The Saga of the Gwandorlings
have to go back and tell about that which had already happened.
going after his ass!"
Sigmund re: Verthun
When Storm Season arrived, Gudny went about gathering the support
of his family and followers. He studied the histories and sacrificed
a storm-marked bull, an angry horse and a black ram. He painted himself
in woad and bade his supporters do the same. He prayed and readied
himself, sitting under a lightning-struck tree, enduring all that
the winter could throw at him while wearing naught but the bright
blue woad. On Brother's Day, when the first thaw came, Gudny rose
up and crossed into the God Time.
on the edge of the Storm Realm, surrounded by many umbroli - storm
daimones. He shifted and lifted his voice, "I AM UMBROL!"
he shouted. The daimones shifted and roiled about him. Gudny thrashed
about and cowed them all into submission. "Aye," they
replied. "You are Ohorlanth Orlanthsson, our father."
Ohorlanth smiled at his children and called them from across the
God Time to form a great storm. The clouds gathered and boiled across
the worlds. They burst upon the Solar Realm and ignored the Emperor's
disapproval. Ohorlanth laughed and danced with the umbroli as the
rain fell and thunder rolled across the plains. When the golden
armies gathered Ohorlanth turned his children for home. Grasping
his spear tightly in his right fist, Ohorlanth sate himself under
a blackened tree.
out of the ravaging storm and landed before his followers surrounded
by a sheet of lighting and a deafening blast of thunder. In his
right hand he clasped a stout spear, with a blackened shaft. The
wood was deeply carved with runes of power and storm and was twisted
at the top, as though warped by the intense heat of a lightning
strike. The blade glowed a deep blue and flashed in response to
the rolling peals of thunder in the sky overhead. The iron was warped
and jagged, as though it were forged and then melted by an intense
"I am Ohorlanth!"
he declared and waved the Thunderbolt spear over his head .
There was a
man named Osgrid. He was the son of Ljill of the Smord, who was
the son of Kari Leaping who fought Yeuthugarathar the Impala Champion
and slew him on the North Shield Ridge. Osgrid was a captain in
Argrath's warband and led a score of the Dragonlord's weaponthegns.
Osgrid wielded a mighty axe and was a renown rider who had once
leapt the Good Canal while hewing a seven legged chaos monstrosity.
Osgrid's wife, Myrdra, lay dead those last twelve years and his
son stayed in Stone Storm Valley learning the way of the sword and
after the felling of Brangbane, Osgrid led his band to seize the
Dinacoli manse in Boldhome. It was Osgrid who discovered the catacombs
under the building and determined that the Dinacoli had been storing
bodies there for some time.
Now Kallyr was
wroth and her face clenched in rage. At her command, Dragonfriend
sent the War Arrow out summoning the fyrds of Sartar to deal with
the Dinacoli oath-breakers.
Council met and decided upon war.
summoned the March Knights and his Light Horse. He sent word for
the Eagle Brown Warlocks and the Eleven Lights to travel to meet
him. He brought Kamoar and Turrog Kingwolf - captain of the Wolf
Runners - into his hall and spoke thusly. "The Dinacoli have
broken their word and spurned Heort's Laws. Take thine warriors
and harry their lands." He turned to Kamoar and said these
words. "To you I give another task as well. Take thineself
into Dinacoliland and find for me the Dinacoli. Bring me word of
their dispositions and hiding places."
two captains took up their weapons and led their warbands into Dinacoliland
to burn and rend.
sent word of the Dinacoli rising to Orgovalt, Prince of Far Point
and bade him gather his forces and strike the nithlings  dire
blows. Orgovalt sent a message reporting that the Dinacoli had sealed
Herongreen and the King's Road was blocked. He then said that he
would indeed gather his forces, including the Little Shadows and
Dragonfriend's foot warband and assail the Dinacoli town.
sent out the summons to war, he commanded that the fyrds gather
at Jonstown. He and Kallyr rode there with the Free Army.
It took two
weeks for most of the host to assemble. Kallyr had her warband,
five hundreds of the fiercest vingan warriors. The Freemen and the
Guildsmen regiments, each numbering eight hundreds of infantry.
