I have seen many things through these, tired, old eyes. I have seen men leave home, never to return, I have seen children grow into the men that will never return. Such is the life of a villager in these times. There are days when I wonder when this oppressive time will end. When this fog of corruption that hangs over this “Holy War” will disperse. The poor mothers and wives widowed, and scared, wondering who will be taken next. Sometimes I wish that I could tell them, sometimes I wish I could show them the stone. The stone that has given me the protection all these years. Maybe it is the time now, perhaps there is nothing to lose.
Dear reader, you wish to know of the stone that kept me from being swept into that dreadful river of war? I will tell you, but know this reader, somethings are best left untouched, if you fear for your life, or hold doubt in your heart, do not go looking for what you do not understand.
Assuming that you found this where I had laid it to rest, you must find the path to the forest that not even crows nest in. You must then travel down that path, until you reach the fork. I warn you that if you take the left, you will be lost forever, traveling down an endless path, with not even the sound of wind to keep you company. If you chose the right, then you will be faced with more hardships to reach your destination. At this point you can not turn back reader, you are now committed to this path, you can not abandon it. Upon taking the right path continue along it, until it ends. There will be a great oak, with its arms stretched far into the sky. Lay any weapons you have against the tree. After you have disarmed yourself, on the bark the will appear the words, “What is it that thou wish to know?” If you ask it the path to take, the tree will give you a final chance to return to where you started, at the price of losing your sight.
Should you refuse this final chance to turn back, you will be directed the proper direction to take, be warned if you attempt to retrieve your weapons you shall be stuck down by a great limb from the tree. Continue straight from where the tree directed you, if you shall wander from the path, you will never see the end of the forest. You will soon find a set of stairs, walk up these steps and you shall find the Offering Stone. The stone I had visited myself so long ago. You must stand in silence until the stone begins to shine, and the hole it bears begins to whisper. It will whisper words that man can not repeat, it shall ask you what you have come for. Answer true and hold no doubt in your answer.
The stone shall ask for your offering, which you must offer something of great value to yourself. Money will not please the stone, you must give something that money can not replace. If you offer your loyalty the stone shall turn you to one of its shades when you are to die, Forced to carry out the stone’s bidding, unable to control your own mind. If you offer your soul, the stone shall feast upon your deathbed.
Though if like me, you offer the stone your guardianship to the stone, it will give you your wish, but in return you must return the stone in exactly a year.
You shall then be taken back to where you started, and marked by the stone.
I hold this stain on my hand, and have for the past twenty years... kept alive only by the fear that grips my very soul. They will come for me tonight, the shades... The stone does not allow one to cheat it. I tried running away, I tried hiding, I tried to fight off the shades, but one can only succeed for so long. Tonight, I shall leave this book to rest here next to my bed, I shall go into those woods, and take that left path, to finally see for myself what there is to be seen from where none return... If they are to follow me, through that path, I shall not let them take me, without a fight.
Dear reader, if you wish to travel down the same path as me, know this... Nothing comes without consequences.
The book is not signed, or dated, but from the wording "Holy War" one could assume it is from around the 1200's.