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> Livorna's Journal
post Oct 17 2017, 02:30 PM
Post #1


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Below is a transcript of Livorna's Journal, collected on Tivoria.



It is a special kind of painful to have devoted your entire life to something that your mother devoted her entire life to, only to find that someone transcended all of your work nearly two centuries before you were born.

I am being maudlin, of course. Maudlin when I should be excited; the notion that a Word, a whole Word, has been spoken? That someone succeeded in collecting all of its Prime Syllables, all of its power - not to mention managing to comprehend it fully? Only in my wildest dreams - and nightmares - had I thought it possible.

But I am getting ahead of myself. If I am to record this properly, I must record it fully. To become eternal through my work, I must make my work eternal. So - to the beginning.

Auntie has found me a new hiding place, since the last one was so unceremoniously disposed of. It is amidst what I am going to generously term a varied group of characters, the hope being that I shall become easily forgettable by comparison. Many of them are scholastic, a larger number artistic, and a few are of the kind of professional socialite that I most violently abhor.

Nonetheless, without them, I would not have made this discovery.

It is tradition in the boarding house to hold gatherings each Sunsday, the intention being to see the new week in - or some other such excuse for excessive drinking, as if such a group required one. I have been quite successful in avoiding them. Until last night, that is.

Gravitating towards the quietest corner of the party, I came across a theological scholar called Ixius. He is not religious himself; rather, a student of the myriad faiths within Primus and beyond. It took all of fifteen minutes for us to abandon the party in favour of his rooms, where we could talk without having to scream over the din of drunkenness.

(And no, I have not wholly lost my mind - I spoke the composite for Communication before even approaching him; answers were full and complete).

After several hours of talking about the nature of faith and the crossover between many of the creation myths, we happened upon the topic of the differences between the many types of Divinity. It was then that he mentioned a being he would only refer to as the Observant One.

At this point we began to argue, because what he claimed this Observant One to be is - was - impossible. A God without followers? Without faith? Even the Primal Gods, who wear mantles that exist in and of themselves, draw power from followers. It is the very nature of Primus, of the Throne, of the Exostance itself. It is impossible.

Unless you have already accounted for the faith. A down payment, as it were.

I know - the Words of Faith are only theoretical. They are only an idea of possibility. But Words by their nature can do anything, everything. They alone have the power to do this. To instantly create a God from Faith itself. But the amount of power you would need to do it - it would have to be a full composite. The most complex of Words. Every portion of the name they would become. So great that mortals could only dream of speaking it.

And yet, if Ixius is right, it has been done. By this Observant One, by whoever or whatever created them. I do not think that I have ever heard of anything more terrifying.

I have to know. I have to be certain - not only for my own curiosity, but because if this power exists -

My brother must never know of it.


Ixius has given me all of his notes on the Observant One. It has been some days, but the last time he was able to come to my rooms we were somewhat distracted, and to be frank when you are living on the run you ought to take every ounce of distraction you can get. Especially when it has been months. And the distraction is both intelligent and handsome.

Ahem. Regardless.

It transpires that this Deity is more accurately and commonly known as the Watcher of the Ages, a gender-neutral being. They possess no followers on Primus but have accrued some power through the formation of pacts and deals. It is through some of these deals that Ixius came across them.

According to some of these pacts, this Watcher is dealing for information regarding their origin and creation. They do not appear to be the kind of divinity that would manifest a form, instead existing in an abstract context - but they are certainly not a Demiurge, for they do appear to possess consciousness and intent.

I have seen no reference thus far to Words, but I remain optimistic.

Auntie insists - wisely - that I not leave the building. This will render further investigation difficult, but not impossible. Nothing, after all, is impossible.

Progress - we have found some reference in a pact between the Watcher and a priest from Thimon to Words. The power granted to the priest was trivial and uninteresting, but the Watcher’s price - that was quite the opposite.

Here’s the passage: “...that Radolf Hartford, upon receiving the previously appointed sum, shall relate and demonstrate the Unholy Words in his knowledge, as well as passing over all additional information regarding their formulation and power such as it is known to him.”

The question is, why would they need to be given information about Words of Power if they had already spoken a complete one? Perhaps this then is a sign that they did not create themselves. I sincerely doubt that these Gods were created using a Word of Destruction; I suspect this Watcher is simply interested in all Words, which suggests both a greater and lesser understanding than most.

