Tivadar's Return, Version 2 (Elrohir)

Beyond Dominia: The Role Playing Mill: Tivadar's Return, Version 2 (Elrohir)

By Sir Tivadar on Tuesday, October 17, 2000 - 12:21 am:

I spoke with Tiv concerning his story, since what he's in ties directly to where my other stories are leading, and came up with something that benefits both of us. A couple tweaks later... (that means I modified it from the other version you saw, Tiv, check it out!)


Tivadar's Return

February 3, 793 - Talismanian Reckoning

Tivadar and Sunset, along with a small group of soldiers and wizards from Oor-Tael, crept down into the Valley of Thorn. Ahead of them, the massive Alabaster Monolith basked in the bright light of the harsh, fading sun. It was the White Bastion created by Tara, spiking out of the vast basin and devastating the town of Thorn that had once been situated there. It had been Tivadar's ancestral home, where he had grown and lived for years before venturing out into the world.

But now it was a tragic homecoming. What buildings still stood were shattered and decayed, doors hung from broken hinges, and windows splintered along the cobblestone roads of the town proper. The defensible walls and iron gate that ringed the perimeter of the borderland settlement west of the Oor-Taelian mountains were but crumbling stone, no longer the strong means of protection that once defended from all the dangers of the Badlands.

Wind, harsh and tearing, slurried through the valley, whispering and coaxing, telling its own version of the tale of woe. Air grew crisp and bitter, its temperature dropping even as the party decended the bowl of the valley.

Tivadar was a tall, proud knight, steeped in the honorable traditions of his forebears, and had struck up an alliance with the similarly proud and powerful House of Oor-Tael in his wanderings. When he learned that his homeland had been devastated by the appearance of a strange tower, an expedition was quickly mounted and set loose to investigate. He wanted to take no chances.

Master Sunset, one of the senior wizards of Oor-Tael, second only to the mighty Gandalf Stormcrow himself, chose to accompany the knight. He was an official representative of the House, which had provided equipment and aid to Tivadar, who was believed to be the last survivor of the Knights of Thorn. The group had traveled nearly a month through the treacherous Oor-Taelian Mountains, across the Continental Divide and into the closest reaches of the untamed Badlands, where the Valley of Thorn lay.

As they entered the town of Thorn, they found no signs that anyone lived there any longer. Twilight began to descend, threatening the group with the absolute darkness of a moonless night. But the spike of the towering monolith began softly to glow a faint white sheen that bathed the land with a dull patina of illumination.

Tears crept to Tivadar's eyes as he saw the wasteland that had once been his home disappear into shades of devastation. Out of curiosity or revenge, and because there was little else to explore, he took the group to the base of the monolith, where its illumination was greatest. There, he planned to unravel its strange puzzle.

There, the few wizards fanned out around the massive girth, each accompanied by two warriors. All were tasked with deciphering the strange runes that were found around the base and sides of the monolith, but few had any idea what language it was written in. Master Sunset himself found it greatly difficult, even as he knew more than the rest. Tivadar alone accompanied the mage, and they worked their way far from the others.

On the furthest side of the monolith from the point of their arrival, the runes suddenly arose from the ground and formed an arch, and they found a more readily comprehensible language. Sunset began to mutter, giving voice to words that hadn't been spoken in numerous centuries. Soon, the runes brightened with a sickly green aura, and an entrance formed between them, a wavering portal that reflected the light of the monolith.

For a moment, Tivadar hesitated. He had never been too comfortable around those with mystic powers, but the towering monolith, whatever its purpose, was far outside his range of experience. Yet he owed a debt to his order and his family, for his honor would remain ever after challenged if he stepped down from the responsibility he now shouldered.

Both men looked at each other, neither speaking a word. Loosening the sword at his side, Tivadar stepped through the portal and it vanished just as Master Sunset was about to follow through after him. Around the base of the monolith, all the runes, which were deeply etched into the material, faded and disappeared.

Each wizard was startled by their sudden dissolution and began to shout out. Sunset answered them, calling all to his position. They came swiftly from both sides around the breadth of the monolith and he told them of what had happened. The glow of the monolith began to fade until it left them in deepest darkness.


Swirling, choking mist engulfed Tivadar as he pressed forward in pure darkness. Ahead of him was a faint glow; he couldn't discern the source. Yet the glow did nothing to brighten the surroundings closest to him. His mind was muddied with confusion, and he had already forgotten those who had accompanied him to the valley.

As he drew closer, he could tell that it was a tome of some kind, leatherbound and generally nondescript. Its glow began to pulse, and the whispers came.

"Peril! Flee! Go now, Sir Tivadar...You are not welcome here!" But he barely heard them. Tivadar's senses screamed at him to run back from whence he came, but no longer did he know where that was or how to get there. All that was there for him was the book, and even as the voices pleaded with him to flee, others called to him, beckoning him ever closer.

"Touch us feel us awaken us. Here, here... here!" Pulses of light came at the sound of each word, and each word came in the voices of his family, their fate he could not determine. He laid a hand upon the tome, and it screamed. Images of other times flooded his head, a past of devastation, a present of uncertainty, a future...of doom? Tivadar screamed aloud at what he saw, friends and loved ones dying, and even his own dishonorable acts. The tome demanded purity of heart and soul, and it was purging him of his mideeds.

