If you missed a Scholar’s book, all their works are collected here for your perusal in more comfortable surroundings.
The Red Scholar: Researches on Energies
Having dedicated my studies to the fabric of the universe, I have finally been able to divine a rough model of how the energies work…
This is the higher form of energy, characterised by the colour green. Storable by emeralds, this form of energy is extremely potent but difficult to control — only the most competent of mages can even begin to consider using it. Beings of ‘pure’ intent, such as the Gods and the Whales, weave their spells with this higher power.
This is the ‘normal’ form of energy, and it is this that is most easily tapped by mortals. It suffuses the waking world, and is harnessed by both good and evil mortals, its power untainted by either end of the scale. However, it is somewhat less effective than either of the other forms; though the most powerful of warrior-mages, such as the Champions once trained by the Gods, can use it to devastating effect. However, since Hwe’Nua was destroyed and Sakasume threw his life away against the Scorpids, such powerful electricians have never risen. It has been assumed that to obtain such power, one would require very special tutelage; such as that given the Champions by the Gods.
This is the ‘lower’ form of energy, and its dark and twisting powers are only harnessed by the most daring of mages. Due to its unpredictable nature, there’s nary a being that can tap it and remain unscathed. Powerful ancients that sought to use it gained immense power and managed a partial form of ascendance (for example, the promising magi Pyraeus and his followers, that moved off the mainland to study, and were never seen again), but at the cost of their corporeal forms, and possibly their sanity. Antenergy is best stored using a ruby.
While our ideal minds would desire a world only of the noble Pure Energy, all three forms are necessary for the universe to function; as there is no light without dark, there must be equal and opposite energies to balance. Electricity is the pivot about which the extremes see-saw; the neutral element buffering either end and keeping them from mutual annihilation.
The Blue Scholar: Ancient Facts You Never Knew
The ancient world is full of mystery and wonder — but we often gloss over the greatest wonders of all; the simple things that were commonplace in this world so far removed and yet so similar to our own…
Did You Know…?
… That the Ancients were very partial to “tea,” a drink of herbs infused in water and usually drunk warm.
Did You Know…?
… That the Ancients interacted, often directly, with the Gods? The Gods would each take Champions from the most promising young men and women, and train them to be their agents in the waking world.
Did You Know…?
… That the Murloc and Mur’gul were once one and the same? The Mur’gul were a vicious and evil offshoot that rejected the Whales, and indeed, sought to erase them (and now seek to erase their memory).
Did You Know…?
… Most of this book is uninteresting nonsense, so you hand it back quietly, not wanting to hurt the Scholar’s feelings.
The Teal Scholar: The Dark Portal
Upon coming to this temple to study, I didn’t quite know what I would find; but upon seeing this strange doorway leading only to solid rock, I knew I had found my life’s work.
The Dark Portal
The entrance stands as tall as one-and-a-half men; though it is hardly wider than one. It is constructed from a strange, rusty-red rock that is quite obviously not native to this temple or its surroundings. This red colour is quite obviously related to antenergy — as antenergy is the prime form of energy for opening holes between worlds.
Armed with this knowledge, I began questioning locals about the portal; I found out that it had been created by a group of people that arrived, built it, went through, and then deactivated it. From whence they came, nobody would hazard an opinion — but they did speculate on these peoeples’ reasons.
The Dark Portal
It was seen that the builders carried the rock of the portal from a far-off land; perhaps even another world in turn. These people always stationed look-outs and worked in a frenzy; thus, it was surmised that something powerful was in pursuit of them.
However, even many years after the portal was constructed and the builders had disappeared through it and closed the door, no powerful entity has ever come sniffing around the site. This could, however, quite easily be because they all travelled from so far away; perhaps this entity is still travelling, and will arrive within our lifetimes…
The Purple Scholar: On Scorpids And Their History
The swamps are swarmed by creatures called ‘Scorpids’ — but local legend, and indeed the writings of the Ancients, indicate that these insect-like creatures were once something entirely different…
The Scorpids were not always barely intelligent swamp dwellers; indeed, they once controlled a huge empire that spanned much of this continent. Their civilisation was based on a twisted form of technology; in order to progress up through the heirarchy, each Scorpid desired to replace its organic body with mechanical parts — the ultimate goal being to become pure machine. The Scorpids held belief in no gods; their worship was in strength and combat prowess, and skill with bio-mechanics. However, limbs had to be lost in battle — Scorpids that cut off their own limbs in order to be upgraded were simply executed. Thus, Scorpids had an insatiable lust for battle — that they might prove themselves and be rewarded with mechanisation.
