Eyes and Teeth

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Eyes and Teeth

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Eyes and Teeth -
The Lost Travel Journal of
Irwin Mason




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10th of the Forth – 136aw

Today I arrived in the city of Ebril after a long ship ride from North Port. The paperwork allowing my entry to the well guarded island city had been filled out by my new employer, Mr. Solomon Davis, a some what well-known treasure hunter and successful artifact merchant based here locally in Ebril. After being pulled aside to be searched and questioned heavily about my intentions in Ebril, I realized my employer had listed my occupation as "Thief”. Although I place little blame on him as locksmith, trapper or scout likely would have yielded the same results from the paranoid and judgmental customs officers.
After a short delay I was on my way to the Inn room that had been arranged for me at the Lion's Eye Tavern. Later in the day there was a meet and greet for the group where I met my fellow adventurers. There were two dwarven bothers Gib and Fel that hailed from Hopehold, both followers of Lithine, some what skilled healers and well trained at fighting the undead. Toril, a woodsman from the Giantkin Mountains of no little renown for his skill in combat. Also serving as a scout, although not as skilled with traps and and locks as me. And finally a strangely reclusive gnomish wizard named Dorim. Who seemed uninterested with the meet and greet, leaving early to return to his studies. Still yet to arrive was Mr. Solomon Davis, our party leader and Malcom Pascal, a swordsman from North Port that is serving as Mr. Davis's personal guard and guide to K'har. The two Dwarves, Toril and I had drinks and talked late into the night of the riches that were sure to come of our expedition. All of my comrades, save the absence gnome, seemed like friendly and skilled allies, this is sure to be one of the more successful groups I have worked with.



12th of the Forth – 136aw

Malcom Pascal arrived around midday today. All the other party members were out in town when he entered the tavern. He and I ate together, I asked of his last adventure to the wild eastern K'har region of South Tal. He told me K'har was a dangerous and evil land, but can be very profitable for the few who make it out alive. Then he showed me some treasures from his last adventure to K'har, a dagger that drained the life force of enemies and an amulet that made him turn transparent almost invisible in the dim tavern light. He gave me a ring that used to reanimate the dead, but it's magic ran out and now it only made the bones from our meal of chicken rattle across the table. After a while Toril, then the dwarven bothers returned. We all drank again late into the night, sharing stories of adventures past and tactics learned.



13th of the Forth – 136aw

Mr. Solomon Davis arrived early this morning. He explained of how we would set sail from Ebril to Portfar then travel east on foot into Thicketwood Forest. We would then search the foothills of the blood mountains for ruins held by goblins. Within an hour of Mr. Davis arriving our party was aboard the Shady Lady chartered to take us east. We are set to reach Portfar in three days, two if the near perfect weather conditions hold. It feels good to be on our way at last, as much as I hate being bored at sea, I hate that pretentious city Ebril more.



14th of the Forth – 136aw

Today Mr. Davis announced that we would not stop in Portfar, instead we would sail farther east until we reached the Tazi River. We would then take two small boats to shore and travel upriver into the Blood Mountains. He said this would save us a few days travel, Malcom looked surprised to hear this and that worried me a little. I wanted to ask him about it, but never got a chance to ask him without others around.
Later in the night I believe I overheard the two dwarven bothers speaking ill of Toril. My father worked the mines in the foothills and learned dwarven young, though I rarely use it now. “Toril mensagh otho menthiv” I believe is what I heard Gib uttering to Fel as I walked near them as they sat alone on the ships bow. In common it would be something circa “Toril is the son of an enemy faith” though the context is not fully formed, lost to words unheard.



14th of the Forth – 136aw

This morning Malcom was called into the captains quarters with Dorim and Mr. Davis. After about an hour Malcom started shouting, the first words he said I could not make out. I'm almost sure the next thing he said was "You don't know that". Later in the afternoon I asked him about what had happened, he told me they were discussing navigation and he couldn't tell me any more than that. I could tell he knew something else, but I left the issue alone, not wanting to over extend the bounds of our newly formed friendship as Malcom seemed to be on edge already.
Just before sunset we past Portfar. Meaning we are making excellent time, the seas are calm and the winds are with us we should be near the Tazi River by nightfall tomorrow.



