani, my newest additions. Many spirits have been consulted, vanquished and sacrificed for the price of this knowledge, but the price is worth paying tenfold.

Who am I? Am I the elder spirit, the most commonly perceived or the most recently corrupted? Perhaps I am all three for it is evident that each has its own sphere of pre-eminence, but the controller, who can tell. Does it matter for we are now one.

The power of the Spirits is where it all began. The journey that is undertaken may be vast or fly swiftly, in a blink without notice. But from where does it all stem and go, who remains in control and is the cycle just that, from beginning to end and then back to the beginning. Many things to ponder and time is on our side.

To understand Life is to understand Death, the journey of the Planes and where it all fits is vast. My tools, the Dymwan, have existed for a long time now and have risen and fallen with the breath of the Spheres. Others have attempted to take us to pre-eminence and dominate the weaker Towers and Races, now it is my turn. For if my quest is successful, then powerful allies will we have and none will stand against us no matter how many of our Champions they slay. Let us look at the path to this greatness.

At the beginning of time there were no spheres, and no existence: simply a continuum of uniformity. Then something happened that divided this uniformity into may different Spheres.

One of the key characteristics of the Spheres is their sentience. Some Spheres (such as Good and Evil) have high sentience and may be represented by a physical manifestation of the Spheres, called an "Avatar". Other Spheres have low sentience and are frequently called "Elements". Physical manifestations of low-sentience Spheres are frequently called "Elementals". There are many Sphere that fall between these two extremes, and even the Elements are believed by some to have a sentient aspect (hence Tarn Gurrack and the Temple of Earth and Usharl Oberon and the Temple of Storms). This reflects the fact that different people may view a sphere in different ways. Thus a Sphere may have a number of "Aspects", through which it can be reached. For example the Evil Sphere includes aspects of Vhaerun, Ushaz and Morgoth: they have very different characteristics ("facets"), but both are aspects of the overall Evil Sphere. In extreme circumstances the Sphere may become physically manifest in the form of an Avatar. These avatars may be the physical manifestations of recognised aspects, or thy may be a less defined being, such as an Angel. The importance of sentience in relation to the Spheres: their creation, movements and ultimate destiny is unknown.

Initially the Spheres were very widely spread, creating areas of extremes. Gradually however the Spheres are moving together. This model suggests that the Spheres can be mapped in three-dimensional space and their movements predicted, but in fact the movement of the Spheres are far more complex than this, since they exist and move in multiple dimensions, and therefore their relationships cannot be readily determined in advance. Considerable variations occur over time, with Spheres overlapping and then moving apart, but the overall trend is towards conjunction. It is worth noting that, since the Spheres move in temporal as well as physical dimensions the passage of time may vary from one plane to another. One effect of conjunction is to modify the initial extremes: this has allowed the existence of Planes on which people can live and thrive. Ultimately, however all Spheres will conjoin. At this point (in the very far distant future) the universe will cease to exist and absolute uniformity will return.

Thus the overall pattern (taking place over many centuries) is to move from the extremes of Sphere to the uniformity of Conjunction. As this process proceeds, the influence of individual Spheres (and therefore of Power and Magic) is reduced, and is replaced by new physical laws. In areas of high conjunction power and magic give way to science and technology. Therefore it is inevitable that Magic and Power will fade from the planes, to be replaced by new beliefs and new technologies. Intelligence from the Kern Valley Alliance from their recent "Crusade" has lent credence to this theory and explains many of the goings on at planes such as Billingham and Mantor. Although interestingly while mainly absent, it was still possible to recall Magic and Power to a place that had been generally denied it for an age.

But this time is far distant, certainly for Orin Rakatha and not where the pattern of my research should go. Although bearing in mind the nature of the above leads us to believe that forcibly eclipsing the Spheres goes against the flow; or maybe it is an advancement of the conjunction. To have the knowledge of our forefathers and the will and the power of the likes of N'rahn the Decayer. How did he achieve what he did, were he here now, to share his knowledge, but this is where our journey will take us.

Let us start at the beginning. Life. All stems from the Sphere of Life, this is conversant with the theories above and fits the model described and examined. The Sphere of Life represents the beginning and the end. Thus the Spheres and Elements are one and just facets of the Sphere of Life viewed from different angles. This should help the understanding of our journey. Not all accept the pre-eminence of the Sphere of Life, but I have learned that this is so and not to acknowledge it is folly.

