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Written in formal, courtly hand, this worn journal seems to be one in a series.


The Rise of Gravehal

First Entry: Lord Slosvard has given me liberty to build a keep of Emberdeep and to make this new settlement the envy of the Dvergan people. I do not intend to disappoint him. As is our tradition, the foundation of this keep shall be build from the very ships that brought us hence. Their masts will support the ceiling of the Great Hall, the sails shall be the canopies of our courtyard.

Second Entry: The forest itself seems to oppose us. We cannot build fast enough to keep apace with its growth. Every morning, it has reclaimed nearly all that was done the day prior. I need more men.

Third Entry: I believe I, at last, have enough strong backs to make some headway against this island wilderness. I've never seen such trees as these. They seem to visibly grow in a moment, leaning not towards the sun, but solely towards our keep, so bent do they seem on its destruction.

Fourth Entry: This island has never seen the likes of a Dvergan builder and what he can do with an army of strong Dvergan men and slaves from distant lands. Our work might have failed without these first batches of slaves brought here by Lord Gravehal for the slave colony he builds in the harbor on the western coast. Once I am done with whatever is left of this batch, Lord Gravehal believes he can make this place center of the Frostbreak Sea slave trade.

Fifth Entry: The island trembles under the points of our shovels and the speed of our axes, though it seems to fight back with all its might. It unnerves me to imagine what force opposes me, but I am no less determined to conquer it. Even Lord Gravehal himself, at his advanced age, lends his strong back to the effort. Every day he doffs his finery and toils for hours, shirtless in the frigid air.

Sixth Entry: Lord Gravehal has died. With hammer raised high above his head, he thundered down upon the high wall of the tower, driving in one final nail for the day. The scaffold, it was slippery this day, and his lordship lost his footing and fell to the frozen ground. Lady Gravehal has ordered what she calls "our folly" abandoned, and we immediately set sail for Emberdeep.

Seventh Entry: Lord Gravenhal's only son, Ansgar Solsvard, heir to Gravenhal has sworn that we shall never abandon his father's keep and it be completed in his memory. Lady Gravehal has no choice but to comply. Work resumes.

Eighth Entry: It is done. The throne room is a sight to behold, outshining any in Emberdeep. The master of the keep's throne looks down upon the long table, beside staircases winding awesomely and mysteriously to the gallery above. The wood within has been polished to an ethereal shine and the rugs upon the floor are of the softest wool imaginable, shorn from this island's many creatures. Outside, the courtyard bustles in the shadow of the wall and its massive carvings. Stalls line the yard selling all manner of wares from across the sea, before the backdrop of the keep, in the center, and the library and the household of his lordship's bride-to-be, Lady on either side. Her chambers would be considered a palace in any other place. Crawling as it will be with filthy animals, is a jewel of its kind, functional and perfectly suited to its purpose, if I may say.

My finest work is at last complete an arrangements can now be made for the wedding and the opening of the mighty keep of Gravehal. Never was there a finer wedding gift bestowed, nor testament to the glory and stubbornness of the Dvergan people.