Letters To My Father 7
((The handwriting is shaky…))
It is quite a heavy heart I have tonight Father. I pray your forgiveness for the sloppiness of my writing as my hand trembles, my scar burns, and the page is not but a blur through the tears.
It is, as I said before, quite bittersweet. The arrangements I made for Mortie came through and he is well on his way to Master Burnwater in Timisova. There he will be cuddled and cared for by all manner of lovely ladies… except me. ((A few teardrops stain the page.)) Worst and best of all Salazar gave me a “free” gift; he fixed Mortie’s condition and in so doing was able to change his whole race! He is now an adorable little Dwarven boy! The man said it was the least he could do for me and Mortie.
I got to cuddle him for just a moment and whisper a few things to him before handing him over to “Tim” along with all his things. I do not know about this “Tim” fellow…he was rather unusual. He was cloaked and seemed to slide across the floor like either it shunned him or perhaps he shunned it. I think what I remember most, thinking back on it, is the glowing eyes. I admit I was apprehensive about sending Mortie with him, but no harm will come to him I have that guarantee.
Virgil on the other hand is not convinced of this and was quite upset by the look of “Tim”. I do not believe he has been okay since the meeting at the inn. Virgil seems spooked and a little pale. I try to convince myself that it is just because he cares more for the little tyke than he even will admit. However if I were to be completely honest, I think I saw his heart drop tonight. Not for Mortie, but for me. I would not speak of the arrangement or the payment for such a task; to anyone. I do not want anyone to worry; Mortie was worth everything I paid… whatever it was.
Still I worry for Virgil and the pallor he has adopted. I sense he is heavy with concern and perhaps even the faith he had in himself is slipping. I hope not, but I can certainly understand. We are facing enormous tasks and still, so far, have managed (sometimes barely) to return to Greenfield in one piece; state of consciousness not applicable.
I do not know how to quell his distress. He is not keeping his distance from me or afraid of me, but there is a look of sadness fringed with panic. He has taken to speaking at length with our Priest Caelus and I caught him sneaking down to visit the skeletal Sir Reginald. (A former holy knight sworn to protect some room until someone worthy comes along and bests him.)
((A few dots of purple litter the page where she has tapped her quill in thought))
I am feeling better now. I am going to dwell on the happiness of Mortie’s safety. I will finish this letter in the morning; for now I am exhausted.
A new day and a plan of action!
As usual I pray you are well. I wish to ask a request of you and hope that you are open to the idea. Let me explain; it has occurred to me that my letters have been in rapid succession and to me it seems awfully redundant to constantly open with inquiries into your wellbeing. I can only imagine that it must get that way to read as well, especially when you get two or three letters at a time. You let me know and I will change accordingly. Thank you in advance.
I also wanted to let you know that I will now not only be solely sending you letters of my adventures, but to Mortie and Master Burnwater as well. I will still keep you well informed, but the frequency at which you will receive them will be slacking off. I hope you understand.
This morning seems clearer. We have all had a whole day to do some investigating, get some answers, and get our heads in the right place. Some of us needed that more than others and I believe personally that at least one of us is incapable of doing it at all; it is not me. :)
So allow me to blow your mind;
Well it would seem that in some twist of the miraculous our pet Gnome has been gifted with nature magic. I know! I know!! Why would a perfectly good arcane magician seek out that kind of hedge-voodoo? I cannot answer that and I do not believe he could either. He still seems lost. He keeps insisting on “burning the impure” or something like that but not in a religious capacity; it is strange.
I do not understand this little fellow at all and understand the woodland spirits even less. What do I mean by that?
Well simply, why was this mouthy tiny man with a penchant for setting things afire been given a gift from the forest!? It is flammable for the Gods sake! You would think the nature spirits would try and keep fire out of the forest not burn it all to rubbish.
If they were willing to choose this dinky cuss, what was wrong with me? I spent so much time out there honoring it and nothing. I know that it is not your type of magic, but at least I could have cast a spell for you. To see you smile at that would light my world for eternity. However it let me down and gave onto him? To me it makes no sense and just further impresses upon me that you are right;
“The natural world is stupid, much like a child, and that is why man was created to take care of it, much like a parent. Because if left to its own devices, Baccob save us, the world would be nothing but a stage for a play starring debauchery and disorder. We need nothing of the sort; magic is best kept for the studious and the responsible, we should do our best to ignore those alluring unseelie voices and their promises. True power is not ‘natural’ but Arcane!”
((Ollie takes a moment and sighs; there are blue tap marks from her quill on the page))
It is frustrating. I can only hope that my comrades feel similarly. I want to believe that most of them do feel his strangeness and a lack of trust for the little man; heck perhaps I am wrong. Virgil and I are after all the newcomers… Although, I have to believe also that we have all come to the silent conclusion that there is not much we can do save for ride it out and hope that he—oh umm… never mind.
