The Saga of the Gwandorlings
We needs tell
of some happenings in late Storm Season.
with his wife, Voydag, of his desire for an heir. Voydag agreed
that it would be a wise thing to do but refused to give him one
herself. "Thy need is for a political marriage and an heir
from such a union." She then told him that she had been working
on finding him an appropriate Winter Wife. Argrath thanked her and
praised her for her attention to his well being.
About that time
Argrath learned that the Lhankor Mhy council would meet in Dunstop
to select a High Sage of Dragon Pass. Argrath spoke with his follower
Wyrmquill of the council and encouraged him to join the competition.
Wyrmquill didn't think he could prepare a thesis in the time that
he had and wished to decline but Argrath convinced him to do it.
Here is what
Gudny learned of the Righteous Wind and its wyter. He heard from
a wise man in Jonston that the wyter had been formed to fight the
higher magics, like Bigger Wind and Tarumath, that sought to oppress
the Orlanthi. His attempts to speak with the wyter had limited success
and he found little more than that it granted blessings against
these higher storms.
Then the Companions
met and spoke of where they could gain more warriors. Gudny suggested
that they send out a call to the Uz in the Pass to form a Darkness
Legion to serve the Dragonlord. Argrath agreed and Gudny's follower
Trego Talksgood, an Uz trader, was sent to pass the call. Trego
would fare into Kotoriland, he would visit the Sazdorf and then
he would pass into Dagori Inkarth. The trolls were to gather at
the start of Sacred Time a stranger arrived in Boldhome and made
his way to Argrath's palace. The man carried himself like a merchant
and wore the garb and marks of an Aeolian from Hendrikiland. Argrath
bade him welcome and had him brought into his hall. When he looked
at the merchant's companions Argrath smiled and named the merchant
Tothus Seven-Seventh. He congratulated the red-man on his ability
to disguise himself and then bade him sit on his right. Tothus's
companion, whom Argrath saw was Kervandir Streetscar elected to
stand by his charge.
Tothus speak of his reasons for faring this way again and Tothus
spoke of how his interests once again seemed to parallel Argrath's
- for now. "It has come to mine attention that you plan on
crowning the rebel Fazzurrson as the king of Tarsh. You should know
that there may be an attempt to remove the potential rebel-king
from his supposed throne." Argarth replied with a simple, "I'm
listening." Tothus went on to describe the political situation
within the Empire. He spoke of several catastrophes that had caused
a rift between the Provincial Government and the Empire's inner
council, the Ordenestium. "The Provincial Overseer reported
directly to the Emperor. While we await the Emperor's return the
Overseer had made it clear that he acknowledges no-man to be his
master. His co-operation and support for the Heartlands has been
limited." Tothus went on to say that this rift had a
basis in the death of Young Kastokus at the hands of the Sartari
Rebels. "His family had much influence within the Heartlands
and their lobbying has upset the Overseer."
continued Tothus, "the Satrap of Sylila has decided that it
would be of benefit to the Empire if he were to re-establish a Sylilan
protectorate over the Provinces." Argrath knew that this was
precisely what the Provincial Government had been formed to prevent.
Tothus then mentioned the Imperial army that the Companions had
heard was gathering in Sylila. "It already marched." Argrath
calmly accepted that information without flinching. Tothus told
how the host had fared down the Daughter's Road to Fillichet and
been met by an equally sized Provincial host and barred any further
advances. "They sit there now waiting for one or the other
to flinch." He spoke of each army having nye on fifteen thousands
With that, he
congratulated Argrath on his good work, "for thy distraction
is doing us very well." Tothus refused to say to whom he was
referring when he said "us". "You have been a worthy
barbarian helper. I will ensure that you have a comfortable retirement
villa in Glamour after we have crushed your little rebellion here."
Tothus for his kind words but reminded him that they had begun with
talk of an assassination attempt on Fazzurrson. Tothus replied that
the effort would be a Sylilan plot and that the King of Tarsh had
allied with Sylila. He also said that the King had alienated the
Overseer by doing so. "I spied a Sylilan Dart team entering
Tarsh but I cannot find them now."
Tothus for his words and bade him safe journey.
Our tale now
turns to Sacred Time after the Companions finished their heroquesting.
Argrath gathered his Companions about him and, dressed in their
finery, they set out for Dunstop where Fazzursson was to be crowned
King of Tarsh.
They fared west
from Boldhome and passed through Malaniland. They crossed the Creek
at Two Sisters, stopped at Tink and then made their way over the
River to Wintertop. Then they passed down through Shakeland to Bagnot
and onto Dunstop. Dunstop was bustling. The city's inns were packed
and there were even several camps outside the walls. Everyone who
could, had come to see their new king.
Now the Companions
made quite an impression when they arrived at Dunstop and gained
great glory with their obvious wealth. Argrath wore trousers of
the purest white cotton. His tunic was bright green Kralori silk.
He wore a dark green cloak hemmed with Teshnan fur and his iron
chain-tunic was so brightly polished that it blinded the unwary.
