Regnum The 5th Age

In the moment
The Tiger Meditates

 

Feeling exhausted from being damaged and healed many times in a short moment, Tsume walks over to the nearby bench and sits down.  He pulls out his brush and his ink, and a sheet of parchment.

A Challenge of Swords

Two Rivals compete to win

And drinks they will share.

Tsume then puts his supplies away, and waits for it to dry.  He then rolls it up, walks over to Keth, bows, and offers the parchment

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Stanford's Log

Brief overview:our group of adventurers were formed by the Living weapons finding each party-member and transporting them to a hotel after which we were told that our mission was to figure out who was stealing silver-lotus tree saplings and stop them after which we spent a few days to prepare ie:getting a flying carpet and other necessary materials, after we found where the thieves were located we flew over and found a room with two passageways we followed the left path which led to the tomb of the dragon priest.

last session:on the last session of our adventure we began in the tomb of a dragon priest that was being guarded by a entity  from the plane of fire that was bound to a stone statue. there was a hidden path to the coffin as to not trigger its wrath. inside the tomb we found an ancient jade dagger with a illusionary enchantment on it along with 424 old marks ( monetary system) with an additional 2 marks that were of a an older origin, surrounding the tomb were several sconces enchanted with green ever-burning flames , these were promptly stuffed into the bag of holding before we left to stop the theft of silver-lotus trees (a valuable medicine) our wizard Mindertas told us that his familiar spotted a group of 20 lizard-people. on our way to the other passageway Mindertas used his magic to break a trap in front of the door to the right so that those who followed us would fall into a pit-trap. after we entered the hallway we saw a door to the left and a door forward, we chose the door on the left which had a fountain with an aquatic dragon at the top of it, after we opened the door Keth decided to grab some water witch then summoned 2 mephits which were quickly dispatched. we then moved into the room ahead of us and found a empty cage and a cowering  kobald named Meepo who we later found out had been a guard for the baby-dragon Talrex(Gunthags pet, king kobald) who was stolen by the lizard people when Meepo fell asleep while guarding Talrex. Keth said we would help retrieve Talrex after which meepo took us to meet with Gunthag where we made a deal stating we would get rid of something that they had taken that smelled like "someone who bathed in cologne" and get Talrex back, we found out that the cologne came from a gnome that was part of the three-brothers trading company. the king told us that the lizard people were coming (from where we entered) we stood by our door while Mindertas froze the floor in-front of us when the lizard-people broke in we suprised them with a volly of ranged attackes during the battle mindertas took out half of their forces by using shatter,webbs, and a critical shatter with the fire element after this he also ended the life of 2 other lizard-people the rest of which were dispached by the remainder of the party.

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Before the Guardians: Part III

Abraham sat in the hold of the airship, cramped among baggage and equipment.  It was cold down here, as the hold was rarely ever considered for insulation.  Many might not suspect it, but the sky could be a cold, cold place, and Abraham found himself wishing for the comfort of Berkay's dry winds. 

An observer might have wondered how the young man had ended up spending a trip he hadn't paid for to a destination he wasn't sure of in the ship's hold.  Luckily for Abraham, there hadn't been an observer, insofar as he'd been able to determine.  He'd purchased a ticket, chosen a ship to board at random, ducked aside at the last second to 'assist' in loading luggage on a third ship, and simply dove in along with the last suitcase.  If any of the crew noticed, no one had reacted.  The worst they could do was throw him off at the next stop, and that was fine with Abraham.  A little bit of adventure had never hurt anyone, except for that time Keth's tooth had been broken.

Abraham squirmed as he thought about what had happened, at least, what he could remember.  In his travels, the young man had become a bit acquainted with the less official side of the world, and there hadn't been any such indications from Tadje.  In fact, the Equitregan had seemed to be pursuing similar interests and ideas to that which Abraham himself was after.  Tadje had even freely offered some of the knowledge that Abraham had been looking for, and Abraham had learned it…until it was gone. 

Blasted circlet, he thought.

The darkness in the hold gave Abraham time to think.  Behind him lay a burning laboratory and a dead scholar.  But who lit the fire, and why?  Because of the information Tadje had shared?  Was such knowledge to be forbidden?

Abraham got a chill as he considered this.  Whoever had killed Tadje had made sure the circlet was missing.  Every other piece of equipment, even some of the builder's notes, were found in the rubble.  The circlet was all that was missing. 

