The Saga of the Gwandorlings 20
Earth Season - Harvest time
So it came to pass that Crag-spider granted the Companions land to the south-west of Skyfall lake to make their own. The south-west side of the lake was covered in fens and bogs. The fens provided a good defensive position for the companions while providing easy access to the many rivers and streams in the area. The fishing in the lake was plentiful, the grazing in the nearby woods bountiful, and the wild game abundant.
The companions left Orgovalt to organise the settlement. He chose a larger island at the mouth of a river to be their new home. He had earthen bermes raised around the island and backed it with a wooden palisade and went about building homes for the inhabitants.
The Companions suggested that the refugees who had followed Orgovalt to the lake form a new clan. 200 of them agreed and acclaimed Orgovalt as their chief by weapon-take. Orgovalt asked them to reconsider as he wished to serve Argrath as a warleader, not a chieftan. They shouted him down and affirmed their decision. Orgovalt finally agreed to take the challenge. The new clan called themselves the Orgovalti.
It must be told that the Orgovalti numbered 200, 100 men, 60 women, 20 children, and 20 elders. Argrath's warband numbered 108 excluding the Companions and their retinues.
Argrath had all of the Orgovalti and all of his warbanders brought forth to renew their oaths to him under the light of Humakt's Truth; he bade them swear their oaths upon Humakt's sword to further bind them.
Two of the Orgovalti quailed and failed the test of Truth. They had been sent by the ogre Harvar Ironfist to gather news of those who had been raiding him so persistently. Argrath wished to send them back to Harvar in pieces but they had broken their bond with Orgovalt and he demanded the right to slay them in single-combat. Argrath granted his wish and their horribly mangled bodies were used to fertilise the new fields.
With winter closing in, the Companions worried about their people's stores and resolved to raid into Harvar's lands when they had finished their harvest providing the Orgovalti with winter stores.
About this time Argrath sent Fillian Finebrow, his Issaries Negotiator, to bring his greetings to the Amad tribe and the Torkani tribes. He was to seek an audience with the King of the Amad for Argrath and to talk with the Torkani about hiring out some of his warriors to that tribe.
The Companions had the moon-rock wagon, which was made of iron, broken up for easier transport. They took the silver off of it and had an Uz smith form it into ingots.
The tale must now turn to Bronwyn who had closeted himself in Cragspider's library with Wyrmquill. They talked of this and that for a while learning from one-an-other more about the Left- hand path. Their talk turned to the book Gudny had retrieved from Boldhome and the EWF banner. Wyrmquill had determined from his reading that the True Golden Horde had actually captured the banner. The book told of an expedition by Kralorelian patriots to rescue the banner, the success of the raid, and how they then carried it off back to Kralorela.
Gudny had spent some time preparing a quest to the otherside to gain for himself Orlanth's javelins, "Lightning". When his preparations were complete, he called his friends to him and asked for their help. An Orgovalti shepard boy was cast as Voriof Orlanthsson. Varax took the role of Urox. Argrath agreed to portray Vadrus. Kamoar stood in the place of Odayla, and Shadowstalker was Yinkin. Finally, Gudny took the place of Orlanth the Warrior. The only place not filled yet was that of the raiding Star Captain.
To better portray Orlanth, Gudny had his Thunderbrothers prepare him with an Arming ceremony. The Companions then enacted a Summons of Evil quest to draw an appropriate foe to them for the quest. They created an effigy of the star captain and performed the rite. It immediately became apparent that their rite had caught a powerful foe as he began to fight against the ceremony. The Companions sang and danced calling upon the powers of the ritual to draw their foe to them but their magic was failing; at the last moment, Gudny put forth a great effort of indomitable will and completed the summoning.
The participants in Gudny's Lightning quest immediately found themselves on the other-side. They were all sitting about Orlanth's Hall drinking. Elmal shone brightly in the sky and Orlanth's sheep grazed quietly on the mountain tops. Kolat's children played among the trees while Uralda's wards wandered across the fields.
Voriof ran up to his father crying the news. A glowing man had fallen from the sky raining bolts about him that fired all they touched. He was running amok through Orlanth's herds.
Urox seized his axe and charged out the door to slay this raider. He could not find the Sky-man though he chopped down an entire forest to find him.
Vadrus leapt up and swinging his warhammer - Rhino - over his head raced out to pummel the marauder. The rumble of his coming scared the Sky-man and he flew into the air and fled over the horizon. Vadrus gave chase but the raider was so quick-footed that Vadrus never came close to him.
Orlanth then called Odalya and Yinkin to him. "Can ye find this marauder?" he asked of them. They answered that most surely they could. So Orlanth strode forth armed with "Thunder" his spear. His mail coat "Turnspear" was girt about with the belt "Eternal Wind" from which hung "Humakt" his sword and "Babeester" his trusty axe. And Odayla cast back and fro seeking the sky-man's spoor but found none. Yinkin prowled left-to-right and right-to-left before springing off with a snarl, he had found the man's scent.