The Queen's Own Foot, previously named the Boldhome Foot, fully
one thousand strong. There was the Thieves Arm, three hundreds of
horsemen. Finally, there were the Free Philosophers, storm godyr,
and the newly formed Warm Sisters, a band of one hundred earth godyr.
The tribes came
in force. There were seven hundreds of the Culbrea, three hundreds
of the Cincina, one thousands of the Colymar - and Queen Beti brought
two hundreds of her own vingans. There were five hundreds of the
Kheldon and the Balmyr. Six hundreds of the Aranwyth and four hundreds
of the Balkoth and the Sambari. The Malani warded the ford at Old
Top and raided the Dinacoli lands across the Creek. The Lismelder
and the Loceam held their hosts at home in response to several serious
raids from the Swamp.
rode in with four hundreds of his horsemen.
told the council that he was leading the Exiles in to Tarsh on heavy
raids. "I will do the main fighting, doing the Warlord's job
for him by engaging the Empire's main host while Dragonfriend deals
with this minor internal squabble". Dragonfriend retained his
serene demeanour and bade Maniskisson well. Maniskisson also reported
that Harvar Ironfist had shifted his army to Bagnot
gathered five hundreds of his March Knights - the other hundred
of them rode with Orgovalt in the north. He had one hundred of the
March Light Horse. Erdhar No-Horse rode into Jonstown with two hundreds
of the Firefull and eight hundreds of the Dundealos fyrd. There
were the Eagle Brown Warlocks and the Eleven Lights, one hundred
each of magical warriors. Turrog led four hundreds of the Wolf Runners,
two hundred lean warriors and the same again of ravening wolf-brothers.
Fifty and one hundred were the flying thegns with Dragonfriend.
His Dragon's Shadows and other body thegns numbered fifty. Gudny
led fifty storm warriors. Lothar and Garthael led fifty humakti
killers. Kamoar commanded two hundreds of March Wardens, scouts,
shamans and hunters.
flew in with five hundreds of the Storm Walkers including Norulf
When the Council
broke, Whitebull rode back into Prax and gathered his host. He came
into Jonstown leading the Bollocks, four hundred riders, all mounted
on white bison bulls. Behind them rode the Sword Brothers, three
hundreds of humakti horsemen. He brought the Twin Spears, two hundreds
of Agimori spearmen and he brought the Pavis Sun Dome Phalanx, eight
hundreds of those grim faced hoplites.
word to Jonstown. With no wars of his own, he was marching into
Sartar with his full force. With him came the Baron Sanuel with
three hundreds of his rokari knights and the Army of Tomorrow with
five hundreds of knights and one thousand of foot. Five hundreds
of the Knights of Ehilm, an aeolian sect, rode with him. He marched
with five hundreds of the Coralinthor Archers, one thousand of the
Karse Spears and nine hundreds of the Goldgotti regiment - a privately
owned formation. His own warband numbered three hundreds and he
had one hundred sorcerers from Sir Narib's Company. Sixteen hundreds
of Sun Dome hoplites from Sun County marched as well in his host.
Sharpsword would arrive late and Dragonfriend decided not to await
there would be nearly twenty thousands of troops gathered to smite
When the time
came to march, Kamoar returned with word of the Dinacoli. "They
are all, every last woman, goat and coward of them, huddled in Blue
Boar Fort and Herongreen waiting for the dragon's claw to rout them
out." It seemed that the clansmen had burned everything that
they couldn't carry and retreated into their two forts. There was
nothing left without.
It should be
said that Kallyr had not relied entirely on force. During the muster
she sent many envoys into Dinacoliland. None returned.
led the Free Army north along the King's Road and passed through
Dangerfort. They marched into Dinacoliland and made for Blue Boar
Fort intent on siege.
Now we needs
tell of Blue Boar Fort. Its origins are in the Dawn Age, though
none now know who built it. It survived the coming of Gbaji and
the Dragonkill. The fort surmounts the largest hill on the Dinacoli
plain. Three great walls, fully twenty ells thick  faced with
sod and a ditch deeper than two men. The final ring of walls encircled
the hilltop and could ward most of the Dinacoli and their herds.
Those that couldn't fit into Blue Boar had barricaded Herongreen.
The eastern side of the hilltop was crowned with a citadel, the
seat of the Dinacoli kings since the time of Gizur Far-Rider.
had spent many a late night pondering the reduction of that imposing
fortress in the least amount of time. "If we dost become tied
down in a siege then Harvar will fall upon our kingdom in our absence."
