There was no peace in the whole of Dalmatia when the Procurer sent an undead messenger to inform his mistress that her long sought after prize from the desert regions of Arcanum had been stolen. Not only had the last eight years of archaeology in the region of the lost kings necropolis been wasted, but the lives the Witch Queen had sacrificed to retrieve the relic were for naught. Yes, she had also legitimately paid for some services to be rendered rather than risk making more enemies in powerful places, but the coins spent fruitlessly were not high on her list of grievances. In the mind of the Witch Queen a priceless totem of unspeakable horror had been purloined and she, the rightful owner through gold and blood, was angrier than she had been in well over a hundred years.

The first victim of her rage was predictably the hapless undead messenger. Vaporizing them in an instant, their clothing falling to the ground where they had stood, the Witch Queen next set her sights on whoever had committed this theft. The Procurer had given her a number of details that would aid in this search so the Witch Queen summoned up a quasit and in a poof of lower planar smoke the wretched creature stood before the enraged lich. Her own form was that of a breathtakingly beautiful woman with long, curly, jet black hair. She snapped her fingers and the quasit took the form of a cruelly grinning gnome.

“What is your name, demon?” the Witch Queen asked in a demanding tone.

The polymorphed quasit bowed and with a sweep of his arm said, “They call me Meelo, your wickedness. How might I be of service to you?”

The Witch Queen allowed herself a sinister smile as she said, “I have been robbed, Meelo. I want you to find who did it, and mark them with my wizard’s sigil. Do this simple task for me and I shall see that you are promoted within your kind to become a proper tanar’ri.”

Meelo smiled even more broadly. “What was stolen, most terrible queen?”

The Witch Queen shifted on her throne, and said in a manner that suggested she should not be overheard, “A statue of Betapsi. It is the Guardian of the Hades Forge, in a bronze coffer bound in mithril. The thieves knew of its power, and will undoubtedly try to invoke its strength in order to keep it. You need only find them, I shall use my own magic to secure my revenge and retrieve that which is rightfully mine!”

Meelo nodded his head. “Have you any clues as to where I should look?”

The Witch Queen said sternly, “They are on a ship, a caravel called the Queen Myrtle.” It sailed from my southern city of Sarande only this morning. It made it into an enchanted fog and vanished from my scrying. Go, and find these pirates!”

Meelo bowed again and said, “As you command!” and turned into a bat-like creature that flew straight out an open window into the cloudy sky.