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The mountains and forests that surround Azenaria are a terrifying place for any human to stumble into.  While no human has ever found his way there and returned to tell the tale, the tales still do exist.  Some men say the forests are home to terrible creatures that no man can describe.  Other men say the forests are home to a strange race of humans totally unlike those currently living in any region of Baylein, in the real world.  Some say the mountains are full of caves that descend so deep into the heart of the world that no light can penetrate them.  The creatures that live in these deep caves have no eyes, yet, they can see as well as you or I.

I know these stories are all false.  I know this because I have been there, and I returned.  Why didn’t I proclaim this knowledge to the world?  Why didn’t I sit in front of the blazing hearths of inns and taverns all over the land telling my tale?  Because the knowledge is the curse.  Because I have the knowledge of these things, I am cursed to walk the land forever.  I have no home.  I had to die, to convince my loved ones that I am dead.  I had to do this to protect them.  Anyone who gains the knowledge I have, will be cursed as I am.  I do not sleep.  I cannot sleep.  For me, the dream is death, and life is an eternal nightmare.  That is my curse.

I sought Azenaria as a babe seeks its mothers breast.  I sought that terrible place for the secrets I believed it held.  I sought those secrets and put them above my own life, my wife, my children, all that I ever had.  I was given what I sought.  I was given the secret that I so desperately craved.  I was given the knowledge that dreams can kill, the knowledge that life and death are nothing more than pitiful words we humans use to try to explain things we don’t understand.  I was given the knowledge that mortal man is a pathetic insect crawling on the arm of a dragon.  We are nothing, and our lives are meaningless.

For me, the dream is death, and life is an eternal nightmare.

— The journal of Verton was found in a satchel hanging from a tree branch somewhere west of the Daggers Of Chardaka. His body was never found, and no other personal items were ever discovered. It is not known why he was attempting to cross the Daggers.

 

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