KB -2175 to -2150
Most spellcasters in Aestis believe that since the Sundering, they are the first few generations of Mortals to wield magical power. The truth is that at certain moments throughout the long history of the Vannic and Arcish Empires, there have been moments where magic has been, for a matter of decades, available to a select few. This article explores one of those moments through the story and legacy of the Memnarch Device.
The Memnarch Device was born out of a tumultuous era. As the Vannic Empire crumbled and the Keeper weakened, a small group of scholars saw an opportunity to tap into the once-inaccessible magical weave. Many were convinced no such power in the world existed, but some recognised the subtlest of indications that there might indeed be forces beyond that which is immediately observable. Aelind of Valrand, already cast out by the early Aruhvian Church made there heretical (though correct) guess that as the Keeper dwindled in power his grasp on the magic weave weakened. What Aelind failed to appreciate was that the Keeper had not declined so far that he could not perceive threats to his power.
Known as the Esoteric Heretics, these Aelind and others would change the course of history forever, albeit at a steep price. The Esoteric Heretics were a clandestine collective of scholars, hailing from various corners of the Vannic Empire. United by their pursuit of arcane knowledge and the desire to harness magic, they were branded as heretics by the Aruhvian Church. Forced to practice their craft in secret, the Heretics found solace in the shadows, far from the prying eyes of the religious authority.
As they delved deeper into the secrets of the arcane, the Heretics stumbled upon ancient knowledge provided by the Legion of Damnation, via the being known to them only as The Idiot. This creature provided them with the knowledge and tools needed to create the first-ever artificial spellforge: the Memnarch Device. This groundbreaking invention allowed the Heretics to leech magic directly from the ailing Keeper, bypassing the natural order of magic distribution and setting a new course for the Arclands' magical landscape.
The construction of the Memnarch Device was a feat of both engineering and arcane expertise. Hidden away in a secret underground laboratory, the Heretics worked tirelessly to perfect their creation. The Device was a complex array of crystals, arcane runes, and enchanted metals, all carefully arranged to channel the Keeper's waning magical energies. Once completed, the Memnarch Device represented the culmination of the Heretics' bold ambitions and their defiance of the Aruhvian Church's edicts.
However, the creation of the Memnarch Device did not come without consequences. The Heretics' actions drew the ire of the Aruhvian Church, which saw their tampering with the Keeper's power as blasphemous and dangerous. As the Church's Inquisitors hunted the Heretics, a deadly cat-and-mouse game ensued, with the Heretics struggling to protect their precious invention while evading capture.
Despite the Church's attempts to suppress the knowledge of the Memnarch Device, the Heretics' arcane discoveries spread throughout the Arclands. The Device's existence became a rallying point for those who yearned to wield magic, leading to the establishment of secret magical academies where students could learn the Heretics' teachings. These academies would go on to produce the next generation of magical practitioners, forever changing the course of the Arclands' history.
The Memnarch Device also had unintended consequences. As more and more scholars tapped into the Keeper's power, it became a possession they eventually fought over and as it came to the attention of feuding sides in the Vannic Civil War, it was seen as a prize to be seized. It was at this point that the Keeper's servants, the Graces, were dispatched to the Mortal Realm to destroy the device and brutally punish all who had used it.
Section 1: The Esoteric Heretics and the Pursuit of the Arcane
The Esoteric Heretics were a diverse and talented group of scholars who shared a common goal: to uncover the secrets of the arcane and harness its power. Hailing from various corners of the crumbling Vannic Empire, they each brought their own unique skills and knowledge to the table, forming a formidable collective.
Aelind of Valrand, the driving force behind the Heretics' pursuit of magic, was a visionary thinker who had been cast out by the early Aruhvian Church. Her unorthodox beliefs and radical ideas had earned her the label of heretic, but she refused to be silenced. Aelind's determination to explore the arcane was fueled by her conviction that the weakening Keeper's grasp on the magical weave presented a unique opportunity for mortals to reclaim magic.
