After his defeat at Kramer's Crossing, General "Black Bart" Blackwell withdrew to the village of Lorhaven. Expecting a counterattack, he fortified his position and sent a message back to Glumport calling for reinforcements. Esquire Giovanni refused to play into Blackwell's hands. Realizing the turmoil his successes had caused in the Bluderian court, Giovanni decided to play it safe. He gathered his forces and began to surround Lorhaven.
Late one night a messenger galloped into the Bluderian camp. He was immediately directed to Blackwell's tent. Blackwell's aide-de-camp, Major Hodsper, led the messenger into the tent.
"General, a message for you."
Blackwell rose, strode over to the messenger and took the missive from his hand. A quick glance was all it took to tell him that is was bad news. The letter read "The King has decided to enter into peace negotiations with the rebels. You are to return to Glumport . . ."
Blackwell was momentarily stunned. All his efforts were turning to naught. He had to do something. Then his eyes flickered with ambition.
"Private, leave us for a moment. Stay by the tent, however, for I will need you."
Once the messenger left, Blackwell reached for his writing desk and began to pen a letter.
"Sir!" stammered Hodsper, "What is it?"
"The King has decided to surrender."
"What? That's insane! What are we going to do?"
"Fortunately, this message never reached me." Blackwell stated, giving a meaningful look to his aide as he thrust the King's command into the flame of a candle. As it smoldered and blackened, the general announced: "We are marching to battle in the morning. Make the necessary arrangements."
"Yes sir!" responded a smiling Hodpser as he saluted his commander.
"Oh, please give this to the courier," Blackwell commanded as he handed over the letter he wrote. "And please take care of him," the general concluded ominously.
The next morning, as the Bluderian army marched briskly from camp, a Grayrockian patrol came across a lone Bluderian soldier lying in a ditch. His throat had been cut. Probably bandits.On his person was a message to that miscreant "Black Bart" approving of his plan to march on Dardona. Excitedly, the patrol raced back to the rebels' main camp.