Still in a light daze, his head and chest wrapped in newly replaced bandages, Miles sat up in the bed that had cradled him from the brink of death for the last two weeks. Wincing from a pang of pain that shot through his arm and shoulder, Miles reached for his quill and dipped it in the ink that had been set aside for him. Quickly collecting his thoughts, he began to write. Before I give a proper account of my journey to the Juka occupied ruin of Mistas, and subsequent capture, it is necessary that I offer brief insight into my past before my reassignment as Royal Investigator, and the results and observations thereof, as an agent of the Royal Court on assignment in Ilshenar. Of Ilshenar and the Desolation It is well known fact that to travel to the land of Ilshenar is nothing short of a journey into the maw of endless peril and mortal danger. Feral and evil creatures of every classification fill the dark places in numbers uncountable. The cities, former marvels of architecture and engineering, now ruined but intact, little more than shadows of their past glory, taken over by forces both strong and sinister. What of us civilized humans that remain live scattered in meager camps that dot the deserts and mountains, under constant threat of attack. The ancient gargoyle artificers of Ver Lor Reg, wary and xenophobic, serve as perhaps one of few surviving memories of an Ilshenar at its height. Our old and mysterious allies, the Meer, have, at best, a tenuous hold on the ruin of Lakeshire, where still they await the coming of a majority their crypt dwelling brethren, many still in a state of torpor resulting from the Long Sleep. But this was not always the case. Several accounts, on behalf of Britannian researchers, of the shrouded history and desolation of Ilshenar have been written, and though enlightening and well researched, none thus far have been conclusive and by extension, complete. In this regard, our allies among the Meer have been reluctant to share their knowledge, though not wholly unwilling. What follows is information gathered from my own travels and research. Between what little the Meer have shared and our own efforts, we have learned that in millenia past, Ilshenar was just as we initially believed, a place of wonder and glory, and few accounts doubt this. According to the Meer, they themselves raised a civilization built on the stones of virtue, a kingdom of righteousness and ancient splendor, greater than anything us Britannians could possibly imagine. Of the founding of their first cities and the education of their virtues, the Meer are strangely silent, and though there are some guesses relative to the origin, it is not discussed here. However then came the Juka. United by a cabal of powerful warlords and following a strict code of honor and martial prowess, the Juka supposedly rose swiftly from the ashes of savagery, and in less than a century, by trial of sword and spear against their neighbors (though not against the Meer), came near to rivalling the Meer in power and influence. As one could guess, the peace between the two greatest powers in ancient Ilshenar was not wont to last, and eventually Ilshenar was consumed by the fiery tempest of magic and iron that is war. And there, in the deepest reaches of a Jukan laboratory, I believe, the first creatures of the Void were successfully summoned.