Thaddeus, Elizabeth, Lucien, 920 (A)
Lucien Profile, circa 945 (A) / (B) / (C)
Lucien at Alexandria's performance, 943 (A)
The Painting of Alexandria, 944 (A) / (B)
The Sword, 944 (A) / (B) / (C) / (D) / (E)
Lucien and Alex meet behind stage, 945
(A) / (B) / (C) / (D)
The Wedding, 945 (A) / (B) / (C) / (D) / (E)
The Sacrifice, 945 (A) / (B) / (C) / (D)
(E) / (F) / (G) / (H) / (I) / (J)
Lucien as the Thief, 947~8 (A) / (B) / (C)
Lucien killed by 2nd DM (A) / (B) / (C)
The Nemesis vs. Alchemists #1, 949 (A) / (B)
The Nemesis vs. Alchemists #2, 949 (A)
Lucien & Alexandria escape temple (A)
Lucien & Alexandria Restored (A) / (B)
Lucien's gold ring
Lucien's known paintings:
The Daydream (on display at Conservatory)
The Prince Enters the Forest (3+ panels)
Lucien and Alexandria
Alexandria Wolfe (partially burned)
Sketch of the Four Alchemists
Our love would have lasted forever; we swore this to each other.
But they lied to us, cheated us, and finally took her away from me,
bent on using her, wrecking her like a replaceable cog in the sick
machinery of their experimentation.
Kaine, 948 GUE
I’ve met someone and for the first time in months I feel optimistic about the future. I sleep. I dream. His name is Lucien Kaine, and he is the one person, except for you, who seems to understand my music. When around him I don’t have to apologize for who I am or what I believe. I’ve finally found my kindred spirit, as you always promised I would.
Be happy for me!
Kaine forcibly forbade that his son have any contact with Alexandria,
though he knew that Lucien would not be swayed. When he was unable to
rein Lucien, he requested the help of Dr. Erasmus Sartorius, addressing
him in a fictitious manner that defied their cordial relationship:
Dr. I am writing concerning an uncomfortable matter. My son, Lucien, has been behaving strangely. It appears he is infatuated with Alexandria and nothing I say or do can deter him. He is close to fanatical about the subject—spends days in a room painting her image over and over. He is obsessed. We have never had any such behavior in the Kaine family and I am unclear how to handle him. If his mother were still alive, she would know how to handle matters of the heart. As for myself, I have no solution. Please I ask for your help and recommendations.
after Sartorius received Kaine’s complaints of rebelliousness and
cowardice, Lucien was hospitalized at the Gray Mountains Asylum where
he was examined and treated. He was diagnosed as having obsessive
disorder and prescribed Prozork. After being released, his behavior was
to be closely monitored. His father was to be prescribed mild sedative.
Sartorius wrote to Kaine:
I conducted a careful examination of Lucien and have found that he is a deeply troubled man who most likely should be institutionalized and subject to my ecstatic-shock therapy. The sooner you bring him, the more likely we will be able to stop his deviant obsessions.
By the way, thank you for your generous donation. Finally I meet someone from the community who understands true brilliance.
say I seem wrathful—Aye, that and far beyond—I am close to giving up on
I have tried to control him. I talked to Dr. Sartorius who prescribed
for him but he refuses to take it. Lately, Lucien has become
paranoid—searching my room, pilfering my private papers. I have been
lock my room. I am at a loss. He is in love with that girl—your
“prodigy,” I know—and nothing I say or do will stop him. You say to be
forceful—and I try—but he is my only son. It is hard for me to deny him
which he wants most. I know it is a phase and that it is best for him,
is hard. So what then?
