Flesh Bound Tome
The tome seems to be fashioned from some sort of leathery material. It has been formed with fine craftsmanship to appear like the stretched skin of a dark elf's face, eyes and mouth sewn shut with sinewy threads. A thin, but durable chain is stretched around the tome and fastens with an ornate lock.
Journal Entry, Darkday: I have arrived in Nektulos Forest in search of my past. The House of Everling held a great manor within this vast timberland. Now that Neriak has fallen I can safely explore this land. There are no more dark elves to keep me from my rightful riches. No more shall the name Everling be separated from its grandeur. I shall begin my trek to reclaim lost fortune by searching for Timber Falls. It must surely be at the front of the Torrent River, a fitting place to build a path to a grand castle.
Journal Entry, Burnday: I have made my way to Timber Falls only to find a glade of natural grandeur. Although it is a beautiful sight to behold, it is not the location of Everling riches. This natural beauty does not make up for the dangers faced approaching here. I will seek another sight I have heard of in this land. They say that there is a titanic ramp that rises to meet a higher plateau. I will find this ramp and climb it. From the vantage point of such a structure I may be able to spy the towers of an Everling estate.
Journal Entry, Windday: Curse this land of haze! I have climbed the mighty ruin and gazed down upon the lowlands only to see the haze of ash that blankets the land. It is worse yet upon this plateau. I can barely take a breath without choking. I shall return to the lowlands and seek out a place more befitting of my lineage. I will seek out a lake the dark elves called Bone Lake. It should rest northeast of here. It is supposed to be the largest lake of the forest. Perhaps there are traces of my ancestors around such a lake.
Journal Entry, Steelday: I have traveled the banks of this lake for naught. I made camp here along the north bank only to be awakened in a cold sweat and memories of a haunting vision. In my feverish nightmare I was confronted in the darkness by two gargoyles with eyes aflame. A door was placed between these titans. They stood silent and with a sudden snap they lashed out at me...all went black. That is when I awoke. What does this mean? Perhaps the mushrooms I added to my stew were not as agreeable as I had hoped. Perhaps I now seek the door between the gargoyles. Could this be Nektropos Castle?
Simply amazing! I have entered the courtyard of Castle Nektropos. The grandeur of this castle is formed of twisted walls and crooked towers. What form of mad mind could have engineered this place? It chills me to the bone to gaze upon this sorrowful manor, but the promise of lost riches deep within its halls beckons me forward. I am an Everling and this is my claim. I spy what appears to be a smithy's workshop ahead. I shall see what, if any, wonders lie within.
I have made my way into the blacksmith's forge house. Although I believed this castle abandoned, I instead enter this chamber to find the embers of the forge illuminating the darkness. Someone has been working within here. I would guess orc, but their foul stench is absent. I will continue without torchlight. I am now thankful for the ring passed down...The Circlet of Rikantus. It gives me the eyes of the Teir'Dal. I shall be able to move silently and with sword in hand. I am feeling a presence call to me. It pulls me towards dark hallways to the southeast.
I have happened upon my first encounter of life and myth. While wandering the dark halls I believe I saw a ghostly figure run in front of me. I gave chase and ended up here in a chapel. I cannot believe my eyes...this is the Chapel of Ullkoruuk! I recall tales of this chapel being told by a dark elf in the Backalley in Freeport. Never did I expect to find the mythical chapel of treason in the ruins of my ancestors. The dark elf mentioned a concealed vault in here he was unable to open. And to think, I took him for being rathe brained.
I recall the drunkard mumbling something about battling the traitorous forces within the chapel and releasing its secret unto him. Then he passed out! There seem to be signs of a villainous sect existing in here, but how can I, a single adventurer battle again such odds? But an even better thought to ponder is where did that ghostly figure vanish to? Perhaps it was just a pale servant. I shall seek the servant's quarter's out as soon as I come to a decision of whether or not to do battle in this sanctum of betrayal.
