Greetings, Britannians. As no doubt many of you have already heard, The Kingdom of Dawn and its protectorate, The Village of Avalon, were recently struck by a series of suprise attacks and lootings in what appears to be an organized guerilla invasion by rogue Chaos Dragons. Dawn, which has historically been a close friend and ally of the Kingdom of Britannia, was recently involved in a long dispute over the realms sovereignty and right to rule. Lord Casca felt that Dawn and Avalon's long-standing claim to independence was invalidated by his ascension to the throne. The Britannian King prompty demanded that the Duchess-Regent of Dawn and the Royal Court concede his authority and surrender themselves to his rule. In Casca's own words, he wished to be the Great Uniter of the Five Worlds. An argument that he presented was that the Citizens of Dawn could not be properly defended by stubborness alone, but with the aid and authority of the Britannian Crown. When Dawn defied these claims, his calls for peace and protecting the citizenry were quickly forgotten when he staked his banner into the ground and proclaimed that he was bringing the sword to Dawn. The Dragoon's struck swiftly. Obviously, they knew the history and ways of the Kingdom of Dawn, for they patiently for its knights and soliders to leave on an expedition to Tokuno to covertly aid the Britannian Royal Guard before striking at the heart of the Kingdom. As the reports come in, one cannot help but be shocked and horrified by the sheer brutality of these mercenaries. They attack warrior and peasant alike with reckless abandon, and have massacred the local gypsy population in droves. A series of attacks has been made on the Royal Palace itself, which appears to be an attempt by the Dragoons to capture or kill the Prince and the Duchess-Regent of the Kingdom. All is not lost though. The Knights of the Blue Rose and the Order of the Crimson Staff have recently returned from their expedition, along with mercenaries and knights of their own to help the belegured statehood. I went to investigate, and discovered a vast armada docked along the shores of the Duskwood between Dawn and Avalon. A total of ten ships were docked, while several more seemed to be bringing supplies into the fortified pass between Dawn and Avalon. Another few ships, including several merchant freighters, arrived to carry refugees from the two cities to an unknown location. The Ships were as follows: - DWN Cerulean Skies - DWN Blue Roses - DWN Hilde Garde - DWN Vixen's Luck - DWN Persephone the Beautiful - DWN Na'Kruls Bane - DWN Dragonheart's Lance - DWN Highwind - DWN Green Goblin - DWN Invincible I proceeded west, hoping to stay away from the bulk of the fighting and perhaps find refuge. It was there that I discovered the Castle of the Blue Rose, a fortified tower that had been reconstructed by the Avalonians and the Dawnites specifically for the defense of both realms. On the steps, I discovered a Knight of the Blue Rose and a Avalonian Militiamen facing the southern road. I proceeded inside, to find none other than Sir Zackarias of the Knights of the Blue Rose speaking with a blacksmith. After making sure that I was no threat, he opened up to talking to the Britannian Press. Jacob Vampa: Are these mercenaries the work of Lord Casca.? Zackarias: Who else could it be? Jacob Vampa: Why do you think mercenaries would be sent, rather than the Britannian Army? Zackarias: The Royal Britannian Guard and the Knights of the Blue Rose have fought together. We've bled together. We've died together. It would be a fatal mistake trying to set us against each other. Jacob Vampa: Why do you think these mercenaries would invade in such a manner? Zackarias: It is as Father Nicholas foretold. Lord Casca wishes to make an example out of us. If he were to crush the Kingdom of Dawn, who would dare oppose him? Luna? Zento? We must not fall, not only for ourselves but for all the Free Peoples of Sosaria. Jacob Vampa: What is your personal reaction to this invasion? Zackarias: My reaction? Well now... While sitting in at some of Casca's speeches, I always seemed to have a weird feeling about him, especially when he just came in and took command of Blackthorne Castle unannounced. And in one his speeches, I sensed that through his words, he, Casca, would try to pull something from his pocket to enslave the free cities, even if it was wrong. As for the invasion, I had no doubt in my mind that something like this would happen, it was all a matter of time. And with my skilled hand at fighting these, demons, I feel that we will need all the free cities to join in togather and fight side by side to fight back the hordes of Casca. And for Casca hiring demons to do his dirty work, and for the demons aiming their weapons at my appointed Duchess, the fool has something coming to him. Zackarias took me north, and showed me several of the half-completed fortifications built to protect Dawn and Avalon. Although the Black Gate had somewhat nullified these defenses, the hope is that the gate can be dispelled, which would force any invader to pass through the Castle of the Blue Rose or the Avalonian Wall. The Dragon's Breath Guard Tower, which overlooks the Hordelands and the site of the Black Gate, seemed to be fortified to the max. I found the tower empty, but if the battle cries just over the trees were any indication, battle was engaged. Jacob Vampa, Stratics Independant Press Contributor.