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The Battle of Tributary Pass [Story]

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I wrote these(there are a handful more stories) as back-story for my character.  I have them on our LS/FC website, and have encouraged the Band to make their own. 


The year ofthis story would be 1557, that is long before the events of v1.0, and serves merely as back-story.  This is chronologically, though not originally, the first of Roland's stories.  It is merely meant to provide a view of where Roland came from in terms of his personal character.


Should any of you have more than a passing interest in the real legend of our world you may recognize that Roland is a homage to the dark age warrior bands of the Franks, which grew with such prodigious legend that they became stories of knightly daring-do in the later middle ages.  They had a hero, Roland Count of Bretony, more famed the King Arthur for much of Europe's history.  My character is a direct spiritual descendant of this being in Elezen form, and implanted in the world of Eorzea.  This story is utterly homage in the regard that it is a retelling of the death of the hero of our world, retold as merely a powerful event that shaped my character's life and growth.


I present it here because I wanted to share with a community of Eorzeans that would and could appreciate Roland's adventures. Also, I try tirelessly to be up on all lore, and thus as correct in both general grammar as well as Eorzean Lore. Should something be amiss with regards to either I would delight in feedback! 



Final Note:  Ferne released the nomenclature lore of the races rather late in the game, as it were.  That being the case my Lalafells were created with full French names in keeping with the lore of the Chansons.  I will not meddle here as there is both merit and precedence to their names.



Below is a captured report. It is a lengthy thing, but it serves as a most fascinating look into some things. It was written in the year 1557 Sixth Astral Era. The Empire had just captured Ala Mhigo, and Roland Debreton was an impetuous seventeen years old. As it tells a few things that are important to me, I thought I might share it with my new found friends as we have chosen to embark on a journey to protect Eorzea.


For your edification, the report The Battle of Tributary Pass,




Maugris Daigremont



The chocobos pawed nervously as the air filled with the odd cracking sound of the weapons. A small party mounted on the birds watched the lowlands below them as a small battle unfolded.


The Imperials, their peculiar armors bug-like and interspersed with crimson cloth, raced on foot in pursuit of a man mounted on chocoback. The two men dropped to the their knees and aimed their long cylindrical weapons. Again, the foreign cracking sound filled the air. As they shot an odd whistle accompanied their projectiles. Nearby, the chocoboman the shot struck something solid. There was a crack and a shower of splinters of wood as a tree was damaged and the air filled with the peculiar unclean burned smell.


The rider leaned forward into his saddle using his right hand to gently urge the bird's neck low, to drop the profile of the two as they sped away. The crimson wrapped duo holstered the weapons at their sides and lept to their feet and racing onward, the Hoplomachus drawing a shortsword, the other a Sea Wolf Bestiarius unstrapping a spear from his shoulder. The bird was flagging; perhaps it was hurt, perhaps simply exhausted. Either way, the soldiers seemed to know the single man was within their grasp. Ahead of them the bird stumbled toward the a break in the forest. As they burst forth from the clearing the sunlight shattered sight as they raced toward the shadow of a man on chocobo back. Seeing their opponent finally halted they screamed a battle cry and launched forward.


The man they blindly roared at, as they dashed forward to face a tired rider, was not their query. This second man, of a small stature; a Lalafell; couched the base of a staff into his hip with his right arm and aimed his left hand, palm outward at the two closing on him. Too late did the Empire's soldiers realize their error, too late did they recognize not a tired outrider before them, but a rested man, and a thing utterly foreign to them, a magick-user.


A second crack tore through the air, this one louder by a multitude as flickering lightning played from the Lalafell's hand and crashed into the metal clad warriors. The air filled with the clean odor of ozone, as a gout of dirt and turf sprayed toward the heavens.


The gathered war party on the hill watched this encounter impassively. The band's leader, a young Elezen covered from head to toe in mail turned to regard the rest. Scratching his unshaven face, he grinned and spoke.


"Well, the scouts ordered to tail us have been defeated." He turned his head to regard a particularly lantern-jawed Highlander and nodded his head upward once. "Ser Ogier, rejoin the main contingent and inform the Lord that we are cleared of our scouts. It is my intention to skirt along the Abanian Mountain country here and cut off the main force that we scuffled with two days past. Tell him Roland and the Twelve Companions shall pin his foes and throw them down, paving his way to Ala Mhigo."


