Monday 27th June 1498 – Morning
A ghoul found its way into the stables last night. I barely caught a glimpse of the vile thing before Guillaume and Shanae managed to drive it off but thankfully it was not able to cause any injury. Guillaume tried to give chase, but his beast was spooked and refused to be saddled.
We slept little after that and set off at first light, after breakfast of course.
Monday 27th June 1498 – Evening
We arrived back at Vannes in the late afternoon and took rooms at the Crooked Wand. Guillaume hurried off with his ill-gotten blade to speak to his order whilst Lydia and I hastened to the Acadamae to try and recover the book and have some of our coinage valued.
The latter task was simple enough, the silver, snake-headed coins appear to be the currency of Xeron's people and were likely only worth their weight in metal. The professor, Ivar Huiid, took an unusual interest in them however which makes me very suspicious. Of the hoard taken from the Betrayer's chamber nothing seemed particularly valuable unless melted down. It might be something to speak to a blacksmith or jeweler about.
The translation of the book was far more interesting however. It was almost complete when hwe had arrived and Professor McGonagall seemed extremely perturbed. It was her apprentice, Gweneiver Le Du, who translated most of it into Breton for us.
The book, scribed in about 750AD, appears to be a direct copy of an even more ancient scroll. The ritual within seems to be designed to bind a specific creature, being or plague known as the Herald or Forerunner. The first, smaller part of the book contains the ritual iteslf and the rest appears to be an incantation of some kind. Supposedly the sounds and the chanting are more important than the words themselves, so we presume that reading the translated copy would have no real effect. Gweneiver described the chanting as a 'cage of poetry'. Prissy nonsense, but Lydia was certainly fascinated by it!
I've taken the scribes notes so far for safe keeping and have instructed him to finish the translation with all haste. I'm still not sure I trust Guillaume with this knowledge so I told him that they are still working on it and will be for some time yet…
Tuesday 28th June 1498 – Morning
We toyed with the map once more last night. Our goal was to discover and explore this false world as much as possible, to explore the boundaries that were set within it and to see if it might be somewhere safe to stow the sword in the future.
We each took a pencil with us into the story this time and were once again confronted by the mysterious stranger. We were surrounded by the remnants of a village all aflame, supposedly caused by the orc-ish minions of Lord Darkness.
A burning villager stood frozen near us, surrounded by a shimmering halo of half life. We bought him to life and doused the flames using Shanae's divine magic, but he continued to run in circles screaming incoherently until we drained the life from him once more. It seems clearer and clearer that the 'creatures' found here possess no real life at all, other than what little is imparted in them by the creator of this place.
We progressed through a series of fiendish puzzles and fights with group of orcs, each of which acted as a prerequisite for progressing through the 'story'. The fights were fairly uneventful as we had control of when to give life to the orcs and could prepare accordingly. Lydia took quite a significant blow from a couple of them however. We will have to take better care of her in the future!
We used the time between challenges to inspect the world around us and experiment with adding and removing colour from different objects and creatures. I'll try writing up my notes about the Map separately. With our new found knowledge we were able to progress quickly, tearing apart the orcish commander from the inside using dead water! It made Guillaume quite green to see the destruction this simple substance caused!
I believe that this world could be a powerful resource for us to harness and I was able to bring back a spear of the dead material with me after we had 'completed' the excursion.
We awoke at daybreak once more and found that Pierre had been tending to Lydia's wounds which had translated to the real world – a terrifying implication! We will have to take time to recover and assess our situation before heading back in.