Monday, March 19, 2007

d&d field report

From Parker Gaiman, a loyal servant of King Jacobus, whose good pleasure has seen fit to send him far from Wendyg to learn the ways of the land and to discover the nature of recent changes in the city of Nuyork, to Sir Alain Moor, chief intelligencer of Wendyg and adviser to the king, greetings!
It has now been two weeks, by my reckoning, since my last report. Events that beggar description have transpired since last I wrote to you, and indeed I fear that should I describe them to you in full detail that you would think me mad.

When I last wrote, Sir Alain, I told you of the comrades I had taken up with here in Nuyork, and how we had attempted to enter the castle which seems to be at the heart of the cancer that afflicts the city and is working its way toward Wendyg, Drusillus, and the other kingdoms, counties and lesser baronies of the plains. In the chambers beneath the castle we met such creatures as it seems are of the stuff nightmares are made from; yet still we managed to escape with our lives (though not all of us, as I shall relate shortly).

Upon our escape from the castle, we took the remains of one of our companions -- one Rowena of name, who, being mortal as all flesh, was slain by a creature of truly gigantic stature -- to see a supposed wonder-worker called Noisivel Buod. I have writ in the past of his name, but until this occasion had never met him or learned more of him than rumor. In truth, he is a fellow with a nervous constitution, and given over to conjecture about events yet to come as though they were as certain as events past. During the time I was with him, he did not proclaim himself an acolyte of any god, yet he does seem to regard himself as a prophet of sorts; an easy enough thing to do these days, as many a charlatan has demonstrated, and as doubtless he himself shall prove, once his prophecies fail.

In fact, I must confess myself at a loss to explain how exactly it was that this same Noisivel perpetrated the fraud that was to follow. Through some effort of pyrotechnics or mesmerism, Noisivel was able to transport myself, Galin and Inquill -- of them I have written in the past -- either to an unfamiliar section of Nuyork or to a location beyond the borders of the city entirely. It may be in fact an elaborate hoax -- though on this scale how such a hoax could be managed is beyond my ability to imagine, as I have by my best reckoning been in this place for several days, though I have yet to see the sun rise or set.

Inquill is gone. "Back to Nuyork," the others say, though they conspire to keep me from following him and I have no memory of leaving Nuyork myself, whether by train, boat, horse or other conveyance. I suspect that whatever perfidy is presently at work, Inquill is involved with, given the abrupt manner with which he sundered our fellowship. (He is a most unnatural fellow -- though, I must note, with a definite moral compass of his own.)

Newly of my companionship are three fellows: one by name of S'Blackstunn, another by name of Lorinarth, and a third by name of Tovar. Lorinarth and Tovar are at opposite poles, while S'Blackstunn seems to prefer the middle road between them. Lorinarth is by far the most incendiary fellow I have seen in all my days. Though when I first met him, he was unaccountably morose and kept his own counsel, that soon changed and by means I have been unable to discover, he has taken to committing arson with regular abandon. Tovar, by contrast, is unnaturally calm and meditative and has a tranquilizing effect on all he speaks with. To be honest, I am not sure which of the two is more dangerous.

More puzzling is Rowena. Noisivel claimed to be a resurrectionist, and at first it seemed that his claims were true, as when we found ourselves in this strange place -- the locals call it Sigil, though I am unable to recall any dealings by the crown with any such city in the Eastern provinces -- we found Rowena herself, alive and apparently no worse the wear for her rather painful and recent death. Yet if this is Rowena, I fear she is most certainly insane. She claims to have no memory of myself or Galin despite many evidences to the contrary, and appears to be as absolutely xenophobic about creatures she calls "aberrations" as she previously had been about other creatures she claimed were undead. The other possibility I must consider is that this is not Rowena but something impersonating her for some fell purpose, something that is unaware of my recent dealings with Rowena -- or, conversely, that this is the true Rowena, and the one I fought alongside before was an impostor. Either way, I judge it unwise to trust her.

Trust, in fact, seems to be unwise with virtually any of my new companions. In the time that I have been here in "Sigil," they have made such ludicrous claims as the world hangs from a giant ash tree, that the city we are now in is shaped like a doughnut and is encircles the top of the tree, that "Sigil" is separate and unrelated from the world, and that travel from one world (they call them "planes") to another is made possible by something as pedestrian as scratching a wall with a piece of glass. We tried this and, of course, nothing happened, which to a man they effected to be surprised by and alarmed at.

What can I say? I fear I have fallen in with such a crew of cutthroats and madmen that I may not find my way out of whatever trap I am in. Worse still, I wonder if their madness is beginning to infect ... but perhaps I go too far. At the moment we are encamped at an inn owned by a man named Allerazzom, and I am passing the hours of the night by writing this report to you in my own hand, as I wait for a plot of burglars to arrive, as there is some reason to believe the inn has been targeted by whatever agents are "closing" the portals that supposedly provide transit from one world to the next. If my current companions are to be believed, these same principals are connected to the menace in Nuyork, which is why I mention it to you.

See what large letters I write with my own hand. Tomorrow I shall seek out a temple of the Weaver, if any are to be found in this place, find the answers that I seek to the many mysteries that trouble me, and I shall arrange for this letter to be sent to you. When next you see the king, remind him of the loyal service I have rendered the crown in this far-off land, and see if he will consent to be moved on my behalf. It has been nigh unto three years since I looked upon the green hills of Wendyg, and I anxiously await the king's leave to return once more.
Long live King Jacobus.
In service to the crown,
Parker Gaiman
P.S. I hope that the altercation with the thieves at the inn may be resolved, if not March 30, then one of the Saturdays in April. March 31 is not possible, as I will be in Philadelphia at the funeral of my aunt. All Friday evenings in April remain available, with the exception of Good Friday.

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