Gyruff (Grand Duchy of Geoff)

Wealsun 21

Rumors: As the orcs and goblins finish raiding and pillaging The Lea, Gyri archers and rangers fire down on them from the hills above. As the orcs and goblins give chase, the rangers have spiked growth and mundane traps prepared for them.

Down in the valley, the villagers have fled to Pregmere where they and the townsfolk pack into the massive castle originally created for the fire giants. As orcs and goblins push into the city, they are met by Rhychdir Rhos’ two light cavalry companies and more than fifty fire and hill giants prepared to defend “their” town from the rampaging hordes. Even those defenders, who slaughtered orcs and goblins by the hundreds, were not enough. Several thousand orcs and as many goblins flood through the pass and through the town, but the town and the castle are not their objective.

Those few orcs and goblins of the first wave who approached the castle were cut down by the two companies of archers deployed on its’ walls, but the hordes continue moving to the north and east through the pass, where the forces of Rhwng yr Coed have more surprises for them. The narrow pass is perfectly suited to more spiked growth, deadfall traps and archer fire from above, but the hordes keep pressing through. There is no time for caution as those in the back press those in the front forward, often dying in the spiked growth, but the hordes press on.

More than six thousand orcs and goblins die in the valley from The Lea through Pregmere to Rhwng yr Coed, driven forward on by those behind, but while the defenders of Rhwng yr Coed are occupied, goblin worg riders descend upon the humans and turn the tide of battle. Arglwythes Briallen had organized her forces into wolfpacks of ten (four rangers, two archers, two bards, a cleric and a sorcerer), but of the forty-some wolfpacks, only a few bloodied wolfpacks return from what becomes known as the “Battle of Orc Blood Pass”. On their heels are two thousand orcs and goblins followed by hundreds of giants (ogres, hill, stone, frost and fire) and behind them are more than a thousand hobgoblin heavy infantry.

Near the border, where the Oytwood nears the road, the approaching hordes fall under fire from the bows of the elves, but the fire giants have their own response of fire in return. Massive trebuchets launch hot rocks and barrels of oil to set the western Oytwood aflame, something that gives the elves something to do other than harass the armies marching into Rhwng yr Coed…

More Rumors from Hochoch: There is little surprise that many of the newly respawned foreigners from Gran March and Keoland broke faith and fled the country after pledging themselves to Llewellyn. As it was not a magical oath, they were free to flee from Gyruff without their honor. Any true Gyri (and, admittedly, even Knights of the Watch) could rather die than face the dishonor of being an oathbreaker, known as Anudoni in the Flan tongue.

To Traditional Flan/Gyri, a person’s worth is measured by their trustworthiness. Most formal agreements (in the old days) from business transaction to an alliance are sealed with each side just giving a verbal arvol (tr. Oath) to abide by the agreement. Those who broke their word without atoning or redeeming themselves with their Glyw (tr. Lord) suffered severe social stigma and shunned. Any chance of atonement/redemption was typically through a difficult and often lethal task to perform.

Thus it is that most of the True Gyri and honorable among those returned from the dead and pledged themselves to follow Emperor/Grand Druid Llewellyn will remain loyal as long as he lives. Many returned foreigners and Flan brought up in Arweth during the occupation are disillusioned and dishonest at best, chose the path of the Anudoni and escaped to Gran March or fled to the lands of Rhwng yr Coed to the west.

Proclamation: In response to the events of Wealsun 20 in Hochoch, Arglwyth Eridan Shadowblade of Dwyr and (former?) Regent of Gyruff makes a proclamation that spreads by animal messenger and heralds:

“Once more the debased Druid Llewelyn and his patsy Prince Rhys ap Rhys have shown their despicable natures. They have un-interred our honored dead in Hochoch and brought them back to life to press them into servitude in their foul cause. Those who would not yield and stayed true to their beliefs were slaughtered and devoured by the evil forces occupying Arweth.

We have little with which to fight such an overwhelming force but we must fight it just the same. Gather together in groups large and small. Hinder every move of their foul army wherever it goes and fight for the freedom of all Gyri as well as that of our allies. Wherever they go and whatever they do, find a way to pass on that knowledge to those that oppose them as you do. Rhys ap Rhys is no longer fit to be called a Brenin of Gyruff and Llewelyn is not fit to be called an Emperor of Pellam. To use their names in association with those great lands is to dishonor those lands and their history.

