Palace Guard Journal: Day 13

We all just stood there, staring at this new entrant to the scene. His hood obscured his face. His unearthly calm in the presence of our heavily armed company was unsettling. Von Ottenhiem bowed his head toward the figure, as did the remaining monks that we had tied up.

“Thank you, Master,” Von Ottenhiem said, reverently.

“In the name of the Queen, make yourself known,” Grantiere demanded.

“I’m much older than your Queen, and feel that it is she who she be paying me respects,” came the steady voice of the man.

As he stepped out of the opening and into the dim torchlight, we could see that he was wearing the Medieval pendant that we had been originally dispatched to retrieve.

“That pendant belongs to Baron Galt-Haldane; return it immediately,” said Grantiere.

“Mighty Captain, that is where you are mistaken,” the man started, “This pendant belongs to me and always has.” He started walking toward us. “It was the daughter of your Baron who stole it from me.”

Could it be dark magic?

“Your words resemble treason, stranger,” Grantiere warned.

“I assure you I speak truth,” the man began, “And furthermore I do not intend to relinquish what is rightfully mine.”
In an instant, the man threw back his hood an opened his mouth. Long white fangs extended from his mouth as he hissed. He drew back his sword and moved with unnatural quickness around the chamber. Before we could blink, his blade cut loose the rope holding Von Ottenhiem and his men. They jumped up and found their weapons as the melee resumed.

I was taken so by surprise, that one of the monks knocked my sword from my hand. I dodged out of the way and found the splintered shaft of my pike and used that to deflect the attacks. As I backed toward the wall, the man appeared behind me. I instinctively brought my wooden spear to strike. As I did, his eyes widened and he snarled. His hand shot out and grabbed my wrist. With little effort, he threw me across the chamber as I slammed into the ancient carvings.

When my eyes opened, the man had his sword to Josephus throat. Baltus, Grantiere, and Celebryn all stood by, watching helplessly.

“If you wish to save your friend, you will bring me the Baron’s daughter,” he clenched his grip on his sword, “and since it is unlikely that the Baron will trade his daughter’s life for this man’s, please deliver a message for me: If my requests are not met, I will invade.”

“Just you and a handful of thieves against the army of the Kingdom?” Grantiere scoffed.

“You seem to underestimate me,” the man said and then snapped his fingers.

The ground below us started to rumble. From the earthen floor, white fingertips breached to the surface, followed soon by the ghastly grin of skulls. Dozens of skeletons, animated by some dark magic assembled around us and stood at attention.

“Please, return to your Baron and tell him that Rulatha sends his regards.”

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