Catastrophe in New Thera!

Date: 06/22/2012 at 11:32
From: Anonymous
To : Everyone
Subj: Catastrophe in New Thera!

Jarring the senses of those attuned to the realm of Death one summer
afternoon, horrific visions of choking kittens and puppies brought both
the concerned and the curious to New Thera, where a smoking pile of
ashes was all that remained of one unfortunate building.

Barely able to breathe, the town's resident animal trainer, Daveed, was
badly injured and beside himself in despair. He had managed to rescue a
handful of creatures from the devastating fire, but guilt over failing
to save the rest weighed heavily upon his wheezing chest.

As allies gathered around with comforting words and soothing beverages,
Daveed was able to explain what little he knew of the day's unhappy
occurrence. Just a few minutes ago, he said, he had been attending to
the hygienic state of the cattery, when he suddenly found himself
standing in the midst of a raging inferno! The fire consumed his popular
shop within seconds, taking with it dozens of his beloved pets.

Casting their eyes about, onlookers soon discovered a series of clues
that led them to suspect foul play: a muddy handprint that stank of
swamp water, a squashed fire ant, and the burnt remains of a pair of
frog legs, which appeared to have been recently eaten.

A search party quickly formed, their destination: Enverren Castle.
Surrounded by a muddy marsh, fire ants were known to inhabit the dungeon
of the castle, and sauteed frog legs were known to be the specialty of
the resident chef.

Suffering from an uncharacteristic bout of gravity (most uncommon for
devotees of Mischief), Spraeth Sinaire, a known follower of Pandora, was
thoroughly canvassing the neighbourhood for more information. "Have you
seen any strangers pass this way?" he inquired at the gypsy camp, and
was pointed westward by a man who, more than likely, only wanted to be
left alone.

After searching the marsh from top to bottom, adventurers finally came
upon an open grave where a madman crouched in the darkness, gibbering to
himself and lovingly petting the corpse of a raccoon. Identified as an
escapee from the twisted Creville Asylum far to the west, the man was
questioned repeatedly by the patient and persistent Odhrin Rian, but to
no avail. Claiming "the kittens made him do it" and other absurdities,
the inmate soon found himself staring at the clenched fist of the
occultist Tanris Rozzan, screaming and doubling over in agony as his
skin bubbled with gangrenous growths.

As the arsonist succumbed to the gruesome justice of Ashtan's overseer,
all was relayed to Daveed, who was resting in the company of Saerene
Seir and the golden dragon Enyd. The news brought little solace to the
man, whose heart was broken for his many lost pets.

With tears in his eyes, Daveed asked if anyone would take it upon
themselves to look after the few creatures he was able to save. He was
not disappointed: Saerene kindly offered to adopt a sightless terrier
puppy; Odhrin welcomed a scorched parrot who could no longer fly; to
Spraeth went a fiesty hairless fighting cat. Assured that the animals
now had good homes, Daveed departed in the direction of the Wander Inn,
there to recuperate and ruminate on what his future now held.

~ ~ ~

Several months followed, and soon the sounds of construction could be
heard in New Thera. In place of the shop's smouldering ruins now stood a
bright and airy new building, though considerably smaller than the
previous, with signage proudly proclaiming the launch of Daveed's Pet

~ ~ ~

To those who wonder if they'll ever have the chance to acquire the pets
previously offered by the vandalised vendor, we offer this counsel:
common creatures are rumoured to be traded from time to time by
seafarers who deal in cargo at Thraasi Harbour and Port Tasur'ke.

Penned by My hand on the 10th of Valnuary, in the year 599 AF.