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I wrote this account more than a year ago, when memories of the Ripture War were still sharp and bright as daggers. I could not bring myself to publish it then, but the time now seems right. The War is pehaps beginning to dull in our memories; and many among us arrived after the end of the War, and may not know its tale.

The story is divided into four parts, which I shall publish here over the next few weeks. In many cases my information is woefully incomplete. I ask you to help me fill in details and correct errors where you may. A separate list of questions you may be able to help me answer is attached to this scroll.

- Healery of Puddleby Day 51 of Autumn 534

Triumph and Tears The Lok'Groton Ripture War of 533

[OOC note: Puddleby time moves roughly four times as fast as "real-world" time. The first soulglasses were found around April 17 and the War ended on May 7, 1999.]


Wars have many stories. Countless tales of heroism and despair, of victories and tragedies on every scale, could be told by those who lived through the Lok'Groton Ripture War of 533. It takes time and perspective for stories to settle out of the chaos and shock the survivors suffer. Often the best stories could only be told by those who did not survive, whose words are lost forever to the Darkness.

I am only a healer. I fought in the Ripture War, long months of battle and bloodshed and tears; but I was not at its center. I was not privy to all its secrets. Even now there is much we survivors do not know about this war, its causes or the forces that shaped its course. And yet I set down here all that I know and can remember, that it might not be lost to the ever-flowing river of time. It is an emotional story, but I shall try to tell it as dispassionately as I can. If I have any wish for this account, it is that future generations might read it thoughtfully, with compassion for our ignorance, admiration for our nobler moments, and forgiveness for our many follies.

- Healery of Puddleby, Soulguider of the Fellowship of the Red Quill Puddleby, Lok'Groton Islands, Day 70 of Summer 533 38 days after the end of the Ripture War, by the Puddleby calendar

The Ripture War

Part I: The Soulglasses

When the first soulglasses appeared, in mid-Spring of 533, no one suspected that they would eventually spell the end of the world. The first two of these glowing blue crystals appeared in the Greymyr Village, accompanied by enormous crowds of undine: Skeletals, Wraiths, and Detached Spirits by the dozens. Exiles rushed to the scene and fought off the unholy monsters to reach the crystals, hoping to capture or destroy them and thus stem the flood of undine invading our lands. Those reaching these first soulglasses reported them as "orbs" that shattered when disturbed. But soulglasses continued to appear, and the next ones were not so fragile. Those first exiles to pick up soulglasses were jubilant: by their bravery and skill, they thought, they had saved Puddleby from the ravages of a terrible undine invasion.

Though early soulglass holders were uneasy with their new possessions and experimented hesitantly, they soon found them to be weapons of great power. A soulglass was useless against undine, and even inflicted harm on the exile wielding it against one, but a single touch from one of the crystals sent most beasts into a swirling vortex, never to be seen again. All manner of mighty Orgas, swift Arachnoids, and even stone-skinned Greymyr fell to them with ease. Soulglasses also reproduced readily, when more than one was used against a single beast. By a few days after the first two were found, it was nearly impossible to walk across the island without bumping into one and picking it up. In less than a week, nearly everyone in Puddleby who wanted a soulglass had one -- and many who did not.

As soulglasses became widespread, the first great conflict of the War arose. Not all who held the soulglasses were as restrained as the first few. Some saw them as a gift from the gods, a weapon that allowed even the weakest exile to travel throughout the lands in safety and to earn fabulous bounties from killing strong beasts. Some, however, were convinced that the soulglasses were evil, or at least that using them was adding to the strength of the powers of Darkness. Some few remained uncertain, but counseled caution in the use of such a powerful item without knowing its true function or purpose. "Orbers" and those who disapproved of the orbs' indiscriminate use confronted each other in heated debate and open hostility. Orbers soon found themselves cursed and unwelcome in many of the popular hunting areas, as those not using orbs objected to the loss of bounties and educational opportunities when all the strongest beasts were orbed. In addition, some exiles used the soulglasses against the beasts in the advanced healers' tests, thus gaining titles many found fraudulent. Strong words were spoken, and fast friendships dissolved. In the minds of many this was Puddleby's darkest hour, as for the first time in our history large groups of exiles were pitted against one another in what amounted to a civil war.

The weeks progressed, and gradually more exiles became convinced that the soulglasses were indeed tools of evil, and sought to rid themselves of theirs. Using a soulglass against an undine sometimes led to the fiery destruction of the orb. The exact circumstances under which this happened were never clear: sometimes it seemed that sunny skies were needed, or powerful undine, but some soulglasses were shattered on cloudy days or in dark tunnels, and dozens of them were destroyed on simple skeletals. A few were even destroyed unintentionally, used against normal beasts. Still, "orb-destroying factories" were soon in full swing in the desert, in the undine cavern under the east field, and in the Ossuary. Healers kept hopeful exiles alive as they pressed their soulglasses against skeletals and waited, sometimes for hours, to feel the orbs burst into flame. Nevertheless, soulglass use remained strong, despite rising evidence that they were, in fact, linked to the growing presence of undine and evil in the lands.

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