From the Sphere of Life we have the Spheres of high Sentience, the Prime Spheres; Good, Neutral and Evil, neither can exist without the other, for they are all indeed facets of the same whole. We can have flux and diminishment from Plane to Plane but the emergence of one as dominant will weaken it elsewhere. The Sentience of the Spheres itself creates other identities and further expands its own understanding, from theses Sentiences we have further expressions manifested in the offshoots of the three prime Spheres; the Spheres of Mind, Time, Nature and Necromancy. The Sphere of Nature is a further manifestation of the Neutral Sphere and Necromancy a further expression of the Evil Sphere. Where Time and Mind fit in is open to debate, but are probably more affiliated with the Neutral Sphere than any other. Within each Sentience we have their aspects, those of Morgoth, Ushaz, Lloth, Agoth, Michael, the Great Lord of the Dark, the Undying Eye, Humact, the Balance, the Gauntlet, to name but a few. These aspects are as many and varied as there are lands in which to occupy.

Then we have the Spheres of low Sentience, commonly referred to as the eight Elements. This belief is more primal and concentrates in the manipulation of the physical aspects of the Life Sphere as opposed to its spiritual component. Perhaps this is why the Elements and its manipulation are more complex and difficult, conforming to rigid rules rather than the flow of the Spheres. To call upon one's favour and strength of spirit must be easier than manipulating the Elements and banding them to your will? There are also other variations of the eight Elements and the corrupted forms such as Shadow magic, but they all relate to the prime eight elements. Then there is the ninth Element, that utilised by the Concillium, referred to as Purple. But there is no ninth Element, it is but a greater understanding of the eight Elements and the ability to return them to a greater Sentience, more akin to the Spheres. The closer to the higher sentience that we go the more power and strength we obtain. Perhaps in some places it has achieved Sentience and stands with the Good, Neutral and Evil Spheres.

All of this points once more to the dominance of the Life Sphere. So if the Life Sphere is our beginning, it must also be our end. Therefore regardless of faith, creed, religion, belief or unbelief they are but one in the same. When we cease to be, we will all return to the same place. Memories will remain, but eventually even they will become distorted and cease to be. So it is this journey that we must examine, for everything is a journey, only then will we have full understanding and once we have that then we can manipulate it and bend it to our will.

So to follow this thought to its logical conclusion, we are all part of this Life Sphere, whatever our belief or calling. So if we spring from this Life Sphere then when we perish, surely we must rejoin it? But our ways are so vast and different, to encompass all the Life Sphere must reign supreme. Then our base matter is all the same and returns from whence it came. With this in mid does it then matter what we believe? The belief itself is immaterial, only that we do believe and therefore follow and can manifest the Life Sphere in a way compatible to us. To that end when we perish be we mortal, Hordelings, Elemental, or some other form of existence we all return to the same Life Sphere.

By nature of our beliefs however, there must be a refining process of the Spirit, to remove the residue and leave only the bare Soul. It is this "Soul" or "Spark" of the Life Sphere that rejoins it and becomes once more with our spawning. The residue is our collective will, a "memory" or "echo" if you like. For our purposes, it is this "echo" and it's knowledge that we require, not the Soul. However the timing of how long the journey takes to reach the Life Sphere and the passage it takes is the important question.

Let us ignore the other manifestations, conjunctions and their affects and deal with the simple issue of Death and how to turn it to our will.

Sentient life is our domain and the relationships between that and its humanoid forms, this is where we will gain power and pre-eminence, in the controlling of our destiny. To control Death is to control Life. We are only concerned with the races of Man, Drow, Elf, Dwarf, Dwergar, Lizardman, Sprite, Goblin and any half creatures of these in between that have been mixed in some way and bear Sentience. We will ignore the spirits of the natural creatures and those of the unnatural. The Hordelings are an entirely different treatise that will not be dealt with here. So to imprint our will on this mortal world, we must gain dominance over these sentient races.

Once they spring from the Life Sphere they spend their mortal existence resisting the need to return to its inevitable embrace. They all attempt to master life and then death, but most fail. What is death? The majority of the humanoid form has a great strength of spirit and can resist the calling of the Life Sphere up to four times, the fifth calling becomes too much to resist. There are those, due to great experience and the influence of Moragar's Inheritance that can resist the calling of the Life Sphere more than four times, but will succumb eventually. What happens when your body lies broken and your spirit becomes temporarily detached? You do not return to the Life Sphere at this stage and your spirit is strong enough to resist its calling. What happens depends on faith and who you ask, we have done extensive research in this area and killed many just to gain this insight.