The Esoteric Heretics, inspired by Aelind's passion, conducted their research in secret, fearing persecution by the Aruhvian Church. They studied ancient texts, delved into forbidden knowledge, and conducted countless experiments in their quest to unravel the mysteries of the arcane.
As the Heretics immersed themselves in their research, they began to notice subtle indications that the Keeper's power was indeed waning. Magical phenomena, once thought to be mere legends, started to manifest in the world. These small but significant occurrences served as tantalizing clues that the once-inaccessible magic weave might be within their grasp.
The Heretics were undeterred by the Church's condemnation and the looming threat of discovery. They knew that the stakes were high and that their actions might have dire consequences, but they were willing to take the risk for the chance to harness the arcane. Their relentless pursuit of knowledge would eventually lead them to form an alliance with the Legion of Damnation and the mysterious being known as The Idiot, setting the stage for the creation of the Memnarch Device and the dramatic upheaval that would follow.
Section 2: The Alliance with Damnation and the Birth of the Memnarch Device
The Esoteric Heretics, in their quest to harness the arcane, formed a dangerous alliance with the Legion of Damnation, desperate to escape from the vast dark oceans they had long ago been banished to. This partnership was facilitated by The Idiot, a malevolent bloodsoaked fool who served as a conduit between the Heretics and the Legion. Though the Heretics understood the risks involved in aligning with such dark forces, they were driven by their insatiable thirst for knowledge and the hope of achieving their ultimate goal.
The Legion of Damnation, sensing the opportunity to further their own agenda, provided the Heretics with ancient and forbidden knowledge, as well as the tools necessary to create the first-ever artificial spellforge: the Memnarch Device. This groundbreaking invention was designed to leech magic directly from the ailing Keeper, bypassing the natural order of magic distribution and making it accessible to mortals.
Working tirelessly in their secret underground laboratory, the Heretics pooled their collective knowledge and expertise to construct the Memnarch Device. The intricate and complex contraption was a marvel of both engineering and arcane mastery, featuring an array of crystals, arcane runes, and enchanted metals. The Device was carefully designed to channel the Keeper's waning magical energies, allowing the Heretics to tap into a power source that had been previously unattainable.
Upon completion, the Memnarch Device represented the ultimate achievement of the Esoteric Heretics' ambitions. Their defiance of the Aruhvian Church's edicts and their unyielding pursuit of arcane knowledge had culminated in the creation of a device that would forever alter the magical landscape of the Arclands.
However, the Heretics were acutely aware of the potential consequences of their actions. They knew that the Church would view their invention as blasphemous and would stop at nothing to destroy it. As such, they took great pains to protect the Memnarch Device and keep its existence a secret, even as they continued to explore the limits of its power.
Section 3: The Deadly Game of Shadows
As word of the Memnarch Device and its incredible power began to spread, the Esoteric Heretics found themselves thrust into a deadly game of shadows. The Aruhvian Church, determined to eradicate the perceived threat to their authority and the Keeper's power, dispatched their feared Inquisitors to hunt down the Heretics and destroy their creation.
The Heretics, now fully aware of the dangers they faced, went to great lengths to protect the Memnarch Device and evade the relentless pursuit of the Inquisitors. They moved the Device from one secret location to another, employing a combination of subterfuge, arcane misdirection, and sheer cunning to stay one step ahead of their adversaries.
Despite the ever-present threat of capture and persecution, the Esoteric Heretics continued to refine and improve the Memnarch Device, unlocking new levels of arcane power and understanding. They also began sharing their knowledge and discoveries with others, sparking a renaissance of magical learning and innovation that would ultimately reshape the Arclands.
As the Heretics' influence grew, so too did the determination of the Aruhvian Church to put an end to their activities. The Inquisitors redoubled their efforts, employing increasingly brutal tactics to root out the Heretics and any who dared to align with them. The Church's aggression only served to galvanize the Heretics and their supporters, leading to a series of fierce and bloody confrontations between the two sides.
Eventually, the struggle between the Esoteric Heretics and the Aruhvian Church would reach its climax, as both factions clashed in a battle for control of the Memnarch Device and the future of magic in the Arclands. The outcome of this conflict would shape the course of history, leaving a lasting legacy that would echo through the ages.
