Part I: Letter to Winsom
Little has changed from my previous letters—I maintain the current company and feel as if we have developed a working relationship. I debate with myself often on that which brought us together, but I’ve shared this with you already and don’t wish to retread ground, as there is something I wish to share with you, as it concerns both me personally and the outcome of our current endeavor.
After our most recent escapade, we acquired a tome for the Lorekeeper Rendalyes from the estates of one Meron Conrell. The bargain arranged with Conrell to enter his estates was conditioned on showing him the tome. We made haste for I was eager to be rid of it. I had deep suspicions of its nature, though this came only from intuition and not from any real knowledge of seemingly-magical volumes. But even the Illumian, with his natural predilection for books, knew nothing of its magical nature and was wary of what was within. The temptation to examine it bore upon him, even though we’d been given strict orders not to open it. In the trek back to Kestral, I watched him closely, and often he would caress the book longingly. The want of it stirred in his eyes. Often he claimed his only desire was its return to the Lorekeeper, but knowledge is a potent drug for any any man and I had fear in me about what he could unleash if he gave in to temptation. I am glad to say my suspicions were for naught, as he kept to his duty. We later rid ourselves of the tome, but not without some trouble.
Conrell was not at home when we called upon him, and instead we were greeted by one Jatta Ioll, who claimed to be there on behalf of Conrell. We had intended on showing Conrell another tome we had in our possession as we had agreed that the actual tome might have some dire pull on him. Before our ruse could even begin, Jatta at once identified the real book and asked for it by an accurate description. We had little choice but to comply. He offered us a price for the book, but the Illumian and Feathers were adamant in their desire to keep it from him. Jatta was a jumped-up man—think of him as a dishonest Farian—and I had to likewise agree with them. A battle ensued, something I’d much like to put to song, but the prose here is unsuitable. It is for another time, perhaps when we’re alone.
Jatta was joined by one Selia Tellare—an elf. I had seen her upon entrance to Conrell’s and I was instantly struck by her otherness. She held herself differently than other elves, and her face was unfamiliar to me—she was not someone I had encountered in my criss-crossing of the Wychpine. Throughout our battle, I continued to observe her sorcery. It lacked the stylistic movements common to Wychpine wizards and mages, and I had to conclude she had been trained elsewhere. I spent long hours watching Tamadril conduct arcane rites, and she lacked his poise and confidence—she was easily flustered, and took a great deal of umbrage when I distorted her spell casting abilities.
Despite their brutish nature, her magicks were effective enough, as she was the last one standing once we’d dispatched Jatta and his underlings. I attempted to negotiate with her, as I wanted to know more of her life outside of Wychpine and why it had brought her to a questionable mercenary life. There is something conflicted about her, but before I could make much headway, she uttered these parting words: “Kimble has taught you well,” drank from a vial she had concealed on her person, and vanished into the floor.
I have not shared the meaning of those words with the others, but I’m sure you’ll know their full import. Though I seek clues of Kimble’s whereabouts and if he still lives—as our line of communication remains severed—I am more concerned that her words bear a knowledge of my person and history. The origins of such knowledge are clouded—she has either had contact with Kimble or has visited Wychpine. Information I have gathered myself has confirmed my suspicions that she was raised outside of the Wychpine, but I cannot rule out that she has visited in the past, and I’d like you to make some discrete inquiries. As I mentioned, this is a personal request, but this Selia may be making a detrimental impact on our relations with the other races, something we are attempting to improve. There’s an opportunity for her as a liaison between our peoples, but there is also potential for disaster if she keeps her current mercenary ways.
I have included a description of her that you may find useful. My whereabouts may be somewhat fluid, but our network is growing and I am not uneasy to find, which is starting to prove troublesome.
Part II: Letter to Lorekeeper Rendalyes
I am inclined to skip pleasantries as I’m certain one of your stature hears enough of them and your long talk with Vashara will likely put you in a dispirited mood. I ask that you forgive her persistent nature—like many of us, she has her people’s best interest at heart and will go to great lengths to see that their well-being is served.
Loreguard Kelnyeldau holds you in high esteem and I have no doubt that the tome you now carry has found trustworthy hands. He also speaks highly of the training you gave him and I have made inquiries to confirm your abilities. The demonstration of your powers to myself, Brundle and Kelnyeldau further cements my faith.
I will make no secret that the tome you now possess weighs on my mind. That it has some connection with the scourge herself and appears sought after by reprehensible characters causes me great concern. Though I am glad to be free of the book, I fear that it is not yet gone from my life, and you yourself have given further hints at its true nature.
There is one of my number, Farian Dandel, who has trained under my father, the wizard Tamadril Merrilyn, and might be interested in further study under your tutelage. He is a talented spellcaster in his own right, and may be of some use to you. I ask as a personal favor to me, that he might be used as a go between amongst our peoples should the tome reveal sinister portents.
Please send your response as soon as you are able. Doubtless it will find me.
Part III: Letter to Farian Dandel
In my previous correspondence I have made mention of the company I have joined and the jobs we’ve undertaken. Though all of them have had elements of danger and have even hinted at a greater unfolding conspiracy—our most recent escapade has unearthed a potential threat that leaves me uneasy. What it is I cannot say outright, as I fear this letter may be intercepted.
I must ask that you leave your current endeavor to Varin—she will be able to continue on her own and I have need of you in Kestral. Seek me out there and I will have more information on this threat, along with a specific task that has been agreed upon by me and one other, which should prove useful not only to our people but to your current goals. I know you thirst for knowledge beyond what my father and our people could teach, and the opportunity lies here. Make haste.
I hope I am proven wrong about the threat, but only time will tell. When you reach Kestral, you may have to do some searching—we have recently moved housing, as one of our number seems to have fallen on the wrong side of a snake cult. We’ve had multiple run-ins with them in a short period, and it would appear it’s time for us to be more clandestine about our activities. Even though I’ve undergone healing, I still feel twinges of phantom pain suffered not an hour previous when we were attacked in broad daylight. When you arrive, make a search of boarding houses and inns and I will leave the usual signs.