Abraham pulled out one of the sand crystals given to him 2 years ago.  It's light had previously given him hope and comfort, but now it pulsed with a cold, hard light.  It was taunting him, flirting with him.  Abraham felt it held all of the answers he sought, yet none of them at the same time.

What makes you so dangerous? Abraham thought.  And what makes…home…so dangerous?

Abraham sighed audibly.  He could feel the magic of the airship pulsing around him, and normally such a thing would give him a headache.  Now, however, he was focused. 

If I am pursued for what I know, or may learn, he thought, a defense is in order.  Or rather, an offense, should the case arise.

Abraham had managed to slip a relatively undamaged sack from the ruins of Tadje's laboratory.  Further investigation had revealed Sand Crystal dust.  Abraham had been disappointed at first, then pleased.  He'd had some success creating minor combustion through agitating the residual energy of the dust.  An idea was beginning to form in his head.  If he wanted to be able to see his potential enemies coming from a distance, a method for killing them from a distance would be needed.

He also had to return to Berkay for Keth.  While his brother likely didn't need it, there was no telling what Abraham's pursuer(s) might do.  A twinge of guilt shot through Abraham as he considered that Keth could be harmed.  No matter how grumpy or violent his brother got, Abraham never saw Keth as a ferocious orc.  A fighter, sure, and able to hold his own in a street fight, of course, but whoever had killed Tadje had done so quickly, with purpose, and with enough strategy to make it look like an accident. 

Sighing, Abraham took out the letter he'd been prepared to send Keth.  With a flick of his finger, a spattering of dust, the parchment lit up in flame for a brief second before turning to ash.  Ignorance was bliss, Abraham had heard.  For now, ignorance would be Keth's shield.

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Dear Sariel (fifth letter)

Dear Sariel,

Things have continued quite well since the last letter. We explored the second wing of the Citadel finding the location of the kobolds. Despite the minor hinderance of a pair of mephits inhabiting a well (no doubt for the purpose of ending tired outsiders searching for respite). We entered into the kobold’s housing. Most importantly the (previous) location of Gurthardt’s pet who is apparently named Caurex. It’s quite the large dragon, by the size of the cage I estimate between 60 and 80 years of age, that was imprisoned in a cell not barely 600 square feet large.

Meepo was traumatized, but he was able to recover when we told him that we could recover the young dragon and thus took us to see Gurthardt. He told us a lot of important context between the inhabitants of the Citadel, all the while a show of force consisting of few more than a dozen spear-bearers. Apparently the lizardfolk and kobolds had an amicable arrangement before a the Daedal Druid deemed Dmitry dutifully dropped in deeming the deal dead. He claimed that the reason they stole (including the ones previously mentioned as things to feed Gurthardt’s pet) was because of Dmitry forced them to. Though I believe this was him just trying to skirt around punishment for their crime not attributable to Dmitry, they did agree to stop their thefts. Additionally they were forced to harvest both the white and red fruit from a tree the Druid manages. The lizardfolk have also been encroaching upon their territory since then too. Not to mention Dmitry is responsible for the death of our predecessors and the twig blights.

Thus we struck a deal; in exchange for our returning of Caurex, they would surrender their prisoner (one gnome by the name of Ingvolt Silvertoe), a crate of silver lotus to be burnt by both parties, and promise not to thieve any more. Though I believe the implicit agreement also be that we deal with both Dmitry and Lizardfolk to provide a(n un)reasonable level of safety for the kobolds in the Citadel. The crate was suggested by the engineer so we could honestly say we burnt the stolen goods.

I am suspect at their ability to integrate, but I believe I can levy our group's success for leniency and supervision. However when we told them of our reinforcing of the path behind us from the encroaching lizardfolk they got extremely fearful and near instantaneously fled. Left with Ingvolt and Meepo we acquainted ourselves with the newly repatriated. A member of the Three Brothers Trading Company, he was not pleased with his imprisonment and practically bathed in Sephiroth’s feather (you know the one Rolen likes to wear). Clearly a coping mechanism, he should cool down when he reenters society and has a nice bath. Though my companions were extremely displeased with his demeanor, they could stand some empathy for someone that has been stuck with kobolds for over a year.

