The Book of Rahl – Chapter Seven – Six Days, Seven Nights, and Five Centuries Ago… – Debinani Rahl
22
July, 1999
The Book of Rahl – Chapter Seven – Six Days, Seven Nights, and Five Centuries Ago… – Debinani Rahl

–==Official Submission==–
FROM: General Debinani Rahl
RE: Chapter Seven – Six Days, Seven Nights, and Five Centuries Ago…

The Book of Rahl – Chapter Seven

-Six days, seven nights, and five centuries ago…..

Autumn found The Society in the employ of The Paladins of
Trinsic, covering merchant escort duties, the training of
their men, as well as the occasional raid on the
Shadowclan. Rutger Dag was as good a boss as any, and was
pretty good about not forcing us into trouble we didn’t
want, but some of the men were uncomfortable about working
for someone so devoted to British. Quite frankly, British
hasn’t been seen in public for so long, it really didn’t
matter to me either way.

Myca and Kamir are riddling me less and less of late. It
would appear that they were backed up to the palisade tower
and vaulted into the ocean to be caught by a fisherman days
later. Their unnerving undead condition is attributed to
other matters that happened later in their lives, and
neither one of them is talking about it. They don’t seem to
bear anyone any ill will, quite the opposite in the case of
Lieutenant Shade, whom they’ve grown quite fond of
riddling, most likely due to their common Warder ground.

Last week we finally got a bit of a morale boost, as The
Society held out nearly single-handedly against the
Shadowclan in a daring operation to retake the Yew Southern
Guardpost during the Clan WarBoss challenge. The army
showed up a bit too late to save most of our number from
uncomfortable and unnerving deaths, but we took the day,
and I suppose that’s all that matters.

Also last week, things began to happen. Myca and Kamir both
began to age considerably, their roughly middle-aged
features becoming twisted with old age. Myca actually lost
the use of his eyes. Everyone was in a bit of a huff trying
to figure out what was going on when it started happening
to me. Over the course of three days I probably aged four
decades, and I perfected a potion to slow the process just
before my hands gave out to arthritis. I was aging fast,
neither one of the three of us could hold out much longer,
and then weird things started happening.

I began to receive reports about a ghost appearing at
Kent’s Pint and disturbing Myca greatly. The ghost didn’t
seem to be behind what was going on, however he seemed to
know who was and wasn’t talking. The spirit was later
identified as Valdimar Morwyn, Lance Corporal of the
Warders and one of the five of us that survived the
slaughter at Yew. It seemed the spirit would appear, drop
clues and quite a lot of guilt about Myca leaving him and
Cedric behind in Cove, and then vanishing, not to be seen
for days at a time. A short while later, reports of Cedric
appearing began to trickle in. It would seem that these two
have spent the last five centuries trying to find the old
Warders and have finally caught their query. Too convenient
I’d say. Their appearance coincided almost exactly with the
unnatural aging.

As I was laying in my bed one night, trying desperately to
keep the chill from my bones, Cedric appeared to me. The
poor fool was far beyond mad, but he had a moment of
lucidity long enough to offer me temporary relief from my
condition in exchange for clarity of thought. I agreed. I
can’t remember much of what transpired while Cedric and I
were joined, it was all quite a blur. However, I will try
to recap to you the events that took place from the reports
I was given from my men. Apparently, I was witness to
Valdimar’s final demise at the hands of a little peasant-
man. The fellow found Valdimar and just made him…
disintegrate somehow. I’ve never known any magic that can
destroy a spirit, but apparently his could. It was also
during this time that I speculated Lord Daithomir could be
the culprit behind the aging. He was the one who set The
Society up in the first place, it would only be logical
that he had somehow survived all this time in an attempt to
finish the job. My clarity of thought returned to me the
next day and I found myself sitting in the Pint with a
dirty, bad-toothed little peasant man trying to pick my
pocket. I swatted him away and he grinned like there was no
tomorrow. I had no idea at the time what had just happened.
Cedric was gone…forever.

