The War of Prophesy
The following is a journal written by Telm. It’s written in Qualash, the written language of Mind Flayers, and as such contains several simultaneous thought lines. The journal is physically located on Telm’s person in an extradimensional pocket. It’s a book of several thousand pages, containing entries spanning centuries. Presented here are translations of the most recent entries. Only the primary thought line is translated.
The community’s raiders have brought in an amazing haul of slaves today. I was able to give them all a good look before the auctions started and picked out three promising people for the Program. I let Saalmen pick two others that he thought looked tasty. Bids were high tonight, and I could tell that others were shopping for thralls instead of food. Notably, I saw Shuufeth buying up a bunch of thrall-grade slaves. Consider this my reminder to investigate his activities more closely. There was a bit of conversation after the auction. I met up with Xaan, the head Drow thrall to Shuufeth. It’s quite an amazing specimen; I can see why Shuufeth parades it around. Him around. Blast, I keep finding myself speaking like a ‘flayer. In any event, there’s no sense lusting after the brains contained in that… See what I mean? Yes, well, I did manage to catch a bit of juicy gossip on the Elder Brain’s (may It conquer all worlds) most recent activities. Evidently It has calculated that the return of the Inscrutable Dark’s initial wave of Domineers will be arriving in no less than 4 days time. No word on where they will arrive and I’ve precious little information on what those monolithic things are even capable of accomplishing. Word will need to be sent to all Program retainers to enter the highest mode of alertness.
Short meeting with the Elder Brain’s Keeper followed. I inquired about the rumor and it was confirmed. The Keeper gave me instructions from It. Evidently, Saalmen is to capture a small brigand army in the south of Surm and prevent it from moving against the Drow-friendly King there. Thomar is the name. I’m not sure whether the Elder Brain (may It conquer all worlds) is solely responsible for Thomar, or if it’s a collaborative project with other brains. Either way, he’s turning out to be quite the poster child.
Had to meet with the three new slaves for the Project. It would appear that Andy got them a little jittery, but it was nothing the soothing stones couldn’t handle. Saalmen is reminding me to discipline Andy again; I’m inclined to agree. Worms were installed with little difficulty; after that I summoned Topspin in and he took them off to the Project Plane to get them started on the trials.
Much to do today and tonight. I thank the wondrous brains of the Mind Flayers that I am no longer required to sleep—haven’t done so in centuries now. That’s one way to escape the nightmares, eh? Anyhow, I let Saalmen autopilot to Surm and handle the army. It was a boring task in any event. I spent the time going over the prophesies as told from an Orc shaman Mershum, which I had memorized a few days ago, but hadn’t had time to yet digest. Her writings are some of the best on the lore of the eye and I am relieve to see that I think we’re going about things the right way.
Deepening in the deepness, darkening in darkness. It grows. Many of one, one of many. The eye that sees all, all it sees it destroys, destroying all. Terrible in its deep cage, blind to save the world, save it from its own eye. Deepening in the deepness, darkening in the darkness. It broods.
Not much to be said about Orcish poetry, but apparently that’s accounted as profound. The third sentence confirms other sources that mention it starting or existing in fragmented forms. The could refer to its mind, but I think our approach should satisfy either criterion. Either way, when we combine the Aspects, it’ll be many minds and bodies in one. I worry about the psionic energy those Aspects have, but I think hiding them in psionic populations should mask them enough.
After Saalmen finished, we teleported to Curnaman. Iosef just contacted me requesting a background check on this exalted druid we just picked up. It hadn’t occurred to me that we might have a plant in the group. This is why I keep him around. Still, I strongly doubt that good forces are trying to plant something in my group, but it pays to check. I’m nothing if not thorough. After talking with the parents with my usual persuasive panache I learned that she had apparently left her parents in a huff, never to be seen of again. A strange prelude for what would eventually be a goody-goody druid. I know from probing her that she ended up in Tenglah, but I’m not sure I have the energy to withstand a bunch of hippy hobbits. I’ll send a couple mindflayers to eat some elf brains there and report back on the druid sect that raised her. Blargh, I hate paper work. Good thing Saalmen’s so skilled with that.
