Longetalos writes "A series of short notes are sent between an agent of the King of Nyrond, sent to infultrate a rag-tag group of petty theives, and his commander. But things are rarely what they seem to be, as the agent finds out...
The Fellowship of Shadows
by Richard Di Ioia (email@example.com)
Used With Permission. Used with Permission. Do not repost without obtaining prior permission from the author.
"My lord the Commander of Shadows, it has been a few weeks since you have given me this mission. All is progressing smoothly and I have infiltrated the lower ranks of the society. So far I have not found any indication of the final goals nor the who the leaders of the society are."
"Sleeper, you have been chosen because you have proven yourself. The king of Nyrond pays us well to uncover plots within his kingdom and report back to him. So far, we have not failed."
"My lord the Commander of Shadows, it has been two weeks since my last report. I apologize for not writing sooner but I have had very little progress in moving up the chain of command. This assignment is a lot more tedious and boring than I would have imagined. The thieves I am working with are not very qualified and I have to play down my abilities to not stand out. So far I have only been involved in some petty theft and sabotage. There seems to be no link between the targets or the items we are stealing. Judging from what I see here, the king has nothing to fear from this ragtag bunch. I suggest you place a junior member of our fellowship on this issue and transfer me to something more challenging."
"Sleeper, your request is denied. Continue with your research but do not expose our fellowship."
"Commander of Shadows, I think I might have found a new lead. I have been asked to team up with someone from 'higher up' for a special project in three days. I hope I can learn more about this society from that person. Nothing new to report apart from that - although I have been making quite a few coins for my old age from my share of the stolen goods."
"Commander, I have just had the most horrifying experience of my life. I think I am getting very close to the top of this society. I would have written sooner but I have been moved location and this new place is difficult to get in and out of. The special mission I had three weeks ago was to assassinate a priest of Zilchus. My partner was a priest of Death by the name of Lanegal. I met him on the outskirts of a village where the priest of Zilchus resided. I secretly led Lanegal through the thieves' highway to the back of the temple to Zilchus and broke in. When we found the priest's chamber the maniac Lanegal cast a spell that placed the Zilchite in a state of Death's stiffness. With the Zilchite still alive, but frozen in place, Lanegal began casting spells that created cuts on the Zilchite's body. The cuts slowly got deeper as Lanegal kept praying. I could see the fear and pain in the Zilchite's eyes, but there was nothing I could do without jeopardizing my mission. Eventually the cuts exposed the bones and muscles, yet the Zilchite did not die. Once the muscles on the arms and legs were fully severed, Lanegal cast a spell of silence on the area and released his holding spell on the Zilchite. I could see the Zilchite's mouth screaming, but no sound emerged. Finally Lanegal finished with his games and allowed the Zilchite to die. Then he did the craziest thing yet. He pulled out his knife and finished skinning the Zilchite. Lanegal then stripped naked and wore the Zilchite's skin over his own, following which he rolled around in the blood pooling on the floor. He then put his robes on over his new skin and we left the temple. I fear I will be cursed for life because of this."
"Sleeper, your sacrifice in this endeavor is appreciated. You are the best of the fellowship, find out who runs this society and we will find a way to absolve you of the curse."
"Commander, it's been two months since my last letter. This society is more twisted each day I spend in it. I thought the priests of Death ran it, but recent information has convinced me that they are but pawns as well. I came across some missives from our foes of the scarlet sign. I will follow up on that lead and report. I am pretty certain I have found the top leaders and we can put an end to this society once and for all."
"Sleeper, I have received some disturbing news from other sources. End the mission and return."
"I don't have much time to write this. I received your letter three months after my last missive. It is too late for me to leave now. I followed the recent leads I had and I have found some shocking information. The scarlet sign here is a puppet to the real leaders of this society. You are right to have asked me to expose this society. I will leave when it is safe, I am too deep to quit now - it is either them or me."
"Sleeper, what is your status. It has been six months since your last letter. Reply."
Note: Nyrond, Scarlet Brotherhood"