So, thus began the search for Daithomir. Our health was
degrading badly as the days wore on and the men were losing
hope of finding a solution. Then the ultimatum came:

I must say, I do find this all terribly amusing. To think
that for over five centuries I was led to believe the Black
Rose had been crushed.

Naughty little soldiers, you should die when you’re told…

The rest of you children are none of my concern, my masters
will deal with you in their time. However I’m owed by
Master Sergeant Vodyanoy, Corporal Sang, and Private
Rahl…and I’m owed more than any of you can imagine.

My servants have seen to it that the spirits of Valdimar
and Cedric are gone, and now all that’s left is for me to
collect the three of you.
I’ll make you an offer. You three turn yourselves in to me,
and I will see to it that your respective little
organizations are spared the purging that’s coming to the
Empire.

If not, things will become quite dire for you indeed.

I await your response.

-Lord Daithomir Terellian of the Ring

We tried for several days to come up with a solution on our
own, but all roads led to Daithomir, and there was no way
of finding the worm unless one of us went to him. This was
my response (annotated for dramatis purposa.

The door to Kent’s Last Pint swings ponderously open and an
ancient man in green robes hobbles in, supporting himself
on his staff. He limps across the floor to the far side of
the tavern, suppressing a cough that sounds more of blood
than air. He reaches up and dips a quill in the inkpot by
the sheet of parchment and begins to write:

“Lord Daithomir;
I find it remarkably ironic that you choose the fifth
centennial of The Society’s defeat at Cove to make your
ultimatum to the last few of us who slipped through your
fingers.
Nevertheless, the enchantment that you have used to hold
sway over my body is as thorough as the trap you laid for
us those many years ago. So it is with the taste of bile on
my lips that I say the following:

I surrender.

I will meet your emissary and will then willingly surrender
myself into your custody at the appointed hour and place.

-Debinani Rahl”

The old man tries to loose the clasp of the insignia of his
office, but the wear of a hundred marches and the blood of
a thousand battles holds the clasp tighter than the aged,
arthritic fingers have the strength to loosen.
A woman’s fingers deftly and gently help the man remove his
badge of office and the old man looks into the eyes of a
peasant barmaid, the same woman he would dance with when
the fancy took him not weeks before. He folds the woman’s
fingers over the pin, holds the woman’s eyes for one last
michevious wink, and hobbles out into the cold.

Now, I’ve never been one for tucking tail and giving up,
and I’m sure Daithomir knew it too, so I came up with a
little plan to catch our estranged megalomaniac. I will get
to that in a moment.

The night before I turned myself in to Daithomir, I met
with Kim of Moonglow, Commander of the Winterfell
Outriders’ Black Hand. She informed me that the situation
between her kingdom and that of the Highland Sosarians was
swiftly degrading, and asked if The Society would stand on
alert in case of an attack on Cove. I agreed.

About the same time, intelligence reports that Daithomir
had sent his emissaries to the Sosarian Socialist Party,
requesting protection aid against the inevitable
retribution that The Society would dole out upon my
untimely death. After a swift and inspiring socio-political
retort from Shade, they opted not to aid Daithomir. I still
have to thank Zhang for sticking to his guns.

The day finally came, and I turned myself over to Daithomir
after a short staff meeting with some of my men. That night
and following day were grueling. He tortured me and asked
me about all sorts of information that couldn’t have been
of any importance to anyone except to facilitate torture.
During the process I managed to plant my com crystal on
Daithomir’s person. At which point I decided to give up. I
had done my purpose, my battered old, and remarkably weak
ancient body was giving out. To be completely honest, I
truly didn’t expect to survive any longer than Daithomir’s
entertainment at my torture. I was wrong. Someone else
needed entertainment as well. Daithomir handed me over to
Sylus Wormtongue, who turned out to be some sort of Eater-
of-Souls, a quite mythical creature known to sustain itself
on the pain , suffering, and guilt of other men’s souls. As
it turned out, Myca, Kamir, and myself were considered fine
delicacies among the Soul Eaters; old, guilt-ridden, black
of heart and spirit, et cetera, ad nauseum. Wormtongue
hauled me to the dungeons contained within the ancient
fortress of Deceit and decided to torture me a bit more.