The beads mixed in the braids of the Highlander's hair rattled as his head shook. His jaw clenched and he looked ready to speak, unsettled to be sent as a messenger. Roland smirked, "Then naturally, my brother, meet us and we shall throw these godless monsters back into the Jade Sea, all the Companions." Ogier's face brightened into an ugly smile.


With a quick, "Aye, Ser Roland," he spurred his bird off toward the West. At the same time cresting the hill to the East were the two men who had engaged the Imperial soldiers. They approached at a slow canter.


The younger man, the one who had led the Imperials into the trap was a Hyur. While weariness played over his young face, and his shaggy black mane was filthy and disheveled there was an energy and excitement in his eyes. He sat high in his saddle waving with a grin.


Behind him came the slouching form of the Lalafell who watched the two moons begin to rise as evening had stated to set in. Maugris, the Lalafell mage, was double the seventeen years of Roland and the dark haired knight. As dirty and grinning, proud and longing to wage further war as the youthful soldiers were, Maugris was dressed simply and cleanly, there was neither excitement nor distress on his face. His slumping in the saddle was the only betrayal of the exhaustion he felt. The young Hyur leaned back and looked over his shoulder and chucked at the Lalafell. When he neared the war party he lept from his bird and ran at the young knight who led the group.


"Brother Roland, there are two less dogs to damn the world into the Seven Hells with their abyssal weapons!" He roared with a laugh. "Though it was gods accursed foolish of me, I so rarely get to play the fool as you do." The other men snickered and one poked the young war leader.


"A glorious tactic, gents. I hold no love for traps, but as tactics go it was clean and efficient."


"A dangerous method," opined an equally young, blond Hyur at Roland's side.


"Risk is necessary, my dear brother Oliver. Most especially given their long range weapons. Its practically a certitude that we must break risk over such weapons. They require certain tinkering with our stratagems." The blond young man grinned at Roland and clapped the dark haired Hyur.


"I simply thank Nymeia you're safe brother del Hum,"


"Indeed so, may the Spinner weave us good will in this battle. Good riding as always Ser Gautier del Hum," the young Elezen leader said with a grin, pushing back his own long, dirty red hair.


Seeing Maugris join them, Roland smiled, and nodded. "As to you, Master Maugris, your magicks are as always a great value."


"Slaughtering a couple of Imperials with an entry-level lightning spell is hardly heroics. Gods, they used to teach that stuff to Conjurers." The mage sighed and rubbed his eyes. "While their weapons are indeed terrible, there is something decidedly unsettling about battling these men."


"Aye, ey're godless voidsent," said a scarred faced young Elezen with a white top-knot as he spat in the sandy soil of the hill. "Some say 'ey use machines and 'eir wicked gyros in place of 'eir limbs to make 'emselves stronger and faster, the Twelve take 'em." Maugris looked at him with an expressionless face then raised an eyebrow and spoke.


"Nay, not as that, Ser Florismart. What I mean is, I question whether these truly are Imperials of Garlemald we fight. Half the time we fight these men they wage war more like Ala Mhigans. The northmen of Garlemald were of a tribe of Hyur, one of those men we killed was an Elezen. I know not whether Garleans use hand-to-hand combat but I sincerely doubt that they would use an exact fighting stance and strike like a monk of the Fist of Rhalgar. All these things I've seen.


"The men we battle, that which makes them alive - it remains, it is in them, the spark of life from the Land. Yet, when I look into their eyes that which makes men of them is gone, they lack," he paused, pursing his lips his silver hair drifting as he stared at the darkening sky. Finally he frowned, "They lack will. Their souls or spirits or whatever makes a man a man is gone, or at least locked within some door deep within." The air filled with an uncomfortable silence. The white haired Elezen spat and stared at his pommel as if trying to puzzle something out. Meeting Maugris' eyes he finally spoke.


"Ye, speak true, Magick-knight. Four suns gone I did see one of these ghouls looking for all the world like an Ala Mhigan spearsman, with 'is stance and strike 'en all." He looked to Roland and frowned. "What are we ta do? 'Ave the Ala Mhigans truly turncoat on us?"


Roland sighed, and stared at the big white moon and its odd tiny shining companion. "I have seen as you have seen, and I have seen that these are not as men who are whole. It reminds me much of the ancient legends of Sil'dih, of an entire nation turned to zombies, liked the damned army of Sil'dih, undead slaves of another." Oliver reached over from his chocobo and facing Roland poked his mailed shoulder.


"I have rarely seen such cautious and thoughtful words in you, brother Roland. Do you fear we face wights of Mhigan citizens?"


