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A Desperate Letter to McTyr

A barely legible letter appears on McTyr's desk, folded unevenly and stained by what might be tears, sweat, or water.


I have bad news. I let slip to Mirithian Captain Rigg about N'eroth's reappearance in the southern archipelago. He has sent a Mirithian Scout named Jennus to investigate and meet with you or one of the Captains. I am sorry.

I am fully aware that you have the right to court-martial me and dishonorably discharge me from the Vanguard, if not press further charges. I hope you will keep my years of service in mind when making your decisions.

Captain, I made a terrible mistake today, an[the sentence is obscured entirely by water, beyond what even magic could restore]

I await your judgment.



  • edited July 7

    McTyr has never been a rebel, but he had problems with excess of authority. It had not been his choice to become a soldier, though he accepted the path and embraced it with all his vigour. He had always respected the Maralian hierarchy, and hoped, now, to command with the same stable and firm hand as others had done before him. He knew that the enemies should fear the force of the Northerners and that, in the meanders of the political debate, the Court and the Senate should regard the fortress as the home of the fearless, honorable, and austere military. That was the image Marali had been cultivating for herself over the years. That was the image by which her soldiers guided their lives, and Evroulf was no exception. A moral code. A strong loyalty. To these values, however, he liked to add a third one: a genuine friendship. This was, perhaps, his weakness, and one day it would certainly be his downfall. For McTyr, trust and respect had consequences. They created strong bonds between people. He could not think of the men and women fighting with him in any way other than cherished friends, for whom he was ready to give his life. Even if, in the end, only his wonderful hell hounds would agree, he still believed that a good friendship, even if not everlasting, was well worth preserving for as long as possible.

    Armsman Nial,

    or, I dare say, my dear friend,

    I believe that, during the late Commander Vaup’s long absence, we let grow within our ranks an idea of hierarchy that is not mine and that I doubt was hers. Being a Commander means responsibility. The higher the grade, the heavier burden we have to carry. I am a Commander, therefore I must make the most difficult decisions and be able to defend them. It is the role of my Vanguard to tell me when I’m wrong or advise me to change the key. I would not be a good leader if I were deaf to the intuition of all the soldiers I ask to fight under my orders.

    Unless you had betrayed our city, sold information, plotted with her enemies, or planted a crate of explosive dust under the meeting room, I would have no reason to punish you in any way. We are a force. A living organism. 

    The goddess gave us tongues knowing their uses. We can exchange ideas, lie, sing, plot, take oaths. And sometimes tongues slip. In this case, it may turn out to be for the good of us all. As you know, I think Marali has an interest in having the King of Mirith back to his thrown. They may as well help us locating him.

    I hope that these words may help raising your spirits. The Marali Vanguard needs your bow.

    Marali Prevails,

    Evroulf McTyr

    And that was the letter that the Commander delivered to the Vanguard hall, hoping that the blurred last line did not contain a more problematic confession.

  • edited July 8

    Ybarra and Elara bless you for your kindness. When I received your letter, I was struck speechless. Please consider my bow Marali's and my own self in your debt.

    I will inform Octar of my grievous mistake, but given he accidentally revealed Falvo's appearance to several non-Maralians, I
    [the consistency of the ink changes here, as though the writer paused] have reason to suspect he will be forgiving. To be frank, if anyone had reason to court-martial me, it would have been you, Commander.

    Thank you, my friend. I will not soon forget all you have done.


    Nial stands outside Marali, the sharp springs winds to his back. It is not a good letter, but it will have to do.

    "No one has to know," he mutters to himself, his voice hoarse. "I must defend them."

    Though his hands shake, his grasp on his bow is strong.

    A bear roars in the distance, and Nial picks up on its trail, creeping forward through the Maralian woods.
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