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 Post subject: Fell Epiphanies: Journal of Malign Ashmeddai
Unread postPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2018 3:58 pm 
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Foreword
I, Malign Ashmeddai, have decided to keep a record of my memories and adventures, highlighting key events. Mayhap, in time, I will retire and publish this as an autobiography. Time shall tell, aye? It may be that my journey shall help those tieflings who find themselves in a similar position, fleeing their homeland and seeking a place in which to carve a solid existence.

_________________
Malign Ashmeddai, tiefling and "Fellblade"
Biography | Fell Epiphanies
Ilzsa Murnyethara, tiefling and "Hexmage"
Biography

"Betrayer... In truth, it was I who was betrayed [...]" (Illidan Stormrage, The Frozen Throne)


Last edited by samb123 on Fri Apr 06, 2018 5:46 am, edited 7 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Fell Ephinanies: Journal of Malign Ashmeddai
Unread postPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2018 5:57 pm 
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Memories of Thay

"What would ye do after running for several years, ever escaping Thay and the plots of the
Red Wizards? That is why I am still alive, I have nay doubt. But I have run too long... "


12 The Claw of Winter, Year 1354

My long flight from Thay began with the death of my mother, she who had been my passionate protector in land where tieflings are playthings and pawns of the Noble Houses of Thay. Naturally, she was a Red Wizard herself, but she ensured my education and also protection from the head of House Ashmeddai, an ancient Red Wizard. He was also my maternal grandfather, and thoroughly despised my very existence. With her murder - I suspect 'twas murder, though I have nay proof - I knew I had to flee.


Of course, my life in Thay, and subsequent outlook towards the land and its people, developed long before her murder...

I was born a bastard, in the northern tharch of Surthay, as "Barzal". My mother's name was Arizima, and she bore me without the approval of my grandfather. I never knew my father, but I would see a single tear line begin to fall, whenever I asked of him as a boy, quickly wiped away. Eventually, I stopped asking. My mother was my only solace among House Ashmeddai. As a Red Wizard, despite her disgrace, she could protect a tiefling child from the cruel plots of other Red Wizards.
To Thayans, I was nay pure Mulan. I was instead their tortured plaything, the impure, the scum, a tiefling. I heard it all, mostly from whelps whose bloodlines were likely as twisted as mine own. I was often the target of beatings by the pure Mulan children, until I learned enough brutality and cruelty to fight back. My mother would always soothe my scrapes and bruises. They ceased bullying me after I crushed one boy's fingers under my boot, literally. 'Twas only required, naturally.

I recall one occasion where a tutor whom my mother had hired, an impoverished minor Mulan noble, broke my hand with a rod. The man annoyed me, so I acted stubborn and shirked my lessons before his very eyes. After an hour, he struck my hand in frustration. Arizima the Red Wizard rose up before us, all two meters of her. She threatened to turn the man inside out, until his bones were encasing his flesh,
"Instead of the other way around!" The man flinched and began apologizing profusely, to her but nay to me, the tiefling. Mother was fiercely protective of me; but she amiably cajoled me to return to my studies, a veiled, dual threat. It was implicit to us both. She brooked no shirking of my studies, and the tutor wanted to live. I did nay test her patience in that matter again!


Around the time of my majority, two events happened. My mother was murdered. And there was a flurry of activity in House Ashmeddai.
Before her death, rumors began to fly that my grandfather was planning something. The younger house Red Wizards and minor mages were all maneuvering, in order to be part of it and garner the old bastard's favor. I went to my mother's room, to ask her what it meant.
I knocked on the door, and there was silence. At that moment, something felt wrong. There was a copper scent in the air, which was nay unusual, as mother engaged in alchemical experiments in the morning and then came to her room to change clothes. But that day... it was nay right.
I burst in, to find her bleeding out the last of her breathe. I held her eyes, as she shuddered several times and then died in obvious pain. Then, I heard voices, from down the hall. I hid.

"Where's the fiend-blood mongrel? The master will likely sacrifice him in a fortnight," demanded a husky female voice.
A nasal male voice responded,
"Yes, the master's ritual to summon a marilith... it needs a sacrifice."

When the voices had passed her room, I spent some time thinking. Sitting near thy mother's corpse, moments after ye saw her die, tends to change thy thought process. I realized that the only way to stay alive was to escape. Of course, I could nay just run off. With all the activity in House Ashmeddai now, I would need a distraction. I would need all of the house guards occupied. For the next several hours, I discreetly spent time amongst the slaves. I managed to convince a select few of the influential slaves to rise up, knowing the rest of the slaves would follow them.
"It is perfect timing," I urged Jandar, a minor slave overseer. "The Red Wizards are all occupied with the master's rituals, and the guards are too busy looking towards external threats. Wait until full darkness."

