User:DOUG/Sandbox Template Stuff
This item was a prize from the Hunt for History.
an ancient cracked leather tome
This ancient-looking tome is carefully encased in a protective sleeve made of thin, transparent paper that has yellowed with age. The leather of the book binding is cracked and brittle, indicating that removing the tome from its protective cover would surely destroy the fragile artifact. Stamped into the cover of the tome is a gilded slit-pupilled eye, the gold partly flaked away.
As the notes of your song reach out to the tome, a dimly lit scene unfurls within your mind.
garbed in grey robes bearing a slit-pupilled eye insignia, arrive singly and in pairs at a secret workshop. They give a password to a darkly clad man at the door and are then allowed inside.
The workshop interior is filled with worktables, an expansive library, and alchemy supplies. Flickering candles provide a dim illumination.
Once all are gathered, a heated and lively debate begins. It is difficult to make out exactly what they are saying, but an occasional word such as "symbol," "incantation," and "portal" can be deciphered.
Your mind goes black as the vision winks out of existence.
You see the same workshop as before, but sense that time has passed. The sorcerers are all intent on their work. Some are busy at worktables, and others are studying texts from the library.
A small group is involved with marking magical symbols on the floor in chalk. Two act as scribes, recording the various outcomes in their journals. One of the sorcerers working with potions seems extremely pleased with her results and gathers others over to verify her findings.
The vision goes dark once more.
As your song surrounds the tome, a dim vision again fills your mind.
The woman you saw before is handing out small vials to each member of the group, while an elderly sorcerer points to his magical designs on the floor and enthusiastically explains them. As the others listen, they all become quite animated and their eyes gleam with excitement.
The eldest sorcerer claps his hands to gain attention. Everyone stops what they are doing and they move to form a circle in the middle of the room. The man with the chalk erases his design and re-draws it carefully from the beginning. A younger woman raises her hands and begins an incantation.
As the chant rises to a shrill peak, everyone pours the potion from their vials on the symbol drawn in the center of their circle. The sorcerers gasp in unison as a heavy mist fills the air over the symbol. It writhes and swirls, then slowly takes on the shape of a black portal. An expression of triumph fills the faces of the assembled.
The vision fades from your mind.
As your song envelops the tome, you see the workshop and the sorcerers gathered in a circle performing the same ritual you witnessed previously.
As the portal takes shape, a younger sorcerer separates from the circle and steps forward, as if he is going to pass through it. Suddenly a dark shape lunges out of the portal and wraps the sorcerer in misty black tendrils.
The man screams in agony, and when the tendrils release him, he is nothing more than an unrecognizable mass of disfigured flesh, writhing on the floor. The others shout in dismay, panic etched on their faces. The tendrils reach out to each of them, consuming them one by one in turn.
The eldest sorcerer has kept his wits about him and he hastily casts a warding spell to protect himself. The tendrils leave him alone and the dark shape withdraws back into the portal as the portal itself ceases to exist.
The elder motions to a dark corner and a silent figure clad in black emerges from the shadows. The figure quickly takes a dagger to the hideous forms on the floor, ending their existence. Once done, he nods to the elder and prepares to leave.
The elder chants another incantation and gestures at the slayer. Blood spurts from the black-clad figure's neck in a crimson fountain. The surviving sorcerer leaves the workshop, sealing the door with magical wards, and then disappears into the night.
The vision dissolves into a haze of darkness.
The tome gives you no further response.