The following journal was found in a small fishing village by a citizen of haven. He was good enough to let me copy it down for my library. I feel it offers some key insight into the time just prior to the cataclysm. -Garet Maevers 1055

1st day of Harvest Moon, 1049 p.e.w.

I have been reassigned to Captain Reece’s company with orders to go to the Island of Mist in the Inner Sea. I look forward to serving under him. We grew up together and have been friends for years. He is a good man and a good leader. I will miss Captain Corlin and I aim to make him proud. He took a young ruffian and made him into a soldier. He gave me this journal and made me promise to write down my thoughts and adventure so I wont miss a detail when I come back and tell tales around the barrack’s hearth. We leave in one hour and will make our way to Sallek and then down the black river to the Dorchak river and then to Castelion by way of barge. Once in Castelion we will be taken to the Island in one of Regent Nordinsthop’s personal vessels. I cannot wait to meet the Regent. It is said that he is the oldest gnome on Phanterra. It is rumored he is older than the kingdom itself.

2nd day of Harvest Moon, 1049 p.e.w.

We have arrived at Sallek and Boarded our Barge. I am a bit nervous about the seaworthiness of the vessel. It seems to have more leaks than the old well bucket. The barge captain Dugnar assures me that the vessel has been in his family for a hundred years and hasn’t sunk yet. The trip should be uneventful. We have set a loose guard and have been ordered by Capt. Reece to relax. We should arrive in Castelion by the first day of next week.

I am now on watch and have decided to write a bit before the moonlight fails me. It is so peaceful on the river. It makes its way slowly through the southern edge of the Kingdom of Dorchak with no particular amount of haste or malice. It seems more like a narrow lake than a river. It barely feels like we are moving. They tell me that normally they only travel by day down this river but now we have three ferrymen aboard so we can travel day and night. The Baron’s mission must be of some importance to afford this kind of speed. The capt. is quite closed lip about our mission. I hate to admit it, but I hope that we might see some combat. I have been sitting in the blasted lands as part of the Baron’s guard for two years and I have barely drawn my sword except for morning pell work. Since the Secession of the Duchies from the kingdom of Silverthorne there has been an uneasy peace between the Dukes turned King. If it were not for Baron Al’Terra, I fear the secession would have been an all out civil war. He is a great man and many respect him more than any king or queen. It seems they fear him as well. There has been no attempt on his life nor his land in years. I know this should comfort me and if anything happened to the Baron I would be devastated, however, protecting peasants from beastmen and slaar makes for some pretty boring soldiering.

3rd Day of Harvest moon, 1049 pew

Once again, a slow day on the Black river. A few of us have taken to fishing the river to keep occupied. I landed a Striped Salmar three hands long. Keller hooked into a river eel but lost it within reach of the barge. He almost fell off trying to reach it. We are going to land for our evening meal. The fish sure will taste better than trail rations.

The smell of the fish cooking drew some scavenging beasts to our feast. They were a strange type of creature I have never seen before. They were like trolls but a bit taller and more lithe. They were driven back into the forest with little problem. Jones took a claw to the shoulder but he will be fine in a few days.

4th day of Harvest Moon 1049 pew

Another day on the Lazy Black River. Nothing of interest to write about. I am looking forward to hitting the faster waters of the Dorchak. We should hit them early tomorrow morning. I have no watch tonight so I plan to sleep until the dawn wakes me.

5th day of Harvest Moon 1049 pew

We have hit the Dorchak and have picked up a bit of speed. I don’t think the ferrymen have ever plied such waters. They are gripping the rudder with knuckles white as snow. I am glad I can swim. We will be in Castelion in two days. I can’t wait to get off of this barge and on to land. I hope the sail out to the Island of Mist won’t take long.

7th day, Hunters Moon, 1049 p.e.w.

I am surprised that my journal survived with such little damage. It was submerged in my pack under water for almost two hours. I guess the oil slick pouch Corlin gave it to me in was for more than just decoration. Good old Corlin, Always thinking. It came to rest under a log in the river after it sunk with the rest of the barge. We hit a rock in the river yesterday about high sun. We all made it to shore but our gear was scattered over the bed of the river. Those of us who could swim well enough went in after the gear. It took us most of the day but we got almost everything. The barge is down for however. It looks like we are on foot the rest of the way to Castelion. It should take us about three days. We have doubled the guard and will travel from sun up until Midnight. There is a well traveled road that runs beside the river. I will write again when we reach the city.

10th day of Harvest Moon, 1049 pew

Castelion at last! The journey on land was uneventful but hard on the legs after being on a barge for so long. The Regent has put us up in the barracks of his town guard. They are like a palace compared to our field stone and timber building. The mess hall is huge with giant fireplaces at both ends. They even have a gnomish cook. If I did not feel such fierce loyalty to my Baron, I may have defected merely for the food. We have been advised to tell any who question us that we are on the way to Norillon to deliver some herbs and potions from Thane NaGaul.

The Captain has returned from his palavar with the Regent. The ship will be ready to take us to the Island tomorrow. We will leave under the cover of darkness. The Regent has deemed it unwise for anyone to see us traveling to the Island. I do not know why. There is already a village on the Island from what I hear. Oh well, It is not my place to question the order.

12th day Harvest Moon, 1049 pew

We have arrived on the Island and have been taken out to a ruin about twenty minutes from the village. We will camp here and discourage any curiosity.

13th Day Harvest Moon, 1049 pew

I thought the raft was boring. At least on the raft the scenery changed. I am afraid we will be sitting on this pile of rocks for quite some time. The Sage Trelani is trying to figure out some inscription written above a door under the ruins. I could care less. I just want him to get that door open so we can see what’s behind it and go home.

