The Nine Doctrines of Darkness

"In the time before Men, Elves, or creatures of any kind walked the material plane, there were created three caves of power. Although their origin has been lost in antiquity, the caves have retained the awesome force with which they were originally endowed. Each cave contains a pattern of arcane knowledge inscribed upon its smooth-surfaced floor.

In order to maintain the balance of nature, one cave of each alignment (good, neutral, and evil) was created, and within each recorded all laws pertaining to its nature. Throughout history the caves were mentioned in legend though none had actually been seen.
mages and Mystics had at times gained brief glimpses of the caves through their meditations, but such visions were always obscured by the fields of power abiding within. Thus, the location of the caves remained a mystery until Lord Erlich, an evil Arch Mage, found the Cave of Darkness after three decades of searching.

Under the great roots of a giant oak,deep within the old forest, he noticed a small hollow which proved to be the cave entrance. Entering the low-vaulted chamber, Elrich was awed by the sight of a golden pattern etched flawlessly upon the smooth ebony floor. Entranced with the vision of great power, he slowly began to walk the pattern. A full nine days later, he had walked the pattern in its entirety, and thus comprehended the nine principles upholding all Evil. This knowledge tore at Elrich, piercing his soul like a mortal wound. Deep in despair, Lord Erlich, Arch Mage and sole possessor of the nine principles arcane, began to fade.

Hoping still to master his fate and possess completely the knowledge of perfect evil, Elrich began to conjure. Through his art he formed nine blackbound texts and upon them he wrote "The Nine Doctrines of Darkness". Tirelessly, he transcribed into each text one of the nine principles of Evil. Though his task was arduous, he labored obsessively, and within two days time the texts were complete and perfect in their detail.

Working his magic once more, Elrich then polymorphed each volume into different common-place objects, and instructed his Homonculous to hide them carefully throughout the world. When his servant had departed, lord Erlich created a scroll empowered with a spell of summoning to gather the Doctrines at will. After he had completed this, he sat on the cave's smooth ebony floor and summoned all his will in an attempt to conquer the terrible power surging within him.
The struggle was awesome, but Lord Erlich knew he had no choice. Numbness spread slowly throughout his limbs preventing his escape, and still his will endured. For three months he fought, using all his power and knowledge to ward off impending doom. Finally, his soul wrought with pain and his body numb and lifeless, Elrich gave  a great cry of despair and collapsed on the cave floor. The knowledge of perfect Evil had brought the Arch Mage to utter and final destruction.

Though they appeared to be common objects, the Doctrines retained their inherently high charisma and were, in time, discovered and carried away to differents part of the world. Time passed uneventfully and the Doctrines changed hands many times, usually under very odd sets of circumstances.

Nearly four centuries had passed when the polymorph spell began to lose hold on the Doctrines. The first text appeared in the forest of Gelden Minor in the hands of Locklomin, King of the Elves and holder of the sceptre of Lawful Good. It was late afternoon in the month of July, when the King's favorite wine flask suddenly appeared in its true form. News spread quickly throughout the land and those of both good and evil natures became profoundly interested in the discovery. Defenders of the land began a pilgrimage to Gelden Minor either to guard or destroy the Doctrine. Evil creatures of every description set out for the forest of the Elves with their own ambition, to obtain the Doctrine. The time was short before news of the Doctrine reached the Underworld, provoking concentrated interest among the Arch Devils. Asmodeus himself was not the least of those interested in obtaining the Doctrine for his own use. Turned by the power of a great artifact, the sceptre of Lawful Good, all attempts by the underworld to enter the castle of the Seven Towers had failed.

Unable to obtain the Doctrine themselves, the Arch-Devils began to enlist the aid of mortals promising them great treasure and giving them what aid possible. Thus began the War of the Doctrine, a great war centered around the small forest of Gelden Minor, which influenced the entire land and involved many holders of power".

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