Ixius is now up to speed on simple and complex forms, though of course I have not revealed any of the Words to him. Better not to, just incase.

A few more references to Words in other pacts. Some only through verbal recounting, but that is what you get for doing all your research from the rooms of a boarding house.

Starting to become uneasy about staying. Auntie insists no one is watching the building, but the more people come and go from my rooms - we’ve been interviewing for information, it seemed the only way - the more attention I draw, and the more likely it is that I will be found.

She understands, of course, though I have not told her everything. Discovering this, and preventing the information getting out - those are the most important things.

I have escaped his cultists before; I will do so again, inevitably. Best not to dwell on it.

If I hadn’t destroyed all of the copies, this would be much easier.

Of course it would. This is hardly the first time I have thought it. Hardly the first time I have cursed my brother’s name for forcing my hand. If I had them, if I could trust the world enough to give them, to offer them as a way of explanation - my life’s work, mother and father’s lives -

Maudlin again, Livana.

It’s not as if there are many Words of Faith in there anyway.

I’m sure that is what this is. It can’t be the Word of Creation; the cost for that would be too high. People would have noticed that amount of power being consumed. The Empress would have noticed. The Throne would have.

No new information.

I went to the library.

I know! I know, it was stupid, and I do not care, because I have found it.

A small reference, hardly anything at all, but here we are. A second age text on political movements, hidden within Auntie’s collection. We only happened upon it by chance; we weren’t even looking in that section. Someone had mis-shelved it.

“The Watcher did not send a representative to the talks, but one of Their six Divine siblings, Khurshid, sent an Emissary…”

It’s almost as if someone wanted it to be found.

No - no, not thinking like that. We have found a link, we know there are more of them, and now we can do more research.



I can’t

Ixius is dead

Tyler found me.

He wasn’t watching my house at all. He was watching Auntie’s. He was watching her research room near the library. She’s alive - just. It wasn’t her they were after. Several years ago I might have thought it impossible that he would kill her - but after mother...well, there is nothing of which he is not capable. So Auntie is gone now, out of the city, and how will I ever be able to talk to her again without him knowing?

That’s not the worst part.

He found our notes. Not these, of course. He’s too stupid and impatient to break the encoding, and I had them on me, of course. The notes he found were the ones Ixius and I had made on the Watcher. On Khurshid. On the place they come from - they come from another plane, we had just found out, we had just -

I killed him. Ixius. He made me hide in the cupboard when the cultists came - he looked so afraid that I complied without thinking. The cult are growing stronger. Bolder. They took him prisoner and Tyler tortured him. He wouldn’t give up. Wouldn’t mention me. Wouldn’t say a thing. By the Source, but he was stubborn. So stubborn and so stupid and so brave.

Tyler spoke the Word of Dominion. I spoke the Word of Death. The simple one. I would never -

I was gone before Ixius hit the floor.

I don’t think I will ever go back to Scarlene again.

It’s been four days. Three days behind a Greater Word of Recall, one day moving constantly on foot. Tyler knows where my shrines are - some are gone, too, he’s destroyed them - but there’s no point in him coming now.

Four days and all I can think about is finishing this work.

I wonder, sometimes, if I am just as bad as my brother. As his father. I know the world is not black and white. I know you can use Words of Creation for terrible things or Words of Destruction for great ones. I know that my father was an assassin and that my mother was a liar and that I am just as flawed. I know that no matter how much he might want to kill me now, when we were little, before he knew my father killed his, Tyler loved me. He protected me.

But I wonder if I was worth it.

I am going to find this plane they came from. I am going to find it, and I am going to find what Word they used to ascend, and I am going to make sure he never, ever finds it.

It’s three years since he killed mother tomorrow.

I suppose it’s fitting.

I found it.

The plane is called Tivoria.

I have a wizard who can plane shift me this evening.

The plane shifting didn’t work. I gave a full and accurate description to the wizard, and he promises me that he is indeed capable of shifting to places he has not been, provided he has enough information. But he cast the spell, and absolutely nothing happened.

I even embodied a wight - an unpleasant experience - to try myself. No avail.


Scried about why the transport went wrong, once I had regained my brain enough to think to do so. Damnit, Tyler. What might I have achieved with my life if you weren’t hounding me constantly?

The plane is broken.

Shattered, so the spirits say, into a thousand pieces. Most are gone now. Getting to the ones that are left might be impossible - at the very least, it will be incredibly dangerous.

