September 13, Year 3509 (1901 Dwarven): Our recent travels through this wood have brought us upon the camp of these cursed filthy kobolds, but apparently not in time to save some poor traveler preceding us. Judging by his remains (and by that I mean his possessions and documents, not the gruesome kitchen scraps of the vermin), I believe these to be the demise of poor merchant Yonsun. He carried a guild ring and several letters, which I fortunately had the arcane skill to cleanse before touching. Several were quite plain documents promising payment for certain trade goods and other things of a rather base nature, however one document contained a rather simple coded message which read “Lord B paid too much for something of value here. Find out what, and if it can be used against us. -A”. Had I written such an easily deciphered message, I’d be whipped out of the diplomatic towers of Sebayhil, were I not laughed out, first! It is plain that “Lord B” refers to Lord Bergen, and confirms my earlier suspicion that there is far more of worth here than would first meet the eye. The signature of “A” is rather more difficult; I suspect it may refer to Athran of the nearby Ramoth Heathlands, but I have little to back up that speculation at the moment.
Over the next several nights, as we approached the lake near the center of this land, my supporters complained of loud sounds during the night keeping them awake. At first I passed it off as some bad mushrooms they may have eaten, but in time I experienced the same unnatural fog and disturbing sounds as they. It seems quite obviously a mean illusion to me, but even the simplest of spells wielded effectively can keep a person from sleep. Fortunately, a recital of my dissertation on Adastrican import tax laws seemed to put everyone at ease, although I must admit it was not my initial intention.
Despite a comically harrowing challenge involving mobile grasses and an incident wherein the attendant cleric followed a mysterious, disembodied light into a sucking mire, we eventually reached the lake. Through the mists, I can see some sort of tower or manor, and once the sun has set some sort of lights or other activity can be seen amongst the ruin. There is certainly some sort of creature or inhabitant of this area which does not appreciate my interest! Which, of course, makes me all the more interested… The disturbing sounds at night have become louder and more insistent, and we have taken to sleeping later into the morning to get some worthwhile sleep. As we approach the tower, I am feeling myself much more healthy and prepared, the nagging wounds from the foul insects several nights earlier having finally healed; for the honor and glory of Alfaen, I am ready to face whatever foulness protects the secrets here!