I have much unsettling news. It has come to my attention that Lucien Kaine, with his troubled, rebellious spirit, his slacker morals—and his strange disposition—has been bothering Alexandria. Under your own roof. Madame! I fear she knows little of the ways of men—who are not monks, that is. Please—you should know better than I—Alexandria needs to study and perfect her art.
the meantime, the romance between the two lovers intensified, such as
is seen in this undated letter:
I love you. Have I written you that today? I’m distracted and playing quite horribly. I have been having nightmares again, the same ones. My father is performing some Zorkastrian fire ritual, and the flames leap up, higher and higher, until they devour him. He screams in pain but I cannot move. Then the sky grows dark and I cannot see the sun. I don’t know what it means. I know I worry as his illness worsens. Come tonight. I am afraid.
CONFLICTS BETWEEN FATHER AND SON
Thaddeus Kaine diligently and ferociously tried numerous ventures to force his son Lucien away from Alexandria. Hoping that his son would grew up to be as fierce and ambitious on the battlefield as himself, his attempts centered around either provoking Lucien to rage or to persuade him into joining in his battles against Ellron. In an undated letter found at the Frigid River Branch Conservatory, Lucien shares his feelings with Alexandria, how Thaddeus had tried to keep them apart:
I paint, I write, I draw and I miss you. My father wants me to join his army in their fight against the Enchanter’s Guild and Ellron. He’s been our nemesis for so long, I feel I know him intimately. Magic, powers and politics, When did they get so complicated and corrupt? My father says he fights in the name of honor and truth. No truth I know of. Medicine, Education, Law and Religion: they mean nothing to me. My only trust is you and your music.
Although Lucien had perpetrated no deed that robbed Alexandria of her virginity, Thaddeus sought to invoke his son’s rage with slanderous accusations. On that certain day, Lucien was in his bedroom in the process of painting a beautiful and erotically charged portrait of Alexandria.
Kaine entered, approaching his son and examined the painting. Lucien sat, jaw clenched, daring for his father to speak.
“Is this your imagination or your memory?” Kaine inquiring of the painting.
Lucien hesitated. Kaine figured he had made the right conclusion. He “hemmed.”
“The archbishop would take a very dim view of your bedding his daughter.”
“I want to marry her,” Lucien returned.
Kaine had amused indifference. “An orphan, without a name?”
“She can have mine.”
Though speaking in a tone of camaraderie, Kaine knew he was being ugly in the subtext. “Let me ask you something. It was easy, am I right? She gave herself to you? It was even her idea, perhaps?”
The slur his father put on her character angered Lucien. If this had been anyone but his father… His voice was menacing. “Don’t talk about her like that.”
“Go ahead, amuse yourself, if you must. For Godsakes, be discreet.”
He turned passionate, threatening.
remember this,” Kaine added. “She will never
have your name.”
Lucien proceeded to finish the painting. This was just one of the many he would paint of Alexandria. One of them, an erotic and blazing sketch of himself and her with their naked bodies entwined, he sent to her once it was completed. In the meantime, Lucien would also attempt to sabotage his father’s campaign against Ellron. One of these acts included the theft of gunpowder. Kaine was not originally aware that his missing supplies were due to the defiance of his own son,as can be seen in this undated letter found at Castle Irondune:
I am missing twenty sacks of gunpowder. How can I defeat my enemies abroad when Irondune itself is not secure? Look into it.
Oracle 5, of most likely the same year, Kaine, having realized that his
son was behind the disappearance of the gunpowder, recorded his
frustration in a journal entry:
I don’t know what to make of Lucien’s odd behavior—painting pictures of naked women and then hiding them on his own easel.
He’s becoming a man, with a man’s freewill. But what of my missing gunpowder and supplies? Am I to tolerate insurrection in the name of my son’s independence?
It seems as if he wants nothing better than to irritate me. Much more of this and I will be forced to send him to his mother in Antharia.
Lucien was unyielding to his father’s demands to join with him against
Ellron and the Enchanters, the angered Thaddeus scorned his son. While
the following event is not dated more precisely than the year, it may
have been in response to Lucien’s failure to obey the draft notice
which had been issued on Mage 5, 944:
This is to certify that:
By the powers vested by the Authority of Syovar, General of the Royal Quendoran Army, you are hereby drafted into the ranks of the Military forces of the Desert River Regiment.
