The Book of Rahl – Chapter Twelve – Historical Irony – Debinani Rahl
22
July, 1999
The Book of Rahl – Chapter Twelve – Historical Irony – Debinani Rahl

–==Official Submission==–
FROM: General Debinani Rahl
RE: Chapter Twelve – Historical Irony

Historical Irony

I was at my writing desk, producing some magical scrolls
when the runner arrived. Beaten, bloodied and ragged he
burst through the door and collapsed on the floor panting.
I let him remain passed out on the floor, I didn’t need his
reports. I could hear the beat of the wardrums carried on
the bitter Yew wind. They were fed up with guard posts and
skirmishes.

I always hate it when a new WarBoss comes to power. I’m
forced to hold my breath and wait for the inevitable
bloodbath that occurs from the massive reorganization. Last
time it was a holy war, the time before that there was
nothing but silence punctuated by the occasional toll party
on the road. This time it was different. This time they
wanted Yew.

I must say, never have I been so proud of the men and women
under my command. Within moments of hearing the news the
troops sprang into action. The outriders immediately began
scouting missions into enemy territory, and through some
strange and wonderful act of nature, Thorengelda managed to
get a fully stocked rear-guard supply cache in Kinship
before the first “HOOWAH” was even hollered. It pulled the
company together in a model of efficiency and dedication
that I had never thought possible.

But I digress from the events of the war itself.

Nearly the entire first week of fighting apparently served
no purpose but to feed the grasses. Long bloody conflicts
ensued, mostly over Kent’s or the outlying farmhouses. It
seemed at first that the Society was the only military
company on the defensive, but over the course of a few days
Fireforge’s little band and the Royals finally got word and
jumped into the fray. Every once in a while some of
Callisto’s people or a token force from Winterfell would
show themselves, but they were few and far between. During
the final days before the final conflict, more and more
people arrived to aid in the defense of Yew, and the
Shadowclan along with their Undead allies appeared to be
pushed out. Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice,
shame on me.

My discourse really begins with the final conflict for Yew.
My father always told me that an infantry war, no matter
how well prepared for, just can’t be won when you’re way
down on numbers. We made our mark, but we were simply
overrun.

I had been handling some conscripting through the day while
we waited. When I finally arrived at Kent’s and saw the
defenses I knew we were in trouble. Someone had gotten the
clever idea of building an absolute deathtrap around the
Pint. People were milling about, waiting for the inevitable
and not really organized. I gathered the company together
and we took position to wait. Word came back that the orcs
didn’t have their farm very well defended, and there were
definitely enough people at the tavern to at least slow an
attacking force down a bit, so we threw up a few gates and
jumped the entire company in the orc’s lap. The fight
lasted a short while but was pretty decisive. We took the
farm with acceptable losses. Apart from a few stragglers
from the enemy force, namely Sam Hain of the Undead and a
few others, we had driven them out. Fool me twice….

As much as I’ve drilled it into the men, if they get bored
and an opportunity presents itself, they still go running
off after the target. And thus they did next time Hain
showed his ugly countenance. I was speaking with Chani, who
was recommending that we go back to the Pint to aid in the
defense when a gate opened. It always amazes me how many of
those little rats they can cram through a gate. We were
chased out of the farm. When we returned to the Pint, we
found the numbers greatly scattered and diminished. It
seemed that no one was working to keep things organized and
people were starting to forget that they had a big bullseye
on their chests.

And here’s where I really went wrong. I considered
momentarily declaring myself General of the Defense for the
sole purpose of getting a real defensive organized
properly. I imagine I could have rounded up the scattered
EE and Winterfell folks around, but most of the defense was
made up of individuals who didn’t look like they were in
the mood to take orders. So I did the only thing I could. I
mustered everyone I could find and began a patrol in force,
hoping desperately to gather more people as we went along.
About the time we saw the new orc fortifications at the
western farmhouses, we had about nine soldiers together. We
decided to do as much damage as we could. Maybe something
within myself had already written the town off to the orcs.
Maybe I was fed up with dozens of little short-term
victories. Maybe. Galanon and Ceth and I summoned up some
daemons. Figured we’d try it. And we charged in.

That new WarBoss was there, and he led his people well.
They immediately began surrounding individual people and
dragging them down. The Daemons did wonders. The frustrated
beasts from the abyss ripped through the orc ranks better
than I expected. The sole majuka on the scene tried and
tried and tried but was having terrible difficulties
dispelling them.

I thought, for a single, fleeting moment that we may
actually come out of it alive. Then the reinforcements
showed up from the farms. Their WarBoss decided that the
guy with all the insignia that was summoning the very
dangerous daemons needed to become a target and I was
suddenly covered in orcs. I managed to teleport several
yards away, but even as I crushed the ginseng between my
fingertips to heal I felt an arrow slip through the chinks
in my armor and everything went black.

I woke with a hand over my mouth. I looked up into the
panic-stricken eyes of one of the village healers. I was in
a deathrobe, I was in the Yew healer’s hut, and I was in
hell. The sounds of dying were loud to the North. I got to
my feet and moved to the door only to run into a small orc
guarding the place. I don’t even think he managed to get a
clear look at me before I boiled his blood in the vein. A
stumbled through the woods and managed to catch sight of
the final fall of the defense. I couldn’t see any of the
Society in the fray, at least none left alive. As soon as
the cheering and the cannibalism started I stole off into
the night.

There’s an old proverb that says a thousand throats may be
slit in one night by a running man. I don’t know how much
killing I did that night. I can’t remember it. Somehow I
managed to stumble all the way from Yew, across the
mountains and into the Royal Library in Britain before
sunrise. I did a lot of killing. It seemed bandits were
taking advantage of the refugees on the roads and where
there’s killing, there’s ratmen and ogres. Old Denis, one
of the library’s curators let me in and helped me clean up.
The Society’s survivors have been recalled to Kinship.

Over the course of this conflict, I’ve witnessed many
disturbing things. Men who I thought were friends and
allies taking the side of evil and striking at me. But
probably the most disturbing was Kamir. I hadn’t seen Myca
the entire conflict, and I know that there are many within
his little tribe that were more than happy to see Yew fall,
but on several occasions I saw Kamir stand idly by while
Society brothers were killed. This coming just weeks after
we had Myca’s ass in a sling and let him go because he used
to be one of us. Perhaps they’ve gone too far from
humanity, for it definitely appears they’ve gone too far
from the Society.

So here I sit, in a waiting room at the castle in Britain,
waiting on an audience from British. If we’re going to take
our home back we’re going to need numbers. And to do that
we’re going to need a liege. Rutger’s been sent for as well
as Orthanos and anyone else aligned with the crown that I
could think of. Runners have been sent to the other minor
kingdoms. I’m not going to make the same mistakes this
time. I just completed a petition to British for an Order
of Conduct for the Society. I’ve never wanted to be a
general, and I’ve certainly never wanted to lead entire
armies. But there’s one all-encompassing fact that that I
simply can’t ignore:

The little rat-bastards have pissed me off.

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