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Faerin's Fourteenth letter

Dearest Father,

Things are going well in Aurion. I have grown accustom to the busy city and their curious ways. Though I still look forward to the day that I can return to the Beinnhall Hills, I have resolved to enjoy my time here and become familiar with the human mannerisms.

In the past three weeks, most of my allies and I have been supporting Rovaart Temps in his bid for Aurion City Council. We are using this opportunity to investigate a strange figure called Ombras, who is definitely involved in several murders across the city, and who may have been involved with Xerax and his quest to take over Arcarost Reach. To this end, Fierna has been incredibly valuable for insight into the different factions in play for the eventual vote and was able to detail which candidate is being supported by which faction. Nissa has been going out almost daily as a town crier to spread the goals of Rovaart Temps to the common and noble folk alike. Thorin has been travelling from bar to bar, talking to the peasants and the workers of the town and convincing them of Rovaart’s merits and his plan for the future of the city. Varis has been training Rovaart in his political speaking and coordinating the message and the vision of the campaign. I have been doing what I can do best, which is throwing extravagant gatherings for as many people as possible so that Rovaart can speak and convince people directly. I am very proud of my friends who have come together for this endeavor. And we are apparently doing a good job as we have learned that Rovaart is becoming one of the front runners for one of three open seats. So if there is no more future for us in adventuring, perhaps political campaigners would be a viable alternative.

Meanwhile, Miri has been trying to infiltrate the Oakblade clan. In this she was quite successful. She completed the first initiation rites and more important learned of a meeting between Ombras and the Oakblade clan leader planned in a nearby forest. Apparently Ombras has promised the Oakblade clan to help bring back their shaman in some manner or another. A long time ago, the wizards of Aurion killed all of the clansmen shamans and destroyed their groves. No doubt if they regain this strength, this could lead to a civil war within the city.

We set out on the day of the meeting and hid ourselves along the road that connects Aurion to the forest. Fierna turned Thorin and myself invisible so we wouldn’t attract any attention. While we did not see Ombras pass by, we did notice a strange vulture pass overhead. We had sent Nissa ahead to spy on the meeting itself. She confirmed later that the vulture was indeed Ombras. The Oakblade clan leader, Ankh Oakblade, turned up with three body guards. They apparently spoke of returning the shaman’s groves and of an upcoming rebellion. Ombras mentioned other allies and indicated that he and Nyx, the mage we encountered in Solvelis, were part of the same organization. The meeting broke apart and we recovered no trace of Ombras after.

When we returned to the mansion, two mercenaries were waiting for us with an invitation. Tigress Rasa, one of the other candidates for City Council wished to speak to us. We agreed and were escorted to The Arcanist, a very prestigious establishment that is at the high point of Aurion society. It is off course owned by Tigress Rasa. We met her in the back room of the bar. Tigress claimed to be impressed by our work with Rovaart Temps. And she wished to pay us a large sum of gold to stop our work as she is uncomfortable with the idea of competition. We immediately told her that we would not comprise our honor by going back on a contract and refused her deal. She let us leave in peace and we headed back to the mansion.

However as we walked back across the busy streets of Aurion, we soon noticed that we were being followed. Three men, a dragonborn and two humans, called out to us to stop. They used the name ‘Ferris’, but this seemed like a case of mistaken identity. Varris however promptly disappeared using magic and hid from the three men. We spoke briefly with the dragonborn, and they were apparently looking for a member of the Inaste family. The three individuals continued on and we were unsure what to make of the exchange. Back at the mansion, Varis apologized for fleeing. He told us that he had made some mistakes in the past but that he was trying to better his life.

The next morning, we went back to the magical academy to check if Jake had managed to arrange a meeting with general Coldfire. But we were disappointed to learn she had left on expedition and would not be back soon. Therefore we return to the magelord’s castle to enquire with Mercelina if she knew the general. As we were about to leave, Varis almost bumped into an old human wandering the halls. We were astonished when Mercelina introduced the old human to us as the Mage Lord of Aurion himself. He seemed like such a gentle kind man, but it soon became clear that he was not to be underestimated. The magelord asked us each in turn about our backgrounds and our place of origin. He was apparently quite the connoisseur of Khan’s Finest. He asked us what we thought of his city and if we had any suggestions from improvements. I suggested a more fortified Northern wall as the city is barely defended save for the river over there. Varis did seize this opportunity to share what we had learned of Ombras’ plans. The magelord took in the tale and gave a stern reply. If what we had told him was true, he was planning to declare martial law to squash any rebellion before it can get started. Varris implored that this may be too excessive, but the magelord had little time for his arguments. He stated, and I quote, that “he does not liked to be played like a musical instrument”. I also tried to argue for the deliverance of Marantha, but the magelord’s mood had already soured and he refused. We were told to go to the city guards office and testify all we had learned, which we promptly did.

