FROM: General Debinani Rahl
RE: Chapter Twenty-Two – A Final Letter to the Troops
Soldiers, Allies, Friends, this may be my final chance to
speak to you and I wish to explain everything I can in the
short time I have, as well as give some final orders. All
contact with me after this correspondence should be
considered suspect until proven otherwise.
Many of you have noticed strange behaviors and stranger
scheming among the Society’s command staff of late. I must
apologize for our secrecy in these matters but trust that
subtlety is a necessity. I will tell as much as I can
Somewhere far away chained in a tower sleeps Kishara. I
will not go into detail on her, for it is available in the
Society’s Annals and a matter of public record. What I will
say in brief though is that Kishara has five champions,
five Ringbearers, whose purpose is to see to the sacrifice
of a million souls so that Kishara may once again be free
and reach her terrible hand out to shadow the world. Three
of these Ringwielders are dead. Lord Daithomir Latarin,
Ringwielder of Fire, was slain by the Black Rose several
years ago. Cyan Marinetta and Ari Stonehand, Ringwielders
of Water and Earth respectively, have both been slain by
their two remaining brothers for conspiring with us, the
enemy. The two remaining are the crux of the problems that
face us today. The first, Whisper, Ringwielder of Air, is
at large. The second, our old Master, Lord Torrellian Tahl-
Mearis, Ringwielder of Spirit, is…well…me.
Allow me to explain.
About a month ago I intercepted a message bound for Myca
Vodyanoy from Whisper. It contained instructions for
meeting him at a remote location on the Arctic Island to
discuss things. It was known that Whisper was in possession
of the Ring of Spirit, which contained Lord Spirit’s
essence. The message was meant to lure Vodyanoy to the
meeting and gain a new body for our enemy. For reasons of
my own and motivations spurned from events long in the
past, I chose to go in his stead. There was a battle, but I
eventually fell to the Ringwielder and the Ring of Spirit
became mine. Ever since I have been combating the will of
Lord Spirit to commandeer my body for his own uses, and so
far, save for a few instances, I have been successful in
delaying Spirit’s return to the world. My will however, is
only mortal, and the will of Lord Spirit is not. I am
failing. My intention was to buy time for our forces to
prepare and buy time I have. I can only hope it was enough.
The Whitecloaks are currently out to capture or kill our
command staff as a part of their preparations, everyone
please be on their guard. Their “light” is not the light of
the Creator, but the clever manipulations of Kishara
herself. Forces are conspiring against the Society and our
allies. The million souls have nearly all been collected.
We can not allow Kishara to be freed.
Now, my final orders to the Society.
1) As I said previously, my will is failing, and after this
point I am not to be a party to any tactical planning on
this matter, for it is only a matter of time until Spirit
is in control.
2) Major Lazarus Shade now holds complete Command of the
Society until this issue is resolved. He will be working
close with Captain Anubis and Lieutenants Demelock and
Aragos as well as all of our Allies to formulate a strategy
to prevent Kishara’s armies from meeting their hideous
3) Until such time as this issue is resolved, the Society
is now on a state of combat-readiness. All personnel should
make appropriate preparations and supplying to be ready for
a major engagement.
Also, a personal request. Everyone try to look after
Alexander. He is soon to be another of The Society’s
orphans. Someone please look after him.
Well, I’ve never been one for goodbyes. I hope I have
cleared the way and delayed the inevitable long enough. It
has been an honor and a privilege serving with each and
every one of you. Let this be our finest hour. This one
purpose is what Kironius Mengst created us to do. Darkness
is upon us and soon, night will fall. My death will be the
harbinger of the witching hour from which all things evil
will strike at you. YOU MUST BRING THE DAWN!
Justice for All!
And may we not rest before those who have fallen before us.
Lord Adulphus Turon II a.k.a. Debinani Rahl
Duke of Stormstone Sound
General – The Black Rose Society
Debinani Rahl rolled and sealed the parchment and handed it
to a page.
“Issue this to all of our soldiers and allies. You’ve
served me well, Devin, server the new Commander of the
Society equally well.”
The boy ran off on his errand. Rahl handed a large, very
old book to his second page.
“Take this to Duke Elendril Shadune. He’ll know what to do
The second page ran off on his last errand.
The old general stood and walked over to the pallet where
his son was sleeping. He gently kissed the boy on the
forehead and went into the kitchens. He swallowed his
communications crystal. He knew the same trick wouldn’t
work on two Ringbearers in a row, but he had to try. Rahl
splashed some cold water on his face and looked into the
mirror. The face that looked back at him was his, but
decades younger. It was Spirit, come to gloat at the
“You know you can’t win, traitor,” taunted the reflection.
“I am but one man,” replied Rahl, “I can not defeat you.
Only unity will defeat you.”
The reflection chuckled.
“Your faith in that forgotten goddess is laughable.”
“I could say the same for you, Tahl-Mearis.”
“You know Rahl,” continued the reflection, “You should’ve
joined me. You’re a fine commander…for the most part. It’s
not too late you know. I could make all the pain go away.
Give me Vodyanoy and I’ll place you above all others in The
All the tension left Rahl’s body as he smiled at the
reflection in the mirror. For the first time in months he
truly relaxed and cracked a wicked grin. Spirit smiled in
“You know,” Rahl began, “some day, someone like me is going
to kill you, your goddess, and your whole fucking cult.”
The grin faded from Spirit’s countenance as swiftly as it
“Time to die, Rahl.”
Lord Torellian Tahl-Mearis, Ringwielder of Spirit looked
into the mirror and saw the reflection of the old General
fading away into nothingness. Chuckling at some private
joke, he left the small tavern in the town of Northwood and
rode away on the wind to find his compatriots.