You all look as grim as I feel about this news. But don't lose heart. Remember that we also have a new summoner, and not only is Samuel Farthen one of the sturdiest warriors I have known, he leads a large force of fresh new troops into battle, including units with different training than any we have seen before.
For starters, there are now more elite squads of Angels, who are either veterans of earlier campaigns or recipients of extra battle training.
There is also a new class of guardians, whose special purpose is to protect our champions and summoners. They are tough, smart and very mobile: they will stick with their assignment through the chaos of battle without needing to be told how.
One of Samuel's champions will hardly seem to need the Honor Guard. Valentina Stoutheart is a captain of the Guardian Knights, and by all reports she surpasses Farthen himself in toughness, surprising as that may sound.
But the biggest surprise in Samuel's troops is the Woeful Brothers, an order of warrior monks who have long prepared to enter these wars. They have trained to use their opponents' moves against them, enabling them to pull off surprising moves such as infiltrating enemy lines, or moving adjacent units into -- or out of -- harm's way.
What's more, one of their greatest leaders is campaigning with them. Master Bullock's mastery of their mystic discipline is such that he can do psychic damage from far away. And not only can he do it himself, he enables all other Woeful Brothers near him to do the same!
Samuel Farthen has a special interest in these Brothers, so much so that he has attuned his stone to their spiritual energy, drawing extra strength from them even in death.
This is a lot to think about, and we'll discuss the possibilities of these new troops soon. But first you need to know about the new broods of monsters that Mad Sirian has at his beck and call.