''Master has been very quiet lately. I overheard him whispering while he was writing to someone. Apparently "our oldest enemy" is getting in the way of our project. Who is his oldest enemy?"
"Someone has been poking around my work again. I lost a few of my parchments and found several of my book marks moved. It couldn't be Blackwell, but I bet whomever it was didn't find what they were looking for."
''I've been thinking more about Master Shay's oldest enemy. He once told me a story about a gold elf rival of his named Gallione Annatto, about how he was held hostage by a thieves guild ironically named the Vipers, about his encounters with an inquisitor named Grundle Brightstone, and of course, the lich known to some as Vis. He claimed victory over each and destroyed them utterly. Who is his old foe?"
''Rumours of famine in WIngar and Findle are spreading through the local caravans. I'm not too worried. Crimbury's grain harvest was bountiful this season. With what we have stored in the silos here, they should be able to keep the cities afloat."
"Shay's oldest enemy must be someone who follows Azogun. With enemies on all sides, I never even considered anyone could challenge him. The violet lady came by our camp again. She frightens me even moreso than Blackwell. Something about her seems ancient and Shay gives her so much respect. There must be more to her than meets the eye."
''The shadowpools are dangerous without a shadowkey. Opening a portal could allow a person to travel through the Umbreal plane safely, if they can manage... I’ve not found an open pool yet, but I believe that this ruin near Crimbury might be of use to the master."
"I’ve managed to get the money to pay for everything. My master has dealings with a man named Blackwell. Apparently the two have had bad blood but they share a similar goal. I’m fine with this as long as we get what we came for."
"I'm getting pretty sick of these humans. Today I'm nursing another black eye. I'm suprised I didn't end up with any broken bones. Blackwell has taken my weapons away. Apparently he doesn't trust that he won't get a knife in the back. He is right to fear me because it's what he deserves."
"Master insisted that I create a new codex, The one I'm using isn't complex enough for him. I'll use the current one myself for a while. The new one will be based on the runes found on the pieces of this broken staff. It's obscure enough that nobody should be able to decipher it. I'll test it by encrypting some of my journal entries."
''The shadowkey is everything I thought it would be! My research here must continue. I get the feeling that if Blackwell finds our that I have the key he will cut my access to the ruin. I have to string him along for as long as possible. I wish I wasn't so alone here. My brother thinks this is all a bad idea and is insisting that I travel East with him. I can’t be distracted right now, I feel that I’m close to ending this."
"I keep hearing voices from the pool. Occasionally I think I see something moving in the mirror surface. My attendant Filton insists that we leave. I figured he would be useful but I suspect that he’s been stealing from me. A number of my personal possessions are missing, including my signet ring."
''I've traveled through and seen the absolute black of that place. Blackwell doesn't know. I've set up some emergency supplies there. If anything goes wrong, I should be able to survive on the other side long enough for master shay to rescue me."
“I sent the Seeker's ring to the dark elf Sammeth Grijord. I hope he doesn’t wear it, I don’t really trust him but Master has informed me that Sammeth is trustworthy enough. Apparently the Mythic Conclave is under his thumb as well. I hope he can keep him safe, since the Year of Misfortune, entertainers have been disappearing. Priests of Parun too… Something is going on. I’ll stick close to home for a while. I’ve found a new codex to add to my rotation. One of three I used in this journal.”
"My brother Tuck is going to visit the dig again today. It's been a long time since I've seen him. He's been in Longcrossing helping the Brotherhood of the Raven excavate a nearby cavern. He is very knowledgeable of ancient magics and the history of that place has always fascinated him. I remember an old story of a dark altar spewing forth living splls. Fascinating. I'm excited to see what he thinks of the shadowpool."
''I never expected my brother to turn against the Master. Something is going on. Master Shay said that Vis’ cult is no longer an issue. I keep seeing yellow eyes in my dreams. My master gave me some parchment for safe keeping. Apparently his organization is being usurped by a lich. I wonder if it’s associated with the lich that Rilken was telling me about."
''I killed him. Someone was in my room. He wasn’t the person I thought he was. He attacked me in the night but didn’t expect me to be a capable swordsman. He was some kind of lizard in disguise. How is that possible? I didn’t detect any magic. If only I could do something about this smell."
'I’ve been going to the church in Crimbury for my whole life. After yesterday, I feel like I could use it more than ever... My brother’s childhood friend Shefferd is a deacon there. He has no idea where Tuck has gone. I asked him to take a piece of the final codex for me. I’ve instructed Filton to send it to the church If anything goes wrong."
"Halafas visited us this evening. He brings word that our resources in Illden could be discovered soon. His thieves guild has stirred up some fishermen and started an independence movement. That should distract the locals long enough for us to finish our dig in the mine. Those dwarven tunnels have proven more dangerous than expected. He's concerned about the quarantine zones, but no disease could be that dangerous after all this time right?"
