History - Leon
Swirling lines twist and change upon the page forming random pictures and words within a large tarnished book. Tension filled the air as a hooded figure clad in silken robes approaches the book eyeing it wearily holding a faintly glowing blade in his hand. The faint light revealed a pedestal made of bones and skulls. A dark energy filled the air of the room as he reached for the book and he turned looking back he saw a another figure propping himself up upon a staff clad in tribal clothing.
“Razul…this magic feels…” the hooded figure pauses and with a deep breath his eyes awoken to the tides of magic that surrounded him.“Dangerous?” he asks questionally.
“No, no… Blessing to you, No fear. This boom reminds you who you are.” Razul spoke falling back farther into the shadows. “This is… emptiness?” Razul said as though he was trying to find the correct words to use. “A darkness but not evil” He muttered stumbling over the language a bit. “A void” He said his eyes flaring bright blue light for a moment as he left the room.
The faint glow of the knife grew darker as an unnatural wind picked up in the room as the lines and words on the page seemed to be waiting for something. A soft sigh escaped the hooded figures lips as he held the knife to his hand and made a small cut along it dripping the blood upon the book. It absorbed the blood and what once was tarnished could be seen slowly knitting itself back together as a voice echoed in the hooded figures mind.
“You seek atonement young one?” A loud but humble voice echoed inside his head. “Through Christ you must seek the forgiveness of God… but that wont help you if you cannot forgive yourself.” The lines begin to form pictures in the pages as the voice spoke.
“What?” the hooded figure spoke allowed in an almost musical and flowing language. “Who are you?”
“I am old, a saint before the coming of our savior… but our time grows shorter, now come and walk with me… but be warned do not look back.” he said with a slight grin a joke the hooded figure didnt understand.
“Saint? I am not a Christian, why would you help me?” the hooded man asked confused as the ink seemed to spread from the pages and the scene in the room changed. He saw a man beside him as the figure began to speak. “God gives the gifts but its you who choses your path.” The man said as he began walking and bumped the hooded man with a staff ushering him forward. From that moment forward the hooded man saw himself passing scenes of his life.
“You were born to a beautiful woman in deep love with a man she was to wed” the man spoke pausing at pivotal moments. “She was close to the heart of the noble family… truly a house of ancient greece.” The man said as the scenes slowly moved forward. “Did you know the house survived because they converted to the roman empire before the fall of gre..oh no i digress.” the man apologized as he became quiet before the scene.
“Your were raised believing your mother was a whore who died giving birth… and you were a son of a wicked man.” the man spoke as the scene grew dark as a stern lady stepped through screaming at a young child. She waved her hand and the childs body flew effortlessly against the wall.
“Your new mother swore to beat the wickedness from you… your latent gifts spurred but she was prepared and easily pushed aside your raw magic with her carefully practiced arts.” he said as a young boy went around cleaning up the house and as flames erupted from his hands they were just as quickly diminished with a shrug from his mother who then lashed out at him for his carelessness.
The two walked through different scenes and tortures of his childhood with his stepmother and siblings.
“This didnt stop you though” he said with a change of scene. “Your family excelled in creating wondrous and magical items for other houses and even the imperial family. They were miracle workers and magicians, scholars and poets… and you were gifted so you saw a chance, a hope."
The man continued speaking as the scenes changed to a room full of desks and strange devices. A teacher figure was instructing the the class in the foundation and laws of magic and its ethics.
“You learned you excelled far beyound the nobles and this infruiated them… but the teacher refused to see your talent and continuely held you back.”
“Magic was in your blood and it wasnt something you had to be taught…and you had a choose to embrace that path or continue your studies and you hoped you would become accepted… yet… something happened." the voice grew with a slight disdan. “You had another gift… a touch of heavenly father.” the man says with a slight smile that quickly turned back to a frown. “But you made your own path because others refused to teach and you refused to not learn and you didnt have patience for the church.” The man shook his head slightly. “So you learned to manipulate and twist the laws of magic in ways others could not” The was an awkward pause.
“Forgive me,” the man said apologetically. The scenes changed as the young child was treated with disgust and fear. Members of his home stopped teaching him and went back to bullying him and calling him names.
