THE FORGOTTEN JOURNALS

BY VICTHORIN


These copies of two old journals were sent to the dwarven archivist Victhorin Norilin from a friend of his, Ytlin Fafain in Tyr  Faerath. He said in his letter to the archivist that he bought the two books from one of the booksellers in the city for a modest sum. As he investigated closer he found out that the journals were in fact one of the most precious books of the tribe. They tell the story of how the Soul of the City, a valuable gem, was lost and taken back, many years ago.

The originals were locked in the vault containing the large black diamond called the Soul of the City and the tomb of Dolo Groilin who recovered it. This is an exact copy of the two books.


THE JOURNALS OF DOLO GROILIN, THE SEARCHER
AND
THE JOURNALS OF HUININ HEL, THE TRAITOR

2 Oontrom (estimated 302 b.S.)

olo: It feels strange doing something the rest of my kind see as noble. Itís a new feeling and I canít say a pure one. Noble? Calling something noble is nothing but a way to justify actions. Taking out high tributes from the traders passing the city is noble. Demanding taxes from the poor for the sake of the city is noble. Taking back a stone, a great one but still just a stone is noble, but stealing bread from a rich bakery to feed your family is a simple deed.

Picking up the tracks of the party was easy enough. There is always someone who has seen fifteen dark dressed and tanned dwarves coming out of the Shadow Gate traveling toward the Ashlands. It did hurt me that they were dwarves, but I donít know any Kavogerim and it could just as well have been orcs.

Picking up the track was easy, keeping up with them, a lot harder. These are experienced desert travelers, probably mercenaries. Their speed is incredible and I understand they have some sort of sense where to find water. Iíve heard of this sense, called Anulorn. I donít know if itís a legend. Either itís true or they have excellent maps. Every place theyíve stopped so far has been close to a hidden stream.

I suspect Iím one day behind them, and Iív decided to take a risk and travel during the day also to get closer. I just hope that they donít see me. Maybe I can take one or two, but fifteen Kavogerim is a too difficult task.

Tyr Hthom, protect my walk
 


Huinin: It was easier than expected. The guards were almost sleeping and my guess is that theyíve been doing that for 2.500 years. The vault was impressive much like the rest of the city, even though I did not stop to look very long.

After the guards were dead, the mage came down to the vault. Iíve never seen his face, never heard his voice. This is not unusual in my line of work, but Iím not sure I want to see or hear his. He is taller than a dwarf, but too short to be human. When he moves, he doesnít walk, he glides on the floor. He was, as usual, dressed in black. We went out to guard as fast as we could. I guess the other shared my feeling, or that is at least what I thought I saw in their faces.

When we returned down to the vault the door was open and the mage just pointed to the small table where the stone was placed. After that he passed us and disappeared into the night. We began to hurry.

We have no followers, Iím sure of that and we have traveled at great speed. Even our forefathers would be proud. They would understand. They would see that what we have is a good thing. Maybe not for Tyr Faerath and their black walls, but for all Nybelmargerim as a whole. We can build a new empire not kept in by black walls like Tyr Faerath. When the city grows weak we will grow strong and the Kavogerim will take their rightful place as the mightiest dwarven clan of Nybelmar. I most get some sleep. I donít carry it myself. My brother does that for me. He is the only one I fully trust.

The sun is already high and it will be a hot day. Neither dwarf nor man will be walking today.

May Hunyeh Hthom guard over us
 


3 Oontrom

Dolo: I saw them today. As the tracks suggested they were fifteen. After studying their camp Iíd say they are feeling secure. Just one guard, patrolling the camp, no fortifications and even a fire lighting up the dark skies in the early morning. Following will be harder than tracking. Now I have to worry about being seen. A plan is starting to take form in my mind. I know that if I steal back the stone and run for the city, they will catch me in no time. My plan is to take them out one by one until I feel I can take on them. The leader was easy to spot as there was one of them pointing where the fire would be and who would sleep where. He will be the center of my plan.

Iím starting to like the desert more and more, but not during the day. At night when the darkness falls, and the silence is complete, I feel very calm. Not a worry in the world. I canít say I miss the city, but my friends in the guild would be nice to have here with me.

