I’ve been really bogged down at work and haven’t had time to come up with any letters from Black Jack lately. Fortunately Shai-Tan is a dab hand with the pen.
Former Sergeant-at-Arms to the Emir, Tower of Ahriman, Great City of Malaam
Current resident of Caazham
My Esteemed Master Khalim,
Time is short so I will be brief. I will try to find a ship sailing for Caazham from Kilerth, or what is left of it. Apparently that city has fallen to a horde of evil creatures: orcs, giants, gnolls, etc. lead by a dragon-mounted leader. And they are battling what was described as a devil navy bombarding the city from the harbor.
Let me back up a bit. Our merry band has been engaged of late in a nasty and sometimes tedious conflict with a colony of Drow in the mines west of the city. We believed they had made off with an ancient religious artifact called the Cross of Shhlmlnnanaeh(?) or maybe it was Schmlnehneh? In hopes of returning it to the temple in time for them to save countless lives, we undertook the dark cavernous invasion. And find the Drow we did. And kept on finding them and then found some more, and then found their cousins. Each time the evil creatures would spring their faerie fire and darkness powers upon us, until in a rage Cap’t. Barcelona took it upon himself to create permanent magical flames upon his helm to dispel the effect (he’s deceptively wise that way). The wee debauchee is able to summon throngs of beasts into the dark caverns to help us fight the Drow, while the paladin has increased his speed and blade prowess and is quite deadly to the dark elves. It is rumored that there is a deadly hobbit amongst our group, but we so rarely see him, it is merely speculation. As for myself, my reach into the arcanosphere has grown, but so too have the opportunities for, shall we say, mishaps. Ah well, I’ll soldier on, no?
So, as we delved deeper into the mines, we encountered weirder and more powerful Drow, including priestesses, a mage, half-spiders, etc. It also appeared that the Drow are experimenting with summoning and controlling devils, which I found surprising as they are typically arch-enemies. Surviving battle after battle, we eventually defeated a high priestess who possessed the Cross we sought (and who used its healing powers in a very irritating fashion not once or twice, but thrice, upon herself and her cohorts…). Cross in hand, we absconded the mines and headed back to Kilerth only to encounter people fleeing the destruction and battle I described earlier. Perhaps we will be able to borrow the Cross of Shhmnmnlsff for a bit longer as the temple where it belongs is but a smoking ruin….
The matter of the fiends and how they are involved is most intriguing to me. It almost seems as though the respective demonic and fiendish overlords or deities are engaged in some sort of battle here upon our pitiable earth. Given my family history with the fiendish sort, I feel a special enmity toward them…..
Your Faithful Student,