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Offline red bull

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A Collection of Letters
« on: January 14, 2011, 01:55:19 PM »
These letters are those written by Karl Freidmann to his wife Marianna during the time of the great war for Estalia (aka A5)

So the first three. C&C welcome.

Dear Marinna,
I have arrived in Muros. Upon docking I followed your instructions and went to visit the house of your brother, alas he was not there. I asked the neighbours and they informed me that he had moved to a small plantation East of the city, but had retained a new shop on the town square and sometimes stayed in the spare room above it. Upon arriving the men and women present immediately pressed various cloths into my hands, and it took some persuasion to get one of their number to lead me to your brother. I have grown lazy and need to reacquaint myself with the language. Your brother was most hospitable, and offered me a room in his new residence. I declined, politely I hope, and insisted on staying on board the Francesca. Tomorrow I am hoping to go and visit the current King whose name I have forgotten. It also seems that I am not alone here in my wish to defend Estalia. Already a group of warriors have formed themselves, a dwarf named Unbrok, a general who hails from the province of Wissenland, besides others whom I do not know yet, though I have heard rumours of an orc who also seeks to protect your country. So wish me well and I hope you feel better soon my love. I must go now and attend to the needs of my ship. I will write again soon.
Your ever loving Franz

My dearest Marinna,
I have met the ruler, and he seems a very nice man though he is troubled. Few have come to aid him in his attempt to save Estalia, and he fears that if we are attacked we will not be able to hold them. I have warned your brother of the dangers, but he seems to not know or care about what will happen. I can only wish that he realises soon. The Francesca is looking good, and has new sails, courtesy of your brother. If only the one whom she is named after was still alive, I’m sure your pain would not be nearly so great. Already refugees are coming to Muros. We have heard that a Brettonian force is riding south under the command of Evette, as well as a force that marches North from Araby. Little can be done to prevent the two armies, who both claim to be acting for the good of Estalia, the Brettoni calling themselves a ‘Protectorate’ and the Arabyans an ‘Intervention’. Orcs are also coming from the East, along with foul ratmen, and the black elves of Naggaroth. Let us only hope we can find an ally before the fighting begins.
Your Franz

My Love,
I apologize for not having written over the past few days. Refugees have been pouring into the city with tales of skaven, orcs, goblins and evil elves. There is talk about setting up a refugee camp to sustain them all. I went up the harbour tower today to try and get away from all noise in the streets, and found huge feathers there, ones that appeared to have come from a griffon, though I know that sounds preposterous. I received a letter from the ruler, which enquired as to whether I would be interested in a building project. I replied yes, and now I wait in anticipation for the plans of his mind. In his letter he stated he had a great workforce, and have become something of an expert in engineering. I suppose being a ship’s captain I know a bit, and then there was those few Ostforts I designed for the elector, but really, he must be hard pressed if he is asking me to make buildings. I had ordered for my other ship to return with strong men and today they arrived. They have all arrived, and they seem to be a regiment of Handgunners, maybe thirty men, and fifty halberdiers. I’m afraid I must go now, as they want me down on the docks. It appears they brought a single great cannon. So goodbye my darling, until my next chance to write.
I hope you are feeling better, Franz
No matter how good a general you are; if the dice are against you, you will not win.

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Offline red bull

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Re: A Collection of Letters
« Reply #1 on: January 15, 2011, 11:06:35 AM »
Dear Marinna,
I am delighted to say that I have persuaded your brother about the immediate dangers. He has purchased a nice apartment in Muros itself, with the inner wall. It was expensive but he says he would feel safer if around me. The apartment is located above the smallest barracks, which my men now occupy. Some of them went out hunting today, and brought aback a fresh brace of conies, though there will be few more hunting opportunities. I have been drilling the halberdiers all morning, and they are the finest I have ever come across. They each carry a huge circular shield, which has a large strap so they can be quickly shouldered. Looking at the banners of both units they appear to come from the castle von Raukov itself! They along with the crew give me an army of a hundred and twenty men. I hear the gong of the kitchens, and so must hurry lest I shall get no food tonight.
Take care, Franz
No matter how good a general you are; if the dice are against you, you will not win.

