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Gwandor Saga



The Saga of the Gwandorlings - 67

"Can Von get in the way?"

- Argath

Our tale now turns towards the end of Dark Season where Argrath rested in Bagnot pondering the fate of Tarsh. He spoke with his Companions and they decided that now would be a good time to raid the Reaching Moon Temple for "Harvar hast withdrawn beyond it to Furthest," spake Lothar.

With that, Argrath sent word to his supporters in Sartar and gathered to him a fearsome warband. Three hundreds of the Snakepipe Dancers, five score of Norulf 400-Fighter's warband and Venharlsson with 100 of his Storm Rams came to join Dragonfriend in his raid. He also chose to take the Eagle Brown Warlocks and 50 of his Storm Dragon Guards.

It should be mentioned now that with the death of Hjort Broobane, the Snakepipe Dancers elected Gudny's follower, Nestin the Hollowdancer, to be their new leader. It was also about this time that the Hidden Gale took to calling themselves the Vengeance Gale, for they were no longer hidden.

Now Venharlsson, Gudny and their followers lashed central and northern Tarsh with furious storms for a week before the raid. Snow gathered in drifts higher than a man and the wind was cold enough to freeze a trollkin. The storms stopped when Argrath was ready to launch his raid, but the clouds stayed on so that they would shield his flying warbands from view.

On the day of the black moon, Argrath launched his attack. The Dancers sailed down the Oslir from Dunstop. Despite their unfamiliarity with boating and their discomfort from being within the Glowline, Argrath's formidable leadership enabled them to make it to the shore below the temple without mishap and without being seen by Harvar's scouts.

We needs now describe the temple complex. It was a walled compound, some 500 paces to a side and was located about 600 paces from the river. There was a small village beside the trail by the southern gate. The road from Furthest stopped at the western gate. The walls were 12 feet in height and a sturdy tower warded each corner. In the northeast corner stood the Imperial Annex where the imperial officials held their residence and offices. Scattered about the rest of the compound were the storerooms, smithies and barracks that served the now-absent garrisons. In the centre of the compound was the temple itself, a large central edifice with eight wings coming off of it - each with its own entrance. The northern wing was the largest by far and held the worship area. The central building was assumed by the raiders to house the Celestial Chamber where the representation of the sky-dome would be.

Now the rest of the raiding party flew in over the clouds and swooped upon the temple as the Dancers disembarked and swarmed up the trail towards the temple's walls. Gudny loosed black cloud from his sack and set him to tearing the village apart.

Dragonfriend led the airborne assault. As he crossed over the walls he felt the pull of the earth quite strongly and plummeted to the ground landing heavily. It turned out that the temple complex was enchanted to prevent flying attacks. Kamoar saw his king in trouble and followed him in; when he felt the pull he went with it and landed a lightly as the cat that he was. Gudny led the rest of the airborne host to land outside the southern gate.

Within, Dragonfriend raced to the southern gate to find a way to open it. Kamoar turned to guard him. As Dragonfriend attempted to lift the iron bar, Sigmund and Gudny blasted the gate from its hinges. Dragonfriend was hurled across the courtyard with his clothing smoking.

Argrath left the Storm Dragon Guard and Garthael to hold the gate for the Dancers while the rest of the raiders turned inwards. The Eaglebrowns raced about subduing the towers while the rest of the band charged the temple. The nearest entrance was closed and barred. Gudny and Sigmund again hurled their magic at it but it held.

Cries of pain and anger and the smell of foul lunar magic drew Argrath around the temple. He espied a score of dead Eaglebrowns before the Imperial Annex and the very earth about them was churned and smoking. As Argrath watched, a red beam lanced out from above the door of the annex and smashed another warlock into the ground. Argrath called Norulf and the Storm Dragon Guards to him and charged off to help the Warlocks. The Eaglebrowns managed to group together and form a magical shield over themselves though it was evident that the beam would soon overpower them.

