River of Blood
Monday July 20, Outside Rhi’anon
None of us miss the mosquitoes and leeches of the marsh, but this bleak landscape is hardly better. We are outside the old Trow city of Rhi’anon, abandoned centuries ago in the war which nearly exterminated their race. Each hour brings us closer to Balor’s fortress and almost certainly to the end of our own lives.
Alric has been busy again, hardly sleeping I’m told, planning for the coming battle. A single berserk reached us yesterday, after having come all the way over the mountains from the city of Willow, fourteen hundred miles away. He delivered to Alric a single package the size of a man’s fist, wrapped in rags, and refuses to talk with anyone about events in the west.
A small group of us are going into the city ahead of the main force tomorrow, to secure a bridge which Alric fears the enemy would destroy if we attacked in force. Once it has been secured, the Legion will follow.
- Dire Marsh: An enormous swampland, fed by the poisoned Gjol River. ↩
- Trow: The Trow are relics from a forgotten age. During the height of their golden age they were responsible for the creation of many complex megalithic structures, but as their civilization declined they began enslaving their lesser brethren, the Oghres, to construct their cyclopean edifices. Finally, during the Wind Age (after many centuries of domination at the hands of their cruel masters), the Oghres attempted to throw off the shackles of Trow tyranny. The resulting war left the Trow city-states severely weakened and the Oghres extinct. The hero Connacht took advantage of this conflict and entombed the Trow where none would ever discover their barrows, and melted their iron cities into the ice. Since that time, the continent has been free of brutalization at their massive hands. The Trow retreated to the north at the end of the Great War, and have since held a nervous truce with the humans who slew so many of their number during the conflict. Their bitter memories of their own golden age many generations ago have left them with a collective hunger for a return to better times. This urge does not prevent the Trow from exacting a frightful toll upon any who would pass across the land they have claimed as their own. ↩
- Rhi’anon: Ancient capital of the Trow, melted into the ice by Connacht during the Wind Age. ↩
- Balor: Leader of the Fallen Lords. ↩
- Soulblighter: One of the Fallen Lords. ↩
- Gjol River: Poisoned river that flows out of the Blind Steppes and into the Dire Marsh. ↩
- Alric: One of The Nine, former King of the Southern Provinces. ↩
- Berserks: Berserks are human warriors from the North who forego conventional armor for the sake of speed. They use giant claymores to lop off pieces of their opponents until those opponents stop moving. ↩