Sunday, July 31, 2011

27. Tor Conan #16, Conan the Valiant by Roland J. Green, part 5

At Fort Zheman, Sergeant Kemal has begun preparations for the coming attack, Bringing in all the civilians but not the live stock. The last thing they need are fevers and fluxes running rampant in the cramped quarters. They know that sometime in the next few days Eramius will throw the full weight of his Transformed at the fortress. Kemal has also sent runners to those officials he knows he can trust, hoping for reinforcements.

Never one to sit around and wait, Conan opts to take a group of men out and bring the fight to Eramius. Illyana and Rhaina go with him, along with the boy Bora who plans to lead them to the valley where he knows Eramius's alter to be. They follow a mountain stream further and further into ever winding valleys. After a good bit of traveling they finally draw near to the valley where Eramius is at. Conan and Rhaina creeping into a good position, draw their bows and let fly at the Transformed who are milling about.

They shoot a good number of them before Eramius reacts, they then flee back into the higher passes and hole up in a cave. He does his best to block the entrance, knowing they only have a matter of time before Eramius sends his minions to attack them. Using the time they have, Illyana beings to prepare a magical offense to be used against Eramius. As soon as night falls, they are attacked by the Transformed. Conan goes out, leaving Rhaina to shoot their remaining arrows. Illyana attacks with her full magical might.

Conan sneaks through Eramius's camp, eventually coming upon the mad sorcerer himself. He surprises the man, and quickly slices at him with his sword before the shock of it wears off. With Eramius dead, Conan heads back to the cave to collect the others. With the sorcerer gone, his foul creations cease living also. Conan, Rhaina, Illyana and Bora head back to the fort, and from there the original three companions set off back to Agraphur.

Review ~

For all the horrid things I've heard about Roland Green, this book was something of a surprise. It was easily better than all but one of Steve Perry's books. At least as good as two of the three Leonard Carpenter's I've read so far as well. But not as good as anything that Sean A. Moore or Robert Jordan wrote. It's perhaps only because my expectations were so low that it wasn't as bad as I feared. The story line more or less made complete sense, though it was rather annoying to have yet another evil sorcerer and yet another magical gewgaw. These things are clearly very standard in the Conan yarns produced by both Tor and Bantam/Ace.

I'd have preferred it have been just a political thriller, rather than involving magic. That aspect of the story was much more interesting.

Having now read my first Roland Green novel, this still leaves me with one of the more prolific Tor authors unread, John Maddox Roberts, but soon I'll be catching up with him.

Up Next, one of the more atrocious of the novels I've already read. Conan and the Spider-God by L. Sprague and Catherine DeCamp.

Friday, July 29, 2011

27. Tor Conan #16, Conan the Valiant by Roland J. Green, part 4

The following day, The Sorceress Illyana decides they need to take the refuges of Crimson Springs and head towards Fort Zheman. Now that she has stalled Eramius's plans, he will have to use brute force to achieve his goals. So they organize the villagers, and then the trio of Conan, Illyana and Rhaina set off to warn the fort of the impending arrival of the villagers.

The Camp's captain is not thrilled to hear about it. But he quickly is made to understand, at least in so far as if he dosen't do what Illyana wants Conan will pummel him. With reticence he gives them leave to prepare the fort. Over the next two days they slowly get things in order just as the first of the villagers begin to arrive. Conan wastes no time asserting his authority over the camp. He too is a captain, but is less concerned with debauchery and more with getting things into shape.

Meanwhile Eramius fumes over his setbacks. He takes it out on Achmai's men and on his Transformed. Cursing them all for their failure to secure the jewel for him. He sends them to destroy another village out of spite for his loss, and to gain more people which he can convert into the Transformed. He will need as much brute strength as he can get now that he no longer has the jewels.

Scouts at fort Zheman report in that they have spotted an army of demons marching towards the caravan train of refugees. They obviously plan to slaughter the helpless civilians. Conan and one of the bases sergeants organize a cavalry patrol and ride out to head off the horde of Transformed. It's a bloody battle, but after many hours of fighting they manage to get the villagers safely to the fort. Now they at least have a good wall between them and Eramius's forces.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

27. Tor Conan #16, Conan the Valiant by Roland J. Green, part 3

The group continue away from Achmai's Keep. Traveling quickly to avoid being followed. After several days of travel they stop in a village, well out of Achmai's territory. They find in the village a girl,"Possessed", by the power of one of the Jewels of Kuarag. Ilyana instructs Conan and Rainha to wait outside, only she has the magical aptitude to try and save the girl.

