The Traitorous Journal

As The Acquisition Team explored a Druidic Temple, one of the things they found was an ancient book that given the time it spent should not be in as good condition as they found it. That is not to say it was in good condition at all, in fact it seemed very ready to fall apart at a moments notice. Treating it with much reverence Aegon was assigned to copy the book as precisely as he could. This was no easy task and he has required the help of Professor Irieaga Littleknight, Cin, and another in this task. Working diligently they had it almost completely copied before events took the journal from them.

During this primary period of study the book was found to be magical, though the magics were only barely present. Copying the book had been of primary importance, so the magics were not able to be studied, as such no one is sure what they were meant to achieve. They did not seem to impede the party in any way, and it would seem they would be responsible for the books continued existence given its age. Since the book has been taken, it can only be hoped the magic helps to keep the book whole. The book itself was wrote in hieroglyph reminiscent of druidic symbols. Druids rarely allow others to see more than directory symbols of their language and culture, a whole tomb of their writing is a valuable find indeed.

After the book was taken, Aegon has turned his attention to translating what they have copied in hopes of finding any clues as to why anyone would want the book. Through liberal use of Comprehend Languages he was able to copy anew the book word for word in a more common tongue. The spell does not last forever unfortunately, so during downtime before he could recast, Aegon used the time to study the Hieroglyphs against his spell assisted translation in hopes of learning the language. Proper nouns are the hardest to translate, even given the comprehend language spell, so his success has been limited, otherwise as GM I have allowed him to come to an understanding of the text that allows him to recognize what it means. However, he understands the written form only, this has not given him any understanding of the actual language. Aegon has since begun training Cin to recognize the written symbols.

Though these efforts the party has learned that this book is indeed a journal, written by a druid during the time of the Demon Wars. It has thus far detailed him accepting appointment at a town or temple, presumably the temple unearthed, and his life from that point. The journal entries are sporadic, months of time passing between entries. The entries themselves detail important events, the wedding of a friend, a demon attack on the druids hometown, various events that while interesting are largely inconsequential.

Nearly a quarter of the way through the book, the druid reveals in his journal that he has since become an elder at the temple and that he has taken on a great deal of responsibilities, both for the common folk, and for the war. From this point the journal becomes more regularly kept, with entries detailing attacks by demons and attacks on the demons. A prominent hieroglyph starts showing up, assumed to be a name, that is mentioned as a leader of the demon armies. This commander or general has had a great deal of success in its campaign against the druids and has proven amazingly adept at strategy and tactics given the demons erratic behavior. The druid leaves a note saying it he fears this demon may prove too much for the moral world.

From that point on the druid seems to become single minded in finding a way to rid the world of this particular demon commander, he takes on a few understudies with this pursuit as their goal. An entry details how they spent a great deal of time deciding how to permanently rid the world of this demons presence. Their troubles being that the demons, in the destruction of their bodies, don’t actually die, but are released from this plane only to be sent back to the pits from whence they came only to be able to return later. Killing this commander would not solve their problems, they needed to imprison it, but how?

Further entries describe the creation of a prison that would house the demon soul, trapping it in the prison potentially for eternity. To do so they seek out arcane and forbidden magics that might help them in this goal. Finding special metals and sorcery they fasion a soul stealing sword, a scimitar, that would bind the demon soul within it upon the demons death, thus preventing the demon from returning to Khyber, or to the mortal realm. This scimitar, this prison, would not be solid, thus allowing it to be separated and hidden. Finding or Destroying any one piece would not be enough to release the demon, the prison would have to be reconstructed before it could be opened.

This however presented them with a problem, despite the prison intended as a prison, it was still functionally a scimitar, a weapon, and a soul drinking weapon at that. It was unknown what the demon soul might do to it, and continuing to use the prison as a weapon would only serve to feed the demon more souls. They had created a powerful item, and its function would make it more powerful still. Even separating the pieces might make for three separate items whos properties could not be predicted, but would certainly be valued. The entirety of their operations was kept as secret as possible, in the hopes that they could dispose of the items unknown to the world as well.

The druids believe in the cycle of life, and it was unthinkable that they permanently remove any being from that cycle no matter how terrible it might be. To this end the druid created a way to find the pieces, and detailed that process within his journal. He called it treason for him to do so, but he could not in good conscience take anything away from the natural order. Each piece of the prison, the blade, the handle, and the brace were inscribed with arcane symbols that would allow a person to find them given the right knowledge.

Towards the end of the journal Aegon was able to find the appropriate passages, which he then gave to Cin who is the resident arcane expert. They have two of three symbols, unfortunately the third symbol remains in the journal and was not copied.

Rituals

As the Journal details the creation of the prison, it also details not only the purpose, but their intents. Druids believe in a circular life cycle, ending a life allows the soul to be reincarnated and start anew. Even with Demons, ending their lives on the physical planes only meant the demon would return to their hellish dimension. Given time the demons could always return to the mortal plane.

This prison however was intended to capture a demons soul, and prevent it from returning to its hellish origins. The prison would effectively remove it from the cycle of life. This would go against everything the druids believed, and as such they could not allow it to be a permanent solution. The prison, to remain secure, was intended to be broken down into component pieces making it harder to breach. So that the process could be reversed, each piece was inscribed with an arcane symbol, and the journal detailed a ritual for each piece that would allow a person the ability to locate and retrieve each piece.

It fell to Cin to translate these passages, as she is the resident arcane expert. Arcane magic however is very different from divine magic, and is not something suspected to ever have been found during the time the druids dominated Khorvaire. To Cin’s surprise, these instructions and the spells are very rudimentary, and yet also very complex. In detailing it I compared it to the Antikythera Mechanism of our own world. These rituals were crafted using the basic processes all arcane students learn in their first few years, yet combined in a way as to achieve something spectacularly complex in relation.

Thus far Cin has translated the first ritual and the team is currently following it to its conclusion.

The Traitorous Journal

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