THE NORTHERN MENACE: LETTERS FROM TRILITH

Welcome to the Northern Reach! Join us in The Northern Menace: Letters from Trilith, where we follow our adventuring party through the eyes of their Wizard, Trilith, as they return from their investigation, and run into more trouble along the way. Click here to read the backstories of the party!

Dear Dad,

 

I’m beginning to agree with you on boat travel. It sucks. But in this case it was better than the alternative. The boat trip back home from Jolnir looked pretty dire. I wasn’t sure we were going to make it, and from the captain’s expression, neither was he. The crack in the hull from the spear kept getting worse. We were taking on water and wallowing in the storm. 

 

Antinua and I bailed until our backs ached. Robi and Geldion rowed until their backs ached too. But it wasn’t helping. I suggested my companions might want to take off their armor, just in case…

 

Finally the capt gave it up and said we’d have to head for a small island to do some repairs or go under. From the look that passed between the sailors I wasn’t sure which was worse. When I asked the capt, he told us that the island is infested with lizards. Lots of them, with very sharp teeth. My companions and I would have to defend the boat and crew while they worked on the repairs. I figured, well, at least they’re not undead lizards.

 

We jumped out as they ran the boat up the shore. They tilted the boat over and got to work on patching the spear hole as fast as they could. We gathered some wood for a fire to keep the creatures at bay, but the meager amount of driftwood we could find wouldn’t last long.

 

Robi and Geldion looked over the spear that almost proved our undoing. It appears quite large and very well crafted. Robi decided to add it to his arsenal.

 

Our presence on the island did not go long unnoticed.

 

Dad, I don’t know if you’re familiar with these frost lizards, but they’re horrible creatures. They are not particularly large, but they are ravenous. They seem willing to attack and eat anything made of flesh, even each other. I can’t imagine how the little cannibals reach adulthood on the island. But they do seem to be good swimmers, perhaps the young ones stay off shore. There is certainly not much to eat on the island, except perhaps an occasional maroon like us.

 

My companions and I took up a defensive positions as the lizards began to mass around us. I started slinging bullets at them but couldn’t seem to hit the damn things. I know, I know, I need more practice. Robi pinned one to the earth with a javelin. That’s when I noticed that the ones next to it attacked the dying lizard and not us. Perhaps their ravenous natures would be our salvation.

 

The things moved in to attack and my companions went into action, slicing and dicing the creatures. I tried taking out a couple with some acid, but with the rain it wasn’t as effective as I had hoped. I had few other choices since I was out of spells and kept missing with my sling. Robi, next to me, cut up another lizard, and seeing how happily these lizards would chow down on their companions, I started throwing the bodies out to the watching lizards. As long as they were eating, they left us alone.

 

So we developed a strategy, kill any that get close, throw the bodies out to feed their friends. Soon Robi and Geldion turned it into a challenge to see who could kill more. I think they were enjoying themselves.

 

Antinua spotted a skeleton not far off, and I was just relieved it wasn’t walking. She and Geldion checked it out. We’re guessing it was someone who got stranded on the island like us. Antinua found some money, a ring, and a dagger.

 

I got a new shiny dagger, Dad! Well, it will be shiny once I do some work on it. Best part, it’s magical. It lights up like a torch when you say “blaze.”

 

Well, after another hour or so the repairs were done. I’m not sure who won the lizard killing contest, but I suspect it was Geldion. I was rooting for Robi since Geldion got to show off on Jolnir. We piled back in the boat and headed for home.

 

I can’t tell you how our hearts rose when we saw the lights of Reykholdt ahead in the darkness. But a sense of dread followed. I wasn’t looking forward to delivering the news.

 

Geldion and Robi headed off to their temples to break the news and Antinua to the inn for some well-deserved (and much coveted) rest. I headed to the tower to wake the Mage from his slumber and tell him the world is ending. Oh, joy.

 

Well, the mage took the news better than expected—after drubbing me down for waking him. When I finally got it through his groggy brain what was happening, he seemed shaken to his core. He called up the head council immediately and I had to tell the whole story a dozen more times before he finally gave me a condescending pat and told me to go get some rest like a good girl. Infuriating! It’s in their hands now. But at least they’ve agreed to let me call a familiar. I’m so excited!

 

It’s a boy! 

A boy raven that is. He’s so beautiful! He’s black as night, so I call him Quenya. I’ve already started teaching him Elvish. I know Draconic is more traditional, but few of the head mages speak Elvish so Quenya and I will be able to speak in front of them without them understanding. Ha! That makes me much happier than it should. 

 

The bond between familiar and wizard runs deep, Dad. I can already feel Quenya grafted to my soul. He’s so wonderful and dear. A bit of wildness in my world of stone and books.

 

It’s been a few days, Dad. I’ve been training hard and studying hard. Our first mission has shown me my weaknesses and I mean to amend them. I will be useful! I’ve learned two new spells that have me all a flutter. The first is Enlarge Person. It makes one person a size larger with all the requisite advantages. If I go on another adventure with my previous companions I imagine Robi and Geldion will fight over that one! The other is Summon Monster. I can’t wait to put it into action in the field.

 

We have a new mission! 

It seems the temple of Heironeous sent an acolyte and some militia men to a fishing village to the north to consecrate a shrine to their god. I’m not sure what the point of that was in the middle of a crisis, but you know these religious types. They insist on these symbolic gestures when there’s real work to be done. Anyway, the group hasn’t returned. We’ve been asked to investigate, and since the bigwigs are still laying plans and gather forces for the assault on Jolnir, I agreed to go. 

 

I wonder, could the necromancers have landed undead on the mainland already? Is the battle perhaps coming to us? I hope not, but we need to find out. And I suppose that at least that way we wouldn’t need to get back in the godsdamned boat.

 

We’ll have a good breakfast in the morning and head out the north gate. More soon (if I’m still alive).

 

Love,

Trilith


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