The Saga of the Gwandorlings 19
With the defeat of Count Ogunjar's invasion and Fazzur's intervention, peace settled on the lands of the Locaem and Lismelder tribes. King Thanos of the Lismelder and King Alfgar of the Locaem held a magnificent feast to honour the victory and those who had brought it to them.
"The people of the Locaem will not soon forget the services you have done us Argrath Dragonfriend," Alfgar said. Thanos said much the same thing in his speach and the hall rocked with the applause of the assembled warriors.
Together, the two kings gifted each of the companions with 10 cows. Alfgar then presented Argrath with a great war horn. The instrument was made from an aurochs' horn and traced in gold. Intricately carved runes, inlaid with silver, flowed up and down the sides of the horn. "When you sound this mighty horn, the Locaem will respond. We will send a representative to you and may even fight for you." Argrath thanked him for the immense honour done him with these gifts. "Furthermore," said Alfgar, "my son, Boron Alfgarsson, would journey with you if you allow it." Argrath again thanked Alfgar for his generosity and the honour he did him. Boron's company was not only a great honour, but, unsaid, was also a hostage to Alfgar's friendship.
Argrath gifted Alfgar and Thanos with golden armbands and thanked them for the honour of fighting with them. Both kings said how they would happily guest any of Argrath's warriors who may need it, now or in the future.
Another result of the battle was a number of warriors wishing to join the companions in their fight with the Empire. Four Uroxi berserkers demanded to be allowed to follow Varax who had so heroically manifested Rax the Fury. Urdhard, chief of the Firebull, finally swore fealty to Argrath and put his clan at his service. Two Humakti weapon-thanes claimed the right to bodyguard Argrath. Gudny, the Trollfriend, accepted an Uzko Argan Argar trader into his band along with a Drogarsi skald.
Gudny formed his followers into a Thunderbrothers Ring. Nestin Hollowdancer was Orlanth Thunderous; Borne Gudnysman was Orlanth the Warrior; Viga-Vedda was Vinga; Shadowstalker was Yinkin, Djarn the Voice was Drogarsi. Gudny himself was Orlanth Rex.
The companions journeyed to Pegasus Mount and summoned Sota Lamplighter, High Priest of Yelmalio. As they watched, a shaft of brilliant sunlight reached down into Sun County and then quickly turned to shine upon them. Sota floated down the beam and demanded to know what they wanted.
They spoke with him about the results of the campaign. Sota told them that Ogunjar claimed to have been defeated by Imperial intervention. "However," spake Sota, "He has still been defeated and his army savaged." The people were not happy with him and of more import, his Templars were unhappy. Many contracts had been broken by the Templars to come home and participate in this campaign and the results were like dust in their mouths.
"What of Baron Sanuel," asked the friends. Sota related that the Baron had sworn gruesome vengeance on those who had ravaged his home and slain his wife and two sons. He knew that a large band of Orlanthi hero-questers had done it. He swore fealty to Ogunjar while Ogunjar helped him gain his vengeance.
The Companions now made to fare to Cragspider and bring her the moon rock as they had set out to do. With their adventuring and fighting they had gathered a warband nye 150 strong.
To get that many men across Sartar, they decided to split into smaller groups and make their way separately to Battle Valley. They would meet again at the Sazdorf caves.
Argrath took twenty-five men and fared north of the Quivini mountains and then east to Battle Valley. They arrived after 3 days of hard riding and suffered no troubles. Varax, also with 25 men, busked south of the Quivinis and passed through Gwandor lands. He stopped for a day and a night to visit with his wives before arriving at Battle Valley. Kamoar, and another 25 men, traveled the southern route as well but going further east they arrived a day after Varax. Sigmund journeyed the northern way along with 15 men and had no impediments. Lothar, with another score of men, followed Kamoar's route a day behind him and none troubled them either. Gudny and Bronwyn, with 25 men and the cattle herd, 60 head, traveled Argrath's route to the north. In a heavy rain they became lost in the Brambleberry hills to the north-east of the Quivini mountains.
As the mist cleared, Bronwyn spied the Dragon plinth and they knew where they were. Gudny's alynx, Shadowstalker, observed a band of warriors stalking them. The men formed a shield wall and awaited the bandit's attack. Realising that they had been espied, the raiders, from the Treebrother's Clan of the Malani tribe formed their own shield wall and shouted a challenge. "Give us the cattle or die!"
35 warriors and 20 boys from the Treebrothers faced 19 warriors, Gudny's 6 elite Thunderbrothers, and the heros Gudny and Bronwyn themselves.
