Copies of all the notes found during the campaign.
Arc One – Before Zombies
Letters found on Skelig
Skelig, dragonborn necromancer
To reiterate our previous agreement and place it into writing -
You are to travel into the Skalne Mountains in the Kingdom of Daratan and locate the dwarves which have set up residence there. You will drive the dwarves from Daratan using any methods you wish, but without being discovered.
In exchange for your service, I will grant you 100 platinum coins and a month’s unfettered access to the Great Library. Additionally, if the dwarves are driven out before the end of three months, I will grant you an additional sum of 500 platinum coins, with that sum increased by 20 coins every day before the third month ends. If you are discovered at any point, you will not be granted access to the Great Library, but will still receive all other payment. If you are discovered and fail to drive the dwarves from Daratan… your death, at least, will be swift.
Go in good health,
It’s come to my attention that I’m not the only person operating in this backwater country. We seem to have a lot in common – including our employer. It’s enough to make one wonder what else we might share… perhaps over dinner?
I’m sure someone of your prodigious talents can easily find me. I’ll be waiting for you to call.
My Dearest Skellig,
I loved the charm you placed on your note! So innovative! But really, what if one of my men had handled it instead of me? That would have been so awkward to explain.
And such a reply! I begin to suspect you don’t want to have dinner with me at all. You don’t know what you’re missing out on, darling, I know a place nearby that makes the most delicious sweets!
I would ask Gerai instead, but that could cause so many problems. However, no job lasts forever! Sadly, so far my associates have been unable to sneak through his magical protection. Given the way he first contacted me… well, you can understand why I’m reluctant to press any harder.
Waiting anxiously for your reply,
My Beloved Skellig,
Ooh, I just love it when you talk dirty to me. It’s a date! I’ll be sure to wear something extra-frilly. We could have a study session – I’ve never quite been able to grasp the ‘do not’ in phrases like ‘do not contact me’ and ‘do not trespass’ and ‘do not take the valuables’.
The valuables are just sitting right there! Why shouldn’t I take them?
Tuan has another man in the south, or at least he’s supposed to be in the south. I’ve been writing him (if you won’t have dinner with me, maybe he will) but my letters haven’t been going through. I’m growing a bit concerned, have you heard anything from him?
Always thinking of you,
My Darling Skellig,
Regarding valuables under lock and key – darling, you know me so well! Now I’m sure we must be soulmates. And then after all that fuss about me never contacting you again, you go and offer to send me such a lovely present. I knew you really cared.
Our mysterious dinner companion to be isn’t just ignoring me, he’s simply not there. Something is happening in the south that has all of the fat merchants in a tizzy, but if he isn’t involved, then who?
The mountains are rather unusual here, aren’t they? I happen to have a few samples I may have… acquired… that I’m sure you’d be interested in – perhaps over tea?
My work here is nearly complete. Soon I can leave for civilized conditions. Light, heat, a distinct lack of kobolds, actual food…
Even – and I must have gone mad – meeting an annoying stranger for tea. Understand, this will be a strictly business meeting
Letters found on Vatsa
Vatsa, pirate sub-contractor.
I trust this finds you on your way to Daratan. I’ve already made arrangements with your superior.
To reiterate our agreement -
You are to travel to the Kingdom of Daratan, located on Jezaro Lake. There you will target the shipping coming into Hafenberg Port. I will pay a bounty of 100 platinum for every ship raided, with an additional five platinum for every pound of cargo taken – but the passengers are not to be harmed.
You can do whatever you desire with the cargo. I expect an accounting every two weeks – and don’t try to pad the count, because I will be keeping an eye on you.
Go in good health,
The whole thing is suspicious as hell, but the deal is sound. He played a good show of a money-for-brains noble with a grudge, but you’re right, he’s after something more. Something in the region plays havoc on scrying spells, so you’ll have to be our eyes and ears in the area. Find out what’s there that’s valuable enough to get this kind of attention. Be careful – as far as Tall Dark and Brimstone should be concerned, you’re nothing more than a good little pirate subcontractor making some easy cash. We’ll keep trying to scry from here.
Take what you can,
We’re not making much progress with the scrying. We can’t see anything within a mile of the castle, and the rest of the country-side isn’t much better. We have confirmed that you’re not the only recent hire – there’s a Dragonborn harassing the local Dwarves in the mountains and a number of Humans doing something in the south. We’re still trying to determine what exactly, but something strange is going on down there.
