The thirst, the thirst was always the driving force behind my experiments and ambitions, if was what drove me and was in the end my downfall; it led me to my greatest achievement and also to my fate, the worst fate imaginable for a knowledge seeker, forgetfulness.
You may be wondering of what thirst I’m talking about, well it’s the thirst specific to every human, and great scholar, the thirst for knowledge, that thirst for things new, the curiosity that drives every human. That impulse that drives you to keep on searching, to keep looking for more and more answers for all the great questions in life and solves it’s every mystery. In my case this desire could not be slated, no matter how many textbooks, tomes of arcane spells or lore, or even long forgotten scripts I studied.
Oh, there I go rambling on again, I even forgotten to introduce myself, Aemos Ezekyel Aximand, is my name; lore seeker and knowledge gatherer and preserver; and this is my story.
Before joining the towers my life wasn’t very spectacular, the son of elven eternal blade soldier and an apothecary I received a human name after a soldier who had saved both of my parents life during a war, but unfortunately gave his life; so my parents named me after him as homage, to the man without who’s help they wouldn’t have had the chance to meet and raise a family. I can’t say that my parents were great wizards or knowledge seekers, my mother used to read a lot of books and I guess it was due to her teaching me to read and nurturing my love for knowledge that brought me along this path, if it was after my father’s wishes I would have become another faceless soldier that would have died on the field of battle in someone else’s quest for glory or foolish cause. As a small child I showed some magical abilities, and a thirst for learning and collecting all sorts of lore, during one of my birthdays my mother and father using their connections managed to get me a book about magic, a simple thing really, now that I think about it, a book of minor cantrips, that I quickly mastered. They gave it to me initially as an sign of affection, and to appeal to my curiosity and love of learning, never expecting me to actually master any of the spells in it, but seeing I had actually a lot of talent, my father used all his connections to enlist me in the tower of mages as an apprentice. That was how it all started, from one small book, as soon as I joined the tower I started to burry myself in books, some very obscure, mostly forgotten by everyone. Some I got access from my teachers to read, as a reward for my quick progress and abilities, some that I managed to sneak out of the library and study in my room. I started working in the library, as an assistant at fist, as a way to get access to some of the rarer tomes. During my time spent in the library I came across some exotic books some buried so deep in the sections of the library that most had forgotten about them. As I studied them I soon realized why, some contained rituals and incantations that summoned creatures from the outer planes and described ways to bind them and bargain with them in exchange for some powers, other contained more exotic spells, that were either obsolete, or long forgotten research notes of long dead wizards, for most wizards they were either to dangerous or to useless and were left to be forgotten in the library, but for me this were valuable pieces of insight into the arcane. At first as a young apprentice I was afraid to actually bind an outsider, so I was content to just study them and learn what they had to offer. I continued to split my time between studying to finish my training, becoming a full fledged mage, and starting to experiment with the research notes I found.
After I finished the apprenticeship I dedicated all my time and efforts into studying all the more restriced books and tomes that becoming a mage provided access to, I started to document and catalogue everything in the library, it was like a home to me. But after I studied everyting I had access to, I still wasn’t able to quench my thirst so I turned to the rituals I learned in order to learn more. At first I summoned lesser denizens of the outer planes that I was sure I could control, later as I grew more confident on my abilities and knowledge I began summoning more and more powerful entities, the insight I gained from the lesser ones proved critical in my attempts at negotiating with them. As I summoned different denizens to learn what I could from them, I meet Quiqkos, the knowledge and secrets he possessed made everything I thought I knew and learned so far seem like nothing. Oh the things I learned from him. He was reluctant at first to share anything with me, mainly because I seemed like a child dabbling into things far beyond his capacity to understand, but as time passed he started to realize my potential, and that I was more open minded than most of the mortals he had encountered until now, and saw my thirst for knowledge was far greater than that of any one he had encountered until me. He started teaching me at first simple things, how to improve the spells I knew, to improve my binding techniques and the pacts I made with other denizens, and how to use the power of the pacts to empower my own arcane powers, he even thought me how to make my spells transcend time and space. I would spend time discussing with the all sorts of subjects from every area imaginable, and he seemed to enjoy my company, soon enough he became one of my closest friends and advisors, his help and insight proving to be invaluable in my efforts.
