As we feared, the potential danger from Arcarost has become too great to ignore.
We have therefore decided that one of us must journey to Arcarost, while the other returns to Khan hall to make preparations if the other fails. As the older brother, it is my duty to see Thorin happy and healthy. I have therefore taken upon the task to venture into Arcarost.
Thorin will undoubtably be able to fill you in on the events that have transpired the last few days. But I feel it useful to still recount them in this letter and offer my perspectives, should they prove useful.
We first journeyed in the direction of Arcarost two days ago. We had rumours that a man long thought lost within the ancient city had been sighted again. Three years ago a boy called Jona fell in love with an adventurer that passed through Woodsong. However the adventurer eventually continued on her quest and left the boy behind. Not willing to abandon their young love, Jona and his father Derrick decided to follow the adventuring band into Arcarost. They were never seen or heard from since, until someone matching Derrick’s description was spotted to the north of Woodsong. We travelled to the location of the sighting to investigate if this was another undead tormenting the region. We first found the site of a recent battle between a group of humanoids and a man on a horse. Following the singular tracks deeper into the woods as the weather worsened, we were soon confronted by vicious fiends. One shaped like a large hound, the other shaped like a great warhorse. We took to battle and quickly dispatched them. However we noted a man fleeing the scene.
We gave chase and discovered Derrick corrupted by dark forces. He had been infused with fire-based magics and was accompanied by a small winged creature composed of magma. We took Derrick down and knocked him unconscious. He was tied up and his items were taken from him. Among them we found an amulet that had been cursed. It nearly seized control of Thorin, but a dwarf’s will is not so easily broken. We put the amulet separate and kept a vigilant watch on it. When Derrick awoke some hours later, he was very confused. Without the amulet, he seemed free from the dark corruption. He explained that he and his son did indeed journey to Arcarost. Within one of the towers, they discovered the remains of previous adventurers, luckily not those that they had been chasing. They did take the magical items from these corpses, and this was the last clear memory that Derrick possessed. He only knew that his son was still safe somewhere. He could recollect a vague image of his son with brown wings ascending to the sky near a large tower in the city. Derrick also still remembered that he had a fight with some snake-headed people a few days ago. The remains of which was the scene we stumbled upon just a hours earlier when tracking Derrick. We later learned that these snake people are referred to as Wanti. I am unsure of the spelling as I have never encountered them in my travels or reading. We then returned to Woodsong the next day, only noting an increased winged kobold presence in the area.
Miri reported back with the Tower Guard and delivered the cursed amulet for safe keeping, as we headed to the Broken Tower Inn. When we entered, there was a commotion in the common room. An new arrival was grabbing the attention of the townsfolk. This turned out to be the tiefling Faera, sister to Fierna. From their starting interactions and their humerous quips, I could tell that these two sisters care deeply for each other. It is always nice seeing other siblings get along as well as me and my brother. Faera had travelled from Aurion to visit her sister. Apparently their home situation had become uncomfortable as their father had been acting strange lately. We did enquire about the possibility of Thorin courting her, as she seemed impressed by our exploits. However Thorin decided that she was not his type. I am unsure why and did not get a chance to tak to Thorin about it as soon after everything started happening in a rapid pace.
When Miri joined us at the Broken Tower Inn, she was approached by a wolf crying for help. We recognised the wolf as the one we encountered several weeks previously in the company of Lande, the ranger who travelled to Arcarost. I used my connection with Lugh to communicate with the animal. The wolf revealed that the adventuring band was in trouble. Welby, their halfling leader, had returned from the ruined city to get help but they were ambushed by kobolds. We followed the wolf to a clearing where Welby lay. Miri and Nissa’s perceptive senses did reveal the situation to be an ambush. We scouted around and noted several kobolds laying in wait. Unfortunately they saw as too and a small dozen kobolds lept from the bushes. Nissa turned into a giant spider and trapped several of them in a web. We could then take out the remaining with the help of Faera, who turned out to be a capable spellcaster as her sister. We captured one of the kobolds and questioned it.
The kobold revealed that there were many kobolds gathering at a camp near Arcarost. They were waiting for their boss, a creature called Xerax, to arrive. This boss was also one of the snake people and it was from this kobold that we learned the name Wanti. The goal of this Xerax is apparently to wake up the mountain. This may refer to the dormant volcano near the ruined city. I have no idea if such a feat might be possible, however such an event would spell disaster for Woodsong and the Beinnhall Hills.
After the battle, the wolf seemed eager for us to continue on to Arcarost and rescue his master. The adventuring band is therefore still in trouble and needs our help. We shared a merry evening with ale, songs and laughter with them those weeks ago and I feel it my duty to raise to their aid if we can. We therefore made speedy preparations to set out. Miri will likely not journey into Arcarost proper with us, but has been tasked by the Tower Guard to investigate the kobold encampment. Thorin and I said our goodbyes here. The dangers of Arcarost are not to be underestimated. But the situation cannot be ignored any longer for it seems to be after our happy existence within this valley.
I fear for my own life and those of my companions as we journey toward Arcarost. But I am hopeful as I sense Lugh guiding our path. He is after all the God of Travellers. I can feel his hand in my shield protecting us as we venture forward. I can feel his will in my hammer awaiting the foes we may encounter. I can feel his joy in my mind giving me the strength to drive away the fears and doubts if this is truly the right action to take.
Should I not return, know that my life as a happy one and without regrets. I wish to thank you all for the love and support that you have given me.
Let Barin know that I recently had a new idea for a Stoutrock variant using some of the local herbs. Thorin has the details.
And please tell Airyn that the hammer she crafted for me has served me well so far. If she keeps this up, she will overtake Aunt Riswyn one day as the best weaponsmith in the Beinhall Hills.
Give Ealyn all my love as well. I still have the symbol she gave me. Every time I pray with it, I think of home.
Try to convince Dhorin that there is more to life than gold. If I return, and once I find a wife for Thorin, he is next on my list.
Give Morin a hug from me and Lyn a kiss. Should I return from my trek into Arcarost, I’ll be sure to bring them back some souvenirs.
I would like to request that my companions, Miri, Nissa and Fierna, be considered honorary Dwarfs part of the Khan clan. They are willingly risking their lives for our safety, it seems the least we can do.
My one regret is that we will be making this dangerous journey without the sweet tastes of Khan’s finest Stoutrock Ale to carry us forward. However this will motivate our hearts to return home to its poignant flavours.
Love to mother.