As I gaze over the horizon, the wind tugs at my cloak and whispers, "Adventure" in my ear.
Platinum Event Reports
About a week prior to this date, a vast spidersilk web had appeared in the sky and that web sprawled out as far as the eye could see. The purpose of the web was to slow the progress of a colossal glaes-covered meteor that was slowly descending upon Elanthia. Many adventurers climbed to the top of the web and attempted to break up the meteor. In the end, the adventurers were only able to make a hole large enough to fit a man, but this revealed that the meteor had an interior with a crystal core located inside. The adventurers ultimately decided to break the core and this released a forlorn spirit, Fraen Wasstont, that revealed the meteor to be a vessel of some sort that was capable of time travel. The spirit claimed that the meteor had come once before, devastating the land of Elanthia, and would continue to do so due to a mystery group the spirit referred to as "The Doomsayers." The spirit revealed that there was a way to close this "time loop", but it would be necessary for the spirit to be released. In what many claimed was a rash decision, Kaight "released" the spirit from his 10,000 year journey by way of a divine strike and the meteor began to break apart. The adventurers fled the meteor and descended from the web while it still held together. Most of the meteor shattered into harmless fragments, but a sizeable fragment of the meteor ended up crashing into Mount Aenatumgana near Pinefar and "a fragment of a glaes-covered meteor" can be seen from [Top of the World, Aenatumgana].
Kaight helped to capture the murderous halfling Dito of Icemule Trace in Olbin Pass. Dito was the prime suspect in a series of murders around the town of Icemule in which he killed men, women, and even a child by strangling them and leaving a snowball in their mouth. Dito committed these crimes out of grief due to the loss of someone important to him in an avalanche that occurred in Olbin Pass. He blamed Ics, an Icemule Trace guard that was on duty at the time of the avalanche, for the loss because Ics failed to send a rescue party for those caught in the avalanche. Kaight decided to take justice into his own hands after helping to escort Dito to town when it appeared the punishment would be less than death. Kaight was made an honorary member of the "Avalanche Search Squad" or A.S.S. for short.
And so he left that place and walked. At one time that place might have been his home, but now it kept him in a perpetual state of mental sufferage. The simple garden his wife had tended. The child's toy left carelessly on the floor. The home represented all the warmth he had never thought himself deserving of and yet had somehow been blessed with.
They were gone and with them went his mind.
It did not happen as a wave crashing upon a shore. As the gentle brook babbles over the rocks of the riverbed and eventually wears them down, so too did the loss of his wife and child slowly erode away his sanity. Ten years was the time it took for the final vestiges of his lucidity to be smoothed away and left blank.
It was then that she appeared to him, the Goddess cloaked in all her madness, and made him hers. She had watched him for those ten long years, protected, offered succor. Chaos cares not for what is right or wrong, good or evil. It simply is and it had provided her with yet another disciple upon whom she could bestow her blessing.
Zelia, Goddess of the moons and of insanity. She regarded herself as a healer rivaling Imaera. Who else gathers the remnants of all the broken minds and grants them release? Release from depression, from remorse, from sadness, from whatever feelings led to the fracturing of their psyche.
Upon receiving the blessing of the Goddess, comprehension dawned upon the man like twilight upon the horizon. Freedom. That is the word best used to describe this feeling that had swept all of his cares away. His wife and child were still with him. In fact, he could hear them whispering their joy at his new found freedom. After all, family only ever wishes for each other's happiness and that is what he had once again found.
1 Kaight carries around "a doorknob with a small ring wedged around one end". Let's just say this object represents his home and family and he carries them around with him in a pouch at all times.
2 Due to the possession of Talaundia's cat by the ghost of his wife, Dora Knob (who appears to be quite insane in death,) Kaight is rather wary of familiars and other animals.
3 Kaight's mother was of the Lassaran (LAS-sa-ran) D'ahranal.
4 Upon returning to the Landing, the ghost of Kaight's wife manifested in the kobold village along with the ghost of his child. At this point in time, Kaight is being haunted by the ghost of his wife and much of his odd behavior can be attributed to her influence.
