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Gwandor Saga

The Saga of the Gwandorlings 14

And so it came to pass that the companions struck at the very heart of Lunar rule in Sartar. They waited two days so that the underground in Boldhome could gather its forces and for the Sages at the Library to journey to Furthest for a symposium on "Imperial Rule in the Provinces". This would leave a very light guard on the library and the Irrippi Ontor annex.

With the moon fading to Dark phase and the city slumbering, the companions climbed the hillside behind Geo's and made for the ridge top. Having the furthest to go, Gudny's band went first. Varax, Bodar, Nestin, Noh, Borne, Vedda, and Shadorstalker rode sylphs through the night air around the hulking gloom of the palace and alighted on the hillside above the library. Argrath made a rousing speech to the 100 Telmori and 20 rebels who accompanied him.

With Borne's use of Orlanth's Sandals of Darkness, Varax and Gudny stole quietly up to the two guards at the gate of the compound. Varax clove his victim from chin to waist with a great axe blow. Gudny's spear passed through his man and lodged a hand's width into the gate post behind the body.

Borne blessed Vedda with Orlanth's darkness and she called on Mastakos to take her over the wall. Two guards stood watch at the door to the building and she flew to attack them. Her axe blow struck the door between the two guards. With a mighty curse she heaved the axe free while the frantic men clawed at their swords. Varax and Gudny burst over the wall and flew at the men to kill them before they could cry out. The larger of the two, a tall but gangly man with no strength and a racking cough stuck out in a panic at Varax with his rusty sword which passed through the Uroxi's mail and into his chest. Varax dropped like a wet sack. The shorter man, near 50 years old, no more than 5' 2" and carrying over 200 lbs of mead-gut threw his shield up to defend himself from Gudny's onslaught. The shield's rim caught Gudny on the chin and felled him. The other's quickly finished off the two guards and bandaged Varax. Gudny stood shakily and anger flashed in his eyes.

Bodar offered to retrieve the book but he would not enter the Irripi Ontor temple first. Gudny threw open the doors and stormed into the building like a Vadrudi storm. A Lunar spirit started to form to attack the trespassers but Gudny smote it with a great gout of lightning starting several books on fire as well. Bodar collected the book and several arm loads of others that he wanted, the band loaded themselves up, and Gudny blasted the annex with lightning starting a huge conflagration. They flew off on sylphs to the Flame of Sartar to await Argrath blasting all the Red-men they spied along the way.

At the rear of the palace, the Telmori led the war-band to a lesser defended rear door. The Telmori swarmed the four defenders but didn't manage to prevent their cries of alarm. Sigmund blew the door down with "Little Weighty" and Lothar led the charge down the corridor. Two men in gilt armour came charging down the passage. They spied the friends and formed a small shield wall. The men were Sun Princes, Yelm worshiping body-guards for Tatius the Bright. Sigmund hurled "Little Weighty" at them and smashed one to a fine, red, mist. The second dropped his shield and turned to run down the hall. Kamoar called on Yinkin to give him power and, assuming the form of a great alynx, he ran down the fleeing Sun-man. In his blood-lust he batted the Lunar off of the wall with his huge paws, ripped his torso open and started to eat him.

The Telmori fanned out through the lower levels of the building and their leaders took Argrath to where the Tribal Kings would be held. Fighting could be heard in all the passages as the Telmori took their revenge on the Tarshite Veteran Guards.

Argrath and his friends burst into a small courtyard to find several Lunars pushing the Telmori back. A Tarnils Scimitar strode forward through the statuary flanked by an Orlanthi-looking man, a Tarshite with Doburdan markings and a gilt armoured Polaris Star Captain led a wedge of Star Prince spearmen.

Lothar chanted his death songs as he reached out with the power of Death to sever the Bent Sword from this life. The Scimitar shrugged that attack aside and struck back with Tarnils' death power. Argrath used his power of movement to pluck the Orlanthi and throw him into the air; the man rose a few feet and mocked Argrath, "Your powers mean nothing to me! I follow the Bigger Wind! See the power of the True God of Storm!" A dazzling lightning bolt leaped at Argrath but shattered on his shield. Sigmund nearly frothed in his eagerness to kill the Star Captain. He hurled "Little Weighty" at the man; it drove him back 6 feet and left a great dent in his shield but otherwise didn't affect him. Bron blasted the Doburdan impostor, slaying him with Orlanth's righteous thunder. The Telmori swarmed over the Sun Princes driving them back.

The Tarnils nodded at Lothar and took up a dueling stance to await his attack. Lothar grinned at him and lept with both swords a-whirl. The clang of iron meeting iron echoed through the palace and Lothar staggered back from the maelstrom with a heavy wound. Argrath sneered at the Bigger Wind heretic, "Aye, see the True Storm God!" and drove him head first into the ground with his movement magics. Sigmund struck at the Polarisite with his spear, the Star Captain turned the blow on his shield and lunged at Sigmund with his; his spear passed through Sigmund's leg pinioning him to the ground. Bron struck at the Star Captain with lightning which flashed off of the golden shield and was staggered by a brilliant sun spear from the man's pole-arm. Kamoar and his three alynx followers swarmed the golden warrior and were all driven back and one was thrown down in a pool of blood.

Drawing on his building wrath, Lothar threw himself back at the Tarnils in a hail of flashing iron; the Scimitar turned all the blows aside and clove Lothar through the abdomen. Argrath used Mastakos' movement magics to hurl a statue at the Scimitar and forced him back several steps. With Bron, Kamoar and two other alynxes surrounding him the Star Captain finally fell under a hail of blows and they all turned their attention on the Tarnils.

Argrath stuck him again and again with flying statuary, Bron hurled lightning bolts at him. Sigmund struggled up and made to strike at him but his leg betrayed him and he fell to the ground again[1]. Kamoar and his alynxes bore him to the ground with their weight and ripped into him with their teeth.

Quickly bandaging Sigmund's and Lothar's wounds the party charged down the halls and were led to the prisoners by the Telmori. The two kings and another 20 political prisoners were there and all grabbed weapons and followed Argrath through the palace.

As the sounds of fighting grew from the palace, Varax led a charge from the Flame to the front entrance of the palace but the friends found it guarded by two corpses and two Telmori warriors. Argrath and his band arrived shortly and he declared to the prisoners that he was the True King of Sartar and that he would light the Flame of Sartar. The war-band cheered him and they ran to the Flame. Argrath called out his Righteousness and his blood. He focused his power on the Flame and a burst of flame leapt into the sky before sputtering out. With another cheer from his followers Argrath bid them make their ways out of the city.

The Telmori made for the south wall where they meant to swarm over it and scatter into the plains to make their way home. The Companions along with the freed prisoners and the Sartari rebels took flight and flew to Storm Bull Point and then flew over the mountains into the western plains.

Half of the rebels had been slain in the fighting. When Argrath declared himself to the Telmori, 12 pledged to follow him and guard his life with theirs, 9 made it out of the palace. Of the remaining 88 Telmori, only 17 managed to escape from the pursuing Lunar cavalry. Argrath had made sure that many members of the underground who were not involved in the raid were awake to view the lighting of the Flame and spread the word that the True King was back and would deliver his people from the Lunar's Tyranny.

[1] With his previous wound, Sigmund had a negative modifier on his die roll. This allowed him the dubious pleasure of rolling a -1 for his attack roll. However, the Tarnil only just beat him rolling a 0 from all of his modifiers!

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March 27, 2001

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