I’m finally getting caught up on the D&D game… We’ve played on and off for the past several weeks – just been too tied up to update the blog!
Former Sergeant-at-Arms to the Emir, Tower of Ahriman, Great City of Malaam
Current resident of Caazham
My Esteemed Master Khalim,
Since I have heard no reply from you over the last several months, and given the current chaotic state of the civilized world, I must assume that you are either unable to respond via established postal routes, or that you are dead. I haven’t given up hope that you may yet receive this message.
I had set out months ago in order to reach you in Caazham. I wished to bring you important information regarding the circumstances of the death of my noble Father. And to enlist your aid in returning with me to Malaam to set things to right.
Since it is increasingly likely I may never see you in person to deliver the news, and since we have just very narrowly defeated (with the assist from the actual deity Pelor, apparently) a pair of (that’s two! two!) Pit Fiends straight from Hell, and since we are now about to set off in pursuit of the Lich responsible for summoning these devils and for much of the destruction happening across the world, possibly to meet our ends, I will disclose herein what I had hoped to deliver to you:
This information will likely come as a revelation to you, as it was to me. As a young man, I came to suspect (and within the last year, confirm) that our noble house of Ahriman has maintained its power in the city of Malaam over the last three centuries through a pact with a very high-ranking devil. It may have been initiated by the first of our line in order to wrest control of the throne, or by another subsequent heir in order to maintain the throne; in any case, my Father inherited this burden from his forefathers. But he abhorred the terms of the contract (namely, being born into a deal not of his choosing where his soul will be imprisoned and tormented for all eternity in Hell). He secretly attempted to circumvent it on the day of the birth of my half-brother, just three days after my own birth. His attempt to deceive and evade the contract was discovered by the arch-fiend, and I was left by the devil with a mark that I still bear. I believe my Father then abandoned hope of ever escaping his fate. But he held out for the next generation. He trained me throughout my life to be a wise (or at least efficient) and benevolent (or at least well-mannered) ruler. He knew if no action was taken to undermine the fiendish obligation, his legitimate heir, my half-brother, was destined to take the throne, and spend eternity in torment. But my Father wished I might find a way to break the pact for all future generations. My Father assumed my brother, the legal heir, to be shiftless and dull (which you called him yourself many times), which was my Father’s undoing: my brother gathered enough support to have my Father falsely arrested for witchcraft (irony!) and then murdered him as I watched helplessly, thus fulfilling both of their destinies. I’m sure by now the vile usurper has learned from his fiend overlord the nature of the contract, and what his fate will be in the afterlife. I hope to return to Malaam and help speed the execution of that fate. And to free the house of Ahriman from this pact.
I hope to bring along the resourceful, persistent, and unconventional companions I have been traveling with these last months, as nobody hates devils and devil-lovers as they seem to. And if we somehow prevail against the Lich, I will continue to seek you for your aid.
Your Faithful Student,