This book is titled “The Varsoon Collection, Volume 3 – The Gift of Immortality”. It is a complete volume that details the quest of a young mage to find the secrets of immortality.
The following compilation is a brief presentation of the legends and myths of the mage, Valdoartus Varsoon, known to many simply as Varsoon. Much work was done to separate the facts from the fiction in order to bring this work to you, the reader. The following volume highlights the events that took place after his failed bid for immortality. Please note, reader, that the source of this of this account is highly questionable indeed.
The only account we have of the time after Varsoon’s quest for immortality comes from a dramatic play written by a bard, the Lyresmith, over several hundred years ago. It has taken much work to distinguish possible facts from the obviously blatant embellishments exhibited throughout the performance. Were it not for the fact that there are striking coincidences between events in the play and facts unknown to the general public, this would have been written off as an outright fantasy.
As is typical of the Lyresmith’s work, the play goes on for an uncomfortable amount of time. It starts in an unnamed city and involves an old man who is an accomplished spellcaster. The character, named simply Varsoon, is involved in some type of experiment and has a number of assistants helping him. This goes on for close to an hour of the play. Eventually, Varsoon exclaims that his work is nearing completion.
Another act involves him at a wedding feast for his nephew. Varsoon is shown to be a very loving family man, performing all manner of magical feats to help fix the problems of various family members. The interesting thing to note in this act was that between each spellcasting miracle, Varsoon would take a sip from a small white cup. This cup is associated with the sigil-etched ivory cup the real Varsoon was reported to have.
One of the following acts returns Varsoon to his laboratory where he works by himself late into the night. Feverishly muttering to someone named Aldrenus (see the previous volume for more about Aldrenus), he finally completes his work as the moon rises over the horizon. He pours a number of odd liquids into the white cup, causing all sorts of odd things to happen.
Finally, when all of the liquids have been poured into the cup, Varsoon then waved a wand over the cup. The cup rose into the air and spun around (thanks to an intricate array of pulleys and wires). All of a sudden, the cup would vanish and be replaced with a small cloud of red mist. The cloud covers Varsoon from head to toe, and the scene ends with him laughing triumphantly.
A following act shows Varsoon approaching a council of mages and telling them of his accomplishment. He offers them a demonstration of his immortality by having them assault him with all manners of spells. When the spell show is over, which takes about three hours, we see Varsoon emerge from the storm of energy, still alive. He is usually missing a limb or two, an eye, and sometimes even his nose, but yet he lives. The scene ends with the council agreeing that he has found the secret of immortality.
Sometime later during the play, Varsoon is seen dictating to his nephew the secrets of immortality. As Varsoon expounds on how he wishes everyone to learn the secret, there is a knock at the door. A mob waits outside, led by some priests. They demand he give themselves over to him, and when he resists, they unleash all manner of divine terrors on him. Eventually, he is stricken with diseases and wounds that no man could withstand, yet he lives through it all and disperses the crowd.
Many hours later, the play reaches the final act. Varsoon is brought before the same council of mages from the earlier act and is put on trial for crimes against the city. He appears to be overcome by all manner of diseases and barely has the strength to defend himself. In the end, he is banished from the city and forced to live as an exile. As is typical of a Lyremsmith play, the council concludes the show by throwing jum-jum pies at each other until the audience disperses.
Much of the Lyresmith’s play,”The Horrible Case of Varsoon – A Performance in Twenty-Nine Acts,” has been left out of this account, for obvious reasons. It is highly debated as to what aspects of the play are truthful, but what we do know is the following : no records have mentioned the cup since the time period of the play’s setting. Also, Varsoon is never mentioned again in any records of the Combine Empire. Finally, what has been proven to be an actual legal document from that era writes of the banishment of someone only named as “The Undying.”