The raid on the monastery was successful, or at least as much so as could be hoped. We fought our way through a trap laid by Irovetti and made our way into the caverns beneath to defeat a vengeful ghost and his wraith-like allies, in so doing freeing a water spirit named Avenda. That was the easy part.
Avenda told us that she was the guardian of Briar—the legendary sword sought after by the ‘Great and Terrible Beauty’ we’ve been told is intent on returning to our realm and destroying our Kingdom in the process. Avenda told us also that Briar had been taken by Irovetti, along with the magical shawl that holds her life spirit. On the spot I promised to return the shawl to Avenda, as it seemed only right after what she had been put through. It seems clear that Irovetti has both the shawl and Briar, and so, when he falls, both the threat from the other world and the injustice done to Avenda will be righted.
However, we have to live long enough to make that happen.
Our war strategy is in tatters. We had assumed that Irovetti would attack first and that Brevoy would follow into the breach based on the opportunity the Pitaxian offensive opened. It seems though that the reality is just the opposite. Based on Jacek’s communes with Abadar, we know now that King Surtova’s forces will cross the border in just six days. We know nothing more about what they will come with, but if they come in any strength, every city between Varnhold and Tatzlford will be at risk.
I argued passionately before the War Council to have our forces redeployed to defend our Northern Border, particularly Leveton, from the threat of invasion. Though I was opposed by both the Silver Beast and the Lord General, Jacek was ultimately convinced to send what forces we had available to Leveton so that they would be available to mount a defense. But things look grim. In a best case, between the Royal Knights, Silver Company, Talon Peak Commandos, Way Watchers, and Tuskendale Militia, we may put together an army of 600 to defend against the Brevoyan advance. The Brevoyans could easily come with thousands. Best case, we are outnumbered two or three to one.
I know Iomedae supports me in this dark time, I feel more of her power in me every day. But I know this is not power shared without purpose. Iomedae tasks me to go where I am needed and defend my people to the last. With Jacek’s permission, I will depart to Leveton with haste to organize a defense of the city and evacuate the citizenry. Jacek knows, as I do, that it is the place of a paladin to stand between the forces of destruction and the forces of life. Iomedae help me, I will make that stand.
I saw my son last night for the first time in several days. Nina brought him and Alura to Tuskendale, against her better judgment, because she knew I needed to see them. I stayed up with them throughout the night, playing and laughing for as much time as I could steal. Tomorrow Nina will return with them to the Greenbelt to wait out the coming storm. Nina doesn’t want to run, she wants to stand with me, but she knows there isn’t a choice. We don’t know where the hammer will fall or if Ursundova will be able to turn the strike. If things go badly, at least our family will be safe…for a time.
Iomedae bless and keep us all.