The Journal of Brek

652 ME, September 23

My first new entry upon my return from the Dark Dimension. I wish my feet were on Alteris soil under better circumstances. After having tracked my prey for countless years across the shadow plains, it escaped, back into this world. What’s worse, the techniques for tracking the being do not appear to be affective on this side of the Dark Dimension. I pray to Tset that it doesn’t find a host. The light here is far brighter than I had imagined. I will have to travel at night and sleep during the day until my eyes and body have adjusted to the sun.

652 ME, September 30

When I first arrived I came into Filenfoe, not far from Ziggurat. After meeting with a Poek Pamatang Master there, I was caught up on the happenings of this world. It appears much has happened in my absence. I have so far been unable to locate my prey. It is hard to believe a creature without flesh could survive so well here, in a world so devoid of spiritual energy. And yet, the beings of Alteris have managed to draw on the magic here in great amounts. It is puzzling. I had hoped to capture the thing within a day, but it could be anywhere by now. As I had believed, it cannot find host in just anyone. It would have to find someone who has a similar heritage.

652 ME, October 4

I have made my way to Mul Debbon. It is colder than I had anticipated. Snow is unfamiliar to me, as is ice, but the people have been welcoming enough. Their Elken worshipers are most helpful. After informing them of my mission to track down my prey, they agreed to help me however they could. A Roh Jahat can cause terrible damage if left unchecked, however they assured me it would be unlikely to find a host among their people. I do not fully believe this, however. While these Elkenhammers claim to be pure, I have read the ancient records of my people. Some have been known to make questionable choices. And there have even been recorded instances of their souls being corrupted, and their hammers turning to cursed tools of the dark gods. I hope this is not so, but I must be diligent.

652 ME, October 10

My fears proved right. While I camped two nights ago, I found evidence of a magical scuffle. The Roh Jahat had found someone, and engaged in combat with them. The residue was clear: the Roh Jahat had taken them. There is a nechrin among these people now. I tracked the prints of the newly born nechrin for over three miles, but the trail was lost as I came out onto the shelf of the forever winter glacier. Although I did not find the nechrin, I did find evidence of who it had claimed: there was a torn green robe stuck in the crag of the ice, embroidered with a five point antler. The nechrin is an Elkenhammer.

652 ME, October 21

I’ve been searching tirelessly to find the cursed being, but without success. I have found victims, however. Dozens. What’s worse, in each case, these poor souls are listed officially as being wild animal attacks, frequently boar attacks. I can see how officials would confuse the attacks on the first few occasions, as the victims are torn apart. But the frequency of attacks should be garnering more suspicion. This leads me to believe the nechrin is evolving. It has to have drawn greater influencing power from somewhere. But where.

652 ME, November 11

Someone else has shown interest in tracking this nechrin. I’ve found reports on a few occasions of a scarg following the killings, but after a few other incidents, the leads to this individual have dried up. What’s worse, the nechrin appears to have gone into dormancy following the inquiries of this scarg. I am sure they meant no harm, but what was it they did to cause the creature to end its spree. This is good for the people of this nation, but bad for my search. Without more evidence I am unable to find and destroy the being.

654 ME, June 14

In the years that have passed, I have found solace in the arms of another hastu. She does not practice Poek Pamatang as I do, but nevertheless we have bonded in matrimony. Life is hard enough without sharing it with another. I continue my work by selling sword skill to protect the people of this nation of Mul Debbon, but I cannot lose sight of my true enemy. This nechrin will show itself once more. And I am sure it will be in this region. Short of some major change, they always stick to a hunting ground.

656 ME, November 10

It has been years since I’ve found any evidence, but tonight, it returned. And surprisingly, it was the same scarg who caught the nechrin once more. I now have a name: Daroth. The Elkenhammer was caught in the act by this child scarg, but he escaped via magical enchantment. He is stronger than I realized. The child has vanished, and I hope she is safe, but this will not stop me from completing my mission. The Elkenhammer dies tonight.

656 ME, December 4

I smote the being. Daroth was consumed by the greed and chaos of the spirit which took him. For it to have taken such great hold, he must have already been willing to follow the dark ones. His spells were strong, but what I found surprising was the man was without his hammer. Curious. After driving him forth for weeks, weakening his spirit and magic, I confronted him on the edge of the glacier ever winter. He laughed. I do not know why. I destroyed him. And completed the purification ritual for his remains. But something remained with me; I did not feel the release of darkness I have felt before when doing the ritual. What is wrong, I wonder.

