Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Tales from Year's End (The Observatory)


Noland Tagart looked up and marveled at the cosmos from a little known observatory on Mount Waterdeep. Some say he was spoiled and lacked the sense to come in out of the rain, but he considered himself handsome and strong. Noland was one member of a small tet of AO worshippers who sung to the ‘Overgod’ imploring the entity to make sense of the chaos and for wise choices in regards to the hierarchy of the heavens.

Noland regularly made the pilgrimages to the Stairway… to the Tower, which is how he found his observatory. In a crook where Castle Waterdeep met the mountain there is a long narrow ledge that offers a great view of the south eastern sky. It is on this ledge Noland came to watch the celestial displays, as was the case this Year’s End with the promise of an eclipse.

“See the rot on the face of Selune herself… the cycle of life is broken. Woe to the sons of Amaunator and the daughters of Eronia!”

The sudden discourse shattered Noland’s wonder at the broadening eclipse. It sounded broken and slurred but alive with insane madness.

“Wh- what?” Noland turned weapon in hand and his eyes fell upon the most horrific sight of man he had ever seen.

The speaker was a leper dressed in a black rotted cassock with its hands and feet wrapped in old bandages. Yellow-brown eyes peered out from a black helmet and his teeth bared.

“…the cycle of life is broken, the Rotting stopped the cycle… it promises only death.” The leper continued, inspired. Suddenly the Shadowed One rocketed to his feet.  “Look with despair the rot upon the moon itself!”

Looking up at the moon and seeing it was horrific; it was not a beatific heavenly occurrence as Noland imagined but a ghastly and blighted growth that seemed to swallow the moon within its tumorous corruption.

Overcome with emotion Noland fell to his knees and burst into tears, he could not help it. He looked down
at the mountain side and saw that everywhere the shadow of the eclipse fell, the ground began to rot and decay. Trees withered and died while parasites were corrupted into horrific consuming things.

Then the shadow of rot fell upon the observatory. Noland felt a consuming power try to overtake him, but fought it off; then from behind him the leper fell immediately silent from his rantings to utter a cryptic phrase that bespoke utter madness.

“I am the Darkbringer, the Jawed God, and the Rotting Lord… I bring to you… wretched people of the Realms your salvation: the world must consume itself to renew itself.”

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