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Of Men and Madness
Like a moth drawn to an open flame and risking death at every lunge toward it, so I again ventured toward the home of my erstwhile friend Beechel Kyre. Upon arrival at his door he initially treated me as a stranger, but then, at length he allowed me inside his home to talk with him, instructing me to refer to him as 'Lord Kyre' and not Beechel, of whom he said he knew nothing. It was my good fortune that he was not as dangerous as I had feared. Nor was he disheveled in appearance or raving. Indeed, I was quite taken aback by his amazing clarity of mind as he talked… quite unlike the uncouth babblings of a deranged mind. 

 I immediately noted changes in him. His hair is now completely white, cut short in military fashion, and he never removed his full plate verite armor even though it hindered him as he worked to feather bolts for the heavy crossbow he carried slung over his shoulder. I observed that his wife, Nyssa, was not present, but I was afraid to ask him about her or his children. He had apparently hired new servants as well. 

He told of his desire to re-enlist as a guard in his Majesty's service and of being rebuffed by the guards at the gate to Lord British's Castle. 

"I thought they would surely remember me, but they just laughed when I told them I was returning to duty. I have decided to return to duty on my own, whether I am paid or not," he stated, proudly. "I am looking for an outpost so that I may continue to rid the land of the Orcs which threaten us all." 

I had seen no real number of Orcs in the area for quite some time and wondered what he was talking about. I asked him about the Orc menace of which he spoke. 

 "You've nae seen them?! They wander this area almost daily, hordes of them infest the forest to the north! Only their fear of the royal guards keeps them away, but even then sometimes their thirst for blood gets the best of them. I am attacked by them constantly when I wander outside. I am beginning to take it personally!" 

I was truly dumbfounded. I saw footprints, but no Orcs, on my way in. I told him as much. 

"Then ye be blind sir! I had believed it was the work of that.. that.. Anton fellow." Then, smiling rather maliciously, he confessed, "I have plans for him. He is behind all this and no one can convince me otherwise! My "friends" across the way," he said, pointing south toward the Brazen Monkey Tavern, "believe I have done some evil deed and am being punished for it. I am sure Anton has convinced them of it. Not only has he tried to rob me of my land, he now fills their heads with slanderous lies about me! I no longer know whom I can trust... but I know of a certainty what I can trust," he stated confidently, patting the immense and razor sharp blade of his halberd, which lay on the bed beside him. 

This was enough for me. I excused myself and thanked him for his time, promising to return and inform him if I heard any word about his nemesis, Anton. Of that one I know little except that he is a self-proclaimed devotee of the Virtue Justice. I will find him and learn where his heart lies in this matter, if it is, like mine, set upon freeing Beechel of this terrible curse or if it is given over to darkness and seeks his ruin. 

Published: September 2000
Please Note: Some dates are estimates as exact dates were unavailable.
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