|Excavation_Body_01_01||I almost wish the sparkling rock had not caught our eye, but so it did. Now here we are, and beasts the like of which have never been seen remind me we are strangers to this isle – and the farther north we go, both man and beast alike, become more feral and unapproachable.|
The danger started simply enough – while scouring the track, Dunne caught traces of that glittering rock, the one that glitters like stars lie within. Seeing pieces of the ore lying quite thickly about, we spent days looking for a vein of the stuff and sought to mine it. To be sure, we feared the sound of our pickaxes would wake the Corrupted from the Cleave - but that was not to be our misfortune.
As we unearthed the “Star Rock” day upon day and piled it upon the wagons for the outpost, we could not help but notice the days grew colder and colder, more sharply each night. We had learned not to stray too far east and south on account of the great bears, but the sudden onset of winter was something we had not expected. Dunne had caught sight of wolves, he claimed, but he said they did not howl, nor move as he had ever seen a wolf move – he said that they looked as if they were rimed with ice, wreathed around like a coat of winter.
|Excavation_Body_01_02||I saw one of the strange wolves today. Dunne did as well, though he is not here to speak of it. It was mid-day, and I saw it all play out most clearly.|
We had lifted some of the star ore to the carts, when suddenly, soundless, there was a wolf – a thing shaped as a wolf – at the opening of the mine. It was as if it had just broken free from a glacier, for spikes of ice covered its coat, as if the two were wedded.
I bid my muscles to move, to run, to scream, yet I could do nothing. Dunne was not so fortunate – he issued a cry, as if to drive the thing off, and held a chunk of the starmetal over his head threateningly: as he did, the beast was suddenly upon him, its jaws at his throat. My eyes did not deceive me – I watched as frost blanketed Dunne's throat where the fangs sank into flesh and froze the blood as it jetted from his wound.
I confess I did not stop to aid him – I fled into the mine, hiding there, praying warmth shall return to my bones. If I escape this place, I shall not return, for I am convinced those beasts did not arrive by chance – our working of the ore must have brought them, as if they sought to guard it against those who would take it.
I hereby relinquish my claim to this mine – if others wish it, they must answer to the devils in the ice and make peace with them.
|Lore_Body_Arch_Excavation||April 15. The work goes swiftly. We have carried away the soil from beneath the Great Sphere, revealing the full mark carved upon the stone.|
Maddie's men labor honest and industrious – they work efficiently, which is well and good, as I am not certain how far my coin will last. Maddie is more worried about provisions - food has proven a challenge, as the scouts find they must range farther and farther from camp for game. This has worried Rolfe, though he has not said why. He is often at the perimeter, staring into the woods.
More curiously, Maddie claims she has seen such marks before, on smaller spheres being sold at the outposts. She said the small spheres were scavenged from hunters near the Temple to the East. Rolfe frowned at that and said it wasn't in the ground they found the spheres, but in the rib cages of skeletons there, like stone hearts. Maddie looked unsettled by the news, as did her men. I pressed Rolfe on this, but he refused to speak further. I must secure one of these spheres – after our work here, perhaps a trip to the Temple is in order.