Of Wraiths and Ominous Portals

Day 243 of the Growing Moon, Year 451.

Mercenary sightings are never a good omen - they are known to accept commissions from truly unsavoury characters.
Worried by a recent report from Fighter Lenne, today we organised an expedition to the islet north-west of Marali. Once known as Hollow Tree Island, it has now become the abode of treacherous Wraiths. The underground passages lead to a mysterious forge, standing on a platform carved in stone. So far, only druids, with their powers of teleportation, have managed to gain access to the platform.

Fighting our way through Brigands and Mercenaries, with the ground constantly rumbling under our feet and Wraiths threatening to feast on our souls has left me with a vague and rather foggy recollection of the events. I should perhaps begin with the assorted collection of items we found - poisoned glaives, mushrooms, bottles of poison, Dragon Teeth, a Ring of Lightning Bolt, rubies, diamonds... Behind the Shelters which occupied part of the perimeter of what may be called the great hall, we discovered a passage among stalagmites, which led to a most peculiar structure - a big enclosure which enwrapped four pillars made of stalagmite, reminiscent of our magic portals. Next to the cage, on a strip of basalt floor bordered by a flow of lava, stood some sturdy chests - some were so well protected that they defied Lady Morry’s tools and ability. Some of the seals could not be broken!

A message was also found, instructing (presumably) the guards to 'fry with a certain ring those who managed to break through the portal'! Needless to say, we were rather piqued and puzzled by the hostile challenge which the message implied. On the assumption that the portal in question was located inside the cage, we gathered within but, try what we might, no secret door opened for us! Maybe some essential item, the key to the portal, was to be found by the mysterious forge… but how to reach the stone platform? Lord Stryker remembered that Druid Nieven was last seen in Marali, and we all agreed that the brave fighter should go and fetch him. Nieven arrived and, once again, we descended into the underground chambers. The druid’s attempt at teleporting was successful and I have made a careful list of the items found in the chest by the forge: a Carving Knife, a GM Silver Dagger, a Shattered Crystal Skull and twenty-four Bottles of Poison! We returned to the big cage but none of the new items we found seemed to work. Baffled and unable to think of other strategies, we abandoned the chambers and travelled to Duldrus, from where we reached the Tree Maze.

I will only add that, after consulting with my aunt Fuoco, she informs me that the only known use for Shattered Crystal Skulls, so far, is to make Essence of Power.

Of late, many a puzzling occurrence has disturbed the flow of our lives - we do not know whether interrelated or not, but Wizard Peven has an interesting story to tell about a necromancer’s book he was able to scroll through! I do sincerely hope he leaves an account of his findings in the library.


  • Post Scriptum: The note to 'fry with that ring whoever gets through the portal' is signed with the initials D.L. Some locked chests seem to belong to an association called The Creed - no further information is currently available.
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