Dear Lady Torchwood,
I am writing this not as logging of our events but as a method of helping a friend cope. I might write about the events in a more factual accounting but for now this record and any other like it that follow is for its benefit as well as my own. Callandor is grieving and in helping him I am forced to face my own as well. Master Overkill was the first wielder of Callandor from its memories now being shared with me, clearly its friend as well. He was also the first Dwarf that I ever met. After spending thousands of years silent, Callandor never told Master Overkill how it felt about him as a true friend. My new bladed companion has been crawling through my mind for every memory of the Dwarf because those memories include time Callandor and the Dwarf were together. Thus a bond, a new friendship has begun for us through grief.
What follows is the accounting of my memories of the “Fall of Overkill” and my oath of friendship to the “Burning Blade” so my friend can grieve through me and with me. My hope is that this will give Callandor other final memories of his first friend other than the death roar of the Redbeard’s Soul.
~ The 21st of PEGASUS ~
Fourteen days it took us to reach Shinkasa from our berthing of Rogtilda in Oceanside. As our wagon approached the gatehouse I saw the shadow of death and decay fall across those that dwelt here or crossed its threshold. It was made by an enormous tower, white-washed and compensating for the lack of any possible Hooman decency of the ruling family. As we made our way through the city streets in our wagon, and Master Azariel upon Lictalon. A wagon full of straw blocked the far end of the street, and the alleyways were far too narrow to allow us exit. I saw my companions hackles on the rise as the wagon exploded in fire! Master Azariel began fishing out his ward book to drop his mystical might upon them. Then what looked like a ‘Cloud of Slumber’ was used and followed by arrow fire peppering the Elven Junior Alchemist! Master Overkill was out with Callandor and somehow Master-Sister Caminata had disappeared and Master Tyvernos had briefly returned to fight at our side!
A troll made his way into the fray and I had moved to intercept it with spell infused Fists of Lightning! Just then another Troll astride a gryphon hefted a giant polearm with a blackening glow of darklight dove down at us partially using the sun as cover to keep us from looking very long at him directly. Master Tyvernos screamed out, ‘’Soul Drinker! Ack!’’ Master Asher focused on wiggling his fingers and the gryphon lost control of itself. The troll threw the Runic, Soul Drinking Polearm at us, as he banked up and away for another pass. A foot of it had penetrated the wagon and only other barbs on it stopped it from going completely through. I could hear people in the street calling out that Lady Daera Kaze was leading the assault! I was able to catch a glimpse of her before all Hades broke loose!!
Before any of us could react to the news of the evil Noblewoman, the ground opened up under us! Brother Indaris and Master Asher had rolled to either side of the crack in the street filling with the hot angry blood of the world! Master Tyvernos whom was flying was hauling Master Azariel’s arrow filled, pincushion frame out of the way! Master Overkill and I were not as lucky and fell into the lava eating its way through houses on either side of the street!!!
My Minotaur legs froze briefly, and my chest contracted in a silent scream as I slowly sank to the bottom of the magma. However, I could feel Master Asher’s Gem of Fire Eating sucking in enough of the magma to allow my natural resistance to fire help me find a way out! Not seeing the good Dwarf I used my time girded in magic fire protection to get him out of the lava! I found Callandor’s blade and closed my fist around it as though ‘luck itself’ had brought me to it. I pulled myself and it out thinking Master Overkill would be hanging on. I was wrong. Wrapped around the handle was Master Overkill’s right hand and a few inches of his wrist!
Unseen hands grabbed Osiris’ Left Foot as though Master Overkill’s last act was to ensure it made it to Master Asher’s psychic grasp!
NO, THIS IS NOT FAIR!!! I DID NOT JUST WATCH MASTER OVERKILL’S RIGHT HAND MELT OFF THE RUNE CUTLASS I WAS HOLDING!!! I DID NOT JUST SEE THE FIRST PERSON TO EVER STAND UP FOR ME AMONG THE RACES THAT RIGHTFULLY HATE MY KIND JUST DIE!!!
Scooping his ashes and molten slag of the gauntlet from Horus’ Light into my large satchel because it could not affect the pocket dimension. Roaring at Brother Indaris I tore the scroll of the Heart of Osiris from the same satchel, “PRIEST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”
In the midst of everything happening Brother Indaris’ eyes met mine briefly and his tears took a hold of my arm and numbly I put the scroll away. Those tears bid forth my own as I knew the message passing between us.