General Thaddeus Kaine,
Desert River Regiment
Lucien sat in a corner near the fireplace of the Irondune ballroom sketching a violent scene. Thaddeus, dressed in battle gear, approached his son. In one scabbard on Kaine’s waist was a sword, in another short scabbard also hung a dagger. He pulled the sword from the scabbard and offered it to Lucien.
Lucien continued to paint without even glancing at his father, faintly indicating “no”.
In disgust, Kaine threw Lucien’s sword to the ground. “You should be with me. You belong by my side.”
Lucien painted calmly, eyes still intently pinned away from his father.
“Children draw pictures. Men fight.”
There was still no response from Lucien.
With greater disgust, Kaine spoke outright, “If you didn’t sleep with the archbishop’s daughter, I wouldn’t even know you were a man.”
Lucien was riled. He raised his eyes to his father’s. “I don’t want you to talk about her.”
Kaine was amused at the anger that had ignited in his son. He sought to fan it further, “Who? Your whore? Maybe I’ll try her myself.”
Unable to contain his rage in spite of his father’s heavy insults, Lucien leapt to his feet, knocking over his easel. He grabbed the dagger from Kaine’s belt as he knocked him to the floor. He forced the blade to his father’s throat, pinning him down.
“Finish,” Kaine demanded, in a commingling of anger and fear.
“Father, I’m…” The shocked Lucien could barely force the words through his mouth.
Ashamed at himself, he relaxed the weapon, but Kaine put his hand to the dagger tip, keeping it held in place. The father showed his teeth in a wolfish smile.
“I said, finish it!”
Kaine pressed the dagger into his own flesh, drawing blood. But Lucien, fighting against the desire to lash out as his father, withdrew the dagger from his throat, got up and walked away. Kaine was left on the floor, panting for breath, still gripping the sword at his side.
I have decided that you will be joining me on the hunt next week. I think you will come to appreciate the art of the sport. We don’t have much time to prepare. You don’t seem to have any kind of knife of your own, so I thought you might make something of my old broken one. There’s no scabbard for it—any empty one will do.
concerned Alexandria, obviously having heard firsthand from Lucien in
regards to the theft of the gunpowder and the other conflicts with his
father, contacted him in this undated letter:
…it’s just that I don’t understand your relationship with your father. If you don’t believe in Kaine’s wars, if you won’t fight his battles, just tell him. Don’t sabotage his campaign against Ellron, and don’t steal from him. He is a good man, who has raised a good son. You must know he loves you, as do I, your devoted.
DECISION TO MARRY (944~5)
While Malveaux and Sophia attempted vainly to further urge Alexandria away from the "trouble youth", Lucien began to grow suspicious of his father. Thus he proposed to secretly leave the Eastlands with Alexandria (944-12-12):
There is something going on with my father. I thought it was something to do with Thaddium and his battles with Ellron. Now I suspect it is far more dangerous than that. He says little of his latest invention, only that it involves pure lead—and it is very dangerous. My father would not harm us, but I fear he cannot save us either. You once said you wanted to explore the Empire, voyage across the Great Sea. Come with me.
I discovered M. Sophia has a secret lab. I heard the five sacred notes and looked in to see her boiling some green crystals. What do you make of it?
I will meet you behind the stage tomorrow at midnight. I think I have discovered something strange.
A possibly unsent letter, as it was discovered in Alexandria’s violin case:
Meet me behind the backdrops at midnight. I think I have found something that may shed some light on the Director’s strange goings-on.
Another likely unsent letter, as it was found crumpled on the floor of Thaddeus Kaine’s bedroom in Irondune:
Alexandria, we must get out of here. I don’t know what is going on but I believe my father is involved. I don’t know what they want…
two did manage to secretly meet one night behind the stage at the
Frigid River Branch Conservatory in 945 GUE.
Alexandria grabbed her locket off the floor which was lying beside her violin. Lucien had lowered his shirt for her gaze and she studied him coolly—like he was an object. He was very awkward and self-conscious. Alexandria moved away from her belongings to join him.
