The Red Empire

Eldrick's Journal, Part Two

A Noble Ending?

“I am writing this in the few moments I have before what may be my death. Hakran The Large, the Genkish half orc champion, is beating down the door and it won’t be long until he finds me. I have a sword to defend myself with, and a bow and arrow that my Irregulars for some reason insisted I use, but I think I shall just use my broken half-sword… it will make little difference at this point.

“How did it come to this? It started so well. My Irregulars stormed the tower and soon seized control from the druid-healer. They seemed keen, rightly so, in getting the banner up – so to the top of tower we went! I would have liked to have opened the intriguing door on the third floor… some deep, dark secret must be held within… but no matter.

“When I got to the roof it seemed obvious the battle was not going well for the Northlanders. As I watched from the battlements I saw Alathorne’s banner fall, and soon the Northlanders were in retreat. This battle was our last, best hope against the Imperial invasion and I’m afraid we failed.

“I remembered what Alathorne told me at the start of the war. He said that should he fail then the only hope is the relic. The relic must be taken to Bane, the wizard who lives on the Isle of Bones. I don’t know why Alathorne would have this done, but he said that Bane is the only one who can help us.

“I knew that Artorus had somehow escaped from this very tower over a hundred years ago, and the rumour is that a secret tunnel lies in the dungeon. My diligent Irregulars soon found this long abandoned passage into the Green Mountains, but it was clear that someone would have to stay behind to cover the passage from Genkish troops bashing down the tower door. One of my dear Irregulars, Olaf I think, suggested that I should be the one to stay behind.

“I suppose that is the right thing. I am the leader after all. And I’m the only one that might possibly not be killed, as I may be of some value for a ransom. But still I feel uneasy now that I can hear Hakran coming down the steps, yelling in foul Genkish. Can I trust that my Irregulars will deliver the relic to Bane? I guess I will never find out. Hakran comes…”

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