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|Author:||Mithreas [ Tue Jan 03, 2006 4:36 pm ]|
|Post subject:||Mount Sorrows|
One of the greatest tragedies of Wilwarin’s history, the tale of Mount Sorrows is nonetheless shrouded in mystery. I have spent some time piecing together the fragments that have survived the last century, and am now ready to offer this account of the fall of the Mountain of Peace.
The origins of this tale date back to the early days of the kingdom of Glorwing, not long after the rift closed. Life in the young Kingdom was tough and dangerous, for the lands were not as settled as they are now, and there were few who did not find the need to defend themselves against the perils of the land.
There was a group who tired of this incessant strife. The core of the group, who defined their beliefs and Way, came from the old world – but they gained an increasing number of followers as the months turned into years. Calling themselves the Order of Peace, when their numbers reached around two dozen they left Port Sunrise to settle on a tiny island just off the coast North of Sunrise, little more than the tip of a mountain poking out of the water. They built a small footbridge across the straits, founded their monastery on the summit, and devoted themselves to a life of peace and discipline.
Over time, the monastery flourished. People traveled from the growing Glorwing to become monks, or simply to spend a few days away from the cares of the world. It became a retreat, kept supplied by the pilgrims and novices who traveled from the mainland. By the year 30 ACR the monks and pilgrims had enlarged the monastery deep into the mountain on which it stood, and the Mountain of Peace housed a thriving community. In those early years there were few who were blessed with the favour of the gods, and conventional methods of healing were that much more important. The Mountain of Peace was a centre of mundane healing, with many among the monks skilled and knowledgeable in the use of herbs and mixing of medicines.
But there are powers in this world to whom peace is anathema, powers that delight in the suffering of innocents.
Around the year 31 ACR a young man traveled to the Mountain of Peace and petitioned to become a novice. The monks were impressed by him, for Alcis Jereminu was a keen and eager young man, eager to dedicate himself to the monks’ way of life. He was quickly accepted into the monastery and quickly proved to be one of the most dedicated novices, applying himself to his chores with diligence and good cheer, and many at the monastery marked him as a future Abbot.
It was therefore a shock to everyone when another novice, Torun Peterson, accused Alcis of murder. Torun claimed to have seen Alcis suffocate an elderly, frail patient whom everyone thought had died in his sleep. The monks investigated, but it came down to Torun’s word against that of Alcis – and nobody could believe that Alcis did such a thing. Torun was sent away in disgrace. Torun’s journal yet survives, however, and in it he wrote of his frustration and despair at being unable to persuade the monks of what he has seen.
Having read Torun’s journal, it is hard to imagine that Alcis did not have a part in the catastrophe that befell the Mountain of Peace. What is known is this. One night, towards the end of 31 ACR, demons came to the monastery. The monks and pilgrims woke to find them running amok in the halls and passages, maiming and slaughtering as they went. Two survived, two who had been awake and on the surface level when the demons came, and they later spoke of how they had felt the mountain shake, and heard screams from below. They told how one who was with them went down to investigate, but as he reached the stairs, two demons came up to meet him. One had the appearance of a woman, but horned and winged, with eyes that burned with the fire of the hells themselves – a succubus. The other was a hellhound, black as a moonless night, and the succubus held its leash. All three stopped dead, and the succubus said quietly to the monk nearest her, her voice a sultry whisper that carried down the hall to where the other two stood: “Kneel and serve me, and I will make your dreams come true.” The monk looked back at her, eyes hard. “I already have all I dreamed of. Begone, witch.” She screeched in rage and sent the hellhound forwards: the monk lasted barely a moment, and his screams joined those from below. The other two turned and ran, knowing they could not stand against what had come to their home.
There is evidence to this day of a summoning circle in one of the small cell-like rooms that the monks and novices used as sleeping quarters. There is no sign, however, of the fate of the summoner, whether Alcis or another. Most likely his demonic masters consumed him as they consumed the others: demons are not known for their gratitude. The halls of the Mountain of Peace, however, are now haunted by the restless dead slain that night and since, and those who surrendered their minds and bodies to their demonic attackers. Now they call it Mount Sorrows: the sorrow of the peace that was sundered and broken, the sorrow of many happy lives ended before their time.
Remember them, and be watchful, lest you share their fate.
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