“I feel like a fool,” Lucien stated.
“Mmm. A beautiful fool,” she returned.
Alexandria trusted her arm at him and the locket’s silver chain spilled out of her clenched fist. She opened her fist and showed it to him. Inside was a picture of her mother, Zoe Wolfe.
“Here, this is for you. I want you to wear it.”
Lucien nodded, transfixed. She rose on tiptoe to clasp the locket around his neck. Their faces were close, and moving closer, into an embrace, but Sophia’s voice calmly interrupted out of their range of sight.
Lucien pulled back guiltily. The moment was broken, but Alexandria still tried to kiss Lucien in order to spit the meddling Sophia who had caught them together. Lucien refused, drawing his shirt back on.
“Lucien.” Sophia was shocked by his presence, staring as he dressed. “What a…pleasant…surprise.” She noticed the locket around his neck. “Your locket.”
Lucien, very self-conscious, slipped the locket from around his neck.
“I’ve never seen it off you,” Sophia finished.
Alexandria would not deign to answer.
Sophia took the locket into her hand, pretending to admire it. “It’s lovely.” Then she accidentally dropped it, feigning to be upset. “Oh!”
The broken part of the locket fell on the floorboards, bounced, then slid through a crack in the stage floor. The broken piece continued its downward flight, coming to rest on the floor, near a pool of water in the boiler room, glittering in the darkness.
I caught the two together on the stage of the conservatory. Imagine the nerve of the girl! Does she think I am an idiot? She brazenly disregards all rules of the school and certainly all rules of decency. Do something about your son. He is poison to her and to us.
You are the only one I can confide in. The girls here are gossipy and jealous. They think I am strange—and I must say, I agree. I don’t fit in here. I have tried over and over to play the sappy and boring music they find fitting. I have tried to be sweet, I have tried to care—but I don’t. There is something strange going on and I have to get out of here. It is best. Lucien wants to marry me. And I want to marry him. Please understand that this is right for me. I know that you will. We will come to you at the next full moon. Marry us and give us your blessing for the future. I know your concern for “purity of the spirit” but remember, not all of us are destined to marry Yoruk and live in a Monastery.
immediately after, Alexandria wrote to Lucien:
You are right. Something is going on. We must leave. I wrote Father, telling him everything and asking him to marry us. Father will miss me, but he’ll understand. We will escape to the Westlands. I’m not frightened, Lucien; I know everything will be all right, if I am with you. Does that sound childish? I’ve never felt more a woman—and I am, as always,
wrote to Malveaux about his suspicions:
While there is no cause to be alarmed, I do believe that Lucien may be planning to elope with Alexandria. He left me a note alluding to his leaving and he has been suspicious as of late.
The four alchemists gathered at the Steppinthrax Monastery to make plans on how to quickly and effectively deal with the situation. At the same time, Lucien took his own initiative to investigate more of the scheme that was transpiring around him. While the precise date of Lucien’s “haunting the asylum” and “threaten[ing]” of Sartorius is not known, it may have happened during one of his scheduled treatments. Sophia writes (945-06-17):
I understand you are still perfecting the science of the ritual, but we must act now; if we do not, the quintessence will slip through our fingers. I know he has threatened even you, haunting the asylum. Patience has its place and so does action. During the next solar eclipse we must make our move. Our work must be completed at the Temple of the Ancients. Write and I will arrange to meet you there.
that they still had much to prepare, the four feared that they would
not be able to keep Lucien from sullying Alexandria and could not wait
any longer. They met at the Temple of Agrippa to accelerate the
schedule for Alexandria’s sacrifice to coincide with an upcoming
Alexandria lay on the bed, while Sophia sat on its edge. They were only lit by the light of an oil lamp. Sophia talked quietly, regressing into her heart. She spoke with thought and deep commitment.
“I know the power of love. It attacks your heart until you have no power to fight. Sometimes it picks men who’ll only hurt you. It becomes stronger than you, and sometimes you end up doing stupid things, enduring infidelities…and still there’s nothing you can do because you love him.” Sophia realized that she had revealed more than she wanted to, and smiled wanly.
