The Teachings of Zerthimon

First Circle:

Second Circle:


Third Circle:

Fourth Circle:

Fifth Circle:


Sixth Circle:


Seventh Circle:

Eighth Circle:
*Know* that we are the First People.

*Know* that flesh cannot mark steel.
*Know* that steel may mark flesh.

Endure. In enduring grow strong.

Victory was born from treachery.

There is great strength in numbers,
but there is great strength in one.

Balance in all things.
There cannot be two skies.

In time you will come to *know* the whole.

*Know* that a mind divided divides a man.

The eight teachings of Zerthimon stem from the eight circles of the one Unbroken Circle of Zerthimon, which forms the way of Zerthimon. Yet, while the spells, which spring from the eight teachings are rather clear, the teachings themselves are not always so. The eight teachings above have been derived from the source material presented below. Thus the reader should be able to form his/her own opinion about the validity of presented teachings.


First Circle of Zerthimon (Reign of Anger)

*Know* that we are the First People. Once all was chaos. The First People were thought drawn from chaos. When the First People came to *know* themselves, they were chaos no longer, and became flesh.

With their thoughts and *knowing* of matter, the People shaped the First World and dwelled there with their *knowing* to sustain them.

Yet the flesh was new to the People and with it, the People came not to *know* themselves. The flesh gave rise to new thoughts. Greed and hates, pains and joys, jealousies and doubts. All of these fed on each other and the minds of the People were divided. In their division, the People were punished.

The emotions of the flesh were strong. The greed and hates, the pains and joys, the jealousies and doubts, all of these served as a guiding stone to enemies. In becoming flesh, the First People became enslaved to those who *knew* flesh only as tools for their will. *Know* these beasts were the *illithids.*

The *illithids* were a race that had come not to *know* themselves. They had learned how to make other races not *know* themselves.

They were the tentacled ones. They lived in flesh and saw flesh as tools for their will. Their blood was as water and they shaped minds with their thoughts. When the *illithids* came upon the People, the People were a people no more. The People became slaves.

The *illithids* took the People from the First World and brought them to the False Worlds. As the People labored upon the False Worlds, the *illithids* taught them the Way of the Flesh. Through them, the People came to *know* loss. They came to *know* suffering. They came to *know* death, both of the body and mind. They came to *know* what it is to be the herd of another and have their flesh consumed. They came to *know* the horror of being made to feel joy in such things.

The Unbroken Circle is the *knowing* of how the People lost themselves. And how they came to *know* themselves again.

Explanatory conversation on The First Circle of Zerthimon:

TNO: "I have read the Unbroken Circle of Zerthimon. I want to speak to you more about the Way of Zerthimon."

Dak'kon: "What did you come to *know?*"

TNO: "Strength lies in knowing oneself. I learned that once someone does not *know* themselves, they are lost. They become tool for others."

Dak'kon: "You have come to *know* the First Circle of Zerthimon. You not only see the words of Zerthimon, you have come to *know* them." Dak'kon holds up the Circle and hooks his fingers around the edges. There is a *click,* and the plates of the Circle slide into a new configuration. He reverses the motion, sealing the stone. "*Know* the Second Circle of Zerthimon is open to you. Study it, then I will hear your words."

TNO: "Very well. I will read it, then speak with you again."


Second Circle of Zerthimon (Scripture of Steel)

*Know* that flesh cannot mark steel. *Know* that steel may mark flesh. In *knowing* this, Zerthimon became free.

*Know* that the tentacled ones were of flesh. They relied on the flesh and used it as tools for their will. One of the places where flesh served their will were the Fields of Husks on the False Worlds of the *illithids.*

The Fields were where the bodies of the People were cast after the *illithids* had consumed their brains. When the brain had been devoured, the husks came to be fertilizer to grow the poison-stemmed grasses of the *illithids.* Zerthimon worked the Fields with no *knowing* of himself or what he had become. He was a tool of flesh, and the flesh was content.

