Dark Days in Del-Ray
Cu as he prefers to be called when others continue to mispronounce his name remembers more of his childhood than Lucien but still not much considering he spent 6 years living it. Cu has always remembered his sibling; Lucien, Sineva, and Callisto. He also has vague memories of his parents, though these memories are obscured and mainly tactile. He remembers his father as the smell of pipeweed and the metallic tang of steel, his mother only incense. He can’t puzzle out the memories of their village burning, sometimes he dreams of a horde of strange gibbering creatures overwhelming the village and sometimes it is only a high pitched sound and a rising light. What he does remember though is the Demon, Illith-Egremon. Illith rose before him amidst the flames and various noises and said, “You who have been promised me we shall depart, but do not be afraid. Your brothers and sister shall soon be joining us”. Illith took him to a place that surely frightened him then, and would undoubtedly frighten a passerby now, but that he would soon come to call home. From his readings he would guess that it was perhaps a demiplane located near the Abyss or perhaps floating in the Astral sea. The demiplane seemed never ending and he road many days across the land without finding a boundary, meaning that it must have been quite old.
His first impressions as a child had been quite bleak. The land itself was a tundra under skies that spoke of rain and weather which spoke of a winter that would never come. Mountains rose from the tundra and great forests covered the land which at a momentary glance would speak of great natural beauty. As the viewer continued to watch the horror would grow. Rivers meandered through the tundra valley’s fed by waterfalls which sprouted from the mountains great heights. Suddenly, something would catch the viewers eye. At one time the demiplane might have been a great sorcerer’s refuge but it was that no longer. Illith had twisted the demiplane to its unique tastes which where unpleasant. Illith enjoyed giving others great happiness and hope before overwhelming them with despair.
The rivers were ephemeral, you could swim through them and gather a handful of the stuff but it was nothingness. Drinking the water was similar to breathing in air and a traveler would soon die of thirst in that place. The trees in that place dropped no needles and were unchanging. The entire demiplane was beauty without any life or corporality. No creature lived there, and no life other than that that already existed could survive there.
At the center of the demiplane was a hug fortress made of white marble called the “House of Mournful Echoes”. The white marble halls perfectly matched the denizens of that place, Illiths servants who were only known as immortals. Cu always thought they matched the fortresses hollow white walls perfectly; they were as white as alabaster and with grey milky eyes and made no sounds as they moved about the place on unknown tasks. None of the denizens of the fortress needed food or drink so Cu and the others were fed on a fixed schedule by an immortal who would simply create the food using magic. The immortals lacked any semblance of humanity and because of this Cu and the others were forced to eat whatever was provided, and it was generally something unpleasant.
Cu could never ascertain the purpose of the place but there were other students who lived there. All of them were the same relative age as him, down to the variations of different races life spans. They were made to study arcane tomes and practices with little variation, those that lagged behind would not come back to the study halls. The tale goes on for many years and many strange, horrific, and wondrous things happened in that time. Cu developed his sorcerous arts and graduated to the next stage in his schooling.
Throughout his schooling he noticed that sections of the fortress were eroding and in particular one that led into the library which was forbidden to initiates. After nearly a year of studying the items and books contained in that place he discovered an escape from the place. Illith had begun to take special notice of him and he knew that he would have to escape soon or he would never leave that place. So it was that he discovered a powerful magical item a ring known as a “Divergence Gem”. This gem was the prized possession of Illith who had it locked in the library upon a pedestal. Cu always thought it funny when he studied the library, that there were so many spells to keep others out and yet a gap in the wall which was unprotected, at first he thought it was a trick to ensnare him in a trap created by the great master of despair. Cu realized that someone had once unraveled part of the great weaving around the chamber. The gem enabled Cu to designate a number of contingencies which would trigger his return to one of his siblings, and they were far fetched but in the end proved fruitful. First, If a sibling died he might inhabit their corpse becoming a revenant, he disliked this one most of all but decided that it would be worth it. Second, the first male child of a sibling would bear his will, and he would of course have a lot of explaining to do when he learned to speak. Third, that a sibling lost his willpower, he could enter through their dreams which he did on occasion but if they should be truly lost he would possess their body. Last, if one of his siblings generated a simulacrum he could divert that form to another dimension immediately taking it’s place; a year later Lucien activated the “Ring of Mirrors” which produced this effect exactly. Cu emerged through the barrier to greet his long lost brother. He will likely never speak of him time amongst the demons but retains much of what they taught him and is in many ways insane.