2650GL 1st Sprengan

The first day of the new year, filled with such hope and promise...hope that we will see an end to the troubles on the mainland and promise that I will not be cooped up on the island forever.

It has been three years since I was called to Queteria to train for an unknown task. I was chosen for my swordsmanship, stealth abilities and horsemanship. My archery skills were called into question by the Elders upon my arrival in the city and I spent the first four months training solidly until they were convinced that I had improved by a satisfactory amount.

The training was not something that irritated me, however the attitude of the old vultures was something that gnawed at me. No one has told me what it is that I was sent here to train for, nor what was required of me before I arrived - this was told to me only this morning as my time is apparently drawing to a close here.

I was told I was expected to serve without question and die to defend my charges. I still am none-the-wiser as to whom my charges might be, but I was told I had to accept this responsibility or leave.

Leaving did not seem to be a sensible course of action, so I accepted.

There was a lot of commotion this morning as it is rumoured that the Eight have arrived on the island, or rather what remains of the Eight after they were ambushed by a force of two hundred from Hocuna. They lost two in the fighting, Elika and Elhanan are both said to have gone to Halsanda. I had never met either of them but their reputation spoke volumes for them both. Elika served as Queen Annalia's personal bodyguard until she became Queen and was then asked to ride with the Eight. Elhanan was the brother of Shammah, the current leader of the Eight, the two having created tales of daring to rival that of the Anaguran Queens before they reached the age of testing. Shammah has led the Eight since the passing of Elisha, his mother, who led the Eight before him.

Eleazar, the youngest member of the Eight and Tulsana, his older sister, are reported to be severely injured leaving only Maharai, Helez and Jashobeam besides Shammah who are able to ride.

Considering the odds of thirty five to one, the losses are much in line with their fearsome reputation given that none of Darnado's men survived. I have also been told that Lady Gekendra, princess of the Order, has been dispatched as an envoy to Hocuna in response to the violence.

There seems to be more gossip mongering here than warrior training. I am more than tempted to request a transfer to undertake my sword training next week in the city of Anamoore. There is much more study and less intrigue in the capital than here.