Last Days of Arkovia
As I write this, dark columns of smoke billow up from the port where the madness long pullulating the restive populace has finally boiled over. A blazing merchant's galley, abandoned by its crew freed of its moorings plows into a group of fishing boats, wood splintering, the fire quickly spreading among the sails. I hear shouting in the courtyard below and the clash of iron not far beyond; a woman screams repeatedly, her words undiscernible.
For so long, we feared our doom would come from the barbarous mountain tribes, but in the end we've been the instruments of our own demise, helped along by the insidious promises of the necromancers.
It is not yet two moons since the great rituals were undertaken, led by our ever reaching Oligarchs; the rituals intended to bring immortality and ensure the lasting greatness of Arkovia. Ever the skeptic, I figured it for a sham; political theatre at best, but the ritual seems to have been a tragic success.
This ritual was the invention of a necromancer named Uroboruuk. A man imprisoned in the Steps of Torment, who it is said did not age and could not be killed by any means. The leaders of the three greatest houses, including my own patron, Laudos Vagra, made an ill-conceived journey to the tower in hopes of compelling this Uroboruuk to give up his secrets. Here, immortality worked against Uroboruuk as he was subjected to the most brutal and imaginative forms of torture that could be devised for a man who could not die. Finally, Uroboruuk agreed to instruct them in the ritual and the Oligarchs, blinded by their lust for immortality, were all too eager to believe his will broken and accepted the ritual as genuine.
It has become dear that the people of Arkovia have indeed gained a form of immortality but it is a cruel and twisted fulfillment of that promise. Our bodies still suffer the ravages of time, eventually dying and decaying, whilst our spirits remain trapped within, eternally bound to this land.
I have witnessed this myself as the sick and elderly, near death at the time of the ritual, remain with us yet. Their bodies visibly decay, in the manner of a corpse, yet they continue on as though living, able move and talk; still much the same persons as they were in life, yet not.
All who suffer this death of the body become somehow less vital, less dynamic of thought. They become ever more narrowly focused on whatever concerned them most in life. It is disturbing to witness families that do not know what to do with their deceased, yet still present, loved ones.
More horrible still are the rumors of babies born since the ritual. Abominations they say, deformed and bearing dark grisly feathers. It is said that many forlorn new fathers have bean seen trekking into the Broken Hills, bundle in arm, to leave their unnatural offspring to the elements.
The din of fighting and wailing continues on below. I expect it shall for quite some time since the combatants cannot die by any mortal means. I sit with my books and continue my writing for whatever time may remain... perhaps all eternity...
Theodokus Vagra, Scribe of Arkovia