A visit to the Hidden School of the Tyr'ani


Grim popped into the waiting area of the School of the Tyr’ani. Walking into the reception area, he asked the Scholar at the desk for directions to where Bliss was studying. Following the instructions , he wandered over to where Bliss was sitting reading.

“Hey there, miss. What are you studying today?” After listening to her telling him all about her lessons, he nodded. “At the rate you’re learning, soon you’ll have far more book learning than I ever got when I was young. The instructors where I was taught gave me and my fellows barely enough to survive. Hell, I think some of them didn’t want us to survive past our first mission or two. Some of them that are still around think the same to this day probably.” Shaking his head, “Sorry, sometimes I get a little morose thinking about the old days. But then that was back during the wars.”

"Anyway, on a less gloomy note. Is there anything you need? More Books, some spending ghaz? Sorry, if I seem to be bad at this parenting thing. It is just I’ve never been responsible for a child’s education and wellbeing before. "

“Before I go though, I have a gift for you.” Reaching into a puch, he pulled out a CommCrystal. “This is so that you can get ahold of me anytime. I made this crystal and added a touch of Shadow leyas to it so that a shadowy image of who you are talking to will be shown. I’ve seen others do something similar with Light leyas but that would be a poor choice as we both have an allergy to light leyas. If you have any questions for me, ask away.”


Bliss looked at Grim and nodded and spoke at the appropriate times. If anything Bliss had been taught to pass for a proper student and almost human at most times by the Tyr’ani.

Grim gave the child a hug, impressed she was already as big as he was despite such a short time since her birth.
Then suddenly Bliss’ arms clamped down on Grim’s and the last thing Grim saw was her mouth elongate exponentially and sink her teeth into his skull…


An unknown amount of time had passed when Grim was converted back to life. Across from his sat, Bliss kneeling on her bed.

Grim felt sticky old blood on his collar, and realized it was his own.

Next to him was a much older earther with short white hair, a balding pate, and a whispy tight beard, he said, “Calm Master Bastard, I mean you no harm. While we taught Bliss to use Troubadour to make sounds like a human, so she can communicate…that is now how her kind learn or communicate naturally.”

She ate your brains not out of any desire to cause you harm. Bliss simply wanted to…hm…er…hmm…know you better?"


Bliss placed a gentle hand on Grim’s arm, and his mind was flooded with telepathic images, and emotions. If this was how a Nightmare Lord naturally communicated, he was not surprised an angry nightmare lord could bring any other sentient being to their knees with but a bit of their thoughts.

Bliss pulled back her hand, as if now knowing her natural communication would cause Grim immense pain and discomfort.


The Ty’ani priest said, “I am Scholar Androse Newill, and I have been working as one of Bliss’ tutors.”

Grim asked, “So Newill does that mean Bliss understood when I spoke to her?”

“Yes she understands your words, but when she attempts to speak back it is just a limited form of communication to her,” said the scholar, “In effect she uses our language the way another creature might use Sign Language to speak to a species beneath them…”


Bliss’ cheek bones and forehead also now had more of a familial resemblance to Grim. Though Grim couldnt help but keep in mind that she had just feasted on his brains. A topic any other individual would get blown up just for thinking about doing to Grim.


Grim nodded, thinking. Looking over to Bliss, " Well, that was different. It’s all right. I understand learning can be hard, and we all learn in different ways. Why, when I was learning to speak with annihilators, one of the got drunk and started to get upset. one of the other guys there tried to stop him and lost a arm when Brr’zz’t yelled at him. So any time, you can learn with out doing permanent damage to yourself or others is ok."

Walking over to sit next to her, he continued “Next time, a little warning might be useful. And if you could try not to eat people’s brains without their permission, it might cause fewer problems with people who don’t understand.” Pausing for a moment, he went on, “IF that is how you learn, we should look into getting you a way to bring back the people afterwards. I’ll look into getting you something for that when I stop by next, if you want.”

Leaning back and resting on his elbows, "now then, do you have any questions for me? IF you need to reach into my mind to tell me you can, just like I said a bit of warning would be good. I’ll answer anything you want. if I can. or we can just talk about how you have been doing. "


Bliss nodded her head and asked for permission. This time Grim was ready for her touch, and he could feel her mind in his own asking, “What is the Glacial Research Facility and why was I born there?”


