From Flain’s Final Book:
The oldest rangers know when their time is near. When one spends his life observing nature, one learns to know how things live and die. One feels the moment when one goes from the hunter to mere carrion. I am a child of Skara Brae, and though they will no longer have me, I learned my lessons well. My end is near. I have a rose for each of the fallen, including me. It will end where it began.
I was much younger when I followed Blackthorn’s call to anarchy. My fellow Chaos Knights and I stood against the polite and diseased authority of false virtue. Those beliefs brought me to this place and to the fight where I killed those I once called kin. When the certainty of combat had passed and my hands were covered in blood, my path was forever set. I could never turn back.
We were made an example of. The forces of Order used their courts and prisons to punish us, ignoring their own complicity. Only because of a grieving father were we set free. It was better to disappear and wait. It was not our time, but our time would come.
So many believed it came with the False Blackthorn’s war against Britannia. I too fought with the dragoons for a time, wanting to hold on to false hope. Even then, I knew something was different, wrong. The man who had played chess with British to stalemate was using his forces like a crude hammer. I left before Exodus’s pawn was defeated.
When the true Blackthorn returned and was made king, I believed, like so many, that this was a new age. Instead we got a shadow of the man who inspired so many with his call to anarchy. He played diplomat and peacemaker and forgot about old friends. Now that he ruled the broken and corrupt system, he saw no reason to change it.
I made it my place to set him right, in part for his education, but also my own legacy. My allies are those also disillusioned by this diseased world. While not my original intention, I have found one from each city, one oppressed and harmed by false virtue:
Dryden saw his son’s life claimed by failed justice. Tactus’s ambition was held down by an apprenticeship that sacrificed a young man’s work for the sake of an old fool. Saduj’s humble origins meant no one would ever see his potential. Elistaria was driven mad by years of others’ lies about magic and distrust of her abilities. Thrud was a fighter whose bloodlust no military hierarchy could control. Foulwell grew up destitute because he didn’t fit into the polite farce of Compassion. Blyth was the son who shamed his paladin father by becoming a sailor and then a pirate. I am the fallen ranger from Skara Brae.
I have played a game of pawns and powers with Blackthorn and lost, but even in death, I will be right. He can pretend to be British with elections and councils, but one truth will remain: Rex regit, et populus sequitur. The king leads; the people follow. The Blackthorn of old would never have allowed me to test his authority for so long. There will come a time when this false patience will lead to his destruction. This will not end well. And you will remember I was right.