…a Letter is sent from Rudik's Pass…
Though it has been nearly a year since circumstances prompted me to leave both our family lands and the good city itself, I am still, of course, your son as well as a son of the City, and though I do not necessarily bear either of she or you much pleasure, you still each have my filial respect.
It is with heavy heart that I must say that grave news is afoot. As your spies have no doubt been made aware trouble at Ruddicks Pass has escalated with the Ravannahese army to the point that Duke Antaris is most likely mobilizing his own troops as well encouraging members of The Council and other various Patrons to mobilize soldiers to hurry to the Pass to offer what defenses that can be managed.
This is clear that nearly all of the border towns and estates have been moving with equal alacrity to support the cause of what may no doubt prove to be a great war of epic proportions. I should now voice recent concerns, and the nature of the letter itself.
The hamlet of Bridgekeep has, approximately one day from it through the Endrel swamps, the renown Brightstone Keep. On a recent expedition into the swamps, a trick easily mastered by taking a specific herb every hour to stem off the effects of the gases, a group of private persons, and myself, reached the keep and discovered it was protected by a host of brigands made up mainly of orcs and some trolls. The Keep itself had an artifact of unspeakable power inside, strong enough to stem off the very poisons of the swamp and make things safe to breath. The artifact is at the bottom of a deep well in the keep and provides fresh waters to all who live in the Keep itself, and was perhaps why the orcs who decided to make their abode there.
Moreover, the orcs have connections to the northlands with a group of powerful figures who are most likely ogres, and who powerful ranking members of the Knights of the Last Stand believe could be connected to activity with dangerous elements from the Planar Rift.
Father, though I support every effort to prevent an invasion of Ravannaehese forces from invading our fair nation, and through it our City, it is likely that this will distract many Patrons from a possible threat in the northland. My private suspicions are that the speed which motivates the armies of the dark scum from the south over deserts and wastelands to the very door of Ruddicks Pass may be somehow connected to the great Planar Rift to the north and recently discovered artifacts. I also suspect that this advance against Sartarus could be a front. That is, armies of Ravannah may be moving north for the express purpose of personal gain; but they may be helped by a greater presence who is using them as pawns to distract the armies of Sartarus from defending and observing the northlands. If forces are moved to the northlands they may be able to do greater good then provided fresh bodies in the Pass to offer resistance.
Every child born of Tharovace, Citizen Soldier or no, knows enough military tactics to understand that he who controls the high ground in a narrow way may so prevail against a massive force for a long while. In short, Ravannah has yet to attack because even a scant force of Knights and some footman could keep even the most massive invasion bottled in the tight canyons and steep climb to the surface of the mountains, thus, massive armies to guard the Pass seem unnecessary.
Forgive my aside on tactics that are obvious to you sir,, but I am merely concerned for the good of the City and the Nation.
In closure, Father, I beg you to use what influence you have with the Duke and the City Patrons to ignore this useless thrust by Ravannah, and at least send forces to the northlands who are skilled and adept at such matters to examine what I believe the true threat to our great City; trouble from The Planar Rift
In closing, I ever remain your blood
…The following letter was shipped an hour later by a separate courier to the temple of Baccob, to the care of Citizen Magi Selene Telconter…
My Dearest Selene,
I have a task for you, if you have the opportunity.
I have recently dispatched a letter to my father suggesting that he encourage Antaris to send Patrons to the northlands to the Rift. By now there is a flurry of activity in the Tharovace in which the Citizens are demanding a full scale invasion of Ravannah and the most powerful soldiers to salt the grounds of the soon to be dead armies of potential invaders who would trespass their noble lands.
This is foolishness, of course, for no commander of Ravannah would commit himself to an invasion of Ruddicks Pass. Rather, they would circumvent the city itself with ships, then surround it and starve it out, for it grows no crops or foodstuffs. So naturally this army’s advance must be a feint for something greater.
I believe the true threat is north to the Rift near the ogrelands. A suspicion that may have been confirmed with the presence of a detachment of the Knights who had recently been traveling there but have, though political upheaval, been encouraged to move south to the ‘defense’ of the Pass with pitched battle in the mountains.
If my suspicion is correct, however, my father will no doubt ignore my request to the Duke and in fact publicly demand more troops from Tharovace be sent to the south to offer ‘staunch defense against the invading threat of Ravannah’ or some such dross. Of course, my real concern is that is a merely a feint. If I am correct in my concerns my father will make private arrangement with his lackey, that useless Councilman (Patron Marcus, if you recall) to head north immediately and examine the threat to the Rift for his own personal end. If he does that, then he may use whatever forces he has to discover the power to the north and make dangerous decisions that could seriously affect us all.
Dear One, I hope you don’t think that I am allowing my own personal opinions of my father to interfere with the greater good of the City. I trust you know my heart in that matter; but I have given my father all the information I can to encourage him to go to the north with what forces he has and do what he can to prevent where I believe the real threat. I do not believe he will act on this information in a safe matter. I believe he will move his agents to privately discover the nature of the threat near the Rift, and try to make use of that power for his own personal end.
Further, I believe he will either directly aid the power (an act of High Treason) or he will attempt to seize the power for his own private ends (an act of Sedition). In either case, it will be done secretly and at odds with the City’s and the Nation’s true needs, and this must be stopped. If my suspicion regarding my father is revealed to The Council or the agents of the King, it is likely that my father’s evil intention may be made public and he would be chastised for the evil threat he is; assuming of course he does do what I have suspected and ignore this threat publicly and tries to ally himself with it privately for his own personal ends.
Seeing my father hang for treason would be a tragedy, but in the end, we have the good of the City to think of.
I trust you to do your best with this information, Dear One
May the Gods walk with You