The Saga of the Gwandorlings
be shaved like a poodle."
Speaking of Kamoar after a meeting with King Sylveius the
don't plan on taking any of our men home."
- Lothar on acceptable losses.
We need to take
up our tale again at the end of Fire Season. Warwyrm Dragonfriend's
Knowing Man, Bronwyn Fallenstead brought his king a summary of the
happenings in Peloria . He then spoke of the
Reaching Moon Temple outside Fillichet.
It seemed that
this temple was arranged much as the temple in Tarsh had been but
being do deep inside what had been the Empire it was not nearly
as fortified. The complex was also largely abandoned now that Queen
Karsalla had allied with the Argrathi - only the warrior fanatics
of the Provincial Church and Yara Aranis Cult remained to defend
Now at this
time there was a man named Ingkotarm Pardidasson, called the EverReady.
King Ingkotarm was the eldest son of Satrap Pardidas of Sylila and
sat on the throne of Saird. He was a deadly warrior, a wise ruler
and a very powerful heroquestor.
now of King Ingkotarm's hosts standing ready in Saird. The Royal
Army of Saird was encamped about Mirin's Cross with some thirty
thousands of spear. The hated Ogunjar Straightarm was encamped about
the Sum Dome temple north of the city with some eight thousands
of his followers. Resting there were also some seven thousands of
wild horse nomads from Pent.
It was about
now that the Argrathi met in Talfort to discuss the Warwyrm's new
information and the affect if would have on his plans. They spoke
of this and that and refined the hosts that they would supply .
The High King Maniskisson suggested that the Argraths could not
siege Mirin's Cross until the Sairdite's army had been crushed.
Warwyrm Dragonfriend agreed saying that if they marched through
Saird burning as they went then King Ingkotarm would have to come
out to fight them, "for he is a new king and must be seen to
be a strong and able defender of his people."
And then Argrath
Venharlsson spoke up. He suggested that they build a Temple of the
Reaching Storm to act as a focus for the army's Orlanthing magics.
"This would also goad the Sairdites into battle for they could
not allow this construction to progress."
With the new
information on the Army of Saird, the Warwyrm decided to keep Argrath
Whitebull's host with the main army. "You must make out on
your own for now," he said to Argrath Stormchaser. To soften
the blow, the Tarsh Light Foot and a regiment of archers from the
Army of Dragon Pass was sent into Aggar.
Our tale now
turns to Balazar where Kamoar the Shadowstalker has passed over
the Black Eel on his way to Trilus. As mentioned previously, the
Warwyrm sent the Bovakite Light Foot and his Speaking Companion
Gettig Kingsvoice along to aid Kamoar in driving the red-men from
that land and raising a host of mercenaries from the locals. Kamoar
also invited Aelous the Upright, one of Sota Lamplighter's missionaries
to accompany him and bring the teachings of Sota to the Yelmalians
there. Kamoar left the troops, his warband, Gettig and Aelous at
Talfort while he passed into the forests alone.
Creek Kamoar found that he was being tracked. He doubled back and
used his Run Silently fetish to escape. He espied a snare across
the trail and just managed to dodge aside before being caught. When
he stood up he found five javelins aimed at him, all held by hardened
men who were badly out of breath.
The leader made
to speak with Kamoar in a series of barks and growls and so Kamoar
stroked his Barks-as-dog fetish. It was very difficult, but the
hunters managed to communication with the shaman.
It turned out
that Kamoar had been run to ground by one Trayvus the True, the
Master Hunter of the Weyding Clan. He commended Kamoar on his running
abilities and expressed his surprise that the Shadowstalker had
avoided the snare. "I herd you this way for long," he
said. Then he asked who Kamoar was and why he was in the Weyding
huntlands. Kamoar replied that he had come to liberate Balazar from
the red-men. All five hunters shared a hearty laugh at that and
asked what army he would use. Kamoar told them that he had an army
but they would only laugh and say that they must all hide better
than he did. Finally Kamoar explained that he was a representative
of Argrath the Dragonking and he was investigating the land before
he brought his host in.