All of this only confirms this is a lot more than a simple blockade. See if you can make contact – one of them may know enough to start putting things together. And even if they don’t, well, we can always use more people willing to work on the wrong side of the law.
Give nothing back,
I’m far too busy to be playing any childish games. If we’re really working for the same person, you should be too busy for this nonsense as well.
Do not contact me again.
Which part of ‘Do not contact me’ were you having difficulties with? Perhaps I can help.
If you write me again I will track you down, turn you into a zombie, and let my kobolds use you as target practice. When your zombie is too damaged to function, I’ll boil the flesh from your bones, raise you as a skeleton, and have it leap off the tallest cliff I can find until your bones are nothing but powder. This powder I will burn, and the ashes I will sprinkle in my latrine to cut the stench.
I hope this clarifies things for you.
P.S. No, I am not interested in having dinner, lunch, breakfast, brunch, supper, or any other kind of meal with you.
You seem to be chafing at the bit with such an easy assignment, so I thought I would give you a challenge.
Recently a pack of Dwarves set up shop in the mountains. They are sending shipments of ore and crystals to the local merchants, who then send them to the castle. I want you to intercept the crystals at some point along this chain, and I want you to do it subtly. There’s to be no suspicion of marauding bandits or the like – the crystals are to simply vanish with no one the wiser. I’m confident that for someone of your skills, this will be a trivial effort.
The payment will be 50 platinum for every shipment intercepted, and an additional five platinum for each crystal in the shipment. Naturally, if at any point you are discovered, the punishments we discussed earlier will take full effect. Do not disappoint me.
Go in good health,
Are you actually receiving the letters I’m sending, or is there some kind of cross-dimensional rip altering them in transit? I wouldn’t be that surprised, these mountains have some odd properties. I’ve been trying to find a pure sample for study, but finding a crystal without any inclusions or flaws is surprisingly difficult.
And when you say that these valuables are just ‘sitting right there’, perhaps you actually mean to say ‘under lock and key’? I know your type. Why do you even have time to write me, let alone any other random people that may or may not be in this country?
As for our mysterious fellow in the south, in not responding to your letters he has clearly shown he has far more sense than I. Why you think I’d know anything about him will forever be beyond me, I’m sure.
Sending the bird was a cute trick, by the way. The next one you send will be eaten. Perhaps I should animate its skeleton and send it back to you?
P.S. I’m serious about the bird being eaten. If I were any slower, the kobolds would have gotten it before it even finished its message.
Disappointment – arrived after Vatsa’s death
I am very disappointed.
Not only was your little operation in the woods discovered, it was completely destroyed and announced to the world. The merchants are taking precautions and Reis is even talking about reconstituting the army!
Clearly, my faith in your abilities was greatly misplaced. There is one way you might redeem yourself, however. The mercenaries who killed your pet doppleganger are headed in your direction. Kill them and I might consider forgiving you.
Go in good health,
Flee – arrived after Vatsa’s death
We finally managed to get a good look at the south. Tuan is a catastrophic fool. Burn everything – EVERYTHING – and get out of there now. The larvae probably haven’t spread very far north yet, but don’t take any chances. Sail to Karata, sink the boats, and swim in. We’ll pick you up there.
Letters found on Gerai Tuan
Thank you for your trust and confidence in me. I won’t let you down.
Preparations are going smoothly. We’re beginning to convert the wildlife, and the locals show no signs of noticing our presence. I anticipate no problems carrying out our objective.
Everything is proceeding according to schedule. The locals have increased their patrols, but are in no danger of locating us. We will be fully in position by the time the caravan arrives.
I am growing concerned about the ‘package’. As they multiply, they seem to be becoming more resistant to control. One of the swarms nearly attacked Jenkins the other day, and it took three blasts from the control amulet before it retreated. He’s still badly shaken, as are the rest of the men.
Please advise us, how can we prevent this from happening again?
I do have complete faith in your ability. Your method is indeed far more efficient and effective than any other means of zombification. There is no doubt in my mind that you are by far the most skilled necromancer in existence, and there was no intention in my previous message to question that.
However, we are
unable having difficulty controlling them, even with despite following your instructions to the letter, and it’s I fear it’s only a matter of time before they break free. They’re watching us now, waiting, and I can hear the hungry buzzing of wings.
I apologize for letting you down like this, sir, but
I it’s become clear that I am unable to complete this task. I’m ordering the men to destroy the ‘package’ before they break free. Once the package is destroyed, I will travel to you to deliver my personal report, and the rest of the men will regroup at point Zeta.