It would also get me out of Tyler’s reach. It would also mean I can finish this - find out what is behind it. Get the answers and destroy whatever is there so that he can never find it.

One of my safe houses is a few hours away. I should make it by nightfall, and be able to gather what I need. I’ve a contact in Halgar who specialises in more permanent transportation. Portals, specifically. Maybe she’ll be able to get me in.

Valkia thinks she can do it. I’ll need something linked to the plane, and its name - which I have. I could go back and take some of the pacts from before, but in all likelihood they’re in Tyler’s hands. Or destroyed. Or stolen. Pacts are powerful things.

Honestly, at this point I’m seriously considering just scrying repeatedly until I know where to go. But no - the spirits don’t work like that. I need to know what I’m looking for. Open-ended scrying never gives you the best answer, even if you use a Word. Besides, I refuse to start thinking like a mercenary.

I still have a copy of the text about those talks. The political one. Maybe there are clues in there.

The talks the book refers to were held in Seval - as was. Old maps suggest that the town they went to is now in rural Thimon, just about, but has since been turned into a quarry. A quarry which was abandoned when everyone died in an accident and promptly got up as zombies.

Wonderful - but at least they might have uncovered the hundred-year old relics I need. I won’t even need to use the complex forms of the Word of Dismissal.

I’ve made it to the edge of the quarry, and placed my camp a good mile or so away. Reasonable vantage point from here.

Strange how, no matter how insane this is, it still feels safer than being in a city. Find me here, Tyler. Just go ahead and try.

I’ve got it.

The open space made it easier to shout the external zombies away; the ones within the quarry tunnels were a little harder. The tunnels weren’t deep - it’s not a mine, after all - but they were just far in enough to impede sound. In the end I just hid my spirit; they’ve all been dead for far too long to have eyes left.

It transpires that the poor fools who were made to work here uncovered the Magister’s vault - and more to the point, everything in it. The blast marks scorch the tunnel the whole way out. It’s a wonder the whole thing didn’t collapse in on itself, frankly.

The vault had all sorts of things within it, some of which will be useful - if for no reason other than being a hundred years old and relatively well preserved. Selling them should give me the funds to replenish my travelling supplies. It’s been too long since I was actually on the run in the most literal sense - I’m out of everything.

It looks like most of them were gifts given to the Magister as tribute. One of them was from Khurshid. As far as my scrying knows, it’s the closest thing on Primus to Tivoria, so it’ll have to do. If this doesn’t get me in - and it should do - then nothing will.

I’ll transport back to Halgar tomorrow. For now I have chalk dust to wash off.

This place is...incredible. Amazing. And completely and utterly empty. I don’t understand it.

There was clearly a civilisation here once. Even on this fragment, there are buildings - more impressive than some of the Empire’s cities, save perhaps Halgar - and signs of life. It’s as if everyone just disappeared. Just like that. Died, perhaps - but there aren’t even any bodies.

I’ve found a house to stay in. It feels wrong - even on the run I have never resorted to squatting or trespass - but I suppose it is not as if they are using it. It is warm and comfortable and it appears to have been owned by an inventor of some kind. The dining table is littered with miniature machinery - a clockmaker, perhaps?

The transportation was not without incident. With the gift from Khrushid, Valkia was able to target the plane - but we both knew that there was a chance she would miss. That she would launch me into the Nacht, or I would appear hundreds of feet above land, or hundreds of feet underwater. It was a risk. But oh, how worth the risk.

How many archaeologists have longed for this? To walk around a world, bereft of life, and study what remains?

But the best feeling - the best feeling of all - is the knowledge that I am safe. Truly safe. Like I haven’t been for years. Like I haven’t been since I finished the Book - since mother died - since Tyler’s cult grew to power.

Perhaps I will even manage to sleep through the night.
Day two. Impressively, the sun is still rising and falling; how, I am unsure, given how fragmented the land is. Perhaps it is reliant upon the strength of Primus to maintain it - often the outer planes are. One would have thought it would have attracted notice by now, however.

It is difficult to tell how long it is since everyone disappeared. It is certainly not recent, as there is a solid layer of dust on everything around here. I spent much of the day exploring this fragment. It is two miles by five miles, largely urban, containing part of what I now know is the city of Mivala.

