Darkness Reborn, a Conquest Roleplay
When the cold winds blow, the darkest thoughts of men begin to claw themselves out of the black corners where they normally reside. And it was as a frost, a freezing cold that bit right through any cloak or blanket right to the very core of you, descended upon the land of Ravari that these dark thoughts emerged across the nations.
Simple villagers started seeing their neighbours as the enemy, and slicing the throats of their once-friends to steal their belongings. But at a simple scale like this, these murders are nothing more than everyday life. These dark thoughts are truly dangerous when they manage to worm their way into the minds of immensely powerful men and women, kings and queens who controlled whole armies. Before long, the regular border scuffles began to enlarge, simple brawls becoming organised battles.
As the nights draw in and winter closes in on Ravari, the entire land is like a tinder box. All it needs is a spark…..
So here it is, the beginning of Darkness Reborn! Now is the time that you can unleash your armies across the land and ravage all that stand against you! Or just chill in the corner, it’s completely and totally up to you! Below is the map, handily coming with a useful guide so you can make sense of it all. Now all you need is a keyboard and an internet connection to bring your dreams of world domination to life!
Guide to the Map
How It Works
It was a Cold day in the mountains, the Death March were patrolling the paths most trodden in the misty peaks and crags. The wind brought a strange sensation to the soldiers, one they immediately understood, it was like the changing of seasons, but this was a different chill, it was death. They were all too familiar with the concept as it was integral to their way of life, and every facet of their training.
The commander of the mountain patrols was station up in the mountain outpost, a comfortable dwelling ordained with carving of the surrounding mountains and with the skull of past commanders embedded in the post above the doorway, as a sign of honor in continued vigilance. Commander Grubbeck was his name, and his pale face sported a thick braided beard with rings of bonemold in it. He grimaced, his two prominent steel capped canines sticking out of his lower jaw as typical of orc kind, the door opened and a soldier, in Light bone mold armor walked in, Silent as his kind was and handed the commander a note. "You're free to go Darksight, I know you make for taciturn company." The Quiet Marksman nodded his full helmeted head and left, without a peep.
Grubbeck opened the letter and read it, it stated that they needed to be on alert, something was occurring in the other lands surrounding them, they were getting more aggressive and strange murders were happening in strange lands from what passerby traders said. "Interesting, best get to training more men, get our borders secured." He spoke mostly to himself, he stood up and went to grab some parchment and a stamp. He sat back down a scrawled a letter, requesting more barracks to hold more men, and wrote another saying the more open province needed to get defenses set up. He sealed each with a stamp that imprinted a skull face with his initials in the the wax seal. He dropped the letters into a chute and they dropped outside onto the cold ground where two Jet black Ravens immediately swooped down and scooped them up to take them to their destination.
Current Unit Positions(Garrisons)/Movements:
Emperor Khyron Kalistarion the Second stands on the balcony at the top of the tallest tower in Sorrowfall, his arms crossed behind his back as he looks out over his lands and into the lands beyond. His face a calm blank mask as if carved from pale marble his shoulder length raven black hair lightly whips about in the wind as his purple eyes shift from the lands surrounding Sorrowfall itself north west to the capital of Esterwynne before turning his gaze south to the lands of Ladival. Clenching and slowly unclenching his fists he turns away from the sight of the horizon address six figures behind him: "All proceeds well, the first shipment of warriors to our allies will be done by the end of the day. Vardis and Xandrek have made good progress into Ladival though we shall not hear back from them for a few days. Return to your duties and increase the training of the troops I expect that Ladival will not take kindly to the annexing of one of their provinces."
Four tall looking warriors wearing black iron helmets that obscure their features wearing armour of darkened iron one trimmed with gold, another with silver, the third with dark iron and the fourth with some dark red metallic looking material as they stand to attention. The two others wear ankle length robes, one in deep crimson trimmed with gold, the other in dark emerald trimmed with black bow their heads and retreat from the presence of their master and leave through concealed passage ways build into the tower to return to their own parts of the city. Turning back from the departing forms of the six, Emperor Khyron returns his gaze to his mountain city and observes the construction of a fifth black marble and iron tower to the eastern edge of city and nods his approval at the speed it is being erected. Studying the land for a few moments more Emperor Khyron then turns and leave his observation balcony to await news from Magus Azrayle and his trade negotiations.
(Construction of a Wizards Tower in Sorrowfall, Training of 5 units of Black Guard - 125 Men.)
- - - - - - - - - - - - -
Master-Magus Azrayle enters the town with twenty Warlocks, one of Xandrek's Sorcerers, and ten of the Blood Knights at his back he motions for the knight following him to head towards the blacksmithing and trade district as the wizards follow him towards the largest and grandest building in the town where he would conduct his business. Announcing himself to those in charge he waited politely to be seen as his looked over his slightly warn dark grey silver trimmed robes and then looked over the ebon and steel staff in his left hand before turning his grey eyes to those he was here to meet. "I bring greetings from his majesty, Emperor Khyron Kalistarion the Second, ruler of the Cythrathi nation and long standing friend of yours. I am here to deliver the wizards that are apart of the trade agreement between the Emperor and your people. One Sorcerer and twenty Warlocks per ten suits of Mithril forged armour. I have already send those knights who shall be wearing the armour to the trade district to gather what is now theres and these wizards are now yours." Magus Azrayle bowed deeply as he looked at the assembled nobles before stroking the small black goatee of a beard. "Is there any questions you need to ask or anything you wish for me to convey back to my master?"
(Trading 1 Sorcerer-Necromancy and 20 Warlocks-Necromancy in exchange for 10 suits of Mithril armour as per the trade agreement you know of Romero, and my trade partner knows who he is.)
