The Promise

Introduction Approximately 10 years pre-Exodus. The sandstorm was well into its third night and the Company was fighting desperately to keep the tsera from collapsing under the weight of the sands.  Several had already been lost.  A man, suffering numerous wounds and burns, arrived with two young, terrified children.  He used ancient and arcane Society pass-phrases to get past the pickets and be delivered to the command tent.  Debinani had just been named Ataman, and he, Anmoch, and ancient Ralben conferred with the man in private for many hours.  When dawn came (and, coincidentally, the end of the storm), the man had succumbed to his wounds and died and both children were presented to the Company as charges.  They were not, however, trained as soldiers of the...

The Book of Debinani – Chapter 10 – Where we walk.

I am clean.  Scoured pure by wind and sand.  All that remains in the crucible is wind and fire. I was born to the armaya, the curse.  Born to the Rose & Swords and the desert of a woman who I am told was soft and weak and taken for her water shortly after I came squalling into this world.  They say I am son to the betrayer himself, that I have his eyes and his countenance, though none can know for certain.  I will not take his name as other sons of the curse do of their Company fathers and grandfathers.  An oath is a sacred thing, even when given to an evil whore of a witch. I was raised as all children of the curse, taught the ways of sand and water and the Annals and Code of the Company as we huddled in our tsera beneath the sands during the days, and...

The Men By the River

 We had all heard the stories, of course.  But as the decades passed the stories became less history and more myth. Kishara was a high priestess of Set, whose beauty was rivaled only by her cold-hearted cruelty.  In addition to her priests, acolytes, and bodyguards, she maintained a company of irregulars, soldiers known by the symbol of the black rose they wore on their lapels, to enforce her will within her demesne.  It is said that as the years passed, Kishara grew more aggressive in her aspirations for power.  She became feared and reviled by the Setite hierarchy as she maneuvered for power beyond any a woman had ever held, leaving a trail of corpses in her wake.  It seemed to all that she was favored by Set, her soldiers were unstoppable, her assassins struck...

The last thing I remember….

It was my tenth year of command when the Company found itself in the employ of the King of Aquilonia, fighting the Nemedian War.  Lord-General Prospero had stationed the Company in a fort overlooking a small pass through the mountains near the head of the Khorotas River while he and the rest of the Aquilonian lords and their armies camped near Shamar.  Intelligence reported that General Zin had bid his engineers construct hundreds of barges – so common thought was that he was going to bypass the mountains altogether and move his armies into Aquilonia via the Red River.  Even if he decided to take the Road of Kings, a small force was stationed at the high point of the road in the mountains, right on the border – able to provide Prospero’s host ample warning...

It’s Time….

It’s Time…. The General lay in his bed, the breeze from the open window rustling the silk canopies. His breathing was labored, and skin shone with sweat. He had taken his search to the depths of hell and beyond and faced off against countless fell beings along the way. He’d consumed foul magical elixirs to give him the strength to tear asunder the Abyss and bring back that which he had lost. He failed. In the end, it was the dark magics and elixirs that finally pushed his mortal body past all limits, leaving him broken and chained to his bed as an invalid, his son and castellan carefully concealing his weakness to the others – but it didn’t matter any longer. “What do I leave behind?” he asked, his voice being the only part of him that still...