In a cartographer’s I located several maps of the plane, which will certainly come in useful - interesting to find that it is equally spread across continents, unlike Primus. How I would ever reach the underwater settlement I will have to consider another time. Perhaps best to start with the more easily accessible ones.

However, that all involves managing to travel from one fragment to another. Tomorrow I will go and study the edge. First I want to spend the rest of this evening in this shrine.

I have not yet found any paperwork, but all of the architecture is made of spirals. The entrance to the temple is made of marble columns that twist into helical formations - the doors are engraved with the same whirling symbol. Three-dimensional versions are occasionally made ouroboric.

More when I have finished, then.


That is the name of the being worshipped here. They are certainly treated like a Deity in the approach, but I have found reference to beggars being given power by them - to druids drawing power from their place in the earth. Far more than simply a Divine, then. Perhaps this is simply a generic place of worship, and they tend to both their Gods and their city spirits here?

But no, that does not make sense. There are no other names here. And only Primus has cities powerful enough to have city spirits - or so I thought. I can hardly claim to be an expert.

The religious texts reference other beings - they call them Great Spirits. I will need to find the others and gather what information on them I can. Which means working out how to get to another fragment. Wonderful.

For tonight I suppose I will stay here - it is rather comfortable, all things considered. Very civilised for a temple. Only one hidden compartment, regrettably, but the artifact recovered from it is interesting - a key of some sort? Appears otherwise impervious to scrying.

The city appears focused on progress, innovation and ingenuity - traits shared with their Great Spirit, if that is what Setonix also is. Evidence I have found thus far suggests that they are politically governed but not in the structured sense of the Empire.

I would liken it most to Mordred’s Rest, which has ever eschewed the traditional council structure. There is a council here, I have seen reference to it, but it does not appear to be held in high esteem (all the references I have found have referred to them as an unfortunate necessity of progress).

Interesting to me is the morphology of the names. Mivala - Setonix. These are very different to one another etymologically. Difficult to tell with so small a sample size, of course. I will need more to continue studying it. Still, they certainly do not strike me as bearing the same orthographic origin.

The world is certainly large enough to have a degree of orthographic variation - if these maps are to be believed I would place it at two thirds the size of Primus, perhaps a little more depending on the true breadth of the central ocean. Not to mention that if it is old enough there could be deviation as with the First and Second Ages. Think of the amount of phonological deviation that has occurred since the time of the Magiarchs! Word of mouth is such a conflicting way of passing on language.

But now I am truly deviating. Perhaps I am just avoiding the inevitable dinner of rations - little seems to be growing here, and the last pantry I looked at here gave off the sort of stench that makes you quickly forget your hunger.

Perhaps there will be more to forage outside of the city.

The edge of the fragment is the Nacht. Not surprising, all things considered, and both a positive and negative boon. On the upside, I should be able to walk from one fragment to the other, given the right application of power and determination about where I am walking. On the downside...walking through the Mittlenacht.


However I have made it into a building known as the Centre of Progress. A meeting hall, council chamber, and something of another shrine all in one, it seems. An excellent place to have as a base to come back to, as who knows what the next fragments will contain (I could scry, of course, but that would ruin the fun - and I am not certain how much of an answer I would get about this dead land).

The only remaining parts of Mivala that I have not explored are residential. I have been into some more houses, but they vary wildly in terms of their usefulness. I did manage to find some correspondence with another city - one man writing to his cousin, or somesuch, in Qadena. It mentions another Great Spirit by name - Lacerta. Far more similar to Mivala and Qadena than to Setonix. Worth considering.

I suppose I shall aim for there when I depart, for it seems as good a place as any, and from the looks of this letter it is a place of some considerable power.

For now, sleep.

Walking through the Nacht, it transpires, was the simple part. Actually finding the fragment was much, much harder - but I have managed it. I believe that I am still in the continent of Mirivar, but no longer in Mivala - rather, on the edge of the Soul of Conjuration.

At present I have just paused to rest in the slums where I have found myself. An unpleasant spot to rest, but if I do not sit down I will be of no use for the remainder of the day. Were it not for the complex form of Time, I doubt I would have managed to keep my Cloak up for long enough to make it through the Nacht. Travelling through it on your own - well, I am nothing if not foolish.

Still, I remain alive, so perhaps I am a lucky fool.

