I hope it is alright that I am writing to you and I hope this letter has reached you safely and in good health. I have sent word to my niece at the University with this note and a small portion of the feather you left behind to see if she or others she trusts at the university could help to track you down.
I wish I was writing under better circumstances but I am afraid I do not have good news for you. While at camp yesterday evening we were set upon by a group of illumians lead by our fellow compatriot, Kaneda. Kenada demanded the book which we both know I gave to that dragon, and when I told him it wasn’t currently in my possession he and the six other illumians in his company drew weapons and attacked us. They were very powerful, and I think they came very close to overpowering us, bringing Cyrus, Thistle, and a newer travel companion , Lilliana, right to the edge of death. As much as we pleaded with Kaneda to change his tactic he would not yield and eventually fell at the end of my own blade. A large part of me believes that this was some impostor, as this adversary fought with a different skill set than Kaneda was used to and carried a completely different set of magic equipment and weaponry than Kaneda had. (like a greatsword that can turn into bracers, short swords, and a shield) He also had a suit of armor which was magically disguised to look like what we would be familiar with. That said, my heart is now clouded with the fact that I may have killed a man that in my mind I still consider to be a friend. My heart warmed when I saw him and I real in disgust in his tragic end.
That night we were also set upon by some goblins riding some very horrible beasts called red spawn. We had fought a similar patrol recently and they are very worthy adversaries. Carol turned one of the beasts in our first encounter into one of her babies she named “Freckles” (I know you don’t like these things, but they have come in fairly handy in keeping us alive) Freckles died (died again?) in this encounter but the rest of us managed our way through okay. And in good old Carol fashion Carol turned one of the spawn into her new “Freckles”.
The next day we set forth on our journey to recover what we believe to be a powerful green crystal that was delivered to a hobgoblin in the spinestone mountains before it falls into even more dangerous hands. Under ground we go again, which I know is one of your favorite places to be. Right at the start we face one of the deadliest opponent’s Platinum Expeditions has ever encountered. I believe Merrilyn called it a Rast. it’s gaze left many in the group paralyzed including Lillina who it dragged into its firey dwelling before we forced it out to fight the rest of us. This was another perilous encounter leaving Merrilyn, and Lilliana, each to the edge of death and paralyzing portions of the group for chunks of the encounter. Here Merrilyn’s use of a newly found wand of cold orb is what separated us from being on the creatures menu. If this is what is at the entrance, who knows what horrors yet await us.
But I’m beginning to get off topic. I know things ended badly, but I believe you have love in your heart for Kaneda. I for one choose to believe he is still alive and hope to try to find him as soon as we can get this item out of evil hands. But I can’t leave my current quest, there are too many depending on me. If you have it in your heart to find him or look for him in the instance I never make it out of this forsaken place I will be in your debt. Hell, I’m in your debt anyway. We probably would have never made it this far without the time we were able to spend fighting along your side. Every time one of our new compatriots asks what happened with you and Kaneda my heart sinks a little and I try to avoid the topic.. I’m embarrassed that we failed to make you feel at home within the group and give you the respect you were due. I consider you, like Kaneda, a friend, a brother (or sister) in arms, and someone I’d trust my life with and someone I’d put myself on the line for in order to protect. If you ever have a change of heart, know there is at least a gnome who would welcome you back with open arms.
Be brave, be safe,