667 ME, January 22

I have become aware that my brother has come from the dark dimension. I attempted to reach him, but to no avail. He is young, and does not abide the Poek Pamatang as one should. I worry about him. Little Ott’san has always been headstrong, a warrior in his blood, and honorable, but I do not know his intentions in coming to this world. Perhaps he hopes to leave our ways, to join with the people of this world. I have sent him many letters, with no response. I hope he knows the danger that could befall him here. The nechrin is seeking, always looking, for someone to make it strong.

667 ME, June 11

My spouse has borne a child. Her name is as my own: Sal Brek. I am saddened that she must share my surname, the name of a dark one who fell generations ago. I have dedicated my life to the destruction of the spirit of Avantun, but he has alluded me, just as he did my fathers and theirs back to the time of his first kill. Some nechrins die harder than others. I had thought I’d destroyed him fully those eleven years ago. But the smear of his darkness remains in the aura around me. I cannot discover why. He was destroyed, and purified. But he laughed. The nechrin knew something. But what? I must discover this.

680 ME, September 3

I have returned to Filenfoe, in search of an ancient records cache in the Naekiin mountains. My family remains in Mul Debbon. I will return to them, and I miss them dearly, but this question has gnawed at me for too long. When I find the records, I am assured I will find answers about how the servants of Wize are born, and what it takes to create and destroy a nechrin of such incredible power as the one who possessed Avantun Brek. If I cannot stop this creature, I fear it could come for my daughter. She shares the lineage. Now she is at risk.

700 ME, August 17

Finally. The house of records was deep in a canyon cave. The traps of my ancestors still lingering there. I did not know how long had past until I emerged, and reviewed the stars. Twenty years. My body is weak, sustained for so long only through magic and what fungal morsel I could find in those dark depths. But I have my answer. The nechrin, they need a vessel. Not only a living one, but one of magical power, an object. That is why it chose the Elkenhammer. His weapon housed the soul of the nechrin, so that it could do its dark deeds at will without fear of destruction. The hammer was not with Daroth when i smote him. It could be anywhere by now. Until I am able to find it, and destroy it, I cannot be sure of the safety of my daughter. I fear the worst already. I must return home, I hope to find her there, safe.

702 ME, July 5

My daughter is safe. But my beloved spouse has passed. She fell in the field one day, a natural death they said, but I cannot be sure. I am glad that Sal came to no harm, and that she welcomed me back. I feared she would hate me after so long gone in the wilds. Upon my return to Mul Debbon, I began again my search. I hoped the hammer would be simply placed among the others of the Order’s fallen, but it was not. After reviewing records of the time of Daroth, I discovered the hammer was stolen before I smote him. By the very same scarg who had interfered in my investigation. She’s since disappeared into hiding. I tracked her to the shores, but from there, the trail is dead. And so is my hope of finding the damned creature before it is too late.

730 ME, December 31

My life is nearing an end. I have lived many years. And hunted many dark beings. The worlds are safer thanks to the work of my clan. But I could not stop nor find the nechrin who took Daroth, nor could I find the hammer which housed the dark spirit. It is out there somewhere. I hope only it has not corrupted the one who carries it. If it is still with the scarg, perhaps it is safe. But I fear what would happen should it ever draw blood, or be used in anger. I pass on my life’s work to my daughter. Sal has sworn the Poek Pamatang, and has traveled between the worlds. I hope she finds greater peace in her life than I did in mine. Farewell.

820 ME, June 20

My father left this journal among his personal affects. After reviewing it, I found his notes regarding an ancient evil. I have been dreaming of late. That this evil was awake, and seeking blood. Somewhere in the world, this thing which my father sought to kill, is awakening. I feel the call of it, pulling me toward Tandavar. I must go there, and seek to destroy it. The seas are generally calm this time of year, but something else is afoot. A sickness. I have found many villages afflicted. I do not know what is the cause, but the chaos marks a stamp that is unforgettable. Wize. He is at work, and the wakening of that hammer could be in part related, it is hard to know.

820 ME, August 1

I have arrived on the island, and what I found has disturbed me. The place had befallen a terrible ailment. Many were sick or had died. But some group of adventurers were here as well, and they set to work in helping the local populace. What’s more, there was a scarg with them. Could it be that my father’s search and my own has led me this close to an answer? I am unsure. Without greater information I am only speculating. I will investigate deeper and discover the truth of what happened here. Hopefully soon. From what I have gathered, I have missed the traveling adventurers who aided on this island only by a matter of weeks. But by sea travel, it could take months to find them.

