Means to an end.
Collected writings of E'larith A'lasta,
Third Archmage of the Tower of Sorcere
In the city of Uln'hyrr d'lil orbb
_I felt it wise to start keeping this journal after my elevation to third mage of the tower. The last third mage was eviscerated most violently and quickly…if that fate is to be mine, then I would rather leave a legacy for the next. It seems, we will be headed to the surface soon in an effort to spread fear and doubt about the coming days and the situation with the orbs. The organisation known as the phoenix were incompetant with their guarding of such a powerful planar tool and it was a pleasure to have devised the means to steal it.
However, I silently doubt the matron's wisdom in insisting that I head to the surface with the assembled group. I understand that it is the priestess's rite of passage to the surface and that she is required to kill at least two surfacers. I am not a gods damned babysitter, reagrdless of how the matron feels. I have to go, regardless...the punishment for disobediance is unthinkable.
At least Xer'Xes and his troop are going. I trust his abilities and he is faithful to the priestess. He is a poor deluded fool, but he truely believes in her wisdom. He shall be useful.
To ensure my safety, I have brought a few trinkets from the arcane stores in the hopes they will ensure my survival on the surface. With luck, they will not be needed.
I have been summoned. It is time to go._
_I scribe this entry from the relative safety of my own tower far beneith the earth and safely out of harms way from any surfacer reprisals. this tenday has been an interesting one.
It would seem that someone plans to replace me as the adept of the surfacer raiding group.
How dare they. I command the respect of the tower of Sorcere, regardless if this 'replacement' is female or not…Women have no place learning the art in the first place....they should all be content with sucking up to their bitch queen. It was only fortune that I was able to learn of the group departing and heading for the surface, Doubly so that I managed to catch up with the group itself in time for them setting out towards the surface.
Xer'Xes was with this group at least, so if needs must, I will have a reliable and reasonably trustworthy figure if I am forced to kill this usurper.
It would seem that this woman wished another female caught, a surfacer paladin by the name of Natanya. Why? I haven't the faintest...paladins are an awkward and generally very obstinate bunch....what information did she hope to gain from such a staunch 'pure' figure? Regardless, we set out and saw her captured in short order.
The mistress had joined us as we were dragging our prize back into the depths of the darkness. For once, I was utterly glad to see her and be rid of that other so called mage. I was given the pleasure of extracting information from our captive after we had reached the temple recently retaken.
She was remarkibly resiliant to pain, her cries were quite intoxifiying, along with the silky soft feeling of her breasts. It is quite a shame that we did not have the time to drag her back to the tower...I think I would have enjoyed further...questioning.
I doubt she will forget our meeting anytime soon. With luck, the surfacers got to her in time, I'm looking forward to further torment.
Quite bemusing...I don't usually find any joy in the torture of others.
On an amusing note, we didn't actually learn anything from the surfacer whore.
Oh well. Next time._
…but hate the murderer.
_Another night, another raid. I swear this is the longest I have spent on the surface in many a night so far. Our goal was a simple one…cause casualties and spread terror. I do believe we succeeded very well this time.
Originally a scout and myself went out alone when the cover of darkness had fallen to weigh up our options. Amusingly enough, the surfacers were right on the road, gathered around some kind of rock and they were just talking. It was not long before they came after the hobgoblins and then by proxy, us. I was not leaving unblooded.
The first spell downed three, or four of them I think...incinerated before they even realised they had been attacked...more followed in the chaos of the battle when we retreated back slowly and fought on our own terms. Between the combination of traps and a careful use of spells, we almost killed three more, including a mage! damn. His scrolls would have been useful...or even just his equipment. My scout and I were about ready to leave when the priestess deigned to grace us with her presence. She may be the subject of alot of my frustration...but she also carries power with her and this impresses me somewhat.
With the two of us working together, we were able to bloody the surfacer noses and fall back to the cavern without any losses this time, although it was close in some cases. Those gods-cursed humans breed faster than common vermin.
On the way back to our small base under the caverns of jiyyd, I noticed a set of tunnels that ran deeper into the ground...with her "royal highness's" permission, I went and found an alternate route up to that pitiful town. As if I needed permission anyway...the two bit slaves I am being forced to work with seem barely competant.
We are staging a diversion with a force of drider on the main gate, then we will attack from this new passage.
Perhaps it will remove two irritations at once._
**The Next Night…** _Well.. That was all too disturbingly close for comfort. Our plan backfired somewhat, it appeared that a group of humans in blue and gold anticipated our feint and were waiting for us when we climbed up the well to meet them in battle. This led to a rather long chase and desperate measures on my part. We were all separated as the battle begun, factoring in the fact that they are using countering magics for invisibility. These humans are getting smart at least. Impressive. Our scout died during this particular outing to an unfortunate grouping of surfacers. I find it unfortunate this group appeared before we were due to attack the town…without them, they just might have been all slain and we could have occupied the town itself until we had no further use for it. That Eldalie nek was very nearly also slain too....if I hadn't accidently disrupted the control I had upon her, she would have fallen. No Matter she will die eventually. It is time to recover however...the priestess and myself were both very nearly slain during this attack....we should head back and report to the city on our findings and results. Our losses to kills ratio has been impressive during this and it has only served to slice the chaff from the wheat, so to speak._
Love the Murder…
_As I sit in this dank cave, I felt it suitable to reflect on my experiences and record what we learned this night. Reverie is but a few hours out and this will do fine.