Tyr Hthom, protect my walk
 


4 Oontrom

Dolo
: My first strike was a total success. When they slept in the small tents, I sneaked in to their camp. When it comes to speed and endurance I canít match these Kavogerim, but I still have my stealth. The guard was just sitting on a rock looking into the distance, or sleeping?

The leader was not carrying the stone and that gave me a perfect opportunity. I sneaked to the tent were the stone was resting and killed the dwarf quietly. I did so using a dagger from another of them. Not a sound disturbed the night. The stone is even more impressive than I thought. I have stolen my share of jewels in my life but no diamond can match this one. And so black!

It took great effort not to take the stone and run for it, but Iím too far from home. I returned the dagger to the other dwarf along with the Soul.

I then covered up my tracks and returned to my lookout. When night fell they started to wake up and it didnít take long for them to notice the dead body and the missing stone. I couldnít hear them but I saw that they had a discussion that ended with the killing of the dwarf who I hid the stone with.

Now they are down to thirteen and there is no trust among them. I hope I can play this game a little longer. I donít want them to know that I exist.

Tyr Hthom, protect my walk


Huinin: Goirin is no longer. We killed him after we discovered that he stole the stone and then killed my brother. I feel sad knowing that my brother is gone and unsecured knowing what the presence of the stone does to the group. Iím not even sure that it was Goirin who stole and killed. I almost spared his life because of the way he denied it. He was scared and he knew that the evidence spoke against him. He said he was set up, which is very much possible, but I still had to kill him or I would have lost my ranking in the group.
If someone did set him up, who did it? The two brothers are the newest members of the group and have not gained my full trust yet. I have decided to carry the stone myself from now on.
 


5 Oontrom

Huinin: We have a mutiny among us! I have executed the leader but Iím not sure I put an end to the mutiny. This evening when I woke up I saw a burned piece of parchment at the fire. Its left side was burned but I could read the end of four lines. They said:

/ kill chief

/ stone

/ kill others

/ burn note

As there were only three of us who could write, and not many that can read, it was easy to see who was the culprit. Feirin went to Vomli's School of Sandlife with my brother, who is dead, and I never thought he would rebel on me. But he did a lousy job denying it. Feirin ended his days in a sand dune a windy night. I asked if anyone else was in on this but they all shook their heads. Some of them must be in on it and from here on I wonít sleep. The only one I talk to now is Tolo whom I donít trust completely either. I believe he is too stupid to understand what is going on and I could use an ally.

We have a long way to our HolTyr and only Hunyeh Hthom knows how this is going to end.

May Hunyeh Hthom guard over me


Dolo: Things are good but not perfect. I was hoping for at least two killings after me planting the note at the fire. This part was hard as the wind began to blow and I risked burning the note for real. Writing it was not hard and it would have been harder with Santerran. With Santerran everyone has their own style of writing but that is much smaller in ThergerimTaal.

It would have been good know the name of the leader, but Ąchiefď is good enough.

Iím not as scared as before to be discovered as the sand is flying around and itís hard to spot figures in a distance. My eyes are not hurting as much though. The cloud of sand is blocking the sun and I feel more at peace. I fear my skin will be burned for the rest of my life. My face and my arms are beginning to lose skin and the itching is annoying me to the brink of madness. How can they stand the sun and wind? They are dwarves, are they not? They do protect their faces with those veils, but I suspect the sun blinds them less than it blinds me.

Iím planning to kill the one the leader has walked with the last day. He doesnít seem like a real threat but I might cause the leader to lose another friend.

Tyr Hthom, protect my walk
 


7 Oontrom

Huinin: Just when I thought we had seen the last of trouble, Tolo was killed. This time the killer was a bit smarter and didnít leave any evidence. I canít talk to anyone now and Iím starting to notice the others talking about me, about killing me, behind my back. The stripe around my axe is always open and I am on constant alert. I didnít sleep last day, but still Tolo was killed. Now there are only eleven of us. If we encounter bandits now it will be harder to fight them off than before.

I did not know the stone would do this to our group. Perhaps the mage knew but he didnít say anything. I suspect everyone and they suspect me. Will they try to kill me today, when we go to sleep? They will get a great surprise if they do. I will wait for them. I will use my axe and all my strength to keep the stone. I know. I know. The stone isnít mine, itís the belonging of all the Kavogerim. But Iím thinking about it more and more as my own. I think they all thinks about it that way. They all want it.