To Hatch a Potato You Need to Crack an Egg
The silence was deafening. It's strange how the absence of sound can make the stillness rise to a crescendo that threatens to overwhelm a person's sanity with a hollow ringing.
Kaight started himself as his voice broke the silence of the morning air. He called out the name of his beloved over and over while glancing about. Panic began to inch its way along his spine, up the nape of his neck, and take a firm grasp on the fragments of his mind.
He stopped crying out suddenly and frantically searched his sack for the doorknob he always kept close at hand. Surely his wife's soul still inhabited the one possession he carried away with him from his home. In frustration he emptied his kobold skin sack onto the ground and fell to his knees to search feverishly through the scattered contents.
A cacophony of laughter bombarded his ears as Kaight pleaded with the doorknob to answer him and was met with yet more silence from the object in his hand.
A scathing female voice interrupted Kaight's sobbing. "What are you, stupid? Doorknobs don't speak. You'd have better luck hatching a baby drake from a potato."
The laughter only grew louder as Kaight's weeping began anew.
"They must be responsible. They are to blame for everything," said Kaight in a low whisper only he could hear.
It had been several weeks since his wife had stopped speaking to him and had all but disappeared. The loss of her comforting presence was taking its toll on his already fragile mind and was causing his behavior to become even more erratic. One moment he could be laughing and crying the next.
"Careful, a pair of Them are watching you."
Kaight had been mistrustful of the female voice that had first spoken to him weeks ago following the disappearance of his wife, but it seemed she was on his side for the most part. Many a timely warning had come from her when agents of Them had appeared suddenly. No matter how seemingly innocent the person or persons might seem, They always turned out to be part of Them. They were very crafty and Kaight feared he wouldn't have survived this long without her help.
The women seated across the fountain from Kaight looked to be having a casual conversation full of bright smiles and gentle laughs, but he could see Them looking at him. They tried to do so without his notice, but he could see how Their eyes shifted to him and how Their bodies tensed up as They noticed him looking at Them.
Kaight pulled the hood of his coraesine-threaded longcloak down over his face, obscuring his features. The longcloak blended him into the surroundings as he sat perfectly still. Kaight could see how the two women relaxed now that They could no longer detect his presence.
The scream seemed to go on and on for eternity. Nothing drowned it out. Kaight wasn't sure he even slept as the scream continued on in his dreams. He dreamed of a pitch black void that seemed to be made up of nothing and yet the scream seemed to fill the entirety of that void. When he was awake, the scream made it hard to focus on anything It was deafening to the ears and numbing to the senses. Kaight wasn't sure if the scream was just in his head or if he was the one screaming.
While hunting in Old Ta'Faendryl, a Gremlock managed to slip its garrote around Kaight's throat. Death brought a measure of lucidity back to Kaight as the scream cut off abruptly as the Gremlock released its grip on the garrote and Kaight slumped lifelessly to the ground.
Whether it was the disparaging remakes coming from his no-dachi, Pelenae Epeloine, or some other outside influence, comprehension came upon Kaight as his spirit gazed down at his corpse. The hood of his coraesine-threaded longcloak had been pulled off from his head to reveal a face he hardly recognized as his own. His face was emaciated and haggard looking with dark circles under the eyes. It was as dirty as any street urchin he had seen wandering the streets of Wehnimer's Landing. The suit of mithril platemail that was his most valued possession (next to his doorknob of course) was in a horrendous state. The fur lining the suit of mithril platemail was tangled and matted by filth; its blue fur lining barely visible beneath the layer of grime covering it.
While he still retained some semblance of sanity, Kaight decided that he must act quickly to discover what had happened to his wife, who the female voice belonged to in his head, and what outside influence was slowly smothering his mind in the embrace of insanity.
Don't Walk Into the Laight
Laight grinned softly to himself as he listed to the fools from SPEW (Society for Protection of Elanthian Wildlife) prattle on about saving some ridiculous animal with purple spots; or maybe it was red stripes. Either way, it seemed the three fools were a sure sign of chaos' influence being alive and on grand display for all to experience and revel in. He was especially sad he had missed the lich's assault upon the, forever looking down their snotty noses at you, elven city of Ta'Vaalor. The possibility of chaos' rippling effects upon the future from such a momentous event left him trembling in ecstasy.
