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…”

Eldrick's Journal, Part One
New Recruits To Play With!

The Journal of Eldrick Halfsword

“Ah, new recruits! The smell of new men is something I never tire of! I have commanded hundreds of men in my short career, but hopefully this bunch will last a little longer than those others…

I gave them the usual speil. They seems instantly inspired, as always. I cannot deny but I have a way with words and stuff. Some of the crew seem like experienced warriors, like that Dangar Headspike, a viscious Northlander bastard if ever I saw one. Some others, like that Lu-Chin fellow, seem ill-prepared for the dangers that lie before us. He didn’t even have any armour! The rest of them I will reserve judgement on, although I admit it was handy to have the two rangers, Pordrum and Erin, in the pack.

Uncle Alathorne gave me some orders, which puts me one up on that stinking Gafstan and his Irregulars. We’ll show my Uncle he can rely on my men! We are to take the ancient relic he gave us. He wants us to fly the banner of the hero Artorus from the top of Artorus’ tower. This should inspire the unsure Nomic clan to join the war against the Imperial tyrants! The problem of course being that the tower is firmly behind enemy lines.

We set off quickly to the bridge at Nomic, slowed down by the dwarf Byron and the strange Algusint (who insisted on wearing the cumbersome scale mail he had with him). Unfortunately a Genkish scout group were already at the bridge and looked about to set the bridge on fire! This I assume was an effort to put the bridge out of action to stop the Nomic joining the fight against the Imperial Horde.

The rangers soon put down the enemy. One positive here was the bravery of Lu-Chin. He dived straight into battle, not waiting a moment for backup. He seems to possess no concern for his own mortality – just what I like in the men beneath me. After the battle Lu-Chin discovered a dead Nordish scout facedown in the river, one of Gafstan’s men called Thin Cripplin. Thin had a knife wound to his back and had a crumpled note in his pocket, a letter addressed to the Nomic leader. The letter was unreadable – perhaps this was some instruction from Alathorne to the Nomic?

Anyway we crossed the ford further upstream and swiftly captured a Gaelish camp. The camp was nearly empty, I assume most of the men have gone to join the battle which would no doubt be underway by now. Once we have planted the banner I plan to take the men back to the battle, attacking the enemy from the rear! That should surprise them. We’ll have casualties, of course, but it should be fun!"

Want a different view? Click here to read Olaf’s journal.


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