May Hunyeh Hthom guard over Me


Dolo: The leader is stressed now. They still have a long way to go, I think. He is beginning to see things that arenít there. He shouts at the others, who seem more afraid than angry.

It wonít be long until he starts killing them before they have done anything. Let us hope he doesnít lose his mind too soon. If they kill him and choose a new leader, I will have to start over again. And this time they know they didnít do it. They might come looking for me. I donít know what to do next, but Iím thinking about stealing food. If they suspect anyone of them stealing food from another they will surely end his life.

I will scout the camp and see if anything happens before they sleep. Then I too need some sleep.

Tyr Hthom, protect my walk

This is just a couple of hours later. The most amazing thing just happened. The leader showed why he is the leader and they are now only eight of them. Just as I was going to sleep one of the dwarves got up and went to the fireplace. He seemed a bit edgy, perhaps he couldnít catch some sleep. When I was going back to his tent he took the way past the tent of the leader, who I now know calls himself Huinin. As the dwarf passed the tent Huinin sliced the tent open with a dagger or a sword and killed the dwarf where he stood. As he did the others were awakened by the noise. Two of them took out their axes and ran towards Huinin. But they were still sleepy and the leader had just gotten warm. With to swift cuts he ended two more lives and the dwarves fell dead by his side. Then he screamed, and this is how I know his name: I am Huinin son of Hinin and I will do anything to prevent the stone to be stolen.

That is good. Iím actually smiling when Iím writing this.

We will see how the next move will go.
 


8 Oontrom

Dolo: The strength is leaving me fast now. The sun does its share part, but mostly my soul is alone. I never felt this alone. When I was in the prison [1] I felt alone but my soul was not crying like it is now. The open land and the silence were calming in the beginning but now I just want to go back. There's always noise around you when you are in the mountain. Here the wind is the only noise you hear. Iím feeling tired but I guess that it is the same for the ones Iím hunting. They must be awake during the day, just waiting for what comes next.

Only when the sun shines you can see the Zharkanions in the distance. I miss Tyr Faerath like never before. I want to go home, but when Iím this close to the stone I will not give up until I have it safe in my hand.

I stole food from the group last day. Itís amazing what they bring with them. They have a type of meat that is so salty that itís almost uneatable but I guess it stands for some time out here in the heat.

One thing they got that tasted well was the cheese. I guess it is made of milk from the milch goat. They have us to thank for the milch. They should remember that better.

As I have studied these dwarves for six or seven days, I donít know exactly how long, I have come to the conclusion that none of them have the power to open the vault. That would take, Iíve been told, all seven keys or some supreme magic. As all of the council members had alibis and none of them had lost their keys I guess it was magic. But if any of these dwarves could cast that kind of magic they would have used it by now.

Hunin: Now they are trying to steal food from me! Me! They want me to starve to death! The brothers are dead, we killed them, and Tinin is dead as well. The other four were not hard to convince that it was the right thing to do. They see stealing the stone from me as problem between me and the one doing the stealing, but if you steal food you go against the whole group. Tinin found that he had lost food and then, when he looked through the bags of the others, not mine, I wouldnít agree to that, he found some of his food.

It was the younger brotherís bag. Tinin took out his axe and killed the brother. The other one swiftly avenge his fallen brother with his own axe but then three knives came flying and killed him to. In a moment three were dead and now there are five of us still standing.
But I donít trust these four any more than the others. I can hear them talking when we walk and when we are supposed to sleep. I can hear them saying they will kill me. They donít know what importance the stone and I will have. I suspect they have lied to me about the death of the others. Sometimes I see them in front of us pointing at me and shaking their heads, but most of the times they are behind me, walking in the same speed as we go, always keeping their distance. They donít walk in group sbut one at the time. The others pretend they donít see them and they called me crazy. But I know what Iíve seen. And I will be waiting.

May Hunyeh Hthom give Me the strength to do what is right
 


9 Oontrom

Dolo:
The pain in my eyes is getting worse again. I can hardly walk fast enough to keep up with them, but somehow I feel strength in my heart. I fell that what Iím doing is the right thing, and even though I never paid much attention to Tyr Hthom other than as a phrase in the end of letters, Iím starting to think that he will help me do the right thing. As I have understood it, he too will perish if the stone is lost for more than a month. Itís been nine days and nine nights since the stone was stolen. Soon a half month. And I donít think I can travel back as fast as I have gone yet. Even though I donít want to take any chances when I have got this far, I need to speed things up, not sure though what I need to do.

