The Tale of the Magus
Scotland. 994 C.E
Superstition and the sword rule over these lands. It is a time of darkness. It is a world of fear. It is the age of Gargoyles. Stone by day, warriors by knight, Gargoyles were a race of demon like creatures whose sole purpose was to protect. In my home, Castle Wyvern, a clan of gargoyles, led by one we named Goliath, protected our people from invaders and Viking conquerors. For many years, there was peace between our two kinds, but it was an uneasy one.
Gargoyles were fears by man because of their monstrous appearance. Goliath once described it, saying that man fears what they do not understand. And he was right. Despite the multiple times he and his clan protected our castle, the citizens still believed them no more than beast. I too was guilty of such prejudice. I believed them to be unnatural creatures, and that no good would come with associating with them.
However, there was one who considered the gargoyles to be friends. He was the Captain of the Guard, a man who saw the warrior inside of the gargoyles, and welcomed them. As time passed, he grew to resent the residents of Castle Wyvern for their mistreatment of the gargoyles, and one night, he slipped through the gates of the castle to strike a deal with the Viking Hakon. He would allow the Vikings into the castle before the sun set and the gargoyles were flesh once more, in exchange for the lives of the gargoyles.
The Captain's plan worked. Castle Wyvern was seized and all of its citizens were captured, including myself and the Princess Katharine, Lady of the Castle. However, Hakon refused to honor his end of the deal, specifically about allowing the gargoyles to live. One by one, he smashed every gargoyle he found into rubble, until none were left standing. This erased our last hope of rescue, or so I believed.
We were taken to the caverns on the other side of the forest, where Hakon goaded me and the princess with his plans of ransoming us to Katherine's Uncle, King Kenneth II. However, it was at that moment that Goliath came to our aid, alongside five of his fellow gargoyles. Hakon, desperate to escape, dragged Princess Katherine off to what I thought to be her death.
The gargoyles freed me, as well as the other captives, but I was so blinded by rage and heartbreak that I blamed them for what had happened. In my anger, I cursed the five gargoyles to an eternal slumber. Once my spell was cast, Goliath came out of the sky to see his brethren frozen in stone. I went to do the spell again, only to see Katharine behind him, safe and sound.
Ashamed of my actions, I could not blame Goliath for his anger towards me. I did not fight when he lifted me into the air, demanding I reverse the spell. I would have, had Hakon not burned the page with the reversal inscribed upon it. Goliath then asked me how long they would rest, to which I replied "til the castle rises above the clouds".
With Castle Wyvern no longer safe for her people, Princess Katharine elected to take them to her uncle, allowing the gargoyles to rest in peace. Goliath placed his frozen clan in their usual posts, a great sadness about him. He then tasked me and the Princess with guarding the gargoyle eggs currently stored in the Rookery beneath the castle, a task we agreed to without hesitation.
He then had one final task for me. He asked me to cast my spell one last time, allowing him to sleep alongside his brethren. I did so with a heavy heart, and then we set out on our journey to the Kingdom of King Kenneth II, with the gargoyle eggs, and their newly appointed guardian Tom.
We arrived safely, and were welcomed with open arms, even with 36 gargoyles eggs. However the peace did not last long. Constantine, a lord of the King's court, plotted to usurp the throne, and with the unwitting aid of the King's betrothed, Lady Finella, he succeeded in murdering the king. He seized the throne, and imprisoned all those who refused to swear fealty to him, including myself, Tom, and the Princess. Eventually, Constantine was crowned King, and he demanded Princess Katharine's hand in marriage, threatening the eggs should she refuse.
We quickly came up with a plan to leave Constantine's stolen kingdom with the eggs. We snuck them out of the castle, then boarded a vessel to take us out to sea. However, it was no mortal kingdom we were to travel to, but to the land of Oberon and his children.
However, no magic outside of Oberon's own is allowed on the mystic isle. Unable to bring the Grimorum Archanorum, I shall entrust the book to the mother of Tom, Guardian of the Eggs, as well as Lady Finella, who aided in our escape from the castle. I finish my tale with a personal wish to the one who finds this book. I sincerely wish that one day, someone will find a way to free Goliath and his clan from the bonds of my curse. They are the greatest allies any kingdom could ask for, and they deserve to be free to roam the night.
I pray to the Gods, to Oberon himself, and anyone else who will listen. Break the spell. Free the gargoyles. Right the wrongs of the past.