It was upon these fields that Zerthimon came to *know* the scripture of steel. During one of the turnings, as Zerthimon tilled the Fields with his hands, he came across a husk whose brain remained within it. It had not been used as food. Yet it was dead.

The thought that one of the husks had died a death without serving as food for the *illithids* was a thought Zerthimon had difficulty understanding. From that thought, came a desire to *know* what had happened to the husk.

Embedded in the skull of the husk was a steel blade. It had pierced the bone. Zerthimon realized that was what had killed the husk. The steel had marked the flesh, but the flesh had not marked the steel.

Zerthimon took the blade and studied its surface. In it, he saw his reflection. It was in the reflection of the steel that Zerthimon first *knew* himself. Its edge was sharp, its will the wearer's. It was the blade that would come to be raised against Gith when Zerthimon made the Pronouncement of Two Skies.

Zerthimon kept the blade for many turnings, and many were the thoughts he had about it. He used it in the fields to aid his work. In using it, he thought about how it was not used.

The *illithids* were powerful. Zerthimon had believed that there was nothing that they did not *know.* Yet the *illithids* never carried tools of steel. They only used flesh as tools. Everything was done through flesh, for the tentacled ones were made of flesh and they *knew* flesh. Yet steel was superior to flesh. When the blade had killed the husk, it was the flesh that had been weaker than the steel.

It was then that Zerthimon came to *know* that flesh yielded to steel. In *knowing* that, he came to *know* that steel was stronger than the *illithids.*

Steel became the scripture of the People. *Know* that steel is the scripture by which the People came to *know* freedom.

Explanatory conversation on The Second Circle of Zerthimon:

TNO: "I have read the Unbroken Circle of Zerthimon. I want to speak to you more about the Way of Zerthimon."

Dak'kon: "What did you come to *know?*"

TNO: "I learned that not *knowing* something can be a tool, just like flesh and steel, if upon encountering it, you attempt to *know* its nature and how it came to be."

Dak'kon: "You have seen the words and you have seen beyond them. You have come to *know* the Second Circle of Zerthimon." He takes the Circle and with a deft motion, he twists one of the links so one of the plates slides forth - but strangely enough, the stone still appears intact. He hands the plate to you. "Meditate upon this teaching, and the *knowing* of it shall give you strength. When you have absorbed it, you shall *know* more."

TNO: "Very well... I will study this Circle. Yet I would still know more of Zerthimon's teachings."

Dak'kon: Dak'kon's fingers feel around the edges of the stone circle, and he twists it clockwise, the links *clicking* until they have settled into a new configuration. He then reverses the motion, resetting the stone. "The next Circle of Zerthimon is open to you. Study it, then I will hear your words."

TNO: "Very well. I will read it, then speak with you again."


Third Circle of Zerthimon (Submerge the Will)

Zerthimon labored many turnings for the *illithid* Arlathii Twice-Deceased and his partnership in the cavernous heavens of the False Worlds. His duties would have broken the backs of many others, but Zerthimon labored on, suffering torment and exhaustion.

It came to pass that the *illithid* Arlathii Twice-Deceased ordered Zerthimon before him in his many-veined galleria. He claimed that Zerthimon had committed slights of obstinance and cowardice against his partnership. The claim had no weight of truth, for Arlathii only wished to *know* if flames raged within Zerthimon's heart. He wished to *know* if Zerthimon's heart was one of a slave or of a rebel.

"Zerthimon surrendered to the *illithid* punishment rather than reveal his new-found strength. He *knew* that were he to show the hatred in his heart, it would serve nothing, and it would harm others that felt as he. He chose to endure the punishment and was placed within the Pillars of Silence so he might suffer for a turning."

Lashed upon the Pillars, Zerthimon moved his mind to a place where pain could not reach, leaving his body behind. He lasted a turning, and when he was brought before Arlathii Twice-Deceased, he gave gratitude for his punishment to the *illithid* as was custom. In so doing, he proved himself a slave in the *illithid* eyes while his heart remained free.