Alexandria replied, “I’m in love with Lucien, and that’s my business.”
“Alexandria, I want you to find love. But I don’t want you to lose anything by finding it. I was a pianist. I wasn’t like you—a genius—but some thought I had talent. Some thought I could be…great. And I gave it up because I thought I was in love.”
“I want to make my own mistakes.”
“I listen to your music,” Sophia continued, undaunted, “to the passion and brilliance of it, and I know that you are not ordinary. Don’t you see that?” She leaned forward and put her hands on Alexandria’s arms. “You are brilliant. Important.” Then she whispered, “Magical. Please don’t throw away this power.”
“I won’t. I’ll always play the violin. Even after I die. I’ll play.”
“It’s not worth it. Let him wait. Please. Don’t leave.”
Sophia got up from the bed, kissed Alexandria on the forehead, and picked up the lamp to leave.
That night, Malveaux stood with Alexandria and Lucien in the cathedral of the Monastery, unaware fully of the conspiracy transpiring around them. Besides the three, the room was bare of occupants. The couple’s beaming faces glistened with love for one another. Neither was dressed in anything expensive for the wedding—both suits proclaimed casual formality and nothing of glamour. Lucien was in his normal garments, while the black dress and flowers of Alexandria reflected the haste with which their plans were made, as well as her strange imagination. Malveaux gripped a holy book in one hand.
Alexandria had a moment of intimacy with Malveaux, while Lucien waited at the altar. She teased him, much like when she was but a young girl. “Today you’re my father and my priest. You have to give me away, and then you have to marry me.”
Malveaux seemed distracted as though his mind was possessed by other things and that she was a little annoying. “Alexandria, your mind is always working…”
She kissed his cheek and then joined Lucien. He grasped her left hand with both of his.
“This is an extraordinary day,” Alexandria spoke, radiantly jubilant.
“As befits my extraordinary child.” Malveaux took his place before the two at the front of the cathedral. Then, opening his book, he continued, “Now… It’s time for us to begin. Under the fire of Yoruk...”
Suddenly the doors burst open. The shout of Thaddeus Kaine reverberated throughout the vast cathedral. “No, I think actually it’s time for all this to finally end.”
Turning, the couple spied Lucien’s father marching into the room, flanked by two Irondune soldiers. They walked briskly towards the front. Kaine gestured and the two soldiers apprehended the befuddled Lucien, who could only reply almost stunned, “What are you doing?”
“You’re being arrested,” Kaine returned coldly, and disturbingly placid.
As the two soldiers dragged Lucien before his father, wide-eyed Alexandria protested hysterical, “Leave him alone!”
Without much of a struggle, Lucien broke free from the soldiers and adamantly stated, “I’m not going anywhere.”
Kaine wordlessly retaliated with a strong slap across Lucien’s face. The two soldiers again restrained Lucien and ushered him forcibly towards the doorway.
Alexandria shouted, “Please, stop!! Leave him alone. Lucien!!” Dauntless, she tried to run after Lucien, but Kaine blocked her with his big body. She stared directly into the eyes of the stringent, ill-tempered man and straightforwardly asked, “Why are you doing this?”
Countering with an icy, unsympathetic stare that pierced the depths of her soul, Kaine set his back to her and tromped down the hallway without explanation.
Turning around, Alexandria yelled, “Father, help me!” But Malveaux had vanished. Desperately she looked around the room. Confused and betrayed, she could barely force the words past her numbing lips, “Father!?”
Disconcerted, Alexandria returned to the Frigid River Branch Conservatory alone. There, on Augur 1, 945, the depressed woman would manifest her dismay by performing “Descent of Yoruk into Hell.” Lucien Kaine was imprisoned with the Irondune dungeon while the four alchemists, knowing that they could not wait, finalized and expedited their plans to sacrifice Alexandria during the solar eclipse at the Temple of Agrippa. And thus the alchemists set out to abduct Alexandria. Her body was useless; it was her spirit that they required.
