Melrose Troop 68's
A Dungeons and Dragons Review
Intercepted Letter about
'The Trap'.
written by: Steve Borgerding
(gamed played in December, 2000)

To His Lordship, King Dor,

My lord, a friend of mine came by this letter. I know not how, nor do I wish to know. However, after reading it I thought it would be best to send it to your lordship as soon as possible. As your loyal subject I thought it would be best for you to have this information.
Due to the nature of this letter involving dragons and great warriors I wish that you would keep my name from those who are involved in this business. I have three children and a wife to concern myself with, and have no need or desire to bring harm to them.
Thank you for your time.

Your subject,
(name withheld)

My Dear Kraektokrine,

Yes, I knew they would come, that they would not be able to resist the chance to exact their revenge upon myself. And that is what made the trap all too easy to spring.

My first encounter with Solomon Pras involved a simple kidnapping. My “men”, humans for hire you might call them, kidnapped him in the Forest of Blackness when he stupidly chased his weapon into the thick foliage, leaving the comparative safety of the trail. I sent a note demanding a ridiculous payment of twenty thousand gold pieces in exchange for his pathetic life. To my surprise, his friends paid it, in diamonds no less. It was quite a profitable business transaction. 

That should have been the end of it. My fun with him was at an end. It was time to move onto other ventures and business deals. However, I discovered that this particular group of humanoids did not forget and forgive things very easily. As you know, I have spies in Givemea and many other places of interest to me. These spies, who I pay quite handsomely by the way, discovered that Solomon and his group harbored a strong notion to extract revenge upon my humble self. In fact, they wanted to terminate my very existence.

I find it simply amazing, and amusing, at how foolish these humanoids can be at times.

I decided to keep a watch on this group of Solomon Pras’. For nearly a year my spies kept myself informed on the group’s adventures and how they had gathered several impressive magical weapons, armor, and other items. Of course, they also grew in power and skill as they attempted to “cleanse” dungeons of the so-called evil they felt had corrupted these domains.

I should not admit it, but I became slightly impressed by what they had accomplished during this short time frame. After all, they are only humanoids.

I decided it was time in intervene in their lives once again when they killed five of our brethren. Five! How dare they! I will not stand by and watch the slaughter of our own kind, as I am sure you would not if the same situation presented itself to you.

Two of the greens killed were a young mated pair. They were killed in their own lair! Their unborn child never had a chance. Add to that the fact that everything the greens owned was stolen by the humanoids. Everything! A short life’s collection was gone within a heartbeat. And, as if that was not bad enough, they decapitated the dear victims and posted their heads on a hill top for anyone to see! Such arrogance!

I tell you the truth dear Kraektokrine, while they may have provided entertainment for myself in the past, this act pushed them into the long list of my enemies. My revenge would be swift, brilliant, and play on their desires of greed and revenge.

My vengeance did not take long to plan. However, to set the scenario, and arrange for the proper players to be in place at the right moment took longer then anticipated.

I needed a group of minotaurs to complete the first phase of the plan. Though I only needed fifteen to serve my needs I had nearly fifty volunteer their services. (The bullmen are such a fine and willing race to be Lord over. They would do anything for me it seems.) Of course, I did not mention that they would soon be battling humanoids of such experience and magical powers. There was no reason to tell them of this detail. Besides, they were so eager to slaughter that I did not want to cast a cloud on their joyous jubilation.

Finding a humanoid magic user proved to be a difficult task. I needed one who would be able to cast the proper spells, in addition to having quantities of bravery and intelligence. Of course, most magic users also have a greedy side which I fully exploited. Once I found such a mage I personally guaranteed his safety and anonymity. The second part of my revenge was now in place.

Finding a black dragon to complete my plan proved to be the most troublesome. For some reason, the blacks I knew wanted nothing to do with my scheme. (I wonder why that would be?) I finally found one who resided west of Minta, beyond the mountain range. This black was one of the greediest I have seen, and I have seen plenty in my time. He relished the idea of tearing apart a group of humanoids, especially a group that would contain two clerics. He never explained why he held such hatred for clerics, and I never asked. He was willing, excited, and sooted my needs. After settling on a price for his services he was mine to command.

Finding a human to be my messenger was the easiest, least costly, piece of the plan to complete. When offered a few gold coins most humans are willing to perform whatever is asked of them. 

I wrote three notes to Pras and his friends. The first note was written to an elven cleric by the name of Joe Boxer, and was signed with a drop of human blood. My spies had come across information that a vampire had taken issue with Boxer. I had the vampire tracked down and eliminated. I wanted no one, especially one of the undead, to ruin the fun I had planned. Unfortunately, the cost in personnel was high. The vampire had a small army of his own in anticipation of crushing the same group that I plotted revenge against. I lost a dozen good bullmen in that exchange. It became one more reason to crush this group of Solomon’s.

