While the heroes were in Old Llygad, James spent some time rummaging through the personal items of the cursed crusaders. Here is a collection of personal correspondence he was able to find and read.
- Family update from a wife of a knight who is lording over their hold
My brave lord-husband,
I write a brief missive to you to inform you that all is well at the Wyvern’s Nest. Your son is learning to ride, and your two daughters are being instructed in dance and archery. All three send their love and encouragement.
Your wife has spent the last few wiks gathering this Þrimilce-mōnaþ taxes from the villagers. They all send their warmest regards and yearn for your return. (Though not as much as I, dear husband.) Most have gotten used to an eastern lady collecting the taxes instead of their usual, stalwart mountain lord, and those that failed to get used to it had the house guards to contend with. I believe you would be proud of me.
The granaries are running low, but in a mōnaþ or two, when the harvest comes in, we should have enough for our people to get through the cold months, while still having some to trade for livestock with Lord Grimsby. We could use some more goats after our flock got attack by two Vrocks soon after your departure. Don’t be afeared; the men fought them off with only two fatalities, though I’m afraid guard Will has lost the use of his sword arm, and guard Mira’s mind may never recover.
But rest assured as you ride for Gwenllygad, that your lands and family is in the capable hands of your lady-wife. I might not have the gusts of mountain wind running through my veins, but since our marriage I feel it running through my soul.
Lady Miranda Proudwing
- Love letter between knight and her suitor
My dearest beloved,
Once more I watched you ride from the Roost to battle forces of darkness and tyranny, and my heart could not swell up more with pride. My soon-to-be wife has been knighted and now dons the lapis lazuli of the Order. You always said that you’d be tapped on the shoulder before I would and I could not be more proud of you for beating me to it.
As you ride off for Gwenllygad, I have been called to fly out with Master Commander Wentworth and lend aid to the defence of Blue Harbour which has been besieged by a horde of all consuming evil lead by Barazod the Fiery Dread. The Order of the Lance has rode out from the west while the Order of the Shield sails across the inner sea from the east. If I prove myself on this theatre, I hope to be knighted before Midinváerne and perhaps we can be married in Æster-mōnaþ, when the grass turns green.
I never thought that after all I have lost, I would ever find someone to care about again.
- Friends going into business together
I never made a better choice than to leave Gryphon’s Roost and start hiring myself out protecting cargo back and forth to the coast. I’ve been asked to bring cargo for others and bought myself a cart, but it’s hard being on the lookout while driving an ox. I could really use your help. You’re good with a sword and you’re good on a cart. The silver is good and there is a steady flow of work because there are plenty of people to protect; the Order can’t protect everyone. They can’t chase down every demon and there are plenty running around the wilderness harassing merchants and common folk. You know where to find me.
- The order of the shield redeploying troops liaised to gryphon upon completion of expedition
Upon completion of your next expedition your orders are to lead the members of the Order back home as we will have committed a large part of our forces to the western shore in order to support the other orders in their fight to control the area around Blue Harbour. It has been a long time since you’ve rode across the causeway and through the gates of Dunagore.
Your wife is well and your son is growing up strong and tall, like yourself. He is beginning to take his first steps and is eager to meet his father. Tell Dame Marianne that her sister, Dame Catherine, sailed for Blue Harbour and is to be the personal guard to the Knight Primarch, a great honour. And more gravely, please inform knight lieutenant Morden that his grandfather, Lord Barrow, has passed away defending his holdfast against a harpy attack. He is to take up the mantle as Lord of Felwind Rock. Offer him my condelences.
Ever proud to be your father,
Ser Seraphian, Grand Master of the Shield, Lord of Dunagore
- Orders to investigate possible collaboration of knights with the savage warriors of the north
After the expedition to Gwenllygad, you are given the temporary rank of Knight Lieutenant and lead a group of four hand picked knights with able griffons who have not received any follow up orders, and fly north, across the Thoradun mountains and east to the coastal settlement of Marburg and meet with their leader who is called Marduk. (For Paladine’s sake, don’t pick Dame Josephine.)
