I have a rather large confession to make. When you shared the news about the goliath tribe some time ago, I grew jealous. The three of you are making significant progress on the search, while I have not even begun, really. So when I ran across a possible clue, I hid it from you. In fact, I have been lying to you for several days now.
Baladov is no longer with us. In fact, he has not been with us for days. I know this seems like an odd thing to lie about, but you will soon understand.
Baladov left us in the Seven-Pillared Hall around the same time that the mercenary Mizraim departed. They did not leave together, I should add, but Baladov apparently received a message summoning him home to Hammerfel. Something about his uncle who was also his mentor, I believe.
At first, we were a little concerned. Without a cleric, our party would be in severe jeopardy. What were we to do? The Seven-Pillared Hall is not exactly crawling with adventurers looking for groups to join.
And that was when Fate stepped in. (or else it was Aerizell’s unknown god… who am I to say?) While we were pondering what to do about the halfling Rendil’s offer of guidance, a half-elf walked into the inn alone. As he turned to face us, I nearly fell out of my chair.
Yes, a half breed. He later told us his mother claimed that his father was a noble elf from Nardous, but he had never met him nor knew his name. But I can hazard a guess. I am sure you know what I am implying. He is 19 years old. Think it through and you also will understand. The eyes and ears are nearly identical, and he has an intensity and charisma about him that is hauntingly familiar. When he shouts orders in battle, I find myself trembling. It is almost too much.
His name is Déor and he is a warlord in training. He seems quite skilled for his age and is a powerful addition to our party. Most of all, he is adept at healing, taking over for our missing cleric. It did not take much convincing to persuade him to join us, once he understood what we were about (and that obnoxious halfling vouched for us).
(Now that I think about it, however, I do not believe he ever told us what he was doing down here… and we have only his word that he does not know his father… is this some elaborate trick? Am I growing too paranoid?)
At any rate, I did not want to tell you about Déor, so I continued to reference Baladov in my missives. I do miss the dwarf, strangely. He was… comforting and solid. Déor is much more reckless, it seems. And he does not appear fond of our current leader, Aerizell.
So I apologize for deceiving you. We should be sharing our information, not hiding it from one another. We both seek the same thing. I do not know if Déor will be any help in this quest, but he is a significant clue that must be investigated.
Before I must move on, I’ll relate another step in our current quest, briefly.
In the next room we entered, most of it consisted of a huge pool of what could only be blood. It was horrid. Standing over all this were two huge statues of minotaurs. On the far side of the room, we spotted two platforms. Lying atop them were what appeared to be two pieces of a broken dagger. Perhaps it was the one we sought?
The distance between platforms was rather extensive, and the blood looked ominous. Our new monk friend volunteered to demonstrate his jumping ability and set out to retrieve the dagger. As he did so, a number of carnage demons surfaced from the blood and attacked.
As we battled them as best we could, Greth picked up the first half of the knife, but at that moment, the two minotaur statues began moving, swinging massive flails. One knocked Aerizell into the blood. The other did the same to Déor, who quickly climbed back out. Aerizell took a little longer, being burdened by his heavy armor.
Greth soon was in dire straits, being attacked by both the carnage demons and the statue. He was far out of the range of being helped by our paladin or warlord. I did what I could to keep the demons at bay, but the statue continued to attack him, knocking him back into the blood where the demons could get him.
Aerizell launched his mystical shield across the room as Greth desperately grabbed the second half of the dagger. Both our new comrades were amazed at the shield’s capabilities. Greth rode the shield back to us and we escaped from this room.
We now have the mask, the dagger, and the book. All that remains is the bell. I have a feeling it will turn up fairly soon. And then what happens?
Till the waves consume us all.