By enduring and quenching the fires of his hatred, he allowed Arlathii Twice-Deceased to think him weak. When the time of the Rising came, Arlathii was the first of the *illithid* to *know* death by Zerthimon's hand and die a third death.

Explanatory conversation on The Third Circle of Zerthimon:

TNO: "I have read the Unbroken Circle of Zerthimon. I want to speak to you more about the Way of Zerthimon."

Dak'kon: "What did you come to *know?*"

TNO: "Endure. In enduring, grow strong."

The words you speak seem to strike Dak'kon strangely... as you speak them, his forehead creases, then resettles into its normal passive expression.

Dak'kon: "Your will has brought you the *knowing* of the Third Circle of Zerthimon. With this *knowing,* I impart this to you." He takes the Circle and with a deft motion, he twists one of the links so one of the plates slides forth. He hands the plate to you. "Meditate upon its teachings, and the *knowing* of it shall give you strength."

TNO: "Very well... I will study this Circle. Is there more you can teach me?"

As you ask the words, you suddenly notice that Dak'kon isn't looking at you. He is holding the Unbroken Circle in his hands, studying it. His blade has taken on the same texture as the Unbroken Circle... and Dak'kon suddenly seems *older* somehow.

TNO: "Dak'kon?"

Dak'kon: Dak'kon's black eyes rise from the Circle and look at you. "*Know* that I did not believe you would come to *know* the teachings of the Circle. It is... a difficult path you will walk in learning the Way of Zerthimon. Is your mind focused on this matter?"

TNO: "Yes. I wish to learn more."

Dak'kon: Dak'kon's fingers feel around the edges of the stone circle, and he twists it clockwise, the links *clicking* until they have settled into a new configuration. He then reverses the motion, resetting the stone. "The next Circle of Zerthimon is open to you. Study it, then I will hear your words."

TNO: "Very well. I will read it, then speak with you again."


Fourth Circle of Zerthimon (Vilquar's Eye)

"*Know* that the Rising of the People against the *illithid* was a thing built upon many ten-turnings of labor. Many of the People were gathered and taught in secret the ways of defeating their *illithid* masters. They were taught to shield their minds, and use them as weapons. They were taught the scripture of steel, and most importantly, they were given the *knowing* of freedom."

"Some of the People learned the nature of freedom and took it into their hearts. The *knowing* gave them strength. Others feared freedom and kept silent. But there were those that *knew* freedom and *knew* slavery, and it was their choice that the People remain chained. One of these was Vilquar."

"Vilquar saw no *freedom* in the Rising, but opportunity. He saw that the *illithid* had spawned across many of the False Worlds. Their Worlds numbered so many that their vision was turned only outwards, to all they did not already touch. Vilquar's eye saw that much took place that the *illithid* did not see. To the Rising, the *illithid* were blinded."

"Vilquar came before his master, the *illithid* Zhijitaris, with the *knowing* of the Rising. Vilquar added to his chains and offered to be their eyes against the Rising. In exchange, Vilquar asked that he be rewarded for his service. The *illithid* agreed to his contract."

"At the bonding of the contract, a dark time occurred. Many were betrayals Vilquar committed and many were the People that the *illithids* fed upon to stem the Rising. It seemed that the Rising would die before it could occur, and the *illithid* were pleased with Vilquar's eye."

"It was near the end of this dark time when Zerthimon came to *know* Vilquar's treacheries. In *knowing* Vilquar's eye, Zerthimon forced the Rising to silence itself, so that Vilquar might think at last his treacheries had succeeded, and the Rising had fallen. He *knew* that Vilquar eye was filled only with the reward he had been promised. He would see what he wished to see."

"With greed beating in his heart, Vilquar came upon the *illithid* Zhijitaris and spoke to his master of his success. He said that the Rising had fallen, and the *illithids* were safe to turn their eyes outwards once more. He praised their wisdom in using Vilquar's eye, and he asked them for his reward."