"Nay, wrestling with aether is not one of the strengths of Garlemald. These are not necrotic magick abominations to Thal, like some Bard's tale. Nor does it seem as though the people of Ala Mhigo are as themselves any more and have simply turned coat on the whole of Aldenard. Mayhaps the Garlean host has devised some terrible device to unhinge the minds of godsfearing men. Who knows? Suffice it, we must do what we can to free them, even if we must needs warrant them a hastier meeting with the scales of Nald'thal." Most of the war party nodded. Save for the troubled looking Gautier who stared back into the darkness of the valley he had just left. Maugris looked curiously at Roland as the final light of the day faded.


"Come, let us make camp back at the East where we broke from last night. We leave at dawn, to pincer the main part of this army, we shall harry them right into my uncle's arms. Let us make rest." He pulled up on his chocobo's reins, and darted Eastward.


"A rearguard for retreat?" The surprise in Roland's voice registered a small measure of panic. The small war party stared incredulous at the returned Highlander. "He would have us flee?" The party had waited in the appointed place for the Highlander in the quiet of the night, a handful of malms from the encampment of the Imperial Cohor.


"Ser Roland," the large blond man said with an effort, "Your Lord uncle bids we retreat and round up to defend the escape of the main contingent."


"I… Impossible! Idiotic!!! We can't forgive this! The Empire must pay!" Roland spat with an effort. "To turn tail and flee now?"


"Two suns hence, shortly after I arrived to pass your message to him a centuriae attacked his Lordship's camp. I'm sad to say without the others of the Twelve Companions there many of the soldiers broke and ran. I led a small guard that pushed them back and late in the evening Ser Maugris appeared and took most of the remainder of the platoon down with magicks." Oliver grabbed the bronze mail of Roland's sleeve, and nodded to the West.


"Fires burn in a large camp between us and the Lord, your uncle. The fires of your enemies. Remember, we are his Twelve Companions, his sworn retainers. Our duty is to protect our Lord. We must temper our ardor and obey our Lord."


Roland nodded, with an effort. "As our Lord says, so we his knights shall do." Pulling his chocobo around to the North he slowly began to piece his way forward in the moonlight. "At least I now know of what became of Master Maugris."


"He is as he often says, bound by many obligations, Ser Roland," said the soft voice of Ser Nayme, the spikey haired Dunesfolk Lalafell, cloaked in gray-blue shadows.


"We have nine of our Twelve here. If Maugris is with my Lord-uncle Carolus, where are Otuel and my Step-Father Ser Ganelon?" Roland asked into Ogier's direction.


"Ser Otuel is moving on the West side of this encampment spying as close as he can dare," Oliver said with husky pride. "As to your… As to Ser Ganelon, he was out of the camp at the time of the attack. After the fracas he returned with a couple of retainers and indicated he had been off collecting provisions. When Lord Carolus gathered us three save Otuel to plan, I told him of your desire, brother Roland. Ser Ganelon suggested the escape, your Lord uncle concurred while, Ser Maugris declined the wisdom of a piecemeal escape and I argued against retreat altogether." There was a long pause in Ogier's transmission of the tale. Roland looked back to see a troubled look on the man's face in the half-light of the moon.


"What troubles you brother Ogier? Speak it, we will have no secret councils in fear."


"It is too much Roland, I dare no insult, but your father-in-law has convinced me that he has thrice been away-of-camp when an attack comes. The more he has your uncle's ear, the more troubling his decisions become. With the strained relations between Lord Carolus and Ser Maugris after Carolus cast out his cousin Renaud for a season." Ser Renaud, a chubby, bright faced Lalafell barked a laugh all too loudly at this retelling as he led his chocobo afoot nearby. "Well, needless to say Roland, Maugris has lost your uncle's ear and Ganelon has found it."


"This is a serious charge to bring against one of the Twelve Companions of Lord Carolus," Roland said softly. "Friend Ogier, you are indeed that, a friend and a brother in knighthood and battle if not in blood, but what proof have you against his infidelity to his vows? Worst still, what proof of a compact with the Imperials?"


"Aside from the warnings of Maugris?" Ogier growled in whisper at Roland's right. Each man had quieted significantly as they approached the edge of the Imperial camp while skirting the mountains.


"So Ser Maugris has warned you too of such things?" Oliver said softly from Roland's left side.


"Aye, narry that he needed to. Roland I know the man has your mother's hand, but he hates you. I daresay he hates our Lord too," the large man said.


