From the Background:
The people of Brice do not have much imagination when it comes to names. Their main port is a ramshackle, Byzantine morass of back streets, dead end alleys and bizarre twists and turns, so they call it the City of Mazes. They build a university and town serving it and call it Quill. And they build a massive walled redoubt from which foreigners are barred and call it the Forbidden Fortress.
However, you had to admire their black sense of humour. Their largest prison camp is one in which people simply fade away, forgotten by the outside world, unmourned by all. And they call it Oblivion.
Of course, as you grew up in Royal Lendle you had no thoughts of ever entering Oblivion. But you were born at an unfortunate time. As you hit early adulthood Brice's continuous threats on the borders could not be ignored and you were called into the Gallantarian army. You showed a natural aptitude for leadership in your training and were rapidly promoted to a leading command position within your regiment.
However your first taste of action proved disastrous. Your country was ill-prepared, you realize, there was no overall defensive plan and the superbly oiled Brician machine and the army was swept deep into its own territory. Fortunately the Bricians outran their supply lines and had to halt. In the meantime, your troop was sent in advance to prise out a Brician regiment. Although you and your men fought well, you were caught outnumbered and outsourcered and as a result large numbers were captured. The Bricians, cock-a-hoop with their early war success, sent you – with your commanding officer and a thousand men – to the square, black stone walled incarceration of Oblivion.
Three years on, you muse, as you scratch the date on the wall of your communal cell. The 30 foot long wooden hut is the home to 100 men, there are a dozen others in the camp more or less full. There are 657 men left still alive. There is little news of the war. Occasionally you hear whispers from the Bricians, they are not optimistic. The guards are being changed with alarming regularity now. Many of the replacements are carrying wounds. You shudder every time you consider how Gallantaria is surviving under such an onslaught.
Maybe the war will be over soon, you muse. The Bricians are brutal and ruthless, but they do not simply kill their prisoners without good reason. Of course a Brician good reason can be refusing to obey an order, or trying to escape, or insulting a Brician soldier, but your commanding officer has instructed your men to keep quiet and ride it out. Eventually you will be returned home, to a free Gallantaria.