The Aryan-DeRideaux Letters


Preface
The letters follow from the last correspondence of Lord Ayran-DeRideaux, who disappeared along with his men on a diplomatic envoy to King Baspharos the Mede. These letters to his wife are the only known documentation of the events of that mission.

 

Twosday, Fourth of Greater Moon
My love,
The leaves crackle under my wagon as I write this missive. We departed Byzanton leisurely under fortunate weather, heading east. I believe your worry will prove unfounded on this journey. Morale is high, my men chant well, and the forest ahead bends with ease. Troops of such faith only befit the importance of this mission. We will stop for the night at an outpost, and continue our journey until we reach Medic territory. I can scarcely wait to step on my mother’s soil for the first time. I will bring you and Anna some of the jade trinkets I have heard so much about. May this hawk carry good omens.


Your dearest,
Armande


Eightsday, Sixth of Greater Moon
My guiding moonlight,
The caravan has come across an exciting scene. We interrupted a skirmish between a group of adventurers and local tribesmen. I caught a glimpse of the battle, and it was almost too much excitement to bear. The tribesmen fought like savages, encircling the wanderers. We arrived opportunely, and at the sight of Queen’s men, clad head to toe in shining plate, the forest bending before their feet, the barbarians fled. The mercenaries were of Medic origin, mapping out the territory. Regrettably, as they told us, their maps and supplies were destroyed in the ambush, and would likely not be able to make their way back. Mentioning my mission to the king, they beamed, as their task was given by the Explorer’s Guild in the capital. I was not aware that such an institution existed here, but I am not one to doubt the word of a local. They were graciously invited to return with us, provided adequate compensation. To which they agreed. I did not expect such adventure to come from this trip.


Yours eternally,
Armande


Ninesday, Seventh of Greater Moon
Dearest Ariene,
It is with enthusiasm that I pen another letter so soon. Our guests have made fast friends of the troops, numbering thirty, and caroused with them last night into the small hours of the morning. I must confess, they’ve made a friend of me as well. Their leader, Atash, is a roguish type, but entirely harmless. He spied my mother’s jeweled dagger on my belt, and inquired as to its origin. I confessed its ancestral significance, though I knew not how to use it effectively. Upon learning my inexperience with the short blade, he took it upon himself to teach me in what little time we had. He taught me to strike from an angle, in a thrusting motion, and to keep my left hand as a shield. I feel now like a formidable warrior.. I shall keep you informed of any developments. 


In life and death,
Armande


Foursday, Eleventh of Greater Moon
I write with some apprehension. I have noticed various objects missing over the last few days. Many of my soldiers have voiced similar grievances. Small objects, trinkets, go missing overnight. And though I tremble to think it, it seems that our guests may be to blame. Furthermore, I glimpsed what appeared to be primitive paraphernalia in their packs. I’m ashamed to say it, but I may have been deceived by our swashbuckling visitors. Though it grows late, I must remain vigilant if I wish to spy anyone on their nightly escapades. Wish me safety and luck.


Armande


Note
Two months after this document was  published, the caravan was located in the badlands a short distance from the Medic border. Matching Lord Ayran-DeRideaux’s writings, the caravan had stopped to camp, but never continued on their way. The troops accompanying it had been murdered while asleep, with the exception of the Lord himself, who appears to have fought briefly with the interloper. A steel dagger was embedded in his stomach, and the ancestral weapon mentioned herein was missing. In light of current hostilities with the Medes, the Queen is not able to devote resources to hunting down the scoundrels. May the moon never shine on their faces.