I hope my first letter reaches you well and that Nicobar will find me again after he delivers this message. I trust the little critter but wonder how he will find me when I will most certainly have traveled south several dozens of miles. We will see.
So far my journey has gone well, although it has been far from uneventful. I reached Haven without any problems but my first night there the town was attacked by strange creatures. They resemble strong men, over 10ft tall and with jackal heads. They killed everyone in town except me, 5 other men and 1 woman. These 6 adventurers have joined me on my quest. They are strange people. Wolfgang is quickly becoming a trusted friend and advisor. He is smart and charismatic. He specializes in logistics, or so he says, and he amazes me with his abilities and knowledge every day. He is a little bit cowardly at times, but I guess I can’t hold that against him these past few days. Our opposition, the jackal warriors, frighten me as well. They are a terrifying sight to behold in battle. Thankfully they seem capable of reason as well.
I have not yet gotten to know my other companions that well. Three of them are blacksmiths and in their spare time they have kept themselves busy working on their equipment. Varric is an archer. I think he likes to joke around. I gave him my horse to warn a city about an impending attack an afterward he told me it had died, even though it was only tired. I don’t think he wanted to lie though, I think he was kidding. And then there is the woman that is following me. She is also one of the survivors of Haven. She doesn’t say much and keeps to herself. She is pretty I guess, and somewhat mysterious. She is mostly unarmed, compared to the rest of us at least. I suspect she can do some kind of magic. Not the real kind like before, but some lesser form.
I am afraid I have not yet been able to search for the assassins. I have stumbled upon bigger problems. Apparently these strange jackal creatures have sent an army south to conquer the human Kingdom. They have destroyed Haven and have attacked several other villages and farms. I was able to anticipate their invasion however and we managed to prepare one city for the siege.
I even negotiated the safe release of several hundreds of farmers from the city. I know these few will not balance the scale of all that I have done, but it is a start.
We held the city against the invaders for a few days but were forced to retreat to the keep. Do not worry, I am fine. Apart from some cuts and bruises I was not injured. The Lord of the city and I have put together a plan. 200 men will remain behind and hold the keep to cover the retreat of the other 300 men. The Lord will remain behind and I will lead the others to safety. One of my companions, Peter the blacksmith, has offered to stay behind as well. He has become obsessed with dying an heroic death. I tried to explain that eventually he will still be forgotten, but he will not listen.
I do not like losing people, but I cannot force him to come with me. It makes the victory of saving all those farmers taste sour. His sacrifice is not needed, yet he seems determined. I guess that somehow I understand. Once I would have offered to lead the 200 men who will stay behind myself, so the Lord could live. Now I don’t know. Maybe that is what is required of me to cleanse my soul. My old order said that to give once life for another was the ultimate sign of love for one’s fellow man. I guess that is why I cannot stop Peter now. I will not sacrifice myself here, not yet. I still have work to do, but maybe that is how it will end for me as well one day.
I am sorry my dear, my mind lingers and travels to places best left alone.
We are about to start our retreat. I will lead the men south, to safety. I will write again when I have a chance. Should I fall know then that I died doing what needed to be done. I am once again where I belong, defending the people.
And know that I love and miss you. Each night I dream of you and in thought I am with you constantly. Even though it has only been a few weeks since we parted it feels a lot longer. I hope and trust that you are well and that these jackal creatures have not bothered you at home.