A writing project based on one of my save files for Darkest Dungeon. Part 1 (Move your mouse to reveal the content) Part 1 (open) Part 1 (close) The Descarte Journal Feb. 3rd - Gregor The road is dark. The sun lost its final rays over the horizon a few scant minutes ago. By the quickly fading light I write these words, the wavering howls of wolves hard on my ears. Behind me lies the carriage, it's axels torn and busted, vicious spears against the underbrush. The driver is dead, the mad fool. Vincent jokes of how we shall no longer need to pay the man, though I can see the pale fear hiding behind his eyes. The nervous tick shaking at his fingers. The old estate is only a few miles down the road. If we are lucky, we should be able to reach it before terrors of the night rip us limb from limb. My grandfathers legacy will be reclaimed. ... Despite our caution, a lone brigand caught us off guard as we passed a small cemetary. I had paused to check for any familiar names amongst the faded stones, when Vincent's hurried cry and the sting of gunpowder awoke my sense. We were able to dispatch the lowlife before he could even draw his blade, but I am fearful, for these parasites are not prone to acting alone. ... It seems I was right; as the crooked and crumbling spires of the Descarte estate rose into sight over the treetops, two more brigands fell upon us. One of them... one was a massive beast of a man. Never before have I seen the like; he was the size of two or even three men. A cruel whip in one hand, a pistol in the other. Luckily, by God's grace, my sword and Vincent's pistol were enough to overcome the foes. We entered the estate grounds proper as our shadows disappeared into the encompassing gloom. There, we found two other distant relatives waiting for us. The first to greet us was Poe, a hardy cleric. Though she constantly whispers of demons and imps stalking her footsteps; the horrors that lurk around this mansion may be too much for her to bear. At the very least, God has seen fit to grant her his strength, and her healing touch will surely be a boon. Second was Theon, already deep into his drink. I shall admit, I do not like this man. Behind his plague mask lurks a deep hatred for mankind, and the slatternly wenches in the brothel dare not serve him. When pressed, they refused to go into detail of his sick tastes, but the paleness of their faces spoke volumes. Nevertheless, he is blood and kin. If he is willing to help reclaim this estate, who am I to tell him otherwise? Feb. 7th - Gregor I rest now, inside the cold walls of the mansion, shaken by our foray into the ruins. These were clearly dug by my grandfather in his mad search for power, yet... not all of these stones seem to be shaped from chisel and steel. In some places, I could see the gouges of frenzied fingers. Impossible, for mere flesh to carve stone, but what I saw said otherwise. Perhaps even stranger is that some parts of the ruins are far more ancient than the rest. The mortar turned to dust, the stone brittle to the touch. Theon claims these parts are thousands of years old, made by forces beyond our comprehension. Inside the halls, we stumbled upon a collections of tomes and volumes. Foolishly, I dared to read several pages. I will not- cannot bear to repeat what twisted passages those pages contained, for even the mere memory of them shakes me to my core. Vincent was forced to physically restrain me from wasting precious oil on burning the accursed things. We pressed on. And around the next corner, monsters. Skeletal abominations, deviants to God's will. Poe visibly quailed before them, yet fought valiantly. Perhaps I was too quick to dismiss her fortitude. With pale bones weakened by age, the skeletons fell quickly to our combined assault. Then, beyond them, hiding in the gloom and cobwebs, brigands. Have they merged forces with the undead? Are they behind the unholy scourge plagueing these lands? I do not know. They too fell quickly, but not before one managed a lucky blow on Vincent. When I saw the crimson tide below his ribs, I feared the worst. But after a few minutes of Poe's patchwork and some rations to sustain him, he urged me to press on. Many parts of these ruins have crumbled and shattered. Twice we found the path before us barred to us. At the first, shovels and sweat were enough to clear the way. But the wood in this land is sickly and weak, and our shovels shattered the next we tried to use them. Instead, we were forced to clear the way with bare hands. Even now, I am careful to avoid spilling blood on these pages, the bandages on my fingers damp with red. Near the end, as we could see the final halls of our quest before us, we were once more waylaid. Undead, armed with clubs and rusted swords, crawled through gaps in the ceiling and walls, catching us unaware. A chance strike reopened Vincent's fresh wounds, toppling him to the ground. As his breathing faltered, and the pale dead surrounded us, I admit my resolve was sorely tested. Death seemed inevitable, and fear the only appropiate response. But in the final moments, before I let my sword drop and my courage flee into the rotten depths, a light filled the air- filled me, and I looked upon the dead not with fear, but with disdain. More dead poured from unseen crevices, including a women priestess to some dark force, eldritch powers summoned from her scarred hands. Every moment seemed as if Vincent's last, his pistol shots flying wide, Poe struggling to staunch his wounds while steel and wood, bone and blood, streaked through the air around them. Yet victory... victory was ours. The horrors of the dark are terrible beyond measure, true, but they can be slain. The grace of God shall see us through this vast task, of this I am sure. Vincent, however, is not so faithful. His close brush with death has left him shaken to his core. It will be a while yet before he is ready to venture forth once more into the unknown, if ever. For now, we return home. Feb. 8th - Gregor A short note. Though Poe seems to have handled the stress of the enemy well enough, I fear she has taken too much comfort in the whims of the flesh. Last night, as the ink upon these pages dried and the wick of the candled bled it's last embers, she came to my room, and spoke of proving our faith with the bodies God has granted us. I turned her away, reminded her of the dangers of the mortal coil, and the temptations accompanying them. She listened, though I doubt she will listen for long. The pleasures of the brothel call, promising physical relief for only the price of hard and lonely gold.