17 Tera 1333 YS
Oh my dearest,
Don’t panic. I am fine.
Dorak, however, is not. He was slain by an assassin’s poisoned blade.
He and Kumori had left our retreat, that abandoned warehouse, to summon a manciple to help ease our stomach discomforts. Earlier in the evening, you see, we all were invited to a victory celebration at the home of the local explorer, the venerable Cristobal de Crux. Unbeknownst to all of us, host included, a terrible assassin poisoned the most delicious food. Everyone at the head table, meaning us and our host, were poisoned. So were several others, and at least four people lost gifts that day. It was terrible. Yes, I was sick, and yes it was serious. But I fared well, all in all. Weakened, but well.
So our two friends, Dorak and Kumori, decided to fetch a manciple to ease our discomfort. Sigh. Yes, they went mainly for me, and I don’t know how I can forgive myself. The assassin took the party’s splitting up as an excuse to finish the job that the poisoned food failed to do. He went after Dorak, and with foul venom on his blade, our poor dwarf fell. Smriti, Coatl and I did not realize yet, what had happened. And after quite a while waiting, the assassin came calling at our hideout. He smoked us out, trying to burn down the place. Thankfully it was raining hard that night. But still, we decided the best place for us was with our friends at the Hearth of Anwyn.
The bastard harried us the whole way, and had an ability to fly after us. We tried to thwart the jerk, but he was very persistent. Again, I was left as the only healer, and in a way I saved the day again. Eventually the assassin got cocky and landed to try to kill Smriti. I was so terrified then, because she is not from our land, she is from Kushar, and they do not hold with our gods, and I did not want to lose her. But in the end, she and Coatl took him out. It was Coatl, actually who saved the day, getting the villain with one of his spooky spells. They beat him till he fell, then beat him some more. I don’t feel one little bit guilty about that evil assassin’s death. It was grisly, though. He had in his possession a very evil dagger. We don’t yet know what all it does, but… when he died, it destroyed his soul, and turned his body to dust. Not even Mormekar nor Maal could prevent its destruction. Surely it is a tool of the Dark One.
By the time we got to the Hearth, we discovered that Dorak had been killed. Thank the gods this was only his first loss of a gift. I was just so sorry I had not been there, for Mormekar’s blessing and my faith would have prevented his loss. That next day, we were rudely escorted out of town by the newly risen sheriff, Sir Gapala, and an escort of the Vizcondesa’s men at arms. I don’t know where they got the stupid idea from, but those jerks on the Elder’s Council decided that WE were responsible for all the assassin’s doings and even though he was dead and turned to dust, “for the good of the town”, we were banished. BANISHED! What rubbish, I tell you. Dorak lost a gift, and they have the gall to banish us. Ingrates!
We never did figure out the whole of the story behind the mayor’s death. I was able to “eavesdrop” on Sir Gapala after he escorted us to the Rey’s Road, or kings highway, or whatever it is. It seems that the Knight had been duped by the Zambrano’s (Dock Master and his evil spiteful missus), and once he had stepped over the line to do their bidding, they blackmailed him to continue doing their dirty work. Long story short, they did not like the Mayor and wanted to discredit him by hiring the goblins. When that didn’t work, they killed him. Sir Gapala confessed as much to the Vizcondesa’s Captain, and from that man’s demeanor, I am guessing Gapala and the Zambrano’s will get what is coming to them.
As for us… we now have possession of that nasty evil dagger, and Kumori now believes it is a relic of his homeland that was refitted to a western style blade. It may be that its recovery will prove important to our mission to save Kaidan. I have been given no clear visions or anything regarding it. All I know is that Dorak has it now, and since his death/rebirth, and having possession of that blade, my traveling companion is the worse for it. The way he looks at it when he thinks no one is watching him… It is scary, Calli. I promise to keep an eye on him.
25 Tera 1333YS
We made it out of that loathsome town, Gran Rio. It took us near a week to get to Villa Vicosa, our next stop towards Alhambra. We had to camp out in some mountain tunnels because the rain was very bad. Lots of flash floods, but don’t worry, we all knew not to travel when it could drown us. Also, it gave us (me) time to heal up from what that stupid poison did to us. I finally got my appetite back. Too bad Villa Vicosa had no food. Almost literally.
Again, it was a situation of a town who was being attacked by humanoids. This time it was bugbears and hobgobbos. Ugh. Here we go again. But it seems that at least this time, there were no insiders involved in this problem. But the bandits hit the town, and took most everything of value. By Dorak’s calculations (and yeah, he is still more gloomy and suspicious than ever), the town lost like a fifth of their number to the band of attackers. And this town has no clerics. Not a one. Their old shrine was long abandoned. It’s funny, because the shrine building was originally built as a mosque, and had been taken over by many different faiths down through the years. This town was a mining town… mithril no less. But the mines have played out, and the town literally dried up. Even the mayor is old like a winter’s leaf, holding on by sheer tenacity and fear of falling. He is proud, but not too proud to beg us to help. He was so pitiful, and several times lapsed into coughing fits. I swore he was going to pop something right then and there. Its a good thing, I guess, that we decided to help him and his town.
That was this morning. Last night, the hobgoblins came into town and tried to escape with our horses. We chased them down and killed quite a few of them. Inky is back, by the way. My prayers were answered, and I am in much better spirits. So anyway, we had a merry chase during the night, for the bandits/thieves went every which way with our horses (and of course Inky’s ferocity only helped to panic them further, but I am going to start training them all not to fear Inky). So when the mayor asked us to help, pleaded with us, we grumbled a bit, but agreed. He even offered up the services of his aging sheriff and the man’s lackabout son. No thank you, we said.
So now we are about to storm the hideout, a fantastic looking pillar of earth. Oh Calliope, you would love this place. The whole valley is eroded, leaving these arrowhead shaped pillars. I guess some miners in the long past dug out caves in them, where they would live high above the flash-flood water level. The reds and golds are amazing. If only I were a painter, I would love to bring you home pictures of these fantastic places. Don’t worry, I think we will be fine in the upcoming battle, even though Kumori has vanished into the lamp. Also, that… whatever she is… Iz’Alma has been gone for weeks now. I don’t really miss her, except that sometimes she is funny in the things she says and does. Her healing is certainly missed. OK. We have to start out. I will let you know how everything turns out.