Found in the Archives.
16th of May 1839Edit
The unflinching African sun has continued to plague our expedition, making it impossible to dig until dusk. How Professor Herbert managed to find the location in these vast plains of nothingness remains a mystery to me. When I asked him about the tomb again, he told me about the legend of Tin Hinan, "the mother of us all". An interesting story in its own right, but I can't help feeling there's more. Later that evening, we uncovered a passage beneath the dunes leading to a sand-covered stone structure. The professor was confident it was the tomb we sought and ordered the others to clear the way-- late into the dark cold night.
Tomorrow, I shall lead the men into the ancient structure, hoping to reach the burial chamber. No matter what the professor is keeping from me, the dig should yield something interesting to take back to London and the British Museum.
17th of May 1839Edit
My hands tremble as I write. I feel a need to document my tribulation for I fear that my memory will fail me if I linger.
Today I took some men and ventured into the dark ancient passage we uncovered. Our torches burned faintly in the murky air as we slowly made our way underground. The men were superstitious and fearful. They argued loudly and I felt their strange language getting to me. I mustered my strength and yelled at them to continue down the slopes and broken steps.
The crudely carved passage confused me. It looked much older than the 4th century structure we had expected. The twisting path emerged into a great ante-chamber. The walls were lined with statues unlike any I'd ever seen. Despite their unearthly quality I felt a strange familiarity toward them, which haunts me still. At the far end of the chamber, a great slab of stone sealed off whatever lay ahead. I gave the order to raise it, and as I pushed through the narrow space, the heavy stone suddenly dropped, sealing me inside.
I was trapped.
17th of May 1839 - Inside ChamberEdit
After pounding the unforgiving stone wall for what seemed like an eternity, I realized it was hopeless. I was trapped. I fell to the ground gasping for air, trying to focus. That's when I saw a faint blue shimmer.
My weakened body was heavy to carry, but I managed to push myself towards the enchanting light. It was waiting for me. Enclosed in dark nothingness, I felt myself drawn to the mystic light. I reached out closing it in my hands.
The faint glow escaped my fingers and began to spark brightly and spirit me away. Unlocking alien memories of spiralling towers, endless deserts, and impossible geometry.
The next thing I can remember is the grating sound of stone being lifted. The voices of the Arabs pulling me to safety. And grasped firmly in my hands was the broken pieces of a most peculiar relic.
Found in the Refinery.
22nd of June 1839Edit
It's been more than a month since my last entry. After the event inside the underground chamber in Algeria, professor Herbert insisted I return to England. He said he didn't want to risk forfeiting the entire expedition lest I took a turn for the worse. An excessive decision in retrospect, but I'm glad it turned out that way.
I found my journal this morning in the haphazard collection of things brought home from Africa. Next to it lay the broken stone orb wrapped in cloth. I tried to assemble it, but I couldn't. The pieces wouldn't fit together, as if they weren't from the same object. Could I have imagined it all? Was there ever a complete orb?
25th of June 1839Edit
I feel the need to continue this journal, even though it was intended for my journey in Africa. This must be something very important, I just know it. I've taken it upon myself to piece the orb back together, but it's been more difficult than one might think. The pieces are behaving strangely. They seem to change color, shape and texture, but ever so slightly.
Yesterday I took careful measurements and notated any significant markings. Today, I confirmed my suspicions. They were changing. I was terrified and rushed off to see the finest geologist in London, Sir William Smith. I approached the subject with care, and we discussed how rocks change form. He told me about the nature of glass, how it eventually collapses on itself, like ice slowly melting over the course of centuries.
Smith eased my mind a bit, but I can't escape the feeling that these shards have otherworldly properties.
Found in the Guest Room.
2nd of July 1839Edit
I received a letter today from the Algerian governor's office disclosing the fate of Herbert's expedition. About a week after my departure, Abdullah, one of the men traveling with us, returned from the desert. He was badly injured, as if maimed by a lion. The man rambled deliriously about the expedition being attacked by something horrible.
The French quickly dispatched a search party to look for the expedition. After searching for days, they found the camp abandoned without any trace of Herbert or his men. Tomorrow I'll retrieve the things they recovered from Herbert's tent at the customs house. I don't know what to make of it, but I'm worried for him.