With the deal struck, and Ingvolt caught up, we turned to face the lizardfolk. We set up at the end of the hallway following the trapped pits (which I had previously sabotaged to be unable to close). They mistakenly believed the kobolds had turned on them in an expected maneuver and constructed a makeshift bridge to begin beating the barricaded door down. What followed was something that followed directly out of Asvaldir’s own playbook. Bait the vanguard, arrest the body, destroy leadership, and eliminate survivors. While the Cat and the Orc competed for kills amongst the first through the door, and the merchant and I destroyed their bridge, trapped the majority of their force, and burnt them. The Engineer targeted their leader, and was able to finish him off (my magic was weld for widespread damage to reveal the leader). Though a survivor showed admirable bravery in attacking us alone I calmed him down with some potent smoke (I discovered the pipe i picked up at the festival is able to calm and charm others who breathe in it’s herb). I’ve given him some meat rations to calm him while I write you but I hope to learn more about him and hopefully recruit him for us, Gods know we could use the muscle.

 

Current actions/goals/thoughts

  • Befriend Lizardfolk; learning name, citadel circumstances, and possibly induct. 
  • Send for retrieval of free-trade goods (pigeon ring to Ferronaitius should be enough, but may take time so we should ensure their safety)
  • Confirm ramifications of kobold agreement.
  • Ensure no more attacks by lizardfolk.
  • Ensure no more attacks by Twig blights.
  • Return to Luvanda and settle the loss of her relatives (in person if at all possible).
  • Return of Ingvolt Silvertoe to civilization.

In less dire news, we've discovered quite a few artifacts down here. The dwarven sword from the pit apparently causes the wielder to attack themselves sometimes. A few hundred coins from the age of Kavas' interment. An 11 slotted coin of energy storage. And two coins adorned with The Lady Lavia Greenwater (and Arbrou Éterneta is embossed at the size I suspect to be around the time of founding). Some sort of designed attachment (which is quite gauche and I will likely not use it) to the Dragon Pipe that acts as a sort of wand for magic missiles. And some jade dagger that likes to disguise itself in an illusion desired by its wielder.

Until my next rest,

Mindertas

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Keth's tallies

scribble at the top of Keth's journal, there are currently two little T-charts. 

 

Roshambo    
Abraham Keth Ties
7 5 5

    

Kills (since the lizard folk)  
Hi-Ni Keth
4 2

 

 

under the two T-charts he's written "Luckily they still haven't noticed that I need glassless to read small print, something that would ruin my image as a true orcish warrior"

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Council of Twelve

  At the uppermost levels of the Golden Tower sit the World Council of the twelve empires of Regnum. For 15,000 years the peace of the The Accord has been the bedrock of people wishing to avoid the horror of war. Here the leaders of their respective nations or their chosen representatives come together to shape the peace of the world. Arriving upon the morning light of the 1st of Vahishta was the leader of Yin-Drakkos, the legendary ancient dragon of scales so old they look like rust colored volcanic rock, Drakkos.

The Equitregus ambassador of Fikir Tayfa stepped forward to greet the great wyrm as he landed and changed shape to the Elf form he was fond of in the morning hours. Like motionless sentinels did the black and gold clad Living Weapons stand guard each holding a slightly different weapon, though all deadly in the extreme. Both council members greeted each other.

"I trust your choices for the assignment met with approval with Councilwoman Movk'Tal of Berkay?"

The blue Sand Crystal necklace adorning the Equitregan ambassador his single horn glinted in the morning light, "Movk'Tal was happy to be rid of the seeker and his adopted brother. While he was on a path that could grant him answers he was stirring up trouble in his wake, so something had to be done."

Drakkos nodded, "Councilman Kwon Min of Sussuria seemed equally relieved to help his friend's descendant with the problem of the young monk seeking to clear a master's honor."

Councilman Khallē rubbed his brow stopping at the horn protruding from his skull, "The scrolls have the information we need from the monastery?"

Drakkos nodded once more, "Yes, it was encoded and our sources in Arventa Plata have sent word it is indeed being decoded as we have this discussion."

"Will you be able to resist her if she breaks free," the question hung like a hangman's noose.

Drakkos looked longingly up at the sky, "If they all succeed then I won't have to find out."

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Hi Ni Tsume's Journal 2
The chapter continues

Upon our return from to Arventa Plata from the plantation, we immediately checked on our companions.  Stan was ok, and had fully recovered.  However, Milas, had passed away from the poisoning….

