[Editor’s note: These will be presented in-game as a single document, I’m just posting the pieces as I write them.]
As requested, these logs represent the attempts of Jaiden’s Hope to get to the truth of the matter.
As you know, we were informed that the group of Adepts who barely made it out of the Kaer’s ‘front door’ last week for our “Grand Opening” were not Horror-Touched as was rumoured, but rather they recovered some unnerving documents which had been left on our doorstep. One dated seventy-five years ago was a political document from the Dwarven Kingdom of Throal essentially pronouncing all slaves freed and dissolving any land rights from prior to the Scourge. The second was also from Throal, from only fifty years ago, requesting aid against the kingdom of Thera.
We were then charged with surveying the land outside our Kaer to determine the state of things in the outside world, and whether Kaer Jai’den could find a place there.
I mention the above only for perspective, as you were present at the mission briefing.
We then spent three days surreptitiously gathering supplies for our journey, and made our exit inside the coffins supposedly carrying the remains of the previous group of Adepts, which were flushed from the Kaer via a small sluice gate.
Our first challenge was to get out of the back sewer and onto the exit proper; the elves had an easier time with this than myself and Eighth, which seems to have set the tone for the remainder of our adventures.
We spent an entire night in the tunnel, as our Kaer is quite buried. Sometimes I wonder how the first messenger from Throal found our entrance, let alone the second one twenty-five years later.
The next morning, we found a room with a wooden doorway, old bloodstains, and other evidences of combat. Eighth determined that this area was actually a Named place, though he was not able to tell what the Name was. Rehtaeh discovered a sword hilt of pre-Scourge make, and Eighth found a spellbook that he has had continued difficulty reading.
After this point, the tunnel turned into a mine with many branching passages. John Mandrake noticed traces of True Earth in the walls, and scouted the side routes but found little of interest. Half a day later we finally arrived at the exit to the mines and caves!
I’m sure you’ve read the records of the outside world, but be assured that nothing can prepare one for the actual experience of seeing an open sky for the first time. The rest of our group adjusted quickly, but I still can’t shake a feeling of dis-ease when I look directly up to the sky or out across even half a mile of wilderness. I’ve been able to adjust to it somewhat, and staying indoors or even near a community helps, but Jai’den may be well advised that not all citizens will be able to cope with the sheer scope of the world outside: note that it took us more than a day’s travel inside caves and mines to arrive outside, and the first thing to be seen there is that there is even more distance in many directions away from the mountain. I find it more amazing that my companions felt no apparent ill at the immensity of things around them, but perhaps it is my training as an Archer that leads me to think of distances to nearby objects, and to recognize that there is nothing above one’s head…
I apologize. I usually try to keep from thinking about such things, so as to minimize their effect on my state of mind, but as many in the Kaer are less self-disciplined, I believe it helpful to report as fully as possible on the potential effects of seeing the outdoors for the first time. I am sure my companions will report on the beauty of this land (and they are not wrong!) but I feel it necessary for perspective that I relate where my experiences differ from the others’.