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Offline red bull

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Re: A Collection of Letters
« Reply #2 on: January 20, 2011, 09:52:06 PM »
Darling,
We have begun work building, and have been repairing some of the roads in the market so that it is now a Trading Centre worthy of your homeland. Already merchants have moved into it, and many new stalls have been erected, though the works have only been finished a day. We also did some repair works on the warehouses behind the docks, so that they are no longer ramshackled but fully functioning. One of the first ships to come in was a silk merchant, and its owner gave me a discount on a purchase for helping the people out of generosity. The Kings builders really are first class, and obviously know the skills, just don’t know which to use and when. I am currently drawing up some plans for expansion, though I have little hope that they will be realised, as time is tight before the first of our enemies start their journey to your city. Your brother is well, so he does suffer slightly from the heat in his new apartment, which does not have nearly as high ceilings as his villa. You know how a while back I mentioned huge feathers that seemed to come from a griffon? Well apparently there is a griffon, ridden by a Wissenlander general. I have supposed to meet I’m tonight.
Until my next letter, Franz
No matter how good a general you are; if the dice are against you, you will not win.

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Offline red bull

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Re: A Collection of Letters
« Reply #3 on: January 21, 2011, 07:20:49 PM »
Dear Marianna,
I finally got a chance to put my men to the test. There has been a number of robberies recently and King Reyes chief of the secret police believed he had found the source of the trouble. He found out that they were hiding out in one of the disused warehouses and had requested my men take them. His argument was that he lacked the trained men, which may be total codswallop, but then again I wanted to test my men and also it gave the people a chance to see that we are here to protect them. Personally I believe he just didn’t want to take the casualties. But last night I assembled my men. I had ordered for the halberdiers to be only armed with swords, and of course their daggers, as we would strictly be arresting. They behaved as ordered, and soon all of them were ready in the courtyard. We followed the road down to the docks, not marching in step so as not to make too much noise. I saw some poor soul taking a cat out who must have been terrified. That short walk seemed like an age, and for the entire thing my heart was in my mouth. When at last we reached the docks, we took a little while to figure out which warehouse it was. The chief of the secret police, who was only willing to correspond by courier, said it had barrels of fish stacked against its walls, but two had barrels, and we didn’t know just by looking which had the fish. Whilst some of my handgunners were checking a couple came out drunk. They had our backs to us, but if they turned around they would see us. I signalled to the sergeant of the handgunners, and following my example he took out his pistol, and held it by the barrel. We crept behind up behind them, trying not to make any noise.  However, just as we were about to get to them one of them dropped his pipe and bent down to pick it up. Quick as I could I jumped forward and brought the butt of the pistol down on the top of his head. The crack it made seemed to echo as if I had pulled the trigger, but no-one came out, and as I looked to my left I saw that the other lay on the floor too. I beckoned to one of the handgunners who took the rope he had been issued and began to tie them up. Whilst he was doing this the other spread out, surrounding the building, and then slowly, moving in. They all knew what they had to do. I waited until they were right outside the door before taking the pistol I had just used as a bludgeon, raising it to point at the heaven, and finally squeezing on the trigger. The shot echoed through the night sky and instantly my men smashed down the doors. I followed behind the nearest and drawing my own swords proceeded. There was a table a few yards ahead, and three men were standing around it, ne reaching for a pistol. ‘Fire!’ I ordered and the two handgunners that were standing behind me took aim and did as instructed. The first shot hit him in the though, and the other squarely in the chest. He fell back over, and his companions, taking one last look at his dying body instantly stopped reaching for their weapons. ‘Take them!’ I ordered again, and two of them put away their swords and took out their ropes. I took advantage of the lull to study the room. It was large, and all around I could see where my men were taking prisoners. A few had tried to fight, and had died, but one had been successful and managed to shoot one of the swordsmen in his arm. My heart which had previously been working like it did in battle, began to slow as I realised the battle was over. It was then that one of them entered. He took one look at the inside, turned tail and ran. Not thinking I immediately gave chase, snatching a handgun from one of my troopers as I went past. By the time I was outside he was already thirty paces ahead. Crouching I place my elbow on my knee, steadied my arm, took aim down the barrel and fired. The puff of smoke temporarily limited my view, but as I waved it away with my hand I saw him, lying face down, not moving. ‘Nice shot’ I heard someone cry, but I have no idea who. And that is what happened yesterday evening. I now once again long for the thrill of action, that which I have not experienced for five years.
Franz
p.s. Don’t worry, I will be careful