In Memoriam:

As the rain pours down

We return you to the earth

For you were called home

 

Later, after our return to the city, we discovered that a festival was taking place.  We split up and spent the day with the locals.  I decided to open up a booth to exercise and practice my calligraphy skills.  Eventually we regrouped and ventured out of the celebration.  At this point, we noticed a moderate sized group of Kobolds were leaving the festival.  Once they neared the tree line, they decided to split their group and doubled their pace.  At this point, we got the feeling that something was not right with the group.

In a split decision I ran after the half of the group that broke away from their main, and headed deeper in to the woods.  Not far into the woods, I found the group of kobolds.  2 were helping each other carry a large chest, while the others were protecting the chest bearers.  I distracted the guards, while the 2 carrying the chest ran off – right in to the path of my companions.  After taking out the guards, I regrouped with the team. We tried getting information from one of the kobolds that were still alive – note: I tried to keep one alive, yet I accidentally did too much damage to their head.  The remaining kobold seemed a bit traumatized, but was able to get the name Gurthadt past their teeth.

We also searched the chest.  Their were quite a few magic items, gems, and Marques within it – intended to be a gift of sorts to this Gurthadt, perhaps. We also found a totem in the chest. Furthermore, some of the kobolds were carrying magic weapons, much like in the caravan raid.

We returned to the city, and first, returned the totem to Priestess Terrovia Herqwan, she was very grateful.  We also went to the Authorities in the small ziggurat to return the equipment.  We spoke to Ferronaitius about the kobolds, the loot they stole, and we made a claim ticket for the equipment.

That night we decided to prepare ourselves for the venture ahead, to the citadel.  So, we stopped at Mateo's, Ol' Fang Inn, for a meal, and watched an axe throwing competition.  We got some good sleep at night, and ate a good breakfast in the morning.  I also enjoyed some wine before heading out.  We also made sure we had proper supplies, because this is going to be a long trip to the citadel.

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Before the Guardians: Part II

Abraham stood on an airship, watching as the land fell away from him.  He didn't know where he was going anymore, only that he had to keep moving.  His knees were weak, and his appetite was destroyed.  All he could think about were the three weights in his pocket, and the reason he had come to Sussuria.

—3 hours earlier—

"I'm sorry that I cannot be of more help, Master Abraham," the well dressed gentleman had said.  "But the information you seek simply doesn't exist, at least in any of the forms that I've searched for it.  To tell the truth, I question its very existence."

"But it has to exist," Abraham had replied.  "You know it does, and you've just given up?!" 

"Not given up," the man kindly answered.  "Moved on.  There are other pursuits in life, you know.  You are young, intelligent, and could make something of yourself.  I could even provide a position for you in my establishment, if you wish."

A job.  Abraham chuckle dryly to himself as he thought back on it.  He'd actually considered taking a desk job for the briefest moment.  It had seemed like a good idea, and it would give him a ready supply of materials should he ever want to make anything at all.  But a desk job?  Where was the fun in that?

"I'm sorry, but I can't sit still," Abraham had said.  "I have to know if there's an answer out there.  I've already nearly killed myself 3 times, and I can't throw away that kind of sacrifice."

"I understand, and were I younger, I'd feel the same way you do.  But I'm older, and I have a family now.  Life is actually quite nice, if you give it a chance," the man said encouragingly.  "You should invest yourself in a trade, meet a girl, start a family."

Abraham chuckled suddenly into the evening air.  The ground was now quite far below, and as he sat reflecting on his earlier conversation, it occurred to him that he could quickly put an end to all his miseries.  The sorrow welled up inside him as he looked over the railing.  Should he fall, that would be it.  The search would be over, and his troubles would be gone.

As Abraham put one foot up on the railing, he felt objects move and heard them rattle in his pouch.  The lid to the pouch, which he normally kept tightly closed, fell open, and a soft blue glow spilled out.  Four sand crystals…

"Four sand crystals is the best assistance I can give you in your search, Master Abraham," the man had said.  "It will help you get your start in whatever calling you pursue."  Even in the well-lit room, the glow of the crystals was apparent.

"You hardly know me, and you're offering me a fortune," Abraham exclaimed.  "Why?  What does it matter to you?"

The man mused for a moment, staring up at the ceiling.  "Perhaps it is an encouragement that you should develop yourself into something else.  Or maybe an opportunity for you to remake yourself.  Or, if you wish," the man had finished with a smile, "an expression of hope."

