Friday, October 12, 2012

Prologue - Episode Three: Snakefang Strait

Major Javier Ruggieri waited for them in the back room of the East Bay Company headquarters in Restport. He sat, looking far older than when they had last seen him in Wallingford, on a small wooden crate.  His great wolf, Ochoa, lay at his feet, guarding a large duffel that Javier had aquired since they had seen him four days before.  The bag nestled against the wolf, and sometimes, it almost sounded like a faint clacking noise or rattling would stir from within it.  Javier looked around at the group, his features worn with fatigue, "Good, you're all here.  I swear on the bones of my son that everything I tell you tonight is true..." he said and then explained all that he knew.

"The Frumentarii of the Ashen Kingdom, the Witchlord's espionage service, have had a mole in the Ever-Burning Cinder for six years.  Two years ago, the rebellion discovered this and sent a strike force to kill the mole's handlers and take all of their papers, thus uncovering the mole.  The Ever-Burning Cinder was able to attack the prison camp the Frumentarii handlers worked out of, killing all of the handlers and taking all the paperwork on the mole, as well as on several other secret projects.  The rebellion decided it would be best to sift through all this in the Free Valleys, so the strike force was to take a small ship up the coast, masquerading as merchants, to bring the information to their leaders in the Free Valleys.  They never made it.  The rebellion got word that they made it to their exit port, but their ship was never heard from again.  All those who knew the mole's identity were dead or missing...  No one but the Frumentarii holders of the mole knew in the Ashen Kingdoms, in case one of the Ever-Burning Cinder's moles or spies would find out, and because of the sensitive nature of the information, the rebellion strike force never sent word of the mole's identity ahead, instead trusting that the strike force would report in person.  For two years no one knew the fate of the strike force."
"Then a few months ago, my commander, Lucian Skaros, discovered a report from a Frumentarii spy that a ship had been wrecked in the Snakefang Strait days after the strikeforce struck.  Commander Skaros was involved with one of the other programs that may have been compromised by the information the Ever-Burning Cinder took from that prison camp.  Since then, Skaros has been taking missions closer and closer to the border, including investigating attacks on check-points, as he works to get closer to Snakefang Strait to investigate the shipwreck himself.  If the documents survived the wreck, whoever got to them first would know the identity of the Ashen Kingdom mole who worked inside the rebellion and have information on several of the kingdom's most secret projects.  If Commander Skaros gets it, he will take all the information on the projects for himself and turn over the identity of the mole to the Frumentarii so that they can re-activate their agent.  I took advantage of our brigade moving North to desert across the border when the time was right,.  That is what I know.  Ask your questions quickly as I have been in this city for a day already and I am eager to move on North..."  The bag shifted slightly and a faint chattering emanated from it until Javier laid his hand on it.

Cutscene soundtrack: The Legendary Pink Dots "No Matter What You Do" from Your Children Placate You From Premature Graves.

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