Jeren's Travel Log - 2nd Entry

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This note is found in the Infernal Wastes, outside the entrance to the Tomb of Nephos.

Last night we reached the badlands around the Valley of the Chosen where we made camp along a jagged ridgeline. Just over the crest, as far as the eye could see, the harsh volcanic landscape was dotted with tomb entrances and monuments whose golden inlays sparkled in the bright moonlight; all of which were centered along a main corridor of grand burial crypts.

It was an equally exhilarating and daunting sight as I was not looking forward to traversing volcanic rock and leaping over molten rivers. And I have to say there's been some strange goings-on as we draw nearer to our goal. This morning I could swear that the earth itself shook me awake and in the last fitful moments of sleep I dreamt of being consumed by fire, sinking deeper and deeper into an endless ocean of flame. As I jerked back to the realm of the waking I saw Amal sleeping like a freshly suckled pig, clutching his empty rum cask like the teat of a generous mother. It must have been in my head, perhaps an anxious dream brought on by the anticipation of the final leg of our journey and the riches that might be buried in the valley ahead.

But later, as we broke camp, I noticed something very peculiar. We arrived last night well after sunset and I would have bet my life we made our camp at the foot of a massive statue. This morning, it was missing. I was dumbstruck. Not only was it gone but there were gargantuan footprints leading away from it like those of a man wearing heavy boots, only many times larger. They were deep and the stride was long as if the statue had just walked off in the night or some massive man had slung it over his shoulder and made off with it.

When I told Amal he seemed surprised at first, but then brushed it off. He insisted there was no statue, that the full moon played a cruel trick on me. I think he saw it too, I'm certain of it, but he's so focused on finding treasure that he won't admit to any distractions.

If that weren't enough, as we made our way down into the valley I could swear I saw an entire caravan of men and women dressed in long gray robes and heavy armor off in the distance. They were traveling northward along the ridgeline next to the tombs, chanting as they went. By the time I got Amal to stop gaping at the gold inlay on the temple door we were going to pry open, he missed seeing them entirely. I feel as though I'm losing my mind but I'm quite positive we are not alone here.

I don't suppose it matters much at this point. We've reached our goal, the tomb marked on Amal's map is right beneath our feet. This one, among so many, supposedly holds grand riches. Perhaps once we're inside, I can breathe easy away from all the weirdness happening out here; if we can figure out how to get the damned thing open.

See also: