Emperor Khyron stands before the half constructed tower, his gauntleted hands curled into fists with his knuckles resting on the edge of the table as he looks over the plans and estimates of the finished construction while Sorcerer's discuss how best to utilize the new wizards tower that will be the next addition to the four already constructed within Sorrowfall. Ignoring those around him Khyron stands up fully and picks up the massive dark-iron bound tome chained to his waist and opens it flicking through the pages, scanning the arcane words there written by his own hand before he turns to Mordred and Maelik. "The two of you know what to do, report back to me as soon as you return." The two other members of the 'Hand' crash their fists into their chest plates and leave with Vladimir and Tyrion being the only remaining two members of the 'Hand' left in Sorrowfall until Vardis Krom's return.
Closing the book he turned around to face Grand-Pyromancer Veptus Phrix, "When the tower is completed inform me at once, there can be no delay in what I intend to do with it and the magic that will be done within it. Inform the Master-Magus to return to Sorrowfall when the 'Dragon Lord' is ready to come with him. He is the key to what I intend." With that Khyron casts one last look at the half constructed obsidian and black marble tower before stalking through the streets to return to the Black Pyramid at the top of the mountain with his personal guard in tow.
(Construction of the Wizards Tower Continues, 5 Warlock Units created in Sorrowfall.)
90 Black Guard Units: 2350 Men
15 Reaver Units: 1500 Elves
15 Blood Knight Units: 150 Elves
18 Warlock Units: 360 Elves - 1 unit
15 Sorcerer Units: 15 Elves - 1 sorcerer
The Loremasters: 3 Elves
The Hand: 2 Elves.
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In the village of Ul'tear Vardis Krom and Dreadlord Xandrek stays for a couple of days to oversee the beginning construction of the stone walls to surround the village but still allow the growth of it for future generations with shipments of black marble and obsidian being sent from Sorrowfall itself with several units of troops coming to garrison the village itself as promised. After four days have past and the village has been garrisoned Vardis Krom and Dreadlord Xandrek take their forces and head north to bring more of Ladival into the fold. While those Warlocks there begin the process of un-interring the dead of Ul'tear and giving them proper burial rites of the Cythrathi to call back their spirits when needed.
(Construction of Stone Barricades begins, 1 unit of conscript infantry (undead) recruited.)
3 Sorcerers - 3 Elves
5 Warlock Units - 100 Elves
3 Units of Blood Knights - 30 Elves
15 Units of Black Guar - 375 Men
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After travelling from Ul'tear Vardis Krom and Lord Xandrek take their forces north into the village of Ula'Noth and offer them the same deal that they gave those in Ul'tear. 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. Already your neighbours in Ul'tear have accepted my masters offer and benefit from his generosity, will you do the same?"
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."
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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 41.
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.
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Master-Magus Azrayle leans on his staff in his private room listening to the mirror that he has placed on the wall which allows him to communicated vast distances with his fellow members of the 'Four' back in Sorrowfall. Nodding his head in agreement to Grand-Pyromancer Phrix he then waves his hand and the mirror shimmers before becoming inert once more. Turning to his servant he orders him to gather his guards and belongings and prepare for departure, they were going to go find the Dragon Lord of Esterwynne and keep an eye on him, aiding him, until he was ready to go to Sorrowfall.
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Orga'Roth in the Eastern Mountains (42):
Mordred and Maelik of the 'Hand' stand before three men of the Buccerk tribes: Mountain Chief Orlan Thurn a fiery haired man, broad of shoulder and chest and while into his late 50's still very capable of wielding his axe. It is his halls which they are in now being the more 'friendly' and open of the three chiefs. To his left is: Chief Rancard Darkild, the chief of the southern most lands of the Buccerk tribes who looks to be perhaps in his late twenties, he is shady and dark of hair and seemingly only content to spill blood and one of the least acceptive of outsiders and didn't wish to be part of this meeting. To Chief Orlan's right there is Chief Porcad Fa, he's the one least likely to support a combined attack. He's never seen the violence of Ladival himself so doesn't agree with the raids. He's the oldest, white hair, hunched over and thoughtful.
Maelik remains silent walking around the table where the three men at sat, topping up mead and wine cups when they are empty of shovelling more exotic food from Sorrowfall onto their plates to keep the three men happy while Mordred sits with him sipping lightly of his wine and being the one to speak. Mordred observes three chiefs for a few moment and then places down his drink before nodding his head to a hooded and cloaked servant who quickly leaves, leaving Maelik and Mordred alone with the chiefs. "Thank you Great Chiefs for answering this call from our Emperor, Khyron the Second. I know that you only know us from legends as the 'Fey-Necromancers' of the Black Mountain but I can assure you that we and the offers we come with are quite real." Mordred leans back in his chair and observes the three for their reactions about the fact he is fluently speaking their language.
"I come from the mountain kingdom of the Cythrathi that has seen how divided the land is, and have seen that long have your tribes been at war with the kingdom of Ladival, those who believe you to be savages but they could not be more wrong. We have observed you for a long time and see that there is a great nobility in your peoples, that you value honour and loyalty to your tribes above all. The Emperor wishes to bring the Buccerk into the Cythrathi Empire where each of you would still rule your lands but you will also swear the Empire when needed. You will march along side us in times of war and we shall march to your aid in your times of need, we will trade our goods with yours that will ensure growth and prosperity for future generations." By this point Mordred has stood up and is circling the table with his hands behind his back.