15th of the Forth – 136aw

We reached the Tazi River much faster than anyone expected, before mid day we had loaded our crew and gear into the two small boats and made our way to shore. We hiked the riverbank for the rest of the day, camping in the tree line just before nightfall. Later in the night Malcom came to my tent and woke me telling me to walk with him, he said he needed to tell me something.
I wrapped my cloak around me to ward off the cold valley fog the clung thick to the river banks. After we got a ways out he stopped me saying "This is far enough". Then he told me what he could not aboard the small ship, for fear of others over hearing. “Mr. Davis has not been totally truthful about his intentions on this adventure, Irwin. We were not on a blind expedition into these mountains. Mr. Davis recently came into procession of an ancient tome that was written in a long lost Goblish dialect and inked in the blood of elves. It told of an ancient demon or god called 'Eyes and Teeth' by it's Goblin followers. The tome stated it was buried with it's horde of loot under a shrine to itself at the source of a creek leading into the Tazi River. He said Dorim had translated the tome and believes that if this "god" was buried, it must have been dead, although he told me the tome never mentions his death.” He then told me not to tell any of the others what he told me, as Dorim and Mr. Davis had only told him, and he did not want to cause alarm in the others. “Just keep your blade close if we find this damned shrine” he said as we returned to camp, where we sat by the fire keeping watch for the remainder of the night. I could not have slept had I tired, the good feeling a had when leaving the City of Ebril just a few days ago has long faded into an uneasy growing fear and distrust of my fellows, of who I knew very little, save the stories I had heard of some of them or their supposed affiliations. I believe Malcom may have felt the same and be reaching out to me. Although Malcom and I had never met before, as I from Moon Bay and he from North Port, we had both worked and traveled with many of the same people.




16th of the Forth – 136aw

The rest of our party awoke near sun raise, we then ate a small meal and started up river again. Before noon we were ambushed by a troop of Goblins on the cliffs of the river valley, after a short arrow fight and some of Dorim's magic the goblins had all fallen. Toril and myself climbed the cliffs to search the bodies and found nothing important. The rest of the day was fairly uneventful, Toril was sent up a creek that lead into the Tazi River. He followed it to the source and found nothing. I couldn't help but wonder if Toril did in fact know of Dorim and Mr. Davis's plot, after what I over herd from the dwarves.
We did not make camp by nightfall, but continued upriver in the low light of a clear night and nearly full moon. We only stopped when we reached a creek leading into the river. We made camp there and I quickly fell asleep, as I had very little sleep the night before.



17th of the Forth – 136aw

Mr. Davis woke me before sunrise and asked me to search the creek. He told me to keep an eye for any kind of shrines, as they are sometimes markers for caches of treasure hidden by Orcs, Bugbears and Goblins. I set out up creek moving quietly though the predawn fog. In my mind were images of what horrors I may find my self facing soon if I did indeed find this shrine. Soon I found the source of the creek to be several small trickles running down a massive cliff, with no signs of anything unnatural.
The sun had yet to peak over the canyon walls when I made it back to camp, reporting to Mr. Davis of my uneventful search. We then hiked back up river until we found another small creek. Toril was sent to search while the rest of us waited on the river bank. Upon Toril's return he reported finding many bones and skulls in the creek bed near the source and a large stone with strange carvings and burn marks on it. As I overheard him reporting to Mr. Davis, horror began to fill me again, I started to wish I had not known all I knew, but I felt ignorance would not provide me any bliss for long.
Mr. Davis looked excited and ordered all of us up the creek. When we arrived at the shrine Dorim began examining it, then pulled a black book from his pack and begin flipping though pages. He then began to chant "Nac dim, kasqua, demouni, nac dim." The symbols carved into the black stone alter started to smoke then glow red, as this happened the two Dwarves looked uneasy as I'm sure I did. The alter then started to slide backwards uncovering the passage way below. Gib, the older of the two bothers could hold back no longer and yelled "Hold wizard! What kind of abyssal arcanery is this!?" While drawing his war hammer. Dorim remained chanting as Mr. Davis answered for him "Calm yourself Dwarf, it is but incantation we found, a verbal key to the hidden treasure rooms under the shrines of this valley." The dwarf lowered his weapon, but still both looked concerned and began they talking to each other in low dwarven. Moments later Dorim stopped chanting as the shrine stone had moved all the way back reveling a stair case leading down into icy darkness. I began soaking rags in oil as Toril cut branches to make torches. After entering the hand cut caverns we found that it lead to a very large stone door, sealed perhaps by magic or some mechanism yet unfound. We made camp at the shrine and Dorim and the Dwarves made ready spells the bless the alter and perhaps open the currently unmovable door. Toril, Fel and I searched the open cavern area but even Fel with his dwarven stone working knowledge found no way to open the door and honestly at this point I hopped we wouldn't.  
Malcom and I stood watch for the first half of the night, then Toril took a shift with Malcom. I although I am very tired I have had a hard time sleeping and raised from bed again to write the things that keep me from finding sleep. The ancient runes of that massive door so strange, complex and precisely carved into the expertly cut and polished stone doors. I find it hard to believe Dorim claim of this place being built of goblin tribes. Now the dwarven bothers seem so out of place in this group, if they distrusted Toril why had they traveled with this group. What devious set of lies had Mr. Davis told them to lure them here to the deep mountains of the cursed land of K'har. Or did they perhaps know more than Malcom and I, having their own hidden reasons for signing on.