"There is still that awful smell in the air. It started just before Halafas arrived, the same smell as that horribly lizard man. Terron has been importing large amounts of perfumes and insists that his retainers regularly douse themselves. Something strange is going on here. Many of my tools have been coated in a greasy residue as well."
"More lizards? What is going on? Halafas should have informed me if he was in trouble. I’ve had him keeping an eye on the roads lately. Trouble seems to be brewing all around us. I wish luck was still on our side. The world needs a little more luck."
Entry 21 (Spellbook Page)
This page appears to be from an old spellbook. The spell is incomplete and requires 3 other pages. From what you can decipher, it appears to be some kind of enchantment.
I don’t trust Blackwell’s companions. Some of them give me the same feeling as that oily shape-changing reptile from a few weeks ago. Things are happening. Master Shay has disappeared again and left me alone here. I’m sending this journal to the elf. She won’t be able to translate it, but I trust her. It’s been so long since I’ve seen her lovely face. Maybe I shouldn’t get her involved… After what happened to her family…
Entry 23 (Guide to the Umbreal Plane 1)
"The Umbreal plane is a difficult place to travel. It exists parallel to our own realm but space is not the same. Traveling through the shadowy realm moves you much more slowly than in our dimension and the space between pools seems unrealistically huge. It's as if the Umbreal plane is much larger than our world, but compressed into the same area. I don't know how to explain it. It takes a great deal of calculation to estimate where a pool will send you. The pool we have discovered seems to be on the shore of a river. I have been sending supplies through for weeks, just in case I need somewhere to escape to."
''Master is after something in Tartarus. Apparently I’m now mixed up in something infinitely more complex. I’m just a scholar, I didn’t expect to be a burglar again. This time, it seems we’re breaking into the gods prison. Fortunately, the pool in my ruin isn’t in the right place for that purpose. We’ll use it to test our keys and then it’s off to Shra. Luckily I’ve already scouted this out with Sammeth’s daughter. That one may take us closer to Tartarus. If not, I think I know one other way in..."
''I've been working on a sample of the shadow water from the pool in Ishtar. I've worked it into a miniature portal, not enough to travel in, but it may serve as a kind of portable pocket dimension. I'm sure it will be useful for something."
''Where have all of the musicians gone? There were some Empyrean knights in town the other day. Inquisitors by the look of them. I guess they chased all of the bards out of town? Deacon Shefferd has also vanished. I suppose he went with them for some church gathering or something. I hope everything is alright, perhaps he wasn’t the fortune’s friend he claimed to be. I’ll send the codex piece to the church anyway. It should be safe filed away there."
''I've pretended to break another trowel and insisted on getting more dynamite. I think Blackwell may be aware that I'm stalling. I overheard him talking to a woman in a strange language. Danasian maybe? Some dialect I'm unfamiliar with. I thought his guards seemed a little odd looking."
''Does Arundel know what Blackwell is? He’s not human. I think he might be Vashar. The yellow eyes are here again. If I'm still enough I can hear them when they think I'm asleep."
"Where the hell is Arundel? I can't keep this Blackwell creature occupied forever in this tiny ruin. He's threatened my life already and I've heard gunshots in the woods. Either he's going to be the end of me, or his soldiers are going to attract bandits."
“I’ve met several people in my journeys. Each will have a piece to the puzzle, but I think Alistyr is the most trustworthy. I should send him the coin for now. I can’t let this fall into the hands of someone unsavory. We’ll need it to barter for his freedom.”
"The names of my closest confidants, I've sent most of my belongings to these people. Dael, if you're reading this, these are the people you can trust."
- Sammeth Grijord - The Seeker's Ring, be careful, it attracts minotaurs.
- Daellethan Bloomhollow - Journal
- Rilken Sureclaw - Tengu's Bracelet, the key to unlocking many of the ancient Tengu traps in Shra. I discovered it while traveling with Sammeth's daughter, Liyal.
- Alistyre Onyx-Brass - Shadowpool Vial, a sample of the liquid portal to the Umbreal plane.
- Orrik Dawncastle - Leather scroll which shows a black mass welling up beneath a spired city. says "there is no good, there is no evil, there is only flesh and the forms to which he subjects it. The Founder of Flesh has remade us and we will return the favour. The gods will tremble at his might and he makes life and death into one."
- Shalazar the Infernal - Two sections of what I believe to be the Staff of Power.
- Halafas Raeranthur
- Grikson Kogaine
"I hope Dael takes care of this journal. Shay hasn't come back yet and Blackwell has threatened my life again, only this time I have a broken rib to match my broken pride, I’m having Filton send the listed items to my contacts outlined above. If all goes well, I will be able to escape through the Umbreal plane. Filton refuses to accompany me. I guess it’s risky either way."
"This is my last message. I venture into the Umbreal plane tomorrow. I have to escape from Blackwell and I can think of no other option. Hopefully I've packed enough to survive for a few months. I believe I can navigate to another shadowpool from this one."