I, Cadolo, scribe of the Court at Donjonwold,
Do hereby transcribe from the expedition log of Haearnblaidd's Brigade
Into the ducal archives events that occurred in the spring of the year of the Weasel,
Month of the Beetle, on the south-western frontier of the realm.
Long reign to the House of Heryrod on World's Henge.
Quadrus, warrior commander, led Haearnblaidd's Brigade
Across the river Farby, risen under rain.
He was met by dervishes who follow the Six Winds,
Fighting monks, ferocity inspired by faith in the directions of their Hexad.
The matriarch expected gifts according to custom.
Quadrus gave none, cocky and practical.
For naught but all would have satisfied the chieftess,
Mounted at the head of a host of four figures, bowmen and lancers.
With strategist's eye the matriarch considered the breadth and depth of the Brigade,
Then withdrew, and her mounted men with her.
The sticks of the forest turned to serpents, fangs dripping bile.
Quadrus survived attempted poisoning.
In the Walking Woods, Quadrus discovered ruins.
Crumbling walls around empty places, age-old notions
Of forts and magazines, of homes and prisons.
Haearnblaidd's Brigade passed unmolested.
According to lore, peril haunts such places.
Any order of monster creeps behind toppled pillars.
Collapsing stone and guileful denizens trap trespassers.
In the empty places, unguarded treasure awaits beyond loneliness and insanity.
Sudden growls and claws flashing from behind,
Turning about, the right column morphed into a skirmish front.
A tiger-man stood down the line, felling men and horses to a figure's count.
Quadrus advanced and the lycanthrope retreated, a female and a dozen cubs fled with carcasses.
Out of the forest on high ground, Quadrus looked east
Upon the Griffon Plains and the Tuile Gorm, the Blue Flood.
Joined downstream by the White to make the Great River,
River of legend, river of myth, bridged by the Greater Race.
Across a grassy knoll, a wave on the Griffon Plains,
Tufts of trees about, leafy and bright green,
Rode Haearnblaidd's Brigade, proud men in the service of Heryrod,
Attacked by troglodytes – Men in animal hides, flailing cudgels,
Threw themselves against brutal mounts, falling to strikes by sword and iron hoof.
Only women and whelps and old men remained
In their caves, a conquered people now subject to the Duke
By letter of marque, the clan of Bolt's Massacre.