Crusade (Forgotten Realms: The Empires Trilogy, Book 3)
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The barbarian army has turned its sights on the Western realms. Only King Azoun of Cormyr has the strength to bring the Western factions together and forge an army to challenge the horsemen. But Azoun had not reckoned that the price of saving the West might be the life of his daughter.
he’d hit the ground, so his braided, mud-spattered hair was all that protected his head. The princess took immediate advantage of that fact. Before her father could take two steps, Alusair feinted a blow to the barbarian’s midsection. When the hulking man moved to block it with his curved sword, she struck at her real target. Her blade hit the Tuigan’s unprotected head and split his skull. With a glance back at her father, Alusair moved into the press of warriors in front of the king. From the
people. The king had also overheard many warriors like Yugar, hungry only for money, and a few who only wanted adventure. Still, the guards and churches had reported early that day that over a thousand people had already signed on for the crusade. Azoun had spent much of the morning dispatching letters to the various nobles who had promised armies, asking them to gather in Suzail as soon as possible. The crusade was, without a doubt, going to become a reality very shortly. Despite this, the
Alliance was through the forest, Torg refused to consider taking his troops that way. “Only elves and other such questionable creatures lurk in forests,” the ironlord had told Alusair. “I’ll not put my soldiers in danger needlessly by taking a shortcut through an obvious haven for traps. We’ll go south, then skirt the forest and head east.” Alusair wasn’t quite sure who the ironlord thought would set a trap for the dwarves, but she really didn’t care. Torg’s inflexibility on the matter only
couldn’t hide his surprise. “If you agree that the crusade is necessary, why don’t you agree with my plans?” “Because I don’t think you’re the right person to lead the armies.” The wizard raised his hand before Azoun could respond. “Not that I think you incapable of commanding the troops or making sound decisions … I just don’t know if you realize what you’re getting into.” A puzzled look replaced the shock on the king’s face. “Why help me further my plans at all, Vangy?” “I am, above all,
that will stop me from destroying you in battle.” Koja had just begun to relay the khahan’s words when Batu Min Ho leaned forward and spoke. The babble of voices confused Azoun a little. He caught only part of what the bald Khazari was reporting. Still, the king understood the Shou general’s question without translation. Stretching two empty hands before him, Azoun faced Batu Min Ho. “Yes, Batu Khan,” he said in rough, halting Tuigan. “I seek peace.” Azoun’s reply had a striking and immediate