| Undead Tired|
|A long way from home, and no going back yet|
Dear Madroc and Modroc,|
In truth, I don’t know when this letter will reach you. We’re out beyond the bounds of the Bloodskull again. We have been out here many days, and it doesn’t look like we’ll be returning to Azhgrott at all soon. If Seetha gets her way, we’ll probably not return at all, but I don’t see how I can make my way in these lands dominated by humankind. She can pass as one, if she’s careful, but it’s just about impossible for me. They hate kobolds, and would as soon kill us as look at us.
In most cases, anyway. I’ve met one human who seems personable enough. His name is Edric, and he claims to be a former cleric of Aesia. I remember reading a little about her in one of your books. He’s been wary but friendly, and these days he wanders as one of the Imari, a scattered group of nomads that apparently live in painted wagons. Seetha has some connection to them, it looks like, but I don’t know what that connection is.
But somehow we’ve now gotten caught up fighting off a vampire horde. They got at the gnoll tribe not far away, and now the only one who is left is a gnoll, named Korak, who is now travelling with us. He has proven himself useful in a fight, as such things go, I guess. I don’t really know. He does offer someone else to hide behind, though.
I still can’t believe that we’re the only ones out here to deal with this mob of undead. I mean, vampires! How can we be expected to destroy ONE vampire, let alone a veritable army of them? I know that these aren’t Bloodskull lands, and if we told our superiors in Azhgrott they’d likely just ignore it, but Azhgrott isn’t all that far away, really, and undead hordes aren’t usually know for respecting borders. So we’re doing just about the only thing we can: visiting an old, secluded human abbey built in honor of an old saint of Aesia’s—Evan, I think was the name. He supposedly stopped an army of undead hundreds of years ago by an act of supreme self-sacrifice, somewhere near here. Edric thinks that there might be some holy relics left over, kept in reverence or something, that we might use to stop the vampires. Since we can’t stop them on our own, we’re off to see.
I’m so scared that my teeth are like to chatter themselves out of my skull. But I can’t just run back to Azhgrott: if they don’t overtake us and turn us, they’ll follow us and destroy the whole outpost. Seetha thinks my fear is silly, but I can’t just turn it off. I’m not big and tough and made of stone, like her. I just do what I can.
One odd note, on our travels out here. We came across an old, dilapidated cottage out in the forest. It was very obviously created by magic, but its owner (a human) was long dead. When I found his bones, it scared me so much I almost joined him. But he left behind a book; a big one, too, even for big person standards. As I read through it, most of the time I find only herbal recipes, thoughts on living in the wilderness, curious human witticisms (I think?), and so on. But every so often, things turn strange. It is as though his writings in the book are having a conversation with me, discussing this and that of the arcane, or thoughts on some bit of trivia. More: I’ve even come across magical writings in it. Obviously he was a mage of some sort, but if this is his collection of spells, it is the oddest way method of protection I’ve seen. I wonder a lot about its efficacy.
Hopefully this letter will find you soon. Hopefully before too many months pass I’ll be able to join you at your inn for a drink and a nice, long, safe chat. Until then, be well. I’ll try to stay safe.
|From the journal of Nibar The Nervous|
Contributor: Chris Schuettpelz