820 ME, October 3

It appears the travelers who came to the island in Tandavar were quite busy. Although I do not know the bulk of why they were here to begin with, some other key information has come to light. While these adventurers were here, they found some way to cleanse the disease that afflicted the people. And they came across an Elkenhammer who was assigned to the island also. he was called Jareth Keen, and the locals had a great respect for him. It appears my suspicions were true, also, for the scarg that was among these adventurers did have a hammer in her possession. And it held a curse. Daroth’s weapon contained the nechrin, and it wasn’t until it tasted blood once more that the threat awakened within it. Jareth gave his life to destroy the abomination, but he did not know the proper rite of purification. The spirit is free once more. And I give chase. It is headed toward the lands eastward, for what I do not know.

820 ME, November 22

My father once told me I have a long lost uncle. He went to Udai. That is where the spirit is gone to. I’ve entered the borders on the empire, in the northern hemisphere, but the shadow is hiding somewhere. I fear this uncle is in danger, for he could be a vessel to this dark thing. I have inquired about one of hastu birth here, but without more to go off of, I could be searching for many moons before I find anything of substance. What was his name? Father must have recorded it somewhere. Surely the surname of Brek would follow this uncle wherever he has gone.

820 ME, November 30

The air here is thick. Difficult for my lungs. I have discovered that there are many magical communities in this area. This posses a threat. If the creature is seeking a strong one to bind with, it will find no shortage here. But with great fortune, most of the beings in this land of Udai hold not to the old traditions. This will put the creature at an impasse for finding someone who is of the mind to receive it. I have found record stating that a one Ott’san Brek was given to the house Zhu some 50 years ago. Apparently he fought on behalf of the lord of the house, and protected his prefecture against incredible odds. This bought him favor, and a new name. Perhaps this is why finding him has proven so difficult. He is no longer Ott’san. He is Shigenori Zhu now. Although I have never met him, I am beholden to protect my family. It is the will of Tset.

820 ME, December 1

My search has led me to the city of Oshu, on the southeastern border of the Shinrai prefecture. A rebellion is brewing here. House Zhu remains in strong control of the region, with their armies and commanders setting up to repel the people who are embroiled against them. No information is being allowed out of the region, either, a sort of silence campaign to prevent spread of knowledge about the insurrection. But there is a leader at the center of it. A traveling mentor calling herself The Left Hand. She has garnered incredible support from the lower caste, as she offers education, magical training, and promises greater freedom to those not of noble houses or birth. House Zhu sees her actions as treason. And rightly so. But still, it is hard not to judge the behavior of another nation on my own standards. Is this insurrection a coincidence? or is the spirit working on these people also?

820 ME, December 4

Tensions are boiling. The Left Hand has called together a council of warrior mages, and they are arming their followers. One follower in particular has caught my interest however: They are elderly, yet they show incredible power and youthful vigor. His name is Shin. I have followed his movements for the last two days, and I suspect this Shin is in a pact with the spirit of the nechrin. Either fully or partly. Perhaps not even with his knowledge. But I must be careful here. If I reveal too much too soon I could drive him into hiding. The civil unrest brewing here has forced house Zhu to impose martial law, and the roads in or out are shut for now. I am marooned, until the conflict is abated.

820 ME December 10

An outbreak of Starblood Scourge has ravaged The Left Hand’s forces. Some say the toxin was given intentionally, to increase their magical power. But I do not believe The Left Hand would have done this knowing the dangers of it. She loves her followers. Her desires are not toward their harm. Shin, however has shown a wanton disregard for those who follow The Left Hand. After a closer inspection of his dwelling, I found two barrels lined inside with opalescent lacquer. Evidence of Starblood being stored there. I believe either he brought it here to cause the outbreak, or even conjured it, with the aid of a dark god. This alone is enough for me to confirm my suspicion. He is connected to this spirit.

820 ME December 14

War has erupted. The Left Hand’s army, weakened by the Starblood Scourge, fell quickly. She was taken, along with the remainder of her loyalists, and sent away. But Shin was not found. I tracked him, headed south into the lands abroad. It wasn’t hard to find him. He spread Starblood Scourge everywhere he went. I poured through my father’s notes. It appears the nechrin is drawing power from this damage. If I cannot stop it soon, it may be too late. Where is he going? Why south? Unless he is looking for Shigenori as well. My uncle shares the blood of Brek. He would be a powerful component of the dark rituals this nechrin is seeking to complete. It has done enough damage. I will end this.