The priestess was nowhere in sight when our first raid began. I took command of the group and they realised it. Dark ones below, what a beautiful and intoxicating feeling it was having people under my command….my directive.
It was not unproductive however. I learned quite a fair amount of information about the defenses, numbers and how quickly they respond to attacks on the roads. Adventurers...not worth the magika to break them.
The cost was fairly high, however I did sight that halfling and disabled him. The scout took his ear before he was killed....a shame he didn't deliver it to me before he did.
My...yes, MY blood pack has seen action and two weaklings have been culled from our ranks. The priestess didn't deign to show her presence until w- well, I had survived the first sortie against the town of Jiyyd....while predictable and far more plentiful than the common virus, these surfacers do have a respectable amount of power. Both of my scouts now lay dead in the mud likely.....those vultures probably took everything off their backs too.
While completely lacking in punctuality, the priestess did bring me more willing shields to command. How thoughtful of her, perhaps I have misjudged her as just another lackey. We are going back out in the evening of this day...she had orders for us to spread hatred and terror...suits me just fine.
Also, while I have plenty of components, I am starting to run out of scrolls...the first raid proved intensive on my stockpiles, costing a very powerful scroll to beat back advancing enemies.
Consider this a reminder to murder some mages next time._
_After several months now? the matron feels that it is time to visit the surface once more and wreak havoc now that the orb itself is being studied and it's powers unlocked. I am, however, being sent with a unblooded hunting party yet again, with untested abilities….why?
I do not care if she is the matron's daughter, this is getting ridiculous. I am an ARCHMAGE and I deserve the respect that comes with that title. Trust my luck to be raised in a matriarchal society instead of another, better suited to my talents and abilities. Sigh.
I had best gather my things and join up with the blood pack.
I swear though, if this new priestess irritates me in any way, she'll find herself dying to an over large group of so called heroes without any support.
I should curb these heretical thoughts. They will not help us._
_Well, it seems we have been recalled to Uln'hyrr d'lil orbb for a time and our revenge upon the halfling known as Gonnar will have to wait. Oddly enough I don't think anyone was slain, though we definatly returned with a fair few number of ears. While I was enjoying my time on the surface, it is time to return to the tower for a while until my presence is demanded yet again.
One day, the matron is going to find herself with a dagger through her spine. I lament the day that happens.
It seems however, the Tower of Sorcere has an assignment for myself and a few others regarding the collection of some powerful scrolls and the like. The Surface will have to wait for the time being, though, I will return.
That I swear, the surface will cower at our passing once more._
_Our first appearance on the surface in quite a while and I have to say that it went fairly successful. That hole in the ground, Oscura was either receptive to us or they had no idea who we were….Given reports about the town, I am inclined to think either they didn't care or they couldn't harm us.
Regardless, we met with a surfacer who seemed eager to appease us and agreed to bring us information. I did mull over the idea of garotting her and let Xer'Xes entertain himself with the husk of her body...but...the priestess decided otherwise. I should think we will be catching that one soon. She seemed slippery and all too ready to doublecross for survival. I like that trait in a woman.
We headed for the surface after that, where we ran into an elf and I do believe we managed to provoke a feeling of fear...he seemed all too intent on getting away from us, not really knowing who or what we were. Having such a power over people is intoxifying.
The hunt is also on for a halfling who dared insult and attack us. We have searched, but so far, we have come up fruitless. He cannot escape the wrath of the dark ones. No mortal can.
He will wish he had not crossed us when I get ahold of him._
**The following night.** _Once again, we are back on the surface and seeking out information regarding the orbs. We started with the hovel known as Jiyyd. It was not long before we ran into a large band of so called adventurers and we begun questioning them. Predictably enough, they refused to answer any questions we had on the orbs, it's location and if they even knew what they were….it was not long before more joined their group and threatened us with brute force, should we not leave. One surfacer even managed to counter my incantations, I would be impressed, if it hadn't annoyed me beyond belief. We eventually withdrew, when the priestess realised that nothing could be gained from these cowering dogs....they were too stubborn to aid us and too afraid to attack, pitiful and predictable. Lo and behold, a small group followed and tried to test our resolve! We were however prepared for such a tactic and gave them a sound defeat. Afterwards, We took the right ear of everyone we had defeated as trophies and as a warning to those who would oppose the drow. There was one particular elven priest that escaped his rightful decapitation. Next time. These ears shall be most useful in creating curses and venoms to affect them solely. These adventurers must breed like rabbits because they sent another group after us, to my bemusement. They repeated themselves over and over, yet they did not follow through on their threats. We left after it became clear they did not have the courage to challenge us...these surfacers are such fun to toy with, that I think I may enjoy my time on the surface. The hunt for that hin continues._