Alchemic Aberrations

A Letter Upon Leaving, To His Lord Eugene Clarke

To His Lordship Eugene Clarke,

—I must plead of your forgiveness. I have taken matters into my own hand without consulting you about them. But what you must know, what I need you to know, is that what I have done, I did for the safety of the peoples of your Kingdom.

—I believe that the scourge that is upon us may have an end. Kyde’s conversations with Evelyn and the research done by Glem Graveltoe are directing us to what I believe may be a solution. However, I could not have bade leaving you and your citizens if there were a prevalent threat, and I felt there was.

—Ulgrinn, the dwarf, who made his time flailing at trees and steins the same; something about him, Lord, was not what it seemed.

—We had ventured long into the woods, myself, Ulgrinn, and several others, on a quest for the then-living Twillix Hasslefoot. We were put upon by several trolls; I found my efforts to fend them off in vain. Ulgrinn became enveloped and I felt that he would not survive. I fled into the woods, relying on the darkness and my own determined sense of self-preservation to escape from the fiends. One of them followed me, but gave up the chase after some time. I spent the night in the hollow of a tree, hoping the daylight would ease my way back to Clarkestown. I awoke the following morning and managed to make my way back. Hours later, several of my companions also returned without Ulgrinn. They were scathed and worn, but for the most part the better, as was I. Sometime after, however, Ulgrinn emerged from the forest, as boisterous and flamboyant as he was on any day. I was spent in the Cleric’s Hall for several days; Ulgrinn was drinking and singing that night. Those that had simply fled the woods still returned the worse for wear; Ulgrinn bounded from the trees with nary a scratch, despite my recollections of his fate. And this is where the coin is revealed.

—I fear that Ulgrinn, should he happen to fall to some stroke of unluck, should the Terrors breach the Wall and he succumb to them, or perchance should he even be crushed under a tree felled by his own axe, that he may become as Roscoe had; a Scourge Lord, imbuing the undead around him with immense power, the likes of which few have ever seen, and perhaps even greater than I had ever thought possible.

—I entered Ulgrinn’s house last night, finding him in his normal state: passed out, snoring, drooling. I murdered him. Gods help me, I murdered him. I removed his head, as I have done with all the others. I removed his straw bed and buried his body six deep in the ground underneath it, putting the bed back to cover the grave. I carried his head out underneath my cloak and buried it in the ground behind his house.

—After this, I returned to the Nightmare Keep and killed the undead that I have been keeping there. I removed his head and carted him beyond the Wall, burying him in graves too deep to comprehend. I marked his graves with stone and pitch as well.

—Forgive me, My Lord. These things I have done, I can scarce comprehend. But in order to protect you, and the three hundred souls I leave in your care, I felt this must be done.

—I shall take my leave this morning with the others for the Tower in the Dwarven Lands. Even as I write this, the sun is rising. Know now, My Lord, that my conscience weighs heavy, for Ulgrinn, for Roscoe, for all of the things that I have done to keep You and these people safe.

—May the Gods protect You, and your Kingdom. And may we find an end to this. Be sure, My Lord, that I will return to face your judgment. I will not flee for fear of a life spent fettered in the dungeon, nor a dishonorable death upon the Hangman’s rope, nor the Executioner’s blade. I hope that you may read this, and understand me. I desire your forgiveness, but will honor your commands.

With Sincerity and a Heavy Heart,
Sir Turner, Head Justiciar of Clarke

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