The following missive accompanies an apparently blank sheet of parchment.
Ven Gedret, pathmage.
To Councilman Tarresh, Silvervein.
I regret to inform you that I have fallen ill and shall not return to the Uplands as ordered. My messenger has been given the strongest wards against the plague I could manage; I pray that he remains hale long enough to reach you. Matters in Ascension grow worse, but we have been recently visited by one of the small hillfolk from the Greater Uzuid Range, who claims to be immune to the plague. Indeed, he ministers among the afflicted without care for his own well-being, and he has yet to show any signs of infection. He tells me that there are a few isolated villages where most of the populace shares this immunity.
With the hope that study of the people of these villages might reveal a treatment, I have used my arts to prepare a map of the lands to the east. The map is hidden within the parchment that accompanies this letter. Another of my guild can draw it forth. I apologize for the inconvenience; I do not wish to place these communities at risk by revealing their locations should the map be mislaid.
As this is the first map of the region prepared by the Guild of Pathmages, please permit me to make some observations that may inform future activities. East of the Uplands, the land rises to a small ridge before falling into lowlands and eventually a large lake, called Medre by most of the immigrants, which is fed by many rivers that carry snowmelt from both the Uzuid and Halidberg ranges. Lake Medre drains into another lake called the Blackwater. This plain was once densely populated, and there are many ruined cities remaining there. Some are inhabited still, but only a fraction of the population remains.
In the northeastern corner of the Uplands, there is a high pass through the Halidberg Mountains that leads to another plain infrequently visited by fierce nomads who were accustomed to trade with the communities there. The nomads are aggressive in their suppression of the plague, though, and now meet anyone they meet here with hostility. My sources know little of the lands to the north and east, but it is certain that if any people remain beyond the Blackwater, they are worse off than we. No one has come from that way in a very long time. To the south, the Coriander Coast has been little touched by the disease. The mountains there are very tall, and there is little traffic across them.
My hopes for a treatment may well be futile, but if there is any volunteer willing to risk all to seek out survivors in the mountains, send them to me swiftly. My strength fails, and I may not survive long enough to provide protection to whomever answers your call.
May the Blessed Lady keep her eyes upon you,