author: Scrye the Raider
Listen greedy Lord, vile thief and curious Raider... to a story that will wet your leggings and stain your kerchief with tears of fear. A fable of three friends who learned a lesson rarely sung: there are worse fates in life than dying all too young.
It started as a bet, a competition of sorts, of who could find the treasure of greatest value in the year. Emperor's vault and merchant's bank were quickly set aside, for on all of Ashan there is but one treasure outstanding and with no peer: 'tis the secrets of the Shantiri, hidden five hundred years since their demise, holding power, fame and fortune, stories of riches untold... for which kings would pay a hundred times their horse's weight in gold.
The first friend set out to find the Forge of Ice and Fire in the ruins of Hammer Fall. She had map and magic compass, and a will stronger than tempered steel. She was found a decade later, but her wits had been left behind. She said she'd learned the sacred secrets and they had her taught all was fine. Never again would she fight or struggle for the treasure of the Shantiri was peace of mind.
The second friend sought out the Forge of Air and Sea, somewhere to the south it is said, beyond the Isle of Glee. He returned within a year, but older by a lifetime. What hair was left was white, and his eyes were worn and sightless. He said he had found the secrets and it was not worth the pain. It could be taken but not stolen, held but not kept, and you either had it in you from the start, or it would escape you when you slept.
The third friend loved the other two even more than they loved him. He'd set out for Karthal, a city known for its Shantiri ruins. He found the entrance and understood that to go in and come back would be to change into someone else. He did not wish his friends to forget him, so he waited for their return. Together they would enter and together they would earn... the treasure of the ages, the secrets of the sages.
He found his second friend and mourned his loss of youth, his loss of hair, his loss of courage. His friend was but a shadow of himself. On a sleepless night he took a dagger and sent his broken friend to Asha's Moon, praying for him a better life the next time.
He waited ten years for the woman that his true heart desired more than any treasure. When he saw her, she was mad and empty, her will, like a dampened hearth fire, extinguished. On a sleepless night he took a dagger and sent his broken lady on to Asha's Moon, praying her a better life the next time.
And then he went to sleep, the Shantiri Forge forgotten, a black vial falling from his fingers, and flew to Asha's Moon, dreaming for a better life the next time.
Hear this tale and know, the treasure of most value is not one you have to seek. She or he may already stand beside you, even right now as we speak.
Around a fire, there are secrets true friends should never keep.
A fireside tale, told by Scrye the Raider.
Other Lore for Might & Magic X: Legacy
- The Raider's Code
- The History of Karthal
- Sea Shanties and Harbour Songs
- Michael and His Glories
- Bestiary of Ashan
- Portal to a Distant Star
- Mystery of the Hidden Shrine
- A Passage through the Isles
- The Divine Right
- For Kin and Glory
- Night of the Destroyer
- Decree of Destiny
- The War of Bitter Ashes
- The Fabrication of the Orcs
- The Binding of the Clans
- Malassa Mourning
- Dynasties of Light
- The Myths of Creation
- Houses of Wizardry
- On the Nature of the Spirit World
- Titan Finder
- The Eighth City
- The Dragon of Karthal: a Popular Folk Tale
- The Distant Home
- Wandering the Waves
- The Treasures of the Shantiri
- A Savage History of the Pirates
- Manifesto of the Karthal League
- Song of the Earth
- The History of Hammer Fall
- Excerpt from Montbard's Journals
- Dunstan's Last Adventure
- Astronomical Notes
- A Tour of the Free Cities
- Life with the Pao Island Orcs
- The Books of Beginnings
- The Treacherous Queen Tuidhana