DeRiche College – History
There are old tales that saturate the history books with stories of the power and of the might of the age of blood; when savagery and brutality was the way of life and there was nothing so eloquent as the power of the Source. Then there was only the power of the Blood Pits of the Skagriagaard, the alchemy of the Zoranethi, the mysticism of the Giant Kin and the Glamour of the Fae. There was war and chaos and anarchy and then the Void came seeking words of power that had been lost to its unknown master. Those words are, if pre history is to be believed, the power to shape worlds and to master the building blocks of all magics. It is also known that these words or words closely akin to them were carved into the comet that blazed its way across the sky and came to impact the crust of this world in the deep wilds of Helgath where Eaölfheim prospered. When that most great and glorious of events embraced the world so too did our ancient power and from it all power that spreads across Daer Akmir today. So the comet was named after the power that it created, the power that gave life to the world that we now inhabit, that created the races of the world and birthed the Empires and the Kingdoms of this great civilisation. It was called the Source Comet.
The source Comet represented Magic long forgotten from another time and another age where it was referred to as the Nexus. With it came hidden secrets and beings from some dystopian place, some oppressors some oppressed and they spilled over into the world. Their power was dubbed the Arcane and was nothing like we had ever seen before; it dwarfed all other forms and realms with its strength and ability to change reality around it. However this power lasted but mere moments from histories point of view as the Gillieabad Spirits, so free roaming for so long, bound themselves to places of power to neutralise this strength. To the Earth Tribes it was the ultimate sacrifice, to the beings of the Nexus it was an act of war but to those that were to come later it was a gift that could not be over looked. The power Arcane was greatly diminished and it was a power that could never truly be mastered by those inhabitants of the world however the Source of all magic to come was left behind and that was ours to take.
For many years after the arrival of the comet early mages tried to master the power that now saturated this world. Many become extremely proficient in its art but these were spirited away by the Arcanists that arrived with the Nexus; The Kaytaar. It took many years for the College of Sourcery or Council of Magic as it was then to form under the guidance of the Kurt Nagerson whose impressive power in the realm of the Sourcerer led him to become an Emperor of the three Kingdoms (as was back then). During this time the mysterious Kaytaar had established themselves as a force in the world but where once, in their home world, they were eternal, they were made mortal by the forces of Vaklam. To counter this problem they undertook a task to locate the legendary Zoranethi, the Sea Tribe who had mastered the arts of transmogrification of the body and the soul. When they found them they used their terrible power to enslave them, a move that would haunt them in aeons to come. Together they caused the collapse of the Gillieabads power in the Forests of the Chosen, stole the second moon from the Sky and created the Shadowed Lands where they would come to dwell. Much of the College turned its attention to this new threat born of the comet, but it was soon to be discovered that this world was not the only one touched by power.
The world of Beyleethe was a great chunk of amalgamated stone circled by seven great rings of mineral debris when the world of Vaklam was a seething mass of Earth Tribes and battle. Already life was forming there, life that would mould itself into what many of the ignorant folk of the world would call Elementals and Fundamentals but this was before the time of the great sundering, before the Mazamarati, before Vorok Core and the founders. In this baptism the world was changed along with the three other worlds that hung around an infant sun and through their skies a great blazing fire screamed across the heavens giving birth to a power that bears many, many similarities to the Source that gives us the power that we have experienced.
The Sourcerers have come to know that Comet was the home of the Kaytaar and that it came to Vaklam with the intention of reforming their power and their own world here. What we were unaware of, even until recently, was that the Nexus was home to many other forms of life including the Founders of whom we will speak to at the end of this text.
Beyleethe was the last of the four worlds to be contacted by those members of Nagerson College who sought enlightenment outside the basic concepts of Sourcery. Witnessing the power that was growing inside the other three elemental colleges those left behind sought parity. The wing was controlled by Sienar DeRiche, a powerful Sourceress who, tired of the endless wars, sought a lasting peace through her powers and in the days after the second Daemon War, they finally broke through and contacted the world beyond. The words spoken in that moment of first contact have been lost to the winds of history but they led to a unique happening in the stories told of Sourcery: Through the power of the magics of Beyleethe the buildings of the College controlled by Sienar DeRiche vanished, taken to another world, summoned to the side of the Azonte Brek, the Elementals of stone as we knew them then.
The members of the Nagerson College who remained behind were patient at first, though eager for the others to return with new knowledge of unseen lands and powers. Slowly though, patience gave way to concern as the remnants of De-Riches college remained silent. A distant cousin of Sienar, Welsay Colar De-Riche, travelled from his stronghold in Delve to assist in the search for his relative, bringing with him a wealth of Sourcerous power. Taking charge of those that had attempted to contact her Welsay formed a new team following the lines of her research and attempting to recreate the parameters of her own experiments. For over three years he tried to reclaim the pathways to Beyleethe even going so far as to utilise the seven touchstones around which he had built his stronghold. Even with such power at his disposal he had to admit that there was nothing he could do and the quest was abandoned.
Then at the beginning of the fourth year as the project was being dismantled Sienar and her entire college reappeared. Their return was shocking in both their sudden manner and the through the changes that had taken place to not only the building but to the members of the College that returned with them. Of the hundred or so strong staff that had travelled across the planes, just shy of fifty had returned and each one of them had changed. Sienar herself was what has become known as an elemental, a fully fledged one as were many of her staff in one form or another. The building itself seemed to have been melted; various rock types merged as one and vast roaming towers of twisted glass interspersed with foreign metals and alien stone. It took almost a decade for the clamour of the return of the college to die and during that time the new house was quiet but not silent. Many approaches by Nagerson College and the Council of Magic were rebuffed but certain members of various factions from the Colleges of Sourcery were approached and recruited into these cyclopean halls and the power of DeRiche College established itself peacefully and efficiently filling a vacuum in the Council continuum. Power is one thing but the responsibility to use it wisely is something that the family of the De-Riche college fully understand. To protect those that they serve not through the aspects of politics but through the prosperity that peace and protection achieved through tranquillity and repose.