Boxer interpreted the note as I expected he would. He wished to kill the vampire and prove once again how powerful he was against all who thought they could rise against him. The fool.

A second note was sent to a young human by the name of Urza Van Burace. He fancies himself to be a ladies man, one who thinks that women should bow at his feet as if he is the god’s gift to womankind. My spies reported that he has made quite an impression on a group of woman warriors. My note to Van Burace implied that one of these warrior women wished to meet him. I included a lock of blonde human hair to complete the bait.  

The ego of Van Burace assured that this bait would be taken “hook, line, and sinker,” as the humans would say. (grin)

The third note I had delivered to Solomon Pras himself. As with the first two notes I stated a time and place to meet, but no other information. You remember, I signed Boxer’s with a drop of blood, Van Borace’s with a lock of hair. A green blotch of ink was the signature on the letter to Solomon. I thought he would understand. He did.

Not only did the three imbeciles take the bait as I knew they would, but they talked three of their friends into joining them on this great adventure. Oh yes, bring them along, I thought as I saw the group approach. This would make the trap even more entertaining.

Pras’ group arrived right on time, at the appointed place, near an old dungeon that has seen many better days in years long behind us. My human messenger meet the revenge seekers at the base of the hill in which Morey’s Maze (a stupid name for dungeon if  you ask myself) is hidden. I watched the events unfold from a safe distance, far enough away not to be seen, but yet close enough to watch my plan unfold.

I was amazed as how they treated this messenger. They truly thought he was a threat. One simple human a threat to this “powerful” group. The only reason I commanded the messenger to be in that location was to inform the group that they were at the right place at the right time. I nearly burst out laughing. I had to bite my own tongue to keep from giving away my position.

I thought my well made plans were about to fall apart when the black decided to fly over the group at that moment. But I needed not be concerned. I bit my tongue a second time as I watched the group dive for cover as the black dived again and grabbed one of their horses. Unfortunately for the black, that horse became his final meal.

The mage had just finished casting the invisibility spells needed to hide the bullmen when Pras’ group arrived at the clearing near the dungeon entrance. The black flew down and landed before the group. As the black “welcomed” the group to their deaths the bullmen stepped out from their concealment and the slaughter began. 

Unknown to the bullmen, it was their own slaughter they were to attend. I had already seen first hand how well this group of Pras’ could fight when they had come to my own lair to rescue the cleric. I did not expect the bullmen to win the battle, only to weaken the humanoids. The bullmen were expendable.

The greedy black performed better then I had anticipated. Although he still lost his life in the battle, he did inflect an impressive amount of damage to the group. I would have considered the expense of hiring him to be a price well worth the cost, if he would have survived. Oh well, such is the life of a mercenary. I really should have thanked Solomon’s group for saving me the cost of hiring the black.

It was time for my arrival as the black breathed his last. I had brought my own mate along. It was time that she see for herself just how foolish humanoids could be. And, if need be, she could fight a few for the experience. Humanoids can be surprising at times, and my mate was extra insurance if such a surprise surfaced.

Members of the group tried to drink their healing potions as we arrived. Needless to state, my impulsive mate soon killed the members of the group including the mighty Solomon, Boxer, and Van Burace. The only one left alive was a half orc. I decided to question him. He may have information which I would find useful. If not, he would provide a small amount of entertainment before I killed him.

He proved to be full of information, and quite fascinating. In fact, I decided to spare his life and gave him the bodies on his fallen comrades. I realize that he probably will have the members of the group resurrected, including Solomon and Boxer. To tell you the truth dear Kraektokrine, I hope that he does. Then I may have the enjoyment of slaying them once again. This could became a continued source of amusement.

The best portion of the festivities was one that I had not considered when I planned my revenge. Though I gave the half orc the bodies, I did not allow him to take any weapons, armor, or items that his comrades had brought with them. I added a large selection of magical items to my collection that night, including a girdle of storm giant strength! This was the real power behind the amazing strength of Joe Boxer.

It had become another profitable transaction at the expense of Solomon’s friends.

I look forward to the day when I shall have the chance to profit a third time from this group of greedy, foolish, and idiotic humanoids. I shall have to keep my ears and eyes open for that opportunity, for I could guarantee that day will come.

Now you know the story of that adventure my dear friend. May your adventures be as entertaining, and your transactions as profitable.

Your cousin,