- - - - - - - -
Vardis Krom sits upon his heavily armoured midnight black steed and looks down at the assembled village elders and clears his throat before speaking in his deep resonate tones to those gathered. "Long have you suffered and been neglected by your masters in the capital of Ladival, forgotten by those who swore to protect you. Subjugated to raids from Buccerk with no aid sent from your supposed masters. I, Vardis Krom, come to you with warriors ready to aid and protect you from such raids in good faith under orders of my master: The Emperor Khyron who rules over the Cythrathi." Vardis turns and points to the mountain city-fortress in the distance back the way he and his men had come. "The Great Emperor Khyron declares that the military of the Cythrathi will protect and aid you if you renounce your fealty to Ladival and swear it to him. Our greatest wizards and builders will aid you in expansion of your village, aid your crops and growth, and teach you what awaits you after death."
Vardis Krom waits for a few moments to let his words sink in his with skull-like helmet visage turning to look at the black steel and bleached bone armoured Dreadlord Xandrek nod his head in such a slight inclination to Vardis as the rest of the men around him shift watching the village as the armoured dead behind them stand as still as statues. "My master offers a fair deal, join our nation and you will be protected and prosper like never before, and in exchange all you need do is swear fealty to him and answer the call to arms when required. Should you refuse however then we will use you as an example to the rest of your nation what happens to those who oppose the will of the Greatest Emperor." Vardis motions to the army behind him then turns back awaiting the response of the village elders before speaking one final time. "With us are the greatest necromancers in the land. You will serve willing in life or unwillingly in death. Either way. YOU WILL SERVE."
- - - - - -
Vardis Krom, Xandrek Thrax, 3 Sorcerers-Necromancy, two units of Warlocks-Necromancy (40), 10 units of Black Guard (250), Five Units of Reavers (500), 2 Units of Blood Knights(20) have moved into 29.
Should there be a battle then Xandrek, the Sorcerers are summoning Grave Guard (total 100 Heavy Infantry), the two units of warlocks are animating dead (2000 Conscript Infantry) - Total of 2895 Men in this force after summoning.
His patience with the appeasing of neighboring nations had grown weary, likewise he tired of listening to men and women whom had never fought, never lost loved ones to the blades as they marched upon the gates of Issyria. He hadn't faced those horrors himself, but he had heard the tales from his father Nyluko. He would never allow those times to be relived by any in Issyria so long as he lived. The eight purple robed figures turned his way as he spoke for the first time at this convening, their faces masked by the hoods they donned so as only the content of their statements would be heard. "This is no time for mincing of words, The Council has worked honorably at the tasks in front of them," referring of course to the attempted talks of peace with their neighbors. "However, I will not have the heathens from the Mountains ride down to our gates again because we were too expectant of their ability to see reason." Daleros The SunLord looked out at The Council of Eight, elected leaders, voices of knowledge and reason within Issyria. "I beseech you Council of Eight, The Sun Guard are at the ready."
An ancient, an elderly woman, even by elven standards removed her the hood on her purple robe, her bright blue eyes glimmered with the essence of one who had seen great atrocities and therefore appreciated the time of peace they had enjoyed. Senalahn, her name too was Iss'Yrien and as such she spoke with a great familiarity when she adressed the SunLord. "Delaros, your father was a great man because he nurtured Issyira and cultivated it with the effort of our people, not because he waged wars in our name." The woman's voice paused and she hesitated, feeling as though her hand was being forced by the circumstances around them, "However, if as The Sun Lord you believe this action is necessary to protect Issyria...Then you shall have my blessing. I speak only as ever for myself." She motioned with her hands as if to hear the consensus of the rest of The Council. A heavy hearted vote was given, and Delaros' request was given voice and the Hymn of Iss echoed throughout the chamber, an ancient chant that spoke of reclaiming life through the cleansing tides of war.
As The Council moved to leave, Delaros was beckoned by the elderly Senalahn, "SunLord, a moment of your time..." It was unusual for A member of the Council to speak with the SunLord after their meeting had ended. The woman placed her hands about the gold clothed wrists of Delaros and looked up at the stone chiseled warrior king, "Delaros, I pray that you and your brothers will be safe." The SunLord's demeanor momentarily took on that of a child, the warmth of his heart emanating from his smile and his bright gold eyes, "Of course GrandMother, we will do all that we can on the front, we need you and The Council to take care of us here at home." With a quick embrace he kissed his grandmother on her forehead and then bowed "By your leave Senalahn, I must rally our troops and send emissaries to our neighbors." With that Delaros left the chamber to muster his forces, he would send Ayendyl in his stead, a warrior beyond compare and with a cunning that even he admired.
Xatheros was his usual dour self as the orders to muster came through, looking to his young charge Kaleros he could only shake his head, "It's time Kaleros, we are being summoned to war..."The tone of his voice changed, as if he were speaking in but a whisper to some piece of himself in the past. He'd seen the horrors of war, had dealt them out himself on the front lines, in the thick of the fighting. He knew that The Council would not have enacted powers of command of such large forces to the SunLord if it were not for full fledged actions. "This will be no border skirmish lad, this will be war, war like these lands haven't seen since you were but a pup."
Kaleros interrupted his superior, rather uncomfortable with the tone of his words, "Yes, but I am no longer a pup, I am a Lanscour of Issyria, terrible as my gift is I will use it to protect our brothers and sisters in our sacred lands." Xatheros nodded in response, giving the younger warrior a hearty clap on the shoulder "Good lad, make sure in the thick of the fighting you think of nothing but those you wish to protect, let them give you motivation to go on. But heed me here boy, don't focus on the destruction we will have wrought, we are the tidal wave that will cleanse the Earth so as our more gifted kin can cultivate life there once again."
If ever there was one destined to be on horseback it was he, the Lord of Horses they spoke of him, with equal parts admiration and awe, his riding was simply effortless. Astride atop the famed warhorse Kyuka, a wild horse that could never be broken they said a beast to strong willed to bond to any master. Her black coat glistened in the sun, allowing every ripple of her incredible musculature to be seen.
