Several pages from this journal have been destroyed by water damage and are illegible. It resumes in mid-sentence, with no indication of the date or the context although modern researchers have narrowed the date down to one of three in the year 2005 based on the reference to a sandstorm that wiped out Bordertown.

-damage is beyond the scope of anything I have witnessed before. Entire buildings have vanished, swallowed up by the sands, and the locals wandered the streets with wide, terrified eyes. Mendel did what he could to succor them though it was for naught as a small band of riders entered led by a captain named Benwell. They bore a strange story, of being overwhelmed by great insects in the desert commanded by a magic-using devilspawn. Their injuries were dire and the fear in their eyes too clear to be a lie and it was decided to abandon Bordertown, to retreat to Wallace. Our aid in convincing the citzenry was needed but we knew it would not be enough – the Enemy was too close and would reach the outskirts before the commonfolk could flee. A plan was agreed upon: we would remain behind with the Thunder to hold off the creatures and sell ourselves to save who could escape. I thought it a good plan, one worthy of us, and volunteered to scout our foes.

Atop Cometes I rode forth into the desert, skirting the escarpments and staying out of sight. The Enemy approached on swift legs, marching with military precision. Tall they were, a hand and a half greater than even Rainald, and dark scarlet in color, with broad wings and long glaives. Their captain floated at their back though he was gray and seemed to have no wings. None looked like the two creatures we fought in the desert. I counted eighteen of the red ones, though another pair came was revealed to me when I sought to return to the town. Neither of these scouts saw my passage.

In Bordertown I reported to Benwell. Thunder he may be but I thought him to be timid and unmanned by his flight from the creatures so it was to Rainald that I deferred to in terms of military strategy. It was decided that our band would move forward and ambush the scouts in the hopes that it would slow the full force. One of the Thunder accompanied us, a boy by the name of Radskyrta.

The ambush was successful though it was a close thing. I struck from concealment at one of the red creatures, but its hide turned my father’s sword aside and it grasped me with strong arms. God was with me as I was able to plunge a dagger into the beast’s eye, felling it. The other Rainald and Radskyrta charged, but they were laden down with mail so I was able to reach it before they much to my detriment as its glaive cut deeply into my flesh. It felled Radskyrta and Mendel disarmed it with a grace I had not expected from such a portly priest. Rainald then smote it with a blow the slew it outright. Again Mendel proved his worth by recalling Radskyrta from the brink of death and washing away my injuries with magic. Truly, God is good.

Back to Bordertown we went where Benwell declared his intent to abandon our charge and follow the commoners to Wallace. Again we volunteered to remain upon the flank to observe and ensure that the foul creatures would take no more lives. I suspect that our bravery surprised Benwell – for were we not mere mercenaries? – but it served a valuable purpose. The creatures entered Bordertown and ransacked it, seemingly searching for victims. Their foul leader then wove some great magicks that caused many fires before creating some sort of portal that the beasts used to depart. I rode to Benwell to advise him of this, then returned to my companions and suggested we retrieve the bodies of the two we slew for further study.

Night began to fall before we could reach Wallace so it was decided we would set camp and finish our journey upon the morrow. And what will that day bring us I cannot help but to wonder…