The collective story of brother Galarith of The abbey of Sarth.

Date: 4/20/2014 at 7:20
From: Anonymous
To : Everyone
Subj: The collective story of brother Galarith of The abbey of Sarth.

To whom reads this composition of my words and memories:
As a monk of Ishap, The Balancer of all things, and as a librarian at heart I have compiled my journal entries here not as embellishment or fiction, but I write them so that history will record the monumental event that occurred, that I have had both the privilege and wretched luck to have taken part in.

Journal Entry - 3rd Staphron
Today I discovered something extraordinary. The abbot has sent me to retrieve a book this afternoon from deep inside the library vault. The book has the ominous title of "Brother Kendrick's view on interdimensional planes of existence travel.", for what reason the abbot would read hearsay scripture is beyond me, but that is not the exceptional part. As I searched the library cut deep into the mountain I discovered a particular bookcase that looked displaced, recently moved. As I tried to move this back into place, I discovered the unbelievable. It was a secret entrance, leading to a hidden garden built on a small, hidden plateau surrounded by the gigantic walls of mountain rock. I have not yet found the book the abbot requested, but I shall continue my search for it tomorrow, after I have explored the garden to a larger extent.

Journal Entry - 4th Staphron
The garden is overrun with wildflowers and weeds. The last time it was kept in any order I can not guess at, but that it was once kept is clear. There is a glorious fountain in the middle, but no water runs from the channels cut through the stone. At the back of the garden I have found a entrance to some burial chamber, catacombs for some long-lost family or possibly even the followers of Ishap themselves. As I travelled further into these catacombs I discovered a distinct change in the environment, from catacombs to some sort of labyrinth. This discovery leaves me very excited, as surely there must be great knowledge hidden within this labyrinth, and tomorrow I will begin to excavate this place. If I find anything, I shall inform the abbot immediately, and I hope to report finding hidden texts and long lost writings within the day.

Journal Entry - 5th Staphron
I have started into the labyrinth, and find myself seeing and hearing odd things in the shadows. Sometimes I feel lost and disorientated, and other times I feel I am being called to move forward. Forward towards the end of this long trek. But my mind plays tricks on me, and the journey has been weary. I will spend what I think is night in this place, and head back towards the entrance in the morning.

Journal Entry - 6th Staphron
I have made a monumental mistake, and I can not believe I was so reckless! I have spent another day walking the road before me, without reaching any end. I now believe I have spent the day not walking back towards the abbey, but rather deeper into the heart of this forsaken place. I call this place forsaken for surely there is dark magic at work here. I see things from the corner of my eyes, yet if I turn towards them, there is nothing but shadows cast by my now low-burning lantern. I am more and more fearful every passing moment, but there is no clear reason or target for my fears. I was overcome by terror for an hour, sure that my life would be ended by something with red eyes and sharp claws, yet, there is nothing to suggest that such a creature has ever walked this path. I sleep now, maybe I will find peace in my dreams.

Journal Entry - 8th Staphron
Sleep came eventually, but I have no idea if it is day or night. My senses betray me and I have now learned to ignore them. When things rush at me from the shadows I simply ignore them and carry on. The torment is weighing heavily on my soul and I have even prayed for Lims-Kragma to take me and judge me for my stupidity. I know not if I grow thirsty or hungry, as my only focus has become to escape. I only drink from the little water I have left when I feel the blood seeping through the cracks in my lips, and the last of the bread and cheese I devoured yesterday in a delusional attempt to eat myself to death.

Journal Entry - 9th Staphron
I write now my last words on this mortal plane. Strength has left me and I fear the shadows will swallow me soon, and I pray only to Ishap it is painless.

Journal Entry - Unknown
I know not where to begin! I died in this place, yet, I woke moments later, my thirst quenched and my hunger stilled. At first I believed I was once again delusional, for before me stood a mighty and terrifying being. Lims-Kragma in all Her glory, chilling and beautiful, silent as Death. When I thanked Her for returning me to the plane of the living, a bone-chilling, ear-piercing laugh escaped Her that terrified me to my core. I feared Her laugh as inauspicious, and my fears are realised. She spoke then, Her voice flat and lifeless, the tone striking fear into my very being. "You are welcome, Dominique," She spoke to me. "For you will abide by My side in this place for all eternity. I am the a Goddess, and you will serve Me as I please." And then, as if to show me Her will, She shot a bolt of midnight-blue lightning at my body, and I dropped dead once more, only to be returned to Her side moments later.

Journal Entry - Unknown
I fear She is right. There is no escape from Her will. How does one escape the will of Death? I have tried reason, I have tried ending my life, I have tried running till I could no longer breath. Yet, as soon as I see hope, I am instantly returned to Her side. All I can think is that the Gods have forsaken me, that they have given me to Lims-Kragma to torment for all eternity. This surely is hell.

Journal Entry - Unknown
Today I tried to communicate with someone while my formless soul floated in Her halls. She however ripped me back to life as soon as I tried to speak. I saw others, but they were as mindless as many are within that realm of death and rebirth. Sometimes I think they see me, yet there is no way to speak, there is no asking for help, there is no absolution to be had. The gods have forsaken me, and I cruse them.