“Over the years you made some friends… you continued your studies in secret and alone.” Time began to fly by quicker in the scenes and before the hooded man knew it he was watching himself as a young teenager fighting with his stepbrother in a magical duel.
“You shouldn’t of won that duel, you would later grow to regret it… as an heir to the house, Achaikos still has yet to forgive you… but remember… he not your enemey”
“It was during one of those times he was looking for you you stumbled upon your mothers old room.” the man said as the room changed to small hidden library filled with dusty books and relics of ages page. “You didn’t know it… but this room could only be accessed by those houses direct lineage.”
More time passed as different scenes played out until he was fifteen and his magical growth became too apparent and he would begin training as crafter for the family. For the first year it seemed almost pleasant compared to the past but the hooded figure began to watch in dread as he knew what was to begin.
“You were found in the hidden room… betrayed by your friends. Scarred by your stepmother… you truly felt your nickname did you not Aeschylus?” the old man asked but did not expect an answer as the hooded figure remained quiet. “But remember all that you learned there… you learned of your mother… you learned of your father. Born out of wedlock… your father… you blame him? he blames you?”
“A friend spoke out for you in your honor… he taught to better yourself in secret against the wishes of the family.” the man said solemnly. “It is not your fault though… He came from mysterious lands harboring strange goods and trades… he was a father you never had but didnt have long enough."“You think you caused his death, you remember the night… but lets recount.”
“You decided you would leave with your mentor back to the mysterious east… it taken you another year before you two could attempt it… the careful planning… acquiring discarded or forgotten items.”
“The night you left… Something went wrong, horribly wrong… Something powerful and wicked attacked the house. You and your mentor had a chance but refused to leave… you were still new and could do little but you called upon the mysterious void and with your aid your mentor destroyed the monster… but your mentor was blamed. Achaikos saw your actions and thought you were inoccent but his voice did nothing… but he aided you in your own escape… and warned you to not be seen again.” the man sighed. “You were teleported into a far distant land… No idea where to go, what to do… but you would find a purpose sooner than you realized.”
The man walked forward and motioned for the hooded figure to come forward.
“Come Aeschylus… there still much to see.” the man said as the scenes changed once more. The hooded figure paused for a moment. “That is not my name anymore.” he said as stepped forward. “You can call me Leonardos”
“In the bag a small map, many supplies, gems, alchemic supplies, scrolls and a few weapons and trinkets. I wish I could remember my instructors name but something making my memory fuzzy… details are like gaping holes all that was left is strange emotions that I don’t understand. Perhaps I knew things I shouldn’t not of and to keep their house safe but I don’t know of spells like that and I know who I am and a secret that could harm the family… So what is it that is missing?” Leon asked himself as the scenes played out.
“I didn’t have much time to ponder as I heard nearby screams and could smell fire in the air.“ he said as the rooms scene changed to match his pace and words as the old man simply listened. “I grabbed a wand with a small inscription of what it was and I clenched my teeth and headed to the screams while casting my wards. Goblins… Raiding a town of huns.”
“I remember my heart sinking as I saw a woman jump in front of a blade aimed at a young child. Confused I clenched my eyes as I was wrapped behind a spell of invisibility I knew I was safe but… was this real? Am I dreaming? A cloud passed over my mind and I saw the blood drain from the women’s bodies and the goblin raider lift his sword again.”
“The invisibility faded and from the wand burst out a surge of beyond my skill as it shot multiple waves of magic striking the goblin down. There was another, and another… too many to count but the villagers began hiding behind me as the raiders flung stones and arrows at me and I felt my wards weakening.”
“They didn’t use magic to fight… i guess it was too small of a town or far on the outskirts… but there were too many and my magic was to weak but i brought some powerful trinkets with me."
“I searched my bag and pulled out a pale blue and red gem and it faded into ashes in my hands as it brought forth a large elemental that crackled with electricity shooting bolts at the goblin raiders as they soon began to flee.”
So my first fight ended and I handed out all the healing potions in my possession to the hurt villagers and when that was finished the dead was counted. My own magic was gone, the wand had little power left in it… but the most of all I remember the stench of ozone and blood and I sat down tears in my eyes, acid in my mouth and the darkness of sleep quickly covering my eyes.”
