Orborros

Faerin's first letter

Dearest Father,

I regret to inform you that  we will be delayed from returning to Khan Hall following our delivery of Khan’s finest Stoutrock Ale.

It all started with the arrival of a new band of adventurers in Woodsong as  we  were  peddling  our  wares.  As  is  customary,  we  broke  out  in celebration as the band arrived in town and set everything in motion to celebrate their journey onward to Arcarost. As many do not return from this  journey,  it  is  best  that  their  heroism  is  commemorated  now  while they are still around. So that their last few days in the realm of the living are as happy as we can make them.  If they do turn out to be successful in conquering those cursed ruins, it will truly be a joyous occasion.  

These  were  however  the  most  remarkable  band  of  adventurers.  Their leader Wilby, a halfling, rides upon a mighty warhorse that would strike fear  in  any  warrior  that  sees  it.  Their  bard  is  a  half-orc  named Henk  with the most beautiful voice and positive temperament to match. They are joined by a sibling duo of a brother sorcerer and sister wizard, named  Anzo  and  Zora.  Finally  they  are  complimented  by  the  warrior Barreris and the ranger Landerr. All six are marked with a strange tattoo featuring an encircled triangle.  This band soon grabbed the attention of many  of  the  Woodsong  residents,  including  Miri,  who  usually  does  not concerns herself with these celebrations, and our good friend Nissa, who had just returned from a foraging expedition.    

We celebrated until late in the evening in the Broken Tower inn after a rousing speech by the lord  mayor Brayden. There was singing, dancing and  drinking  of  the  finest  casks of  Stoutrock.  Thorin  attempted  to  woe the  fair  wizardess  Zora,  but  alas  she  proved  resilient  to  his  stout charm.  Soon  we  were  singing  our  favorite  Dwarven  ballads  and toasting  the  warriors  of  old.  The  celebration  was  however  rudely interrupted by an infestation of a score of dismembered hands animated by  foul  necromantic  magics.  We  alongside  with  the  adventuring  band made quick work of them. I had hoped to capture one for further study within  a  mug,  but  it  proved  a  too  dangerous  foe  for  Thorin  who  was holding  said  mug.  And  so  we  were  forced  to  dispatch  the  last  of  the monstrous appendages. Some valiant detective work by Miri lead us  to uncover  that  the  source  of  the  undead  hands  was  none  other  than  the Woodsong  cemetery.  Following  the  proper  rites,  the  hands  were reinterred  in  the  cemetery.  More so  Miri  informed  us  that  she  found  a camp  site previously  used by  the  adverting band  that was  now infused with  necromantic  energy!  She  suspected  Wilby  and  his  gang  of  evil doings,  but  I  corrected  her  that  no  such  lovely  group  would  ever  align themselves with such dark forces.  

However the surprises of the evening were not over yet. As we returned to the inn, we discovered a theft had taken place! A magic staff crowned with a red gem was stolen from Anzo the sorcerer. The adventuring band were in disarray  as  the  red  gem  was  key  in  their  expedition,  allowing them  access  to  a  sealed  vault  reported  to  hold  many  treasures.  My brother  and  I  immediately  volunteered  our  service  to  recover  the  lost artefact. We searched the inn high and low, yet did not find any trace of the staff. We retired for the evening in the common room, hoping that the next day would shed more light on the situation.

The next morning with our  early  brew  and  hearty  Dwarven  breakfast,  we  were  told  that  the staff  had  been  mysteriously  recovered.  Even  after  the  dark  secrets  we uncovered about this accursed item, we still do not known what caused its  disappearance  and  reappearance.  We  bid  the  adventuring  band farewell  and  sent  them  on  their  way  with  a  cask  of  Khan’s  finest Stoutrock.   However before we could enjoy our breakfast, we noticed Miri running through town, raising the alarm. More undead had been spotted on their way to Woodsong. Thorin and I offered up our hammers in defense of the town that has been so hospitable on many occasions. Following Miri, we set  off  accompanied  by  Nissa  and  Fierna,  the  mysterious  thiefling  and long-term resident of the Broken Tower inn. We soon discovered the foul beasts.  This  time  the  undead  were  no  more  than  ancient  bones  held together by foul magics. We quickly dispatched them and followed their tracks back to an ancient cemetery from whence they spawned. There we found  a set of ghouls lying in ambush. They cried out in Celestial about their master wanting ’it’ back. I took on the brunt of the ghoul assault as my allies dispatched them from afar.    

Again there was a new set of tracks to follow. Miri soon got to work and we  traced  back  the  ghouls  to  their  origin.  They  led  us  to  the  burial mounds  to  the  south-east  of  Woodsong.  These  mounds  date  back  to  the time of Arcarost and housed  valiant Tower Guard from the olden days. In the center of the mounds, we found a final undead creature. A Tower Guard cleric of Lugh  called Naeres brought back by the same foul magic that  had  been  harassing  us  this  past  day.  He  proclaimed  that  he  was driven to  find  a  flame crystal stolen from  the Vaultkeeper. An  ancient curse had been triggered upon the theft of this artefact. He accused us of aiding in its theft as he could smell the crystal’s influence upon us. This seemed like a grand coincidence as his description of the crystal matched that of the gem embedded in Anzo’s staff, the very same staff that was stolen  the  previous  evening!  It  seemed  obvious  that  a  thief  was  afoot, stealing these various gems. Naeres urged us to return the crystal as it is a key to the Vault of the Creation holding back vicious foes of lore. When we repeated that we did not possess the crystal, Naeres sprung an attack on us. He summoned the spirits from the old Tower Guard and knocked me off my feet. Luckily Thorin’s healing magic got me right back up and into the fray. It was a battle worthy of song and drink as we drove back the  cursed  cleric.  With  his  last  undead  breath  he  proclaimed  that  the curse was broken for now, but that the master would find us.    

As we set back to Woodsong, we puzzled upon what had transpired. Miri suggested that the cursed flame crystal and Anzo’s red gem may be one and the same. She also implied that the adventuring band may have been the  thieves  that  originally  stole  the  crystal  from  the  Vaultkeeper.  This seemed  unlikely  to  me  as  adventures  are  a  force  of  good  within  our world.  However  the  implication  that  their  red  gem  may  be  the  same crystal cannot be dismissed as it too was reported to open a vault. It may very  well  be  that  the  band  of  adventures  may  be  on  a  path  to unwittingly  unleash  great  evil  upon  the  world.  Indeed  as  we  thought upon  our  findings  we  realised  that  the  common  tattoo  shared  by  the adventures is the symbol for the vault.  

Thus while the undead  curse may  now  be  broken,  the  situation  has  put me and my brother ill at ease. We have therefore decided to remain in the Woodsong area for now, until we are confident that the danger has passed.  It  may  even  be  that  we  will  have  to  journey  into the  forsaken city of Arcarost in the future to prevent the arrival of great evil. I have therefore  taken  the  liberty  of  drafting  this  letter  to  explain  to  you, Father, what may have transpired to your sons. Should we meet our end, know that our quest was a noble one to protect all that is good and joyous in this world.  

Love to Mother,  

Your son

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