These are not my memories, though I was there. I saw what happened, felt it, and even saw what will be. But these are not my memories. They are that of the wizard Ouroboros, who even now is being celebrated as a hero for his part in ending the Deathwind plague. But the key to being a hero, I have found, is knowing when to end the story. If the book was closed at the end of the plague then he would be a certain hero. But from what I have seen—what I have felt—the truth is something more complex than that.
I can see him, feel him, ever since that joining ritual that went wrong. I’ve had times where I lose myself completely over these past few months, where I go into a trance and become him. I was there with him when he and his friends saved the world. Facing down his mentor, Meros the Wise, Ouroboros rejected the talk of his destiny. For as much as it had driven him to this point, I felt that the wizard was tired of being jerked around like a puppet. For perhaps the first time in his life, he asked Lahktar the bard what he thought, snapping Meros’ hold over the bard. The decision was taken out of their hands by the spirit of the lich that had been banished from the Woodwalker. The band of heroes rushed to the core of the Ebon Tower, desperate to prevent such an evil creature from turning it to its purposes. Meros, ever the opportunist, took the opportunity to try and take the Tower as well.
As they wrested for control of the Tower, the control room began uncontrollably shifting into different planes of reality, some familiar and some alien. These were no illusion, as each plane exerted its effects on the heroes. The feywild shifted them all into different races and genders…except the ever-steadfast Coronatum, whose stubbornness seemingly allowed him to will himself into his fixed shape. After battling back the mage and lich, the heroes discovered that the Tower, if not alive, was sentient…and it was scared. Reaching out to it, they calmed it and pulled it back to our reality.
Hooked into the “mind” of the Tower, the heroes saw that the Tower was created by the Arcane University, its great masterpiece. However, they had not counted upon the fear that their power-hungry minds would instill upon the Tower, which panicked and phased out of this dimension, far from the greedy mages that constructed it. It laid dormant for centuries in the Shadowfell, until the slaughters of the Allandrian-Arktfarian wars mixed with the pain and rage of Mearis de Thuin opened a portal leading right to the tower. However, de Thuin was not ready for the toll it would take upon his mind. The Tower created the Deathwind as a reflection of de Thuin’s nihilistic hatred, but the sheer power of the tower left de Thuin a shell, an idiot king of destruction.
Presented with the massive library of the Tower, and the party’s unwillingness to destroy the Tower, Ouroboros chose to remain with the tower, exiling it and himself to a pocket dimension. There he would have all the time in the universe for learning, and he could protect the Tower from being misused. The party agreed and bid him farewell, and in a flash they were transported to the remains of the de Thuin manor, with some of Ouroboros’ magical trinkets left behind. The plague clouds had lifted, and the undead which once swarmed the area were nowhere to be seen. The heroes had done it; they had saved the world.
And yet, only I could feel what Ouroboros felt, what he thought at that moment. He felt…fear, perhaps? Terror is closer. But for reasons I could not read, Ouroboros had a well of panic open up during the final battle. And so, the hero Ouroboros lied. He lied to his companions, his friends, his only family. He would take the tower, yes, and he would protect it. But outsides forces should not have been the concern. No, Ouroboros took the Tower so that he might exploit it. I felt him in his pocket dimension; ensconced in the Ebon Tower, he was a god in that place. Harnessing the mystical energies of the Tower, he began to build an army…to what end, I don’t know. But I cannot forget that overwhelming fear he felt. The world thinks that it is safe, now that the Deathwind is pushed back. But it is not. Sooner or later, this situation is going to boil over. Right now, I’m the only one who knows about it. I have no proof, no idea of his exact plan, and I am afraid to say anything lest someone think I am crazy, or disparaging the name of a great hero. I’ll need some time to prepare myself and my evidence before coming forward. To be entirely honest, I’m not certain that I’m not crazy. Since that last vision, I have not fallen into another fugue. Still, I will remain vigilant. It’s all I can do.