Reign of the Axe

Elaine - Session Ten

I am DONE...

To: High Priest of the Temple of Heironeous, Heironopolis
From: A Concerned Citizen

Respectfully to the High Priest of the Clergy of Heironeous,

I am writing to you in order to inform you of the neglectful actions of the paladin sect that was sent to aid the town of Lindellin, headed by Paladin Doster Hawklight. I wanted to like Paladin Hawklight. He portrays himself the way most envision a Paladin of Heironeous to be portrayed: strong, just, charismatic, a natural-born leader. The man exudes the kind of stability that the masses long to follow. To the common people, he has fulfilled this expectation in every way. However, the longer my companions and I worked with Paladin Hawklight, the more we recognized that he is grossly-lacking certain qualities.

First, he blindly hired a gnome bounty hunter in order to investigate a wizard supposedly involved in kidnappings. Not only did this bounty hunter accept bribes from prisoners for their immediate release, this gnome bounty hunter was so greedy that he ended up selling valuable information about people who were supposedly his companions in this endeavor to the suspects, putting myself and the rest of those investigating at severe risk.

Second, upon the discovery of an unknown illness that doesn’t respond to general treatments, we deliver infected individuals to the Paladins of Heironeous, believing that they would be knowledgable enough about dealing with the ill to prevent it from spreading. This was in error, however. They did not, and one of your poor paladins was infected with this unknown contagion. Heironeous bless his soul, and may a cure be found quickly.

Third, the lack of insight of Paladin Hawklight could lead to the deaths of thousands of innocent people if the infected subjects manage to spread the contagion. Heironopolis is a very large city; Lindellin is a moderately-sized town. An accidental outbreak has already happen with your paladin brother, and should one break out once they reach Heironopolis, there are many more people at risk of infection and death. The infected should have been quarantined here, where there is a much smaller population in case it gets out. These are tragic situations to speak about, but we must be realistic about the scale of the situation. As the leader of the sect of paladins sent to this town, I feel this decision reveals the naivety of the man the Temple of Heironeous has put their faith into to lead these other people.

I thank all the goodness on the planes that the clergy in Heironopolis are, no doubt, much more attentive and knowledgable about containing problems such as this. I pray no bad happens.

Fourth, we took a man in for questioning regarding the investigation of the wizard kidnappings, a mercenary named Hemming, and he was killed while in the custody of your paladins. This prisoner has been nothing less than an exemplary witness, cooperative, non-violent, and the last time I saw him, he lay dead on the ground in front of a horse-drawn cart in a pool of his own blood. A paladin sat on either side of him when he was assassinated.

Fifth, I am an alchemist, and thus qualified to research the type of ailment since it is not responding to the divine touch. On multiple occasions during my research, I was pulled away from my work to respond to the summons of the paladins. Instead of sending a message to alert me to the situation, which can easily be sealed, carried, and not require my wasted time, I made the hour walk to their location in order to hear a message. All of these messages involved their neglect in some way, and the more time I spent away from my research, the longer this threat remains a threat, the longer these infected individuals remain ill. Paladin Hawklight has become an obstacle in my mind to finding the cure, denying basic requests for testing in order to accelerate my study. He claims it is because “there are better alchemists in Heironopolis.” While I do not doubt that there are skilled alchemists in Heironopolis, he is denying the help at his fingertips for one that is several weeks travel away, during which the illness can worsen and possibly kill the afflicted. Perhaps he could not trust me, you might think. He trusted me enough to find kidnapped townsfolk. He trusted me enough to hunt down a wizard. He trusted me enough to drag me out from my work to share confidential information. No, trust is not the issue here.

Lastly, the assistance that I was offering was done out of the kindness of my heart. In a situation like this, time is critical, and since I believed the paladins were there doing their best to remedy the situation, I was willing to give up my time, supplies, and energy to help find a cure. This assistance was dismissed without a second thought. Perhaps pride kept him from accepting assistance in categories which he was not qualified, or perhaps he was that ignorant of what an alchemist actually does. The latter is not unheard of. Either way, as the leading force of this sect of paladins, to dismiss assistance freely given in a field that one is not knowledgable is unwise.

