Hail, brave knight, sorcerer, dragon, or other creature!
My name is Cassana, and this is my tale below. The history of my life till this day is somewhat long and sad in many places. I've met many creatures in my life, some dangerous and deadly, others friendly, talkative and filled with wisdom, like my dearest friend Kital the Phoenix. But see for yourself...
I was born in a rich family of the swamps lands of Tatalia, welcomed by my mother and father as a heiress. They were the owners of a large piece of land in those swamps, bearing the proud and well-heard name of Ebonest. Yes, Ebonest - as the holy Dragon-slaying spear of the Knight Blazen Stormlance. I can't help it that out family has such a name -
I wasn't the one who picked it.
The history of the title is closely linked with the spear itself, but it is too long to tell here - it dates back to the Years of Silence.
We will not go that far, we are merely telling my story, right?
Now, the lands were far and wide - almost a fourth part of the Tatalian territory. The family of Ebonest was resepected and served - we had our own small kingdom, in fact. The Ebonest Manor stood in the deep woods, away from any residence of the peasants - we preferred to live farther from them, also probably because my mother was a true witch - she brewed potions of healing, poisoning, shape-shifting, and many others.
My father was one of the commanders of the Tatalian army,
a Beastmaster by the title.
One day, a letter came from the Rulers of Tatalia that they needed every single manpower that they could get their hands on - there were news that Tatalia is under attack from the Necromancers, under the lead of the famous Lord Haart, a traitor to the Erathian Crown.
My father left that day to the ranks of the army, and never came back, and nor did any news about him - he was probably killed and then reanimated as a skeleton or worse in the ranks of the Undead.
While there was war on the border lands (and the Ebonest Duchy was close to them), my mother also fought for our peace and quiet - she brewed potions, chanted spells of witchcraft, healed the injured soldiers that came to her, begging for help.
Yes, our Duchy was under attack as well, and in a bad condition - the Necromancers already took a half of it.
Soon, while tending the wounded myself, I heard that the Duchess Ebonest was killed. That was my mother - she died while defending the city from the Liches.
At that moment, I realized that there wouldn't be hope for the Ebonests - we would be just all mercilessly slaughtered, and as I was the last of them, the last bearing the name, and the last heiress to the Duchy, I ran from the Swamps.
I left those lands in turmoil, hoping that all of these brave warriors like my father and Witches like my mother would die a quick death - it was better than to be a Undead for the rest of eternity... But I knew that it was hopeless - the Necromancers would still find a way to resurrect the dead - no, they wouldn't dare lose a single Skeleton from their ranks. And that was what I feared most - to meet someday one of my family, in the shape of the Undead....
I fled to the Wizards of Bracada, whose borders were close to the Tatalian.
There, I found a decent work for a living, as a helping maid in one of the Taverns, which were always high placed on the mountains.
But soon the barkeeper noticed that I had some magical crafts available, and then asked where I came from.
I never hid the truth - I was a Witch, and a proud one. The barkeeper felt sorry for the Ebonests, even though he never heard neither of the spear, not of the name, but he did hear about the War. He allowed me to leave his hospitable Tavern, to go and ask permission to study with the Wizards - I wanted to pay back the Necromancers for what they did to Tatalia, to my family - they ruined my life, and I thought that magic would be the most effective way to do that. But it wasn't very easy.
Of course, I left him with my meager possessions and some gold coins at hand, first thanking him for his help.
The Wizards, when I met one of them, regarded me as mere peasant, but when hearing the story, agreed to teach me in the first basics of magic.
When I learnt all from him, I left to the Higher Wizards of Bracada - the first simple spells of Water Magic wasn't enough for me - I wanted to learn all the arts, and as the Witches live very long (some believe that immortality is one of the virtues in a Witch's life, and I do agree), so I had time.
The Higher Wizards also let me in, when hearing and seeing my (talented, they said...), capabilities in witchcraft, as they chose to call it. Only the Witches can learn all the crafts, they said, only they, because they do not believe neither in the Light nor in the Dark - unlike the Clerics and the Necromancers, who spend centuries with more wars with one another.
These capable Wizards also taught me all they knew - the complete magics of Air, Water and Earth.
Their Archmage schooled me personally in the arts of Light, but very little - he was very old himself, and had already forgotten many great spells.
As it turned out, I learnt all the Desert Wizards could teach me - Light, Air, Water and Earth. But I hungered for Clerical magics, for the great Fire Magic that is the greatest specialty of a cunning Witch.
Nowhere I could find such Wizards, or Sorceresses to teach me that... Nowhere... And I knew that the knowledge that I had now wouldn't help me against the Necromancers.
I heard that the Dark Elves of Jadame had the knowledge of powerful sorcery, and I left Antagarich to find them.
At that time, I was quite wealthy - I have earned myself the reputation of the Witch that wants to be a Wizard, Warlock, Necromancer and Cleric all at once. But the rumors were untrue - never I wanted to enter the Dark Arts, I actually wanted to destroy them forever...
In Jadame, I did find the Dark Elves, who schooled me in their Arts, raising my knowledge of magic I already knew, and the Clerical magics to a high level...
But I wanted to wield Fire - the Magic which no one knew, the magic of the best Witches, the magic that the Liches fear most!
But no - I searched through Jadame without any luck.
I've been to Garrote Gorge, found out that the Spear of Ebonest was recovered, and the local Dragons were happy that it wasn't used against them - actually, it was given to them by Blazen Stormlance himself - he stopped serving the Dragon Slayers, and became a Dragon Friend instead. Well, happy endings for some, but since the Dragons couldn't teach me magic, I left the hospitable land.
