Special to the Korranberg Chronicle

Edgin Dowrik, Independent Correspondent

STORMREACH—Only days after their triumphant return from up the Rachi River, Zach’s Commandos have vanished once more! The doughty adventurers arrived with little fanfare, debarking from the cagey Chinxero’s modest and unassuming craft. From there, they quickly approached the Morgrave expedition headed by Provost Baris Kaven. Never one to shirk his responsibilities to you, Dear Readers, this reporter quickly approached the good captain.

“Dunno what they wanted, don’t care either,” Chinxero was good enough to say. Undaunted, this reporter applied his powers of persuasion to further loosen the river-dog’s tongue. “Took ‘em upriver a few days, then waited while they went inland. Was surprised they came back, but I brought ’em home. The rest is their business, so I’ll be on my way.”

Before he’d gone too far, Chinxero was persuaded to share this information: “It’s known well enough the river is dangerous. We were attacked on the way, by a few of those filthy Yuan-ti. Took one of my crew. Damn fools, those adventurers…but they know how to fight. Now quit follerin’ me!”

So there it is, Dear Readers! Bloodshed on the river, and an epic battle between the civilization of Khorvaire and the wild savages of Xen’drik! One can only imagine the clash of steel and claw, the darkly imposing reptilian bulk of a Yuan-ti Abomination emerging from the muddy depths of the river, only to be cut down by the efficient marriage of spell and steel, the forces of night repelled by the flash of spellfire off the brightly forged steel of the Sovereign Host!

And, Dear Reader, it did not slip this reporters’ notice that Chinxero let fall a new piece of knowledge, hidden in this melee: for leagues down the Rachi, the Yuan-ti menace has been pushed back, all but eradicated. For a group to boldly attack even Chinxero’s modest vessel is nearly unheard of. Is it possible Zach’s Commandos have traveled farther than thought possible? What jungle depths have they delved in these brief weeks? Ever questing for the truth, this reporter followed the group.

Provost Kaven’s “assistant,” a brightly-attired student, refused access to the Provost, claiming he was in a private meeting. Thinking only of you, Dear Readers, this reporter objected strenuously to this obstruction of the Press and was most brutally restrained by the more strapping individuals in the camp. After enduring their collegial hazing for some hours, I saw the Provost emerge from his tent, escorting none other than Zach’s Commandos to the perimeter! The odd Karrnathi woman, who you will recall arrived in Stormreach with Kaven, left with the group after companionably shaking hands with her former paramour. What ache must have twisted the provost’s heart, losing his companion to the siren call of adventure and glory!

What, you say? That there is no evidence of their love? I approached the Provost then, to discern what I could.

“What, Z? Ha! That’s a tree you shouldn’t climb, I assure you!” Clearly the armored response of a broken heart, the poor man.

But, Dear Readers, we have discovered this newcomer’s nom de guerre, “Z,” a most enigmatic sobriquet, indeed. But what of the party’s purpose? Why the protracted powwow in the provost’s pavilion? Where did they go, and with what have they returned? Kaven was more interested in diving into his academic studies once more, burying his lovelorn heart in his work, than in speaking to the press. Sympathetic to his loss, this reporter prepared to leave. But serendipity struck, Dear Reader, in the form of the very assistant who so rudely rebuffed our inquiries before. Emerging from the Provost’s tent with a shiny object in hand, the lad seemed unable to restrain his fervor.

“Provost! Where did these coins come from,” the youth exclaimed. “They are so clearly struck, and obviously from the sixth dynasty! These can tell us so much than this excava—” The Provost stopped the student with a sudden shove and a stifled shout, but already the sense of the matter had slipped.

Ancient coins from Xen’drik, unexpectedly discovered on the Provost’s desk. Clearly Zach has led his team deep into the continent, exploring the cyclopean ruins of the long-dead giants! These coins, a parting gift from his lady, have given us, Dear Reader, the final clues to the mystery of this expedition. We can only guess what artifacts the adventurers have discovered, and where they will take them now. But fear not, Dear Readers! This reporter remains alert, as ever!


TonyaL TonyaL

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