Magic in Black, White, and Grey | Chapter 1: My Name is Aiymys Konrad
"Aw, c'mon! Why?", Zeryx complained. "Why can't I read it? At least let me take a look at it!"
Aiymys Konrad let out an exasperated sigh as he and Zeryx sat in the library, her directly to his right, pestering; and he thumbing desperately through an ancient, time-worn book, levitating himself above the ground so as to keep from having to deal with the furniture which was, quite frankly, not suited in the least for his bipedal structure.
"Because you have no idea what you're getting into. You're just going to have to trust me on this."
"Come on. How bad could it be? It's just a book... and a book on magic! From what you've shown us, your people been able to uncover so much more about magic than we ever have! Think of what we could learn! All I need is a simple translation spell and I could read it as well as you can."
Aiymys was beginning to tire of this now-frequent topic of conversation. He didn't honestly expect them to understand, but he now seemed to have to re-state and reinforce his reasoning on a daily basis. They really had no idea what was coming. It had been almost a month since he had dropped himself into their world, and while things were peaceful for now, he knew it couldn't last. Time was beginning to run out.
"Look, I know you're just curious. I don't blame you for that. But given how your last experiments with my spells went, I genuinely dread what might happen if you start experimenting with the kinds of things in this book. I know this must be a pain for you, but I don't want to risk it."
"Jeez. You act as if that thing lets you open the gates of Tartarus and set loose all of its beasts... and then some."
Aiymys mentally cringed at that. She had no idea how right she actually was.
Journal Entry 1
I am keeping this journal for the sake of anyone who cares and to maintain my own sanity.
My name is Aiymys Konrad and I am a warlock.
Yes, you read that right.
I am fully aware of the fact that those who live in this modern era believe that Magyk and its practitioners are myths of old, once taken seriously but now only fit to be used in stories. I bear no resentment or feelings of negativity towards these people, for if I spent my life surrounded by only technology and convinced that magic was a myth of the past, I am certain that I would arrive at the very same conclusion.
I have not, however, spent my life like this. I know the truth.
But in order for you to understand the events that led up to my present situation, it is better to start at the beginning.
The very beginning...
We are the original Konrads. We are an ancient people able to trace our origins back to some of the first primitive humans to populate the northern reaches of the Germanic lands. Some spread south and populated what would eventually become Germany, Austria and the like. Some went to Eastern Europe and mingled with the early Slavs. Some went still further north into Scandinavia and became some of the first Norsemen and Swedes. If your family comes from Northern or Eastern Europe, there is a good chance that you may be just a little bit Konrad.
Dealing with the harsh environment of these northern wastes and dense taiga caused us to become some the first Proto-Europeans to discover that early, primitive spark of Magyk. We found the streams of the universe's primeval energy that flow through every human being and can be used for so much. We used it to hunt, to keep warm, to heal injuries and disease, to ward off fierce beasts and other unpleasant things that can be found lurking in the dark places of the world. We and the other early discoverers of Magyk taught others our wisdom and delved deeper into the secrets of Magyk. Some refused to be taught, thinking us evil for subverting the so-called laws of nature, when in truth we were taking advantage of the abilities with which nature itself had endowed us. Some sided with us, some hated us, some feared us, and the world marched on.
Magykal knowledge slowly spread, passing first into Asia and Africa, then to the Americas and Oceania, each indigenous culture augmenting it with their own existing customs. With the passing of time, Magytians grew exponentially more powerful.
But power breeds avarice, and avarice breeds contempt.
It started in Europe. An intercontinental Council of wizards, witches and the like had long ago been established to deal with the political and social issues that so often came up in the Magyk-user's world. My great-grandfather was present at the fateful council meeting that triggered it all. Some twat council members representing some area of southern Europe had formed a coalition made up of various territories that were decidedly against those who didn't want to learn Magyk. They called themselves the Inter-territorial Coalition for Magyk Universality (ICMU) and had drawn up a set of documents regarding their issues which included sections on compulsory Magyk education and severe penalties for those who refused, including imprisonment and a variety of other things that amounted to a violation of just about every civil right imaginable. A more bigoted piece of legislature has never been seen by humanity.
At first, no-one took them seriously. Most council members labled them as a wannabe grass-roots movement that would fizzle out after a few years. But with the formation of the coalition, all of the like-minded politicians came out of the woodwork. They held rallies and many pro-ICMU politicians come to power in the member-nations of the Coalition and of the Council. Soon, the ICMU contained members from just about every continent.
Everyone began taking sides, with more people than I care to admit siding with the ICMU. The rest maintained the old laws of Magyk-learning being a voluntary act.
