This foreboding tale just in from the Baja EM Website ! *** Standing from the top of a hill, Zander examined the camp site down below as a cool early summer wind brushed against him. The entire valley was filled with hundreds of mercenary soldiers belonging to different clans. They had been on the run ever since they were routed by the so-called Operation Royal Flush forces. The demise of Casca and the rise of Dawn as the queen did not make things any easier. Once a proud army of feared mercenaries, they had initially been reduced to a band of misfits. It had taken many months of blood and sweat to infuse a sense of order and discipline within the ranks. Gold was always in shortage but he was proud to say that they were a leaner and meaner group of men now. “Zander! Will you be joining the festivities in my tent tonight?”, grunted Sarus. He reeked of a man that had not washed himself in several days and spent at least few of those being drunk. Zander hid his disgust and smiled in a non-committing manner. As the only remaining officer of one of the opposing clans, Sarus had proven to be a useful tool in uniting the different clans. He will find a way to dispose of him when the time is right. For now, he let him believe that he was the one in charge. Just as his mind wandered off to consider the different ways he could ‘dispose’ of Sarus, he heard a gallop from behind him. Turning around, he saw a lone cloaked rider on a black stallion approaching them rather quickly. As he reached for the hilt of his sword, the two archers accompanying them took positions to strike the rider down on his signal. Jumping down from the stallion, the rider stopped several paces from them. Turning towards them with the hood now lowered, it was clear that the rider was a woman. Once Sarus realized this, he puffed up his chest and walked towards her waving his arms. Yet, something about her made every hair on Zander’s body stand up. Steady! Do not lower your guard! Sarus glanced back towards him, snorted and mockingly shrugged his shoulders. That’s when he saw the rider moving towards them with the speed of a cat. Two flashes of shining metal flew out from her body; both of them finding the archers behind him. In only a few quick steps, she had negotiated the distance between her and Sarus who was still unaware of the danger. Brandishing yet another dagger, she found poor Sarus’s right eye just as he turned to face her. As he bent down in pain, she grabbed his head while one of her knees went up into his ribs. Pushing him back, she turned around and slapped his face with a powerful kick. Then reaching down, she pulled the dagger out of his eye and slit his throat sans a moment of hesitation. Zander stood frozen in disbelief as the stranger killed three veteran soldiers in front of his eyes. Now, the only thing that stood between them was his increasingly shaking sword. But, instead of charging towards him, she stood there with one of her legs resting on top of Sarus’s corpse. Suddenly she hissed at him and then, a smile ran across her face as her composure transformed from lethal to flirtatious. Now Zander-kins, don’t look so pale! I only did you a favor by getting rid of this burly fool. A favor? Huh? How is it that you know my name? Who are you? By heavens, what do you want!? Listen very carefully. You will do exactly as I state and you will not have to meet my mistress. And more importantly, I have gold and work for your men. You are to be my messengers of peace. Smiling in a menacing manner, she threw a parchment at him. Catching it, he opened it to reveal several names that he immediately recognized: Spawner’s Inc., Kingdom of Dawn, Covenant of the Dark Moon, Misfits of The Society, Girl Scout Troops, and more.