FROM: General Debinani Rahl
RE: Chapter Sixteen – The Shadow Rising
The Shadows Rising
Well, it’s been several months since I’ve set a quill to
these Annals, and I figured it was time to take a breather
from the myriad of events that have unfolded of late. I
can’t say that there’s been any driving force behind these
events, but at the end of the long days I’m left with the
feeling that something deeper is going on, just out of
sight, just beyond my limited perceptions. I feel that we
are being conspired against by some unseen force, and the
events both odd and mundane that have been taking place are
just ripples in the pond. But once again I digress and must
begin my discussion of fact.
As to the impending doom involved with bearing a mark of
high treason, I have been quite surprised. A number of
political upheavals, including the retirement of the High
Commander of the Royal Army, have somehow made the whole
issue go away. I’m sure I will still have to stand trial in
one court or another, but for the time being it would seem
that the Royals and the Emerald Empire are too preoccupied
with their own problems to deal with me. This is fine by
me, since I’ve been too preoccupied to be dealt with. I
assume once things calm themselves, if ever, I’ll be
expected to present my evidence in a Britannian court. I’m
not too concerned as to the outcome of that, and by the
lack of interest in my capture I imagine everyone else
knows what the outcome would be as well.
Easily the most original event that has happened of late
was a time some of the men have taken to calling “Lazarus
Shade’s Excellent Adventure”. In some manner of strange
occurrence, Shade and several others were vaulted to
another one of Sosaria’s shards. Their adventures there are
a story for my esteemed Lieutenant to tell, but I will
attempt to chronicle some of the happenings as they pertain
to our current dilemma.
During Shade’s venture, he noticed that on this particular
shard, The Society were servants to Lord Spirit and only a
few freedom fighters remained. He was approached by the
Ringwielder of Earth, one Ari Stonehand, and Stonehand,
angry at Spirit’s slaying of Marinetta, spilled the beans.
It would seem that the Five never split during the
shattering, and they can walk the shards apparently at
will. Our little Society may be the last one remaining
after Spirit’s crusade to wipe out every last trace of us.
One bit of good news though, with the aid of the Myca
Vodyanoy of that shard, Shade was able to recover and
return copies of the Annals left buried in Westergard. This
was truly a find, as Westergard on our shard was destroyed
several years later by Spirit’s release from captivity.
These writings contain not only the Sackcloth Rose’s Great
Tally, but also a message from Mengst himself, which I
found to be truly inspiring.
Shade has returned and aside from a few minor problems he’s
back to his old self.
I have begun the translation of the writings in The Great
Tally in the hopes that it might provide us with more
information about our enemy.
Next in our cavalcade of events is the emergence of The
Society of the Iron Rose. Details concerning their origins
are still forthcoming from Captain Anubis, but from what I
understand, Lieutenant Thelonius from Bravo Company
actually survived the sack at Cove and led some soldiers
and refugees away. The survivors, being hunted by
Daithomir, changed their names and went into hiding.
Thelonius took over as Captain and carried on the tradition
from there. Funny enough, they actually found the chapter
of Captain Muerdetta’s Annals that I had been reading just
before the battle. Interesting coincidence. Apparently,
when they found out the Black Rose was a live and well,
they came out of hiding and are now adjusting to life in
our hellish fastlane. Hope they adjust fast.
A new band of villains has emerged recently. They call
themselves the Children of the Light or “Whitecloaks” and
actually contain a few former brothers. These zealots spend
their time hunting down “DarkFriends” and killing them.
Usually darkfriend is defined by anyone who looks at a
Whitecloak funny. Problem is, they seem to have a serious
weed in their arses concerning the Society. We’re watching
And finally…. If I don’t put this in the Annals, Shade’s
going to have my ass, so I suppose I should. Well, about
fifteen years ago I overlooked mentioning in the Annals
that I had a woman for a short period of time. Her name was
Xaviera Alexander and we had a son. Well, we separated as
most career soldiers and their women often do and I hadn’t
seen either of them for a decade. Well, it never rains but
it pours. Several weeks ago, a panicked Xaviera contacted
me and told me our son had run off to see the world and if
I could look for him. I mentioned it to Veryn one night and
within a week, here comes Alexander Rahl, hogtied and
kicking and screaming. The events that transpired from
there are inconsequential, but it does seem he may actually
come around and join the Society.
The entire ordeal really made me start to feel my age. It
seems that some of my magical working have aged me
prematurely and now I find myself fifteen years older than
I should be. My father told me once that there comes a time
in a soldier’s life when every horrible act he’s ever
committed rolls in and takes its toll, and I think it
happened to me. I have since retired my commission as
Captain and promotes Shade to take my place. I’ve taken he
rank of General so I can still retain some authority over
the Society from behind a desk. I feel my soldiering days
are about done however.
Well, I think I’ve summed up most of the events of late.
The reader will have to forgive my being brief, but I’ve
had a lot on my mind. I’ll endeavor to go into more detail