3 Jan. 1977
To the world, et al
If you are reading this, whomever you are, then the Phoenix Infusion worked. Let me explain that for a second. See, I made this diary or biography to explain a specific set of events. They are highly classified, but the world needs to know just how dangerous strategic grade rituals can be. A group of us found a way to get word out of this gilded cage we have been housed since the end of the romp with Japan. The Phoenix Infusion has made this book into an indestructible artifact. It comes back. This lets us burn it, scatter the ashes to the wind, and have it form back up somewhere else. Might take more than a year, but this document needs to get out there.
I feel funny writing all this in one of those notebooks we kept for quick flight logs, but this is not going to be a long tale. The important part is to get it out so all can see!
Why would we go so far? Simple. We know what happened to Japan. I won't tell you exactly how we did it, and the ritual involved is lost. What you need to know is that the power involved is far more destructive than what anyone had anticipated.
Strategic Ritual magic is DANGEROUS! Such power needs limits.
Let me give you a little history, then I can begin to get started on the meat of the matter so you can understand why big spells need oversight if they are allowed to exist at all.
The Pacific Ocean is a big place. The good ol' US of A decided that this bit of water would be a fine thing to get more control over. Pappy, as I knew him, taught a bunch of us about the dog eat dog world of being a combat flight mage while America tried to carve out a chunk of the Pacific.
Pappy was there for it all and those of us lucky enough to sit at his knee benefited greatly. I was one of those special ones.
The USA took a few islands, had some colonies, but the sticking point was Hawaii. Let me be perfectly clear in that we are only on Hawaii by the mercy of the natives. That is why we never truly ruled the Pacfic.
The people of Hawaii have magma magic that none can touch. They have so many words for magma, lava, and the magics that use them that it might as well be a whole new language. They developed this so strongly that when the US Ambassador to Hawaii tried to take over the islands, the locals caused Mt. St. Hellens in Washington—mainland USA—to erupt! We soon got the point that pissing in the Hawaii bowl of cereal was not to be done.
Still, we have developed good relations with the locals and they eventually let us build some ports and portals. This gave the USA a vested interest in defending Hawaii.
Eastern Europe was having all those stupid wars, Pappy was retiring fron teaching, and as one of the young blood hotshot casters, I was to be promoted up the chain as my boss was taking Pappy's spot. But someone had other plans for me.
The names are unknown to me, but a Congressional Committee and the Office of Strategic Services decided that Japan was making life a little bit too dicy in the Far East. Somehow, they pulled my name out of a hat to be one of the military liaisons to a group of magi. Another somehow they pulled off was snatching up a group from the Okkultes Forschungsbüro when the Reich was flexing its muscles and free thinkers were on the run. A few, well, might have been kidnapped. All of this, a few red blooded American mages, me, and some Navy guy I never got a straight answer out of were all put together with a mandate. We were to develop a strategic grade magic that could change the course of a battle or war in a single attack. Heavy emphasis on the war part. Obliterate a battlefield so fully that the enemy would bow down and kiss your toes.
Nothing like this had been done before. Sure, there were planiar allies and what people thought were demigods, but this sort of magic had not been used since the Kabbalah practitioners brought down the Walls of Jericho. We wanted all that, and more. Something so fearsome that the war in the Far East would fall flat on its face and Jericho would be laughed at as a parlor trick.
We did it. We made a magic that ended a war. Then we lost it. That second bit was probably a good thing but I never took the blame for that.
There I was, a newly minted Major, and I was supposed to wrangle this group of mages from two continents and about five cultures. There had been a theory of magical summoning energy about conversion rates and how output energy of a spell could be the square of the channel in the space time continuum multiplied by the mass of mana crystals used. This is well documented so any classification of the notes is useless. What I can be certain of, one little Major should not be put in charge of all these big brains and told to make a weapon.
At that point, it was a theory group. I am not here to name names, but I think we were a bit testosterone heavy. Mr. O., Mr. G.... well, a lot of misters. R, H, P, and Later Po. And Navy. Another guy. They all had aids, apprentices, and more. Every last one a swinging stick and not a lady on base. We were looking into the research the Okkultes Forschungsbüro had been doing on the Nordic Ice Giant's Rite for summoning Jörmungandr. Much of it was legend, but what if someone could get one of these mythic grade beasties under their thumb and attacking the ones they opposed?