The Scorpid civilisation was at the height of its power roughly six thousand years ago. This power was founded on their technological prowess, and they were not bad landlords; the people were free to live as they desired, so long as they paid a tribute of precious ores, minerals and gems.
The first signs of their impending downfall came when the Gods were in turmoil — Xonao, the God of Earth, was slain by the God of Fire’s Champion Hwe’Nua; the Champion had been a known supporter of the Scorpids, and it was rumoured that he had learned the crafting of metal and stone from them — and even the construction of entirely mechanised servants.
At this time, the seeds of rebellion were sown among the populace; if Hwe’Nua had turned so on the Gods, where had he learned his treachery from? The peoples turned their eyes to their seemingly immortal half-machine masters…
As the solid foundations of the Scorpids’ power-base began to crumble, a neighbouring kingdom that had alway seen their self-mechanisation as an affront to nature took it upon themselves to launch a crusade. Sakasume, Xonao’s Champion at the time of his murder, saw the opportunity to strike back and elected to lead the armies, and the peoples that had once contentedly lived under the Scorpids rose up.
Within a scant few years, all the Scorpids were either dead or pushed back to their last mountain stronghold — where they were desperately upgrading themselves with what resources their warlords had stockpiled over the years.
It was during this crisis time that one of the Scorpids almost reached their ultimate goal — to become entirely mechanical. In the fortress’ central operating chamber, a warlord whose name we now forget replaced even its brain and nervous system with crystalline lattices, cogs and valves…
The crusaders stormed the fortress as the Scorpid warlord was completing his final upgrades.
When they finally breached the central chamber, the machine had not yet awoken. Sakasume set about systematically destroying the equipment around it, awaiting its final awakening that he could destroy it with righteous fury — but in his careless desecration, he caused a massive explosion. Sakasume was utterly destroyed.
It has always been assumed that the Scorpid was unable to complete itself in time; and that the explosion destroyed it before its final components were arranged inside, and the organic parts discarded. Certainly no machine of its like has been seen since, and only the dumbest ancestors of the Scorpid species now inhabit the world.
Many scholars dread to think of what could have occurred had the Scorpid completed itself; a fully matured Scorpid with only mechanical limbs was a foe worthy of any God’s Champion. A Scorpid that had ascended to full mechanisation…
The Yellow Scholar: Gods and Champions
I became fascinated with the Gods and their mortal servants when I was very young; legends spoke of them walking the waking world with us, but that they left some time ago. Despite this abandonment, almost all the people of the world still pray to them — what did they do to deserve such perseverance in their name? Who were they really?
Raku — the God of Fire
Perhaps the most well-known of the Gods, Raku was quite obviously the favourite of the Roan. A fast and powerful warrior only ever seen as a massive armoured figure, he nonetheless was tender towards his chosen friends. Unfortunately, his taste in Champions wasn’t quite up to his formiddable appearance; as the Hwe’Nua debacle clearly displayed. His lack of foresight, or even the ability to see danger under his own nose, perhaps even caused the Gods’ downfall.
Xonao — the God of Earth
The unfortunate Xonao was the most peaceful of the Gods; though his timidity probably saw to his doom as the easiest target. Rarely interfering in the works of men except to bless various sites of natural beauty with his protection, he was equally sparse in his acquisition of Champions — it might well be said that he didn’t have much faith in the system, and wanted only to be left to himself.
Metathos — the God of Stone
The seemingly brutish Metathos chose his Champions among those warriors most capable of taking a beating and not reacting at all — only to spring forth and crush their unsuspecting opponents. Not the best strategist, Metathos was always honest — even if that honesty did make him a lot of enemies. A strong and reliable being, that would always stick to his chosen cause.
