Lillian, my beloved, I’m writing again on 20 Aryth, from Passage. I will be heading to Arcanix shortly, and very promptly, in part to talk with someone about the prophecy and in part to get as far from Gabriel as I can – I can’t liken him to anything I’ve encountered, HA HA HA HA, because he’s a Lich, which is spelled the same as ‘lichen’, that’s the joke – more on that later, first; the reason I need to travel to the shadow of the Knights Arcane: Arcanix.
My new fugitive friends, Lyn and Luna, met us at this lovely little café called Cinnamon Dreams; you would love it Lillian. The décor is rustic and they don’t have a set menu! You can order whatever you like, and they will make it for you.
Oh, right, sorry. Lyn had received a letter from crazy old Atticus – you remember how he always argued that most of the tales surrounding, and even directly about, Felix Fairfax were overembellished hogwash? Well, he wrote Lyn asking for us to see him in Arcanix urgently to help a mutual acquaintance… have a divorce, and you know how well I know the layout of… the legalities of it all. This… divorce, will aid me with stopping the Prophecy, which Xenobia has now also read, despite the advice otherwise, which foretells something most dire.
Yes, Lillian, transportation was organised. Look, I don’t see what the big deal is, it happened once, and I carried you the entire way there, so it’s not like you had to walk it.
This next bit sounds very gossipy, but, Luna told us that someone named Alabaster, a contact of a former party member of theirs, told her that he was told that Gabriel, the leader of the local Order of the Emerald Claw cell as well as the presumed Abector of the Blood of Vol, was in Passage and was looking for the people involved with the Emerald Claw murders near Passage at the temple of the Traveller, and has chartered a one thousand Galifar private carriage to somewhere, and there is a cargo ship chartered for the same destination and is staying in the Noble district with Dirk ir’Robinson, who apparently Luna had created a lot of water for when she first arrived in Passage, and Kit’s a member of the Emerald Claw, probably an undercover agent of sorts. Okay, I added that last part, based on her incessant accusatory questioning of the authenticity of Luna’s information, I’ll need to watch her, because as Felix Fairfax once said, “It’s better to keep an eye on someone and have one remaining, than to keep both and lose both”, like I just almost lost my breath.
If only we could add something to the cargo ship, so that we could track its destination while we’re in Arcanix.
Okay, so you know how poor I am at planning? I want you to meet this group, because when you do, you won’t ever complain about mine again.
It was decided to go and speak to a chap by the name of Father Fendan, the head of the Church of the Blood of Vol here in Passage, he all but confirmed that this Gabriel is the Abector and leader of the Emerald Claw, who is headed to something called the Awakening, but doesn’t know where or what it is, but he knows it’s in a new Shrine or Temple, so we then headed to Dirk ir’Robinson’s to speak to Gabriel.
Now, Lilly, make sure you tell Damien about this next bit – let me set the scene to make it easier for you. As we approached the mansion, the sun was shining and the birds chirping, but I was halted by a rapping upon my breastplate. Luna, the little Halfling, mentioned that there was a lady in the shrubs. Xenobia sent her caracel pet, Lynx – remember, I told you to tell Josephine about her in my last letter – to ferret out the lady. Luna, and Lyn, the Dwarf, knew her from their brief time here in Passage, and this lady, Sika, told us that Gabriel is going to Fort Zombie in Karrnath, which is where the carriage and barge are headed, she asked us to kill Gabriel, and mentioned that the two guards posted at the manor’s doors haven’t eaten, slept or left their post in a day.
I was able to see them glowing. Oh. So Lilly, you remember how I may have accidentally made that deal with a fiend? Well, I can sort of see magic now. This is something that Felix Fairfax never had, so it can only be an advantage! Anyway, it turns out I saw that the two guards were glowing with Necromantic magic! Vile creatures, undead, and these were zombies. Zombies, Damien! Can you believe it?! Don’t worry, your father and his friends dispatched them without breaking a sweat. I could sense more inside, so we decided to enter, taking the guards out. When we were inside, I could sense even more undead, and a powerful smell of putrid putresenced disgustingness. Revolting, Lillly, it was revolting.
We managed to dispatch all of the zombie guards, and found Dirk, who was being held captive, despite his insistence that he could have handled the situation, he asked us to kill Gabriel, to find his phylactery and kill Gabriel.
The hairs on the back of my neck stood up on end. I suspected the strong, vile, smell to have been a minor Necromancer, or a Vampire, or something. I used my new ability and could sense him no more than forty feet away. He was clearly invisible, and had been listening to our conversation with Dirk. Luna, bless her soul, also knew what a dire situation we were in, so we bade Dirk farewell and we retreated immediately.
Furthermore, I must immediately go and see Diego, a former Imp and now full blown devil with whom I have recently become acquainted, to make a bargain.
Now, now, don’t start, Lilly, you don’t understand. He was a Lich, Lillian, a bloody Lich. L-I-C-H: Lich. Remember the only time Felix Fairfax ran away from a fight, and then went on a quest to find an innocuous vial, then returned to the undead wizard and destroyed the vial in front of him before engaging in a nine-day battle only to emerge victorious, but cursed? That was a Lich, Lillian, and I’m going to need all the help I can get to defeat it. Of course I’m not going to blindly charge after him, what do you take me for? A fool? Don’t answer that, Lillian – I suspect he thinks we know too much about his operation and is going to find us and try to kill us before we can pose any semblance of a threat.
Look, that last bargain was an accident and wasn’t my fault; I was tricked into it. This time will be different – and before you ask: his accent is different for starters.