My love,
I have been asked by the king to construct a wall around Muros itself. He asked for something that could be put up quickly, and so the wooden palisade I have designed will only take a few weeks to construct. It can also be used as the foundation for stone walls should he reinforce them in the future, something which I believe we will have to do. The only harder part is the towers, but these should not pose to much of a difficulty. I have high hopes your beloved kingdom, which has been returned too much of its former glory. I hope you are no too ailed by your illness.
Your loving husband, Franz
No matter how good a general you are; if the dice are against you, you will not win.

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Offline red bull

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Re: A Collection of Letters
« Reply #4 on: January 25, 2011, 06:15:37 PM »
Dear Marianna,
I apologise for the shortness in length of this letter but time is of the essence. The black elves of the west have moved inland, and it is said that they bring with them a giant ship, a floating city, from which they can resupply so that they need not land for months at a time. The Brettoni have moved west, taking many of the kingdoms that they passed, and the Arabs have done similar to the south of us. Our territories now border, and I can understand the people’s concerns. Still our diplomats are experts in their trade and if it does turn to war I have my axe. Your brother is well, though he now fears for his life as well as that of his country. The elves in the forest to the east seem to be gearing up for the protection of their forest, though I know Muros has no intentions of burning so much as a stump from the Pina Wood.
Your loving husband, Franz
No matter how good a general you are; if the dice are against you, you will not win.

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Offline Gneisenau

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Re: A Collection of Letters
« Reply #5 on: January 26, 2011, 07:35:55 PM »
I like them! :-) I think that the letter format definitely has some advantages. Unfortunately, it is not popular among modern writers.

Since you asked for C&C, I have two things:

- More paragraphs = easier read. If you type in word, then save, then copy&paste (as I do), you have to keep in mind that the forum format is much smaller, with no line breaks at all.
- Since you use the letter format, it adds to the drama if you make the installments look like actual letters, i.e. add a date and a location. Also, that makes it easier to follow. If you have access to Bram Stoker's "Dracula" or Shelley's "Frankenstein", you can see what I mean.

Offline red bull

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Re: A Collection of Letters
« Reply #6 on: January 26, 2011, 10:03:30 PM »
I'm afraid I have neither, hey I'm only 15.

I shall attempt though to use more paragraphs.
No matter how good a general you are; if the dice are against you, you will not win.

My new stories http://warhammer-empire.com/theforum/index.php?topic=36076.0
http://warhammer-empire.com/theforum/index.php?topic=36981.0

Offline red bull

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Re: A Collection of Letters
« Reply #7 on: January 27, 2011, 08:14:33 PM »
I apologise in advance for the lack of paragraphs :)

