On Wealsun 4, Count Gareth of Arweth asked for heroes to assess the troops and villages of Arweth. Aurora, Ben, Kosef, Osiris and I answered the call. Hochoch has a population of 5500 with 40 town guard remaining, 67 archers and 8 acolytes of St Cuthbert, Pelor, Allitur and Ehlonna. I have been working with the two acolytes of Ehlonna to reestablish things here and they can continue while I am gone. Count Gareth decreed that every able bodied adult (male and female) in Arweth must serve 40 days a year and 4 hours each Sunday training (without pay) as commoner militia. The commoners need 10 days of initial training to become proficient with one weapon and those days count against that 40 days. First we assessed the commanders of the provincial troops. We decided that Cymorth Asoth ap Brundil would be the army commander and Braichdyn Andan ap Arendil would be the second in command and trainer of elite troops. Ben and Aurora felt that Asoth would make the better Cymorth as he is hard-nosed and would be better for discipline. The town guard and existing archers can start training the commoners. Each person can only train 15 people and only in something the trainer is skilled at, so that limits the number of people of exceptional ability who can be trained.
Next we headed to Newbridge, about 6 miles away. The town was in good shape, with supplies and weapons and most of the people remaining. They still had 90 archers and 80 spearmen and one acolyte of Merrika. They also had 100 Gran March soldiers and craftsmen held prisoners. Of the prisoners, 5 wanted to stay in Arweth under Gareth. The remainder we marched back to Hochoch to be imprisoned there. Of the 350 people remaining in Newbridge, 2 were picked by Osiris and 12 by Kosef for special training. We set up a town council with the cleric, one archer, one spearman and one agricultural person. The town asked for clerics, especially of light to fight off the shadows from the Dim. We will try. We stayed for a week and a half training everyone in either the bow or the spear so they could defend themselves.
Things were not as good in Fort Integrity. The Gran March forces had taken everything possible with them when they left. The 550 survivors were starving and wearing only rags. We brought the survivors and 6 ballista back to Newbridge. One teacher had remained in Fort Integrity, who we introduced to Rhyzzat for training. We made the teacher in charge of the town council in Newbridge. We spent another week and a half training the survivors in either ballista, bow or the spear. Osiris and Kosef found some more exceptional people they could train. Ben also found one person he could train as an acolyte. We kept the sending stone to report in to Count Gareth.
We next traveled to Daufforth and Fort Honour. We met 2 knights with bull tabards on the road from Commandant Baronet Charging Bull Knight Commander Montgommery Sebastian Neheli former 62nd Bull calvary regiment. We managed to capture one and drive the other off. Those calvary are tough advisories. An acolyte of Merrika had taken over leadership of the area and 660 people remained. They were in fine shape with 22 archers and 8 spearmen remaining of the provincial troops. I found one person who was suitable to be trained as an acolyte. Unfortunately they are plagued with raids by knights, of whom 15 to 25 are unaccounted for. The second day we were there, a group of 9 knights approached down the road. We decided to put 200 troops into Fort Honour, as many as it would hold. Osaris and I went to the fort as well. The remaining people all got behind the wall of the manor house. The nine knights were repulsed from the manor house and 21 knights attacked the fort and were also repelled. My birthday passed as we continued to train the commoners in warfare.
We next traveled to Fort Resolve. 350 people remained here, including a priest of Mayheine and 2 acolytes, 80 spearmen and 90 archers. They are also plagued by knights of the cougar calvary. We spent time here as well training the people.
We next traveled to Fort Loyalty. It was burned to the ground, apparently by the Oytwood elves who saw no difference between the Gran March troops and the provincial troops. I can somewhat understand their bitterness against the Gran March, who have no respect for the forest and the land. But I mourn the Flan who would have been good citizens of Arweth. I did recover the sending stone.
We met a patrol of elves on the way to Garrin’s Field. They have been hunting the knights that remain in Arweth. The war between the elves and Gran March has not abated. When Ben mentioned the knights near Fort Resolve and Fort Honour, the elves headed north to find them. It is an uneasy alliance for now between Arweth and the elves. We need to make sure Arweth learns to respect the forest and the elves for all to be well between them.
Fort Diligence and Garrin’s Field are doing fine. The patrols of elves make them nervous, but the town has not been attacked. We found more apprentices for Rhyzzat and one each for Ben and myself. This country needs more clerics, especially of the Old Faith. The town has about 1100 citizens, including 110 archers. A temple to Pholtus had been started, so the villagers are continuing, even though they have no clergy. Maybe we can use it for another god when we find clergy. We found someone of above average intelligence, so we left him in charge of the town. We spent more time training and finally returned to Hochhoch after about 8 weeks of travel.
We found 14 people in Hochoch suitable to be trained as acolytes. We send 4 to the Priest of Mayheine in exchange for his current acolytes being sent to Newbridge to help against the Dim. Ben and I now each have 7 acolytes and 8 heavy infantry we are training in the use of armor and weapons. I can train my soldiers in the use of the longsword and chainmail. My days are busy with training and the teachings of Ehlonna. When I can, I teach the people more of the ways of Ehlonna and the respect for the land. Goodmonth will be starting soon and then the crops will be harvested. Hopefully the peace lasts that long and Arweth can heal.