It was a lot of hair pulling, esoteric magical theory, and the Navy guy loved it. Me? I'm a Flight Mage. Give me a target to bomb, a hostile to dog fight, or a sortie to plan. I am not made for the whole, "Let's research doomsday" thing.
Rather than be completely bored with herding cats, I started calling up different universities. It might not seem like much, but I accidentally got the ball off the ground and a promotion.
There I am, burning crystals to talk to more eggheads, when I found some southern researcher of the Crocs and Gators. Now don't be givin me any of that politically correct BS about calling them Saurians. At the time, everyone called them Crocs and Gators. We thought there were only two types. Except this scientist said there used to be a third group, one that used massive ritual magics, and they had been wiped out.
It seems the Midwestern Gnolls, AKA: Coyotes, used to invade the south all the time. Native Americans with their Spirit Magics can deal with these scavengers, but the lizard folk were a loss to stop the rapid attacks. Then, suddenly, all of that stopped. Only thing left alive in much of Texas was the Armadillos, and not much kills a forty foot long critter with foot thick armor. Only good thing is dillos are generally docile. Still, how did this go from a land of Coyotes and other fauna to a desolate desert that not many could cross for decades and that still has hot zones that can kill you just by passing through them?
This researcher mentions this other group of leather heads. Both the Crocs and Gators won't go near the lands where these folk used to live. It is some bad mojo that makes a Voodoo Spirit Walker's "charm" wrenching your Astral Body look like a relaxing picnic. Rumor has it that the other group wiped out Texas. Then, in a fit of fear, all the other scaly bastards killed them off rather than pay tribute.
I get the research onto the location of the lands and what little we knew of the language and suddenly the research group is on the road.
You ever been in the ass end of Texas? I mean the hot, swampy part where two seconds outside and you don't know if you just sweated out a gallon or if it landed on you. Hot and sticky don't do justice, the skeeters are the size of small dogs and can suck the blood out of a man in under a minute, and not everything that looks like a moss covered tree is going to sit there as scenery.
If you ever get the chance to fight a Swamp Ent, don't. Just run. They have adders as pets and their vine spells have this sticky sap that takes off a layer at a time. We lost half the protection detail and it was a good thing those German bastards knew some ice magic. Turns out southern swamp critters are fine with fire but have a hell of a bad reaction to ice.
So there we are, five days into a field trip, smashing frozen sludge creepers, when we find it. The stone circle was so big we did not even realize it at first. Let me put it this way, it was twice as big around as Caddo Lake, which it surrounded.
Worse still, a section of the ruin was guarded by some brown furred yeti offshoot. Some people call em Bigfoot, but the damn things have two feet and like to swing age old cypress roots that have hardened into clubs that can shatter stone and put most abjurers into the hospital. We had to call in some troops then, clear it out, and the word came down that this thing better be solid gold or we were never going to hear the end of it.
I was not a happy camper, my job on the line, so I leaned on the researchers and got them working on the ruins.
The good news was this was pink granite, hauled down from Bornhardt, carved by lizard claws, and enchanted in ways a human can never fully understand. Then it got better. The Germans were going all ape shit about some summoning runes and how they seemed similar to the Norse Giant ones. This was a ritual ring they could decipher.
I got my silver leaf and was told to dig in, work hard, and see what we could do.
Borning does not describe the next couple of years. I had my part. I got together a small flight group and we worked on clearing down the locals. The Crocs and Gators did not give us much hassle as this was forbidden lands to them. The Bigfoot problem was a bit excessive, but they BBQ up decently and Old Ironsides gave us a support sweep to root out a few nests. They took 80% of the prime cuts in exchange for holding their training in our contested zone and the whole thing never made it to any sort of oversight or questioning why they were in the area. Other than that, it was all big brain stuff by the researchers and not much for me to do.
Now I am a flight mage born and bread. I will take air superiority any day. I still have to admit that seen the armored trudge in, launch their assortment of magics into the furry bastards, and pound the hell out of the swamps was a fine thing. It got the job done once enough acreage was leveled flat and we we could use air support to take down the stranglers. Even without the best meats, we had Bigfoot Steaks for months and thank the gods for storage items to keep it fresh.
After that, we really got to exploring—which was when it got boring for me.