Ormsword hung from his iron-buckled belt; his arms were heavy in
gold and iron rings; he carried Vingkot's spear Flashing in his
left hand and guided his skybull with his right. Tul the Staunch,
Argrath's bannerman, rode at his side with Argrath's personal banner
- easily recognised for it had led the Free Armies to victory after
Each of the
Companions was similarly attired and Argrath's generosity was amply
demonstrated at the gold that each of his followers wore. Only Kamoar
wasn't finely dressed for he cared little for his physical appearance.
To further add
to the impression that they made, Argrath was accompanied by his
ten great trolls, ten of his iron-armoured Storm Dragon Guard and
ten of his iron-armoured March Knights. They were met in the main
square by Anstad himself and shown to an abandoned mansion, the
residence of a now-departed lunar noble, where he bade them make
Fazzursson held a great feast in his new palace. Dragonfriend greeted
Whitebull, Maniskisson and Venharlsson.
learned that Sharpsword would attend the coronation. He had sailed
from Karse with his battle-fleet and joined with ships from the
Right Arm Isles and the God Forgoti. All tallied he had some five
score ships and from five to ten thousands of warriors. He sailed
for Three-Step to take from the Wolf Pirate's Captain's Council
what they refused to give him - command of the pirates.
over to Dragonfriend and spoke thusly, "I greet you Brother
Argrath and thank you for all of your help making this day possible."
Dragonfriend congratulated Fazzursson and then warned him of the
assassins. "I have avoided a score of assassins in the last
year, I have no fear for this new attempt." Dragonfriend smiled
coldly and asked Fazzursson had faced a Sylilan Dart Team before.
"Nay, that would be more worrisome." With that Fazzursson
took Dragonfriend about the hall and introduced him to all of the
Tarshite tribal kings that had come to swear their loyalty to him.
Dragonfriend greeted them properly and then greeted the Exile kings
as well. Fazzursson told Dragonfriend that they kings were not all
loyal but that they were hedging their bets, professing their loyalty
to stay safe but not really intending to do anything either way
until the matter was resolved.
led Dragonfriend about the palace showing him everything about it.
"This was built with Imperial gold to house the Duke of Dunstop.
They only just finished it before we took the city." Fazzursson
showed Dragonfriend the Sylilan marble pillars, the running water
and other wondrous features. Dragonfriend shared his amusement at
taking it from the Empire so soon after its completion.
In the morrow
the Sage's Council gathered. The contestants for High Sage each
presented a thesis for review. Wyrmquill's was on Middle EWF Grammatical
Structures. When he was finished a new acolyte from Bagnot stood
and pointed out that Wyrmquill's entire thesis was built on one
rune that had been copied backwards and thus was meaningless .
Wyrmquill fled the room and raged at Dragonfriend for the embarrassment.
"I have no time to do anything properly with you. It's always
'Wyrmquill do this, do that, come here, go there, hurry up!' This
wouldn't have happened had I the time to properly prepare a thesis."
Argrath thanked Wyrmquill for his efforts and spake thusly, "Thy
worth and the worth of thy work cannot be measured here. Cleave
to this, your research has helped free Sartar and thy continuing
research helps our cause everyday." Wyrmquill thanked Argrath
for his words and returned to his studies in Black Mountain.
man, Minaryth Purple was selected as High Sage of Dragon Pass.
The next day
brought the actual Coronation ceremony. The nobles of southern Tarsh
and the Argraths gathered in the main hall, a room eighty feet across
by two hundred long. The Argrath's were sat down in the front row
with the kings of Tarsh behind them. The Argrath's retainers were
behind the kings. Fazzursson stood on a podium at the back of the
hall with his new ring about him.
began with the presentation of coronation gifts from the guests.
Dragonfriend, being second only to Maniskisson in the room, revealed
his gift after the King of Dragon Pass. A stunned silence filled
the room as Argrath held forth a gold-and-iron crown that was so
rich it could probably have bought the entire city and every person
within it . Argrath spoke of how his personal smith had formed
that crown and then of how Argrath had taken it to the hero plane
and personally enchanted it with Vingkot's gifts of Leadership.
He told Fazzursson that the crown would grant him blessings to lead
his followers and find compromises. He then very quietly told Fazzursson
that the crown would also, once, carry the King to Wintertop to
escape danger. Many of the more traditional Tarshites in the crowd
were displeased with the crown for it was obviously of the Vingkotling
style and even had Vingkot's rune prominently displayed on it. The
Tarshites were Alakoring and they had rejected Vingkot's way of
rule after the EWF fell.
continued for some time and then the actual rituals began. Dragonfriend
squirmed at the alienness of the Alakoring rites but said nothing.
And then there
came a disturbance. Several guards along the walls began to thrash
about and then drew their blades and slew people standing near them
as a glowing red mist formed about them. Then there was a crash
as the walls nearest the podium tumbled in and giant figures strode
from cavities within. Each figure was a warrior, seven feet tall,
who swung a mighty battle-axe at Fazzursson's huscarls. Corpses
flew twenty feet through the air after being struck by those axes.