"So it was only Ser Maugris' warnings?" Roland said troubled.


"No, Ser. Brother Roland," the Highlander started then paused and stared at his big calloused hands. Clenching his jaw, he gazed up into the Elezen's eyes, "Brother, when you said he should go and meet with the Prior, he cursed you and Lord Carolus. I know that you meant for it to be an honor for him to go and parle with the enemy, to serve Carolus by meeting with them to discuss the Lord's terms, but he only saw it as a threat to himself. He did every sort of cowardly warning and made every gripe short of simply admitting that he intended to betray us. Brother Oliver saw it too," Ogier finished, almost too sheepishly.


"It had been our cause to spare you this, at least until this campaign came to its conclusion," Oliver said quietly and simply. The two blond Hyur regarded him with caution. "His actions trouble me enough, having heard Ogier's report. His repeated forays into the distance for long periods leads me to believe that he communes with the enemy."


"Well said you stupid, sniveling child." rasped the voice of an older man.


Before them, just past a clearing stood the older Elezen in question. Ganelon had met them at the edge of the brush. Flanking him on either side of his chocobo was three Imperial Bestiarius Legionnaires. The six men, all well armed couched lances in the soil and leaned them at the slowly approaching chocobo-knights, creating an impromptu spear hedge. The dark look on Roland's face was only broken by the quiver of his lips when he saw the tableau before him.


"Father Ganelon, husband of my mother, Twelve be good, what is this?"


"Boy, this is the future," The old Elezen said as he spread his hands outward at each of the gather groups on his two sides. Six pairs of empty dead eyes regarded him from impassive faces.


"Think you six spearmen can hedge out most of the Twelve Companions?"


"Twelve Companions? Boy," he spat with fury, "Do you think you few mountain trained boys are some legendary bevy of soldiery?" Cursing he hitched a thumb over his shoulder. "Behind me, posed in the wood is another half dozen trained gunsmen. They have weapons pointed at you, trained on you where there is no mail to resist death. Unless your precious gods show themselves this instant and reveal themselves to be no lies, you are mine!"


"Why?" the young Elezen exclaimed through his gritted teeth. "Why abandon my uncle? Why destroy our purpose?" Flustered, he paused sighing ignoring his shaking hands and finished weakly, "Why?"


"Your uncle is a coward and a fool. Worse still, a weak minded one. You children, untrained fools with iron and bronze well above your grade and worth, have filled your heads with your own glamour. Carolus is simply a weak fool, who wanted to be a warlord and king of the north. Free people of the North? Preposterous. All around us, cities slam their gates, cower in their docks, trees and coffers, and beastmen, filth," he drooled as he uttered the word, "they summon those demons, those… Eikons. There is only one Lord of the North, his Radiance, Emperor Solus Zos Galvus." Roland barked a sharp laugh of disbelief.


"Madness, you have lost you mind. You cannot serve the Empire, its preposterous!"


"Serve? The Empire? His Radiance is freedom! This divided, dead land filled with the sickness of the beastmen and the filth of brokeness will be cleansed." The older man sneered. "Do you think your uncle is deliverance? He soils his robes as he runs from one small testing attack. Was but a few Retiarius and Myrmillo," he chortled. "He has abandoned you wretched fools to die here. I heard him issue the orders to flee and leave the rearguard to eat death, does your Thal call for you? Where is the watching justice? Your gods are as empty as the fools here that serve them." He smirked at Oliver.


"What of you, oh preserver of the Chosen Knight?" he said to him as he waved a hand in Roland's direction. "Will you be the deliverer of your dear, idiotic friend? Will you watch over him and temper him in this fight as well? Who will save you?"


He drew his gladius. "Come cully, come and die." He raced toward Roland, screaming, and was knocked unconscious by a bash of now dismounted Oliver's shield.


"Althyk preserve us!" Roland prayed with a roar as he leapt from his chocobo's saddle.


Spinning his body around to face the Imperials and crouching low, he flung his shield out in front of himself, protecting both his body and his chocobo with the wide rimmed kite. Ducking he rushed forward holding his reigns and crashed into the spear wall throwing their wielders aside. Dropping the reins and drawing his blade he gored the closest Imperial Bestiarius and bodily threw the corpse to the ground. Engaging another he jammed his sword through his chest and out his back, pushing shield and opponent before himself as dual barriers.


