From the Journal of Aframos Longjourney, Pilgrim
With notes by Avos Torr, Scholar of Rheve Library
Chroday, Twenty-third Cycle, Seventh Year, 81st Turn
Eighty-Second Day in the Trees
I looked into the book again. It remains mostly incomprehensible, but today there were a few interesting passages.
On the first page, I was able to read, "In a hill, over a lake, there was a tomb. And in this tomb there lived a man named Eljer Whelve. He was not the intended resident of the tomb. That worthy was near the back, in a casket, and though he was not dead, neither did he live. Neither of them had left the tomb in over a hundred years. The king couldn't, and Eljer was afraid. He feared death, and age, for only the tomb's magic sustained him…" It is indecipherable after that. There is a picture of a cave in a hill, surrounded by twisty branches and old underbrush. A human's face peaks out from the opening, and I can almost smell myrrh rising from the page.
I wonder if it is a true story? Torne says that this is not the first such king he has heard of. Apparently, some kings choose to remain behind in case their people need them again1. I do not like the idea very much. Magic can grant immortality, true, but it is rarely satisfactory in the long run. I would not like to be the one to pay the price.
The other entries are more cryptic, and scattered throughout the book. "…they wear the bones of their enemies, but be not fooled, for they are of the blood…" "Walking in sunlight, the pair moved where their friends could not." "…final price will be a friendship. Will you know in time?" Next to that last, there is a picture of chains and an open hand.
It is strange, but I think that if I could just read the rest of the text, I would understand everything, including who gave us this book.
I've also begun carving Torne's walking stick. I believe I will carve his face into the top of it, where there is a thick knob of wood. Lower down, I will carve leaves and bells, I think. Hopefully, he will be pleased when I am finished.