Long has greed been the bane of mankind. It has sent men down paths they would otherwise have never traversed. It has driven men farther and farther, when all good reason told them to turn back. It has even prompted men to unearth foul things that should have remained hidden. Such greed brought doom to those who worked in the Mines of Despair.

Years ago, in the early days of Isparian life on Dereth, a small town sprang up around a particular cavern east of the Linvak Mountains. This cavern, you see, turned out to be a mine, and despite its small size, it held tremendous wealth, wealth that those who lived around it were eager to dig up. For a time, the mine allowed the villagers to live like royalty. Their homes were furnished like the grandest palaces, their clothing was of the finest material, and they lived without a care in the world. They likely could have continued to live so, had they left well enough alone. However, their greed did not allow this.

One day, workers digging in the deepest reaches of the mine broke through the rough walls into a tunnel of apparent Empyrean origin. Believing it to be filled with ancient treasures of great power and value, they set out to explore these new catacombs. Three miners quickly disappeared within the tunnels, and of the four veteran warriors sent to retrieve them, only one returned. There was no treasure inside the tunnel, no gold, jewels, or precious artifacts–only living corpses that were arming themselves in the name of some unknown and unholy power.

The town’s council quickly reached a decision to abandon the mine and seal its entrance. Those who so soon before had reaped the blessing of the mine now seemed to suffer its wrath, as malady, misery, and misfortune fell upon nearly everyone within the town. Soon every villager abandoned their home for greener and safer pastures–every villager save one, who stayed behind to warn passersby about the horrors that awaited those whose greed took them too close to the foul mine. Learn well the lesson of the Mines of Despair: Never let greed guide your actions; and be wary of what you may unearth in your travels, for some things were buried for good reason.

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