The giants once occupied all of Gyruff, destroyed its culture and its people but we fought back. We resisted the oppressors and in the end won the battle to reclaim our homeland.

The resistance is re-born today. The war is just beginning. We will not be the last of the Gyri.

Gyruff will rise again if we have the heart to see it through to the end.”

More Rumors from Hochoch: Those who remained in or near to Hochoch for more than a few days seemed to have suffered deformities and torments, according to eyewitnesses. Limbs or even whole bodies developed scales, slimy skin, spikes, claws, fur, horrible sores or other abnormal deformities. In some cases, body parts (ears, hair, fingers, etc.) would fall off. Some began other transformations, such as swelling body parts or developing a deep affinity for various elements or energy types (cold, fire, poison, etc.) including associated unnatural powers. Most, tortured from the pain of these deformities, were driven insane and wandered aimlessly, muttered/raved incoherently or acted even worse. Even the opening and closing of the Chest of Life and Death (though it was more than 1300 feet away), did not cure those afflicted.

The Brenin, apparently realizing the affect in Hochoch, has offered refuge in his Arweth palace, some three miles away, and encouraged those capable of fighting to head east, with his (newly repaired) armored chariot “Defiance” and the rest of the army into Gran March. They are expected to reach the siege of Leiliam’s Orchard within a day.

More Rumors from Leiliam’s Orchard: Every civilian and support staff that could be evacuated has been, though many were attacked by the demonspawn, especially flying vrock demons. The Knights of the Watch have put out a call for all their brethren of the Order and Gran March troops that can spared from wherever they are and whatever they are doing to come to Farvale. Leiliam’s Orchard will soon fall and the next rally point is the village of Orlane.

More Rumors from the Oytwood East of the Javan River: Hundreds more fiends of various types have emerged from the Oytwood and seem to be approaching Leiliam’s Orchard from the SOUTH! If they link up with the demon hordes from Hochoch, the survivors in Leiliam’s Orchard may be completely enveloped (by the time the “returned” arrive from Hochoch and long before any reinforcements from Gran March or the Knights of the Watch can arrive)…

Rumors from the Downlands: Many of the orcs and goblin raiders have routed and flee the proud and noble Keoish armies protecting the Downlands. The Keoish standards are now advancing westward to end this monstrous humanoid threat. Reports from the front indicate an elimination of all resistance by the end of the week.

Wealsun 20

Rumor/Legend: And so the Brenin looked out upon the destruction wrought upon the battlefield and wept, for so many loyal Gyri were lost in the conflict. Seeing the loss in the Brenin’s eyes, Emperor/Grand Druid Llewellyn the Returned commanded that the humanoid bodies (or bones) of the fallen should be brought outside the city limits of Hochoch and carefully laid by the ford. None of the demon bones remained, as each of them had dissolved into an ichor that was absorbed by the Oerth, presumably it’s soul would return and reform in the Abyss, but many thousands of humanoid bones and body fragments were found and laid out upon the beaches of the battlefield.

The marilith Captain Lilliath then sentenced one of the demons convicted of crimes against the Brenin’s people to open the Chest of Life and Death near the bones, and Lo, those bones nearest the chest did magically recombine and regrew missing or broken bones, sinew, muscle, organs and flesh. Though the convicted demons did explode in a shimmering cloud of dust, dropping the lid closed, many humanoids who had perished in or near Hochoch were restored. Those bones within forty feet or so were fully restored with even childhood injuries and afflictions cured. Those within a hundred feet or so were not as fortunate; the restoration of life did not restore missing body parts, so those whose bodies were intact enough were restored to life missing limbs or vital organs. Out of mercy, of sorts, those not fully restored were slain again, so the chest could be brought closer and the process repeated with other convicted demons until all the dead of Hochoch had been restored.

While enthusiastic, the demons did not discriminate between human (Gyri or Marcher), elves, dwarves, orcs, goblins, undead or other humanoid (even a few that weren’t humanoid), so even some of those dead for decades or even centuries were brought forth. The demons had emptied the catacombs and tombs, dug up the graves and even picked through the sewers to find every bone or fragment in obedience to Captain Lilliath’s orders.

