Arcanum by Simon Morden

By Simon Morden

Rome was once the guts of the main robust empire the realm had ever noticeable, yet that didn't cease it falling to Alaric the Goth, his horde of barbarian tribesmen and their wild spell-casting shamen. Having break up the partitions with their sorcery and slaughtered the population with their axes, the victors carved up the empire right into a sequence of bickering states which have been by no means greater than an insult clear of war.

A thousand years later, and Europe has develop into a virtually civilized position. The rulers of the outdated Roman palatinates confine their battle to the fast summer season months, exchange prospers alongside the rivers and roads, and farming has develop into much less back-breaking, all because of the magic, bestowed by means of gods, that infuses day-by-day life.

Even the barbarians' gods were tamed: the place as soon as human sacrifices poured their blood onto the floor, there are events and picnics, consuming and making a song, healthy for hot humans and their children.

But it feels like the gods are going to have the final snort sooner than they slip quietly into ill-remembered obscurity...

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On cold nights the covers would vanish just as I fell asleep, while on other nights I would awake either to loud noises in another room or to the sensation of someone pinching my toes. I was certain the house was haunted, and after much work to try to dispel the creature, I determined that magic was to no avail. In desperation I asked a local priest I knew to perform an exorcism. He complied, with the only result being that the night after he sprinkled holy water around the house, I was sprinkled in my bed by water that most likely came from a rather dirty horse trough.

I thought I could see, far ahead of me, something shine with a pale light. I moved forward, hearing the sound of the boat moving away behind me. At length I came to the source of the glow. A wall of ice, which shone softly with no light upon it, closed up the way ahead. 29 So I brought out my lute, and the folk called for the songs they best loved, as folk everywhere do. The inn was crowded with many who did not seem travelers, but villagers. The wine had flowed freely since before my arrival, I could see.

Within these realms, glamour that is seen through remains. Any glamour that is pierced while it is in the faerie realms appears in its true form when such realms are left behind; any glamour that is not pierced may remain when the mortal world is again reached. Only fools try to pierce the glamour surrounding a faerie. If this is done, one of two things occurs. Either the person seeing through the faerie can no longer sense the faerie’s presence (but can still be affected by the faerie), or the person sees the faerie’s ‘true’ shape.

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