Tag Archive: Elves


Tolin’s Journal #5

My Deal Ilanna,

Without you to light its halls, the castle became my tomb. I wanted to bury my heart within so that it might decay into ash, freeing me from your fading whispers. Instead, it pounded resiliently within my chest. It reminded my of my vow to find you and pushed me onward even when I consigned myself to a slow death within the decaying walls.

As with the aftermath of my village, I found no dead bodies. Even the elves I had seen die in the entrance disappeared. All that was left were dark halls filled with the evil that stole my love. After a time, it began to speak to me, promising to grant me vengeance in exchange for my hatred. It whispered a familiar name…

Nerull

Shadows crept around me, tempting me with power. I followed them deep into the heart of the castle. Doors shuttered with heavy chains broke apart ahead of my entrance. The shadows grew more defined the farther we walked until they looked like tall, gaunt corpses. They hid their faces from me, always averting my gaze as if they didn’t want to incur my wrath.

They brought me before a black door to a room that looked as if it had burst up through the floor. Stone fragments littered the ground and the smell of fresh earth clawed at my nostrils. Without hesitation, I heaved against the door until it opened. A familiar arrangement of books lined the walls with a small desk there in the midst. I swept my hands over the volumes of knowledge I had sorely missed. I pulled down a tome and read over the words I struggled to remember during my imprisonment.

The markings were unmistakable, this was the very same room that I had found underneath my village. I was never happier, for I had once again found the tools to power, only this time, I had a definitive goal in mind. With the untouched food stores in the castle, I knew I could live there for several months at least, probably years. I would need all of that time to prepare myself to confront the force that took you away from me.

Burying myself in the wisdom contained in that room, I continued my training at my own pace. Without Lyanis holding me back, I grew by leaps and bounds. After each lesson, I practiced my spells on the shadows, bending them to my own will. They became my slaves in my crusade to escape. I used them to try every avenue of escape to no avail. Still, I persevered.

Two years passed until my food stores dwindled to a critical level. I lived like a king with dark slaves performing all my bidding. I finally recognized the wards with which Lyanis had sealed me in the castle. My freedom lay close at hand. Outside the castle walls, I rose a few skeletons to roam the hills and bring me back what I needed for a spell of freedom. Once gathered, I broke the ward and left the castle, never to return.

Free as I now was, I knew I needed more time before I sought you out, Ilanna. I resettled my old village, using skeletons as workhands for a new batch of crops I planted in my father’s fields. I worked it until I could sustain myself. The years tumbled by until a group of curious traders stopped by to inquire as to the nature of the village. Honesty was my best weapon. After a show of my undead workhands, they granted me favorable trading agreements.

I lived well and advanced my training until this point, where I have learned all I can from my dark room. Each of its volumes lies within my strong mind, ready to be put into practice. I’m still unsure why Lyanis anchored the evil that penetrated the castle to me so he could escape with you, or rather, lead you to your imprisonment, but I will discover those answers when I rescue you.

I hope to meet him again, so I can resolve our differences. Only now can I see how he manipulated me into drawing the attack on your castle. He used me as bait and I will know why when he lies in the throes of death at my feet.

I was a boy whose life was stripped away in the night, but now I am a necromancer that death refused to visit. I have tamed the very evil that overpowered your castle and I will carry it back to the hands of those responsible. They will regret death’s negligence.

I know you are still alive, Ilanna. I’ve heard rumors that I will not write here, lest this journal falls to enemy hands, that my time to seek you out is now. I have taken great care to pen the words so that when I find you, you will know of my struggle. Our love will have its day.

All I do is for you.

Tolin Naihim,
Death’s Neglected Son

Necromancer

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Tolin’s Journal #2

My Dear Ilanna,

I’ll never forget that day we first met. I’m sure to you it was an unremarkable day, but it changed my destiny. No, rather, you changed my destiny. To understand why, you must know what I survived beforehand. After the elven massacre of my town, I endured the hardest weeks of my life.

I spent that first night in the library curled around my favorite book, A History of the Valley. It’s familiarity comforted me while death strode outside. Elves weaved in an out of its pages. Critical in the founding of the Valley, they upheld an unspoken alliance to guard it from their mountain castles against invaders. In recent centuries, they had withdrawn from sight, hiding in the mountains. Funny, since they didn’t look highly on dwarven values.

Whether their relationship with us deteriorated by Lord Chaxon’s hand or theirs, I grew to hate them that night. All the good they had ever done for me, unknown or not, flushed out from my mind. The unnatural screaming and groaning outside justified my new-found hate.