As time passed I quickly raised through the towers ranks, unwillingly at first, but starting to see benefits that my new ranks offered me I started to put some effort into speeding the process. Mostly because of the knowledge I possessed, the skill and social graces I had, I eventualy became the personal adviser of the towers archmage. One of the main benefits of this role was the access to part of his private library, where he kept the towers most valuable and forbidden tomes and scrolls, that only he and his inner circle had access to. The archmage was getting older, and was soon approaching his final days, and asked me to take over as archmage of the tower, I was honored and interested by his offer. This new rank would grant me access to all the towers resources and knowledge, without being hindered or having to explain anything to anyone, but I soon remembered the constant distractions he was subject to, having to attend all those meetings with the other tower archmages, taking care of the towers every need, being constantly busy. So I politely declined the offer, seeing as it would distract me from my studies. With my position as personal adviser to the archmage I started researching scripts and tablets recovered from various dig sites and started sending my apprentices to uncover more from other that I learned by deciphering the artifacts uncovered. After the archmage passed away his newly appointed succesor seemed overwhelmed by the responsabilities he now had, but with my help he started to settle into the role of the towers new archmage. Once again because of my knowledge and experience, I proved invaluable for him, and as a token of gratitude he considered me his equal and offered me a time shard for my research. With Quiqkos’s help I managed improve the spell that isolated the tower in case of an attack.
Since the war started I became more and more aware of my own mortality, even though I’ve been spared from participating in the war, mostly because of the importance of my research, and the help I provided by teaching mages that fought in the war more and more devastating spells. I still was confronted by the horrors of war, seeing many mages and apprentices fall, and even some of my students, such a waste, some had a lot of potential, but seeking fame and glory declined my offer to help them stay and aid my research and took part in the war. Aware of my mortality I began searching for ways of preserving my body and mind, the way they were, my experiments mainly focused on time manipulation, again Quiqkos proved critical in this experiments, as I learned from him besides being a keeper on knowledge, he had the ability to transcend time and space, at what extent he refused to tell me even after all this time, but with his help and the time shard I had in my possession I began researching a ritual that might offer me the immortality I sought, even by being an elf I could not hope to live forever, and as time passed I started to fear the ravages of old age.
During my experiments for immortality, I learned of an experiment conducted in a neighboring tower that aimed to bind a soul into a mechanical body, such an experiment if successful might provide an alternate solution, if my own experiments don’t yield the desired results. I send one of my most promising students, a young binder, oh what has her name, I keep forgetting, not so long ago I was barely a young student myself and now I have so many helpers and apprentices and I can’t even remember everyone’s name, how time passes. I sent her to that tower to provide whatever assistance that artificer conducting the experiment might require; I have no doubt that she will prove invaluable for his experiment. As a token of appreciation for the young apprentice I sent to him, he sent me a small pocket watch, one of his new mechanical contraptions, along with a letter of thanks, as I suspected my student had played an essential role in his successes.
I decided on a new approach on my own experiments, seeing just a simple arcane ritual won’t achieve the desired results, I turned to the time shards for some answers, if I can harness the power contained in them and somehow manage to apply the effects of the temporal stasis field on my body, essentially freezing my aging process, or somehow allowing me to exist in 2 time frames at once, in one time would stand still or pass at a much slower rate, virtually halting the ravages of time on my body, while still being able to interact and exist in the current time frame. If this experiment succeeds not only will it represent the pinnacle of my long years of research and studies.
