This trek through the Riftshadow has taken its toll on us. We are tired and dirty, but most of all, we are aware now fully aware of the dangers of this land. I can see now why the crusaders have made no progress pushing back the expanse of this region, content with only holding it at bay. I have thought in my mind that this evil surely could be pushed back by the combined might of Mendev, but now I see the battles they face. It is not only the demons, but the land itself that causes the greatest danger. I recall stories from my father of the jungles in the Mwangi and how the people learned to live with nature, simply because nature would not learn to live with such insignificant beings as man. The Abyss is the same. The demons are the insects germinate chaos in the hearts of man, a foul reality indeed, but it is the land the finally breaks a crusaders will to allow the chaos to take hold. The disease that infests the water and land, the poisons dripping from each demonic carrier and the unrelenting weather that beats out all hope with ash and nails. To overcome this threat, man truly needs heroes to rally behind that can give hope when all hope is lost.
I truly hope the Heroes of Kenabres can do what the Queen hopes. They left weeks ago to reclaim the dwarven citadel of Drezen, an impossible task. But if they can do it, if they can defeat the demons so deep in the Wounded Lands, I think we just might have a chance.
Two weeks and we finally have reached civilization, at least I hope. Raliscrad stands before us on the other side of the river. There are small docks on each side with boats to ferry people across. The soldiers look loyal to the demonic hoard, and most likely Minagho. We will have to tread carefully from this point forward. Strength of arms will not see us through the next few days, but cunning and blending in will. This is finally my time to shine.
I will admit, I have felt impotent these past few weeks. Watching Auctus interacting with everyone, he really is brilliant. If his father is anything like him, I can understand why he holds a position on the Council of Enlightenment. Auctus knows so much about, well, everything. He knows of the land, the creatures, the history of objects, and beyond that, he can fight! He threw bombs that decimated these werewolf soldiers, granted he hurt that paladins too, but I can understand his strategy. Keeya also is becoming quite useful. Not only can she turn invisible… INVISIBLE, but she can increase or decrease anyone’s height. Amazing. She can see through fog and more importantly, she has learned to gleam information off items held by our enemies. This is very useful and I am already learning all she can tell me about the people we are to meet. I will soon become one of them and lead our group safely into the demon’s den.
Kyrk is growing colder as we move deeper into this country. His time spent with me is diminishing with each new arcane discovery written in his books, although I cannot blame him. He is banished from his home land and the eyes of the few who could understand him still burn with blame of Neleryn and Nelethiel. Auctus is blind to all of this, as usual. His mind full of the minutia of the world he is missing what stands directly in front of him. Ivan suspects, but tells me to give Kyrk and the others time. I laughed at this, a boy of his age reminding me of time, but he is correct. Thankfully, I have much to occupy myself with, and the battle today gave me much insight on tomorrow’s events.
The suspected holy men hunted by the lycanthropes, one paladin and one thief dressed in holy armor. When I touched their items, each one gave me a picture and insight of what has transpired over the past few days. After going through their gear, I believe that both men were running for their lives escaping from holding cells, surrounded by hewn stone. I feel this must be underground since it was cold, wet and lit only by torches. There were many prisoners, dozens if not more. One cell was filled with hybrid werewolves, possibly recently turned, about a half dozen. The guards all wore symbols of Baphomet.
From the hunters, I viewed a singular man, a natural werewolf, but he wasn’t a man, he was different in some way: wider, stronger and pointed ears. I spoke with Auctus and he believes I am describing a bugbear, a sick and demented type of goblin. What could we possibly be walking into?
Can you hear me? What are you? Human? I feel a multitude of souls surrounding a singular being, but I cannot make you out. Can you feel me in your dreams as I can feel you? Is it warm?