The Saga of the Gwandorlings
Now Kallyr called
a council of the Argraths, all but Whitebull were there - he was
still battling Jaldon in Pavis County. Sharpsword brought the surprising
news that Harrek had sailed off to Pamaltela with his fleet leaving
Sharpsword as the chieftain of the Wolf Pirates.
done this before, it wasn't too bad."
- Kamoar on
owing favours to dwarves
of more regiments that were forming for the Royal Army: The Guildsmen,
formed and equipped by the towns of Sartar, and the Free Men, formed
of freed slaves from the Lunar farms in the kingdom.
The other Argraths
told of their doings and they set about making plans for the coming
responding to an invitation from Sharpsword, Dragonfriend supped
with the pirate in Sharpsword's palace. The greetings were formulaic
but lacked any warmth.
a problem," spake Sharpsword. Dragonfriend bade him speak of
it. "Our problem is those refugees that you took in, especially
the Erlthanth bloodline."
on my land now and hath sworn not to bother thyself," responded
they came onto MY land, killed MY people and burned one of MY villages!"
Dragonfriend asked what the damages were. "Five thegns, one
score of carls and a burned village."
indeed poor news," spake Dragonfriend. "If it is the truth.
I will speak with Erdhar and learn more of this matter."
Dragonfriend had guaranteed the refugee's behaviour, he was responsible
for the weregeld. "The thegns are two-score and ten cows each,"
he said. "The carls are five-and-twenty. How doth you value
for a moment and replied, "The thegns and the carls come to
seven hundreds and fifty cows. I will value the village at two hundreds
and fifty." Dragonfriend agreed that was fair and took his
immediately gathered his Companions and, stepping onto Mastakos'
Road, fared to Erdhar's stead in Dundealosland. Erdhar was expecting
him. He answered calmly to Argrath's explosive questions. "They
did it, they've been boasting about it all the way from here to
Wilmskirk." He went on to explain that there was more to it
than Sharpsword appeared to know. "They also killed a merchant
and his entire family."
that a travelling merchant was heard to disparage the Erlthanth
for running from Sharpsword. The family took his comments as deliberate
insults and hunted the merchant down, slaying him. Then they found
his family and slew them. Finally, they found the merchant's home
village and burnt it down. "They deemed it a matter of honour,"
Erdhar said. "They are a hot-blooded people and mighty warriors,"
them oath-breakers. He went to the Thingyard and spake the words
to make notice of a lawsuit against them. He gathered the requisite
twelve witnesses who made their oaths on the Thingyard. Then he
fared to the Erlthanth steads and repeated the words of summoning.
Finally, he rode to the limits of the clan tula and spoke to words
to the world summoning all who would hear his case. He intended
to have them all outlawed and then give them to Sharpsword as thralls
to offset the cost of the weregeld. their forfeited property would
make up the rest.
On the morn
Argrath awaited the clansmen in the Thingyard. His witnesses arrayed
behind him and Gettig, his law-speaker aside him. Korsant Erlthanth
came with his family. Together he and Argrath selected three jurors:
Erdhar, Erdhar's law-speaker, Bilanth Grey-beard, and the Yorendos
clan law-speaker, Hroth Tak-chewer.
Before the assembled
clan, Argrath repeated his oath of claim. His witnesses each came
forth and repeated their oaths. Then it was Korsant time to speak.
His law-speaker spoke of the honour of his family and of Umath's
law - Violence is always an option. He spoke of the times that Orlanth
avenged his honour.
of Heort's laws and Sartar's laws and reminded the gathered Heortlings
that they superseded Umath's laws. He spoke of the importance of
keeping one's oath. He spoke of the damage done to Argrath and the
The case was
argued, and argued well, for nye on seven hours. When the speakers
were finished the jurors conferred. Then Erdhar spoke. He pronounced
the Erlthanth guilty and subject to full outlawry. He further declared
their property forfeit to Argrath to pay the weregeld.
After the Thing
broke up Argrath called Korsant into his booth - he did not invite
him to sit and did not offer him any food. He spoke to Korsant about
what he did and why. He then asked about what Korsant would do now.