"In his greed-blindness, Vilquar had forgotten the *knowing* of why the People had sought freedom. He had lost the *knowing* of what slavery meant. He had forgotten what his *illithid* masters saw when they looked upon him. And so Vilquar's betrayal of the People was ended with another betrayal. Vilquar came to *know* that when Vilquar's eye has nothing left to see, Vilquar's eye is useless."

"The *illithid* gave to Vilquar his reward, opening the cavity of his skull and devouring his brain. Vilquar's corpse was cast upon the Fields of Husks so its blood might water the poison-stemmed grasses."

Explanatory conversation on The Fourth Circle of Zerthimon:

TNO: "I have read the Unbroken Circle of Zerthimon. I want to speak to you more about the Way of Zerthimon."

Dak'kon: "What did you come to *know?*"

TNO: "When one chooses to see only what is before them, they see only a part of the whole. They are blind. And just as Vilquar was blinded by his promised reward, so were the *illithids* blinded to the true Rising. For when they heard Vilquar's words, they turned their sight outwards again, didn't they? And the Rising was free to strike?"

Dak'kon: "*Know* that you speak truly. Vilquar's Eye blinded both Vilquar and the *illithids.* The tentacled ones thought the Rising to be no more. When the Rising occurred, the ground drank deep of *illithid* blood. So was victory born from treachery."

TNO: "It is a curious lesson. Why would it be part of the teachings of Zerthimon?"

Dak'kon: Dak'kon's blade bleeds into a dead, night-black, and his voice deepens - for a moment, you think he's angry, but you're not so sure. "There is much about the Way of Zerthimon and his path that is difficult to *know.*"

TNO: "Do *you* know why Vilquar's Eye is part of the Way of Zerthimon?"

Dak'kon: "It is part of the telling of how our People came to *know* freedom. It lets us *know* that there are those, even among the People, who are not of the People. And that even in the greatest treachery, a greater *knowing* may be achieved."

TNO: "Very well."

Dak'kon: "You have come to *know* the Fourth Circle of Zerthimon." He takes the Circle and with a deft motion, he twists one of the links so one of the plates slides forth. He hands the plate to you. "Meditate upon its teachings, and the *knowing* of it shall give you strength."

TNO: "I would know more of the Way of Zerthimon."

Dak'kon: Dak'kon's fingers feel around the edges of the stone circle, and he twists it clockwise, the links *clicking* until they have settled into a new configuration. He then reverses the motion, resetting the stone. "The next Circle of Zerthimon is open to you. Study it, then I will hear your words."

TNO: "Very well. I will read it, then speak with you again."


Fifth Circle of Zerthimon (Power of One)

"Zerthimon was the first to *know* the way of freedom. Yet it was not he that first came to *know* the way of rebellion."

"The *knowing* of rebellion came to the warrior-queen Gith, one of the People. She had served the *illithids* upon many of the False Worlds as a soldier, and she had come to *know* war and carried it in her heart. She had come to *know* how others might be organized to subjugate others. She *knew* the paths of power, and she *knew* the art of taking from the conquerors the weapons by which they could be defeated. Her mind was focused, and both her will and her blade were as one."

"The turning in which Zerthimon came to *know* Gith, Zerthimon ceased to *know* himself. Her words were as fires lit in the hearts of all who heard her. In hearing her words, he wished to *know* war. He *knew* not what afflicted him, but he *knew* he wished to join his blade to Gith. He wished to give his hate expression and share his pain with the *illithid.*"

"Gith was one of the People, but her *knowing* of herself was greater than any Zerthimon had ever encountered. She *knew* the ways of flesh, she *knew* the *illithids* and in *knowing* herself, she was to *know* how to defeat them in battle. The strength of her *knowing* was so great, that all those that walked her path came to *know* themselves."

"Gith was but one. Her strength was such that it caused others to *know* their strength. And Zerthimon laid his steel at her feet."

Explanatory conversation on The Fifth Circle of Zerthimon:

TNO: "I have read the Unbroken Circle of Zerthimon. I want to speak to you more about the Way of Zerthimon."