And so it came
to pass that the Free Army, without Sharpsword's host arrived before
Blue Boar Fort. To the amazement of all, the Dinacoli stood ready
for battle outside their walls.
Verthun Battle-mood sate his horse with four hundreds of his followers
on the Dinacoli left. Sigmund, commanding the March Knights, was
quite insistent that he be had the right to battle the Gargarthi.
arranged all of his best infantry so that three thousands of them
would impact the twelve hundreds of the Dinacoli fyrd and trample
it underfoot. His cavalry was on the right where it would sweep
around the Dinacoli flank. Gudny took Dragonfriend's flying warband
and Norulf with one hundred of the Storm Walkers and readied them
for an assault on the fort's citadel. Venharlsson and the rest of
the Storm Walkers were to battle the gargarthi in the air while
the March Knights battled them on the ground.
Dragonfriend, learning from his experiences fighting the Empire,
took his place behind the line of battle. From there he could see
all that was happening and arrange for his ample reserves to be
where he needed them. We needs not say what Maniskisson said when
he heard of that arrangement.
bands unleashed their assaults on the warbanner of Hengot Foe-Breaker,
the new Dinacoli king. There was a clap of thunder and the co-ordinated
chants and dances died. Several of the godyr fell over as though
dead. The leaders spake to Dragonfriend of the Dinacoli's wytr being
greatly empowered in some way, most likely concerted hero questing
over the past year. They sensed many godyr on the keep directing
the wytr and warned that there were powers among the Dinacoli host
that they could not fathom. "Therein lies hero powers whose
measure we cannot make."
nodded curtly and pointed to his companions. Twelve blood-swans
 raised their bronze throats and released their calls to war.
The host stepped forth to bring retribution to the oath-breakers.
A rider came
then and spake of Sharpsword's army being but hours behind. Dragonfriend
rightly refused to stop his advance as it would have sown confusion
among the troops. He was greatly concerned though that Harrek was
said to be with Sharpsword.
Turrog led his
Wolf Runners against the Dinacoli skirmishers. Two hundreds of the
mightiest warriors in Telmoriland with their battle-hardened wolf-brothers
loped, baying, towards three hundreds of the Dinacoli's children,
mostly twelve and thirteen years of age, the skirmishers stood no
chance. Few managed to outrun the slavering wolves.
lines crashed together and the Dinacoli recoiled. Whitebull led
his Bollocks in a frontal charge into the Dinacoli vingans. Most
were Red Women who had, until recently, been widows and spinsters.
They broke when the earthshaking bison cavalry crashed into their
ranks and ran from the field.
one hundred of his warband into the air to fight with Venharlsson.
Sigmund led his knights in a mighty charge that crashed into the
Gudny led his
band over the fort's walls. The Dinacoli god-talkers cast down a
score of them before the came to blows. Three score of the warband
made for the roof of the citadel and the gathered godyr there. Norulf
led the rest into the courtyard. Gudny's men carried Lothar, Garthael
and fifty humakti on umbroli and skybulls. All were thrust onto
the Storm Walkers with a great crash of thunder. The Storm Walkers
were smashed and scattered in confustion. Dozens of the heroes died
on the spot and the March Knights were showered in gore from above.
Venharlsson's head bounced off of Sigmund's gold shield. Those that
could, paused to stare agast as Verthun fully manifested Gargarth
and his Wild Hunt.
The battle line
staggered to a startled halt as zombies and ghouls clawed at them
from the ground. Kallyr worked to rally the reeling warriors. The
Warm Sisters turned and commanded the earth to reclaim that which
onto the topmost rampart of the keep. His blades glowed with the
power of Hu. Before him stood Ellida Five-Men, a mighty godi and
warrior of Yelmalio. His armour shone brilliant gold, his shield
was held high and his spear sweep the wall before him. Lothar danced
to the attack, Deathbringer swept that golden spear aside and Severance
forced the hoplite back two steps. Lothar jumped from the rampart.
Ellida growled and lunged at the humakti. Lothar held his place.
He squatted down on his heals, put his shoulder to Ellida's shield
and struck him once, twice and then a third time cutting both his
legs and then striking off his head.
