Submited by Nivan
My name was Cariff once upon a time, when I was alive. I come to you now to offer my sincerest apologies. It was I who caused the destruction of the perfection that was Fjiorm's creation. I dictate my story to Efram using this spectral form, in hopes that he will keep it and spread it to the generations that follow.
I was one of the mages involved in the creation of the Rod. Most commonly known as the Rod of Destruction. It was originally called the Rod of Life, though I feel it's name now is definitely apt. I feel I must tell my story.
Once upon a time, Fjiorm controlled the creation and the destruction of all living things. She was a perfect goddess, unique in her grace and beauty and wisdom. Her wisdom only had one flaw - the soft spot in her heart she held for the creatures she had created. Mainly the humans. She bestowed upon us part of her essence, so that we and the other races could practice magics like she did. She wanted the best for the races, and though our magic was less powerful in comparison it was quite powerful enough for all of our needs. There were those of us who were devoted to it's study, and we created vast libraries detailing all of the secrets we knew.
My brother and I were born into the magic. Our only purpose in life was to study it, to document all we could learn. But there was so much to know, and so little time in which to learn it! Our mortal coil faded quickly as we aged, and soon we were doddering old men next to the unchanging grace and beauty of Fjiorm. There was another in our library who felt the same, a mage by the name of Amorath. Amorath, my brother Celidan, and I decided that we could not fail our profession through our deaths. We had to learn, we had to know, and we had to spread this knowledge to the younger generations. As old men, we felt our lives slipping out from underneath us - so much sand down an emptying hourglass.
We did not seek the great destruction we caused! At first our search was simple. We tried to make the 'Liquid of Life'. Unfortunately, most of our life potions only caused long terms of solid sleep, in which the person did not age. This of course was of no use to us. We tried rings, we tried scrolls, we tried all sorts of spell combinations. We tried runes, and we drew majestic glyphs on the floors. We tried gems of power, and stone amulets. We nearly had it several times, but for a few minor flaws. One caused the user to go mute for the duration, for instance, while another caused slow insanity. Our inventions increased the length of our lives even as we failed. Fjiorm sometimes watched us, and smiled mystically. She was always silent but happy. I think we amused her. We passed our twelfth decades, but we made no progress. We aged further. Our time was nearing its end, and all three of us felt it.
We had to try only one more thing before resigning ourselves to the imminence of death. It was a new device for storing spells: a thin lathe of wood, rounded and known as a 'wand'. It was made for storing several charges of spells, and was quite the new invention. My brother Celidan reformed one of our older spells, to use in it this 'wand' device. We called it the Rod of Life, as I'd said, and hoped that this time we would be granted the immortal life we could use to further the study of magic through the land.
It was Amorath we were to test it on. If it failed, or did something terrible to him, it would not matter. His life was at a close if this attempt did not work. But the end of life had a Purpose we did not know, and if we had succeeded things might have been far worse. In the instant I was to release the device, midway through speaking the word, the great goddess appeared between me and Amorath commanding us to stop. But it was too late for me - at her appearance the rest of the command slipped from my mouth.
Oh, we were naive. We did not know that Fjiorm had given the end of life a Purpose. It was beyond our reckoning to think that we could be doing wrong with the intent of doing the world a service! We did not know! I know it is no solace to those who died in the destruction, and those who live on in the turmoil to this day. It has not saved our souls, but in our defense all I can say is that we did not know. And that I am truly sorry.
May your Gods and Goddesses bless you and keep you in these hard times. I do not deserve your forgiveness, I only ask your understanding.