|Imperium, Within the confines of the Praetor Mansion’s fondations|
|From: Shortly after being Captured||To: 23, Maloch 1589|
|Sareth’s Journal||Beldin’s Journal||Mesinplas’s Journal||Graham’s Journal||Mai-Khai’s Journal||Cherry’s Journal||Ill-Dal’s Journal|
Days had gone by, at least she thought so. It was so hard to tell in this crypt of a prison. Damn those Imperium scum, if only they hadn’t been so astute. Now she was stuck her in the cold dank confines of this hell, with not so much as a trickle of her mental powers to aid her. She had started to lose track of time already, periods of sleep and wakefulness ran together in a confused jumble. She didn’t know what was to happen, and that was the worst.
She heard the steps before they reached the door, must be feeding time again. Yum more gruel. She waited for the slit to open hoping to catch the bowl of foul stuff before it hit the floor and spilled its contents. That’s when a bright light suddenly blinded her, some Imperial trick. The light didn’t go away slowly she could make out just the silhouette of a man, standing, there in the door way.
“Please, I will not hurt you. Forgive the way in which you must be kept. We are curious about your abilities. We will test you.” Frank, matter of fact, no compassion. This was the voice of most wizards at the academies. But that was impossible, she was in the Imperium. And this was a voice in her head.
Reluctantly she rose to follow. This was a dream; it had to be she didn’t want to do this, but this she did. Slowly they moved down the hall, she was never forced nor was she spoken to. Eventually after what seemed an hour she was led into a large circular room.
The center of the room was a series of consecutive smaller circles, until the innermost circle was only the height of a man around. There in that small circle set a chair that one might expect to find in any ones sitting room or office. The walls where horribly tall, looking up made one dizzy. As if some tree was there measure enclaves where set all around the room, giving the room a semblance of some strange court or arena.
“Sit, this will take a while.”
As if driven to obey she quietly went and sat in the chair. A fraction of an instant later she was plunged into the mental ocean of a thousand minds. The mind scape changed so fast that it appeared to be everything all at once. Her body tingled with all of the mental touches happening all at once, until she was numb and could feel no more. It was not intrusive, but it was intense. The entire experience left her with feeling of a battle that lasted all day, her muscles ached, and her head throbbed. Then all at once it was over.
“Come we are finished. You will eat then rest.”
The days wore on like this, for a long while. Eventually they began interviewing her one at a time. From these she found out much.
The euridites, her captors, had created the hated Praetors. They did this for many reasons, but the one they emphasized was that of protecting the spell casters. According to her captors the Praetors where that of a stop measure, before them every spell caster met horrible deaths after being discovered. One of them while interviewing her told her of the beginning according to them.
Shortly after the Blood War, our forefathers went in search of a place where they could live without magic. They were in fear of the pure elves and thought that the arcane casters would eventually become akin to them with their power. Soon they became downtrodden and melancholy; for where ever they went that was livable they found creatures of magic. Until one night while sitting near the fire they beheld a sight that would change them forever. The night sky lit as if day had come early. From this light a voice told them where they could settle and how they could grow crops and live. This was no promised land however, it was told that it would be difficult and it would take work. But through this they would live as they wish. Eventually somewhere chosen to be the direct representatives to this entity. These “Light Bringers” led our people to this land. Here what you call the Imperium now we learned to do things ourselves and we learned the value of hard work. It was slow but we settled the area and thrived. The Radiance taught our people that magic itself was not evil but it was power nevertheless, and we all know what they say about power. It is of some debate when, but at some time there was a paradigm shift within the church. They started teaching of stolen power and pacts made with devils. According to them all arcane magic was evil and that of the shadows. It was in this time that my people first started showing signs of their mental powers. Some of us started studying this phenomenon in earnest, my order was formed. We began uncovering the shifts that the paradigm undertook, as well as developed our own powers. Through this study we began to believe that an outside force was responsible for the awakening of this new power. That is when some of our colleagues began to openly discuss contact they made with other minds, not of the surface. It is these minds we believe are responsible for this event. Like wild fire this awakening of consciousness is spreading, this is why we wanted to study and question you. The leading theory is such that the power develops more persistently in areas that only developed small amounts of arcane talents, as if it is to fill a void. You are the first Nuelmer that we have encountered with such powers. We have come to the conclusion that it is possible that evil has corrupted our church, another reason to make the Praetors. This move has allowed us to attain a large amount of psychic and arcane power. Not all of the Praetors will side with us, nor can we move until this corruption is identified and treated.
