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Hulean Correspondence 14

by Christian Constantin

Jandak, Yarthmont 26, AC 1010

Dear old friend,

I hope that you were not worrying too much about my fate. Three weeks have passed since my last desperate letter, but you wouldn't believe what I have lived during these three weeks.

We were first made prisoner by the Hulean Guard in the sewers of Debredladany. We fought fiercely but were force to surrender under the weight of the number of Huleans pouring into the secret cave. Many Monzag rebels died while trying to escape, but, in the end, it was useless to fight anymore. The Huleans brought us out of the underground tunnels. I saw that they had captured other Monzag rebels, but that Katerina, the cleric from Olgaria wasn't among them. I thought that my fate was to finish at the hands of a Hulean executioner, but that wasn't to count on the Immortals. Praise Halav and Petra, contrarily to the rebels who were put to the axe swiftly, as a foreigner, I was brought to Seyvan (the capital of the Hulean kingdom of Karsun) for a full trial.

There, destiny smiled again upon me. At first, all the odds seemed against me: the jury was made of angry-looking Holy Men willing to use me as an example of how disruptive foreigners should be dealt with within Hule, the popular crowd was responding to their violent religious exhortations, and I wasn't fluent enough in Hulean to invent a lie that would have saved my life. The tide, however, shifted rapidly, when a man stood among the first ranks of the audience, and began a vigorous plea on my side. He told the jurors and the crowd that my knowledge of the City-States could be of good use for the Master, that my magic could be studied in order to improve Hule's military capacities, and, also, that after living for a while in Hule, I would adopt their superior customs and believes and become a powerful asset in the hands of the Master. He suggested that my sentence should be downgraded from the death penalty associated with spying charges, to a sentence of confinement in his own tower in Jandak (Hule's metropolis and the siege of the central religious bureaucracy). He also asked for my belongings to be given back for further magical studies. After some discussions, I saw that, out of respect for my saviour, the jurors agreed to give my life to this lone man. The crowd did also seem to be impressed by this man since only whispers came out of the formerly enraged populace when the decision was made public.

At that moment, I didn't knew how lucky I was to be taken by this mysterious man. It is only two days later, when he and a small group of Hulean military came to take me out of Seyvan's Dungeon, that I understood why this man was so respected: he is at the head of one of Hule's biggest wizards' guild. This discovery made, I also knew that it would be quite difficult to escape this man's grip once on his own terrain. However, I also knew, that it was no time to try heroic actions. But, moreover, I was curious about that man, and the knowledge I could get from him, such a man would have a terrific library from which I could draw answers to my questions about the Master, Hule and the neighbouring lands.

I was right! My host prove to be one of the most interesting person I have ever met. He is like a sponge to knowledge, every words that we exchange during a discussion look like if they are absorbed by him and computed to serve hidden goals. He his far from the cruel and brutal goblinoids which often represent Hule, he's cold and calculator, not evil in nature, even though one could see that he is used to deal with evil forces. There is this kind of dark light behind his eyes, that tells that I'm part of a bigger scheme, which I can't even have a glimpse of. They gave me my belongings back, they don't know about the real purpose of the small box through which I've sent you my letters, they think that the only other receiver is the one in my office in Slagovich, and I've told the Holy Men that this device will help me to get information from my own place.

Today, was the first time that they've left me alone in the Guild's library, where only non-magical books and parchments are kept, I had the time to copy an official map of the Empire, which I send you with a resume of my readings about Hule's geography.

Praise the Immortals for my fate lies in Their hands.

Your friend,

Zoran Dragovic