The Saga of the Gwandorlings
We need now
turn out tale back to Dark Season in 1633 and follow the Companions
as they fare through the heavy snows into Aggar.
Lothar the Groo
With the General
Mularik Iron-Eye directing the siege of Furthest and the Warwyrm
Dragonfriend directing the training of the new Army of Dragon Pass,
there was naught for Dragonfriend's Companions to do during that
winter. And so they decided to join Gudny in his journey.
It was Freezeday
when the Companions rode out of a blizzard and onto the tula of
the King Oak clan of the Perib Tribe. King Ornjar the Dour greeted
them well and bade them welcome to Hundsverk, the hillfort his town
was built around. He offered Gudny, Lothar, Sigmund and their captains
guesting in his own hall while the Righteous Wind encamped within
the ancient walls.
Gudny said that
he had come to help Aggar throw off the chains of Shepelkirt's oppression.
King Ornjar spoke of hearing about the victory at Denston and the
imminent fall of Furthest. "The Aggarings are ready to raise
rebellion against Bad-King Rassius and throw out his lunar sycophants."
night the Companions learned that the Sun Dome temples in the south
were unified under the teachings of Munrough - as preached by Sota
Lamplighter - and were ignoring the Bad-King's calls to arms. Axe
of the Oak, Kari Creekside, the tribal champion, spoke of the Bad-King's
call for the provincial regiments, the Drenthi Grims, the Confederation
Foot, the Toothspears, the Forantin Screamers and the Gemline Watch,
to mobilise and ready themselves to put down any potential rebellion.
"He is afeared of your coming," he said to Gudny. "The
men are gathering but they are not happy. I don't think that they
have decided who to fight yet."
the host moved on to King Leikan, of the Vandaros Tribe's hall.
Once again King Leikan greeted Gudny well. He spoke praisefull words
of Lothar and was most noble to Sigmund even speaking of the Hurler's
feats in the siege of Furthest. King Leikan bade the companions
welcome and extended guesting to their captains. The host was invited
to camp around the town. King Leikan bade Gudny sit on his right
at the high seat and sate Lothar on his left. Sigmund was seated
to Gudny's right and all were accounted all of the honours that
the king could give.
the king, Gudny learned that most of the Summer Tribes of Aggar
were ready to raise rebellion if they had somebody to follow. King
Leikan spoke of the Jonrys and Wrealing tribes having declared their
support for Bad-King Rassius - it seemed that the noble king of
Jonrys that had been installed after Gudny's last visit there had
been executed by the Bad-King's champion. King Leikan went on to
tell of the Winter Tribes and their unanimous support of the Bad-King.
It was about
then that Gudny learned of Sota's return to Aggar and he fared across
Angry Lake and into Salantorland with his bodythanes to visit with
the Yelmalian. Lothar and Sigmund were left with King Leikan to
arrange a gathering of the Summer Kings and to prepare the Righteous
Wind for the invasion of Wrealingland.
Now the Salantor
Sun Dome was am imposing complex. The clean lines of the temple
shone under the sun behind thirty-foot snow-covered stone walls.
Prayer Towers, houses, markets and workshops filled the space behind
the wall and everything managed to glitter in the newly fallen snow.
In the southern corner was the drill yard and barracks for the Templars.
The whole county had some 15,000 citizens, all worshipping Yelmalio.
Sota met Gudny
on the steps of the temple and greeted him well saying "Welcome
Gudny, I see that much has changed since last we met." Gudny
replied thusly, "Indeed Sota and you are the first to learn
of the latest - I now call myself Argrath and will claim a seat
on their Council. I see much has changed with yourself as well and
I congratulate you on your successes." 
Sota and Gudny
spent the next few days speaking of their activities since they
had last met and speaking of their goals in the future. Sota spoke
of the Pentaverate of northern Sun Dome Temples that had rejected
his Doctrine of Munrough and now followed Ogunjar Straitarm's Daysenerus
Doctrine - it seemed that the Pentaverate was supported by the Provincial
Government. Gudny expressed his surprise at Sota's use of that ancient
name, Daysenerus, and Sota explained that Ogunjar believed that
Yelmalio was an aspect of the High Sun - Sota himself didn't hold
to that opinion.
of his intention to claim the throne of Aggar: "There will
be a war to free this land from the Empire. I would that your spears
fought with us." Sota replied so: "My people seek only
to be free to live their lives as they see fit. We will no longer
accept foreign authority over our lands and our god. I will support
he that would promise my people freedom from secular authority."
Gudny assured Sota that he had no intention of imposing any secular
control over the Sun Domes, "even were it in my power to do
so." Sota then said that his people needed more land to expand
into. Gudny suggested that Black Horse County now lay empty and
that he would support any claim that Sota cared to make to it. To
this Sota asked, "What do the gathered Argraths, the kings
of Dragon Pass, care about any agreement that you may make?"
