In the Shadow of the Tyrant

Alena's Diary (Entry 1)

Gaybreighal brought the new recruits into the capitol today, just as planned. I had Willikins prepare the manor to look extra malevolent today, and their faces as the butler led them in were priceless. Though I had heard rumors, I must express that I hadn’t expected their leader, Captain El-Mofty, to be such a scarred mess. His presence in my mansion was unseemly, so I dismissed him without delay. The pure fury with which he exited was delightful. I wonder what he expected from me.

Once the nuisance was gone, I took a look over my new personal squad. Though strange and… diverse, they certainly seemed to have a certain, undefinable spunk to them. Their other captain, the fairy, seemed to think she was related to me in some way. The idea was quite amusing, I must admit, but her persistence quickly became annoying, so I gave them the brief version of their mission and quickly sent them away with Willkins and Gaybreighal. Perhaps if they manage to survive, I shall learn their names.

The Elf though, there was something special about her. Perhaps she isn’t as dim-witted as she first appeared. I asked her to stay behind while the others left, then presented her with the black blade uncovered by the previous expedition. She was delighted at the prospect of using such a beautiful weapon. That should prove to be quite the amusing experiment.


Dearest Gilbert,

In your last letter to me, you expressed a desire to learn more about the newest recruits. Though I doubt they shall last very long, I will do my best to sate your curiosity. Anything for you.

According to Willikins’ most recent reports, their unit was but a day out of the capitol before getting ambushed by a pair of rather peculiar ruffians. It would seem that the Ghoran among them, Lieutenant Barkwin, had some trouble with these two before, and they wanted their revenge. It’s written here that they “wanted her lumber”. How delightful.

The two of them – Jack and Beck, it says here – were quite a bit more powerful than their last encounter, and they managed to beat Lieutenant Barkwin into unconsciousness. I wish I had been there to see that. The lumberjack thugs went down disappointingly quickly after that. At Captain Köhler’s orders they simply stripped them bare and left them alive. How dull.

Gaybreighal sat the battle out of course, hiding behind a tree. I know you disapprove of his methods, but I do wish he’d “participate” a bit more. Regardless, he should be able to complete his main purpose most admirably.

That is all the information I have for you now, love, but I look forward to Willikins’ next report, if just for another chance to write to you.

Pining for the time we can meet again,
Alena


Beloved Gilbert,

Those young officers you’re so interested in had another most interesting encounter. Are you familiar with the Zuvembie? It’s a type of undead that stands on cliffs and uses a siren song to lure adventurers to their doom. Elegant, is it not?

According to the latest report from Willikins’ network, a Zuvembie almost killed Gaybreighal just yesterday. I know my plans are hinging on him, but I cannot help being disappointed that he failed to meet such an amusing end. Lieutenant Barkwin was on watch at the time (apparently she doesn’t sleep, how intriguing), and managed to save little Sweetsheen from walking to his doom. Captain Köhler tried to make contact with the Zuvembie, surely with hilarious results, but some fancy jumping and slashing by Lieutenant Rirosorchalwen, and a few well aimed arrow from Lieutenant Barkwin destroyed it before it could do any real damage. They must be more skilled than I had originally thought. Willikins is not easily impressed.

I did some research on that question you asked in your last letter, and your suspicions were correct. Lieutenant Barkwin’s first name is Gilbert, just like your own. Gilbert Barkwin! What an amusing coincidence, if it is a coincidence.

We’ll have some much more entertaining news for you soon, love. My little unit is about to enter into the laboratory, and things will get really fun from there. I’m eager to write you about all the tragedies that befall them. I know you don’t like that sort of thing, but indulge me a little.

Missing you as always,
Alena.

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