Items of interest from Staunton Vhane’s journal…
Despite the other treasures found in Staunton Vhane’s room, the most valuable object in the chest may well be Staunton’s journal. This journal records events from Staunton’s life, recited from his childhood in the Five Kings Mountains to his time spent in the First Mendevian Crusade searching for the lost Sky Citadel of Jormurdun, on to his betrayal of Drezen and his time spent serving Deskari and Baphomet alike. Staunton feels that if his enemies can penetrate this far into his defenses, at least reading the increasingly grisly and harrowing account of the atrocities he’s committed over the past 75 years will horrify them. The book is sort of his legacy, since he never had children of his own, nor can he count on his allies singing songs of his deeds after he dies.
To this day, scholars still debate the identity of the person responsible for the Drezen’s loss, but this journal finally provides definitive proof. Other notes of interest include the following.
• A list of dozens of sacred and holy weapons and armor he and his brother have successfully tainted through the use of the “corruption forge”
• A description of the Sword of Valor, including Staunton’s frustration over Aponavicius’s desire to keep it as a mere trophy and not to attempt the banner’s corruption.
• Several detailed pages of how he hopes to someday torture Irabeth for “ruining nearly everything” when she confronted him almost a year ago in Kenabres.
• Notes on the shadow demon Eustoyriax, an unusually powerful shadow demon who came to Drezen a few weeks after Staunton fled here from Kenabres. The shadow demon arrived in the possessed body of a crusader named Maranse (a man the diary records as now being long dead after having been turned over to the succubus Kiranda), and bore gifts from a place called the Ivory Sanctum—five elixirs of distilled power brewed from powdered Nahyndrian crystal. The notes explain how Staunton volunteered to take one of the elixirs to test its strength before Aponavicius used one, and of the powers the elixir unlocked in him (drinking the elixir was the antipaladin’s moment of ascension to mythic power). The notes go on to describe the grisly deaths the elixirs inflicted on the dragon and xacarba servants Aponavicius tested them on, and that only the chimera Soltengrebbe survived the transformation. The notes conclude by revealing that the shadow demon Eustoyriax remains here in a chamber below the citadel, where Aponavicius has placed him in charge of protecting the Sword of Valor.
• The Ivory Sanctum is the central stronghold of the Templars of the Ivory Labyrinth in the Worldwound, a fortress led by a man named Xanthir Vang who also happens to be the regional leader of the Blackflame Adepts. Staunton records his sole meeting with Xanthir Vang, and indicates he would rather not meet him again—apparently something about the man particularly revolted the antipaladin.
• Finally, Staunton mentions a special prisoner who’s been kept in the Drezen dungeons—a succubus by the name of Aureshalae who was captured by Aponavicius. Staunton knows the succubus is some sort of Abyssal heretic and that the marilith wanted her kept prisoner until a special oubliette in the Rasping Rifts on the Abyss was ready for her. The fact that the succubus escaped not long after Aponavicius left Drezen in Staunton’s hands is a major point of worry for the dwarf. He’s sent several minions out into the Worldwound to track her, noting that her loss of certain demonic abilities is the one saving grace and hoping her inability to teleport or become ethereal will allow his agents to find her and return her to Drezen before Aponavicius finds out she’s managed to flee into the wilds of the Wounded Lands.
The final note in the diary talks of how he hired an annis hag cultist of Sifkesh to track her down as well, and that if this final attempt fails, he intends to seek out Arueshalae himself once “this matter with the so-called heroes of Kenabres is settled.”