(notes heavily smeared with dried blood)
It is unlike anything I have seen (or can remember). Not a day into our excursion into the Deep do we encounter a pair of darkspawn envoys and other perils. We find strained respite in a defensible cavern formation the first ‘night.’ I find myself initially unnerved by the claustrophobia, but find solace in the earth and stone, home to the roots of life above. It is a small thought that is put far from our minds as we came across another darkspawn patrol. We cleave through this patrol readily, our melee arm sweeping them off guard with the searing support of our primal mage blazing fire and ice upon the field. We were barely laying the finishing blow on the last of them whence an enraged and feral beast barreled out of the darkness and set upon us. A ‘bronto’ our dwarven companions cried in alarm, a great beast of burden, once domesticated by the dwarves. This one, wild and with a certain bloodlust in its charge assailed us in a furious rage. Through our combined efforts; my arterial strike; the warriors’ rodeo engagements; and the mages’ magical bombardments, the great beast was finally brought to its knees. Memories of hunts long past assail me briefly. I honored the beast’s spirit by speaking a hunter’s prayer for the hunted and slain, cut out its heart, and drank of its blood.
The Shemlen walked off, paying no such honors. Do they treat the contest of life with so little respect? I take another draught of the life we had dispatched.
We encounter a sorely wounded dwarf. The sole surviving member of a dwarven envoy that braved the deep roads. He refused to continue with our party choosing to brave the dark roads to see what became of his compatriots. A brave soul, worthy of the stone should that be his fate.
We come across the ruins of a crafting outpost populated by the ghostly visages of dwarven wraiths, endlessly going through the throes of their last actions before they were obliterated. It is their vengeance that keeps them entrapped in these memories it seems. Their souls warped and torn to exist as these spirits, these ethereal memories. Dangerous as well as I was the first to find. We camped here for a night, at once safer for the walls, but ill at ease for the ghostly apparitions that would unerringly and regularly transit and perform the memory they have been doomed to repeat for eternity. I station myself upon a rooftop of one of the subterranean buildings, scouting ahead for danger.
A great envoy of patrols and darkspawn come down upon the encampment. They obliterate all dwarven spirits they come across; the leader wielding some sort of enchanted weapon that rend through the wraiths and tore their spirits asunder. I realize there is no way to communicate to my comrades barricaded in the building I am atop. I pray they don’t do anything stupid.
No telling with Shemlen though.
The envoy passes. I come down to inform them of the army that overlooked us and go to secure the perimeter of scouts. Which I readily encounter. I stealthily stalk them back into the camp and our party ambushes the unwary scouts before they have the chance to report back. It is a quick kill.
The mages depart to retrieve a staff they left behind. They come back happy. The dwarves and I examine ways to rig a bridge along the way to collapse. Entertaining conjecture. We see in the distance a great keep of some kind: The Legion of the Dead. “Allies, they may be,” so says the dwarven comrade, “or not.”