Destruction in Krondor

Date: 2/4/2014 at 16:25
From: Anonymous
To : Everyone
Subj: Destruction in Krondor

Arutha seethed.

The palace was in an uproar, but the Prince of Krondor was only distantly aware of those around him. Gardan, the Knight-Marshal of Krondor and Arutha's longtime companion, walked at his side, occasionally shouting orders at those passing by. His expression matched that of his Prince.

Krondor, capitol of the Western realm of the Kingdom of the Isles, had been attacked. The city had been threatened many times in her long history, but in living memory, no force had struck so forcefully, or with such impunity, into the heart of the city.

The merchant's quarter was in shambles, and at least a hundred of Krondor's soldiers lay dead; it seemed likely the final toll would exceed twice that. The city had been well-prepared; when the demon lord had been spotted over the Bitter Sea, outlined in red by the setting sun, citizens had fled to warded sections of the cities, and elite squads of soldiers had spread across the city, ready to respond the instant the demon landed. The soldiers of Krondor had responded with bravery and skill. Never inclined to leave the fighting to others, Arutha and Gardan had personally joined the battle.

The demon had been a behemoth, well over thirty feet tall, with bone-studded skin and strength enough to shatter stone. While some claimed to have heard it speak, most reports indicated the beast was little more than a mindless brute, intent on nothing more than destruction. A talented field commander, Arutha had considered dozens of strategies, either alone or in conference with his military leaders and magical advisors. The magical wards that had been laid to trap the demon had, ultimately, proven too weak to prevent its flight; its wounds had healed even as they were dealt, and the soldiers of Krondor were helpless to prevent its escape when it had finally taken to the skies.

As he and Gardan returned to the scene of battle, Arutha reflected that the demon would have run rampant through the city if it were not for those who had sacrificed their lives to confront it. The ground was cracked and ruptured, and several nearby buildings had been demolished. The ground was charred near where the demon had fought, and for a hundred feet in any direction, the ground was slick with gore. Servants were quickly and respectfully gathering the dead for a pyre.

Without removing his gaze from the grisly scene before him, Arutha spoke to his Knight-Marshal. "We must choose a location for a trap, and decide how to best summon the beast. We will have ballistae and catapults prepared. We cannot rely on the magicians to prevent its escape."

Gardan replied, "Perhaps the Grey Towers. It favors the mountains, and they are isolated." Arutha nodded his agreement, as frustration played across his features. "I am out of my element, Gardan. I am no expert on the arcane, but it seems clear that we cannot implement all of the strategies that were suggested." Arutha tilted his head slightly in the direction of the throneroom. After the battle, Arutha had held a war council, and many had offered their views on how to thwart the demon. When the conversation had begun to devolve into arguments over who would wield artifacts of power and have places of honor in the battle, Arutha had grown disgusted and left. His officers would report any meaningful points of discussion to him later.

Gardan grunted his agreement. "We'd do well to have one type of spell on the ground, one above, and perhaps others directed at the beast directly. There were suggestions of all those approaches, as I recall. It may be they won't confound one another if they are separated in that way, and between them it may be enough."

Arutha considered for a moment, then nodded. "I will speak with Jazhara on the topic. Of course, we will have to convince the mages to go along with the plan." Representatives from as far as the Northlands and from walks of life as eccentric as worshipers of Guis-wan had added their voices to the council.

The pair remained for a time, speaking with the wounded and organizing the effort to clean and rebuild. Across the city, the terrified citizens slowly began to emerge from hiding, as dawn brightened a new day in Krondor. Finally, Arutha said, "Come. Jazhara will have insight into your plan, and perhaps she will have word of Pug." Without further comment, the companions turned from the bloody scene and began to make their way back to the palace.

Penned by my hand on the 4th of Nuna, in the year 56.