Studies on the shard aren’t going as well as I hoped, distractions keep appearing, ever increasing war matters, keep me away from the experiment, it appears that more and more towers are getting attacked, and are forced to use the temporal stasis, to save themselves from falling, from what I hear from the soldiers and mages on the field, the attackers are closing in on our tower. I hope I can complete the experiment before we are under attack, using the temporal stasis is still very risky and its effects are still unpredictable, especially if the spell is not properly cast, granted it’s not as risky as before, when the duration and the effects of the field where unpredictable and the duration was completely random, even with my improvements to the spell, if not activated properly and the ritual rushed it can still prove dangerous.
Seeing as the war draws closer every day I started making preparations in order to save my work, everything I have collected so far and the lives of my students, I case my experiment fails and I die, or when the tower falls, I still wanted to leave something behind, so with Quiqkos’s help, and a secondary time shard I have managed to create a extra planar sanctuary. I named it the librarium eternus, a vast library constructed in an extra planar space, where I sent all my students and materials to be safeguarded. I saw this as an solution that every knowledge seeker should employ eventually, create a pocket plane where only those who know the correct ritual can access, and where he would store his most valuable tomes, in my case I wanted to create a legacy. I wanted to create a safe haven for anyone seeking knowledge, enlightenment, and freedom of thought. Initially I thought of creating the tower just for myself and my students, but faced with the possibility that I might die and not be able to oversee the evolution of the tower I had instructed my students to start expanding the librarium on their own, to carry on my legacy. I told them that if I’m gone to start recruiting promising new members that shared their desire for knowledge, and to provide them with a place where they could expand they knowledge uninhibited by simple concepts such as ethics, simplistic views on what should be studied and what not, a place where they can learn anything and everything without fear of censorship. The rules I gave to my students where simple, the librarium is open for any type of knowledge and welcomes anyone who can help expand its repository, regardless of their history or philosophy, the only thing it asks in return is that they don’t do anything that might affect the librarium or its members. Its role was to be a safe haven for any knowledge seeker, and provide access to as many types of knowledge possible, it’s existence was to be kept secret from any one that did not share this passion for learning, or might be a danger for it.
With the fact that even should I fail I would still leave something behind me I continued my experiment with renewed purpose, until it finally happened, the tower was under attack, the bad part was that due to the volatile nature and complexity of my experiment I wasn’t able to move it to the pocket plane, out of fear of how the two time shards would interact. Such a huge mistake I made in rushing my experiment, I was getting desperate, abandoning the tower could mean losing all the progress I made with the experiment, and it was not a risk I was ready to take, so with the help of Quiqkos I hoped to complete the experiment and retreat to the librarium before the tower falls. So as the tower was under attack I decided to start the experiment, consequences be damned…oh what a huge mistake I made.
As Aemos began the experiment, so did the archmage of the tower begin his out of fear that the tower would fall prey to its attackers. At first Aemos’s experiment was going well, the ritual was starting to have the desired effect, but then suddenly the tower’s protective stasis field activated and interacted with the experiment. The effect of the two rituals interacting with each other was ripping open a rift in times and realities causing Aemos to fall in it, and was thrown randomly between times and different realities. At first the jumps where very short and erratic, sometimes the jumps in an reality would last for a few seconds allowing him to actually take in his new surroundings, rather than experiencing a blur of images and sensations. The horrors and wonders he witnessed, he saw worlds burning, vicious battler where people would be torn apart, serene surroundings and sometimes he witnessed in a few precious seconds the life on a civilization, watching the passing of several decades for that civilization in a few seconds. He traveled between planes, going to all the levels of Celestia, Hell and the Abys, he visited for a few seconds Mechanus, he visited the astral plane, the plane of shadows, where for some unknown reason he lingered for a few minutes, he even visited a lot of planes unknown to anyone. Suddenly the jumping had stopped, he waited for the next jump, but nothing happened, he was suspended in total darkness, weightless, able only to feel strong arcane currents flowing trough and around him, suddenly he heard laughter, distant at first, but it got louder and louder, a strange deep and outwardly voice laughed and started talking to him. The entity spoke to him of the irony, that after other gods tried to imprison it in a realm where not even its other half could reach it, a poor lowly mortal managed to reach it, fate had a strange way of making things happened, and smiled as it told him that it would bestow a great honor upon him, it could sense his thirst for knowledge and power, and as a reward for finding it and breaking it’s monotonous imprisonment would bestow a small gift on to him, for giving it hope that it would be soon be reunited with its other half and bring an end to the age of civilized people. Aemos felt a sharp pain filling his being, and then he was thrown back into the chaotic serios of jumps, this time they were more intense, and took him to more and more dark places in an attempt to break his fleeting sanity.