Tyr Hthom, help me walk

Huinin: How I hated them! Have they no sense of what is right? It is one thing that not all of them believe what I believe. It is also one thing to try and stop me from doing what they think is wrong, even if it is not! But to lie to me about it? Why did I take cowards with me? Well, they are no more. I donít understand why they killed each other. Perhaps they wanted a reason to turn on me. Perhaps some of them was against the idea to kill me? I donít know. I lost track of everything now. I even cut off Ulinins head hours after he died. I do not know why. All I care for is the stone.

Hunyeh Hthom, have I disappointed you?
 


10 Oontrom

Dolo:
With all my strength I managed to kill two of them. I got back to my hiding place just in time for them to notice the deaths. The leader was furious at the other two. I think he has lost his mind. He was cursing them in every way he could before ending their lives with his axe. He is a good warrior and very skillful with his axe. We could use him in Tyr Faerath as a breaker. These Kavogerims are great warriors and survivors. We always say we are the survivors, the great Kiingerim, but that is wrong. These Kavogerims are the real survivors. They do not have a great fortress of a town to hide in. They are out here. Living on sand. And growing up to these warriors like the leader. Iíve come to respect the dwarf. He has lost his mind, but he is still a great dwarf.

Huinin: [2] Öall deadÖsafe. No followersÖ in my mindÖvictorious KavogerimÖ
[there is a large unreadable text were the last part is stained with blood.]

Dolo: No matter how great warrior you are, how well you swing your axe, you will fall dead if you donít look up from your journal. He did manage to cut my leg with his dagger though, holding it in his right hand and a quill in his left. He was still prepared.
How strange he too wrote in a journal. I thought that only well educated Kiingerim wrote for fun, but I seem to have a friend in this. Iíve read some and I can see that he did lose his mind in the end.

I had a friend in this. He is dead, there is no question about that. I cut his throat and took his veil that covered his face and buried the body. The stone was as beautiful as the last time I saw it. And now it was ours. I canít say mine, because it belongs to all of the
Kiingerim. I will soon begin my march back. I will have to run as fast as my wounded legs can carry me and it's nearly a month to travel back. And this journey I begin in the worst shape Iíve ever been in.

Tyr Hthom, help me walk
 


19 Oontrom

Dolo:
I have no strength in my body. I stumble forward and a child would easily walk by me. Iím afraid I wonít make it. Only eleven days left. I think Iím beginning to see the mountains. The sight of them, I hope, will give me more strength. There will be no more writings now I think. Just taking up the journal is an effort, almost too big to handle with my weakness.
 


29 Ootrom

Dolo:
Tyr Faerath. I can see my beloved home. Maybe I can make it. I have to run.
 


14 Ergaril

Gorol:
I was Dolos friend and I will now finish this journal. Yes, Dolo made it, but just barely. When he first was seen from the walls he was running in an incredible speed. I was there on the wall and saw him. A man running for his life is impressive and he will travel at a great speed. Picture him, running over the heaths, a cut in his leg and dust from top to toe. Picture him running for his life. Now, picture him running for 30.000 lives. Picture him running for his tribe, for his friends. He wasnít running, he was flying. Tyr Hthom was carrying him forward. Vottenfims donít run that fast.

As he reached the gate he collapsed. He returned the stone, one month after the theft. He had saved the city. We carried him home and there, on his bed and surrounded by the few friends he had, he died.

Three days ago, the Council made his memorial an event that will live long in the memories of the tribe. Dolo Groilin, The Searcher, was buried in the vault with the Soul he took back, under the city he saved. The Kiingerim will forever be thankful for his deed.

Gorol Kilin
 


_________________

Footnotes.

[1]
Note from Ytlin.
A thing that says a lot about how low the crime rate is here in Tyr Faerath. Iíve lived in this city for more than one hundred years and I didnít even know there existed a prison. I only thought you got house arrest or, in case of murder, you got death. [Back]

[2] Note from Ytlin. In this part of the text, the words were so hard to read, and when they did, you couldnít make out any sentences. I have copied the words I could read and left out those which I couldnít. [Back]
 

Story written by Victhorin View Profile