Taking a moment to collect his thoughts before answering, Grim looked back at Bliss. “Well, the research facility is kinda a mystery. When we started out we were told that it was a lost facility from the first earthers to come to Refuge and that they had no clue why it was abandoned. The more that we looked in to it, the more it came out that the Earthers knew what was up and that they were not telling us all the truth.” Pausing to shake his head, he continued “But then i should be used to not being told what is really going on. Back when i was actively in the armies of the Falosini, they would hardly ever tell us the actual reason for missions.”

“But that isn’t really important. More important is why you were born there. As far as i have been able to determine, before the base was abandoned, a group of earthers became trapped and their fear was enough to draw sufficient shadow leyas to form a lesser nightmare. The creature, just born, proceeded to kill and consume the earther that caused it and the others in the room, feeding on their fear to grow stronger and gain sentience. but afterwards it was trapped and attempted to metamorphose into the stage of life you are now in. But without any additional sustenance, it was unable to complete its change. apparently it was stuck in that state of hibernation for the long centuries since the facility was abandoned. It was in that state that i found you. While many would only consider how to kill you, and if i am being completely honest, the thought did cross my mind. But as i waited for the others in the party to figure out what they were going to do with the old earther crap in the room, i got to thinking how every being deserves a chance to make their way in this world. If beings were blamed for the actions of their ancestors and punished, then most of my nieces and nephews would have been killed for the actions of me and my siblings. I decided that you deserved a chance to make your way in this world as much as anyone else.”

“although i didn’t have the ability to provide you with the fear that you probably would have normally needed to complete your birth, what i did have was a large pool of the shadowy force which provides me with the abilities i have as a ‘bandit’. Over the years since i gain the powers from accepting the darkness into my soul, I’ve had time to think on the nature and reasons for it. In any of the records i have been able to find and read, there is no mention of there being any ‘bandits’ or ‘vampyres’ among the nightmare lords in ancient times. Every other races i have been able to find some form of the conditions. Also, i find few reliable records of the conditions, before the ancient K’ias-Nightmare war.”

“Over the years, this has lead me on occasion to wonder if these ‘conditions’ come from remnants of the Life force of Nightmare Lords. The essence, let’s call it ‘Darklife’, may be what grants me my long life. I think it exists throughout this reality in all sentient beings in minute amounts. It may be this force that carries thoughts and memories to the Stream of Consciousness.”

“It was thru the channeling of this shadow i have within me into the chrysalis, that you gained enough ‘Darklife’ to complete your birth.”

Sitting quietly for a moment, Grim mused over what he had finally put into words after so long thinking about it. Looking back up to meet Bliss’s eyes, he went on “I had no idea whether it would work or not. Honestly I did it mostly out of boredom and curiosity, as much as anything else.”

" I hope that it doesn’t upset you. As i mentioned before, if never been a parent before, so i am bound to make mistakes. I was wondering what you think of my theory?"


Bliss sat and thought for a few moments. Then like the child she still was ran over to the table and grabbed some colorful chalk. She used the chalk to draw big mounds of dark stuff and showed nightmare lords (albeit cartoonish nightmare lords) tending a garden of floating bulbs over it. She then drew herds of alien horse-like creatures running through the skies above the fields.

She leaned in and placed her hand back on Grim’s her mind speaking to his, “This is what I know. In the time before time, the Nightmare Lords tended the Ancient Evils and fed off the dark emotions of the ancient evils, and tended great gardens of Maleficants, and cared for the herds of the True Nightmares.”


The she drew a big red symbol and showed it growing larger and leaned in touching Grim again.

"One Nightmare Lord decided he was going to help a dark spirit gain enough followers to enslave the four largest Ancient Evils and provide endless food for all.

No longer would some Nightmare Lords have prime food, while others sustained themselves in endless painful hunger.

But instead the dark spirit and Nightmare Lord army was raised and it gave birth to something foul and perverse against the great balance of the Universe. The great balance of the universe which even my people are a part of, suffered and sundered and what you call your reality sprang forth in the final schism.

My people, our plants and our steeds were scattered across the dimension of Vec’zne. We made a new life there, feeling the pull of time for the first time. You were born feeling the pull of time, but my people had to adapt. We also lost our main food source, but we adapted. We learned to pull upon the darker emotions of lesser beings as you did to feed ourselves. Then finally we learned that if we gave ourselves in this life as in that prelife, we could host the ancient evils and feed as we once had. But once that door was opened, so came through the perversion, seeking to conquer the ancient evils in this reality as it had in the previous."

