Missive the First
A Letter to Orlando, Fey Prince of Celene,
Son of Queen Yolande and Fasstal Dorthmar
We have been delayed by many days in the northlands. The death of a Baron Restonford has delayed our journey. Restonford was a close associate of my own father, Baron Marcus Randis, and our plans were to stay in his safe keeping, but his death has interfered with out planning. Though I thought it best to remain in Restonford to bring comfort to Arness, the grieving widow of Restonford, Brandon reminds me that we must attend to my own safety, as your betrothed, and move on. I should hate to learn that a war should be declared, and kith kill their kin over me! And so we are currently in Garriton where we stay in the well renown House of Abraham, an establishment high recommended by your emissary Brandon.
I have done as requested by the most mystical patriarch, Peltar, to participate in their investigation into the demise of Restonford. I do this most greatfully as the good Baron, may he rest in peace, was a most favored companion to my own father in his youth. My father has oft spoken of their boar hunts. Restonford has long been a staunch supporter of my father, whose lineage entitles him to the rulership of Whitehale, a situation, which no doubt will be remedied by his association with Celene, sealed through our marriage. Even now the legion he promised travels down the Great Western Road into the northern reaches of Celene. With the exchange of our vows, another two legions shall be dispatched. These are proper warriors of the Vesve Forrest, well equipped to secure Celene against the orcish onslaught! I should feel somewhat safer if we were travelling with them.
And yet I have become entangled in a web of deceit spun by the Peltar, The Wise & Powerful. The old sorcerer has requested that I travel to this Inn to seek out the Innkeeper Abraham who is, in fact, the chief suspect in their investigation. I beg your forgiveness for having placed myself into such a dangerous situation. Were it not for the close kinship Restonford held with my own father, I promise you that I should not have done so. But blood calls out to blood, and I must do what I can as a good and loyal daughter to the House of Randis.
We have discovered that in truth this Innkeeper Abraham did in fact possess a red vest with red leather buttons which he procured from the local tailor. Brandon discovered the missing button from Abraham’s vest in the baron’s chambers. That the Innkeeper has played some foul role in this murder is most certain, as he lied several times to us, the first of which was his denial that he had recently travelled to the Baron’s home.
Do not fear for my safety my love. I travel under the assumed name of Marika Labeaux, which I hastily borrowed from an impetuous scullery maid we encountered on an gnomish steamboat during our travels south. I too possess some fighting skills as I was a student to Duchess Clariece Landis, a very fiery lady who knows what she wants and is not shy about getting it done. Though she is my father’s rival, I must admire her spirit and tenacity. Your ambassador, Emissary Brendan Darkfell, who I know you handpicked from your Eladrin guard to accompany me safely back to Celene, is also most wily. His travel papers bearing your signature have proven most helpful at every checkpoint during our travels. Brandon also has a gift for understatement. Few suspect the terrible powers at his command.
Breytalomew, the Tiefling fiend summoned by my father, also serves as my guard though he is most willful and fails at the most basic levels of courtesy. I suspect, as you first advised me, that neutering should quell his blood and bring his surly attitude under control. His glowering presence and terrible teeth are frightening as his diet. It is fortunate that he is bound to protect me or I fear he should ravish me. His eyes are always upon me, and I am familiar with the bloodlust that is the baser nature of these fiends, and I do long to be under your protection. Thus far he has tested my limits as his guardian, it is an act of will that allows me to maintain any control over this fell creature.
It is unfortunate that Abraham, our host, is such an old murderer, for otherwise I should truly enjoy his company. He is an accomplished Innkeeper. The services he provides and the food serves rivals that of five star establishments in the realm. They lack appropriate bathing chambers for their guests, however the cook has seen to my needs unselfishly offering her own chambers for my use. We should send some gift to her after our wedding. I know that she would fare well in Celene. Her friendly disposition toward elves well disposes her to be a helpful servant of the crown. I may ask her to journey with us, for I am certain a human attendant to attend to my needs will be required. She is also an expert in the kitchen.
I have also purchased the most wondrous of necklaces—too make up for the ruby which was lost during our travels. I am not a vain woman by any means, as you know, but to travel unadorned is beneath my station, and I knew you would not approve of your betrothed journeying half naked through the lands. This jewelled necklace is unique in all the land—rescued from the Lost Tomb of Martek. Certainly worthy of the daughter of the Baron Randis of Whitehale. I recall hearing the story of this most famous desert tomb as a child, as I recall, though I cannot recall the details. I am almost certain that the tale involved a Djin!
Brandon was most hesitant to part with the gold for its purchase. You would have thought him some old gnomish moneylender, not the emissary of the Prince of Celune! Despite his protests the necklace now adorns my neck, and matches the new gown I purchased perfectly! I am certain that the jewels are magical, for this necklace has enchanted me with its ancient timeless beauty! How can such beauty pass through the centuries untouched? I shall never take it off!
I do not know for how many days more we shall be delayed. I expect that Inquisitors from Restonford shall soon be arriving in Garreton to being an inquiry. We have discovered little, only confirmed that the button discovered in the Baron’s chambers did, in fact, belong to the Innkeeper Abraham. Now the question is: Was he himself wearing it at the time?
As I mentioned before, your emmisary believes these clues to be nothing more than red herrings. He has also met with Balmorrow, the owner of the Mystic Celebration, a bard who himself possesses a lute with gold strings. According to Balmorrow one of his strings was recently stolen or broken and he no longer possesses a replacement for it. Your emmisary believes that assassins from the Garreton guild have planted these clues to bring these two men, and the as yet unnamed priest, under scrutiny. It seems odd, even to me, that Balmorrow should have so carelessly disposed of such a conspicuous item at the scene of the crime were he involved in the Baron Restonford’s assassination. But what have these men done that the Garreton Assassins Guild (GAG) should seek to throw them beneath the rolling wheels of the Inquisitor’s carriage?
I send you my love in these most dangerous of times,
Lady Artina Ilani Randis