She found no hint of lies or misleading in the voice. They really believed all they said. Through other discussions she found that it was around Maloch in Nuelm, she had been captive for over a month. The week panned out without much distraction, she almost became accustomed to it. Over time the living conditions had gotten better, an actual bed larger room and decent food where now provided. She was allowed to bath regularly even given tablets and books to which she could write. Soon she pinned down the exact date; it was the tenth of Maloch that the first signs of something dreadful started.
During one of the interviews a priest burst in, with Praetor in tow.
“How Dare You! You are of no position to hold an enemy of the state and church! You scholars go too far, thinking that one matter of aiding the church has given you the privilege of discarding the proper way things should be done! And, here the heretic sits sipping tea as if a guest! I will take her where she will be treated as she should! You, Scholar, You will be dealt with by the Church!”
The priest had said his peace and left no room for comment, he left. A sad look befell the Euridite who she had been speaking too. It was clear that her time in the Imperium was no longer an inconvenience; soon it would be a hell.
Two days passed before the door open again, when it did it was to admit a priest and several Hard faced clergy that radiated psychic power. She was shackled both physically and mentally, hooded, and lead away.
The days became one painful moment after the next. Secrets they wanted, secrets they believed they would get. They would not stop, would not kill her, only torture and pain.
“What is your name?”
What was her name, why it was, it was; what was it?
“Where is your home?”
Leather, all she could remember was leather, was her home leather was it a tent, no that made no sense she was a leader in an army, was it a tribe?
The world swirled everything blended together, as if some strange soup in a kitchen fire. Then it was black.
When the world returned to her she was in a room with little light, shadows danced across the walls and pillars. A lone silhouette stood with his back to her, how did she know it was a him? The fire behind him roared with hunger and anticipation. Slowly he bent down and pulled something long from the fire.
He turned, holding before him a poker, glowing hot at the tip. He turned the poker studying the angry red tip.
“You have been most helpful in some ways, and irritatingly belligerent in others.”
He looked directly into her eyes. His eyes became painfully clear, deep blue orbs that would have been beautiful if it were not for the cold hard joy in them. The fact he was enjoying this made her even more dreadful of what was to come.
“You will answer this last question, and we will allow you to live here in the church in comfort. However this room will be the last thing you see if you decide to be stubborn.”
She had to get up, every muscle tensed, her wrists, ankles, stomach and head burned with the restraints. She tried to flail her head, the high backing of the chair rolled painfully across bruises she had received earlier.
“Where is the Ex-Lord High Praetor?”
He was patient, waiting for an eternity, so long in fact that he had to redeposit the poker to get it hot again. When he was satisfied with the color of the pokers glow, he asked the question once more. She thrashed and struggled against the restraints.
The poker slowly moved toward her left eye, the tip becoming the only thing that she could make out. What seemed like an eternity passed then she felt the heat, acrid fumes caused her eyes to water. As the red glowing point grew ever closer to her eye she heard her tears steam away. She meant to shut her eyes from this horrible vision, an invisible force prevented it. There was a slight pressure on her eye, the tip. Funny how the heat caused no pain, nor was it hurtful to have the tip of a red hot poker touch her eye. She wondered how long it would take to heal over the empty sockets, then she wondered how she thought of the funniest things when she was about to be dead. A slight popping sensation was the only thing before she lost her left eye and was plunged into the dark once more.