Dak'kon: "What did you come to *know?*"

TNO: "There is great strength in numbers, but there is great power in one, for the strength of the will of one may gather numbers to it. There is strength not only in *knowing* the self, but *knowing* how to bring it forth in others."

Dak'kon: "You have come to *know* the Fifth Circle of Zerthimon. With this *knowing,* I impart this to you." He takes the Circle and with a deft motion, he twists one of the links so one of the plates slides forth. He hands the plate to you. "Meditate upon its teachings, and the *knowing* of it shall give you strength."

TNO: "I would know more of the Way of Zerthimon."

Dak'kon: Dak'kon's fingers feel around the edges of the stone circle, and he twists it clockwise, the links *clicking* until they have settled into a new configuration. He then reverses the motion, resetting the stone. "The next Circle of Zerthimon is open to you. Study it, then I will hear your words."

TNO: "Very well. I will read it, then speak with you again."


Sixth Circle of Zerthimon (Balance in All Things)

Upon the Blasted Plains, Zerthimon told Gith there cannot be two skies. In the wake of his words, came war.

So it came to pass that the People had achieved victory over their *illithid* masters. They *knew* freedom. Yet before the green fires had died from the battlefield, Gith spoke of continuing the war. Many, still filled with the bloodlust in their hearts, agreed with her. She spoke of not merely defeating the *illithids,* but destroying all *illithids* across the Planes. After the *illithids* had been exterminated, they would bring war to all other races they encountered.

In Gith's heart, fires raged. She lived in war, and in war, she *knew* herself. All that her eyes saw, she wanted to conquer.

Zerthimon spoke the beginnings of that which was against Gith's will. He spoke that the People already *knew* freedom. Now they should *know* themselves again and mend the damage that had been done to the People. Behind his words were many other hearts of the People who were weary of the war against the *illithid.*

*Know* that Gith's heart was not Zerthimon's heart on this matter. She said that the war would continue. The *illithid* would be destroyed. Their flesh would be no more. Then the People would claim the False Worlds as their own. Gith told Zerthimon that they would be under the same sky in this matter. The words were like bared steel.

From Zerthimon came the Pronouncement of Two Skies. In the wake of his words came war.

Explanatory conversation on The Sixth Circle of Zerthimon:

TNO: "I have read the Unbroken Circle of Zerthimon. I want to speak to you more about the Way of Zerthimon."

Dak'kon: "What did you come to *know?*"

TNO: "I know that Zerthimon's devotion to the People was such that he was willing to protect them from themselves. He knew the *illithids* had come not to *know* themselves in their obsession with control and domination. So he chose to stop Gith before she carried the People to their deaths. There must be balance in all things, or else the self will not hold."

Dak'kon: "You have seen the words and *know* them." Dak'kon's voice slows, and his hands grip the edges of the Unbroken Circle. He twists it clockwise, and there is a *click* as two plates slides forth. Dak'kon stares at the two plates in his hand - he makes no move to hand them to you.

TNO: "Dak'kon... is that second plate for you?"

Dak'kon: Dak'kon falls silent. His blade has ceased shimmering, the film freezing upon its surface. He is staring at the second plate, paralyzed.

TNO: "Do *you* know the Sixth Circle?"

Dak'kon: Dak'kon looks up, but his coal-black eyes do not meet your gaze. "*Know* there is nothing more I may teach you. You *know* the Way as the People *know* it, and it shall give you the direction by which you may *know* yourself."

TNO: "That's *not* what I asked. Do you *know* the Sixth Circle or not?"

Dak'kon: Dak'kon is silent for a moment, then speaks, his voice slow and careful. "It has come to pass that I do not *know* the Sixth Circle of Zerthimon. Once, I *knew* it, but I *know* now I only saw the words." Dak'kon's eyes stare through you. "That is all. It is my path that I no longer *know* the Way of Zerthimon."

TNO:"Was it because of what happened at Shra'kt'lor?"

