A half-elf of mysterious intentions. He is haunted by a dark past and an even darker future.
Elohir will say very little about his past. To those who don’t know him, he claims to be a wizard and does back these claims up with the occasional display of wizardry. His knowledge of the subject is also fairly extensive and the mysterious leather tome also tends to bolster this claim. No one can investigate the Tome further, though, because Elohir is extremely protective of it to the point of obsession.
Anyone who has spent time with Elohir, however, knows that something much more sinister lies behind his true power. As of yet, no one knows of his dark secret.
The truth is, Elohir was indeed given wizard training throughout most of his youth, having been taken in by a kindly old gnomish wizard when he was a young waif. He was raised in a large tower filled with an enclave of wizards and students and grew up well versed in magic. While it seemed he would never soar to the height of True Wizard, he was content to be among his friends and adopted family.
One day, however, all was changed after the death of one of the tower’s most prominent wizards. Elohir, being one of the older students at that time still living in the tower, was tasked with cataloging the old wizard’s possessions for storage or use within the tower. All was fine and normal, or as normal as a wizard’s personal collection could be, until one day when Elohir came upon a small bag hidden in a fake bottom in one of the wizard’s chests.
Elohir would often look back upon that day and wonder just how he managed to discover the bag, hidden cleverly as it was. Somehow he had just known, and his fingers had easily found the clasp as easily as if someone had told him where to look. The idea was preposterous at the time but maybe, Elohir had thought later, the sounds of the whispering winds in the tower that night had been more then simple bad weather.
The bag itself was unremarkable compared to the old wizard’s other possessions. Just a simple Bag of Holding of no particular quality. Inside, however, wrapped in oiled rags, was the Tome. The ever curious Elohir took the Tome for himself, hoping to create a study of the unknown language and submit it to the wizard council. Such studies were often met with praise and may have even earned him his own private study or lab if he was successful.
That’s when the nightmares began. They were simple enough at first. Just a series of bizarre images accompanied by words in an alien tongue, incomprehensible and, as Elohir thought at the time, unimportant. As the weeks and months went on, however, the book seemed to take on a life of its own and Elohir became filled with dread. Too ashamed and frightened to tell any of his friends, he tried his best to get rid of the book. No matter what he did or where he buried it, however, he would always awake to find it at his bedside. A quick study of his hands revealed cracked and bleeding fingernails with dried mud caked underneath.
Elohir figured that to undo the book’s strange spell on him, he would have to learn its most inner secrets so that he could devise a way to destroy it. He became engrossed in its study, days and nights spent without eating or sleeping slipped by and months later Elohir had degenerated even further. The book called to him now at all times of the day, always in that same language. The most terrifying thing, however, was that he was beginning to understand. The words were a chant, a terrible chant ending with a name; “Caiphon.” Elohir quaked at the implications, but he could no longer stop himself, he was nearing the end of the book and he still foolishly thought that its completion might end the nightmare.
One night, when he knew the time was close, he completely shut himself off from his friends in the tower. They banged on his door, implored him to come out and eat something. They spoke of his now pale skin, his degenerating body, and his sunken eyes. He spat at them, cursed them, and finally they left him alone and sought out his gnomish master, the one who had taken him in as a small boy.
Elohir wept as he finished the last of the books’ rites. Outside, a pinpoint of purple light appeared and the tower trembled. Elohir’s mind was wrought with fire, and his very eyes glowed with its radiance. His screams echoed, impossibly loud, through the corridors of the great tower. Elohir looked up with his blazing eyes just as his old master entered the room, and then he knew nothing but ecstasy.
Pure bliss overtook him and he shuddered in the radiant light that swept through him. The infinity of space opened to him and the he felt the focus of a thousand burning stars. It filled him near to bursting, until he felt he could take no more. He screamed, he laughed hysterically, and he wept until his eyes were dry. At last, however, it ceased and Elohir found himself on the floor of his room once more. “A taste, a taste. You are mine now. Love me, and you may have more.”
He slept peacefully for the first time in months and his dreams were happy ones. When he awoke, at last, he found himself staring up into the early morning sky. Clouds rolled overhead and the sky was a multitude of lovely hues as the sun rose from the east. He smiled and rolled over only to become face to face with the corpse of his old master. The body was charred nearly beyond recognition. Strangely, it looked as if it had been burnt from the inside out. Elohir screamed and jumped up from the floor of his room. He looked skyward and realized that nothing remained of the tower above his own chambers. All of the floors above him were gone, disintegrated into nothing, it seemed.
With horror he wandered through the remains of the tower, only to find that he could find no one left alive. Everyone from the oldest master to the youngest apprentice had been burnt hollow from the inside out. Elohir stood in the ashes of his friends and wept the last few tears he had left. When he had no tears left to give he knelt there still for a long time, his shoulders hunched and heaving with dry sobs. Eventually those sobs grew to chuckles, and then he found himself laughing uncontrollably until his sides hurt. He stood up and began to hobble away, wracked with the pain of his laughter. He made it only a few strides, however, before he saw the Tome, lying in front of him, it’s pages opened.
Elohir bent over and picked up the book for a better examination. The pages were now blank. The months long ritual was scraped cleaner than any knife could have managed. Elohir closed his eyes for a moment, and there he saw the words, etched into the recesses of his mind. Carefully he closed the book and continued on his way. He reached a hand to his face to discover that he was still smiling.
“Long to go still, still so long to go,” he tittered. “Don’t know where I’m going, but we’ll get there, oh yes we’ll get there. I just need to write the book again. Yes, write the book. That’s what he wants. If I finish the book, then everything will be back to the way it was. I’ll fix everything.” The ramblings continued as he stumbled his way down the lonely road. Behind him, in the ruins, the crows began their breakfast.