The answers to the effects of this temporary "death" vary. It depends a great deal on the manner of death and the length of time before the spirit is encouraged back by the Good Sphere, or other means for those that have them. Some experience nothing but Darkness and show no memory of where their spirit has fled. Others carry great tales of being embraced by their Sphere or Element. None have ventured to the life sphere at this stage, for if they had they would not return. Therefore there is a place where Spirits may go when they have been separated from their body. Wherever they go these spirits are out of the reach of we Necromancers. We have dominion only over the spirits upon the Plane of the Sleepless Dead, but more on that later.

But these spirits are of no interest to us, for if we needed them we can recall them back via the Good Sphere. It is our belief that the Spirits do not journey far but some will "glimpse" what is to be and not what is. So tales of Elysium or joining the Halls of Vallhalla and any other beliefs in the "afterlife" are false and at this stage and merely represent the strength of the pull of the Life Sphere and its differing effects. Perhaps it is the commencement of the stripping away of the memories in the "baring" of the Soul, which is why some who are resurrected lose some of their knowledge or memories.

So we have established that the loss of Spirit strength is not important and will not be dealt with any further. We will look at the heart of this matter and what happened when some being of sentience died that final time and cannot be called back by the Good Sphere. Logic and my research dictate that the spirit returns to the Life Sphere and is accessible no more. However as mentioned earlier to reach the Life Sphere the spirit must be stripped of the Soul and it is the Soul that rejoins the Life Sphere. What then of the bit that is stripped away? The memory or echo. This is what we seek for to locate them is indeed power over life and death. For do we care where the Soul goes if we can recoup the knowledge and memories of the fallen. Then it would matter not if someone were to fall permanently for we could still access their knowledge and power and recall them countless times. That truly is an unstoppable army, one that will never wither or whose numbers will never dwindle.

At this point it is interesting to see where the recently arisen Great Lord of the Dark fits in? His followers claim that he is Master of Death and provides eternal life, preventing permanent death. This would go against the principals of the Life Sphere already explained and there is some evidence to support this, albeit inconclusive. However I suspect that this aspect is merely another facet of the Life Sphere and has somehow managed to delay the inevitable journey, for as mentioned earlier, time is no bar to the Life Sphere, and what are a few centuries. Perhaps the Aspect the Great Lord of the Dark is unique in that it lies closest of all the Sentient Spheres (read Aspects) to the Life Sphere? This case is certainly borne out by the full range of abilities open to it's worshippers, for example it is claimed that Dreadlord Ariakis is capable of casting every invocation available within the Evil Sphere. This requires further work and is one of the reasons for my interest in Dreadlord Ariakis and our subsequent alliance. It may become necessary to halt the alarming spread of the teaching of the Voice of the Great Lord of the Dark and his "Dark Friends"

First we turn to the Plane of the Sleepless Dead. I will examine it in great detail and record my findings. We know that spirits or memories do not go there, although some may do, dependent on their death and others may well linger for a while. The Plane of the Sleepless Dead has its own inhabitants, spirits that manifest there of their own accord and are as natural to that Plane as Hordelings to Orin Rakatha. Their spirits are undying and will remain upon that place until they care called forth by a Necromancer, onto one of the prime material planes and it is these spirits that empower the Undead brought forth. Even these "undying" spirits however do not last an eternity and will eventually fade away, returning to the Life Sphere in all probability. However these spirits do not operate to the same rules as the humanoid races.

This brings us to the next form of Spirits that resides upon the Plane of the Sleepless Dead, those of people whose bodies have been corrupted. When the subject dies, their spirit lingers near their fallen bodies, or if they have died for the final time, will start its journey to the Life Sphere. However, as the Necromancer calls forth a spirit from the Plane of the Sleepless Dead to re-animate the fallen body, it forces the natural spirit to take it's place upon the Plane of the Sleepless Dead. These spirits must remain an eternity roaming the Plane of the Sleepless Dead, or at least a score of centuries until they eventually diminish, or are released by either a Necromancer, Realm Lord or questing group of companions who force a release.

Occasionally when the Plane of the Sleepless Dead is close to a material plane it is possible for a fallen spirit to go there when they die. Many of them wander the Realm they entered, lamenting and refusing to accept their deaths.

The Plane of dreams and nightmares, also known as Teleranriod, lies very close to the Plane of the Sleepless Dead. Because of this, if an individual dies when asleep there is a good chance that their spirit travels via the Plane of the Sleepless Dead and can be trapped there for several centuries before moving on towards the Life Sphere.

The final type of spirit that resides upon the Plane of the Sleepless Dead is that of the Necromancer. When a Necromancer casts their invocations they are using the Evil Sphere but the Plane of the Sleepless Dead acts as a conduit. The Animate Dead invocation at Ritual level and below forces a spirit from the Plane of the Sleepless Dead,. As described earlier, into the body that has been prepared. At Cosmic level the Necromancer effectively opens a small portal to the Plane of the Sleepless Dead through which he forces a more powerful spirit to answer his call. For these reasons Necromancers are not normally welcome on the Plane of the Sleepless Dead and in fact many fear going there greatly unless they have an agreement with the relevant Realm Lord.

