The Daedhir is one of the
most mysterious and weird books in Nybelmarian
history, written by the exiled and very secretive
Venlaken mages. More than a
century before the Year of Darkness an internal conflict broke the Mage Guild
of the Nybelmarian nation of
Anis-Anpagan in two main branches.
One of these branches started to focus their researches towards modifying the
essence of things and towards the possibility of transgression for such
essences. Eventually they ended up by searching a means to preserve one's
spirit even after the body is dead. After the
Anpagan Republican Wars these mages
were all exiled in the western swamplands, which are now named the
"Venlaken Enclave". The "Daedhir"
or the "Book of All Fears" is their most treasured writing, actually the very
thing which, they claim, stands at the foundation of their beliefs. However,
the book's exact purpose still remains to a large extent absolutely unknown and
a topic for speculation...
Description. "Daedhir" is an apocryphal writing of Armand DaRan - the famous Anpagan mage that tamed the sea wyrms of the Zyloth Sea. The Daedhirian Mages of the Venlaken Enclave must surely have copies of this book, but as they prefer not to have any contacts with their "outside world", we cannot say for sure what these copies contain, or how they look like. The most gruesome stories circulating in the Anpagan province of Lun (bordering the Enclave) is that the Daedhir writings are preserved on parchments made out of human skin - with the letters engraved as tattoos while the people were still alive. Of course, such preposterous claims can only revolt the common sense of a real scholar, so they are not to be taken seriously. Nevertheless, fragments of this infamous writing were found at various sites on the Ansaran and Alba islands in the southern Anis-Anpagan Dominion. While the Ansaran mages are still debating their authenticity or scholarly value, copies of these fragments may sometimes be inspected under strict supervision in the Ansaran Treasuries.
Origin of the Book. Everything started with the famous magician Armand Da'Ran, the one that managed to tame the dreaded sea wyrms of the Zyloth Sea. After Armand's death, rumours of a leather scroll holding the ultimate knowledge of life and death started to abound. The rumours also were telling that whoever was reading that scroll was bound to a change of essence beyond any common comprehension. The Mage Guild asked for investigations in this matter, but although the very same rumors were pointing that this scroll was in the possession of some of the mages, no conclusions could be issued. One after another some of the best magicians of the Guild took the path of a self-imposed exile, secluding themselves in the remote settlement of Venlaken, yet the infamous leather scroll was still eluding the eyes of the investigators. After several years only its name managed to resurface: "Daedhir: The Book of All Fears, the teachings of a wise shadow to the mage Armand Da'Ran".
In time this group of mages (later called "Daedhirians") became very influential, managing to persuade a good part of the Anpagan nobility to support them. However this proved to be a mistake, as after the Year of Darkness, at the end of the most troubled century in the history of Anis-Anpagan, the country became a republic. The Daedhirians were exiled and their book was forbidden under the pain of death. But even with all these, none of the non-Daedhirians could ever been able to tell what was really written in those texts.
History and Influence. All the Venlaken Lords claim that their most profound knowledge is originating in this book. Daedhir and its author (that they claim was Armand Da'Ran himself), in their view, havee opened a path in human becoming that was never walked before. In their view, Daedhir is the book of all fears, and the answer to them as well: the very salvation of the human kind lies there. These mages, though, were shunned exactly because of their necromantic tendencies and because of their (considered unnatural) obsession of prolonging one's life even in a un-death (or un-life) state. And because this writing proved to have such an influence on so many respectable Anpagan mages (and the one later known as Asdamon the Heretic proves this perfectly), the newly established, at the time, Anis-Anpagan Dominion decided to ban it under the pain of death. As the Daedhirians took all this knowledge with them, and as the Ansaran mages did not show any willingness to preserve whatever they would know, the exact contents of Daedhir seem to have been lost in time - the only account of a possible Daedhirian fragment existing only in Julian D'Alba's journals of the Dark Plague campaign, as it was told by a Daedhirian Lord named Asbavaer.
Around the fourteenth century a.S. though, some parchments were discovered in an excavation on the Ansaran Island - and these parchments proved to be fragments of the infamous writing. After much debating and bureaucratic struggles, some of the younger mages managed to obtain those fragments for rigorous study inside the inner circles of the Guild. Other excavations were ordered, though in three centuries only two other fragments were found. The Ansaran Treasuries Assembled Committees though assure us that they will do whatever stands in their power to unveil this wretched mystery once and for all...
Excerpts. By courtesy of the Anis-Anpagan's Ansaran Treasuries we offer you the fragments found so far (their order being dictated by the Ansaran bureaucratic methods):
Importance. "Daedhir: The Book of All Fears" is the founding text of the so-called "Daedhirian Heresy". It is the founding text of a group of Anpagan mages, that embraced the forbidden path of tampering with the "magics of life and death", or, if we are to be more accurate, with the magics of death itself. As the Daedhirian Lord Asbavaer once said, they have embraced death to overcome it:
Julian D'Alba: "You do realize that for us Bartholomew DaLuna might
be a traitor, now that we see you as you are now?"
These twisted mages are still there, in the Venlaken Enclave, and the Book of All Fears is still veiling those decaying lands like a shroud, still weaving its velvet whispers and dreaming the dreams of dream tempters...