Letter from Ryka
Received after dispatching Forthring, Markus, and Alessa
My Travelled Friends,
It pleases me that you are as opportunistic and brutal as I sometimes find myself inclined to be. While some of my lieutenants may sleep their final sleep, I am keeping busy. In fact, I'm going to be out-of-doors for a while, getting your next challenge ready.
When I'm back in town, you'll know.
Letter from the Zhentarim to Merrodis
To my associate Merrodis,
I hope this finds you well.
Circumstances dictate that we remain hidden for the time being. You've been somewhat vetted, so we can at least tell you why: Someone sold us out from the inside. We have yet to identify the mole.
You can help. Find the Wandering Pot stall in the central market and order a bowl of noodles. Eat them and return to your temple. We'll do the rest.
P.S. Our bait usually survives.
Two inscriptions on floor, near rows of vats of acid and mercury, respectively
Neither Nor scrap
a note, presumably written by Neither Nor from the symbols, found in her safehouse safe
Ruffled Ancient Note
From underneath the city, past the mercury lab, in pthumerian ruins. partially destroyed
... means we won't be exempt from the plague, just like the rest of the chattel. Our family's wealth cannot save any of us now. Many of our lesser relatives have fled to the outer reaches of the city, aware of the risks, and are attempting to escape the quarantine. I refuse to accept such a low chance of survival. I remain convinced there is a way for us to rid ourselves of this blight, and no one...
Letter from Aethen
Last week a would-be assassin arrived from the city and attempted to kill Silver and I, evidently not aware that we watch each others' backs. I am gravely concerned by this, and the assassin had something important that I cannot describe in this letter for fear of interception.
I ask that you meet me in the twisting river valley in the north-lands of Namicor, beneath the cliff where a single great dead tree resides. Wait there by campfire, and Silver and I will find you. If we do not meet you within the next tenday, we will send another letter by courier to establish another meet.
Your companion against the dark dawn, -Aethen
Hidden message in the Book of the Traveller
He places chess pieces on the board already knowing the game's outcome will be what he wants. I do not know that his divine will can be subverted, or if even such a subversion would always be as he foresaw. I believe his goal is always bringing forth change, but whether it is for the greater good or his own I cannot say. The Traveller is not malevolent per se but he has ulterior motives. Everyone he Travels serves a greater purpose he need not manipulate after the Travelling.
SEMICIRLES, top left, clockwise:
- This was the only way I found for me to hide something from his sight.
- The other deities part in his wake, some obediently, some recalcitrant.
- You are innately capable of seeing this through. I have faith in you.
- In all of creation, this may be one of the few thins he cannot see.
- Much of the Traveller's magic resists inquiry, like his motivations.
- Sadly, I hold no more secrets about his Mark than the rest of this tome.
I - Should you exhaust other options, each of you alone can vanquish yourself.
II - Though you cannot perish, there are fates worse than death eager to consume you.
III - This message is for you chosen few, unique among each other and your new world.
CENTER - Though fate may be cast in stone, I have a secret to deliver to you five alone. Speak your names in unison at the place of your greatest loss, and I will do what I can to help.
Hellrift Lecture notes (Tarn / Yoaral)
Four things are needed to open a hellrift:
- a Hellrift proper
- cannot be manufactured as they are leftover natural phenomena from creation
- can be moved, but not quickly
- easily detected and tracked
- once closed, cannot be re-opened
- a Hellstone
- an actual piece of hell, these are rare and similarly leftover from creation or brought forth by conniving demons during incursions
- can be used to force open a latent rift, seal a latent rift, or seal an active rift
- it can be readily assumed the Chosen are in possession of at least one
- a summoning circle
- very specific in shape and ingredients, millne is attempting to monitor the purchase of such ingredients
- the total energy needed for the ritual is a factor of the size of the circle, the strength of the hellrift, and the distance from the circle to the hellrift
- it is suspected since the nearest hellrift is in Windwend that the Chosen are planning on using a warehouse to conceal the necessarily-large summoning circle
- a solar eclipse
- said in various scriptures as necessary to "shield the gate to hell from the eyes of the gods"
Vincent's note from the far north
Scribblings on the front:
Message on the back:
This device is curious and unlike other similar things I have seen in my many days. Though Carlisle insisted I wouldn't understand, I snuck a peek at his notes anyway while he was off bathing. He was right. Is this what you were really sending me up here for, or is this another babysitting job? -V