Journal of Ulerias Du'Vraen (short story)
Title: The Journal of Ulerias Du'Vraen
Author: Lord Armaxis Telexana
Below is a translation of a journal found in an abandoned troll lair to the south. Since trolls are prone to looting and thef, we can safely assume that the lair was not its point of origin. Its provenance is a thing we can only guess at; details are very sketchy. Some of the words did not translate well into common, or any tongue which is spoken in Elanthia in this day and age, and my own notes on these words are in parentheses.
---Lord Armaxis Telexana
The Journal of Ulerias Du'Vraen
Jastatos the 1st.
I continue my journeys toward (Unknown word, the closest word in common is "Vrin'sii," yet there are no historical records of such a name) Mountains, the travel is hard, and I have been off the road for many days. I fear that the storms are arriving far sooner than I had anticipated. Alas, I cannot go back, the (Another unknown word, completely unable to be pronounced in the common language, the word seems to signify an elder or leader) have bid me to find what I could, and that I must.
Jastatos the 3rd.
I have nearly reached the base of the mountain. A peculiar incident has gotten me very nervous about this place, however. Last night as I tried to sleep, I heard the most peculiar sound outside my tent -- whispers. Soft whisperings so quiet that I could not quite catch their words, it almost sounded as if it was one long, nearly silent hiss! I took my scimitar and opened the tent flap, and the sound vanished, as if whoever was making it could see me. I do not think I shall like to meet any of the local wildlife here.
Jastatos the 4th.
Another day of walking has lead me to the base of the mountain. It is quite a wonderful sight to behold! I have done some scouting of the area, and have found a shelter of some sorts. There seems to be an extensive network of caverns here, and I have set up camp within them. At least I'll be protected if the storm I have been anticipating arrives.
Jastatos the 6th.
It seems that the mountain will be perfect for the (Unknown word, I can only speculate on its meaning, perhaps a specific profession in Du'Vraen's culture, or something similar.) The storms have not begun to build yet; I can barely make out the clouds in the far distance, so I have had more time to explore these caverns. It seems I am not the first to live here. There are strange markings on the walls, and perhaps a very ancient race once lived here. I shall have to look into this further.
Jastatos the 7th.
I have found something remarkable! A very large boulder blocks my entry into this wonder, but from some of the gaps in the entrance I could see a most magnificent sight! I could not see the entire room, but from what I saw it looks as if the previous inhabitants are very civilized, sconces and smoothed walls, and I spotted the very edge of a finely made tapestry on the wall. I only wish I could move the boulder! I will continue to look for another way inside.
Jastatos the 10th.
I have not had any luck finding another entrance into the cavernous room, and the boulder refuses to move. I am beginning to become troubled, the strange whispers haunt me again. But they do not come from outside, they come from within! I cannot leave the shelter of the cave, I can feel the bitter cold in the wind already. How I wish I could be back home...
Jastatos the 14th.
I have not had much time to write here, for the events of late have been troubling. Two days ago, a band of travellers arrived, and are camped very close to this cave. I am fearful of them, and I am very glad that the entrance to the cave is well-camouflaged. I can see them, they seem to be celebrating something. They have banners all around their camp; most depict a green serpent, and on a few there is the image of a purple serpent with two heads. I continue to watch them, I hope the storm comes and drives them all off.
Jastatos the 17th.
More bands arrive each day. They are preparing for something, many come with food and many crowd around men garbed in robes to hear them speak. I cannot see them all clearly, they are too far away to distinguish any features, but they are normal in appearance, not brutish as an orc or troll. Every night as the sun sets they dance and make revelry, and laugh, and sing. At times, I wish I could join them, for it reminds me of the (Unknown word, perhaps a festival in DuVraen's native home) But I cannot, for something deep inside me tells me that I should avoid them. Thankfully, the whispers have stopped.
Jastatos the 20th.
Words cannot describe the full horror of what I have seen...the...festival that they have celebrated took on a most horrible turn tonight. I watched, frozen by fear, as each of them danced frantically, partaking in the same revelry they had so many nights before. But nearly all suddenly inflicted the most painful wounds on themselves! They danced still, and in the firelight I could see the blood glistening on their bodies as they chanted! All of the dancers collapsed with the setting of the sun, and I could see no more, for the fire was put out. I fear for my life, and pray that they know not of the caves here.
Jastatos the 21st.
I have moved deeper into the caves, fearful of being seen by those...monsters outside. I am very shaken, but I have found a way into the room that I mentioned so fancifully a few days ago. It was very peculiar...I awoke from sleep, and found myself lying on some sort of slab...I felt very comfortable there, almost as if I was meant to be there. Eventually, I stirred myself from my resting place, and feeling around a bit, I discovered a very small hole in one of the walls. It is much too narrow for me to fit a torch in, but the room is completely dark for now, I cannot see much.
Jastatos the 22nd.
(The writing begins to be more garbled and sketchy here)
Every night. Every night. Every night those people chant as they bleed! I can hear the screams of the dying, but the chanting drowns it out! The chanting drowns everything out! I must get away from here!
Jastatos the 23rd.
(The writing appears to be very garbled and seems to have been hastily written)
They found the cave. I ran, cannot do anything but write to keep sanity. In room now, so dark. So dark. Can hear the whispers. Not whispers, hissing! Rustlings, rustlings from the boulder. They can't get inside, they can't. I'm safe. Light, green light in the sconces! Tapestries on walls, tapestries just like the ones outside the camp! Boulder is moving! They are coming through the ent --
Taken from the House Chesylcha library, c.1999.