Dak'kon: "I do not *know.* The People became divided, and the People suffered. Upon reading the Unbroken Circle, I *know* now that I took the *knowing* of the Fifth Circle and used the Power of One to bring about the Sixth Circle in Shra'kt'lor. In so doing, I divided the People. There was much suffering. I carry Shra'kt'lor with me always."

TNO: "Dak'kon... there is one other thing I would *know.* Why is Vilquar's Eye in the Circle of Zerthimon? It seems strange. It tells of how the People benefited from a treachery from their own. It seems - "

Dak'kon: Dak'kon's eyes flash. "I have told you it is part of the telling of how the People came to *know* freedom. Do you not listen?" His voice flattens, as if he is reciting a passage from memory. "It tells the People that even in the greatest treachery, a greater *knowing* may be achieved."

TNO: "It doesn't sound to me like you believe that. I think there's another reason Vilquar's Eye is in the Circle of Zerthimon. It is set there because of the Sixth Circle and the Pronouncement of Two Skies. It's there to justify Zerthimon's treachery to the People upon the Blasted Plains."

Dak'kon is silent, and his blade bleeds into a dead-black, teeth rippling along the edge.

TNO: "He divided the People upon the Blasted Plains, Dak'kon. He divided your race, when they were on the path of victory. I would *like* to believe that it was because he wished to save the People from themselves - but I don't think *you* believe that."

Dak'kon: Dak'kon is silent for a moment, then he speaks, slowly. "I... do not *know* the Sixth Circle as it is *known* to others. I fear that the Third Circle, the Fourth Circle and the Sixth Circle are more closely linked than many *know.* It is in that *knowing* that I have lost myself."

TNO: "In the Third Circle, Zerthimon submerged his will to deceive the *illithids,* then in the Fourth Circle, it speaks of the benefits of *treachery.* Then in the Sixth Circle, Zerthimon divides his people before they exterminate the *illithids.* Do you think Zerthimon's words may not have been his own?"

Dak'kon: "*Know* my words, and *know* the wound that lies upon my heart: I fear that when Zerthimon was upon the Pillars of Silence, he did not submerge his will. I fear his will was taken from him by the *illithids.* And when he spoke upon the Blasted Plains, it was their words he spoke. I fear that what he did was not for the People's sake, but for our former masters."

TNO: "It's possible, but *know* it doesn't necessarily mean that h..."

Dak'kon: "Then *know* this and speak of it NO MORE." Dak'kon voice is like a knife. "*Know* that I shall never *know* the TRUTH. There is NO resolution to this matter, for I shall NEVER *know* Zerthimon's heart upon the Blasted Plains." His coal black eyes glare at the stone circle in his hand. "And so I do not *know* myself because of the Unbroken Circle of Zerthimon."

TNO: "Very well, Dak'kon. We'll discuss this no more... let's move on."


Seventh Circle of Zerthimon (Missile of Patience)

*Know* that the Rising of the People against the *illithid* was a thing built upon many turnings. Many were the People who lived and died under time's blade while the Rising was shaped.

The Rising was shaped upon a slow foundation. Steel was gathered so that it might mark *illithid* flesh. A means of *knowing* the movements of the *illithids* were established, at first weak and confused, then stronger, like a child finding its voice. When the movements were *known,* then the *illithids* were observed. In observing them, their ways of the mind were *known.*
When the ways of the *illithid* were *known,* many of the People were gathered and taught in secret the means to shield their minds, and the way to harness their will as weapons. They were taught the scripture of steel, and most importantly, they were given the *knowing* of freedom.

These things were not learned quickly. The *knowing* of much of the ways was slow, and in all these things, time's weight fell upon all. From the *knowing* of one's reflection in a steel blade, to the *knowing* of submerging the will, to the *knowing* of seeing itself. All of these things and more the People built upon. In time, they came to *know* the whole.

Explanatory conversation on The Seventh Circle of Zerthimon:

TNO: "I have read the Unbroken Circle of Zerthimon. I want to speak to you more about the Way of Zerthimon."

