Letter #2 From the Expedition

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Kansas Staff
**Posted on a few flyers around town**

This letter has been published on behalf of Lady Ileana Gristle so that all of Voidsmarch may share in the findings of the Void Exploration Expedition.

My dearest Alyx,

I know not how much time has passed since my last writing. Days certainly, a week perhaps… longer? Impossible to tell. Time is a fickle thing, and here, a source of constant frustration for us. Many times we have attempted to measure the passing of the bells and each time has ended in some failure on our part. Even the sand in our hourglasses seems to drain at different speeds when tipped at the same time... A vexing phenomena to be sure, one I certainly plan on revisiting. It's almost as if this place -wants- to keep its secrets.

We reached the bottom of the Void itself not long ago. My best estimate puts it at a little over three days since we first put boot to the ancient, undisturbed dirt and stone of the Void’s End. As we drew closer to the end of our endless descent into the pit, I noticed something peculiar, even by the standards of what I have come to expect from this place. I cannot shake the feeling that I am being watched. The rational side of my brain tells me that it is merely a frayed mind playing its cruel tricks upon my travel weary heart. A simple symptom of the suffocating blanket of pitch dark and isolation that we have all grown oh so accustomed to… The thought does little to comfort me.

Of course, the primal feeling of ephemeral eyes leering from the darkness wasn't the only notable thing about our final descent into the Void. We felt… magic, in this place. A pure magic that filled the air in ways reminiscent of a ritual being cast nearby. It is an unmistakable feeling, and to say it put us on edge as we continued on with our journey into the darkness would be an understatement. Troublingly, not only did the feeling persist, it grew in intensity as we drew closer to the bottom of this forsaken pit. By the time we had reached the Void’s floor proper, the surrounding magic was by far stronger than any ritual I have ever personally been a party too.

The crystals surround us here, each glinting with a light that comes from somewhere within. They seem to grow from the ground in a way not too unlike some of the stranger examples of flora I have encountered in previous expeditions. The only way I can think to describe the experience is the image of walking through a perfect, cloudless night surrounded on all sides by stars of every color… and in the distance? A beauty unlike any other. A star that puts all others to shame. For us that star was a large formation of crystal that, from my closest estimations, lies at the center of the Void.

This particular crystal cluster is significantly bigger than the others we have encountered. I have heard descriptions of a particular phenomenon that occurs on the rarest occasion in the far northern parts of Rumeria. People who have made the trip to those frigid places and returned to the capital, tell of witnessing light dancing across the sky in a multitude of dazzling colors and striking patterns. An aurora is what they called it, if my memory serves. This is what we witnessed upon the conclusion of our long journey into the pit. A brilliance reflected into the smothering darkness of the void by a mystery that yet called to us.

As we drew closer to the massive formation, I realized two critical things. First that the darkness of this place had obfuscated its presence from our expedition during our descent, but here in the deepest depths of the Void itself, each and every crystal near it seems to reflect its glorious light. Second, that as we drew closer to the massive structure, the magical energy surrounding us grew stronger. So strong in fact, that I can -feel- the magic clinging to my skin even as I pen this. The hair on my arms stands straight and I swear that I can -taste- the magic. It hangs in the air like a thick fog that is chilling to the bone and warm to the touch all at the same time. I have never known a sensation quite like this, nor have I encountered a power so completely overwhelming. There is no mistaking that this crystal is a font of incredible magical energies, the likes of which I believe it is possible that no one has ever seen nor heard tale of before! My mind races with theories and possibilities.

Even more exciting? For the first time since leaving the surface, we find ourselves bathed in light. Pure, actual light. We have made camp around the Grand Crystal and plan to study it for the next few days. Truth be told, as much as I long to return home and as much as I ache to see you again… I feel as if I am not the only one among us hesitant to leave the peace of this place to return to the cold darkness of the Void.

In the perfect darkness below, you alone bring light to my life,

Vincent Burke​
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