Dear Brother Malkin,
To recap, first let me apologize for failing in accomplishing your request.
First, we did make it to my Minotaur Tribe’s Home: The Fortress of Etrinan and seed library of the Dwarves from what your excitement tells me. The youth had split into 3 groups and left with the rune weapons we had at our disposal. One of the groups lead by a former friend of mine, Groun’na, was seduced to working for Anubis and teamed up with a nearby tribe of Utu worshiping cannibal minotaurs. They murdered everyone except my tribe’s lorekeeper, Master Aesyl. He has given Master Azariel a book of magic that I was always to dumb to read, or so I have been told on more than one occasion. It took five days to to burn everyone to deny the cannibals a meal and make sure no one could raise the dead for some other nefarious purpose.
The library has been ransacked, if we ever meet again I will submit to a mind mage of your choosing so you may have my memories of what I saw of my home, Minotaur life in my tribe, the rune weapons, everything. I can’t bring you books but maybe I can bring you knowledge. I am sorry eons ago my ancestors were evil bastards and subjugated your people along with the Gods, dragons, and others. I am learning the world will never forget and likely never forgive. I know in the scheme of time I will mean nothing but I am sorry for that.
Hopefully, Commander Gleba has kept in touch with you. I have asked him to spread the good word as a bard of CrIsis and he has done so with fervent glee known only among the Elves of old!
We helped the good Minotaurs of the Serelan Tribe defeat the evil Minotaurs of the Idrijian Tribe, that worshiped the Old Ones! We have recovered another piece of the Lawgiver! I now have a piece of divinity entrusted to me.
We began the 2nd of Kym-nark-mar in the Sandy Desert of the Baalgor Wastelands. We are headed to the coastal city known as Troker. We were traveling with Master Overkill’s companions from his pirate days. Their leader’s name was Mollinur and he’s a Dwarf as well, but clearly Master Overkill, was a lot meaner in those ‘older’ days.
Well this morning after prayer being led by an actual priest, Brother Indaris, just remember in Timiro the " a " sounds like a " u " sound so its Induris for pronouncing it.
Must be a Hooman dialect.
The good priest had a thought about getting us out of the Wastelands with a scroll from his Goddess. I think it would have worked had none of my kind been present, Lady Isis still hates us for my ancestors actions. Amazing, side conversation during the noble attempt was Mollinur trying to get double pay if he or his people were hurt. Nice to hear in what order he clarified his concern, spoke volumes.
What was settled was 10% bonus for injury while our Priest of Isis, their Hooman Priest of Rurga, their two wizards (one hooman, one elf), Master Azariel and myself participated in the ritual. After it failed the good priest did call upon the powers of the Gods of Light to make the weapons we carry, Holy for the day. While that was happening an Eandroth Caravan approached our group which sent the rest of our parties on guard.
I remember thinking how happy Mollinur was to see the wagons being hauled by the great lizards of the wastelands. At least as long as I am tall and two or three of my weight. The rest of them were riding on Silonars or lizard horses of the Wastelands. The train consisted of about 50-75 Eandroth and their 10 hired Quorian guards. They began trading when I over heard some of the Quorians talking with the Hooman priest of Rurga. The words “Yes he has it,” were said and while I wanted to hear more I am not a rogue by nature, sneaking is beyond my wheelhouse as it were.
Master Azariel was watching camp less the traders try to replenish their stock and sell us our supplies, ha ha ha! Makes me chuckle thinking about it I am not sure why. Most of the others tried to pick up apparel from Mologoth lizard hide to protect themselves from the blisters on their feet each night. The sand is so hot it will char normal sources of leather. I watch quietly from a vantage one only has when they are 11 feet tall. Master Cava and Mistress Iana were shopping for her as well as the good priest. Master Overkill was looking at rings and hats, and I thought the day was shaping up to be nice, well that kinda happened.