When the time came, the slaves attacked the guards at the main gate. Upon hearing their attack, the guards rushed towards the main gate. I hid near the rear sortie gate, leaving as soon as the guards rushed to put down the slave revolt. I stole a horse from the scout stables and fled Surthay!


I only have one memento of my mother, Arizima, which I keep to this day: a tiny earring. I now wear it bound 'hind my ear, like a charm.

_________________
Malign Ashmeddai, tiefling and "Fellblade"
Biography | Fell Epiphanies
Ilzsa Murnyethara, tiefling and "Hexmage"
Biography

"Betrayer... In truth, it was I who was betrayed [...]" (Illidan Stormrage, The Frozen Throne)


Last edited by samb123 on Mon May 28, 2018 5:36 pm, edited 23 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Fell Ephinanies: Journal of Malign Ashmeddai
Unread postPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2018 5:28 am 
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Fleeing Thay

"Would ye spill blood for thy own safety, for power? Or Pact with Lower Planars?
I would. Truly, power is the only currency that matters!"



14 The Claw of Winter, Year 1354

I fled Thay for Lake Mulsantir, journeying up the east side of the lake to Mulsantir, in Rashemen. The journey took me a few tendays, as I did nay desire to overtax the horse. I had only the provisions that I could, but I had also snagged a fishing rod before I left House Ashmeddai. I used bits of food and the rod to sustain myself when my supplies ran low.

Fortunately, I found a relatively ruin along the lakeside. I fished for a few hours, then headed into the ruin to start a fire and cook the fish. I spent a great deal of time thinking over the events prior. I admit I even spent some time grieving.
After a few days of thought and grief, I made a decision. Obviously, I could nay return to my old life, so I would cast aside the name 'Barzal', my birth name. My old life was dead, and it was time start anew with greater mastery. I would now be known as 'Malign'.

"For I will turn the curses back on those who scorn me," I said to myself.

Exploring the depths of the cave over several days, I eventually stumbled upon a heretical text. This text detailed how to summon a demons. One passage specifically mentioned Alu-Fiends, describing how this fiend might grant a pact on behalf of a demon lord. I also read of the Demon lord Graz'zt and his Abyssal realm of Azzagrat (and a few other Abyssal realms). After weeks of study, Malign began the ritual.

"I summon ye, Alu-Fiend!", I cried defiantly, and the comely fiend entered the summoning circle in a flash of magic.
"What do you seek of me, mortal?", the Alu-Fiend taunted in a sultry tone, her wings flexing as her hands carressed her breasts, and leered at him.
"I seek power, power to reform this world for the better."
The Alu-Fiend reached out, running one hand along his jawline teasingly. "I might be able to arrange that... with my master, the Demon lord Graz'zt."
"I agree... I have read of thy master and his realm. Mayhap, one day, I will even visit? But, for now, the Pact!"

With his agreement, the Alu-Fiend clutched the side of my face. I momentarily felt weaker. Then, the Alu-Fiend vanished. Feeling drained, I flexed his hands. That night, dreams came to me of a city, of demons, and of the Argent Palace. When I awoke, I reached out with the tenebrous power I felt, almost hidden, beneath my mind. To my delight, I then conjured a ray of eldritch power!

I always feel such power now. And, truly, it is growing...


After forming the Pact, I considered my options. The Rashemi would be suspicious of Thayans and doubly so of a tiefling. So, I journeyed down the eastern shore of Lake Mulsantir, to Telflamm, the most important city in Thesk. Despite the wonderous markets in Shemszarr Square, I did not stay long in the city. Thayans know that the largest Red Wizard Enclave is in Telflamm, and my grandfather may have put the word out for my capture. I found a ship, quickly, bound for Zhentil Keep.
Zhentil Keep is an inherently interesting city. Forty-foot-thick walls tower above the Keep itself, and the homes and businesses within loom several stories above the streets, like low cliffs. A city entirely ordered, great iron gates are periodically set into walls of the buildings, a measure against invasions. After the ship docked, I and my fellow passengers headed to the Foreign Quarter. Unfortunately, before I could fully explore the opportunities of Zhentil Keep, I was confronted with the reality of the high taxes levied on foreigners. I stayed in the city a few days only, taking care to visit the Black Altar of Bane for good measure, despite my lack of proclivity for the gods.

