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The Gwandor Campaign
Gwandor Saga

The Saga of the Gwandorlings 12



- Gudny on Lunar fair play


So it happened that the Gwandor were too successful in their feud with the Gorde and Gudny, Argrath, Sigmund, Lothar, and Kamoar were all declared Outlawed by the Empire. Over 2000 Imperial troops were being readied to enforce the decree and grind the Gwandor into a bloody paste.

The companions decided to go into exile as it would have been pointless to try and fight the red- men. Most of Argrath's Hidden Ring decided to accompany them.

Gudny asked the clan to follow Erkenbrand, the Elmali, as the Vingkotlings had done when Orlanth was away. They agreed. The clan then formed Orlanth's Eternal Ring to give Gudny power in his journeys.

When the band rode out it numbered 34. Argrath and Voydag. Gudny, Sigmund, Kamoar, and Lothar. Katla and Varax followed their friends into exile. Darand Batbane and three of his weaponthanes. Noh, Nestin, Meddar, Vedda, and Borne. 4 Humakti followed Lothar, 2 other Vingans followed Katla, and Kamoar got 3 other hunters to accompany him. 12 other clansmen wanted to come but Gudny sent the boys home and only let 7 come. As they rode away, Torroth, the Stickpicker begged his Chief to take him along, Gudny agreed.

They chose to make for Cragspider's realm. They would fare there through Battle Valley, then north through Torkani land, the foothills of the Indigo Mounts and then through Alone and onto Skyfall lake.

They camped just short of the Sazdorf lands on their first night. The moon was full and they hid in the depths of a copse of trees and set a strong guard. Just after mid-night, the guards cried out in alarm and awoke the camp.

A fiery aura surrounded the moon and an unnatural mist was rising heavily from the ground around the camp. All seized their weapons and prepared to fight or flee. The moon started to throb and a red beam lanced down touching the ground 20 ells away, two score black dots floated down the beam; as they became closer, they were seen to be warriors.

Six large men with square black beards and huge maces led the way; they were followed by 20 sturdy warriors in glittering iron and silver armour, they carried large shields and wicked scimitars. A tall man in glowing golden armour with a sceptre and a sword landed just behind the warriors. Three men with glowing red armour, glowing swords and ornate staffs landed next; they were throbbing with magical power. They were followed by six similarly dressed men who were noticeably weaker magically and finally a red women with a great glowing bow and moon runes covering her face[1].

Gudny seized the Star Bear bag that had been a gift from King Vingkot and released the sylph within it. Black Cloud boiled into the air and blotted out the moonlight. Gudny commanded it to kill the red-men and it raged through the trees settling over the charging Lunars.

Kamoar tried to emulate Yinkin and take alynx form but entered a frenzy first and charged straight at the flank of the red-men.

Argrath and Gudny led an attack through the air at the sorcerers at the back of the formation, Sigmund, Darund, Nestin and Borne flew with them.

Lothar quickly formed the remaining men into a shield wall and prepared to face the Shargashi.

Black Cloud descended over the Goddess Guards, Lightning bolts flashed burning down trees and men, terrible winds ripped men apart, tore up trees and smashed other men with them and funnel clouds threw still more men high into the sky.

The Shargashi charged into the shield wall and forced it back, leaving a trail of bleeding bodies behind.

Gudny bore down on a warrior-priest and thrust Orlanth's Thunder at him, the priest struck the sylph Gudny rode on and knocked him to the ground. Argrath charged the Ogeria priestess with Vingkot's spear forcing her back. Sigmund threw Little Weighty at the Yelmic officer; the Lunar was staring agast at Black Cloud and never saw the blow coming, he was dashed to the ground like a wet rag and Weighty returned to Sigmund's hand. A warrior-priest struck Darund with a gout of magical force. Nestin smote an acolyte and his sword stood out between the man's shoulder-blades and the chaos-spawn fell dead. Borne was struck to the ground with a cowardly blow from another acolyte while Kamoar ripped fanatically at a third acolyte.