Norulf's Hundred-Fighters turned their magic onto the door and quickly reduced to a molten pile of slag. Garthael charged through it with his 5-foot battle blade at the ready. He ran into a long corridor, wide enough for two men to fight side-by-side, unless they happen to be using a greatsword like the humkati did.

A well-armoured figure made to strike Garthael through the smoke but his blow fell on Garthael's blade. The humakti stepped forward and recognised his foe as a follower of Bent-Tarnils. He swung is blade in a mighty swing and his sword fell upon the man's shield, cleaving through it and passing on through his neck dealing him his death right there.

Meanwhile, the temple door shattered. Gudny hurled a screaming hailstorm through the door and then Kamoar lost himself in his frenzy of hate and bloodlust. The shaman sprouted wicked claws, a thick pelt and frothed at the mouth as he charged into the temple screaming his hate. A giant of a man with a scimitar in each hand leapt into his path - Argrath later identified him as the leader of the local Horse Eaters - but Kamoar knocked him aside with one swipe of his paw.

Lothar stepped through the door behind Kamoar and struck at the Horse Eater. His blade passed through the man's tunic and burst his heart in twain. Sigmund charged in next with his lightning sword crackling. He chopped left, right and before him and dealt three men their deaths. Gudny followed and spied a Reaching Moon priestess across the room. She cried out to her goddess for support and hurled a blast of magic at the stormlord. Gudny ignored her magic and scoured the very flesh from her bones with a cutting wind.

Shortly thereafter a score of red-men lay dead and the Companions needed to hurry to catch their ravening friend, Kamoar, who had burst into the room beyond. The screams from dying priests and acolytes gave the only hint to his progress through the building.

In the Annex Garthael killed a dozen defenders before forcing his way into a central room. Three strangely clad priests, with conical caps hurried into the room from another door and set up a tripod with a blocky object atop it. Argrath identified them as Eyzaal sorcerers and smashed the tripod with his Mastakos magics. The wizards turned as one and snarled at Argrath. They lifted their left hands, pointed their pinky fingers at him and smote upon him with three beams of purple light. The Dragonlord staggered. He tried to use his magic to throw the wizards about but failed. The trio turned their magic on Norulf and sent the Storm Walker crashing to the floor. He aged twenty years as Argrath looked down at him. Argrath tried to teleport himself behind the wizards but appeared in the middle of the room, upside-down. The wizards turned their beams onto Garthael and staggered the warrior. Argrath recovered his wits and teleported the humakti behind the wizards. He clove them all through the spine with one swing of his blade.

With that the resistance in the building collapsed and the Eaglebrowns and Hundred-fighters cleared it. They found dungeons below the building and released a few score prisoners before leaving.

In the temple, the Companions entered the Celestial Chamber. The room was a clockwork representation of the Sky Dome with every planet and star in its place as it should be to show Shepelkirt's bloated face in this part of the world. In the centre of the room floated a great piece of moonrock.

In the corner Kamoar was busy tearing one of his victims into small pieces.

Gudny, Sigmund Venharlsson and the Storm Rams smote the moonrock with their combined magics shattering it.

The Glowline vanished.

The Companions burned and smashed the temple and destroyed or carried off the artefacts within. Later, the Companions confirmed that it was only Tarsh that had lost its Glowline though every temple throughout the Empire had felt the surge of power as the temple was destroyed.

At that point the raiders returned to Dunstop to celebrate their victory. They were feted in the streets of the city as, for the first time in over a hundred years, the people could feel the winds moving again and could see the sky without a red tinge.

We needs now tell of what happened when Argrath returned to Boldhoome. Minaryth Purple, Maniskisson's Knowing Man presented a petition from several clans in the Dinacoli for a change in rulership. It seemed that the tribe was not entirely joyful at being ruled by Garthael and wished to join Wulfe. As an Aggari, Wulfe appeared to be more understanding of their Yelmalian ways.

Maniskisson took Dragonfriend aside and suggested that it would be best for Sartar if the Dinacoli did join Wulfe for their land was good horse land and Wulfe was having trouble maintaining the cavalry that he had pledged to the King. Dragonfriend asked what Maniskisson would offer Garthael to replace his lost position and Maniskisson told him that he would re-found the Boldhome Temple of Death and sponsor it. He would that Garthael headed the temple. Dragonfriend agreed.

