Forte began reading.
The origin of the practice of dark magic can be traced to the Bay of Mists, an isle far in the south. It is far beyond the reaches of the common man, a land of dangerous beasts and fantastic creatures, a land that no man has lay foot on for many years, and many years to come. Beasts that once roamed the Varian continent but were pushed back by my brethren.
But what is dark magic? Many believe that it is the burning of the soul, instead of stamina, to produce magical energy used to fuel spells. And thus, they labelled it dark magic, black magic… even blood magic. Dark magic is the study of alternate mediums of sacrifice to create magical energy. This may be life force, in the case of black magic, or blood, in the case of blood magic. Sometimes, a piece of a soul can be ripped from the whole and used as fuel for truly powerful magic. Dark magic is an untamed force. It is like the wind, or the rain, or any of the elements. It is unstoppable. If you seek true power at any cost, look no further. But that is the subject for my other fondness, Practicum in the Dark Arts.
We are here to discuss the origins of dark magic. Magic itself has existed since the dawn of time. It is the transformation and use of energy at its core, to do things that our physical bodies cannot. That is magic, and that is why it has always existed. Natural variations of magic exist. For example, the floating stones of Versai transform their weight into buoyant energy. Dark magic is merely the product of human experimentation with these natural variations of magic. Many people view these kinds of magicks as frightening and dishonorable, but that is only because they are afraid of what they do not understand. Yes, dark magic is based around the sacrifice of life and the products of life, but such sacrifice is necessary to produce great power. The very first experimentations with magic happened long ago. My family merely refined those ancient exercises into something more practical. The origins of true dark magic, and black magic, are dateless. They have been conducted since the first humans discovered the usage of magic. The refinement of those wild, crude magicks has been the task of my family and that of the Motley family for generations. We refined these arts in the Bay of Mists, where the capital of southern Varia once stood. It has remained abandoned since the great Motley-Sinclair war of last century.
Here you will find a map of the Bay of Mists. If you are to visit, I urge you to avoid the Isle of Sirens, and reach the Rock of Gibraltar. It is there, where everything that is unclear shall become clear. But beware. Only those whose blood runs thick will be deemed worthy to enter.
The Origins of Dark Magic, by Fabian Sinclair.
Forte’s eyes widened at those two, messily inscribed words. Fabian Sinclair. A member one of the Motley-Sinclair ancient royal houses, long deceased. Forte glanced at the date of tome—nearly seven centuries ago. He noticed that there was mention of a great Motley-Sinclair war, something he had never heard of up until now. He surmised that that must have been how the two royal houses collapsed.
Forte decided that he must travel to the ancient strongholds in the Bay of Mists, to examine the traces of ancient black magicks. He would travel to places that existed only in fairy tales and legends. And he would absorb their secrets and become stronger.
Forte turned in the tome to Phillip Lockheed and collected his thousand silver reward. He now had 1720 silver, which was enough to buy supplies for nearly 215 days without foraging, and enough left to spare to purchase new equipment. He headed to the armory.
“Welcome, young master. How should I serve you today?” The armorer grunted.
“I’d like to be fit for an iron torso plate armor, heavy leather leggings, and wyvernscale gauntlets please.” Forte replied.
The armorer took his measurements. “The plate armor will be 274 silver, the leather leggings 52 silver, and the wyvernscale gauntlets will be 356 silver.”
Forte paid the armorer a combined total of 682 silvers. He then headed to the cookery and spent 625 silvers on salted meat and vegetable rations for 215 days, leaving 413 silvers in his pouch.
With everything prepared and packed, he headed down south back to port Sawen. It was a sixteen day long journey from Lievestrum to port Sawen on foot. Forte fought off a few wolves and a bear, but all in all the journey was uneventful. But he smelled something wrong once he reached Sawen. There was a barracks set up in front of the city flying the kingdom’s sigil, a white lion. Forte estimated there to be at least forty soldiers in front of the port city. Two of them were arguing with the port’s authorities. Forte crept closer and hid in a tree as he watched the proceedings.
“His majesty King Richard III has ordained that all mithril shipments to this port shall be seized, and any seller shall be promised forty silvers a bar.” The soldier reported.
“That’s heresy! Mithril bars go for five hundred silvers per bar—forty silvers is a joke.” The port authority responded.
“Such the king has ordained. If you resist, we will take the mithril by force.” The soldier continued.
The port authority snorted. “So be it. Long live the king. But you will not see another bar of mithril in this city for as long as I live.”
Forte mused over what just transpired. The cities were under the kingdom’s domain, but they were technically allies, and not vassal states. Such a move was unprecedented, and could cause rebellion against the kingdom. The king must be desperate for mithril to pull such a maneuver, Forte presumed. And there was only one reason anyone would want that kind of quantity of mithril—to arm the forces with mithril weapons and armors. Forte felt a gust of wind on his back and a familiar presence. He turned around.
It was his dragon, Nightmare.