Scarlet ribbons and emeralds

Session I: Vanfink's log

So, I guess I’ll be trying my hand writing one of these again. I certainly hope it fairs better than my last journal. And although I still think that vapor deposition of metallic ink from a steel rod through microtransmutative phase change still has merit, in retrospect I probably ought to have tested that on a random piece of paper first. And a random desk.

Ironic that many arcane researchers advice keeping a journal in case of loss of life, or loss of mind, but not many say anything about loss of journal. A copy perhaps? I wonder if the unseen servant can do it. Will try it later.

At least business have been going well. The city has been packed with refugees lately. Apparently some form of magical plague destroying all the seeds. Quite a bit curious about that but unfortunatly I can’t seem to get any information out of the refugees apart from that, yes, it is destroying all the seeds indeed. I bet the Academy know something more about it…

Ah yes. The Academy. I probably ought to make a proper journal entry about that but not in the mood right now. Need to collect my thoughts a bit about that. Plus, why waste precious ink on those old geezers when today is a happy day.
In a few hours the old Cassomir crew will be together again! I wonder what they have been up to.

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It was nice seeing the old crowd again. Looks like we even got ourselves a little adventure. Fetching some noble spawns off the sewer network. This probably warrants some narrative expansion however, if I may counterpoint to myself, whatever was inside that keg (kegs?) Narsius brought is currently doing a number in my head. So I think I’ll be going for a nap instead, just in the off case I manage to wake up with something resembling a functioning memory tomorrow.

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Well, that certainly turned out to be a little bit more than a simple fetch mission.

Entering an old city’s sewers can often be a bit of a messy affair, in many ways other than the obvious one. Although ourselves may have done a bit of exploring of the outskirts of the network it certainly is no place for any child. At first our worst fears seemed to be confirmed when we encountered some giant rats close to the surface. Certainly much closer than I ever remember in our childhood. At that point my thoughts were that the increasing population of the City had been putting extra strain to the network causing the inner “wildlife” to spill outwards.

Well something has certainly be putting some added strain in the network but “wildlife” is probably not the right word for it. For it was only a few levels deeper that we soon encountered the undead. Even having read about these arcane constructs in the books, one can’t help but gasp when someone comes face to skull with one of them. Animated skeletons!

Naturally. if somewhat questionably, my companions had no qualms moving even deeper into the obvious den of soul warping necromantic practices. With sword and magic at hand (probably a little bit more sword), we descented until we found the source of this necromantic infestation. Alfonso Cattonarieros.

At this point, we probably all expected the worst. Illegal Necromancer. Probably killing or experimenting on all intruders. Yet here is the twist of fate and story. He did not. In fact even as I am writing this the boys are probably dining with their families, very much alive and well. Alfonso turned out to be a scared man, who as far as we could tell had not actually harmed anyone. Gave the boys a scare certainly yet turned out to have even made provision for their eventually release. In fact, had we come a few hours, or a day later, our little adventure might had been cancelled by virtue of our services no longer needed. None having been the wiser regarding what lurked beneath the city’s graveyard.

But we knew now.

My companions certainly seemed a bit divided on what to do with Alfonso. But in the end, was he really a villain, or a (visibly) ill man that has been driven underground due to Cassomir’s necromantic restrictions? For me the answer was clear.

Necromancy is… an unfortunate subject. The mere inclusion of “necro” in the name alone causes ugly connotations to the layman, when it could equally have been named “life magic”. The school was meant to be about life, and life being the most valuable commodity, unfortunately the entire school seems to have been corrupted by those who would seek to control it. Thus the image of the average Necromancer appears to be nothing but the dark figure in the back, commanding countless murderous sword yielding minions, even as the nobles of the world do the same thing with the living every day. Or perhaps precisely the reason they are afraid of it, be it peasants or nobles.

Pity. Necromancy could have been a beautiful subject. Does the image of these empty animated stones holding tools really bring no other ideas to the mind of these people other than destruction? What could this do for the fields! Construction! What wonders could this sort of… necro-automation accomplish if only people, from the low, to the Academy could shake this superstition of trying to blame Necromancy of the evils of the world rather than themselves.

And I believe Alfonso knew. Knew that somewhere within Necromacy there is also the knowledge to make grey skin pink again. That a skeleton needs not hold only a sword, but a shovel as well. That Necromancy can be used to also reduce human pain than increase it. And these are precisely the people that need to be free out there in the world than lock him up in a dungeon.

I wish him well.

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Romeo

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