The series of events he witnessed during this new series of jumps eventually drove him insane, whether it was fate or just dumb luck, he came across Quiqkos in some of his jumps. Quiqkos at first didn’t recognize his friend, but the outsider had a very special ability, he could exist in multiple places at once, and share a single consciousness with all his copies. Eventually he managed to stop Aemos from his jumps, but how horrified to see the state of his friend, barely resembling the man he knew, and was puzzled by the strange tattoos that had appeared on his friends eyes, they weren’t part of any ritual, spell or culture he knew. Trying to help his friend he started to absorb the residual energy from the ritual, to stop him from jumping, and entered his mind to purge the memories of the jumps and restore some of Aemos’s sanity, but as he started working an isolating the most intense memories he heard a laughter, and a dark voice patronizing his attempt, asking him where was the fun in restoring this pitiful mage to his former powers, and that it had much more grander plans for him. Then the two entities fought Quiqkos to save his friend, and the other entity tried to consume Quiqkos and his power, seeing he was facing a far more vicious and powerful opponent Quiqkos, used the energy he gathered so far from the ritual to save himself by jumping into a new reality and hoping to take a vast part of the dark entity with him where he could quickly dispatch the wounded and stunned foe. Quiqkos attempt at salvation both his own and his friends hadn’t been in vain, during the time he spent fixing his friends memories he did manage to restore his salinity, but the abrupt ending of his attempt had drained a lot of Aemos’s power and forced him to make one last jump into the unknown, he eventually woke up in an field outside of a town at night, standing up he tried to remember what happened.
“Who, who am I, how did I get here, damn my head hurts, wait, I , I remember a name, yes Aemon, Aemand, Aemos, yes Aemos, Aemos Ezkyel Aximand, yes I think it’s mine, but who am I, I seem to remember some sort of chant and ritual, but, ahhh, it hurts to try and remember more, I think, I am a wizards, yes definitely, I recall some spells, but ahh, damn why can’t I seem be recalling more about my identity.”
Eventually I searched my belongings and found a few books, I found a small book of spells that I used for my travels, a small fraction of the ones I used to have, but I helped me to make more sense of who I was and what had happened to me. I eventually remembered some lesser binding rituals, and bound a outsider named Naberious, I remembered that he valued knowledge and hoped, rather foolishly, that he might have some answers for me, unfortunately , he didn’t so I made a pact with him, hoping that his abilities might prove useful and dragged my robes cowl over my head and made my way into town and find a tavern, where I could rest and gather my senses. I stumbled into the first tavern I saw and sat at a table, not paying much attention to what happened around me, I did see a couple of red headed humans, at least I think they where humans, drinking and making a lot of noise, aggravating my head ache, and a rather odd fellow with a strange sword on his back, I could sense magic radiating from it, strong magic, this three people did stand out from the rest of the crowd and caught my attention, but I quickly dismissed them and returned to searching my belongings and trying to make more sense of who I was, in a warmer and more cozier environment than an open field in the middle of nowhere. Oh but again what I fool I was to dismiss those three so quickly, never expecting what fate had prepared for us, the things that followed were completely unexpected.