This is an account transcribed by ***** ********* agent of the Explorer's League. This is for the eyes of those who want the truth behind the incident of the Faceless War. All names have been blanked to prevent anyone from finding the families of those responsible for 'retribution'. This is the story of the Cave Survivor. He was the last known survivor of the Tloke's Seal incident. He has since disappeared and is assumed dead.
Document TS 1 begins here. Please know that the Cave Survivor, as he is known, was not an acolyte of the League and did not know our philosophies beyond 'explore'. Thus, inconsistencies between his details and our own policies are to be left unannotated.
“I. Remember. Everything. It is imprinted on my mind and I shall keep this information in my heart until the day I die. Which will be soon, or I am a liar. I don't want to be remembered for telling this story.”
“We will grant it. But, please... the facts, ***. *******.” Said his interviewer.
“I apologize. It rained that night. We had routed Shabboltholm at 'Sorrow and were pursuing them. My command was charged with protecting the Marshal, Dorleone. He was a member of your guild, right?”
“Yessir. Please concentrate on the story.”
“I and several of my officers joined him in exploring the cave. We soon realized we could fit much of the army within it. I believe some fifty thousand eventually made it in. The Marshal, myself and five other officers kept going to the back. It was very tight. Only two of us could walk side-by-side at a time. There was only one real tunnel throughout.” The interviewee became agitated, but calmed himself after a pause.
“He and I were the first to spot... the seal.” He shivers
“Can you describe it?” The interviewer leaned forward, this was something she came to hear.
“Yes. Circles within circles. Dragons were carved into the wall and those same walls were painted pitch black. Yet...” The interviewee becomes restless and starts to rub his head. “I think there were words... ancient, archaic words that even now begin to cloud my dreams! They are not human! No...” He calms himself. “I do not know them and I would never describe them to anyone. At the center of the circles within circles was a gauntlet. My aide-de-camp, ****** *** was a linguist, and he happened to know the language. It was a form of elvish: 'Remove the gauntlet and release the great evil of the First Faceless one'.”
“Did your aide tell you anything more specific about the language?” She said.
“No... Dorleone told everyone to leave. He wasn't going to mess with this... Seal. As we turned around, he saw the other gauntlet, sister to the seal. 'A fine souvenir!' He said... I didn't want to touch it. He took it and the circles crumbled and the wall moved.” The interviewee writhed at the memory, as he fought the primal fear that had been laid on his heart, the words gushed out.
“It didn't writhe, it LIVED! Hands grasped out and clutched the Marshal, dragging him into the darkness! I didn't scream like my aide; I ran. I smelt the death of battle! It was like the battlefields after the third day of fighting at Sorrow. The dead were rotting and the cries of the dying were all that a man could hear and smell. You could feel this on your very MIND! I felt it wrench my being around and drive me to the floor. I fought that grasping hand! I escaped!”
“Then I saw the soldiers, dying at the hands of the darkness. I ran past them with sword drawn, cutting down whatever was in my way. I must have killed fifty of my own men as I ran by them and they clutched at me. 'Colonel! Save us! Save us!' I can't I CAN'T! Wa ha haaa... All dead. And I'll join them soon enough.”
“Is there nothing else?” The interviewer said, organizing her notes.
“You don't really care...”
“We do, but we can't help you. The priests of the Light say that the darkness must be fought alone, within our hearts.”
“They don't know what I saw.”
“What did you see?”
“I saw what would happen for the rest of the war. DEATH!” He fell and laughed. “Let me die.”
End Document TS 1. This is the only document recording the events in the cave, true or not. As such, it is being accepted into the 'Canon' of the Explorer's League Annal's unless further facts are unearthed.