War Journals 10: Rooks, Ravens, and Crows

The old knight sat in the cold, wrapped in his thick black coat and waited for the sun to rise.

The Spring war season had been shockingly quiet. The Doghearts had disbanded rather than face him on the field. Guthar had been crushed over the winter. The Dwarves had been sequestered in their home, though no word on the progress of the Fafnir forces had reached his ears. The settlement of Runeheim was reasonably secure. The banner of the black fort flew over the cursed Fort that had caused the knight no end of trouble since its discovery more than a year ago now. All and all, the immediate surroundings seemed to be in a good place. So he had taken his forces East through the woods his men referred to as ‘Murder Alley’. The name was only partially in jest; most of the casualties of war had taken place in those woods.

While his troops has passed through without issue, Sven wouldn’t be willing to swear there weren’t still enemies laying in wait there somewhere. It had been a troubling stretch of land since his arrival in the Theater. However, with his fighting men and women successfully on the other side, the land bridge was finally in his sights. That humble muddy stretch of river was the key to this entire campaign. It was the lifeblood of commerce. It hid the dreaded serpents. It was an open gate between the Njordr and the Rime. If they could control the land bridge and build his chains on the river, the knight was confident that they could bring some security to The Throne.

The only real hiccup with his Spring had been the unpleasantness in the tavern surrounded the Lady Dressler and certain members of The Grey Company. He sighed at the recollection of it. The knight had been charged with prosecuting the war in the north. He was at war with literal gods, and every small victory came with a similar loss somewhere else. Truly, it was exhausting. Things would be what they would be, however, and he would accomplish little by worrying about it now. Things outside his sphere of influence was, by definition, something he couldn’t impact. Therefore, it stood to reason that devoting thought and worry towards it would accomplish little. In that vein, he elected not to worry about it now. Honey had a hard time going back in the comb, and this situation seemed to be one of those. At the very least, immediate violence had been avoided.

As the light of the sun starts to color the sky in the grey of pre-dawn, the knight sighed. In less than an hour now, his staff would rouse themselves from slumber. He would instruct his horse to be saddled, and the knight would journey back towards Runeheim to assist in the moving of materials from the outskirts to the farms for build projects. A truly spellbinding waste of his talents, but it was, he had been told, important to be at least seen attempting a penance for his violence in war. His niece had been clear with him; some people were unhappy with the good works he did for The Throne. The knight understood the troubles; the North hadn’t ever accepted a doctrine of total war. They were slowly learning his lessons. Eventually, he was certain, they would understand. Until then, he would strive to enlighten the populace, at the bloody tip of a sword if need be. And in the meantime, he would haul wood from one corner of the Theater to the other. Because that was the best use of a high born general’s time.

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