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The Grey Man of Grisby

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The Grey Man of Grisby
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Nim the Undying

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For many a score of seasons, it had become something of a local legend, spoken of in dreadwhispers and mirthful jest. There are those who claimed they saw it stalking the darkened city streets or hiding in the alleyways to snatch unwary travellers. Children feared that it was hiding under their bunks or in their wardrobes while some avoided the open drains that led to the sewer tunnels underneath the more affluent ward of Grisby City, as rumors maintained it laired in those dank warrens. There had not been any confirmed incidents involving the creature, but every unsolved murder or disappearance was attributed to the mysterious presence that haunted the mountains, the Grey Man of Grisby.
As for the denizens of the mountains, the dwarves who dwelt beneath and the high elves whose citadels rose atop the mist shrouded peaks, they remained aloof of its presence, ascribing the tale to human foolishness and ignorance. There were dangerous beasts roaming the mountains, but they were of a more familiar nature, ravenous ogres and savage minotaurs, and they had never encountered this legendary Grey Man, despite their frequent marches or aerial patrols.
However, the people of Grisby City believed and it became something of a jest to them. As time passed and the Grey Man was seldom seen, at least by any reliable witnesses, the populace came to consider it as a harmless fancy, a bogey to frighten small children into compliance or tease husbands who remained too late in the taverns after nightfall.
Nim had seldom considered placed much emphasis on the legends, as he was much more concerned with recovering the knowledge he has lost with his previous demise. The mortal mind, he had concluded long ago, was not intended to be eternal and thus, with every death, his memories faded, though his personality, his will, always remained. In this realm, magic was not so dissimilar as his native domain, though practitioners of sorcery were even more scarce. Perhaps, he had surmised, the art was relatively novel or only recently acquired. In any event, it had taken him the better part of what he estimated to be a century to learn even a modicum of the equivalent of the magical prowess he had once wielded. Fortunately, illusion proved the most accessible and elementary to comprehend, allowing him to assume a more human facade or to become entirely unseen by mortal eyes. As for other disciplines, he had never begun to learn even the rudiments of enchantment, finding such sorcery contemptible, and the necromancy that had once been his specialty, he had forsaken for even as he had mastered the dark arts, they had been manipulated to control him. Nim was not above servitude, but he would never bow to enslavement.
So it was the Grey Man of Grisby vanished altogether, as Nim resumed his personal quest for mystical knowledge. He would visit the city but always with the proper discretion. As for the dwarves and the elves, he had taken precautions to remain hidden from them and avoid crossing their paths. He was leery of such folk, for tricking men was not a difficult task, but the senses of other beings were not as easily deceived. In particular, he evaded the elves, not just the tall willowy folk of the mountains, but their stocky, swarthy woodland cousins and especially their sable skinned subterranean kindred. Even if he eluded their vision, their sharp ears would catch the whispers of his footfalls and they would sense the presence of something unnatural. Dwarves and gnomes were of less consequence, though they also had a certain affinity for magic, in thier own way, and might prove sensitive to his proximity.
Even so, they were less dangerous than the minotaurs he had encountered, those that had caught his scent and decided to investigate. Unlike the brutish but simple ogres, minotaurs possessed a certain cunning and even though they had received the worst of the conflict, Nim had not escaped from the skirmish unscathed. It required many nights for his lifeless body to regenerate completely. Exceedingly difficult, perhaps even impossible to permanently destroy, Nim was nevertheless vunerable to even mundane weapons and though he would eventually mend the most greivous of wounds, that did not mean he particularly enjoyed obtaining them.
That was only one of many reasons for his prudence and why the Grey Man of Grisby had faded from popular lore. Let the rabble whisper and shudder in speculation of who or what the Grey Man was. For his part, Nim had more pressing concerns. He had himself witnessed the armies gathering along the borders of Nordale, a vast horde devoted to the divine element of Darkness, awaiting the opportunity to surge southward and scorch the forest of Volintar, lay waste to the plains of Minaria and slaughter every living soul in their path for the glory of entropy.
Though ageless and undying, Nim realised that the measure of time allowed for his preparations was not limitless. Soon, the invasion would begin.

Sun Aug 26, 2007 7:47 pm
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