Hyperion found this scroll hidden behind a loose brick in Elwyn’s lair. It was in a decrepit state and while handling, Hyperion destroyed page 5 which crumbled into dust. He’s since translated this from the ancient Elven dialect.
“Warning to all Elves STAY AWAY! From Aeltais
“The Sky Elves of Aeltais have contracted a pox gnawing on their spirits and their bodies. Some have said that the time of the elves is at an end and that we should gloriously accept that fate as a reward for reaching the peak of civilization. Our magic and society is beyond reproach without the help of humans, dwarves, or gnomes. There has been talk of passing along our spark to the other races. But humans are such fragile creatures. They find any reason to flare a temper and might think we are boasting. Gnomes are too curious and would certainly destroy themselves with experiments trying to understand the sparks. Dwarves would certainly demean our energy and use it as another way to dig new mountain halls. Still, most of us are not willing to pass without a fight while we lack the conclusive evidence of this fate.
“Within this last decade our venerable have found their skin not fitting. It flakes as if the grey char on coals and floats away in a strong breeze. We have kept to leaving them in the trees to keep them intact and as whole as possible until a cure can be found. The pain is excruciating as I understand. Their wailing is enough incentive to discourage many caretakers. Several who have cared for them have broken their minds after giving so much and seeing no improvements. Malthias and Brenezeegs have sent me to a way station to research the disease. I was left with two fallen fellows who have succumbed to the disease and a great laboratory in the Gaol Forest to test and see what I could find without further exposure myself. This seems a last ditch effort and a futile proposition. Every wiser lord with greater extent to powers beyond this world has already tried their tranceless nights to understand the nature of this beast. Essentially it is an exile and a punishment to while away my remaining nights in solitude and loneliness. It is penance for my transgressions with the darkness and flame below. Perhaps they believe that with my connections I can find a cure that they are not willing to consider.
“The affliction seems to be centered on our homeland. The humans of the southern kingdoms, the nearby gnomes, and the dwarves of the Fracture Cliffs and the Giant Peaks have not reported any similar signs. No word has returned from other Elven lands. Perhaps they have heard of our affliction and are not willing to subject themselves to exposure and so are remaining silent. It is suspected that they also have acquired the disease and are suffering. No matter. No further messengers will be sent to them in an effort to keep it from them. For the last nine years we have been under quarantine. No help from the outside has dared attempt to save us. We are cut off. We are left to our own devices and sadly we are resolute that it will not be enough.
“Though I may be a carrier, it seems safe enough to attend Kolbenborg now as new supplies are needed for further experiments. The gnomes have been quite hospitable and have not suffered at all being the closest civilized folk near Aeltais for more than the past 20 years. My disease not being advanced enough, likely because of my youth, they have not seen any outward signs and so their respect has come easily. After all, the effort is to save my kin and our kind. So subjecting the gnomes is of no concern. If the cure is accomplished, the gnomes and others could be spared or allowed to pass at our whim.
“I have learned some mechanus rituals from Duvagel that have aided in my research. Particularly through some of my personal experiments, this knowledge aided me in discovering a gate quite by accident. At first thought to be a dimensional portal as the land markers were much the same as my home dimension. Rivers, woods, flaura, fauna all very similar, even languages. However, after some investigating have found that the gate connects an advanced time in the same dimension. In this advanced time Medus, the human city, still thrives and is now bigger than ever. Kolbenborg has crumbled and is buried beneath the human village of Agrippa. Apparently it is guarded by a magister named Polydeukes because of the powerful secrets that lie within the future Kolbenborg. There is a possibility of some of those secrets being able to help my Aeltais, but he has been less than friendly when I’ve made attempts to bring the place into conversation. I fear that if I am to learn more about the power there, it will mean defying Polydeukes surreptitiously. My assessment of his abilities would be too much to overcome through force.
“After searching for weaknesses in Polydeukes’s defenses for three moons, I have found nothing worthy to exploit. His inner domus force shield can be penetrated at night when the moon is at its zenith for a short time though I have not been able to locate the entrance once there.
“The future version of the iron wood tree nearby has been possessed by some foul ill-tempered spirit. I have attempted on several occasions to establish a beneficial truce. However it seems bent on making things difficult by interrupting experiments, research, and sending other forest creatures to liquidate me. It seems the iron wood tree is connected or somehow has influence over the time traveling gate. After several arguments with the tree spirit I deemed it necessary to encase the tree in a force shield similar to that which Polydeukes created to keep it from further interference with my experiments.
“I have enlisted the gnomes to build a winding fortress around my laboratory to keep it from other ravages of time. We have met on several occassions to discuss the exact specifications. Though they have not yet begun the work I am pleased to see that in the future the fortress is completed. The gnomes are exceptional artisans! And it seems this fortress is impervious. The doors move at only my command or great magic and they have even supplied some of their creations to act as defenders of my halls.
“It is quite possible we were afflicted with the disease long before this and it has already been carried to the human kingdoms, dwarves, and the gnomes. In other discussions with the humans in Agrippa it appears that they also have contracted a similar disease ours not being able to bear children within the last 20 years. It has come to my attention that our disease of ashen skin may be linked to other diseases and frailties in our last century past as the only thing we’ve found in common among these conundrums is that our scholars, mages, priests, and druids have not been able to solve them. It seems that the future humans, now with an empire and expanded influence into gnome and elven culture, are not able to divine a cause or solution for their curse either.
“20 years ago almost half our population of males was cursed with a type of paralysis”