The Demise of the Duke of Gasconne

King Louis: My dear Cantemont, how glad I am to see you well. But where is our Commander, the Duke of Gasconne? Is he still in the field?
Cantemont: Sad news, my liege. Gasconne is slain.
L: By the Lady, our nation is so much the poorer for his loss. What news from the Crusade? Is the traitor deposed? C: My duty lies heavy upon me. But I will endeavour to be direct. 4,000 knights followed us to Avras. Fewer than 400 return with me. And many of them are decidedly the worse for wear.
L: Surely it is not true. Were you not prepared for General Fontaine and his meagre troops?
C: Indeed we were, my liege. At first we sent a summons to parlay, as my lord instructed. But the villain would not even treat with us. Immediately we closed upon the city from the West, for the honour of the Lady. But we weren’t expecting…
L: What? Tell us!
C: We weren’t expecting the zombies, your Grace.
L: Forgive me, did you mean to say zombies?
C: Yes, my lord. Very much so. We found the approaches to the city impassible, as things pulled men and horses beneath the murky water. We believe there may have been some kind of necromancy in play. A beautiful woman floating above the filth and laughing at our efforts confirmed our suspicions. But when our dear friend Gasconne sought out the fiend it did not go well for him. She devoured him in front of us... A most unpleasant business.
L: My Lady! And yet you outnumbered them, did you not? After all we spent...
C: Indeed. But our knights were driven into the swamps by magical curses, and our horses became mired. We were exhausted after a long march and our heavy armour was ill-suited to the boggy terrain. It was at this point that a considerable number of our fallen countrymen began to rise from where they’d fallen... Then of course there were the nightmarish wraiths…
L: Wraiths?
C: Something of that ilk, I’d rather not go into detail.. Many who were not slain took their lives in madness.
L: By the Lady... I must retire to prayer. Give the survivors food and water. You are dismissed, Cantemont. Go back to your family.