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May The Gods Keep Them Safe
Journal 06 of the Heralds Of The Dawn.
I awoke to Varian screaming this morning. Apparently sometime during the night a wall opened up, revealing a stairway down into a set of subterranean catacombs. I had noticed some sort of system of runes where the edges of the door was, but had thought nothing of it, as it was sealed shut. The door is completely gone now though, as Varian discovered after he noticed the opening and, apparently, immediately ran down into the black catacombs. Yelling the whole way about how wonderful he thought the place was, or at least thatís what Iíve been able to understand.

Alawan appears to have fallen into some sort of deep sleep, possibly magically induced, though I donít know much about those things and no one can wake him. Daniel, however, seems determined that we must go down there, as part of his ďdestinyĒ lay beneath the castle, or some such thing, so we are leaving Alawan behind for now. I hope heís okay. Honestly Iíd rather not go down there as the air is stale, and who knows what weíll find, but Iíve sworn to protect Jerick, so if he goes, so shall I.

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Itís like a giant puzzle down here; Daniel and Dean seem to understand it though. According to Dean, one of the inscriptions states that there are six seals down here, belonging to six realms of the universe, or at least thatís what I get out of it.

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I wish we hadnít have come down here. It seems so pointless now. We unlocked the first three seals. The first required fire, which upon touching the first door caused it to unlock. Inside was a set of glyphs on the floor, which after Daniel stood in the middle, released some sort of creature, which seemed to be made purely of flame. I think itís what they call an elemental, though thatís only guess, as this was my first encounter with such a creature. My weapon seemed useless against it, but Varian threw some sort of magical snow at it and it was destroyed within a matter of a few seconds.

The next seal was that of law, which after Daniel recited his house decree, the door was opened. Inside we found two statues, one of a fighter and another of a wizard. After removing an amulet from the wizard we left that chamber and found ourselves traveling single-file down a long corridor. At the end we were met with the seal of earth. I had a hard time seeing what was done to unlock this one, but it looked like someone threw dirt on the door.

Inside there was another glyph on the floor. Once again, Daniel stood in the middle of the thing. This time a creature appeared out of the ground, made entirely of rock. Our party ran back down the hallway, with Dean between us and the rock creature, which I believe is an earth elemental. In retrospect, Iím not sure why we put the wizard between that monster, and us as while trying to cast some sort of spell, the creature smashed Dean until there was nothing left. It all happened so fast. Apparently enraged by this, Daniel ran at the thing and was struck down as well, though not anywhere near to the degree that Dean had been hit. Within a matter of a few seconds two of our party had been killed. I donít get it. I still donít understand why we came down here. I miss the isolation of the forest right now.

Luckily Varian proved himself to be a skilled magic as somehow he stood alone against the creature, and took it down with relative ease. I just wish we hadnít been in such a confined space. If we had been in the room where it appeared I could have been able to attack the thing with more than just a few arrows, I donít know what good my weapons would have done, though one of them is magically enchanted, but at least I could have taken a few of the hits for the party, maybe I could have distracted the thing long enough that we could have taken it down as we did with the fire elemental. Maybe then Dean and Daniel would have survived.

Weíve returned to the chamber in the basement, as we now lack purpose in being in these catacombs, but the exit to this place has disappeared. Some force has deemed it necessary that we continue. I just hope that the three of us can stand up to the final three seals and that we find something worthwhile, so as the deaths of Dean and Daniel are not in vain. May the gods keep them safe always.

From the journal of Aldaric Verdain

Contributor: Drew Butler