3rd of July 1839Edit
Today I picked up Herbert's things at the custom's house. I dug through the trove of documents he had carried and found a log detailing the expedition. The nature of this text ranged from quick notes to colourful accounts of transpired events. I skimmed the pages, trying to figure out what might have happened.
May 17th, the day I was trapped inside the orb chamber, Herbert dryly states:
"Recovered Daniel after one hour of entrapment."
This confused me greatly. I was suffocating within minutes. How could I have lasted an hour?
I continued reading the peculiar text. Herbert states his facts without judgement or passion, but suddenly I could read frustration into his text. He pushed his men to investigate the underground tomb, an effort which seems to have strained the minds of his men. Madness spread through the ranks, and Herbert had to take some extreme measures to continue. He finally visits the chamber himself, where he retrieves the orb to the surface.
His account confuses me greatly. If he has the orb, what are those pieces in my drawing room?
4th of July 1839Edit
It's done! The orb is assembled. I was awakened by an exhausting nightmare. Shaking and sweating, I retired to the drawing room with a cup of tea. The relic pieces lay spread across the table as I'd left them. But somehow, I knew how it was supposed to be. I fetched the tar, which I had prepared to fix the pieces together, and without fault, I joined them, producing the orb I remembered so clearly. The tar proved unnecessary. It was pushed out from the joining pieces as they merged on their own with no adhesive.
The ancient stone relic now rests on my table. Its immaculate surface and perfect shape could have been molded by a factory. This is all too strange.
Found in the Machine Room.
5th July 1839Edit
Today I went to the university looking for answers. I was able to sneak into Herbert's office and pick up an address book along with some relevant text books.
Professor Taylor at the faculty of history was very helpful and I managed to approach the subject of the orbs. The most interesting aspect was the prevalent trace they had left in our culture. The mythic orbs may in fact have inspired the Globus Cruciger which so many royal regalia holds to this day. In ancient times the orbs were held by priests as a symbol of the sun and its power.
As I was leaving I overheard a disturbing conversation. Sir William Smith, the geologist, was killed last night. Less than a fortnight had passed since I'd asked for his expertise. I know it's silly, but I can't help feeling responsible somehow.
14th July 1839Edit
I've read every book I can find on the subject. While rich in legend and hearsay, my knowledge is lack for the insight I crave. I've sent letters to many in Herbert's address book, and received answers of varying importance.
Today I got one which differed greatly from the others--- from a baron in Prussia. He said nothing about the quaint stories of priests in underground temples. He didn't even mention them. He simply wrote:
"I know. I can protect you. Come to Brennenburg castle." Signed Alexander.
What am I to make of this? Protect me from what? Is someone after me? I looked up Brennenburg and traced it to the Prussian woods near the Baltic Sea. While being the least informative letter I've received, it causes me greatest distress and interest.
As I write my thoughts are drawn to my nightmares in which a most disturbing sound calls to me. A sound defying description, a voice from the void. The last few weeks have been awful with so many sleepless nights dreading a repeat of those horrid dreams. Tomorrow I shall visit my physician, doctor Tate, in hope that he can provide me with sedatives to help me sleep.
17th July 1839Edit
How has this escaped me? They're all dead. Limbs scattered, heads split down the middle, their skin flayed as if boiled. I feel like I'm falling into myself. What's happening? Sir William Smith, professor Taylor and now doctor Tate. Is it following me? How can it not be? It's the damned thing I brought from Africa. Something is after me.
I have no choice but to trust the baron. He better know what he claims. If he is wrong, I suspect he'll regret it as well.
Found in the Prison's Northern Block.
2nd August 1839Edit
I have arrived at the village of Altstadt. It's a haven in the midst of a vast forest and it's the last stop before my final destination, Castle Brennenburg. It's late in the evening and the outrider, who has been with the coach since Bremen, advised me to wait until morning before I venture further.
I have arranged for a bed at Der Mühle, the village's only inn, and am now waiting for the sun to rise. I try to sleep, but as I close my eyes I see the men who fell victim in London. My fear and shame forces me to witness the same scenes over and over.
They are dead because of me.
