These events take place before Rise of the Obsidian Legion
I hate keeping secrets.
Not too long ago when all of this started, before we even vanquished Novak, I was completely consumed with paranoia. Not knowing who was truly on Amon side before going after The Restless Hand was eating at me on the inside. Going off the deep end I held those who I now call friends at the tip of my cutlass and demanded some type of allegiance to the cause, to reveal they had no brand like myself, to get all secrets out in the open to form trust.
That is when Henry revealed himself and his heart wrenching story about how he was forced into Novak’s service. It was a tough time for us, even tougher on the prince and the dwarf. But in the end I believe it made our bond stronger. Though I may have been out of place at the time, I am grateful for that moment.
Now I am faced with another secret. Unlike that night, the less that is known to everyone the better. I can live that. I believe Prince Amon would do the same.
Once Lithia convinces the others she believes the Bringers of Woe came and stole the keystone we set out plans to find them. After the journal found at the Blackened Earth compound we decided to go ask the cult’s people if they know where the Crushing Wave calls home.
As we approach the settlement there are no guards to meet us, no villagers are seen running among the makeshift huts and tepees. It is quiet. I make the remark that maybe the people are at ease now that we removed what was left of the Bringers from their home.
Randal Dundragon thinks otherwise. The priest finds it odd that no one came to meet us seeing how yesterday they did so under friendly terms. He picks up his pace as he approaches. With that setting uneasy feelings upon the rest of us we follow him.
We spread out once we hit the small buildings, shouting out to any who may hear us. Turning the corner of a hut I find the dead body of a warrior in front of its door. As I check inside the building the dead greet me through the broken door.
How could this have happen so quickly? We were just here yesterday! Surely it is not the Bringers of Woe, there were only six of them when we met them back at Red Larch. They would be incapable of killing all of these people.
Moving through the pathways more dead turn up. I come to realize the whole village was slaughtered and not a fallen enemy is in sight. Who was this?
A grim faced Randal approaches, his breathing is heavy and fast. I am not sure if the tears in his eyes are from sorrow or rage. From his demeanor I would guess a good portion of both. He says nothing as he hands me a folded parchment stained with blood.
Reading it floods me with mixed emotions.
It is addressed to me. It is written to mock me, to mock the carnage done to these people. It is sickening. The letter is summoning me to Red Larch for what is supposed to be a grand party. The symbols of both The Restless Hand and the Bringers of Woe endorse it.
I rip the parchment in two, letting it fall from my grasp as I race to the wagon. With no words to Henry I unhitch one of the horses against his protest for me to stop. Just as quickly as I mount the steed I spur the animal to top speed as the dwarf’s words go unanswered.
Racing toward my adopted home, my eyes fill with tears. It is not from the sting of the cold wind, they are from the last words on the invite that echo through my mind.
“Jalina sends her regards.”