The Book of Rahl – Chapter Six – A Personal Confession – Debinani Rahl
22
July, 1999
The Book of Rahl – Chapter Six – A Personal Confession – Debinani Rahl

–==Official Submission==–
FROM: General Debinani Rahl
RE: Chapter Six – A Personal Confession

History Repeats Itself

My conscience continues to harass me about keeping a
private journal when part of my job as Captain is to
publicly chronicle the events that transpire concerning The
Society, but what I have witnessed of late is a little too
much to let out in the open quite yet.

Master Sergeant Myca Vodyanoy, commander of the 1st
Warders, Alpha Company, The Black Rose Society…what the
hell are you doing here? And Kamir with you? I would like
to hear that story.

Last night at the old manor pretty much tore it. He’s got
some of the old Annals. I just wish I knew how he managed
to get out of Cove alive.

Since this discourse will probably make it into the Annals
eventually, I think I should come clean with my previous
discrepancies and tell the whole story. Sorry Captain Turon…
it has to be told.

I didn’t join the Society just before Cove, my story
omitted the better parts of my life because I was following
orders to not let the truth out about what happened at Yew
and Vesper towards the end of the Old Society. Well, I’m in
charge now, and since the Annals are private I have decided
that the members of the Society have a right to know and to
understand the events that surround them.

I was born into the Society, I’m not entirely sure where I
was found or what the conditions were of my birth, but I
was raised by the Captain, Tree, and Dawg, the latter two
has been Society wizards for over a hundred years. By the
time I was five I was using a little nightsight spell Tree
had taught me to recover arrows from battlefields, and by
the time I was twelve I was providing rear-line healing for
the troops. Most mothers of the world would be aghast at my
upbringing, but it built character.

Myca and Kamir were both in their positions for as long as
I can remember. They led the Warders. It was a fact of life
for me. For most of my childhood I stayed away from that
bunch, for there wasn’t a more elite, rough-and-tumble unit
in the world, and Dawg had at least some inkling of how to
keep a child out of trouble. The entire company, especially
the officers, liked having me around. They thought I
brought em good luck. Most of the time it was just a
tingling feeling I’d get in the back of my neck just before
we rode into a trap, or some other such thing. Maybe I have
a sort of sixth sense…I don’t know. It sure hasn’t kept me
out of trouble recently.

I was sixteen and working full-time with the mages when we
marched on Yew. It was quiet. Captain ordered the Warders
ahead to check the place out and an hour later when they
called in to say they were under attack, he sent the 2nd
Roughriders and myself out to help. We circled south around
the edge of town and rode in hard to find the town
completely empty. We heard the sounds of combat coming from
the direction of the Abbey so that’s where we went. And
that’s when my life as I know it went straight to hell.

We came around the winery and up to the Abbey. It was a
slaughterhouse. About half of the Warders, in my opinion
the best warriors among them, were back to back in the
middle of the clearing, standing amongst the corpses of
about a dozen DarkRychen and several other armed men. The
other half of the unit was apparently attempting to kill
the rest. And it was a close fight. Myca and his men were
trying to fight off their brothers without striking any
blows, but the wear was showing. I rode forward to get a
look around and try to determine how this had come about
when a blow landed on the back of my head and I fell from
my horse. I landed and spun upwards, freeing my sword from
it’s scabbard in time to block a crushing blow from
BlackWolf, the Sergeant in charge of the Roughriders. He
was wide-eyed, almost as surprised to be attacking me as I
was to be defending. As he rained blows down upon me he
appeared to be sizing up the situation, trying desperately
to find out how to regain control of his body. The rest of
the Roughriders had broken off, heading down tot he
clearing to help finish off Myca and his lot that had
resisted whatever charm was affecting the rest of them.

I was tiring swiftly, BlackWolf was a big man and quite
skilled with the blade, I was barely staying alive. I saw a
hint of resignation cross his eyes.

“Do it, boy, ” he hollered at me over the crashing of steel
and the screams of the other men in battle.

I parried his thrust and somehow got inside his defenses
and felt the shudder in my arm as my longsword went through
his body. Time stopped. The sounds around me became a muted
and distant. He looked at my scared and wide-eyed stare and
gave a curt, strained nod of approval, and then he died. I
had never killed a man before, and the first I sunk my
blade into was the same man who had taught me how to use it
when I was a boy.

I returned to my senses and noticed, although the fighting
was still going on, all eyes and thoughts were on me. I saw
the Warders, life-long brothers in arms look into each
other’s eyes, come to an agreement, and then at the same
time, Myca, Kamir and the rest of the defenders snapped,
roared in rage and frustration, and proceeded to slaughter
their kindred to a man. In a matter of minutes only the
five Warders who had resisted the enchantment and myself
remained.

As we were just getting over the shock of what we had just
done, the doors to the abbey flew open and what seemed like
all of the women and children of Yew came staggering and
stumbling out. Strider went over to a child that had fallen
to help him up, and the toddler expertly and efficiently
ran a dagger through the man’s eye and into his brain. The
women and children of the town, most of which completely
unarmed, crashed like a wave into the four remaining
Warders. The tired and bloodied men had no choice but to
hide behind their eyes and let their highly-trained bodies
to the work of preserving their lives.

