Terrouge E-zine Archives
RoF: Chapter 3
Extract from the logbook of Montague Rilaux, Ruler of Klis
The sun is beginning to disappear into the west as I write this. We have marched far today, and the desire for revenge burns hot in me. I can almost taste the land that we now approach. It seems to beg for the destruction I am bringing. I have not been here for many long years, and the memories of that time are not sweet. I fled the country then, to escape the futile wrath of their pathetic king. There is no need to flee this time, however. I, Montague Riliaux, am a ruler by my own right, and none shall stand before me, least of all the fools that dwell in Floret.
No one has the right to humiliate and use me the way Queen Juliana and her idiotic husband did. Queen Juliana died for it, and King Akral will scream in utmost torment long before I am finished. They had a daughter long ago, I believe. If she yet lives maybe she will need to die as an even greater punishment to Akral. It will be no less than that entire family deserves. My followers know nothing as of yet concerning my real reason for attacking. They believe that I am simply on a war of conquest. If that were all, I would simply have stayed in my luxurious castle in my kingdom. Many of the vermin in my army would have liked to stay home as well. However, I had deeper reasons. My mind will not be at peace until I have ground Floret and Southsward under my paw. Only then will my anger be assuaged. It was not easy to get together an army. The vermin of Klis have grown lazy in their wealth. I, however, knew how to do it, and accomplished it with tales of gold, power and glory. They soon began to believe it like the mere children that they are, and now forty thousand of the dirty stupid fighting beasts come behind me, obeying my every command. I knew what I was doing. I roused them once before, when I first came to Klis. With their help I overthrew the idiot searat who ruled the land, and with their help I hold the land still.
Their very souls now belong to me, and why not? My father was a ferret, my mother was a squirrel, and my lineage goes back into the mists of time. I was born of a warrior breed. The heat of battle has run in my veins since the day I first lifted my father's sword. I am a warrior chieftain, as great as the beasts of ages past. But I am also no rash fool, and my army knows that. They dare not disobey me.
Since we left Klis, all has gone perfectly. Nobeast in Floret knows of our approach, and I receive daily communications from my spy at court. Not all squirrels are honorable. We have gone far, and are nearing the borders of Southsward. No opposition has even been sighted. The troops are contented, and if they even dare to speak a word against me they shall die. In fact, I have been forced to kill one of them already. The grimy rat squeaked just enough to warn off any other rebellious beasts. I hoisted his skin onto one of the banners, and there it flaps in the wind, still warm and bloody. In the west the sun is sinking rapidly. The light is fading, and we do not use torches for fear of alerting our enemies. Fear? Yes, even now we are afraid. If we are seen before it is time, a long hard and bloody battle will ensue, and possibly a siege. We are prepared for this, but it would complicate matters severely. A castle under siege may hold out for years, easily long enough for sufficient discontent to arise among the beasts in my army. That cannot be allowed. Our present location in the remotest area of Canto Attia is fairly safe, but the local monarch, Emperor Rilander, is a friend of Southsward and therefore a potential enemy. We muat treadcarefully. The world will be mine one day. I have heard tales of rich, fertile lands in the north. Why should anybeast else rule them? I am destined to govern them myself. My fate is set above that of all others. Anybeast has only to look into my eye and they know this to be true.
It is quite dark now, and I can write little more. We are but five days march from the borders of Southsward, and soon we may see battle.