A Call for Aid

To the leaders of all the major cities of Oberin,

I’m sure you have heard tidbits of what has been happening regarding the void portal. Concerned citizens and adventurers have been working diligently to discover why the DDD is so interested in this area, and to find any clues of what happened to the missing senator Morgans. However, I think it’s getting beyond the point of what we can handle.

Viri has a camp settled in a cave next to the tree maze with many armed men. I’m not sure what they’re doing there.

The area around the void gate has seen a massive influx of activity - many poison beasts and blink hounds are surrounding it. There may even be phase serpents and back dracos around, but no one has gotten close enough to know for sure.

From what we can gather, Fiadoryx is searching for a piece of the curio inside of the void realm, and has planned to attack the Lizard Fort to obtain a golden fleece which, as I’m sure you know, is used to handle the curio. The attack may have already happened by the time you receive this letter. The DDD seems to have a huge number of men protecting and fighting for them. I have no idea what their long term goals are, but I can’t imagine it being anything good.

I’m worried that if drastic measures aren’t taken soon, this situation will be beyond the point of no return.

Thank you, for any assistance you can provide.

- Annabel of The Hidden Vale

Comments

  • - It’s your turn.
    - I raise the bet. A thousand gold pieces and the letter I’m carrying!
    - Deal. Better yet, all or nothing: the winner takes the four letters!
    - What are we going to do with that much paper? Paper is not money - I want gold.
    - Fine. A thousand gold pieces, the four letters, and this golden tooth of mine.
    - You’re drunk. But fine. A thousand gold pieces, the four letters, your golden tooth, and this magical ring.
    - You mandrake heads! A thousand gold pieces, the four letters, your golden tooth, this magical ring, and… (Shows an item inside a small bag.)
    - You’re so gonna lose!

    The four men carried on playing. Four messengers whose paths had crossed near the blue portal. Four messengers who decided that Annabel of The Hidden Vale wouldn’t mind if they took a small detour, before delivering her her letters. A morning that turns into evening, and evening that becomes night, and a very happy tavern owner, piling up the coins behind the counter.
    When the first rays of sun shine through the windows, the four men are fast asleep. Quietly, Klevin, the tavern owner clears the table. One thousand gold pieces, four letters, a golden tooth, a magical ring, and a small bag.
    A sign of good service is letting the costumers sleep where they are. Klevin knows his business well. He leaves his shop and leaves the door unlocked - good neighbours shall watch over it. He has four letters to deliver.

    *
    The first letter on the pile is from Lerilin. It is written in the same kind of parchment used to wrap fish, but the flowery handwriting of the Mayoress leaves no doubt as to its authenticity.

    “Annabel, sweetie,

    I understand your worries but, as you may tell from the stains of ink in this letter, I have caught a nasty bug. No, it is not the plague that has been afflicting our dear village. It’s just a common cold. But you know how a common cold can disturb the life of a chef?! I sneeze near the flour! It scatters everywhere and I have my kitchen covered with a white layer of dust!
    Lerilin is just a fishing village, but know that you can count with us for the sides of the fight normally neglected by the great cities: let me know if you need it, (The paragraph is now marked by the signs of a landing sneeze.) and I will have the bakers and the farmers of the area sending supplies to the adventurers and troops stationed … wherever they are. Did you mention it, in your letter? I’m a bit feverish.
    Anyway, an empty stomach may mean the fall of a city! I promise I will select only those business who have escaped those nasty rats.

    Yours,
    Marigold, Mayoress of Lerilin”
    (There are traces of snot and flour around the seal.)
    *

    The letter from Marali is tidy and correctly wrapped, though tied with what seems to be the broken string of a lute. Once opened, a few hairs of luscious red tones fall to the ground - it is hell hound fur, likely from Kang, the Commander’s best friend.

    “Annabel,

    Rest assured that Marali is well aware of what has been resounding in our lands, as we are well aware of the H. Vale’s precious accompaniment to fight in tune against the most recent disharmonies.
    As you know, we have a direct interest in this score.
    Please, let our Armsman Nial know of any specific needs you may have. The ensemble of our stringed bows is yours, as is the brass of our horns and the percussion of our military marches.

    The woods’ winds are fickle, but Marali Prevails,
    Evroulf McTyr”
    *

    The letter from Mirith is less ostentatious than expected. No gold trimmed paper, no bow of silk, no rare shades of expensive ink. Instead, it is written in a simple page, with only the stamp of the bank as a mark of its provenience.

    “Dear Ms. Annabel of the Hidden Vale,

    The Mirith Vanguard informs me that they are in contact with you. I can arrange for barracks and tents for your campaigns. Let me know if there is anything else that we can do for you, logistically speaking. We can provide you with weapons, shields, robes, and maybe some rings, if you need.
    The political decisions belong to the King, who, as you know, is under the weath… (The word is scratched.) water.
    May I suggest that the spoils resulting from these adventures may be given to the poor? With the king away, the structures of social aid are suffering from the lack of direction, and hunger and misery in Mirith is becoming a common and sad sight. Believe me, if I the decisions were mine, the bank would focus more on helping people to survive than on guaranteeing the treasure gains dust.

    Cordially,
    Z. R. Naut, banker of Mirith”
    *

    The letter from Andris smells sweetly, as if it had been perfumed with the scent of nevia and ginger before rolled, a tradition from Brigobaen. The signature differs from the handwriting of the body of the text, but the seal of the red city is genuine.

    “Friend,

    I have asked Adla to be patient and write down this letter as I dictate it to her - she writes better, faster, and her handwriting is much more pleasant to read than the rudimentary scrawl of my hands, used to the mining axe, rather than the pen. So, if my tone sounds different than what you would recognise, it is because my wife had the kindness to make me sound like an educated man.
    You will recognise, however, the Andrisian conviction and our firm purpose to recover our absent Senator. Our dear Clarissa is sorely missed, and we want justice for her family, the citizens of the red city.
    We have been in contact with the other cities, thanks to Commander McTyr’s earlier involvement with the discovery of the Creed’s hideout (the handwriting becomes slightly shakier) in Skull. We have since exchanged intelligence and are willing to do a coordinated attack to the Atoll, whenever the moment is right. I am sure Mirith and Lerilin will tell you the same.
    If the Hidden Vale wishes to be present in our next meeting between the cities, we would be honoured to hear your concerns in person, and devise a strategy to bring us our senator back. As you may know, we meet once every two moons.
    Before I let you go, I should say that I do not recognise any of the names in your letter, other than the acronym DDD. I remember they used to steal a lot of ferrite from our miners, back in the day. I have asked Helda and Ivanelda and they didn’t know them either.
    As for the rest, the little I know about the void cannot be shared in a letter. (The full stop almost cuts through the paper.) It is public knowledge, however, that the Curio is the most powerful item in our lands, and whoever wants it must be stopped.

    You can count on us, friend, now and always.
    Yours, in the representation of the Senate,
    Varouf”
    *

    Klevin carefully reseals the letters with the help of a flame and many years of training. Knowledge is power, and he knows well the story of the lands he chose as home. He heads to the hall of the Hidden Vale and musters the courage to hand the missives to one of the spiders. He fears creatures with more than four legs.
    Then, he starts heading back to his home, above the tavern. It is time to get some sleep. He may pay a visit to his lord friend for lunch. He knows no better political commentator with whom to share the latest gossip.
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