Title:
Aspects of the Enemy
Author:
Jutta
Summary:
Information on the Master Shaper as known at the end of the Great War
Place of Origin:
Appears to likely be Marath Suvla
Date of Origin:
Compiled after the Great War of Shadow, final entries seem to be about a year after
Place Found:
Received in Petra's Hearth
Date Found:
5/7/1216
Encryption:
unknown


Notes:

This is a collection of information about the Most Foul from shortly after the Great War.

Transcription done by Nasreen, Daniel, Khavar, and Zyrial. Transcription errors, especially on page 4, are likely due to how Rashayel was holding the original, and will be corrected later.

Transcription:


Title Page:
Picture of a purple creature clearly intended to be horrific
Text: Aspects of the Enemy
-----P1-----
A Compendium of facts concerning the MOST FOUL; whom his adherents term the Sublime Emperor of Creation.

This the account of Jutta One-Arm, who survived the war, where so many noble friends and comerades did not.

The Enemy now lies dead and entombed, his servants scattered, but not defanged, and the Truce between the Humbled Queen of Vermin and the Peoples of [the]
-----P2-----
world exists but tenuously, and not all recognize it.

Before his incorporation, it is unknown whether gender, as we understand it, applies to our Enemy. After, however, his chosen form was recognisable to all Tharicians as that of the Turranos, Nikolos Strazha, the greatest hero of the Ofa-Peoples. Thus, I will use the pronoun he to refer to him in this text.
-----P3-----
On the Nature Of the Enemy.
(From the notes gathered by Fidela, Octio Aggrippos, Gaius Calderis, Elestrithia, and Augren Nikomion for their work on a universal Ontology of creation.)

It is clear, then, that the entity known as the Most Foul is one of two Demiurges, specifically the one that Poloxos calls The Shaper. He becomes confused as to the exact natures of these Demiurges, admittedly, and overpersonifies the idea of the Soul as separate
-----P4-----
entity. Esoterically, it seems to be reasonable correct that the Soul was the first collaboration of the ‘Master Shaper’, as the Most Foul was once called, and the ‘Breath of Heaven’, or Light of Heaven. Elestrithia stresses that ‘Light’ in this context does not refer to the Realm of Energy, but to a kind of infinite light, which contains all Realms. Thus, does a Soul separated from the body reveal the Form of Earth among other things.

More clearly, the Shaper did indeed create the World and physical Forms of matter while Heaven created the
-----P5-----
Realms of Energy, imbued the Created World with them, and granted them to the World for use through ritualism. It seems reasonable to suppose that all that Is, in our world, above, below, and between Realms, is the result of their joined work. It is a failure or souring of this joined work which has brought about the current troubles.

It is impossible to say of what stuff the Shaper is made, either before or after his mortal incarnation. It is known that he “bleeds” the gemstone Amethyst, and that for the work of creation
-----P6-----
he made use of titanic Servitors, nine in number including himself: a true cabal.

One theory is that as the Breath of Heaven is of a Kind of Infinite Energy, the Shaper may be of infinite Form. The question then becomes whether his aptitude with the Realm of Shadow is somehow inherent, or a particular Ritualist inclination, as any wizard might have. It is clear also that he is indeed able to cast Rituals of both Realms and Forms and accounts of others being initiated by him into both exist.
-----P7-----
On his incorporation:
(the account of Yerena dai Corzette of the Blades of Mazan, final dispatch)

The name given to an age is always hard to discern by those in the age. Will they come to call this the age of Wonders? Perhaps the age of Steel and Fire. If I had to guess, this might well be the Last Age, the last age of the world. This might strike you as overstatement, but I have seen the Enemy made flesh. Yanock, my love, I have seen the man wearing the face from the statues, and I tell you it is no man. It is a thing made Flesh, evil, and most foul.
-----P8-----
I spied him as he rose. My mission was to report on why some of the Durhilis Mor had gathered in the northern wilds, and I tracked them to the ruins of a place I cannot name. I do not believe they are aware of the extent of our knowledge. I was cloaked in nature and spell, to avoid detection. I saw the shadowed and masked forms gathered around a greater, deeper Shadow. Arcane words were being spoken, but distance prevented me from making them out. I could smell carrion, so I knew a great deal of blood had been spilled nearby.
-----P9-----
The Shadow sharpened to the form of a human figure. It turned to face a statue, one of the hundreds they have in Tharicia, of Nikolos Strazha. It reached out to the stone form and flowed over it. There was an explosion of dust, and a man made of flesh stood in its place. The man said, “This will do.”