I have done my absolute best to assist this dire situation for the citizens of Lindellin, and the Paladins of Heironeous, who are supposed to help the citizens, have stood in my way at nearly every turn. I have lost so much time in trying to identify this contagion because of their carefully-disguised inaction, that I am now forced to find assistance elsewhere to make up the lost time. I know that these paladins are not representative of all the clergy of the just Heironeous, and most of them do their duty in a way that would make your god proud. It tears at me to write this letter, but if this was happening with me, with someone else representing my faith under my leadership, I would at least want to be notified of it, whether or not I decide to act on the information.

That is all this concerned citizen has done, given you the information. Do with it what you will. May Heironeous bless you and send a speedy recovery to the infected.

Elaine Darkwing
Last Apprentice of Gerard Fatereign

  • * *

There are no words in the raven language for how disgusted and infuriated I am right now with Doster Hawklight.

However, there are plenty in Common, Draconic, Aquan, Terran, Auran, and Ignan. Bor’idek sst’less jagar’est! Elliesh suupell ethla! Mmb’k mmmown nek! B’bemm bubub (click) mebb! Vethileth yzinde aethereth!

Gods damn the ignorance of that man!

He has wasted so much of my time! Due to laziness and neglect! This contagion is now on its way to Heironopolis, where it will no doubt infect all of the city within a few weeks because they do not know how to contain a threat like this! Do they understand that blood is not that unorthodox of a thing to request when researching a contagion? I give my own blood to the experiment, and they didn’t bat an eye when the shriveled woman took a sample of Nado’s blood. Why is it so strange for an alchemist to ask for it? Ignorants, all of them! What do they think alchemy is? Devil worship?!

Waste my time, will you, Doster Hawklight? That’s fine. I give you no more of it. I am done with you and your stupid summons, and you will regret your slight against me before this is done. You are all talk and all inaction. I am finished with men of Heironeous. I shall see what the followers of his greatest rival have to offer.

Hello, Temple of Hextor. I believe we can help each other…

  • * *

To: High Priest of the Temple of Hextor, Ignavus
From: A Concerned Citizen

Respectfully to the High Priest of the Clergy of Hextor,

You are busy, and I will be brief. I am Alchemist Elaine Darkwing and have come upon an unknown illness in the town of Lindellin that cannot be healed by basic divine magic, or even those idiot Heironeons would have been able to take care of it. They have obviously never come across any kind of contagion like this before, as their incompetence has led to one of their own getting infected on top of the original victims. They are now on their way to their high temple with these infected subjects, which will no doubt lead to mass contamination. I don’t really care about the Heironeons, as I feel they would have brought this upon themselves, but their stupidity should not be forced upon the rest of hard-working society.

I humbly request to speak with a Hextorian priest of your choosing about a mutually beneficiary arrangement regarding the discovery and administration of a cure, as well as spreading the gospel of the Scourge of Battle himself. I will leave Lindellin soon and head towards Ignavus, and I will be arriving before the next month ends if all goes well during travel. Since there will be much more of a variety as far as assistance goes, I would like to turn to those who are known for their cunning and unwavering hardiness in the face of adversity, as this is not just any contagion. It is also my professional opinion that finding a cure for this illness will also open the door to curing the magical ailment that has spread through Ignavus for some time now. Should a cure be found with the name of Hextor attached to it, I have no doubt that will gain many donations and followers to the faith as it is distributed. It might also be interesting for those same idiot paladins that hindered the research for a cure be forced to come begging to you for it in order to save their poor comrade and all those poor souls they will inevitably infect.

Do not judge my utility of them too quickly, generous leader, for I could only use what I had at hand in this dire situation, and, frankly, I believe even you would expect more out of those heralds of inaction than what I received. It was pathetic to behold, and most fortunate that it didn’t cross your eyes.

Thank you for your time, High Priest, and Hextor bless you and your hard-earned path.

Your humble servant,
Elaine Darkwing
Last Apprentice of Gerard Fatereign



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