Dearest Marianna,
We have successfully brought Kistos, one of the small towns that lies North East of Muros, under our protection. We approached from the Eastern Gate, and some of the guard were called out to greet us. The town is becoming more deserted; as the rich flee what they believe will soon be nothing but rubble and ash. We approached with the hope of taking the refugees out of the city, and into Muros for protection, as well as maybe gathering information about the doings in the mountain. As we approached the town, I took my pocket watch out of my coat and looked at the time. It was five past noon. Strange, I hadn’t heard the bell in the tower ring, and we could not have been a mile away. Something felt wrong, and turning to my men I gave the order to proceed in skirmish formation. They broke ranks, halberdiers at the front, and rifles behind, they proceed on either side of the road. We edged round the Northern side of the earthworks, and it was only then that we saw it. Bandits all hooded and cloaked where swarming over the East gate. The lack of trade had forced them to attack a town, and Kistos being the closest was a natural target. ‘Keep low,’ I ordered as we moved forward, trying to kick up as little dust as possible. At last we were directly North of them. Some of them were bringing a few girls towards us, their intentions obvious. This sight so enraged me that I didn’t think, I just screamed ‘Fire!’ My handgunners instantaneously responded, unleashing a volley that dropped everyone of them dead, and grazed the arm of one of the girls. ‘Quick, over here’ I called to them in my broken Murosian, and crying the hurried towards us. The bandits by the gate had heard the shots, and already I could see mounted men riding towards us, swords glinting in the bright sun. ‘Hurry!’ I called to the girls, the first of whom had already reached the safety of my halberdiers, who were forming a square around the rifles. Alas, one of them fell, and as she stood back up, one of the bandits came up behind her. As his sword swung through the air I was forced to watch in horror as she jerked and fell to the floor. ‘Bastard!’ I heard one of my men shout and I did not bother to shut him up. ‘Fire at will!’ I bellowed, and following this command came half a dozen shots, that left five of the bandits dead. The remaining two quickly turned, and fled. ‘They’ll be back’ I said before continuing, ‘Halberdiers, plant shields.’ They did as they were told, and made an obvious defensive perimeter. We were outnumbered, and though some were running with all the precious items they could carry, more were mounting up and turning to us. I could feel my men’s tension as they realised that our chances were slim. I heard the cry of their horns and shouted ‘Standby to receive cavalry!’ Immediately the halberdiers lowered their weapons until they were pointing out wards and adopted the brace position. What must have been two hundred men came charging at us, and with the dust the kicked up it could easily have been more. The sound was broken by a gunshot, and one of the riders toppled from his saddle. More followed, and more fell. The distance between us was now sixty yards. Forty. Twenty. All of a sudden they were everywhere, shields had been sent flying, horses lay dead on the floor, and the cries of the wounded could be heard. Bringing up my axe I waded forward, swinging it in a horizontal slash which connected with the leg of one of the riders. Blood spurted from the femoral artery and he cried out whilst jerking the reins of his horse to get it to move away. I pulled out my pistol, and as he rode away, I levelled it and fired into his spine. He disappeared moments later, blocked by other riders, but he must have died. It was only then that I noticed the riders in front of me were not wearing black, but red and blue. The colours of Sylvania, and I heard a voice call in my familiar tongue ‘After them’. We watched, and cheered as the two groups of cavalry chased each other.
And now I must go see who my saviour was, so I will write again, when he returns from chasing those bandits into the mountains.
Franz
No matter how good a general you are; if the dice are against you, you will not win.

My new stories http://warhammer-empire.com/theforum/index.php?topic=36076.0
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Offline red bull

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Re: A Collection of Letters
« Reply #8 on: February 13, 2011, 06:35:56 PM »
Marianna,
Things are looking good for Muros survival. More defences are being built in the surrounding areas and yesterday I visited Verin. I went alone, with only your brother to Verin, the town where you said your mother was born. I had been ordered to try and convince them to join Muros. They seemed most willing to listen, but considering how many enemies surround them, I must admit I’m not surprised. Your brother began, talking of how he had lived there as a child, and how Muros had always been fair to them and how it could offer them protection.  He then introduced me as a general of Muros, a title that still seems strange to my ears. Nevertheless I did what I knew I must. I told them of you, and some of them even remembered who you were. I have given them our address so expect to hear something soon. The mayor came out at about noon, and ordered me to leave. He even threatened me with his soldiers, but when he ordered them to arrest me they were unwilling. Eventually he gave up, but by then his people had seen his treachery and seized him. They took him into his house, and supposedly there they found taxes they had paid for the repairs of the roads in his persona safe. I do not know what the punishment for treachery and theft is in Verin, but if it is anything like that in Muros, that man will be dead. I returned again today, hoping to speak again, and they even asked me about who I thought the new mayor should be. I was at a loss, how was I to know, I come from Thorwald in Ostland and I have never known corruption to that extent, and we have never elected a mayor in my lifetime. It was then that your brother suggested my name. I must say I was shocked, but the people seemed to like the idea. I have told them I will think about it but I don’t see that I will be able to do anything for them. Still, I will think on it. Last week we also organised an evacuation of the population of Diamanterra. We believe the black elves will attack the region soon, and we hoped to save as many as we could. Though many came, in froze my blood to see those unwilling to leave their homes. Their fates lie in slavery, a life I would see no-one live. Still, I do not wish to take them from their homes, and so I can only wish that they see sense before they arrive. I hope you are feeling better.
Your loving husband