Went to meet up with Iosef after he said the meeting with the new slaves was over. I am furious. I thought I told Iosef to destroy that gnome. He’s given it a second chance by impressing it into the party of the new slaves I just bought. When I met with him he offered some pathetic excuse about how he thought the party would need Bree’s skills. I laughed. It’s not worth the power points to kill it, he argued. Iosef is so pathetic when he’s trying to be obsequious. Such a softy, doesn’t he realize we’ve so many more people to kill? What’s one gnome?
About the only good thing I got out of that meeting was news on Iosef’s success with creating larger No-Ships. We should be able to hide Aspects in them soon. Maybe within the next month.
Met with three heads of state, including an elusive Jen-Jen chief. Today has been satisfying. Kurt, the Captain General Paladin of Heironeous, is a delicious looking individual in person; even more delicious than he was described to me earlier. We chatted a bit. He gave me some info on the Order’s most recent capture of a Wheel cult’s lair. I gave him some simpering praise (being disguised as a priest). He’s rather self-important—careless with describing his successes. Don’t people know that Zones of Truth don’t protect against half truths? It’s so easy to infiltrate these shrines, I’m always shocked when I do it. Anyways, as soon as I left his presence I had Topspin organize a group of puppet paladins to check the lair for a wheel fragment or clues of one.
More slave auctions today. I bought a very promising Druid of Corrono by the name of Farn. Evidently he’s a member of a sect called the “Poison Circle”. From my conversations with him, I discovered that their sect was in the possession of what I think is very probably a wheel fragment. His description:
A three foot piece of solid black metal, worked with many ancient runes—none of which any of us were able to decipher. It has a slight curvature and was roughly terminated on either end. We found it buried deep within the tallest ‘shroom tree in the forest of Svetha. It had been discovered there by a tree-walking druid. The piece was found to enable growth of all sorts of fungus. When handled by a druid, we found that things grew and blossomed with extreme rapidity, such that you could watch a seedling transform before you eyes into a shrub within minutes. Needless to say, we’ve made excellent use of it to encourage the growths of many difficult to cultivate poisonous plants
While the function was not what I had expected of the wheel, I think it’s very probably just another manifestation of the wheel’s peculiarity. Six pieces I’ve gathered so far. None of them do the same thing, and the same piece frequently will do different things for different people. I wonder if the wheel will only have the right properties to create a god if handled by the right person? Is that how I’m supposed to find him or her? Either way, we need this new piece. I’ve sent the druid to go hunting for it. Apparently, he had only seen it once.
Personal meeting with the Elder Brain (may It conquer all worlds) today. It was, as usual, an unnerving experience. I’ve no idea how the Keeper can stand being at Its beck and call day and night. Saalmen’s success in Surm was acknowledged briefly, but things quickly moved to his next task. Apparently we’re to be moving off plane to Mechanus for the next month. Creatures there have apparently built a device capable of predicting future events, although it is still limited in capacity. The Elder Brain (may It conquer all worlds) wants this machine for his own, or, at the very least he wants it destroyed. I should like to get my hands on such a machine too—and I’m guessing that if the Elder Brain knows (may It conquer all worlds), a couple other important people will as well. This could be a very dangerous mission for Saalmen. Fortunately, he’s also been entrusted with a force of twenty other subservient flayers. It’s been a while since our lair has sent forth a full blow Inquisition, and never with me at the head of it. I consider this a huge success in my infiltration of the Mind Flayers.
Unfortunately, I’m finding this to be more annoying than an honor. I would have been absolutely giddy about this prospect a few years ago, but I’ve too much to do now. Topspin and I have been talking though, and I think we’ve come to a good solution. I’m having Topspin inhabit an Ice Assassin of myself. Dangerous business, yes, but I’m confident Topspin can handle it. He’ll be maintaining my projects here on this plane while I go on this mission. If need be, we can swap around.
