A Friend in Need

Book 1-6: Another Mysterious Message

A report on the events inside the Thundering Cavern

Rain pattered on the slate roof. The man paced the room, oblivious to the stains his muddy shoes left on the exquisite Calishite rug. Every few minutes he would alter his path and tread over to stare at the leather-bound journal that lay open on his desk. The page remained blank. The man resumed his pacing. An hour passed, and the temple bells rang highsun. The man buttoned up his doublet and was preparing to leave, when he saw a small black spider scramble from a crack in the floorboards. It crawled up onto the desk and made its way toward the book. Stepping out on to the blank page, it began furiously spinning letters made of black webbing. They soon stretched across the parchment.

I have ill news to report – Dellagato has seized control of the Spellforge. His lackeys are more resourceful and more treacherous than I anticipated.

I had done all that I promised. I obtained the map from the dwarf Hammerdeep, located the Thundering Cavern, and fought my way to the Spellforge itself. I even convinced Dellagato’s men to help me, striking a bargain that appealed to their better senses. Together, we defeated the relic’s guardians and destroyed the vengeful wraith Mormesk, who sought to bend the Spellforge to his own evil ends. Alas, once I had dismissed the wards and reawakened the relic’s long-dormant power, Dellagato’s men broke their oaths and attacked. I barely escaped, and have heard not from any of my companions, save one. Based on the scenes of carnage he described, I can only imagine that Dellagato’s thugs slew all of the others.

Nevertheless, you should not lose heart. You knew my reputation when you hired me, and you know that I always see my client’s wishes fulfilled. Having experienced firsthand the deviousness and dishonor of Dellagato’s lackeys, I am more motivated than ever to make your dreams a reality. I am already weaving a plan that will both ruin Dellagato and grant you the Spellforge in one swift stroke. Be patient and trust in me, my lord. You will see your hated enemy writhe and suffer soon enough.

Your Faithful Servant,

XS

The spider scurried away once the message was complete. The man did not notice. He frowned as he read the words, then turned on his heel and strode from the room.

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