Then she drew a picture of Grim (a stubby image of a bastard that was more caricature than reality) and gave him a huge hug. He winced almost expecting her to bite him again, but instead she smiled and said through his mind, “And then the Falosini made you to fight in the big battle against the perversion, so it was all worth it! Dad.”

As she hugged him, Grim could feel tears in his eyes and hugged her close.


After a few more hours of playing and spending time on far lighter topics including her favorite poems in the library, Grim tucked her in for the night and teleported away. He had to check with Uriel to see if what she had said was true, or if someone was feeding her information on the past.


(takes place during qual attack on aerie of icewyrms)

Grim wander the halls of the school, looking for Bliss. He had just teleported from Fort Lendil via Neo Vargas, where he picked up some candies and school supplies for Bliss.

As he wandered, he thought about all that keeps happening in the Glacial Wastes. Every time he turned around it seems like two problems cropped up for everyone they tried to solve. He had found a peaceful solution to the problem at the harbor, and immediately they had to deal with more bullshit at the aerie. All because some idiot who couldn’t do their duty millennia ago. he understands that no one wants to kill a child, but at that time it was their duty. It was starting to feel like everyone feels like Grim should be able to fix their problems. Ever his allies looked to him to have all the answers. Yes he had lived far longer than they had, but that did not make him smarter, wiser or have the answers to everything. He was just that much more lucky and hard to kill.

When he Found Bliss, He tried to put on a cheerful face as he gave he them present he had brought. He asked her about her day and how her classes were going. Just enjoying the time with a bright youth that had not been completely jaded by the world yet.


Bliss was truly excited to see her adoptive father. She showed him the artwork she had created, images that showed the Nightmare Lord living city they had discovered.


The Nightmare Lord child had physically grown quite rapidly. Her flesh had taken a beautiful purple black luster and there was a strange pronounced quality to her forehead, cheekbones and jaw.


She touched his hand and began to speak mind to mind through that touch. Already Grim was impressed by her control. No longer was her touch the overwhelming mind warping power he had faced. Instead it was a soothing direct entrance into his mind.

Grim knew Bliss could inflict that Mind Warping effect again if she pushed too hard, or lost control, but in this calm place only joy flowed across the link.


Throught that touch telepathy she said, "I have such great news to share with you. I have already passed all the introductory classes and the Tyr’ani Elders wish for me to become a full fledged Scholar of the Tyr’ani.

But I do not know what to do. I love the faith and respect for Nightmares but there seem to be so much more to learn outside these walls.

So I must choose do I become a Scholar and devote my days to their collection of knowledge? Or do I ask for a leave to make my decision, a travel the world learning the truth of things?

Scholar Hibben has been adamant that I should choose the path of Scholar. He says once I leave these walls I will be the target of many evil people who will try and turn me to their plots.

But I already feel I have learned all I can from books for now, and I need some real world experience."


Grim nodded as he listened to Bliss. After thinking for a while before answering, he looked at Bliss and said “You’re right that you can only learn so much reading books. Life is normally the best teacher i’ve found. But Scholar Hibben is also right about the fact that unscrupulous people will try to take advantage of you. There are those that would try to use you to rally the easily swayed to follow them.”

"If you want to go out into the world, i can try to find reliable allies to travel with you. "


Bliss went off and gathered her things. They were books mostly, her Tyr’ani Scholar’s pendant, and a wand she had fashioned from dried stems from the garden and dried nightmare ichor and nightmare sinew. She affixed a Tyr’ani Scholar’s cloak around her shoulder, and pinned an obscurement and warding broach in place.

Bliss used touch telepathy and said, “Okay I’m ready to go, Who are these reliable allies? From what I’ve read in books, reliable allies can make all the difference in success or failure!”

Grim was surprised by her enthusiam.

Weeks and weeks ago she had truly seemed child-like, now she seemed like an adult in form. No wonder Nightmare Lords had the potential to be so dangerous. He could only imagine how quickly generations of Nightmare Lords could overtake planets with such a quick maturation.


Bliss continued asking, “And where will we go first?!”

Grim wondered…