The alchemists, dressed in their ceremonial attire, gathered in the dome room of the Temple of Agrippa to invoke the Great Eclipse. Sophia restrained Alexandria, who violently struggled to gain her freedom. Sartorius forced a bowl to her lips, steam swirling out of the liquid. She drank and her eyes instantly began to droop.
The four alchemists placed Alexandria upon the altar in the center of the temple; an altar which they had personally constructed. She was sitting up, but only with the help of Sartorius and Kaine. Sophia made a last brush stroke through her dark hair, then set down the brush to take a white veil, which she placed over the head of their virgin sacrifice.
Alexandria’s cloth-covered body was lowered upon the altar. She was sleeping peacefully. Kaine held the alchemy book. All gathered around the altar, with their hands outstretched over her body, except for Malveaux, who raised a sacrificial dagger into the air. He began to chant,
“No generation without corruption.
No life without death.
The blackness of putrefaction
Must precede the whiteness,
As night precedes day.”
Then the four alchemists in unison chanted, “Natura, Anima, Spirit of Perfection. Purify, Cleanse, Transmute these metals into the Philosopher’s Stone.”
Sophia closed her eyes, swaying to the sound. The intensity increased. Sartorius waved his hands above the altar symbols. The symbols began to spin. The knife of Malveaux lifted higher. It hovered for a beat above Alexandria.
Beyond them, at the top of the stairs leading to the altar, Lucien suddenly rushed into the room, crying out, “No!”
But was too late, for Malveaux drove the dagger into Alexandria, taking the life of the young woman. She convulsed. The culmination of their dark ritual was finished, and they knew they would soon become immortal creatures.
Just at the moment when they were becoming empowered, the rage of the warrior came to the fore. The chagrinned Lucien, entangled by blind rage ran up to the altar and rushed for Malveaux. Easily overtaking the frail monk, he pushed him backward. The momentum threw Malveaux back toward the railing that surrounded the altar. He fell and was impaled on the shard finial of the banister. Malveaux gagged and gasped with the metal piercing entirely through his body.
Sartorius tried to get away, but quickly spinning around, Lucien picked up a candle and flung it at him. Sartorius’ robe caught on fire, engulfing him in flames. As he burned, Lucien looked to the altar where Sophia was trying to complete the ceremony with Alexandria’s body. He approached her.
In despair, Sophia muttered with fear, “No, please don’t! No.”
But Lucien was not sedated. He reached both hands around her neck and strangled her beneath her punitive whining, “Noooooo!” Dead, he tossed her to the floor.
Lucien looked in anguish at Alexandria, who lay dead with the sacrificial knife deep in her chest. Then he looked up across the altar and saw his father glowering at him. Yanking the bloody dagger out of Alexandria’s chest, Lucien turned to face his father, who contemptuously stood his ground fearlessly placid. Had Lucien not been consumed by his terrible bombastic rage, he would have noticed that his father was eerily calm. They stared into each other’s eyes, until Lucien placed the knife upon his father’s throat for a moment, just as Thaddeus Kaine had dared him to do in their previous encounter. But his father did not wince. He simply lifted his hands in the air as if in a state of worship, a martyr pleased to accept his death. And unlike before, Lucien stabbed deeply into the throat of his own father and he fell dead.
Dropping the knife, Lucien leapt upon the altar, crawling over the lifeless body of his beloved Alexandria, and sat over her. His eyes were glued to her and already filled with the haunted, hunted look of the Nemesis. He touched her face, the lifted up his hands to shield his own as though an invisible entity were coming down upon him. And he screamed, “NOOOO!” in a voice that was not his own, but hideously demonic—the primal yell of anguished filled the entire temple.
Immense scars and patches of burnt land are visible with alarming frequency, as if the Implementors have tormented the province with an unceasing series of lightning strikes and fire storms. Giant corbies circle overhead menacingly, already waiting for me to collapse in exhaustion. This is no place for the living.