Well they spoke
some more and Kamoar learned that the imperial troops in Elkoi had
returned to Saird some two seasons ago and now there was little
lunar presence in the citadel except the Provincial Church and the
local sympathisers with their militia. Kamoar told of being sent
to help the Balazarings unify and free themselves from the Empire
and so Trayvus replied that he was called The True for he was a
direct descendant of Balazar, though none in the Citadels would
acknowledge him. "You me help. Me you help," he said.
"I try raise clans." Kamoar agreed to help Trayvus and
they both went their own ways.
Now Kamoar came
to the citadel of Trilus which, he knew from Trayvus, was ruled
by a King Yalvann. Trilus was but one of the three citadels that
were to be found in Balazar. Dykene was in the East Wilds and was
ruled by King Karazar. Elkoi - the largest - was in the west and
was ruled by King Sylveius, whom the Orlanthings named The Nandan
was rather unimpressive. It was a large outcrop of rock that had
been carved into a marginal fortress and was surrounded by a small
village. The settlement smelled of pig droppings.
Kamoar was challenged
at the gates by two guardsmen. He replied that he wished to speak
with King Yalvann. "Ah, yes," replied the first guard,
"The King is just about ready for his 'Audience-with-smelly-strangers-who-walk-out-of-the-forest'.
Buzz off!" Kamoar replied that he was a representative of Argrath
and had been sent to speak with King Yalvann. "Yeah right,
you're from the Great Argraths! Take a hike!" Well, with that
Kamoar stroked his Leap High fetish and jumped over the guards landing
some thirty feet beyond the gate and began to walk up the main road.
The two guards spun round with a shout and called on him to stop.
"I have come to speak with your king and I will," spake
Kamoar. The guards replied that he was a little too dangerous to
allow into the citadel and that he would have to leave. Kamoar stroked
his Barks-as-dog fetish and stunned the guards with a ferocious
Well, the two
stared at him nervously and then the smaller one blew frantically
on his horn. A swearing and half-dressed group of guards poured
out of the guardhouse and peered about. Their captain demanded to
know what the summons was for.
Kamoar sat down
in the middle of the road. "I have come to speak with King
Yalvann. I will await him here." He then released a dog spirit
to find the King. As the spirit hound loped off into the city the
guards all jumped on the mad shaman that had come into their citadel.
With a surge of power Kamoar threw them off using his Blustery-Wind
fetish. The guards looked on in shock and hurled their javelins
at the invader - they stuck harmlessly in his Hound's Cloak. The
guard on the gatekeep toppled a 6-stone  rock
onto Kamoar's head but it split when it struck his helm and left
Then there was
a scream from the main keep, more rage than anything else. Shortly,
Kamoar's spirit hound came into sight dragging a young, well-dressed
man, down the street. Guards hacked furiously at the spirit, but
to no avail. When he reached Kamoar, the hound dissipated and released
King Yalvann from its jaws. The king turned a face, purple in rage,
upon his guards and Kamoar. "What in all the hells in going
on!?!" he roared. Kamoar, still seated in the roadway, replied
that he had been sent by Argrath to speak with him. "Which
Argrath," the king demanded. Kamoar replied that he was the
Dragonking's sworn man and that he wished to speak with the king.
"Well, alright, don't bother to ask first, just drag me from
my home. By all means, come on in and let us speak with one another!"
the king screamed.
With that, King
Yalvann led the way back to his hall where he shouted at a servant
to get him some clothes that had not been ripped apart by a ghost-dog.
He slammed himself into his high seat and gestured at Kamoar to
begin. "I have come to liberate your lands from the red-men
of the Empire." The king replied that his lands were free.
Kamoar spoke then of Elkoi but King Yalvann replied that he cared
naught for that citadel. Then Kamoar spoke of seeking to unify Balazar
and raising a host of mercenaries to fight against the Sairdites.
