Rise of the Runelords
Desnus 2, 4707
Destination: Azir, Rahadoum, Garund; by way of ship with stops in the Chelish port cities of Vyre and Corentyn on the Aspis Consortium shipping vessel, Infernal Coin.
I’m not sure the best way to begin something like this, but on the night before a journey I feel fate has been leading me toward for the better part of my life, I feel compelled to commit to words my thoughts and findings; if nothing else than to provide evidence of the existence of one, Corum Sartis. My father’s journals, those which started me on this strange path, are now all that seem to remain of their author on the material plane. A man who’s life, long years spent on this earth in search of hidden truths, was punctuated by a period of time in which he made a family with the human woman, Alleta; and the continuation of which marked the end of what amounted to an ellipsis in the story of the elven scholar, Leofir Sartis.
His journals, of course, are entirely academic affair. Admittedly, despite the amazing discoveries he had uncovered and his groundbreaking theories on Thassilonian society, I found it all to be a bit dry. Having walked away prior to graduation from The Acadamae, I must excuse myself for a more…personal style of writing, but I wonder now how he would have taken the criticism…after having found no leads regarding his disappearance I have come to terms with the fact I may never have the chance to share with him my childish critique.
However, this journey on which I am about to embark started with a discovery he had made and returned home with so many years ago, one even the expert, Leofir, had written off as a minor dead relic; had given as a souvenir to his child, a once inert black stone from some ancient dig site.
Visiting a few of the sites my father had written of, I stumbled on the place he must have found the stone, a Shoanti guide I had hired had been the one to discover the secret chamber in that place. Inside, a rune circle reacted to the presence of the old stone, and a map was revealed. The stone seemed to hum slightly, pulse gently as if calling to a point in the map indicating a location in Garund, at the edge of Rahadoum. I was overcome with emotion with the pure excitement of such a discovery, the idea I had found something my diligent father had missed, and now in possession of an ancient compass pointing me to the birthplace of my departed mother. After scribing the location I returned to Magnimar in haste to plan my voyage.
To my dismay, a more direct route through Chelish waters via Pezzack would be impossible. Apparently, the Chelish navy maintains a blockade after the events surrounding the civil war…the city now continuing to pay the price of choosing the losing side. After speaking with several ship captains I met the captain of a Chelish shipping vessel of The Aspis Consortium. Despite my misgivings, given the rumors of his organization’s business practices across Golarion, I paid a hefty sum to captain Gremiere of The Infernal Coin for roundtrip passage on their scheduled trip to and from Azir. I had to sell off the rest of my family’s assets and I write this from my now empty childhood home. I look back on the last few years, at the time I spent wasting away money on drink and women after my mother's death, and wonder if my father had been right. All this time I had simply thought him cold…
I should rest for tomorrow's early morning, but will pick this up again once the journey is underway. As a note, I’ve been having those dreams again; those strange dreams with a dark, silent, ever shifting figure. The same dreams I've experienced since childhood with the same figure that I swear, every so often, appears to me in waking hours; just outside my field of vision…perhaps it is simple coincidence that it would return after this ancient stone-turned-beacon, awakened. Perhaps…