Gin’s Journal Entry, Day 33, Page 58
The fight didn’t last long. Balor aptly brought the creature down and pinned it to the ground. Several of the Osmarren guards rushed the restrained creature and attempted their own form of attack, if a bit clumsy. But it was Tamar who, having summoned her so-called divine power into her sword, struck the vile beast and killed it. The body exploded into green putrid gas.
And once again, we saved Osmarren.
As the dust settled and we investigated the creature, I learned that the thing was speaking telepathically to everyone else but me.
“It was screaming for us to give it the heretic or everyone was doomed,” Tamar said.
“Do we know who this heretic is?” Dosha Marl, the Dragonborn deputy, asked.
I rolled my eyes.
“Insane creatures do insane things,” Tamar said, looking at me. “Who knows what it really wanted.”
“Well, it’s dead now, so we can’t question it,” I said. “I suppose the best thing to do is get rid of this body before it starts to stink up the whole town.”
Balor, Tamar, and a handful of guards dragged the carcass out of the town, and to, what my clan used to call a Grim Holocaust – a massive and unending pyre for the dead.
I took this opportunity to speak privately with Hannah Truebeard in her office.
“You know it was looking for me, right?” I asked.
“That is what I assumed,” she said, sitting down at her desk. “And you still didn’t hear it, then?”
“No,” I replied, fiddling with my ring.
“Just like what happened with Ormak,” Hannah said, rubbing her eyes.
“I hope I’m not to the only one that sees the connection,” I said.
“You think Ormak was behind this?”
“It that a question?
Hannah slammed her fist on the desk. “Damnit. I knew there was something off about that giant.”
“What? The whole speaking into everyone’s head didn’t give you a clue?” I smirked.
“What are we to do then?”
“Well, I’ve considered going out and hunting him down…” I starting saying.
“But he is the voice of the Blank God.”
I sighed. “I seriously doubt he speaks for whatever god you people follow. He is a prevaricator. He speaks for himself. But I don’t know if looking for him right now would be the best course of action. I plan on starting the expedition in a few days.”
“Yes. So, maybe if we leave, Ormak will leave Osmarren alone. I don’t know. I’ll have to think about it and discuss it with Tamar.”
“Do what you think is best, Gin.”
Gin’s Journal Entry, Day 34, Page 60
The day after the attack, Osmarren had another visitor.
Hannah Truebeard summoned me to her office. Standing next to the dwarven constable was an elf. My clan would have called him a solus peregriner – a lone wanderer of the wilds. His hair was pulled back into a tail and his eyes showed that he had seen much torment. His clothes were dirty and his instruments of death appeared well-used. He had the look of a traveler who had been out under the green sky for far too long. At his feet was a giant snake. Neither he nor Hannah seemed to be bothered by its presence.
“Gin, this is Theren Nailo. He is one of our rangers who have just arrived. He’s been out in the wilderness for a long time and I think he has a story you might be interested in hearing,” Hannah said.
Theren bowed his head. “It is an honor,” he said. “Hannah told me what you and your friend have done for Osmarren. The people here are truly in your debt.”
For all his ruggedness, he was quite charming in his tone.
“A debt they will not have to pay back,” I said. “What is this story, then?”
“Yes. Hannah told me, also, that yesterday, Osmarren was attacked by a mysterious creature.”
“Some sort of undead beasty,” I added, “Never seen anything like it before.”
“That is what she said as well,” Theren continued. “A couple of days ago, I had rescued a mother and her children from the evils of the land. Their father had been killed and they were being preyed upon by the abominable undead. I took them under my charge and began to lead them back to safety – back to Osmarren.”
“That’s mighty nice of you,” I said. “Don’t see that type of altruism too often in people.”
“It is who I am. It is what I do.”
I had to resist a fit of laughter.
“As we traveled,” Theren continued, “We came upon a cave, perhaps a day’s travel from here. We heard strange sounds and lights coming from this cave. It first sounded like chanting and humming, and there were sounds of chimes and drums. Strange colored lights would flash forth from the entrance of the cave. Because of my charge, I feared to approach and investigate. I did not want to put them in any unnecessary danger.”
“That’s sensible,” I said.
“I tried to hurry my charge past the cave in silence, but then we heard a most vile and horrid scream. It sounded like a great beast in the throes of death. It was night at the time, but I saw that something had flown out of the cave and into the darkness of the sky. It was quick and nimble, and I could not tell what it was. But I did note that it appeared to fly towards the same direction I and my charge were heading towards – to Osmarren.”
“Ah, yes,” I grinned, “And you think this thing was the same creature that attacked us yesterday?”
“It is too coincidental to be a coincidence.”
I liked this elf already.
“And you say this cave is a day’s march from here?” I asked.
“And you can lead me to this cave?”
“Good,” I gripped my staff. “Hannah, Tamar and I will go to this cave. I can’t, in good conscience, leave Osmarren with the idea that there is a dark necromancer priest on the edge of this city.”
“Take Balor as well,” she said.
“As you wish.”
“But, he’s the voice of the Blank God,” Hannah whispered in disbelief.
“More like the voice of the undead,” I said.
“You mean Ormak?” Theren interjected. “Hannah told me of him and about his presence here. So you do believe it was him then?”
“Only one way to find out.”
“Yes, that is true. But it truly is disturbing that a holy man would perform such a sacrilegious act.”
“He’s capable of many other things,” I added
“You mean his ability to speak to the minds of those around him? Yes, that is disturbing too.”
‘_Like this_,’ I said to Theren, in his mind.
That jolted the solus peregriner into a bit of a shock response. He stared at me with wide eyes, with a bit of malice. His snake hissed.
“I apologize,” I said with a smirk. “It was not meant to offend, but show that Ormak is not unique. Anyway, when can you be ready to leave?”
“I can leave now, if need be.”
“Then we leave in an hour.”
I left the tent office and gathered Tamar and Balor to inform them of our next adventure.
I realized Tamar and I couldn’t leave, not yet. My very presence here had caused more trouble for these people than what the Sahuagin had. Even if I left, I believe Ormak and his cronies would attack Osmarren and who knew what he would do to the people he felt were heretics. And based on yesterday’s attack, the Osmarren guard would be no match for Ormak’s dark magic. The expedition would have to wait a couple more days. We were off to slaughter a cult. My grandfather would be so proud.