Naturally, things quickly spiralled out of control. Debates raged day in and day out. At the height of the tension, a riot broke out in the streets surrounding the Council Building that had to be forcibly subdued. A reluctant decision was reached to allow the ICMU nations to have their way in their own nations, but nowhere else. Things went smoothly for a while. True, the nations against ICMU ideology were outraged and various violations of rights occurred in ICMU territory, but for the most part, they kept to themselves.
That is, until Nathik, a particularly belligerent ICMU member nation, decided to move east and bite off a piece of Silvus. Silvus responded with a counter-invasion, and like that, the rest of the world was at war with the ICMU. The war dragged on for nearly 20 years. The air all over the world was thick with Magykal residue from the number of spells cast and entities brought forth. Daemons, monsters and vile spirits freely roamed the Earth after being called up from unspeakable spiritual planes of evil and chaos. The carnage brought upon the world by the war was unimaginable. As for the non-Magykals, most didn't stand a chance. The leaders attempted to keep them out of the fight, but some insisted and were instantly annihilated by the Magykal forces of the ICMU. Others were caught in the crossfire and became collateral damage. It was eventually decided to move the survivors to another plane to be kept safe while the Magykal community raged on in its war.
The anti-ICMU forces were beginning to tire of the war. They needed it to end, and fast. To achieve this, they scoured the globe for aid and brought back to their headquarters the Elder Masters from the greatest Magykal dynasty of each continent: Konrad, Tzu, Obasanjo, Vicaquirao and Smith (yeah, Smith. The most generic name in the English-speaking world comes from a family with some of the greatest Magykal prowess.). Selecting the best five Masters from each dynasty, the twenty-five wizards gathered to perform the single most powerful spell in human history. Linking their energies and drawing up power from the Earth, they created a Thoughtform. A Thoughtform that possessed the collective Magykal abilities of the twenty-five, and into which they poured all of their anger, fury and pain accrued from the horrid war. The ICMU was crushed once and for all in a sweeping, gouging swath of destruction vicariously carried out by the twenty-five through the entity. Fires engulfed ICMU lands, mountains rose up, fissures in the Earth opened and seas overflowed. While the majority of innocents were kept safe, the proponents of ICMU ideology were all slaughtered in this scourging of the Earth. And just like that, the war was through.
The war with the ICMU, anyway. The Thoughtform as created by the twenty-five, however, lived on. By giving it pieces of their psyches the Masters had cast so powerful a spell that they unknowingly caused the Thoughtform to become sentient and were unable to dissipate it. It tore around the Earth for another four years on a rampage of mindless destruction before the twenty-five were able to subdue it and force it down to the lowermost spiritual plane where it bound in place.
With the world in chaos and the Council effectively dissolved as a result of the war, the former Council leaders and twenty-five masters were left with a dilemma: what should be done with the knowledge of Magyk? While it could be used for both good and evil, it was clearly one of the underlying causes behind the War. After a profusion of deliberation, it was decided that the knowledge of Magyk be left with the five dynasties and open use of Magyk be discouraged until a time came when all would be able to use Magyk responsibly.
The non-Magykals were then brought back to Earth and, after an initial period of wary and tense re-settling, life went on. Magyk use gradually faded into an underground practise reserved for those who kept it along with a few others who happened upon it naturally, man-made technology advanced, and we eventually arrived at the present day.
Fast forward to me.
Classic dopey 15-year-old, tight pants, messy hair, loud music, you name it. It was right around this time that my father decided to begin teaching me about my family's history and the true nature of Magyk.
He said it was because he felt I had come of age and that I ought to learn about Magyk and my family's role in developing it.
I have a sneaking suspicion that it had more to do with the fact that he was pissed off to no end about my involvement in Wicca and other neo-pagan practises and felt the need to teach me what [i]real[/i] Magyk was before I went on any further.
I picked up on many things quite quickly (relatively speaking). I advanced at a rather impressive rate (at least according to my father) and had attained a moderately advanced expertise in a variety of fields of Magyk. At this point, I was now in my mid-twenties. I was still living at my family's estate near Boston, and I had become well acquainted with my father's frequent stealing down to the parlour with a notably old book, which he would read through with an odd expression on his face, a mix of something nostalgic, something sad, and something reminiscent of a vague, undefined fear for which he could not readily assign a cause. Being familiar with sigils of warding and binding, I could feel that the book was laden with them, and wondered exactly what could be contained in so mysterious a work.
This, of course, only piqued my interest and night after night I set about attempting to find ways to break the sigils.
This was the start of my undoing.
My name is Aiymys Konrad, and this is my story.
Zeryx issued a loud yawn.
"Ugh. I honestly can't keep my eyes open any longer. Snuff the fire and candles when you're through."
There was no response from Aiymys. Zeryx simply hauphed and left the room.
Aiymys remained until he fell asleep, gently descending to the floor from his levitation and the magically-flamed candles and fire slowly faded into the darkness.