The Harrowing Log was once woman, a wizard known only as Lyza. It is said that some hundred years ago, she and her band of scholars traveled the expanse of central Eem in search of wildlife to catalog for a body of work called: Life in Category. It was on the surface a very boring endeavor, but Lyza was a wizard, and wizards are never boring.
Ten volumes had been completed by the time she reached the Grimly Wood and ten more were poised to be written with her findings there alone. But what made the books truly remarkable was that every entry, be it plant or animal, with the proper preparation could conjure its subject matter into a living creature as real as if it were free in the wild. The purpose of this was to share these wonders with Kings and Queens throughout the world of Eem, and dazzle them with breathing examples of the wonders she discovered on her long expedition.
However, word spread to far crueler and more practical dens, wherein poachers and opportunists discovered an opportunity for profit with a means to conjure their quarries infinitely. Imagine! They wondered. Flip to a page, utter a word, and ta-da! There before you is the rarest pelt in all the Middle Kingdoms.
Before long Lyza was on the run, hunted herself, for a book that conjured beasts. Through the Thulbert’s Pass and Starless Sedge she trekked, deep into the Grimly Woods, and into Nargyle’s Haunt before finally they found her. In desperation she bid her scholarly followers to go on and protect the book. And as the rattling caravan of poachers, hunters, bandits, and knaves approached, she transmogrified herself into a mighty tree and toppled into the road, barring the way. And there still she lays, a harrowing log, as dead as a page in a book.