"Nice to see you again. Can you read any of this...?"
"Not most of it" Allya replied, too distracted by her work to return the greeting. "But this"---she showed the templar one of the blood-marked sheets---"says 'Xiraloc sleeps here now'. Look for more like it, would you?"
The next bloodstained paper she found said the same thing. And the next. And the next. The same cryptic message, over and over...
But after much searching Malvolio handed her another defaced document---and the message on this one, she saw at a glance, was different: 'Xiraloc eater of spirits bow before him.
Her brow crinkled as she read the statement again, certain she had to have misread it---or at least wishing she had. There was no mistake. Was it possible, she wondered, for there to be a demon so powerful---or otherwise anomalous---that it could claim not just the souls of sinners, but the innocent spirits of nature itself. She desperately wanted to say no, but she couldn't forget that utter emptiness where the spirits of this place should have been.
"What does it say? Is it something we should warn the others about?"
She gave a single, harsh laugh---utterly without mirth. The idea of a warning struck her as almost ludicrous at this point. They had had their warning back in Skaldsong Tavern when Agni had described this place and what had happened to it. And none of them had listened
"It says 'Xiraloc eater of spirits bow before him" she said after a moment. "Which means, unless this writing is the mere delusional ramblings of some insane demon, that somewhere in this place lies a monster unlike anything mortals have ever seen... and lived, anyways."
"Recognize anything?" Valya asked Korvarl, looking at the heaps of treasure locked away.
"Any ideas on opening these doors?" She supposed it was too much to hope that the locks had rusted into fragility after all these years of neglect. Still, sheathing her sword, she went over to the nearest door and gave a powerful tug on it, although she was ready to jump out of the way in case these dwarfs went in for booby traps.