My Friends and Fellows,
I am here to tell you the story of a faraway kingdom that fell, like so many others, to the greed of our deadly foe, the goblin horde. On my travels through the hinterlands I heard a tale of magical floating islands. Naturally my curiosity got the best of me and I wished to investigate. For months I searched, scouring hill and dale to no avail, but then the most peculiar sight fell upon me. Atop a beautiful glittering mountain, I seen a monument. I couldn't make out the details from afar so I ventured closer to investigate. And there, my good fellows, I discovered a sight most glorious!
A beautiful fortress built into the mountainside, and flanked by two hills purposely flattened for what I imagine to be farmlands. Even the entrance to this bastion was magnificent, although it had stood for years its glory was undiminished. A true testament to gnomish crasftmanship. Past the entrance I found myself in a dark winding corridor, which was filled with old rusted traps. Truly these gnomes spent much time on defending there home. I nearly lost my leg when I felt the click of an old trap upon a foolish misstep. Fortunately for me the mechanism was so rusted from rainwater that it did not engage. Although the entrance held many deadly traps it was the fort proper that held the most beautiful of sights.
My fellows, we brag of our achievements and our cities, but here these gnomes built something truly wondrous! Halls decked with statues of bronze and silver. Beautifully carved walls and floors, with obvious ritualistic meanings. Cavernous rooms filled with the remains of forgeworks and industry. One of the most great of engineering feats was the grand marble staircases leading up into the mountains. But most beautiful of all was the monument I seen from afar. Atop the mountain I found this tomb, which upon further inspection had engravings depicting glorious gnomes who fell in battle. Not only did these gnomes build enchanting designs but also honored their dead.
Now we come to the most interesting of finds...A journal I found entombed in a chest I found in a cold dry storeroom. This journal miraculously remained mostly intact. Unfortunately I am having trouble translating the words to our language, but I do believe I have created a rough translation of the final entry. This entry is by a gnome by the name of Gnes the High Chancellor.
"...We fear them coming. We can hear their war drums in the distance. Yet we will not go quietly to our deaths. We will make them suffer for the deaths of our comrades. We will make them remember the name Crystalcyst! I Gnes the high chancellor have ordered everyone to make a final stand in the Badger's Bastion. Here we don our best weapons and armor and here we will make our final stand. King Wingle would be proud to see us here today. And so this will probably be my last entry for I hear the war drums getting closer. I must address the gnomes and gnomeses, and give them the courage to stand against the inevitable. May the Sky Father and Earth Mother watch over us!"
-An excerpt from a speech given by Aldibad a traveling scholar, delivered at The Council of Gnomish History.