King Yalvann replied thusly: "I will not swear fealty to any
high king. I like my sovereignty and no clansman with airs is going
to tell me what to do in my own citadel. I may want to help you
in your wars if the price is right, but it would be foolish in the
extreme to get involved in Imperial affairs until Elkoi has been
freed - that is why Elkoi was occupied in the first place, they
were raiding the Holayans. I have a powerful host with over 100
fighting men, so I can defend myself from the Empire quite well
and I don't need your help." Kamoar replied that he had nye
upon two thousands of men ready to support the king by freeing Elkoi.
King Yalvann replied harsly, "I have no interest in an alliance
with you nor with your master. I am not interested in your wars.
You may meet my people at my borders if you wish to discuss trade.
And with that
Kamoar was led from the citadel and the gates were firmly closed
At about the
same time, on Dark Day, the Deathsword Lothar assaulted the Reaching
Moon Temple. Warwyrm Dragonfriend sent three regiments of axemen,
a phalanx and a regiment of archers from the Army of Dragon Pass.
Lothar led his two-hundred-man regiment of Humakti killers while
Sigmund the Stormhurler rode along with his Breakers warband. Warwyrm's
mercenaries, Sir Narandaras' Company accompanied them for magical
support. All counted, there were some six thousand attackers.
The temple was
less fortified than the Tarshite one had been with walls to the
height of 4 men and a ditch to the height of one. Lothar noted that
the walls were not a perfect square as the Tarshite had been and
thus probably were not blessed with a grounding affect to defeat
Orlanthing raiders. The Edge Sisters, a warband of Yanafal Tarnils
warrioresses led by Yarina Double-Death, defended the complex as
well as the usual garrison of Yara Aranis Horse Eaters and a small
militia force - all tolled there were some six hundred defenders.
try an escalade, Lothar had his archers sweep the pitiful few defenders
from the walls and Sigmund stepped forth with his warband. They
chanted their prayers and hurled volley after volley of thunderstones
at the gates. When the gates and the towers beside them crumbled
Sigmund turned to Lothar and spoke, "Prisoners?" Lothar
shook his head. Sigmund turned to the host and shouted, "NO
MERCY!" and followed Lothar into the complex. They were met
by a ragged shield wall inside the breach while a magical battle
raged over their heads and Sigmund and his band hurled thunder stones
at the temple.
We needs now
mention that when Lothar accepted Humakt's blessings and became
a disciple of his Grim Lord, the gathered sword brothers heaped
gifts upon him. The most impressive was a suit of Aeoling iron plate
armour that had Efrodar-blessings upon it to turn missiles. The
suit was handsomely crafted and engraved with scenes from Humakt's
mythology. He had also found that he newly awakened blades cut deeper
and faster than they had in the past, the swords gleamed with the
power of Humakt and were difficult for a normal man to even look
at so imbued were they with Death.
had cause to smile coldly as he charged into the complex ignoring
the arrows and javelins that recoiled from his armour. He ran at
the tip of a Humakti wedge with his Hundred-Thanes at his back and
his Ten-Thanes behind them.
straight at Yarina Double-Death and made to strike her upon the
head. But the lunar champion stood her ground swirling her twin
scimitars about her in an esoteric battle pattern that the Humakti
had never seen before and stopped Lothar's attack cold. His wedge
split about him and smashed the shieldwall behind Yarina before
continuing into the complex slaughtering all before them.
back and peered at Yarina, silently for he was geas-bound to utter
no word on Dark Day. She assumed a fighting stance and prepared
for her inevitable death. Lothar nodded curtly at her bravery and
launched himself at her with a furious assault. He stuck high at
her face and low at her knees. He hewed at her left arm and at her
right drawing blood with every slash and forcing her back with relentless
power. For moments she rallied using the magics of the Moon to aid
her in the face of her doom but it was to no avail. Finally, Lothar
struck out with the Five Stroke Death and finished the contest for
he knew her mystical parry this time. His blade Deathbringer cut
through her left arm and landed upon her left thigh taking off the
leg. His blade Severance passed through her right wrist and landed
upon her other thigh taking off that leg. Then he pivoted on his
heel brought his melded blades down on her neck and struck off her
head before her legless body could strike the ground.