I found sleep that night in a pool of my tears. I dreamed of my father and I working out in the fields until a force of elves descended from the mountains. The townsfolk’s screams haunted me once again, crying for me to save them as the elves burned everything. My own father reached out for me, but I was powerless. Two mounted, armored elves stabbed him with their lances, reveling in my screams of fury.

I awoke with a start, cursing the elves. Hurrying outside, the sun lit up an empty town. Nothing burned, yet nothing stirred. I traveled from house to house walking through remnants of interrupted lives. Nothing had been pillaged save the people. Every living animal and person had been emptied out. I cried out for my father, but he never came. I was alone.

The mountains hid their elven castles from me. Without the darkness of night to reveal the lights, I couldn’t make out anything from the grays and whites of the tall slopes. A solemn pang of fear weighted me down. The elves were sure to return.

Taking no time to mourn those I had lost, I set myself to work fortifying the library. My studies of the histories of major battles helped me create a crude series of small battlements and archer platforms. Ransacking a few houses, I had enough food stocks to supply me for weeks, plus the next harvest soon approached. I could easily have made it another year or more.

As the weeks went by, I spent my days perusing towers of books on the arcane magics. They were my only hope of achieving retribution for my father. The elves stripped my life from me, I thought it fair to repay them. The library stored tomes on just about every school of magic. I sought ways of killing my enemies as brutally as they had killed my father. Nothing quite satisfied me.

While patrolling my makeshift castle, I passed the cellar door-the only section that remained unexplored. I always stayed away because of my boyish fears. This time, I conquered the dark with a fistful of candles. Without much searching at all, I found a hidden door that lead into a small room layered with dust. An expended candle burnt down to a nub sat at the edge of a desk littered with parchments.

The walls were deep shelves filled with books bound all in black. The dust was so thick upon them, I couldn’t make out any of their names. I pulled a few over to the desk and began reading. At first, they were written in an unknown script, but the longer I sat there, the more I seemed to understand the words. One name recurred throughout them all–Nerull. I smiled, having found the path to unleash death upon the elves.

I lived in that private library over the next few weeks, filling my head with its tomes of death. I would have wasted away in all of that knowledge, had I not been captured. On that fateful day that you may very well remember, Ilanna, I had come back up to the main hall in the library and heard elven voices outside. Peeking down from my battlements, I saw a handful of elven riders.

Eager to apply my studies, I conjured up a host of undead rats with my limited powers. Short sword in hand, I burst outside and attacked the riders like a fool. My army of rats covered them, chinking their armor with decaying teeth. The elves just laughed at me and brushed my army off them. In moments, my army turned back into dust at my feet.

Rage swelled in my throat. I screamed out another curse and cast more spells from my memory. Dark clouds blotted out the sun as two of the elves fell from their horses. They screamed while ripping off their armor. I laughed at seeing their flesh turn black and fall from their bones. The other riders descended upon me before I could open my mouth again. I crumpled to the ground, unconscious.

I awoke in chains with pain running throughout my body. My cell felt moderately sized, but that could have been my childish perspective. A lone beam of sunlight entered through a tiny window a little bigger than my head. I had to jump up, grab the ledge, and pull myself up to look out.

The Valley spread out as far as I could see to either side. It wasn’t as green as I always imagined. Instead, it looked to be a patchwork of varying shades of brown. Then it hit me. I had made it up to a castle in the mountains! Not even my chains held back my excitement.

Through my window, I could make out the outer parts of the castle that held me prisoner. I’ve never felt such exhilaration as I did there, in a cell, hanging from a ledge, and viewing an elven castle from the inside. But even that wasn’t the best sight I found.

I noticed a walkway a level down from where I was. A group of female elves wearing flowing gowns of yellow and deep blue walked across it. I’m sure you remember that day now, Ilanna, because your violet eyes sparked their own conversations with those around you. My own heart stopped from your sheer beauty. The sun caught your hair perfectly and ignited its golden flair. I almost could have forgiven your House in that moment for what they did to me.

I held on as tightly as I could to that ledge, desiring to watch you forever. Your gaze drifted in my direction and we locked eyes. I’m sure you remember as well as I. Our destinies converged in that moment, giving birth to our eternal love.

Tolin Naihim – Death’s Neglected Son

Tolin’s Journal #1

My friends and I are about to embark on a Dungeons & Dragons adventure. This is my first one, so I am more than excited. After filling out my character’s sheet and learning more about him, I stumbled upon his journal and figured I would share it with the world. It is a story of love and loss, death and new life.

