Fiction

The Vinewrath Vanquished

To the people of Tyria,

The Silverwastes run red with blood. One cannot draw breath in this accursed wasteland without inhaling the foul stench of death that hangs thick in the air. Earlier today, Pact forces overran the Mordrem Vinewrath’s lair, laying waste to the evil monstrosity and vanquishing it from the mortal world. However, victory has come at an enormous cost. The Pact has sustained heavy casualties, so many, in fact, that I truly question our prospects in the remainder of this war. The dead still lay piled in the lair of the Vinewrath and its adjoining trenches. Trahearne has assigned teams to the task of collecting and burning the bodies, though the sheer number of slain soldiers is so great that they make little progress. Acrid plumes of greasy black smoke rise from the massive heaps of burning corpses, blotting out the sun and permeating the air with the nauseating odor of melting flesh. I have been tasked with aiding in the writing of letters to the families of the deceased; it is a dour matter, and weighs heavily on the mind. As I address each letter and fill in the pre-rehearsed wording, it strikes me that it is not the Pact that is paying the blood price of this war, but the families of Tyria.

Though a full headcount has yet to be made, it is rumored that the number of dead nearly stands equal to the number of soldiers that remain. The thought turns the stomach. This was but a small step in the grand scheme that is the demise of Mordremoth, and an even smaller step in bringing about the destruction of all the Elder Dragons. It disheartens me to inflict such demoralizing notions upon the good people of Tyria, who have sacrificed and lost so much in the name of this cause, but I must speak what is in my heart. My faith in the preservation of civilization as we know it dwindles by the day, and the devastation wrought upon our army by this single entity of Mordremoth’s troubles me more than ever before. However, Trahearne, these soldiers, Destiny’s Edge, and even the freelance mercenaries and adventurers that aid our cause are all committed to seeing this war through to its conclusion. Though I find my own courage wavering on the brink of oblivion, I must confess that I, too, stand committed in this regard. Either we will end the dragons, or they shall consume us all.

With all due respect,

Ellis Knox

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