Thunderbolt at a man named Hall-Gyathur, a godyr of Ohorlanth, and
knocked him senseless with a clap of Crushing Noise.
Now there was
a man named Ullir, called the Rooted for no man had ever knocked
him from his feet. Ullir was the champion of the Dinacoli tribe
and the epitome of what a Yelmalian man was to be. Ullir bore so
much gold on his war harness that his skin could not be seen. So
bright was his shield that few could look at him in his glory. His
spear was short for a yelmalian, but his reach rivalled that of
an ancient oak and he once had strangled a hill bear with his left
hand while holding a rok egg in his right.
into Ullir and staggered back like a lamb from a rock. Ullir smiled
invisibly behind his heavy helm and struck at Garthael so hard that
he should have had his death right then and there. But Hu had strengthened
his arms. Garthael brought his battle blade, fully five feet in
length, sweeping over his shoulder in a great blow that cut through
the advancing spear and fell upon that golden shield. The blade
burst the shield asunder, cut through Ullir's arm and fell upon
his gold tunic cleaving the champion from chine to groin and giving
him his death instead.
Kamoar led the
flanking charge. As he loped along with his band and the Twin Spears
he espied an ancient enemy, Paedur Redgold, the outlawed chief of
the Gorde and a lunar who had long ago earned the enmity of the
Companions. Blood lust welled and the world went red. Nothing mattered
to Kamoar then but to slay the lunar and all who rode with him.
His howl of fury raised the hackles on all within hearing as his
hands turned to claws and his pelt grew thick. Paedur turned his
horsemen to meet the charge and rode to cleave the berserking Companion.
In his blood frenzy Kamoar ignored the swinging scimitar and Paedur's
blow would have fallen full upon his crown had not the Hound's Pelt
batted the blow aside. With a prodigious leap Kamoar bore the outlaw
from his horse. A negligent swipe of his clawed foot tore the steed's
neck out and laid it out on the ground beside Paedur. The lunar
tried to stab the frenzied warrior but failed. And then died as
Kamoar plunged his claws through shield and iron links; cotton shirt
and bloody ribs to tear out his heart and eat it. He tore off Paedur's
head and used it as a flail to pummel anybody he could reach including
several of his own wardens and one agimori before he regained his
demonstrated his hard won wisdom. By remaining out of the battle
line he could turn the magicians to attack the Wild Hunt. Then he
bravely charged into the wheeling melee in the air and rallied the
Storm Walkers. Heedless of his own danger he flew right to the edge
of the Hunt to defend failing Walkers.
left on the ground broke under Sigmund's merciless onslaught. He
felled a score with Little Weighty before he drew his lightning
sword and rode into them. The fleeing bandits were caught by Jolmes
Wulf leading a charge in from the side.
Free of the
fleeing vingans, Whitebull wheeled his bison riders into the rear
of the Dinacoli fyrd and wrought havoc there.
had landed in the courtyard he was beset by hidden warriors. Some
one hundred of Harvar's personal thegns led by Triolf the Fist and
two hundreds of alkothi warriors, the Servants of Immortal Justice.
The fighting was fierce and bloody with many falling on both sides.
With the roof
of the keep now cleared, Gudny directed Lothar to lead a score of
his warriors into the keep to take it. He then gathered Garthael
and the rest of his band and plunged over the rampart into the courtyard.
"Triolf! Loko-man ! I have come for you!" he cried.
Triolf laughed and leapt into the air to meet him. "Come Stormchaser,
Bookburner, let us finish this finally. Shall we battle with blades
or winds?" Winds, was the reply, "For this is a battle
of right over wrong. Loko will never overcome the Orlanthi again!"
"Good," Triolf smirked, "I'm better with my winds
than my sword."
With that the
two storm warriors clashed in a climatic battle. Whirlvelishes spun
off, lighting flashed and thunder rolled. Triolf forced Gudny down
and down again. He took a deep breath and unleashed all that he
had left to finish off the Stormchaser. There was a final clap of
thunder and a blinding ball of light enveloped both godyr. When
the dazzle left their eyes all could see Gudny dancing the victory
dance and crowing triumphantly atop an umbroli while shaking Triolf's
dead body in his fist .
