Seekers of Lore
Permit me to introduce myself. I am mCalaer, a scholar associated with the Foundation of Shmek. In the course of my studies I have uncovered evidence of a secret war being waged in Idruit, doubtless kept hidden by a far-reaching conspiracy. I felt an ethical obligation to inform the peoples of the land about this, and based on my background research I have determined that you are well-versed in such matters; therefore I entrust the information to you.
It is known to scholars that the trolls were not always able to perambulate and converse as they do now. Once they were rooted in the ground like any other tree; but even then, these were no ordinary plants. They were ephael trees, created by the divine Selrichi to draw the power of the Seven Elements (may they endure forever) into the material plane. The amorphic storms that raged across the planes threatened to destroy this delicate channel of power, and so Selrichi was forced to give them intelligence. Later, during the more powerful storms, the trolls were changed further and lost the sacred power of ephael, becoming mere creatures.
With all this I am sure you are already familiar. However, in the Sstharian Manuscripts I uncovered a startling revelation: towards the end of the reign of Anuless the trolls secretly gathered the last dregs of their power and concentrated it in one of their number, one Uhlore of Wistwood. His leaves acquired a silvery sheen and, at length, he produced a single golden flower. From this the trolls obtained what might be the greatest treasure of our age: an Ephael Seed.
Though the tree itself is physical, the roots of the ephael tree run deep into the elements themselves. While the trolls tried to find a way to plant it, they were taken unawares by three followers of the Jesoph Shaeleth, who at that time had already begun her researches into the magic of the natural world. Talking their way into the troll woods by deception and false offers of friendship, they seized the Seed and fled, with a thicket of incensed trolls chasing them.
But Shaeleth’s minions made a fatal mistake. They fled through the Valley of Spiras which, in those days, was host to one of the jewelled cities of the Entami. I do not know what led them to seek refuge there; perhaps they were more afraid of the angry trolls than of the Builders. Regardless, into the spirit-city they ran, and were never seen or heard of again. The trolls, perhaps better-versed in such things, did not enter the city walls but remained outside, loudly entreating the spirits to return that which was stolen.
At first I thought this a fascinating piece of history, but last night I received a visitor. An agent of Shaeleth’s forces, still embroiled in a bitter three-way war of clandestine operations against the Entami and the trolls. It was made clear to me that I risked retribution from one or more sides by continuing my researches as publicly as I had been doing until then. It is for this reason that I write this discreet note, and ask that you share it only with those you trust. I myself have elected to take a long-overdue trip to the Mountains of Tein to engage in some quieter studies.
If you desire further proof of these matters, I suggest you investigate the Valley of Spiras. Though the Entami city was in after days obliterated by the Cloud of Destruction, some traces may remain which could give a clue to the Seed’s current location. Be careful: the secret war still rages, and it would not be safe to draw too much attention to yourself. Likewise beware of the ruins, for it is said that the creations of the Entami do not rest quietly….