Against the coming storm
Marquis Zel'Qi Ren'Talafen
Leader of the Eladrin House Zel'Qi
A powerful Eladrin warrior and skilled battle commander, Ren exalts in his foreignness to Eladrin society. While he speaks of only mercantile or martial concerns, it is generally assumed that he is bitter that his House is still considered little better than foreigners in Mithendrian.
With the loss of the Three Rivers contingent, Ren has withdrawn from active cooperation with Amalia. He claims that since the situation is no longer what she promised, he is not obligated to suicide his forces. He states that without flanking support and supplies, he will return his forces to Mithendrian, leaving Amalia on her own.
He has received an Emissary fromas well as Lord Berrian, and reports that he has been offered Analastara’s hand marriage by both. Either, if concluded, would cement his Houses’ position within the upper tiers of the Eladrin Peerage.
He has, (perhaps mockingly?), offered Amalia the opportunity to best that by marrying him.
As a note: Eladrin marriage contracts are as political and mercantile as courtly. Same sex and plural marriages are possible. Whether individual resources are merged, who runs them, and how they are passed on are all negotiable. Most important is the production of viable heirs and the provision for the continuance of their wealth and status (since Eladrin are so low fertility, this is always the paramount concern). Contracts which are judged to lack on those measures may be considered the invalid fancies of children (at best) or marks against the honor and competency of the House (at worst). Divorces are rare and most often involve bloodshed. However, the system is far more complex than this description and can involve curses, ancient promises, prophecy, and lost precedent as well.
His forces include trained Owlbears and Displacer beasts, as well as a significant number of Warlocks of unknown Pacts.
The Owlbears and Displacer beasts require a lot of food to keep placid. He proclaims that if supply lines are not restored shortly, Amalia will be in breach of their martial compact.
The powers of magic his forces command are considerable and are almost certainly fueled / maintained by magical artifacts of as yet unknown nature. While they must be well defended, if he were to lose them his House would be significantly disadvantaged and whomever acquired them significantly advantaged.
He commands the high ground next to the river, thus granting him the best tactical position short of the castle itself. Should his defenses fail under assault, though, there is nowhere particular for him to retreat.
Some care has been taken to disguise the number and positioning of his infantry forces.