Inventory for Khalin Grundokri
Zero had a close look at the writing — it was in Elvish — but the most he could make out due to the ink was about “new recruits” and “mind-washing”. The bottom of the sheet had a single piece of text that was not obscured, though: ‘Light must be snuffed, perfection decayed, order dissolved, and minds fragmented.’ Zero shuddered when he read it.Found under Deepingwald Mansion House
Upon the necklace that Khalin had found dangled a dragon figurine competently carved in obsidian. As he had turned it over to check the craftmanship he noticed an outline etched onto the base, of a skull with ram’s horns.Found in the Ritual Chamber under Blackengorge Mausoeum
A pair of bracers made of what appeared to be bronze, stained and showing signs of age. Scratched into the surface with exquisite detail were small runes and a pictorial representation of flames.Found in the Crypts of Blackengorge Mausoeum
The mail was ill-fitting for the goblin, but was still fine workmanship. Tracing his fingers over runes on the shoulder guards it was obviously of dwarven manufacture, but not from The Islands. The conundrum was that it was fairly new.Found in the Goblin’s Lair
A shield made of metal, slightly yellowed, perhaps by age, but rust-free, light and flexible with the outline of an image of a cross between a dragon and a man etched into its defensive face.Found in the ruins of Caulkin Keep
Khalin looked down at the hammer in front of him with reverence and awe. It truly seemed a magnificent weapon, with three large diamonds set into the flat of the head and a pommel carved to resemble the head of a noble dragon. Even without touching it, he could sense its power.Given with responsibility by Harbek Garrack, ex-commander of Caulkin Keep
Khalin seemed most intrigued by one of the larger pieces of parchment, scrawling lines depicting a few points of interest, with long sweeping curves of arrows with intricate notes. It appeared, as far as he could tell, to be some form of battle plan, with the ruined keep they were in on the right hand side of the page. Following two of the sweeping lines to the left he guessed another scrawl indicated the mausoleum, just outside Blackengorge — a smaller arrow joining the first from there the assault Blackengorge’s northern flank. The second line was more direct, cutting across the page directly to Blackengorge’s western walls. A smaller line from the southeast, presumably the old goblin cave, cast against the west walls. The warlord gasped a little — it seemed that these battleplans were for an assault on Blackengorge itself, though how many, or when was beyond his understanding.Found in the ruins of Caulkin Keep
Kireth, meanwhile, had been studying some of the more mundane items, although one stood out, what appeared to be a letter, or instruction, written in Common and in a similar hand to one he had seen before. He read the letter softly, more to himself than the others, but everyone could hear.
“Bolkuz, I will be in the lower chambers for three days. I do not wish to be disturbed, whatever the reason. In one day bring the remainder of the slaves to the subtemple where Morkin will take care with them. You may do what you will with them in the meantime, but they must be alive. Deal with all other issues yourself — you have full command. When we are finished you will have your troops. Skauril.”Found in the ruins of Caulkin Keep
Many of the tomes were as Tradden had explained — techniques for crafting various pieces of armour, weaponry, or jewellery. To his dismay Khalin didn’t find any maps of the region, but did find one parchment with a map of the local area and numerous ink marks and lines. Khalin showed the parchment to Tradden, and between the pair they decided it appeared to be some form of tactical plan for the defence of the area — lines had been added for a defensive wall stretching from gorge wall to gorge wall and arrows and detail had been added to show to flow of combat troops. However, to what battle or when was not revealed.Found in the Forge below the Tower of the Mists
Within the hour Khalin had accepted the requests from the Town Council personally, bearing three sealed envelopes — one with the seal of the sun, one with the seal of a shield, and one with the seal of a rose — along with the promise that a wagon would be built on the morrow, ready for leave the day after. Tymander himself would oversee the selection and loading of the wagon with trade goods, and would see to it that the group, including the Talons, would have provisions and rations safely aboard to match their expectations.Given by the Town Council in Blackengorge
Unplugging the stopper the warlord withdrew the delicate parchment within and asked Kireth to hold his light up high. He pushed the flasks on the table to one side and set the parchment down, unrolling it on the tabletop. It was a map. It appeared to be fairly detailed and localised, perhaps only a dozen leagues or so across. A trail, or road, through a forest running west-east, reasonably straight. Towards the middle of the map, just inside the forest was a pointer to a building, perhaps even the one they were in. Not so long to the west as the road left the forest it turned northwest and just before the edge of the parchment was another scrawl signifying a building near a river.
Arrows pointed off to the northwest with spidery writing that wasn’t clear in the magelight. Arrows also pointed off to the east at the right of the map, still dominated by forest, again with similar writing.Found in the Pineforest Ruin
The book was heavy, as long as his forearm and as thick as his fist, bound with a soot-blackened leather cover. All of the edges were singed, as though it had once been in a fire and only just survived. No words or inscriptions marked the front or the spine, so Khalin opened the book up to gather the contents.
The pages were dirty, also soot-stained, but well thumbed and covered with marks, bloodstains, and perhaps even worse. The writing was small, but neat and legible in a flowing black ink. The incredible pieces, however, were the illustrations — monochrome in the same black ink, but exquisitely drawn.
They were of creatures that Khalin had only ever heard of in old wives’ tales and stories of old, and some of beasts that he had no idea of what they were. He raised an eyebrow at Sorrow.
‘A “Zoonomicon” if I’m not mistaken,’ the bard offered. ‘A list of beasts, creatures, and monsters of the lands. Ecologies, cultures, that sort of thing. Not sure what a band of orcs would want with it, though.’Found in the Orc Stronghold on the Old Road through the Pineforest
‘Erm, you’d better take a look at this, Khalin,’ he whispered. ‘It looks like a rough map of the area. You know the treelines we came through on the way to the hill with the “mouth”?’ Khalin nodded. ‘And the way that the frozen rivers or ditches between them were curved a little? Well, it forms a pattern.’
Beltak handed the parchment to the dwarf, almost reluctantly. Khalin studied it for a moment, gathering his bearings and wits. There was a rough sketch of the face on the hill, almost comical at the centre of the parchment in dried brown ink. Surrounding it were the swirls of the treelines spiralling outwards from the centre widdershins, with the channels of the breaks between the treelines making an all-too familiar pattern.Found in the dormitory in the Mouth of the Sleeper
Slowly Zero unwound the material revealing a dark stone platter, which at first he thought was just a plate. Two holes near the centre told him otherwise. Turning the platter over, the stone cold in his hands, he asked Beltak to raise the torch higher.
The dark stone was flecked with white, like snowflakes, shimmering in the torchlight, but it was not those that held Zero’s attention. It was the holes. They were eyes. The platter was a mask.
For a moment Zero seemed confused, staring at the face of the mask with disbelief. Then he stood, holding it out in front of him, turning around and putting it between himself and Khalin at the doorway. He lined up the eye holes with Khalin’s questioning eyes for a second and then lowered it again, the rogue’s face growing paler.
‘Spit it out, boy,’ roared Khalin in the confusion.
Zero paused for a moment, gulping. Then slowly he croaked, ‘It’s you!’Found in the dormitory in the Mouth of the Sleeper