EverQuest Diary III: The Forbidden Scroll
... you can catch up on episodes of the adventures of Sania Nightfall.

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After that night, I decided to learn all that I could to prepare myself for the outside world.

One afternoon, I went to the library looking for a book about magic specialization. Going through all those shelves was not an easy task, especially while standing on top of a ladder. Eventually, I came across the heavy book I had been searching for, but as I pulled it out of its place, I noticed there was something behind it. It looked like a diary, but at the same time, it seemed to have a bunch of loose scrolls in it.

That was strange, I thought. All books are supposed to have the binding showing so we can find them easily. I reached back and pulled it out. It was so dusty I couldn't even read the cover. It must have been back there for a long time, which is even stranger because these shelves were cleaned often enough. I wiped some of the dust off to reveal a black leather cover, with a meticulously monogrammed letter M embossed in gold.

I climbed down the ladder amazed with this newly found artifact. I sat on the closest desk, and with a mix of excitement and curiosity I opened the book. Inside on the first page, handwritten in beautiful calligraphy was "Property of Miragul". I took a quick look at the loose sheets inside. They weren't regular sheets, but scrolls, written in some ancient language. What were they doing in here? Why weren't they on the same shelf as the other magic scrolls? Did someone forget about this book or was it purposely placed behind the others, I wondered.

As I was about to begin reading the book, a voice behind me made me jump.

"What do you think you're doing, young lady? Where did you get this?"

One of the Elders had entered the room. It was Tabren, the Master of Arcane Arts.

I wasn't sure if I had done something wrong, so I hurriedly tried to explain that I had found it by accident and was only curious as to whom it belonged.

He told me that book was never to be read, that it contained very powerful magic, of a type we had never seen before that shouldn't be unleashed. I was dying to know more, and I had to ask.

"Master Tabren, who was Miragul? And if this book's power is so evil, why is it in our possession?"

His complexion turned pale. "My dear, it is very important that this be kept a secret. In the wrong hands, this information could be lethal. You understand this don't you?"

I nodded.

"Very well, I shall tell you the story then. I trust you as my best student that you won't tell a soul about this matter."

"You have my word."

And so he began.

Miragul

"This happened a long time ago, when the human cities of Qeynos and Freeport were built and were the center of attention of Antonica, much to elven dismay. Small groups linked by similar features and common goals formed their own villages, and were encouraged to trade with one another. But not all of them were happy. They watched explorers return with amazing tales of gnomes, elves, dwarves and fairy creatures, and some even came back with limited knowledge of magic.

A certain minority became jealous of that knowledge, and led by a man of great intellect named Erud, they abandoned Qeynos leaving a small network of spies behind. Sailing west, they found a small-uninhabited island, which they settled and we know now as Odus.

They built a city of their own as different from the human cities as they could, turning it into a great towering castle. They named it Erudin after Erud, their leader who brought them to this land.

The so-called High Men would spend their days analyzing books, scrolls and other magic artifacts that their spies would gather from all over the world. The first human wizards, mages and enchanters were then born, and grew in power and knowledge.

The most devoted student of these arts was named Miragul."

So that is who he was! And this book must be a compilation of his memories. I was eager to learn more. Master Tabren went on.

"Miragul was not like the others. Not only did he grow to hate the humans who lived on the main continent, but also he learned to despise his fellow Erudites. He thought they were narrow minded for dividing the schools of magic in three classes. He found this limited his studies, and he couldn't conform himself to having to choose only one.

He found others who thought like him, a little group who not only studied the three classes of magic, but another one, forbidden by the council. The spies had brought this fourth type of magic from the evil underground city of Dark Elves, Neriak. It was called Necromancy, and it dealt with the dead and how to reanimate them. Miragul then created four identities, and each joined a different school of magic."

Dark Elves. Is all source of evil really their fault? How could an elven brother be that twisted? And reanimate the dead? Doesn't a priest do that as well?

"Years later, this group was discovered by the council and classified as heretics. Afraid of being discovered, Miragul abandoned his fourth identity and sided with the council when it came to exiling the Necromancers. Secretly, he gathered every artifact he had stolen before the council had a chance to approve or refuse them, and soon enough he left Odus for good. However, he didn't feel safe in the city of Qeynos either, considering there were still spies about. So he fled north, to the frozen tundra, and then east, avoiding the Barbarians."

Barbarians? I had so many questions, but didn't dare ask them. Master Tabren didn't appreciate interruptions. I kept listening attentively.

"He sought refuge under the frozen ground, where he built a series of tunnels and chambers using his magic powers, and there he proceeded to examine all the tomes and scrolls he had taken from Erudin. As time passed his thirst for knowledge grew. With the help of the wizardry he had learned, he was able to travel long distances in a matter of seconds, which made it easier for him to explore and collect items and then return them to his hideout.

Centuries passed and Miragul grew old. He tried his best to prolong his life by magical means but soon realized he would die, and feared not death itself, but the fact of no longer being able to learn after dying. He started researching life and death, based on what he had learned from his fellow outcasts centuries ago, and Necromancy became his obsession.

He then decided to return to Odus to search for the heretics. He found them in a city built into a large hole in the ground. This city was called Paineel. After a while, he earned the residents' trust, and found people willing to trade knowledge for knowledge. They revealed to him the true power of Necromancy, the ability to raise the dead and command them. Many of them were even planning on leading an army of undead to attack Erudin."

The idea made me shiver. I promised myself I would terminate every undead that crossed my path from that day on.

"The fact that the undead don't age fascinated and interested Miragul. Their lives seemed endless, and he wished to find a way to be like them, so he pretended to be interested in the heretic's plans in order to study and perform his experiments in Paineel. He started experimenting on himself, and found a way to turn the living into the undead. Time was running out for him though, his body was dying of old age, and he hurried back to his subterranean hideout, to the most secret of his laboratories, and prepared his final spell using an amulet stolen from the heretics.

The necromantic enchantment was made as he dreamt of an eternal life of exploring and learning. Mystical energy gathered in clouds around him, and dispersed to reveal an undead Miragul, what the ancients call a Lich.

Unfortunately, in his rush he miscalculated a fundamental detail. The Lich, while retaining all the knowledge and power he obtained while he lived, did not have a soul. Only Miragul's soul, now locked in the amulet, possessed the ambition to expand his knowledge.

The Lich now roams this maze of hallways and rooms filled with artifacts we can only dream about, while Miragul's spirit suffers screaming in silence."

I felt sorry for Miragul. Such a sad tale, a man blinded by his hunger for power and knowledge. I closed the book and handed it to the Elder.

"Thank you, child. This book was recovered from the body of a young Paladin who swore to defeat the Lich. He never had a chance."

He took the book with him, beneath the folds of his robe.

I asked if the Miragul's Lich could be destroyed, to which he replied he didn't know, that the ones who had tried never came back alive.

"What about the amulet? Maybe setting his soul free would mean the end of the Lich." I offered.

"Perhaps. But no one knows where his amulet is. It's most likely still in the depths of the maze, and to reach it one would have to avoid the Lich. And knowing the powers it has, that is nearly impossible. Our only consolation is that he is bound to that place."

I asked if the book contained the experiments that he did on himself, and the secrets of how to turn the living into undead.

Master Tabren smiled slightly as he walked away, "You are indeed my best student."