The Aftermath 5

Damning the Oblivion

The Lady Miranda
Miranda was born about five hundred years after the Battle of Sight, and raised in the elven Capitol of Elvor. Like all elves she had golden hair and blueish eyes, and let's not forget the pointed ears. She was taught according to the teachings of the Arch Temple of the God of Willpower, and she proved to be a true believer. Her heart was comepletely devoted to the writings of the Great God, and like a good follower she followed the Way of William with blind faith.

Miranda was still young when the Great William raised the New Queen above all others, though she was travelling in the Orcish Domain of Blaze at the time. While a new monarchy arose back in the Woods of Elvor, Miranda was one of many acolytes who aided their superiors while conducting peaceful negotiations with the orcish people. As she returned to the Capitol of Elvor, she and all her companions were amazed at the reform which had happened. And all those of the Faith were to find that they would prosper.

Seeing as elves are long-lived, and there were a lot of devoted elves around, Miranda did not rise fast in her rank. She was more than a century old when Castle Elfheim was finished constructed, and it was at this time that many settled for retirement. This left more room for other believers, and Miranda was among those who soon found themselves becoming promoted. With new responsebilities, new duties and new advantages, Miranda soon came to follow a higher calling. She showed an excellent skill in the study of the nature of magic, helping to develop and invent all new powerful spells never before even thought of.

As her powers, knowledge and wisdom grew, she had also gained a wide reputation among her kind. Her advanced skills with magic had become known to the Queen of Elvor herself, and so it was that Miranda was handpicked as a magic teacher for the Crown Princess. Along with her new position came the rank of nobility, adding the Lady in front of her name. Thus it came to be that the Lady Miranda would teach the then eight year old Princess Celestia for decades to come. Suffice to say, she and the Royal Heir did not get very well along for quite a while. As Celestia became more mature the two of them got along better, and they were both slightly sad when Miranda received her new promotion.

Lady Miranda was two hundred years old when she received her rank as High Priestess, and with her royal charge all grown way up and recently married, she intended to uncover the link between William and Willpower. Everyone knew that the Great God was the Source of Magic, and Miranda had for a long time wanted to establish this Divine Truth with actual facts. When she was young and had travelled in Blaze she had met this strange fellow so covered up in blue clothes and cloak and hood that one could not see anything but his eye, the other being covered by an eyepatch, and he had scorned her belief and hereticly claimed that the Great William was not a God and not the true source of magic. And now she aimed to prove her "ghost from the past" wrong.

Gathering writings from anywhere, on any acceptable subject of magic, Lady Miranda compared spells and energies and whatever else she encountered to establish a proper Willpower System. Yet as she thought she was going somewhere, she started to see more and more great holes in theories. After serious hairpulling she chose to investigate darker magic as well, spells too dark and cursed for anyone sane to dare use. Against her wishes, the holes filled up, and she started to see magic in a new way. Willpower was heading for a whole new direction, and Miranda knew she was almost at the peak of revelation. She was close to the source of magic, yet she knew she had to check one more magical path to make certain.

He appeared suddenly, the "ghost from the past", and he told her to abondon her research. He said it would become her social downfall, and that no one would accept it. Yet Lady Miranda persisted, and the strange guy stayed for a while to help her put the final pieces together. He even got hold of scripts telling about necromancy, the most cursed and forbidden practise of all. Documents copied off the Dark Lord Nightmare himself, filling in the final holes, and even giving Miranda further ideas for magical spells. And now it was there, in front of her, giving her the answer she had sought. In her excitement she called a gathering consisting of all the faithful, elven, high-ranked magic wielders, though her accompliance warned against it. Even the Queen and the Crown Princess came to hear the grand discovery. And Lady Miranda thus told the discovery which no one would accept...

Willpower was unnatural. It was a power which corrupted the world. The True Source was not the Great God William, but something else located somewhere on the Continent of Geomania. William was not truly a God, but a lower entity originated from this location. There was no true difference between the different kinds of magic, not even necromancy. There was nothing divine about magic, it was simply an energetical power which could not have originated upon this world.

