The Heart of a Defiled Land

Letter to Morwynn

Dearest Morwynn,

When I was a child, my father told me of iron.

“Iron is immensely strong,” he said. “It can break a bone twice its thickness in a single swing. Those who find it, and are masterful enough to work it, bathe it in fire and pound it with hammers. They craft it into a finely honed implement of war: tougher and sharper with each burn and strike.”

There was a day when I needed to imagine I was made of iron. In the open air of the arena there was no weapon stronger than a fiercely determined mind. One must always believe themselves the strongest, the sturdiest, the most powerful. Anything less and your life is forfeit.

We spent the last day traveling halfway across the Tablelands and back. First we had duties in Arat’s Landing, but an attack on the Rib brought us back with haste. Black Raiders, if you can believe it. Zeburon’s dogs threw themselves at the gate of the Rib, and stole off with goods and citizens that were held beyond the wall.

Saddled with a fool of a thief, we managed to hunt down one band of these raiders and bring our citizens home. We’ll depart soon to bring the rest back before they are lost to the slavers.

There was a day when I needed to imagine I was made of iron. I have come to realize it is no longer my imagination. Forged in the fiery arena with a thousand hammer blows, I have become an implement of war myself.

I wonder if there’s a path of return.

Yours in liberty,
Madoc Caeledan

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