Unearthing the Past
Last Will and Testament of Darbahd Sunhammer
Should anyone find this, know that I have little time left. We are safe for the time being, barricaded in this store room but we can hear them clawing at the walls beyond and scratching at the door. Word must get out of what happened here, if only so our story will be told and our hubris avoided by others.
It started slowly at first, rumors of voices in the mines and sights of movement. We dismissed them as the delusions of over worked and exhausted miners , but then the madness started. First it was just one miner, Harig I believe his name was. He lashed out at his fellow workers and had to be restrained. He did nothing but spurt out gibberish and how they mustn’t stop him from his work. Two days later another miner was caught in the halls attempting to dig through the floors with his bare hands. Within a week there were over a dozen crazed workers being held.
King Karthas, fearing retribution from Pelor decreed all individuals were to spend their days outside in the sun and only return to the mines one night had fallen. It didn’t help though; more and more citizens began succumbing to madness until the king declared a state of emergency and had the city closed off to all outsiders. Looking back at it now it’s clear that is when the madness started to take hold of Karthas. Not much longer he declared himself DeratJogal (God Priest). He claimed he spoke the will of the high one, and that this was a tribulation to overcome if we were to be pure. He demanded we move further into the depths of the mine, therein would lie our salvation. It was hard to accept, however we had uprooted our lives to follow him to our promised land and were too stubborn to give it up.
We moved into the mines and saw little of the sun for weeks until one day we felt a great rumbling of the ground. DeratJogal Karthas, I spit those words, declared the surface had been tainted and that Pelor was no longer deserving of our worship. He also told us a greater power had reached out to him and told him to dig deeper. The dwarves place was in the earth and he would protect us if we only came to him. He had ordered the surface city destroyed so we couldn’t turn back and ordered endless shifts digging deeper and deeper into the earth.
More and more of us fell to madness, but that wasn’t the worst of it. Some of the first to lose their minds started showing signs of growths on their bodies. Soon there were more that had gone mad than those of us that were still of sound mind. We closed ourselves off from the others and left them to go about whatever it was that drove them so. Soon it was down to less than ten of us. The claustrophobia started getting the better of us so we decided to venture out, in an attempt to find a way to the surface. The horrors that laid in wait for us were beyond description and we quickly returned to the safety of our store room. We fell to infighting, afraid of becoming whatever was beyond that door. That’s when Brenna took things into her own hands and attacked several of the others that had shown any sign of madness.
As I write this I know I will be next. I can hear him whispering to me in my dreams at night and clawing at the back of my consciousness in the waking hours. If the others find out they will forsake me to the beasts that roam the halls. I don’t know how long I can fight it, each day I feel my will ebbing away more and more.