Last night a Zmei tried to burn my home. From above it roared, loosing torrents of flame with maliceful purpose. The Inn, the Town Hall, and my Menagerie were all burned to some extent. As I rushed to extinguish the flames, I was struck with a moment of clarity. In it, I saw the moon gazing down between glowing spirals of rising embers. She was watching me.
I transformed into a water elemental and doused the flames. Others helped, including new faces from both Tuskendale and Casmaron. The damage was less than it could have been, but more than I would have liked. I knew immediately that we had to take the fight to this Zmei and kill it before it returned, but I had no idea how to go about such a task.
The path forward is less clear that I would like. The Zmei made it clear that it would come back in three days, unless a particular maiden was brought to it and made its bride. Given that we had no way of finding the beast itself, my friends and I focused on finding the maiden, a girl the Zmei called Vadania. Apparently she had lived in Tatzlford, so I’m sure I must have met her, but I don’t remember her.. No others seemed to know more than me, none could speak to where she might be.
It was Ray’s magic that gave us direction. He told us that we had to find the Seer of a bandit named Dovan, a scoundrel that has eluded my watchers since before I arrived to lead them. To my considerable annoyance, Eoghan revealed that he knew where Dovan had been hiding all along—he just hadn’t seem fit to share the knowledge. Now Gaeren has entered into a deal with Dovan, trading his Seer’s expertise for information for asylum. Regardless of whether such arrangements are his to make, I note that I have agreed to no such deal. If Dovan thinks he can escape me by fleeing to Casmaron, he will find himself very sadly mistaken.
But first we must deal with the Zmei. It’s already been two days since the attack, and we appear to be only marginally closer to Vadania. If Dovan’s Seer is correct, then we will find her in the woods west of Tatzlford. We head there now at best possible speed, knowing that if we fail that Tatzlford will pay the price. This Zmei strikes me as a cowardly brute. I do not think it would give us the satisfaction of a fair fight.
I feel for my friends. The people of Tatzlford have more resolve than anyone gives them credit for, more courage in the face of danger, more strength to pick up and rebuild. I am proud at how quickly they responded to the fires and how much care they showed for the wounded. This is not the first time tragedy has visited them, nor will it be their last. It angers me that such good people should be faced with such craven evil.
As angry as I am, I look to the moon to show me the way. Like the turning of her faces, I know I must be metered in my response. Nothing good has ever come from acting too quickly or too rashly. All good things come with time, all good things with patience.