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When I was young, I lived on the outskirts of a village with my mother. I loved being so far from others... alone to think and dream... listening to the sigh of the wind across the fields. I thought it was for reasons like this that my mother had taken me there. But I was wrong. She took me there so that other children would be safe from me.
As I grew older, I began to dream of my father. I tried to talk with Mother about it, but she told me I needed to stop wondering, stop imagining, stop thinking about anything other than my chores and how they would help me find a good marriage. I disciplined mind, she said, would make the dreams go away.
But I didn't want the dreams to go away. My father would appear and tell me that I was special, that I had a power hidden inside me called the Sluagh. It was a spirit more feared than death itself, a spirit that fed on dread, hopelessness, and fear... on all the emotions that wither a human heart.
It sounds like an appalling way for a child to live, but these terrible emotions, which he collectively called Dorcha, could be harnessed. If I could learn to do that, I would not be doomed to a life of inner horror. Instead, I could harness the Dorcha and use it as energy... so that I could be a force for good in the world.
The Sluagh inside me gives me the ability to leech Dorcha from my opponents, and as long as I remain strong, with a heart full of love and hope, I can consume the Dorcha to galvanize my own attacks. Dorcha will make me into a true hero!
But why do full-blooded Fomors not use their Dorcha themselves? I suspect they are not able to consume it as I do. It just sits inside of them like a tumor, growing larger and larger as the Fomor grows more bitter, more frightened... and more evil.
(Here the paper is so badly damaged that the writing is illegible.)
Traveling with the Ace Heroes
There was another raid last night. We must not let our guard down.
Despite our easy victories, we must consider the possibility that these raids are a mere distraction, and that the enemy's true goal is something else entirely.
(Here the paper is damaged again.)
What is Happening?
There are... brief moments in battle when I realize that I am not acting of my own volition, that I am being controlled by something else. It's scares me. Gods, it scares me. But thankfully, no one else has noticed. And I can't let them know, ever. They would stop trusting me, perhaps even stop seeing me as one of their own. I need to find a solution by myself.
Every day I struggle to repress and damp down the Sluagh. I'm exhausted... emotionally, spiritually... I hardly even sleep anymore. Merlin finally noticed my haggard appearance, and I could hardly keep from shaking as I confessed what's been happening to me. He wanted to tell the other Aces. I was scared, but I let him do it.
The compassion. Oh, the compassion they all showed me! I thought that I would be banished and reviled, but all they wanted to do was help. Together they created a Runestone which bore their engravings, a source of power that allayed the Sluagh's energy. It might be the only reason now that the Sluagh has not wrested control away from me completely.
If the Sluagh feeds on darkness, could I starve it by filling my soul with the opposite force? I'm not certain, but I already have a name for this theoretical force: Bachram. It is everything Dorcha is not: hope, love, justice... I just need to find a way to manifest these things, to manifest Bachram.
(Many pages have been ripped out from this part of the research log.)
The Sluagh's True Identity
It's a lie. It can't be possible. The Sluagh's true identity... all along it's been
(The bottom part of this page is torn to shreds.)
Where did it all go wrong? I'm losing control again. Manifesting Bachram saps all my energy, and all I can think about is a nightmare I now have every night... in which I can't manifest any Bachram at all, and the Sluagh devours me from the inside out.
I'm so afraid that this might come true. I'm so afraid... that the only way to make sure it never happens... is to seal myself away.
(There are no more entries.)