Past the undergrowth he saw the Imperial Centurions waiting with their curious gunblade swords. There were only four, the old man had lied. Roland rushed at them. Clearly, they and their weapons were unused to being so approached. Two fell quickly, a third attempted to wrest Roland's shield from his arm. Roland, full of battle fury launched the corpse at the attacker who sought the shield, and spinning forward with his sword cut a good deal of the Centurion's head away along with his helmet. The other, began to cross swords with Roland. The gunblade, clearly meant to act as more a projectile than a striking weapon bent beneath the onslaught hard Xelphatoli blade. Catching the Imperial in a tangle, Roland hefted his blade out of his hands and shattered helm and head with the pommel of his sword.


"Companions, the Centurions are dead. Twelve be good! To me, to me, montjoie, montjoie!" Behind him, all the knights gathered, bruised and cut, but largely undamaged. Over Oliver's saddle hung the unconscious form of Ganelon. "We were called to be Lord Carolus' rearguard, and so we shall. Come, my knights, come!" Mounting his bird, the knights began to race through the woods toward the West.


As the chocobo riders flew past the remains of their former camp, they looked up the hills westward. There in the far distance, beyond the hills they occupied, far past the river tributary below, stretching past the valley and off cresting the far hills was the remains of their army in full flight. It became obvious that in at least this much the old man had not lied, Carolus had ordered a complete retreat, and had left his rearguard abandoned to fend for themselves.


Oliver cursed brutishly. Shoving the old man off his saddle swell, Oliver rounded on him.


"If you love your precious Emperor so much, stay here, and see how he treats you, turn-coat!" Facing Roland he nodded, "I am sorry Ser Roland, my brother I will not have such a ponderous recreant weighing down my poor bird." Groaning and clutching his head the old Elezen started and stared feverishly at the young knights.


"You cannot leave me here! They will think me just another knight. They will not recognize me as their fellow. You filthy churls," Roland turned his chocobo and began to canter away. "Wait! What of your vows? Are you not sworn brothers to me?" The other Companions began to turn away. "Son! Please, forgive my indiscretion, I was… my mind… I've been made a slave son!"


As the knights continued to pursue their fleeing companions the old Elezen called curses after them.


Roland blew his horn a third time. The effort nearly shattered his eardrums for the force he blew. Gautier looked into the distance and shook his head with disgust.


"They know we are here," Oliver said in an empty voice. "We are slain, you have slain us my brother." Oliver looked at Roland in despair. The army of Carolus continued to flee, even as the sounding of Roland's horn crossed their flight.


"We have pursued as we could, Oliver. Brothers in war and friendship as you should not fight," Said the old Turpin, the Conjurer-knight in their midst.


"You know my heart, brother Roland. Heroism tempered with common sense is a far cry from madness, and reasonableness is to be preferred to recklessness." Oliver watched as to their east the Imperial Battalion closed the distance, fording the river tributary. "I am sorry, I am… harsh." Turpin, an eld and diminutive Lalafell smiled at their words.


Roland nodded. His face was etched with rivulets of sweat coursing through the road dust on his face, his eyes were mournful as he smiled at Oliver.


"All is forgiven between us, Oliver my friend. We fight now not one another, but with surety as one against a band of raiders and thieves." He wield around his bird to face them all. "Brothers, we are few, but now and here let all make their confessions before the Twelve and make right their hearts. By their grace and blessing we shall fend these monsters off. We shall stand for, not some small free people, not for villages, not for my good brave uncle, but for Eorzea. May the Land Herself watch over us and guide us."


The knights turned as one to face the coming Imperial Army. No longer would their chocobo chargers carry them fruitlessly after their departing comrades . Spent and tired they had set themselves in a narrow gap, blocking the Battalion's sole path to follow deeper into the valley basin, and therefore into Eorzea they stood. Weapons were drawn, what enchantments they could were called for, what preparations could be made were done.


Valiantly the knights stood in the gap. Drawing the ire of their opponents they fielded the entire martial violence the Battalion could offer. Their companions, safe and distant would feel no harm that day.


The Imperials came, and violently the knights threw them back. Though a handful of young knights and a few retainers, their numbers less than twenty they fought in perfect quarters, bottle-necking their opponents. Hundreds and hundreds of Imperials fell that day in the Battle of Tributary Pass. For some in the Empire it stood as a note of warning; like the thrice made sound of a blowing horn; that Eorzea would offer resistance, beautiful, glorious, defiant and courageous. However, like the story of many who offer themselves as the shield, and stand in the gap this was a sad tale.