Dak'kon: "What did you come to *know?*"

TNO: "There was a Seventh Circle within the Stone of Zerthimon. It spoke of the building of the rebellion against the *illithids.*"

Dak'kon: Dak'kon falls silent. "What does this Seventh Circle speak of?"

TNO: "It speaks of time as an ally, not as an enemy. It says that patience can sharpen even the smallest of efforts into a weapon that can strike the heart of an empire. Your victories may be small, but over time, a greater victory may be achieved."

Dak'kon: Dak'kon is silent for a moment. "Will you make this Circle *known* to me?"

You take the Unbroken Circle of Zerthimon and unlock the Seventh Circle.

As you take the circle and twist the links, *two* plates slide from the interior and into your hands. You have no idea where they came from, but the Unbroken Circle still seems intact - the Seventh Circle remains. Dak'kon watches you silently.

TNO: "There are two plates here... perhaps we should both study them, you and I?"

Dak'kon: Dak'kon is silent for a moment. "There is much you have come to *know* of the Circle, and your *knowing* carries a greater weight than mine." Dak'kon matches your gaze. "*Know* that your path is mine, and it shall come to pass that as you *knew* the Way of Zerthimon from me, I shall *know* the Way of Zerthimon from you."

TNO: "Very well, Dak'kon. Let's move on."


Eighth Circle of Zerthimon (Zerthimon's Focus)

"*Know* that a mind divided divides the man. The will and the hand must be as one. In *knowing* the self, one becomes strong."

"*Know* that if you *know* a course of action to be true in your heart, do not betray it because the path leads to hardship. *Know* that without suffering, the Rising would have never been, and the People would never have come to *know* themselves."

"*Know* that there is nothing in all the Worlds that can stand against unity. When all *know* a single purpose, when all hands are guided by one will, and all act with the same intent, the Planes themselves may be moved."

"A divided mind is one that does not *know* itself. When it is divided, it cleaves the body in two. When one has a single purpose, the body is strengthened. In *knowing* the self, grow strong."

Explanatory conversation on The eighth Circle of Zerthimon:

TNO: "I have read the Unbroken Circle of Zerthimon. I want to speak to you more about the Way of Zerthimon."

Dak'kon: "What did you come to *know?*"

TNO: "There was an Eighth Circle within the Stone of Zerthimon. It spoke of division of the mind, and the importance of focus."

Dak'kon: Dak'kon falls silent. When he speaks again... his tone is quiet, almost reverent. "What does this Eighth Circle speak of?"

TNO: "It speaks of focus and discipline... about how not *knowing* oneself can physically divide the man. It also speaks of the weaknesses that division causes. It seems to me that it tells one to not only *know* themselves and take strength from that, but that your focus can reveal weaknesses in your enemy."

Dak'kon: Dak'kon is silent for a moment. "Will you make this Circle *known* to me?"

You take the Unbroken Circle of Zerthimon and unlock the Eighth Circle.

As you take the circle and twist the links, two more plates slide from the interior and into your hands. As with the Seventh Circle, you have no idea where they came from, but the Unbroken Circle still seems intact - the Eighth Circle remains. Dak'kon watches you silently.

TNO: "There are two plates here... we should both study them, you and I. I think when you *know* the Eighth Circle, perhaps then you will *know* Zerthimon's heart when he made the Pronouncement of Two Skies. His words were not those of the *illithids,* but of the People."

Dak'kon stares at the plates, his eyes flickering over the geometries upon them, then looks up and matches your gaze. His blade bends, shifts, until the shimmering you notice before has become a silver glow. He seems *stronger* somehow.

Dak'kon: "*Know* that when death comes for you, *know* that I shall meet its blade with mine. *Know* that when all dies around you, *know* I shall live for your sake."

TNO: "When we die, Dak'kon, it shall be the same death. It shall be the Pronouncement of Two Deaths As One."