So it was that Countess Laaura Rhola, Llwyr Tylian ap Gaelyn, Countess Jaeril merch Manath, Lurynd merch Gaelyn, Llwyr Galen Arweth VII, Countess Gwyliand merch Tylin Eldoran, Brehyr Tylin Eldoran, Brehyr Kyran Eldoran, Olgram Eldoran, Llwyr Gaelyn Arweth VI, Countess Teleri Williams, Llwyr Gaelyn V ap Glendon, and Countess Eira Hywel, all former rulers of Arweth (and their families buried or burned in Hochoch) were restored to life all in one week. Many of their servants and people of Hochoch for hundreds of years were returned to life as well. Infants and children who died and had not already been reincarnated, returned to life. Heroes, such as Father Benton da’Heed, arose again, if they were willing. Hundreds who died in the area during the War Against the Giants now find themselves alive. Flan peasants who died during the Gran March occupation arose. Many of the missing over the past few years were reborn from the remnants. Django’s Chicken House’s goblins returned.

Not everyone returned was friendly. Recently deceased Gran March and Knights of the Watch returned. Persistent Xorn Knight Commander Governor Karl Neumann – Paladin of Pholtus, Quartermaster Jabban Elders, General Asoth ap Brundil, Lord Kossoth Neheli, Lady Patpi Neheli, Lord Starles Neheli (captain of the “River Witch”), High Judge/Priestess/Madam Jia Buckman, Earth Cultists, Mundinguluss, gang members, pirates, drug dealers, smugglers, slavers, doppelgangers, mages, criminals, (Priestess) Edith and the Incabulous Cultists, Wastri Cultists, and Hextorites returned to life. Goblins, orcs and even giants from the War Against the Giants returned.

Returning to life was at least startling and many quickly resorted to violence and fighting. By decree of Captain Lilliath, those who would pledge themselves to Llewellyn would be spared and those who would not were given to the ecstatic demons awaiting their new toys and feast. Tens of thousands swore allegiance, at least to save themselves from the tortures of the demonkin, though tens of thousands kept to their personal honor and/or refused to kneel and perished. (The lucky ones did so quickly.)

Finding that humanoids returned to life so easily, the bodies and bones of the warhorses and monstrous mounts who died in the battle were brought forth and also returned. Griffons returned were still only loyal to their former masters and had to be put down. Returned Pegasi and one unicorn were returned to life, but refused to remain near the demons and either escaped or were slain. However, a dozen hippogriffs were eager to serve their new masters.

It was thus that Emperor Llewellyn and Brenin Rhys had a newly reformed army numbering more than twenty-five thousand, as many as could be armed with recently acquired Gran March, Knights of the Watch and confiscated (from the other villages and forts in Arweth) arms and armor. More than a thousand heavy warhorses (many with barding) and about as many riding and draft horses, plus a dozen hippogriffs that can? serve as cavalry and scouts.

While it took several days, dozens of convicted demons and a lot of pain and anguish finding those willing to serve in his army, the Brenin wept again. For he now had a much greater army and those who marched with him now know that even if they should fall on the battlefield, they shall arise again when the chest is reopened. With this chest, his army is ever renewing and his rule (under Llewellyn) is all but assured… to be continued…

Wealsun 18

Rumor: The trailing end of orcs, goblins and giants marching up to Arweth have begun “foraging” for food along the way. Smaller towns like Saertrev and Hanner in Cymeravon; Aswrn Cefn, Bachyn Bugeiliad and The Lea in Ffrwythlon Dol; and Twyll Cwrw in Rhychdir Rhos are up in flames. Larger towns, like Oytmeet and Pregmere in Rhychdir Rhos have walls and more forces to defend, but exposed buildings and resources are pillaged. The orc and goblin hordes are advancing almost as fast as refugees fleeing their homes in Ffrwythlon Dol and Rhychdir Rhos.