He could still hear Kaight babbling and weeping in some dark recess of the mind they shared, but he was used to the constant noise and relished its continued presence as it meant he had won and was finally free to influence the world around him as never before.
Laight did not like remembering the many years he was trapped as a prisoner of Kaight's mind and forced to endure one idiocy after another. Who in their right mind wears a suit of mithril platemail lusciously padded with sensuous blue krolvin fur; no matter how much it reminds the man of his wife. Good platemail is hard to come by though and he would just have to make due until something better was able to be found or purchased.
A grin split Laight's face as a marvelous idea came upon him and was a welcome interruption from thoughts of the past. Laight began to move through the crowd of onlookers, still listening to the members of SPEW spout their drivel, and began to whisper to these onlookers that perhaps the purple-spotted urgh should be killed rather than saved.
Imagine being shoved into a very deep pit. Regardless of how you struggle and claw at the sides of the pit to stop your descent an impossibly heavy and oppressive weight continues to shove you down into it. At some point you’re aware of reaching the bottom of the pit, but the pressure continues to drive you down past the bottom; deep beneath the dirt. Kaight was pretty certain that was where he was currently trapped. There wasn’t a sense of time, but at some point Kaight began to instinctively make his way upwards; clawing his way through the dirt that entombed him. Kaight thought the worst had already happened, but as he began to dig he encountered memories. Memories of his past that he thought he had been freed from by the whimsical Goddess he had encountered so long ago. Apparently you cannot so easily escape shackles of your own making.
Kaight could recall growing up in the lush woodlands of the Barony of Bourth of the Turamzzyrian Empire. A number of Lassaran Sylvans had settled in small communities among the various forests of Bourth, including the Wyrdeep Forest which has forever been rumored to harbor all sorts of bogeyman within its depths. Many folk of the Barony surmised that the crest of the barony may have been influenced by these Lassaran Sylvans. The barony’s crest consisted of “three black yew trees on a field of white ringed by five hawk feathers” while the Lassaran Sylvan had taken a symbol of a hawk as their own; it could be coincidence, but no one remembers the truth other than to comment on the similarities between the two.
His mother was one such Lassaran Sylvan that had settled in these forests and his father a woodsman that lived in the city of Gallardshold. The details of how his parents met were never divulged to Kaight as his mother did not often speak of his father whilst Kaight was growing up. Kaight did learn of the death of his father from overheard conversations; some in hushed whispers tinged with pity and others in openly spoken words laden with scorn. Kaight was unsure a half-elf in all of the lands could claim a truly happy childhood given the reality of Chaston's Edict and peoples’ tendencies towards cruelty of those who are different. His father had always been friendly towards the elves living with the forests due to his trade as a woodsman and had even taken to donning a hawk’s feather braided into his hair. Many citizens of Gallardshold still do this today as a sign of their support of the elves and their opposition towards Chaston’s Edict. Sadly, violence often accompanies racism and Kaight’s father was the victim of the other faction, those wearing the white bracelets in support of Chaston’s Edict, in one of the many bloody brawls that erupt between the two factions occasionally and sometimes end in deaths on both sides.
After his father’s death, Kaight’s mother kept him secluded to the forests and elven communities lest the same violence that claimed his father, fall upon him as well. He wasn’t the only half-elf among the communities, but there were not so many as to make their presence seem normal. Still, Kaight felt for the most part that everyone he encountered throughout his adolescence was pretty much like him. This is probably the most likely reason that he became enraptured with the woman that would eventually become his wife.
Tiloak, Devourer of Worlds
“Tiloak? Like the moon?”
A look of incredulity must have been displayed on his face, but the red-scaled knight anole didn’t seem to be fazed by it. The lizard simply gazed at Kaight with the same seemingly bored expression it had worn when introducing itself to Kaight.
“Yes, like the moon. Or you might say the moon is named after me. I am the Devourer of Worlds and one day I shall consume all.”
“Tiloak, Devourer of Worlds? You expect me to believe that a little lizard smaller than a giant rat is going to grow large enough to eat the entire world someday?”
At last it seemed that Kaight’s lack of faith in the lizard’s proclamation was beginning to wear on its nerves as it proceeded to swat Kaight in the face with each word that followed.