I can see Qadena proper from here - a large place, buildings not as impressive as Mivala’s in size but certainly moreso in number. Here in the slums it is grey and bland, but further in I can see signs of colour - pennants flying in the distance, and the suchlike.

Lunch, I think, and then onwards.

There are not many places of residence in this fragment, which is a trite infuriating. I suspect I would get a much better feel for this place from personal correspondence.

I have counted a dozen heraldically marked buildings now. List and sketches separately - some are quite interesting. Noble houses, perhaps?

All of said buildings are warded, most magically - so getting in will either be incredibly easy or utterly impossible, depending on how clever they have been. There is a lot of magic here in general, but it feels hollow somehow. I am uncertain if that is even the right word.

Perhaps I should have studied magic. I always assumed it would be a distraction, but not knowing is far more of a hindrance. It is possible that if this truly is the Soul of Conjuration I will be able to find some books for study.

Not noble houses - Leagues. Guilds, I think, of a fashion, but not Valdschwarts. Guilds in the most traditional of senses, gathered around professions or the suchlike.

Cartographers, Armourers, Chroniclers, Bardic Arts - there are dozens of varying size. More than that I could not glean, for alas the newspaper that I located was more than a little waterlogged.

But it is a start.

The newspaper references the Grand Tourney, but presumes understanding of what that is, and thus gives infuriatingly little information about it. Perhaps it is time to see whether I can get into one of the League buildings.

Which only leaves the question - which one to pick?

The decision was made for me, as it turns out. Many of the buildings are warded with skill - simply rendering yourself invulnerable to magic and walking through the walls is insufficient. Either the interiors simply do not exist, or the walls are ritually impassable, or they possess extra layers of spiritual protection.

One, however, was not so well protected. The League of Summoners, they are called - which should frankly have been the first clue. Excellent at summoning, not so skilled at warding.

The building was, of course, full of elementals. Tedious. This by my estimation gave me an hour of exploration before my reserves ran low - and leaving enough power to get out. Initially I kept to the walls, but it transpires that they are so good at summoning gnomes that the creatures have their own power - so this was quickly abandoned for a spiritual form. At least there were very few undead.

Interestingly, whilst the power here still feels empty (it is much easier to spot it within the spiritual power, for me at least), all of the defences remain extant. This undoes my previous theory that the hollow nature of the power was the result of entropy.

Entropic decay would not have done so in such a partial way; it is not random as people might assume. There is a logic to entropy, albeit it one we do not understand. The logic of Destruction. People have ever struggled to comprehend the complete absence of all things.

Now I am dithering.

Within the League's headquarters, I learnt a great deal more about Qadena and how it functions. I was not, it transpires, greatly wrong in my assumption that the Leagues were noble houses - they certainly fight for prestige and power in the same way as the worst noble houses do. There is no sense of balance here.

Their Great Spirit as I have mentioned is named Lacerta, and appears to be focused primarily on encouraging this sort of behaviour. The scripture I have read is entirely distinct from that of Mivala. The only thing they have in common is their degree of reverence. It is like going into Gothiel or Alguz and reading city pamphlets about the Lady of the Stars or Talthar - the same sort of focus, but with a distinct attitude.

Lacerta is claimed to be the font of all magical power within Tivoria, a fact that I find unlikely given the prevalence of magic in Mivala. That said, it is certainly true that there is a far greater presence of magic here.

For once, I am inclined not to rush. I located a number of tomes on magic, written it seems from an elemental, chromatic point of view. I think I will spend some time here with them.

Magic, it transpires, comes both easily and with great difficulty.

Power is not difficult to channel. I am used to drawing power, and I certainly believe that I have the capacity to draw magical power as well. After all, there is a great history of combining it with the realm of spirit. But it is not the same.

Hesitant as I am to admit it, my spiritual power is drawn from belief. Perhaps not in the same fashion as most. Not in the way Amerius railed against. I do not act out of devotion to a cause, but to the belief that the world came from balance and that the balance must be upkept. I draw my power from the Source, because I believe that all who draw power do so - even if they do it in the name of another, that other power comes in turn from the Source.

And thus, I am trying to draw magic from it as well. How could I not? All power comes from the Source. But that is not how magic works - not for most. Magic is drawn in a different way, not by belief but by presence. So of course, I am trying to learn magic within a dead world. A world further from the Dragons.

Which begs the question - where have the Great Spirits gone? This hollowness of power, this dead nature - the world continues to be stymied in its growth, only plantlife truly managing to grow - it must be that the Great Spirits are absent.

