Tinder’s Champions stumbled across fragments of a journal kept by Zelligar the Unknown during his exploration of the caverns beneath Qasqueston while doing some light mercenary work for Drummond in Portsport. The journal was in possession of a scout for the Bogy Brothers, freshly returned from the Casad Reaches, where the organization had apparently dispatched an exploratory group. Upon escaping the Brothers’ wrath, the contents were perused and read as follows:
Amazing! We’ve uncovered a necropolis beneath the stones of Qasqueston! Green stone unlike any we’ve seen before comprise it! We will investigate further. On another note, an upstart member of draconis flamme has taken to assailing some of the workers. They have been moved into a cavern complex not directly linked to this necropolis so work may continue.
The caves run deep! We suspect they date to the Sixth, perhaps even the Fifth Kingdom, based on what knowledge I have of history. Fell magics animate strange undead—the most concerning of which are odd skeletons. The priests with us fear and loathe them, for they sap our strength and cannot be repelled. Perhaps we should turn to dark clerics…Rhogan would not approve. Also, on one of the levels, I have engraved an impossible-to-miss warning. Requesting additional manpower, for these caverns seem to stretch forever!
It has certainly been a while, I know! I apologize. We have encountered many, many creatures of both familiar and unfamiliar form and have uncovered much…giant scorpions guard what appears to be the tomb of a Fifth Kingdom sovereign. We prepare for excavation!
A party of dwarven mercenaries arrived a few days ago from Brokenspire and were most helpful. Then we stumbled upon a vein of gold and, being “proper dwarves,” they left a party behind to prospect. We have not heard from them in many days, but daren’t return yet—a wondrous gate of what seems to be mithril looms before us, though we have not yet found a way to enter. We have also come across a second set of gates, these formed of pure flame after traveling through an underwater tunnel. Rhogan’s great fortitude was most helpful in opening this way! I have also found traces of what may be clues as to what is only known in myth: the resting place of the vast treasures of Great Casada, of the old religion. Should we uncover such relics, no doubt the power of these items should be used to better all mankind, for is that not ultimate the purpose of a god?
There is one final entry in the fragments, this one apparently written by Rhogan:
Were inn truble. Zelagar was kelled buy a skelten-man who flotes and we ran away. I didnat wana cuz Ima fighter butt the clerks cant get more heals. On of them eated a mashrum and turned to a baby it had red spots and bleu color. Theres also a wite tunnel that made us wussied but we excaped. There are scary heads with legs that eat magic and DRAGONS Send help fast!
We built here knowing full well the tomb of Casada, Mistress of the Earth, lay beneath us. We were convinced we could contain what evil seeped into the surrounding rocks and lay dormant beneath the mountains.
We descended into the cave warrens beneath Qasqueston to battle what evil remained. One of the abominations we encountered was named Kazleth, a monstrous minotaur who lives and rules in a fell maze created by Casada’s taint. He and his kin have the ability to phase through stone as if it is water, obviously a gift granted by the Mistress of the Earth.
A powerful illusionist abides near the surface. Luckily, he is content to wait for fools to blunder into his chambers. I know not if his outward appearance is his actual one, but his companions did not fall to the silvered arrows of Rhogan as could be expected, and Rhogan’s silvered arrows were utterly unable to strike the illusionist.
BEWARE OF PURPLE WORMS IN THE LARGE CAVERN NEAR THE ILLUSIONIST. I have written this on the wall, as well. Foolish dwarves. In the depths is a cavern housing monsters of gigantic size. An eye tyrant lords over that region.
Our dwarves sought gold, or so they claimed. They STILL have have not returned. Foolish dwarves.
A spider queen and her pets lair in a cavern here, as well. One of the arachnids is a vicious monster that nearly killed stout Rhogan before we called retreat. Aquatic trolls aid goblin miners in a deep cavern complex. The goblins mine gold, so I suppose the foolish dwarves were right. The foolish dwarves were also nowhere to be found. Foolish dwarves.
Akbeth, a high priestess of Corina, Goddess of the Sky, was turned into a statue of living rock by clerics of her sister, Casada. She possesses a magic ring that allows her to shape change. She will not part with it willingly or through force.
The pool to Hell…where do I begin? The Gates beyond are guarded by a three-headed creature with skin as black as squid ink. Hairless and none too intelligent, it nevertheless vomits forth corrosive acid from deep in its unnatural gullet. The remainder of that area is inhabited by strange, spider-like creatures with admirable magical and telepathic powers. Fear the ceilings, for they strike from where they cling and need not descend to unleash magical destruction! They drain magical energies, as well!
A great city of goblins (?) lies deep in the complex. Tainted of Casada, they serve as her clerics and warriors! We must purge them!
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