“Yes. I. Do. You. Simpleton.”
The last word was punctuated with a rather vicious swat of the lizard’s tail across Kaight’s face. The scales of the lizard left Kaight’s face bloodied and feeling raw. He tried to remove the lizard from his shoulder, but it simply dug into the leather straps of his armor and refused to be dislodged. For such a small creature it seemed to possess strength greater than its stature would suggest.
“Enough of that, I’ve decided that upon your actions and interactions with others shall the fate of the world be decided. I may yet decide to leave your world in peace or I may devour it and all its peoples like so many crickets. “
When Kaight first acquired the strange relic on Caligos Isle he was slightly skeptical at the merchant’s claims that the seemingly ordinary pair of gloves contained an entity that would grant him miraculous abilities and a weapon that appeared out of thin air. Merchants were more than prone to embellishing the benefits of their goods and some were outright liars.
<Upon donning the gloves for the first time thick, viscous sickly silvery tentacles lashed out and affixed themselves to his flesh. They writhed and contorted as they burrowed beneath his flesh, pulling the gloves with them. The tentacles spiraled around themselves as they slowly reformed into a pair of gloves. The skin of his forearms burned as if on fire as the gloves fed upon his blood for the first time.
<Kaight stared at the gloves in horror after they had attached themselves to him. A foreign sounding voice entered his mind, "You think you are capable of wielding one such as I? Should you prove resilient I will reward you with strength that is not known in this time."
<Several silvery tentacles spiraled outward from the gloves before plunging within his flesh. He could feel something foreign traveling through his body, every point it contacted weakening. Kaight could feel himself break into a sweat as he was forced down to his knees. A single tentacle snaked upward in front of his face, resting at eye level. The tentacle's tip rapidly sharpened into a point as it struck his eye! Kaight felt a sudden rush of pain and emptiness before a harsh voice entered his mind, "... and so our journey together begins, foreigner. Raise me when you are ready." Kaight could feel his strength returning to his battered body as he caught his breath, the ground beneath now slick with his blood.
From that day forth, Kaight learned that the thing dwelling within him possessed a ravenous hunger that could only be sated by the consumption of his blood. Kaight tried to avoid thinking about the tentacles that he could feel shifting beneath his skin, but the foreign being was able to take control of Kaight’s body whenever he allowed his concentration to waver and force Kaight to summon forth a weapon crafted from his very own blood.
Kaight did his best to maintain his concentration and prevent the being from wresting control of his body away from him, but eventually Kaight was forced to rest every couple of days when his body could no longer withstand the toll of exhaustion and the stress of remaining ever vigilant. At these times, the being struck mercilessly and wrested control away from Kaight to consume his blood and materialize itself in the form of axe, crystallized from his blood.
The daily struggle to resist the being had required Kaight to focus all of his thoughts and remain vigilant. It was gradual, but by the end of three months of near constant exhaustion and having to remain ever vigilant; Kaight was no longer hearing voices. His Goddess was silent. His wife was silent. Laight was silent. His no-dachi still spoke to him, but it was very hard to concentrate on what Pelenae Epeloine was saying to him. The being dwelling within drowned out any voice but its own.
As this horror show repeated over many months, Kaight found himself fighting against the being less and less, but instead willingly calling forth the being to consume his blood and take shape in his hand. Kaight never used the axe that crystallized from his blood each time he allowed the being to take control. Once summoned, he would simply hold the axe and allow the tentacles to creep forth from the axe and explore his body as a new found lover might.
One evening as Kaight called forth the axe infused with his blood, the being spoke within his mind again. "It is done, our bond is complete.” Kaight was not aware of any change, but a dramatic change had taken place over the past year as he bonded with the being dwelling inside him. Kaight’s mind had settled. In truth, he was no longer insane at all.
Kaight began to frequent the Landing and Icemule and socialize again. There were probably quite a few people that found Kaight’s use of a plural in referring to themselves oft-putting, but he was no longer a singular entity. In mind and body, Kaight and the being were of one purpose. As long as they continued to feed the hunger never became overpowering to the point that they lost control and started attacking people. Life was good.