In the name of the Divine Providence, who see all that is hidden and plain, who hear all that is true and is false, who feel the coarsest stones and finest gossamer, whose mind perceives creation in every form and un-form, I am Temple van Bommel, Their servant, and by Their grace I live another day
Some men in this world see war and combat as they are; necessary evils that should pass as quickly as possible. Lord Ozrak Stokeflame is not such a man, and never has been. He loves the ring of steel-on-steel and the precipice-thrill of peril. A fine commander and not a pleasant man. He and I are much different, though I thank Providence for sending him and desperately needed reinforcements to this outpost.
Providence, the Books tell us, has a sense of humor, and it was on display in delivering Rifka Red-Hand to Fort Fallcrest. Perhaps she thought I had forgotten her previous… indiscretions. I have not. But she seeks adventure, and is likely to find it here.
Kessig Von Wolfe was a greater surprise, but a pleasant one. We fought side by side, the skinchanger and I, against the Devil-worshipping orcs of the Fens. And after a day of extermination, our weapons dripping with gore and sweat, he showed me a prayer as old as time before a standing stone that might have been older. He might not have called it a prayer, but a prayer it was. I have much to learn from him.
As for the mage… well. For the time being he seems mostly harmless. That’s both a good and a bad thing. Bad for fighting vicious spider demons. Good if I have to separate a mad, heretical head from its neck.
We must sleep and heal tonight, and so I must be brief. Suffice it to say there are horrors deep in South Riding that must be stopped, lest they overrun Fort Fallcrest. Mad spider gods. Cave-men. Orcish cults. We are so near to the mountains here, and so very far from the Gods. But the Gods may be far, and Providence near. I may die. They are invincible. Our Victory is Theirs, and Their Victory is inevitable. Reinforced with that faith, I sleep easy this night.
Martin, judging by the cursing, less easy. Faith is not an easy road.
—Temple van Bommel.