An expression of hope.  Enraptured by the light, Abraham sat down on the deck.  Pulling out the largest sand crystal, he rolled it in his hand before returning it to the pouch.  Standing up, he looked out over the land with determination.  He would remake himself.  He would have hope.  Ideas flooded into his mind as he prepare to see what new adventures awaited him. 

Then Abraham remembered that he had no idea where he was or how he got on this airship.  Hopefully they wouldn't ask for his ticket anytime soon, because he wasn't sure he had it.  Oh well, he was no stranger to being a stow away, and the worst they could do was throw him off, right?  With a smirk on his face, Abraham snuck off to find a comfortable spot in the hold, preferably with an easy path to the kitchen.

"One other thing that may help you," the man had said, procuring a slip of parchment as Abraham was preparing to leave.  "There are others you may wish to speak with.  Here are their names, and their last known locations."

 

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Dear Sariel (fourth letter)

Dear Sariel,

 

It seems my suspicions were correct. This Citadel truly holds secrets worthy of apprehension. It’s been only a couple hours since writing my last missive and it’s been bad. We entered into a (linear) branch of rooms behind one of the doors, and a room of long neglect with a newly conflagrated rat. The single other exit was a large ebony door of Akvartalon, though it was magnificently kept. The juxtaposition odd and disheartening, but after some investigation we opened it into a nearly bear room with a few long-cracked sand crystals. When I entered I heard Bethrynna’s 67th symphony in pianissimo, very beautifully played like when Lia brought us around her 180th birthday. While the Shirn heard, what I believe to be by his description, Eisai’s original composition Jitsugetsu upon a Jeongak. However the Orc was not so forthcoming with what he heard, though I’m quite sure it heavily featured drums in allegro. We shared some wine and smoked herb during our appreciation before the Engineer destroyed the source. While most of the anger was provoked by the spell, I couldn’t help but want to criticize him for his lack of appreciation for the arts. Though he was extremely interested in the source, he says its a discovery of incredible import so I hesitate to describe it, but he is certainly eager in his assertion despite a complete inability (likely magically implanted, so I may have to try some telepathic probing if he would allow it) to explain himself.

Another well kept door that hid a hallways with an ancient, well-hidden, spike trap where the spikes were long-since settled with a steel to glass spell. Nearly perforated the Murchint due to his haste; at least he was able to figure out how to disarm it. It was about this time when Ad Hawk discovered a group of lizardmen transporting Free Island stamped goods (In addition to a flash of a spell, but I’ll get back to that). A trio of crates between 5 to 10 hundred cubic feet accompanied by a group of 20 lizardfolk. Ambushing them will be difficult, we could attempt to impede them further by blocking access. The next pair of doors opened up to a small chapel with a clear statue of Akvartalon. It was quite unimportant except for it’s simple riddle on stars which revealed a hidden doorway to the final chamber of this branch.

A long fabulously decorated room with an antechamber separated by a large pit. In 6 alcoves sat a variety of armoured statues (3 Dragonborn, 2 Elves, and a Shirn). In the antechamber a large coffin with a dragon in ouroboros. While the Engineer, Orc, and Murchint made thoughts on jumping across the pit I was dealing with the flash from earlier. Ad Hawk, while keeping an eye on the lizardfolk (who had finished loading one of the crates onto the stairway), noticed footsteps from an invisible pursuer behind us. I asked, by message, it to identify themselves to me. Apparently it succeeded, but not after impediment (probably from the amount of stone scattering the magical array) that lengthened the travel time to nearly a minute both ways. Though they just responded with an expletive, I remembered the voice from Arventa Plata. Though I just realize writing this, I had not informed you of the shenanigans of the librarian’s grandson in Arventa Plata.

 

While inquiring about information regarding the Ashen Plain we utilized the library within Arventa Plata. While the Shirn inquired about having a set of scrolls (which were in terrible condition jammed together with many other scrolls haphazardly) translated, a silver Dragonborn by name of ‘Tammokan’ attempted to sell his services to the destitute shirn. This would have been fine had he not pretended to be the head librarian despite clear lack of knowledge in navigating via sorting codexes. Apparently he was quite the trickster arcane user and grandson to the true headmaster. I found him after I heard about the impersonation and seeing more important tasks than some prank to attend to I mentioned the occurrence in passing to the head librarian who quickly disciplined the youngling.

