To posterity, I, Ilthan of the Sunswept Isles, leave this tale of my triumph over captivity.
I have spent the better part of my life perfecting the arcane arts. I am a true master, blessed by the gods themselves. My stunning blue eyes, which hold the light of the cosmos, were given to me by Molyana herself. The goddess of love and beauty recognized my purity while still in my mother’s womb and stretched out her mighty hand to bestow the light of the heavens upon me. No one has ever manifested a level of power to equal my own, and it is doubtful that anyone will ever do so.
I am the rightful leader of the Sunswept Isles, as I can defeat any single sorcerer among them. The ancient texts clearly state that any master of the arcane may vie for throne. If he is capable of defeating his challengers in single combat, he has earned his right to lead the kingdom. If he fails, he deserves no less than death. Subsequent challengers may come forth, but the combat must be one on one. Though I bested every challenger that stood in my path, the other Enlightened Elves refused to accept me as their master and joined forces to prevent me from taking the throne.
My own son was among those who refused me my right to rule. He had inherited many of my talents, but he could never match my intelligence. Though his physical features were quite similar to my own, his magical skills were grossly inferior. He would have done well to continue his studies under my watchful eye, but alas he chose another path. Perhaps I would have spared his life had he remained at my side.
Being forced into exile in a land across the sea, I took up residence in an ancient tower amid the forests. The local population trembled at my arrival and cowered in fear before me. They offered me women and jewels to appease my wrath in hopes of living peacefully beside me. I hated them with every ounce of my being, but I tolerated their presence as best I could. They were scrawny, disgusting little elves with nearly no magical abilities. Their women did not satisfy me, as I could not bring myself to touch such lowly, debased creatures. For the most part I left them in peace, but occasionally one would grow curious and try to enter my tower. He would quickly be consumed by fire and his corpse sent home as a warning. I dislike intruders and insist on solitude.
After many years of study in exile, I decided that my powers were sufficiently strong to reclaim leadership of the isles. I returned to my former home commanding an army conjured from flames and as many undead minions as I could summon. Together we destroyed all who opposed us, leaving a trail of corpses in our wake. I laughed in amusement as the pitiful sorcerers tried in vain to defend themselves from my tremendous power. Their attempts to shield themselves were useless against my strength, and I easily sapped their power to augment my own supply. Those who did not flee were easily put down, while the more intelligent ones bowed to my supremacy.
Unfortunately for him, my son stood against me once again. He fired his most intense spells in my direction, but he failed to remember that I had taught him everything he knew. His attacks being entirely predictable, they stood no chance of inflicting any harm upon my person. He was rather perturbed to see that I absorbed every bit of magic he sent my way and attempted to step up his attack. Losing my patience, I decided it was best to relieve him of his embarrassment, and I struck him with my most powerful bolt of lightning. He died instantly, his body being consumed in flame.
Upon his death, I called out to the remaining sorcerers, “I am Ilthan, your true and rightful master! I am claiming my place as your leader and warn any of you who would refuse me this right. Come forth now and challenge me if you can. I will rule these isles or you will all die!”
Naturally, no one came forward to challenge my authority. My goal was achieved. What had wrongly been denied me so many years ago was now mine. I was, and remain to this day, the true and rightful leader of the Sunswept Isles.
A home among the island vermin would have proven inadequate for me, so I decided to continue living in my own tower in the wilderness just across the sea. It was only a day’s journey to the isles, allowing my subordinates to reach me quickly when they were summoned. I altered one of my rooms into a chamber where my new council and I could meet to discuss matters, however, there was little discussion to be had. I was the lord and master, and my word was law. No one dared argue with me or question my judgment. My minions lived in fear, and I loved it.
Sadly, my reign was coming to an end. All of the sorcerers remaining on the isles joined forces to lead a raid on my tower. This attack was a complete violation of ancient law, as a sorcerer may only challenge his master in single combat. The cowards knew they stood no chance of defeating me legitimately, forcing them to resort to a dishonorable course of action. Facing an onslaught from more than a thousand expert sorcerers, I failed in my attempts to protect myself. Though I managed to dispatch dozens of them, I was eventually paralyzed by their magical restraints. I never would have imagined any of them had the intelligence necessary to subdue me, but a thousand minds working together is far better than one.
My hands and feet were bound, and I was dragged naked before the Grand Council. They had enchanted my bonds with a power draining spell that left me completely incapacitated. For a sorcerer as powerful as me, being rendered helpless was a fate much worse than death.
The bonds were unbreakable, even for one as powerful as myself. Without magic, I was entirely useless. Though I was weakened, my will to live and regain my powers was as strong as ever. I vowed that one day, no matter my circumstance, I would have my revenge on these pitiful excuses for sorcerers. They had tasted only a portion of the wrath I would unleash upon them. One day they would experience my full strength.
I was placed inside a cramped stone cell for several days with only rats for companionship. The walls ran with a slimy wetness which I was forced to ingest due to my lack of water. Never before had I experienced such indignity, and my lust for vengeance burned deeper than ever.
After weeks in prison, I was transported by ship to a far-off land. Being confined in a tiny cabin with no windows, I chose to sleep for the majority of the journey. When we arrived at port, I was given a specially tailored robe that was designed to drain my power. This was part of their pathetic attempt at controlling my abilities, and unfortunately, it appeared to work. Still being bound by their magical ties, I had no choice but to wear the vile robe.
I was destined to be a slave to a human noble who intended to use me as entertainment for his guests. I was expected to perform magic tricks to amuse his friends, despite being drained to the point of exhaustion. Being placed on display like a beast in a cage only served to augment my rage. I refused to perform for this human and was beaten severely for my stubbornness. I was thrown into his dungeon and given scraps of food from his plate on the rare occasion that I was allowed to eat. Each day, I plotted the nobleman’s demise.
For some unknown reason, the nobleman’s young daughter took a liking to me. She visited me daily in my prison, providing some amusement during my confinement. The pretty child would even smuggle fresh fruit and wine into my cell. I must admit that I grew fond of the girl, despite her low birth. After nearly four years as her plaything, the humans finally allowed me a room inside their castle. My shackles were removed, but a power draining collar was placed snugly around my neck.
I proved my usefulness to the humans when the young girl became gravely ill. As a child, I had studied closely under an herbalist before attending the University. The work was mundane and not suited to my extreme talents, but it passed the time before I was old enough to learn true magic. I used my skills as a former herbalist to cure her disease, sparing her from an agonizing death. As a reward, I was freed of my collar and appointed court apothecary.
My magical skills had grown weak from my lack of practice, but my determination was stronger than ever. I practiced ardently at every opportunity. Whenever I had a moment alone, I would call upon the gods to show me their favor. My power had once rivaled their own, but I knew they had not been jealous. In fact, I felt certain the gods themselves had once stood in awe of my powers. Once again they smiled upon me, granting me a full restoration of my skills. Now it was time to exact my revenge on my captors.
In spectacular fashion, I called down the lightning to strike the humans. My intent was to spare the girl, but she began screaming at me when she saw her parents lying dead.
“I loved you, and now you’ve betrayed me!” she cried.
I did not understand her anger, but she was sobbing so loudly that I assumed she would prefer to join her parents in death. With a simple fireball, I ended her life as well.
I have since returned to my tower in the wilderness where I continue to refine my skills. My powers being superior to those of the gods, I am unmatched by any other sorcerer alive today. I will continue to perfect my skills and plan my revenge. In time, I will reclaim what is mine and destroy all who stand in my way. This time, I will not fail.