Saturday, May 9, 2009

Chapter 1: The Lowest Ebb Part 1

This is the first of several posts detailing the origins of Melkior, Terra, and Lyle in our ongoing Palladium Fantasy Campaign. These were written by the GM several years ago but are an interesting read for anyone interested in Palladium Fantasy, RPGs, or fantasy in general.

“So in essence, the two basic principles of magic are those of similarity and contagion. The first refers to the fact that the properties of an object, symbol, or words, are reflected through a similar effect of magical… energy. The second …of these ………principles, that of …………contagion…” The girl’s head slowly drooped. The cat lying on the bed eyed her as she oddly slept with her nose buried in a large leather tome. Sliding down off his perch, the cat slowly walked over to her, watching her, and becomes tantalized by her long hair hanging off the edge of the table. As the midnight colored strands swayed fitfully in the cool draft of the night, almost shimmering in the pale candlelight, and even paler moonlight, the urge to bat at it became nearly uncontrollable. But the cat knew better.

This was no ordinary cat. This cat was one of the privileged of its kind. This was a cat of the Timiro College Arcanum. Imbued with a minimal intelligence and self-awareness, he knew he should let the student sleep. Out of frustration of a thwarted instinct, he inspected the small chamber for some other target for his fascination. The cold stony walls, the rich wood of the floorboards, and the neat and orderly piles of books on the shelves held little interest to his feline mind. The sleeping form of the girl is what the eyes of the cat came back to.

If she were human, she would be considered tall and comely. But of course, even with the small intellect that he possessed, the cat could tell that she was not human, but an elf. The long, pointed ears, the pale skin, the youthful features for one who, although she looked to be in her late teens, in fact had to be nearly forty years of age, all identified her as one of the magical and ancient race of elves. He had been staying in this student’s room with her for the last five years. The cat vaguely remembered the other elf-girl who lived in the room, but she had left so long ago.

Sitting up, the elf rubbed her nose, fighting back a yawn, and told herself that she can’t sleep until she read the rest of the assignment. As she flipped through the rest of the chapter, she groaned, “Come on, Terra, only thirty seven pages to go until you can quit.”

Staring back down at the grimoire she had trouble concentrating on the words. Her tired mind continued to turn to Kayla. Kayla, her best friend. Kayla, the only true friend she had managed to make in the years she had attended the magical academy. Terra glanced over at Kayla’s still empty old bed. No new roommate had been assigned to her room yet. Noticing the movement on the floor, she spies Artemis, one of the school cats, and leaned down to pick him up and placed him on her lap, gently stroking his soft fur as she looked blankly back at the book.

It had been five months now since Kayla had left the school. Just months short of completing her training, she had received a troubling letter from home. Terra knew her friend lived far to the north, near the edge of the domain of civilized races, in the small backwater kingdom of Grelz. Not even a member of the Charter of the League of Kingdoms in that piece of land called the Eastern Territories, it had to defend itself. And apparently defend itself it would. Several of its neighboring countries were preparing for war. When Kayla showed the letter to Terra, at first she did not understand the consequences it would have for her. Her friend then explained that she must go home, even without having become a full member of the magic guild of Timiro, and help her family.

Many tears were shed, at both Kayla’s leaving and for many nights thereafter. But life did go on, even in its more lonely state. Eye’s blurred with tears once again, tears of both sadness and exhaustion. Terra wiped them away, telling herself that as soon as she finished her schooling, she would go to see her friend. “Only thirty seven pages to go tonight, and then forty two days to go until I join the guild,” she whispered to herself, still gently stroking the fur of Artemis. Although it would take two more hours, and the lighting of another candle, Terra did manage to finish her reading, barely, before once again falling asleep, face down in her book.

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