D&D4: One Elf Can Ruin Your Whole Day

Dear Fatima,

Thankee for t’ kindly way ye ‘rewarded’ me after t’ lads and I rescued you from them bandits. ‘Tis been a while since I was docked in such a fine port. Har! Worry not about t’ itchin’. Sure t’ be sand or somesuch in this blasted desert. That said, me jolly boat’s been berthed in many a slip over t’ years. If it still ails ye sends me a note. As I rise in t’ church hierarchy I’m sure t’ learn how t’ deal with such predicaments.

I know not what old Radmilla put in t’ grog she gave us, but we find ourselves followin’ a locust into t’ foothills in pursuit o’ t’ bandits what’s been terrorizin’ your peoples these past months. ‘Tis lucky I wasn’t drinkin’ that stuff in me youth or I might have run off t’ become a bard or druid or otherwise wasted me life. Har!

Wandered our way into a scrubby woods we did when t’ ugly hobbit noticed we was bein’ followed. Sent t’ sneaky hobbit aft t’ have a look-see while t’ rest o’ us had a pipe. In retrospect, it may have been wise t’ have him leave t’ cookin’ pots behind for even t’ ponce sorcerer could hear him traipsin’ through t’ woods. As you might expect, he comes runnin’ back five minutes later poisoned, bleedin’ from his kidney and whinin’ about someone stabbin’ him. Turnabout’s fair play, says I. Little bastard finally got a taste o’ his own medicine he did!

After I stitched him up, we tracked our stalker through t’ woods. Turns out she’s an elf. No surprise there. Sneaky bastards they be. We spied her a hundred yards ahead o’ us, drawin’ a bead on yours truly. I be knowin’ ye don’t get into an archery duel with an elf, so I put up me shield and commenced t’ runnin’ her down. I’d gone a dozen yards when that big damn half-orc rides screamin’ by me on a big damn horse. Suffice it t’ say she didn’t last long against old Glaber! We questioned t’ possessed beauty and found out a bit about these bandits includin’ t’ fact that they have themselves a secret door t’ their hideout (o’ course she don’t know where it lie). None o’ t’ lads had t’ heart t’ slit her throat so we tied her up and dragged her along with us.

After a nap, we resumed our march. Heard a band parallelin’ our course I did and we decided t’ have at ’em. Charged their leader did I – some big axe-wieldin’ berserk – layin’ about briskly with me hammer while t’ rest o’ t’ lads dealt with t’ other bandits. Thin’s were goin’ swimmin’ly, until t’ big bastard caught me flat-footed and stove me chest in with his axe. Ah Fatima, I saw ol’ Cthulhu’s icy tentacles reachin’ for me soul when suddenly I be yanked back t’ t’ world o’ t’ livin’; that ugly hobbit givin’ me a grin and t’ ‘thumbs up’. Methinks he’s done me a disservice that one… As ye may suspect since I be writin’ ye, we prevailed in t’ action. I noticed this time none o’ t’ lads had any misgivin’ about slittin’ these poor buggers throats. Har!

Fools that we are, we’ve decided t’ press onto t’ bandits lair and finish them off. There can’t be too many o’ them remainin’ if that elf bint be t’ be trusted – and she’s not! Me guess we’re to be throwin’ our lives away uselessly and me only hope be I can drag a few souls t’ hell with me in t’ process.

T’ ugly hobbit has asayed me his funny-lookin’ bird will carry this note t’ your people. If ye can find it in your heart not t’ eat t’ creature he’d be obliged. Hmmm, in hindsight it might have been good t’ open t’ letter with somethin’ t’ that effect.”

Fondest wishes,

Black Jack Barcelona

P.S.
T’ good berries t’ lads and me been eatin’ is playin’ merry hell w’ me guts. As I was huntin’ about for somethin’ to clean meself up, I runned across t’ enclosed letter from t’ sunburned nob what’s tailin’ along with us. Decided t’ send it on t’ ye for a lark. If ye find t’ means to pass it on t’ this Khalim fella, ye may be able to squeeze a few coins outta him. Alternately, ye can put it to the use I originally intended for it.


To Whoever Finds This I Urge You To Please Find a Way to Deliver it To

Master Khalim,
Former Sergeant-at-Arms to the Emir, Tower of Ahriman, Great City of Malaam
Current resident of Caazham

My Esteemed Master Khalim,

I am taking a moment to inscribe this message to you, which I hope will find it’s way to you somehow, though N’asr knows how, seeing as how I find myself half a continent away with a vast desert between us.

This was not how I planned things to go. I had booked passage on a tramp freighter to Caazham, to find you to enlist your aid as the most important liege of my family. I had hoped to bring you back with me to Malaam so we could find a way to remove the evil usurper, my half-brother, the newly enthroned Emir, and to restore justice and honor to the rule of Malaam. You must have learned the truth, just as I came too suspect also, that the Ahriman family has held a dark secret for many generations. I know in my heart my great Father chafed under some sort of wicked contract made against his will, for at his death he thanked me for playing the role he chose me for—to aid in his death and liberation from the contract. I don’t know who held this power over him and probably still holds over the new Emir, but I hope to find out and eradicate it. With your aid, that is.

I find myself a member of a group of travelers unlike any people I have encountered. Most disturbingly, after weeks of travel with them, I have begun to look, talk and smell like them. If I am forced to consume any more goodberry it is possible I may go mad. I feel we have been sidetracked from our original destination, but we have stumbled upon some kind of sinister power that is corrupting the people of this forsaken land. And the source of the power appears to have an infernal connection or source, as we have run across several diabolical creatures already. I know it is a vast world we live in, but I have considered the possibility that there is a hellish connection between this corruption and that of my family. I may yet get a chance to prove or disprove this conjecture should our business go well.

You will remember that I was not an adept student at arms and fighting. And that my trials with sorcery were often accompanied by setbacks, adversity, sometimes chaos. Happily though, my command of spellweaving has continued to improve, with nary a misfire as of late. Perhaps the surges are a thing of the past?

I will write more if I get a chance.

I remain,

Your Faithful Student,

Shai-Tan

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