The Expedition Papers of Kasper Gray
A Subterranean Nightmare
The following entries are from January 1832, which details the nightmarish conditions of the tunnels he was exploring.
January 19, 1832
Today's exploration has been as fruitless as when I started this five days ago. I have traveled nearly one hundred kilometers, although I am almost certain that I have walked many of those kilometers more than once. It is hopelessly dark, and even with my magic, my directional magic is almost useless. I suspect that many of these tunnels have been magicked to confuse the explorer, but I have yet to discover a way to break these spells. Although I will continue, I fear that I have perhaps overtaken more than I can handle. I have always been called foolhardy, and if I perish during this journey, no one that knows me will be surprised by my death on vacation. January 23, 1832
I am usually more consistent in my writings, but these last few days have been the most desolate and hopeless I have ever known. Despite the fact that I broke through the spells around the tunnels in this portion, I found a seemingly abandoned civilization: a maze of rooms intended for residency, work, and gatherings. I have no idea of who would have inhabited these tunnels, but a sudden massacre must have occurred: bones of people of all ages litter the tunnels and most of the skulls feature spikes that entered through under the chin and exited out of the top of the skull. I took a spike to study at a later date to determine if witches or humans inhabited this city. Most unnerving is that I feel as though I am being watched. When I walk, I hear the echo of my footsteps and what I believe is the footsteps of another. A few hours ago I saw what seemed like an apparition of a person looking at me; as I struggled to adjust to the dark, the shadow disappeared. No, I believe the most unnerving is the voices. I cannot find the whisperings' source, but it does seem to be more than one person's voice. I also cannot decipher what the topic of conversation is, but the voices sound furious. I swore that I heard my name, but as I have not spoken aloud since entering the tunnels, I have not the faintest idea of how someone would know my name. These ominous signs worry me, but I fear that even if I turned back, I could not find the entrance again. ?
I am unsure of what the date is, as my timepiece was lost. Or perhaps stolen? It seems as though it has been weeks, but I cannot imagine it has been more than a few days since my last entry. It is curious that my magic seems to be steadily weakening; I am not sure if something in these tunnels is causing it or it is a lack of proper nutrition: much of my food has gone missing as well. ?
It seems as though finding the Mala is a feat that I will not accomplish. I fear I am going mad; the voices are louder, yet the topic still incomprehensible. The footsteps no longer stop when I do; they continue until they are right behind me. When I turn around, nothing is there. The civilization that I encountered is no longer in my sights, but I have no idea how close I am to it. My directional magic is all but gone. What have I done? I swear the voices call my name even louder now.
A Darker Evil
The following entries are from February to March 1832. Gray seems to have encountered the Mala for a short time and was treated well; however, he unexpectedly leaves the Mala quickly.
February 4, 1832
I am currently in the , the city of the Mala. They rescued me some days ago, as I had lost consciousness and was severely malnourished. The Mala are immersed in Dark Magic and I feel at home here. I have told them of my goal to turn humans into witches and although they despise humans, they do support an endeavor to make them more useful. I should think that their goal of attacking Ilyrium is not far off. February 12, 1832
I have agreed to be a spy for the Mala in exchange for pages of information on their Dark Magic work. I have only skimmed, but their knowledge has far surpassed the rest of the witch world. The Mala invited me to stay, as they are fully aware of my dedication to Dark Magic, but I need to return to the Crows. I will, however, stay in contact with the Mala to report my findings on Ilyrium. With the Crows' many eyes, this should not be a problem. February 17, 1832
I left two days ago. I know there is more than Dark Magic afoot, and I intend to gather more research. The tunnels are more bearable with the equipment given to me by the Mala, and I have not heard voices or seen apparitions in the dark. February 19, 1982
The journey continues and I feel as though I am drawing closer to the source, although I cannot tell you why. Today, my spirits are high. I suspect my journey will take a few more weeks, and I hope to observe and not encounter this source. If I am lucky, I will return to Ilyrium in two to three weeks and attribute my absence to a solitary meditation that I decided to undertake on a whim. Someday soon, when the Mala complete their goal, I shall publish on my journey. February 23, 1832
I found the source. Luckily I did not directly encounter the source, but I have been running for at least six hours. The voices are loud now. [No date]
I have never known fear until now. Even before, that was folly. The shadows and voices still follow me, but now an indescribable feeling follows me into the darkest parts of the tunnels. I can never rest. I have not slept in at least three days. The voices whisper to me and now I can understand them. [No date]
i wander. it tells me the way to go. blood drips down the wall. [No date]
it tells me to go but I don't want to follow anymore
The Return of Kasper Gray
The following entries are from May 1832. Gray abandoned his second journey and returned home on May 4, 1832 although he comments little on his preceding journey.
May 1, 1832
It feels so good to see the sun again! I am thrilled that I found the Mala and that I was able to stay with them for a few months. I have learned so much and I am eager to reach Ilyrium to begin the compilation of my notes. Some of the entries are nearly illegible; I must have been tired when I wrote them. May 4, 1832
I have returned home. This entry shall conclude my notes. I wish they were more extensive, but the Crypta Labyrinthus kept me quite preoccupied. I feel a bit under the weather; the expedition took a toll on me, but I am extremely pleased with the results. [No date]
what is happening what are these voices that do not let me rest what is this s [entry cuts off]
May 5, 1832
Kasper Gray was found dead by the Council. No cause of death was determined, but his face was contorted in what many describe as fear.
1. Outside of Venta, Cambria: Gray finds the entrance to the underground tunnels that supposedly links to the Mala.
2. Somewhere in the east of England: Gray has his first sightings of the shadows/hearing of the voices. (According to margin notes from Gray.)
3. Northern Cambria: Worsening of the shadows/voices. This location is just a guess from Gray.
4. Eastern Hibernia: Location of the Crypta Labyrinthus, the home of the Mala.
5. Ilyrium, Brittania: Gray's hometown, which he eventually returns to.
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