“I was awakened in a church with pain I have never known. I had bandages in places I didn’t know even got hit. I glanced around me and a priest was sitting in silent prayer. This was a church of the one true God, a small shrine for a small town on the outskirts of society and i would find this place to be home for a long time.”
“Often times i traveled through nearby caves and old ruins in search of materials and to continue my studies. I don’t know how long it would be til I’m found or even if there going to look for me but I if that day ever comes this village couldn’t hide me.”
I wanted to learn who my father was and if he truly was cursed but I couldn’t do that from all the way out here and I was too weak to travel far on my own. Occasionally some of the braver town folk and even the priest would join me during the trips if it was for the good of the village.”
“However I made sure I left behind my stronger possessions in case they were needed… Two more stones of elemental, countless potions of various sorts, a few minor scrolls and a weak wand of two magic missiles that I crafted for my ‘apprentices’.”
“Those two… i don’t think i was even considered out of my apprentice state when i took them… One was one year younger than me and though a bit slow at first excelled once he began to understand the fundamentals. The other was a bright eyed young girl only twelve when I first started teaching her. They were both simple folk, kind hearted and noble. They worked hard for their town and there only goal really was to make life for their parents and friend easier. I couldn’t deny them instruction since they showed the talent.”
“Me and the town priest had many disagreements on there apprenticeship… i was young myself and barely pushed my own studies forward so i could continue advancing theirs… but they were a tremendous help.”
“Slowly the goblin raids had stopped against the town. Trade began flowing in and eventually the owners of the land caught wind. I’m sure they were visiting to see what been happening perhaps even congratulating us… Instead it was a visit from the inquisition and they poured over the books and ingredients looking for signs of foul play. The questions my training and heritage, my faith and loyalties and so I answered them. No point in lying I thought so I told them where I learned magic just not the exact circumstances of why I left “
“Nothing happened for a while… but after some time new people would show up at times. They were not part of the church and I began to suspect they were looking for me or signs if I was the one my family was looking for. Thankfully I already casted my name of shame off and they only found a young hedge wizard for a time being”
“My fears came to fruition when I came home one day with a note left on the table. It held the seal of my family and there arcane signature. They had hired the services of my apprentice to deal with retrieval of a heretical artifact help by the sorceror hob-goblin Razul the blue-eye that idolizes dangerous and false gods. I say hired… but they were taken. The two left behind hidden message carved in the wood by a chest of supplies alerting me”.
They seeked to lure me and trap me or better yet cause my death by confronting Razul… but how far would my family have gone? Would they have really sent them to their deaths? I wondered and felt sick at the thought. I opened my spell book and cast a ward around the house and tried to get some before the sun rose I grabbed my things and left the priest with one of the two last elemental gems.”
“Ahh…I should have thought there to pack my things but the thought didn’t cross my mind as I left the house and journey forth with the hope and comfort of the village left behind.”
“A hunter named Merrick, my younger apprentices Kayla’s father and Mark the village…
comedian… the brother of Cliff joined me. Thank goodness as Merrick was able to follow the trail and perceptively pointed out a trail of beads from a necklace of Kayla. Up in the mountains it lead, into dangerous caves into the heart of the goblin Razul’s territory. Every moment I feared to see their bodies cast aside in death and prayed each step of the way. “
“Eventually we meet Razul and Mark and Merrick stood no change against his magic and they knew it and so did I and we tried to talk to him peacefully. He did meet my apprentices as they approached peacefully for a trade carrying jewels of great wealth in exchange for a trinket and a favor.”
“In a blink of an eye Mark and Merrick were frozen in place and the goblins threw them outside.I could not fight a goblin squad here. My spells were not active and I would been shot down before I could get them all up so I was taken alive by the goblins as a prisoner. Honestly… it wasn’t too horrible. “
“Their food sucked, they smelt bad, kind of not the brightest… but I learned a lot. Razul wasn’t barbaric like the others from the tribes. He wanted to uplift his people he didn’t care for raiding but the money was good. The food was good. The knowledge was good. We discussed different magical theories and crude politics of both of our cultures between my sessions as a magical servant.”
