Fifth letter to Yanika: Nathan’s surrender

My dearest friend Yanika,


Important things have happened in the last few days and I wish that you could have witnessed them for yourself, instead of being told them to you in a letter like this! I have stood in the lair of a dragon, and your old nemesis Nathan has surrendered himself to the authorities.


But first things first, which is how I got to stand in the lair of a dragon, and how that same dragon hired us for a job. It all started with Spade wanting to do more investigation into Straga and Alexi Garadin, and the Stormrifles. Spade first wanted to break into Alexi’s office but I dissuaded him from doing so. If he would be caught, it would mean the end of the investigation and we’d all be in jail. So instead we decided to break into the office of the gang in the Racks, and see if that led us somewhere. And oh boy did it…


The plan was to go in, as it serves as a bar, and a few people would create a diversion so someone could sneak into the back offices. Not much happened for a while as we waited for Ardell to leave, and then Spade started a brawl with Kayne as a distraction. Now no matter how amusing this was to watch, it also meant that the person to sneak into the back office was also in the distraction. So in the end Majid tried sneaking into the back while Kayne started attacking gang members. This turned the entire into a fight between us and the gang, which went pretty smoothly, except for the black Abishai in Ardell’s office.


You might actually know this, with all your knowledge of obscure things and your brilliant mind, but a black Abishai is a sort of very stealthy devil that looks a bit like a dragon. It plunged the room into magical darkness before bolting. But it didn’t get too far as we managed to intercept it outside in the alley and kill it. Funny thing is that it’s body didn’t disappear, meaning there had to be a portal somewhere. The rest investigated the place while I stood watch. Spade found evidence that the gang is looking for something all over the city. Some big treasure that takes up a lot of space, and they had been going about it very methodically, looking at all places that allow storage of such a volume. He also found a rental agreement for a large storage space in GoldGulch.


Hence our next stop was GoldGulch and see what that storage is being used for. The body of the devil we took along for now, as we can’t just leave it in the streets, and it might come in useful later. Once at the warehouse, Spade disabled the lock and he, Majid and me snuck inside to go and have a look. The place looks to be unused and abandoned, but we did find a glowing circle of runes near the back of the place. We called in the rest and Ace investigated the runes for a bit, determining that they form some sort of teleportation gate, a gate connecting two places. We took a little rest to recover from the earlier fight before activating the portal and heading through to see where it leads.


And what a shock it was when we arrived at the other side! Gone were the crisp fresh mountain air and accustomed cold, instead we found ourselves in a hot, damp and dark cave, smelling of rot and decay. I noticed the cave was a sinkhole of some kind and motioned that there was sunlight up on top, so Kayne decided to crawl up and see what was what. Apparently the gate had brought us to the jungles far to the south, thousands of miles to the south. I have only heard and read about this place, I never thought I would actually see it for myself. One part of me is glad to have seen it, on the other hand, it is too damp and the heat is too oppressive. How can anyone survive living in such a place? No, I much prefer the cold and the snow, and hunting snow leopards on the hill of Himmin!

Anyway, while we were discussing all of this, Spade heard someone coming, so we hid, but not all of us doing a very good job of it. It was Ardell who was coming back from deeper in the cave, and he noticed some of us hiding, so spoke out to us. Spade and the rest stepped out and a discussion broke out between Spade and Ardell. In the meanwhile I took the opportunity to sneak deeper into the cavern and see what this place is all about. Turns out that the cavern is the lair of a black dragon, and that his hoard had been stolen. I saw a lot of dead bodies of kobolds all over the place, and noticed that they had been killed by claws. My theory is that it was some of those mechanical creatures created by Nathan. By the time I got back to the others, they had brokered a deal with Ardell. Return his treasure to him, and the thief, in return for Straga.


With that arranged, we headed back through the portal to Himmin and make new plans to find this treasure and the thief. First step was using the mirrorsword to gain some information that way, but it took a few tries to make the ritual work. In the end Majid succeeded and learned that it was probably not Nathan who had stolen the treasure, or at least not personally. In the meanwhile Spade went to check with Fermon Ka if any of the coins of the hoard had been used in Himmin, but Fermon Ka didn’t seem happy to see Spade, and brushed him off. We don’t know why yet. That evening also happened to be the evening where we could meet up with Nathan for playing chess, but only three of us went, and were surprised to find a banquet waiting for them, instead of the usual chess game. He informed Ace, Spade and Majid that he wanted to surrender, as his master plan had been finished, which took everyone by surprise. He also had a gift for Zebulor, a resurrection device that could be used to bring back Eliander, by placing the silver coin in the device. We haven’t decided what to do with this information yet though.


In the end we delivered Nathan to the guards in GoldGulch, as he wanted to be locked up in the same prison as the one Kayne had been locked up.


So you see, some very interesting things have been happening around here while you are away on your pleasure cruise!


I hope to hear from you soon!


With love,


Zaela

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