The Book of Malady

A journey back through time, carried out around the time of the First Moot, 1099

From the archives of the Bards Guild, written by Bedo of Madoc McYokel, at the request of Robyn, so that the knowledge gained be not lost.

Participants in the journey :- Robyn, Oonagh, Jinx, Seris and Draego. The journey involved travel from a transport circle to another, then via a ritual circle where there was a blue demon. There was then a ten day journey through lands blighted by the Plague Demons. We arrived at a Ritual Circle on a beach by a coast, Oonagh remembers a circle guarded by elves, in which a brightly coloured demon was bound with heavy chains with strange shaped links. Jinx saw a similar scene, and heard voices in his head saying “She can stop them, she must be killed”. Robyn remembers the elves as chanting:

‘Shall, ayah donneth, shall ayah tren’
‘Shall, ayah donneth, shall ayah tren’
‘Shall, ayah donneth, shall ayah tren’
‘Shall, ayah donneth, shall ayah tren’

while other elves brought Magical items in from the four points of the compass.

At different times each of the group were pulled back to the present time. Oonagh heard the words “You are not of this place, you are not of this time, you must return.” Robyn heard three voices arguing about whether this trip should have happened.

On their return they were attacked by several Plague Demons. One asked “Why did you bring Robyn?”. It seems that she was there because (according to Morwenna) one of her family needed to be there.

Bedo McYokel 2nd July 1099AF

* Almost certainly Shal-aya, rather than Shall ayah – Thomas.

The Release of Maladius at the First Moot, 1099 Tale by Falcon, 23rd March 1100

I must advise you to show the utmost caution when facing the demon. I know him as Maladius, Master of Plagues, and he is one of the most powerful of the plague demons. Overshadowing the terrible demon that we brought down at the Convocation of Guilds.

The story of his release is a sad one, demonstrating that even the wisest may be fooled. Though I do not know the whole story, I will relate what I saw with my own eyes.

It was about nine turns of the Moon ago, at the first Moot when the Healers heard word of this demon. It was said that he was responsible for the many attacks by plague cultists who had been happening across the land. Some strange man had given a parchment to them. It was said by him that this would release the demon from where he was held and then cast him into the void so he could do no harm. Lady Constance asked if I would like to accompany them and also requested that I watch this stranger, as she was concerned that his words were less than truthful.

So we set off, at first with some confidence. Our group consisted, for the main, of healers and armourers; this seemed a strong enough group and should have been capable of handling most difficulties. Unfortunately, this pride was to prove our undoing.

At first upon entering the lands, we found some of those who had been taken by the plague, then journeying a short way on, encountered wood-elves who demanded to know why we were in their forest. After proving that we were not there to harm them, one offered to lead us, though this later proved to be a deception. He was one of the followers of this creature and hoped to set us against the true elves that called this their home. After journeying on and numerous conflicts we discovered the true nature of our guide and managed to convince one of the local elves to assist us. He led us on until we came to a dark portal, which took all the power of the majicks that were wielded to bring down. Proceeding down a dark stair we found ourselves in a place apparently filled with demons. This was where the greatest folly occurred. As I stepped forward to face these creatures, I was struck down from behind. What I did not know was that these demons were my comrades cloaked in illusion. The creature at the heart of this place hoped to force us to defeat ourselves. The enchantment was eventually broken, but it took all the remaining power of our healers to deal with the wounded.

We then proceeded on and found that which we sought. The spirit of an elven king bound Maladius. Though we asked the spirit to aid us, he refused believing that the demon should remain bound where it was. We should have listened to his words; I should have listened to the unquiet voice within myself. But the time when I should have spoken past and it was far too late. One spoke the words in the scroll, but the stranger’s treachery came to pass. The last line of the scroll, which would dispel the demon to the void, had been rendered invisible. So the creature was released and summoning one of his own to aid him, he fell upon us. Three of my comrades fell, before, he dismissed us from his presence and we returned to the place of the Moot…

I cannot caution you enough, that this demon is hideously powerful. If he is anything like his brother, who was at the Convocation, it will take many to defeat him.

Any weapon could wound the demon that we fought there, but he was hideously strong and took many blows to strike down. I severed his right arm, but it took many strikes to do so, even when he was struck to the ground. He cast deadly magics and was able to summon a powerful demon to assist him. Once he was struck to death all who were there felt disease afflict them and it was fortunate that so many were present who were able to heal the wounds and illness.

One further warning. Once the demon was defeated, we all left, to return to Pompeii, but upon hearing of our battle, my friend, the scribe Pyrites, was concerned that something of the demon may be left when it had dissolved away. He journeyed there alone and found a hideous insect upon the ground that cast malodorous diseases upon him. Fortunately, he held a staff enchanted with healing magics and was able to destroy it and its retinue of flies and heal the good earth once more.