My Loving Wife Marianna,
We have been marching south all week, and we have now passed out of our own territory, that which we know is safe. Before we left Verin I organised for a shrine to be built and dedicated to Myrmidia. And know we are marching, and my feet ache from it. I was never good on long distance journeys that weren’t done by ship, and in my old age it has gotten worse. We have since yesterday passed into enemy territory, and there is little here. The rain that fell has made the ground beneath our feet turn to mud after only a men have passed over it, and I am lucky that I do not have to stand at the back of the column. We had been ordered to take a small garrison, but upon arriving there we found the tower empty. I have left my handgunners there and continued south, where I hope I can be more use to Muros. The banner of the serpent was not even flying, which leads me to believe that some have gone either underground or east to the lands that lie there. I cannot help but fear this lack of opposition. It unnerves me more than a battle, more than when I was nearly wrecked of Manaan’s teeth up in Nordland, but there is nothing I can do. I may have to ask your brother to send me a horse so that I can keep up with the advance, or else I shall spend the entire time on the baggage train, which seems hardly fitting. At least my boots are holding up. I have been talking to some of the other generals, and it seems that their hopes for Estalia are good, and they believe that we can survive this war, and hopefully help others to do the same. They have more optimism than I, but then I have always been a pessimist. Wait. I hear horns. And these are not those that come from Muros. No these are different. And now there appears to be red in the distance. Soldiers, what else could it be. So I must end this letter here. Though I will write again soon. Time runs like the Talabec, and waits for no man. Especially it seems me.
Well that was quick. It was only a column of recruits, and though they narrowly outnumbered us the fight was one sided. I ordered my men to offer quarter, and try and take as many prisoners as possible. They heeded my words and we now have nearly three dozen prisoners, but what we will do with them is another matter.
I shall write again soon, when time allows. Franz
No matter how good a general you are; if the dice are against you, you will not win.

My new stories http://warhammer-empire.com/theforum/index.php?topic=36076.0
http://warhammer-empire.com/theforum/index.php?topic=36981.0

Offline red bull

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Re: A Collection of Letters
« Reply #9 on: February 27, 2011, 08:35:04 AM »
Marianna,
We have met up with the main army, and have been sleeping in the same camp as them. Until last night that was when we were sent on a journey to the south, or mission was to capture a small outpost which would have been on our flank had we advanced further. We left in the dead of night, so none would know where we were going, after all the Arabians would be idiots not to have spies among our soldiers, as spies can be the equivalent of a small army.
The march was cold, as the nights are bitter cold at the moment, yet I did not mind. I do not mind the dark, indeed I prefer it to the day, and from those expeditions up in the very north I no longer suffer the cold as most do. My men did not bring cloaks, and even though they are from Ostland their hands are stiff and useless. And so it was that we came to the fort. I immediately ordered them to prepare to storm the fort. My handgunners were most reluctant which is understandable considering their training is in marksmanship, not hand to hand combat. Some of them didn’t even carry swords, and so my halbediers had to give up theirs, something which I can assure you they were most displeased about.
We waited in the trees until the sun showed its first rays over the horizon, at which point I gave the order to attack. We did so in near silence, proceeding as quietly as possible. The padded soles of boots are great at muffling sound and we managed to make it with in fifty yards before the first of the guards saw us. They immediately started to prepare a bolt thrower for action, but by this time we were running and before they had loaded were already by the walls.
‘Tear it down!’ I ordered, and though not all heard enough did. The wooden stakes had been set in a hurry and came loose with ease. Soon we had taken apart a good chunk of the palisade, and we poured into the courtyard. The sight that met our eyes was one I have never experienced before. Standing in the courtyard was an troll. Huge, nearly three times as tall as man it was chained to huge iron hoops fastened to the floor, but as we watched the soldiers undid his shackles, freeing him.
He did not move though, and so a few proceeded to prodding him with spears in an attempt to goad him towards us. Big mistake. He, though I suppose it could have been a she, turned around and just knocked them flying, and seizing a statue ran straight for the palisade, smashing it with the statue.
The Arabians, seeing their troll running for the hills, dropped their weapons, and quickly surrendered.
I was careful throughout the whole thing. Franz.

