Tuesday Tales, Part XIV: A Continuation of the History of the Silver Fern

Aubrey Purdom was a well-known tinker in Caxton, enjoying the height of her prosperity from the years 1025-1032.  Purdom was famous for having created some of the most coveted rune-inscribed items in the country–and for her refusal to craft the same item twice. Many believed her to be a genius, calling her “Gifted of Silver”; others believed her to be eccentric and dangerous. In the year 1033, Purdom suddenly stopped producing magical items, claiming to have been given a task by the Silver God itself. Locking herself away from civilization for two years, she reemerged at last in the latter moons of 1035 with a finished masterpiece.

During her self-imposed exile, Purdom had created a scepter unlike any that had ever been seen before.  It continuously and endlessly leeched the magical energies from everything within a ten mile radius.  While the world was very impressed with this bottomless magical pit, it also became immediately apparent that the scepter posed a huge threat to the safety and well-being of everything and everyone around it, since its secondary quality was to create a kind of anti-magic field extending an additional fifty miles past its primary radius, thereby covering most of Caxton in a magical dead zone.  The scepter’s power was such that even the Caxton Wall was adversely affected.

Naturally, the Order of the Silver Fern was called in to take care of the situation as soon as possible. Brigadier General Mage Morris Arkell and three subordinates, Brigadier Mages Galvin Lomas, Rhoda Persell, and Violet Collman, were dispatched to handle the matter. After a thorough inspection of the scene, it became clear that only one solution was feasible: to overload the scepter in the hopes that it would destroy itself.

Together the four mages joined together in a ritual designed to release all of their magical energies simultaneously, knowing that undertaking this action meant that none of them would return from the Black God’s realm. Embracing their duty to honor their oaths, the mages said one final farewell to their friends and families before completing the ritual, releasing all of the magical energies in their bodies and permanently severing the link between their bodies and spirits. The intense release of magical energy created a pillar of green light, which extended upward as far as anyone could see; reports from that time indicate that the pillar was visible even from the far shores of Zikari. The result of the release was immediate, as the compressed magical energies within the scepter stabilized and its draining effect stopped.

Purdom, who had fled into hiding, was found and apprehended shortly thereafter in a cave in northern Blacknall.  In Esos, she was tried before the monarch and sentenced to death for every life that she had robbed through her work–a total calculated as twenty-two deaths. After her sentencing was complete, a memorial was held in honor of the fallen mages.  This memorial, now known as the Vigil of Light, has been observed in Caxton every year on the third of Thawing.