invoked the Severer's blessings over the corpse but the Shepelkirt
soul of Yarina struggled mightily with Lothar's magic and triumphed,
turning back death as Tarnils had once turned back the stroke of
Humakt himself. She leapt back to life and stood ready to fight
once more. Furious at her defiance of the Ender, Lothar attacked
the Bent-blade once anon. He drove her back and back shattering
her swords and rending her tunic. She ducked and dodged and fought
like a Fury to stay alive but finally succumbed to his relentless
and silent assault. This time the blessing took and the lunar stayed
dead. The battle between the champions had lasted nearly half of
looked up from his battle, the fight for the complex had ended,
the looting was finished and Sigmund had already smashed the temple
with an endless barrage of Thunderstones that cracked the crimson
dome and shattered the sculpted columns. Lothar's battalion stood
around him waiting for his struggle to end watching every sword
stroke in awe of their heroic leader.
In Aggar, Argrath
Stormchaser, king of the free Aggari, summoned his fyrds to Massassakar.
He arrayed his host and led them into the lands of the Bad-King
Rascius. His army included some 4,000 Imperial-trained highlanders,
1,000 Impeiral-trained shieldwall troops, 3,000 of Sota's phalangites,
500 of Sota's light horse, 2,000 Skanthi warriors led by Orog Ox-Breaker,
1,000 javelineers from Ormsgone, a further 2,000 highlanders and
8,000 fyrdmen - including some 1,600 huscarls. Marching with the
Aggarings were some 4,000 fanatics from the Righteous Wind, Sota's
personal priest-guard and Argrath Stormchaser's personal band. Including
the Tarsh Light Foot and the regiment of archers from the Army of
Dragon Pass, there were more than 27,000 fighters.
The host smashed
its way through the Jonrys and Drendip tribal lands before passing
into Magaliland plundering the harvest and burning the fields as
they passed. Word came to them that the army of Lunar Aggar was
gathered ahead of them, led not by King Rascius but by his fearless
and deadly Yanafali Walord, Sandor Redsword.
About the time
that Lothar was finishing his battle, Argrath Dragonking was riding
into Filichet at the head of his elite Storm Dragon Guards atop
his skybull, Viga-Holstein. He wore his finest Kralori-silk shirt
under his armour tunic and a bright green cotton cloak from Esrolia.
His gold-chased helm flashed in the sunlight and his arms were heavy
in gold and tin bands. Viga-Holstein was clad about in tin barding
- a gift from High King Maniskisson. Argrath was followed by his
picked champions and among them there was enough gold and silver
to buy the entire Lake Quarter of Filichet.
The city was
large, greater than Boldhome in population by twice as many and
more beautiful that Furthest ever was with its Holayan architecture.
Queen Karsalla was a great Queen who had seen her people grow wealthy
and comfortable, her city shone with its wealth. Now dark times
had come, Dragonking would be needed.
rode to the Palace and there he was greeted by his wife Voydag Throatslicer
and by Queen Karsalla. Standing with the queen was the beautiful
Inkarne, a girl of nine summers, and Argrath's betrothed. Argrath
greeted the women well and was greeted well in return - except by
Inkarne who was a little snotty - and then a little unsettled when
Urzak Long-Tooth, one of Argrath's great-troll guards, smiled hungrily
Well the party
passed into Karsalla's palace and they were seated in the great
hall. Queen Karsalla and King Dragonfriend sat on the high seat
with the Queen's councillors arrayed to her left and Argrath's to
his right. King Dragonfriend gifted his wife well and thanked her
for her loyal service. He gifted Queen Karsalla and then gifted
Inkarne with an engraving of the muse Leonadras Dikaprios.
Then they spoke
of the situation in Holay. Queen Karsalla told how there would be
no opposition until Argrath's host passed into northern Holay. She
then told how King Ingkotarm had left a small host to hold the Daughter's
Keep in Filichet but that it was insufficient to properly defend
the keep. Argrath brought up several regiments of his shield walls
and threw them at the walls sweeping the defenders aside like so
See the Intelligence Summary
 See the order of battle for the Army of Dragon
 Nandan the Birthing Man was the Orlanthi god
of women born into men's bodies.
 1 stone = 14 lbs.
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