REIGN OF ANGER
Level: 1
Range: 40 ft. + (15 ft. / level)
Duration: Instant
Speed: 1
Area of Effect: 1 creature
Saving Throw: None

Zerthimon's teachings allows the channeling of anger into streams of unerring missiles that quickly strike those that oppose you.

This spell summons a magical missile that strikes its target unerringly for 3-6 pts. of damage with no saving throw possible. In addition, the caster gains 1 extra missile every 2 levels, for a total of 5 missiles at level 9.


SCRIPTURE OF STEEL
Level: 1
Range: 180 feet
Duration: 30 seconds
Speed: 1
Area of Effect: 50 feet cube
Saving Throw: None

One of the earliest teachings of Zerthimon, this incantation reflects what *knowing* that flesh yields to steel achieves: bestowing a greater advantage to strike and the strength to resist damage.

Scripture of Steel grants +1 to hit and +1 to saves to all creatures that are "Friendly" to PC in a 50 feet radius from the casting point.


SUBMERGE THE WILL
Level: 1
Range: 10 feet
Duration: 12 sec. / level
Speed: 1
Area of Effect: 1 creature
Saving Throw: None

When the will is submerged, new strength is gained: The strength to endure and protect against adversity. With *knowing* the teachings of the Third Circle of Zerthimon, comes greater protection against all forms of attacks.

When cast, a magical orb of protective energy arises and protects the recipient from attacks from all directions. It bestows an AC 2 against all attacks and +1 to all Saving Throws for 12 seconds / level of the caster.


VILQUAR'S EYE
Level: 1
Range: 45 ft. + 15 ft. / level
Duration: 30 seconds
Speed: 1
Area of Effect: 1 Creature
Saving Throw: Neg.

Vilquar's Eye is branded upon the one who is foolish enough to cross the caster. Vilquar's shortsightedness becomes the target's vision, and soon the world is muddled and dark.

If the targeted creature fails its saving throw at -1 penalty, the creature will be struck with blindness and suffer a -4 penalty to its attack rolls and a +4 penalty to the target's AC.


POWER OF ONE
Level: 2
Range: Touch
Duration: 30 mins per level
Speed: 2
Area of Effect: Person touched
Saving Throw: None

And from Gith, the warrior-queen, came the *knowing* of oneself. And from the *knowing*, came immense power.

This spell increases the target's Strength score by a certain number of points (or tenths of points above 18) which will still be qualified by race/class restrictions. The spell cannot bestow a Strength of 21 or greater. The bonus is as follows:

Priest
Rogue
Warrior
Wizard
1d6+1 points
1d6+1 points
1d8+1 points
1d4+1 points


BALANCE IN ALL THINGS
Level: 3
Range: Caster only
Duration: When hit the same number of times as Level / 4, or 5 seconds / level of caster
Speed: 3
Area of Effect: 10 ft. radius when activated
Saving Throw: None

From the Separation of the People, came the *knowing* of Two Skies. From the *knowing* of Two Skies came the realization that hurting others, hurts oneself.

This spell only affects the caster. Whenever the caster is attacked while the spell is in effect, all hostile creatures within a 10 foot radius take equal damage. It lasts for 1 attack per 4 levels of the caster, and the effects are not cumulative (you cannot have more than one Balance spells erected). If the spell is not triggered, it lasts for 5 seconds per level of the caster.


MISSILE OF PATIENCE
Level: 1
Range: ?
Duration: ?
Speed: ?
Area of Effect: ?
Saving Throw: Special

"Could this spell be any more useless??!" cried Eelnek, mage of Amnar. The bane of mages everywhere, could this be the practical joke of an arch-mage, or living dis-proof of the old Prime Material axiom that "good things come to those who wait"?


ZERTHIMON'S FOCUS
Level: 3
Range: 50 feet
Duration: 5 seconds per level
Speed: 3
Area of Effect: 1 creature
Saving Throw: None

This enchantment helps the target remember Zerthimon's teachings on the ways to channel one's mental and physical focus during battle. When cast, the recipient's chances for a Critical Attack are raised for 5 seconds per level of the caster.