“I have…complicated feelings about Lidda.”— Scrap of paper recovered from the Shadowguard Keep, 400 4E
A gust of wind buffetted the cloth of the tent, and Morgan blinked slowly, coming to. She screwed her eyes, trying to make sense of the past days. Her head ached, and the iron was cold against her wrists.
They’d been marching. Somewhere…
Kalheim. Valmark. The Order. Lidda had accompanied them.
Lidda was with the Order.
She jolted, feeling the resistance of the chains suspending her kneeling figure from the post, as her grogginess faded. She recognised the cloth of the tent, winced as she felt her wounds come back to the fore. She remembered now. Their valiant effort, their defeat, their capture.
She remembered her confrontation with Lidda, how the wizard had seemingly no recollection of her, of Hyrn, of any of it.
She tried to muster the moisture to spit, but couldn’t, suddenly aware of her parched throat and aching stomach. She couldn’t recall how long she’d languished here, how long since her last meal, how long since she last saw her sibling knights alive.
She heard footsteps running outside. Perhaps the others have escaped, she wondered. Perhaps there’s hope yet. She gave a hollow chuckle as she thought through the futility of such an idea. No. They’d failed. They were the last line of defence, the last hope of stopping the Order, and once again, they’d failed their Oath.
They’d been conned. Tricked and deceived into trusting the halfling and her comrades those months ago, and they’d paid the price tenfold. Now the continent would pay for their failure too.
She wondered why she’d been kept alive this long. Insurance? What for? Perhaps they simply wanted her and her siblings to know their failure, watch it first-hand. But Meriden was weeks from here. Were they to be brought all that way? Surely they wouldn’t want the risk?
No, she thought. Perhaps some other reason. But what, she couldn’t tell. She’d find out soon enough, she thought.
At that, the flap to the tent opened.