Having won a smashing blow against the Duc De Beauregard and the bandit Lord Amothous on the plains of Esregoth, you recieve orders in secret from the King to leave a defensive force at Esregoth and move quickly to Farrimore Keep, two hundred miles to the south. The King has also become suspicious of Jerrod, your former Commander in the Royal Gaurd, judging from the missive you recieved in private, away from the eyes of your own men.
"Farrimore?" frowns your trusted advisor, "But, Lord, that is a religous center. Why would His Majesty possibly need us to travel there?"
"Patience, good Tarric," you chide softly, "I'll read the rest of it. It says, 'Farrimore was once a great center of iron trade in the days of my grandfather, before the monks and priests halted all commerce from the keep. You must convince them that the need of the crown, the need of all of the people outwieghs thier beliefs in this time of trouble. The stores of iron arriving from Esregoth are not enough! We need weapons now more than ever, for my negotiations with the Duc De Truffe have failed, and the brute has thrown his might into the battle on the side of that snake Beauregard! I fear greatly for our land, as we are ill equipped and sorely outnumbered against the forces of these two traitors. I have lost all confidence in Jerrod, and he has secreted himself away in his stronghold, drawing away the Royal Gaurd with him. I fear for my safety, and you may be my only hope of retaining my throne. I need weapons, or the next battle may be lost. Unfortunately, with your victory at Esregoth, you have drawn the ire of Beauregard. He has sent a massive force, along with Truffe's men, to capture or kill you, my friend. Please leave with all haste for Farrimore. I will send what troops I can spare to you there. Gods speed."
"Damn Jerrod and De Truffe!" you growl, slamming a fist on the table before you, "I fear there is treachery at work here, Tarric, with Jerrod at its center. Too much coincidence is at hand. The dog! Those men with him are the best fighters the Crown has to offer, sitting idly by while the battle rages!"
"My Lord," your advisor says slowly, putting a hand on your arm, " Shall I get the men ready to march?"
You look at Tarric, the steady loyalty in your advisor's gaze giving you cause to calm.
"Yes. The fortifications here are sufficient. Leave a small group to defend Esregoth, and ready the rest for the march to Farrimore Keep," you grimace, "Jerrod will have his day of reckoning. But not today. Get a rider ready. I have a message to send to the Lords of Farrimore. I pray the priests will listen to reason. We'll need all the cooperation we can get if we are to meet the needs of the King and fend off the forces of Beauregard and Truffe."
"'The Pig', he is called," Tarric mutters, referring to De Truffe, "And a brute indeed! He rules by fear, and his men are tough as stone and savage fighters."
"And as stupid as the oaf who commands them, by all accounts!" you laugh confidently, "But fear not, Tarric, I intend to have quite a reception for those two at Farrimore. I have heard of the place before. A strong keep is there, and the peoples of that land were ferocious fighters before the priests came and convinced them to follow the ways of peace. They will rally to our cause, and then the surprise will be on our enemy when they find an army waiting for them! Go, now, see to the men."
As your advisor hastily leaves to carry out your orders, you contemplate the days ahead, and the upcoming fight with the Snake and the Pig.
"Come, then, you traitors" you smile grimly, "Get your due. And Jerrod...enjoy this reprieve. I will come for you soon enough."
This is Part II in the "Return to Glory" series.
Part I: The Plains of Esregoth
Part III: The Price of Blood
Part IV: Restoration