The Pamphlet: The Thousand Symbols of Kiaransalee is the property of the author, Kiaransalyn and is used with permission by Candlekeep.
The Thousand Symbols of Kiaransalee
A Warning and a Caution
The contents contained herein are a few of my collected musings on the Kiaransaleen faith. I would advise adherents of other faiths to destroy this pamphlet for the ideas discussed within will run counter to their own belief systems. Of course, by reading further you will gain a greater understanding of the Faith of The Revenancer and you may even find information, which you can exploit to your own profit. However, you do so at the risk of losing your faith and discovering that The White Banshee is the one true faith and holds within Her fair, pale hands all the veracious answers; for such is the intent of this pamphlet. Its purpose is to be a harvester of souls for wise and beautiful Kiaransalee and by reading this small collection of pages you will find yourself, at the end, to be a willing participant in Her faith and Her devotions.
You have been duly warned; you read further, and thus imperil yourself, at your own volition. Those of other faiths have been advised to destroy these mere scraps of paper and your continued perusal is at the risk of offending your own deity. For the worth of these empty recepticals of your prayers and wishes will be shown to be less than that of a sick and diseased slave's night-soil and the odour of the incense that you burn upon their pathetic altars will smell just as pleasing to your nostrils once you have finished reading this document and realise that all true acts of faith are done at the behest of Her. And Her will alone is the only will worthy of your reverence.
The Death of a Thousand Cuts
It is said that the Death of a Thousand Cuts is one of the cruelest ways to die. The first few cuts need to be quite deep so as to cause the target considerable pain and to make it to cry out. Thereafter, the cuts need only be sufficient to keep the distress at a reasonable level whilst the subject of the exercise bleeds to death. I have seen expert proponents of this form of torturous execution perform their art before the Matrons of many a fine city. It is an entertainment that can last for several hours and on occasion, days. And in the darkened chambers of some of the more finer palaces of such cities an execution can take months. The most important thing is that the subject consciously feels agony throughout the application of the artist's blades. For in anguish, are we all birthed in this world and in torment the unworthy depart. Be not unworthy for there are those who know of a way to cheat death and that path is revealed to the worthy by Kiaransalee. Only through Her are we truly spared the pain of death.
The first time I saw the Death of a Thousand Cuts performed was at the command of the female who had given birth to me. I still, sometimes, wish that I had been born with teeth so that I could have bitten her as she brought me into this world but of her I will speak later. The subject who was experiencing this method of termination was a drow and, so I was told, he was my father. Although, that term meant nothing to me at the time and I did not understand the relevance of such a description. Later in my life, when I had travelled and conversed much with lesser races I learned that 'father' is a term given to the male part of the coupling that produces children. A disgusting practice that I notice the lower life-forms frequently expend great effort upon in order to participate in. Clearly, there is a better way and She that guides my life has shown me of such.
That day, as I watched the male component of the union that had resulted in myself die I sat fascinated. Truly, I had not heard such delightful sounds made by a creature before and I looked at my siblings with great inquistiveness and wondered if they could also produce such pleasing sonorousness. I endeavoured, once the spectacle was over, to experiment with a few of the creatures that performed servile functions within my house. Alas, the female that birthed me was angered at my destruction of her property. So I learned not only to conduct my investigations with a greater level of secrecy but also to wait patiently. The creature had to possess a reasonable level of intelligence and also had to be worthy of healing for I noted that the great professionals used such arts to prolong the audience's enjoyment. In my childhood, it was as much a sin to misuse restoratives and the suchlike on the lessers and the slaves as it was to harm a spider. There is an irony in that later in my life when I came to know The Lady of the Dead spiders were one of the first creatures I used in my necromantic experiments but I digress.
When I was older, but not yet accounted an adult, fate blessed me with the purchase of a halfling. I had heard of these surface creatures before and was delighted upon the acquisition of such a beast. Now I could abuse my own property and learn more of the fascinating art-form that my childhood had given me frequent opportunity to watch. Alas I despaired to learn that the greater cruelty of the Death of a Thousand Cuts is to be the one who has to count to a thousand. I confess that I lost interest in my sport shortly after the three hundred mark and gave the rather damaged halfling to one of my sisters as a gift. I believe she eventually made shoes out of it after it had given her several years of service but again I digress. Clearly, there had to a better and more pleasurable way to perform this method of execution and it should never be the burden of a noble born drow to have to perform the work of an accountant's clerk and incrementively reach a certain high number. There was a way and it was only through knowing Kiaransalee and the enlightment of following the precepts of Her faith that I discovered the method that I will describe later in this discourse.
