Aksambul: The Queen Widow

From the Journal of Ser "Brassy" Bronn Gentrose

[a transcription of the ravings of Bronn the Brass Bravo, following a severe blow to the head]

It is not mete for great knights to be mislaid, but mine twilights hath been plagued by grim portensions….

I dreamt I was* _low_*: a sellsword, cutpurse, and beguiler; of low birth and sinking station; seeker of winesinks and high herald of debauchery. A treasonairre. A craven.

These past days’ deeds blur and blend… All is but a dream of swords and fire and flight. I recall great darkness, and then a fire, little more…visions of foes and friends… An old, grim, shadow, dark and all in armour, glowers over all; his visage is familiar and yet…glamoured somehow. I know this shade, and yet know it not at all. I name it foe. But I stand not alone before him…

A shadow darker still, in cloth of black and bearing attic arms whirls and whirrs and wars and speaks of puzzles, speaks of justice, speaks in schemes, and is ever silent; the smell vengeance clouds his wake, foul and rich as nightsoil. A changer of skins juggles coins of fire, and the coins fall from his hands and change to songs, and the songs burn the ears off all who hear, and he changes skins once more and laughs. A creature born of rock and rebellion wrends the earth and just as soon becomes fleshed of fog and is gone; in the light, this one could be a bear, telling by the fur, but he is dwarf, marked by beard and stature; foes tremble at the wrath of him, break , and die. And a fighting man, a would-be knight and noble fellow appears and bleeds and is brave and wise and simple through the darkness and the shouting… this raw diamond wrested redly from a rough frontier- he will acquit his station well in service to our City…._ Gods Save Eternal Askambul!_** Gods save her from this Shade in Armour! My life will ever be her shield! A glory to my house!

My house is proud as it is ancient, though I am but a poor son of the branch most sinister, strong of arms and solemn of words: Through the Thorns…__ The Gentroses have ever been stalwart defenders of His Lordship the Mayor – for centuries. Generations unbroken in their service to the city and it’s ministration. Through the Thorns. Eternal Askambul has certainly seen its share of briar on the road to eternity: dragonflights and necromancer kings; plague and pestilence; hazed bouts with cults among commons and gentry alike; even an incursion by mind flayers from distant planes. When the Gardens of Askambul need pruning, a Gentrose oft as not has served as shears. Brassy Bronn Gentrose, Knight of the Casbah Gardens and the Wayfairer’s Steps, would greet the dawn with blade in hand, alongside my comrades, the noble Knights of the White Glove. Forward to the Front, Fell Comrades! No mere blow to the head will ever lay low Brassy Bronn! On to the breach! Through the Thorns!

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