I once grumbled when I read reports with long gaps between entries, thinking it was mere unprofessionalism that lead to such things. It was not long into actually doing this on my own that I realized the truth. All too often, the habit is broken by dangerous circumstances, the need for quick action, or quite simply exhaustion. The resulting information from such entries is often missing key details as a result, tender bits of knowledge left at the side of the road, forgotten to the ages.
Still, the reflection upon such events that create these gaps is important. I am afraid to report that my initial mission of [REDACTED] is going to have to wait for some time now. I had intended on returning to [REDACTED] swiftly after making it to the Serpent River, leaving my current travelling companions if I could not convince them to come with me. However, recent events have made another effort far more important. I will attempt to explain.
Following the battle with the cultist “Assassins” from Dunhold, the survivors were put on trial and questioned, only to be killed by more infiltrators in the courthouse. This, combined with the information we had already gathered, gave the feuding tribes enough evidence at outside manipulation to allow them to combine efforts to fund an expedition to the base of operations of the cult. As such, we set out, funded and backed by a large number of Namegivers who were ready to go to war if our expedition did not uncover the horror constructs and their creators to their satisfaction.
The Cult made its home in a Kaer we have since discovered was once named “Enduring Hope”. On our way there, we came across a survivor from a Caravan that had been attacked. Upon following him back, we found a horror construct that was able to lull Namegivers into a sense of peace and calm while it removed their blood and skinned them. Di’oq, ever focused and never without hate, was able to shake off its unnatural effects and fought it for long enough for the rest of us to come to our senses. Freeing the merchants, we made way to a set of ruins that were being avoided by the wildlife. Making camp, we discovered that the ruins were a back entrance to the Kaer. We left the merchants in the ruins with enough supplies to last them nearly a week, told them of the force behind us, and if they ran out of food, to make for our backup as fast as they could and let them know what happened. We then proceeded into the Kaer.
The Kaer had clearly fallen during the Scourge, and this was enough to set everyone on edge. Most, but not all of the traps had been disabled, and all of the wards had been destroyed and rendered inoperative, seemingly from within. The history of the Kaer and its people will be detailed in full in a following document, as there is much that has been learned about it from the survivors.
In general, there were three groups of Namegivers that survived. Namegivers that had been transformed to resemble goats, the “Skins”, and the Cultists of the Red King, the “Assassins” we had been sent to deal with. While the Kaer itself had clear signs of being warped by horrors, it did not apparently seem to house any horrors itself, though horror constructs abounded. Of the three groups of survivors, the Goat people and the “Skins” were approachable and for the most part sane and untouched by Horrors. The Cultists, however, worshipped a Horror known as the Red King, who left the Kaer centuries ago, before the end of the Scourge. The Cultists seemed to engage in activities they felt the Red King would see favorably, in hopes that he would return to them.
After scouring the Kaer and noting multiple deficiencies in design that likely led to the eventual fall of the Kaer, we were able to find and destroy the main holdout of the Cultists, with help from the Goat people and an unlikely ally [REDACTED], who [REDACTED] in exchange for letting him leave alive. I will give him this, he knows when to drive a difficult bargain, and I have faith we will meet again. He was true to his word, however, so I will remember that in the future.
The Cultists defeated, we began to search their holdings for evidence of their involvement in the attacks against the two tribes who were currently waiting to get back to fighting. Despite several hardships involving a horror tainted tome, we found the evidence we needed and made our way back to Dunhold to settle the whole matter. Leaving the Goat people in charge, taking what records and information we could with us to learn more of the Red King, and with no small amount of wealth from the gems in the Kaer.
However, due to several incidents within the Kaer, it is increasingly likely that several of us have been in some way touched or marked by the Horror that once lived here, and more over, this Horror may have had cults all over Barsaive, waiting until the scourge ended until they began sowing chaos for his benefit. Lavnic and Kargul, seemingly unaffected and eager to move on, have left. The rest of us, however, seem to be of a similar mindset. While the Therans are still an overt threat, this, I believe, needs to take priority for now, at least for me. I will be providing further notes and clarifications as they come to me and are relevant, and this Journal will still contain my own thoughts on the matter, but until further notice, I will likely be travelling with this group for some time. We are discussing the name we will take and the items that will link us to the group’s pattern. The Unbroken is what we have agreed upon as a name, and my link to it will be in the form of a Ledger, a chronicle of our adventures. I will still keep this journal, as it will help to add perspective to our public writings, but I suspect that by the end of this, I will have several more books to fill.