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 (This is the first of a series of posts based off of my experiences in this season of Dungeons and Dragons Encounters, told from the perspective of my character, the half-elf warpriest Lucien Lightfellow. It basically serves three purposes: recapping the events of each Wednesday night session, amusing those readers who may be familiar with D&D, and just working on improving my own writing skills. The latter was inspired by one of my buddies, who is also my DM this season)

It has been a long time since I began the practice of keeping a logbook. Despite the years, I can still vividly recall the day Captain Raff asked me to help with the record keeping after that nasty disease (that to this day I still have been unable to pin down) had claimed all but a handful of his officers and senior sailors. Had this been while I still resided in Veltalar, the good captain might have had to suffer my petulance at being asked to perform more than what I was required to do as spiritual adviser. Thankfully I had since learned that the dangers of the world have no respect for rank or station, good or evil, and affect everybody equally.

It has been a long time since I reported to Captain Raff. For that matter, a long time since the circumstances that saw me leave home and end up on the ship with him. Yet even as a wandering healer and spiritual adviser, still I write. It is likely out of habit more than anything, but I digress.

Whether it is coincidence, or whether it is the grace and will of Pelor, it was fortunate that the summons of Lady Bron were issued when they did. I normally do not travel anywhere near Elturgard, as a nation formed by holy warriors and devoted to Torm obviously have little need of guidance from one not of their faith. As it was, however, I was passing through on my way to Scornubel to see if I could find some work, and the summons reached my ears on the very day I was planning to leave the city. This assignment is far from routine, and promises to be far more dangerous than almost anything I have done, but after learning about it I am convinced that the assignment was meant for me. At one time I might have even believed that only I alone could do it, but only the foolish or ignorant would think this.

There have been rumors of an outbreak of the Abyssal Plague in the village of Easting, not far from Iriaebor proper. This disease is not unknown to me, as it was one of the many diseases I had learned about when I was trying to determine just what sort of pestilence had left Captain Raff with barely half a crew so many years ago. The Abyssal Plague is a supernatural disease that has the capability to turn an infected person into a demon. It can be transmitted by food or drink, but typically by being wounded by a demon that serves as a carrier. While roughly half of those wounded in such a fashion survive, a quarter will die and the rest will become demons themselves. The symptoms include festering wounds, boils, growths of crimson crystal. Needless to say, it is a very painful way to die, or worse ...

Obviously I am not undertaking this assignment alone, since dealing with potential demons, not to mention the other dangers that could be associated with epidemics and pandemics, is extremely dangerous to do by oneself. Still, the companions that I will be working with are proof that the words "Abyssal Plague" scared off the braver adventurers, or Lady Bron is extremely desperate for a solution and resolution to this problem. Perhaps the latter, as surely there was someone with more expertise than me, on the Abyssal Plague in particular, that could have done something. Or perhaps my companions were chosen more for their prowess in combat than their talent in dealing with disease, for despite whatever they may be lacking in the latter, they possess an abundance in the former.

Of the four, only the genasi elementalist, Cedric Stormbringer, seems to be something that could be considered a decent and normal sort despite being somewhat the nebbish. Then there is Clash, the minotaur rogue, who probably could fit that description but seems to prefer, even revel, in being loud and violent. The other two have names I can not spell and personalities that are more of a mystery. The dragonborn paladin claimed to be an atheist and spun some sort of story about how his name, Lohse DiGeim (or however you spell it), is a big deal. The tale could probably make a great adventurer that much more fantastic, but it really just sounded overly pretentious. The warlock, who claimed to be a half-elf but looked like no half-elf I had ever seen before, never introduced himself beyond mentioning his name once (a name I can not remember how to pronounce, never mind spell) and acted so unnaturally at every turn that he could only be either amusing himself or doing a poor job at hiding something.

Despite everything I just wrote, their fighting skill definitely leaves little to be disparaged. All they lack is focus and tactical thought, and all that takes is organization. This I learned firsthand, as we not only discovered that the rumors about the Abyssal Plague were very much true, there actually were demons in the village itself, and not those that were once infected humans. They were discovered in a barn that was being used to quarantine the infected, and killed a few of them as well as nearly infecting Clash before we could send them back where they came from, but instantly our assignment has taken on an urgency. An urgency that might have been new to the others, but I had already foreseen it.

There will be more details to come. Even though I suspect this is only the beginning, I have a feeling even my predictions and expectations will be challenged here ...

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jkmoreno

May 2012

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