3rd August 1839Edit
I feel like I have fled the world and all its worries. Brennenburg is a majestic creation perched upon a forest-clad hill with towers reaching well above even the highest pine trees. Following the winding road leading to the gates gives the impression of discovering something forgotten, as if journeying with Marco Polo to the hidden Xanadu.
Alexander, the baron, is a peculiar but gracious man. He seems well versed in worldly matters and is not at all as eccentric as I assumed. My room is exquisite and I am confident that no hotel for miles could even hope to match it.
As the sun sets on Brennenburg its fairy-tale varnish turns to an eerie gloom. Alexander's strange servants are never far away. They are a quiet lot and their behavior could only be described as skulking. Alexander seems pleased by my presence. As he puts it, it seems like I got here just in time.
4th August 1839Edit
The nightmares woke me up in the early morning and for a moment I forgot where I was. Shortly after there was a knock on my door. Alexander had heard my screams and asked me to join him in the parlor.
As we drank our tea, Alexander began to tell me what he knew. It seems like the orb I found casts a long and dark shadow. It is not only a powerful item, but a dangerous one. Simply by touching it you invoke the powers within and if you are too weak to control it, it will devour you. The shadow is a sluggish thing lagging behind the wielder, killing anyone or anything in its path to reclaim the Orb.
I said I didn't care about its powers and that I should throw it away. Alexander advised against this as I would still be a part of the path to the Orb and eventually suffer death. Having the Orb, I would at least have the chance to fight back when the time came. I asked Alexander what he meant when he said he could protect me and he answered that things can be done- but at a price.
Found in the Cistern.
7th of August 1839Edit
There is no denying that Alexander puts a lot of faith into what I can only describe as magic. I'm not surprised, even while traveling across Europe I assumed I would have to embrace the supernatural to save my mind and life. As a novice I do everything in my power to stay focused and not dwell too much on my own doubts.
Alexander woke me up early and told me it was time we got started on our work. He was obviously excited to get going and we headed downstairs to the old dungeon where he preferred to attempt his rituals.
It turns out that Alexander is a true Renaissance man, paralleled only by Da Vinci, I'm sure. He showed me several rooms fitted for specific research such as anatomy studies, alchemy and botany. The crown of Brennenburg must be the Inner Sanctum, a most hallowed ground, where we shall attempt to permanently banish the orb's shadow.
8th of August 1839Edit
I could never be certain until today that I was on the right path. Using my Orb, Alexander managed to channel its powers unto us. The Inner Sanctum flared with blue fiery light and I could feel the same things I felt in the dark chamber in Algeria. It was like standing in a mad whirlpool of impressions. It was terrifying, but Alexander kept calm and wielded strange tools of science in order to tame the storm.
Suddenly the blue light was stained by strains of red and the walls burst with pulsating tissue resonating with the scene. Alexander quickly covered the Orb in some cloth and the unspeakable thing vanished. Apparently, the Orb's shadow is closer than Alexander thought. He says I should prepare for a warding ritual tomorrow. I'm not sure what he expects, but I have a bad feeling about this.
9th of August 1839Edit
It is still early and Alexander is busy preparing for the ritual later today. Seeing him this worked up makes me question, why? What does he stand to gain? I realize he is curious about it all, but surely there must be more. Is he so foolish he will attempt to tame the power of the Orb?
I must admit that yesterday when Alexander flooded the Inner Sanctum with blue light, I realized we had but grazed the Orb's true potential. This might turn out to be more than escaping a creeping shadow. It might be the beginning of something truly extraordinary.
Found in the Nave.
9th of August 1839Edit
I can't stop sweating and shaking. The warding ritual was not something of a sane mind! I did not even realize the dungeon was still in use. Alexander had his servants bring one of the prisoners, a murderer, he told me. Alexander made all of the arrangements but he said I had to perform the ritual in order to have the right effect. The Shadow could be led astray by the blood of another. Killing the man would provide us precious time. What else could I do? Alexander said it had to be done. He is saving my life, I don't have the luxury of argument.
Found in the Chancel.