No Necromancer High Priest can have access to Cosmic Necromantic invocations without the permission of a Realm Lord. This is always granted in person however always at the agreement that when the Necromancer dies his spirit serves the Realm Lord from that point onwards. This means that any Necromancer High Priest cannot be resurrected. This is done in part to prevent the Necromancer from dying permanently and then being called to the Life Sphere, thereby getting out of eternal service with the appropriate Realm Lord. Although if a Necromancer were to die permanently, then his spirit would be held upon its journey within the Plane of the Sleepless Dead but would eventully be unable to resist the calling of the Life Sphere (after a number of centuries) and would continue its journey.

We find it amusing that unknown to any in Wolfhold, Lord Mian has a longstanding agreement that any who learn Necromancy through him must have already died or will die before their teaching begins. This means that they are linked to his Realm Lord whether or not they ever make High Priest. Lady Mortifera has been instructed to continue this practice.

Fortunately for my people I have established a realm upon the Plane of the Sleepless Dead (I say established, actually I took it by force) and I prefer to spend a lot of my time there. I have also an understanding with other Realm Lords to allow my followers more powerful Necromantic invocations that it is safe for non-Dymwan necromancers to use. Naturally all of my High Priests deal with me in my aspect as Realm Lord to get their cosmic invocations and therefore serve me for eternity, alive or dead. Although I have lost some of my elder Necromancers to the Life Sphere, but will hopefully reclaim them shortly.

The Plane of the Sleepless Dead exists to some degree next to all prime material planes, therefore it is possible to travel to other planes via the Plane of the Sleepless Dead. The 'closeness' to each Plane depends on the movement of the spheres, for example it is closest to Orin Rakatha T All Hallows Eve. As the spheres move through the cosmos so the alignment of the Plane of the Sleepless Dead changes, meaning that you could enter the Plane of the Sleepless Dead from the same point at a different time to find yourself in a completely different part of the Plane. This is confusing for those without the knowledge and makes travelling difficult for many, although simple for my people.

As we are all aware the Plane of the Sleepless Dead is divided up into various Realms and each Realm has a Realm Lord; almost always a unique undead of great power. Although they may start as a Lich of Vampire Lord for example, but once they become the ruler of an area of the Plane of the Sleepless Dead they become a Realm Lord. Occasionally an extremely powerful Necromancer can become a Realm Lord although this is very rare. These Realm Lords come and go as the various power struggles ensue.

There are also isolated instance of other places where spirits reside, but these are few and far between and therefore warrant scant attention. These spirits include those exceptionally few which may ascend, like Mezakorak, or more recently Michael of the White Retreat and of course not forgetting myself. These individuals who were so exceptional or represent extreme values that they "ascend" directly and become Aspects in their own rights. They may be called upon by those of faith. But even these in whatever stages they are, will eventually return to the Life Sphere. Or perhaps they have already and what we see are merely their reflections sustained by belief.

There may also be encountered individual spirits, still strong of mind, that resist the calling until a specific task is accomplished, But time is immaterial to the Life Sphere and all will journey there eventually.

So we have looked at the Spheres and their conjunctions and what should happen when someone dies permanently and we have examined the Plane of the Sleepless Dead in great detail. Now we turn to the journey that the Soul takes to reach the Life Sphere. The route that the Soul takes to reach the Life Sphere and the time taken to get there differs for each individual and is largely immaterial. What we have learned is that there is a final place where all souls linger and have their final memories stripped. Once laid bare, then the Soul rejoins the Life Sphere as the "Spark" that left it and ceases to be. However the memory, or echo, lingers for a while, dependent upon the strength of the Soul. Some linger mere seconds whilst other linger for decades perhaps centuries - although that would be extremely rare.

This place is referred to as the "Beyond" or "the path of true Heroes". It is here that we wish to travel to and call back any Spirits that linger there. I have finally mastered the arts and with my knowledge as the Soul Shriever now have suitable vessels to harbour these spirits, and the necessary mechanisms to control them. All that is now required is to journey to the Beyond and claim the Spirits that I wish to bring back. For ease of reference I have detailed those that I intend to return below. Their combined knowledge, skills or powers will indeed be a great addition to the Dymwan and provide capable leaders for the countless Mor Silvani.

