Transcript of Kranon's Ancient Journal
There is a solution.
An answer to our predicament. Kerapac denies it. The council denies it. But it is there. An answer hidden away in the ancient texts. The old religions that we have so sadly forgotten. There is an old story of the great heroes, Sethirak and Vokun, and the Gauntlet of Flame. We all know that story. We were told it as children, back before the curse was laid.
I remember my grandmother. She sat me down and she told me the story. It goes something like this. Sethirak and Vokun had left their village to seek adventure. Along the journey they encountered an old dragonkin who told them that there was a great treasure hidden within the kingdom of Shadow, a stone that would grant them wondrous powers. So the two heroes, ready for adventure, headed into the kingdom. They crossed the normal trials, the haunted forests, the unclimbable mountains, and flew through raging storms, before finally arriving in the kingdom of Shadow. A cold and sinister place, full of strangeness and dark sorceries. They found themselves drawn to an old cathedral, crafted from the stone ages prior by a long dead people. In it they found an old man huddled in front of an altar on which sat a glistening jewel.
'Greetings, old man!' cried out Sethirak, for he was a gregarious sort and greeted each person as a friend in waiting. 'We have come to take the great gemstone, so that we might use its magic to bring wonder to our people.' But the old man said nothing. Instead he drew out his hand in which he held a dull, black pebble covered in dirt.
Sethirak ignored him and took the gemstone from the altar. It glistened and shone like the noonday sun and Sethirak felt himself overcome with joy. He returned to the people and there was much rejoicing.
I've always felt it was an odd tale.
I remember asking 'Grandma, what of Vokun?' and Grandma would just smile and say 'He had a different story.'
I have studied that story for decades now and I can find only one answer to my question.
He took the pebble. That's the real lesson. That's the story that we need to remember. You see, we rejoice at Sethirak because he followed the author's story. He got the stone and he returned to the village to tell them his tales. He became our puppet, our toy, and we told his story. He was ours. But Vokun took the pebble.
Vokun found a way out of our story and into his own. We don't tell his story because it is now indisputably his.
He is free.
The stone. That black pebble. That is the answer, and while the scientists and alchemists look to the future to find a solution, I look to the past. I look to our old religions, to our old stories, and I know the answer is there.
...I am looking for pebbles. The others ignore me. They tell me that I'm a foolish old priest obsessed with old forgotten stories. They tell me that the answer lies in new discoveries. In alchemy and magic. They believe that they can break the chains by pouring molten metal over children. Or by tearing off the limbs of criminals and test subjects.
But there is a truth in the old stories, in the old prayers and wisdom of the old gods.
Let them have their science, as always. I have my faith and faith overcomes all obstacles...
[The writing is illegible for several pages] It was always there, begging for us to discover it. I can't believe how easy it was to put it all together. If you take the old stories, the old parables, you can see the bigger picture, the real story. It's all there, hidden in the stories that are not told.
It is there in the tale of Vokun, who took a pebble and was no longer part of the legend. It is there in the hidden story of Thelthass who stepped into shadows never to be spoken of again. All of the stories, every last one, has a piece of the story left untold. A great network of forgotten and empty takes.
I pieced them all together and there it was. A hidden story. A story of possibilities. The hole in the whole that leads to a bigger truth. When I found them all, I found the words and the symbols I needed to reach out. It's strange, like music that is waiting to be played. But I am not the composer, merely the conductor.
It's truly beautiful.
I shall bring my notes to the other members of the priesthood. With their backing, perhaps the council will finally see reason. We can end this curse and the evils that come with it.