18th and 19th of the Forth – 136aw

I apologize to anyone reading this for my bad journal keeping. The following events took place on the 18th and 19th and I only now on the 20th have short time to scribe them.
Not long after dawn on the 18th we entered the shrine again. Dorim was able to open the door by dispelling the magic the held it shut, the massive stone door fell quickly forward nearly crushing Dorim and Gib. Dr. Davis scolded me for not finding this trap, but Fel came to my aid saying that he too saw no natural reason for the door to fall forward so fast.
As the dust cleared we saw that the tunnel ahead appeared to go on for perhaps miles and in the dim light of held torches we saw no obvious doorways or off shoots.
Mr. Davis then calmly said "Excellent, this looks promising. We will brake down camp and hid our supplies on the hillside." Only Dorim and Dr. Davis did not look shocked at the awesome vastness of this slightly downward sloping tunnel into the ancient red tinted blackstone of the Blood Mountains. This massive tunnel produced quite an odd felling of hopelessness in me as I stood, somewhat mesmerized in a state I can only describe as vertigo, as the shear size of this area staggered me.
It was at least 7 feet wide and 10 high, miles long perhaps, craved, it seems by pickaxes, into the hard stone. After packing up camp and hiding it, we gathered at the mouth of the tunnel.
Dorim handed each of us a light yellow stone about half the size of a fist that shined with dim light. He spoke in his low voice "If we run out of torches these stones will light our way, we do not yet know how vast this tunnel is just yet. But from my experience in situations like this, the greater the tomb the greater the treasure. Now, if you are all ready I would like to get on as soon as possible." He then nodded looking at Mr. Davis, who bowed slightly pointing his hands towards the tunnel.
After two or three hours of slowly walking into the cavern, Toril and myself keeping keen eyes for traps and such along the way. We came to a dead end without seeing any other way to go. Our party began searching the end of the tunnel for signs of a hidden doorway and the walls and floor for any kind of switch we may have missed. After another hour or so of searching near the end of the tunnel I heard Gib shout "What the...?! I can't see no light no more!!" I turned back to look at the mouth of the tunnel and felt an unearthly seance of dread, as I too, could no longer make out the dim light of the opening.
Dorim quickly replied "It's night now." And I felt a bit foolish for the overwhelming panic I felt just seconds ago, as Fel chuckled and spit a curse to the lord of lies in dwarven.
We decided to hike back out of the tunnel and make camp again. Fear soon filled me again, as about half way back to the mouth of the tunnel we found a vast chasm in the floor of the tunnel. It stood at least 10 feet across, throwing stones down the chasm we could hear no end.
Malcom exploded in anger just moments after we come upon the vast downward shaft, lifting Dorim off his feet by the neck with one hand, pushing him against the rough stone of the cavern wall. "Tell me all you know necromancer or I will end your wicked life" Mr. Davis yelled "Drop him now!" But did not make any movement towards Malcom, as I watched him closely, had things turned violent I knew were I stood, but wondered what side Toril may take.
Malcom dropped the Gnome to the cold stone floor where he quickly gained distance before speaking "You already know what I know, don't act like you did not know the risks! Your being paid very well for your services!" Mr. Davis then spoke again, this time in his usual calm and collected voice "Calm down, everyone. Irwin, Toril can one of you jump across this gap and get rope?"
Toril quickly offered to do it, taking a few steps back before running fast at the chasm leaping into the air. When Toril had first jumped it seemed he would easily clear the gap. Before the space between both sides of the gap seemed to stretch out in an unnatural and horrifying way. Although the ground did not shake or rumble the distance simply stretched out, like the space between the ledges but not the ledges themselves, had opened like the mouth of a dog, opening wider to catch a treat it had nearly missed. This left him just short of the opposite edge, his feet scraping the ledge although they could not keep him from the seemingly unending pit. His screams echoed though the massive abyss for so long it seemed almost unnatural but an impact was never heard.
It took me nearly half an hour to calm myself for my attempt. I ran as fast as I could toward that bottomless hole, boosting my self off Gib's back I cleared the gap by a long shot. I landed hard rolling across the damp stone floor, but was unharmed save some scratches. I quickly made my way out of the cavern and searched the hillside for our camp supplies until after sunrise but never found a trace of it.