Delegate, delegate, delegate. Sometimes I think that’s all I do these days. I had Iosef handle preparations for the Inquisition. Saalmen’s working on the paper work for two brain raids. I had Shuufeth handle an acquisitions project in Irisesh. I think acquiring an Artificer firm, one specializing in weaponry, will be a very smart business move soon. Oh, and by the way, being the lead for an Inquisition is absolutely fantastic. Words fail to relate the look on Shuufeth’s face when he found out I was in charge … in charge and ordering him to handle a menial task. Oh yes, and I talked with the lair’s Covert Operations leader, Bemmur. He expressed some doubt in the feasibility of planting a spy in the Magic Circle of Corrono, but he assured me he’d look into options. Of course that meant that I had to buy a worm-spy to watch Bemmur. I just thank my lucky worms that I don’t have to have spies watching my spies watching my spies anymore. Honestly, how did I function before I had these things?
I’ve heard back from some of Iosef’s spies in Taamengrad that my three new slaves (plus that gnome) have made it to the city. They made quicker progress than I thought they would. Now to see if they can handle some foreign political intrigue…
Disaster! I barely had time to swap with the TopSpin-double-me. Apparently, the Inscrutable Dark is moving their Domineers on Taamengrad. How did I forget that four days had passed already?! And what terrible luck. Do they know about my project with the Aspects? I can only assume that they do. I hurried to Taamengrad with Iosef in his small No-Ship. We activated the Aspect just in the nick of time to obliterate what turned out to be no less than a dozen Domineers. I found the entire event to be twistingly ironic. Domineers attacking the Aspect of Dominance, and getting dominated. In any event, I’ve now got a dozen Domineers and well over several thousand elan and other troops at my control. I made quick use of the Elan council in Taamengrad to assist me an Iosef in expanding the Project Plane. Domineers are evidently capable of a great many things. The Project Plane is getting quite large now. In any event, I’ve made one enterprising individual by the name of Andre the leader of the forces on the Project Plane.
After that was done, I had to purge the city. I’ve no idea how many creatures escaped, but I think it’s safe to say that news of this catastrophe will get out. I’m going to have to re-think the security of the other Aspects. So much to do and not nearly enough time. I have to go back to Mechanus now.
Apparently, my new slaves escaped Taamengrad. I knew I should have been more thorough in my purge. Clarification, these are the slaves I got about five days ago now. Not the ones I bought this morning. See entry 45827. Anyways, they also brought me a Beholder tank, supposedly as a ‘token of good will’. Oh, and Bree was there. Smug little gnome, showing her face. Anyways, I figured I’d return the gesture with an item to help them find more wheel fragments. Remember that druid of the Poison Circle? Yes, well, I just got a report from him prior to receiving a call from these new slaves that he had located the fragment. The druid managed to lure a number of druids away from guarding it, but I’m not sure how long he can keep them tied up. So I sent these new guys after it. I’m going to need a name for this crew… for my own sanity. I think I’ll call them the Fringle Force. Saalmen tells me gnomes taste like Fringles, whatever that means. Fairly sure we never ate a Fringle before. Just how cracked is Saalmen getting these days?
Anyhow, after that, I went back to the Project Plane for a few hours. We picked up the Poison Circle druid and had him get to work on planting crops. We’ll need a lot of food up here and apparently only Elan like the taste of that algal sludge that Iosef grows. Saalmen thinks that anything but brains taste all the same, and I’m beginning to agree with him. Just eat the sludge people, Christ.
And then it was back to Mechanus. The Inquisition is getting suspicious of my Ice Assassin, unfortunately. Well, I may just have to come out with the truth soon. Topspin has been managing them pretty good so far, but he’s no where near as good as I am with imitating ‘flayer behavior. Anyhow, we’re making some progress, but not enough. Mechanus is a difficult place of ‘flayers to work their magic. I’m considering distracting the ‘flayers and sending my new army after the computer, as it’s called.