Dear Reader,
For the first… and potentially last time, I will introduce myself. My name is Alexander Penarrow; Scholar of the Mists, sorcerer of the arcane, Doctor by trade, and enemy to the children of the night. My life has been a long one. For two hundred and sixty five years, I have dedicated my life to helping people. Sometimes with a scalpel, sometimes with blade and spell. With a strange sense of calm, I believe that I will meet my end by the next sunrise. In short, I am a prisoner no more. Years ago, I was searching for my brother Drake. While looking for him, I became lost in the Mists outside my home city of Mordentshire. Where I come from, we treat the mist as others would treat the darkness; an unknowable assailant, hiding secrets of deadly and unnerving origin.

For many years I assisted several parties and individuals with my knowledge of the mists. Recently, a group of fiends made their way from their prisons to the mainland. Though I loathe the thought, I must give my thanks for their actions. Without the assistance of these escaped prisoners, I would still be in the clutches of the dark powers. A pawn to be put on the board whenever they saw fit. I have been maimed, tortured, killed, and far worse in the ‘service’ of these powers, and now I am free. The Dread Realm is no more.

As I write, I have been in this city for three days, according to my chronometer. I need no sleep or food, but I have seen myself in mirrors. My grey eyes are turning blue again. With the destruction of The Dread Realm, the dark powers are gone. The formless will that held the land inside a prison of mist no longer can hold onto the lands they stole. The lands have returned from where they came, and those who were on those lands have gone with it. I do no know what world I am on, but I know this world was the origin of one of the prisoners. A half-orc by the name of Balor.


After a day of exploration, I have discovered that I cannot leave the city. I reach the edge of the buildings and a barrier prevents my passage. Either I am now one of the prisoners, or the Dark Lord who has taken this domain as their own has closed them. Dark Lords are the unofficial title that the prisoners of The Dread Realm have been bestowed. For they are both the jailer and the prisoner, granted mastery of a domain, but forever cursed to remain without their greatest desire.


A few days more have gone by. I have discovered that I am not the only resident of this city. It seems another pawn of the dark powers has followed me. Myrus Tell. He is… or was, a man that has become one of the pawns of the dark powers. I doubt he is intelligent enough to understand he was being manipulated, but he is still following his old motivations. He seeks vanity in all forms so that he may stitch it to himself. In his current incarnation; he is a tall, brutish man of 6’5, approximately 190-200 pounds, he still speaks in a whisper unless driven into a frenzy. His features are impossible to describe as he very regularly takes parts from his victims to remain… ‘fresh’. I do not know If I have the ability to face him. Myrus… or The Telling Man as he now refers to himself, is a formidable opponent. Throughout the years, I have found that truly killing him is not within my power. He seems to have some sort of ability to suspend his bodily functions, making what would be lethal blows completely ineffective. However, he has several predictable behaviors and a distinct set of weaknesses. First, he will pursue a person guilty of vanity with unending zeal. Second, several times, I have noticed that if The Telling Man has not replaced his… ‘face’ after a time, that his eyes cannot close properly, making him vulnerable to sudden bright light.


Another day on borrowed time, but I have made a deduction. Myrus is the prisoner. He closed the border to keep in any stragglers. I may be able to use this to my advantage.


After several attempts, it is clear; I cannot defeat him alone. My leg injury has returned and I can no longer walk without my cane.

Today, I had an epiphany. My will is my own again. The powers no longer whisper in the back of my mind. I am free. Free to make my own choices after two hundred and some odd years. It may only be a matter of time until my death, but I can choose again. Today I found a ransacked bar. Inside, I managed to locate some abandoned victuals. Upon cutting away the wax seal and paper, I found a single piece of steak. I burned it badly in the remains of the kitchen. But the ability to choose to eat it of my own free will moved me to tears.

I hear others outside. It seems more victims have entered the city. I will do my best to make the time I have remaining count. Surely this world has capable fighters. I will do as I always have. Guide and assist where possible.

((A day later, the pages remaining fill with freshly penned words.))

I have no god to pray to. So my final thoughts will be kept here. An enchantment on the page will record what I choose. Myrus will not die. What magics are remaining in this city are starting to fail. As the sun rises, the city is evaporating as would the fog. My arms are heavy. The wounds Myrus inflicted on me at the barrier are too great. I will die soon, but I will use my final precious moments to make sure this… monster dies too. I beat him relentlessly. I hit him again and again until the handle of my flintlock breaks. In the blink of an eye, hes back on his feet, taunting me. Myrus tells me the long awaited truth, that my intellect is my vanity. I draw my sword from my cane and challenge him to claim it. I do not have to win, just stay alive long enough. His blows are like an avalanche. They stagger me to my core whenever we lock blades. His laughter pains my hearing. And as he moves in for the telling blow, I unleash my final spell. A weapon of my own design. My body fills with a terrible brightness. So strong is this light that I have burned lesser vampire to ash with it. I call it: Unbearable Brightness. Success, not even Myrus Tell is faster than the dawn breaking. He screams. His horrid, stolen voice goes hoarse from the pain he feels through his eyes. This is my chance. I bring myself up, ready my blade and strike. In a single motion, I thrust my sword through the side of his jaw, and sever the cords and stitching that hold it in place. Kicking the monster onto his back, I find his pistol. Putting the barrel to his knee, I pull the trigger and watch the cap break into pieces. And finally, the dawn comes. As the rays of the sun begin to shine on the rooftops, I see them fade into nothing. My strength is at its limit. I grab Myrus by his scalp and hoist his head up to the horizon. I see the dawn coming for me… and for him. And as the light burns away at my flesh and bone, I look to The Telling Man one final time. His face is evaporating. The flesh, bone, and even the stitching is fading into nonexistence.

Dear reader, I bid you farewell.

Signed

Doctor Alexander Penarrow

Author Vendon
Published
Game: Pathfinder
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