I cannot believe I am forcing myself to place this pen on this paper. This is how it always starts. A few words, then some lines, followed by an entire book. Soon after, give or take a thousand years or so, that book becomes a grimoire, used for evil unholy purposes. Its chaos, man! Chaos! And there’s only one thing that comes from chaos…the Old Ones rising!
But it is by necessity that I write these words. My brain is full. I have kept as much as I could over the years. But pieces are beginning to come out and be lost once more. In this time when chaos is unraveling, I have had to resort to means which I would not normally confide in. In fact, despite the fact that my life is filled with written words and surrounded by tome after tome of books and scrolls, I came to the stark conclusion of the vileness. It was upon that day that I stop writing records. I only wrote letters out of the necessity to communicate; to stay connected to this existence with people. But I was always assured that these letters were destroyed.
Now I am not against books, and those from whom books are written. But, I am against ME writing down the knowledge that I have learned. I know things that are far too dangerous to be brought back into the light. And so it is that I have made this commitment to keep this knowledge in one place, where no one has a key, but me. I have even gone as far as to code my very memories, first in an invented language, and secondly through systematic confabulatory mental imagery, so that even the most astute mind mage could not riffle through the pages of my mental libraries. I have been called crazy. Some say I am paranoid. The unlearned call me eccentric. But you would not judge me, if you only have seen and learned what I have learned.
I am Ley-Rhy Rhavamanthys Puhkorne. I am a monk of the Order of Moonfast. I am the Keeper of the Sumaric Tomes, Guardian Soliate of the Whispers of Mon Zy. I have walked this earth beyond six centuries (as far as I can keep it straight…my history is not as important to remember as this world’s); but I have amassed a memory of the written knowledge of more than 1000 dragon-lifetimes. This is my story.
I pray that my secrets will not be subconsciously spilt upon these pages. This is my fifth attempt at recording my history. The other four had to be destroyed as I began to talk about the—-easy—-nice and slow like we practiced—-only let out what is needed to know—-nothing more—-Whew! I almost had to start again.
As I was saying, this account regales of who I am, and of my importance to this world and this time. Though I cannot speak completely of my past, as there are many who would use it to force me to reveal my secrets, I will give enough so you will feel that you know me.
You see there are many bad people in this world. And of those bad people, there are many powerful ones who would wish me dead. It has been only by luck and sheer skill, I have evaded many attempts on my life. I am fortunate that the balance between those who wish me dead, and those who wish for me to spill my secrets are about equal. This has been the only thing, sometimes, standing in the way of the proverbial Knife of Tristilocles from plunging into my skull. For that ironic fate, I have been ever grateful. But it makes me always a bit jumpy, and concerned in whom I must trust. Are you the ignorant barbarian coming to kill me? Or the overly-ambitious man desiring my knowledge for the seeds of power? I fear the ignorant one more, since he cannot be reasoned with.
It is with great regret that I will admit that my knowledge has in fact been used for the destruction of entire races and civilizations. Their deaths are upon my head. I have tried to enact a thorough penance. My pilgrimage from Dragon’s Gate to Dragon’s Claw on foot were some of my most painful memories. I had seven stretches of 40 day fasts during that journey. I did it to be absolved from when a friend betrayed me…it is still hard to trust another dwarf even to this day.
But I travel now back further. I believe I was born within the borders of the Western Empire, at least what is now the Western Empire. My mother, rest her soul, was a kind woman. She instilled into me the vigor for learning and the love for all living creatures. My father, rest his soul, was not so kind. His more vitruous aspects were discipline and survival. He was once a nobleman, but through treachery was denounced by a rival, and lost everything. And so he became a merchant, and moved our small family to Shandala to get away from his persecutors, start a new life, and be closer to the Temple (it was more grand back then).
It was here in Shandala where I took to learning more pervasively. A small monestary was forming at that time. There were only a handful of monks, but they carried with them a wagonful of books and scrolls to sate my new found appetite for knowledge. My first mentor, Teeg d’Vrale, a classic teacher of rhetoric, tutored my learning. He instilled a very conservative philosophy of knowledge, that knowledge was more powerful and dangerous, than sword or spear. It was for this reason that he said, only the most patient and understanding should possess knowledge…at least the most dangerous of knowledge.
We were to move again leaving behind Shandala and the monks. My father felt that his persecutors influence had reached there. So, we packed up, and started a new life in another part of the kingdom. Year after year this would reoccur time and time again; picking up and starting again.
One day after one of these moves, I learned the monks of Shandala had been massacred, and their books and tomes taken. I was shocked. I was angry, and upset. But then, Master Teeg’s words of resolve came to me. His posthumous wisdom brought me comfort. It was then I felt the call to become a monk.
Needless to say, years later after becoming a monk and find the right order that fit my philosophies, I returned to Shandala. With the help of my brothers, we started a foothold once more. I did not oversee its day to day affairs, but I did give aid when needed. Eventually, I felt the need to press on from there, once the monastery started to lean towards a new more modern form of monkhood. They began to bring back some of the anti-demon martial arts, and institute it into their initiates. This was not what I felt was the way of the monk. Furthermore, I began to feel that some evil force was following close behind me. I needed to leave before I brought this evil to my brothers.
I began to conclude that the enemies of my father were more real than I had led on to believe as a youth. And thus, it was that I began to learn more about what my father tried to keep hidden from me. I did not like what I found. The world is a dark place when the light of truth is shone down upon it. It is because of this that I know, that I must keep moving. Never again have I settled long enough to call a place home.
Friends, I have few. Not because I do not enjoy their company. But, because bad things are a contagium that follows me like a dog to his vomit. Those who are around me always seem to suffer. I have seen much suffering. And so I have learned to keep no ties; keep moving.
Forgive me if you will, but I cannot say more…at least at this time. Though, know that my heart desires to find kindred souls in whom to confide, and confer my knowledge. May the Light preserve my mind long enough, and protect you throughout. I warn you, though. These very writings may have endanger your life, I fear. Watch carefully. For the Dark grows ever nearer!