Into the Wild West
The Mouldy Journal
The book is leather bound and moulding from age, it’s pages fragile some disintegrating as you turn them. Despite that much of the book is still legible. The front page bears a single rune.
Draconic speakers recognise it as the rune for “S”
The early pages seem to be a continuation of a diary or journal, seemingly belonging to a senior and powerful mage. Most of the contents seems to be about routine daily events.
Intelligence DC 5 The writer appears to have been one of the chief advisors to a Paladin of Bahamut named Geofray who was apparently some sort of a Lord in a Knightly Order. The other advisor being a Cleric of Erathis. Also mentioned are the nearby city of Illium, a town called Miletus and the fishing village of Kos. The castle appears to have been the home of the Order dedicated to Bahamut and Justice, protecting the locals against any threat. They appear to have been a fairly prominent Order in the kingdom of Mysia, but there is nothing like them in the Duchies of what was once Messinia now.
History DC18 The small army sent by Vi’Toria to return order to the overrun Mysia were of this order of knights. They had long been the core of the Avalonian military. Their failure began a long fall from grace until the order was disbanded 80 years later. One section of the book which catches your eye describes the creation of a magic greatsword for Sir Garald Leoncoeur, who had recently been promoted to Master of the Guard. The main gist of the passage appears to be that the weapon was rather too ostentatious for the Mage’s tastes and caused the weaponsmith difficulties to make. Apparently the problem was with the complex hilt comprising of a swooping hawk clutching a bolt of lightning in it’s talons.
About two thirds of the way through things start becoming more sinister. Strange rumblings can be heard from the mountains in the North and the ground appears to have shook on at least one occasion. Strange creatures are seen at a distance. Streams stagnate and many of the wild animals begin fleeing South and East. Then, suddenly all hell appears to have broken loose. The ground shakes bringing down some of the less sturdy buildings. Even one of the great walls around the keep develops a crack. Fire and great clouds of black smoke and ash are pumping into the sky somewhere in the mountains. Evil creatures and beasts begin pouring out of the their hiding places, some fleeing in panic just like the locals, some killing and fighting in a frenzy of bloodlust. Lord Knight Geofray instantly gathers many of his men and sallies forth, taking the High Clerist with him. Salazar the Mage is left behind to assist Leoncoeur in holding the fortress. Salazar is able to communicate with Clerist Malcor using their magic. Malcor informs him that they find Illium in anarchy. The knights dig in to try and restore order and protect the city. The last message Salazar receives is desperate: From out of the Southern desert wastes a Horde of Gnolls, minor Demons and Cultists has arrived. Malcor tells Salazar their position is helpless but they must protect the city. He warns him to send word to Messinia for aid and fortify as best he can. The writing in the journal becomes less detailed, more scribbled in a hurry and the next 8 days of desperate preparations and anxious waiting are chronicled. Then the army comes into view, still several thousand strong. The defenders fight bravely, but foul magics are used to bring down sections of wall. One of which collapses on top of Sir Garald leaving the knights (always slightly distrustful of magic) leaderless except Salazar and forced to flee back into the keep itself.
The last entry is short. “All is lost. Hope is gone and our Gods have deserted us to the servants of the Primordial Yeenoghu. They must be stopped or it will not just be we who fall to their wicked blades and talons. I have discovered with my magic that a powerful servitor of their foul God lies imprisoned under Firemere Lake. They plan to breech the seals and loose the beast. I am desperately tired, my energy expended from casting spells to hold them back. I have enough left in me for one last effort, but our position here is beyond saving. There are but Forty-three Knights left, many are sick or wounded. Our wells are unfit to drink from, the food corrupted. I fear we are at the end of all things. I have decided to open a gate to the Tombs of Wyrmslayer. The clerics and guards there may still be safe and able to heal those I send. Maybe they can launch a counter attack if aid comes quickly enough from the East and prevent total disaster. Either way they will do it without me. I can’t hold the gate for all of them without destroying myself. I must go, there is much work to do yet and so little time before they break through. I leave this tome as a record of our valour and struggle for those who come after. If there are any left to come.”