Hibernia: The War of the Jewels
The War Begins…
The fires engulfing the Tower of Magic showed no sign of abating. As if they had a mind of their own, they raged across the thin gray wick that was the tower. The stone was like oil, and the heat of the fire could be felt for blocks. The citizens of New Gondolin feared that the Magi had finally brought the ruin the Inquisitors and Kirkmen promised they would bring to their city, but the flames seemed uninterested in any building but the Tower. The Inquisitors and Kirkmen themselves cried out in vain to their One God to put out the flames, but either He was not capable or simply uninterested.
From the Path of the Wise, Riancrast the White looked down upon the inferno. His tear stained and weary face at last cracked into a smile. Even in death Old One, you show your power, he thought, and your mercy. He paused to reflect on the events of the last four hours: the Hierophant at the head of a mob of Inquisitors, Kirkmen, and the self-righteous; the Imperial Writ in his hand, signed by the Emperor himself, ordering the termination of every magic-wielder in the kingdom; the chaotic battle between Magi and Ecclesiastic, culminating in the duel between the Archmage and the Hierophant; and finally the whispered voice of the Archmage and all other Arcanites, to run, as the Old One consumed his body in magical flame, the remanants of which still burned the tower down. All in four hours.
Riancrast looked at the remnants of the Magi. Of the the several hundred who had inhabited the city, only a few dozen remained To form a winding snake like line from the secret tunnels over the Mountains. None of the wisest or most powerful survived. Those who should be learning would now have to teach. Though they survived this battle, the war may be over before it had begun.
A gangly, unshapely Brown Robe awkwardly roamed away from the crowd. Riancrast smiled again as he recognized his friend Ravaghast, the newly installed Head of the Transmuters.
“Not many survive… Old One,” Ravaghast stammered as he grew accustomed to Riancrast’s new title.
“What will we do, where will we go? The Hierophant’s reach is long.”
“Yes, but he does have enemies. Once we are over the mountains, we must all go our separate ways. We must cover our robes and travel in secret.”
“But this is folly, we will surely be found.”
“Some of us will die, yes. But, we must reach help. I have spoken to the other Heads, each has their mission, each knows their goal. We will appeal to all who resist the Hierophant. The Frenish King, the Edain Patriarch, even the Haradrim Sultan will soon find a Mage at their door. And remember, Maximus is not the only Emperor on Medater.”
“But surely the Hierophant will be waiting for us. He knows his enemies. And now that the Emperor is his true ally…”
“Ay, it is a fools hope, but hope none-the-less.”
Ravaghast did not say anything for a while. He looked over the mountains out upon the outstretched plains of Middenhiem. We are all doomed.
Finally Ravaghast spoke, “You have spoken to all the Heads, save me. What would you have me do, Old One?”
“My dear Ravaghast, I dare not even utter. Know only that you and I have the most important mission. We must journey to Carlsheim, and from there…”
Ravaghast’s eyes widened as he realized.
“Surely not, we have not heard from him in centuries, not since we walled him in.”
“When the tower is consumed, that wall will fall. We must reach him first.”