I hope this message reaches you quickly and that Makalu and Lhotse find you in better circumstances than when last we parted ways, for I must ask that you once again join me in facing the evils that plague our land. I write to you from the ruins of Aldencross, where the Fireaxe’s hordes crossed the Watch Wall. Tower Balentyne lies in ruin and our kinsmen stationed there have been slaughtered. Thrice our forces have engaged the armies of the Fireaxe, at Loringsgate, at Ambryl, and again at Tarrington Fields, and thrice have we been defeated. The goblin war does not go well, Mitra Save Us.
Despite all of this, I do not call you to make war on the goblins. Rather, I call you to join me in seeking justice for our fallen kin. I believe that Balentyne fell, not to goblin swords, but to base treachery from within.
On my way north I encountered many refugees from Aldencross, all of whom claimed to have left the town before the goblins appeared. They claim that the town was set ablaze days ahead of the assault, not by goblins, but by one of our own, a Witch-Hound of Mitra. They spoke of horrors visited upon the keep: the Lord Commander and Magister Tacitus both slain and raised as unholy abominations, Father Donnagin slain by the beast that had been the Magister, and other such atrocities, all before the goblins arrived.
Worse still, I arrived here to find the Chapel of Balentyne defiled. A full score of young men and women lay sprawled before the altar, gutted like fish, the floor of the chapel blackened from their dried blood. The altar itself was defaced beyond recognition, carved all over with the pentagram symbols of the demon Asmodeus. I likewise examined the ruins of the keep and found that the gates and siege weaponry had been sabotaged, clearly in lead of the goblin attack.
Worst of all, I heard other rumors on my way here. Refugees from Almwick and Corbridge spoke of raids upon their town by fellows of the Knights of Alerion. They claim that the Knights molested, tortured, and even killed their fellow villagers in the name of Mitra. All of the evidence points towards the same thing. The people of Balentyne were slain, not by the goblins, but by our own, Knights of Talingarde, turned against its people and resurrecting the worship of Dread Asmodeus.
I ride tomorrow for Almwick to continue my investigation and hunt down these traitors. I encourage you to join me with all haste.
Ever Your Friend,