Sealed with the hand of the Royal Guard:
I cannot thank you enough for your courage and valor in obtaining news from Forsyth. Unfortunately as you know, we were too little, too late to do much before the town of Britain erupted in explosions.
We have fallen back and go in smaller groups but wearing the royal guard colors is a true tell for the raiders. I look to you again old friend and counselor for your guidance.
We have news, not that I can share even through Alicia but be prepared. Find those among you to trust and be at the ready when I call.
Your faithful student,
Captain Joseph of the 3rd division
Aldric put the latest correspondence from Joseph in his hollowed out log to conceal it with the others. He too was deep in thought every day on what to do with this mess. Keeping up with the rioters was one thing, but once the raiders hit, things soon became a nightmare to regain control. He had left Britain after the pathway to Blackthorns Castle was blocked off. He heard of Ver Lor Reg coming under attack and wondered of the statuesque Forsyth who held his city in such high regard. Queen Zhah offered them a safe haven and most took it. Did Forsyth go with them?
Now Joseph reached out to him again. He must be in dire need if he kept reaching out to a man past his prime. It took him weeks to rest his old bones and a soothing salve from Minoc’s gypsy healers after battling in Britain. It felt good to swing that axe again, even if it wasn’t as high or exact as before. He felt like a man, not just an old man and watching the younger warriors around him brought a smile during the battle. This group of misfits worked well together and had true promise yet no one bore the colors of the guard.
“I wonder,” he thought to himself. “I wonder if this might not be the very thing to turn the tides against the raiders and anything else Joseph had planned. Maybe Joseph was requesting exactly this in his letter without stating it for the eyes around him to see?”
Aldric thought again to that group of ragtag misfits and all they accomplished that night in Britain. Could they band together again when needed? Would they? A group that together would form a single thorn in anyone’s side they would align against. This indeed might be the key.
With some practice and leadership they would become one in battle as he had taught Joseph in the pits of Jhelom. The thought at once excited Aldric and gave him pause. He would be able to train and work with them but not every bone in his body was as ready for the task at hand. Still, to swing that axe, even in training….
Aldric prepared a list for Alicia to take to the gypsies. He would need plenty of salve but also one more thing, this time a request for the gypsy mages to loan him an item that would allow them to train hard and fast. There was no time for loitering and he would need a better place to train than Jhelom where raiders were known to sneak in and out at their leisure.
The Arena might be the place to accomplish this task. He would send word to Joseph only that he understood his needs and would be at the ready.