My Brothers and Sisters of the Venatore,
For those of you wondering why I needed more than three rooks of vim vis for our cause, I have secured a most amazing find. Hoplites of the Order, having slain the criminal James Waldorf, were tracking down his far-flung holdings and they uncovered here, in the rural wasteland of northwestern Kansas, a secret bolt-hole and laboratory the likes of which I have never seen. I spoke to these hoplites and they tale they told was of a criminal of only mediocre magical talent in the Hermetic Arts but who, nevertheless, was able to inflict terrible curses despite the significant power of their parma magicae. As you all know, the infernal arts of most dabblers tend to do poorly against Bonisagus’ shield, and so this disparity was somewhat confusing to me.
The answer was apparent as soon as I stepped into the barn in which Waldorf kept his lab. Dominating the far wall was an immense mosaic of bone, runes, charred and scarred diagrams and designs that, after some careful scrutiny, appeared to be an elaborate ritual aid for the summoning of a duke of hell.
Since the barn was intact, and Waldorf was alive when the hoplites found him and slew him, it seems to me an entirely like hypothesis that Waldorf had managed to procure a lab text for the creation of an infernally invested summoning nexus. The particular demon tied to this portal is, very likely, a creature of seduction and knowledge, although I’ll know more once I decipher the shorthand in the lab text itself, which the hoplites also provided, along with extensive notes on other artifacts of Waldorf’s tradition.
My hypothesis is that Waldorf was learning directly at the knee of a potent demon, whose false arts permitted Waldorf a much greater facility with diabolic powers than he could otherwise have achieved in such a short time since he was Wizards Marched.
I encourage those of you with a scholarly bent to contact me so that we might study the matter together. Our credo and methods prevent me from studying any such thing by myself, nor would I wish to inadvertently risk my soul by doing so.
As for those of you with a more martial bent, should we learn enough to deem it a reasonable proposition, we may wish to convene a war party solely to summon forth this entity and put it to the sword.
Yours in Faith amidst Darkness,
Alexander Morgan, House Bonisagus
I have always found the term “grog”, when speaking of our non-gifted associates within the covenant, to be pejorative and rude. There is no reason why the unGifted should be so looked down upon when you all provide to us vital and valued service. Because I value you, know that the visit we received from certain old acquaintances of yours was not due to any intention on their part to renege on their bargain, nor to track you down. During your time of trouble, prior to entering the service of our covenant, a Wizards Marched individual named James Waldorf contacted me in an attempt to make a proposal to you. He was seeking allies to stave off the Order, and thought you might make a potent and useful one. I laughed in his face, of course, and never saw the point in mentioning it to you.
It would seem this Mr. Waldorf met his end at the hands of your acquaintances and they were following up on that conversation. I believe they were duly satisfied at my cooperation, and seem to hold continued resolve to maintain the bargain that you struck with them.
Mister Axlerod Sir,
I know you probly dont bothr to read my reports much, but there was sum trubble in the nayborhood the othr day. Sum wizards was pokin around in one of the burnd out houses. I thawt they was maybe looters, but one turnd into a rite big bear. I rousted em and one was rite rude to me, treatin me like I was his boy to ordr around. I wusnt gonna take that from no wizards, and made em move along. But somethin they said cawt in my mind. They was talkin about strang magic stuff in the area and I remembrd some odd animal bones some local kids was playin with. I figurd Id follow em, see what they were up to. They went uptown to the house of madam White. I cant knock on her door and get any answers outta her but you could do it. Ask her what them wizards wanted. I think maybe they might be spreading ill luck or curses around or somethin.
Annyway, they left madam Whites after a spell seemin a bit spookd. They all grabd a straynge rope and vanishd, all magic-like. It was rite strang.
Honorary Deputy Jeremiah