Master Asher, brought us back to reality pointing out the Runic, Soul Drinking Polearm was in our destroyed wagon and our attackers had broken off pursuit rather than face the city guard fast heading this way! I turned to look and Master Azariel was alive and arrow free. A flash behind him and Master-Sister Caminata had re-appeared and Master Tyvernos was gone again. Thinking quickly Master Asher raised the foul weapon in the air and I scooped it up into my satchel with the dimensional pocket. With utmost haste we made our way through winding streets to the exterior city beyond the walls. We procured another wagon and left in utmost hurry and surprisingly, Master Azariel’s mount had gotten away and found us again. Good old Lictalon was a noble steed and good friend to his beloved owner.
~ The 21st through the 27th of PEGASUS ~
It took me an hour to realize I had not let go of Callandor, the screaming I was still hearing was not me, but the sword!
It was an hour after dusk when we stopped for the first night and each time a different member of CrIsis had to stop me because I spent all of my time whether in my natural Minotaur form or Hooman form holding the rune blade and talking to it, sometimes out loud and not even realizing it. I stood watch with it and Brother Indaris, giving Callandor complete access to every memory in my head so he could see that I had spoken with thirty five different rune weapons including him. Even Callandor can’t figure out why Oathbringer is so wound up, go figure.
I even thought Hoomans were just deformed Elves from the Great War.
In most modern languages you’re saying it incorrectly.
Although I have heard your Dwarven and that dialect is nearly gone. Only the oldest Dwarves and Elves will be familiar with it.
After seeing that I had cared for the Rune Weapons of my old tribe before they were handed out among the young. Spurned some other questions from Callandor.
After some of those memories them I introduced Callandor to my mother’s memories. The rune sword saw everything that was great about her, my second father, and my brother. He saw how happy I truly am for Luur’na and Zeelik and their union. I saw his fear because so many of his memories were of a room, or a box that could go on for an age without change. Callandor’s fear of being alone was palpable and noteworthy, I was shaken to my core at the thought of being that isolated for so long.
ReSet is your foe.
Some of the nights I heard it pray, and I knew the Gods of Light listened because it had a soul. On the 26th of Pegasus we reach the small town of White Ash, that had grown up around a the tree shaped wizarding guild house of the which the town derived its name. I could not believe our newest member that had appeared in minutes after Master Overkill’s death found acceptance far easier among the wizards than I had. Master Burlap was a Hobgoblin, which is to say a REALLY distant cousin of ancient faerie kin according to Brother Indaris. Now I am not trying to digress here because there was a few more memories I shared with Callandor after the welcoming feast that night when he began to appreciate my predicament after the 50th person reminded me to “NOT CHANGE” into a Minotaur outside the halls. I knew each person was conquering their fear just to come near me and talk. The same way I often felt awkward trying to talk to a Cyclops or Titan.
Now during the dinner Master Juran Sline, was mentioning my golds again to Master Azariel and somehow he flustered Master Azariel into mis-speaking something and of little note. Then he smacked him in the back of his head!!!! I laughed so hard several apprentices jumped from their chairs! Master Azariel had an “Aesyl” among those that had instructed him! Oh the elf was holding out on me when he met Master Aesyl back in the underground Fortress City of Etrinan. I felt so much closer to him now than I ever did before, hmm, I think I may not suck as bad at magic as I thought I did.
Well they say you can share to much sometimes and for the next four hours Callandor had me relive every memory of getting smacked in the head by either Master Aesyl or Master A’zad. Over and over and over. . .
Having been accepted as a friend I could feel the mystic energies between us begin growing stronger. Now was time for the ritual that would help solidify our bond and in many ways is a bastardization of the Familiar & Talisman Spells combined with the rather grim Cauldron of Knowledge. I took the ashes of Master Overkill’s right hand and put them in a silver chalice I had borrowed that night from guild so I could have some water if needs be. The water was indeed refreshing, I used Callandor to cut my left hand and fill the chalice with my blood infused with my energy making the chalice a very temporary talisman. I then went to the area set aside in this room for casting magic and drew my circle in my blood upon the cold stone floor. I called the Gods of Light: Thoth – for only he could grant the rune and change its fate, Horus – to aid our souls in fighting evil and burning those that cannot be burned, and lastly but certainly not least Isis – to make sure our anger was directed solely against Evil! It is written in many of the tomes I have read only true masters of their craft may perform improvisational invocations. If this worked I would know my worth and the bond cemented would grow more powerful over time. I then used Callandor to cut some of the flesh off my right palm and burn it to ashes. I added my ashes to the same chalice with my blood and Master Overkill’s. Using the Eyes of Thoth Spell took my thumb and covered the entire blade with the mixture of ashen blood. Then with a quill I etched my true name in runes upon the bloodied blade. The goal was to permanently link a piece of my soul to the blade forever so Callandor would always have a friend and never be alone. Setting the blade upon the circle I began the invocation ritual:
If I had made the preparation correctly and my sacrifice of good enough worth, then it should draw the Gods and Goddess’ attention to the circle and sword that laid upon it.
