Book One: Ordered by Gods

Tracking the Agents
Cuthberta Menteselunday

A letter from Urban to a lost love...

My sweet Glindi,

It has been far too long since I saw you last and I am afraid that I may have left my apologies until they were beyond reaching you. My last memory of you was the glare of your sparkling emerald eyes glistening with anger for my indulgences and for that I am truly sorry. Leaving Riot's Gate seemed like the only path in front of me at the time. Your demands to leave the ale to Moradin and find work brought me to a ship, the Lusty Wench, where after 150 years of indulgences, I finally found work that was fulfilling again. It may please you to know that, due to some unfortunate events and the death of its crew, I am now the proprietor of that lowly vessel. So, perhaps your drunken love is now Captain Urban, such as that title will aid me in my current state.

My darling, although my Dethek is poor I scratch this note on the back of a shipping manifest trapped in a cage from which I think it unlikely I shall leave alive. I thought to do good, aiding a priest of Moradin in a quest to uncover an unsavory band of murderers and slavers. Should this note reach you, know that your love is held captive in an old temple to the serpent pantheon and the dark god Sss'Rast (DM's Note: Sss'Raast is not a single god but a now defunct pantheon of gods of scalykin), deep in the fen but fifteen or so miles northeast of the village of Göesse. I traveled here overland through the marsh and with my companion swam across a small lake to our current location. It is a lake covered in reeds and strangely lacking wildlife or even insects. Perhaps it is the past evil that has occurred here?

The temple itself was an intriguing find, filled with statues of serpent warriors and their foul deities. The temple depth was filled with their dark history and character of their race but far from abandoned it was also filled with the possessions of the evil agents. Apparently the agents of this foreign Order had been holed up here for some time. We found the evil agents we had been tracking, dead, and ate by obese giant frogs which we slew. I fought well my love! I hewed one in half like the orcs I fought during the Battle of Ajukit Shadow. Remember me as I was then love, for that was the dwarf I was again when I fought the vicious gnoll champion responsible for my current condition. Know that even as the brother of Moradin fell I continued the fight. I fear that the documents we recovered from the evil agents will be lost - secret documents, rare sacred texts, cursed holy symbols and fine rubies like the ones I gifted you when we summered in Amber Cleft. They also carried some drugs and drink tokens for a place called Telemar. The gnolls, curse their vile hides, were by chance seeking shelter from the marsh and the rains. Faced with survival in the swamp, we came to blows with one of the largest among them, Hynanegg I believe the beast is called. This beast, should you seek to avenge me, has yellow mottled fur with a brown spot shaped like a gauntlet under his eye. I now sit in a cage, a cage once used by the slavers we tracked, awaiting my fate - "Urban" scratched in its roof alongside the mysterious words "seven bells" inscribed there. I believe the priest is kept in the cage where a giant white owl was once kept but I am unsure of his fate. I know not how much time I have but know that I thought to spend it writing to you.

I am truly sorry that I cannot hold you in my arms again and that our last words were spoken in anger but I pray to Moradin with my last breath that you know that at the end, I was once again the dwarf you fell in love with.

Until the Halls of Our Fathers,

Domaldi's Chapter Seven...

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