My dearest,
I am running out of parchment, and so my next few letters may have to be written on some of the strange stuff they use here. At least I brought enough ink. How are you today, I have not heard from you for a while, but then shipping is hard in these troubled times, so it may well be that your letters have been delayed. I hope that you have been able to see Ostland, as it is so beautiful at this time as year, though I’m sure you miss Muros just as much. Still, we are where we are.
I do not believe I have told you about what became of that troll. Well, I dispatched a dozen soldiers to hunt her down, yes it turns out it was female. They took the only horses we had, which made my men irritated when they realised they would have to tow the supply carts instead. Still, they did as ordered, and within a day we had rejoined the camp, which was now much emptier than it had been when we entered.
Anyway, they rode for two days. Trolls are easy to track, their footprints are so large after all, but they can travel at speed and have great stamina, one that men could never hope to match. And so it was only my best men who went in search of her. I have included a copy of their report, which I think you will find makes most interesting reading.
We had been tracking the beast for two days, when we the tracks led into a cave. We could hear sobbing coming from inside the cave, and so we waited for another day, hoping that the beast would show itself. But it didn’t and all the while we just heard sobbing, though much louder than the noise a human makes. We drew lots, and one man proceeded into the cave, with a torch. We waited, and he came to the entrance again five minutes later. He beckoned for us to follow, and so cautiously we did so. The sight that met our eyes was one of the most peculiar I have ever seen. The troll was sitting on the floor, crying it’s eyes out. We approached, and saw that it was clawing at a shackle on its wrist, a shackle that was obviously hurting it, as in its vain attempts to take it off it had only tightened it. I approached it, and instead of attempting to hit me it simply held out it’s arm, in a plea for help. The looks in its eyes were almost human. We managed to take it off, by using a small knife as a chisel. Though we had been ordered to make sure it did no further harm to Muros, the creature was so calm we could not hurt it. And as we turned to leave, it followed us. It followed us all the way to the camp and has been sitting by the gate ever since we got back.
I must say I do not know what we can do with such an animal, but I’m sure we can find a good use for her, she’s seems to want to help.
Your loving, though somewhat baffled husband, Franz
No matter how good a general you are; if the dice are against you, you will not win.

My new stories http://warhammer-empire.com/theforum/index.php?topic=36076.0
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Offline red bull

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Re: A Collection of Letters
« Reply #10 on: April 04, 2011, 10:07:21 AM »
And this is where it all ends...

My dearest wife,
I am back in your brothers apartment in Muros. It is nice here, nicer than it was now he has furnished it completely. Though it is not large, it feels so and already it has a sense of homeliness. As I came back I did some work on a couple of houses. We were using a crane, one of the cumbersome transportable ones to lift up some stones for the roof houses when the troll that has been following us barged in, picked up one of the stones and just placed it in its slot. As easy as that, it was ridiculous how easy they made it look. We have found an amazing use for her, and one that she is very good at. It is a wonder the orcs do not have great cities if they have beasts that can make buildings and walls with such ease. I would love to get a second one, but I cannot see that happening anywhere in the near future. Especially as they tend to just eat humans.
Yesterday I went with your brother to a ‘wine garden’ or at least that’s what he called it. Just a place for posh people to get off their faces if you ask me, but it wasn’t bad. Bloody expensive, I think I’ll stick to the Two Faced Troll Tavern in future. The ale is much cheaper, and it has a much better atmosphere.
We have managed to regain peace with the Arabians, and the terms are much fairer this time. But I am no diplomat, and am still unsure as to what has exactly happened.
I shall write again, once I have more information, your husband


Dearest,
I have greatest news! I have been in contact with Professor Hernandez, a notable botanist who has provided me with a drug. It is a mixture of many substances, though I do know it has ginger and quinine. He said it will help you fell better and stimulate muscle growth. At last you might be able to get out into the garden again, and see our son. I have sent him a letter asking him to come and see you, and though I believe he is in Middenland with his order, he should get leave.
Things appear to be going well down here, though the black faerys have come south, they do not appear to be much of a threat. I am still staying with your brother, but he has not been here recently.
Strange things have been happening. Part of Billbali disappeared, and while most blame the rat men, I do not think it was them. Life has changed, and many live in fear that Muros will be next. Since the black elves took the Great Western Ocean I can understand these fears but El-Rey does not seem to be afraid. On the contrary, he has held a grand ball, organised by Santos, one of the captains.
Still, you should find enclosed the drug, and take it the second you get it.
I look forward to seeing you move around the day I return, Karl