Assys Sorbonne. Ex Dymwan Chancellor and Head of the Chancellery. His knowledge of the Mystics gained prior to his death would prove useful.

Malvinous. Ex Dymwan Chancellor. A useful commander in the field.

Grey. Ex Head of the Conservatory. His knowledge of the Time and Planes will prove useful.

Sandaster. Elemental construct and Air Aspect. It may not be possible to retrieve this spirit but its knowledge and skills will prove useful should it be available.

Judge Helm Brighthand. Shadowsmeet Judge. His knowledge of the Shadowsfall and the Sphere of Time would prove useful.

Guy de Valour. Ex Knight of Our Dark Lady. A useful commander in the field.

Prince Sardonyx. Ex Head of the Red School of Magic within the Kern Vallye Alliance. A useful commander in the field.

Stealth Nighthawk. Ex Head of Eclipse. His knowledge of the Eclipse and all its resources would be useful, perhaps to restart the Eclipse.

Cardinal Lungash. Ex leader of the Brotherhood. A useful commander in the field and ambassador.

Path. Ex Circle Prime member of Kalid Doth Loadass. His knowledge of the Doth Loadass and information they gained would be useful. Also a useful commander in the field.

Eyes of Stars. Ex Thisessin Shaman. His abilities should prove useful.

Dymtharis. Ex Head of Dymwan Tower. A useful commander in the field.

Marlonette. Ex Shadowsfall Champion. A useful commander in the field.

Duke Jurgen Zarn. Ex Saldorian Ambassador. A useful commander in the field.

Erelan Black. A loyal subject and excellent commander in the field. His lost knowledge of Fleshweavers will be most helpful.

N'rahn the Decayer. Ex Soul Shriever of the Mor Silvani. His knowledge and the power to eclipse the Sphere of Nature and Necromancy over Orin Rakatha would be invaluable.

With the preparations that I have made I believe that these individuals would have full prior knowledge and use of their skills, even though their "Spark" has departed.

It has taken much time and manipulation of numerous Realm Lords to locate the closest place to the Beyond. Naturally enough the closest location is upon the Plane of the Sleepless Dead within the Realm of Battle. This Realm can be difficult to reach and traverse, for that purpose I cast the necessary Invocations upon one of my Skin Shrievers and instructed her on the requirements to prepare the way. She successfully completed the ritual of Sacrifice and her Spirit entered the Plane of the Sleepless Dead via the Realm of Disease and Decay on All Hallows Eve. She has traversed the various realms as instructed and prepared the anchor point for my Portal, so that I may travel direct to the Realm of Battle. From there, after consultation with the Realm Lord, I will travel to where I will make the breach.

Once the breach has been made I will travel through to the Beyond and retrieve the Spirits I require, perhaps take some small time to dismiss the other less interesting spirits for my amusement. Upon my return I shall "restore" these spirits to their prepared hosted and begin the next stage of my plan.

The details of the ritual that I will need to cast are below. The preparations will take many hours to ready the way and aligh the path, however once the ritual is complete the final act of transference and ascendance will be the slaying of the Sacrifice to commence the traversing along the ways. That is whey it is key that those wishing to take the journey are arrayed in the apex.

Once the weakest point has been assessed then the ley lines should be annotated and marked. With the marking of the ley lines established the point of origin should be clearly marked by two glowing embers. The ritual components should then be sanctified as per normal practices and established in conjunction with the lines of power.

Once all the peripherals are in place the nominated sacrifice, imbued with the powers of both life and unlife should be places within the sacrificial markings. The commencement of the ritual may begin.

The Prime Mover should intone the ritual chantings, this should continue until the attention of the Spheres has been called forth. This will be signified by a "calling" and the hearing of the choirs of the Beyond. The ritual chants used by the Prime Mover will be as follows

---chant omitted---

Once the spheres attention has been reached then the Prime Mover will intone the secondment charm as follows

---chant omitted---

After the first iteration those that choose to follow on should intone the following

---chant omitted---

Life and Death are as one

Once the intonations have been re-iterated a third time it will be time for the sacrifice. When the life force of the sacrifice expires all should intone the following. The intonations should continue until the passage is complete.

---chant omitted---

The markings will then be complete and the notice of the Spheres gained. At this stage the journey should commence. The embodiment of the unlife will enable the Prime Mover and his cohorts to make the transfer. Failure to be embodied will prevent passage unless life is expired, but passage will only be granted then if the supplicants have been duly ordained.

Once the transference is complete, the next stage is simple and the Beyond will be ours to command.

Thus our knowledge is complete. Bask in its unholy magnificence and glory.

Last Updated on Thursday, 08 October 2009 00:22

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