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Saturday, 26 August 2006
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Part Three: Nemesis and Ally
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Brenguard sat in the inn with his back to the other patrons, brooding over Peter’s desertion. But if anyone could take care of it, Kurt could. He turned his thoughts to things that still rested in his own hands. The army was on leave until Marcus returned, and Brenguard decided to force himself to enjoy it. He called the bartender over and ordered another ale.



A man entered the inn. He was finely dressed, rivaling even some Marienburgers in decadence. The fellow seemed rather upset about something and quickly moved toward the bar, a quieting of the patrons following in his wake. The man leaned over the bar and whispered something to the bartender who pointed down the bar to where Brenguard was sitting. Brenguard grimaced as the man made his way toward where he was seated. Brenguard gulped down the last bit of his ale and turned to fully face the approaching man.

“Captain Brenguard?” asked the man, sitting down opposite Brenguard.

“At your service,” answered Brenguard, “what may I do for you sir?”

“My name is Count Vilhelm, I am a merchant from Averheim, and I was traveling to Kislev. We made a stop at the Moot, and it seems we got rather lost.”

“I don’t suppose you’re asking me for directions, so the short story would help here,” interjected Brenguard, in no mood for stories from a trader.

“We ended up in Sylvania, and when a storm rolled in, our caravan got split up. One of the carts never met back with us, and we were forced to leave without them when we were attacked by a great number of wolves. My daughter was on that cart, and I’d do anything for you if you could bring her back,” pleaded Vilhelm.

Brenguard leaned back in his chair and sighed to himself. This was exactly the sort of thing he was here to help with, but he dreaded going back into Sylvania without Marcus.

“Count, where did you last see her?” asked Brenguard, trying to gather as much information as he could about what he was getting himself into.

“Hard to say, like I said, we were lost and there was a storm, but I asked some of the locals about it, and based on my descriptions of the terrain that I was about 5 miles west of Castle Vandenberg.”

Brenguard nearly fell off his chair. Was this man really asking him to go within 5 miles of Castle Vandenberg? No wonder he had come to the captain of the Sylvan Guard, no one else would even consider doing it! A thought crept into Brenguard’s mind. No one else would do it. No one was brave enough, save for him.
“My good Count, consider it done. I will search for her myself, as one man can more easily slip unnoticed through those lands than a whole army,” answered Brenguard with a grin.

“Oh! Why thank you Captain, I owe you everything for even accepting my request! Everyone else I’ve asked has been terrified of that place. It’s good to see that at least our officers are still brave enough to enter that land!” said Vilhelm as he extended a hand across the table to Brenguard.

“It’s my duty Count, what good would the Royal Sylvan Guard be if we were afraid to enter the land we’re patrolling?” offered Brenguard shaking Vilhelm’s hand.
 

-o0o-

 

Brenguard set out from the small town before sunrise, not wanting to draw too much attention to himself. While he loved adoring crowds and sendoffs from the young women of the town, he much more valued the safety of few knowing exactly where he was headed and how far he had gotten. He wouldn't put it past the vampires to have spies in the towns near the Sylvanian border. He set out with a light load of equipment, just a bedroll, a couple canteens, food, his pistol, his sword in scabbard, shield tied over his pack on his back, and his rifle, also slung over his back. The hike ahead was daunting, but a horse was about as much a giveaway to scouts as would be Count Vilhelm's ridiculous hat.

A day and a half of grueling hiking was not a pleasant thought, but it was duty, and Brenguard wasn't one to say no to rescuing the daughters of rich merchants. The most unnerving thing was that this was his first time in Sylvania alone. He wasn't scared of being ambushed, he was afraid of no one knowing how he might die, he was afraid of falling in noble combat without a soul to tell the story, but above all, he was afraid of dying in Sylvania without anyone to carry his body out. One death was enough, and Brenguard had no intention of serving his killer.

Shifting the weight of his pack to his other shoulder, Brenguard cleared the thoughts from his head and began the long hike to Castle Vandenberg, praying he'd make the hike back too.

 

-o0o-

 

Brenguard hadn’t seen a soul all day, living or otherwise. He’d covered quite a bit of ground, and he guessed that if he kept up, and timed it right, he’d get to Castle Vandenberg just as the sun came up. The prospect of not facing the castle in the night was more than enough to keep him going through the night. Honestly though, he didn’t really know what to expect once he got there.

As he came up over a ridge, he got a good look at the horizon, although he wished he hadn’t. Before him a vast forest spread across the horizon. It was dark, every tree looking gnarled, mangled, and nearly dead, despite the thickness of the forest. Brenguard stopped for a moment before the daunting forest. He’d simply assumed nothing but wasteland lay between himself and Castle Vandenberg. Brenguard loosened his pistol from its holster at his hip and made sure he could get to his sword quickly, and then began to move toward the forest.



Last Updated ( Saturday, 26 August 2006 )
 
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