"There are some things you should know before we begin this enterprise with the Tenebrous Formula. There are holes in my memory. Gaps. Long gaps. Longer than they should- or rather what feels right. I can remember everything fine up until two years ago; when I first arrived in the city; but before then things are sporadic.
"I am definitely older than I look. Although most of my memories are missing there is still enough there to fill the life of someone who appear my age twice over. I believe this is my dragon blood; like them we half-breeds age more slowly and become more powerful with age. I also feel that before I arrived in the city I was more powerful than I am today; that in the past few months I am rediscovering my lost powers rather than finding them for the first time. I fear there was some event in my past that robbed me of my memories and my powers.
"My first memory? It’s silly but it seems to be more a memory of a memory. I remember myself when I was very young, perhaps a score of years- although I did not look it; the closest approximation is that a human will age six times faster than I, so I was as developed physically as a human child of three years; remembering myself when I was perhaps a dozen years of age. My mother, by then no longer a young maid, was coming home with a magical item for me that she had purchased from a wizard. They were gloves, I still wear them to this day; they use transmutation magic and alter my form into something that is passable as human. My skin still remains a darker shade of grey, but not the near pitch it would be otherwise. It makes my horns all but disappear into some small ridge along my crown, gives me hands instead of claws, and removes the scales from my face.
"I have a few more memories of my mother, but she died a few years shy of her sixtieth name-day. She left me an orphan; I was a child of close to thirty-five years but still looked a child. We moved around quite a bit in my early years, few places would have us as I looked, and still do, halfway between a half-drow and something plane-touched. I think she was looking to have me apprenticed with some wizard or some kind of school; but the fact that I came with the prospect of a decades-long adolescence limited my prospects. When my mother died I survived by myself for a while until the city watch took me and dropped me off at orphanage run by the Imperial Church.
"Why it couldn’t have been these memories that were robbed from me, I will never know. Days, weeks and months of praying, serving, chores, beatings… I guess I was lucky as the more lecherous priests were turned away by my appearance; I had some friends- well not really friends, I didn’t much care for most of my fellow orphans, and those that I did like outgrew me quickly and moved on- they weren’t so lucky. I despise most Church priests to this day and killing them is a special treat. I ran away more times than I can count and for a long time I always ended up back there. And if I did make it out of the city, to someplace new, there was always another Church orphanage to confine me.
"I think that by the time I was sixty I looked old enough and had the wits to match that I could talk most guards out of taking me to one an orphanage. They still mistrusted the look of me, but I have had decades of schooling, was well spoken and well read, and could convince them I was some wizards apprentice or something else respectable or intimidating. It is at this point in my life that the holes in my memory begin. There are the odd events, encounters, books and places hat I do remember, but so much is lost in shadows. I like to think I found somewhere to study shadow lore, perhaps even becoming very powerful; it is in my nature after all- I am a creature of shadow. I also believe I spent a deal of time on the plane of shadows and perhaps an event there, or a spell or ritual is the reason for my memory loss.
"The reason I say this is where my memories begin again, roughly two years ago, I was on the plane of shadows. I was stumbling, and hurt, and disoriented. I was inside a building- a massive building with high vaulted ceilings, sinuous pillars of black marble- and it was all coming down around me. Cacophonous roars echoed around me; strange shapes flew and swooped in the gloom around me; and all I knew was that I had to make it to the gate out of there and off the plane of shadows. I ran through broken statues and falling blocks, and dove headlong into a swirly mist of shadow and came out the other side in a refuse heap in some back alley in OldTown. I got up and ran as far from there as I could and ended up down in the docks district. I was alone, confused, powerless and in a strange city. I had twenty pieces of silver in my pocket, and this note, hastily scrawled in my own handwriting, something that was a complete mystery to me until recently. It reads: “thus the light is nothing more than that wintry landscape of memory…”
"My point is, whatever we are doing, planning on doing, or going to do; I think I’ve done before."
"I have spoken before of fate bringing us together Emeris. I believe more strongly than ever that you and I were destined to be the ones to find the original 751st page of the Book of Inverted Shadows.
"For almost thirty years I have been trapped in this library. I have never told you why... and perhaps I am not fully prepared to do so. Knowledge is power, Emeris -- and power is dangerous. Sometimes it is safest to keep secrets. Especially when dealing with the dark powers of oblivion at the margins of reality...
"The hounds that stalk my dreams will terrorize me in the material realm should I leave this building. I have been a prisoner for so long, but if we unlock the secret of the Dagda Hazareth's masterpiece, the Tenebrous Fomula, then I shall at last break free of my shackles."
For the next year, Emeris and Saharasahla spent nearly all waking moments studying the Tenebrous Formula, and re-analyzing the Book of Inverted Shadows in that context. In his free time (of which there is little), Emeris studies, drinks fine wine, and shags high-class prostitutes around the city.
Soon they will unlock its secrets...