I have always been fascinated by the Fire Swamp, not only of the pain that lurks within, but of the fear that suffocates the surrounding villages. The screams and wails that echo from within the ominous forest, if it can indeed be called that, turn many stomachs. I however only experience almost a pleasant fluttering on hearing such agony. Astride my black stallion, whose name I haven’t wasted any time in remembering, I experience a wave of fatigue. It is difficult to maintain a constant façade of worry. Humperdinck’s fiancée, Buttercup, was taken during her daily ride by ‘men from Guilder’. The Prince, myself and a few of his most reliable soldiers have set off to hunt them down.
Of course ‘tis merely a ruse. Prince Humperdinck was bored and power-hungry, a dangerous combination in my opinion. With his father, the King, ill and he himself not getting enough rest I believe he became rather overwhelmed and the notion of war became propitious. In any case, together we devised a plan that would almost definitely initiate war between Guilder and Florin. We hired a Sicilian to abduct the Prince’s peasant fiancée and frame the Guilderians. Rather a marvelous plot I think. It was foiled however by a strange man garbed solely in black attire. He bested the Sicilian as well as a giant and master swordsman, a wizard I think, that I assumed the Sicilian hired to assist in the abduction. The gaumless fellow then ran off into the Fire Swamp.
To keep up the façade of our ignorance the Prince and I along with a small army of soldiers have been tracking the trio who took Buttercup. We had to travel all the way to Guilder and follow the path they took. It was quite tedious until we discovered that a stranger had bested the entire group sent to kidnap the girl.
We’re waiting now on the other side of the Fire Swamp. No one has ever survived the place but the Man in Black seems like the most worthy opponent to have ever entered its shadows. That man would make a most fascinating study. Perhaps if he survives Humperdinck will allow me to have some time with him. How delectable.