"That horse will take the life of anyone who tries to ride her, she won't follow the call of the reigns," the breeder had said with a mild shrug of his shoulders, explaining to his lord Lykuro why such a beautiful and majestic horse spent all of its time in the corrals. The boy had then slipped the gates, as his father spoke with the man tasked with creating the greatest horses known to the lands. The breeder looked on in horror as the young boy, the second son of the SunLord no less was in the enclosed corral alone with the massive horse. "Get out of there boy, she'll look to kick your head clean off!" The man was fumbling with the latch to try and get into the enclosure and stop the boy from getting himself hurt or killed. The SunLord though seemed resigned to the fact that his son, Ayendyl would do what he wanted either way. The boy's long blonde hair gusted in the wind as he approached the massive beast. The huffing and the horse's posture made it clear that she would not listen to the beck and call of the reigns, nor would she ever heed any as her master. His hand outstretched though, he spoke in whispers, calling to the animal as his equal, she would know his name and he would know hers, "Kyuka..." He smiled "...The Wild Wind." The boy met with the eyes of the horse a clear understanding between them and he leapt atop the horse, "Let's ride! Show me how fast and far the wild winds can carry us Kyuka!" The horse seemed to huff her approval as she carried the young Ayendyl over the enclosure's walls and tore off into the woods. Kyuka the Wild Wind would never heed the reigns, nor would she be broken to view any rider as her master, but she would guide Ayendyl through any terrain, any war and know him as kin in some form for the were bonded by their wild spirits.
"Sun Striders with me, we are to be ready in the morning. We will ride with the Magi of Tesa." He and Kyuka moved through the camp effortlessly at such a lull of a pace informing any of the men that would ride with them of their need for combat readiness.
Building and Training:
69: Building Town Hall
Training 1 Unit Sun Striders
64:Building Town Hall
Current Unit Positions:
20 Units of Archers
20 Units of Heavy Infantry
20 Units Heavy Cavalry
4 Units Magi
1 War Magi
20 Units of Archers
40 Units Heavy Infantry
40 Units of Heavy Cavalry
6 Units of Magi
2 War Magi
15 Units Heavy Infantry
10 Units Heavy Cavalry
2 War Magi
From 71 to 65:
10 Units of Archers
30 Units Heavy Cavalry lead by Ayendyl Iss'Yrien attack 65 (Dagalor)
30 Units Heavy Infantry
4 Units Magi
1 War Magi
Utilizing their Cloak of Invisibility from their Magi abilities the army of Issyria moves from its largest settlement to surprise the nation of Dagalor. Likewise, using their greater Earth magic, great swathes of the mountainous terrain level out at the whims of the Issyrian Magi, making the terrain much easier to maneuver on. Spectral Army summoned to appear to be preparing for attack from the rear flank of Dalagor (Appear to attack from 66)
From 69 to 65:
10 Units of Archers
10 Units of Heavy Infantry
10 Units Heavy Cavalry
2 Units of Magi
Flanking force from 69 also utilizing Cloak of Invisibility maneuvers to strike at any vulnerable positions that may be opened or negated by the main assault force from 71.
Emissaries sent from 71 to Nations of Imilare (70) and Marmaalic (72) seeking at the very least a treaty of peace and the hopes of an alliance.
In a quaint corner of Bighost known as Beetle Bay the sounds of happy goblins floated all around. The familiar marsh fog was just beginning to burn away from the warmth of the rising sun revealing one of the city’s many piers. There, along with hundreds of other gathered greenskins, was Magnate Wisenheart. She was an honored guest and one of the acting judges for this morning’s competition- a Porcupine Fish tournament.
It was an animal that could grow roughly the size of a farm pig with scales completely covered by nasty quills that were often half a foot in length. The meat of the fish was generally considered too unpleasant for consumption but the flesh of the animal was greatly prized; as it could be treated and fashioned into armor. Porcupine Fish were a seasonal species in GEN waters so the suits of armor that could be harvested from them were always in short supply, and most of them unsurprisingly went to the elite ranks of the Redcap Goblins.
Wisenheart was sitting front and center near the judging platform, and she was flanked as always by her two ladies-in-waiting. Seated on her left was Lady Basx, translator extraordinaire and cultural scholar, it was her duty to aid the Magnate with all manner of diplomatic communications. And standing (refusing to sit) to Wisenheart’s right, was Lady Cometcat. A former Redcap captain she was now the personal guard of the Green Ear Nation’s Magnate. Cometcat’s dozens of tightly braided coppery locks of hair spilled down onto her green cloaked shoulders while she stood at attention. Always the vigilant sentry, her feline-like eyes were thoroughly combing through the details of her surroundings while her semi-pricked goblinoid ears flicked about independently of her gaze.
As each fish was presented to the gathered audience gentle applause and praise followed. Because the size and danger of the barbed animals was so great, they were hooked through the lip and hoisted by a wooden harbour crane in order to be judged. Wisenheart was busy filling out a Porcupine Fish’s scorecard when Mogul Grieffa was announced and welcomed by the tournament director. The Mogul’s presence in Beetle Bay this morning was unexpected by everyone, including the Magnate. Grieffa and her own ladies-in-waiting shuffled their way towards Wisenheart who then nodded a casual hello towards Bighost’s Mogul. Grieffa returned the nod and put on an unconvincing smile for the on looking public. Some of the Moguls enjoyed a respectful relationship with Wisenheart, Grieffa was never one of them. When Grieffa looked in Cometcat’s direction as if to suggest the lady should move out of the way, Cometcat replied with a slight but stern shake of her head. Grieffa curled her lip in disgust of the defiant goblin and then shooed away lady Basx into another nearby seat with a dismissive gesture. Finally the two goblin nobles, Wisneheart and Grieffa, were seated side by side. Wisenheart spoke first underneath the noise of the crowd.
“I admit I’m surprised to see you this lovely morning Grieffa.”