I had thought I had given up, but about the point when he
put me in the Maiden, the animal instinct in me finally
snapped and decided that today was not a good day to die,
nor was any other day for that matter. I summoned a small
amount of energy and seared off the latch on the maiden,
burst out, yanked the bag of regeants off of Wormtongue on
my way by, stumbled into a cell and cast my way out blind.
Luckily enough, I ended up in the naked and bloodied in the
snow just a short distance from the Society’s primary
forge. I dug up my spare key, ran inside, and hollered into
the first communication crystal I could find that
Wormtongue was at the door. And he was. A few moments later
the door burst open and he came for me. I was far too weak
and injured to struggle. I remember nothing else until I
awoke amongst friends.

From the reports I’ve received, events unfolded as follows.
A few of the men, as well as Myca (and later, Kim of
Moonglow) were convened at the Pint. Shade’s crystal,
modified to track mine, pointed them to Moonglow, where
Daithomir was busy studying the stars or something equally
trivial. After a brief, and I’m sure scintillating,
discourse, they killed him, got his ring and amulet, and
proceeded on a hunch to try to find me. They arrived in
Deceit, where Sandoval found traces of my bloody rebellion.
Then they received my call from the Smithy, they arrived to
find Wormtongue and a rather disturbed-looking crystal
ball. He groveled for a moment, gave them a moment of
indecision regarding his current sanity, grabbed the
crystal ball, and somehow managed to bolt past five armed
warriors and out into the snowy wastes. He was chased all
the way to the Shrine of Honesty, which didn’t seem to like
Eaters-of-Souls very much, as the poor fool caught fire. He
refused to tell Shade how to release me from the crystal
ball and then attacked him in a rage. Shade and Aragos
finished him off.

They returned to the forge to find me naked, old, and
unconscious on the floor. They roused me, gave me the
amulet and I recovered my age swiftly. While I was getting
dressed and my bearings, something passed between Shade and
Myca, the details of which I am still uncertain of. Aragos
decided to drop a bomb on my and say the ghost of Turon had
appeared to him and Galanon the night before and had
intimated that he was my father. I went outside to have a
drink and reevaluate my world-view.

When I returned, Myca combined the shards of the crystal
ball of my prison and the amulet. The results were
uncomfortably satisfying. Everything shook as the sound of
three-thousand odd men marching echoed across the wastes.
Turon made an appearance and told everyone he was proud,
and that now the old Society may rest. Everyone was
remarkably pleased with themselves, yet understandably
introspective. We convened once more at the Pint and had
our fill.

Just today another message arrived:

I must say, that was a *very* entertaining performance.
Tell me, did the pig squeal before you stuck him? Somehow I
doubt even that fool Daithomir could have been brash enough
to give anything away. Pity really, I was hoping to
continue our game.
You’ve caught the attention of The Beast, little Roses.
Shame on us, and pity for you…

I for one remember where you came from. You better act fast
before someone else does….

-Lord Spirit of Tablenhelm
Ringwielder

This message is disturbing for a number of reasons. We knew
there were four other

Ringwielder’s out there, but we had no idea that Dailthomir
was the youngest and most foolish of the bunch. I also
didn’t expect the retribution of his brethren to come so
soon. And probably the most unnerving and curious of
all…”Lord Spirit of Tablenhelm”……Tablenhelm…..is he using
the title to play some sort of game? Or is this fellow
really a remnant from the age of legends. Someone who may
actually know the origins of The Society as he claims to
would definitely know of the ancient city. And he seems to
think The Society’s past is not something that others
should find out about…very curious.

Many questions have risen from the answers we found for
ourselves. I have complete confidence that we can answer
these as well.

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