Gudny sprang from the ground, leapt over the priest's sword stroke and stmote him a great blow with his sword sending him crashing, senseless, to the ground. The Ogerian struck Argrath a stunning blow with her sword but had to jump backwards to avoid his return swing. Sigmund struck down another warrior-priest with Little Weighty while Kamoar bore his foe to the ground and ripped at him with his bare hands and teeth, tearing out his throat.

The Ogerian smirked at Argrath, crossed her arms across her chest and floated back up the moon beam, she was still smirking when Gudny hit her with one of the largest thunderbolts ever seen in those lands[2]; there was very little of her body left to land on the ground with a soft thud.

The last warrior-priest stared at the devastation around him and surrendered in shock. Gudny looked around found Black Cloud had finished with the Lunars and was tossing trees around at the remaining shield wall. He called Black Cloud back and ordered it back into the Star Bear bag.

The copse of trees had nearly ceased to exist. Craters dotted the land and felled trees lay scattered everywhere. Pieces of Lunar bodies hung from the remaining branches, several of the attackers had been hammered into the ground and one was even impaled on a tree, by another tree.

The band tallied their losses, Meddar and Darund were dead along with 7 others. Katla, Varax and 4 others were wounded.

Argrath interrogated the remaining priest and then killed him. The priests last words were "The Goddess blesses you."

Gudny organised mounting the Lunar heads on staves and when the band rode off they left 37 heads on spikes around the battered clearing.

The companions assembled an immense funeral pyre for the fallen mates and called down a thunderbolt to light it. The flames licked hungrily through the wood and leapt skyward behind the band as they rode from the clearing.

Come morn, the companions fared into Battle Valley and were met by the Uz. Kazokang warmly greeted his friend Gudny and replied in dismay when told the story of their outlawry. He took them before the Queen.

Argrath gifted Queen Martoraz with two sets of Iron and Silver armour, she thanked Argrath and bid them tell their tale.

So it came to pass that the Uz agreed to shelter the wounded and any of the band that were not to make the journey to Skyfall lake. The band rested there for three days before busking on their way again. Argrath, Gudny, Sigmund, Kamoar, Nestin, Noh, Vedda, Voydag, and Borne made off north through the rising mist as Theya[3] roused Elmal. Kazokang accompanied the band aswell.

The companions fared north and east along the eastern edge of the Wolf Hills. They passed through the chaparral skirting Poljoni land. Late in the day they spied some herds on the plains and shortly afterwards a band of 12 riders approached them and issued a challenged. They were from the Black Mane clan. Argrath assured them that the companions were only passing through and meant no harm to the Poljoni. The riders warned them of raiding trolls to the north and rode off. The friends were shadowed by Poljoni riders until they left their lands.

The band fared north and turned westward passing Jaldon's Point. They now entered Torkani tribal lands.

It must be told that the Torkani were Argan Argar worshipers and had been feuding with Harvar Ironfist for some time. Harvar trying to bring his light worship of Yelmalio into the region but the dark worshiping Argan Argari would have nothing of that.

Weaponsthanes from the Gahagar clan challenged the friends and took them before their chief who offered them guest-right. Argrath thanked Chief Osteric for his hospitality and gifted him with 2 marks of silver.

Gudny recited a poem of the clan's woe and the treachery of the Empire.

Red-men fueled the feud with Gorde
then sat to watch their students strive
Helm-gnawers and huscarls they leant their clan

The Gwandor gripped the Gorde's fat throat
We razed their shrines and raided their cows
and burnt the Chief's hall while the craven ran off

A cowardly traitor took the foe
to the roof of kind Chief Kulbrast's hall
they murdered man and wife while asleep

The Gwandor struck with the strength of the storm
and avenge their dead for the dastardly deed
The Gorde war-banner is a trophy of war

Frustrated and embarrassed by the Gwandor's success
The Empire bids us "Outlaw or Die"
and makes ready two-thousand troops to trample.

