Excerpts of the Journal of Erud Vol. I-IV
Journal Excerpt One
The company with which I travel has reached the settlement of Freeport, little more than a collection of tents and wooden huts guarded by ruffians and crawling with brigands and men of a most scrupulous nature. Despite the filth and seediness of the settlement, I must admire there are wonders to be found here unlike any I have laid eyes on in all of Antonica. Tradesmen peddle these strange wares gather from across the Ocean of Tears on a continent said to be filled with lush forests and strange humanoids, some of which are fairly hospitable to visiting foreigners. I can only assume that we humans are as strange to them as they are to us. My companions and I will attempt to charter passage on one of the trading vessels as soon as we have secured the necessary provisions for the journey.
Journal Excerpt Two
Never have I dreamt of a body of water so vast as the Ocean of Tears, although my home city of Qeynos rests against the western coast of Antonica I have never voyaged upon a ship for such great distances and so far from any visible coastline. The traders that we have purchased passage from recount tales of several islands that have been visible in the distance through the ocean mist and fog. They spoke of an island of elven women that slay any man who sets foot on their sacred shores, of goblins that live in the shallows and underwater caverns, and of one-eyed giants that hunt sharks like our fishermen hunt fish. There are even tales of lost ships that haunt the ocean, manned by crews of the dead. How much truth there is to any of the tales is questionable but if anything, they make for entertaining stories to pass the time at sea.
Journal Excerpt Three
The ship that carries my companions and I has docked on the shore of a region called the Butcherblock Mountains. Apparently this is the homeland of the Dwarves, a race of short, stocky, gruff, and hairy people with a fondness for battle and beer. I'm afraid I have not much in common with the dwarven folk but the warriors of my company seem to have taken a liking to them. There are none among us who speak their language but a few of the dwarves that reside near the docks have learned enough of our human tongue to answer basic questions we have presented to them, and beneath their gruff and rugged mannerisms they seem to possess a great deal of patience.
Journal Excerpt Four
The dwarves have been kind enough to invite us to their home city of Kaladim, a rather stuffy and cramped subterranean city built into one of the taller mountains of the Butcherblock range. The most impressive sight so far has been the enormous statue that has been carved into the very side of the mountain. Apparently it is the visage of the great dwarven king. Some of our company has taken a liking to the strong brews of the Dwarves. I fear it may be time to move on before their minds get dulled by the intoxicating substances, and the oppressiveness of being constantly surrounded by stone and the clatter of the mines echoing through out the caverns is wearing on my sanity.
Journal Excerpt Five
My company has left the dwarven capitol of Kaladim and now journeys into the deep forests of the Faydark, home of the elves. We have had the fortune of hiring a scout and translator for our journey into the land of the elves. It seems this odd individual, Tolsarian, is a Half-Elf, I had heard union between an elf and human but have never before actually had the opportunity to meet one. I found Tolsarian to be a very intelligent individual and he possessed a vast knowledge of the Faydarks and its many inhabitants. Tolsarian spoke little however of his heritage, he spoke of the humans and elves as if neither were his people, and I sensed a deep sadness in his demeanor. Tolsarians spirits did seem to lift a bit when we reached the tree city of the wood elves, the Fier'Dal I believe it was that Tolsarian called them, and were greeted by an elven maiden that appeared before us as if she had stepped forth from the very bark of the tree before us.
Journal Excerpt Six
I've found my stay in the tree city of Kelethin much more pleasing than my stay in the stifling halls of Kaladim. Some of my company do not agree with my pleasure, they find the wine of the elves to be far less enjoyable than the rich brews of the dwarves. These drunkards in my company have such simple minds to base so much of their enjoyment off the imbibing of intoxicating beverages. These Fier'Dal are a strange people, even stranger to me than the dwarves. The dwarves are blunt of speech and manner and their simple ways are easy for even the weakest minded of my companions to understand. The Fier'Dal however are puzzling. I have no doubt that they are an intelligent people but they are uninterested in scholastics and conventional knowledge. Instead these aptly named Wood Elves are frivolous and mysterious, spending all their time sneaking about the forests, caring for its wild beasts, and singing and dancing in their tree top city. Their history and lore seems to be told mostly in folklore and poetry, though they have a written language, which according to Tolsarian, is shared with their relatives the High Elves. They are however, a good people, and there is wisdom in their poetry and song.