During the night, Eramius and his Transformed attack the village. Using sorcery and brute strength they quickly secure the second jewel. Conan's strength and cunning weren't enough to stand up against shear brute force. With both of the jewels, Eramius is now far more powerful. And even more difficult to defeat. All they can do is try. Illyana's Sorcery however was just enough.

She took the time to lay a trap on the second jewel. When Eramius placed it onto his staff, the magic took effect. It removed his ability to control not just the second, but also the first jewel as well. He suddenly finds himself far weaker than he had been before this night. His grip over the Transformed is steady for now, but who can say how long? And that Barbarian has managed to rouse the villagers into a show of defense.

Her magic may have proved to strong though, It's interactions with the jewels seems to have not only denied Eramius their use, but actually dissolved them. As Eramius bemoans the loss of one of the pre-eminent items in the magical demesne. Conan sets out to deal with Achmai's troops who are currently encircling the village waiting for the Transformed to do all the work for them. Using his skills as a soldier, and especially as an officer, he quickly has them fighting amongst themselves.

The night will soon be over, but the threat of Eramius remains to be dealt with. Conan heads back to the house where he and Raihna and Illyana are staying. He wants to know what the sorceress plans to do next.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

27. Tor Conan #16, Conan the Valiant by Roland J. Green, part 2

Before they can set forth, Conan and Rhaina must secure mounts. They go to the horse market and spend some time haggling over stringy mares and threadbare tack. They can't simply take official mounts, as that would arouse suspicions among those best left alone. After some time of haggling, the two set forth. They must first cross the ferry over the Shimak River.

Due to Rhaina's presence however, this doesn't go without incident. A particularly scrofulous Sargent decided to take a liking to her. He also took a dislike to the large man with her. Not realizing that this man was a Captain in the Turanian army, and Conan being under specific orders not to reveal that.. the misunderstanding quickly turns into an altercation. The Sargent is given a much needed bath when he is tossed into the Shimak to cool his heels.

Back in Bora's village in the Illbars, the boy is in conferance with the monk. Though he sent word north, nothing has returned to him from Agraphur. He fears that his warnings have been ignored, and wishes the boy to try and rouse the villages, if no one else will lead, Bora will have to. Meanwhile Eramius's is marching his Transformed to some further unholy task. They can do walk for days between meals, and he has much further for them to go yet.

After several more days of Travel, Rhaina, Illyana, and Conan make their way to the town of Gala. They rent a room in the local tavern, and set forth to seek out any additional information they can about the sorcerous happenings in the Illbars. As with most hill people though, the denizens of Gala prove to be tight lipped. After some persuasion, Illyana manages to find a lead for their investigation. She sets forth to put a glamour on Rhaina, and contrives for her and Conan to enter the service of a lord Achmai.

After walking to the gates of Achmai's keep, the twain are admitted and searched. Some hours pass, but both are eventually put into his service. So far, Illyanas plan is working. After nightfall, they find what they came for and then quickly beat an escape. Their purloining has not gone unnoticed and pursuit is hot on their heels as they make their way out of Achmai's keep.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

27. Tor Conan #16, Conan the Valiant by Roland J. Green, part 1.

In the Ilbars Mountains a Shepard boy, Bora, is watching an unusual ritual. The perpetrator of this is Eramius. He's currently using one of the jewels of Kurag to turn some unwitting person into one of The Transformed. A large, but slow witted collected of mutants. Perfect for doing the bidding of their sorcerous master. This explained the mysterious disappearance of so many from the neighboring tribes. Without waiting to see the end, Bora leaves to go and try and warn others.

His warnings go unheeded, after all, haven't they already been reported to King Yildiz's minister for the region? The man didn't think enough of them to do anything, so clearly there isn't anything that can be done. Having no alternative, he goes to talk to the priest of Mitra. A man not from his tribe, or even from the Ilbars. A man who came to convert the tribes, but not live among them. He is far more interested in the boys news and promises to send the information to his superiors in Agraphur.