The old Mogul pursed her wrinkled lips at the comment and then after a dramatic pause entered the conversation.
“What surprises me Magnate, is how the leader of the greatest goblin nation this world has ever seen, can sacrifice her valuable time in order to judge a fishing tournament?”
In spite of Grieffa’s words Wisenheart continued to smile her appreciation at the next goblin’s beautifully marked and fat-bellied fish. She then ran her clawed fingers through her half up brunette hair and exhaled a nearly imperceptible sigh.
“I’m proud to work-in the daily lives of our people. You should try it yourself sometime.”
Grieffa responded by looking elsewhere and letting out a low and raspy chuckle. The moment she finished laughing she leaned her face back into Wisenheart’s shoulder to continue talking underneath the crowd.
“Spare me your politics Wisenheart, there’s no election today.”
As the two GEN nobles sat briefly in silence Lady Cometcat took a moment to drop a challenging gaze at Grieffa’s own pair of female attendants. Neither of the Mogul’s ladies-in-waiting dared to lock eyes with the threatening goblin. Eventually Grieffa croaked out a question to her Magnate.
“What of our diplomats?”
“Ships sail for Guadiar, Gholgoth, and Buccerk.” Replied Wisenheart. The Magnate was pleased that the conversation topic had changed to something more productive. Still, Grieffa had frowned at the names of the nations that were mentioned. Wisenheart continued.
“A peace and trade agreement between the Green Ear Nation and Gholgoth could have very important implications. It would create a flow of goods and services that would span both the East and West continents.”
Grieffa reluctantly nodded her agreement at the wisdom of her Magnate’s words. But the old Mogul wouldn’t allow the subject to end there.
“The world is shrinking Magnate.”
Wisenheart adjusted her ornate emerald robes as she switched her seated position.
“I’d rather view it that we are growing Grieffa.”
“Maybe so…But maybe we’ve grown too big for our own good.”
The Magnate allowed the festivities of the fishing tournament to proceed without her as she turned her full attention to the dour Mogul of Bighost.
“Do you not see it as progress? Our children now have more opportunities than we ever dreamed of. Our merchants fill up their coin purses faster than ever before. Our farmers and fishers bring in enough food to feed all of GEN several times over.And our naval ships can sail through every corner of the marsh before the sun can rise and set. These are good days Grieffa.” Even under the weight of the Magnate’s true words Grieffa maintained her suspicion.
“But at what cost girl? No longer are we off the map of warmongering kings.”
Only a green ear Mogul would ever dare to refer to the supreme leader of their republic as simply “girl”. And they would be wise to not do so often. Cometcat flinched when she heard the spoken disrespect and curled a hand into a clawed fist instinctively. Wisenheart was thankful that only her ladies-in-waiting were close enough to hear the noble’s conversation. Grieffa predictably pretended not to notice anyone’s newly felt discomfort. Wisenheart then spoke the next words through loosely clenched teeth.
“The marsh will protect us Mogul Grieffa. It always has.”
Grieffa turned back towards the fishing tournament in order to weakly applaud the recently announced winner. She whispered her final words just loud enough for Wisenheart to hear them.
“I hope you’re right.”
((Military, Construction, & Diplomacy))
The fires around Svedal were blazing in triumphant exultation, for they burned for the only being that truly mattered in the blighted and broken landscape that was Gholgoth. The city itself was cramped against Mount Gilgami and was the actual location of the Battle of Seven Horns which saw the Dwarven and Orcish populations unite until the dictatorship of the first Supreme Warlord. The city itself was even more desperate looking than the landscape around it. It was constructed by a twisted union of brass, iron, marble, and stone with most of the buildings appearing ancient. The city did however boast some natural defenses that would be the bane of any aggressor for it sat upon terraces which each segment of the city warded off from the rest by high stone walls manned by the malevolent Ironwrought, the chief enforcers of the Supreme Warlord's will. The city of Svedal was not a place for weakness.
Supreme Warlord Durarkul stood upon the balcony of his stone fortress and looked out over the hellscape of Gholgoth with calculating eyes. Gholgoth was alone in this world of weakling wizards and unscrupulous sorcerers. He looked up into the mostly cloudy sky and cursed the gods once more as was habit of most of the people of Gholgoth. Goths did not believe in the gods ... but then that statement wasn't entirely true. Goths did believe the gods existed, for there was no doubting that. Goths simply didn't follow the gods or accept their corrupted 'gifts' for it spat in the face of the only being worthy of their loyalty, Lo the God of Logic and Master of Reason. For centuries the Goths had maintained the peace because there was never a good opportunity to go to war. Again there was the issue of being the only nation that openly worshipped Lo and were utterly alone because of it.
He clamped his large, almost black hands against the brass railings of the balcony and took in the sight of Svedal. Its tiered districts rose ever higher into the sky. On the uppermost tier was the Palace of the Supreme Warlord, his residence and the residence of every Orc or Dwarf who had ever held the title. While the palace held the center of the district to its west, holding the left flank of it was the High Temple of Logic -- the grandest temple of its kind anywhere in Gholgoth. Calling it a temple was to misrepresent it for it was just as formidable a fortress as the Palace and held some of the deadliest technologies known to the Goths. These two structure alone held a great amount of pride and respect from the Goths. The tier below this one was the Freeman District where the bulk of the population lived in grim and baroque looking houses. It was there that most of the city's activities took place from merchants selling their wares to the bustling slave markets propped up by a number of different nobles. It was actually in the center of that district that the climactic end of the Battle of Seven Horns with the death of the treacherous sorcerer Muin Ironbreaker. The lowest tier was the slave district where thousands toiled endlessly into the bottoms of the mountain to pry the precious stones which brought wealth of Svedal. It was also the most fortified tier of the city with hundreds, if not thousands, of soldiers constantly patrolling and shifting themselves about to keep any slave riots firmly under control.