For the next few years, I journeyed across the North, ever heading westwards. I mainly kept to the trade routes, journeying with a mercenary squad here or a caravan of merchants there. I volunteered my "magical talents" and even accepted insults or derision, for the sake of pay and travel westward.

A tenday ago, I found myself here, near Baldur's Gate. And I am confronted with the ironic fact that, on this seemingly sleepy Sword Coast, all is nay as it seems!
I first slept in the city itself, and found that I awoke in a state of intense dread, as if I somehow had learned a terrible secret. I had already severed ties with the merchant caravan I was working with, the day prior. I have decided to stay in Baldur's Gate. These dreams, I feel compelled to understand what they mean and how I can turn them to my benefit.


"This land... I will gain power here, so I shall ne'er again be powerless!"

_________________
Malign Ashmeddai, tiefling and "Fellblade"
Biography | Fell Epiphanies
Ilzsa Murnyethara, tiefling and "Hexmage"
Biography

"Betrayer... In truth, it was I who was betrayed [...]" (Illidan Stormrage, The Frozen Throne)


Last edited by samb123 on Mon May 28, 2018 5:37 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Fell Epiphanies: Journal of Malign Ashmeddai
Unread postPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2018 1:58 pm 
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Dreams in Baldur's Gate

"In order to understand thy dreams, 
what powers would ye employ?"


4 The Claw of Sunsets, Year 1354

I have awoken the last several nights, with a sense of dread. I never remember the content of the dreams. I have had enough. Along this Coast, there are several who have knowledge of such things already. I sought them out, particularly members of the 'Sword Coast Guild of the Arcane'.

Always remember, dear reader, that magic can provide a problem to any solution. The only thing that matters is what is the source of thy magic, how far ye are willing to go, and what means ye employ in doing so. Power is the only end which just the means. Power is freedom...


But ye need knowledge, to temper power's bite. Therefore I found one Cyrus, a wizard of the afore-mentioned guild. Cyrus told me the basic content of the dreams which tieflings have, having gained the knowledge himself after entering a tiefling's dream. He also posited that it was the work of demons. Finally, it was recommend that I seek out Rania at the Halls of Inner Light, and I was given directions towards that temple.
I found Cyrus an interesting man. Men who use whatever means necessary, as I suspect he does, are men who are useful. I am loathe to trust anyone, but I at least understand the attitude that such men tend to espouse.

Unfortunately, at least in my opinion, dear reader, the Halls of Inner Light thoroughly stink of 'goodness'. It is a place dedicated to bringing individuals into the service of the light and to aiding in overcoming racial prejudice within Baldur's Gate. I agree, in spirit, with the latter goal, but I believe their naive devotion to deities, particularly deities of goodness, is unfounded.
Walking through their halls with a sense of irritation and unease, I finally found Rania. Rania seems a kind soul, I admit. She informed me that she had entered the dreams of both tieflings and aasimar. The content of the aasimar dreams were interesting. The dreams of both species featured a 'woman in white'. I declined Rania's offer of a spell which would ward my mind against the dreams.



10 The Claw of Sunsets, Year 1354

I met a woman a few days ago, whom I shall nay identify except as 'the gray' and suspect to be a magi. Only know that she would sponsor my efforts at strengthening and growing my power through the Pact I have with my patron, Graz'zt. Never fully trust those who seek to grow thy power, for their own ends, dear reader, but ye can use them as well. As long as thy goals are similarly aligned, trust can continue. Never trust any man or woman fully.

In the nature of such an association, I agreed to meet the gray at the Blushing Mermaid.

I found the gray quite the hostess. She provided a sumptuous meal and fine alcohol. Her interest in the dreams was quite apparent. Due to her clandestine nature and prior offer of sponsorship, I suggest my plan: to summon a demon. She agrees and will aid me with securing what I need.
I believe that my patron can be of some assistance in this matter. I will summon an Alu-Fiend of Graz'zt. I need a beautiful virgin, as a sacrifice. But I shall prepare further measures, to be prudent. Therefore, I set about acquiring the needed materials and several powerful scrolls.

I also head to Darkhold. The Zhentarim must have a slave of sufficient beauty, mayhap even a virgin. I plan to grease a few palms and seeks out the local Zhent slavers, asking the following:

"I seek a virgin slave of some beauty. Preferably human or elf. What have ye?"


