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February 4, 2012

…After resting for a few days from our victory over Lord Alar and his Glimmering Fire orcs, I decided it was time to tour my Viscounty. I wanted to get a feel of its people and economics so I could determine what improvements were needed to see my lands become prosperous. I started my tour by making contact with the Village of Blofeld’s Town Burgher a man named Hamrick.I found Town Burgher Hamrick a capable man for his job. He was well spoken, efficient and has a deep love for Blofeld and its people. He will be a great asset in furthering my plans for Blofeld Village.

Hamrick provided an excellent tour of Blofeld Village. A mining village located at the foot of the mountains in a cup shaped valley, with Blofeld Tower being located at the foot of Blofeld mountain between the mountain and the village. The village is a small and rural but prosperous due to an existing gold and jewel mine being worked by the village miners. The populace seemed to be sturdy, dependable, healthy and in good spirits. After finishing our tour of the village and mine Hamrick , Bax Edin and our party rode about a mile north of the village to locate the entrance to our new platinum mine. On the way back we surveyed the route for a future road that would link the new mine to Blofeld Village.

Our party then rode east, about an hours ride, to tour the village of Blofeld Hills and its surrounding settlements. Blofeld Hills is an even smaller settlement, which has a village center surrounded by farming settlements. Both village and settlements were spread out and exposed, especially with the potential of border raids from the Ethengar. We visited several shops throughout the village talking to the people about their concerns. While having a fine steak meal in the “Ingest” tavern Koff, its proprietor, told us about the reports of riders being seen throughout the settlements. Folks were worried these riders might be Ethengar. Just last year a cattleman’s daughter had been abducted along with some horses and cattle. Rumors around the village suggests the stealing of young women, horses, and cattle as a possible rite of passage for young Ethengar riders. It seems these riders are taking advantage of how spread out and exposed Blofeld Hills and the surrounding settlements are to raiding, with most of the raiding occurring along the eastern border. I need to consider constructing a small fortification here and support a mounted patrol to help protect the people.

We returned to Blofeld Tower to find our old friends Luigi and Max had come for a visit. As usual they had let themselves in and taken over two of my guest rooms and the private lounge. I noticed, with some suspicion, they had deposited a strong box and several paintings in the lounge, in addition to their other gear. They claimed to be here visiting because things had heated up in Glantri City and they needed to get out of the city for a while till the situation calmed down. Based on what I know about Luigi this did not surprise me at all. We spent the rest of the afternoon catching up on news and gossip from Glantri City. Towards evening there arose a commotion outside my tower. Hamrick and several village men were outside with lanterns and pitchforks. They informed me that Hamrick’s house had been robbed, with the thieves having made off with the Burgher’s strongbox, his wife’s family jewels and some paintings. My thoughts quickly turned to the items Luigi and Max had deposited in my parlor. I directed Hamrick and his men to secure the village while I began an investigation. Once they left I went directly to Luigi and confronted him about his role in the theft. As I arrived in the lounge they were examining a large arcane tome bound in wood and black leather with a golden clasp bearing an emblem on the front. It was titled the “Procosis Immortalis Enchantrix”, written by a wizard named Procosis. It was an arcane text that dealt specifically with techniques of enchantment, component preservation, component usage and was also a reference on known immortal artifacts. A rare and valuable book especially for a wizard, and obvious bait for their elaborate trap….to have me deal with a problem they wanted resolved.

In truth it annoyed me they would not simply ask me for my help instead of cooking up this elaborate ruse, but the game was already afoot and I would play my part. The situation was this: The Fellowship of the Pouch wanted Astera, Rayd Varion’s rogue friend, neutralized, as she posed an unwanted threat to their organization and operations. Luigi and Max had stolen the Procosis Immortalis Enchantrix from Rayd’s personal collection and left enough clues to lead Astera and her axeman companion on a chase of the thieves that led them to Blofeld. How convenient. Luigi and Max then robbed Hamrick’s house and proposed I pin the robbery on Astera and her companion. In return they offered me the book, for a fee, and would completely furnish my currently unfurnished tower. Detaining Astera and her friend, then sending them back to Rayd in disgrace but no worse for wear was worth what they offered, however, I should have know they had other plans. What they failed to tell me was that neutralized meant dead, something I would not have agreed to as it would be a clear abuse of my position. As it turned out I had to learn this lesson the hard way. Friend or not I will never make the same mistake again regardless of the prize.

But I digress. The stolen items were planted. Astera and her companion were confronted, accused, and detained for questioning. During their questioning Astera’s axeman companion became angry at the accusations and demanded trial by combat, challenging Blofeld to produce a champion to defend its accusations. I feeling his challenge to be no different than an honorable wizards duel accepted his terms and Elias accepted his challenge. The duel was impressive and quite the spectacle. The axeman was very skilled and at one point I thought he might prevail against my friend, however, in the end Elias won the day. Feeling the situation resolved I was unprepared for what happened next. Hamrick, oh his own free will I do not know, hefted the axeman’s axe and beheaded poor Astera who was weeping over her fallen comrade. A search of her person revealed jewelry, clearly planted, belonging to Hamrick’s wife. That was all that was needed to prove these outsiders as guilty. Hamrick and his men swiftly took care of the cleanup and all returned to their homes impressed by the might of Blofeld’s champion Elias and feeling justice had been served. I suppose I was the only one who walked away with a bad taste in my mouth. Luigi and Max packed up and left the very next day…△

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