Thread of Mortality
Nameless Court mage Ancient
Thread of Mortality is an excerpt from a collection of tales about magic. The author and accuracy of this story is unknown.
In formal teachings of magic, this passage is usually given to mages when they study the Fourth Law of Magic - which is regarded as an absolute, unbreakable law. The moral of the story is normally discussed with instructors pushing the conclusion that a mage should never attempt to resurrect the dead.
Codex TextWhen Princess Ishara fell ill, we scoured the land far and wide to find a cure. No doctor could find the origin of the disease. Any concoctions and remedies brought by wisewomen proved themselves useless. As the King grew more desperate he would accept all manner of charlatans and quacks, but no matter the snake oil they peddled, they all returned from the princesses chambers with long faces.
At last he sent a royal envoy to Sarhart, in the middle of the coldest winter of the last decade. Even centuries of rivalry seemed inconsequential in the face of his fading daughter. He all but begged King Callon to send some of his fabled mages from the Healers’ Circle of Tarinta.
What’s the more, King Callon agreed – with spring, the caravan returned with two of the senior mages in tow. They performed rituals and held wake for three days and nights, but even their magic could not ease Ishara’s pains.
The Princess passed not one week after the Healers left again.
The people wept for the adored Ishara as black banners were hung from the walls of the palace. But His Mayesty was broken – first his beloved wife, and now his only daughter. All seemed lost.
Then on the second day of mourning, a mage in black robes appeared in court. He petitioned with the King, claiming that he could succeed when everyone else had failed. Though he would give no name, nor say where he’d trained his skills in magic, I could well feel his power.
He was obviously skilled, but his equivocal ways had put me on edge. I warned the King – that this man seemed a necromancer, that he would bring his beautiful daughter back as a shadow, a wight, a ghoul – but it was futile. How could words of caution dissuade a grieving father? The moment the sorcerer had offered his services I was certain His Majesty would agree to whatever the foreign mage proposed.
When it finally happened, it happened quickly.
It was but myself, the black mage, and the King gathered in the Princesses’ chambers. The sorcerer began his ritual, weaving the words of a strange spell. For what he was attempting to do, it almost seemed effortless – bringing the soul of the dead back to their body – we had all thought it impossible.
And yet; as Metisa is my witness, Princess Ishara opened her blue eyes to our world again, breathed our air once more into her lungs— and was stricken by tears and an aggrieved shriek for her father.
My joy turned to dust on my tongue. I turned as if through molasses, and felt cold dread grip my heart as I saw the King splayed on the flagstones before the bed.
And the mage, Nykios take him, had vanished without a trace.
– Journal of a nameless Court mage