20 The Claw of Sunsets, Year 1354

A tenday has passed. I have the slave, and the gray delivered the scrolls needed. We are heading deep under the city of Baldur's Gate, to the Undercity. I have the slave, dressed in white, and the gray has divine power to turn the undead she says are down there. Apparently, there is an old ruined profane temple down there. Seems a suitable place for a summoning.
We were joined by one Ardem Yay, a Ilmater cleric and former farmboy. The ignorant lad believes the slave is sick, and we are bringing her to the Undercity to cure her. I do nay like priests, especially goodly ones. I shall enjoy tricking the fool!

Eventually, we arrived at the ruined temple. The gray went in first and disabled the guardians. When she came out again and signaled it was clear, I brought the slave in. The gray calmed her fears. Ardem tried to run, but the gray threw up a barrier and sapped his strength with a curse.
Lugging the poor fool forward, I dropped him near the ruined symbol of a skull with blood drops. I pulled out the scrolls and began the summoning. The slave was beckoned forward. I almost lost control - such weakness shall nay happen again! - but I was able to maintain control. The Alu-Fiend materialized in the center of the summoning circle!

We shoved the slave forward, and the demon accepted it. I demanded to know who sent the dreams.
She responded in a breathy voice,
"The Master wishes you to know."

I fell back. I saw it all in rush, dead to the world. Images flashed rapidly behind my eyes. It felt like several minutes, but 'twas clearly only a few moments.
Hidden: show
((The vision is only known to those who found out IC. See https://www.bgtscc.net/viewtopic.php?p=799212#p799212 . Vision given to Malign courtesy of DM Impostor.))

You find your mind filled with visions. You see a deep darkness with strange shapes within it. You recognize it as the strange dream. The dream is in fragments, but with effort you can piece them together in your mind.

The first fragment is of a blinding light. You can see a tall woman with amber eyes, with white feathered wings behind her. She speaks with a strong and gentle voice. "You are in grave danger. Look to the rot beneath you. Everything you know will burn." The voice fades.

The second fragment is that of a long row of cells in a dark corridor. Pale hands, covered with scars, emerge from the shadows beyond the bars, reaching for you as you pass. At the end of the corridor is an open doorway. Within is an iron maiden, blood seeping from its every crack. Tortured screaming can be heard all around. Two figures, shrouded in darkness, wait within the torture chamber.

The third fragment is that of a great city. You finds yourself in the streets, as panicked commoners flee. Before you are the city's gates, which begin to collapse from some terrible impact on the other side. Flames appear from the gate's cracks.
Far above, you see a dark flaming meteor surrounded by three smaller meteors descending on the city. The smaller meteors break off from the larger meteor and impact with the city, a darkness rising from where they hit.

A fourth fragment is that of a wooden door to a city house. The house's windows are lit with a strange radiance from within. The door seems to call to you, though you don't know why.

-

A second vision flashes before your eyes, but you recognizes it as seperate from the dream.

You see a symbol of a red trident piercing a golden ring.

Deciding I had my answer, I cast a scroll of banishment. We headed back up the way we came, dragging fearful wretch, Ardem, behind. Still processing everything that happened, I barely noticed the trip back up towards the surface, even as the Gray shadow walked us back up.

Finally, we arrived in the sewers directly below the city. The gray gave Ardem a cold look and took him. I did nay think I would see him again...



23 The Claw of Sunsets, Year 1354

I sit in the tower room of the Winding Way. The vision keeps flashing in my mind. I am barely able to concentrate as I write this. Near me are charcoal drawings and scribbles, my feeble attempts to make sense of the visions. I don't know how long I have been awake, or when I last ate. My eye itches; I plan to fix it...

There are several other lines in this entry, none of which are legible.

...



25 The Claw of Sunsets, Year 1354

I feel more lucid. Apparently, the visions drove me temporarily insane. In my insanity, I stabbed out my own eye. The gray contacted me via sending, interpreted that I was nay of sound mind at the time, and came to investigate. She cured my insanity and cauterized my eye, to prevent rot. I cleaned the room and paid my bill to Mags. I acquired a bandage as a temporary eyepatch and commissioned a more permanent eyepatch.
Although, 'twas hubris to summon the demon and acquire the knowledge, I am glad I did. Knowledge and power are costly. It all depends on what do after paying the price. I now know the visions, I remember the visions, and I can now act upon them.