Nestin the recites a poem of his travels and his conversion by Gudny back to the wyrd of Orlanth. He tells of Harvar's plans, his ambitions, his false worship and his corruption of good.

Osteric agreed that the Empire was evil and did not deal fairly with any but told of the looming war with Harvar and that the Empire left the Torkani mostly alone. He also told of fighting in the Indigo Mountains as the Uz fought to find a new leader.

Gudny told Osteric that the companions would be happy to help the Torkani fight Harvar if there were a way for them to do so. Osteric thanked them and in the morn, took them to see his King.

King Jafoksor the Short greeted the companions and Argrath gifted him with 6 marks of gold, enough to make a thick torque. Jafoksor was greatly surprised at this generosity from outlaws.

Gudny again told the tale of their journeys and the Empire's treachery while Nestin recited his tale as well.

Jafoksor talked of the impending war with Harvar. Harvar could easily overwhelm the tribe and grind them under his boot, all that was stopping him was that he was still trying to subjugate the northern lands around Alone. He thanked Argrath for his offer of help and said that when the time comes, he would put out the call for warriors to help and if they came he will offer the companions places in his King's Hall.

Jafoksor provided a guide to take the companions to the northern border and bid them fare-well. The band fared north through the thick Lizardwoods forest. They passed through the Village of Storlock and then onto the town of Alone.

It must be told that Alone had put up a severe fight when Triof the Fist assaulted if for Harvar and, after several revolts and rising, only 500 of the original 1000 inhabitants still live. The roads into Alone are lined with gallows displaying their mutilated baggage. A great wall, higher than two men surrounded the town and a mighty keep guarded it as well.

The companions stayed at Geo's Inn and discovered that Triof was the Lord of Alone and was presently in the town. They tried to find a way of smiting him but could not. In the inn, they met a man, Orgovalt, known as the Angry. Orgovalt was drunk and shouting his hatred of Triof. The other patrons quickly left the bar and the barman pled with Orgovalt to be quiet. The companions quieted him down and talked to him late into the night and in the morning as well.

Orgovalt told them the tales of the taking of Alone, the atrocities committed there since the conquest and told them of the defenses around Triof. As he sobered up, Orgovalt recognised Nestin. It seemed he had served in the Hollowdancers as well. Nestin told Orgovalt of his conversion and of his journey's since then.

In the morning, the friends rode on north and Orgovalt decided to accompany them. They rode past Iron Spike, supposed to be the spear-head from a fallen god, and through the Sheep Luck hills and approached Skyfall lake.

Now our tale must recount the origin of Skyfall lake. A great Chaos god, known as Korang the Slayer, armed with a mighty spear was ravaging the land. Ten gods attacked him; Hard Earth was one, Skyriver Titan was the second, the third cannot be named as none know it, the other seven are unnamed as they fled. The first into combat was the unknown god but he was no match for Korang and was slain. The Chaos god then struck Skyriver Titan a great blow and Skyriver Titan fled back to his home in the clouds. So great was his wound that his blood flowed in a great gush from the clouds. Hard Earth then stuck himself on the demon spear shattering it but dying at the same time. Without his spear, Korang was nothing and Skyriver's falling blood drowned him Skyriver Titan's wound never healed and still pours from the sky forming a great lake called Skyfall Lake. His wound is still visible in the roiling clouds. Hard Earth's body is still visible as the six peaks of the Black Dragon Mountains where Cragspider lives.

The lake itself is surrounded by many troll villages and the troll town of Crabtown. Many huge spiders were spied in the area and, as the companions entered Crabtown, they watched a 20' spider push the roof off of a house and carry off an Enlo for dinner. The center of Crabtown, and it's namesake, is a 200' crab shell that they use as town hall. Apparently one of the many strange creatures to be found in the lake.

At the outskirts of town, five Great Trolls, dressed in red and carrying massive clubs charged, howling at the companions. Gudny quickly looked at Kazokang who appeared uninterested. "Why are ye so calm?" He asked. "This is a ritual greeting," Kazokang answered. "I thought you knew."

