Travelogue: Papers, Please

Dear brother,

This week, we largely spent our time recovering from the twin losses of Reynaul and Vesci. Being that cowering within the crumbling walls of the Hamlet for a full week would only be a further blow to morale, a concession that the dark things beyond the walls were too terrible to confront, I persuaded a small team to explore the tunnels beneath the estate so as to determine if there were any truth to the rumors of some clan of warped pig-men had taken up residence down there. The answer to that mystery is yes. Very, very yes.

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Not only the porcine menace, but some kind of massive worm- or centipede-like creature. Its physiology is more bizarre to me than any other. I am no professional entomologist, but I have dabbled in the study (from the safe distance of a web connection – my bravery does not extend to actually touching a centipede) and this thing looks nothing like anything I have ever seen before. Normally I would chalk this up to the gaps in my self-taught knowledge, but in this place, I am less confident.

Still, it was not ultimately difficult to mow these creatures down. Today, I would instead speak of something that’s been building up for many weeks now. I have not bothered to refer to the many fragmentary documents we have recovered in our expeditions, because their incomplete nature precluded a thorough investigation of their nature. But this week I was able to piece together a complete set. Recovered mainly in the estate above, some of it must have fallen through the cracks into these tunnels. The condition of the documents is poor, but not unreadable.

What the documents contain has chilled my heart, not for the strange new horrors it describes, but for its familiarity. It is a record of some expedition not unlike my own, commissioned, I believe, by our mysterious ancestor. In addition to the author, there were three others, named Cuthbert, Boleyn, and Mizir. They discovered an altar of that creature, that “Shambler,” the self-same altar I had found in the estate weeks ago. Heeding the warning written nearby, we did not mount a torch in its sconce, and instead passed it by, only to be driven away regardless by the Collector. I believe the author of this piece may have been the one to leave that warning, for he encountered this “Shambler.” Some kind of shoggoth, it killed all but the author, who apparently managed to stagger home.

These four venturing into the dark to try and push back what they call the swinefolk, it seems so terribly similar to my own undertaking. And it did not end well for them. Have I any hope of doing better? Did our ancestor fight this same battle, only to be consumed by it? If they were directed by our ancestor, then I have some hope, for he was not slain by the horrors, but instead took his own life. I, at least, am confident that I am too spiteful to turn a gun on myself when there are enemies to be fired upon instead.

Sincerely,
Your relative

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