Survivors of Charn
When the legate and all his centurions lie dead, when the sacred standards have all unraveled and even the walls of holy Charn herself have become a ruin of dust, the last soldiers of the final war may earn the right to tent their spears and swear “I shall march and fight no more.”
But I must fight on, and at last I know why.
I saw the birth of a new world today. Not one line of its history has been written. And it was not five hours old when evil first entered it. This was not the feeble, sordid evil that sullied our mortal cities back home, but a pestilence far older and infinitely more refined.
Across plains unnamed, we saw a great blond beast. Cautiously we approached until we were well within bowshot. And it turned and looked at us, and spoke words of power. With its foul wizardry it tried to enslave our minds. I felt its shadow fall upon my soul, an utterly alien and pitiless intellect. I might have fallen forever under its dominion, but the valor of Jadis and the memory of Evan Krill’s bravery and sacrifice fortified my will.
At times it may seem folly that honest soldiers hazard their lives and sacred honor for the profit of their mortal lords. But I know now that no pirate or brigand king is so low that I would not prefer his rule to that of this contemptible god. The stones of the earth move at his pleasure and the mountains bow to his will but it is not enough. He would be worshiped by every thing that crawls or the world would know his wrath. Even innocent little children he ensorceled, though they were too small and weak to do him any service other than craven obeisance.
The pitch and timbre of his every word moves me to loathing. The color of his eye fills me with disgust. I pledge my soul to his undoing. Let my hand ruin his stratagems. Let his schemes die beneath my heel. Let my blades find their heat and shade and home beneath his ribs. For the sake of a people whose lands are not yet named I swear that I shall not rest until their world is clean and free.
Ever since Charn fell the Left Hands have been fighting desperate rearguard actions and there has been no glory in it but mere survival. Until now. Today we brought the fight to the enemy and were victorious.
Upon the Queen’s command we stormed the Enemy’s stronghold at the edge of the world. In his folly the Enemy relied on fear and fixed defenses, never considering that we might have the humor to make a frontal assault.
The tallest mountains in the world were in our way, but we scaled them by means of the Queen’s magic. There we found a walled garden, protected by sham sorcery. The children that the Enemy had enslaved were inside. We convinced them to depart and when they opened the gate we seized the door.
The talisman of the Enemy’s power lie before us: a great tree. Every fruit of that tree contained a portion of his might. Roxanda scaled the tree and began to pilfer them. This disturbed the garrison, which attacked us without ceremony.
Our forces: Juan the Rat (in command), Rourke, Roxanda and H.W.
Their forces: Two griffons, unknown number of hawks and lesser beasts.
Roxanda found herself cut off from the rest, high in the tree, where she was assailed by hawks. The griffon fell upon Juan. Rourke shot his crossbow at the hawks that were attacking Roxanda. H.W. used magic to make two of the hawks fall out of the sky.
Roxanda skewered a pair of hawks. H.W. let forth a burst of intense sound which killed a hawk and injured the griffon. The griffon lifted Juan in its talons and began to fly away. Juan and Roxanda peppered it with crossbow bolts and it fell lifeless to the ground.
We had utterly destroyed the enemy’s first wave, but their reinforcements had already started to arrive. Juan’s fall had rendered him senseless. H.W. killed another wave of hawks with a single burst of sound, but a great enemy force was now converging on our position. They were led by another griffon. We could not hope to hold them for long, so we turned our attentions to the tree. Our mission now was to damage it so far as we were able.
Rourke fired an incendiary crossbow bolt into its trunk and it burst into flames. Then we retreated in good order and made our way down the cliff with the griffon in close pursuit.