Dear Madroc and Modroc,|
I'm still writing to you, even though my letters are beginning to pile up in my backpack. Before we leave the camp tomorrow, I'll ask the humans if there's any way that they might see these into Bloodskull hands so that they might be delivered.
If you're wondering if you read that last part right, you did. We're in a small human encampment, though encampment seems to grand and too small a word for it. There are permanent houses here, built of wood, yet it seems rather slipshod and, well, temporary, even though they've been here for some time.
These humans are, from what they tell us, descended from the monks of the abbey we are headed to. They spoke of a curse, and some kind of evil there, in spite of it being a holy place. Most of them haven't even been to the abbey much in living memory, but they still respect it--revere it, even. So, they weren't too keen on allowing us to go up there.
But it's not the only reason they keep people away. I guess they don't want the deaths of other folk on their consciences, or some such, because they say that many would-be adventurers have gone up to the abbey before, never to return, and now they shoo people off. And take their gold, for the trouble. One more thing: they have their own secrets to keep, and I won't betray them by saying here what it is. But they seem to like their seclusion.
But we didn't see any other way around the situation; it seems Azhgrott may have already been infiltrated; we were again waylaid by a bunch of undead gnolls, but this time they were led by something that used to be an orc. It was one of the deserters, we discovered later, but it worries me, just the same. I don't think even deserters would range this far out into human territory, especially since there is so much empty space on the other side of the outpost.
Anyway, these humans, being the monks' descendants, had keys with them, which, it turns out, allow them entrance to the inner areas of the abbey. And of course they weren't about to give them up, nor travel with us to let us in. Which meant that we had to convince them to lend them to us. Bad enough, surely, that we had to try to convince a settlement of humans that: 1) we weren't "monsters"; 2) We weren't there to invade on behalf of the Bloodskull; and 3) That we really were trying to find a way to stop the vampires, but to have to convince them further to give up perhaps their most prized possessions to a group of people that they must have thought were about to go commit suicide....
Somehow, I don't know how, I ended up being the one doing most of the talking. Not that Seetha would be a big help in that arena, but the gnoll seems to do all right, and...well, he doesn't have to look UP at these humans when he's talking to them. But somehow, with some help, I managed it, and the three bearers of the keys agreed to give us their use, in the hopes of finding a means to combat the undead. They are even allowing us to sleep in their encampment, which was rather nice of them, considering. Speaking of which, we're going to have a big day tomorrow, so I'd better get my studying done and turn in. I'll write more as soon as I'm able, and try to find a way to get these to you.