Today’s snippet of Rianna’s Tearful Chalice…unedited…

“Herein lies the body of Commander Helga Twinhammers. She of the Legions of Haskel, victor over countless foes in the Rematching, and esteemed leader of our last stand. We fought the goblins and trolls for sixteen days, and took losses every day, but her faith held.”

The letter continued. “Onward! Push them back!” We joined her at the front, screaming, cursing, and slashing our foes. Arrows deflected off the iron-like skin of the trolls, but Helga would not quit. I watched in stunned silence as she ran up a walkway and leapt onto the back of a troll. The troll roared in frustration and began to spin in dizzying circles. Helga held up and calmed it by driving her dagger through the soft flesh of its skull.

I continued to read of the exploits of this now deceased warrior. Everyone else scavenged for items we could use on our journey. The bloody letter continued.

“Day 17: I, Joshnuel of Clan Lokvari, woke to the news of Helga Twinhammers passing. Mourning sounds came from all camps. Soldiers, berserkers, and other hard men sobbed like broken boys. I feared my tears would soon join theirs. Our commanders wept in front of us, and the roar of goblins filled our halls. Our sorrow would have to wait.

Dwarves pounded on the breastplates and banged swords against shields, and our chants drowned out our approaching death, “Blood in, blood out.” This became our mantra, our code. It was time to give the devil his due.

Only smudges of the letter remained, but some of it could be read: Goblins are everywhere, as if they were bred last night to replace the losses, we inflicted upon them. Massive man-beasts leads them, beasts with bloody faces and teeth…they’re too strong…

…forgive us, Helga. We can’t defeat them…

Run, fools…

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