While each man took his dozens over and over in enemies, eventually they began to flag and falter. In the dying rays of the afternoon, the Imperials turned back. They had won the gap, but it had been at such a terrible cost that the Battalion commanders had called a pull-back to rest in the coming darkness, fearful a night incursion might cost them more dearly.


In the distance he could hear the Imperial camp, the sounds of men and women setting up food, and unwinding and settling after the terrible stresses of travel and protracted combat. His face as he pieced his way among his dead companions revealed much He had come too late. Too late had he heard the horn sound. Too late had Carolus told him in no uncertain terms that he would never return. Too late had Maugris come. Tears streaked his tiny brown face, as he saw the broken form of Turpin, called the Arch-Conjurer.


There, slumped forward over nearly sixty dead Imperials, like his own grim collection of opponents was the body of Oliver. The shafts of several lances pierced his chest.


All around his Twelve Companions lay dead. Otuel had rejoined them at some point apparently, for he lay flat on his back, clutching his axe proud of his Warrior tradition, one of the few.


The more he searched the more his eyes welled with tears. The coming of darkness, and the smoke of hundreds of camp fires nearby, and the sting of tears blinded Maugris hopelessly. He slumped for a moment and allowed himself time the wipe his face. His hair had crusted to his forehead, from his continued pushing it away, sweat, tears, and dirt had made a muddy slurry of his face, and rendered his gray hair a wild streaked brown. Angry, he pounded his fist on the stone he slumped against.


Sighing, he looked south. Amazed he noted the corpse, leaned up against a stone, nearly still standing. His chest riddled with holes, his bronze mail hanging from his shoulders in pieces. His face sunken, pale and bloodless. Roland Debreton. Maugris' lip quivered, had it only been a couple of suns gone that the lifeless face before him had smiled at the sight of him?


The dead man's head rolled to one side. Maugris, gasped and stumbled forward, stilling himself he watched. The chest of the dead man, it moved. It was so shallow it appeared to be nothing at all, but here was a pulse of life.


He crossed the distance between himself and the Elezen in seconds. His hands moved as he cast the spells that were necessary. The flow of aether would be noticed, even by the gods accursed dolts in the Empire. He worked quickly uncorking vials, and spreading unction's of medicines. Roland was far more injured than he had even suspected at first. It would be daring and surprising if he survived, but Maugris had to teleport him. The light and power he used to pull him from the brink of eternity had been too noticeable. Maugris laid his head against Roland's chest and listened. Smiling, he laid his left hand over the Elezen's cold, pale forehead. Whispering, the two disappeared in a flash. The Imperial Sagittarius and Signifer sent to investigate the oddities arrived seconds later to find a sloping path littered with only the dead.


To my Lord General, Gaius Van Baelsar,


Forgive my flare for the dramatic, but I have always loved a good flowing narrative.


Here above is my report in great detail of the events of the incident at the Tributary Pass. I did indeed find your gifts of Silent Oil and Prisim Powder most amazing. With these things I was able to watch these events with unprecedented closeness and to record with such certitude as you find above. I think if we can continue to manufacture these elements with such extractions as we have managed we could conceivably move whole legions into dangerous places and put down rebellions before they even arise. All of these musings aside, my general follow-up report.


The young Elezen knight and the Lalafell sorcerer, will undoubtedly serve us no further harm. After seeing the destruction our legionaries made of the Elezen, and noting the lack of medick equipment and no learned physick that I could perceive, I doubt strenuously that he will survive his injuries and if he does, he will be no fit soldier any longer. The Lalafell, already jaded toward battle with us when things commenced will likely cease any consideration of waging war with the Empire, and I doubt any could talk him back into combat. I have left these two for the attrition of time to deal with. Instead, as per your instructions, I sought the more worrisome query.


I found my way into the presence of the war band leader, Carolus with little effort. A trail of run-a-way and deserter soldiers fell from his army in his wake. His war hall was unimpressive and these superstitious southerners would likely state that it was, "a miracle of the gods," he was able to form an army in the first. He agreed to meet with me, and like many of his predecessors among the Ala Mhigans he will bow the knee to his Radiance, the Emperor, may his glory live forever. Rest assured, when you are ready to lead forth the XIVth into these lands you have made believers in the Empire out of the warlord and many of his countrymen.



I shall continue here in these obscene lands, ever observant,


Janus fon Salisar,


The Wolf's Eyes

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