My words cannot express the sorrow I feel for your loss – those men weren’t soldiers, they didn’t sign up for this.
Thuldrin did the right thing, he asked our help as soon as the gravity of the situation became clear. Nobody could have foreseen the unnatural occurrences, when the dead walk again and feast on the flesh of the living. What unnatural forces are at work I do not know, but it seems that the foe we vanquished in the tomb you folk know as ‘Cold Marrow’ was not the only one.
The dead rise again, and by the time this letter reaches you we shall have left to put it down once and for all. Do not let proud men be fools, I have heard of Thuldrin’s effort in rallying a militia to enter the woods and exact revenge upon whatever is there. If those men go to battle, they will die – if you do nothing to stop them, it is on you. What happened up in the cut camp cannot be blamed on you, but here and now is a time when you can be the leader people know you to be and stop this madness.
There is Evil in those woods, old and unforgiving. The kingdom of Dwarfs found out the hard way, and now your lumber camps are doing the same. Creatures better left alone are running out of rocks to hide under, and it will not go well. The dark fey who attacked the carnival are scattered for now, but if you give chase they will find themselves united again. I know not what else you might find, but I’ve often been told that if you corner a bear in a cave it’s not the bear who should be afraid.
You lost the battle, not the war. In Spring, you can rebuild the camp and start anew. If the men run off to die before then, you’ll have no lumberjacks left to work – this must convince you if nothing else has. I will speak to you upon our return, though I cannot say when that might be as we do not know what unnatural forces await us in the Dark.
Be at peace, tend to your home and hearth, and keep a lantern burning to guide our return.