Groupies, Crackpots and Satisfaction
A new day dawned and I gave thanks to Morrow for the opportunity to do his bidding.
Today would be busy as there were many things to accomplish in order to bring light to the darkness. After breaking bread with fellow Order of the Rune members, Gooddwarf Baldur, Lady Hellith and Goodman Magrovich, we headed down to the University of Korvis. The grounds were well kept, and students on campus looked bright and eager. Most of the staff were professional and direct in our dealings with us. The same could not be said of the receptionist of the xeno-forensics-bio-archeaology department. The silly woman gushed and spouted all sorts of nonsense about Lady Hellith. She even had the effrontery to go about fondling and grasping at the elf’s heathen armor. Surely such blatant symbols of infidelity would put off a more upstanding and devout woman, but the university is known to be a haven for atheists and unbelievers.
Upon entering Professor Pendrake’s office I was impressed with the vast array of artifacts and mementos, no doubt collected from far flung excavations and exotic adventures. However, not a single devotion to Morrow could be spotted among the earthly treasures.
Pendrake outlined a plan to root out a nest of thrullgs. It seemed that the nasty creatures were dug-in deep, and inhabiting some of the same disgusting tunnels and sewers that we investigated earlier. My heart raced at the opportunity to bring some of the fell beast low. However, Professor Pendrake was planning on playing with fire. His rash plan was not only to attack or exterminate but to go as far as capture some young specimens for his dangerous research.
Despite my enthusiasm to attack the nest, the plan to go forward with 4 spell casters was a foolhardy one: the thrullgs are well known to repulse arcane effects. Prof Pendrake had developed some new technology and offered some prototypes which may or may not negate the thrullgs’ anti-magic bursts. Even with the untested devices, the plan was too risky. Borrowing the items until a later time, we promised to look into the issue when more members of the Learned Order of the Rune were available to assist.
Our next stop was Council of Silencius. The trip was both short, and an extended one. We only needed to go as far as one corridor away from the cluttered faculty office. Intoning the special incantations, I created an extra dimensional doorway to enter. We entered the familiar room with blindfolds, and the same old wooden door. We waited for our guide to arrive, but a servant of Morrow will not be delayed. Confidently, we forged ahead through the door on our own. Later, the guide came out in the nether-realms and met us. How such a man can find his way through that nightmare space is beyond me. The mind twisting terrain, and sense-shunting images. I remember it well. How can I ever forget? But to make sense of it…. To put it into words is impossible. I was confident that Morrow would guide us through. Surely, the guide is full of swagger, and led us about blindly and randomly. No sane mind could make up nor down of that place. Perhaps he is touched by a demon. He warrants further consideration in another entry.
On the other side, we met not with Naes Srond but a cabal of secretive men. The Silencius. They put forward their mission: to stamp out demon worshippers and diabolic influences on the mortal plane. Ironic that they would employ that infernal imp to guide their guests. They laid out a simple task that needed to be done. Lady Dashingham is suspected to be dealing with diabolic worship. This corroborates what I saw at the horse track, the way she seemed to be praying, the subtle movement of lips, and the deep concentration. We would need to investigate her further and find more definitive proof of her heresies.
Finally, we had enough time in the god-given day to visit the asylum. Louis Lewell, the hero of the war was locked up there, in a catatonic state. We were given his name by an unreliable source, a foul creature who gave up his humanity when he opted to dabble in unborn fetuses to create unholy, clockwork abominations. I do not regret bringing him to the judgment of Morrow, and given the opportunity would do so again. Surely, he had nothing of value to us beyond his filthy lies, and crafty misdirections. Nonetheless, my fellow order members believed that talking to Lewell would not be a waste of time. How could such a hero be involved in such perversions of nature? I hoped we would not sully his name. To add shame to his unfortunate mental state would be too much.
In the asylum itself Lady Hellith wisely stood well away from the doorway as we attempted to interview the poor man. We noticed runes circling his body, ostensibly to keep him from casting magic while in his fragile mental state. However, twisted, black tendrils were interwoven with the arcane blue runes. Nearly invisible, and leading off through the walls, they were a mystery. We hadn’t a chance to investigate further, because the uncouth Khadorian started a rant of military doggerel and mislaid patriotism to earthly governments. This seemed to unhinge Lewell, who suddenly stood up and yelled at him to shut his mouth. Then the patient attacked us!
Lewell seemed to sense Lady Hellith through the walls, and his maniacal face gleamed with anticipation. The Lord Morrow teaches us to look out for our fellow man. In this case it was a woman. And an elf. But we protect our own, no member of the Learned Order of the Rune stands alone. We all interceded between Louis and his prey. Arcane energies flashed back and forth across the small room until we stood victorious.
Curiously, Lewell exploded and sprayed gears, transistors and pistons all over the room. Yannov suffered grievous injuries from the suicide burst, but survived. Surely Morrow’s guiding hand deflected the worst of the shrapnel and kept him alive.
Aha, divine light seemed to touch upon this mystery. Parts of the diabolic plan now became apparent. It seems that an evil coven of clockwork surgeons assembled a simulacrum of Lewell, and inserted assorted weapons and traps meant to kill Hellith. Perhaps their plan derailed when the doppelgänger went catatonic and was sent to the asylum.
Finally, on the way home, outside of the Order headquarters we were greeted with an unwelcome sight. Some boorish man wished to duel Hellith. After hurling some crass insults, she showed to be the classier of the two and simply walked away. I will pray for the lady tonight. It seems that everyone is targeting the poor Iosan, from receptionists, to boors, to insane androids.