I waited until the Most Foul and his cadre had gone, terrified that he, or it, would feel me watching. That was two days ago. I see him in my nightmares; each time, a bit closer. His handsome features
-----P10----
would be attractive but for a wrongness in his eyes. I fear what will happen if he becomes close enough to see me in my dreams. I am on the shore, a week’s sail from Crucible, where I should be safe. But I fear that even home will not be safe enough.

Nowhere is safe enough now.

On his Servants and the nature of Service to him.
We have seen that the Most Foul, not content with the creation of all things, desires also dominion
-----P11----
over them, in search of what seems to be a perverse perfection of order. Elestheria provided me her notes upon interrogation of the Fallen Saieharan:

Saieharan insisted that her Sublime Emperor, as she termed him, was no less the author of our creation than he was the direct Shaper of those races that are born. She asked me to question why this was never spoken of in the Manse: that the one we call the Most Foul shaped mortal creation? She argued that, as we were created for the sole purpose of making war upon him, if not for his quarrel with Heaven, would we not exist? Still
-----P12----
more, by what will did we fight him? I said that it is by our own will we fight, and she questioned this boldly, asking me if I should then choose to cease fighting.I must confess that as I considered the thought of abandoning the fight against the Most Foul, my soul revolted against it. What, then, had placed this sense within me, that to make such a choice would be as though I had chosen to take the Long Walk?

But I am of the Sphere of Thought, and we are well trained to discard what is [illegible] and contend with only [illegible] questions. [Illegible]ould be sha[illegible] all [illegible] the lie to her assertion. For I might
-----P13----
choose to cease, or Fall, but she could not choose to un-Fall,and this spoke directly to the Nature of that one for whom she served as mouthpiece. So I asked her, “But do you then love the Shaper?” And she replied, “With all that I am.” But It was not her voice I heard behind her words. No, the Fall came first, and then the love imposed as a consequence. There is no expression of love from the Shaper, but the opposite: as the Light of Heaven envelops us in infinite love, the Shaper basks in love forc(ibly pumped) out from his serva(nts) [I can?] think of (no viol)atio(n, no su)bjugation more complete than this.”
-----P14----
On his Motivations
(From Fathi Al Haytham; Translated - J)

Our people possess great shame in secret. Only those who have achieved most highest Mastery know of this shame. Our Khadai (Princes) bear it, and our Heroes; I am such a Worthy. This story is written on my flesh, as on my sire’s flesh, for time unto beginning-time.

Long ago, we lived in another land, where we flourished. We were made after Much Honored Dunyena’s shape, who taught us of honor. In our honor and glory, we grew also hubris, which is unearned
-----P15----
Pride. In our Master, we believed we could make our world greater than it had been created, and erase all its flaws. We would be as gods forever, and we would empty Tsehetodhvan (lit. death-land), and suffer no more.

Khad-Anaii (That Which Is, pl w/ royal pref.) heard our hubris. Anai Pathamonan (God of Shapes) spoke to our greatest ones and to our lowest ones: that the world was a gift made for us with care, andall for reasons. We did not listen. We took Har-Anai-Tsechet (analog to the Warden) and Har-Anai-Marhanav
-----P16----
(flesh-shaper-Titan) and bound them to our service, to further our Mastery. We fashioned cretaures of Mastery to serve us, and we help open Tsehetodhvan’s Gates and released our ancestors. We sought to capture Har-Anai-Odharandv (land-Shaper Titan) and shape the Earth to our [will], but Anai-Path’amonan stopped us. He unmade large numbers of us, as Tsehetodhvan stood unguarded. We fought Him - how could we not? And as we fought our memories were lost, for Har-Ani-Paithmon (like Auvet) would not keep them, so we began to carve them into our bodies.

Khad-Anaii argued together,
-----P17----
For Anai-Ahratsalan (God of Realms) wished to leave us to our hubris, but Anai-Fathamonan felt we must pay for our deeds. He destroyed all Adr-Anaii, and left us. We rejoiced in their leaving, and worked many wonders. But all feel to chaos, for all remained of memory were mere servants who could make no Order from them; and our dead wandered loose upon the Earth. We knew then that our freedom from Khad-Anai was cursed, and we wept.

Keb-Khadai-Marrashi -- our Greatest Princes -- gathered those of greatest Mastery and said, “we must journey upon those roads where starts burn black and right our hubris to restore our
-----P18----
World.” So our bravest Heroes did travel to this World, but when we entered, our gate blackened, and we could not return. So we have dwelt here, wishing always to make right our hubris. But Khad-Anai will not hear us, and Anai-POathamonan had become Marnai-Tsolvehetai (The Aggressor-Adversary) who would make this world a slave-world because of our hubris. So again we must fight, and when we die, our souls return to our own world where now only Ghosts must dwell: Tsehetoahvan World forever.