Rumor: Flan and Elvish archers in the Hornwood and Ystrad Cloer continue to oppose the orcs, goblinoids and giants moving through their territory by shooting and moving to escape retaliation. Raiders find that the foodstores are already bare as the residents have hidden their supplies. Some houses and parts of the forest are burned, but there seems to be remarkably little loss of human or elvish life. (According to the rumors spread by the Patriots of Gyruff.)

Rumor: The relatively narrow path through the hills of Rhychdir Rhos have bottle-necked the incoming Cymeravon, orc, goblinoid and giant forces. Defenders have spread fallen tree trunks, spiked growth and mundane traps through the narrow corridor to slow down the advance (and allow refugees more time to flee). Travelling to the east of the narrow pass puts the attackers close to the Oytwood and elvish arrows. Travelling to the west of the narrow pass adds a couple days to the journey. Either way, the tree cover of the Oytwood encroaches very close to the road to New Midwood.

Proclamation by Arglwyth Eridan: During the Giant War, we had a group of heroes called Ban Cant 31. They fought with honor and distinction and were instrumental in restoring much of Gyruff. It is time once more for heroes such as those to answer the call. In honor of those heroes, I am reinstating Ban Cant 31 and asking for volunteers to carry on its legacy.

Wealsun 17 - Ceremony of the Turning

The 17th of Wealsun is known as the Ceremony of the Turning:, celebrated among the Flan and in Druidic led communities:

Seven-year olds are carried blindfolded and barefoot into the woods, and must find a new name before returning to the village feast. Each child is released separately and alone. They are guided by rowdy singing {and a huge bonfire if they are slow}, and when they return they are carried into the center of the gathering to whisper their name into the fire. This is their Truename, with all that implies. It should be noted that rangers and priests of Ehlonna are also especially busy this night, quietly patrolling the area and looking out for the children’s safety. In friendly lands some elves are also drawn to this sort of role, and it is considered a good omen for a child to successfully spot one.

This year, with tensions so high between Gyruff and the elves of the Oytwood and Dim Forest, there was great fear among the Gyri for their children. Many parents elected to not perform the ceremony with their seven year olds, but a few brave souls (or those who didn’t like their seven-year olds as much) still participated. While adults entering the forests were turned away, the children were left unmolested by the elves to return to their villages and a great triumph.

Among the seven-year olds to attempt and survive the trial, include:

· Harkia, the daughter of Brehyres Xyrlmore Mellit (formerly of now lost Mellit’s Warf)
· Venelope, the daughter of Brehyr Oft Dellweather (formerly of now lost Preston)

Wealsun 17

By Royal Decree, sent by animal messenger to each settlement and read publicly by official heralds: “His Radiance, Grand Duke of Geoff, Brenin Rhys ap Rhys, Protector of the Faith and Shield of Freedom was rescued by thrilling heroics from a most dismal confinement at the hands of the enemy. Our fearless leader should return to Hochoch within a day or two, although he may need a couple days to recover after his harrowing ordeal.

“ – Signed, Shararis, personal assistant to the Brenin”

Rumor: Demons have engaged Gran March forces at Leilam’s Orchard. This aerial attack did not include dropping barrels of alchemical fire and was met by heavy crossbow and ballistae fire.

Rumor: A curse seems to be upon Hochoch. People who remained after the portal opened have experienced one or more different effects from weakness, fatigue, fainting, confusion, bleeding sores, bruising, skin burns, nausea, diarrhea, fever, hair loss, blindness, insanity, physical mutations and for some, strange new powers. The source of the curse ranges from punishment by the gods, close proximity to the Light of Lydia held in a damaged lead chest on the Brenin’s new armored chariot or re-opening of the portal to the Abyss.

Rumor: While Cymeravon forces have been seen passing through the cantrev of Rhychdir Rhos, the orcs, goblinoids and many of the giants have taken to raiding along their path of destruction. Smoke from fires in Ffrwythlon Dol and Rhychdir Rhos can be seen for miles and refugees fleeing both cantrevs have been reported heading north and west away from the advancing hordes. One can’t help but liken this to the invasion of the giants forces in the War Against the Giants.