"We will find someplace to settle far from here. We have no
quarrel with you and bear you no ill will. You did right."
a firm hold on his Crystal Sceptre and spoke of his vision of the
future. He spoke of what he had planned on doing to Korsant and
his people. He spoke of other options that were possible for a truly
awed by Argrath's mercy and shamed by his own behaviour. He fell
to his knees and swore to follow Argrath. "By Humakt's blade,
my entire bloodline and all of our descendants will follow you,
and your descendants, in all things." He felt the cold kiss
of death rest on the back of his neck and looked up to find Garthael's
battle-blade pressed against his flesh. "Repeat thine oath,"
commanded Argrath, and he did. Argrath smiled. "Rise mine thegn
and get about thy work."
With that, the
Erlthanth fared north to Alone. From there they were guided to the
Orgovalti village which they joined. The possessions they left behind
were given over to Argrath and he gave them over to Sharpsword as
weregeld. Dragonfriend had to add another four-hundreds of goods
of his own to satisfy debt.
With the first
thaw of the new year came news of a chaos horde raiding the Far
Point tribes. It quickly passed on into the Alone confederation
and scattered to cause more havoc. It seemed that the horrors from
Snake Pipe Hollow had tunnelled onto the plateau instead of coming
out into Dwarf Run. Orgovalt sent word that he had gathered his
fyrds and marched to battle the horde. Argrath sent Sigmund to lead
the detachment of knights from Alone. He sent Gudny to command his
flying warband in the hunt for chaos and he sent Kamoar with the
shaman's warband to help.
It was about
this time that a factor representing a group of merchants from Tarsh
came to speak with Dragonfriend. Fillian Finebrow showed Argrath
the gifts that the factor had presented at the same time that he
requested the interview and the Dragonlord was impressed. According
to the letter he represented over a dozen merchant houses in Tarsh
and the Provinces who wished to continue trade with Sartar and Esrolia.
They wished to speak with Dragonfriend as he was the Warlord of
Sartar and thus controlled the roads and tolls. Argrath suspected
that they wished to bribe him to gain access to the kingdom.
At the appointed
time, Ifmanees of Furthest presented himself at Argrath's palace.
With him was one guard, a tall, hard man with two swords strapped
to his back. Garthael, Lothar, Rolf and Von stood behind Argrath's
high seat. Argrath bade Ifmanees be seated on his right and broke
bread with him. Ifmanees thanked Argrath for meeting with him and
presented more lavish gifts. Argrath presented many gifts of his
own to Ifmanees. They began to speak of trade between the kingdoms
but Ifmanees turned the conversation away saying, "I have something
more interesting to speak of." With that he passed his hand
before his face and his visage changed.
Argrath was Tothus Seven-Seventh the rashoranic mystic who had defeated
the Fire Bull daimon in personal combat so many years ago. Argrath
didn't even blink. He turned to the bodyguard and spake thusly,
"That would make you Kirvander Street-Scar". The big man
nodded. "And what brings the Empire's servants to my hall?"
for the subterfuge but he needed to speak with Argrath. "About?"
doom," came the straight-faced reply. "Hopefully we can
avert it." Tothus went on to speak of the situation in the
Provinces. He told how the Imperial army had pulled out of Sartar
and that the Provincial Overseer was blocking any attempt by the
army to return. "We have a situation where we would like to
see the Overseer
stumble. His star is not to rise any further.
That makes us some-what friendly to your cause at the moment."
will your friendship manifest itself?" asked Argrath.
that Harvar Ironfist had been placed in command of the Provincial
Expeditionary Force. He told how Ogunjar had been in command but
was now leader of a provincial sun dome force. Triolf the Fist was
a leading figure in the Sons of Umatum, a collection of barbarians
who worshipped various faces of a 'higher storm', like Tarumath
and Bigger Wind. There was also a collection of heartlanders in
the force led by Toventus of Gerethas. Toventus was Young Kastok's
father and had come to avenge his death. "Yesterday,"
said Tothus, "Harvar's force was at the Travelling Stone."
that he had linked up with several Tarsh Royal formations and was
now conducting preparing to march on the Far Point. "He has
arranged several diversions for you," Tothus reported. The
chaos horde was the first. Tothus spoke of fifth-column forces within
the Far Point and told how he knew of other planned distractions
but not of their form.
should be attacking you tomorrow."
