Handout II: The Diary

 

Marpenoth 17, Year of the Staves Arcane (1415 DR)

I am a man of arcane power. Magic flows in my veins. I can sense it in the earth, I can sense it in the sky. Yet, it is elusive. When captured it is fragile, when released it is brutal destruction. Wish I could handle it so much easier, in so much more a delicate way, with so much more precision.

It was not always so. In early times, magic flowed through precise arcane means – those who attempted to wield power directly from its source were rogues, charlatans. Now, the art is for each to grab, no longer…exclusive.

Then came the vision. I saw a way by which I might rid myself of this chaos, this anarchy. Indeed, could I not draw forth the Weave and gift it to the world itself? This would surely be perfection, joy and treasure. This was the Apparatus and once my mind conceived it, I could not rest until its completion.

Many nights did I work in the darkness of my secluded laboratory, my mind fevered with the immensity of what I would accomplish. Yet did success elude me! Failure after failure did I suffer. The key to calling forth the Weave was ever hanging before me, without shape or substance; ever in a haze of taunting obscurity.

One night I boiled with hate and anger, and cried out! Why had Mystra abandoned us? Why must we be tortured, faced with a reality that refuses to be bound to our will? I would conquer this if I could. I would defy the laws!

Then came to me with clarity the knowledge of what I must do. I saw the missing piece, its rod of crystal hewn just so; its length just thus. The sulphur sphere… it all made sense. I vowed to leave thus for a time the paths decreed by the just gods, for in the end much good could be accomplished… surely the gods would understand the need of that.

Within a fortnight the deed was done. The Apparatus stood complete within my laboratory. The great sulphur ball in its mechanism, the receptors below all arranged properly about the lead glass sphere. The tests had all been successful…

I activated the machine to call forth the Weave. The power surged with the spinning sphere. Lightning laced the chamber. Arrows of brilliance flew from the receptors and pierced the glass… a light arose in the central sphere… it screamed!

There, in the sphere, was a creature of magic, an arcane manifestation of Weave itself. I marvelled at it! But the creature rejected me. It spurned my desires and refused to answer – nay, it lied to my questions! No good could come from it, it said. Mystra, the Weave, it was gone and could never brought back! But I refuse to believe it. Once more, I activated the machine to draw forth its power.

But my pride had played one last trick upon me. The Apparatus fled from my control! Lightning arced around, piercing me, piercing my very soul. Black darkness solidified within the crystal globe.

It took form, unbidden and terrible. The creature . . . for no other name would suit . . . emerged from the shattering globe. It laughed maniacally, and I screamed in terror, for I looked upon a twisted face that was my own!

Such horror should have existed within me! And now it was free!