They say Marduk commands a force of two thousand savages and has been able to protect ten times that many people. He and his savages could be valuable allies. One thing you should know is that his tribe don’t believe in the gods. They believe in one god and one adversary, like they do on the plains of Selos. They say he is surrounded by a glow of radiant light and that wings have grown from his shoulders, like an angel.
Report back to me as soon as you have taken a measure of the man, his forces, and the state that Marburg is in. I want to know what, if anything, of the rumours are true, and how valuable he might be in the wars to come.
Dame Hanrietta, Senechal of the Gryphon
- Armsmen ordered to go support knight lieutenant in the defence of a shipment of grain coming in from the eastern plains of Selos.
Ser Reginald, after the expedition you are to take your squire, sergeant and armsment and ride south to meet along the coastal trail with knight lieutenant Gareth and help escort a large shipment of surplus grain from the eastern plains of Selos, bound for Newport and Blue Harbour. If fighting continues at Blue Harbour, lend any assistance you can before returning to the Roost. As by the command of knight commander of the 7th cavalry regiment, Ser Robert Tolliver
- Mission to Ard Thoradun to plead the mountain dwarves for aid
Ser Lothar, after the expedition you are given the temporary title of knight lieutenant in order to take your men and commission one other knight and their armsmen and ride for Ard Thoradun to appeal to the mountain dwarves one final time for shelter and aid. Do not bother taking Ser Karagan, since they have refused him on several earlier occasions. Take a noble, like Dame Josephine, or someone known, like Ser Estienne. As by the command of knight commander of the 7th cavalry regiment, Ser Robart Tolliver
- Correspondence with one of the priests of Pholtus on treating wounds sustained from a demon.
I received your letter late last mōnaþ and in the two wikon since, I’ve managed to use the recipe you sent me on two of the nights after they fought a Balor and sustained terrible burns to their skin. Their recovery was remarkable! It is true that in the westerlands dreamfoil and owlsblood is rare, but I’ve got every apothecary scouring the forests for them on their foragings.
As a token of gratitude, I would like to share with you the antidose we have devised against the poison that the wicked Quasits carry on their claws, for it has paralysed many of our knights. The poison does not last long, but just a few drops of this solution and it will greatly enhance their ability to withstand its effects.
Mix equal parts silversage, garlic, mandrake in a pot, together with half a part of ghost mushroom. Add an equal amount of water and let it stew until it turns an even shade of green, like that of wild spinach, and the smell turns sour. Let it cool off. It will thicken as it does, but that makes no matter. Take the slightest drop of paralytic poison and dilute it a hundred times in purified and boiled water. In the westerlands we used the saliva of the owlbears, but I’m positive that the sting of a wyvern will do much in the same way, though you might need to experiment with the dosages. Mix the two liquids together and strain it through a sand filter.
The optimal time to take the antidose is minutes before engaging. We have seen some success in taking it after the wounds were sustained, but the results are unreliable.
May the light be with you,
- A letter sent to one of the armsmen about his daughter potentially being one of the first recruits to a new school focusing on wizardry, on the northern coast of the inner sea.
Artillery specialist Riordan of White Hills,
I write to you on this auspicious day that the we at the Senhadrim council have divined that your daughter Moira, of seven winters, has great arcane potential. We have since confirmed this as a fact through communication with the knight secretary of the order you serve. We would like to invite her to be formally trained at a newly established school of arcanists at the coastal city of Newport. There, she will be introduced to each of the different circles of magic to see to which she has the greatest affinity and then let her specialise in that circle. Eventually we hope that she will graduate from the circle and start her apprenticeship under one of the Senhadrim and serve the Silver Crusade. We understand that you will have to talk this over with your order, with your wife, and with Moira herself. We are looking forward to hearing from you and for Moira to join us at the circle in Newport. We hope you appreciate the gravity of the opportunity we are offering young Moira.
Rusalka the Red, Head Mistress of the Circle of Enchantment