Durarkul swept his cape behind him as he returned to the Palace. Waiting patiently inside for him was a short, stocky, green dwarf with tusks protruding out from his mouth despite the wild and very un-Orcish beard that grew from his chin. The Supreme Warlord knew him well for he was Arch-Reasonist Gnok of Clan Brass Teeth. Durarkul had always liked Gnok despite his dangerous cunning and ambition for he represented everything that it meant to be an Goth. He was a hybrid the supposed 'unholy' union between an Orc and Dwarf but instead of some half-crazed monster his parents had given birth to a creature far more deadly. Gnok gave a respectful bow at Durarkul's approach to which the Supreme Warlord pretended not to know.
'Arch-Reasonist Gnok,' began Durarkul, 'A pleasure to see you as always. I take it you received my message?'
Gnok raised himself up to his, relatively speaking, full height and nodded tensely, 'Yes milord. We march to war?'
Durarkul leaned against the wall on the far corner of the room and nodded, 'Yes, we go to war. The winds are changing or so Balgan keeps telling me. We will need to weather whatever it coming from a position of strength. I have decided that Whitariny will be the first phase of our plan. Can you take it?'
The hybrid snorted and shrugged, 'I reckon so. If not I die in the attempt. It is our way.'
Master Logician Belgan knelt before the Alter of Intellect and recited the prayers taught to him as a boy. They were good words, strong words, that sought out their dead god and tried to beseech his return one more time. The story of Lo was a tragic and dark one known by Balgan by memory. In that gods last dying action he descended from the sun, which was a sliver of his desecrated soul, and gave until Dwarves and Orcs (his favored species) the knowledge of fire. As the story goes that has allowed all mortal races to openly defy the gods and their 'magic'.
Balgan rose from his prayers and saw a stoic-looking Orc standing by one of the pews, wrought from stone and edged in bronze, waiting patiently.
'We have a visitor Your Wisdom.'
Province 74 (Town)
- Build a Forge
- Recruit 1 units of Mechanical Warriors
- Garrison Troops: 25 Heavy Infantry (Ironwrought), 25 Heavy Cavalry, 15 Arquebussers, 10 Cannons, 12 Mechanical Walkers, 12 Mechanical Warriors, 20 Fighters, 5 Bombers, 5 Interceptors, 5 Fast Units
Province 73 (Village)
- Build a Wooden Palisade
- Garrison Troops: 12 Heavy Infantry (Ironwrought), 12 Heavy Cavalry, 7 Arquebussers, 5 Cannons, 6 Mechanical Walkers, 6 Mechanical Warriors, 10 Fighters, 2 Bombers, 2 Interceptors, 2 Fast Units
Province 76 (Village)
- Build a Wooden Palisade
- Garrison Troops: 13 Heavy Infantry (Ironwrought), 13 Heavy Cavalry, 8 Arquebussers, 5 Cannons, 7 Mechanical Walkers, 7 Mechanical Warriors, 10 Fighters, 3 Bombers, 3 Interceptors, 3 Fast Units
From Province 74 to Province 75
1st Legion - 12 Heavy Infantry, 12 Heavy Cavalry, 7 Arquebussers, 5 Cannons, 6 Mechanical Walkers, 6 Mechanical Warriors, 10 Fighters, 5 Bombers, 5 Interceptors
The invasion is led by Arch-Reasonist Gnok. His general strategy is to advance into Whitariny territory (Province 75) and force a confrontation with local garrison forces, if any. If the enemy heavy outnumbers us, then fall back to a defensive position and bait them into conflict. Make a strong defensive line using our Mechanical Walker and Warriors to form a diamond hard center with our Heavy Infantry taking the flanks.
If we stand a reasonable chance against the enemy then form battle lines. As the enemy attempts to form up us our Air Force (bombers) and break up their lines. If this appears to be working, advance across the field with our Mechanical Units forming the center of the line with Heavy Infantry on the flanks and Heavy Cavalry prepping to envelope them. Keep up the bombardment right up until our forces clash with theirs then withdrawal and scout the area to prevent reinforcements.
Gholgoth accepts diplomat from Green Ear Nation.
The Swallow Takes Flight met Parting the Silk with a ringing sound as the two blades clashed. Dark eyes met blue flames as the taller combatant struck again. Moon on the Water met The Wood Grouse Dances, followed swiftly by Ribbon in the Air meeting Stones Falling From the Cliff. We drifted around the arena, striking out with lightning speed. Tower of Morning flowed smoothly into the Courtier Taps His Fan, forcing me to step back to avoid the glittering blade or have my head split in two. The edges of the swords may have had weaves woven around them that rounded the edges to avoid accidental killings but the armoured man was immensely strong and fast and a strike to the head by any blade in his hands would be undoubtedly fatal.
The void is a cold place, lacking in emotion. If a man spends too long in its cold embrace, he can find it difficult to ever leave. But it brings clarity of thought that you cannot find anywhere else. It allows you to focus in a way that is impossible when you are burdened with emotions. In the void, a man can know that he is the only person in his head. At least, most can.
The man I was facing was different. Locked into his armour by ancient magic, he has the minds of thousands of warriors inside his. They once described it to me as a chorus in their mind and it is reflected in their voice, which sounds as if there are many people speaking as one which indeed there are. It can be quite disconcerting when you first meet them. But never mind for I digress and it seemed he had noticed my pause. One thing has to be said about the Dragon Lord, he doesn’t let anything distract him in battle.
The man I had once known as Cúnaer stepped into The Boar Rushes Down the Mountain without hesitation. I countered with The Falling Leaf and followed through with The River Undercuts the Bank as fast as I could. But it seemed my hesitation had cost me the fight for the Dragon Lord flowed smoothly into The Swallow Takes Flight, stopping his blade just short of plunging into my chest, blunted tip or no. His flaming orbs intensified and I could almost feel the heat from where I stood before he stepped back and used Folding the Fan to silently slide Húron back into its sheath. Then he reached out a gauntlet. I accepted the proffered aid and let him pull me the kneeling position I had adopted when I attempted to use The River Undercuts the Bank.