Upon returning to the tunnel, on the morning of now, 19 forth, I found Malcom running in my direction out of the cavern. His face covered in blood and in a state of panic, blood dripped off his fingers from a large gash in his right forearm. As we wrapped it, he explained how they had hiked back deeper in the cavern searching for a switch to restore the floor. When they returned to wait for me at the chasm they found the body of Toril laying next to the gap. The skin of his face flayed and hanging his cheeks had been ripped far back. Revealing his teeth had been removed as well as his eyes. leaving fresh blood leaking from the tattered flesh of his wounds. Just then a massive beast ambushed the group from within the dark abyss, grasping Malcom in one of its hooked tentacles. He was able to free himself, falling on the opposite side of the gap although losing his sword in the fall. He then ran in fear towards the light finding me near the doorway.
We decided to cut down two smaller pine trees for a make shift bridge and reentered the hellish cavern to try and save any remaining members of our party. Dorim and Mr. Davis alone would have been quickly left behind, but we could not bring are selves to not at least try to help Gib and Fel as they would surely do the same for us.
First we yelled into the cavern to make sure they were still alive, upon hearing a reply from, I believe, Fel we quickly entered. Holding the two long logs one of us at each end, we reached the chasm area fairly quickly. Gib and Fel reported that they had killed Dorim for his crime of necromancy, when he began to praise the beast and chant to it in horrible Goblish Hymns from his book, while perhaps in some kind of trance. And that Mr. Davis had been thrown below in the battle when Malcom crossed the chasm.
I set the two long pines across the gap quickly cutting the ends flat for added stability. Gib had just managed to cross when the beast attacked again.
This beast was by far the most horrible thing I had ever laid my eyes upon, It had many long sharp teeth some only 6 but most at least 12 and some as long as 18 inches placed in seemly random order around its gaping mouth that was at least 4 feet across, seemly able to open very wide. It's "head" for lack of a better word, that seemly also served as a torso, was nearly 8 feet across and had many tentacles growing from it. Some of them had eyes at the end, some had mouths also armed with long thin pointed teeth, others had bony claw-like hooks. It had one massive eye that glowed evil purple light in the middle, just above is horrible mouth from witch many tendril like tongues wiggled violently outward as it wailed out its high pitched screams.
A large hooked tentacle had shot forth silently before the head raised above the floor level. Hooking Gib, who was standing perhaps a foot and a half in front of me, flinging him flying down into the endless chasm faster than any of us could react. Poor Fel began to cast a spell, but another larger tentacle with a mouth at its end, shot out with blinding speed, biting off his entire upper torso off from the waste leaving only his legs standing for a moment before falling, the horrible purple light of the beasts eye illuminating the grotesque details of his death.
In so few moments both of the dwarves I hoped to save had fallen before this ancient horror that had been rightfully berried and forgotten by it's own followers below this evil land. As the horrid purple light turned towards our side of the chasm, I was fully mad with fear and remember little of running out of the cave. Malcom and I gathered our selves far down at the mouth of the creek leading up to the shrine. We noted that we should have at least tried to close the shrine, although we never spoke of that idea again.
Now we have made camp in a small natural cave, as we head westward over the blood mountains back to Portfar, poorer than we came.

22th of the Forth – 136aw

The long hike over he blood mountains has been hard and I have had little sleep, dreaming of the horror in that vast hole and the massive stone door once shut by magic, now crumbled on the floor of that cursed cavern. Over the last two days Malcom and I have managed to make a decent bow and four arrows. Today we used one to kill a deer, it was a welcome meal as all i have ate in the last 3 days was dried fish. We made a small shrine to our fallen comrades from its bones.  We are finally in Thicketwood and although it is starting to rain hard the woods here are full of small caves. I look forward to a good night sleep and more fresh deer meat.
Like this style of story? see Jounals of the Lost

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