I have found what was once a servant's personal quarter. It appears to have at one time been changed into an oubliette through great arcane power. Shifted walls have swallowed up the doorway that led into this chamber. The only way in was through a breached wall in the adjacent quarters. Whoever was imprisoned in this chamber was never meant to escape. Unfortunately there seems to be no sign of the servant's remains. Which leads me to believe he has escaped. I find myself praying to silent gods. I pray that this dangerous servant be far from Nektropos Castle.
I spent a restless night within what was once the bunkhouse for Everling Crusaders, the elite guard for my ancestors. I heard horrid sounds all through the night. I set a spike to hold the door closed for the night and huddled next to a fire I had started within the maw of a fireplace that has not been used in decades at least. Now I am on to see what lies nearby. I kept hearing the clanking of billiard balls all night, but was far too frightened to investigate in the pitch of night.
I have found the source of the clanking of midnight billiards, a game room. This hall was intended to relieve the stress of the knights. Ah yes...Knight to C3. The thought of ancient Everling tactics eases my unsettled mind. The equipment seems to be as twisted as everything else, tormented and frozen in mid play! Although I heard a game of billiards from this hall it is quite apparent no fun has been had in here in ages. Perhaps the sound came from above.
Here I stand within the great banquet room reserved for the Everling family. I could have sworn I heard a large gathering within, even smelling roast boar! I swung open the doors to find nothing but emptiness, not even a rat scurrying from sight. The fireplace of the hall was crowned with a hideous mounted boar's head. It almost seemed as though the thing was alive. I felt it staring at me when I left the room.
I have discovered much in the library, as expected. This is a wealth of information. The Everlings detailed much about their passion for evil artifacts and dark magic. Such things are more fitting of a dark elf rather than human. Rikantus' eternal research of the occult must surely have something to do with the demise of this place and the Everling name. I have also discovered books similar to this journal of mine. It is most certainly a claim to my heritage. The patch worked flesh-like material also exists on books for each of the family...at least members of the Everlings that last dwelt here.
I am taken aback by the sight and feel of this bedroom. I entered the cold dusty chamber with chills abounding, but something overtook me that I could not explain. I began to feel a great comfort, a great love for this place. I must have blacked out for quite a spell. I awoke feeling as though it was weeks later. The room was disturbed as if I had been living within for this lost time, carefree and ignorant to what lay beyond the bedroom. I must have escaped the spell or it wore off. I care never to return here, and that little doll upon the bed is hypnotic...staring at me. I hear the name Drusis.
I have discovered a room that appears to have been recently lived in. I cannot say I feel the warmth of the living in this place, but something has definitely been inhabiting this room. The books upon the case appear to have been moved and number of them seem to be recently published editions. The symbols upon the walls are strangely familiar. I have seen them elsewhere, on some other adventure. I do believe I will hold up in here for a spell. Perhaps rest and read a book or two before I decide how best to renovate my reclaimed estate.
The door to these quarters has slammed shut! I cannot open it. There is only one way to go, forward...or rather below. I fear what lies ahead, but I am here now. I pray that my lineage gives way to mercy from whatever horror I am fated to encounter within these halls. I should have disregarded the clues that unveiled the existence of this castle. This place is slowly turning into a part of my past I do not wish to claim and was best left in slumber. Why did I take this wretched tome from that evil hag? - Maltus Everling
After finding my way into the cellars, I have found Rikantus' concealed codex. Perhaps following the words within this flesh bound tome will gain me some reward after all. I will have to thank Theeral the nomad with a few gold earned from the heavy coin I am sure to earn from selling any valuables I loot here. Perhaps I will make enough to erect my own castle to rival this one. ...Castle...has a nice ring to it.
Welcome to the master. The master welcomes you and any friends with open arms and open doors. We have waited so long for you. Your fate awaits you beyond this door. We have prepared the laboratory for your arrival. Do come in.