|Title of leader||Keeper|
|Member races||Elves, Dwarves, Humans, Demons|
The Keepers are a small, mysterious, cross-cultural and multiracial faction founded by Mairn Villabo sometime after the birth of Zeranafska in the Third Age and which has existed for centuries. Nymgrock Sigiln discovered the text about the Keepers while browsing through Alent's libraries in 1017 AE in search of information about the Blood Fever.
The Origination of The KeepersEdit
- In the pursuit of sound,
- one finds the strange source
- of it all to be alive,
- ...or at least sentient.
At the end of a man's life, he reflects on what he has learned. I paid a terrible price, and for this, I am damned. However, Successor, I must pass this burden along to another, the terrible Burden of Knowledge.
I hope that as you read this, you do so with wisdom and not corruption; for the corrupt will destroy these words, and with it, any hope for a future worth fighting for. I provide for you, the origination of The Keepers - six wise ones who will keep Knowledge of The Syndicate.
Understand, as you read, that you will take over this legacy. Successor, bearer of my burden, I apologize.
I spent my days tracking down the Dark Sage that seemed to coincide with the Blood Fever. My travels took me all over the great world, but it took a strange turn in Tel'Elee. I learned of them, the secret order of elves located deep in the jungles of Khrima.
It took weeks to understand the way the jungle's winding path went about, but when I found them, I was in awe. Such was the magnitude of their temples, and their buildings. It rivaled anything I had ever seen. And they had a control over the plants themselves, as though, without effort, they spoke with them. Far greater was their connection to the wood than any other order of elves I have ever witnessed.
The Syndicate, as they called themselves, had far outpaced any school of magic that I'd witnessed. Such was their willingness to embrace all forms of magic. Necromancy, Blood, Curses--all of it was completely open to be used. They were shocked to have an outsider in their midst, least of all, one that had come from the Thylus Kingdom. But this, this is where I found him. He was one of them, and his name, that dreaded name I dare not, cannot speak, or write, or even hear - that name attached with it the curse of knowing dread.
They were curious as to why I had come, and that dark one, dare I even call him elven, took special interest. I explained, in vague details, my journey for an answer to a plague that arose periodically. At the time, I did not realize how connected he was, but he asked much of me, and I divulged all I knew in time. He was cunning, clever, and that smile he gave.
Everything about this order was unusual--their strange insistence on autonomy, and that so long as their experiments did not undermine the order, harm anyone in the order, or depress their security measures, then anything was fair. The outside world was so big and so large, a city razed here and there did not matter. Their philosophy was troubling, but also rational. They were an order that practiced pragmatism above all else.
The Dark Sage had a child he had taken from our woods. A halfling son who referred to him as Teacher. Later, I would learn that he was the boy who was bore from the woman infected with the dreaded Fever in Thylus Kingdom. The sage came back for the boy and made him into his protege. I still am frightened when I think of those cold blank eyes cutting into the eyes of crows so gingerly. Children should not be exposed to such dark arts.
I learned that this Syndicate had other tricks. It wasn't just that they were great researchers of magic; it was more than that: they understood its nature. If ever I had been so eerily startled, it was when the one they called 'Elder' told me that they desired to create a magic incarnate, more than just an elemental, but an incarnate being born of a mother of flesh and fathered by magic itself. I dare not say something like this should exist, but it was linked to that stone they made.
It allowed them to see magic. I don't mean its results, but magic itself--the essence of it. But it was this contraption that would lead to their downfall. That child would see to it. His Teacher would show him the way.
It was the Fever. That Dark Sage, using the child, turned on them, in an effort to stop them. Left to his own devices, he had grown too malicious, and making one in his image, one of his likeness of sickness through corruption--they were completely against it. They sought perfection, they sought enlightenment, but their brother, this dark one, he wanted only to shore in Chaos, to bring about the end of all things.
Together, the Teacher and his disciple, a damned one from birth, infected them slowly, one by one. Their strength surprisingly maintained the fever for a while, and this one was not contagious in the way the one in Folsworth was. I was, for some reason, spared its wrath, as it seemed I was not his threat; what could I do against their power?
But he underestimated the Syndicate's willingness for collectivism, and they banished him and the young one. That battle was dreadful to witness, and against that child, that dreadful epitome of corruption--it wasn't what they had expected a brother to be doing all this time... That grooming for something against what they had expected--and the way the child learned from all of them so eagerly. But now, they had something to fear, something gruesome and perfected. It was the opposite of what they strove for, and so they did it...they figured it out, and they created her.
Before that, they had created it to protect her. Trapping a Water and Earth elemental, and fusing them, such a complex task. They called it the Watcher, and they said that they were binding two back to perfection to combat the corruption of splitting. They viewed separation and opposites as a counter to their order. Oneness, Collectivism, and their power through this was frightening. So long as she slept, it would be subdued...She...I was escorted out before her creation. Her guardian, an elderly man by the name of Ashik Bahymn, told me what they had planned...of their sacrifice. They knew not the time it would take...years? Centuries? They only knew they would complete their task.
They were to combine their arts into the womb of one, and they would seal her there to wait. She was to be their perfection, or the closest they could come to it, the counter that they dreaded the young one that the Teacher groomed for corruption. I never again saw them, but I had nightmares every night since then. I pitied her, the Cursed One...They approached her creation with cruelty, because what she represented was opposition. They poured themselves into her as the collective became one with the magic stream, and she was born in its image. I know not how her opposite, the boy was created, but I suspect that the Dark Sage had similar tricks. The fever...
I dedicated my life to understanding what I knew, but it was futile. Instead, I found five others.
I tasked them with knowledge about the Dark Sage and the Syndicate, the Watcher, and of the girl. I chose them to keep this knowledge because, through my travels, they showed wisdom and restraint in some shape. Had I made an error, the one thing I avoided was mentioning that stone... That could not be mentioned, and the location of this group I kept secret. I tasked them to pick Successors in those they could trust, that this secret be kept for when the time was right.
My eyes have seen too much, and the Dark Sage came to me, in a dark dream--as if by his will, he knew. He told me that he hid his secret to be kept in Folsworth's roots. That's where it would originate again some day, far after his passing. If the young one, his disciple, surpassed him, then his progeny would lead the world to ruin. That memory will haunt me to my grave.
I only wish I realized what he meant. But you, Successor, must carry my burden. Knowledge comes with a price, so remember this, "Silence is a precious commodity the dead take for granted. In pursuit of sound, one finds the strange source of it all to be alive, or at least sentient." You are my Successor, the first of Six, with the knowledge I have in the only manner I can share it. I only hope you have the wisdom to wake her. And if she has woken, find her. Protect her. Do whatever you can to keep her from them, and that stone, you must secure it at all costs. Carry this burden, brother; carry it to your grave as I do now.