This is our great shame - Marash Keb Nakhathan - for we understand our world is lost. Now we fight, for being slave-world, we feel, is not better than Ghost World.
-----P19----
On his death
It became clear that the Prison and its Warden would, in all normal deaths, refuse the soul (for lack of a better term) of the Master Shaper, and the Hounds fear him. Thus it was needful to render him dead both in the world and in the Prison, so to speak. Uster Carran came up with the solution of preserving the moment of his death in time unending. Martel expressed his concern for potential cosmic consequences of this course of action, but we did not divine any other that we could implement soon enough to prevent the enslavement of our people and the world entire.
-----P20----
Carran and Martel, with others, used the secrets of the 27 Chambers of Time to provide a basis for Martel's great work, the Warded Barrows and the Table that secures them thus creating a double lock upon the Prison of the enemy. The keys to the tomb itself lay in Martel's vaults, the Warded Barrows, and the Keys to the Barrows are established within Marath Suvla. Even still, undoing what has been done would require more than merely discovering his location within the Barrows; for now that he is dead and fixed in time the laws of the Warden apply to him, and the Warden may not release him without the proper formalities.
-----P21----
Such are the safeguards upon this death: a triple lock - the Barrows that contain his mortal and physical self; the Chambers that preserve his death, and the Prison itself, which holds his soul against ressurrection. So long as these locks remain inviolate, so too the Most Foul's death.

The warriors and battle wizards fought the Most Foul on the great field of Marath Suvla, the plain where now naught but grass and weeds will grow. Ferina Dai Dessa, the valiant Paladin Queen of Mazhan, gave her life in this battle, along with a great many of our friends and companions who had fought so long and so hard. Her consort, Oriset, the great general of the celestial Host, delivered the final stroke with his mighty
----P22----
Glaive. At the same moment, Carran of Sharat Gan quit the field to cast the Great Invocation of the 27 Chambers of Time with those ritualists who still lived of the Heroes of Sharat Gaun: Uster Achlys Nyx, called also Anthea, Uster Djalin Naravi, who had returned with the Tharici from the East, and Uster Ovin Kupril; as well as Rexyl Xyan, his Homunculus Aegidus, and others. They had clung to life through many sorrows, and in this rite they relinquished their vitality, their duty at last complete.

This left the disposition of his body which, after lengthy debate, we decided to commit to the
-----P23----
Warded Barrows, into a tomb locked by a rite proposed by Martel and Dalavere. But when the moment came, Dalavere initiated quite a different ritual, to break the bonds of the Most Foul at the bidding of the Amethyst Queen. Only Khavar Al-Qalam, his student, was present to witness it. The contract that bound their cabal meant death to the one who slew another member, but he took up his spear for the last time and slew, by treachery, one who would betray the whole world.
-----P24----
How Matters Stand Since His Death
It is now clear that the Most Foul's death did not free any of those who delivered their souls to his cause, and the hordes of Shades flow forth - not unabated, but still in number. While the remaining Durhilis Mor are unwilling to prosecute this war further in the absence of their would-be Turranos and High Priest, it is folly to believe that they are no longer a threat to the peoples of this world. Further, the Firstborn are all but destroyed and gone from the world, either in fighting against
-----P25----
their leaders, or lost to the Grey Bite.

