I fear it is with heavy heart, my friends, that
I bring you this next tale in my ongoing search for information on the plague
that has haunted Kinship, Skara Brae, and Yew. I must apologize for not writing
of this sooner however given my recent illness and the troubles across the
lands, I have found little time for writing. It seems that much has happened!
I decided that perhaps Tatiana would be a good person to ask and decided to
travel to Minoc to visit her tent. Upon entering her tent, it took my eyes a
moment to adjust to the dark interior. The tent seemed to be filled with a light
smoke that smelled unusual and made me slightly lightheaded, but I proceeded in
nonetheless. Without ever looking up she beckoned me closer with one hand, never
saying a word. As I approached her I could see lights swirling in her crystal
ball, seeming to dance in response to her hands moving slowly about it.
I could hardly believe my eyes when I saw images begin to form inside the
crystal ball. I could see events taking place. All Tatiana said in her raspy
voice was, “Vatch and learn ov vhat ju seek…”
My eyes were filled with horrible visions of death. My senses were screaming at
me to look away yet I could not bring myself… I was compelled to watch it…
to learn of what I had missed. My horror grew rapidly upon seeing visions of
deaths all over… yet a few seemed to draw my attention. A lumberjack in Yew, a
young boy in Skara, an old miner in a shack in the woods by the dungeon Shame…
here and there… quiet deaths that never seemed connected yet were. There never
seemed to be enough to really show the enormity of the situation in any one
area, especially in light of all of the destruction wrought to the lands… yet
this plague was growing and spreading bit by bit.
I must admit that I had harbored some hope that the devastation across the lands
had also managed to wipe out the plague. However I fear this is not so. My
thoughts were brought back to the present by a muffled noise from Tatiana and my
vision once again focused on the crystal ball. I watched boats set sail from
some unknown area, one boat crashing at sea, one boat crashing on the shore near
Skara Brae scattering food everywhere, and one boat making it to Yew.
My horror increased ten fold as I watched people consuming the food here and
there… then saw the same signs of the plague. People were falling ill all
over, struggling to get to the healer’s shop and not making it… In time this
seemed to die back and the potency of the plague lessened somewhat. But each
time a new batch of food would arrive and more death would follow. Oddly enough,
an image of a mage drifted through all of them. His blue robes seeming to stand
out each time as if Tatiana were pointing him out to me almost. Who was he?
Then the scene shifted… I saw an image of an old hermit on an island… once
again confusion filled my mind. What did he have to do with this? Was he
creating the plague? I saw a group speaking to this man, then much to my
surprise, I saw them giving him furniture. Who was this man? And what did he
have to do with the plague?
A chill sped down my spine as I heard Tatiana’s voice almost as if she could
read my thoughts. “Patience child,” she said as the image shifted once again
in the crystal ball. I saw the people talking to the man again at the winery…
their voices seeming to echo as a faint memory in my head.
“Borrow my still?!”
“People are dying or something… they promised Ewan three chairs and a
“His brew may cure the plague.”
Suddenly it came clear in my mind. This man, this Ewan, had a cure for the
plague. But what had happened? Where was this man? Why had the cure not been
I quickly thanked Tatiana and set off for Yew to seek out Ewan and the master
brewer. Unfortunately what I found was even more disheartening. Both Ewan and
the master brewer had not been heard from for a few weeks now and no one had
been able to find any clues as to their whereabouts.
I must admit that at this point I was quite lost as to where to turn next for
information, but soon rumors started reaching me of people falling ill in the
new lands. From all that I have learned this plague has not only spread faster
in the Yew area of our homelands but it has also begun to appear in the lands so
newly opened to us as a refuge. Given this, I decided to double my efforts at
finding this brewer, Ewan. Something must be done and quickly to end this plague
before it spread even farther.
When I overheard a group of men speaking of a laboratory that had been
discovered in the old lands but which was inaccessible by any conventional
means… I felt a strong suspicion that this might be connected somehow to the
plague and I set out to investigate it.
As I stepped through the gate a scene of chaos met my eyes. What had obviously
been a very orderly lab lay in disarray as mages in red and blue robes scurried
about gathering up things. Realizing that I would soon find myself in trouble if
I did not act quickly I dashed under a table and hid. It seems my entry had been
relatively ignored as a mage in blue robes stood arguing with a group across the
room ordering them to leave at once. When the men did not respond, the mage
turned grumbling to himself and with a simple gesture commanded the other mages
to attack… I moved farther back into my hiding place as a battle ensued
lasting what seemed like hours before the men finally fled as the mage’s
pressed their attack furiously.
I nearly cried out as my foot brushed against something under the table. What I
found however was a simple leather bound book and I quickly set to reading it as
quickly as possible. Scanning the pages I saw Benedict’s plan unfold. He told
of preparing food for shipments to Skara Brae and Yew. I read of his
frustrations that Kinship would not purchase his food. But what frightened me
most of all were his tales of drugging a terathan and leaving it at the Court in
Yew. What did the terethan’s have to do with this? Why would Benedict bring
them here? Were they tied somehow to the plague?
I was quickly drawn back to my surroundings as I heard the mage whom I assume
was Benedict grumbling about losing his journal. I saw his feet approaching and
knew it was likely mere moments before I was discovered. I quickly shoved the
journal near one leg of the table as I scooted back even farther into the
shadows under the table, hoping that he would see it and not bother to look
under the table more. My ploy worked, thank goodness, and Benedict picked it up
then turned and walked off.
I dared to peek out a bit and watched the mage walk to a door across the room to
unlock it. An old man came out ranting and cursing about having left his home
for a fishing pole and a stool. Suddenly it occurred to me that I had seen this
man before… as well as the mage in the blue robes. They had both been in
Tatiana’s visions to me. The old man was Ewan!
Unfortunately, dear readers, I have to report with a heavy heart that Benedict
disappeared with Ewan into a gate. I knew that to follow would likely mean my
own death against so many mages. I fear that I have little more information on
his whereabouts than I did before I found this lab... but should I discover more
I will be certain to report it to you at once.
From the Town Cryer - The Journal of Ultima Online,