Black Horse Troop

From: Peter Metcalfe (metcalph@bigfoot.com)
Date: Thu 09 Mar 2000 - 03:22:50 EET


Douglas Seay:

>> They arrived back on the physical plane amidst a raging supernatural
>> battle. Taking only a few moments to assess the situation Ethilrist
>> threw in his lot with one side, and helped win victory for the Lunar
>> Empire. This was later called the Nights of Horror, fought in 1506.

>Does anyone know when he went to Hell? Was it sometime around 1050?
>Before the sinking of Slontos?

Around 1050 ST, I assume. After crossing the Mislari, he had fought
for and against the God Learners in Ralios. I'm told that his stay
in hell lasted three centuries which made sense with his appearance
in KoDP circa 1330 ST.

>I was wondering because in KoDP you can bump into the BHT as an
>encounter in the 1330s. I was wondering how this was supposed to work
>out.

Um...

Er...

Oops...

<lightbulb appears>

A History of My Blackhorse Troop: The Missing Years.

Scholars have noted a curious omission in Sir Ethilrist's massive
History. He dates his return from Hell at the Night of Horrors
whereas copious sources, including early Lunar documents, Grazer
ancestral chants, Quivini clan sagas, Pharaonic treaties and much
much more, consistently prove the Black Horse were in Dragon Pass
almost two centuries before. Furthermore these references depict
the inhabitants of the Black Horse County as being more happier
than now.

Now with the recent discovery of the journals of Sir Nose-Broke,
we are able to clear up the confusion. This slim volume with
its simple prose is able to shed light on the missing years of
Sir Ethilrist and even the man himself with far greater clarity
than any of his massive volumes.

Ethilrist's sojourn into hell lasted three centuries and from
there, he would have entered Solace as a Saint, save that Saint
Atrox bemoaned the disappearance of his flock. To assuage his
grief, Sir Ethilrist grandiously promised to re-establish a
bastion of the Atroxi so that Atrox's truths would not perish
forever.

Ethilrist returned and, as is amply described elsewhere, assisted
the early Lunar Empire and resettled the last of the Atroxi in
Dragon Pass. After two centuries, Ethilrist felt his work was
done and proceeded to pass on into Solace.

This time however, the straight ways were crooked and Ethilrist
and his companions were lost in hell. In a futile search for the
Pits of Despair, from whence the Black Dog came, Ethilrist chanced
upon the shade of his old friend Keener Than. The shade promised
to show Ethilrist the way to Atrox saying that he had been waiting
many centuries for this "momen... honor".

Nose-Broke was suspicious at this as he remembered that Keener
Than's last parting was less than cordial. But since Thrinaldi
was now a twitching heap of tentacles owning to an improperly
cooked walktapus, he was only one and could not gainsay Ethilrist's
airy dismissals of his concerns.

Despite the numerous horrors which pressed at them on their new
journey, Keener was always cheerful and even broke out into loud
laughter at inappropiate moments. When they reached the portal,
Keener leapt through the Portal and without a moment's hesitation,
Ethilrist followed along with his troop. Finding himself in the
midst of a raging battle, Sir Ethilrist thought he was in the I
Fought We Won battle that Saint Atrox had fought to bring in the
New World and threw himself into the conflict. Only after the
clouds had begun to clear and all others save the Black Horse Troop
had fled from the field, did Ethilrist realize that he was now a
damned soul due to Keener Than's treachery.

In volume VII and VIII of his memoirs, Ethilrist paints the next
twenty years as a series of campaigns in service of the Red Emperor.
Nose-broke however describes him as a broken and listless man,
looting and pillaging blindly across the Empire. Nose-broke
thinks that Sir Ethilrist was revisiting his past glories but
confirmation is hard to come by and Nose-broke was never any good
at geography.

After numerous attempts to stop his pillaging had failed, the Red
Emperor realized the nature of his foe. He then mustered his
imperial powers to force Ethilrist back to the ruins of the
Black Horse County. The Grazers had denounced their oaths long
ago and sacked the County, enslaving the Atroxi.

Ethilrist was fired with a renewed zeal as he now seized upon
the cause of his failure: his vow to Atrox had been wanting.
He freed the Atroxi and re-established the Black Horse County.
Only this time, the Atroxi teachings are adhered to with a zeal
hitherto unimaginable as Ethilrist believes that lax standards
of the old days were the cause of his failure and the County's
downfall.

Nose-broke felt differently. The last pages of his journal are
full of attempts to convince to Sir Ethilrist to make peace with
Keener Than. When his entreaties were bluntly rejected, Nose-broke
became tired of this world and died peacefully. Now only Keener
Than remains of all the people who knew Sir Ethilrist in his
youth.

- --Peter Metcalfe

------------------------------

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