Novara — the Goddess of Water
The only girl in a man’s pantheon, it’s a wonder that Novara wasn’t simply pushed out by the immense levels of testosterone floating around the other Gods. A fast and capable warrior, she always kept her cool under pressure — a fair and wise judge, she was highly regarded by all those that followed the Gods; even those that swore ultimate alliegance to others. She always took her Champions from those of a poor background, though of course she had a certain affinity for fisherpeople and others that depended on the seas for their livelyhood. Unlike the other Gods, it seems Novara never had any issues about showing her face — she appeared as a completely normal human girl. It is perhaps this openness that made her so endearing to the world’s population.
Koraku — the God of Ice
The strong, silent type, Koraku never spoke much — his Champions often reported him spending entire weeks without uttering a single sound; teaching them by example. At home in the far far north, he was rarely seen in the tropical regions the other Gods preferred. As such, a lot of texts discussing the Gods barely give him a paragraph, and some neglect to mention him at all. He is much more in favour among the tribes of the icelands to the far north and south, for example, the brutish Grints.
Wiran — the God of Air
The final God in our pantheon is Wiran; the fastest and most agile of the Gods. Most often sighted swinging through the trees in the jungles, he took his Champions from those that were equally fleet of foot. He would spend his time keeping the lands free from banditry and other ne’erdowells — paying silent visits during the night and wrecking havoc before disappearing back into the trees.
Notable Champions — Hwe’Nua
The most infamous Champion of all, Hwe’Nua was raised up by Raku only to turn against the Gods, slaying Xonao before the others realised his treachery. The other five Gods quickly destroyed him and his followers. Though there were vague rumours that both Hwe’Nua and his direct supporters had somehow survived, these were never substantiated — and the Champion has descended into legend as nothing more than a monster to scare children.
Notable Champions — Sakasume
Sakasume was Xonao’s last Champion, alive and travelling the world as his master was slain by Hwe’Nua. It is thought that he was driven mad by the shock; from being a kind and mild-mannered man, he became a frenzied warrior — who led the crusade that saw the Scorpids finally destroyed, assuming that they were tainted by their association with Hwe’Nua. He was, however, slain in the final explosion that killed the last of the Scorpids.
The Orange Scholar: Mysterious Giants
The elemental Giants that roam this world have long interested me; incredibly powerful but reclusive beings, there is much mystery surrounding their heritage — no mortal alive knows anything about them. I set out to remedy this…
The least intelligent of giants, these beings of stone and soil inhabit lowland regions of light to heavy forestation (Earth Giants only seem to manifest in the most fertile soils). They make up for their lack of intelligence in raw brute force, however; while most are about two storeys tall, Giants twice this size have been spotted in the less frequented parts of the southern swamplands.
It has been theorised that the entirety of the world’s oceans are in fact formed from Water Giants; the fatal flaw in this assumption, however, is that Water Giants are composed only of fresh water — not salt water. Ranging in size and strength, these creatures are only found on shorelines and the deepest lakes.
These ethereal Giants are not particularly powerful; except that they are far too easy to miss, being composed of swirling air only marginally more solid than the general atmosphere around them. These creatures are found only in jungle areas; apparently clinging to the memory of a better world that was entirely covered with such thick foliage.
The most powerful of all the Giants, the Fire Giants can be found anywhere in the world; though they swarm in the liquid rock far below the waking world, they can only enter these lands by way of volcanoes. Composed entirely of molten rock, these creatures burn all they touch.
While everybody knows of the Giants, there are other similarly elemental creatures that exist; such as the Daemon. Related to the Fire Giant, this is a winged but flightless being of molten rock. Ruthless and cunning, they will fight for anyone whom they deem more powerful than themselves.
The Green Scholar: Speculation on the Creation of Gods
One wonders — where did the Gods come from. Were they born? Created? Were they here before everything, or just another naturally evolved race? And if they were created, who created them?
One must begin with our own accepted pantheon — the six Gods of various elements. There is much historical documentation that proves their existence, and even if that word was in doubt, their works remain scattered across the face of the world. However, these Gods to whom we cling so hard are not the only recorded deities — the Murloc worship the Whales, and there much that points to these spirits as beings of equal, if not greater, power than our pantheon. Unfortunately, they disappeared from the mortal world well before our Gods did, and so proof that they actually existed is rather easy to refute. The Murloc are also a race that depends more on passing on stories by word of mouth than recording in hard stone.