This, I believe, was a demon weaker than Maladius. I say to you that you must take every precaution. If this truly is the Master of Plagues then I truly believe that an army of the mightiest warriors, healers and mages should be sent to deal with him. And they must be armed and armoured with as much knowledge as possible. Who knows the depth of power of this terrible creature? The Rituals for Dealing with Plague Demonscopied by Thomas Fitzroy Cholomondeley Smythe at the Convocation of Guilds, 1100

The destruction and elimination of the three great beasts.

This is the advice of Angmar the blackened and Morwenna Voidbreaker of the Royal House of Morllani, implement at your own risk.

All three of the great beasts share one great power that greatly increases their survival chances – upon death their patterns retreat unto the rotten heart of the void, once there they can rapidly gather the primal matter of that realm about themselves to rebuild their physical form then return unto our realm.

We believe that by preventing the retreat of their patterns into the rotten heart it may be possible to destroy it upon this plane and vanquish the beasts. The vital key to such an undertaking would be the discovery of the beasts true names, alas we have no knowledge of whence they may be found or obtained. In the hope that the guild of healers and the peoples of the lesser races can stumble upon the names we present our notes and advice upon the various rituals needed to destroy the beasts.

Matters concerning all the beasts

The names are vital, without the names then there can be no hope of success with these ventures. All rituals concerning these beasts must be performed in a place blessed by the ancestors or containing great power, these places can act as anchors for the chaining of the beasts. The rituals should contain as many competant participants as possible, but as always quality should be put before quantity.

A word of warning may be in order here, the beasts will rapidly realise what is being done to them when they are summoned and can be relied upon to react with extreme violence and the full extent of their powers, if they can kill enough of the ritualists involved then the effort will fail, a sealed circle may well become a deathtrap for those involved.

Presuming that the ensuing conflict goes well the surviving participants must ensure that the body of the beast is dismembered with weapons of power, the greater the power of the weapons the greater the chance of success. Upon the dismemberment of the body as many mages as available should attempt to dispel the enchantment upon the body simultaneously. We believe that this should be sufficient to destroy the beast, or at least damage it’s pattern beyond recovery.

Matters concerning the beast of the mind

To destroy this beast of clashing colours and mental terror we advise the following.

This beast has the ability to change it’s true name, the process by which it does this takes just one whole day, it is therefore vital that this beast is summoned and destroyed within one day of it’s true name being discovered, or the name will become useless.

Any ritual to summon this beast should involve as many of the following as possible. A genius, a halfwit, a madman and a scholar. The presence of as many items or works of learning and thought as possible will also have a beneficial effect.

Somehow all the ritualists taking part must merge their minds and thoughts with those of the leader who must summon forth the beast by it’s true name, it is hoped that once the beast answers the summons the joint mind should split into it’s constituent parts, but we cannot be certain of this.

Once the beast has arrived it must be bound to the chosen area by the sacrifice of knowledge or learning, once this is done the warriors can see to the beasts downfall.

Matters concerning the beast of the soul

This dark shadowy creature may well be the most devious of your foes, it’s diseases are those of corruption and despair.

The individual who is chosen to lead this ritual should be as pure in mind, body and soul as possible, further they must spend at least 13 days in contemplation, fasting and purification immediately prior to the attempt.

All others participating in the ritual must share a secret or confession with the world during the ritual itself, the more significant the secret the greater it’s power.

The presence of artefacts that uphold the great virtues such as truth and loyalty is advisable as the beast will be drawn to their presence in an attempt to corrupt them.

The final act in summoning the beast should involve a member of the circle pledging themselves to a life of purity and goodness, the beast will not be able to resist the challenge. Beware however that any pledge made within the circle may be held as binding by any powers present and observing. Once the beast is present then let the warriors do their work.

Matters concerning the beast of the body

Perhaps the most powerful of all, this beast has beset our family before and we will be glad to be rid of it.

All those who are present at the summoning should be pure in body before the attempt is made. None who have ever been host to one of this beasts minions should be within sight or sound of this ritual unless it can be known for sure that they are completely free of it’s taint for they may well still be his to command without them even being aware of it. Perhaps the guild of healers and those petty wizards in the mages guild can provide a way of checking this. The one who is to summon the great beast must be protected by the kiss of Shal-aya as the powers unleashed will strike them dead.

As well as the ritualists the following peoples should be present. The Elven King thrice blessed by his past in the tomb of our kings, accepted by his people, and armed with the treasures. Those of our line that have not yet fought the beast, the more of the line of Morllani that are present the more powerful the summoning will be.

Once the beast is present the Elven King must challenge the beast, and be the first to land a blow with one of the lost blades, none should interfere until the King calls for aid, the first blow must be his for this will render the beast more vulnerable to others. The beast will not fall until the disease is driven from it’s form by one of our line, this should be repeated as often as possible for it is susceptible to the touch or spellcasting of the Morllani line.

When the beast finally falls the body should be dismembered by the Elven King or one of our bloodline, and other near the body may well act as a host for it’s fleeing pattern. Once the body has been dismembered the mages may approach to see to the final act.

We wish you luck and that those who survive learn the lesson that patience and time are the only true paths to greater knowledge.

Words from the Elven Alliance on Plague Demons
told to Thomas Fitzroy Cholomondeley Smythe, during the Gathering, 1100.