This portion began the changes I wished to invoke between Callandor and I, and hopefully in Callandor itself should Thoth be persuaded via the ritual.
In the final stage of the ritual I am invoking the power to burn what cannot be burned as a means of protecting the good from evil through the power of light and fire. It was during this part of the ritual a set of hands rested upon my shoulders from behind and the circle glowed as a hot brand and smoke billowed forth form where my hands rested upon the now bloodied burning blade! Words spoke inside my head as light shot forth from my eyes, nostrils and mouth.
The deed has been approved!
Do not invoke the gods again such magicks are not for this age, Wizard.
I awoke the following morning on the 27th there was no sign of the circle but ash, and as I raised my head the air in the room moved and disturbed the circle to unrecognizable dust. I was laying upon my new friend and when I went to raise myself off I saw that my left hand had been branded with the runes at the base of its blade. No sign of a cut, but my right now had a scarred looking patch where I cut last night. I could not shake the vision of Callandor’s blade on fire at one point and then the whole weapon changing into a white hot chain of rune covered links! If I am right then I managed an Invocation Ritual of Legend last night and I certainly feel drained enough for that to be the case. For one moment I felt as though I had merged being a Priest of Light and Wizard into one! The “Time of the Thousand Magicks” must have been something else, however, there was no point in recording most of what I had done given the warning I had received. I also knew that until the sword and I finished bonding this change within it would be beyond my use. Neither Callandor nor I knew how long that would be since the Invocation Ritual of Legend seems to have worked.
There was one thing, one amazing bit of knowledge gained. The nature of a word of power! I learned power words were things that could change over time! That I had indeed used the gods names as Words of Power! What else could be a word then given the correct use and circumstance?
After breakfast we had a funeral and some of Master Overkill’s Ashes were buried in White Ash. Brother Indaris performed his first funeral and I thought he had done a great job. Master-Sister Caminata had provided other ashes they had found. During the ceremony I held Callandor in both hands so he could be present at the ceremony of our friend’s passing. My friend, the sword, really liked the eulogy prayer the good priest gave:
Prayer for Overkill
My Lady of the Garden of Death
Thy Love pervades the Earth,
Please watch over our Beloved as They pass through the Two Lands,
As Thou send forth rays from Thy two Beautiful Eyes.
The Dead are rapturous with delight when Thou shine.
Thouest stars arise, and we are cheered by Their rising,
The faithful sing in joy when thou shine in full power
May you carry our companion with thee as thee surveys thy domain.
Beloved art Thou when Thou art in the Southern Sky,
And Thou art esteemed Lovely when Thou art in the Northern Sky.
Thou draws our fears away when you pass through the eastern sky
and the carry our lost friends to thou bosom when your flow through the western sky
Thy Beauty takes possession of and carry away all hearts,
And the Love for Thee subdues all,
Thy Beautiful Form makes the hands to tremble,
All hearts are healed at beholding Thee.
May our fallen friend travel with thee to Ma’ip and be reunited with his child.
We left soon after for the last ten miles to reach Shandala.
Farewell Ovkral “Overkill” Glandar
Thane of the Redbeards,
Captain of Rogtilda,
Leader among CrIsis,
War Wizard of CrIsis
P.S. Although I am no priest may the Lawgiver’s judgement keep you and yours safe.
>>> Written by Xerx’ses Goldenhorn, on the morning ride to Shandala upon the 27th of Pegasus, 70th Year of the Wolfen Empire, 2nd year of King Guy the First of the Timiro Kingdom, and 343 year of the Dominion of Man. <<<
Lady in yellow dress, picture by Nomuh.
Magic Circle from Cartographer’s Guild.
I took the Flag description from Adventures on the High Seas for the Western Empire and the map from Book 8: Western Empire and replaced the waters with the Imperial Flag.