Rumor (ENCORE performers): The rebellion grows every day for all true peoples (ffolk) of Gyruff/Geoff must oppose these demons and self-proclaimed (and false) emperor and brenin/grand duke. [Lower case to illustrate their distain for these two individuals.] – The Kingdom of Keoland supports Geoff’s bid to rid themselves of their evil overlords, but the Keoish army cannot pass the Stark Mounds, Oytwood or Rushmoors at the moment. The people of Geoff have the full support of Keoland and the Regent is doing all she can until she wins the election.

Rumor: Arglwyth Andras Dryadson has joined the Patriots of Gyruff, creating a solid block of cantrevs opposing the monstrous orcs, goblins and giants who raid and pillage their way through the country. – It was a mistake to grant them lands and foolish to treat them as if they were “people”. All loyal Gyri must oppose these monsters and the demons summoned by the Brenin and his “Emperor” overlord.

Rumor: Llewellyn is an abomination outside “the circle”. His time was four thousand years ago, not now. It is unnatural for someone to be returned to life and the process was obviously mentally stressful. Llewellyn is insane and must be stopped.

Rumor: Arglwyth Andras Dryadson is still gathering his forces to support the Brenin and Emperor-Archdruid Llewellyn the Returned. Once the army is consolidated, the rebellion will be put down and the leaders executed. That time will come soon, when all loyal Gyri will stand with the Brenin in judgement against these traitors.

Rumor: “Brenin” Rhys ap Rhys is actually a vampire. There were many witnesses in Gorna to his attacks on High Priestess Selissee Goldenflame and undead behavior. Having died, he too is “outside the circle”. No wonder “Llewellyn the Returned” picked another undead as a lieutenant. Now, in an effort to persuade a potential political opponent, Rhys bribes her with the cantrev of Rhwng yr Coed, hoping that her greed and lust for power will overcome her conscience and faith.

Wealsun 16

By Herald throughout most villages and towns in Gyruff> The people of Gyruff are deeply saddened by the loss of life in Hochoch and the desecration of the bodies of the fallen. War may be a dirty business but it has rules. Rules which Rhys ap Rhys and Llewllen have chosen to disregard. What occurred at Whitesands Ford betrays everything that a Brenin of Gyruff should believe. To deploy a weapon of Mass Destruction and to allow demons to feast on the remains and souls of the fallen is beyond abhorrent and strikes at our hearts and our faith and what we believe as Gyri.

I call upon the people still supporting the Brenin and Druid Lewellyn, be they nobles or commoners, to consider what has occurred at Hochoch and search their hearts and souls a decide whether this abomination in Hochoch can be allowed to continue. We must stop the further incursion of creatures that would devour our bodies and souls. This cannot be allowed to be the legacy of Gyruff.

Signed, Arglwyth Eridan Shadowblade

Rumor: Fiends trickling out of the portal(s) in Hochoch have replenished the demon losses from the Battle of Hochoch, but not all of the demons are “on leash”. Rogue demons who have escaped their more powerful demonic overlords roam the countryside. A few roam the fields and hills of Arweth, but most drift east, into Gran March. Fiends have been seen in the fires in the Oytwood east of the Javan as far south as Tanner’s Ferry. Other reports indicate that the demons are closing in on Leilam’s Orchard.

For those near Hochoch: Baronet Collahin has evacuated Fort Integrity and marched (some would say driven) the people to Hochoch. Once there, they are being equipped with captured Gran March/Knights of the Watch gear. Blacksmiths, including demon blacksmiths brought in from the Abyss, are employed to convert Full Platemail into Half Plate for those peasants who lack the strength for full plate.

Rumor: Orcs and goblinoids still marauding in Rhad Derwyth clash against the local forces, reinforced with Keoish troops. The massed assaults of previous years crashed against the Keoish shield walls, hail of crossbow fire and heavy cavalry charges. As the orcs and goblinoids broke and ran, the Keoish pursued into the Stark Mounds, but were themselves set upon by gnomish traps, spells and strange metal monsters.

Rumor: Orcs and goblinoids from Melgorn clash with quick moving Flan archers in Ystrad Cloer at both Pwyst’s Rhyd and Grasmere. Sendings to Baronet Essvaress (the young green dragon) of Ystrad Cloer have gone unanswered or unreceived.

