3681A, 27th Ventosus Day 42.
It is our forty second day out from home. Home, there is a thought. I have been gone just over a month and already it feels forever. My children, my wife… I see their faces in my dreams but they seem distant even now. Childish I know, even dramatic perhaps. Even for me.
We have been underground in these ruins for days and I fear that the light will never shine on me again. I missed the meteor shower again, I fear I never will. I wish I could have seen the stars fall to the earth, I hear it is a sight like no other. Especially in the waning of summer when fall comes, the stars fall like rain and light the sky as if dusk was on the world twice in one day.
Is this trek smart? Is it worth it? My troupe and I were hired to navigate through these ruins looking for an item of ancient origins. I wasn’t even given a description, only Martic, our self imposed leader of this group. Arrogant yes, but not half bad in charge in a pinch. Anyway, he did mention it was some grand door or gate. I don’t know why we are looking for a door, we can not bring it back if it is big.
Our group of thirty is down to twenty eight, two days ago we lost one to a quake and a wall collapsed in on him. Joana. His cries echoed in the underground darkness for hours until he finally quieted. We tried digging him out but the more we dug the more collapsed on him. Martic said a prayer and walked off into the darkness. I stayed trying to comfort him, but I feel it was more for me so I would not be haunted by demons when I sleep.
The second one… his screams will haunt my nightmares forever. Marcus went walking off into the darkness last night to relieve himself. Martic told him to stay close but he walked off. I echoed his sound judgment but he still walked off into the dark without a light. The last words from him were distant in the darkness, but he mentioned something about the smell of death and then his screams awoke us. We ran to were we thought he was but could not find him, not even any blood.
We said a prayer to him and began walking. We have traveled far into this ruined structure. Once thought a place of worship, a large temple perhaps, it seems more of a city held within the walls of a single building. The topmost portion outside has crumbled to an indiscernible mess, but underground it has stayed mostly intact.
It would have looked pretty perhaps when people lived here. I have found some pottery and dry rotted clothing and tapestries. Few bones however so I can not determine what caused the people here to leave.
We have stopped for a break to rest our weary feet and drink more tepid water. It tastes old but you can survive on it. We will be leaving soon according to Martic. He said last night that after two deaths, if we do not find this item within the next few days we will leave and return home.
Garan just returned from scouting ahead. He claims to have smelled something like a dead body. Perhaps it is Marcus, we are on a lower level than we were when we lost him, perhaps he just fell down a fissure and died. What a terrible way. So we are off to check on this and then proceed.
My family, I hope to see them soon.
Stefan, Scribe and Teacher. Journeymen
Last journal entry.
Choke horrors are nightmarish creatures that give the most knowledgeable and adventurous pause. They are tall gangly bipedal creatures that have four whip like appendages instead of arms. These whips end in small, yet sharp claws that rake metal armor as would a sword. They have a white pallid complection and a smell of sweet decaying roses. This gives them a quick appearance of being a corpse if they hide their whip arms. Their black eyes showing no signs of intelligence or thought, but behind those eyes are primal predatory instincts.
The Choke Horror is a member of the Fel’Krethsh caste of the demon kind. They are animals and nothing more than that. They stalk their prey and feed, little else. Their masters use them for fodder on the battle field, occassionally leaving them with the dead to kill any straglers to a battle.
They have no speech or culture, but will occasionally hunt in packs of two or three. They are single minded and devious, wanting only to feed. They tend to lurk and hide in the shadows and jump out at a anyone or anything straggling behind for an easier meal. They will attempt to grapple their intended prey with two of their arms leaving the other two open for defense or attacking and try and strangle their victim to feed on at a later date.
They can only attack with three of their whips as the forth one is always left for defense or to grab anything close for defense or food. They are carnivorous creatures that will eat the flesh from their victims before their last breath escapes their lips. They will eat any animal they can get a hold of, but prefer humanoid and sentient beings for some unknown reason. They rest in dens hidden away from direct sunlight as the sun seems to hurt their eyes. It doesn’t harm them, but bright light seems to be an aversion to them.
The Fel’Krethsh are the slave caste of the demons. They are the workers that keep everything the way the masters want it. Should a need arise for more at the Pits, they gather hunts and bring them to the Pits, keeping them full for their masters. Most of the Fel`Krethsh are animalistic in intelligence. They understad command and the wants of their masters, but no nothing but to appease. They are the small imps in the night, the horrible shadows that stalk dreams and nightmares. They are what people fear in the dark with no name.
More information on this can be found here Hewdamian Demons