Melchior to Lord Vors, Arodus 9

To the Esteemed Lord Vors,

My lord, as always it is good to hear from you. I fear I am both literally and figuratively wandering through unfamiliar territory with this mission, caught between freedom and responsibility in ways that are strange to me. I have little to guide me, save Kurik’s hard-headed wisdom and my own conscience, yet the burden of responsibility does not abate. The Swordlords may believe they have given me broad liberties in how I choose to go about fulfilling the dicates of their directives, however, I feel curiously ever the more constrained. I just wish to do right by everyone. Does not everyone deserve happiness? Who am I, then, to give it to them or to take it from them? Such are the problems I wrestle with of late. Even Iacobus I would not deny a fair chance at a good life; how much the easier it is to feel sympathy for a bandit, whose circumstances, sribed by fate, seeming by necessity may drive an otherwise simple man to a low sort of life, bereft of dignity and decency. Would not such a man wish to regain what he had lost, and legitimately, were the opportunity presented? My charter suggests (if not outright demands) application of “the rope or the sword” in cases of unrepentant banditry, after all. Thus, I thank you for your foresight in sending Thonolan. For such bandits as I am unwilling to slay outright, yet for whom I may have little trust, having Thonolan on hand as a rehabilitative option, with honest work, is nothing short of a blessing. I expect it will work out splendidly.

Thonolan himself is quite a nice fellow. A little rough around the edges, and perhaps a tad fatalistic, but he is quiet and well-mannered all the same. We are getting along rather well, I would say. You would scarce believe me, but the very day we set out from Oleg’s with Thonolan, we discovered an untapped gold mine! Or rather, we found a rather large gold vein within a large crack in the side of a hill, which could potentially become a gold mine. The gods work in mysterious ways, it would seem.

It would seem that I have traded one form of unpleasant politics for another. Since arriving in the Stolen Lands, I had come upon rivalry between a colony of mites and a tribe of kobolds that had them both riled up, to the detriment of any and all neighbors. I have since encountered both groups, and believe I have resolved the situation satisfactorily. The mites were filthy, sadistic little creatures with seemingly few redeeming qualities, while the kobolds, despite being a bit uncivilized, appeared to have less of a desire for bloodshed. We happened to rescue a kobold prisoner from the mites’ underground lair: a rather canny fellow named Mik-Mek. In gratitude, he led us in safety to his own home, whereupon we met with his chief. Long story short, it became apparent that the entire conflict, as well as numerous other miseries, were instigated by their itinerant shaman (an unpleasant “kobold” of curious purple coloration, later discovered to be the reincarnated form of a wretched, evil gnome; crazy world, is it not?), whom we dealt with judiciously. The kobold tribe is now quite happy and grateful. I am quite certain that a lasting peaceful accord can be reached with them, to our mutual benefit. Unbelievably, the tribe actually inhabits a long-abandoned silver mine. If they would be amenable to mining the silver and trading it with us, we would benefit from the resource, while they would benefit from the trade and civilized contact. I admit, kobolds would make for rather odd neighbors, but one needs all the allies one can get, after all. Even now, we make our way back to Oleg’s from the kobolds’ lair to share the good news, Mik-Mek riding along with us as a liason of sorts. I fear Oleg’s reaction to a live kobold within his trading post (particularly after the recent incident with the bandit), but he is ultimately a practical man, and I trust he will see the benefit in a local alliance. Oh dear, I had forgotten Coriella’s recent violent tendencies toward scaled creatures. I do hope that won’t present a problem. Perhaps I should simply “man up”, as they say, and speak with her directly. I have not seen her for several weeks. I hope she is well, and has calmed down somewhat. We shall see, I suppose.

With that, I suppose I shall sign off. I hesitate to bore you with such details. Compared to the intricacies of daily House politics in Brevoy, my own activities must seem incredibly trivial. But as always, I value your correspondence and your advice. In reading your words, I am made to feel as though I am less of a disappointment than I often assume. But I shall not burden you with my own self-doubts a moment longer. Know that myself and Kurik are well, and that, so far as I can ascertain, we are making progress in successfully accomplishing our objectives in this wild land. I shall continue to keep you updated, as per usual. Thank you for your gift of the gem; I expect we will be arriving at a confrontation with the Stag Lord within the month, and I suspect we will need every advantage.

In parting, I wish you health and happiness. I shall write again when I can. Be well, my lord.

In gratitude,



astrounicorn rmsnook

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