Ruins of Adventure
13 Tarsakh, Year of the Maidens
Abbot Claudius Morshiem, Priory of Torm, Iriaebor
The High Council of Torm, Knight of the Golden Wyrm Cathedral , Waterdeep
My most loyal and noble servant-lords of our patron Torm,
Word has no doubt reached you concerning the ascension ceremony which occurred a fortnight ago in our own humble city. We have undertaken a thorough investiagtion of the events so that we might provide you with an accurate description of the events and the individual central to them. No doubt you will appreciate the care with which this process was conducted and will forgive the necessary delay this missive in our search for the truth.
As your records will no doubt reveal, among the list of initiates seeking to participate in this year’s Inquisitorial aptitude exam, was one Josef deVorn – a young man of humble beginnings who, by all accounts, was driven to excel in his studies during his time at seminary here in Iriaebor. We believe it was this zealous fervor to impress our lord – and not nefarious double-dealings, as some local rumor-mongers have been heard to suggest (individuals who are now guests of our local facility) – that motivated him to take such an admittedly foolish risk in an attempt to secure a position in the esteemed ranks of our Inquisition.
deVorn took it upon himself to investigate some rumors coming out of a village outside the walls of Asbravn, at the foot of the Sunset Mountains. It is important to note that, at this time, no substantiated claims had been made and no proof of infernal machinations discovered. Nevertheless, deVorn traveled to this village and, using the knowledge and skills obtained during his training with us, uncovered a plot to infiltrate and overthrow Asbravn by means of demonic possession. Having ascertained the nature of the threat, the initiate then attempted to exorcise the fell spirit and put an end to the threat.
As you know from our previous report, the results were … explosive, to say the least. While it is true that a handful of villagers perished in the exchange – a simple case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time – we have confirmed that the demon was successfully exorcised.
Unfortunately, deVorn was not left unmarked by the incident; it appears that deVorn’s strategy resulted in the demon possessing /him/ briefly before being expelled from our reality. Torm was kind – the young man’s unwavering faith held firm and he retained his sanity and came through mentally unscathed. His body, however, was indelibly marked: skin red as blood, eyes that glow like embers, and horns sprouting from his forehead.
Upon investigating the site the morning after the exorcism, we pronounced Josef deVorn deceased and took possession of his ‘remains.’ Spiriting him back to Iriaebor, we were astounded at how quickly he seemed to recover from his injuries. Indeed, hearing of his success seemed only to stoke his desire to serve Torm as an Inquisitor.
It is the sincere belief of this House – those of us who know, that is – that Josef deVorn is a capable, devoted follower of Our Lord, and wholly worthy of the title Inquisitor and the rights and duty associated with it. We also believe that while deVorn’s heart may be in the right place, the veneer of a devil – however false – may server to hinder and possibly even call in question the credibility of work as agents of Torm’s will in this world. to that end, we ask that you authorize this individual to operate as an independent contractor supported, in an unofficial capacity, the Tormian Inquisition.
Faust, for his part, is already talking about the possibility of bringing the light of Torm into Zhentil Keep, something that we, in an official capacity, have been unable undertake. It is a not unwelcome thought, as the Zhentarum have been a thorn in our side for quite a while – as Torm wishes, of course.
We early await your decision.
Torm’s Truth be upon you.
14 Eleint, Year of the Maidens
Brother Faust, marked by darkness, redeemed of Torm – Tormic shrine, Hillsfar
Abbot Claudius Morshiem, Priory of Torm, Iriaebor
My esteemed brother, I have been in Hillsfar but two days (four by the reckoning of Goodman Moonwind), and already so much has happened. Suffice it to say: there is evil afoot in the city of Hillsfar and I feel called to stand against it. Indeed, I fear that I may be the only person in this (literally) bedeviled city with the courage to do so, by the grace of Torm. This in no way diminishes my desire to see the Zhentarim broken and, indeed, it appears that their wickedness has at least some connection to the shadow that hangs over this oppressed city.
The Zhentarim have inflicted a plague upon this city, intent on destabilizing the region and seizing power in the chaos. To be honest, brother, I’m not so sure saving Hillsfar – at least in its current incarnation – is the right thing to do. The Maalthir have oppressed the populace through heavy-handed laws and the constant threat of execution, should anyone stand up for themselves. I know there are some among us who believe that Torm blesses those who help themselves, but I also believe that he would want us to stand up for others – to help them learn to stand for themselves.
To this end, I have decided to rebuild the abandoned temple just outside the city. The structure itself is quite sound, though the furnishings and vestments have either long sense been looted, or succumbed to rot and mold. It was in this temple that I sought to healing light of Torm, but where I found the wicked Zhentarim defiling the resting place of St. Durham Waningstar and stole the holy text interred within. I did my best to stop them, but as Goodman Moonwind and I fought nine of them unaided, the tenth spirited himself away by arcane means. We are not without recourse, however, I took from the Zhents a map, detailing their hideout, and the name of their leader – Hadonis. According to a survivor I interrogated, the Zhents feared that the text could cure the plague they were spreading, and threatened their plans.
Even now, I am making plans to raid this camp and reclaim the St. Waningstar’s lost property, for I believe it is essential to stopping the plague in Hillsfar. It would also bring Torm much glory for his disciples to end the plague, and put us in an excellent position to enact further change in Hillsfar.
Any and all support – military, financial, ministerial – the other temples could provide would be most welcome. I have already charged some locals living near the temple with helping us to begin renovations. Until the living situation at the temple has been sorted out, I will continue to use the shrine within the walls of Hillsfar as my base of operations. Be warned, though, that the Maalthir will arrest and execute any they catch carrying metal weapons in their city. I don’t know if they fear an uprising, or if this is a clue to some deeper mystery, but it will have to wait until St. Dumas’ stolen book is reclaimed.
The light of Torm be upon you.
PS: If we have any information on the lower planes – the Abyss, in particular – please send me a copy.