The Banner of the Crimson Emperor

Dearest Jillian (2nd correspondence)

Dearest Jillian,

The first mission of “The Black Legion” is finished, and our sundry company has completed the assigned objective without permanent harm. Our foes were far less fortunate, as part of our ordered task was to collect the left ear of each of the bandits.
We were ambushed upon entering the Iron Forest. The collection of creatures that rose to attack us was quite odd, consisting of dwarves, humans, elisani elves, a mog and a giant bullfrog. They were clad in poor quality equipment and fought feverishly. I was very nearly mortally wounded, but with the vigor of danger in my veins I slayed the coward who had been harrying me through the trees. The orc, Morghul, is a healer and was able to restore me to health. After the defeat of that first group of bandits, I noticed the faintest wisp of smoke in the sky and was able to determine the direction of their primary encampment.
They had occupied a disused sawmill and the surrounding area. We were forced to meet our foe on a bridge before being able to fight our way inside. To our shock, they had engaged the services of a black dragon wyrmling, which we had to dispatch. There were a total of 21 of these ragtag bandits in and around the building and we eventually fought our way to the top floor. There, we encountered a man in magitech armor who we later learned was Sir Argus, who once served the Margrave. Upon our ascent of the stairs, Sir Argus remarked, “three gingers and a pair of barbarians. Is that how little the Margrave thinks of me?” His underestimation of our abilities soon became apparent. He was slain by Salena, in her own suit of magitech, but during the melee an oil lamp tumbled over and the sawmill began to burn. I’m sure you realize the extreme flammability of the contents of a sawmill, so you’ll appreciate the peril inherent in our situation. We were forced to leap from the window and land in the river. All of us were able to do so, with the exception of the orc. He has evidently never been in a river and immediately began to drown. One wonders how they bathe. Thankfully, the northlander swims well and he was able to pull our healer to safety.
Once we brought the ears and Argus’ body back to Margrave Stravis, he mocked the fallen knight and explained that he had stripped Argus of his title and lands as punishment for complaining about his constant border patrol assignments. The Margrave is vindictive and expects his people to follow every order and be grateful for it, which I find disquieting. Perhaps it is just due to my love of knowledge, which can never be gained in such a rigid system.
You know how I always loved pursuing the knowledge that was forbidden for the sole pleasure of knowing it. It led me many places, and cost me the most precious jewel of my life. Now I seek that knowledge with a heavier heart. Your face will be seared into my very soul for eternity, and I will not rest until I undo the grievous harm I have wrought.

Until we meet again…
Your beloved,



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