A slow shuffling, robed creature makes its way along the trade road. The call goes up “To arms!”. The next hour passes tensely as the shambling figure finally draws near enough to the South Gate. The guardsmen at the gate have their spears ready, but the man, they can see that clearly enough, never makes it to the gate, collapsing a dozen feet from the portcullis.
“Make way, make way…” Sergeant Valis says shoving his way past a dozen battle hardened men.
Valis approaches the traveler wearily. A man for sure, but an armed man can still be dangerous. He is carrying a dagger in his left hand and a scroll is clenched in his right hand. He looks as though he has walked to hell and back. Valis kneels and removes the weapon from the man who is barely breathing. He begins to open the hand with the scroll when a hand clenches the back of his neck and begins pulling him closer to the traveler’s face. A hoarse whisper, strains to make it to Valis’ ears.
“…too late….too late. Trap. Saing must know. Scroll, Saing...” With that last, the weary man collapses under the burden of finally delivering the message so badly needed. The scroll comes free and Valis sees for the first time that the scroll is sealed not once but three times. All old seals, but Valis has been in this man’s army for long enough to recognize the Seal of Baron Saing, War-Lord of the Blackened Standard and Ar’ D. Jazan, High Wizard of the Eldar Counsel. Two extremely powerful men have sealed this scroll and therefore it must be important. Valis calls for a cleric to get this man some water and move him to the barracks until his return.
Valis sets off at best speed to Skull Tower, where Baron Saing keeps his war counsel. At every challenge Valis is waved through when he presents the scroll. It acts as a magical key moving him closer and closer to Baron Saing’s viewing room.
Valis is admitted to the viewing room and is immediately overwhelmed by the sight of Saing in his charred skeletal armour. “Speak boy, I have not the time to be wasted.”
“My lord, a messenger collapsed at South Gate bearing this…” Valis almost threw the scroll out of fear at the lord of terror. Saing flickes the scroll out of the soldier’s hand a begins to view the seals.
A fierce hiss, like violent death, forms words “Does this messenger carry with him a dagger?:
“Yes my lord, a funny dagger with a curious pommel.”
“Does he live?”
“Yes my lord, he was to be given water and moved to the South Gate barracks.”
“You are either wise or fated. For your choices today, you are now a captain in my personal guard.”
“My lord, who can this man be?” Valis asked trembling at his fortune.
“Ten years I’ve waited for this man to return. Captain, this man, before your time, this man…is the Royal Jester and he has returned.”