Meanwhile, Captain Conan is training new recruits in the use of the Bow. No easy task, and as soon as the days work is done he heads to a local watering hole. It's proprietor is an old soldier himself, full of stories and a sympathetic ear for those still in the service. Before long however, one of the obnoxious Turanian hereditary officers saunters into the tavern. With him are a small handful of sycophants who almost immediately begin to cause trouble. Before the night is out, Conan has slain several of them and wounded the Turanian.

He goes back to his duties as captain, but is soon requested. He knew this was coming, but had hoped to avoid it. He is summoned to the residence of Lord Mishrak. King Yildiz's cheif of spies. A certain job has come up that they feel he can help them with. It's been two years since he broke the Cult of Doom, an action that lead to him joining the Turanian Military. In return they will make sure the problems with the Turanian lordling will go away. Conan is to escort the Rhaina, the assistant to the sorceress Illyana south to the Illbars, and from there search for clues as to what is going on there.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Definition of the day - "The Bandit Run"

My concept of "The Bandit Run" comes by way of the film 'Smokey and the Bandit' in which the central character Bandit, a decoy for a truckdriver, is contracted to drive from Atlanta to Texarkana to bring back a truckload of contraband beer. The basic plot of the film explains the phrase.

My usage of it derives from this central theme. Over the last 2 years I've read a large number of Conan stories. They tend to fall into a certain number of types. One of the least interesting and most pernicious is The Bandit Run. Pioneered, I feel by the Posthumous collaboration, 'The Hall of the Dead', where Conan begins and ends the story in Shadizar, but the story itself takes place in a city some distance from Shadizar, and part of the story involves him traveling to this place and back. Hence, Bandit Run.

This theme is repeated frequently, beginning with all three of Andrew J. Offutt's books.. which despite all taking place south of the cities of Arenjun and Shadizar, all begin in one of those places. Two of them end in those places. Offutt's books completed the concept of the Bandit Run by adding the essential time limit to the trip. Conan has a long way to go and short time to get there. This new form, is used by Robert Jordan in 4 of the 6 of his novels that I've read so far. The only book I've read from Sean A. Moore also makes use of this, beginning and ending his story in the same town in Brythunia, despite a large portion of it taking place elsewhere.

It mainly operates in the obverse of the point a-b progression stories. for which I'm still looking for a good nickname for. If you can suggest one, drop me a line and let me know.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

26. Ace Conan #2.1 "The Curse of the Monolith" by Lin Cart and L. Sprague DeCamp

Having attained the rank of Captain in the Turanian army, Conan has been tasked with delivering a diplomatic letter from King Yildiz. He is taking it to the eastern kingdom of Kusan, to deliver it to their monarch. For the first time in month's he is traveling alone. Juma, his friend of many adventures has acquired a coveted post in the royal palace. All Conan got was another dangerous mission.

After hundreds of leagues, crossing deserts, skirting the foothills of the Talakma Mountains. Conan and his men had finally arrived in the land of Kusan, a kingdom to the west of Khitai. They had been receive warmly by the king, and also been given a positive reply to Yildiz's offer for a treaty of trade and friendship.

However this doesn't really sit well with Duke Feng, one of the kings Khitan advisers. The Duke wishes to dispatch the Barbarian emissary, keeping Kusan tightly bound to Khitai. The Duke feigns friendship with Conan, taking him to see the sites. He takes him to view a mound, making sure to drop plenty of hints about vast stores of treasure inside it. Seeing the interest in the barbarians eyes, he knows he has him hooked.

That night Conan returns and as he ascends the mound he feels himself being inextricably pulled towards the monolith that crowns it. soon he is stuck fast to the black stone. Soon the Duke arrives, and explains the monolith is a giant lodestone, and will hold any metal. He then pulls a small flute from his pocket and plays a note. Before long a giant gelatinous monstrosity appears, dripping acid, heading towards the monolith.

It doesn’t take Conan long to cut through the leather straps of his outfit. Leaving him free of any metal and freedom of movement also. He grabs duke feng and hurls him into the gelatinous goo. Then he strikes a fire at the base of the monolith and burns both the master and the pet. Thus ending the curse of the monolith.