It is clear to me now that the Vice Regent’s order to make all of the eastern provinces outside of his control into forbidden territory was a wise decision. It is doubtful to me if even Syovar the Strong would be able to defeat the force that has taken control of this land. What that force might be, whether it truly is a curse, or simply the latest terrorist tactic of the Enchanters’ Guild, I still have no idea. Moreover, since the fall of the empire, all of these lands have been devastated by famine and barbarian invasions of the worst kind. It would be a wasted effort for Syovar to attempt to recapture these territories in hopes of restoring the Great Underground Empire… Civilized life will never again thrive in these territories, but the reasons are much deeper than we had ever feared. Some sort of evil spirit has come to reside…
While no one knew during those days that Lucien Kaine was the cause behind the devastation, many believed that the curses were signs of the Enchanters’ Guild gaining the upper hand against Syovar’s Kingdom of Zork:
Are the recently evacuated “Forbidden Lands” really cursed? Or is Regent Syovar simply becoming paranoid, now that the Enchanters’ Guild composes the first substantial challenge to his political supremacy? The theory of the curse seems legitimated by the dark series of earthquakes, draughts, missing persons, and general ill-humor of the inhabitants of the region following the Great Eclipse. Though the Guild denies responsibility for any black magic in the region, the disappearance of General Kaine from Irondune suggests political conspiracy. And since we all know the trolls, orcs, and gnomes of the Flathead Mountains are only waiting for the slightest hint of civil strife to stake their own claim to that corner of the Empire, the clock is ticking on the Forbidden Lands.
Last day of the Year of the Misuse, I’ve hidden the sources of their powers away from their control. Without them, they are unable to hold back the very elements they used to keep dominion over. (945-12-31)
I live every day with the reminder of the horror I have inflicted on the others. Their crimes were great, and I had to be judge, jury and executioner. Yet, they do not succumb to my torture. Sartorius seems the weakest, but even that bastard will not break his silence. (undated)
I tried to contact Dr. Vexing about the meaning of the Alchemy plate symbols. He told me that all symbols have meanings in alchemy, and that everyone is controlled by the orientation of these symbols. He could not, however, tell me more of use. The man is nearly deaf and blind, a condition that I feel describes perfectly my search for answers. (945-02-03)
learned of four key steps used in Alchemy: Sublimation, distillation,
calcification and coagulation. I know there is more to be found.
missing, some vital step. (undated)
However, I haven't found any creature knowledgeable in the black arts. A wizard may be somewhere underground, but I have yet to find him. Other treasure hunters have discovered the ruins, and I’ve had to kill them to protect my belongings.
For sixty-five years now the Dungeon Master had fiercely guarded every entrance to the old underground realms, insisting that no one would enter until the time was right. Not even Syovar, the rightful heir to the empire, had been allowed to enter until recently. Why the Dungeon Master would let this young Lucien run around down there made little sense indeed.
Lucien was a slippery character with beady eyes that flitted back and
forth supiciously. While wandering around the Dungeon of Zork, the
tall, lean and hungry-looking man carried, along with an unmistakable
arrogance, a large bag over his shoulder and a vicious-looking
stiletto, whose blade was aimed menacingly in the direction of any
intruder, proclaiming that the bag would only be taken over his dead
Rumored never to have been seen by the light of day, this seedy-looking individual liked to take things. Since he stole for pleasure rather than profit and was somewhat sadistic, he only took things which other adventurers had seen. Although he preferred valuables, sometimes in his haste he took something which was worthless. From time to time, he examined his take and discarded objects which he did not like. He occasionally stopped in a room which other adventurers had been visiting, but more often he just wandered through and ripped them off (he was a skilled pickpocket). All of his treasures were deposited in a large chamber whose east wall was solid granite.
Although Lucien was skillful with the blade, he did at times determine discretion to be the better part of valor, and decided to terminate little contretemps, using his knowledge of the underground passageways to ambush his victim at a more convenient time. Being a man of superior breeding, randomly refrained from attacking a helpless opponent, but on most occassions, being essentially a pragmatist, forgot his genteel upbringing and dispatched his defenseless adversaries as a threat to his livelihood.
