Lore: Tangled Garden Journal

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On this, the 34th day of Landing in the Eternal One’s 6th season of Light

Her Imperial Eternity honors me with a heavy task. With each passing tenday, the Consumption—those false saplings that despise the Balance and devour all that breathes—grows in force and frenzy. Her Permanence has confided unto me the existence of an ancient palace, perhaps older than the Red Widows themselves, that safeguards a number of relics extremely valuable to the Pan. They must be found and safeguarded.

The Eternal One would not say what these relics were nor why they have remained buried to the ages for all this time. I can only imagine that my Lady Empress thought them safe from any trouble Yaesha yet might bring, but now, the Consumption is not of Yaesha. I fear it is a trouble that is beyond even the Beast and Doe.

I must leave soon.

3rd of Kolkesh, 6th of Light

The jungle is worse than I knew. I have traveled for nearly a tenday and not yet reached even the outskirts of the Imperial Gardens. I have had to go far out of my way to avoid the Consumption. They are everywhere—stalking, destroying, scorning the Balance at every turn. I must travel in stealth, far from path and stream lest I lead those twisted boughs into the Eternal Lady’s most hallowed ground.

Her Eternity’s faith during this troubled time brings me great honor.

22nd of Kolkesh

I have reached the holy gardens and breathed the jungle’s breath, the same air our ancestors and immortals did breathe. These lands were once expansive and beautiful, tended by the Widows’ most talented hands, but nature has long had its way here.

The Balance must ever be appeased.

This makes my task more difficult. The gardens are unkempt and their resplendence obscured, yet they remain an ever-expansive tangle of verdure. Finding my Lady’s palace will be more difficult than I had hoped.

Yet find it I must, for the Consumption is on my hooves, and though these gardens belong to the Balance, I fear even the Balance cannot hold against the Consumption forever. I must complete Her Eternity’s errand before it is too late.

25th Kol

The Consumption is here in the gardens! Not yet in force, but I have seen evidence of the false saplings’ passage. Scouts perhaps. Do they hunt me, or do they spread of their own accord?

It matters not. My quest remains the same. Only the urgency has crested.

1st of Thaenum

At long last, I have found the palace! It is truly glorious! The jungle has reclaimed what the Pan have made, but its beauty is undiminished. If anything, the Balance has made the stones more magnificent.

Alas, the only ingress I have yet found is closed to me. I have no key. Could Her Permanence neglected to inform her most transient servant?

No, the Eternal Lady would not have sent me on a fool’s errand. She trusts me to deduce whatever truth is needed. I must not fail her.

3rd Thaenum

The Consumption are here—at the very gates! I have thus far escaped their notice, but they are unremitting. My opportunity wanes. I must find a way in, yet the key eludes me. Surely the ancients must have left clues or marks on these hallowed grounds. Surely Her Permanence would not abandon me to a wrin’s folly.

I must keep looking. I cannot give in, not after having come so far.

The only road to failure is surrender.