Review ~

Not a great tale by any stretch of the imagination, but not horrible either. It's about on par with DeCamp, and easily better than the previous story, "People of the Summit". It's nice to have a bit of closure about what happened to Juma however, he was a character that despite only showing up in one short story and one novel, I quite liked. It's really a shame that DeCamp didn't just put his effort towards writing stories about Juma, we could use a few more black Sword and Sorcery heroes. We are told that it's been about a year since Conan first entered the service of Turan, that makes him about 22.

Monday, July 11, 2011

25. Bantam Conan #1.2, "The People of the Summit" by Bjorn Nyberg and L. Sprague Decamp

As this story Opens we find Conan a newly appointed Sargent in the Turanian Army. He has been tasked with leading a troop of Turanians in raids against a group of rebellious tribesmen in the Khozghari Hills. For several weeks this goes well, the troop makes good progress. One day however, the routine is broken when the troop is ambushed by hill-men. Conan avoids death or capture and sets out to get back to Samara where he is stationed. He comes across a girl, and on talking to her finds out she is the daughter of one of the hill tribes. Conan decides to take her hostage, a daughter of a hill chief will be a great bargaining chip against the tribes.

Soon they are on their way to Samara. Conan figures the quickest way will be to head through the Bhamar pass in the Misty Mountains, but the girl warns they are full of demons. Not afraid of such superstition, Conan presses on. No doubt he will soon regret his headstrong cavalier approach. Before they get very far through the pass they are beset by some of the people the girl referred to as Demons.

They are taken captive, and the girl it is revealed is destined to be sacrificed to these peoples god. Conan however has other ideas in mind and soon escapes, intent on rescuing the girl he got into this mess. After hacking his way through many of the mountain people, he succeeds in finding the girl and the two make their way out of the mountains as fast as possible.

In return for his rescue of her, she promises him safe passage through the hills, it's a longer route, but now safer. He figures he will be back at his post in Samara in a few days.

Review ~

At the beginning of this tale we are informed that, Following the events of the "City of Skulls", Conan has been made a Sergeant. That is all well and good, but for sake of Chronology, Geography, Coherency and flow, I feel "The People of the Summit" Takes place before "The City of Skulls". My Reasoning is this. Conan's rank is mentioned in "People of the Summit" as that of a Sargent. But in Conan the Hero, he goes from being a Sargent to Captain. In the next story 'Curse of the monolith' he is still a Captain. It worked fine in the old Pre-Tor format. Where it didn't have to make allowances for Conan the Hero and Conan the Valiant. But it does now, and I feel that since it's only an L. Sprague Decamp edited tale, it can be moved to any place I really choose it fits best. Since no mention is made of Juma at all, I feel it happens before Conan meets Him, and therefore happens before "City of Skulls".

Saturday, July 9, 2011

24. Tor Conan #17, Conan the Hero by Leonard Carpenter, Part 5

Crossing the mountains north of Venjipoor and then walking westwards. They then take a boat up the Ilbars river to Agraphur. After many days they finally arrive and are quickly whisked off to be cleaned up. It's only a matter of hours before they are supposed to meet King Yildiz. After being cleaned up and dressed in new uniforms they are set on horses and paraded through town towards the palace. On the steps outside they meet with Yildiz and Conan receives his medal, in appreciation for his service to the empire, he is now officially a Hero of Turan.

The following evening Conan is present at a feast hosted by Yildiz. The Monarch fawns over his new Hero, much to the displeasure of the nobles and hereditary officers. While the days of revelry follow, Conan sets out to uncover the people who have been plotting against him. After some detective work he feels he has a good idea of whats going on, and plans to reveal the plot during his medal ceremony. Feeling it his obligation to warn the King. During the the ceremony the king himself, along with many senior nobles and generals are attacked. It's a rapidly growing carnivorous vine, secreted in on one of the mercenaries cloaks. It's courtesy of Mojorna.

Conan and Juma fight and defeat the vine, This time directly saving King Yildiz's life. But not sparing any effort to save the lives of the men behind the plot. Afterwords he explains to Yildiz why he didn't save them, how they were causing scores of Turanian soldiers to be killed in Venjipoor due to their poor planning. Following this, the King offers to rectify this situation however Conan feels it should be done, and imparts the Captain to return to Venjipoor and take charge.

Weeks later, once Conan is back in Venjipoor. He comes to learn that Mojurna died when the plant beast was slain. And that the girl who he rescued is now the new high shaman. The two come to an understanding, but also realize they can never be friends anymore. Conan begins to shutdown the military machine in Venjipoor, Turan is big enough already not to be greedy. And with that the story ends.

