Though during the initial taking of the Tiers I gave control of several key regions to the Scarlet Chorus, their leadership did not appreciate my “meddling” in their affairs, an attitude that was made apparent as soon as I entered their camp. They saw the respect the Disfavored had for me and assumed that, in being worthy of that respect, I must be a foe to the Chorus. In truth I didn’t care much for either army – I found the Scarlet Chorus too brutish and chaotic for my tastes, the Disfavored too regimented and inflexible. The law was the law and so long as it was upheld I had no qualm with any who faithfully served Kyros.

I observed a shouting match between a guard and a recently-arrived prisoner, the latter claiming she could lead an army to a second camp of Vendrien Guard holdouts who were preparing to flank Kyros’ armies once they engaged. I questioned her motives and was quickly satisfied that she was a realist – she didn’t hold any loyalty or obligation to the valley, and saw helping us as a means to extending her own life. After sufficient questioning she revealed some measure of information, particularly that local warriors were hiding near Tripnettle Wilderness. I offered to intervene, knowing that the Scarlet Chorus weren’t likely to let their leader live long enough to provide information. Until her revelations proved true, the guards would not trust the captive with freedom, and so she remained tied to a stake.

Death Knell, an appropriate name for the woman in charge of the Chorus’ recruitment efforts, told me of a plan she had for locals who had not yet aligned themselves to either Kyros or the Vendrien Guard – she hoped I could put my diplomatic training to use in convincing them to join the Scarlet Chorus, knowing the alternative would be death. Looking at the troops around me I wasn’t sure the Chorus had enough people to put an entire village to the sword, but having more soldiers at their disposal would certainly help the war effort in the days to come. I begrudgingly accepted, willing to do what it took to finally finish this meandering conflict that had so irked our Overlord.

After quelling a disagreement between a member of the Chorus and a Disfavored who was “honored” with a permanent post in their camp, I turned my sights again on the road ahead, knowing that every passing minute was as a sand in the glass, inexorably moving toward our doom if I could not get these armies to cooperate.