Rumor: Orcs and goblinoids from Melgorn, joined by hundreds of giants from Tjalf, are seen passing through Cymeravon and Ffwythlon Dol, heading North. According to other rumors, elvish war bands have struck out from the Oytwood to attack the orcs, goblinoids and giants as far West as the Oyt River and The Lea. Those Melgorn and Tjalf units who rose to the bait and charged after the elves did not return from under the forest canopy, but thousands more just avoid the forest and continue North into Rhychdir Rhos.

Rumor: Hundreds of refugees from Hochoch have fled as far West as New Midwood, where the rebel, Arglwythes Briallen, still retains the popularity and loyalty of her people.

Rumor: Keoish ships attempting to come to the aid of Blodyn Cain and Gran March have been systematically hunted and either destroyed or taken over by a small naval force within the Rushmoors. Sailors who escaped speak of a dragon turtle, gargantuan monstrous reptiles in the water and large monstrous reptiles in the air. The flagship of the opposed naval force is the “Silver Griffon” flying the flag of Grand Duke Rhys ap Rhys of Geoff (however other ships are rumored to have been seen with Neheli banners).

Rumors of the Downlands 15th of Wealsun

Heralds from Gorna: The cantrevs of Daden Bryd and Rhad Derwyth have been invaded by the Kingdom of Keoland! According to “fake rumors”, the Keoish troops were greeted by the cantreval leaders and forces as liberators. These seditious rumors are designed to undermine confidence in our royal leader. Official reports from Gorna indicate that the Downlands have been invaded and the defenders are being held hostage. Any communication from the nobility or residents in the Downlands shall be considered issued under duress and immediately discounted. We honor the sacrifice that our brothers in the Downlands have made and shall avenge them against the invaders and all the treacherous collaborators who are working with the invaders.

Battle of Hochoch, Gran March/KoW Point of View 15th of Wealsun

It was a trap! – As we have always known, the barbarians of Geoff and their Grand Duke have no honor. They conspire with devils and demons then attack in cowardly ways without the thought of quarter. Flying demons dropped alchemical fire on noble knights then attacked the bloodied knights, often trapped under their fallen mounts. Other demons attacked non-combatants in the rear, but even the lowliest teamster, blacksmith and carpenter defended themselves with what weapons they had to the best of their ability.

While our noble knights were fighting on the beaches of Whitesands Ford, the enemy demons used poison and the cowardly Grand Duke has crafted an armored chariot equipped with the hellfire chest taken from the lizardfolk. If not for the heroic actions taken by Lord Baron Mangus Therestell, Great Vengeful Owlbear and Warden of the South, and hundreds of brave knights, it is likely that none of us would have survived to tell the tale. The mechanical terror, while heavily armored, still requires horses to pull it and a crew to operate it.

While the battle raged on, assassins, including the dishonorable Grand Duke himself, attempted to kill His Most Resolute Magnitude, Commandant Thyian Rholgran, Most Illustrious Silver Dragon, who was coordinating the battle and efforts to put out the burning trebuchets. (There was no hope for the crews or our brave crossbow troops.) The cowardly assassins would shoot from cover, then move and hide. As our brave bloodied knights, still suffering from severe burns from the alchemical fire, tried to engage the assassins, they ran like the cowards they are and kept shooting at their pursuers. Say what you want, those Flan rogues are fast and infuriating. Many brave knights were lost to their cowardly hit and run tactics. – Meanwhile, the Grand Duke’s witch cast repeated spells, including bolts of lightning on our injured knight bodyguards to the Commandant. The Grand Duke himself used a magical dancing spiked chain, reminiscent of his father’s weapon, the weapon of a coward, as he fled to protect himself. Our beloved Commandant continued to pursue this fiend in the guise of a man, who was somehow able to absorb hit after hit that would have taken down even a Knight Commander. As the cowardly Grand Duke tried to flee in an effort to save himself, he fell within sight of his knarr that would have allowed him to escape across the river. Cowardly sling stones from one of the Grand Duke’s men were able to momentarily incapacitate the Commandant, but we captured the Grand Duke.