Locations, Turan, Hyrkania, Venjipoor
Towns, Agraphur, Venjipoor
Characters: Conan, Juma, Yildiz, Mojurina the shaman. Sarimya
Languages Spoken: Cimmerian, Aesir, Hyperborean, Brythunian, Zamorian, Kothic, Turanian, Shemitish, Corinthian, Hyrkanian, Nemedian, Vhendyan, Kushite.

Review ~

Not a bad book at all, Out of the three Carpenter's I've read so far this is the best. It's a tad bit anachronistic at first since it really does feel like a Vietnam story. The other story it reminded me of a lot, is Sharpe's Regiment by Bernard Cornwell. In so far as Conan has performed a miraculous battlefield feat (Being the only survivor of Yaralet, but still managing to win out for Turan) and has become a semi-obsession with the totally out of touch monarch for whom he's fighting, and the story ends with Conan uncovering a military conspiracy and the Monarch giving him what he wants. Conan and Juma even have a relationship very similar to Sharpe and Harper. The Sharpe's book has exactly the same story, except Sharpe and Harper captured an Eagle at Talavara after having most of their men killed, and then Sharpe is doted over by Prince George III, Solves a military conspiracy and the Monarch gives him what he wants.

Conan's rank is the real factor that helps determine where this book should be placed, He starts the book out as a Sgt. and ends it as Captain. This causes some problems chronologically speaking, and means that though The people of the Summit is the next one in the list, it can't actually be the next story chronologically. But thats a discussion for next time.

It's also got a bit of tricky geography involved. In order for Conan to get back to Agraphur, he travels north through Venjipoor, westwards over the Colchian Mountains north of Iranistan and then takes a boat up the Ilbars river to Agraphur. That means Venjipoor has to be one of the "Golden Kingdoms".. An unfortunate name if there ever was one, considering Vietnam's place in the "Golden Triangle" of the Heroin Trade. Though they also mention Lotus farmers, and people besotted by Lotus. So even though Venjipoor doesn’t show up on many maps.. I think thats the best place for it.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

24. Tor Conan #17, Conan the Hero by Leonard Carpenter, Part 4

Having escaped his would be assassins, Conan makes his way back to base. he feels he can trust Juma, and with him some measure of strength in numbers. While he is settling back into his routine he is summoned by a superior officer. Apparently the man has been given orders to bring Conan to Agraphur, so that the King may bestow upon the Barbarian a great honor. Conan though suspicious of this, agrees to go.

Due to recent events, Conan goes into it assuming it is another trap. He proceeds with caution and tells Juma of his concerns. Orders are orders however and the two set off. They will return to Agraphur in the most expedient manner, so that King Yildiz himself may pin the bauble to Conan's Turban. However when Conan approaches the Shariff to secure passage to Agraphur, he is informed that these new orders have not fully filtered through the system and therefore Conan cannot leave. Instead he is to lead a patrol out into an exceptionally dangerous part of the jungle hunting for rebels.

As ordered Conan marches his men out on this quixotic crusade. They are soon ambushed by a numerically superior force, easily outnumbering them by more than 10 to 1. After a very tough fight, Conan once more turns the battle in Turan's favour. Though in order to do so he once more misses the chance to kill Mojira.

The Shariff is unmistakeably displeased that yet again the Barbarian has survived. He still harbours a grudge against him for escaping punishment weeks back. Regardless though, he now has no choice but to allow Conan and Juma to go west to Agraphur. So the two men set off on the multi-week journey.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

24. Tor Conan #17, Conan the Hero by Leonard Carpenter, Part 3

This feeling of goodwill which Yildiz exhibits for the Barbarian, rankles his high ranking military men. They feel this, Conan, is an interloper and beneath the gaze of the monarch. He is paid to fight and die for Yildiz, not to be noticed or held as an example by him. But how to get rid of him? He's a doughty fighter no doubt. A canny man all around, very difficult to kill. Perhaps the best course of action to get their people in Venjipoor deal with it.

After some time of recuperation, Conan is finally beginning to feel himself again. The Poison had finally worked its way out of his system, thanks in part to the medications of the Khitan seers that Yildiz kept in Venjipoor. With his strength returned, though still limping on his wounded leg, Conan and Juma decide to take their Leave and go out on the town.