Lady Miranda had great hopes with her discovery, expecting both great praise and her name forever written down among the Legends. But the crowd had been silent, and then the Queen herself had publicly humiliated her by stripping her off her rank as High Priestess and completely forbidding all further study on magic. She didn't even finish her speech. During the next few years Lady Miranda's social life ended. No one would talk with her or acknowledge they even knew her. Even Crown Princess Celestia would not accept her presence. Miranda then eventually reached the edge of despair, and went beyond it...

- - -

The Forsaken One
Eight hundred years after the Shattering was when it happened. Lady Miranda was three hundred years old, living in Castle Elfheim, a disgrace among her people, never invited and never accepted. Years had passed. Maybe several decades, though it was hard to tell. Miranda's mind was torn and devastated, depression not strong enough word for description. Friends had abondoned her, family had forgotten her. And then He showed up...

The strange man who had helped her, though warned her, once more showed up. No one else knew he was around, and he seemed to be sorry for her predicament. And as Lady Miranda finally had someone to talk to, her madness took shape. Deep within her mind she formulated a plan for vengeance. She asked her only friend to get her a powerful sleep drug, saying it was for a magic experiment which could help her sleep better. And the night that followed would be the end of her life in Elvor.

Poisoning the entire Castle Elfheim water supply with the sleep drug, Lady Miranda made her strike. In a raving madness she went from room to room, slicing the throats of any sleeping person she came across, killing them as she giggled and laughed hysterically. They had to pay! They had to suffer! They had to die! Die! Die!

Halfway through the castle she came to the Crown Princess Celestia and her daughter Crystelia, just as unconscious and helpless as everyone else had been. Miranda became even more enraged seeing her previous friend and pupil, and slicing her throat was not enough, so she stabbed and stabbed and stabbed the corpse with raging fury. But as she turned to continue on the one hundred year old Crystelia, the man who had lent her the drug ran in and knocked her away. Her mind in total disarray, Miranda fought him for all it was worth, though always beaten back. And as she fought him, the tears started streaming, and eventually she could no longer move. She fell down, wailing and crying, with the current situation finally hitting her like a full load of bricks. The madness went away, and what remained was a feeling of emptiness.

And so her one-eyed friend brought her out of Elfheim and away from Elvor, neither speaking to each other. Miranda herself was constantly haunted by her actions, reliving that one horrible scene with Celestia over and over again every night, hating herself and wishing for death. But her companion would not let her die, he would not leave her, and slowly but surely they left the Continent of Hydroena and came over to Aeromina. Miranda did not know how they did it, how they managed to escape so easily from the authority, though at the time she did not really care. But the story followed, and Miranda heard how they now adressed her back home...

The Forsaken One...

Eventually they reached the set destination, the Castle Deathmoor, where the Lich Emperor of Lich'Moor was located. Miranda was told that this person might be able to free her from her bad dreams, but it would aquire her cooperation.

Lady Miranda did not see her strange one-eyed friend again for a long, long time...

- - -

The Lich Lady
Lady Miranda was an elf, but no other elf would ever accept her now. Now she lived in the Capitol of Lich'Moor, up in Castle Deathmoor, hiding from the outside world. Emperor Nightmare had taken her in and given her what assistance he could as a favor to a mutual friend. She had trouble sleeping, she had trouble living. For some time she behaved like a zombie, a blank face and little reaction. Whenever she slept she replayed the horrors she had done. She would eat but not taste, she would speak but not converse.

Lord Nightmare found that the elven exile could be given any strange task without getting any refusal at all. Clearly she accepted anything to do that might take her mind off her dark deeds. Hoping that annoying tasks might break the melancholy, she was given all kind of odd jobs ranging from hallway cleaning to sewing back limbs onto corpses. But with no effect presenting itself, the tasks decreased.

With less and less to do, Miranda started to seek out tasks herself. Without any instructions she would do chores normally done by the mindless undead, and she could often be found in sections of the castle not usually visited by the living. Lord Nightmare finally decided to change tactic when he learned that she had been located in the banshee section of the castle.

Miranda was told to stay in Lord Nightmare's presence at all times, aiding him in his work. Seeing as she knew quite a real lot about magic she proved more helpful than anything which had been expected. She even seemed to already know a bit about necromancy itself, and at times Lord Nightmare would teach her more as time passed. Miranda always listened in order to keep her mind off her own thoughts, and eventually she started to show a spark of actual interest. As Lord Nightmare kept lecturing her, she started to open up and even ask some questions on her own.

