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|Archivist's note||Continued from The Dreaming War.|
The Taigheirm of Ulthar
Twelve Lotus Jeweled Moon
They came at night with smoke and fire. The smell of rust was everywhere. They came with blades and spears and shields of iron. They were fearsome centurions of metal the color of blood, walking suits of hollow armor, empty soulless shells inflicting only red death and carnage.
No warrior could stand up to soldiers that could not be wounded. We cried out to the sorcerers and priests to smite them, but no spell or incantation affected the crimson legions as they massacred all in their path: men, women and children alike.
They seemed to have no master, no general, serving only their implacable will to annihilate. We fled from their silent invincibility, and heard the screams of cats as we abandoned our burning homes. The grim scarlet horrors were impaling and roasting the cats of Ulthar alive, for what purpose I cannot say.
Ulthar is no more. Its blood spilled, inhabitants slain, and survivors scattered.
We beseech thee, Monarchs of the Six Kingdoms, aid us in our hour of need.
We warn thee, Monarchs of the Six Kingdoms, the Red and Iron Army marches to the four winds.
We beg thee, Monarchs of the Six Kingdoms, do not forsake the fallen peoples of Ulthar.
Kranon, Burgomaster of Ulthar.
The Eyes of Dylath-Leen
Ten Mirror Broken Mist
For the Prince, we have mustered. The Six Kingdoms have assembled a mighty army to meet a savage alien army. We know not the origins of this legion of Red and Iron. This is troubling to our Prince, who prides himself on knowing more than his peers, more than his enemies and rivals.
The Eyes see all. Our scouts have reported that the hollow wraiths of iron are constructing vast structures of stone and metal in the lands that they have conquered. Strange standing stones and great mystic pillars surround these fortresses. The sound of grinding gears can be heard from within and dreadful heat of enormous smithies felt emanating forth from these dark citadels. Our Prince does not know what madness and death they are forging within their iron walls, but his Majesty has sent a small group of his Eyes to see what he cannot.
We leave soon, travelling under the guise of peasants displaced by this sudden war of extermination. Six Eyes of Dylath Leen will infiltrate an Iron Fortress. Accompanying us will be a small group of Dreamers from Earth. It is hoped that these enchanters will be able to shield us and perhaps wound the seemingly invincible soldiers of this inhuman army.
We will be shrouded by sorcery and the shadows of our own stealth. We must discover the purpose of this vast army. We must find out from whence they came and find a way to drive them back. One does not have to be an Eye to see that the fate of the Six Kingdoms is at stake.
Oculoran, Eye of Dylath-Leen.
Armies of the Six Kingdoms
Nine Copper Swirling Rain
Peasant militias from Hatheg mingle with the professional Soldiers of Nir as all await the inevitable assault. Joined with them is my small company of men from Dylath-Leen, a precious few score of soldiers selected solely for their deadly skill in combat. Coming against us across the River Skai, is the Red and Iron Army. Those dread legions will soon cross the river in force. The Grand Armada of Dylath-Leen sails up the Skai with all due haste, but wind and water are against them. They will never be able to reinforce us in time for the upcoming battle.
Many refugees from ruined Ulthar are among us. Burgomaster Kranon and I have pressed his peoples into service, conscripting levies from every Ultharian refugee who can see lightning, hear thunder and carry a spear. They are a pitiable lot, and I fear for their fortune in battle. We have sent messengers begging for aid west to Drinen and the desert folk of Cuppar-Nombo, and north to Thran and Hlanith. I expect these humiliating requests will avail us naught.
Futhani, the sage of Zakarion advising us, tells us that the Sage-Lords of his city will debate this matter for many months. We must convince them to throw in their lot with the other five kingdoms. It may be that this Red and Iron Army cannot be vanquished even if the entire Dreaming moves against them. We will need the wisdom and sorcery of the sages ere this war comes to a close.
Several of the Prince's Eyes have reported in from their scouting missions. They bear ill news of horrible machines being forged in the newly built citadels across the river. They tell us of vast alchemical laboratories distilling all manner of unguessable elixirs. They tell us of rust colored oily demons with tendrils for arms who drink the blood of their four armed goblin slaves and captured prisoners alike, piercing their victims with great hollow needles. These monstrous lords are directing their armored wraiths in the construction of vast three legged engines of destruction. I fear we will come to know these enchanted machines of war all too well in the days to come.
Thorus-Zlan, General of Dylath-Leen.