Marching Orders


Your riders delivered the dispatch last night and I write you in haste so that I may complete the long journey to Helmgorge. Briefly, I’m happy to report our midnight raid last week was successful. ‘Urist,’ your assassin, easily penetrated the goblin pickets and slew Tchochak, their bandit king, while he slept. His official report will be sealed for your eyes only and enclosed along with this letter. I encourage you to read it carefully and consider the new goblin custom of traveling with harems and broodlings. ‘Urist’ handled these ‘complications,’ but he hasn’t had a drink since and he’s withdrawn from the company and babbling on about turtle shells and cabinet making. I’m putting him up for a commendation and suggest he be given a long furlough, preferably someplace with many waterfalls and statues. Nevertheless, he reported that Tchochak’s corpse was properly defiled and that it was done in such a way to suggest to our enemies that their ‘spirits’ were upset with his leadership.

The following morning our scouts reported their sub-chiefs gathered for a Meat-cut to determine succession. Whatever the outcome, it is to our benefit. Each day sees the more notable warriors peeling off from the main camp with their retinues to return home as you suggested they would. Be assured, sire, that none will see their beloved leech-pits again. And, at this rate, I reckon that only a rabble of desperate, ill-equipped looters will make it to Doomedscorches where they will be easily handled by the local militia. My compliments on your masterful plan.

Now to present matters. I must protest my new appointment to the recently founded Helmgorge. My expertise lies in the implementation of troops and tactics. It is true the academy taught me something of governance, but what little my tutors imparted upon me has more to do with managing an orderly occupation than it does with overseeing the fine craftsdwarfship our artisans can create. I hope you will reconsider and find a more suitable role for your loyal master-at-arms. I hear the campaigns in the north are going south….

Lastly, I have reviewed the scraps of the supposed “Journal of Adil Tabaruvad” you sent along with the maps. It seems a bit of alarmist. Unarmed peasants wandering around the wilds in search of new ‘settlements’ are asking for trouble. It wouldn’t surprise me to hear elf brigands were offended by the wooden carriages or some such nonsense and got a little out of control. Those hypocrite radicals with their wooden bows and arrows have been known to patrol remote roads murdering dwarf and human alike. Adil and his impetuous comrades should have had axes or crossbows at the very least. Needless to say I will ensure a similar fate does not befall Helmgorge proper. Adequate defenses will be constructed and a proper militia raised.

Your humble servant,

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