To: High Priest Hassadur
Temple of Kelemvor
Blessings an greetings, my friend. I hope this missive finds you well. The priest Piotr Fenebrescu and I arrived in Red Larch with little incident, other than the usual strains of travel.
Clearly, things are amiss in Red Larch and the surrounding area. Some are the usual chaos of a wartime environment — bandits, goblins, and similar creatures running about freely preying upon the quiet folk. We have dealt with some of those vermin for the town.
There are also some very strange things — a guardian ghost that was wandering more than one might expect, and a strange necromancer at Lance Rock, who had been pilfering the graves of Red Larch for the newly dead for his experiments. We encountered some very strange things in his lair, such as a bizarre undead minstrel show and a zombie mimicking the actions of a necromancer. I believe the necromancer had lost his mind.
I consider myself fortunate for the boon companions the Piotr and I have met. We make a strange lot but seem to work well together.
Piotr, of course, I consider a friend. I have known him for much of my time at the Temple in Waterdeep, and while his choice of worship is somewhat different than mine, it is close enough for most purposes. I thank you for helping me understand the differences in his worship of Nergal. He generally fights well, at least as well as any cleric can.
The bard Amergin Glunmar, a half-elf, seems a good sort, if a bit nosy. He uses his bow well, and in general can play and sing well, although I have not yet developed an appreciation for the stuffed cat he tries to play. I think it is called a “bagpipe”. His nosiness has been helpful; he remembers tales well and since he has been in Red Larch for some time he has heard many of the rumors and most of the gossip. He’s on good terms with nearly all in the town, which is a boon for us and them.
Pierce Elkhart, a soldier, is a welcome addition, with his sword and shield. He stumbled into Red Larch, apparently suffering from a madness induced by a battle with Abazai in a town to the north called Westbridge. We were able to get him settled from the trauma and back on his feet. He has proven courageous and I am grateful for his presence. He placed himself between me and a ghost, and was able to interfere with its attack, freeing me to strike it down. He seems to understand tactics and tactical coordination well. I think we will make a good pair in battle. I worry about his lost memory and the trauma he suffered at Westbridge. Battle can be traumatic; I know I was deeply affected by the events at the Well of Dragons, and I wasn’t even facing the foul creatures of the Abyss as his unit did. I hope that we can help him in that regard as well.
The elven monk Flinar is a strange one. Apparently he has spent the last two centuries in self imposed isolation, communing with a tree, I guess. He is a fine scout, quite stealthy and quick, but there are a few oddities that disturb me. He killed a man who had surrendered, which is a clear violation of the rules of combat. I decided that it is most likely a case of overzealous battle lust, a heat of the moment action that will hopefully not be repeated. His skills with the quarterstaff and his bare hands are considerable, a welcome presence in battle. I wish he would add bathing to his skills, though.
Red Larch itself is very different from Waterdeep. Prior to arriving here, I’d only seen small towns while marching through them with the Army, or when trying to return to Waterdeep from the Well of Dragons. At that time my concern was getting home alive, so I didn’t pay much attention to the towns. I don’t know if Red Larch is typical for a town of its size. Refugees fill the temple and temple yard, and Piotr and I aid Lymurra as much as we can. Many are ill from the ash and seem to be dying at a disturbing rate.
The hostility of the townsfolk to the refugees is palpable and completely understandable, as the refugees are simply more mouths to feed with the same short supplies. We acquired a boar and bear from bandits that we brought to justice, and handed off to be used to feed both the town and the refugees, which will ease the load for the nonce. If there is a way to send additional supplies to Red Larch, it would be welcome. The people of Red Larch have a difficult road ahead with the refugees and the bizarre weather.
The weather — how could I forget that! It is supposed to be Spring, with the weather warming and the trees regaining their leaves, and the farmers planting and tilling and growing to food for the next year. Instead, Red Larch is getting all the seasons at once, and a few they’ve never heard of. When Piotr and I arrived, it was snowing, and not the snow of a late snowstorm, but a full blizzard. I thought we had missed a turn and headed to the Spine at first. Then the weather turned to a strange, heavy fog, a fog that was not moved by wind or breeze. That lifted, and we had sun for a while, which turned into a storm of dust and sand, like the haboobs of the desert lands.
I remember well talking of those lands and the great seas of sands that the winds lift and blow, but there is no such desert anywhere near here to provide such a mess. It’s horrid stuff, it gets in between my scales and rubs me raw. It takes forever to get it out, too. I think I understand now why the desert peoples wrap themselves in bandages and sheets — it keeps the sand out of all your crevices. But I digress…
I will post letters to you as often as I can, to keep you apprised of the situation in Red Larch.
May the scales always balance,