Perhaps they, too, were destroyed by the Word that was spoken here?

It has taken two weeks, but I have managed to cast a spell.

A trivial one, of course - I am not so foolish as to begin with anything difficult. Nonetheless it is pleasing to know that I am capable of summoning a brief flash of light if caught without a lantern.

I am considering moving soon, to find another portion of Qadena. I would like to see if there are any more Leagues that can be broken into - or perhaps more books to study from. I have managed to make it into one other League - the largest, it seems, and those last in power within Qadena.

Their histories were exceptionally enlightening regarding the history of the cities and communes - their word for the natural cities. It seems they have had wars and alliances much as you would expect of any realms. They also had some interesting texts on the development of magic through Tivorian history. Not so useful for learning, however - and the League of Summoners, my only other resource, are exceptionally focused on elementals and undead. As you would expect.

It would be useful to find a group more versatile.

One more day. Then I will move.

Located another portion of Qadena, after some difficulty. The Flash spell certainly came in useful within the darkness that the Mittlenacht creatures cast - but I was still forced to navigate with a Cloak up, of course. Perhaps learning some Ebony magic would not be a terrible idea.

However, this fragment appears to be entirely rural. I have paused for a break and some meditation, so I can hardly claim to have fully explored it - but there are trees around, mostly, with some small streams.

Perhaps a useful stepping stone to other fragments, at least.

I wrote too soon.

There is a single building here, abandoned like all of Tivoria. I believe it once belonged to a mage of considerable power. Their library, for starters, is extensive. So extensive that, I must confess, it is something past the third hour in the morning and I am only just eating. It was distracting, to say the least.

I haven’t even touched personal correspondence yet. There are a few chambers, one of which is at the heart of the building - it would be quite good, I think, for warding. Especially given the isolation of this place. If Tyler were to come here, he would expect me to be within the cities - not a comparatively small house in the middle of a forest.

I will spend some time here before moving onwards to Nadena, I think.

I made an attempt to find Nadena, but may have overstepped in my enthusiasm to utilise magic. I had hoped to make it through the Nacht with a Pass Unknown spell, but the casting of it was...exceptionally painful. I retreated.

Fortunately, I am comfortable here. The library is still proving profitable for my magical studies - I even located a book on the formation of spell incantations. A novice text, frankly, but with some interesting examples. A useful lexicon for magical verbals, if nothing else.

Rest. I will try again tomorrow.

Nadena is a colourful place. Moreso than Qadena, if that is possible - in a different way. Where Qadena is architecture and deliberate construction, Nadena is an outpouring of accident combined with necessity. There are buildings half made out of tents; one step and you are leaving a fine dining room for a bloodied fighting pit. In every street there is a different pamphlet advertising a different celebration.

No wonder they call it the Festival City.

Their Great Spirit, according to my records, is named Celesta. All of the pamphlets I have uncovered speak of a Master of Ceremonies, which is about as predictable as I have come to expect from this particular city, so my goal will be to locate their lodging. I am becoming infuriated with all of the things that I do not know - much as it is interesting to wander in an empty land, I am getting little closer to understanding what happened here.

Perhaps going straight to the head, therefore, will yield more information.


The answer is staring me right in the face. These pamphlets I collected, about the festivals - one of them is the Festival of Speaking. A fete where Celesta shall be celebrated and at the culmination, upon the full moon, “the wishes of the Great Spirit shall be honoured as we come together to speak His holy incantation” - what is that, if not a Word? A Word of Power -

A Word of Power that dozens, perhaps hundreds, perhaps thousands of people spoke?

I am going to find wherever this Master of Ceremonies lived. There must be answers there.

What even happens if you speak Words in chorus? How do you all understand, how do you - no. I will get no answers like this. To the search.

Celesta told them to speak the Word.

I found letters. They do not contain the Word, thank the Source, but they are clear enough.

Their Great Spirit told them to speak a Word of Power. But how many of them are there? Perhaps there are records somewhere, details of population. Military outposts might have them, but Nadena’s military does not appear to be a formal affair. Perhaps Bresa would - it is called the Embassy of Nature, it seems likely that it would contain information. But how am I going to manage to breathe underwater? Or Uychaira, this supposedly floating city, though I cannot fly either.