As the years passed Miranda started turning back to her old self, sometimes smiling and even laughing. She also came to know some of the other Liches and lower ranked undead, and her interest and usage of magic returned and increased. Her nightly nightmares dissipated. Miranda proved to have quite the knack for listening to people, and whenever someone or other needed to talk about something, they would start coming to her. She did not need to talk, answer or even advice, it was enough that she listened. If it was some deep research or just some personal problem, one could count on Miranda to keep attentive throughout the whole ramble, and even remember some of whatever she had been told.

With her popularity and reputation increasing in Lich'Moor, her whereabouts became known in Elvor, not that anyone could do anything to her all the way from over there. In the meantime Lady Miranda turned into a powerful necromancer, and she even raised ambitions to become a Lich herself. She had heard about this so-called Test of the Album, and from vague rumors she believed it to be something quite dreadful, though its nature uncertain. Eventually she gained enough courage, and asked Lord Nightmare to become initiated as a Lich Lady. The experience was not entirely as expected...

From the top of the shelf he drew a book. It was ancient. It contained only pictures which had been glued on, fallen out, been returned and then carefully reattached badly. It was a mess, with some pictures missing and others placed in the wrong places. The cover showed signs of having been replaced several times, though charcoal still remained here and there.
The test was to listen as Lord Nightmare spoke from the pictures without ever despairing or falling asleep.
To Lady Miranda the test proved easy, though bizarre. It was a family album! Lord Nightmare was a family man! Every picture had a tale, with countless side notes deviating from the actual content. Birthdays, funerals, weddings. Clearly the life of Lord Nightmare had been different beyond belief when he was alive.
For the first time in Lord Nightmare's existence he had found a soul actually interested in his album, and the test itself must have taken at least twice as long than what was usual.

With the Test of the Album completed, and probably repeated, Lady Miranda underwent the transformation into a Lich. Through a simple-looking and kinda short, lacking ritual, the soul of Miranda was fused into her skeleton itself. In truth it was the final part which proved the most disturbing, for this was where she had to die. Seeing as there were quite a wide variety in ways to die, Miranda chose a quick one. Stabbed through the heart with the same dagger she had sliced with in her past, her life was ended.

Shortly after she woke up, in a coffin, in the ground, and in quite a bit of panic. Leaving her confusion behind, she attempted to push herself out of her grave, though all the dirt proved to be too heavy even for the strength of an undead. The final solution was to blast it all away with magic, and thus the Lich Lady Miranda walked out of the dusty cloud and into quite the welcoming party. After punching Lord Nightmare around a bit, she was enchanted with preserving spells to avoid her rotting corpse from decomposing any further. Then she could enjoy the party.

And so Lady Miranda the Lich spent the following years continuing her study of necromancy and the ways of the Liches. Though some Liches eventually removed their flesh in favour of being a clean skeleton, Lady Miranda chose to stay in her female, elven shape. As could be expected, the elves of Elvor finally sent a letter which officialy condemned her should she ever return home. By turning into an undead volunteerily, she had left the last remnants of her belief in the Great God William behind, though Lord Nightmare kept telling her it was no great loss and that her previous God didn't care shit.

Lord Nightmare, Lord Scythar, Lord Morgosh, Lord Achnor, Lord Keith, and even more names... This was where the name Lady Miranda had found it's place. Not as an Acolyte or High Priestess of William, not as a teacher of royal heirs, not as a researcher of the Source of Magic... But as the Forsaken Elven Lich.

But history plays tricks...

News came about problems with the undead ambassador over in the Capitol of Guildia. A plan for peace was formed, and Lady Miranda was chosen to replace that sorry excuse of an ambassador whom had tried to ressurrect a dead, Guildian king. Along with the loyal Lich Lord Scythar, Miranda headed for her new future.

She would not stay in Guildia for long...

A meeting with both King Caspar of Guildia, the merchant prince Martin Bluewind, the famous hero Zordon, a couple of other chaps, and by some coincidence the presence of the Great God William himself, was about to take place...

Lady Miranda...

Have a nice trip!

Agnar Idsøe
6. June 2007


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