It turns out that Mollinur stole some axes from the Quorians at a prior meeting before, and Belros Ustace, the Hooman Rurgan priest, and Minotaur Holy Palladin of Rurga felt that he should atone for his crime! He almost got away with it by offering his beard to atone! I have read much and know what it would mean for a dwarf to give his beard! The Eandroth were unconvinced of the validity of honor even though the Quorians knew how big a deal it was for this offer to be made. They denied his offer and out of the nine companions we were left with three as the others were forced into working off the debt for a period of time. Mollinur tried to get Master Overkill to help him and he asked us I lightly bopped him on the head to reset his moral compass. Turns out that worked, who knew!
It is now the 3rd of Kym-nark-mar we continue to head north. In the morning after I had finished my prayers that I had said every day, and had been inscribed on the Prayer Flail I lost when I had briefly died in the Baalgor Mountains a few weeks ago. There was some commotion regarding a engraved silver skull! We were trying to determine its nature and was there a body since it was found last night by Drak’U’San, Master Overkill and our Minotaur Holy Palladin of Rurga.
Master Aesyl wanted to help and I somehow dismissed him, because he got very cross with me about pushing into the grave early. I felt 23 again getting hit by a book when I didn’t keep at my studies. You know, Brother Malkin I didn’t even know he had mental powers, but Master Aesyl can tell the history of an object by touching it! No wonder he could tell me about all the books I found, and now he’s gone! I will explain later in this missive but Master Aesyl died the following day on the 4th. The skull was part of the collection of a Gargoyle Mage and belonged to an ancient demon hunter called, Arhaleg Hescu.
Even a busted sun dial is right once a day, a few weeks back I had mentioned the idea to do weekly inspections of CrIsis’s items, to make sure that we weren’t being followed or tracked, or monitored by the forces of Darkness. When CrIsis stayed at the Tri Arcanum Guild in Wisdom, the Location Tiles were affixed into our bags. Cava, myself, and Overkill’s backpacks had tiles. Upon closer inspection of the symbol, Master Azariel noticed that it was Gantrium, a very mystical metal and he looked like I had kicked him.
Rurgarians asked if we could get going and not waste the day. We did get moving and Master Aesyl has kept the Silver Skull. The rest of the day passed without incident as we moved north once more.
It is now the 4th of Kym-nark-mar and we pray for around half and hour glass this morning. Nothing during that prayer gave me the slightest clue about how much death I would see this day. Master Azariel and Mistress Iana talk about his version of prayer involving dice and chance, I found myself tracing ancient Dwarven in the dirt that was carved into my lost flail while the Rurga followers pray to their Lady of Truth. Then it just happened, as though the Gods of the Yin-Sloth wished to repay us for tearing a gash in their jungle a Tornado dropped down right front of us.
The hot sand became coarse FIRE I tried to grab for Master Aesyl and came up with the hand of the Hooman Priest of Rurga! I saw the Palladin of Rurga try to save Master Aesyl and both were raked up by the GOD’S WRATH and torn asunder.
WHY HIM! WHY HIM! I couldn’t even save the one I grabbed! I had him by the hand and his arm ripped at the elbow!
When the tornado passed I saw Master Azariel clutching Mistress Iana’s arm and I cried, she had finally made me realize I might be able to love someone other than Luur’na. I had begun having feelings for her and she was gone. Master Cava handed one of his Holy Scrolls to Brother Indaris and began praying, in a few minutes a glowing replica of Osiris’ Heart appeared above his head, showing the Lawgiver’s love.
The elf maiden and Hooman Priest of Rurga were saved, praise be to the Gods of Light they were saved. Mistress Iana hugged Master Azariel, and I knew.
I’m not an elf, I will never be as brave as her, as benevolent, as caring. Besides everything I have cared for has been taken from me. When the gods are done with me I will be discarded along with re-written histories making me some human wizard that could become a Minotaur.
I am a monster to Lady Isis, her thug, nothing more.
If I go home the remaining tribe of younglings maybe harmed, the last adult I have known is gone. I can’t go anywhere I am not hated for something the vile ancestors of my past can never be forgiven for.
I am a monster, fit only to fight the other monsters threatening the Gods of Light. In that epiphany I saw a hawk, this was no buzzard that fed on carrion so it had no business being here and it looked like one I had turned into! I activated the powers of the femur of my lord and smote the bird with lightning! When one bolt did not kill it I knew it was an enhanced familiar or a metamorphosed mage!
