9163, Month 5, Day 23; Gide is not the only one battered and beaten – though he is by far the worst. All the constant moving now prevents anyone from healing much – though Xar’s body is healing even under these difficult circumstances. Taer and the others that were sick seems to be coming around and can ride now. Still no sign of Eldric or Meldrin. The lowland council sends word to the party and the Baron of Osmail Mark, the Baron reads its content to you: “To Baron Robert Wheglin, his lordship protector of the lowlands, and ruler of Osmail Mark. The people of the lowlands of Bar-Innis, suffering injustice at the hands of the lawful ruler Berithor, will follow now the leadership of Baron Wheglin of Osmail Mark. As the lawful ruler has failed in his obligations to protect the citizens of the lowlands from tyranny, we are prepared to no longer recognize the authority of either Earl or Duke. Let your mind be known.” The Baron grins. “It is not my place to break from Dunstrand, nor could i support such a position long term – once this war is over things will return to the way they once were. However, they look to me for leadership. Right now i inspire more than i command (really a few dozen men) – a few soldiers, hunters, farmers, and workers in a rag-tag lot fleeing across the countryside to avoid being wiped out. Its our land, and we can keep this up for a while yet, but eventually we will have to fight and we cannot win. Learn well from this – i could have my day in the sun with this, but it would only serve to destabilize things worse… and i would likely end up dead in the glorious end. You must raise a few more voices to give us a chance, or we will be brought to heel by Berithor’s Hound. My spies have news from the lowlands which may be useful though… ”
Mosshaven is closed – The garrison there has that place well under control. The Lightbringers have a new church there and are helping as well.
Gnedport is depleted – some of her resources have gone to join the hunt for us… it may be you may go there and seek out Viscount Fanomyr.
Precross is locked down like a fortress. Resources are coming in and its a key position that Berithor dare not lose. Harassment could draw a lot of soldiers to the area, but cause a lot of reprisals as well. Resources across the way on Richfield may help if you know of any.
Small Mark – I’ve heard little from there. No messenger has returned from the area. From what you have said, when you first got there, they had ranging patrols constantly. It may be their effectiveness has denied me any intelligence from the area… we could certainly use some. Baron Daniel Horchover rules there and his family owns many horses for a lowlander – could be a valuable ally.
Bergen is occupied well – a major garrison there. My sources report there is a presence of Umbakian’s there’ and they are moving a lot of supplies on the north road out of there, through Dogwood Flats. I do not know yet what they are doing…
Braddon Bog has a small contingent of Berithor’s men… but reports say that one of the Silver Talent knights stationed in Bergen has been seen there. I fear the connection to the old families may bring trouble here soon.
I have word into the Lowland Council that i have declared for Dierdre now, and will fight Berithor. I have also sent runners to the Wyld brothers – in hopes the druids or their church proper can aid us. I should know in a couple days. There are rumors of a Druid named Ruparn who has come from afar to oppose Berithor.
Until then, we must keep moving every other day… in the hopes of avoiding an outright battle that we cannot win. Everywhere is reports of small battles, of ‘rebellion’ – but mostly the reprisals to farmsteads and townsfolk are keeping it from gaining much traction.
One last thing… the men are a bit spooked. There’s been sightings of a large moor cat that has been stalking sentries and seen at the edge of the camp fires. The men are very nervous. Superstition runs rampant in our lowland culture and all manner of signs are being attributed. For my own part, nothing has happened so until it does i just see it as aberrant behavior in this time of war. But best be on the lookout.
9163, Month 5, Day 24; The Baron calls you all to inform you that he has received agents of the Duke… the situation may be changing. He is very evasive and gives no details, but he seems pretty shaken up. Regardless its time to move camp again he says. He needs riders to watch for signs of trouble as his scouts are looking for their next camp site. About half of the group is needed for sentry duty and he needs the other half to watch over the supplies. He says the non warriors amongst you can oversee your own packing, but he needs everyone with muscle on guard of some sort.
He asks if Cage can lead the group in front, a visible symbol of the power of the Baron and his cause. Perhaps no one will desert in the darkness if he leads the way. Gide, Xar, and Taer he asks to meet him to assist with a rear-guard action.