His tone was oddly warm as he addressed me. “It is good to see that you are keeping your skills sharp Gideon.”
My chuckle was more than a little bitter. “I have nothing left but my blade and my bond to Cerelinde old friend, you know that better than anyone.”
The man that had been my oldest friend stiffened for a moment before relaxing. “You are correct of course Gideon. Forgive us.”
I waved it away, knowing that he had not spoken to insult. The Dragon Lord had the memories and attitudes of thousands of Esterwynnian warriors in his head and he did not insult his friends. What he had said had merely been a friendly quip not unlike those I would’ve expected from Cúnaer before he accepted the role. Intended as good natured banter, he had not meant to remind me of all that I had lost but even so I excused myself and left the public area heading for the chambers I shared with Cerelinde. She alone truly understood what I went through every time I was reminded of my loss.
The sheer agony that came from watching my mother and my little sisters raped in front of me had haunted me for years. I will never forget seeing the men murder them after the deed was done, spilling their heads into the same sack that already held that of my father and my older brother. They had been coming for me when the youngest of the raiders had cut my bonds and leapt at his fellows. He had fought them with everything he had as I grabbed a weapon but it was a losing battle until I arrived and when the men were dead the boy had suffered a mortal wound. He had been no more than a boy following his father and had been horrified at the treatment of my sisters, remembering his own sister. He told me this in the few seconds before he succumbed to death’s cold embrace. Enraged, I had cut through the still living raiders like they were parchment. Some fled.
Then had been a long trek to the capital with the bodies of my family on a cart behind me before I collapsed before the gates. I was weak and nearly delusional. Only Cerelinde’s bond had saved my life, the strength granted by it preventing me from dying there and then from blood loss before I could even reach a healer. Her emotional support had been non-stop for ten years, slowly bringing me out of the shell of fear and bitterness. Cúnaer had been a great help himself but it still only took one wrong word to spark a torrent of emotion.
So it was that Cerelinde came running at the sorrow and fear flowing through the bond to find me curled up into a ball with my back against the wall, muttering that what I was seeing was just a memory. The woman that had helped me through so much pain already sank to her knees beside me
The Dragon Lord
Such a curious man stood before us. It was not the first time we had encountered Master-Magus Azrayle, but it was the first time we had done so in this new body. When he entered the hall his gaze had immediately fastened onto us. After all, we were an enigma to the Cythrathi and one they had always wanted to study. They did not understand how we could all share the same mind and body. Indeed, our existence came very close to openly contradicting their beliefs about death. So far as we knew, we had been listed under ‘Other’ in their records for the past few millennia after we granted them permission to study us which they did for a century. No one understood the magic that bound us together save the first of us and he was tight lipped on the subject.
Eventually tearing his gaze away from me the Master-Magus began to speak. "I bring greetings from his majesty, Emperor Khyron Kalistarion the Second, ruler of the Cythrathi nation and long standing friend of yours. I am here to deliver the wizards that are a part of the trade agreement between the Emperor and your people. One Sorcerer and twenty Warlocks per ten suits of Mithril forged armour. I have already sent those knights who shall be wearing the armour to the trade district to gather what is now theirs and these wizards are now yours." Master-Magus Azrayle bowed deeply as he looked at the Council, again pausing on us for a few moments before beginning to stroke his small black goatee of a beard. "Are there any questions you need to ask or anything you wish for me to convey back to my master?"
The Council were silent but we stepped forward. “There was an agreement signed almost two millennia ago that grants your people a century during which they can call upon us for study at any time. In a few months the Emperor will be able to invoke this agreement. We would like you to pass on this news to him but also to inform him that we will have the right to return to Esterwynne at any time if it’s necessary in order to defend our people.” We spoke in chorus and watched as Azrayle’s gaze sharpened, looking at us appraisingly.
The Master Magus inclined his head. "It will be done, and long have the Cythrathi honoured the wishes of Esterwynne so you shall be able to return when needed or when you wish with no qualms from us, My Lord. The Emperor himself will be informed upon our return and if there is anything you will require when you’re in Sorrowfall then let myself know and I shall do what I can to provide it."
We inclined our head in a mirror of his action and stepped back. “In that case, we see no need to keep you here any longer for we are sure you wish to return to Sorrowfall. We expect to see you soon Master-Magus.”
It was not long after Azrayle had left the hall that our discussion turned to darker matters. Arriane was the most vocal on the current subject of raiders crossing our borders from Crimsip. Farms had been burned, trading caravans butchered. We needed to stop it. The Consul stood before the Council and spoke passionately on the matter. “The Legion cannot patrol the entire border. We either need to recruit a few thousand more men, or we need to eliminate the source of the threat. As you know, I have never been one to preach that we follow the passive route. I believe we should strike against Crimsip hard and fast, drive deep into their lands and remove the current ruler, the Orc who calls himself Chief Zurgug. Only then would we be safe from these raiders.”
Her words were not surprising, for Arriane had always been one to eliminate threats before they had a chance to become truly dangerous. What was surprising was that her fellow Consul Alendril, normally much more cautious and reserved, agreed with her. He too argued about the need to take Crimsip’s mad ruler out of the equation in order to remove the threat of the raiders, although his reasoning was more along the lines that the people of the nation needed to be shown that there was a better way to live than the violence that was so common.
The agreement of the two Consuls swayed most of the Council over to their side and those few doubters who remained also supported the motion after we made our support of the plan plain. Thus it was agreed. I would lead a large contingent of our forces west to attack the centre of Crimsip’s territory, the northernmost expanse of the forest that covered most of their land, while the two Consuls would remain in Esterwynne with the rest of our forces to guard against any attackers.
