Sequence of Events
This report details a mission posted by Guild Ercinee regarding finding missing persons in Queen’s Crossing. Taking this mission were Wren, Tanya Luden and I, with Tanya as leader by hierarchy. We dispatched the day we accepted the mission. Travel was uneventful—following our previous mission, we had been given statuettes by Algister of the Archaeological Society as part of our reward, to which Tanya and I brought ours with to study in transit, albeit with no clear conclusion to their purpose.
Upon arrival at Guildhall Ercinee, we were brought abreast of the situation. The missing persons count had only risen further during our travel, and the crossing was evacuated into the guildhall forthwith, resulting in a shortage of food and housing. One of those missing was the Ercinee guild leader, leaving an interim to handle the emergency in his wake. We convened with him to get further details, but found that there was little to no connection between the people that went missing beyond a potential location: the nearby lake.
We prepared to venture out in the morning and retired to the night watch’s quarters, but our sleep was interrupted by a ghostly apparition attacking the guildhall. We intervened and de-escalated the conflict with magic—Wren rescued the people it had seized with Feather Fall, while I had taken control of it with Command Undead at the same time as it unleashed a hackle-raising wail that briefly incapacitated me.
Interestingly, this interaction of supernatural powers resulted in me coming into mental contact with what was controlling the apparition. It sounded and behaved abnormally, artificial and inflexible in tone. After recovering and attempting to communicate with the apparition’s original controller, my control was overridden and we resorted to firing upon the apparition with magic missiles, forcing it to flee.
The following morning we left as scheduled, passing through the deserted village with the orders to seize any supplies left behind. However the forefront of our focus was on our primary mission, and we proceeded to investigate the lake, in which we discovered a strange orb in the shallows. Tapping it triggered the surfacing of a small structure from the water, inside of which was a grated floor that carried us straight down into a buried ruin previously unknown to us.
We discovered then that the ruin was alive, as the same voice that contacted me through the apparition warned us not to proceed. It identified us and a number of others as trespassers and thieves, but after some negotiation and promises not to take anything, it allowed us to continue under escort to the mentioned others once we disarmed ourselves.
Along the way, I was ordered by the ruin to split up from the others and proceed elsewhere in private. Wren and Tanya insisted I did not, but to refuse jeopardised the mission and the potential of new and valuable research could not be discounted, so I accepted despite their wishes. The ruin escorted me to a chamber containing an artifact jar of some manner, along with a person not listed among the missing mesmerised by it. The ruin then admitted that it separated me in the hopes that I was something akin to it and expressed dissatisfaction that it wasn’t the case, as it had planned to find some way to place itself in an earthly body. It proceeded to explain that it was guarding the artifact from thieves like the one who was enraptured, as it was a danger to everyone else’s safety and had the ability to drain a magic user’s potential.
Wren and Tanya meanwhile were purportedly brought to the missing persons, who had been kept under tight guard by a number of mechanical spiders like the ones filed in my last report. After ascertaining the situation, their release was negotiated, and they were later guided to the exit; prior to that however, my teammates were brought to the artifact chamber after me and brought up on the situation. We were told the only way to release the transfixed thief was to press his head into the rim of the artifact, which would also kill him. Tanya accepted the task as one who lacked squeamishness or frailty, but released her grasp on him when it was clear the thief both survived the ordeal and was sound of mind again, albeit bereft of magic.
Ultimately, we negotiated an agreement to leave the ruin alone, and the thief was escorted back to the entrance by us while the ruin itself brought the captives. Interestingly, following a side discussion about our statuettes, we had the chance to request some assistance in deciphering the text on them, which is apparently of the Galactic Standard alphabet, the text transcribed here as such:
[A number of Galactic Standard glyphs, carefully lined up with the translated text]
Divine Memories, Trademark 3812 by Hallmark, Made in China.
The ruin explained that Galactic Standard was spoken on over ‘fifteen million different worlds’, deriding our culture as savage for not innately understanding it, though it reacted positively to a willingness to learn. It also provided me a monolithic device of unknown functionality, telling me that if I can get it working, I would be able communicate with it further. I have not yet determined its purpose, but I have concluded that it lacks the capacity to endanger anyone with its use.
Following that, we returned to the guildhall with all accounted for. The thief was detained and coerced into revealing his cache of stolen goods, and the other captives were ordered that the ruin’s existence was now a guild secret, as per its wishes to be left alone. Owing to lack of supplies, the interim guildmaster could only pay us in a handful of reappropriated goods of the thief’s, which we ultimately sold and split the funds for.
This mission has led to the discovery of a new ruin that is both well-preserved and houses an active intelligence from the days before Kova. Though we made a promise to leave it undisturbed and trusted it to guard its own artifact rather than hand it over to Drakhan, if further negotiations can be opened again in the future, we could advance our research on Kova’s early history by leaps and bounds. The fact that it speaks of other worlds with such familiarity lends credence to the natives’ claims of not being from this one.
In conclusion, the mission was successful and has additionally unveiled a potential breakthrough in historical and archaeological research. However, we must treat this new source of valuable data delicately, for with its sentience comes the risk of it turning against us if we treat it disrespectfully. As such, I plan to transfer to Drakhan and make use of their cumulative research to investigate and attempt to repair the monolithic device the ruin has provided me, as well as further decipher the Galactic Standard language, as I feel Mogaru’s library is no longer sufficient.
~Runica T. Argensolde of Mogaru
[Scribbled on the margin is a note of the draft’s status, with a reminder to get further details and a quick proofreading from Wren and Tanya. “If they complain about the length, though, TS.”]