I could continue to study magic. I have managed second level spells now - with a little more work, I would be able to manage a flying spell of some kind. Or the ability to breathe underwater.

Two birds with one stone, perhaps - if I study both as I travel, then I will either find something in the remaining cities and communes, or I will eventually manage to make it to Bresa or Uychaira.

Which leaves Pheka and Ganta, and the question of whether I am more equipped to handle arctic cold or desert heat. Wonderful.

There was a good amount of clothing in Nadena, enough to put together a crude set of arctic gear. Fortunate, for Ganta is everything I had expected from reading about it.

Ganta’s Great Spirit, Raphus, is a hearth and home spirit who apparently possessed a penchant for blood magic. Not in the manner of the Dark Forest, fortunately - rather with a benevolent bent. An interesting perspective for a place spirit of a glacial land.

I have made camp...somewhere. I am uncertain where. Frankly I may resort to scrying myself into the right direction. It is cold enough that I find myself not caring.

The Gantans live - lived - in the carved insides of a giant iceberg. It is a beautiful place, full of ice sculptures and looking tremendously welcoming for somewhere such as this. Though frankly, I would find a mould-filled cave welcoming at this point. My hands feel as if they will never warm up again. I have long since given up on my toes.

Once I have recovered I will search this place properly. Fortunately it does appear to be a sizeable fragment, compared to the others. I suppose even reality has its limits; fragmenting half of the iceberg would leave a strange land indeed.

I wonder if I can manage an ignite canrtip. Or better yet, some actual fire.

I can scarcely believe this, but I must write it down, for it must be true.

The Gantans spoke a Word as well. The Word, perhaps - impossible to know without hearing it, or seeing at least one of the Prime Syllables from which it is made.

And, just as before, it was their Great Spirit who commanded it - though in a different way. No Festival of Speaking for the Gantans; instead a ritual that would ‘empower their familial bonds and strengthen their link to Raphus’.

Their shaman - Bloodweavers - appear to have organised it, along with their chieftain - the Supreme Mugwump. I would like to learn more about them, to see if they know anything of Words, but I am uncertain how long I am going to manage to stay here. I have very little capable of starting a fire, and there is only so much that the Fireblast spell can manage (though I have managed the spell itself).

However, they do keep exceptionally good records - for a tribal people. I wonder if they would have anything on population numbers.

Fifty thousand people in Mivala. Eighty-five thousand in Qadena. Sixty thousand in Nadena. Fourty-five thousand in Uychaira.

Fourty thousand in Ganta. Eighty thousand in Bresa. Sixty thousand in Pheka.

Four hundred and twenty thousand people.

And they all spoke it. Not just Nadena. Not just Ganta. All of them.

Four hundred and twenty thousand people spoke a Word of Faith. Without understanding it. Without knowing its meaning. Just by the very fact that they believed in the beings that had told them to do it. Even those that had little belief spoke it, and even they contributed.

And everyone here is gone. With no sign of battle. No sign of anything at all except the absence of people.

I think it killed them. I think it killed all of them.

Seven by seven. That isn't a coincidence.

Seven civilisations, seven by seven hundred thousand people, seven Great Spirits, seven Divine.

This isn't a coincidence. Someone did this on purpose. This was intended. All of this was intended.

Someone killed four hundred and twenty thousand people to make seven Gods.

Stop, Livana. Go back. Think about this from the beginning.

The names of Divine are a reflection of their power. As their faith grows, they gain Syllables. As Primal Deities take on their mantles, they come to comprehend the Words that make them what they are and will be.

To Ascend you must comprehend the Word that you are.

To speak a Word of Faith that creates a God is to speak the Word that they will be. Not just any word. A word crafted for this purpose that resonates with the Prime Syllables. With the Source itself.

The people of Tivoria did not comprehend the Word. Someone who spoke it must have comprehended the Word. Otherwise it would not have worked.

Who spoke the Word with them?

No - who told them to speak it.

Seven Great Spirits for Seven Gods.

But the Watcher did not understand Words of Power. They were seeking them, seeking understanding of them, needed to know what it was - how they had come to be. Something must have gone wrong. These Gods were created, but they have no idea who they are. Who they were.

So why did it go wrong?

The answer has to be in these Spirits. I need to understand them. I need to know more about them. I have seen no evidence that they were working together, colluding, but they must have been! Even when their cities and communes were at war - I am missing something, I know it.

