In the Shadow of the Tyrant

Timeworn Missive

My Lord Tyrant,

I am well aware that you observed the entirety of the events leading up to the rescue staged by those ‘heroes’ of Freystadt. However, as you have instructed me, I hereby create a written record of the battles with them. Does this serve a greater purpose, or is it merely for your amusement?

The beginning of our plan was executed flawlessly. With the artifacts of your design, we were easily able to divert the younger members of the squad – those ones that interest you – to the designated ambush point, while the two more powerful were sent far to the South. Despite the rather… ‘intensive’ training we granted them, however, the two lumberjacks used to assault them failed to kill a single member of their team.

Elowyn, the newest addition to their little band, proved to be more of a threat than anticipated. She held the one called Beck in single combat, while the rest of them killed Jack, the stronger of the two. As expected, the other lumberjack goons, whom the twins insisted would be able to hold their own in combat, were entirely useless when the fighting began. One of them spent the entire conflict entangled in a Wizard’s spell, before being knocked off the platform by a rolling log. Pitiful.

Regardless, this outcome was within our expectations, and served well to gauge their current capabilities. Beck, the more skilled of the two twins, was recovered, and I am sure we can make good use of his brother’s body. Such a brute loses little by becoming a mindless thrall.

After defeating the lumberjack twins, the ‘heroes’ proceeded west into Blightmoor. As you commanded, we ensured that they were unmolested by any denizens thereof until their arrival at Tyrant’s Redoubt. Though it did have a certain theatrical flare, I question the wisdom of simply allowing them inside the castle. Not that I mean to doubt you, lord Tyrant. You could smite them at any time, yet we spend so much time on elaborate preparations.

But I digress. Their ‘friend’, whom Andronikos had captured before, was positioned within, complete with the ‘enhancements’ that were granted to him. His squad of combat-trained Wight soldiers should have been a match for their team, but it seems yet again I have underestimated them. The Elf who bears your sword, Rirosorchalwen, holds great power. Crushing a skilled Wight Defender in a single blow is no small accomplishment.

As you are aware, emotions do not come easily to me after my ascension. However, even I felt a spark of amusement at watching their ally El-Mofty roughly choke Elowyn and repeatedly pummel her. Their ‘commander’ exacerbated the problem by placing an Aqueous Orb on the two. I question the judgment of Freystadt’s leadership – placing a Sidhe in charge of anything seems a foolish proposition. The team’s Wizard, however, is another who may prove dangerous given time. His Black Tentacles spell removed even El-Mofty from his grapple and incapacitated the two Wight Archers. The interrogators tell me the Elf was called ‘clever wrestler’ in his youth. How foolish.

Their defeat of the Wights, while impressive, was not unexpected. Andronikos had requested a personal battle with them, should they succeed. I believe that even after his own ascension, he clings to that petty concept of ‘honor’. Regardless, granting him a battle would in no way hinder our plans, though I took the liberty of adding two of your Shades to the conflict, in order to confound their spellcasters.

As the Knight requested, their battle was held on an island created specifically for the purpose, suspended magically over the endless storm that circles Tyrant’s Redoubt. This battle should have been a simple victory for Andronikos, but none of us anticipated the sheer power that their Paladin displayed. One from Freystadt does not simply come across a sword of that caliber, and I regret not detecting it before the battle. I sense the influence of that one in the East, only he would have access to such a weapon.

I digress again. The clarity of death does little to keep my thoughts from wandering. Elowyn displayed surprising skill again by disarming Andronikos’ prized greatsword. The Knight retrieved it in an overly-dramatic fashion, I believe. At the same time, it seems their archer, the ‘tree’ was able to dispatch the Shades with some help from the other melee fighters. At some point in the confusion, their commander simply disintegrated. This was none of my doing. Was she really such a threat that you felt it necessary to step in?

After Andronikos returned, he initiated a one-on-one battle with the other team’s champion, the Human named Nyrik. It was a close battle but, astonishingly, the Knight was defeated. The joy he must have felt to die in combat once again. It sickens me.

As you directed, we shifted the castle after the fight, leaving them to crash to the ground on a now rapidly descending rock. I doubt that this finished them, however. They prove to be quite tenacious. El-Mofty’s body was left behind. After all these years, you still insist on rewarding your enemies. Do you hope that, perhaps, they will become powerful enough to challenge you? Such a thing is impossible, I need not remind you. But, who am I to question the will of the Tyrant?

This loathsome task is done. Let it thusly be recorded.

By the Tyrant’s will,
Hannibal Woden

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