So the years rolled by and the College became powerful as did the other elemental Colleges. But there was infighting amongst the Arch Mages and their protégés and a war between the wizards threatened to endanger the lands. Those that knew the ancient words of power or commanded great strength came together and formed the College of Controlling Power to govern the other five and to give opposition should the Clergy rise to political strength. The formation of the College of Controlling Power (CoCP) heralded a massive change for all of the Sourcerers and a settling of power. Despite the clear power that was flowing from the four realms the early conclaves had greater dangers that drove the dynamics of the direction that we as a collective would take. The Daemon Foe were at our door and the Sourcerous Colleges were not only older and more heavily established but they were also seen as natural, pure and drawing power from the world. The term “Source” was called into question and the right of our followers to designate ourselves Sourcerers was stripped from us, we were renamed fully to Elementalists, as we know now, an incongruous term.
During those early years many of the other Colleges struggled to develop their potential, the rules of the CoCP had yet to expand to understand what we were; we did not draw power from what was understood to be the Source of Magics. We were drafted into combats against Daemon Kind to support the armies and the protective power of iron and stone became one of the most effective shields on the field. We could not, however, turn the power of Daemon Kinds Corruption to our own ends, lacking in the training of the main Colleges and we were drafted to more mundane foes. Many that have come to our doors have, for that reason, arrived to learn the teachings of destruction but there is more than the end of things in the flame. These early years taught us the skills of artificing, the lores of the Azonte Brek, fearlessness, the culture of realms beyond our own and the diplomacy that comes with the travel to learn such.
DeRiche College has become known to be a greater extended family; those that join the family are extended their protection and the knowledge that has been handed down from the elemental fathers that taught the original members of the College. Their beliefs lead the teachings and arts of the College to focus on the natural protection and tranquillity that the world offers. Battle and warfare have never really been a part of their code and ethos although they will always take the field of battle if they are needed. Instead they have made the difference to the disasters that have befallen the Basin and indeed the world through their actions however sedentary they may seem. Their recruitment policy is somewhat stringent however; only those who represent with a clam and centred personality are admitted; the vetting procedure is extremely stringent. Those members that do end up joining the College of Controlling as Azonte Brek founders steer clear of inter college politics and wander the corridors of power seeking only enlightenment.
The people of the Vorok Core, what we have known as the elemental planes, have their own fables and myths about their creation, the dawn of their power and the words of their makers. Over the years we have come to understand and help to unlock the true mysteries of their dawn, it is important that we touch on that knowledge as we cover the early days and current standing of the College. The general knowledge of the people was that long ago the skies were lit by the great eye of the Founders, which we now know to be the Comet, as it passed over the four worlds of Ruaeth Kajhar, Jorven Kel Karenik, Beyleethe and Zartherinyialial. As the eye glared down its power was felt among the earliest inhabitants of that world and the Founders first gave their power to the worlds. As the eye passed so the Vorok Core was left behind, the home of the Founders, the Nexus, the heart of the Harrowgulf (a legendary place between the four worlds) and the place where all of their knowledge would be learned. From here it is said that the Founders taught the Mazamarati, then the ruling class, the building blocks of Magic and that they in turn taught the lesser races of the world but bought with them the subjugation of those that they taught.
As time has gone by we have come to realise that the Founders were one of the races of the worlds, great amalgamations of the races that inhabited the four realms. They had learnt their skills from the Nexians a race that shared their origins in the same homeworld as the Kaytaar. However the Nexians were a benevolent race that taught the Thirteen Founders the mysteries of the Universe on the grounds that they would only reveal a fragment of their knowledge to their followers, the Mazamarati, for fear that their power might be corrupted. When the Mazamarati learnt of this they rose up and nearly killed the Founders and a great war was fought as they struggled to overcome their teachers and take the power of the Nexians for themselves. In the aftermath the Founders fought among themselves but eventually destroyed the power of the Mazamarati and banished them to the Harrowgulf. In the days that followed the races of the four worlds became masters of their own destiny but the dreams of the Nexians were forgotten and war consumed the Vorok Core.
The Dreams of the Nexians
Much later we of the Colleges and the members of those that houses to whom we are allied once more made contact with the Nexians and learnt much of their intentions from their first arrivals. They came to bring unity and their power to all beings, that it might be shared by all and understood by all. They came to build portals to the worlds that touch the edges of their own and to bring learning to them also. Alas the greed of those that serve power overcame their intentions and that dream was ended, in their madness the Mazamarati tried to enslave the Nexians and even through their power to entrap drakes and angels. Can these dreams be rekindled? Only through the power of the Colleges joined with the Realms do we believe that they can but the teachings of the Nexians should not be forgotten.
Remember even the simplest of their wisdoms:
I have seen things you people wouldn’t believe things that will change how you see this world. Enough to drive men to madness. What is the largest number? Are the worlds infinite? Might every event repeat again and again and again? Your intuition is of no use here, faith alone can’t save you, where does the multiverse begin? Is Vaklam one of uncountable copies tumbling through an unending void in one you are rich on another you have yet to be born, these are the deepest mysteries of the universe. Pray silence as I present to you: Infinity.