22(-ish) April 1939
Capt. Alastair Hawkesworth
HMAS Richard Lemon Lander
My Dearest Alastair,
I am not feeling very well, so I apologize if my writing is not as eloquent, fluid, or artfully composed as it usually is. Perhaps it is some kind of adverse reaction to our journey through the Summer Kingdom, but I really cannot say.
The day’s events have been such a blur, since I spent most of it being hefted around by Marcus. But this I do recall: as we made our way through a rather sandy and rocky canyon, there appeared before us a somewhat motley crew of robed figures, consisting of a large one, a small one, a very small one, and a rather large snake. I suppose it would have been startling, had we ourselves not included a bipedal, talking cat and flying monkey.
Quite fortunately, this mysterious party turned out to be none other than our mages, Jude and Colonel Rasmussen! Though they only spoke of it in loose detail, it seems that they had a marvelous adventure of some sort, during the course of which they had not only come across the magical artifact that had led them to us, but had enlisted the support of a gnome, who goes by the name of Mirya, and her boa constrictor familiar, Grimmy.
Mirya is quite an interesting subject, as she seems to operate in the grey area between science and magic. In fact, when we made camp for the evening, she set out to help dear General Picton (bless his loyal monkey heart), who was toiling to assemble my tent. She set to work fixing the assorted signs of wear and tear that it had accumulated with all manner of wonderful tools. I was personally glad for the help, since I could do little more than pass out in my bed in such an ill condition that I would be quite reluctant to share with you all of the details.
It was while I was in this feverish haze that it seems we were beset upon by some local denizens of this canyon. These rogue inhabitants, though not agents, as we learned, of Summer were a strange race of scorpion-men, and rather fierce as it turned out. Quite a battle ensued, as I heard, and Colonel Rasmussen and Elspeth took quite a thumping. The others did quite well to dispatch the band of bandits, however, as Lord Tybalt was able to overtake their minds fairly easily, Jude and his new gnome friend dispatched several with a fiendish combination of flame and conjured fuel, and Marcus handled the rest with a unique combination of swordsmanship and improvised judo.
After the battle, several of our band set off in search of these bandit’s lair, hoping to pilfer from their cache of stolen goods. While lo and behold, they remarkably discovered something quite different. The bandit’s lair, as it turned out is some sort of outpost of Winter, wherein resides a portal that allows for instant transportation between several distant locations. The portal itself was some intricate magical and mechanical contraption that appeared to be guarded by dormant, though no less imposing, armed and armored polar bear golems, of similar magical and mechanical fashion. More distressing yet, is the revelation made by Lord Tybalt’s mental connection with a scorpion-man hostage, is that the bandits we had previously encountered were, in point of fact, on a mission to capture me! They had been working in the service of some unknown foe for unknown purposes, though given the challenges to the rule of Sa Majeste d’Automne, I should not be surprised to find that I do have unknown enemies seeking my downfall.Thanks to Chris Steinitz (who noramlly plays George Rasmussen) for providing the report.
I rested against a pillar as our more magically-inclined associates examined the device. Alas, I was not afforded much of a rest, as we were soon set upon by adversaries who came through the portal itself! It was only Jude’s magical intuition at the last second that prevented us from being taken totally off-guard. A ferocious battle then ensued, and I wish I could have done more than take cover behind a sturdy pillar. But soon enough said sturdy pillar had to join the fight, though Marcus was kind enough to set me down out of harm’s way before he did.
The chaos of the moment was exacerbated by my own fevered state, so I fear my memory is checkered. I recall our mages unleashing torrents of magical power upon our assailants, who seemed to include a Frost Giant, a yeti, and several ninjas! Yes, an eclectic group, indeed! I recall the familiar sound of Elspeth’s pistol, and our new Gnomish friend fiddling about with one of the polar bear guardians and making it fight for “us” rather than “them.” No doubt, Lord Tybalt was tinkering with their minds, as he complained of a significant headache when all was said and done. We did, of course, emerge victorious from the ambush, and even collected several hostages, who, after some cajoling revealed to us some most disturbing news.
It seems that both of the ambushes that had been sprung against us had been orchestrated by none other than our erstwhile rival Lord Rakat of the Winter Court. Moreover, it seems that he is somehow in league with the Meowist Rebels who have temporarily usurped my realm. While we at first believed this to be a foreboding signal of betrayal by the Winter Court, we are fairly convinced that Lord Rakat was acting independently and for his own self-interest. It may be that knowledge of this treason may end up being quite helpful for our own cause, though I am far too weak and tired at the moment to properly think through this issue. We have agreed to discuss the matter further in the morning, when I am, hopefully, fully recovered.
Alas, now, it seems that General Picton has extracted himself from the Gordian Knot of my royal tent, and none to soon, for I must rest and consider these developments.
As ever, I remain, as ever, your most devoted and grateful friend,
Genevieve Chantal Therese de Lisieux Lamballe