Made it to Pheka. It is a bleak place. It reminds me greatly of Ishma, which is not a compliment to either place. Nonetheless, it has proven fruitful, and it is certainly warmer than Ganta.

Have located a religious text that speaks about somewhere called the Heart of the World. I have one Key already, I believe - from Mivala, which though it was only months ago feels like years. Have I really been here so long? The Dawn is coming soon. I wonder how Auntie is.

I wonder how Tyler is.

No - that is not a path I am going down again.


There are seven Keys to the Heart of the World, because of course there are. I just need to gather the rest of them, which will likely be in other temples. I did not find temples in all of the cities and communes, which will mean some more hunting through the Mittlenacht. Joy.

Have spent the day searching, and located only one more Key. I am exhausted. I have finally managed to cast the Pass Unknown spell successfully, but I have barely any power with which to do it. Between casting that and the traditional Cloak, even with the Word of Time I am still devoid of almost any power at all.

I travelled to Uychaira, to Bresa - those spells finally having come to me - back to Nadena and even to Mivala again incase I had missed one. Only in Uychaira did I find one, and all are of course shielded from scrying. It would be foolish to have a Key to the Heart of the World and not


Why is there only one Heart?

There should be seven, surely. Unless the Great Spirits all came from the same place. But that would make no sense - they are place spirits of a kind, I am absolutely certain of it. The power in every city, every commune, has felt the same. I cannot feel the presence of ley lines but I am certain they would be affected in the same way as the magical and spiritual power of the world.

Unless - oh no.

Everything comes from the Source. Everything was one thing before it was many.

All of the Great Spirits made the same command. Speak the same Word. They weren’t working together. They are the same being.

Think about it! All of the power in the cities and communes has the same sense of hollowness. All of the Great Spirits made identical commands - I bet if I go back and look at the pamphlets and letters and notices, they will all have the same date that the command was issued, or close enough.

This is how it went wrong.

There was one spirit - a World Spirit. One spirit that, for some reason, spoke the Word of Faith - commanded all of its followers to do the same. But it was those peoples’ faith that it used, so the things they believed in - the Great Spirits that guided them - that faith shaped what the Word became.

It doesn’t matter that the Word meant what it meant - or it does, but the Words are shaped by understand too. Understanding is the inflection of power. Using that much belief made the Word incredibly powerful but it also changed what it did. It made seven Divine when the World Spirit might only have intended one.

Four hundred and twenty thousand people were betrayed by the God they believed in, and in believing in them, they betrayed their God.

I think, more than ever, I understand Amerius’s feelings on religion.

This does not, of course, answer the ultimate questions.

One - what was the Word of Faith?

Two - how did the World Spirit come to know it?

Three - what did the World Spirit want?

The first one is clear. If the Word turned the World Spirit into the Seven Divine, then the World Spirit must have acquired more understanding of Primal Fragments. They became a true deity, so they may even have comprehended every Primal Fragment of what they would become.

At this point the Word itself becomes almost redundant - without the understanding of the Primal Fragments, it is - well, not as monumental. In all likelihood, the Primal Fragments of the World Spirit were used in the names of the Seven Divine. Perhaps that is why the Watcher of the Ages refuses to acknowledge their true name - though they must have one, as all Divine do.

And there is no fear in the Word, for speaking them again will only grant power in the way that the Throne and the exostance permit, present in that plane as the Seven Gods are. And therein, perhaps, lies the answer to the third question.

Faith is not boundless here. This plane is large, but it is not linked to Primus. It follows the rules of the exostance, but it is distant from the Throne. From the power of Primus. From the strength and the infinite nature of Faith within that plane. Only on Primus, only by having a seat of power there, can Divine truly grow.

Here the World Spirit would only fester, or remain static. On Primus it could grow. I suppose, in a manner of speaking, it did - albeit not how it might have intended.

As to the second question, to the question of how - that is what I need to know, more than anything.

It cannot be - no. I have found all of the copies, I am certain. I have destroyed all of them. None can fall into the hands of others; the only copy that remains is the one within my own mind, and I will speak the Word of Destruction before I give that up.

I will return to the house in Qadena. From there, I should be able to start locating the rest of the Keys to the Heart - and in the Heart of the World will surely be answers about the World Spirit.
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Lo-Fi Version Time is now: 22nd November 2017 - 09:55 PM
Original Darkness Skin Created by Danellis
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