[Excerpt from the explorer’s journal – Edited]
…was beyond words. Blood and broken bits of the staff and inhabitants of the keep were strewn about almost carelessly. This Kaliphess is apparently a foe who thinks so little of life beyond his own ends that these people were but bugs to him.
After a rest, the remaining folk did what they can to clean the mess. I fear the prince will never be the same. Apparently his mind is gone. Having one’s face forceably removed can do that I supposed. He’s alive anyhow.
The key I … found… earlier in the library gained us entrance into Korkhuna’s tower easily enough. This is the reason I came here. What wonders will we uncover within? What lost history?
Immediately upon entering, the smell of lost knowledge permeated by nostrils. Books on pedestals, stacks of notes, bits of odd devices littered this floor. Bander was drawn to an impressive specimen which fell open to his touch. Inside were notes and plans for some sort of machine, referencing him by name! But this work was much, much older. It must have been someone of a similar name in an age gone by. Regardless, this was clearly a work worth transcrbing and studying. It was mostly indecipherable though being in old Dwarven and likely being somehow encoded. The drawings were clear though, this was an epic scale device! The fact that Korkhuna was interested was sufficient to mark it as important.
More notes and machine fragments about the labs proved his intense obsession with it.
Climbing the stairs, more rooms began to reveal the depravity and lengths he went to during his research. One room was nothing but a sacrificial table and mad scrawlings in blood on the walls. Some sort of divination I’m told.
On the next floor, our near undoing appeared. Maev took offense to eyes in the walls, and stabbed one with a dagger. Visions of horror and weeping blood consumed the party. By the time I recovered, rats were swarming the room, and attacking Burblecut. Apparently provoked by Erin stealing some sort of magic cup they were after, while an apparition of Korkhuna began to manifest.
Flinging a table’s worth of strange alchemical vials and flask at the apparition proved useless Though it did wondrous and horrifying things the horde of rats. I fear I may have created a quite unique rodent problem on this island if any of them managed to survive the horrifying effects of the exploding glass and mixed potions.
Somehow in the conflict, Erin either dumped or spilled the contents of that cup. The apparition was on it like rats on a garbage heap. It had the unsettling effect of making him wholly corporeal.
I gather now he was some sort of Litch. That seems to match up, for even after I pinned him to a wall with a javelin, he merely laughed it off. I struggled to keep him occupied while the others began smashing at the cup like it had insulted their mothers. Apparently it was having some sort of effect on Korkhuna. Every strike drew blood from both the attacker, and the enraged wizard. Nothing I threw at him seemed to even phase him.
One final blow from Maev shattered the magic vessel, and doused the room in blood while blowing the top clean off the tower with the massive release of magical energy. The litch was nowhere to be seen.
Hastily we secured ourselves and a search revealed no trace of the fiend. Apparently he was completely destroyed.
I later sent word to the order to come collect the various relics we found lest something in the now wide open tower fall into idle hands or worse be burned for heat by some hungry peasant. I shall have to find some time to convince Bander to let us copy that large tome we liberated. I’m sure it contains…….. [fragment lost]
….unholy minions of Korkhuna were unleashed on the unsuspecting island’s populace. With the wizard gone, his hold over them was broken and they went berserk murdering their way across the countryside. I barely manged to stave off some sort of slavering burrowing worm creature from consuming the inhabitants of my unlucky fief. Similar results for Brublecut and Erin, though it was too late for most of the rest.
Our small island, dubbed Sulenin’s Hope (more like Sulenin’s Folly) appears to be an oasis in the sea of horror, and for now, a temporary refuge.