Attention Grand Council, I hereby submit my weekly report.
My colleagues Oisin, Keseim, and I arrived in Zaradine today in hopes of finding a ship to take us to Sankrist. Upon entering the town, one of the low folk, a sailor I believe, approached me and offered his aid in finding lodging. He lead us to the Three Fishes Inn and I compensated him with enough payment to be an incentive to further aid his brothers but not enough to encourage the laziness so common amongst his class.
Once inside, my entourage and I took seats near an elf maid named Kale. I observed that she partook only of vegetables and ale. While my low-born retainers imbibed sinful beverages, I declared that no spirits would pass these virtuous lips. Sadly the wine the owner brought me was not fit for a gully dwarf.
Shortly after we began to eat Quint the Odoriferous crossed the threshold of the inn. I must say that his moniker is well earned, he smelled of rotting fish with a hint of muskrat four days departed. His condition elicited much merriment amongst the low-born in the common room. Quickly I berated both the snickering serfs for their lack of charity and the wretch for his lack of dignity. I was in the midst of explaining the virtue of cleanliness, when I was approached by a lout named Erol. Erol, who claimed to be part of some common-bred militia, informed me that Quint was a Leper.
I quickly determined that a Leper was in fact a human inflicted by some curse. I suggested that we set about killing the foul sorcerer that had cursed him at once! I was shouted down by the superstitious rabble in the room who were under the impression that no evil magic was at work here. To my dismay, even my retainers subscribed to this insane "germ theory", insisting that this was not the result of witchcraft.
I suggest that an inquiry be launched to determine what kind of creature or man is turning humans into Lepers.
As soon as that disturbance settled down I was approached by Giffery Goldenfingers, a lute bearing minstrel conversant in the Tales of Huma. He informed me that one week prior to our meeting, a woman had been murdered by the docks. He further disclosed that her skull had been penetrated by long cylindrical bores approximately the circumference of a late Romantic Period silver piece. Applying the forensic skills that I will soon gain in your training, I determined that she was the victim of a Mind Flayer.
Seconds after I annunciated my hypothesis, we were attacked by two kender. Their lack of fear, and distant expression allowed me to conclude that they were in fact in thrall to the foul Illithid that had murdered the poor wench by the docks. Sadly, my companions allowed them to egress from the inn without seizing them.
Goldenfinger proceeded to tell me that the town had been suffering from repeated attacks by a mixed force of goblins, hobgoblins, and gnolls. The humanoids had not yet breached the town's defenses, a fact that perplexed me considering the sad state of the palisade and the unremarkable pedigree of the defenders.
At this point our repast arrived, a spread that the inn keeper claimed contained beef. Upon tasting this "beef", I was immediately in fear for the well being of my horse, Oedipus. I initially feared that our spread consisted of our faithful steeds. This turned out to not be the case.
How my horse came by the name, "Oedipus", is a tawdry tale that I will not repeat here. Let us just say that he has only one eye as a result of those unfortunate incidents.
At this point Goldenfingers was attempting to engage me on the finer points of Huma-lore. "Mr. Goldenfingers," I asked, "do you expect me to talk?"
"No sir," he replied, "I expect you to dine!"
Sadly, the sad state of our meal prevented this, so I retired to burnish my armor.
Upon returning to the common room, surrounded by that special glow that one gets only after a vigorous waxing of the codpiece, I learned that we were to seek the advice of the local wizard, Martin. When we arrived at Martin's run down shack, I watched in horror as my manservant, Keseim, stood outside the door in apparent fear. I instructed him to observe as I declared my presence like a man. A sharp knock on the door, and a bold announcement of my station summoned the wizard promptly. Sadly, Keseim was playing with a snake instead of paying attention.
Martin told us that he had recently felt a magical disturbance emanating from an old burial ground to the south of town. We departed at once for the unconsecrated cemetery to the south. We found the necropolis in a state of ill repair. I at once set off to right some grave stones that had been allowed to topple. As I approached, Kale drew my attention to a sod covered accumulation of earth nearby. I must say, I was surprised to see that Kale was with us, I had not retained her, and had not noticed that she was accompanying us.
I gently probed her grassy mound with my lance. Without delay, it ejaculated a strange, gaunt, form. The beast attacked me, but I deflected its blow with my sinistral shield. It was in that moment that I determined that these were Mind Flayer thralls disguised as undead.
The cleric Oisin felled my adversary with his morningstar; Kale recovered quickly from the shocking consummation of our exploration and slew another with her bastard sword. I charged one to the right and ran him through. The elf made quick work of another opponent and my lance claimed another. Keseim made a vain attempt to damage one with some kind of gilded arrow. I put a stop to the fight with a smart right wheel and a thrust of my spear through the remaining wretch.
As the din died down, we heard a rustling in the nearby copse. A goblin jumped out and shewed his bare anus to our party. I made at once to attack them, when my manservent informed me that there were two score and three knights on the way. I thought the cavaliers had come to aid us, but instead they were seeking our aid in repelling an attack on the town. Keseim clarified that we faced a false column, meant to distract us from the real battle.
Our arrival at town must have scared off the other invaders, for I saw no sign of them.
I shall continue my investigation in to this Mind Flayer, I strongly suspect that he is using the demihumans as a distraction from his real plot.