From Miragul’s Journals
I have decided to record the events of my life, for I intend to create for myself a life worthy of note. Of all else prior to this day, the day of Erud’s passing, I shall not waste ink. My sole name, as befits my hereditary station, is Miragul. Until now, I felt determination without direction, ambition without purpose. But yesterday a man perished, one to whom I’ve been favorably compared by several other masters. This nun wore the mantle of leadership of a people, the garland of mastery of arts arcane, and a name that is now synonymous with his people and the city in which they dwell. Thousands hailed him as possessing the greatest mind the mortal world has ever known, a conceit that did not fall far short of the truth. Truly, Erud earned the world’s respect.
But now this remarkable man is but a corpse burning on a a timber raft in the city’s harbor. This great genius capable of bending trmendous forces of magic to his will, lies dead, his body now ash, possibly feeding fish descended from those I saw netted
in my youth. Where now is the mind and soul of this most accomplished of spell crafters? Resting in eternal tranquility or bathing in gold-flecked sea foam, depending on whom you ask. How utterly useless, how pussillanimous.
This ineffectuality is not unlike the tradition of practicing but one of the three branches of magic, a convention I’ve secretly defied for the course of a year now. We of Erudin hold the answers to a thousand puzzles in our vaults and the power to take advantage of them, yet we restrict ourelves to an absurd division of labor. So much waste – like the life of a great man who knew everything but how to continue living.
Interesting, then, the prospect of several of my brighter fellows … Might we not adapt the arts of conjuration to the realm of those passed on? Rather than bother with elementals scarcely more intelligent than clumps of dirt or ash, we might learn the wisdom of the dead. Or so I am told. If they are dead, how much wiser can they be? But it occurs to me now – as Erud’s remains sink finally, ignominiously beneath the waves – that my fellows may be investigating a useful line of research after all, assuming their claims of success are not exaggerated. It would be interesting enough to communicate with the dead, but what else could be achieved? Could Erud himself somehow be returned to guide the city? What powers might his spiritual presence retain from his life? Could a conjurer force spirits, like elementals, into service? The ideas riddling my mind may be fur too ambitious. I suspect little will come of it. For now, the challenge before me is simply to acquire every mote of knowledge.
A small task.
To make this acquisition of knowledge possible, I must defy the primary law: the bane of mortality. If I fail, may these words and my fish join Erud’s beneath the waves.