The above is my first-hand accounts of the event. To follow is what I have learned from others:

The Moredhel Amasel was the first to hear it. Something calling her to the Halls of Death. She is renowned as a follower of Lims-Kragma, and had recognised the calls of her Lady at once. She did now know what it was her mistress had to say to her, but she knew it was important, that She Who is Death wished her to see something remarkable.

The second to receive a vision was Cailin, a priest of the cult of Veil. He was shown a vision of a young dwarf he did not know walk up to him and request to be in service of the Drawer of Nets, and that this dwarf must die to serve his Lady. He once received visions such as this from his Lady a long time past, and knew it for what it was: a prophecy to be fulfilled. And mere hours later, just such a dwarf with midnight-black hair tied in a ponytail walked up to him. He introduced himself as Bael, and asked to serve the Drawer of Nets. Cailin explained the vision to the dwarf, and that if he truly wanted to serve, he would have to die. The brave dwarf understood and requested of Cailin to end his life, if it would please Lims-Kragma.

I have heard it told that both the adventurers saw me enter Her halls, and leave before I could plead with them for help. But they saw my form, a monk of Ishap, and knew instantly where they must travel; to the abbey at Sarth where the monks of The Balancer live. The abbot says that he was quite surprised when the two came to his office, as they a very unlikely pair to visit him, being a Moredhel woman warrior and a stout dwarf from the Grey Towers. The abbot told them about my sudden disappearance from his service, and explained that I was last seen in the Library seeking a book. So they went with him to investigate, and found the exact bookcase I found, which was the entrance into the twisted, gods-forsaken labyrinth.

I hear tales of the bravery of those who tried to reach the center, knowing that the truth of what they saw in the Halls of Death lay at the end of the labyrinth, as Amasel and Bael were now joined with by the Moredhel Styxx in their search. Many times they had to die and be reborn as they faced utter madness and certain failure, yet still they did not give up, they had faith in what was asked of them to do, and so they continued to try.

When the stout dwarf reached the end of the labyrinth, he was first to discover the wonder of the place. A way to communicate with the gods Themselves! A way for the brave to pray to the Gods and know it will be heard. He prayed for insight to the mystery of the monk, myself, and I am told his prayers were answered. Lims-Kragma had appeared to him and explained to him what was happening. This is what She had to say: "You see, I must first explain the Prayer Labyrinth, before I can explain the situation. A long time ago, when the universe was young, two Gods existed. Rythar, Goddess of Order. And Mythar, God of Chaos. From Their strands of power We were born, the Gods of this realm. We can exists in many places at once, as Our power is infinite, Our perceptions vast. But while We were new to this world, We created things We did not yet understand. One of these things is the Labyrinth. It is a Pathway, a connection between the Mortal world and the realm of the Gods. This realm was never meant to exist, yet there it is, a realm not to be walked by mortals or Gods, for its effects I am sure you have seen yourself. Mortals can escape it, they have the power of Mortality. Immortals such as Us can not escape this place so easily, if caught in its trap."

Then the dwarf asked the important question, the question he had died for. "So the monk with striking blue eyes, he is immortal?" he asked Her, and she replied, "There is a... let us call it manifestation of Me, trapped within the middle of this place. It is this aspect of Me, that is keeping him alive. You see, this version of Me, is unwell. Tainted by the twisting nature of this place. I need your help, Bael, you and the other mortals who have tried to help thus far. I need you to release the monk and I from the labyrinth." The dwarf was eager to help, and asked how this would be done. Lims-Kragma explained to him that certain artifacts would grant protection through the labyrinth, and she told him where to find one of them.

Together the adventurers found the artifact, and after convincing a maniacally mad monk to give it to them, they walked the labyrinth once more, though this time without the fear of death. When they reached the end of the labyrinth with the artifact in hand, they were met by a scene unlike any seen before. Lims-Kragma stated that the dwarf would stay with Her and I for all eternity. But the brave dwarf said that the labyrinth had twisted and tainted Her, and that the artifact would cleanse Her if She would only hold it. Bael, handing it to Her without Her leave, Lims-Kragma was instantly rigid and cold as a blinding white healing light washed over Her. She was Herself once more, the insanity rinsed from Her immortal self on the realm of mortals.

She transported us to a safe place, and said that She would place statues of the Gods throughout the tainted, twisted place, as protection for all the Gods in days to come. Then She awarded the adventurers with a boon, a crystal they could use in future times to once more reach the center of the labyrith. Lastly, She turned to me and with black eyes which bore through my soul as She said, "You I have wronged most of all. For this, I will grant you anything your heart desires. We shall speak in private of this, I assure you." But to this day I have not heard Her voice. I can only assume that when I finally succumb to this mortal body for the last time, I will have a few more minutes in Her presence before She judges my actions on the Wheel of life and rebirth.

Penned by my hand on the 1st of Nuna, in the year 59.