Tothus for his news and bade him safe journey to where ever he was
bound. He then began to make his arrangements to defend the kingdom.
Kallyr agreed to send the new regiments to Alda-Chur. Argrath leaped
atop Mastakos' Chariot and rode it to Alone. He sent the chariot
to gather his companions about him and shared the news with them.
He bade them go forth and gather his forces at Glass Wall, the fort
guarding the ramp where the Tarsh Road climbs onto the Far Point
to the Red Cedar tula where his and Argrath's warbands had been
hunting broo in the woods. They flew to Glass Wall and found it
taken. It seems that five-score of flying thegns had attacked the
fort helped by many traitors within.
Argrath's knights and the Little Shadows  marching to Glass Wall.
his March Wardens and made for Orgovaltiland. He was to set a picket
across the northern side of Snake Pipe Hollow to ward against a
flanking attempt by Harvar and then personally scout Harvar's forces.
To guard the
southern flank and the route through Dwarf Run, Argrath visited
Isildirian. The mostali was too busy to see him but agreed to bar
the valley to Harvar. "You owe me a favour," was the price.
arrived at Glass Wall he learned of his Companion's deeds and news.
Bronwyn was there with the news that Fazzur had been publicly executed
during Sacred Time. He also related that Maniskisson was leading
a large force of Grazers in revenge raids into southern Tarsh.
with information on Harvar's host. He appeared to have five hundreds
in his personal warband. Ogunjar had seven hundreds of phalangites,
three hundreds of his personal guard - all elite and heavily armed
templars. Ogunjar also led five hundreds of Sun Dome light infantry
and five hundreds of Sun Dome horse archers. Triolf led two thousands
of Suns of Umatum. Kamoar spied Kao Lu leading three hundreds of
his Black Iron acolytes. There were four hundreds of the Servants
of the Cleansing. Toventus of Gerethas led two hundreds of his house
troops and three hundreds of the Servants of the Immortal Justice
- described by Tothus as fanatical upholders of Antirius' justice.
Kamoar also spied five hundreds of medium infantry following a Doburdani
banner. There was one thousand of Tusk Riders. The Slave Wall foot
marched with the Tarsh Light Foot, both mustering eight or nine
hundreds, and finally there were four hundreds of the Furthest Cavalry.
All told, over nine thousands.
related that Harvar's Travelling Stone rituals had been successful
and his host was moving at an incredible rate - they would arrive
at Glass Wall in half a day.
Sigmund into Alda-Chur to gather all the earth godyr that he could
arrived from Orgovalt and Kallyr with grave news. The Dinacoli had
risen and were attacking the Torkani. They had also seized Danger
Fort and barred Kallyr's path. She was taking the Boldhome regiments
to Two Sisters where there was a ford over the Creek. Other messengers
reported that scores of bands of Gargarthi - led by Verthun Battlemood
- had descended upon the Alone tribes. Traitors among the Far Point
tribes had risen and the Tovtaros and Princeros were embroiled in
civil wars and kin-strife. The only good news was that Orgovalt
was gathering as many of his scattered warriors as he could and
marching for Glass Wall.
be no quick reinforcements for Argrath.
he way to Dragon's Eye too seek the Dragonnewt's aid against the
Dinacoli but was refused. Messengers were sent to the Torkani and
to Jolmes Wolfe asking them to aid the Torkani.
gathered his Storm Walkers and harried Harvar's host, slowing their
march. Whitebull was riding for Alda-Chur having slain Jaldon in
It began to
returned to Glass Wall he had all of the earth godyr and the city
militia with him. Argrath had the godyr raise an earthen ramp against
the vitrified wall of the fort and his warband charged to the assault.
the charge over the ramp. The defenders had erected crude barriers
at the top but Sigmund blasted them aside with Little Weighty. He
called upon Hedkoranth's Ricochet Blessing and hurled his thunderstone
into the enemy host slaying many.
atop a weaponthane from the Ventaros clan. His clawed hand struck
through the man's shield and clasped his left shoulder. With a mighty
heavy he tore the man's arm clean off and the warrior fell down
dead on the spot.
