Dorak - Ring My Bell

Dear Grandpa,

Well, that was one of the worst mistakes I’ve made… and it was so out of character!

I didn’t check for traps on the door to the business.

I check for traps the same way that the pregnant nun avoided intercourse – all the time except when it mattered.

There was the shopkeeper, part of the Aspis, who heard the sound and woke to find us pilfering our way to the painting.

I don’t know what I expected… Coatl to hold her? Smriti to stun her? Iz to fear her?

The help from my team wasn’t coming… I don’t really blame Coatl… he’s not slept well in society. Also, Smriti is sweet, but the truth of the matter is we haven’t really gelled as a unit.

Ultimately, I think it turned out okay… whatever was attacking Kumori under the cover of invisibility did not kill him, thanks to Dusky and Iz, the painting we sought was retrieved, and last I saw, everyone was spreading out, leaving me with the painting, my pack, and the infernal lamp.

On to other matters – the reason we had to retrieve the painting was as a sort of initiation into the Explorer’s – yes, you can call me Explorer Dorak now.

My joining, the recovery of a painting, agreeing to obey the usual ropes for the Explorers… I think that is all that was really asked of us to get the arrow.

Oh, well… reporting in along our journey but that’s redundant – yet another rope and all that.

Kumori was in fine form… he really hit it off with a lady here… it is good that there’s someone to compliment my general no-nonsense attitude with all that flowery language and graces.

I know, I know… the non-Bitori guilds of thieves you introduced me to could have taught me about court manners and perhaps I’d be a better, happier, more likable person because of it.

However, they were all going to use me, either as a hostage for ransom from you, my parents, or possibly even the King, or as an instrument in some plan that I had little to no say in. Not that my plans are that great, but they are my plans, or the plans of someone whom I trust enough to work with regularly.

Anyway, I have found refuge in a third inn, a little better than the one we left, but not quite as nice as that first one.

The painting is underneath the bed, along with the scrolls I liberated from the Aspis warehouse, and the lamp and my pack. I swear, that lamp is harder to track than an elven ranger in the woods!

A few hours sleep and I’ll be right as rain and then I’ll wait until morning and the attention has died down to try to meet with the Explorer’s. I hope that my friends are similarly cautious and realize we can’t meet back at the hotel.

I think I’ll go to the exhibit and “try to steal” something. As long as the Explorer’s arrest me, I can give them the painting as part of my interrogation, and it suggests I am not working for them if any rumors spread of me going there.

Oh, I do hope you don’t mind me using Ancient Dwarvish for this letter. The fewer people who can read this, the better, right?

- Dorak

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Dorak - Ring My Bell

Crimson Skies Grusnik