The Denier
The Enclave > Seasons Long Past

The Emerald Company rode forth for the last time from the great weathered gate of Three Stones, under the unfriendly stares of the Watch and - so it is said - Black Tower sages. The Company traveled to Lorn as guardians and guides for stern magisters and priests of the Powers, charged with refuting The Denier.

The Denier was a true sage of the Ammand in his youth, this in the time of the Greater Power. Like many others, he left that far land, exchanging rare stories for travel with the Vanished Isle Magi. In the Enclave, The Denier strode forth from obscurity to attain great knowledge, influence and power. It was The Denier who created the Shining Peak overnight in the mists of the Formless. It was The Denier who learned the secrets of the Black Tower from the Datarii, naming that jagged rock of black stone after the tower of The Ebon in Ammand. The sages of that time wrote important works in the strange spaces of the Black Tower. They wrote of the Enclave lands, the Farthest, the Datarii, the long-vanished Draugh and cruel Neth. As their collections grew to touch the Farthest, they found stranger, secret tomes in the Farthest Library.

The Denier was in his prime when Three Stones was but a small collection of traders and common folk who served the first sages of the Black Tower. As Three Stones grew into a village and then a town, The Denier grew old in the manner of all Ammanders. Here the stories grow confused and contradictory. The Denier gained his name by simply and outrightly denying the certainty of his own death. Was this name given or chosen, and by what wizardry did The Denier erase his birth name from the Enclave? Were the many books penned by his hand burned, hidden, or Lost through stranger means? Legends tell of an increasingly oppressive presence of age and death that hung over Three Stones as The Denier continued to live on.

After later years brought terror and unseemly Trespassers to Three Stones, The Denier departed - or was forced to leave, some say - on the New Road to Lorn. No one mourned his passing. Later still, The Denier hid himself away behind stone walls in the depths of the Lorn Forest. As the seasons passed, Lorn became shunned, Ammander villagers driven away or changed in terrible ways by what they saw in the near Farthest. Even the Neth would not enter Lorn; Kus Pakak they call it, the Rotten Place, Unfit To Eat. Still, The Denier continued to deny death, and the taint of Lorn spread a little further with each year. It became a tale, all too real, with which to scare children and tell about the fire on a cold, windswept night.

Generations passed and Three Stones grew to become a city led by magisters and priests. Now, the Emerald Company and their charges rode into Lorn - rode at least until their horses would go no further. In Rurn's Place they found horrible forms where once were people and the magisters fled. In the Lorn Forest, bare of leaves and empty of creatures, the Farthest yawned open to breath dust, decay and the whispers of things that should not be. The priests, struck dumb with terror, ran panicked into Farthest Lorn, never to be seen again. Here was a thing more real and immediate than their Powers.

At the first piles of fallen, crumbling stone amid the bare trees, it fell to the Ammanene Unsharee of the Emerald Company to voice the Refutation inked by sages and ordered by magisters safe in Three Stones.

In the weeks following their departure, scarcely a dozen of the Company returned, burdened and sickened under a great, malevolent wizardry. The Denier had been refuted, but the Emerald Company was no more. There was no gratitude from the magisters and priests of Three Stones, nor was the taint of Lorn lifted. What of The Denier or the fate of those Lost to Farthest Lorn? No one speaks of these matters openly now - it is as if no one knows.

[ Posted by Reason on January 3, 2005 ]