Gudny replied that Sota's Sun Domes lay in all of their lands and
that agreement with these terms was the price they had to pay for
In the end they
spoke for 4 days and signed the Salantor Treaty. In exchange for
freedom from all secular authority, taxes and levies, Sota agreed
that he would supply a minimum of 500 soldiers per qualifying county
under his control to the army of the Argraths. A county qualified
when its population reached 12,000. With his current 9 temples,
Sota would field 3,000 phalangites, 500 horse archers and 1000 light
infantry - the soldiers to be fully supported and equipped by Sota
at his own expense.
that in the drive to break the Pentaverate and destroy Ogunjar's
heresy, he would supply as many soldiers as he could to any direct
conflict with his foe.
Our tale needs
now turn south to King Leikan's Hall where Gudny's Discovery Band
reported that a host of tribesmen was mustering to march on Masassakar.
It seemed that the Jonrys, Drendip, Grangi and Wrealing tribes had
decided to seize the city, holding it for the Bad-King. With them
was the half of the Forantin Screamers that mustered from their
the host would number some one thousand hardened fighting men and
three thousands of fyrd.
gathered his warband and Sigmund gathered his. With four hundreds
of the hardiest veterans in the Righteous Wind they flew to Masassakar
and came to earth in the city's main market. King Leikan and King
Ornjar gathered 1,000 of their select fyrd and the joined the Righteous
Wind marching through Wrealingland behind the Lunar host - they
had over 5000 warriors with them.
a small city but it was the largest around Angry Lake. The city
had been the traditional seat of the Aggaring High King before the
red-men moved it to Eneal. With 3000 citizens, 35-foot walls and
being built on atop a steep hill it was a formidable place to take
but the people were little used to watching 500 picked Orlanthi
champions fly over their walls with their warhorns sounding. Two
hundreds of the Toothspears Shieldwall quickly formed up to meet
There was then
in Masassakar a man named Bracus the Victor. Bracus was the son
of Red-Aedin a renown Lunar sympathiser and member of the Bad-King's
court. His mother was Liorna the Witch who was more devoted to the
Poison Moon than her husband. Bracus' grandfather was Alakor the
Smith and the rest of his ancestors came from similarly humble roots.
Bracus was a grizzled man, tall but sword-thin; his beard was just
growing in and the Orlanth runes on his jacket were freshly applied.
His war axe was well used and his chain tunic was of the finest
Smithtown ironwork. Bracus held command of the Toothspears and was
accounted the senior of all the regimental commanders in the Winter
Tribes. He had recently renounced the Seven Mothers and rejoined
the worship of Orlanth.
Now Bracus stepped
forth and, greeting the Companions, asked after their business in
the city. Lothar replied that they had come to defend the city from
conquest. He spoke of the approaching host of lunars and the reinforcements
that were bound their way in form of the Righteous Wind.
gathered the 13 people on the city's ring and they decided to fight
with Lothar and Sigmund to keep the advancing fyrd out of the city.
Golden-Gaeldon, who occupied the Crafter seat on the ring, opinioned
that they had already let Lothar's conquerors in so they may as
well fight. Ylan the Staunch, the city's Rex replied that Lothar
rode with the Alakoringsson.
And so it came
to be that the two hosts met before the walls of Masassakar with
a light snowfall quietening the day.
warriors of the Companions' warbands looked at the untried fyrd
that approached and were confident of victory though their Aggaring
allies were restless and unhappy at the prospect of fighting their
neighbours. Their ranks were swelled by the 400 men from the Gemline
Watch, Confederation Foot, Forantin Screamers and the Toothspears
that had mustered and were ready to fight.
King Dorag Moonbear
of the Wrealing tribe strode forth from the enemy host aglow in
his hero light. He berated the defenders for raising rebellion against
their High King. He told them to, "Stop opposing the glorious
Empire," and to "stand down."
Seeing how unsettled
his own host was, Lothar crunched forward through the snow and issued
challenge to the Champion's Battle. King Dorag eagerly stepped forth
as his own champion. The king bore a heavy double-handed war axe
and was clad round in an imperial-style iron chain byrnie with plates.
He wore a heavy bear's cloak that glowed with magic.
the Deathlord, King Dorag unleashed a great growl and staggered
Lothar with its ferocity. Lothar shook his head and leapt to the
assault. He made to strike the king with Severance but his blow
fell upon the leaping axe head. Then he squatted on his heals and
struck the king with Deathbringer to no visible effect. The King
swung his axe in wicked arcs but Lothar swayed out of range and
darted in again with his blades flashing in the dim sunlight. Still,
the king's armour was proof against the Humakti's assaults. Finally,
Lothar struck with everything he had. His sword fell upon the king's
shoulder and passed through his bear cloak and armour tunic striking
off his left arm. The king glanced at his wound and screamed in
berserk fury. He hurled himself at Lothar wielding his axe in one
fist. He struck with the strength of the grizzly but Lothar sang
his death song and, entering his sword trance, fought back with
the grimness of Death itself and ended the king's reign with a quick
stroke to the neck and a murmured prayer of blessing over his corpse.