As we returned to the mansion in the afternoon, we were startled by a load roar in the distance coming from the arcane academy. We rushed over, only to discover that a colossal ape was climbing one of the towers. The ape seemed to be searching for something as it reached in with his giant hands through various large windows and balconies. We used the magical teleporter at the base of the tower to teleport ourselves up to intercept the ape. We tried talking to it, but it would not respond. It was eventually two tidal wave spells by Nissa that finally knocked the ape down to the ground. We took to battle and knocked the ape out. But instead of falling unconscious, it simply disappeared. The ape was apparently a summon by another. Thus we set out to search for the culprit. We eventually found a student called Eko who had been knocked unconscious and placed in a cupboard. He had not seen his attacker, but the last thing he had seen before he blacked out was that the door to the magical item storage had been pried open. We got one of the professors to investigate the locker, and indeed an object had gone missing. A cubic gate, a very rare magical item worth a fortune in gold. Nissa and Varis took a closer look at the student and discovered two white hairs on his body that seemed out of place. We got the professor to scry on the hairs and it revealed a tiger creature lurking in The Arcanist bar.

We rushed out and informed the cite guards of what we had learned. We then went on ahead to make sure that the tiger creature could not escape. We entered The Arcanist to confront the creature and were immediately surrounded by a bunch of sabre-tooth tigers. The creature up close was revealed to be a shapeshifter, a so-called were-tiger, who called himself Golemar. He set the tigers on his and tried to flee. But Fierna immediately deployed her magic to frighten the creatures away. This meant that Miri, Nissa and I could quickly pursue Golemar and stop him from escaping. Nissa turned into a giant bear and set right upon him. Miri used her two blades to great effect. I used the magic granted be Lugh to call down the power of the moon, hoping to revert Golemar to his true form. Just as we had finally subdued the were-tiger, a large explosion happened.

My ears were ringing and my eyes were blinded by the light. I felt like I had just been hit by a large carriage and dropped into the ocean. I had to lean on my sword to remain standing. But then I heard his voice. Ombras had arrived and had cast a massive spell upon us just as we were weak after the battle. He claimed that he was there to retrieve the cubic gate so that he could use it for his own purposes. He did not care for our intervention. He was right next to me, yet I couldn’t see him. And even if I could, I had used most of the power granted to me by Lugh already. But I was determined to set on however weak I felt. I gritted my teeth and prepared to engage in battle. Then I heard Varis’ voice cry out and the familiar hum of his magical cloak. I felt some strength return to me. Then the comforting voice of Thorin who called to Dianecht to aid us in battle. I felt a flood of divine energy rush over me, closing wounds and resolving burns. I could hold my sword up again. I couldn’t see Ombras but I could feel him close to me. I could smell him. I could sense the magical energy radiating from him. And I could hear Nissa’s giant snake form wrap around him. I struck out and my sword found purchase. Just as my sword struck out, my sight returned. I could see his mask, perhaps with an expression of surprise as much as a masked figure is able to convey. I smirked and brought my sword down again, fueling it with the last of Lugh’s divine might that I had left to me.

And so me and my allies engaged Ombras. It was a fight worthy of song. Each one of us working as a harmonious team and Ombras bring down the most evil of magics against us. Ombras was relentless, casting beams of light directly into our ranks. Thorin valiantly held us up, broadcasting the radiance of Dianecht. Nissa tried to engulf Ombras as much as she could within her snake form, but even that did not last. Miri kept attacking Ombras but he seemed unable to go down. His vitality was likely magical fortified and he seemed unnaturally resistant to the most advanced magics that I knew. Just as the last of our magics seemed to leave us, just as it seemed that the battle would turn once again, Ombras was struck down by a lucky blow of Miri and my weapons. On his body we found a holy symbol of unknown origin, along with several magical items and a bit of gold.

I took care of Golemar and made sure we could turn him over breathing. We secured the cubic gate just in time for the guards to arrive. They questioned us about what had happened. They claimed Tigress Rasa, who had also accompanied them, had no knowledge of what had occurred in her bar. Miri did not believe her. We handed Ombras’ body over to the guards as well and told them that he was the likely culprit behind the murders these past few weeks. We then went with the guards to return the cubic gate to the academy. The big city paranoia must be rubbing off on me as I find myself less likely to trust anyone in Aurion authority.

The incident resolved, we returned back to the mansion for a quick rest. It was there that Varis told us the truth about his history. He was actually Ferris Inaste, one of the sons of the rich merchant family from Raven. He told us that he did some bad thing and made some poor decisions. But he has since turned on his family. But the Inaste family did not take his change of heart lightly and set him up for attempted murder. He has been on the run from them ever since. He finally revealed himself as his brother is in town running for City Council and hired hands are after him. He was worried that we would turn on him too now that we knew the truth. But we explained to him that there was no way of that happening and that we would face his family together.

And that is where we are now. I am in the basement of the mansion of the Auzetior family as we are all resting up. We are then going to journey to the castle to report our findings and then likely head to bed. I am sure that there are no more surprises waiting for us.

Love to mother.

Your son,

Faerin Khan

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