"Before you decided to join us or not, we are here to make you the offer that the Cythrathi are willing to make an alliance against our mutual enemies: The Kingdom of Ladival. You may of already heard that Ul'tear has already sworn themselves to the Empire and that even now Ula'Noth is on the way to joining us, this will greatly weaken the Ladival making a combined force of the Cythrathi and your own warriors a mighty force indeed." Mordred stops behind the chair of Chief Orlan and lays his black-gauntleted hands on the chief's shoulders while looking at the other two. "We, the Cythrathi, will share our knowledge of magic with you, we shall arm your warriors with the dark steel and black iron of out mountain. We are willing to share all if you join us, and as such the Emperor has bade me bring each of you gifts from Sorrowfall."
Mordred moved around to the door of the hall where the hooded servant returned with others carrying a total of six chests between them, two each marked with the specific symbols of the three chiefs assembled though they can see another four chests bearing the crests of the two tribes that refused to answer the summons to the meeting. Chief Orlan speaks first, his voice booming.
"You've got a big mouth on you lad, but anyone can make promises. You've got dark magic running in your veins, and we've all heard legends of those that worship death bringing destruction to whole nations. How do we know you won't just lodge a knife in our backs first chance you get?"
Mordred laughs at being called 'Lad' as he is most likely several hundred years older than Chief Orlan. "We know better that to become like those of old, Chief Orlan. Our use of Death Magic is different to that of all others, we treat all dead with the reverence they deserve and did not receive in life. It is an honour to be called back to defend your home and show the enemies of your descendants that even in death you still watch over your lands."
Chief Orlan nods his head in agreement, but chief Porcad leans forward and looks at Mordred intently. "I've seen personal death too many times, and I know it is no art that any man should practice, it is an ugly beast. I do not doubt that soon my own body will cross over, and I very much intend for it to stay there, reunited with my wife and son."
Mordred shifts his deep blue gaze to stare into the eyes of Porcad. "That may be true Chief Porcad. However you have no heir and when you pass over your tribe will tear itself to pieces as those you call your lieutenants try to assert their dominance. Can you really deal with that being on your conscience when you pass over?" Mordred moves to the first chest inscribed with Porcad's crest and opens it revealing a suit of dark steel trimmed with gold and inscribed with silver runes. All three chiefs could feel the magic bound into it though not exactly what. "My master, Emperor Khyron, bids me to bestow upon you this gift Great Chief. This armour will return your strength of your youth and more, while also granting you a measure of years like that of us elves."
At the opening of the chest, Rancard visibly sits up intently, staring at the contents of the chest, while Orlan seems to shift uncomfortably. Porcad himself sits quietly for a moment, before nodding slowly. "You have wisdom, and I know what you say is true. And so, although I must now wait for even longer before I can see my love and my son once more, I accept your gift." Orlan seems surprised at this response from the older chief, and he speaks again. "You seem to have won over Porcad, and I must say that this talk of marching beside you to war interests me. Although I am more intrigued by the chest that bears my crest"
Mordred nods his head and turns to unlock Orlan's chest. "The armour is of similar design with similar magic imbued into it Chief Orlan." Mordred then reaches into the chest and withdraws a great two-headed axe made of darkened silver steel with dark purple runes etched into it. "This axe also will be yours, while in your armour you can easily wield this in one hand. The runes will answer to your command, igniting into flames that smite your enemies and will cut through iron and bronze armour as if it were paper." Mordred then places the axe on the table and then looks over at Rancard to see if the third chief has anything to say.
Orlan lets out a roaring laugh at the sight of the weapon, and picks it up from the table, swinging it through the air with ease. Rancard himself says nothing, instead staring intently at the third chest. Upon seeing this Mordred moves over to the first of Rancard's chests and opens it withdrawing an black leather iron bound tome and a helmet of midnight black iron forged to resemble that of a skull. "For you chief Rancard, we know you have somewhat studied what you can of the arcane arts and so we have these for you. Like Chief Orlan and Porcad you have armour to increase your might. But the Emperor bids me give you these." He places the helmet and book infront of him. "The book itself contains the rites, rituals and cantrips of our Warlocks that allow them to call forth those honoured dead to serve once more, while the helmet itself will allow you to perceive and harness the winds of magic required for the spells."
Rancard curls his lip into a smile and nods slowly. Mordred bows his head to the three chiefs and steps back as the servants bring the chests forward and deposit them next to those that they now belong to. "We look forward to the alliance between our people and hope that in the future the great tribes will join the Cythrathi Empire. We will return and inform our Emperor that you have decided to join us, and we shall inform you when it is time to gather your forces and we march upon the Capital of Ladival: Esteroth. For now we ask that you train your warriors and keep an eye on our mutual foes informing us on if they intend to strike at us before we strike at them." With that Mordred bows to the assembled chiefs and then leaves with his servants and Maelik.
When the party is out of the mountains and travelling back to Sorrowfall they turn their gaze back to the home of Chief Orlan back up in the eastern mountains and then past to where the coast will be before Maelik speaks. "In time the eastern chiefs of the Buccerk tribes will come to us after they have learnt what gifts their western cousins received. I wonder how the Emperor will receive them after their refusal to come to this meeting."
115 Black Guard Units: 2875 Men
20 Reaver Units: 2000 Elves
20 Blood Knight Units: 200 Elves
25 Warlock Units: 500 Elves - 1 unit
21 Sorcerer Units: 21 Elves - 1 sorcerer
The Loremasters: 4 Elves
The Hand: 5 Elves.
Already, you exalt me for my triumphs, When I ask only that you remember me for my treacheries
Victory is nothing more than survival.
It carries no weight of honour or worth beyond what we ascribe to it.
If you wish to grow wise, learn why brothers betray brothers. - Khyron, First Grand Master of the Eighth Brotherhood.