The war is not going well.
It has been nearly a year since the House of Chains, the slave masters of Drudgehold began taking folk from the outlying villages under Hammerfall’s protectorate. Of course we had to respond with all the force we could muster. We called up every able bodied man who could hold a sword and told them, “Fight, or your wives and children will end up in the brothels of Surt, and you shall be thrown into the gladitorial pits of Arkhos, or the iron mines of Valstok.” Most chose to fight.
We called in every ally we had made in the fifty years since the founding of the city. Our ranks swelled with the bows of elves and the axes of dwarves. We contracted the ancient mercenary band, the Devil’s Teeth, hardened veterans to be the backbone of our forces. And leading them all were the Temple Knights of Moradin, their holy light a beacon of hope for us all.
It was not enough.
The forces of tyranny are not only vast, but wealthy. Men with more greed than scruples flocked to the dark banner of the House of Chains, a horde of mercenaries bought with the blood of slaves. They outnumbered us three to one, but we could have managed if not for the demons, bound by ancient pacts to serve the warlocks of the House. They carved through us and took town after town. They would be at the gates of Hammerfall today if not for the only force that could slow them – winter.
The winter has been colder and more bitter than many in recent memory, but we relish each frozen day. Each day of snow is another day that the armies of the House of Chains are not upon us. Come springtime, we shall be under siege.
- Excerpt from the diary of Kaia Hearthwarden, first Temple Knight of Moradin