I am fortunate, and blessed by Gaea's grace, that I am alive to offer this entry into my journal. It has been about two weeks since I last scribed. I do so now as I have returned with my companions to the safety and security of Kassen.
After we descended into the valley that held the entrance to the Crypt of the Everflame we came upon a grisly sight: slaughtered villagers and horses at the entrance of the tomb. These citizens were people I knew from growing up in Kassen. Nothing I have done in my life prepared me for seeing them and their dead horses as greeters to this (allegedly) sacred place.
When my companions and I travelled through the Fangwood to get to Kassen's resting place I had some suspicion the combats we had might have been some kind of scam. After having smelled Holgast's pipe smoke during our battle with the orcs I was wondering if we weren't meant for some kind of test; a test of the town's design. But then, as I stared at the corpses of my townsfolk, my doubt was erased. Something was wrong, terribly wrong in Kassen's tomb.
The next week went by like a dream…well, a nightmare might be more appropriate to describe it. Attached to my journal is a map of Kassen's tomb. On that map I have made several notes so that my townsfolk (and, someday, my children) can learn specifically of the horrors my companions and I encountered in that place.
It seems a group of tomb robbers invaded Kassen's tomb several months ago and awakened an ancient evil: Asar, Kassen's nemesis, who had been buried in the tomb as a safeguard measure to ensure he would never rise again. The tomb robbers got more than they bargained for, and were slain by Asar's risen corpse. A fitting end, if I do say so, myself. Had they not disturbed the site they would still be alive today. Some religions refer to this as "karma," I think.
Sadly, Asar was able to gain in necromantic power (I so dislike necromancy!) and raise other corpses to aid in his quest for vengeance upon Kassen's legacy: my townsfolk. The citizens who had gone ahead of my adventuring party to prepare the tomb with non-lethal challenges found that Asar had also prepared the Crypt of the Everflame. Asar's preparations, though, were deadly beyond compare.
Through our adventuring we learned that six of our village's residents came to the Crypt for the preparations. As I write this journal, only Dimira, the cobbler Roldare's sister, is still alive. The other five were slain by the undead creatues Asar raised in his campaign of revenge. This included Roldare, who had been driven mad by what he saw in the Crypt. Perhaps it was a mercy that he was slain. his life would not have been the same had he survived. May he rest in Gaea's embrace.
We found The Crypt of the Everflame to be full of traps both deadly and benign, and the living dead there were almost contatantly assaultive upon us. It took us several days of adventring inside and outside the place in order to reach the final room. The room where both the Everflame and Asar awaited us.
The battle was lengthy and horriffic. Asar assailed us with his undead might, and his unholiness had somehow given him the power to shrug off many of my spells. The sneak-thief (Virgil) fell, and the ranger (Aedon) and druid (Fargin) took grievous wounds. We were eventually able to defeat Asar and his minions and quench the source of their unlife, but only barely were we able to do so.
After the fight, Kassen's spirit greeted us. He told us some of his history (again, noted elsewhere in my journal for review by the Town Council) and also gave us some treaure for our troubles. For my part, the spellbook we found on one of the tomb robbers' corpses was the greatest gift I could receive. It had many spells new to me, and my continuing studies have made me able to learn all of them.
I feel the power and knowledge of the arcane growing in my mind and soul. Holgast, also, has been mildly impressed by my abilities. Perhaps I won't have to be the tower's lackey anymore. At the very least I may not even be around to do the cleaning as Cygar has approached us and told us he is a "Pathfinder." He has told of us a need the Pathfinders have. Maybe this means adventure elsewhere?
For now, however, I am happy to be home with my family. I have told them all the details of the Crypt of the Everflame. My mother and father have been very understanding, and my talks with them have been cathartic. In addition to that, a few of the local maidens have come around the house again, showing interest in me as a potential mate. I am not uninterested, but the timing is awkward.
I'm not sure where my life is going, but I know Gaea lead me to that spellbook all those years ago for a reason. I will continue to study and endeavor to learn what that reason may be.