My Dear Ilanna,

Your house has forsaken you, but I never will. My undying passion for you draws us closer with each breath we take. Those who stole you away will answer to me in a glorious day of retribution. And when that day comes, they won’t face a scared little boy, but a fierce and powerful necromancer.

Yes, my love, I have grown in age and power from the last time we were together. I keep this journal to remind myself of you during my journey. Your memory is all I have left and I vow to keep it vibrant with every page I write. When we are reunited, you will see the great lengths I strode to win your freedom.

Enough of my current situation for I never told you my own history. I read all the histories of your house, but failed to pen my own accounts. Of course, I never had a reason until you were stolen; my story isn’t notable in the slightest. Still, you must know who I truly am.

I grew up a farmer with my hands in the dirt. Most people treat the ground beneath them with contempt and regard low-born farmers only slightly higher. My father treated it with proper respect. “We are the unsung heroes of the kingdom, son. Our grain is its lifeblood and the dirt we trod gives us a quiet power,” he would say to keep me from cursing my station every time we worked in the fields.

I couldn’t have asked for a better father. Smart in his own way, he taught me how to make even the most stubborn bit of dirt grow whatever we needed it to. He was also literate enough to show me basic lettering. I quickly fell in love with the written word and spent my nights in the town’s library searching for the oldest of its dusty tomes. To a 9 year-old boy, a three-story inn converted to a library was an infinite hall of wisdom. My first year there, my knowledge increased 100-fold.

When I could tear myself away from the fields or the library, I dreamed of riding off to adventures beyond the mountains surrounding the Valley. Day after day my friends and I watched with awe as iron clad knights rode through our town gathering supplies for the standing armies of Lord Chaxon. If we were lucky, we could surround one and have him regale us with tales of dragons, orcs, and elves. Wide-eyed at how many accomplishments a single knight made, we vowed to join the service of our Lord when we came of age.

Under the eye of my father, I diligently applied myself to our fields and used every bit of knowledge I could scrape out of the library’s books. When I was just 11, I convinced my father to hire out more hands saying that we could run our farm like the lending houses. He always said our crops were better than gold, so I treated them as such. Soon our farm grew to become the largest in the Valley. Even the lending houses became jealous of our success.

We reveled in our success for two more years before the knights rode into town in force. I remember it was late at night and I was balancing our ledgers by candlelight. The hillside burst into flames as an army of torches bobbed our way. My father and I rushed outside along with the rest of the town to greet the news.

I instantly noticed how strangely the knights rode. They lacked the typical heavy gait I had seen all my life. Their armor didn’t fit either. The heavy plates clanged together too loosely. Dark premonitions twisted in my stomach.

Even stranger, I noticed patches of light ignite high up in the mountains. My entire life these mountains were the sentinels that kept me safe from the outside, but now they appears as menacing wolves ready to consume the Valley. Squinting at the lights, I barely made out the shapes of towers and keeps carved out from the mountainside. I looked back to the riders drawing closer to us, putting the pieces together in my mind.

“It’s an Elven ambush!” I screamed out into the night. Excitement hit fever pitch and my shouts drowned in the noise. I turned and ran back to the safest place of my childhood-the library. The moment I reached the door, I heard the first of the screams. For as long as I live, I won’t be able to get those sounds out of my head.

I cowered in the darkest corner I knew of, crying through my fear. I hadn’t even tried to warn my own father; I had just ran away. I sat there listening to the ambush riders working through the town, destroying everything I loved. The knights I had admired all my life failed in their service to our Lord.

I cursed myself for not having seen the signs earlier. Lord Chaxon’s relationship with the gray elves had grown tenuous in recent years. Rumors spread of impending war, but I didn’t know what to make of them. My father didn’t trouble himself over them, so why should I?

In the months leading up to this, we hadn’t seen any knights ride through for resupply. I falsely assumed they were off fighting for our Lord, but hadn’t considered what would happen should they lose.

Fear kept me awake for the rest of the night. In the early morning hours, the sounds of battle all but disappeared. I peeked out a few windows before walking outside into an empty town. Curious it hadn’t been burnt to the ground. Even more curious was the lack of bodies. I had expected to see the streets overflowing, but saw nothing.

I ran back to my home in search of my father, but it too was completely empty. I combed the entire town, but found nothing. Death had swept through, leaving me untouched.

This is all I can bear to write now. Just remembering the loss of my father awakens too much pain within me. Fear not, my love, I did overcome my fear.

Tolin Naihim – Death’s Neglected Son