I have decided to summon a demon against the will and decision of the group. It is something that CrIsis need not face, and I believe that I have escaped detection by those elements that would find issue.
Asher, who would disown me as he did Indaris, was distracted by a Raksasha in the street, by sheer luck. The Lady truly looked down upon me tonight and protected me. I could feel fate’s dice rattling in my chest. Caminata had assumed the shape of a bear, and rushed out into the street, to face the fates-blessed Raksasha. Xerx’ses ran to her aid, clutching the holy crutch of Retribution. And Indaris was busy rebuking the Demon’s life. His Holy Mace of destruction’s incessant cries for demon’s blood were the indistinct roarings of crowds. Too many words and voices to distinguish.
There were only three beings in CrIsis that realized I had gone back on my pact with the Priest – to never summon anything outside of a Dimensional Rift, or Sanctuary. Those three were:
Overkill – who was my first and final supporter. He trusts me indescriminantly, though he worries about my parentage.
Tyvernos – who could care less. ‘The more power the merrier!’ in his mind, and, ‘The Gods must be Crazy.’
Nosse – whose thankfully animal reasoning and communication is confusing and unclear. There is no way Caminata could have certainty that I broke my word.
I summoned the Raksasha, and the second one walked by within seconds, luckily. As the others dealt with the one on the outside of the tent, I parleyed with Overkill, telling him that it was not to worry, that I had control, and that I would banish him as soon as the Trials were over. I asked that he keep the secret, so that we could move past the Lopanic Games finally, and return to our mission.
This past few months, I have thought more and more over the conundrum of a Righteous Summoner. Through my ponderings, and during my hours of study, I have reflected on it, full of honest introspection.
I read from the Tristine Chronicles: “…But the Master of Circles can call upon the human and inhuman, the light and the dark with impunity, if the circle be made of proper construction and his soul is not corrupt.”
And it continues, “So it is that He Who Summons shall command forces… . Yet, he must never forget his own frailties and must ever be wary of the whispers … that shall come from the mouths of those things which are summoned. For they have no liking for this world and loathe to call any man their master. For… woe to he who loses his mooring and comes to see little difference betwixt light and dark, the sweet and the bitter, good and evil.”
And furthermore, “Without compassion, without restraint, without regard for life, He Who Summons embraces insanity, cruelty and the devouring darkness. And once lost, he is no different than the vile monsters at his command.”
So it is that Summoning isn’t in itself evil, though it tends to engender evil. As playing with water will get you wet. But I have honestly come to the simple fact that I am not evil, and I do not wish to be. I can be good, even if I am condemned by the Clergy for my Motherland, or my Parentage, or the color of my robes.
Though as I say this, I am reminded of the ramblings of Carl Marxtellan the Mad, who thought himself righteous. I accept that those that love me may have need to kill me, but if I become a monster, it is in service to the Gods of Light, and in service to my anchor, Adriana. I would willingly, if reluctantly, accept my execution by the only Law that truly could judge me – that of Osiris himself! I will see his face in that last glorious day, and he will weigh my soul against the Feather of Ma’at.
Master Nemora told me, “The tiny handful of good Summoners only use protection circles and those that do not enslave or harm others. Nor will they engage in the blood sacrifice of sentient beings or consort with demonic supernatural forces for fear that it will lead to their corruption (which it usually does).”
This is true in most cases. I was tempted and controlled by a Greater Demon for a majority of my magical career, in fact. I broke free, though, and I learned the lesson he was trying to impart, echoed by the Tristine Chronicles. If I Summon without Compassion, Restraint, or Regard for Life, I will be lost to darkness. He did not, however, say ‘if you use a circle to enslave or harm others you will instantly be lost.’
I have shown Compassion; I do not take the will away from a being of Light, or a Good or even Selfish being. I take the will from Demons and Deevils: those whose will is cruel and vicious.
I have shown Restraint; I have only recently summoned demons, since my 3rd level of Wizardry when I banished Helgriven. I do not expect to summon a demon anytime soon, unless the dire need arises.
I have shown Regard for Life; the only times which I have summoned demons were in the wilderness, or in areas already known to the Demon’s brethren. No new knowledge given to Demonkind, or danger to life created.
I am met by stigma created by spurious arguments, focused on the Pentagram and Wizards playing at Summoning. In the two Wizardrous Summon and Control spells, one for Rodentia, the other for Canines, they require the creation of a Pentagram. Of these Master Nemora said, ‘This ritual magic requires the drawing of a pentagram. All pentacles or pentagrams are used for summoning or potentially evil intent. Circles represent mutual support, the cycle of life, and flow of energy, but the pentode, the five pointed star, represents control, destruction and evil.’
Granted, Circles don’t immediately mean voluntarily mutual support, the free-willed cycle of life, or the flow of good-only energy. However, Pentagrams immediately mean control, destruction, and evil. Wizardry is not forbidden, though, or looked down upon by the Clergy.
Which brings me to the ‘Elemental Brotherhood.’
Elementals are as dangerous to mortal life as demons are. A demon will eat a baby, but as Tyvernos once said, “Mine elemental entiti-cular brethren generally have absolutely no regard for the infinitesimal lives or activities of mortal creatures. They will step on a baby or destroy a town if so commanded, in anger, out of ignorance or sheer unadulterated negligence. To an elemental, creatures of this dimension (including all intelligent races) are just bugs without value. It is not because elementals are evil, there is no ill will or evil intent; elementals are so completely different that they have no comprehension of life as we know it. Likewise, the creatures have no concept of law, right and wrong, or good and evil. In this regard, the elemental pays no heed to the harm or damage it may cause in its attempt to obey a warlock’s command.” And as I can attest, when CrIsis summoned a true Wind elemental – that destroyed an entire swath of the Yin-Sloth – it was far more devastating than any single greater demon could hope to be.
So am I evil? Do I go against the righteousness taught by the Tristine Chronicles, Wizards, Summoners, or Warlocks?
Was it not Ra himself that said, ‘I am a jealous God, and there shall be none but the Gods of Light before you. Ye shall bring to destruction the children of Set, and of Anubis, and of Bes, and of Mammon. Bring them to subjugation and build on their backs the Pantheon of Ra, yea, even the Kingdom of Ra and Isis and Osiris.’ –Book of Jeremiel, third Elfen Bardic Prophet, page 345 of the Book of Ma’at.
Either way, whether I lead myself to Damnation or Exaltation, I do it alone. I made sure the Raksasha, who goes by the name of Antioch the Vile, stays in disguise, and does not describe me, my companions, or our mission while in the presence of any sentient being, or in any location or manner in which a sentient being will be made aware, except to me, or by my express, verbal or telepathic permission. Demons is tricksy. During the Trials, I will have him appear as a Hytril.. They sounded perfect, for my plans. And he will incapacitate my competition with Cones of Immobilize, Clouds of Slumber, Carpets of Adhesion, Hallucinations, and other spells of the like… Tyvernos or I will win.
Power to RA! Glory to Osiris!
>>An excerpt from his journal, in the section spanning from Thoth 1st through the 15th in the 23rd Year of Emperor Voelkian Itomas II, by Azariel, Apprentice Alchemist. Acolyte of Osiris and the Lady Luck.<<
All Quotes, minus the one from the Book of Ma’at, were taken verbatim from Palladium Fantasy World Book 1. Well, the one from Tyvernos was Tyvernosed up, but is still faithful to the book.
First Picture by Denman Rooke
Second Picture by Wizards.com
Third Picture: WoW.