To his lordship, Mor-Kilen, Master of Wik and the Scribes of Haraj,
Sire, I send you greetings and wish to update you as to the steps I've taken since I departed your presence a fortnight ago.
Following your instructions to locate the renegade magician and, if possible retrieve the pages of the Twilight Tome which scrying revealed to you as in his possession, I followed word of his passage with two companions to a remote Barony far west of Talus. After ten days, I gained word he had deposed some minor baron of little importance and taken the title for himself after the death of one of the aforementioned companions deep in some local ruins. I disguised myself as an onion seller and scoured the area in question to find a rather fine residence built into the side of a hill and under heavy guard. This, I was assured, was the residence of the new Baron. First approaches earned me a lick on the back from a pole arm by one of the patrolling guards. I later returned to a local tavern and gathered the following information from local gossip. I have had little time to validate the information, but the majority rings true:
I was told that the magician, Arbiddance, with two or three companions, gained entrance to a series of underground areas which may or may not be related to the infamous Doomwatch. The general consensus is that the ruins are not related to that fatal place lest the Duke descend on the area and take command of it himself as he has done with other supposed entrances.
I was told that Arbiddance has gained certain powerful magics from underneath the hill which aided him in constructing the domicile and overthrowing the local Baron.
I was told that he imprisoned the former Baron somewhere within that complex, and that there are more than a few local residents willing to draw swords for him if he were somehow released.
I was told that the former Baron had drawn into the exploration of the ruins an evil priest and a mysterious cut throat from the wintery north.
Finally, I was told that Arbiddance and his band have not been seen in over two months, and that his commander of the guard has been keeping the affairs of the Barony in order on his own authority not because of allegiance to Arbiddance, but out of fear for the former Baron since no one seems to know exactly where he is held within those ruins.
After hearing these bits of information, I decided to investigate the ruins and the residence myself if at all possible. I found the area security to be amazingly lax just before dawn, and forced my way in through a window.
I searched the residence to the best of my ability. Having found four rooms impervious to my lockpicking skills, I retired from the scene and have elected to return again and venture into the basement where the actual entrance to the ruins is hidden. After I have investigated this area, I will send my next missive with more informaton.
My loyalty is only to you. Regards,
Let the crow whisper these words deep into your mind. Free your thoughts, and allow my commands to form in front of your eyes as mist from the spring morning.
I am pleased with your initial report and your efforts to track down the traitorous thief Arbiddance. I feel as you do that he is somewhere afoot within these ruins of which you speak. Indeed, your report corroborates information I obtained through other means more esoteric.
I charge you as follows: seek entrance into the depths below. Find the deposed Baron and free him so that he may regain his former status. I know of the Baron Falang; he will not be ungrateful. Seek out the traitor and ascertain his fate. If he is dead, then seek proof and return to me with a full report. You will find under your bed enough coins to hire any help you may need at your own discretion.
The pages he stole are secondary. If you find them, then good. If not, it is of no real importance since copies were penned long ago. It would be nice if you did find them, since I hate damaged tomes.
If you find the traitor alive, seek audience with him and, when within striking range fulfill your duty to the order and your masters. But before you strike, be certain to speak the following words: "Mor-Kilen bought the blade that is to be bathed in your blood."