Dear Mage... Document in Costrus | World Anvil

Dear Mage...

Within the Tomes


Within the tomes of mages across Costrus is a letter from the last Grand Magus, Alferno. He was a powerful mage and wisened by his many years of travel and learning. What most do not know is that this mage sent two letters through the ages by way of the tomes. The first was able to be seen by all who may reach the status of Grand Magus, unlocking within the pages once a mage reached 80% of the knowledge contained in their tomes. The second was hidden only in the tomes of his direct line of desciples and students.

Dear Mage,

Let me be the first to congratulate you on completing your journey to the title of Grand Magus. It is not an easy feat, and one that grows more challenging as the years go on and pages are added to the tomes. Eventually, none may reach this milestone but it is my hope that we are a long way off from that reality.

As a Grand Magus I will offer this warning and recommendation: Do not declare yourself a Grand Magus. It is simply more hassle than it is worth. I have been endlessly accosted by eager people wanting to learn the ways of magic, flooded with missives from kingdoms that demand my services as a Court Mage, and it has left very little time to conduct research or learn new things. If you wish to live peacefully do not be the fool I once was.

— Grand Magus Alferno

An Effective Warning

Considering Alferno lived 200 years ago it can either be assumed that mages have not been able to achieve the title, or this warning was taken seriously and those who have achieved the title have done so in secret. While mages are unable to lie about being more knowledgeable than they are or about having titles higher than they've earned, there is no rule about feigning ignorance.

An Oath and A Letter

Within the pages of the tomes of Alferno's students a second letter is hidden behind an oath. Marked in runes and sealed with blood, this oath is binding and swears the mages to secrecy. It has been noted among his student's deciples that this oath has proven incredibly effective as information contained in his letter has never reached the ears of kings or Court Mages.

by RandoScorpio via MidJourney

Dear Mage,

The time has come for you to make a choice. You may continue as you are Free and untethered or choose a path of servitude, chained to the courts of a kingdom. Should you wish to become a Court Mage it is advised that you disregard this oath and simply turn the page, this message will disappear never to be seen by you again. However, if your intent is to remain free I invite you to press a blood seal on the runes at the bottom of this letter. The oath is a simple one: You shall never share the knowledge I will give you beyond this point, and you shall never become a Court Mage. Should you break this oath and attempt either action the runes will activate and your life will be forfeit.

by RandoScorpio via MidJourney

Take the Oath

Click to take Alferno's Oath

It gladens me to know that there are still those willing to remain free from the bonds of authority, who wish to persue the purity of knowledge. I will impart the same advice I have given to all other mages through their tomes, and I will give you knowledge that only those who take this oath shall ever know.

Firstly: Never declare yourself a Grand Magus if you wish to know peace and have the freedom to study as you please. Secondly: great treasures can be found within the ancient ruins around the land. Should you seek these treasures know that they are not attained without risk, it is no lie when kings sit upon their thrones and declare the ruins too dangerous for their people. But, you are not their people. You have magic on your side, and a deeper understanding than you realize of these ruins.

I have ventured into their depths compelled by curiosity, and within these ruins is a stone of such great value that I have made you risk your life to keep it from those that might hoard it and hinder research on it. These stones act much like moss and absorb great quantities of mana, beyond this they seem to regenerate their mana stores as well. They can be used to create permanent spells, or spells that cover vast distance with more stability and potency than any natural source of mana could provide. These stones come in many sizes and are found deep within the ruins, it is my theory that they were formed when the ruins were created by the backfiring of magic during the earliest days of study. For now I am calling them mana stones, I'm sure a better name will be assigned later.

Take great care within the ruins, strange creatures not seen any where else call these mana soaked halls their home and no two ruins are the same. Some may be devoid of stones entirely, the ones I have found that contain no more of the material are marked on a map that will appear on the back cover of your tome.

Best Wishes,
by RandoScorpio via MidJourney
Alferno, The Last Grand Magus

It is believed that the last Grand Magus to ever exist was Alferno. There are many accounts of the magic he cast and the miracles he seemed to perform, in fact there are entirely too many records and accounts of things he is supposed to have done. 200 years have clouded the stories and blended outlandish tales from local citizen who nearly deified the man, and accurate accounts of events Alferno was a part of.

Slipping into the territory of myth Alferno might have been horrified with the accolades and post mortum awards he was granted. He was truly a simple man who was wholy devoted to his studies and the greater understanding of the world. His secret letters have reached across time and space to express his greatest regrets in life and most mages who learn of him from their teachers are quick to dismiss the most outrageous tales.

Until a new Grand Magus is declared, Alferno will remain the last Grand Magus in Costrus.


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