A wrinkled old parchment among many other incoherent spell notes and boring histories.
I write this in the vain hope that my advice will be heeded after I am gone. My apprentices believe after all this that they are kings among men, and that my lessons only exist to hold them back. They have apprentices of their own now, and call me their peer.
My name is Amn. I am a wizard, and one of no small power. I made my home in the landlocked city of Estra, central city-state in the land of Cirdun. As the only wizard in the vicinity, I took it upon myself to look after the welfare of the citizens. I took on apprentices; at one time I had thirteen students. The troubles that plagued the city were mine to correct. Blue dragonflights, blood elf raiders, and lizardmen incursions all caused great damage and effort to repel.
I had decided that a grand feat of magic would protect us and force the raiders to retreat forever. I would lift the city into the sky. Even now, my hubris amazes me.
It would require sacrifice, as magic was plentiful, but constant. I had tapped into the Shadow Realm, and thought that I would use the power I found there to bring my dream to life. I sent 3 apprentices into the Realm, and stationed most of the rest around the borders of the city. My own station was my tower in the very center, attended by my most senior apprentice, Joey.
I watched my magic drain every color from the land and sky, one by one. The rocks shattered, the air grew still. Water evaporated as the sun flashed hot and then went out. The people faded into the shadow, their will dimmed. Within this void, my spell cracked open the sky, summoning a mighty golden disc to loft the city back out of the darkness and into the clouds.
I had done it, so I thought. I walked the streets of the city, which I had renamed Amn-Estra, and did not find a single person other than my nine apprentices. The people were gone. Below the disc, a bleak darkness settled on the crater that remained. A scar that I had left in the fabric of Cirdun and the Material Plane, a constant open door to the Shadow Realm.
Once I realized Joey was gone, I searched the crater. Once within, the sun went out and the empty land seemed desolate. I saw a glint of color, and then I found Joey. Strewn about him were colored crystals, glowing brightly like a shattered crystal rainbow. His treasured items also glowed white. A thin silver helm, ornamental at best. His wide leather belt, studded with obsidian. A breastplate forged of orichalcum. An amulet bearing the symbol of some dead Gawd. His left gauntlet, made of black and silver dragonscale. And a small unadorned golden ring.
I brought Joey, who would not awaken, and these things to my tower in the floating city. After some study, these items were shown to be bits of the fabric that I had torn. These things were the elements of the old city. Over the next months I ignored the city I had built, instead studying the elements, using their properties to learn where my people had gone, and to seek them out.
My apprentices, reveling in the new sources of magic, transmuted the entire city, to shine golden in the sun as the disc itself. Inviting merchants and settlers, they repopulated the city in record time. They were amazed to learn from the immigrants that mutahumans from all over the lands started to be born with inherent magical ability, which required no study. They invited these ‘Sorcerers’ to the city to learn the origin of their powers. The beginning of what they learned here became Magitek and its unfortunate cousins.
I, meanwhile, working on the unconscious Joey and my people, had a breakthrough after a time. I used the elements and Joey as a focus, bringing the people of Estra back, including my three apprentices. Accomplishing this feat was my first joy in some time. However, their years in the Realm darkened them. They spurned my glorious city, and built in the void below it. This great magic spurred research by other members of the order now known as the Penumbra Arcana. The elements were borrowed, and one by one, I found myself losing the ability to fix my mistake.
The elements are key to repairing the breach in the city now called Shade. They must be gathered and combined, to restore Estra and my honor. Joey’s slow death was forestalled by the elements, but now that they leave my possession, he must be preserved. Using the new Magitek, I have designed a Matrix, where data can be stored indefinitely. His consciousness will persist there, waiting to instruct those who find him.
Please heed my words, we must fix Shade!