< 9163, Month 7, Night 11 >
Despite your exhaustion, you’re woken up by Lord Thostle’s chamberlain. You realize it is still dark out, and you are motioned for silence. You are taken in the night to the Lords hall. There are hastily awakened guards everywhere. No one tells you exactly what is going on, but Lord Thostle is assuring you all accommodating are being sought. At the other end of the great hall stands a small figure. As a group, you are separated from Lord Thostle, who is himself ushered out, and left alone with the figure – Hareen. His face is sunken, hollow and haggard. He does not smile openly, through his grin seems sad and empty – a man who has seen too much. He motions for you to sit. The grin seems forced, but almost never leaves his face – as if part of his muscles may be etched that way. He walks with a limp.. and a strange smell surrounds him as you get near.
He faces you and motions for you to sit. At the head of the table, he talks. His voice is barely a whisper, but the stillness of the hall gives it emphasis. “I never thought to return to these lands again. I certainly never thought i would live to see the blood of so many friends, without their families.” Speaking obviously weakens him.
“I can’t tell you everything, but it took many years for me to speak, move, walk and carry on like an old man. I am old before my time and who knows how much is left. Much has changed and that is why i am here. I felt useless, but now i have purpose again… i can still serve and i intend to do so until i am dead. There are many who wish i would simply fade, or stay in hiding, but i cannot. Forces are moving against Dunstrand and it needs your help. Necessity makes strange bedfellows – against the tidal force of Umbak and treachery from within. You will be asked soon about an alliance with the old enemy – Gwinn. I urge you to take their side. More i cannot say, but I urge you to consider.”
I have little time and i must be going. I am sure you have questions but i cannot stay long or i will be tired to keep going. Ask what you must and i will answer as best as i can…