They charged into a valley where the marauder sat counting his take. With their coming he sprang into the air to escape them but Orlanth leapt unto the sky and charged to meet him. Seeing his escape cut off, the raider hurled his javelins at Orlanth. Sheltered from the rain of lightning by his great shield, Orlanth charged at the man and made to smite him with his spear; but the raider was too fast and Orlanth could not close with him. Finally, he flung "Thunder" at the man, and catching him under the chine dealt him his death there and then.
Orlanth claimed the fabulous javelins as his own and returned to his hall.
With the battle over, the companions returned the mundane world. Gudny now carries two javelins called "Lightning" taken from the Yelmalian warrior who had been drawn into his quest. Nestin recognised the man as Jaron Giltarrow, a mighty captain of Harvar's forces. His was from the Vantaros tribe and was a leader among the Yelmalian community. He had been leading the effort to crush dissent in the Tovtaros tribe to Harvar's rule. This was a great blow struck against Harvar's cause.
Around this time Fillian Finebrow returned with the news of his travels. King Barhath Strongspeech of the Amad had agreed to meet with Argrath. He had also sent messengers to King Ampkin Catclaw of the Tres and King Rind Redfur of the Bachad tribes. They would all meet with Argrath at Amadhall. Fillian also spake of his talks with the Torkani and their eagerness to house men from Argrath's warband.
Argrath had his captain, Tulmult Fireater, a devotee of Orlanth the Warrior and a newly inducted Vingkotling, busk to Torkani with 45 hard-bitten warriors. He instructed them to do all they could to aid the Torkani against Harvar's ambitions.
It must be told that Harvar had taken a mighty blow when the Sun Dome Templars left to join Ogunjar in the south. Harvar had a mighty host of them, 300 strong, to strengthen his forces. With their lose, he was proceeding more cautiously and his army was spread thinner. Even so, the Amad numbered little more than 2000 persons having had 500 slaughtered in two revolts against Triolf the Fist. The Tres now numbered 3000 having lost over 1000 people in the two revolts and the Bachad now numbered nye 4500 having lost 1500 to Triolf's subjugation.
When the Companions were a-boun, news came in from the Telmori. Fazzur Wideread had opened negotiations with them for atonement for their losses in the war. Jomes Wolfe had been appeased by the raids and was ready to cease his attacks. There was also rumours of a Giant's Cradle being spotted floating down the Zola Fel river in Prax; the Empire was mustering great forces to take it.
The Companions fared down to Amadhall to meet with the kings, their band numbered 24. They were shown into the hall which was full, over 30 weapon-thanes were in the hall along with the three kings. Argrath greeted each in turn and gifted them each with a mighty sword.
The first to greet Argrath was Amkin Catclaw. His tribe boasts the only Yinkin temple in Sartar and Amkin was a Yinkini. He was tall with rippling muscles under his heavily scarred skin. He moved with a grace that only a cat can attain and was very hairy, even furry. Next was Barhath Strongspeech. Barhath was the third king of the Amad in the last three years. He was a Lhankor Mhy sage. The previous two kings had each risen in revolt against Harvar and the last's body still adorned the wall of Alone. He was a proud man with haunted eyes who jumped at the smallest of starts. The last was Rind Redfur. Strangely for a Elmali, Rind wore a green harness over his hard body. A tall bow rested at his feet and it is said that he is an Uzfriend.
After the greetings were done, Barhath spake to Argrath, "You must be the Argrath which Orgovalt and his band of raiders has told us of."
"Indeed I am," Argrath replied, "Though Orgovalt has kept from raiding thy people as thou dost hate Harvar more even than we."
Barhath thanked Argrath for not raiding them, "For little dost we need more travails in this, our darkest time. What are thy aims now Argrath, called Dragonfriend," he asked.
"To throw off the yoke of the Empire and drive their perversions from our land!" he replied with anger.
"You aim high Argrath, but we are more concerned with Harvar Ironfist right now. In truth, we would prefer being ruled by the Empire as they would not treat us as cruelly as Triolf dost."
Argrath spake then off his aims to blunt Harvar's expansion. He told them of his aid to the Torkani and of the Companion's battle with Ogunjar which drew off Harvar's hired pike-men. Gudny told the room the saga of their battle with Sun County to great appreciation.
"We see what you plan," spake King Rind, "but our people cannot survive another failed rising." He went on to explain how they would support Argrath if he could assemble the forces to free them and to keep them free and thus survive their freedome. "Harvar forces us to pay a shameful tribute," quoth Amkin, "We want to end this but our people look to us to protect them firstly."
Argrath told of his plan to call his allies from the Telmori and gather a host of Torkani, Uz, and Dragonnewts to assail Alone; he then asked for their aid in this. They asked him to hold another year as then they would be much stronger. And being Earth season, they had to get in the harvest and settle in for winter, campaigning season was done with.
Argrath agreed to make his preparations and then come to them for their aid in the summer.
 wind spirits
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