“Of course I had to help him with crafting different things… I was a prisoner after all but i did managed to send correspondence to the village a few times as well seeing what was going on. Everyone was safe and sound and I learned some small trading was being worked out between Razul and the village… but the other goblin tribes were beginning to rally against him. I was there for almost three months when I heard of the opportunity to earn my freedom again as I was growing worried of my fate when the house returns to ‘collect’ me. “
“There was a condition though… Razul drew a knife and cut along my arm drawing my blood… it was some sort of divination magic but i didn’t know what it did. He asked about my parents and asked why and he just laughed.”
I was sent to a rival tribe where I challenged there leader in mortal combat. Im not exactly sure why this was happened and still not sure today… but using a spell Razul taught me and a mystic rod I struck down the rival leader in just a blink of the eye as lightning cracked from my hand.”
“I told them that Razul was far more powerful than I, which was the truth, and that he would accept you as honorable members. Of course this was me rewording some of it… made it sound more appealing. Used magic to back my words up and then it was done, the two warring goblin tribes became one.”
“That night I asked Razul why he couldn’t stopped the war himself and he grinned mischievously and told me of a curse. Apparently I killed some ‘noble’ goblin family line heir and there was some superstitions… which did have me worried but he assured me that it was a goblin curse and my non-goblin status exempted me. “
“He had the body of the enemy tribe brought us and there he drained him of blood five vials. He brought forth a shaman who danced around them and they shone faintly. Recognizing the magic I could see the blood being purified. I watched a long ritual as one of his generals, his shaman and a goblin I did not know approached and drank the blood. In turn Razul drank his asked me to approach with a wicked grin.”
“He whispered to me that this would hurt and it’s an honor… and try to keep it down. He passed the vial of blood and I could see a glow of magic I didn’t have to look around I could feel the eyes of many goblins on me as hesitantly swallowed the blood. Instantly my stomach turned and I winced and i could feel the dark magic within and saw Razul laughing as his shaman passed me a reed of some plant and told me to chew it.”
“It didn’t help much but it did get the foul taste out. Moments later strange thoughts appeared in my head of magic i have never learned before. A strange magic old magic: magic of blood. There was too much for me to remember though but I managed to write down some spells that I never heard of before the rest of it slipped into memory.I think I was sick for a week afterwards…”
“I was given my freedom by Razul but before I left he showed me the body of the former tribe leader and I watched as it changed shapes and appeared like myself knowing what he planned on with it.”
“Unfortunately he did not return most of my possessions but at least he returned my spell book along with a spell book from old tribe leader with most pages ripped out. That was nice of him I guess… but that gem was expensive. Alas, I am alive and free and my former house will think I’m dead for a time being at least. I hoped.”
“Except…You know… I ran right into them while heading back home. I quickly sent word to Razul using a stone messenger that they were coming and they knew I was alive but thankfully I was ragged enough to look like I just escaped… and I acted that way with a gesture I disappeared from sight calling upon magical tricks. They were a bit shocked luckily for me they were not prepared to deal with a arcane scholar and they did not know how far my talents have come.”
“Brilliant idea! I left an old used scroll behind that I pulled from my pouch… I like keeping these things… helped me study and learn. Dropping it on the ground and fled. It was a used scroll of teleportation and with any luck they would think to be long gone.”
Didn’t even know the spell at that time… Hell I still didn’t. I was researching the value of used scrolls trying to see if they still held some kind of value now that i think about it… anyways iI fled back to the village. I smiled at the sight of my apprentices safe but I feared for the continued safety. I could not involve them in this and with a heavy heart I snuck into the priests home.”
“We talked briefly and he knew of the situation. He gathered my things for me as I wrote down things for my apprentices and left them both their own spell books. I never saw that town again… I wish I did not see my apprentices again but Kayla was taken in by my house, adopted and now believes i’m some evil bastard. I miss Cliff dearly… he didn’t believe my house and helped me escape them a few times in the future.”
The hooded figure stood for a long time not wanting to continue forward but eventually takes a deep breath and continued forward.