Ever seen a block of pink granite, three feet thick, seventeen by twenty-two feet in size? It weighed in at 39,272.765 pounds per block, a number the scientists said was impossible for light colored granite. I don't care what is or is not possible, that is what they weighed. More frightening, every single block, no matter the exact dimensions, curves, or carvings, weighed in the same, down to the point seven-six-five pound mark. None of them were really 3x17x22 either. They were three high and more rectangular than square. The measure was just the volume they took up if you normalized things here and there. In truth, they were odd shapes with deep engraving, odd curves, and more. Massive was about all I can say, Massive, pink, and in perfect shape when cleaned up.
We had a water mage blasting these things hard and heavy. All the humidity let them hoze the area like it was nothing. Muck, moss, and mangrove—or whatever the bits of tree were—flew off these blocks in droves. They got levitated up, put on supports, cleaned, and inspected. They cleaned up nice and pretty, making this huge pink circle we hid below tents.
Two years, and the brain trust cracked the code. This was a sacrificial magic. It came with a manual of sorts. It needed lizard blood to work, but we found a way to enhance the effect with HDMs. If we went pure lizards, it would have taken thousands upon thousands. Last time it was used, the deceased lizard clan had used Gators and the occasional Crock to power it, which was what had led to the internal strife.
There was now a General hovering around the project, but I was left in operational command. My job changed from cat herder to Strike Commander. It was time to work out a practical application for these damned stones.
I have to admit, that Navy guy was a lazy S.O.B, but he came through in the end. Too bad he got blamed later for what happened at sea. I might be a Flight Mage, but I was not sure how to get these monoliths of stone near enough to Japan for us to use the summoning. He got me a group of SeaBees to design up a pontoon relay and way to join them. Then, cause he did not want the glory, he put my name on it and submitted the idea. This made it look like I ordered it to be designed and the SeaBees just said aye-aye to an Army man.
What happened? I got my silver chicken and the gig was on.
We hauled a damned fuckton of pink granite over the ocean. Don't ask how many stones because I am not saying. The numbers game is part of how this all worked. We also gathered up "500 members of indiginous, American lizard races." We only needed 144 per cast, but some might not make the trip.
Do you remember the shortage of HDMs after the war? That was me. Well, this. We had a huge chunk of the entire national production of HDMs. We raided Ft. Knox, depleted several military contractors, and hauled enough magical power to run the country for over a year. We could not have done this thrice if we wanted to, but we needed the world to think we could keep casting this thing. This was going to be two attacks to end a war and the math said that the volume of HDMs would come out in exponential results or something. We wanted one attack in southern Japan, then we would wipe out the capital.
The now extinct leather heads, damn their scaly hides, had developed a way to invoke the blood of the sacrificed saurians to summon a planar ally that was supposedly about a hundred feet tall and hand a breath weapon that was sort of like fire but had longer lasting effects. The results of this manifestation were the hot zones in Texas and the reported deaths of over a billion desert gnolls. We could not test it and we knew that no such number as a billion gnolls had existed, but there was clear evidence of the massive spells effectiveness. The hot zones and shared history of all the lizard people proves that it was an effective attack.
The alchemists worked on the go, converting blood and crystals into go juice. We needed it fresh enough but in such volume that it took the whole trip and three days on the far side to get this done. They had another way to do it, but the details were not quite worked out without at least one test. The alchemy method had been able to be used to energize a few stones so that was what we went with to start.
We got lucky, only 144 of the leather heads were needed, but 23 more got loose and went overboard. I doubt they made it to shore, we beein in the middle of the Pacific at the time. It is my personal theory that they were responsible for the later sinking of several of the pontoons and the loss of the weapon at sea. Sadly, Navy was in charge of transport and the poor bastard got his career keelhauled for the loss.
Where was I? Oh, yah. How we were going to use it.
For the second cast, we were going to do a more direct transfer with the sacrifice and HDM happening in parallel. That had a higher probability of failure until we tested the spell, so the first shot had to be made with the prepared mix. On the other hand, the ritual people said the fresher blood would make a stronger casting that could double the duration, power, size, and everything. That was what we were going to land on Tokyo.