Ugh! Okay! As of right now I am making a vow to stop caring about all that and just take a deep breath. Deep breaths taken! :) This brings me to something I have found shocking about myself as of late…
You know me Father. That is a simple truth. You also are frustratingly aware that my view of people and the world are “ignorant” (you said) and overly optimistic (again you). This of course also means that, apart from a few exceptions, I have annoyingly too much kindness.
((There are more ink taps here…))
I suppose that is why I am so… ((tap, tap, tap)) I cannot think of the proper word here… concerned? No—appalled (fits the best honestly); in myself and some dark things coursing in my head. I personally do not want to believe that I am becoming jaded or finally seeing the “truth of the world” as you say—I do not know, but perhaps you once again are right. That is after all why you insisted that I take this time to go see and learn the ways of the world. It was not just to fuel my stories for the ‘forget-me-nots’ but to have me see that the world is a dirty, mean place if you do not guard against it.
I do not want to lose my optimism, I like seeing good first; otherwise I would have never given Virgil a chance. That would be a shame! I like the feeling of hope. Without that I might have mistaken Mortie for a ‘lost cause.’ No I like being a good person on my terms. I am just afraid there is not a balance between the “truth of the world” and being “overly optimistic.” Can you be both, knowing and hopeful?
I am certain the answer will come to me. (Darn optimism. :) )
Oh! I spoke of a plan!
Very important Father! We were (Virgil, Caelus, and the Gnome) able to question the Orc and get the information we needed to formulate a plan of action!
In short (thanks to Virgil’s very good diplomacy skills) we were able to get the Orc on our side! He spoke freely of the numbers and what was going on inside the encampment! We found that the numbers were not as insurmountable as we initially figured, given the look of the place. However we also found out that there are Kobolds there as well. Is that not strange? He said they were building something; something big.
Master Orc sang for us the woes of his people and the tyranny of the Hobgoblins in charge. According to Virgil it was a full out play with Master Orc offering intrigue, violence, and maybe even a victorious outcome. He claims that he can get his brethren to follow his lead once he is inside, then it is our job to come in and rid them of the Hobgoblin commander(s).
With this information we spoke at length on payment, it was agreed that we should go really high and have him wheedle us down into what we really wanted. You always said “…you must start high with bandits in merchants clothing lest you not get what you want.” Very true words you have spoken yet again!
So in doing just that we actually got promised the higher amount! Something we thought ludicrous! Knowing now that he would be so open to it we have a tinge of regret not asking for more; perhaps that would have been too greedy. How much I hear you asking from way out there… well we are getting 1500 gp.
That money gets all of us a fair share and plenty to pay the newcomers to the group; Drake and Sasha. I may have spoken about them in a previous letter…? Drake the non-combat potential visionary and his violent, aggressive, and tongue-less sister… now she loves to mix it up! Young miss is good. She got herself fairly wounded last outing but is better now. We have decided the extra money goes into the community pot for whatever we need as a group.
Not so bad huh? I am out here working hard and learning with all these new people and making it work. That seems to be the most important lesson I have been learning out here; making it work.
It occurs to me that I do not speak often of the other members of our rag-tag band of adventurers. I suppose that is because they do not really do much that is confusing, frustrating, or idiotic. Baits and Missy Human are quiet. They are nice and helpful with not much to say. Caelus and Mila do their jobs and contribute where they can. Good people.
OH! Well, we are going to be getting ready soon to go. Virgil and a couple of the others have left to acquire Master Orc out of his ‘room’ and get him ready to go. I will write more when I can! Wish me—no, us luck!
Mrith itov vur tiichi ekess wux Opsola. ~ Nerium Oleander
((Pinned to the letter is a hastily written note))
Oh my Gods Father!! We think we are working for a vampire!! We think the Magistrate of Greenfield is a blood sucking fiend from beyond the grave!!
When we picked up Master Orc he looked ill; pale. He was sluggish and said he felt weak. When we looked him over to see what was wrong we found two—TWO puncture wounds on his neck!!
I guess when you take into consideration his heavy dark curtains not only in his home, but carriage as well it makes sense! We just need some proof now. We are going to tell Lady Grace about the bite marks, but we are not certain we are going to put it on the Magistrate…yet.
Then to make matters even more interesting, he was here when we got back. Father, I stumbled! I froze! What we planned to share with Lady Grace had to be changed at the last minute. He was IN her office! He was just sitting there in the stained glass sunshine. Could he possibly still be undead sitting there like that??
We had Caelus take Lady Grace outside and speak to her quietly about the attack on our ‘prisoner’. We kept the Magistrate busy with talk of a Blue Dragon that may have an impact on our next official job…
Oh boy… oh boy!! My undead knowledge is slim Father so any help would be wonderful!