The messenger entered the King's chamber in a hurry, but still performed the usual obeisances.
"Sire," he began, "I bring news from the Border Kingdoms. The Brethren have invaded in the west and subdued the land. The Goblins have invaded in the east. The Border Kingdoms are no more."
The messenger continued his tale hastily as the King looked intently at him. "Sire, I observed all as you had instructed. The Border Kingdoms army was decimated by the Brethren onslaught. They clearly knew that they could not hold the Brethren out and retreated from that battle with the remnants of their force. Perhaps young van der Walk thought he could hold the Goblins off more easily. I saw them deploy on the open plain where the Goblins caught them. The witch summoned a demon to assault the Goblins at the start of the battle. Its first pass caused the enemy skirmishers to flee but the infantry held steady."
"The Goblins were clearly incensed by the demon's presence and lost their minds for they charged heedless at their foes. Their assault was strong but the Border Kingdoms infantry held them off for a while. It was unfortunate that young van der Walk died in the first clash of arms. His presence might have secured a better outcome for his people. There were not many goblins left at the end of the battle, and all of those knew they had fought that day."
"I rode here as fast as I could after the battle to report to you, and I suspect many refugees will approach our borders before long too."
Edward IV of Treyine sat back and looked at the messenger with satisfaction. He indicated that the man should leave and turned to his counsellors.
"So, the Goblins appear to be working with the Brethren. Strange bedfellows indeed. I foresee an advantage in this, once we have dealt with those meddlesome witches from Hykar."
This battle went pretty much as expected, although I feel that I gave a good account of myself against the Goblin hordes. Had I not forgotten that the Goblins had the Frenzy attribute, I might even have done better. I forced enemy threat tests on the Goblins at the wrong moment and did not get to use my wizard again after that. I should have cast first and threatened afterwards. Still, it was not as lopsided a game as the fight between Tropilium and Treyine. The question is, what shall I do with all my nicely painted Border Kingdoms troops now?