Section 4: The Spread of Arcane Knowledge and the Birth of Secret Circles
Despite the relentless persecution by the Aruhvian Church, the Esoteric Heretics managed to safeguard the Memnarch Device and the knowledge it represented. Recognizing the importance of their discoveries and determined to ensure their survival, the Heretics began to share their arcane knowledge with a select group of students, who would go on to become the next generation of magical practitioners.
Operating in secret, these students formed a network of underground magical circles, hidden away from the prying eyes of the Church's Inquisitors. The academies attracted a diverse range of aspiring magicians, including disgraced nobles, curious scholars, and even disillusioned members of the Church, all united by their desire to explore the untapped potential of arcane magic.
Within the clandestine halls of these circles, the Heretics' teachings were passed down, studied, and refined. The students learned not only the fundamentals of magic and the secrets of the Memnarch Device but also the importance of defying the Church's oppressive restrictions on magical knowledge. Many of these students would go on to make significant contributions to the field of arcane magic, developing new spells, magical items, and techniques that would leave an indelible mark on the Arclands.
The existence of these secret magical circles also helped to spread the Heretics' influence throughout the Arclands. As the graduates of these institutions ventured out into the world, they shared their knowledge with others, sowing the seeds of a magical renaissance that would challenge the Aruhvian Church's stranglehold on power and inspire a new generation of seekers of arcane truth.
Section 5: The Keeper's Wrath and the Destruction of the Memnarch Device
As the Memnarch Device continued to enable the siphoning of the Keeper's dwindling magical powers, it was only a matter of time before the consequences of such actions would manifest. With the Heretics' arcane discoveries spreading throughout the Arclands and the existence of the Device becoming known, the Keeper's attention was inevitably drawn to this affront to his dominion.
Realizing the threat posed by the Device and the growing number of magic wielders in the Arclands, the Keeper dispatched his divine servants, the Graces, to the Mortal Realm. Their mission was clear: destroy the Memnarch Device and mete out brutal punishment to all who had dared to use it.
As the Graces descended upon the Arclands, their wrath was swift and merciless. The secret magical circles were exposed and their libraries and halls razed to the ground, and the Heretics and their students were hunted down without reprieve. The Memnarch Device itself, the embodiment of the Heretics' audacious ambition and defiance, was torn asunder, its arcane energies dissipating into the ether.
The destruction of the Memnarch Device and the retribution enacted by the Graces marked the end of an era, but it also served as a catalyst for change. The sacrifices of the Esoteric Heretics and the knowledge they had unearthed would not be forgotten.
In Conclusion: The Legacy of the Memnarch Device and the Esoteric Heretics
The tale of the Memnarch Device and the Esoteric Heretics is a testament to the indomitable spirit of curiosity and the relentless pursuit of knowledge, even in the face of overwhelming opposition. Though the Heretics' actions led to disastrous consequences, their discoveries fundamentally altered the understanding of magic in the Arclands and paved the way for future generations of arcane practitioners.
The aftermath of the Memnarch Device's destruction saw the eventual rise of new magical circles, albeit more cautious and discreet than their predecessors; they never learned the skills to create another Memnarch Device and instead were able to use the few residual strands of magic they could sense that lingered on after the device's power had dissipated. The lessons learned from the Heretics' audacious endeavor served as a cautionary tale for those who sought to harness the power of the arcane. Magic became a more controlled and regulated force, its practitioners bound by strict codes and hierarchies to prevent a repeat of the catastrophic events that had befallen the Heretics.
While the Memnarch Device itself was reduced to ashes, the impact of its creation and the courage of the Esoteric Heretics would never be forgotten. Their legacy lived on in the whispered tales of forbidden knowledge and the bold spirit of innovation that would continue to shape the Arclands for centuries to come. In the end, the story of the Memnarch Device serves as a reminder of both the incredible potential and the grave dangers that magic holds, a powerful force that must be wielded with wisdom and responsibility.