I must apologize for what I can only imagine was a shameful piece of correspondence. I can only imagine, of course, because my inebriated state left behind neither fair copies nor detailed memories. I haven’t received your reply yet, and I dread that the letter might have fallen into that snoop, Alfredo’s hands. I shudder to consider the new heights of smugness he could reach with such a breeze beneath those pious little wings of his.
I assure you, I haven’t let drink or our bizarre circumstances blunt my edge. I have invested in better equipment (without compromising the overall profitability of this venture, of course), and I have gotten started on a network of sympathetic businesses here on the frontier. To start with, there is a talented alchemist in my debt here. Don’t worry — I’ve seen Father work long enough to know to start with small and simple favors. Over time, however, I think that he will become quite a resource.
I have also found an excellent source of easy income. The locals here are fond of a dice gambling game with simple principles that favor the house. I have taken to running tables with a rather fetching dice set I found in a dwarven keep.
I also had a meal with Cartor Percidan, a school chum who was appointed mayor here. He remains unimaginative, utterly blinkered to the potential his position offers for advancing his family’s name, but it was still pleasant to experience a bit of Yhilport society in this socially desolate place. Also, he already owes me five hundred gold, you’ll be pleased to hear.
Which brings us to the dull part of the letter: a tiresome rundown of the various magical beasts we have ourselves run down since last I wrote. The village was attacked, part of its wall blown open by some magical or alchemical force so that spectres, undead, and gnolls could invade. This is mainly notable because in the ensuing fracas, a misfired crossbow bolt seriously scratched the leatherwork on my brand-new set of studded armor, utterly ruining their natty effect. No amount of polish has been able to repair the damage. I think the wall is still broken, too.
Afterward, I was charged by the captain of the guard to bring back the head of the chief gnoll. My horse, which I have called Vivaldi after a rather talented violist I met in Yhilport, was invaluable in the pursuit, saving my strength for heroic performance in battle and keeping the soles of my boots clean enough to be presentable in polite company (with thorough washing to remove the stench of dead gnoll chief, of course).
The salient points here are one, that this involves the risible scenario of a Mantova working for a policewoman rather than the other way around, and two, that this policewoman’s family name is “Stoutbiscuit.” Honestly! I could never invent such a thing.
I write this as we return to the village; Vivaldi requires little steering, so long as someone else is walking ahead. I have suspicions about who is behind these attacks, which I am going to investigate. If I’m right, finding the party responsible will not only put law enforcement in my debt, but also open up a trove of magical equipment for auction or simple repossession.
Your loyal brother,
P.S. Rest easy. The Soris girl has proven herself not only pleasant company, but possessed of invaluable magical talent. I think that we will continue to get along famously.