Fifth Letter

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August 23, 1152

My beloved,

We reached Castle Kriegspire a day ahead of the enemy and have fortified our position in anticipation of attack. This is the last message you will receive from me until we are liberated by the army you and Humphrey and preparing.

I thank the gods that I reserved this particular castle as a future reward for some loyal knight or nobleman. It has been unused since the Succession Wars, having formerly belonged to a supporter of my brother. Provisions here are meager—we are counting on resupply from either Rocklin or you, as we can only hold out for two weeks with the available rations. The forces we have here are barely adequate for a defense, but we should be able to last until your reinforcements arrive. Hurry!

We have spent some time exploring the castle, finding many secret passages and surprises; perhaps we may even find an escape tunnel! If the wall is breached, the traps, pits, and secret ways will serve us well. I hope it never comes to that, but it is best to be prepared. I will be much relieved if the treacherous necromancer who used to own this castle was paranoid enough to have dug an escape tunnel.

Sulman has been a great help during this entire misadventure, and he has promised to look into the cause of the snowstorms—he is after all, an Archmage—to see if they are divinely sent. Another has already formed over our castle and is even now covering us with snow and misery. Devils seem to operate better in cold weather. Anyway, this siege will give Sulman plenty of time to look into the causes. Perhaps the traitor, that is surely amongst our ranks, is also the cause of the storms.

Fear of such a traitor has me sleeping poorly at night—presuming I could ever sleep well in these circumstances. What would a man have to gain from such treachery? A high post in the devil hierarchy? I would like to see that! Wealth? Do devils even HAVE wealth? What could it be? If there is such a traitor, I shall catch him and have him publicly strung up and tortured. To think that he is probably hiding under my very nose makes me sick unto death. There is nothing worse than a traitor. Even Archibald would agree!

Well, no use complaining. He will show himself soon enough, I am sure. I must go now and finish preparations for the siege. Know that if I never see you again, I love you and I love Nicolai. And, if you love me half as much, move as fast as you can to send reinforcements to our rescue.

Pray for us,
Roland Ironfist

p.s. If I should fail to return, tell Nicolai that the Third Eye is in the Well - - he'll understand when the time is right. It is his birthright and he will need it if he is ever to be king.