The Rise of the Halflings
Eldon's speech after the Parade Massacre
This speech was delivered by Eldon the Bard at the Black Cat on the evening of what has been called the Parade Massacre, whereon a great beast appeared in Baynar, attacking and killing several citizens including children. Although the beast was defeated by the Hilltoppers, it was not done without devastating loss. The text as it appears here was taken down by a scribe called Leofar, who is noted also for the article he wrote headlined “Where Was Sitaro?” which appeared the morning after the events of the Parade. Those who were present when the speech was given have remarked that Eldon spoke for nearly thirty minutes, but that the text here represents the chief points and key phrases of what he said. The copy of this speech and the aforementioned article are believed to be the last things Leofar wrote before his untimely death.
Eldon’s speech after the Parade Massacre (Where Was Sitaro?)
A sad day is upon us. We returned in victory, a great threat defeated, expecting nothing more than to celebrate with you, our friends. We had gone out to the mountains seeking those dragonkin responsible for massacring our merchants. We found them, we destroyed them, and we brought you back the proof of our exploits. We had hoped that would be the whole of our focus today.
But what did we find upon our arrival? We found a beast more savage and deadly than any we had met in the mountains. It was not simply a wild animal seeking food. It was not a creature defending its home. It was a monster bent on destruction. A monster I believe was meant for us, but for which you suffered. We were bruised as we fought it, but you, your families, your children, paid the ultimate price.
Did this beast wander in from the mountains? Did it wander to the heart of town without being seen? Was no alarm raised as this monster roamed the streets? What has gone wrong that it was placed so conveniently to wreak this havoc?
Three days ago, another parade marched through town. The Order of the Wolf, your self-styled protectors. They claimed to defend you from those threats from without. They claimed to guard you from any who would seek your harm. Sitaro rode above you, a docile dragon in tow, and he proclaimed his victory over evil. And when his tame dragon began to fight, he calmly turned and sent it away.
Your protectors. Your guardians. Where was the Order of the Wolf today? Where was the Order while your children were being crushed? Where was Sitaro while this monster devoured your hearts? Did he rush to your aid? Or did he turn his back and flee from danger? Where was Sitaro in your time of need?
At great cost, this creature was killed. Those who have suffered loss will never regain their beloved children. Nothing I say here will bring them back. We mourn with you, knowing that even vengeance will never heal your wounds.
This monster is vanquished. Others will come. We will meet them, for your sakes, even for those who have turned away from me when I doubted the Order. No one should suffer as you have suffered today. And while we cannot promise that we will keep all harm from your door, I do promise you that we will meet the threat.
All praise to Aslan.