820 ME December 20

I was too late. I found Shin. But the Scourge had taken him. His body was burned and the remains buried in a brass urn to prevent spread of his infection. But his personal affects were missing. The dark cloud of the spirit is still in my minds eye. I know it remains at large. But without finding what he could have attached it to in his collection of items I have hit a wall. I know he was heading south. And after doing more research I see that the last record of my uncle shows he was in Kessho, not too far south from here. A caravan of supplies is heading that way later this week and I will travel with them. It is difficult to say where Shin’s items have gone. Could he have had his own acolytes? If so, they too would have the Starblood scourge. I will keep an eye out for spread of the illness.

820 ME December 25

I arrived in Kessho prefecture without incident. Reports so far show no signs of continued Starblood poisoning along this route either. Was I wrong? After arriving in the prefecture, I set out to locate my uncle. The local house of record indicated his last residence was in Ichi, a township outside the Zhu principality of Norio. I worked my way toward the township, but found Ichi devoid of my uncle. He had left some time before. Apparently Lord Zhu himself had assigned him a duty post of great honor. But where I am not allowed to know. The records are held confidentially in the empire, and I, not a citizen, am not given access.

821 ME June 8

I have had to find work in selling my own warrior skills to pay for my lodging here. There is no shortage for the need of skills such as mine. An infestation of Bellibubs outside of Norio garnered my attention and earned me no small fee. I should be well provided for for the rest of my time in this prefecture. Puzzling though. The bellibubs seemed to be expecting me. All servants of Wize appear to be connected. How could I have not seen this. I have to find them once more. They will know.

821 ME June 13

I tracked the bellibubs. They’re not hard to find. The smell gives them away. It is dangerous to involve yourself with them. But after a careful bout of riddles I was able to determine what was happening. They betrayed their god Wize to me. This nechrin which my family has been tracing for eons, it wants my family. It is seeking my uncle. At first I took comfort in this. But the squealing laughter of the goblins revealed their knowledge. I pressed them for more, and they told me Wize knew where he was. And those who served him were on their way to his location, far off toward Tandavar. I must find his location, and warn him, before it is too late.

821 ME July 7

After a series of minor break ins, I have found that my uncle is assigned as a land baron in the region of Onsen, a small island on the eastern side of Tandavar. I make way there now. I have sent a letter to him, in hopes he will meet me half way. But I doubt he will. He never replied to my father. He never took the time. He doesn’t want to relive the past. I don’t blame him. Our family lives in infamy for the crimes of our ancestor Avantun. I hope that the nechrin is unable to complete its work. If another being finds connection to that evil spirit, it could spell doom for all of us.

821 ME July 15

I have arrived at the shores, but finding passage has been difficult. There appears to be a bounty on me for my stealing of information regarding my uncle. I’ve had to use influence magic on many occasions to escape. What’s worse, my letter returned to me. It was opened, but there was no reply. Whether my uncle read it or not I do not know. But the message was clear. He doesn’t want to see me. I have no choice, though. I know from the bellibubs that Shin’s artifact is headed to Onsen. It is a staff. Enchanted with powerful divining magic. Anyone foolish enough to lay hands on it and live will be bewitched, and might not even know it. If they complete the ritual of Avantun, all of this time, my life, my father’s, will be for nothing.

821 ME August 19

I have arrived on Onsen Island. A festival is being set up, which has complicated things. The guards of house Zhu where my uncle resides have prevented my audience with him. Fortunately the bounty on me appears not to have reached Tandavar yet. So I still have time.

821 ME August 20

I found the staff. It has become an object of interest for many festival comers though. They do not know the danger it possesses. I attempted to remove it and destroy it, but the spells around it are thick. I have been cursed. I am growing weak, and if that staff is taken by another, I will be unable to defend myself when the spirit returns. I prepare the rite of combat, my final contrition. If everything goes well, I will destroy the creature, and end this terrible scourge.

Published by AC Moore

My goal is to one day change the world in the same way Shakespeare did: by infusing the thoughts of the human race with such language and turn-of-phrase that they say them daily, and never even know it was I who wrote it.

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