Caravan heist averted : The mystery of the Insidiae is unveiled

Ceridwen the Historian

UP: Sonoma

    On Wednesday evening a group of noble adventurers, Frederick the guard, and myself undertook a journey. We escorted Aram the merchant and his caravan of packhorses from Britain to Skara Brae, knowing that sometime along the route we would be ambushed by a group of brigands. Ambushed we were, but by far more than just brigands.

    As we approached the mountain pass just west of Britain, many became wary. “A prime spot for an ambush, I’d say,” Aram pointed out. Despite the agreements of much of the group, the clueless and conceited Frederick would not stop to prepare for battle. Self-assured that there would be no ambush, he walked through the pass and right into a party of dozens of Ettins and Orcs. Though these were dispatched with little difficulty after the group donned their armor and weapons, the contempt for Frederick lasted for the rest of the journey.

    The infamous Warlords were the next to strike, utilizing surprisingly effective hit and run tactics to take down a number of our party. After a short period their tactics changed. How this helped them accomplish their goals or even what vile goals they had is still beyond me. They aimed their dark powers on the center of the caravan - the packhorses. Twice they spooked the horses, sending us into chaos as the party ran after the galloping horses with abandon. The threat at last subsided, and we resumed the road. The Warlords remain a mystery to me – a small group of highly trained and well-educated men that use their abilities for seemingly random acts of evil. What is the Warlords’ ultimate goal?

    The brigand ambush finally came as we rounded the bend into Skara Brae’s mainland village. A robed figure stood on the road, injured and seemingly helpless. We stopped to see what could be done, but before he could be approached a shadow fell over the road. Raising my head toward what was once the bright sun, the horrible visage of a daemon filled my view. In a panic we backed into a tight group as we each drew our weapon of choice. A battle ensued, and all four daemons were slain – but not without casualties.

    As the daemons murmured their last breaths, three figures stood a few yards from the battle, watching. Among them was the tall and quiet Lord Krandyr, the previously mentioned robed man. Beside him was Teryon, a younger and apparently less experienced member of the group. In front of both stood Lord Grythak, an imposing figure with a dark green robe and a sword of almost matching color – even from this distance one could see the green liquid oozing off that terrible blade. “You have something my master wants,” the words slithered off of Grythak’s tongue.

    Identified instantly as members of the Insidiae, we set upon them like a rabid pack of wolves. Terribly outnumbered yet still underestimating our party, Lord Krythak fell almost instantly under half a dozen swords, with Frederick screaming in the background to keep the thieves alive. Those with the gall to go one to one with Grythak’s blade quickly reconsidered, for man after man stumbled back in excruciating pain from the green poison. Teryon rashly dove into our attack, being quickly surrounded and forced to surrender. Grythak, with little care for his companions, was heard chuckling as he recalled out, leaving a book scribbled with “Ins” in his place.


    Only one was captured in the end. Teryon was brought to Nujel’m where he was interrogated that night by Frederick. The results were only somewhat informative. I spoke with Frederick at length Thursday morning concerning it, and this is what he had to say. “He knew little, most unfortunately. I could’ve told ye that before the interrogation, though. I’ve always had an eye for such things… I managed to learn what the Insidiae’s been itching to get its claws on most of all. Besides the great gems, including the Heart of Glory, the Noble Pride, the Vizier’s Sapphire, and even the emerald in ye wand, there is something they want involving the mage Sindl, which is why they stole those books ye’ve been looking fer from the Lycaeum. Teryon, being the simple thief he is, is not privy to the ‘why’ of these thefts, he just knows that he’s been promised ‘gold and glory.’ Hardly glorified now, ‘eh? Oh, he also hinted that he knew where the books were being kept, but he wouldn’t say. Not to worry, though! I’ll beat it out’a him soon enough.” And that was it.

    This is news, not commentary, so I shall keep my broiling thoughts and reservations to myself. Let me just say that these are no petty thieves. There is a great plan in action now, the head of which may or may not be Lord Grythak. If him or any other member of the Ins is sighted, report it immediately to Frederick in Nujel’m. As pompous as he may be, he is a competent guard. For now, I myself just politely request that the search for the books continue. They are obviously quite important to the Insidiae’s goals, and thus if we can retrieve them, we might get a glimpse at their schemes. Good luck to all of thee, and let not history repeat itself.


From the Town Cryer - The Journal of Ultima Online, Saturday, January 23rd 1999