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E1c: Into the Light

Journal: Waterday 26 Planting 598

I just realized I made this first entry in my journal with no date, for no one thought to ask our dwarf friends what day or year it is, but with no point of reference, it makes little difference. However, I have gone back and added the appropriate date to this entry.

On the subject of dates, why am I so damn old-looking? I don't feel old on the inside. My friend Dezlan has a magical trinket he calls the "Mirror of Lies." When others gaze upon it they see a much older self staring back. Oddly, I see a much younger person, a boy. I feel more like my reflection than the way I truly appear. How is this possible?

We have awakened. Awake. What does that mean? What did I awake from? These are but a few of the questions the party and I are asking ourselves. The dim light allows for some exploring. We soon discover the carvings at the end of each coffin are in-fact our names. Mine is Degnfirth; seems familiar to me. We need this because we cannot remember anything of our past, not even who we are or where we came from. Obviously, we do not know each other. Blank slates, yet there is an air of familiarity. Not like strangers in a room, but something more comfortable, like an old shoe I haven't worn in years. A feeling of ease and safety exists with the presence of each. However, we quickly realized, whoever brought us to this place knew us intimately, for we found trinkets in our coffins and suitable adventuring gear in a room below, including the proper arms and provisions for each. Unmistakable knowledge of every party member would have been necessary. But who?

My trinket was a small metal cube, it vibrates occasionally; odd. Not sure what to make of it yet.

Indeed we are not among the walking dead; after all, we have a heartbeat - I think - and several have noticed a hunger brewing in their guts. The fine dust covering everything indicates we have been here a while, but has it days, weeks, months ... or years? The equipment stored in a separate room had a thinker layer of dust, meaning there is - or was - an overseer of sorts, someone cleaning occasionally, but not recently. Perhaps it was the bodies we found, in what looked like a bedroom, perhaps a parent and their child. Huddled together in a sleeping position, yet completely decomposed, just like the dragon we discovered in an adjacent room, nothing but peaceful bones. Oh, and some spellbook I quickly made use of ... I seem to have a knack for understanding such things, and the more I read, the more familiar magic becomes. Apparently, I can cast spells, for I can see magical patterns forming in my head.

The dragon's treasure - or a portion of it - was left behind, as was an old silver skeleton-like key around the neck of the child-corpse, like a necklace. A key to what? Then there is the magic circle on the floor of the final room, just before the exit. I believe the arcana is a teleportation circle, a way to get back to this place no matter what. After discovering the outer door, more like a great seal, this fact became more obvious, for once closed, you're outside for good - one way in, by magic only. I made sure to copy the magic circle in my books, but I was forced to use my own blood as the ink I found in my provisions was all dried up.

This Sanctuary of Morgu, as it is called, was obviously built by dwarves, a fact confirmed, as this valley is maintained by a faction of dwarves calling themselves the Shield of the Tender Oath, or more specifically, the protectors of the Shrine of the Tender Oath. The dwarves are friendly enough, feeding us and answering questions - as best they can. Though, confusion is the main topic of conversation. However, the party discovered we are in the "Little Hills" located in the Yeomanry League. The dwarves also mention their leader, the caretaker of the vale, named Dilur of clan Malvor. However, he is away on private matters. The party pays the dwarves for their assistance, but the dwarves corner us into a vow - to never speak of the Vale of Dancing Waters to anyone. This place is sacred to them. Indeed, we would be lucky to locate this place ever again, as the only trail in or out is well hidden. But I still have the teleportation circle, once I learn to teleport.

We depart the Vale of Dancing Waters, following the directions received from the dwarves. We exited the vale via a hidden bluff and make camp near a bridge, across the river lies the Dreadwoods. Earlier, the dwarves told us not to enter Dreadwood, that name seems familiar to me. The others lay traps, fish, and conduct some foraging. I begin my studies of these spellbooks to increase my knowledge of the magic contained within. I will try to memorize a few spells perhaps, let's see what happens. I believe the strange female in the party to be a spellcaster of sorts; I'm still trying to figure her out though. Those ram-like horns of hers, does she really have demonic blood in her veins? If so, this may prove to be useful someday, or just the opposite, a curse.

The dwarves mentioned an alchemist who lives near Port Torvin who may help, and perhaps he can return our lost memories. It is a bit of a journey to get there, but we have no other options, yet. There are several towns along the way; supplies and food are in order, I think. For now, we lay to rest in what would seem an unfamiliar world. Strange though, I feel uneasy sleeping across from those dreaded woods, yet there is something, perhaps my own over-active imagination is getting the best of me, or bring out the worst, but I swear I keep hearing whispers, they call to me.

-- "The Truths of Darklore" by Degnfirth

Ending Theme Song: "Only the Begining" by UNSECRET

The Sanctuary