 

I had Ad Hawk begin masking his dust trail where I began giving him instructions to avoid further detection. The trio ultimately wanted to jump across, but they were dissuaded by the thoughtful interruption of one of the statues. An extra-planar being named Jot from the plane of fire was bound to the statue by the dragonpriest Kavas (which is the one entombed in the aforementioned casket). After talking for a bit we learned that it had been bound to attack anyone who crossed the threshold into the antechamber, however if anyone happened to cross back over they would be released. Of course realizing this danger we didn’t want to take such a route. So we performed another examination of the room, and behind the highest ranked warrior I found a stanza orientated incorrectly detailing a story of the Elf infiltrating an enemy lair (with hints from Jot it was clear that there was an internally designed alternate route). This was the point that Tammokan finally decided to drop his invisibility. So after using the characters in the stanza I entered the the Elf’s name and revealed a hidden tunnel.

While the antechamber detailed the religious workings of Akvartalon, in the center crafted with augured iconography (a dragon in ouroboros hinting at self-betrayal) a casket latched closed with adamantium. Our curiosity got the better of us, the dungeon’s inexplicably cleaned and maintained machinery ensured our interest in clearing the dungeon, which included this casket. When it was unlocked we discovered that the reason for Kavas’ entombment (we learned his name from Jot), he lost a battle and was given a commander’s discipline. I attempted to establish a conversation with him, but was met with an unceremonious firebolt. Oddly enough, I believe it killed me. I don’t remember anything too specific, but a disembodied voice spoke (as if to another) that a rule had been forgotten and I was sent back to life. Upon my awakening, the others had come to my aid blasting chunks off of Kavas, however not before I was able to glaciate him.

At least the party is figuring their roles. The shirn and engineer appreciate a location near the rear, watching for pursuers, The orc and murchint up front, and myself in the center. With what we have it’s a decent setup, the martial capability on either end gives myself time to formulate a counter-plan if we’re ambushed while maintaining a decent vanguard with mobile flanks. And theres the possibility to Tammoken aiding us as well.

Mindertas

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Before the Guardians

Peros 6, 15027

Abraham paced up and down the small study.  In his hand he twirled a small, blue crystal.  "Cursed thing," he thought to himself.  "Almost unlimited potential in the palm of my hand, and it can't even find it's way home."  Bitterly, he strode over to the table of notes, glanced up at the pins on the wall.  Papers, writing, images, maps, and thread all connected in a way that would be meaningless to anyone else.  And still no answers.  In a sudden burst of rage, Abraham gripped the edges of the small table and overturned it, sending ink and paper flying.

Turning, he threw the crystal as hard as he could against the wall.  "THERE'S NO ANSWERS!" he yelled. 

The scientist in him reasoned that there had to be an answer.  Everything came and went from somewhere, and existence was not even a question.  It was merely a matter of direction, but he'd tried nearly everything he could think of.  His latest gamble had nearly cost him his life as he had wandered through the desert, using a compass with a needle made of a sliver of a Sand Crystal.  The blasted thing had merely spun with the wind, yet he had followed it for days, until his water had run out and his food was gone.  If it hadn't been for a lucky stumble across a caravan, he'd have been a dead man.  

Dropping to his knees, Abraham let out a choking sob.  Was he ever to find what he was looking for?  To be able to put to rest his demons?  

It was then that he heard a knock on his door.  Quickly, he stood and composed himself.  "Who is it?" he asked.  

"Jereth, sir, the messenger you hired?  You said I was to meet you by midnight tonight or I'd not get paid?"  The voice was seedy, but hopeful at the prospect of coin.

"I suppose that all depends on whether or not you've brought me any news," Abraham responded, opening the door.  In front of him stood a weasely looking gnome, dressed for skulking.  "You know that your clients normally call upon you and yours for service that brings results.  And I'll ask politely once: What news do you have?"

The gnome gave a snaggletooth grin before handing a sealed envelope over.  "You can check the seal on that'n there, I didn't even peek, and that's on my honor."

"You're lying, but that's not too unusual," Abraham responded.  Breaking the seal, he pulled out the small piece of parchment.  A date, a time, a place. 

Pulling out a pouch of marks, Abraham weighed it and eyed Jereth.  "Tell me," he said, "How fast can one make it to Sussuria?"

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