The Old College of Light visited the Unseen Court from the past. They told of an Avatar of Vengeance, a Plague Demon in three parts, Maladius (Body), Gibberack (Mind) and Soul. These three entities, if they combine, become a vastly powerful force in the Cataclysm.

They also said that both Evil and Chaos are unbalanced, although the strength of Evil is the greater.

Being various accounts of encounters with the minions and magicks of Maladius

Excerpt from a Report of the Heartland Games 1099AF By High Mage Terwin of The Fellowship of the Full Moon

Plague Demons
More demons and cultists hampered the weekend having been sent by Maladius to cause problems. Luckily the flute which was discovered at the Convocation of Guilds had the power to remove them.

Excerpt from The Tasks of Odin summary (Late April 1102AF) Additional report information from Anders

There were indeed a number of visits from a Treeman who dwelled in the forest. He came to us to ask for help to destroy an item that had been created by Maladius and had been placed in the forest which was creating a mini-’blight’, similar to the one at Damsey only smaller.
Myself and Tarl lead a party to the site of this ‘blight’ where there were a number of unliving, some of which had the ability to make your limbs start to decay by touching them. After a brief ‘conversation’ the unliving were slain and I retrieved the item off the body of a mummy which had been at the site. Once retreating to a safe distance Tarl used the hammer of Thor to destroy the item.
The Treeman seemed very thankful for our help and during the following conversation he informed me he had a son called Draego, a number of people seemed to recognise the name, but I did not.

Excerpt from a ‘Report on the Convocation of Guilds on Ustica 1103 AF’ By Mab Carter, Tutonian Minister of Arcane Affairs

Shortly after I got back things are a little hazy but I do remember waking up lying on the ground with a grinning Esmund and a worried Zhe’dan standing over me. It appears that somehow I had been infected with some strange disease that made me really relaxed… Not sure why Zhe’dan felt the need to bash me over the head, although being calm was a most unusual feeling. I think perhaps that these diseases (other people were affected in different ways) were something to do with the Vines that kept trying to attack us. When we went to the Healers Guild event earlier in the winter, someone had planted corrupted seedlings everywhere. For some reason people (especially the Wolves) blamed the butler instead of the Gardener and the Gardener escaped singing his praises to the Plague demon Maladius. The Gardener escaped from the Healers on Ustica again but we chopped his plants to pieces…

…. On Sunday we attacked the Plague Vine Garden but saw no sign of the Gardener. The Emperors envoy watched us all battle a large force of Unliving led by some guy called Lo Pan. Ys was also in attendance, somehow he got decayed but when Sol Tempest (Healer’s Guild Grandmaster) tried to cure it he couldn’t and collapsed. I believe that Ys went back with the Emperor for some kind of Healing Potion (?). Another fight that we won although I missed a fair bit of it..

A Personal Account by Memphis Al Fayed of Ustica; March 1104 AF

The Tongue of the Demon
I recently had a meeting with ***********, a Dark Incantor of the Tarantulas. He showed me various items that he might be willing to part with as well as offering his assistance with several matters. Amongst the Items he offered was a large tongue that appeared to be rotting somewhat. It is known as ‘The Tongue of the Plague Demon’ and it enables the bearer to resist all forms of Disease, including Decay. He said that it was the tongue of the Demon Lord Maladius. I perceived, after Diagnosis, the Item to be of a permanently magical nature. Apparently you do not have to be a Channeller to use the item. This increases it’s value greatly, as to resist Disease it is almost always dependant upon some sort of Channelling ability (or else an Alien Life Pattern). He claimed that he wears the item as a codpiece! He did not reveal where he came across the item – but I shall endeavor to find out, I am guessing that it is Norscan in origin.

Excerpt of a Report on the Convocation of Guilds, Ustica, April 1104 by Memphis Al Fayed

Gardener of Maladius
A man arrived on the Saturday evening, he was accompanied by two creatures that seemed to be Unliving of some sort. He was dressed in white/cream coloured robes and carried a staff.
He asked to speak with the Healers Guild and loitered outside the bar awaiting their response. Somebody seems to have recognised him as ‘the gardener of Maladius’ and a confrontation would have taken place had not the man and his servants ‘shifted’ into the trunk of a nearby tree.
He then appeared from another tree some way off and mocked those who were hounding him.
He and his fellows flitted from tree to tree for a time and attempted to lure some of the main party away from the rest of us. No one took the bait.
I am unsure of his intentions or motives – all I can say with certainty is that he claimed to be a representative (or follower in fact) of Maladius and that he sought to speak with the Healers Guild but was not given a chance to do so.
For the brief time that his creatures did fight they inflicted disease upon their assailants and seemed to be harmed by the flame sword that my bodyguard was carrying.

The next day I was taken to a strange garden that was said to be this mans creation. It was a little way off into the woods nearby. The Healers said that it was ‘corrupted’ but I saw no evidence of this. After some time spent watching Healers and Incantors making fools of themselves trying to cast magics upon the blooms I wandered off.