At last, somebody advised me to "visit" the Plane Of Fire, to learn from the great Phoenixes, those who represent the Fire, and are immune to all magic.
I was lucky - exactly at that time, the Elemental Disaster shook out, and all the Spheres of the Elements opened.
The Phoenixes stayed in their Pyres there, so I hd no choice but to travel to the place where the Sphere of Fire opened.
It happened to be the Ironsand Desert, where the unlucky Trolls lived. All of their homes were ruined, and there my skills of potions was useful - the Trolls of the South needed potions to protect them from fire, and I brewed them for the Trolls day and night - they did need lots of them to drink to protect their big bodies.
At last, when all of the Trolls were safe from the radiation that the Sphere leaked out (it appeared in a lava lake, and that was what caused the destruction of the Trolls' home), I left to find the entrance to the Elemental Plane.
It wasn't easy to get in - the Sphere's entrance stood in a small, even tiny island right in the Ironsand Lake, surrounded by living fire, and I had to use the tunnel, which a Troll pointed out to me as thanks for giving him potions of Fire Resistance. The tunnel started from the mainland, and it's exit was right on one of the islands, which were all linked into a small chain.
Sadly, Gogs inhabited the islands, and were quite unsucessful in their attempts to fry me with their small fires - a simple spell of protection shielded me from their attacks, no matter how they wanted me dead - I still didn't want them dead.
Soon, the Gogs got tired of throwing fires at the protection field (they did this about for a half-an-hour, probably because the field was shining with small sparks as it was hit by an another fireball), probably deciding that this wasn't fun enough for them, and so they left the islands, and entered the Tunnel through which I came from, probably to tease the poor Salamandras inside.
I used that opportunity, and cast Invisiblity. They were probably wondering "Where did she go?", when they came back, I think, they are sometimes very silly, those Gogs.
Under the protection spell, I entered the Realm of Fire.
Inside there were volcanoes and rivers of flowing lava, just like Hell. But it was better - the Phoenixes lived here, and I wanted to find them.
Of course, the Fire Elementals inside the Realm and Salamandras with the Efreet did not bother me - they couldn't see me if I would walk right in front of their nose.
But the Phoenixes - as soon as I've seen them, they saw me, completely ignoring the spell. But strangely, they weren't affected by the madness of the othere fire creatures, and did not attack me, but welcomed me in their own cool way.
The creatures wanted the Plane to be closed, so that they would be able to live again peacefully, not in the fear that the Fire Elementals might destroy the Sphere without the firm hand of their Lord.
However, they had agreed to teach me.
I was surprised - they were creatures of legend, of tales told to children, and now they wanted to teach a mere human their vast amounts knowledge? That was impossible, but they did.
They gave me a mentor, a female Phoenix by the name of Kital - which meant "the burning fire". She was their best, and the Phoenix Empress chose her herself.
I didn't understand the sort of attention that they paid to me, but I didn't protest. I carefully learnt all the skills that Kital taught me, especially the great Fire Magic, which I wanted to learn fully.
The Phoenixes didn't stop me - they taught everything to me.
When I asked Kital why, she merely regarded me with those bird eyes, and said that I would know when the time would come. But I still do not know why their hospitality and kindness was directed to me.
I absorbed magics, and soon the Phoenixes treated me as one of them, with dignity and respect.
Kital and I grew to be friends while she taught me, and when the process was finished, she agreed to follow me wherever I would go - mostly because of her own wish to explore.
When I left the Realm of Fire, it turned out that many years had passed - the Trolls weren't living anymore in the Ironsand Desert - they moved to the Murmurwoods, to live in their home that was long thought to be lost but now newly refound.
And the Desert wasn't the same - the Lake of Fire has become its usual, Ironsand Lake, without the living flame.
The Sphere's exit was now hidden accurately in the mountains, but the Sphere entrance which was used to be on the islands was now gone - the madness of the Elements disappeared, the Planeswalker Escaton died, and the land of Jadame was free of the turmoil.
I also heard that the Cleric/Necromancer war on Jadame has also ended, not resulting in anything except the two sides again sat in their lands, Murmurwoods and Shadowspire, and were waiting to regain their forces to begin a new War.
I left Jadame, with Kital's company, and came back upon the Antagarich continent.
When I set foot again on the soil of the Tatalian Lands, I felt that the land's wounds of strife were already almost healed - another Witch with the name of Adrienne stopped the evil Lord Haart, and saved Tatalia in time of it's greatest need.
I was sorry that the Necromancers weren't in Tatalia anymore to taste my revenge on their backs, but I was also happy that my land, Ebonest, was saved.
But the Duchy could never be rebuild - it had suffered too many casualties.
So, I became the wandering Witch with the skills of magic that no Wizard culd ever learn - the magics of Fire, Air, Water, Earth, Body, Spirit, Mind, ColdFire and Light was concealed in me.
Kital is still with me - and I still bear the lost title of the Duchess of Ebonest, even though my realm is destroyed, I still revenge upon any Necromancer, who used to serve Lord Haart, without any mercy at all.
I hope that I will rebuild the Ebonest Duchy someday - someday, but not now. Now I look for the lost Unicorn of the Seven Springs, to become the High Enchantress - the Phoenix Empress gave me this final task, and I intend to finish it.
Maybe the Unicorn is in Enroth, or Antagarich, or even Jadame... I don't know.
This was my tale. Maybe you remember the great Duchy? Maybe you know where the Unicorn is? Then perhaps, might you wish to share your tale with me in the Tavern? I would welcome it much, my friends.
And I will always be able to make a potion of anything for anyone in need for it - I haven't forgotten the art, believe me.
Now goodbye, brave adventurer! I hope that I will hear from you again.