ZAP! The bird begins to falter
ZAP! It falls to its doom, soon replaced by a rumbling thunder that spelled nothing good. Looks as though its time for a thug of Isis to earn his pay. I did not realize it at the time but this is a Dwarven Juggernaut! A land war machine and mobile battering ram used during the Great War of the Fair and the Strong. It was being piloted by Dwarvlings (we found out the race of the pilots after we had survived) and flanked by scores of walking dead and skeletons. Sir Quixis ran up and stood before and told the villains to come for him, CrIsis and Horus would crush them into oblivion! Drak’U’San the Minotaur & Overkill ran up to join him as the rest of us readied for battle, and into the breach we go once more.
As the battle raged I was rote casting what I thought was useful magic and trying to think about Master Aesyl. Then it hit me! If I used the spell Carpet of Adhesion I could stop the Juggernaut from moving forward! As Master Azariel began to Turn the dead with spell weaving I heard the best prayer!
Indaris: World Mother, please hear my prayer, this monstrosity is an insult to the gods. Queen of the underworld, please hear my prayer, This foul making is an insult to the safety of home She Who Embraces the Earth, please hear my prayer The Unliving directing this dark thing is an insult to the sanctity of life, She Who Seeks Shelter for the Weak, please hear my prayer Give me the strength to fight this darkness in your name
Master Cava and Mistress Iana, ran past us to aid Sir Quixis and she had a rose colored glowing sword of psychic energy!
I cast Fleet Feet to increase what I could do after I dropped a patch of Carpet of Adhesion to block the walking dead from getting at us. The now strengthened Brother Indaris held forth the Holy symbol of Lady Isis and called out once again!
Beasts of the Darkness, I reject thee, Beasts of Darkness, I rebuff thee, Beasts of darkness I reject thee, May the the Ray of the Sun to drive your foul form back to the dark whence you came. Show not your face to the light of Lord Ra again. = Turn Dead
Cava leapt on the Juggernaut and Mistress Iana missed her land and was rolled over!
NO not again! I cast Carpet of Adhesion on the wheels as Master Azariel dropped a Cloud of Slumber on the wheelhouse. My plan worked and the beast machine careened to a halt and tipped on its side toward us! I tried to get underneath and save the elf maiden, but I saw the Priest of Isis, and I couldn’t let him die anymore than anyone else. scooping him up I made a run for it having cast a strength spell on myself.
Iana lived! Master Overkill was crushed and died, however, having saved the priest of Isis his scroll was still active and brought the good dwarf back to us!!!! I thought I had lost her again. Still it’s easy to hide tears when no one can look you in the eye, height being what it is.
Most everyone has seen enough death or just to cope they threw themselves into figuring out how the Dwarven Juggernaut worked while Master Azariel and I looked over some of the dead, and realized that one of them was not dead yet. He was not long for the world, going on and on about the Vampire God but his necklaces intrigued me. After I expired I tried to remove the one I thought was the most intriguing since it had radiated magic.
I touched the clasp. Master Cava was trying to say something and – Darkness.
Every few minutes I could feel my life force being drained away and replace with wounds! I have never let go of The Lawgiver’s Femur clutching it for dear life. I was nearly dead when my friends’ voices appeared but kept moving around the room. I stayed in one place having been drained, cut, stabbed, bruised though no weapon or person touched me. Master Overkill had an ingenious idea on how to find me with the Lawgiver’s finger as a divining rod towards me. When Sir Quixis called down the holy sunlight of Horus we finally found our way back at the Juggernaut.
I hope this serves as a better update than the last missive you received.
Xerx’ses Goldenflail – thug of the Gods of Light
>>> Written by Xerx’ses Goldenflail,
upon the 4th of Kym-nark-mar the year 111. <<<
Picture of Malkin by Keith Parkinson.
Picture of Aesyl by Ammon Farris.
Picture of Etrinan and Juggernaut courtesy of Palladium Books.
Picture of the silver skull from I-Offer
Picture of Quorian and Eandroth courtesy of Palladium Books.
Tornado picture credit goes to Jim Reed!