Still, the assassins’ damage was done. While distracted by these assassins, the Commandant could not coordinate the battle on Whitesands Ford, the heavy infantry reserves had to be committed to the assassins instead of the main battle and the supply companies had to fend off a flying demon attack by themselves. With the Commandant incapacitated, it fell upon (former Commandant) Edvard Neholin, Elector Baron Venomous Ancient Black Dragon, to absorb the dishonor and sound the call for retreat. As our brave forces withdrew, they could not help but notice the foul demons feasting upon our wounded and dead. The horrors that the Grand Duke has unleashed upon the world cannot be unseen. We shall regroup and shall not allow this to continue.

Commandant Thyian and the survivors of the Battle of Hochoch were brought back to Leilam’s Orchard, a day’s travel from Hochoch on the road to Orlane, where the few survivors hold a war council:

· Commandant Thyian Rholgran, Most Illustrious Silver Dragon

· Elector Baron Magnus Edvard Neholin, Venomous Ancient Black Dragon

· Elector Baron Magnus Therestell, Great Vengeful Owlbear, Warden of the South

· Knight Field Marshall Boltar Hammerhold, Unmovable Colossal Stone Golem, Commander of the Westfold Force

· Knight Commander Brachus Orellian, Striking Eagle (Westfold Force)

· Knight Commander Holistar Paent, Glorious Garden Snake (Westfold Force)

· Knight Commander Garth, Rising Eagle (Westfold Force)

· Knight Commander Ostraman, Vigilant Nighthawk (Westfold Force)

· Knight Commander Arinbjorn, Colorful Rearing Hippogriff (Buxton’s Crossing)

· Bishop Dedrain the Blooded, follower of Hieroneous

The war council honors the fallen and takes stock of who was lost. Among them were:

· Knight Commander Gundar Kevitz, Unrelenting Sphinx, the Green Knight, (Westfold Force)

· Knight Commander Oidred, Imperitous Adult White Dragon (Westfold Force)

· Knight Commander Olwin Pendragon, Radiant Pinnacle Gold Dragon (Shiboleth)

· Elector Baron Faelan Harc, Ferocious Air Elemental (Eastern March)

· Elector Baron Iboremar Dwilald, Sapphire Blue Dragon (Holithane)

· Elector Baron Amatus Dassus, Merciless Cockatrice (Dim March)

Knight Commander Rising Eagle Garth and his Hippogriff Squad (3 men) are reassigned to command Shibboleth, leaving a small garrison and bring all other available men here immediately.

Knight Commander Vigilant Nighthawk Ostraman and his Pegasi Mounted Squad (4 men) are reassigned to command Fort Endurance and keep the road open through the Dim.

Battle of Hochoch, Defenders Point of View 15th of Wealsun

It is early morning when Gran March forces begin forming up on the eastern bank of the Javan River. Five companies of heavy cavalry and three companies of medium cavalry deploy near the shallow part of the river, known as Whitesands Ford. Four trebuchets, an undersized company of light crossbow and the Gran March headquarters begin setting up inside the ruins of the old Whitesands Fort, built on a small hill across from Hochoch overlooking Whitesands Ford. The logs of the fort were burned during the War Against the Giants, but the berms and surrounding dry moat still provide some protection while they set up the trebuchets, a process that could take at least four hours.

The demons don’t give them that long. Three companies of the frog-like herzou (each led by a marilith) and a platoon of huge minotaur-like goristros (personally led by the balor general) are positioned to cross Whitesands Ford first. Two platoons of unled large mosquito-like chasme take flight, headed for the lightly armed supply and support corps, protected by a light cavalry company in the Gran March rear. Two platoons (or “flights”) of vrock (each led by a nalfeshnee) take flight, each equipped with a thirty gallon ceramic barrel, which they soon drop on Gran March forces.

The dropped barrels explode with alchemical fire, each burning nearly as hot as a fireball and continuing to burn until put out. The trebuchets and light crossbow troops are incinerated quickly, but the Commandant (Most Illustrious Silver Dragon Thyian Rholgran) and his bloodied knights survive. Down by the ford, more barrels erupt around one of the heavy cavalry companies, incinerating the warhorses, but the bloodied knights of Elector Baron Sapphire Ancient Blue Dragon Iboremar Dwilald roll around and put themselves out.