Journal Excerpt Seven
Our friend Tolsarian has led us from Kelethin deeper into the Faydark to the High Elf, or Koada'Dal as they are called in their own tongue, city of Felwithe. I must say compared to the tree city of Kelethin, Felwithe is indeed a splendid sight to behold. It's white walls and palaces soaring high above the canopy of the forest. I am surprised to find that the Koada'Dal are much taller than their Fier'Dal relatives, their complexion is much paler and their hair and eyes the color of the stars and skies instead of the earth and trees. We received a far less hospitable welcome to the city of the High Elves than we had received in Kelethin. The guards at the cities gate questioned Tolsarian for quite some time and looked over each member of my company thoroughly before admitting us within the outer walls. Once inside the city proper it became apparent that while the Fier'Dal are wise, the Koada'Dal are the intelligent branch of the elven family. I have beheld wonders in this city beyond any I have imagined. In the northern quarter of the city is a tower where the elven sorcerers study and store their magical tomes. If only I coulg gain admittance to the tower and browse the texts myself.
Journal Excerpt Eight
A member of my company has acquired a set of High Elven tomes that he claims have come from the tower of the Keepers of the Art, the name the Koada'Dal sorcerers have given to themselves. He has not mentioned how the books came to be in his possession and I dare not ask until we are far beyond the gates of this city. Tolsarian has agreed to take us through the Faydark to the borders of the Steamfont Mountains, home of the Gnomes, creatures of distant relation to the dwarves of Butcherblock. I do not look forward to another stay in a subterranean city but from what I have heard of the gnomes, the discomfort may be rewarded with knowledge pertaining to my interests. I am also eager to be away from the condescending nature of the Koada'Dal, despite the magnificence of their city and the wonders they possess. Some of my company find my reaction to the demeanor of the high elves to be amusing but I do not share in their humor.
Journal Excerpt Nine
The Steamfont Mountains are unlike any mountain range I have beheld. Great geysers jettison steam and scalding water into the air and mist and fog blankets the ground and sky. Tolsarian has left our company for the time being and will await return at a small elven outpost in the Faydark no far from the borders of Steamfont. I have begun research to decipher the texts that were acquired in Felwithe but fear that what few tomes I have brought with me on the journey are not sufficient for proper study and I will not likely make much progress with the elven texts until I am able to return to my study in Qeynos.
Journal Excerpt Ten
My company and I have arrived and been welcomed to the Gnomish city of Ak'Anon, and I must say, of all the things I have seen on this journey the city of the gnomes is the most perplexing. The gnomes seem to be equally adept at creating material marvels as well as magical ones. There are contraptions here far more mechanically complex than those built by any culture on Norrath, including the advanced human society from which I hail. Unlike the high elves of Felwithe, the gnomes are eager to show my companions and I the marvels they have created, and are far more curious about our past, stories, and belongings than any other peoples we have encountered here in Faydwer. I believe the gnomes attitude toward my company will allow me to inquire about their magical practices and perhaps even view the tomes they have catalogued in their sorcerers academy, The Library Mechanamagica.
Journal Excerpt Eleven
A gnome magician of the Eldrich Collective, the name givento their arcane order, has allowed me entry to the Library Mechanamagica and given me quick instruction on the basics of the gnome language. In exchange for allowing the Eldrich Collective to examine the elven tomes I acquired in Felwithe they are giving me several copies of gnomish arcane books containing theories and practical applications of the magical arts. I am grateful that my journey has led me to the gnomish city despite my original apprehensionand assumption that they would be more similar to their distant relatives the dwarves. It is apparent that the gnomes are highly civilized and extremely intelligent, but I fear they are a bit too trusting of outsidersand that congenial trait may one day cause them to suffer. In a few days time my company and I shall once again meet up with the half-breed Tolsarian and he shall escort us back through the Faydark and Butcherblock Mountains to the docks so that we may charter passage on a ship back to Antonica. That should give the drunkards among my companions sufficient time to recover from their comsumption of Gnomish Spirits. From Freeport we shall charter another ship to carry us around the coastline of Antonica and back to our homes in Qeynos. I am eager to return to my study and learn all I can of these elven and gnomish arcane tomes I have acquired.