14th day Harvest Moon, 1049 pew

I was sent into the village today to see about provisions. I was sent to a fishing captain who has been pulling in the biggest catches and so should have plenty of fish to spare. He was away on an extended sail to deliver fish to market in Silverthorne. His Daughter was able to provide us with enough fish to last a week or so. I paid with the Captain’s gold but I plan to use my own tonight to buy her a dinner and ale at the Inn. Keller is covering my post. I owe Him.

I have had a bit too much to drink but I had to write. Things are looking better. Way better. I will see Aleina again tomorrow.

15th day Harvest moon, 1049 pew
I have leave for the next two days. I plan to see Aleina today and then go explore the island tomorrow.

17th day Harvest Moon, 1049 pew

I saw much of Aleina over the pat two days. I did not explore the island as hoped. I explored more fruitful grounds. I hope that sage never figures out that door.

27th day Harvest Moon, 1049 pew

Between my duties for the Baron and courting Aleina, I have not had much time to write. She is busy today helping her father. He has arrived with goods for the village from Silverthorne. She will be busy most of the day. Tomorrow I will meet her father. Captain Reece has given me leave and has loaned me his good tunic and cloak so I can appear in front of her father in attire that does not make me look like a pauper. If all goes well, I am going to ask Aleina’s father for her hand in marriage. If he agrees, I will send a request to be released from service to Baron Al’Terra along with the Captain’s monthly report. Were it not for the love of Aleina, I would have served the Baron until my dieing breath. I have never had the privilege of even knowing someone as kind, caring, and knowledgeable as Baron Al’terra let alone be granted the honor of serving him. I hope he understands why I must leave his service.

28th Day Harvest Moon, 1049 pew

All went well. Aleina’s father is a great man and he was very happy to know his daughter had met someone. He had feared that she would never marry. Now I must write my letter to the Baron. I feel like I am betraying him, but I cannot leave Aleina behind and she will not leave her father to come back to Da’lbin with me.

29th day Harvest Moon, 1049 pew

I have given my letter to Captain Reece to send to the Baron. His monthly report will be sent next week. It will have to wait until then. The Captain has given me his congratulations and will also add a note to the Baron to help my cause. Now I wait. I do not want to ask Aleina until I can be sure I will be relieved of duty. I am no deserter no matter what the reason may be.

7th Day Hunters Moon, 1049 pew

I have been too busy to write. I swore Aleina’s father Androse to secrecy so that when I ask her it will be a surprise. It won’t be long now. A week, maybe two. The Captain’s report went out today.

15th day Hunter’s Moon, 1049 pew

It seems I am writing less and less in this journal. I hope Corlin will forgive me. My mind is on the preparations for becoming a husband. I have found myself more than once strolling through the village looking for a spot to build a house. We will not have much to begin with but I am sure I can either take up fishing or become part of the village guard which now consists of a toothless old dog and an equally mangy old fisherman who lost his taste for the sea. Thinks will work out, I just know it.

20th day Hunter’s Moon, 1049 pew

The Baron has sent his reply in the form of a Soldier to replace me! He also sent a ring with a note: "I thank you for your loyal service and rejoice at your new prospect. As a token of my thanks, please accept this ring and may it bind you strongly to your new liege." Thane NaGaul also sent an unlabeled potion with a note attached. It simply said "Congrats my boy. Do not dance at your wedding party. Conserve your strength. Drink this after the party." My heart leaps at the prospect of Aleina being my wife and despairs at leaving the service of such noble men. I will meet Aleina at her Father’s for dinner tonight and ask the question.

She said yes. We drank much ale in celebration. I must go find my bunk.

22nd Day Hunter’s moon, 1049 pew

The wedding will be on the first of Storm’s and will mark the end of my service to the Baron. I will move in with Aleina and her father for awhile until we can build our own place. I have much to do.

3rd day Month of Storm’s, 1049 pew

The wedding was great and so was Roland’s Potion. I have moved into Androse’s house. He is away on another voyage for a few weeks so we have the house to ourselves. I will not be writing much.

5th day Month of Storm’s, 1049 pew

The Inn Keeper, Jarvis, died yesterday. He was an old man and had no children. Aleina and I have decided to take over the Inn and make some improvements with the money left from the dowry. The Village Elder has approved. It is sad that Jarvis died, however, Aleina and I have vowed to keep an Inn that would make him proud.

9th Day Month of Storm’s, 1049 pew

There was an attack on the ruins last night. Reece has sent Trelani to stay at the Inn. I have put him up in the interior room and will stand guard at night myself. I have also hidden his notes on the door in the cellar in a locked chest.

15th day Month of Storm’s, 1049 pew

We are doing a brisk trade at the Inn. We have made quite a bit of profit and intend on adding more rooms this spring. There is rumor of a meeting of the Dukes made Kings here on the island. If this rumor is true, their servants will need a place to stay.

20th day Month of Storm’s, 1049 pew

Joseph says he can open the door at the ruins as soon as the ruble is cleared. He has invited me to go with the company to see what is inside. I can not wait, however, I am sad to see my friends so close to leaving the island.

23rd day Month of Storm’s, 1049 pew

Tragedy. All are dead. We have begun to dig the graves of my fallen friends. Even the Sage is dead. Joseph told me not to stand guard. He told me to spend the nights with my wife. Why did I listen to him. If I had done my duty for once in my life, he would still be alive. I have sent word to the Baron

3rd day of Dark Moon, 1049 pew

The Baron has sent reply and has asked me to keep the sages things safe and wait for his arrival. Once again, I wait.