The Will and the Method of Kiaransalee
If the spirit of revenge could take on a physical form then I am sure my Lady would take it as a lover for She delights in acts of vengeance. It is ambrosia for Her and She requires that all of Her servants perform such devotions for Her satiation. A recent initiate into Her divine faith may struggle to search for subjects to be revenged upon believing that until that point their life has been a series of events which has lead them to the present point. Yet nearly all of those whom you have previously met have committed some indiscretion to your detriment; you simply need to be educated in the correct manner of discernment. The tutor who failed to recognise your talent and placed you only second in the class, their transgression should be rectified. And with great malice and spite should their wages of sin be paid out. For thou art Her servant and it is for Her that you seek revenance. Look in your heart and if your retaliation is not for Her then you are not worthy. Others, there are, who are marked to reap a rich harvest of pain and retribution. Look to those who describe themselves as siblings and look to the one who would have you respect her as mother. Look to the spider shamans and the folly that they preach. did they not in their rituals seek to hide from you the truth? Look to the worshippers of the rebellious slime-god, and the masked ones for have they not tempted you and tried to corrupt the true path of your faith? Look to the tardy servant and look to the haughty tradesperson whom hath thought your gold insufficient. All of these are but ripe fruits, ready to be crushed and made into a sweet wine for Kiaransalee.
In all of your actions be ever aware of Her. Let The White Banshee guide your hands, your weapons and your schemes. Let Her show you those who have trespassed against you and through devout prayer let Her instruct you in the manner of their chastisement.
Such was my early years spent. In solitude and in contemplation of Her. Through the lonely tunnels and caverns of my world did I think only of Her and my love for Her. I yearned to know how I could better serve Her and in your hands you hold my finest tribute to Kiaransalee. Do not mock the slimness of this written work until you have completed its reading and discovered that you, also, have helped in the wreaking of revenge and so given worship to Kiaransalee. For it is my aim in this pamphlet to embark upon a great act of Vengeance so that She, whom I love and revere as my goddess may take pleasure and would know me as her truest servant.
The Drawing of the Arrow of Hate and The Finding of the Target
After several decades of contemplation it became clear to me upon whom I should be truly and deeply avenged against. Yet I had made an error! For in my eagerness to please Kiaransalee I had slain my mother and all those fools who had once been counted as members of her house. Indeed, many parts of the city I was once foolish enough to call home had burned and many whom had transgressed against me were become servile undead. For in my wrath I had become a pestillence and a plague and as Her instrument had I acted so that a slow decay into an endless life of servitude had been the deserved fate of many. Yet not all were inducted into this divine state. For some, this bestowing was witheld for they had sinned greatly against me.
The brothers, who had wounded me and caused me to speak forever with only a shattered whisper of a voice, I made into Quth-Maren and their faces became the soles of my shoes. Upon their visages I cast great magics so that I may, for the rest of my existence, walk upon their faces and press them into the ground beneath my feet.
Those who called themselves 'sister' I decapitated and I used their heads in the construction of an altar to Her. Now their faces are fair for I look upon them when in prayer to Her and in service to Her. Sometimes, She makes them talk and speaks through them. A kind act for now in death, my sisters have finally become mouthpieces of the true faith and not the utterers of arachnid cant that they were in life.
And from she who had been the queen of my childhood house I took a hand to use as Her holy symbol and her head I also used in Her altar. Thus did I believe myself revenged and thus did I sow the seeds of my own misery. For when I looked back through the years I realised that she had not suffered enough. I am told by the crude and the muddy thinkers that greatly honoured are those who can prolong pleasure. And yet I had denied my Love, my Goddess the long, sweet draft of revenance. I had only taken days in exacting my vengeance. When surely upon she who first brought me into this world and stolen my spirit away from Kiaransalee and her beautiful realm there was a debt of many years to be paid.
