CruelSummerLord writes "
“We can be one of the scouting units fighting for Highfolk.” Revafour said, gesturing to the rest of the companions. “We’ll take the fight to their ruling council…”
“…and end their threat to these lands once and for all,” he said, the fire in his eyes belying his calm demeanor.
The Art Of War
Highfolk Town was an armed camp by the time the companions
returned. The first contingents from Furyondy and the Vesve elves had already
arrived, and more were on their way. The dwarves and gnomes of the southeastern
Yatils who attended the Knights’ conference had alerted their kin, who would be
ready when the Spine Breakers passed through their lands. Some of the elven and
human Knights, specially trained scout and guerilla units who would harass the
Spine Breakers before they emerged from the Yatils proper, were preparing to set
out on their missions.
The companions were soon escorted to the lodge where the
Knights and their allies had been holding their conference. Several of the
Knights’ leaders, including Jolene, were waiting in the lodge’s meeting hall, eagerly
awaiting the companions’ return. Kashafen was also waiting for them, as was a
second elf. The second elf was of sylvan extraction, his reddish-auburn hair
streaked with grey and his frame surprisingly stout and pudgy for a wood elf.
He was dressed in pastel green and blue robes, and the roanwood walking stick
he carried gave him a distinguished air. The second elf saluted the companions
in greeting as they sat down at the table the Knights’ leaders were already
“So, you’re the adventurers I’ve heard so much about,” the
wood elf said. “Please allow me to introduce myself. I’m Loftin Graystand, Lord
Mayor of Highfolk Town.”
“The Worthy Sir, aren’t you?” Seline said, curtsying
“So people call me,” Loftin said with an amused chuckle.
“Sometimes I wonder, though. Before we begin, do any of you have any objection
to my pipeweed? The smoke helps me clear my thoughts,” he said. Without waiting
for anyone to reply, he took a wooden pipe case and a tobacco pouch out of his
pocket. In a few moments, Graystand had filled and lit his pipe, giving a
contented sigh as the rich smell of smoke filled the room.
“That’s better,” Graystand said. “Now, since I’ve gotten us
started, I may as well continue. What news do you brave and upstanding heroes have?”
In response, Amyalla reached into her pack and pulled out
the letters she’d stolen from the hobgoblins’ camp. One of the Knights stood up
to take them, and passed a few of them to Graystand. The elven mayor started
going through the letters, as the Knight passed the rest of the letters to
Jolene, Kashafen and a few of his fellows.
“I didn’t have much time to go through them,” Amyalla said,
shaking her head. “I didn’t have time to try and find any sort of battle maps
or other papers, either.”
“That’s hardly surprising,” Graystand said, glancing at
Amyalla over the lenses of the spectacles he’d put on to help him read the
letters. “It might’ve been nice if you at least tried, though.”
Amyalla scowled at that, but the amused twinkle in
Graystand’s eye and his apologetic smile made her realize he was joking.
Jolene, Graystand and the rest of the leaders read the
letters in silence for several minutes until Kashafen spoke up.
“We should thank Corellon that Iuz and the Horned Society
don’t seem to be involved,” he said, “but…oh, by Sehanine…”
“What is it?” Jolene said, looking over at him.
“You’re mentioned in this letter,” Kashafen said, handing
one of the parchments over to her, “and you’re not the only one either.”
Jolene read the letter, before she turned a ghastly pale. Suddenly
jumping to her feet, Jolene seemed about to scream before she slumped back down
in her chair, all of the strength seemingly drained out of her. She placed her
face in her hands, breathing heavily. When she looked up again, her expression
was that of a woman in despair.
Luna had a sickening feeling as she saw Jolene’s demeanor.
She wasn’t sure what could’ve caused it, but she glanced at Airk and Ma’non’go.
She suddenly recalled how similar their expressions were to Jolenes when they
talked about their false friends’ betrayals.
“Are you alright, Your Highness?” Luna said.
Jolene looked at Luna, turning her head slowly.
“What…? We, we don’t have time to discuss this,” she said,
shaking her head as if she’d just woken from a dream. “We’re here to discuss
Jolene barely seemed to be holding herself together, shaking
violently as she rubbed her temples. Everyone else in the room looked at each
other nervously, unsure of how to react.
“Your Highness, are you sure you-“ Loftin said, before
Jolene interrupted him.
“Don’t make me repeat myself!” Jolene said, her eyes flaring
angrily as her voice rose to a shout. “We have more important things to talk
Several of the people in the room still seemed uncertain,
but Revafour spoke up.
“Her Highness is right,” he said, raising his hand to
attract everyone’s attention. “The hobgoblins are deeply divided.”
“Weimar, Amyalla and I all saw hobgoblins brawling and being
flogged when we snuck into their camp,” Ma’non’go said, as Weimar and Amyalla
nodded in agreement.
“We sabotaged their war efforts, too,” Revafour said,
smiling thinly. “Many of the hobgoblins are likely boiling with rage by now. It
wouldn’t take much to make it all boil over.”
“Such as constant hit and run attacks that give them barely
a moment’s rest?” one of the Knight leaders said, returning Revafour’s smile.
“Indeed,” Revafour said. “The brutality their ruling
council’s inflicting on them is likely all that’s keeping them together.”
Revafour paused to glance back at his friends. Some of them
smiled back at him, while the determined expressions the rest wore assured him
he was speaking for their entire group.
“We can be one of the scouting units fighting for Highfolk.”
Revafour said, gesturing to the rest of the companions. “We’ll take the fight
to their ruling council…”
“…and end their threat to these lands once and for all,” he
said, the fire in his eyes belying his calm demeanor. "