The space of a second, the whole of eternity. It was too much even for the Perfect Being to behold, and Tivadar was as flawed as the rest of humanity. But the test was over; he had survived. Peeling back the cover, the torrent of voices increased, overwhelming him with their volume, for no longer did they just whisper. They screamed and bellowed, trumpeting and calling, voices at once both hollow and empty, yet deep and throaty. Shrieks and screams of hatred and jealousy intermingled, filling Tivadar's head and driving him to the ground with their sheer ferocity.

He cringed for a moment, but all ended in the space of that moment, and he was alone once again with the tome. The vacuum of silence hurt him as much as the raging torrent a moment prior. But the tome was now open, and he began to read.


The expedition heard the shrieks begin, and armed themselves the best they could. The monolith burst forth illumination brighter than a thousand suns, blinding them instantly and turning night to the height of day and more. Its intensity bleached away the colors of nature, leaving only black and white, object and shadow, devoid of tint or hue.

Wind whipped around, sending cloaks flying. Strange, vaporous forms filled the air, slow at first, but more and more in a quickening crescendo, hundreds upon thousands choking the sky. All watched in fascination, but Sunset was more than a little concerned at the coruscating display. Concern turned to dread when the first mage was viciously torn apart in front of them. The forms went closer, shredding and rending, sending blood flying everywhere. A hiss filled the air, and they turned for another victim, who just as quickly vanished in a red mist.

Sunset fled, but not before the beings got their hands into him as well. Their icy grip told of hell and worse, urging him to slow. He knew it was a trick of theirs, and turned his magic upon them, to find that it had no effect whatsoever. The other soldiers too, turned their weapons but died just as easily at the ground of their immortal assailants.

These Wraith-kin were daggers in Sunset's mind as well as his body, but he was of Oor-Tael, a Master of the mind. The Wraith-kin seeped deeper, and he found it in the furthest recesses of his mind. There he bound it, subtly stopping its onslaught. He found no weakness in the thing. Sunset ran on with superhuman stamina, scrambling free of that valley of death, the Valley of Thorn. A day he waited for anyone to escape, but none came, and he left. His wounds were healed by the time he reached Oor-Tael once more, and he kept the Wraith-kin in his mind knowingly, seeking to learn more of this strange enemy. Unknowingly, he now carried a disease, for the Wraithkin had let him escape...


But Tivadar was aware of none of this. He read from the tome, from start to finish, gaining knowledge that taught his soul more than it did his mind. It was knowledge of purity, and the tome itself was the White Bastion set forth by Tara, not the Alabaster Monolith, which was just a home for its power. Still, he could not understand why such devastation had been done to Thorn.

From the misty shadows, encroaching darkness encircled him. An insane cackle, a hideous shade of things long past..Fuer Grisse ost Drauka...The Bringer of Death. It spoke to him in his mind, and not his ear. Tivadar watched, amazed at its communication, for it was much like two beings rather than one, two faces and two bodies, perfectly translucent, that merged and shifted, and he couldn't tell one from the other. Two mouths spoke, but no words, no sound, issued forth but that strange cackle.

He shivered as it encircled him, but did not touch him. It never drew within arm's length. Tivadar was not afraid; he had faced spirits before. But something about the shade, locked in this bastion of purity, seemed wildly out of kilter.

{We are glad you have come, Sssir Tivadar of Thorn...Yesss, very glad indeed...} it hissed. {The Wraith-kin are free... now!} It...smiled wickedly. {Gandalf, my most mercilesssss foe, you pitiful fool...I will have my revenge for what you have done to me! All that you have loved about thisss world will be ssstolen from you pieccce by pieccce...}

The creature spoke not to him, but to Gandalf. Before Tivadar could think to speak, to question why Gandalf's evil twinned shade was here, the jagged piercing of his mind had begun, and he was lost to dazzling light and the solitude of following darkness.

*** One Year Later ***

February 12, 794 - Talismanian Reckoning

Tivadar entered the gates of Thorn limping, tears streaming down his face at the sight of his beloved home in ruins. Only crumbling stone remained of the once proud gates that had encircled the town. He went into the town square, noting that doors had been blown off hinges, revealing holes of darkness where once life had dwelt in relative peace.

The once-proud knight was now a stooped, aged man, limping from injuries sustained elsewhere, barely prepared to fight, more than eager to die. The burden of knowledge he carried tormented him daily as he had wandered the Badlands for an entire year before coming once more to his homeland.

A tall Alabaster Monolith, basking in the bright light of the harsh sun...The prospects of Discovery and untold Power...Runes traced, the portal opens...

The towering monolith was still there, jutting forth luminously and purely. Instead of gazing and marvelling at its simple beauty, he could only look upon it with horror and revulsion. He turned to that house that had once been his just to avoid looking at the monolith, and he entered his empty home.

A man walks cautiously into the Monolith, and enters a large room...In the centre of the room lies a large Tome... (How did it get here? What is this place?) The tall proud Knight walks over to the book...It opens... Nothing will ever be the same again...

Tivadar gasped and fell to ground with despair. His wife and two children were forever frozen, held in a caricature of life despite the severe burns that would not allow life to continue. They were still, all three of them aged, with flowing white hair grown long and eyes still wide with shock. Why had he not come here before? He could stand the loss no longer, knowing that he, somehow, had been the cause, and not the monolith. He fled the Valley of Thorn, never to return again.

By Sir Tivadar on Wednesday, October 18, 2000 - 04:40 pm:

Its cool with me.


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