The Five Kingdoms
We don’t know where they came from, or if they’ve always been here. This world is divided, like two worlds forced upon each other. Our own history has been lost to time and the ravages of The Swarm. We do know that it’s been this way for over a thousand years, and will, mostly likely, be for thousands more.
The Black Mountains around us are shrouded in clouds always. Violent storms manifest daily, and The Swarm follows these storms. Sometimes a thick fog will start oozing down the side of the mountains, and move into the known lands, indicating that a storm is coming to us; that The Swarm is coming to us.
We’ve tried studying The Swarm, to understand them; their motives, what they want. I wish I could say they are mindless beasts; unfortunately, we now know better. One of the Screamers was captured; after great effort, and loss of life. Our greatest Diviners and Telepaths gathered to try and discern something about these things. One of the Telepaths, Hornon, linked with it, and delved into its mind. His eyes went wide in terror, his face a mask of silent anguish, and all color drained from his skin. The others pulled him away from the creature and took him to his quarters. After a few hours of work the healers were able to bring him back. Hornon wouldn’t look at any of us. His eyes were locked onto some distance thing in his mind. He says they are ‘of Madness,’ and ‘of this World,’ but not part of either. Our existence is anathema to them. They know of us, and rage.
Hornon will remain in his quarters for another week, refusing to see anyone, before he dies from dehydration. He’d lost his will to live.
- Prince Morell Dubosc
We’ve been met with success after success. The Wizards have devised a lure for them; a single drop of sentient blood in a bucket of milk. Their magic causes it to vaporize, and disperse into the mountains. The Swarm came to us, but we were prepared. The lure was the last piece of the trap we needed. Swarm Garrisons are going up in the other 4 Kingdoms as I write this. Wizards are working non-stop to help with the construction of the pits that we use to burn their corpses away, the braziers needed for the lure.
I’ve been awaiting the return of my long-time companions; Breanainn, now a sorcerer of no small repute, and the notorious Boadicea, a Ravenesti Bard. Breanainn had taken to the skies on a self-appointed task to find other lands like the Five Kingdoms. None of the Swarm we’ve encountered seemed capable of flight, and Breanainn was confident enough in his powers to magic himself to safety in case he was in danger.
One of my aids came this afternoon and told me that Breanainn has returned, and that I needed to see him quickly. The aide was frightened.
Breanainn was on a bed in the infirmary. Guards had ran non-essential people out of the room. Several people were holding Breanainn down, who was crying hysterically. One of our healers came and cast a spell on him to calm him down. He sat there dazed for a minute, then his eyes grew distant. He was whispering, “It knows me. It knows me . . .” I didn’t even see the dagger until it was there, in his hand, cutting his own throat. There was so much blood. For a moment I thought I saw something horrible reflecting in his eyes. Then his face became relieved, peaceful.
I still haven’t heard from Boadicea, or know what it was she was looking for. Her last missive said she was headed Ielea.
- King Morell Dubosc