_________________
Malign Ashmeddai, tiefling and "Fellblade"
Biography | Fell Epiphanies
Ilzsa Murnyethara, tiefling and "Hexmage"
Biography

"Betrayer... In truth, it was I who was betrayed [...]" (Illidan Stormrage, The Frozen Throne)


Last edited by samb123 on Fri May 25, 2018 3:56 pm, edited 8 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Fell Epiphanies: Journal of Malign Ashmeddai
Unread postPosted: Mon May 21, 2018 5:07 am 
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Furthering of the Arcane and Martial


5 The Claw of the Storms, Year 1354

I discovered a fragment of a tome, after much research. The fragment details some of the abilities of a 'Warrior of Darkness', a practitioner of black magic. These dark knights use arcane knowledge to become formidable assailants.
It mentions the creation of two types of 'Black Magic Oil'. The first oil grants the ability to fight while blinded or against creatures of invisible nature, while the second oil grants the ability to gain increased toughness. The final step of both of the rituals of oils is to anoint oneself with the vial. There is also mention of a third oil, 'Darkling Weapon', which can be used to coat a weapon with fire, cold, or electric magic, or to cause the blade to wound more fully.

Over the next few weeks, I shall begin to research and brew these oils.


10 The Claw of the Storms, Year 1354

I have further discovered the practices known by some as 'Dragonslayer' disciplines. The abilities I have learned to hone seem to reflect prowess with both martial weapons and spells, as well as enhanced ability to stand in front of such powerful enemies as Dragons. I suspect these abilities will also be useful against other powerful creatures, such as Planar Beings.

I shall study these mysteries as well.

_________________
Malign Ashmeddai, tiefling and "Fellblade"
Biography | Fell Epiphanies
Ilzsa Murnyethara, tiefling and "Hexmage"
Biography

"Betrayer... In truth, it was I who was betrayed [...]" (Illidan Stormrage, The Frozen Throne)


Last edited by samb123 on Mon May 28, 2018 5:37 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Fell Epiphanies: Journal of Malign Ashmeddai
Unread postPosted: Mon Jun 25, 2018 12:46 pm 
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The Battle of the Trolls


3 The Melting, Year 1354

One can read the full account of the battle with the troll kingdoms and its aftermath, in detail, if desired. However, I would highlight a few details of my own participation...

On the eve before the battle, I met with the Ebon Blades, a mercenary company in Soubar. We began the process of building a barricade to slow the troll advance across Boareskyr Bridge. Baron Nightgale had materials brought from the Ebon Blade Keep. Of those who were there, all helped with the exception of Dasha and Cylissa, the former of whom foolishly mocked our efforts. The Baron had them escorted away from the bridge.
As the construction of the barricade was occurring, one Wren Di'Corvi, of the Northern Watch, complained that our barricade was undermining their own defenses on the hill above Boareskyr Bridge. In their pride, of course, they refused to join us on the bridge. During the battle itself, we heard little from them.

After the feast at the Ebon Blade Keep (an invitation to those who built the barricade), I returned to Boareskyr Bridge, a several hours walk. I arrived and began communing with my patron. Gathering power, I sought to place my request such that shadows would envelope the bridge. I felt, at the time, that I was partly successful. Unfortunately, as I discovered during the battle, I cannot always predict the chaotic nature of my patron's response.


4 The Melting, Year 1354

It was the day of the battle itself. I stood with the Ebon Blades on Boareskyr Bridge. The bridge acted as a natural funnel, wherein the trolls were forced to come to us. The barricade further funneled them straight onto our blades and spells.
At the beginning of the battle, a few devils appeared from the hill above the bridge. It seemed as if the Northern Watch was neutralized by these devils, but they were dispatched with much rancor. The trolls, including many that were infected with a slime (I suspect it was similar to the slimes found in Baldur's Gate itself), were unable to breach our line.

However, as I have said, I cannot predict the chaotic nature of my patron's response. I recall, as I was struck by a glancing blowl, seeing shadows. I awoke at the Flaming Fist outpost in the Fields of the Dead, my unconscious body having been drug there by Isabela of Candlekeep. I was informed that, at the height of our defense, when it seemed the trolls might overwhelm us, shadow demons rose from the bridge itself and attacked defender and troll alike.
It seems that I need to be more aware of the capricious nature of the power I hold. However, in the end, it served me well enough...

_________________
Malign Ashmeddai, tiefling and "Fellblade"
Biography | Fell Epiphanies
Ilzsa Murnyethara, tiefling and "Hexmage"
Biography

"Betrayer... In truth, it was I who was betrayed [...]" (Illidan Stormrage, The Frozen Throne)


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