Rostland is in flames: the barbarians brought some dragons along. Instead of traders, there are crowds of hungry, tattered, wounded refugees moving along the Shield Road. Thanks to us, they can at least be safe from the bandits, but it can't go on like this any longer. All three clans are utter bankrupts now. We're still here only because no one wants to lose face and leave first.
News arrived from Silvershield Fortress: Woradashes are leaving. Everyone curses them, but I'm secretly grateful. They've covered themselves in shame but let the others keep face. Some try to look bold and claim Skjegges and Langebukks will manage without them, but everyone knows this is jump empty bravado. This is the end of the Shield Road.
We are gathering our possessions and get ready to seal the fortress – for a long, long time, for centuries or even for millennia. Until the day our decedents will come back here to claim what belongs to them. We must leave a lot behind – well, at least we can properly use all these secret rooms!
It's especially sad to leave the Searing Palm. There's no second furnace like this in the whole River Kingdoms – it wouldn't be a shame to offer Torag himself to work with it. So many enchanted arrows, swords, axes we have created in this furnace! So many trolls were eliminated by that enchanted burning steel! Alas, we can only hope some trespassers won't find this fortress, and even if they do, they won't be able to get inside.
We'll also have to leave behind the treasure hidden in the place near the watchtower. It can only be opened by representatives of all three clans together, when they unite their keys. And Woradashes took theirs with them when they left. Well, they had every right to do it.
The last secret room was sealed by old Ols, master of complex mechanisms. He did't even tell me how this machinery works: just smirked like a madman and mumbled something about the sun that meets guests of the keep and the moon that faces the sky furnace.
We are leaving the fortress, which had been guarded by three generations of our ancestors for three hundred years. We're walking back the road, paved by our great-grandfathers, the road we dedicated our lives to – Shield Road has become the road of shame to us. Not everyone succumbed to disgrace: the few desperadoes called themselves the Last Shields and took an oath to defend the road until their last breath. They are the ones who harbor the very spirit of the dwarves king Talhrik had strived to restore! Those are the best among us – too bad they will have to die alone in the wilderness. The young Wark is one of them – he declined to leave his post at the watchtower. I left Langebukk's key to him – we hardly have anyone more worthy to keep it. Old Gaugen Skjegge stays with him claiming he would better die as an old stubborn-head than as a coward. I have nothing to answer to this – we've let our king and our ancestors down.
This page was last edited on 30 August 2020, at 13:38.
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