“Spent many nights alone with him but in the end I brought him to his death. He had me prepare featherfall that day like he knew something was going to happen. Why… they didn’t want him… He could have lived his life, dammit. I watched his body slump over I knew the spell that was cast… I knew what it did and I knew he was gone…”
“I remember hearing whispers in my head, I felt a rush of magical energy but I had nothing… no spell in my mind I could use to stop this. I was reminded of how weak I truly was and once again I was alone.”
“Demons circled me and a coldness filled my heart and eyes…” the hooded figure paused again before taking another step forward his head slightly tilting as though he wanted to look back on his memories again.
“I alone could never stand against my family… but..“
I am twenty three now, cliff has been dead for a few months only… I preserved his body using special oils and buried him in a alchemical treated coffin. One day i will find the knowledge… i will find a way to rewrite this story and bring my apprentices back.”
The old man paused and looked around for a moment.
“We are nearing the end of your story so far… have you learned yet what you need to?” the man said as the scene went dark.
“No… but i knew i needed someone else.” the hooded figure spoke.
“And so you found yourself in the mix of murder and politics?” the old man said looking grim.
“Thats not it… no… it wasn’t that way.” The hooded man said
“No?” the man said as the scene rapidly filled back with color. “You ‘knew’ you could do it without violence… you believed you had the knowledge to do it… but it was wrong. Yet you accepted it because you needed to belong to something else.” the old man spoke knowingly.
Leon began to speak. “I would like to say it was not easy. I would like to say what happened.”
“but you can’t.” The old man interjected. “Because of the marks on your arm.” he pointed to the hooded figures left shoulder.
“Its the only way i can be myself and live with whats happened and yet… i know what in those memories are dark and they must come out.”
“You should speak what you wish to be forgiven of.” the old man said.
“I was given a rod a cancellation to bypass magical wards…Ring of invisibility… bracers of the seducers bane… a few spells. I knew the inventory codes of my old house and requested them specifically and they were temporarily obtained.”
“To think my old house forgot my blood allowed me past there wards and they need not to be reminded so they were quickly returned.” Leon said shaking his head slightly.
“I was to be the required third party witness for the mapping of the mine. Upon reaching there I surveyed the locals of the two houses and the magical protections and wards. Eventually i had all the information i needed…”
Using the rod to bypass some of the defenses and a few spells to get in unnoticed i found myself in the room with the land deeds… but to my dismay there were heavily enchanted.
The rod would destroy the magic and it was beyond my ability to put it back on so i carefully made few alterations to the map.
Eventually i was interrupted by a man he demanded to know what I was doing. Without thought, prepared I cast a spell on him removing his memory of the last few moments as I disguised myself and my voice as another member of the noble house above him.
“I decided to trick him… I pointed out to him that these borders showed that our house did not own the mine but that the mine should be ours. The noble was outraged and called him a disgrace to the family.”
“As he went to go leave I saw the man I was impersonating behind him confused. I panicked and flung a bolt of lightning through them both ending both of their lives.”
“Using magic I erased parts of the map, drew new lines, erased, new lines, erased. I
was sickened at my actions but I knew it had to be done… I guess… no… there was other ways…. No I did it wrong. Two dead nobles… but I thought of this… I had made a backup plan. Why though?”
“The shadows seemed thicker as the body of the man i was disguised as withered away with a reading of a scroll. I changed the map… made it obvious that it was forged and the enchantments would show that it has been altered… but not by what or who. I spent long enough with it to know what it did.”
“When I got back to my room I flooded my memories into an inscription and hid it on my body just as it was when i entered this room first…The next day went according to plan… The body was found, the forgery was detected… I offered my assistance and using the blood of the killer I divined what the dead knew without calling on the spirit of the dead themselves. “
“It told everyone what was remembered… one of there own house members changed the map to make them the owners of the mine. There was confusion and many questions, I was enchanted and told them many things and I was truthful."
“At that time I had only known that I had came there as a third party and been waiting for the heir arrival though i did not reveal that pieces were missing in my memory. “
The noble culprit was never found and when my memories returned I wish they did not… and i was now a dark secret for another family. Dammit… why… No one was suppose to die. I hid in my new quarters for a long time before I was introduced to the family. I asked the matron once about the memory but she told me it was my sin to bear and i should not forget it.