"I have no quarrel with the Treebrothers, and I do not wish one. Begone afore we make thy wives into widows," spake Gudny. After bantering back and forth their leader said, "You are a mighty band and would inflict grievous damage on my family, and I don't want that. But then, you would not find it pleasant to drive those cattle through these hills with the rest of my clan hounding your heels." He proposed a compromise, "Five cattle," he said. He and Gudny negotiated a suitable amount. The Treebrothers returned to their homes with two cattle in tow.
Bronwyn's band reached Battle Valley without further delay, resting for a day on Gwandor lands where all but Argrath's cattle were left. Gudny visited with his wife and with his Hearth-thegn, Erkenbrand, currently the Chief of the Gwandor.
Erkenbrand shared the news with Gudny. Jomes Wolfe was waging war on the Telmori for their traitorous attack on the High King. The Culbrea and Cinsina had sent warrior to aid him, including 30 Gwandori. Erkenbrand told how the treacherous Torkani tribe was sheltering the Telmori and aiding them in the war.
Gudny quickly told his people the truth about the happenings in Boldhome. That the Telmori had not attacked the King, he had turned on them and approved the war. King Temertain had broken Sartar's pact with the Telmori so there was to treachery on their part. Gudny then told them all that had happened to the Companions since they had left.
The Gwandor agreed that the fight with the wolf-men was not just and sent messengers to retrieve their warriors. They would attempt to convince other Culbrean's to return to their homes as well.
It must now be told how Argrath had arrived at Battle Valley and round that they had forgotten to bring the moon rock from Old Wind where they had stored it.
Argrath called on the powers of Mostakos and in three strides had carried Sigmund to Old Wind. He first stepped on the Six Sisters, he then jumped and landed with both feet on the top of Golden Lamb Hill. With a hop and a jump, he arrived in Old Wind. He repeated this feat to bring Kamoar and Lothar to Old Wind as well so that they could hie the wagon, bearing the moon rock, to Battle Valley. Argrath then returned to the Sazdorf.
Argrath's companion Telmori made off over the Wolf Ridges to bring news and a call their brothers to meet with Argrath. They bore news of the war with Jomes Wolfe back with them.
Jomes had started raiding into their lands but was having little effect. There had been one battle thus far and the Telmori defeated the Cincina at Helfshall. It was a war of raiding thusly and the Telmori are masters of the raid. Jomes had called on the Imperial government for aid but it would not be forthcoming until Fazzur returned with the bulk of the Imperial army.
Argrath had to tell them that Fazzur had returned, and he did have the bulk of the Imperial army with him. "How can we help you?" he asked the Telmori. They responded by asking him to distract their foes. They were doing fine thus far but if they had to fight more people they would be in difficulty. Argrath agreed to do what he could.
A great Telmori champion, Turog Blackwolf swore to follow Argrath and give his life for Argrath's.
The Companions and their forces fared north with the moon rock. They made their way through Torkani land where they collected further news. Harvar had begun raiding the Torkani but had not launched any major attacks; he had been busy with some military adventure to the west. He had meant to send warriors down the River and attack another tribe in the south. Another problem for him had been when all of his Sun Dome Templar mercenaries made for home. Gudny told them the tale of their journey in the south.
It came to pass that the companions arrived at Skyfall Lake. At the lake, the companions were greeted by the Uz guards and shown to the northern edge of the lake where Orgovalt the Angry had been allowed to form a settlement by Cragspider. The friends were surprised when they saw the size of the encampment and even more so when they espied two shield walls clashing in the square.
Orgovalt greeted his King and bade him welcome. It came out during the tour he gave that he had near on 100 warriors and a like number of camp followers here. He had begun raiding Harvar Ironfist's holdings already. Triolf the Fist, Harvar's Warlord, and Governor for the east, had posted a bounty of 20 cows on Orgovalt's head. Orgovalt related how they had found much support in the lands and had done much to spread the word of Argrath's coming. They were getting more recruits all the time. However, the Uz did not appear pleased with the activities and size of Orgovalt's band.
When the tour was finished and they had rested from their arduous journey, the friends took the moon rock to Cragspider. She thanked them for their service. She also presented Argrath with her concern on the attention his warband had brought upon her. She told Argrath to either control their raiding or she would require further, bigger, favours to allow them to stay. Argrath agreed that he was deeply in her debt and would accept any reasonable task she presented him with. He would also endeavor to find other homes for the men.
Once dismissed by Cragspider, Argrath made his way to the library to meet with Wyrm Quill. He presented the sage with the volume Gudny had retrieved from the Boldhome library and carried all this way. Wyrm Quill studied it for some days and bade Argrath come to learn what he had. The EWF warbanner had last been recorded to be east-boun with a caravan of sages and scholars, many of whom where Kralorelan.
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