A great fireball formed in the centre of the hall and a sorcerous
elemental manifested within it.
was the first to react. He took up Ormsword and leapt to Fazzursson's
side. With a quick prayer to Mastakos one of the armoured figures
vanished and then reappeared several thousands of feet above the
city. Where it fell none ever found out.
The crowd panicked
and made for the doors but found them sealed against them. Those
touched by the mist lost their sanity forever.
the mist as being manifested madness spirits. He released his fighting
spirits from their fetishes and tore into the lunar spirits shredding
scores of them. Venharlsson joined him in battling the spirits.
The two quickly dismissed the madness spirits.
and drew upon the Valindi winds to battle the salamander. Frost
formed on his brow and an icy wind roared across the room. The salamander
ignored it and a wave of intense heat enveloped Gudny. He refocused
himself and terrible winds blasted the salamander from all sides.
The winds howled and ice formed upon the ceiling and floors. With
an eerie cry the elemental was destroyed by the cold. Several bystanders
also stood dead, frozen, around the combatants. Stone hands reached
out from the floor to grab Gudny but he leapt into the air and avoided
that the doors were sealed and seized up a thunderstone from his
pouch hurling it at the nearest wall. The wall exploded outwards
and the crowd poured out into the courtyard. Sigmund followed the
crowd out to see what was happening in the city. He found that there
were several small riots taking place but Fazzursson's guards had
them under control.
up his iron blades and stepped before the nearest giant warrior.
He made to strike the warrior but its axe fell upon his blades and
smashed him cruelly backwards. The humakti recovered his footing
and hewed at the armoured form. Though his blades carved large pieces
from the armour it slowed it not at all. Lothar took a moment to
call on Humakti's blessings, squatted under another mighty blow
from that axe and then struck at the form again. So hard and so
often did he strike that he could see all the way through the armour
in many places, there was naught within but a red glow.
and Whitebull leapt to Dragonfriend's side and held their blades
his eyes to the magic planes and saw many disturbing things. He
saw that the walls were built with pockets of moonrock within them.
He also saw that there were lines of power reaching out from under
the podium to each of the warriors and to the rock in the walls.
He decided that the entire room had been built as a trap for Fazzursson.
Kamoar charged for the podium.
up his great battleblade and struck at another giant. He was battered
back and fought a grim fight for his life. The two battled to and
fro and then with a monumental swing the humakti clove the armoured
form from shoulder to groin. The armour fell apart and revealed
a mighty vecor. The lunar deva continued to attack Garthael.
and Fazzursson turned back to back and battled the encroaching warriors,
when it was apparent that they could not hold them, he carried Fazzursson
into the air with him and landed upon a crossbeam near the ceiling.
Whitebull and Maniskisson were forced to adopt the same position.
Gudny summoned Orlanth's dark magics and struck a warrior with Crushing
Noise. The armour dented and all over but continued to fight. Dragonfriend
cried out to everyone below to flee, "Their target is Fazzursson
and they cannot reach him now."
With that, the
podium creaked and swung to one side revealing a tunnel. Four grimy
men ran from the passageway and peered about. Three wore square
red hats, one wore a pointed blue hat. That one snapped a command
and the giant warriors waded through the huscarls before them to
form a ring about their masters.
in anger and struck the blue-capped wizard with Crushing Noise.
The man staggered and then spun Gudny about with a blast of red
magic. Gudny struck again and again with his magics and dealt the
wizard his death then and there.
With that the
armoured warriors froze and then collapsed. The vecors that had
been forced from their armour screamed in anger and returned to
the moon from whence they had come. Kamoar reached the other three
at that point. His tore into them with clawed hands and left three
bleeding corpses upon the ground.
Now this boded
no good for Fazzursson's kingdom in the years to come. Fully half
of the tribal kings of Tarsh lay dead in their high king's hall.
Fazzursson's three best war captains and half of their warbands
lay there with them. Whitebull, Maniskisson and Fazzursson all bled
heavily from deep wounds while the city's healers lay burned from
the salamander and frozen by Gudny. All tallied, there were over
five-score of Tarsh's best dead. With the interruption of Fazzursson's
ceremony, his kingdom's magic was disrupted and seriously weakened
for the coming year.
the Companions most profusely for their aid and praised their skill
in battle. He gifted Dragonfriend with four of the armoured suits
and feasted them all.
Soon after this
transpired, word came to Dragonfriend from Sharpsword's lands. It
seemed that Sharpsword had taken Three-Step Island and was now the
undisputed lord of the Manirian coast. Dragonfriend also heard that
a great company of western mercenaries had landed in Karse. Called
The Grand Company of Tanisor, they were led by Sharpsword's old
friend Mularik Iron-Eye and numbered some five thousands of spears
including a siege train.
fumbled his lore roll.
 Argrath lowered his wealth rating 2 points to create the crown.
His wealth rating was 1w4.
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