Thus the thief caused a great amount of trouble, up to and often including death, for many adventurers who tried to map out the Great Underground Empire. But oddly, he still warned other adventurers of dangerous pitfalls, such this barely legible (although done in very elegant copperplate) letter which he set before a passage that at once time connected his treasure room to the Royal Puzzle:
To Whom It May Concern:
I regret to report that the rumors regarding treasure contained
in the chamber to which this passage leads have no basis in fact.
Should you nevertheless be sufficiently foolhardy to enter, it will be quite
impossible for you to exit.
The Steppinthrax Monastery, which had been under suspicion for quite some time (as it was hardly proper for a monastery of male monks to be raising an orphaned teenage girl), was overtaken and closed by the Grand Inquisitor in Syovar’s name in the third month of 947 after claims of demonic infestations. The monastery was then abandoned to two insane monks who refused to leave. These two had gone mad from the evil and demons they testified to that were everywhere around, especially in the master’s room.
From their sarcophagi, they will tell me nothing: I have all but ripped their throats out, so that is to be expected. How many threats can you use upon the dead? It sickens me to live here, a Daemon trapped in a temple. But I must finish their work, and fuel my hate with the power of the Quintessence. (948-11-06)
Now that I have stolen the four elements—Earth, Air, Fire, and Water—I have hidden them in this unholy temple, where they will never be found. I cannot risk their discovery, and have employed a great number of
machinations to assure their seclusion. (949-02-22)
Some small progress. I can now link each of my rotting alchemists with their respective signs. Malveaux has mastered the element of fire—and has made a lucrative career of fire-worship along the way. Sartorius, my mad Doctor, is Air—precisely because it is largely this element that fills his pompous brain. Kaine must have chosen earth, because his head is filled with sod and his soul is consumed with earthly things. And Sophia, mistress of the Frigid River Conservatory is water—as befits the cold hag.
I have secreted their alchemical elements away in the temple, employing, as security, a complicated series of machinations—the solutions to which I alone know. They will never be able to reclaim their powers, or their secret science. They will never be able to surpass the nefarious obstacle of the star field. They will rot; unavenged IN HELL…
Still, I find myself spending endless hours in the lab, with the shades drawn. My work with air has been frustrating thus far. I accept the irrefutable precept; that air has no color. I will keep working, alone in the dark until I find the best method of purification. But make no doubt I will possess the four elements and then the four metals. I will find the Quintessence, and forge the Eclipse. There is no hatred stronger, no power greater, than that which will be mine. (undated)
It is more difficult to forge the four alchemical metals than I first thought. I have learned, through a painful process of trial and error, that it is not safe to keep the elements in their purified form. The four are not so stupid as they look; gaining access to their secret laboratories has been a labored process. I will go drag a hot poker down Malveaux’s rotting belly and see if he cries out something helpful. (949-05-15)
I am tired of this game. I ransacked Sartorius’ laboratory today, and while blood flowed down the halls, I made little progress in my quest for his tin. I am as impatient as that stupid spy who thought any fistful of dirt, any drop of water – a spark from his fine Accardian cigar, or a mouthful of his foul breath – would constitute an element. I must return to my work with elemental Air. As I rise up to my lab and pass the twinkling star field, the blue reminds me of blue skies, a more peaceable time. But I can remember little of my life before the evil descended. Before my bloody rebirth. (949-08-25)
I ransacked the Doctor’s Asylum today and while I was letting the blood flow in his halls, I found a revealing notebook. Earth, Air, Fire and Water. Tin, Lead, Copper and Iron. Four are hidden in the Temple. For are not. If I can recover them all, I can summon the Quintessence.
But finally it will be wasted effort if I cannot discover the fifth element. I have searched many books—but philosophers disagree as to the nature of that element. The strongest power in my universe is hatred and wrath. There is nothing that cannot be tortured into existence, of that, I am certain. (949-08-25)