If one accepts the existence of the Whales as actual deities and not merely powerful mortals enshrined in legend, then it casts much doubt on our pantheon’s place as anything special. Humanoid races are often prey to arrogance and delusions of grandeur concerning their place in the universe; but if a ‘lowly’ sea creature such as a Whale can be a God, so too, surely, can anything else…
With only the above described two cases to go on, this part of my theory is a little shaky. Our Gods appeared to us as human — with human characteristics of size and shape. Why, as an all-powerful being, would one keep to this form? Also with the Whales — while this form is perfect for swimming in the deep oceans, it is useless on land, and the Murloc are completely amphibious. What worthy deity would be seen flopping around on the ground, unable to breathe?
The reason behind this may be simple — that Gods are not all-powerful spirits beyond mortal ken, but once were mortal themselves. This begs the question, however; why, when the Gods existed, were no other Gods born? Why have none been born since? Perhaps Godhood is simply a genetic quirk that has long been bred out of the gene pool — perhaps with the disappearance of our pantheon, the last remaining strands of the characteristics required to be a God were severed.
There is, of course, the more sinister school of thought among my colleagues, that Godhood was (whether by accident or malicious design) bred out of the mortal realm by the Gods themselves… Perhaps they intended to rule the world for all time, and desired no competition.
Alas, they are gone, and with them all the answers. One can do naught but speculate.
The Pink Scholar: Chaos Emeralds
The existence of Chaos Emeralds has long been debated; such powerful artefacts would be easily detectable by anybody even remotely dedicated to searching for them — and there have been many people with just such a desire even over the last hundred years.
What Are They?
Emeralds, of course. However, they are apparently unusually large in size — larger than any emerald formed by natural processes under the surface of the world. The energies contained within, then, are considered to be of a suitably high magnitude. Hence the name ‘Chaos’ emeralds; as they are not entirely able to contain the energies swirling about them, result in energetic disturbances in their immediate vicinity, and a general bending of the very laws of the universe over a wider area.
Considering the apparent instability of such a large energetic ‘battery’, one could quite easily conclude that they would simply disintegrate after a short period of time, into more manageable crystal chunks. A more informed examiner, however, might conclude that such things do exist — but that they are either hidden by their own enormous power, or simply not anywhere close to our world. Perhaps, warping the universe as they do, those that did brush close enough to these lands to be remarked upon in the ancient texts simply floated away again, bourne on some inscrutable stellar wind.
If one accepts the existence of Chaos Emeralds, then it is quite reasonable to posit the existence of Chaos Sapphires and Chaos Rubies. A very large sapphire might be hard to detect in that its effects would be quite mundane; perhaps as little as more storms than usual. A ruby, on the other hand, might not just bend the laws of reality, as destroy them entirely…
The Grey Scholar: Myths and Legends: A Discussion
For this volume of “Myths and Legends: A Discussion”, I have chosen to examine the events surrounding the slaying of Xonao by Hwe’Nua, and related events. While most histories cite it as an open-and-shut case of Hwe’Nua being utterly destroyed, and the Scorpids being subsequently slaughtered in revenge, there are many loose ends…
It was widely known that Hwe’Nua, when not being taught the ways of a Champion by Raku, spent much of his time learning the crafting of metal and stone under the Scorpids; along with a large number of human followers. It has been suggested that Hwe’Nua desired to ‘upgrade’ himself in the manner of the Scorpids, but he never lost limbs or internal organs in battle — and so he was never eligible for mechanised parts (the Scorpids saw it as the highest dishonour to remove parts just to be upgraded; they had to be lost in battle).
Sakasume and the Crusade
When Hwe’Nua and his supporters were destroyed by the Gods, who soon retired entirely from mortal affairs, Xonao’s last Champion Sakasume led a crusade to wipe out the Scorpids. How one Champion and a mortal army managed to wipe out an entire race of such powerful origins remains unknown to this day; but it is the final confrontation in the Scorpid home fortress that is most shrouded in mystery.
All that is known about this encounter is that Sakasume and his most trusted went into the central chamber, and were subsequently obliterated in an explosion. The cause of this explosion has long been held as Sakasume’s careless destruction of the Scorpid machinery; however, a more dire rumour circulated for some time that a Scorpid had succeeded in entirely mechanising itself, and had laid a trap. By destroying the central chambers and any witnesses, it would have been able to easily survive such a blast and escape undetected.