As the infantry demons rush across Whitesands Ford toward the cavalry, a small cadre of the Brenin’s Teulu (heavy cavalry) and Marchagwi (light cavalry) ride out with the Brenin’s new secret weapon, a heavily armed enclosed chariot pulled by a team of heavy warhorses in platemail barding. The top of the chariot has a dome with a metallic chest attached, its purpose is not immediately known, but when a Gran March heavy cavalry company gets within range, they find out. A beam of light erupts from the chest and explodes in a sunburst a hundred and twenty feet in diameter. The burst isn’t enough to kill a company of heavy cavalry outright, but each hit kills all the horses and horribly bloodies the knights who also take damage from falling off their horses.

Gran March forces quickly engage the demons in melee and their archmage Lord Baron Great Vengeful Owlbear Magnus Therestell, Warden of the South, targets the Brenin’s chariot with a fireball, killing the mounts and damaging the wheels of the chariot. Those knights still with mounts are heavily armed, mobile and deadly with a lance, but it takes three knights to bring down a herzou, much less the heavier goristro or mariliths.

Blooded and mountless knights continue to fight with their heavy crossbows, but they are quickly set upon by the flying vrock, who also discharge poison spores around their victims. The stench of the hezrou poisons many of the knights in melee. The chasme carve their way into the mass of Gran March’s supply troops. One of the marchagwi dismounts, enters the immobilized Brenin’s chariot and resumes firing sunbursts from the chest. Although he only lasts a few seconds, he targets another company of knights, even though they are in melee with the herzou (who seem somewhat resistant to its effects).

In the confusion, a strike team (containing the Brenin, several chilwyr and the Guardians of Gyruff) lands a boat further down the beach, near the base of the ruined fort. They make their way up to the ruined fort and engage the Commandant and his personal guard. Commandant Thyian Rholgran is possibly stronger, tougher and harder hitting than Edvard Neholin, who is leading the company of heavy infantry headed down to aid the cavalry at Whitesands Ford.

It is outside the ruined fort that the Brenin falls and is taken captive, but not before defeating the Commandant and twenty-four of his thirty personal guard. The rest of the strike team would have spirited away the Brenin, if it weren’t for Edvard and his whole company of heavy infantry charging down on them.

Soon, most of the Gran March army is obliterated with only the leaders and a few odd surviving knights able to withdraw from the field. The demons, eager to consume human flesh, stayed to feast upon the dead and dying in a way that sickens the Brenin’s men.

From the remains on the battlefield, it seems that Gran March and the Knights of the Watch suffered nearly eighty percent casualties. Demons killed dissolve into a foul ichor that seems into the ground, so it is hard to tell how many were destroyed, but most estimates are twenty percent, including almost all the chasme, ten of the Brenin’s human marchagwi and the original crew of the Brenin’s chariot, which is brought back to Hochoch for a new team of horses and repairs. ?

13th of Wealsun, CY 619

Rumor: A gold dragon (exceptionally rare in Gyruff) has been seen flying over the Downlands and Stark Mounds. Whether it is hunting or searching for something, it seems careful to not fly over either the Oytwood or Rushmoors.

Rumor: The Army of Gran March and Knights of the Watch arrives across the river from Hochoch, numbering some 6000 men and 3000 horses. People believe it will take several days for the entire army to arrive up the single road and get organized before an attack begins, but their trebuchets were near the head of the column. They set up the siege engines about 1000 feet from the castle across the Javan River on a slight hill, outside even Gyric longbow and defending mangonel range, but well within maximum trebuchet range of the castle and city walls.

Rumor: Smoke from fires in the Oytwood continue to rise at regular intervals all along the Javan River from Tanner’s Ferry to Fort Dilligence. ?

Rumor: Fort Resolve of Arweth has joined the Patriots of Gyruff in open rebellion to the leadership of Gyruff.

Rumor: The Patriots of Gyruff are led by Arglwyth Eridan Shadowblade of Dwyr, former Regent of Gyruff. Crown Prince Rhys ap Rhys was named Brenin by Llewellyn who himself just assumed leadership of the Old Faith while the Regent was incapacitated and was not able to contest. There are whispers (among Traditional Gyri) that as neither underwent the trials of the Old Faith, they are not legitimate rulers.


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