Journal Of Marsys Lightouch
15th of Fireseek 636 CY (Evening)
Troubled Thoughts On The Day
Twilight in winter on the Wooley bay. The evening stars shining down. We prevented devil worshipers from getting a book. We stopped the shipment of plague to who knows how far across the Flaness. If it was not for the guarded, unconscious and bound anti-paladin behind me, I would feel positively all warm and fuzzy inside. But a gut wrenching aura of evil and thoughts of plagues can spoil an evening’s pipe quicker than a bucket of water at a campfire. Alright, since I’ve hit my folksy analogy limit for the day…I’ll enlighten this travelog about the disease Yellow Eye.
Before I was born but not out of living memory for my family, about 53 years ago, there was a plague in Elmshire. People would get a sickly pale yellow color in their eyes and lose all desire for food or drink. And even force feeding them would not stop the disease from slowly starving them to death. 1,300 adults died. 3,800 children. Seven mass graves beyond the southern farms are marked by Carins to remember it all. As if we need carins to remember. I suppose in a few hundred years we would. But any gathering of our parents and grandparents in Elmshire will contain the phrase: “Remember old goodsmoke…died of the eye.” “Whatever happened to the Morninglight family…oh yes…left town when all the little ones died in ’83”
It did not effect humans. Gnomes got it but only were sick and none died. No dwarves. No elves. It killed Halflings. It killed efficiently. It was as if it was designed to kill Halflings. Never really thought it was actually designed to kill us before, except as a poetic phrase.
But behind the Paladin guarding the prisoner are about a dozen flasks with worms each labeled with the names of diseases made by the cleric of Incabulos. I looked at the one labeled “Yellow Eye” right before I came over here to write. I suppressed the desire to wake/interrogate the anti-paladin by kicking him in his face repeatedly. I bet he wouldn’t answer. I bet he’d smile. Then I’d have to find out if I’d ever kill someone tied up and unarmed. And since I would like to believe I wouldn’t…I just came over here.
Then there is the Ghost Tower. My excitement about that helps to set aside my hate for the moment. I remember the old narrative about it the fishermen used to tell:
Know you that in the elder days before the Invoked Devastation and the Rain of Colorless Fire, when the ancient peaks of the Abbor-Alz still thrust skyward sharp and majestic and the Flan tribesmen were but newcomers to the land, there existed between the Bright Desert and the mouth of the river Selintan a great fortress called Inverness. The walls of this castle were said to be proof against enemies and all things magical or natural.
Know you also that here was said to dwell the great wizard Galap-Dreidel at the height of his power and glory, and that he did lift the Castle Inverness from the very foundation of rock upon which it rested.
Most grand and terrible of all Galap-Dreidel’s work was the keep’s great inner tower; for it was there that the wizard’s most prized possession, an eldritch jewel known only as the “Soul-Gem”, was said to rest. Legend says that it was like a great white diamond and that it glowed with the brilliance of the sun
In years long past it had fallen from the sky and landed in the foothills of Abbor-Alz where Galap-Dreidel discovered it as it lay in the fires of its glory. Through magicks most arcane and knowledge forbidden to mortal men he did bend its power and shape the stone to his will. Stories say that the light of the gem dragged the souls of men screaming from their mortal flesh and trapped them within its many facets. Galap-Dreidel, it was said, harnessed this power and used it against those who opposed his will. They also say that he who controlled the gem could call forth the stolen souls of men and make them do his bidding.
For the stone Galap-Dreidel raised up the great central tower and filled his castle with many horrible creatures and deadly traps and, using a great incantation, he did wrest the tower from the very fabric of time and set it apart so that those within would not be affected by the passage of years. Thus it was that his traps never faltered nor did his guardians age or need food. Townsfolk whispered that Galap-Dreidel would, at times, set a prisoner free in the tower merely for the sport of his beasts. Some legends tell that his power was so great that he even taught the gem to protect itself from those who would take it from him.
But despite his great power there came a time that Galap- Dreidel did leave on a journey northwest, over the river Selintan, and did not return. At this time there came a great multitude of superstitious peoples from surrounding lands who laid siege to the castle and threw down the great tower. And it came to pass that despite this seeming victory over their feared former master the people did shun the area and it was said that on fog-shrouded nights the great central tower of the Fortress Inverness could still be seen.
Woo hoo…now that sounds like an adventure.
Not hard to see why an infernalist would want it. Devils use souls don’t they? Eat them up and makes them strong. Or something like that. How many are in there? How many can it hold? And then bring them out to serve you! Or use them like firewood with a bucket of water the ways the gnomes do at times for that steam power they’ve been toying with. What kind of magic could you power with that? Enough to move a fortress and tower out of time apparently. What if you kill a bunch of people by plague in sacrifice to your god? Do you get their souls too? And if you had that soul gem…what could you do?
Sacrificed souls by plague. Do those souls go to Yondalla, Pelor or the other good gods they worshiped. Or do they go to Incabulos? How long has this possible plague sacrifice been going on? Obviously one family has been serving devils for 1000 years. Who is to say through Iuz and Vecna and everything else there has not been another evil plot spanning centuries…or at least decades. At least 53 years. Long enough to make me wonder about the souls of 1,300 adults and 3,800 children buried under the seven large Carin Stones past the southern farms in Elmshire.