There is a final, even more insidious, rumour that circulated for many hundreds of years before being ‘disproven’ simply by time passing with nothing happening.
This rumour suggested that in the central chamber, there was not one operating table, but two. And that the first was empty — the fully mechanised Scorpid awake and working on the writhing, screaming entity on the other table.
This other entity could have been none other than Hwe’Nua — who at last got his wish of being upgraded, after being so totally annihilated by the Gods, but somehow surviving. The Scorpid presumably fought to defend its handiwork, and ended by detonating explosive devices in the room.
This strange twist on the story, however, falls flat on its face when we realise that absolutely nothing has ever been heard since of Hwe’Nua or the Scorpid. Such powerful beings would most certainly be unable to hide their presences for long.
The Light Blue Scholar: The Temple
This temple knows no name amoong the locals, nor among the rest of the world. A crumbling ruin of well over five thousand years, its origins are a complete mystery.
The temple is constructed from local stone; presumably that which was hollowed out from the mountain and the earth below to create the vast chambers beneath the surface.
The temple once covered a far larger area than it does today; that is, the central compound is assumed to be its fullest extent. However, there is much evidence to suggest at least ceremonial roadways leading to the four large gates — though the school of thought that each gate led to an ‘annex’ is growing in popularity. Certainly, excavations in the swamp and jungle show more than mere roads, and the beach often reveals paving stones and building foundations when the tides pull back.
[This section is unfinished, though there are scrawlings about a huge central tomb.]
The Dark Green Scholar: Murloc and Mur’gul
The story of the Murloc and Mur’gul is not one that is often written; while the Murloc maintain a vibrant tradition of singing their stories, they can become increasingly distorted over the course of their passing down the generations…
When one sees a Murloc standing aside a Mur’gul, it is quite clear that they share a common ancestry. However, the Ancients (of the era of the Scorpids) never write about them; it is as if, indeed, that they didn’t exist. It wasn’t long after the fall of the Scorpid empire that the Whales, the Murloc deities, decided that their time on the mortal plane was over and disappeared; and it seems that this event is where the Mur’gul first appear in written lore.
The original Mur’gul were no different from the Murloc; save their heretical beliefs and penchant for slavery and destruction. Driven mad by the departure of the Whales, they turned on their brethren. While the main Murloc belief system turned from direct worship and respect to searching for their departed gods (in hope that they too might become enlightened and so join the Whales), the Mur’gul turned to erasing their very memory. After viciously defacing major temples among the Murloc populace, they were outcast and outlawed — but with their vicious and unpredictable ways, they managed to proliferate more than the easy-going Murloc.
The Mur’gul of Today
After living isolated from the Murloc population for so long, their outward appearances have changed enough to give them a distinctive appearance. Though the Mur’gul population is currently in recession here, there are tales of other lands where they triumphed over the Murloc completely.
The Brown Scholar: The Imprisoned Sword
Encased in ice, within a cave connected to the main temple complex by broken walls (and, indeed, to a larger natural tunnel network deep beneath the surface), there is a powerful sword. It speaks to those that walk near it; offering seductive promises of your wildest dreams in exchange for its release. But what really is this sword, and where did it come from?
The Rune Blade is in a block of solid ice; but no ordinary ice — it is backed up by intense energies that mean no ordinary heat can melt it. The blade is ever insistent, however, that a source of heat powerful enough to break its bonds lies relatively close by in the cave system.
Since the Rune Blade is in fact sentient to a rather high degree, there is no better entity to quiz concerning its origins; though its manner of speech and its pleas for release make it somewhat less than trustworthy.
It claims to have been created by the Azurans, a mysterious and tribal race of humanoids that wander the glaciers; the soul residing within Rune Blade itself was an Azuran hero of some kind.
The Blade was forged in order to combat the growing problem of the Grints; a brutish and tribal race that coveted the high glaciers held by the Azurans. However, as historical records and the Blade attest, the gambit failed; the Azurans are now naught more than skeletons under the mighty glaciers, and the ice-fields are almost entirely controlled by the Grints.
Claimed by the Grints in the spoils of war, it was an object feared for its power. Drawing together all their shamen, they incased the blade in a chunk of ice, and a party of warriors transported it far away.
The Rune Blade has lain entombed in ice since it was brought here; its escorts all-too-glad to return home, the dark whisperings finally gone from their minds.