And now my mother's spirit was long departed from the corpse that I still kept preserved. The head and the body I could reconnect but her hand I would keep. For it was a Kiaransaleen holy symbol and my divine focus and besides if I could find some way to recall my mother's spirit back into her embalmed flesh she would not need her hand. Then I realised that her spirit had been too long departed and only by spells of resurrection would I be able to spit on her living face again.
The archer had drawn back her bow and held on her string the arrow of hate yet she could not see the target. Neither could I see a manner whereby I could have my true vengeance upon the vile maternal creature. And for a few days I remained in deep prayer to Kiaransalee.
It was clearly obvious what I needed to do. I, somehow, had to coax a strong cleric of the odious Usurper, which my mother had owned as her patron, to cast the necessary spell. Yet in my solitude I knew of no such creature and in my appearance I knew of no such female whom I could convince inspite of the stories that I might craftily weave. And would not the first words of the one I wanted returned to life be 'Kill my child'?
Yet in the bitterest dregs of my nearly-drained cup of sorrow did I find the true target. The arrow of Hate would only have hit the gold had I indeed recalled to life she who had carried me. No, the true target was, of course, those clerics who I knew would not aid me in my righteous mission. Was it not their faith that had given me my childhood? Was it not the society based upon their teachings that had caused me to be wounded? They were the true targets and they would be sacrificed slowly to Kiaransalee for by dwelling overlong upon memories of my mother I thought of the first and only time I had seen my father.
Long did I strive in order to receive from The Lady of the Dead the answer to my prayers. And during that time, I grew wise in Her faith and I, as Her faithful servant, grew powerful. After the elapse of several years She gave me the knowledge to construct symbols of her faith. Symbols of Death, Pain, Hopelessness and Insanity did I learn to create and others beside. In time, I learnt how to create Symbols that served new purposes for my vengeance was long in the planning. The delightful thing about Symbols is that they are inactive until triggered and therefore can not be magically detected until they are seen. In a fashion they are like to paper of quality in that it bears a watermark that can not be seen until it is placed in front of a source of illumination, such as candle. Since, you are requiring light to read this pamphlet you have no doubt seen the watermark that this paper bears.
A magically gifted reader will sense that this pamphlet now has an aura yet they remain unharmed. The symbol that you have triggered is a Symbol of Sending a spell that I created some time ago. You need not fear for yourself though, the function of the sending is simply to inform a master artisan that they need to make another cut into the flesh of one of the worshippers of the arachnid usurper. The capture and retention of such clerics is an intersting study in itself.
Firstly, one needs to use a poker of hot iron to remove their vocal chords and their tongue. Yet they still need to be able to scream for it is to such music that the dish of vengeance is best consumed but their ability to form words must be taken from them. Practice will make perfect so I advise you to do as I have and exercise regularly. Similarly, they must be bound and all of their fingers must be broken so that they are unable to form the necessary somatic gestures. Upon taking these precautions most of them are rendered helpless but for a few an extra measure is worthy of employment. Capture and bind them only when they have exhausted all of their spells. Devocalise and disable them so that even though they have some semblance of consciouness they are unable to pray. In such a way they are now but an instrument waiting for their musician to coax another note from them.
You, my dear reader are to be congratulated for willingly assisting in this act of vengeance. You were warned at the start that you would participate in an act that Kiaransalee found pleasing and now you can truly appreciate the beauty of believing in Her. As there are but a limited number of these pamphlets it will quite some time before the thousandth cut is made. It could be years before these false clerics die. I pray and beseech that my Lady of Death will find my actions worthy of reward and that you, having now paid a small form of reverence to Her, will find Her worship pleasing. For those, who are now in denial and seek to destroy this document I would draw your attention to the existance of a second symbol that I have written into this pamphlet. The manner of this symbol is to trigger if it experiences any destructive forces. Thereupon, it will cause two new pamphlets to be created as replacements at different locations.
Dear reader, you were not tricked! You were warned that the purpose of this pamphlet was to convert you. Rage not at your humble author but rather examine the deepest feelings of your heart. For surely your spirit knows that Kiaransalee's time is coming and subconsciously you yearn to worship Her. Willingly you have aided me in an act of vengeance and willingly you have pleased Her with this act of homage. In the days ahead, look for the signs and the symbols of her growing power.
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