At this point, I notices a man at the top of the abbey,
dressed in robes obviously concentrating on his spell. I
charged through the mass of death and into the Abbey, flew
up the stairs without losing stride and came out on the
rooftops behind the man. A second, armed man was waiting at
the door. I can’t even remember what I did, but somehow I
managed to avoid the blow that would have taken my head.

In retrospect, I can’t remember much about this man. My
entire attention was focused on the wizard causing the
deaths of so many innocents, not to mention my brothers.
Eventually, the warrior got the better of me and disarmed
me, and one of Dawg’s old tricks came to my lips and
fingers. I paralyzed him, poisoned him, hit him with a
lightning bolt, and took out his throat with my belt knife,
all in about the same move. I couldn’t believe it worked. I
can’t remember much about this man…except for the tell-tale
shield of Order falling to the bloodied ground at his feet.
I ran across the balcony and plunged my knife into the
spine of the wizard, killing him instantly. Sadly, my
encounter with the Knight had taken a moment too long. I
looked over the parapet into a scene from a daemon’s
nightmare, there were four beaten, bruised, cut, and burnt
soldiers in the clearing. They were all that were alive.
And they were weeping.

“Myca!” I hollered down. No response.

“SERGEANT!!” I screamed in the roughest tone I could
manage. He looked up slowly, painfully slowly. “You have to
see this, sir.”

He disappeared into the Abbey and emerged on the roof. He
nudged around the Order shield for a moment with the toe of
his boot and came over to examine the wizard. He was so
covered in blood and gore he was leaving a trail of it
behind him. He leaned over the body and examined it for a
moment, then stood with a medallion in is hand.

“College of Scribes…Britain…” he said quietly, “Ve’ve been
set up.”

The Captain arrived a short while later with a hundred
horse. He spoke to the Sergeant for a while, at one point
both looking and pointing at me. Then we were all escorted
to the coast to get cleaned up. When we returned to the
Abbey there wasn’t a trace of what had happened, only a
very weary-looking Tree sitting in the middle of the
clearing putting away his supplies. We were ordered to keep
things quiet. To this day I don’t know if Myca told the
Captain about our employer’s betrayal. But our employer
knew. Word spread quickly, The Black Rose Society, and
especially Myca Vodyanoy, was the Butcher of Yew, the man
who killed every living man, woman, and child in an entire
city while they hid in a monastery.

That evening the Captain ordered me to join the Warders as
a part of their reinforcements, seems it was a request from
the Sergeant. I went and drank with the other four in
silence.

On the march to Vesper, as word spread, the public became
more and more hostile. It was rumored that Blackthorn
himself met with the Captain and told him to steer the
Society clear of Britain or else face the consequences of
an angered public. It seems he thought we had been set up
as well.

I trained harder than I had ever before in the martial
arts, Myca and Kamir were both masters at their art and I
learned much, though my magical studies with Dawg and Tree
suffered somewhat.

I think everyone knows enough about the time Vesper almost
exploded into civil war were it not for the three-thousand
troops blanketing the streets, but I doubt the stories do
our term there credit. We never got a moment of rest in the
six months of our service to Lord Kendric. If things
started to get quiet with the public, those Prophets of the
Avatar would immolate themselves and throw themselves
bodily into our lines of pikemen or drown themselves in the
well or something else disturbingly and fatally fanatical.
It was the Warders, now back to full strength, that managed
to assassinate the leaders of the cult and stop the
rioting. It was the longest night of my life, but it’s
unimportant to the telling of my tale. Needless to say we
were glad to get the Cove contract and get the hell out of
town.

The men were in better spirits when we reached Cove a week
later, everyone looked forward to smashing some Orc and
Troll skulls as opposed to slaying elves and men. My
previous discourse on the events at Cove remains accurate,
the Society was cut down to a man, however in retrospect
some things remain suspicious.

Over the course of time, the four men who were at the Abbey
became more and more distant, to the point that at Cove,
they would walk along the palisades talking quietly among
themselves, not allowing anyone else in on their
conversations. The morning of the battle, the four of them
were up in the mountain, apparently keeping a watch out to
sea. I was with Tree and Dawg preparing some Orc-killing
spellwork, and the rest of the Warders were patrolling the
coast. I had always assumed that because those four were on
the rise that they could not have possibly survived the
onslaught. I was wrong.

I will not begin to debate the motivations or the actions
of my old brothers, for they were good men each and every
one. Never once I have even considered the fact that they
were part of the slaughter, just that somehow, some way,
they became what they are and at some point were burnt out
of a manor house near Yew some five centuries ago. Theirs
is a story I would like to hear. Oddly enough, Valdimar and
Cedric weren’t with them at the manor last night, and I saw
no sign nor heard no mention of them. Perhaps they didn’t
survive and Myca and Kamir are the only ones. Perhaps
they’re not even vampires in the mythical sense, but souls
that will not rest till the blood is expunged from their
hands. I know not. However I do plan to discover their
secret, discover their past, and find out what they’re
hiding, and why.

So there it is, my confession of truth. Mayhap my brothers
and sisters will see fit to forgive my deception, perhaps
not. I was just a young soldier, following the orders of
the only man I can call father. And I’m still following
them to this day. Make no mistake, the Society has been
broken, it was broken five centuries ago, but perhaps I can
leave a legacy behind and fulfill the purpose in which we
were created.

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