Dearest,
I believe you will be walking by now so I would recommend reading this in the garden. Has our son come to join you yet?
The black elves of the west have come south and lain siege to Muros. They took the great western ocean and from their stormed through and landed outside Muros. Many times they pounded against our walls, Norse men at least a head taller than our soldiers and dwarves tainted by chaos with their living cannons. I have been fighting at the walls for the last few days but at last they have fallen back. Our walls have been badly damaged, and though they held there are many holes that will need to be filled. We do not know their net plans but they will be running out of supplies, and so we can with luck hold them off. Still, it will be close and so there is talk of conscripting in the locals.
I have several new scars, but nothing serious. Believe me I paid back the bastards who gave them to me and they won’t be attacking anyone else in a hurry. The Arabyans of the south have moved East and attacked the goblins who were roaming free in the East. The Brettonians have also moved south and are in fierce combat with the rat men of the south. But do not let these tales worry you for I am sure that Muros will hold.
I recently found out that the female name of a troll is a trollope. But many of the men did not know this and when they heard her referred to as trollope they assumed that we had given her the name Ope. It has stuck and now she answers to it. She has taken a strong liking to the man that freed her and now follows hi round like an obedient hound. More than once I have seen her save his life as she stands behind him in battle and towers over all that dare to come near him.
I hope that the medicine is working and that you are feeling better.
Your loving husband, Karl   

My Love,
Muros has fallen. Already she lies in ruins; a mere shall of what she was just a month ago. The black faerys came South and took the city with one fell swoop. The men women and children have all been rounded up as slaves, but we have succeeded in cutting off their escape. They are trapped, their only hope is to fight free but they cannot expect to take all that they took back. Many of their men will die, as will many of ours but that is not what matters. The smoke can be seen in the day, and the flames at night, but no fire can burn forever. Light will prevail over darkness, and though I feel bitter shame at having been part of the army that was driven out I do not fear the mocking of others. I will give my last breath to reclaim your homeland.
As to your brother, I have not seen him, and so I believe we must assume the worst. If he has indeed escaped then I can only hope he fled South. Or even to his Villa in the region, though this could be the target of their next target.
Ope has now found herself a weapon that she likes. It was the prow of one of the faerys ships but serves her well as a mace. The spikes and horns make it vicious enough, without her swinging it with enough force to bring down a castle. She will help us, so long as her master is alive.
Your husband Franz

My love,
We have reclaimed the city with the help of the Arabians. They are even funding us to rebuild it to what it once was. Already myself and a Marienburger are setting up plans for the new city. He says that It will be easier, that we can make wider roads, better houses and cleaner sewers and though I can see his point that starting from scratch means there are no limitations I feel sorry for any who will return home to find that they no longer have any homes.
The black faerys are retreating North, and rumour has it that they are bringing their great ship, one hundred times the size of mine to gather up all the slaves they have taken captive. But we must stop them; we must make sure that they do not take Murosians back into the West.
Nothing could be more important. But we must also make sure they have somewhere to return to, and that is why I stay here to build. If the medicine has worked then I shall assume that soon you will be able to reply. I look forward to seeing your handwriting again. It has been too long since I last saw it.


Karl returned home to Ostland two weeks after the Reavers sailed back into the West. He sailed with his two ships up around the Seas between Ulthuan and the Imperial worlds of men. They journey took nearly two months, as weather ruined the passage and forced Karl to stop in many ports along the way. Upon reaching his house he found that the house was empty. His wife’s assistant had gone, and though he searched he found no one in the house. He went to the local church, and enquired as to what had happened. ‘I’m so sorry.’ the clergyman said. ‘The medicine you sent, it was too late, and though we gave it to her she did not have the strength to recover.’ Seeing the look of horror on Karl’s face he took him by the hand and led him out through the door. He took him through the rows of tombs until he at last stopped and Karl, wiping the tears from his eyes was able to read the carved words; ‘Marianna Freidmann, an Estalian woman who brought her culture to Ostland and always made the room brighter. Taken on the 3rd of August after a long struggle with her illness. Missed by her loving husband.’
No matter how good a general you are; if the dice are against you, you will not win.

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