Two letters posted from the town of Kilerth…
Dear Friar Ignatius,
Took yer advice, did I, and wrote that hobbit publican ye told me about in yer last missive. Strange developments has happened since I last wrote ye and if ye have any concern for t’ little wretch’s life ye may wish t’ warn him off for t’ time bein’.
We betook passage on a cargo boat bound south for Kilerth. O’ all t’ foul luck, that hobbit bard what keeps poppin’ in and out o’ our miserable lives hopped aboard as we cast off. We’d sailed downriver for t’ better part o’ t’ day when we spied smoke from a tradin’ post what lay up ahead. Beached t’ craft and sent t’ six-toed hobbit up t’ have a look-see. Told us a pair o’ hill giants and a band o’ gnolls was squattin’ in t’ ruins eatin’ t’ dead. Ambushed ‘em we did. Twas a fine fight too I tells ye. Thought I’d seen t’ last o’ that bard when one o’ them giants hurled a rock at t’ little beggar. T’ gods ain’t lettin’ us off that easy though. Found us some good loot. Gots me a magic hammer and shield now. Har!
Continued on, we did, and come upon another o’ these tradin’ posts. They had a run-in with another giant and more gnolls, but fared better than t’ poor sods t’ t’ north. Spent t’ day castin’ healin’ spells on t’ wounded yokels. Heard news that t’ city we was bound for had also been attacked. Conferred with t’ lads that night and we came t’ t’ conclusion somethin’ odd be afoot. Decided that we ought t’ take a look and set off followin’ t’ giant’s trail t’ next mornin’.
Unsurprisin’ly they led t’ t’ hills. Found traces o’ elf footprints mixed in with t’ giants and tracked ‘em on deeper into t’ wilds. We reasoned it’s Noria Zul, or some kind o’ elf witch in her employ, callin’ these monsters down out o’ t’ hills t’ attack t’ outposts and city. Arioch only knows what she’s on about. We stumbled around in t’ woods for some time when we run into a group o’ rangers. I asks ye Ignatius, what be it with those buggers, eh? Always actin’ so dark and broodin’ and enigmatic. By t’ Black Goat, if I ever run into a ranger who be smilin’ ’tis a sure thin’ he’s been possessed says I. Har!
Turns out these rangers be on t’ same mission as we be. They also be part o’ that order what that possessed knight Braxton (fellow Glaber gutted down in t’ desert, remember?) belonged to. Wearin’ his armor I be, ye see, and they recognized it straightaway. Gave me t’ third degree about it they did and I happily told ‘em how we slew t’ bastard and his demon cronies. Anyhow, these rangers had been pokin’ around smelly giant lairs for days and was itchin’ t’ get t’ civilization. We tagged along with ‘em and finally made Kilerth.
T’ city took some knocks from t’ siege. I heard tell thar be stone giants what came down and broke some o’ t’ walls in. Thar be many wounded in t’ town and I did what I could t’ heal up who what needed healin’. Managed t’ pick up a few supplies while in town too. T’ nob told me t’ mayor and his family be departin’ for fairer climes. Somethin’ ain’t right about all this Ignatius and I be wonderin’ if we should get ourselves well away too or try and figure out what be goin’ on. Either way it’ll lead t’ trouble. Mark me words.
Black Jack Barcelona
A letter posted from Kilerth:
Former Sergeant-at-Arms to the Emir, Tower of Ahriman, Great City of Malaam
Current resident of Caazham
My Esteemed Master Khalim,
I find myself on the Northern continent in so-called city of Kilerth, with access to shipping and post, and so I believe that this message sent to you may actually hit its mark. I say “so-called” because this stinking port town, the bunghole of this continent, is not much more than a lumber and fur-trade frontier outpost. Streets of mud, animal dung and sewage, with harlots shrieking at passers-by hanging off every other second-storey balcony. Drunken, violent sailors and stevedores are the typical citizen. No one of merit is to be found here.
Truly, there is a great conspiracy of evil in all parts of this continent, for we have heard news that most towns have befallen the same attacks by giants and other evil creatures that Kilerth has. The mayor of this town has fled with the contents of the town coffers, and although I had an impulse to move in, call myself Governor and name our wee druid the Minister of Whores, this place is far too colonial for my tastes. Not to mention that it is likely to be a smoldering ruin within a short time. However, I am not without compassion for these poor wretches, who will probably be snuffed out (if they’re lucky) or enslaved by devils in the next attack. In fact, I am giving alms to the local cobbler in the form of a commission for a pair of boots, as I felt a particular sympathy for his miserable existence. I hope to lend some meaning to what might be his last days. But I don’t expect his talent to be sufficient to create anything I could wear in decent company. Do you remember those boots Farhan wore to the Lord’s Ball? I still laugh out loud at the audacity!
In any case, the question remains as to our next move. I am going to push that our lively group book passage for Cazzham (or perhaps acquire our own ship that our deranged pirate priest may helm), as my main objective remains to find you and enlist your aid. In light of recent events and attacks throughout the known world, and given the involvement of the fiend Noria Zul, no one is safe—we must strike back.
If the party balks at sailing for Cazzham, I reluctantly feel I must remain with this group regardless, as our common surveys and exertions have endeared them to me, baseborn as they may be. Also, they have great loathing for the devils behind these damnable acts, and a desire to see them rent to shreds and rendered to a gooey broth with white-hot radiant fury, and those are the kind of people you and I will need to overthrow the fiend-pact that sits on my Father’s throne.
I hope very much the next message I can deliver to you in person.
Your Faithful Student,
PS. You would not believe that I have generated nary a sorcery mishap. Perhaps I have mastered the chaos?