It is with this goal in mind that the wounded Conan finds himself in the presence of Pheng Loon. Drugged and Dragged to the royal palace in Venjipoor City, which sits on the gulf of Tharqueba. He awakes after some time, groggy from the drug, and tied up. He notices a slight man in front of him. He soon introduces himself as Pheng Loon, the leader of Venjipoor and erstwhile ally to Yildiz. He explains his family was from Khitai, until they built a colony in Venjipoor to grow lotus flowers. But their strength waned and the rebels grew more bold. That is when Pheng Loon sought help from the west.

Wounded, drugged and tied up or not. Conan is not a man to be taken lightly. As soon as he begins to feel the vapors of the lotus loosening their hold on him he is ready to fight. He manages to free himself, and is soon on his feet, though stumbling slightly. Against this cushion sitting Khitans, it takes very little time for Conan to escape.

News of Conan's recovery reaches King Yildiz, who is ecstatic to hear it. First though he intends to have him brought to Agraphur and bestow on him a national honor. Officially making the Barbarian a Hero of Turan. All the sooner he can get back to inspiring men and fighting the enemies of Turan. The King is cautioned against this course of action, and that it would likely complicate matters far more than the King realizes.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

24. Tor Conan #17, Conan the Hero by Leonard Carpenter, Part 2

Back in country, Conan is getting chewed out by a superior. It seems one of the Turanian hereditary officers took a liking to Sariya and tried to make a move on her. Conan split his skull for him in return, and now a Turanian Sharif is calling for his head. However his Captain intercedes and decides to send him on a patrol to keep him out of the way for a while. He's only doing this because Conan is the Hero of Yaralet, and it would be unseemly to have such a man court-marshaled.

Its not an easy patrol though, its pretty deep into enemy territory, but they aren't supposed to run into anything. This doesn’t work out though as on their second day out they get ambushed by a force considerably larger than their own. Conan, being the ranking officer of the patrol sends a runner to Sikkander requesting more men, but upon the runners arrival is met by the same Sharif who was to be in charge of his court martial. The idea of more men is promptly over ruled and Conan and his troops are left to fend for themselves.

Though most of the other mercenary officers want to go and relieve the embattled patrol, the nobles balk. But after the fullness of Dark, Juma struggles into the camp carrying a wounded Conan. Stabbed by a poisoned spear. The leaches at the base say its impossible to know if he will survive, and only the gods know for sure.

In Turan, Yildiz listens to his court wizard read this patrol report to him, the information coming nearly instantaneously via a two way mirror. Juma's report to the captain says that were it not for Conan the whole force would have been routed. Yildiz slams his hand down on the arm of the chair, If only he had an entire army of Conans! Truly then he would be master of the world.

Friday, July 1, 2011

24. Tor Conan #17, Conan the Hero by Leonard Carpenter, Part 1

After their escape from Meru, and their successful mission to deliver the princess to her betrothed. Conan and Juma have been put in charge of groups of soldiers in the jungle choked battlefields of far off Venjipoor. They are fighting the Hwong, a rebellious tribe who are aiming to dethrone the Khitai descended royal house of Venjipoor. The Hwong are lead by their Shaman Mojara, who at the moment Conan catches up to him, is just about to sacrifice a girl for some nefarious purpose. The Shaman escapes, but Conan rescues the girl, who is named Sariya.

Meanwhile in Agraphur, The Self important wizard Azhar is hurrying on his way to bring news from Venjipoor, recently scryed by the court seer, using a magic mirror (not kidding) to King Yildiz. It's important enough to interrupt the king's merrymaking. Progress has been made in the southern campaign and it's new standout soldier, a northern barbarian by the name of Conan.

Back in Venjipoor, Conan and Juma have returned to their encampment. As with most soldiers, they are bored and tired of waiting for the promised easy advancement. The hawknosed nobles who make up the bulk of the Turanian officers are so cowardly, they never get killed.. so how are there supposed to be any vacancies? Both men are somewhat depressed by their chances of promotion.

In Agraphur The King is informed of the latest happenings. This time they are not so positive. Certain inconsistencies have arisen with Turan's allies on who's behalf this war is being fought. It seems they are in league with members of Yildiz's court who wish to weaken his power both at home and abroad.