The Journal of Fell Arnessen
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The Journal of Fell Arnessen
Aesa, I am sorry. I went in search of the mystic cave in the utter north that leads to the white lands. In that place I would find adventure and riches, and redeem our family's name. I found the thin place in the deepest part of the cave, but what lay on the other side was not the land of snow. There was snow for sure, but not the wholesome forests and gentle drifts of legend.
What greeted me instead was a bleak and jagged landscape of dark stone mountains. All around the biting wind howled, and in the distance blizzards raged, each large enough to swallow Rellekka and all the lands around. I wept then, for the way behind was closed and I could see no sign of food or shelter anywhere in that place.
I had no choice but to explore, to seek any sign of shelter or sustenance in this forsaken place. I set out, and saw soon that the land all about was a sheet of ice, which filled in the space between the mountains. This was no slow-moving glacier, but an eternal, frozen plain, miles deep. In places the snow was blasted away by the wind, and I could see the murky ice reach down into the depths below where the roots of the mountains lay.
I found myself following a road of sorts carved in the icy plain. A groove was cut two or three feet deep in the ice, a trench which ran in a perfectly straight line for as far as I could see in either direction. I could see no sign of who or what had made it, but I followed it in the hope of finding its maker.
As I wandered, I saw shapes through the ice, on the bottom far below. They were too regular or too incredible to be natural rock. They were buildings, great cities even, buried in a frozen, sunken slumber. What I could make out of their architecture seemed impossible, and when I try to sleep in this place the strange, distorted shapes of those buildings haunt me. I wonder who could have built them, and whether they ever stood above the surface of the ice. Had they been ruined and buried, or were they somehow built within the ice itself?
This world is nothing but loneliness. I walked for what must have been days in that unchanging wilderness, my supplies almost depleted. I encountered only one thing in that walk which could be confused for something edible. A large and voracious slug-like thing attacked me from a snowdrift. With impossible agility it leapt at my face, and I was barely able to cut it down. I tried to eat it, but a thick and stinking ichor repelled me and I left it on the ice.
My hope was almost gone then, but finally through the snow ahead of me I beheld a man on the road. I rushed to him, for where there were travelers surely there was civilization, food, and a bed. I found a cloaked figure, his face impossible to make out, walking slowly and determinedly down the center[sic] of the road, never breaking stride. I bade him greetings in a shivering voice, but he gave no sign of notice, and did not slow down.
Cold and fearful, and angered by his lack of response, I demanded that he stop. He ignored me as though I did not exist, and trod on. I rushed ahead of him, such that he would have to greet me or go around. Instead he simply walked into me without acknowledgement, and although I put my arms out to stop him and pushed with all my might, I could do nothing to halt or even slow him. I saw then that nothing could stop his travel, and I realized the impossible truth. He was not walking along the road, he was making it. The slow tread of his unwavering footsteps had carved an exact line, around and around this world, for ages I could not fathom.
I fled from the unnatural road toward the mountains, but there I found something even more awful. Every Fremennik knows the legend of the glacor's, those savage beings of ice brought forth by unholy sorcerers. What appeared on the horizon was a glacor of truly titanic size.
I know now where I am. This is not the white lands. This is the icy hell, which some call Leng. As I write this account, I can see the massive glacor moving in the distance. It looms, as tall as a mountain. Storms cling to its side, and a wicked and unholy light shines from within its core. I can see no hope, no survival in this place, but I can still find honour in battle and death. To be the first to slay such a beast. Is it even possible? If this account lies unfinished, you will know that I failed.