The village was a large one and Orcs and Goblins could be seen fleeing towards it as we led our forces in the same direction. We called one of the Arch-Magi to us. “Take some of our force round the village and watch for any that try to carry a message to their mad leader. Try to avoid any killing, we want to help these people, not butcher them.” He nodded his affirmative and strode off, calling men to follow him.
We strode ahead of our force that halted just out of bowshot of the village. As we approached an older looking Orc pushed through the press, walking out of the huddle of frightened people to greet us. “Why are you here?” The question was phrased as a demand for answers but we brushed off his tone. We understood why he would be so abrupt considering we had just surrounded his home with a few thousand men. He spoke again when we did not respond to his first question. “Why have you brought an army to our village?”
We tilted our head to one side and looked at him for a moment. He tried to meet our gaze but dropped it less than a second later, something which did not surprise us. We knew very few people who could match our gaze, considering our eyes were nothing more than balls of fire.
“We are here to halt a gross injustice. Long has your ruler, Chief Zurgug, kept you as little more than brutes to serve his aims. I do not doubt that some of the raiders that have attacked our lands have come from this village, nor do I doubt that they only did so because they were commanded to. Your people are at war, with each other and with the rest of the world. We are here to stop this. We will not harm you or your village, provided you do not attempt to stop us from killing Zurgug. Maybe once he is dead you will become part of the council we will establish. Make no mistake, we will kill Zurgug, whether we do so sooner or later is all that will change. Once he is dead, we will teach your people of the world beyond your borders and we will train your soldiers into an army you can be proud of. All we will ask in return is your support should we ever be attacked. Know that you will always have ours should you be besieged. Now that you know why we are here elder, I would know what your response will be. We do not wish to destroy your village or kill your people. We have only one enemy in this nation and he is not you. What is your answer elder?”
__________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ _____
Winter of 796
Before the first snows have even fallen, the soil of Ravari has been washed with blood. The dark thoughts that have fallen upon this once peaceful land has infected through every level and every nation, driving armies to war and soldiers to their deaths.
In the mountains of the East, the Pale Dominion, well accustomed to the chill of death and dread in the air, prepare themselves for the storm that they know is brewing just beyond the horizon.
For the Cythrathi, there is no hesitation. For even as another might testimony to the might of this great mountain nation rises from the streets of Sorrowfall, they are buying the land of Ladival with promises of protection and trade.
The armies of Issyria march to war against Dagalor, despite swords freezing in their scabbards from the soul-wrenching cold. It is a bloody bloody day for the proud armies of Issyria, as they are beaten back and slaughtered in their thousands by the fierce people that call the mountain nation their home. In Issyria, the night is loud with the cries of mothers who's sons will never come down from the mountain. As if to rub salt in the wound, the diplomats sent to Imilare and Marmaalic return with messages of distrust towards a nation that will ask for peace with some neighbors even while it wages war against others.
Meanwhile, the Green Ear Nation of Goblins stretch out their reach to their neighboring nations, hoping to surround themselves with friends before the greedy glances from aggressive nations turn to all out attacks. While the diplomats sent to Gholgoth and Buccerk return with stories of open arms and warm welcomes, the riders sent to the imposing city of Guadiar tell of empty streets lined with thousands of strange statues.
Gholgoth itself launches a swift offensive against their neighbors to the South-East, the Whitariny. Although the sky burns from the tumbling wrecks of Gholgoth's dirigibles, cut down by Whitariny's own Interceptors, Gholgoth's armies do not cease until they have driven the garrison force from the Province and claimed it as their own, although they have left many bodies of their own in their wake, as well as those of the enemy.
Esterwynne too does not wait and prepare itself for the coming chaos, instead launching a crippling attack on their western neighbors, Crimsip. Just the sight of the majestic army from up the hills is enough for the Conscript garrison of the Province to throw down their arms, but the elite core succeeds in breaking out of the Province and warning their superiors of the attack. Despite this, Esterwynne's flag flies above the Province.
The two other nations, the Thuzamor Collective and the Confederation of Scotian Clans, both strong in their own right, sit back and watch as events unfold.
All across Ravari, blood has been spilled, and there is no doubt there will be more spilled in the dark winter months. But will the end of winter also end this carnage, or will the new life of Spring be drowned in rivers of blood.
Updated Map Key
The night sky is illuminated by the gathering of the clans. Hundreds of men, women a d children have gathered, tartan kilts and clan banners are seen everywhere. The cold winter winds blow through the camp, and families huddle closer to the fires for warmth. A huge round table is surrounded by nearly 30 men, 4 of these sit on more ornate chairs, indicating that they are chiefs while the others are chieftains. The table is noisy with the sounds of men drinking and arguing with each other. Such is the way of Scotia, this loose confederation is made up of old enemies, as well as old friends.
A tall, slim and proud looking chief stands to speak. "
"If we don't gather more land, we will soon be outclassed by other nations! We have soldiers, but we need to pay and feed them. We cannot do this while we sit in our lands and do nothing!"
Around the table come grumbles of consent, these men are warriors, highlanders, wielders of sword and shield.
"I am inclined to agree, MacNeil!"
Another of the chief's speak up, this time roars of approval spring up, this man who spoke, Robertson is popular and competent, well deserving of the title of chief.
"I agree as well, that puts the Chiefs at a majority for war, what say the chieftains? Aye or Naw?"
Roars of Aye come from around the table, when Robertson is suggested to lead the troops, this is repeated.
"It is decided then, the army shall march at first light, lead by Chief Robertson."
The table then becomes a feasting and drinking ground, with countless brawls and much laughter.
Dawn comes and the army, assembled in the hills for the gathering of the clans, begins its long march to war.
-Shipwright in Province 6(3 turns)
-Moat in Province 7(4 turns)
-Stone Barricades in Province 5(2 turns)
-1 Highland Clansmen in Province 5
Troops stations and Orders
The main army is assembled in province 5, with a total of 50 Highland Clansmen, 20 Heavy Cannon, 60 Arquebussers and 25 Mosstroopers. It also has 40 Interceptors.