The fyrds stood
in shocked silence as Lothar cleaned his blades and walked back
to his warbanders to have his wounds attended to.
forth and used his stormvoice to address the foe. "Thy evil
king has been felled in honourable combat. The supremacy of Orlanth's
ways has been proven. Throw off the chains of the Poison Moon and
There was some
murmuring among the fyrdmen and then the host broke in two. Those
who moved to the front agreed to join the Alakoringsson and breathed
their first free breaths. Those who would remain shackled to the
Bad-King moved away and declared their intention to return to their
Bracus the Victor
spoke with them. Most were of the Lunar faith but had no wish to
fight their neighbours. Bracus allowed them to leave the field on
the understanding that they would return home and not bother any
of the locals on their way.
for them, they met the advancing Righteous Wind warbands that evening
and were slaughtered to a man.
word of the battle from an Umbroli about the time that he was to
meet with the local tribal kings. The rulers of the Billizangings,
Denthali, Gokopy, Jaruidi, Nantorings, Salangari and Vurganthi tribes
had gathered at Salantor to speak with him. Also present was Orog
Ox-Breaker from the Skanthi, the commander of the Drenthi Grims
and Sota, the host.
Gudny met with
the kings and feasted with them. He showed them the tokens from
the Tarkaling Kings, the Telmori, Dragonewts and the Water Torque.
Then he claimed the throne of Aggar as did Alakoring. "For
I am Alakoring-Come-Again and I would lead this land out from under
the shadow of the Poison Moon."
Now these Kings
were not going to follow just anybody in rebellion against the Empire.
Gudny summoned all of his charisma and his Drogarsi voice to convince
The kings pointed
out that the Lunars were still a power to be reckoned with many
regiments and powerful magicians. Gudny replied that the Empire
was fragmented and fighting amongst itself. He spoke of nomad invasions,
Charg and the belligerence of Sylila.
The kings spoke
of the soldiers of the Bad-King and Gudny spoke of the Righteous
Wind, the Summer Regiments and the Army of Dragon Pass.
The debate went
on for most of the day before the kings were satisfied with Gudny's
claims and arguments. Then they set up a clamorous weapontake and
declared him Alakoringsson and High King of Aggar.
In the weeks
that followed Gudny fared to Masassakar, with the fyrds and thanes
of the local tribes. There he met the best men from all of the loyal
Summer Tribes, the loyal regiments, the Counts of the Sun Domes,
Lothar, Sigmund and the captains of the Righteous Wind.
Movement Week, Storm Season Gudny finally walked into the ancient
palace in Masassakar. He passed between the ranks his Under-Kings
and under their arched axes before sitting on the High Seat for
the first time and accepting the oaths of his followers.
Across the highlands
a terrible vengeance was taken on lunars with many being hanged
before their village gates and their properties forfeited to the
High King. Lunar temples were thrown down and their properties were
also seized by Argrath Stormchaser.
half of the property to his followers and set the other half aside
to run the impending war against the Winter tribes.
his Alakoring-ring, including Bracus the Victor as Axe of Aggar
and his warlord.
As Gudny was
to learn, he could field some 12,500 soldiers. That included 5 regiments
of veteran Aggari soldiers trained as Provincial Auxiliaries for
the Empire, 3 Sun Dome Phalanxes, 1 Sun Dome Horse Archer regiment,
the 4000 champions of the Righteous Wind and 400 picked champions
in his own warband. Bad-King Rassius was thought to have some 12,500
soldiers of his own.
In their various
locations around Dragon Pass and beyond, the Companions spent Sacred
Time performing the various ceremonies required by their gods.
Gudny left his
ring to arrange the preparations for war and returned to Furthest
along with Sigmund and Lothar to join the final assault on that
doomed city. The Righteous Wind was left to bolster the Kingdom's
word came from Mirins Cross that the Provincial Overseer had declared
the Kingdom of Saird. His brother was placed on the throne by their
father, the Satrap of Sylila. The Queen of Holay was informed of
the rearrangement of her borders. Bad-King Rassius reluctantly agreed
as he had just lost half of his kingdom to rebellion. Holay was
further cobbled by the restoration of the Dog Plains to Imther.
Tonight Sota was played by Argrath Dragonfriend's player as THAT
Argrath had no role in this instalment of the saga.
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