Gudny flew over
the wall and landed atop the walls. Borak Two-Axe, a captain in
Harvar's guard and the leader of this band confronted him. Crushing
Noise staggered the captain but he recovered and struck back at
Gudny. Borak's spear-thrust was turned on Arran, Gudny's shield,
and the stormlord's counter burst Borak's torso asunder.
When the fighting
was finished Argrath had lost thirty men but the fortress was his.
Against Harvar's nine thousand, Argrath had a little over nine hundreds.
And so it came
to pass that Harvar's advance guard rode down the Tarsh road and
mounted the ramp to Glass Wall. Now, we needs tell that the Tarsh
road was dwarf work and wide enough for two carts to pass each other.
We also needs relate that the cliff under Glass Wall was several
hundreds of feet high and the Tarsh Road passed up a great ramp
and through the gates of Glass Wall.
guard was ambushed and slain to a man whereupon Argrath closed the
gates of the fortress. Dragonfriend refused to parley with Harvar
and sent him away with insults.
In the valley
below, Harvar's host made camp and a large ritual was begun. Storm
clouds began to gather over the camp. Kamoar gathered his shamans
and they unleashed their combined spirit host against Harvar's priests
while Venharlsson led a ritual to gather a storm of his own. For
nye on four hours the storms battled until Venharlsson announced
that he could fight no longer. "There are too many of them
for mine efforts to defeat."
the earth godyr crater the dwarf-road before the gates. A messenger
came from Orgovalt that he was approaching.
The clouds over
Harvar's camp coalesced into a giant golden storm ram. The ram stepped
down to the ground and began to head butt the cliff. Piles of rock
fell from the cliff face and began to form a second ramp. The Companions
attempts to stop it failed.
About this time
Orgovalt arrived with his advance guard. With him were all of his
tribal warbanners. He immediately rode along the lip of the cliff
waving the banners about where Harvar could see them. At the apparent
arrival of the Far Point fyrds, Harvar gathered his host and withdrew
into Tarsh. There was no real way for him to fight up a ramp against
the gathered hosts of Far Point. Little did he know that a bare
score of men were holding those banners.
And so it came
to pass that the Battle of Glass Wall was another victory for Argrath,
the Warlord of Sartar. The combined Torkani, Telmori and Wolfland
hosts defeated the Dinacoli is several battles and skirmishes an
then turned on the Gargarthi. Jolmes battled Verthun in single combat
- the latter made off laughing with Jolmes' left leg. Kallyr retook
the Dinacoli claimed that their attack was revenge for the Dragonnewt
raid the previous year. The Torkani began a lawsuit against the
Harvar's host and reported that the Tusk Riders returned to their
forest. Harvar then turned south and marched to Dunstop where he
fell upon Maniskisson's host and surprised the Sacred King. After
a hard-fought battle the Grazers withdrew into their hills.
King Osmod Dashing-Blade of the Dinacoli to Boldhome to answer a
lawsuit alleging treason to the Kingdom.
news to Argrath. It seemed that he had found a Silver Age text describing
a Quivini warlord who was the ruler of Dara Happa. According to
the text Arkat had installed a junta in Raibanth ruled by Harangot.
When the Dara Happans rose against the Quivini he fled to Dragon
Pass with several items of power.
The chaos incursion
was eventually crushed.
down the traitors involved in the risings in his confederation.
declared a vendetta against Verthun Battlemood and swore to hunt
him down as soon as his leg healed.
Little Shadows is the name of Dragonfriend's enlo legion - 500 warrior
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