Distant Reaches - An Artifact of Ancient Evil?

Imperial Archives / An Artifact of Ancient Evil?

An Artifact of Ancient Evil?

An Artifact of Ancient Evil?
Lady Gedworth’s correspondence and papers may contain untold secrets. Alas, their assembly has proven to be a challenge.

The following is a reconstruction of a partially charred letter found in the fireplace of the late Lady Aine Gedworth, noted patron of the arts and collector of antiquities. It has been painstakingly assembled by Merrit Geyne, an agent of the Imperial Catechism.

My Lady,

Thank you for your kind inquiries as to my health. You are too kind. I am not fully recovered yet but am well enough to resume my former duties.

The unbinding has been slow and the spells stubborn and elaborate, but we nevertheless should have it done within the week. Then will come the laborious process of transporting it to the surface. Our team of Binders is remarkably skilled, but moving such a heavy piece of stonework through a cave system takes a great deal of time and finesse. Your patience is very much appreciated.

While I’ve already sent the details of its dimensions, age, possible ceremonial purpose, etcetera, I have been remiss in actually describing what the artifact looks like. The truth is that any description I send will be inadequate. No doubt this will sound ridiculous coming from a man of my education, but there are some things that no amount of learning can prepare you for. Imagine a massive slab of stone, black in color but not made of basalt or obsidian or any other identifiable material. A number of figures have been carved in neat rows upon its surface, all clad in armor and brandishing weapons of some ancient design. These warrior figures surround an enormous individual or being that — well, here is where my words fail. Unending comes to mind, but of course that’s ridiculous. The bas relief has a definite end, and so the figure must too. Except—

Maybe I’m still a little feverish after all. I confess that I haven’t slept well as of late. The unbinding process can take quite a bit from you if you aren’t careful. And sometimes even if you are. I should get some sleep, but I don’t dare. This isn’t a place to rest your head. It’s too easy for something to crawl inside.

[The next paragraph must have been added sometime later. The handwriting is much messier even at the beginning and gradually becomes an illegible scrawl.]

Have you ever considered why the bas relief has been Bound so carefully? Why the spells upon it were so terribly strong? Did you know what it was when you sent us here? No, I doubt it. Your concerns are more shallow than that — another bauble for your collection, to be forgotten once the next one comes along. Ha, forgotten! What I wouldn’t give to be able to forget! I know what’s behind the seal, now. And that’s what it is, no matter what your original sources say. They hid it in simple obscurity, but they didn’t hide it well enough. A single Binding remains now. The rest of the team is waiting for me. Shall I do the honors? No. Not shall. Must. So, I will send this now, while there’s enough of me left to do it. Don’t look for your bauble. We will bring you a far greater prize.

Sincerely and most respectfully,

The Legend of the Vagabond Prince
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