Sir Aeron has managed to fail upwards remarkably. His punishment for butchering the King and then his own father was to be promoted to one of the most powerful positions in the Empire: a seat on the Round Table.
In the confusion of the leaderless time, he was able to hide away any evidence of his – or his military brothers’ and sisters’ – wrongdoing. The battle had been dreadful and they’d all been wounded horribly. Whoever the attackers were, they were at least gone now. So the Fouth Company lead by Sir Aeron were heroes.
So who better to guard the dangerous Eastern Front?
The Company – leader included – have become savages. They were once pained by their urges, but now swim in them. Their wounds are not healing. Huge swathes of flesh raw and ooze-collecting are not easy to hide. The fact that these clearly terminal injuries haven’t killed them yet is hardly to hide.
The Barracks is a wonderful place for them. There around around twelve thousand people living inside of the City Barracks. It’s a poor city, too far from proper civilisation to be remembered by traders all that often. It’s main function is a garrison for the soliders, and home for their families is secondary. It has high, stone walls which were built by the giantkin when they were allies to the throne.
In the best of times, it’s not easy to leave. A solider abandoning his post is treasonous and their family leaving shows weak faith, which is also treasonous.
So the Barracks is a wonderful place for the Fourth Company to figure out what is happening to them. It’s been two months since they were attacked by the Shadow Pack. The transformation is taking hold.
Lain travelled to the Eastern Front to see how her friend was getting on. It was not a short trip. Two days on horseback, with two escorts. She had hoped to find Aeron resting, or better yet, at work and working through his temper. She barely reached the gates of the City though. There was something wrong there – if her god had ever spoken to her before, it was not as clearly as it was now: you must not enter that place.
The two woman who had accompanied her were an issue, she knew. Odds were that at least one of them was on the pay of the Round Table, and if not then they would gossip nonetheless. They may not have heard the warning she’d been given, but to turn back and not tell them why would be as if they had.
She sent them ahead, into the City, asking them to bring a blacksmith back to fix an issue with her horse’s shoe.
When they were within the walls, she turned away and began her journey home. She had no doubt that would be the last time she’d see them.