29th day of Frumentum, 43rd year of the Dragon Age
Upon our arrival in Denerim, Lord Rickon and I returned to the Wardens’ headquarters, and I received my next assignment. My new task is twofold: first, I am to investigate the elven alienage of this city, as the Wardens have grown suspicious of the lack of progress being made by the healers within. Second, I am to once more seek out those who serve the mage Azriel, and accompany them so as to seek audience with their master. The Wardens have taken an interest in the mage’s grand design, and would have me see it carried successfully to its conclusion.
At first, I feared that these two tasks were to prove mutually exclusive. Yet fortune smiled upon me, for when I arrived at the alienage I was greeted by the servants of Azriel, who sought to investigate that stricken place for reasons of their own. By invoking the authority of the Wardens I was able to secure our access to the quarantined alienage, and we made haste towards the sanatorium where the healers were — allegedly — treating those who were suffering from the plague.
From the outset it was clear that all was not well in that place. The healing staff were not pleased at our arrival, and became even less so when we demanded a review of their documents and facilities. An investigation of their kitchen revealed the food they were serving their patients to be tainted with some foulness, while the records they kept of treatments raised the question of what happened to those few who seemed to actually recover their vigor within these walls. Finally, in the depths of that profaned house of healing, we discovered the truth: those who had claimed to be soothing the elves’ affliction were in fact slavers of the most base sort, who broke the minds of those who survived their ministrations and carted them off to a dismal fate. Their ruse uncovered, they sought to bury evidence of their crimes by setting their brainwashed victims upon us — including one who had previously served Azriel.
Fortunately, like many of those who would prey upon the weak, these slavers were no great tacticians. The arena they chose for their ambush allowed us to both minimize the threat posed to us by the brainwashed elves, and to unleash arrows upon them with near impunity. Finally, having grown impatient with the failure of his subordinates, the leader of the slavers — the erstwhile warden of this gaol — descended into battle himself. In keeping with the code of my order, I offered him a chance to surrender peacefully and submit to the realm’s justice. The man forsook that chance, and so with a mighty roar I charged into battle….