Once it was clear that Dalavere's gambit had failed, Chulda, the Amethyst Queen, the Matron of Vermin and commander of the army of shades, werecreatures, and the remaining Durhilis Mor, met with Martel, Miklos Sevastokratos, Ghaliya, and others of our number to negotiate a peace. Although we had brought down her Master, those of us who remained were in ragged enough a state that we did not feel confident of defeating her and Bedrauglig the Smith both rem-
-----P26----
ains of their forces. On the other Hand, the Scarred Mistress, Harthani, quit the field upon the death of her master, taking her scrags and drowned dead with her. Yeudlif, the Corrupter of Sharat Gan, was badly wounded and near death by all reports, and Kasirga, the Skyblackener had all but disappeared following the death of Fathi Al-Haytham; most of the trolls too had fled. Aside stood Jytharic, the betrayer of Ton Isiq, and Ylipo Varas, the Undying Hate, waiting to see the end of the negotiations. No lasting deal was struck
----P27----
save the cessation of immediate hostilities, and all would be permitted to leave unharmed - so attested by a contract of diplomacy written to last a year and a day. Varas objected most strenuously, demanding the body of the Shaper and the death of his Killers, but he was silenced by Chulda, who yet denied the Sevastokratos's demands for Varas's arrest to answer for crimes against Tharicia. Thus it was agreed, and all withdrew - forcibly in some cases, but nonetheless completely.
----P28----
In the immediate aftermath, we buried those who fell in the battle - those mentioned previously, and also Whisper of the Black Stripes, Marcus Haemon, who turned from war to take up the staff of healing, Nasreen, the sister of Khavar, and pride of the Ejderha, who was slain by Parachae as the Most Foul severed her leg. With the Paladin Queen, so also fell many Mazhani: the Forge Mage Urza and his companions, Ronin the exile, restored to glory in his service, Sessen don Kabas, and Kaida dai Sheena, who all fought
----P29----
valiantly to avenge the death of their Queen. Oriset and his loyal Tibrimen stayed to bury the Mazhani dead, but bore away the body of Ferina to a place of rest he deemed more fitting. Bonn [sp?] Travos was buried by his commander and lover, Rosaria of the Sinestrostratos. Mina, daughter of Cestasis, ere he became Jytharic, buried Rexyl Xyan and with him Aegidus, who insisted he be interred still living with his beloved Master. Still further, the field was littered with the dead of the Host of Heaven - both the Fallen who served the Most Foul,
----P30----
and the celestials that descended to our aid. In Oriset's absence Dalmied saw to their funeral rites, and the beauty and sorrow of the dirge he and the survivors sang moved us all to tears. Among the scores of slain I will mention Elestritha, who I have referenced elsewhere in this work; a brilliant scholar and one of the most wise and gentle people I have had the honor to know. Also I should mention Ophraliel: to know him was to know how to laugh and to cry at the same time. He will, I fear and hope, be long remembered, for he left an indelible mark upon all he met.
-----P31----
After the last notes of Dalmied's song faded away, the skies opened, and I saw many of the celestials turn their faces up to the light and re-ascend in a blaze of glory. Mirenha, another brave scholar and close friend of Elestrithia, was taken up quickly, but Dalmied remained, choosing to dwell among us mortals, along with Khirsaion, Farenthil, Orlonna, Edrethas, and Uladariel, who left to seek a different kind of immortality, with Charoun.


In time, the Oracle of the West implored us to bring and bury others near
-----P32----
the field where the Enemy fell, to stand as an army of the dead against the threat of his rising. We did this thing, interring many of our friends and heroes of the war in the graveyard, and others in the Warded Barrows themselves, to protect them from desecration, friend and enemy alike. Martel labors still on the Barrows and the finer points of his table, for a new and terrible power has insinuated itself into the void left behind by the Master Shaper. Martel calls this power the Nether, the stuff of raw despair and ruin. The Table will not be complete until this power is accounted for beside the
-----P33----
Realms and forms, where once he felt a power of infinite creation should reside.

Although the immediate threat of world dominion has ended, we do not deceive ourselves that no threat remains. The year and day promised by the Truce has expired, and while the hostilities of war seem unlikely to resume, it is all but certain that Ylipo Varas, at the very least, will not cease until he has brought about the Most Foul's resurrection and dominion over the world. We have lost all contact with the People of Fathi Al-Haytham, and we are unlikely to learn more of their neighbors, the people of Mhingolay, for Jytharic has sealed the city of Ton Isiq, and it is believed that Kasirga still
-----P34----
haunts the southern desert, waiting for an opportunity. We still do not know what became of Sturkne, who led the Druman people to ruin in the north for many years, before he braved the Road of Black Stars and sought Tontura. Nor of Harthani, who once called Dalmied, and what she may be planning. Still more worrisome, we do not know what mischief Yeudlif works within the jade walls of Sharat Gan; only that he was taken to the city after the battle. Perhaps he never recovered, but that is an extremely vain hope.
-----P35----
Finally, there is Chulda herself, who retreated to Her mountain fastness and seeks a way to restore the Tendril of Ruination - Dread Ofilire and his mask of Unfettered Horrors - to this world. This, above all, we must prevent. We do not know on what battle field the Tharici chose to make their stand against him, but perhaps, when the Table is complete, we will have the means to support them in their fight. It is my hope that this text will serve as a guidepost for those who come after, who will face those threats we could no vanquish.

I cannot know, nor even Martel, whether the
-----P36----
course we chose in killing the Most Foul was the wisest. The metaphysical consequences of this choice begin to make themselves felt in Marath Suvla; in the words of the Oracle:

"The Curse of blood shall
Spread throughout the
World, but the gaping
Wound from whence it
Stems shall drown all
Eyes in blood - Whence
We bleed ever, this blood
Shall cloud our sight
And choke our words,
What shines shall grow
Less bright, and heaby too;
Those who have no eyes
May drink this blood
Forever, and know not."
-----P37----
The full implication of these words will doubtless become clear in time, as will the final judgement on our actions. I pray to the gods I came to fear in Druma, and to the powers I came to know in the war, that past and future will be kind to us and our deeds.


JUTTA.

Original Document
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