Welcome to the jungle
Searching for a cure has been a long journey. At first the humans offered several treatments from balsams and oils to leeches but it seems that nothing has helped you in the past. Even if you have never ceased in your search it seems like no human healing method can help you.
Rumors are that there are medicinal herbs in the jungle, good medicines that might help you if you find a good healer. Most of the humans of Arcadia mention it whenever they are asked, the jungle can heal, but it seems that it can also kill rather easily. Humans are scared; they have cut down most of the trees surrounding the small city and recluse themselves behind the wall. Even if you have tried no one has joined you in an expedition.
You are alone now, walking the Hangman Street by the arena of Arcadia when you hear a sweet voice.
-You seem sick little man.
The voice pertains to an elf, and since she is not completely covered you can ascertain that she is a woman. Her skin is pale and soft, but not as white as her hair, which is almost as white as snow. Her purple eyes almost don't look at you, like she keeps an eye on her surroundings. She appears to be young even if her colors might make her appear old, but you never can tell with an elf.
-Does it hurt?
It hasn't been a productive week and you know it. Arcadia seems apathetic like a tired crone. But rumors on the other side are erupting. Maron Goldtooth has a map, a dusty old map. Some say it's elven written on golden parchment with magical ink that swirls around to show the way. Some say that it's not parchment but human skin and the letters are of dry human blood, and if you listen to it you can hear the ululating voices of the tormented souls imprisoned on it. Others believe that it’s made of dragon skin and printed with fire.
Some rumors also mention that Maron has gone mad over it, like a crazy old fool. And they might be into something; everyone knows that Maron has so much gold that he swims on it. That much gold should make you go crazy. But whatever, Maron is founding an expedition to the jungle, and that's rare, but he promises gold, good old shiny gold.
Maybe you could pay him a visit.
A shadow fickles by you. It doesn't take long before you realize that it is in fact a raven. A black raven dark as the deepest winter night. The bird hasn't made a noise until it has appeared and it looks unnerving, almost unnatural, looking you in the eye with an intelligence that is alien to an animal.
It has a small parchment at its beak and tosses it to you, slowly enough so you can get it without trouble.
It has come to our attention, dear Rosapia that the quest on finding those renegades has been hard and slow, but you are closer than you might think. Our readings on the beacon are getting stranger. Maybe there is another talisman nearby, a talisman that we cannot reach directly for it is blocked, but perhaps you can. If anyone is stupid or daring enough to carry it on the open… chances are that is not one of the fugitives but it bears questioning nonetheless.
The letter is written in a familiar writing. Old Hob one of the oldest necropolitans where you were converted signs it and it is clearly his style. The raven looks at you studying your reaction with picked interest.
Breathing is so dull and boring. Eating is in fact considerably unnecessary. The physical world is clearly overrated and by no means should you be obliged to trade gold for commodities. But sometimes the tool needs some attention too. And in those rare cases you need to trade gold. You can easily understand that, people, are stupid enough to not appreciate the sublime state of mind that you can achieve and certainly they could achieve if they tried.
Unluckily your bag has been emptying itself at a fast and alarming rate. Luckily, for you, you have just stumbled into a piece of parchment, a note mentioning someone called Maron Goldtooth, a name that might ring a small bell, and a pile of gold. A pile of gold; just for a walk through the jungle? You can certainly do that, maybe you can even find something interesting to occupy your mind.
-So you want to get some laws going into Arcadia. – The dwarf smiles broadly, his white beard is really long and dusty, contrasting with his armor made of dark grey stones tied together. –Well for starters you are going to need gold.
There is some strange shine in the commander of the Wall defenders at the mention of the precious metal. He says the word with manifest respect; almost like a proud father. The mercenary ways aren’t alien to the dwarf they are strong and wise people, but have a gold fever that sometimes cannot be easily satiated. Luckily they also have a strong tradition of rules and oaths so they feel slightly uncomfortable at Arcadia.
-And you will need to deal with Goldtooth. – That name he pronounces with a bitter ting, the merchant is at the same time a patron and a ruler, but is human, and the old Dwarf cannot stand a human with more riches than a Dwarf. –Luckily for you there could be a way. Have you heard of the expedition?