Maniskisson then renounced his kingship of the Exiles and acknowledged Fazzursson as King of Tarsh. Fazzursson in his place acknowledged Maniskisson as King of Dragon Pass.


Storm Season 1631

Now there was a man named Orngerin Thundercape who had been a leader of Kallyr's household but had been hiding in Old Wind since the rebellion in 1613. Orngerin was the leader of the Roaring Wind warband and had played an important role in the Righteous Wind rebellion in the Far Point.

Well, come Storm Season, Orngerin came to Gudny while the stormlord visited the Thunderous temple in Wilmskirk. Orngerin told Gudny how he had been holding the Righteous Wind banner since Kallyr had given it to him. "Orlanth dost tell me that thine should be the hand that holds this banner," he told Gudny. He went on to explain that many warbands could be united under the banner and that their wyters would work as one. But, "You must prove your worth," he said. "You must prove that you are the chosen of the Thunderer or the warbands will heed you not." Gudny spoke of the deeds he had done and the quests he had performed as he followed the path of his god. Orngerin agreed that Gudny had a good start but had more yet to do. He also told how the more bands united under the banner, the stronger the banner got. Finally he spake thusly, "There are many warbands still linked to the banner from the old days. They can be called through the banner and would know that you sought to speak with them." Gudny thanked him for his gift and took the banner. Then he sent out the call for the linked bands to gather and speak with him.

Now as Argrath rested in his palace a man came to see him. The man was a known bandit and Dragonfriend's guards made to arrest him until he insisted upon seeing the Warlord. He claimed to have had visions about Dragonfriend. Argrath bid his men let him in.

Well, the man was ragged with white hair and so much dirt ground into his face that none could tell the original colour of his flesh. Aside from that, he stunk more than a herd of Bisonriders. The man named himself Rurgarg Blackice and it seemed that he spoke for the valinding hermits and bandits in the Quivini Mountains. Rurgarg spake of having been told by his god to serve the "Storm Dragon." "And I don't listen to anybody else," he concluded.

Argrath politely inquired as to why the man would follow Argrath if he didn't listen to anybody but his god and only received a puzzled frown in reply. Argrath asked how many followers Rurgarg could gather. "I have four-score-and-ten," was the proud reply. "And I know many more in the Stormwalk and Rockwood Mountains."

"Well," spake Argrath, "gather as many as you can and would your people follow me, I would see that they were properly clothed, fed, armed and armoured." Rurgarg's eyes opened wide, "Armed and armoured," he asked. "It seems that my god isn't so stupid after all."

Within a week of sending his summons, Gudny heard back from many surprised warbands. Among them were the Argrath's followers the Vengeance Gale and the Lightning Spears. Other bands included the Mitchuinn Moonhaters, the Storm Rams, the Red Women, the Star Striders, Orstalor's Raiders, the Roaring Wind, the Wild Storm, Utguard's Cloud Striders and Norulf's Hundred-Fighters. There was also another band that Gudny knew naught of called the Night Jumpers. All said that they would meet when the Banner-holder called.

Sigmund fared into Sambari Pass to visit his old friend Vost Chaosbreaker at the Hedkoranth temple there. They spoke of this and that and in the end Vost suggested that were Sigmund to turn his path from that of the warrior and focus more on the ways of Hedkoranth, Vost would be able to raise a warband to fight for him. Sigmund said that he would think on it.

Sacred Time

Come Sacred Time Argrath and Gudny departed for the heroplanes to enact the Healing of Mastakos quest - Argrath took the place of Mastakos whilst Gudny took that of Orlanth. They fared well in their questing.

With Gudny's aid, Sigmund, Garthael, Lothar and their combined warbands also passed into the heroplanes where they enacted the Masks of Death quest. Half of the warband failed their quests but were saved any serious consequences by the resounding success of the Companions.




 


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March 7, 2002

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