Diabolik has been dealt with, Borderhold is secure, and Lt. Alnor is pleased with our performance. We are to return to Kiergard to report and receive new orders.|
The trip home is by far the easiest thing we have done in days. The roads are clear, the weather does not threaten, and any undesirables give us a wide birth. We stop for the night in a small village called Treucht. After stabling our horses and attaining lodging, we head across the road to the local watering hole. The ale is fair; the food satisfying; and all have a good time. The night grows deeper and soon we all decide it is time to sleep. We finish our drinks; pay off our tabs, and head out toward the inn.
We are no more than ten paces from the tavern when we hear a commotion. The night is dark and the streets are dimly lit, but this is of little consequence because the action is right at our feet. The men burst from the alley, struggle to get purchase of one another, and tumble to the street. The tussle lasts only a few seconds more, as the man on top pulls forth a great dagger and thrusts it through the other mans throat. Blood stains the ground as the murderer continues to kill the already dead man. He is so preoccupied that he misses my approach. The slap of my blade gets his attention quite nicely.
I am told that being swatted with a blades-flat can be disorienting, and I do not doubt it. I do not know from personal experience however, for none I have challenged have used such restraint. The murderous man is stunned by the attack. His focus distracted, he leaves himself open for attack and Adrianna takes full advantage. She looses her crossbow and the bolt travels true. Now there are two corpses before me.
Gerard begins to search the bodies. I am staunchly opposed to the desecration of the dead, and find the concept of looting corpses morbid at best, however I cannot deny that sometimes the dead have their stories. The men have little equipment, save the dagger the murderer used, but Gerard does find a small slip of paper from one of their pockets. The note is very straightforward: General Melndran is to be killed two days from now. The general lives in Kiergard, which is two days south of this tiny town.
We make haste for the stables.
The ride to Kiergard is grueling. After two days of near constant riding, our exhausted steeds finally carry us into town. Without hesitation, we immediately head toward the Generals home. As we approach, his residence appears unmolested. We dismount and continue toward the Generals door. It seems that we have gotten here in time. We soon realize how wrong we are.
Six cloaked men descend from the rooftops and begin raining steel upon us. The strangely dressed men fight with a quick and agile style, wielding single edged short swords and wearing next to no armor, a far cry from my plate armor, steel shield and longsword. They dodge blows left and right, while my armor absorbs most of their contacts. The fight is vicious, and when the dust settles one man is taken into custody, while the others are sent off to the morgue. There is no time to wait though, for the general must be warned.
Rushing into the generals home there appears to be nothing out of place, save the smell. I have smelled the dead and rotting before, but something about this has me greatly unsettled. We search the house and finally make the grim discovery. We are too late, the general is dead. The scene is particularly gruesome, as it appears the general has been devoured by various kinds of large insects. Some of the bugs still remain in and around his corpse, stripping it of flesh from the inside out. The scene is too much for me, and after saying a quick prayer, I remove myself from the home.
This has been a bit too much for me these last few days. The time has come to report to Bissel and take a much needed rest.