This force shall advance into Province 4 with orders to capture the region and crush any enemy resistance.
Meanwhile, in the home territories, there are 20 Highland Clansmen, 20 Arquebussers, 5 Mosstroopers and 20 Interceptors.
In Province 5, there are 10 Clansmen units, 3 Mosstroopers, 10 Arquebussers and 10 Interceptors left to defend the region.
In province 7 there are 10 Clansmen, 10 Arquebussers, 2 Mosstroopers and 10 Interceptors left to defend the region.
Province 6 is undefended due to it being inaccessable.
The Main fleet, of 50 ironclads, will sail to sector 7G and begin shelling Province 17 with cannon, in hope of forcing it to surrender to the Confederation.
The tactics to be used by the Main Army are as follows:
Advance into Province 4 and attempt to lure an enemy force into a field battle. If this is not managed, then the troops are to capture the nearby town. If a field battle is achieved, then the Highland troops will organise themselves into ranks, with Arquebussers behind and Clansmen pike in front. The cannon will rain grape and round shot on the enemy troops while the infantry advance to pin their centre. Meanwhile, the Mosstroopers will launch lightning quick strike and withdraw manoeuvres against the enemy flanks.
Should the enemy be too strong, the Army will entrench itself and fight a defensive battle.
Tactics to be used by the Main Fleet:
Sail to 7G, bombard the Province with cannon fire in hope that they surrender, or are weakened enough to make an attack easier.
In the event of encountering an enemy fleet, the ironclads will engage, confident in naval superiority.
1 diplomat heading to the Pale Dominion to try and forge a military alliance and trade agreements.
1 diplomat heading to Colact to demand they become a client state, giving their military and diplomatic powers to the Confederation, but keeping control of what they can build, finances and the territory itself, although it would be marked on the map as Scotian.(Only in event of a land victory.)
(Provice 79: The Pale Forest)
A tall Orc walked from the Death Watch tower, the central building of the Town of Juu'reg located in the pale forest. He was robed in a purple spider silk robe, with carefully inlaid silver threading in the patterns of dancing skeletons along the back of the hooded robe. Beneath his robe he was as armored as any soldier, and carried a Necro-Steel Scythe on his back. This was a Warlock, one who was above even the Priesthood, and his name was Skellrog of the Silken Tongue. He was named thusly as he was an orator as well as a practitioner of the most holy art of Necromancy. He had just spoken with Uzeg the Perpetual who tasked him worth journeying with a retinue and a parade to the Province of the Pikilar to discuss adding them to the dominion.
As he walked, the sun only occasionally breaking through the serene fog of the now cold and snow en shrouded forest town. The people of the town acknowledged his presence with a bow, pressing a closed fist into a flat open palm as they did so. He nodded in kind as he continued on his way through the crowded streets, hearing singing of folk tunes, and chants from a nearby temple as well as the everyday toils of the working folk.
Juu'reg was comprised of large wooden huts of various sizes, decorated with totems and bones and art works to show the ancestry of those who lived there, or had once lived. It seemed the thricing hub, but he knew that none here were foreigners, and this was why he had his diplomatic task, he was to try and bring the Pikilar into the fold, not to usurp them and to not damn their ways either, if the Pilikar people chose to convert, it would be their choice alone and was not to be enforced. He hoped that he could convince the lone province to join the dominion, to receive its protection as well as to exchange culture and ideas, and also the province was apart of the mountain range of the region, a subtle goal would to own in full the surrounding forests and mountains at one point. A goal that they hoped would not involve bloodshed that had been foretold by whispers of the ancestors in the priesthood's recent meditations. If it were to come to war though, the Death March was more than willing, it was their calling.
Soon he encountered the Death Head of this detachment of, in his full heavy armor, with furred clothing beneath to protect against the cold.
"Most enshadowed warlock." The Death Head bowed in the typical fashion.
"Death Head, most valourus, I assume the Parade is ready." Skellrog noted as they also had instruments besides shields and weapons.
"Yes, and the Silent ones are scouting ahead in case they don't receive us well, and we are versed in what to play, and ready to display our strength and prowess for them." The Death head thudded his armored chest in affirmation.
"Good, I and the Priests will do the talking, we shall also mingle among the towns folk, I have no doubt letting them get final words from their desceased loved ones will show them we mean no harm, and we shall display our magicks first, so as to wean them into our practices they may find controversial." He said with trepidation, he knew magicks that could entertain though and a cart of painted up bones would serve as undead entertainment, he was sure that artful and colorful bones of both Orc and beast would be appreciated by the townsfolk, and would possibly convince them it was not truly the dark art everyone assumed it to be.
"Ah you show them the dancing dead! My khildren love those shows." The burly Death Head smiled a bit, thinking on his offspring and wondering if they were behaving.
"Yes, if their youth enjoy it, it will soften them to our ways I hope, now were is my Skorpus?" Skellrog asked were his insectiod steed was.
"Ah yes we will bring it right to you, its Winter carapace has just finished maturing from the fall shed, it is stabled with the Wargs." He said as his men ran off to fetch the beast.
"Good I do not want my Illick to be among those smelly beasts more than she need be." He said thinking fondly on his giant pet and ride.
Minutes later the beast was brought, the Skorpus in its grey and white coat, and no longer the greens and browns of the rest of the year's shells, it nuzzled its master fondly and lifted up Skellrog on its great shield sized claws and he sat in his saddle. Along its stinger tail was wrapped purple silks and white furs, and a flag on the Pale Dominion hung from its curved tail.
Finally the Priests arrived with a two carriages pulled by massive Wargs, giant wolves of the forest, one carrying supplies for camping as well as gifts for Pikilar's leaders, and the other containing beautiful bones, painted up for the Priests to use in entertaining the townsfolk.
With that they left, surrounded by the Death March guards.
Current Unit Positions(Garrisons)/Movements:
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