No matter where I searched, there didn’t seem to be much written on the subject of the Kala-Iskul. We do know that it is a magical artifact, and that it is of a dark origin. I say this only because the references are all from personal journals entries, recording specific, shall I say…horrific experiences?
I have come to agree with several conclusions, however, that this item was most likely crafted by Mahan himself. Let me explain…
The description are identical, and so my first observation is that this is a single item. A black skeletal hand, written as ’tortured metal’, holds a single giant orb of an unknown substance. Several accounts suggest it was a crystal, others a gem, but all describe it as ‘an open eye into the mists of the forbidden, which peers into the soul of those who are unfortunate enough to cast their gaze upon it.’
During the bloodletting skirmishes of 5928s the orb was first discovered within an enemy camp. Searching for bounty, soldiers discovered an ironwood box covered in strange carvings stained with what looked like red paint. The first man who opened the box, fell the the ground screaming in pain, his hands burned through his leather gloves.
The box was then chained shut and using poles, secured into the supply wagon, on route to High King Gaston’s camp.
Accompanied by sixty armed soldiers, the intent was to deliver the discovered orb to the main encampment—a two day hard ride. Once there, the kings mägo would take over and study the prize.
The orb never arrived.
The party was eventually found at the base of Thangor Pass. Horses slaughtered along side the men. Plate armor torn like paper, bodies hanging from trees.
Amidst the camp lay a perfect circle of smoldering ground. A perfect rectangle at its center, untouched grass growing at its center.
The troop leader was found hunched over his saddlebags, stabbed in the back, quill pen still in hand. In his other…a scroll.
“Now they believe me.
“They thought I was insane—hearing voices in the night, but I’m not crazy.
“They all hear the voices now.
“As soon as the sun vanishes from the sky, the whispers start. Calling my name.
“At first I thought it was the wind, but I recognize the voices. They know me.
“It’s that cursed chest. The closer I get to it during the night, the louder the voices become. Tried to tell Hagan about it, but even he thought I was crazy…but not now. Now they all believe.
“It tells the truth and warns me.
“Taren believes I speak ill of him and he hates me for it. When I confronted him about it, he denied it—but now I see it in his eyes. He’s watching me. Waiting.
“Dylan’s been stealing from the rations when I’m not looking. Again I confronted him and he quickly became offended. A sign of guilt. Made sure he received ten lashes for the theft.
“Gregori is waiting for an ‘accident’ to happen, so he can take my place. He’s always wanted to have his own command and the King’s Scouts are the best of the best. Though he can’t do much, if he’s in chains.
“The camp is filled with traitors and cutthroats, I see that now. I can be of far better service to the King if I retain this prize for myself. The voices can guide me. Warn me of the danger as it approaches.”
Again the orb was discovered during a siege against a northern keep in what is now Andilain. A coven of Tauku has been slaughtered and their relics obtained for study by the University of Magic.
Orielle Telefus-Kennell of the Third Order was assigned to test the orb.
His studies showed that the Kala-Iskul contained dedicated links to the realm of the unembodied. That certain spirits were bound to the orb and it was Orielle’s suspicion that these same spirits were messengers, commanded by the user of the orb.
How the orb was to be used or to what end was never discovered.
Orielle went missing, as did the orb.
A fortnight later, the mägo’s body was found floating face down in an eastern river outside Leeds. His stomach had been slit from hip bone to hip bone.
The orb was nowhere to be found.
“These books are better than chocolate in our Saturday morning pancakes. Just don’t tell mom.” – Devin, Age 11
“I like these books a lot. Even more than my sisters. But that’s not very hard to do.” – Caleb, age 10
“I really like Dax, cause he reminds me of Uncle Carter. He eats weird food and smells too.” – Johanna, age 13
Come on, you know you have something to say!