Challenge Three


Before you read the following passage, I must warn you that this parchment has been contributed to by a source that wishes to remain anonymous, for fear of personal well being of themselves and their loved ones. This letter is a true account of the source's ancestor, who had a direct involvement with the cataclysm that affected all of the lands, but especially the then developing country of Nippon. What has been written is tabooed by the Nipponese royalty and by most of southern Remus, due to the sheer damage caused by said catastrophe. Be wary fellow reader, it is by your own risk that you read this. By now I am probably unreachable or even dead...however this letter must always be passed down so the people know what truly caused the disaster in Nippon.

Dearest Liu Xiang,

By now you are probably already aware of the sudden changes within our region. Birds of all species have taken flight out of Nippon. Sudden tremors below the earth leave many rice paddies and valleys with wicked scars. The very forests themselves, ones we consider impenetrable, are slowly dying. The cherry blossoms bloom late and last for mere days before withering away, descending to the earth in misshapen and lifeless forms. The great bamboo forests are bending into ugly forms, weakened and battered as if terrible winds have attempted to tear them to the ground.

My love, I cannot lie to you any longer. It is not Mother Nature that has turned against us. It is I who has turned against her. Our people have blamed her for something that she has no control over, something dark and mysterious which so people such as yourself have as much control over as a farmer might have over a blazing forest fire. I caused the fading of Nature herself...through the use of magic. I must confess, dear Xiang, that I am no merchant. I am a fabled one, a man who has control over the dark forces that twists the very body of Mother Nature herself. I am a mage, more specifically a shaman as the mages of the west possess powers that are nothing compared to mine. 

Far underneath the valleys to the north, ones that rest near the ominous Dragon Teeth mountains, is a mine. Inside this mine is something I have called "Blood Stones." These stones are much unlike the granite from which these mountains are made of. These rocks are alive, pulsing with magic that has long been talked of but never seen. Ever since the great Inquisition by the kingdoms to the West, many of those with gifts such as mine have been taken away, slaughtered like dogs for the magic we were "gifted" with. Although I know what they did was deserved, I could never get over the fact that our kingdom let a massacre such as that take place. In fact this fueled my secret desire to enhance my own powers with these stones, giving me abilities that many consider to be set aside for the gods alone.

Woe is me to have underestimated the vindictiveness of Mother Nature. The ugly scars she wove within herself were not  punishment towards our people. It was in fact a warning, sings of her sorrow at the events that were transpiring deep within her. By my own two hands I have released her rage upon you all, her placid attitude twisted into blinding anger because of my stubbornness.  Ironic that it will be because of my blood stones that millions of people will die.  

Even as I write, I can feel a looming presence over me, an aura of deadly calm hanging overhead, waiting like the ever patient tunnel lizard before it strikes with deadly results. It is too late for me to leave however...I have been locked inside this infernal mountain by a sudden rock slide. It has taken all of my power to deliver this message through the solid mountain and into our cherry blossom. Do you remember it still Xiang, the young tree that we planted when we were children? We planted it as close friends and like our love, it bloomed. And were it not for my foolishness, it would have fully blossomed into a beautiful tree.

My final wish for you Xiang is to take your family and leave the valley. Please take whatever you can carry and flee the lowlands, head for the hills or for the ocean and charter a vessel. Do anything you can but be sure that you are not anywhere in Nippon by the time Mother Nature strikes...I cannot tell you how much time is left so my final breath shall be spent on praying for Nature to forgive me, or at least give more time before she unleashes her fury.

Goodbye until we meet in the next world my love, my Liu Xiang. And to my unborn child, boy or girl, I pray that you are not given this curse, this damned magic that tears everything apart.

With all my love, Zhuge Liang

Now that you know my reader be wary, for before long another Zhuge Liang will be born, a soul with powers unimaginable by any of the people, from the Northerners in Drundar to the people of Remus, and especially to the royal court of the Cao family, the only living dynasty that knows the true nature of the great destruction. A little tip, dear reader, if you feel as if Zhuge Liang's story could relate to you. 


Seek the Cao family's living relatives, for they alone will be your only chance of continuing your life without being slaughtered like the Shamans of old or suffer the tragic tale of Zhuge Liang. Abandon your earthly friends and families, for your destiny is one wrought with destruction and death.

The End

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