12th of August 1839Edit
Banishment ritual is taking longer than expected and we have to do what is needed. I spend my time helping out with the prisoners. Being around these degenerates makes me ill. None of them even tries to face their punishment with any kind of dignity. They taunt me with their lies of innocence and their cowardly pleas of mercy. What can make a man fall so far from the grace of a civilized existence. They are all wicked men and I remind myself of it constantly. Still, I am thankful for God sending these monsters our way, as they will serve as the instruments of my salvation. I try to study the different tools in the torture chamber and learn how to use them effectively. Last time was messy and the effect suffered from my inexperience. When the next warding is to be performed, I shall be ready.
Found in the Choir - Entrance.
15th of August 1839 – The SacrificeEdit
The blood wards are failing. The shadow beckons and its cry disarms my actions. Hurry, no time to spare. You have to kill another. Alexander produces a knife. He wants me to cut the flesh. Do it, save yourself. He is a murderer, Daniel. He is evil – a cold blooded killer. Hurry.
“Alexander, you must let me be. I have to concentrate.” Paint the man, cut the lines, cut the flesh, watch the blood spill – let it come.
“Please, I didn’t do anything.” Paint the man, cut the lines. Paint the man, cut the lines! “Please!” the man cries. Hush, hush – now you sleep.
I did well! One life for another. You hear me, Guardian of the Orb? I did all this for you! Now, once more, withdraw your shadow from my domain!
Alexander, there isn’t much time. I can feel it. We must act swiftly. I will do whatever it takes.
Found in the Nave.
18th of August 1839 – The KidnappingEdit
Tonight, we will unlock the power of the Orb and ultimately banish the shadow hunting me. I feel it closing in on me and I fear for my life more than ever.
Just outside Altstadt lies a small settlement where Zimmerman, a dairy farmer, lives with his wife and three children. We took the coach and went there. Our visit was unexpected and Alexander was able to strike Herr Zimmerman down without alerting the others. As he went to take care of the farm hands, I began to look for the children.
We should have more than enough prisoners to finish the ritual now.
Found in the Chancel.
18th of August 1839Edit
I cannot believe what I have become. One of the girls escaped and I chased after her all the way upstairs. I hunted her down and...
What is a life worth? How many lives can I take before I surrender my own? Sure, I would kill a murderer to save an innocent. But to kill an innocent to save myself – a cold blooded murderer!
Found in the Inner Sanctum.
19th of August 1839Edit
It’s not fair! I’m not to blame. I’ve been manipulated by that demon. He played my guilty conscience and duped me into facing the shadow alone. That vile, conspiring man. He expects me to meet my death as he steals power beyond imagination?
Alexander, I will kill you for what you have done. If only the shadow had caught me in London or Algeria, I wouldn’t have to suffer this humiliation. You made me a murderer, a monster!
And now, I merely await my death. I'm too weak to press on. I can hardly stand as my knees fail me, I cannot see, as my eyes are dressed in tears. I'm as broken as the men I've tortured. If only I could wipe my fear away as we did with them.
Herbert's Lost DiaryEdit
Found in the super_secret.rar.
17th May 1839Edit
Early afternoon. It has come to my attention that there has been an accident. Daniel, my research assistant, has been trapped inside the burial chamber. All men are ordered to lift the massive stone hinder.
Recovered Daniel after one hour of entrapment. After some preparation the workers hoisted the heavy stone with block and tackle.
Daniel is delirious and his mind is slowly recovering. I have decided to have him leave for England. It would be foolish of me to risk not just his life, but the expedition's success by keeping him here.
20th May 1839Edit
Those imbeciles. How dare they sacrifice my expedition to their superstition. The camp is in chaos and they blame the Orb. They won't get their hands on it. I shot one of them to put them in their place. It can't be helped, they are animals, all of them. They killed four men in the most gruesome way. Their skinless bodies torn apart. They say the desert took them, but I know murder when I see it. I have sent Abdullah to contact the French in Algiers.
22nd May 1839Edit
That thing is after me. It has been hunting me for days. But I keep out of its trail, so I will persevere. I can see a settlement at the edge of the desert. I'm getting closer. I can see it. But it is not me, it is Abdullah. Through his eyes I see, his mind I hear. Confined to myself, I see only death dressed in the Orb's darkest shadow.
The year is 1615
Writing is local historian who is collecting lore about the area. He mentions that "the castle" plays a big part in stories told.
The historian says that he is intruiged and will visit the castle the next day.