With that, Triolf's
cowardly dog-diddlers flew like a flock of startled starlings. The
remaining alkothi shrugged and gave themselves to their mad god.
They fought to the death in a berserk rage.
was still directing the magical warbands to battle the Wild Hunt.
In twos and threes the magicians were falling dead at the overwhelming
task of facing a manifested god.
to Verthun and made to take his revenge. He hurled Little Weighty
at the manifesting bandit. The thunderstone struck Gargarth in the
back of the head, bounced and struck Sigmund from his horse leaving
him lying broken on the battlefield .
despaired at defeating Verthun a great fur-clad hand fell on his
He turned to
see Harrek standing behind him looking bored. "Wotcha,"
the wolf pirate said. He then proceeded to complain about the lack
of action, "Is this all that's left? Why did I bother coming,"
he asked. Dragonfriend smiled, "If thou wouldst but rid me
of this minor god I would grant you plunder rights to the fortress."
Harrek looked at Gargarth, "I'd a done it anyways but okay."
With a roar,
Harrek charged across the field. He leapt into the air and met the
Wild Hunt with a shattering concussion that stunned all upon the
battlefield. The black clouds dissipated and Harrek sauntered over
to Dragonfriend chewing on a horseleg. "That it?" he asked.
He didn't know where Verthun had gone. "I tore out his entrails
and ripped off his leg but I don't know where the body went."
Despite vigorous searching, Verthun's corpse was not found and the
Companions could do not but assume he escaped.
Harrek's easy manner, many believed that his fight had been nothing
like easy. He sported several minor wounds and his bear cloak was
And so it came
to pass that the Dinacoli's host was smashed and Blue Boar Fort
taken. Sharpsword arrived shortly thereafter and reported an engagement
with Harvar Ironfist. It seemed that the Tarshite had marched to
within a few hours of Blue Boar Fort before Sharpsword's rushing
cavalry fought him in a meeting engagement on the plain. Harvar
turned back shortly after that, presumably he had learned that the
Dinacoli had been defeated. Harrek was angered at the news that
a Black Horse Troop had crushed a band of his wolf pirates.
He asked Dragonfriend
who those horsemen were and where to find them. "I am tired
of dealing them," Harrek stated. "I am going to go and
plunder this Muse Roost. Want to come?" he asked the Companions.
"Aye," replied Gudny. "Let's talk about it after
you have enjoyed your new plunder," spake Dragonfriend.
the praise and great the glory won buy the Companions in the battle.
All of the kings and chiefs paid respect to Dragonfriend's facing
of Gargarth. Kallyr gave him the honour of appointing a new king
for the Dinacoli, they were not to be trusted in selecting their
own. Dragonfriend granted that boon - curse? - upon his champion,
the specialised forces had been fierce. Four-score of Dragonfriend's
warband lay dead. Fully one half of Lothar and Garthael's bands
had joined Humakt. The Warlocks lost thirty dead while the Eleven
Lights lost five and twenty. The sartari line regiments suffered
five hundreds of losses. The fyrds were untouched.
After a difficult
quest Yoldra Walks-the-Vale, the chief Chalana Arroy healer in Sartar
managed to retrieve Venharlsson's soul and return him to life. The
death sickness lay heavily upon him for a while.
a festival to celebrate the final settlement of all dissent in Sartar.
At the festival in Boldhome she announced her marriage to Whitebull.
Sharpsword was wroth and claimed that it would change the balance
on the Argrath Council. He lobbied the other Argrath's to ban the
wedding but got no support. He held several yelling matches with
Kallyr but could sway her not.
Upon his return
from Tarsh, Maniskisson announced his marriage to the Feathered
the rest of the year in revelry. His pirates took over the Old Pocket
saw the double marriage of the Argraths. Immediately afterwards
Maniskisson declared himself King of Dragon Pass. Kallyr was seen
to be vexed at that.
It was about
that time that Bronwyn returned from Tarsh. He brought word that
the Emperor had vanished at some debauched rite during Sacred Time,
1628 and hadn't reappeared. There was some uncertainty in the Empire
over this. He also spake of the Black Horse troops, all of them
apparently, riding into Darjiin, a satrapy of the Empire under contract
to the local king.
Dragonfriend again about raiding Muse Roost. The Companions agreed
to join him.