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Stromgarde


Though he had been previously informed of his brother's preparations, Eralas had not expected to confront a fully equipped Stromgarde expedition force. The Hesperian reaction force, which seemed to have consolidated itself in the surrounding hillsides overlooking the main road, watched silently as he approached the massive Stromgarde encampment situated below the towering gatehouse of the Thoradin wall.

The presence of the Hesperians was not a welcome sight, as Eralas had hoped to arrive in time to completely prevent the emergence of such a situation. His only chance to spare Stromgarde the horrors that were sure to follow the treachery at Fenris now rested entirely on the commander in charge of the Hesperian reaction force.

With great speed he rode towards encampment, ignoring completely the many shouts of the surrounding sentries and removing the cloak covering his crown as he did so, and finally arrived at the main collection of tents at the very center of the Stromgarde encampment. Quickly he dismounted the horse which he had so unlawfully acquired and turned to face the many soldiers who had now gathered around him, a mixture of joy and surprise made evident on their faces.

"Take heart brave man for we have been betrayed!" Eralas suddenly proclaimed "in the halls of foreign kings we have suffered the greatest of insults! The blood of our finest spilled on the stonework of Fenris by the very people who called us there!" Eralas paused momentarily as the soldiers around him spoke and quarreled amongst themselves, shocked and horrified by what they had heard.

"Let there be no mistake" Eralas then continued "the foreign lords were never to be trusted, the blame for the deaths we have suffered is mine and mine alone" some soldiers tried to speak out against the kings blaming of himself but he quickly silenced them, asking instead to be brought to the leading commander in charge of the expedition. He also called for his wounded companion to be brought to the nearest possible sanctuary, where clerics of the light would seek to stabilize his ever worsening condition.

When Eralas finally entered the tent of the commanding officer, having dismissed the soldiers who had escorted him there, he found the commander hidden behind a large pile of documents of various sizes, the unmistakable sound of snoring emerging from behind the paper piles. Eralas, refusing to suffer the sight of what he regarded as unacceptable behavior, coughed loudly in an effort to awaken the man who had so dishonored his position.

The result was surprising and in truth rather amusing, as the sleeping commander awakened with a great shock, brushing aside the paper piles in the process. With the removal of the papers, the embarrassed face of the commander was revealed to Eralas, his anger vanishing as he recognized the captain who had initially accompanied him on his journey past the Thoradin wall.

The two then proceeded with exchanging tales, king Eralas pleased with his brother's decision to promote the captain to the rank of tribune and the tribune dismayed by what had transpired within the halls of Fenris keep.

"Send runners to Strom and inform my brother that I request his presence as soon as he finds it possible" Eralas suddenly declared "and send a messenger to the nearest concentration of Hesperian troops, make it known that the king of Stromgarde requests an audience" the tribune looked at his king with great confusion "What do you plan to do?" The tribune then asked "to save our nation from a conflict that was never ours to fight" the king replied with a heavy heart "light willing, it is not too late"

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