Traveler Lore

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Impossibly ancient, the enigmatic runegates predate even the birth of the Elves, and have always been shrouded in mystery. A new group of mystics, the Travelers have learned how to open these ancient portals, allowing travel between the fragments of Aerynth or to entirely new worlds.

Narrative

To Vespar the Erudite, Master Magus, Librarian in Chief of the Carnelian Order, Mellissar Chapterhouse, in the Fifty-Sixth Year since the Turning:

Venerable Magister, I send thee greetings.

As you had ordered of me, I have spent the last two years researching the mysterious rune inscribed stone pylons that have so long interested our order. After many long journeys and much discussion with sources both informed and uninformed, I have finally been able to answer some of the questions you put to me at the beginning of my errand, and more answers will be forthcoming within the next few months. I regret that I am unable to bring this news to you in person, but I trust you shall forgive my absence when I tell you that I am writing from the Tower of Ondiphel, in the Kingdom of Sorwenfells, thought lost since the Turning!

Herein lies the first answer to the riddle of the pylons: under the proper conditions, their potent magical auras create a gateway, a conduit between two sets of pylons. Remarkably, these gates are still functional even in the wake of the Turning and the subsequent sundering of the World. I have discovered how these ancient artifacts can be used to travel between the fragments of our sundered World! I have made one journey so far: soon I shall attempt others. Whether or not the other fragments remain habitable or hospitable remains to be seen. Indeed, folk here refer to the pylons as "Runegates." The Magi and Scholars here at Ondiphel speculate that perhaps the pylons were originally built as conjuring devices, designed to allow communication or travel to other universes, beyond the Void. Evidence is scant, and conflicting theories abound. I have been able to answer another question, however, and I believe you will be quite satisfied to learn of my discovery. Strong evidence now contradicts Magister Trumbo's theory that the pylons were built by the Elves in the Age of Twilight. I have found an ancient Elvish tome in here in Ondiphel's library that dates from early in the Age of Twilight, well before the rising of the Dragon. Even in those Elder Days, the Runegates, which they called "Star Spires," were held in awe by the Elves, who also called them ancient, and seem to have been as baffled by them as we are. Whatever ancient race of force is responsible for their construction, it was not the Elves. I think you have won your long argument with Trumbo at last.

I have managed to learn much more about the Runegates, and fear that I cannot relay all my discoveries to you in this letter (I also do not know how many eyes shall see it before yours do, old friend). As soon as I have trained an acceptable courier, I shall send more messages to you. It is my intention to found a new Order of Magecraft, the Travelers, who shall work to unlock the secrets of the Runegates, and act as ferrymen between worlds. Activation of a Runegate is a difficult task, requiring tremendous concentration and a complicated ritual. Every Runegate, it seems, can open a conduit to several different destinations. Most only open to a single preferred destination, but some can be re-aligned using strange, ancient devices of adamant, called Vinammar by those who know their secrets. They are as ancient as the gates themselves, and the secret of their manufacture has never been discovered. When properly configured, a Vinammar acts like an eldritch key, opening the Runegates. Some keys will only function with specific gates, while others seem to be able to shift any gate to a specific destination. The pattern of gates and destinations is highly complex, and so far I have discerned little, if anything, of the overall system. An ancient tome here at Ondiphel that talks much of the Gates refers to a great Map of the "Silver Pathways," which has, alas, been lost since. Whether this map describes the Runegate conduits or something else entirely cannot be answered until this ancient relic can be found again.

I have one more secret to reveal, my master. There has been great speculation as to the origins and nature of the Aracoix, the mysterious Birdmen who have only come to light since the Turning. I can now say with certainty that they hail from another World entirely, and came to our own through the Runegates. It was from Nevond, a Mage of the Aracoix, that I learned the ritual for aligning the Vinammar and opening the Runegates. Thanks to him, the Order of Travelers will become a reality. We must be careful to be very protective of this knowledge, for with it comes a great responsibility. The potential for trade between lands long separated by the Turning is enormous, but the Aracoix have given me dire warnings that Runegate travel can be perilous. Some of the Worlds that lie beyond, they claim, have been corrupted by Chaos or Darkness, and thus the Gates to them would serve only as conduits of invasion, as in the War of the Scourge so long ago. Nevond also told me that the Aracoix came to our World as refugees, not explorers, fleeing something that they will not name. Also, he hinted that the Pylons may have other powers, and that the gates are but the least of their uses. Runegates are not to be trifled with, and the Travelers must always strive for the responsible use of these magical wonders.

In time, I shall learn even more secrets to tell you. I hope this letter finds you well, old friend. Keep the watch for me, for soon I hope to return to you with a mind full of wonders. Wish me well!

Your humble servant and devoted Apprentice,

Angillior the Blue, Adeptus Major of the Carnelian Order

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