As it stood, we made it to position. The original plan was to summon from the ocean to Hiroshima, where a large percentage Japanese magical research was being carried out. However, it was too far inland for where we were able to maintain a stealthy approach due to a mixture of wind and water flows. The heavily populated areas of Nagasaki were the secondary target and then we would go around to turn Tokyo into a wasteland.
It took them three days to cast the magic. The infusion, stormy seas, complementary magics to lock the whole pontoon thing together as one ring, and gods know what else they did. I don't know, and I never really wanted to.
Flight mage. OK. No bones about it. I was in charge by accident but I never turned down a mission.
I had a stealth group of areal mages watch the end result. The reports varied little and the known distance let them get a good size estimate. A saurian type summoning standing over 200 feet tall with fins like the stegosaurus has but a body type more like a T-Rex showed up. It was highly mobile, pissed off, and breathed a "whitish-blue fire" on everything.
Two of the mages went blind just from seeing the fire and it was very hard to heal. We now know that the highest levels of Radiant magic and certain minerals, like uranium, have a similar energy signature to this fire. It is exceptionally damaging and has effects that last for millenia.
The creature rampaged for a week. While it was doing so, we started to move the summoning circle nearer to Tokyo. We knew the Japanese would be preoccupied and felt this was the time to strike a killing blow to the country. THeir distraction would let us transport undetected. Any of their Spirits of the Sea would be called inland to deal with the disaster. That made a huge hole in their defenses and we were going to float this monster string of barges through it.
As we started disengaging the magics that had locked the stones together, a section of four that were near the leather head pens slid off the pontoons and into the water. The fallen stones are deeply submerged and reports say that at least one got taken off by a kraken and is the great deep. Japanese scholars have published that Watatsumi, Ebisu, or Ryūjin took the damned thing and good on whichever. The lost stone breaks this ritual and it should never be used again.
As if that loss was not enough, the results of having 157091.06 pounds of pink granite plop into the ocean at once caused a swell that capsized the HDM carriers. A third of the remaining power crystals went under in less time than it took for you to read this short missive. The same swell sunk Navy's career. Never got his name but that bit of squid shit did not deserve to have that happen to him.
Unable to continue our mission, Tokyo was spared having the uranium-fire breathing saurian summoned next to it. However, the massive levels of destruction in southern Japan that the locals called the "Revenge of the Gorilla-Whale God." Some local legend about a Gorilla-Whale hybrid matched up and they were going nuts, making sacrifices to appease the seas, and generally causing the Emperor no small amount of indigestion.
Back channels from the USA to Japan along with some lumen recordings convinced the Asiatic Empire that the Americans had been responsible for their trauma. The plans and targeting of Tokyo were passed along with one demand: End the war. Japan capitulated and we declared it a Strategic Victory.
For my success, I was made the shortest ranked Colonel in the history of the Army Air Mage Corps. I was promoted to General for my successes.
All the transport issues got piled on Navy and the SeaBee team supervising that aspect. Not my call. All the higher up did that without even asking me.
Personally, I think this event was the largest mistake in the history of magical research.
This was the beginning of the M.A.D Race, Magically Assured Destruction. Spells so large, some able to be cast by an individual, that can alter the course of a war or nation. Every government wants them and has invested heavily into their development.
I write this now because of disturbing rumors from Australia. I discussed the issues with the rest of my remaining team and we decided to smuggle out these notes. It took a bit, but this should work. We will do three copies, which is all we have the resources for.
Like the USA, English dissidents were sent to Australia. Here, we found a different way to awaken people and have staffed industry with a flood of lesser mages. The American Magical Standards Institute, or AMSI, is exceptionally successful and the foundation of our industry, but it is not the only way to do things. Australia stuck to the Imperial System and there is now word coming out that a Henry Killroy and an elite group have been experimenting with magics that make the sea folk give up in droves. Normally, we would not put much into this, but the latest whispers about the Noosa's Heads Incident remind us about our own project.
What idiot named a place about putting a noose around a head? Well, it turned out accurate since everything got hung there.
Reports, if they are to be believed, described some sort of self sustaining, destructive magic. This could be an Ash Ceremony of a higher order, where the ash was washed out to sea. Negative energy and other horrors are also rumored to have been involved. Whatever the Australians and the Henry Killroy are up to, it needs to stop.
The world will not survive if humanity does not work in moderation.
Maj. General DeBellevue, retired