Day 1: Today have finished packing and attended final service at the Temple. Am v sad to be leaving all my friends, but v pleased Miriam will be accompanying me. The miles will fly by with such good company. We are to travel with caravan of ‘kham-ells’ that Sha’Acti’s people are driving to Gyppeswyc. They are quite odd smelling beasts, but she assures me that they have great endurance and will be ideal for our journey.
Day 2: Am writing this entry while waiting by main gate. Miriam said she was ready to go, but just had to go say goodbye to her friends. Kind spirited as she is, she has referred to her friends as ‘lovers’.
Day 2, Part 2 Have been waiting for two hours now. Kham-ells have decided to lie down. Hope will be able to get them up again when Miriam gets here
Day 2, Part 3 Am now on road. Miriam did not get to gate until almost lunch time. Still, she must have been running around v much, as she was v flushed by the time she got here. Have been bitten by a kham-ell.
Day 3 Have arrived at the port town of Gippeswyc. Am told that we should be able to catch ship for Gaul here.
Day 4: Could not find berth of ship bound for Gaul, but have found passage on a vessel heading to ‘Amsteldam’, which is further east. Have not heard of the place, but is apparently v busy with good roads south to Teutonia.with no luck as yet. Miriam seems to know of it and is enthusiastic. Foot has been trodden on by a kham-ell.
Day 6: Have arrived in Amsteldam and am arranging horses for next leg of journey. Miriam is seeing the sights and has found a nice inn to stay at. Seems very pleasant, with calm patrons who seem unlikely to cause trouble. Is v smokey in here though.
Are in Maastricht, near northern Teutonian border. Am not entirely sure how we got here. Woke up this morning on what appears to be a gypsy caravan. Miriam v smiley. Own clothes appear to be somewhat singed in places, but have been lent some by the rest of the caravan. Miriam appears to have made firm friends with Jocelyn, a gypsy woman of about her age.
Day 15 (I think):
Have managed to get some idea of the date and it seems we have made remarkable time. We are on the borders of southern Teutonia, near Turicum. Famous for making time keeping devices apparently. This route has let us skirt around the mountains and take an easy road into Teutonia.
There have been some tremors in the ground, which seem to concern the gypsies.
Day 15, evening:
If I had been told by a traveller of the sights we have seen over the last hours, I would not have believed them. The tremors in the ground intensified until the very earth beneath our feet began to rise up. Much of the caravan was scattered when the animals panicked. Mountains have been born beneath our feet, while a pillar of fire and smoke took to the skies ahead of us. I could swear that flaming stars fell from the heavens. The grinding rocks took many of our party as they rose, crushing their bodies and swallowing them. It is a terrible horror that they could not be laid to rest. Of the survivors, none escaped unscathed and we all carry the marks of that upheaval. Some of the wagons will surely have to be abandoned, with so few horses left or people to drive them, but most are grateful to still have their lives.
We have made camp for the night in a pass that has been formed between the highest peaks. Whether we shall be able to sleep is another matter, as the night sky is still lit by the flames ahead.
I can only assume that it must be morning, though the sun is hidden from us. Still, I am grateful for Humact’s mercy as we very nearly all died in the night. A cloud of dark gas poured down the mountain pass, seeming to cling to the slopes. Whatever unholy vapour it was, it advanced like a tide and all those who were caught in it choked, their lungs burning as they tried to breathe. Those of us who survived only did so by the quick thinking of Mama Ilsa, an air mage who stirred a protective circle around us until the foul air had passed.
When we were sure it was safe we went out to collect the dead and lay their souls to rest. Among them was Mama Ilsa- the strain of maintaining her spell for the long hours of the night was more than her mortal body could bear.
From all that I have been told by planar travellers, I have cause to wonder if we have been somehow transported to some terrible dimension of hell.
Day 16, part 2.
Wherever we are, we were not the only party affected. We have tried to negotiate the pass, since the road back is now blocked. There is no road, but we have managed to find a route that is passable for the moment. After some hours on this way we came across the remains of another caravan. They did not have our luck it seems and the gas scorched their lungs, leaving them dead and coated in ash. The fire in the skies is still visible ahead, while the smoke has spread out like a blanket beneath the clouds.
Day and night are all one, but we measure our time by the dwindling of our rations. We have enough food for now, but water is soon to be in short supply and we have seen no streams in these virgin peaks.
This day we came across many more bodies in what was left of a small village. Some were half-encased in the stones of the mountains, others were burned by their houses as fire from the sky razed them to the ground. Those who are left have little food to spare, as they were close to harvest time and stores were running thin. We have butchered the dead livestock we could find and brought those people along with us- there is nothing left for them here but ash.
The very air seems turned against us. We all grow short of breath and such air we can bring into our lungs seems tainted by brimstone. Each time we awake, there is ash settled upon our faces, caked in our nostrils and upon our lips. What god must we have offended to be punished so terribly?
I have no way to tell how much time has passed, but today we finally saw the blessed sun as there came a break in the smoke above. This is making it easier to travel and we have determined that we will continue to forge our way north, in hope of finding a way to safety.
We have found more survivors, but have little to offer them. Our few wagons are now burdened by those who cannot move for themselves. How we will cope if they have to be abandoned I do not know. The water we have is being rationed now, to cope with more mouths and an ever shrinking supply.
We have come across a Child of the Light, half mad and raving. Miriam is caring for her as best she can, as no-one else seems able to calm her. From the little we have been able to make out, she has tried to speak with the spirits here and their words have driven her insane. They speak of a disaster that has engulfed Teutonia, thousands of souls slain and undead stalking the land. Much as I would face those abominations, for the moment our only road leads ahead.
The only good news she brings is that we are still on the Prime. If this can be considered good news- if we had been in hell then at least we might return to a home as we knew it. What has become of our world?
Three of our people died in the night, unable to cope with the privations visited upon them.
We appear to have come to the end of our road. Literally. The path ahead has ended in a sheer cliff. Some few of our party might have the strenth yet to scale it, but the majority could surely not. We know that the path behind us is bare of supplies, so have sent out scouts to see if they can find some hidden path.
Miriam is doing what she can to keep spirits up and stop everyone despairing. I cannot lie, so there is little that I trust myself to say.
A miracle has happened and we may yet have hope. In the night, a vision passed through our camp of a silver horseman, wearing the colours of The Light and shining silver armour. He literally came through the mountains, parting the rock before him like water. He has created a passage that we plan to follow, heading northwards.
Our luck continues to improve and the Rider’s Trail has led us to a supply of water, nestled in a valley that seems blessedly unscathed.
Most of the group have decided to wait in the valley and recover their strength. Miriam and I will go on to seek a way through the mountains and send help if we can.
We have at reached Koln, a city that seems to be on the border with the devastation. Here at least we see farms that still stand, livestock in the fields and much less death. That said, the roads are flooded with refugees from the south, so those stores of food are being jealously guarded for the lean times to come.
We have decided to head back to Grantabrugge rather than continue our pilgrimage- our home and our people may need us.