The Zorak Zoran berserkers stopped just short of the band and retreated. They repeated this five times getting closer each time until the final charge stopped with the clubs resting on the human's foreheads.

As they strode into town Kazokang remarked "I'm glad you asked, if you had responded with alarm or fear they would have killed you. Welcome to Crabtown."

Kazokang left the band at the only "inn" in town and went to announce their presence. He returned shortly with news that Cragspider had bade them attend her immediately.

The companions were led further into the valley and into tunnels under the mountain. As they progressed further into the mountain they noticed that it was very warm in there. There were also lots of Uz and swarms of Enlo. The friends had to beat the trollkin off to keep them from eating their equipment or clothes. Eventually the rough hewn tunnels gave way to finished stone and the companions realised that they were in the castle itself. They were greeted by another Argan Argar troll who told them that Cragspider would see them in a week and that they were to be guested in the Human Quarters until then. Cragspider had also granted them access to her library. Unlike the rest of the castle, the human quarters were carpeted, had large windows and bright decorations. Many people wandered the wing awaiting their audiences.

While they waited, Argrath talked with the Librarian about dragons and his quest for knowledge. He showed him the Dragon Teeth he had and they traded knowledge about the EWF. The librarian's knowledge was vast and it turned out that the EWF was his hobby. He directed Agrath to books about the dragons and was surprised when Argrath asked for books by Wyrmquill. "Do you have any?" asked Argrath. "I should hope so," replied the librarian, "I am Wyrmquill."

After Argrath recovered from his shock, he showed Wyrmquill the map he had found and Wyrmcoil then told the tale of how he lost it. He had been captured by bandits and sold to the Morocanth's to make into a herdman[4]. He was recognized some years later by a friend and rescued. They talked long about the EWF.

During the week, Sigmund learned to read and Gudny studied Ancient Orlanthi myths.

The tale now turns to the audience. The friends were ushered into an immense cavern. Cragspider was at one end. She was a creature with a 12' Darktroll torso attached to a huge spider's body. She was surrounded by a fiery corona. 1000 great trolls lined the walls in immobile ranks, her bodyguard. The entire chamber pulsated with her power.

Cragspider refused to accept any gifts from the band and asked a favour. She wanted the companions to retrieve a moon rock for her. The red-men were using such rocks to survey Dragon Pass, using the Dragonnewt Roads, to find the best location to build a new temple. Probably a new Temple of the Reaching Moon[5]. In return for this favour, Cragspider would shelter them and aid them in their fight against the Empire.

The companions agreed.

Cragspider announced that they would get the first part of their reward right then, "You wished to speak with the Black True, speak." She waved her arm at the back wall of the cavern and great doors, 200m wide, opened revealing an eye.

a dragon's eye The dragon's voice resonated in their heads, "What do you seek?"

Agrath asked him, "How do our paths cross?"

"You have a great part to play in the world but I cannot help you any more than Cragspider can. You must follow your fate and perform your part. Quest for more dragon powers."

[1] Shargashi berserkers, Goddess Guardsmen, Yelm Imperator, Warrior-Priests of the Lunar College of Magic, acolytes of the College and a Priestess of Orgeria (Sedenya's hunter aspect)
[2] Gudny rolled a 20 (critical success) when he has a mastery (bump all results up to next level) and had spent a plot point (bump all results to next level) while the Orgerian rolled 1 (critical fumble) to resist the attack. Gudny had bid 21 APs and so the priestess lost 84 (-40=dead).
[3] Theya is the Goddess of Dawn
[4] The morocanth is like a humanoid tapyr who is sentient. Their food animal is a creature called the Herdman. They are humans but have no sentience. There is a way of turning any person into a herdman and there is a way of turning herdmen into humans.
[5] Temples of the Reaching Moon are used by the Empire to extend the dominion of the Red Moon called the Glowline. The moon is always full inside the Glowline making all Lunar magics very powerful.

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March 27, 2001

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