War on the eastern front

Crossposted from the facebook


SPRING, 378YE[/size]

As 378YE begins, as the sap begins to surge in the woodlands and the waters thaw, the standard of battle is raised against the eastern sky.

In Karsk, the Thule fall back, driven from the hills towards the dawn. Despite the aid of dark forces, the barbarians are overmatched. Engagement after engagement ends in decisive victory for the Empire - Kpevnost, Moresvah and Nitrost are now under their control. The Thule leave their erstwhile allies, the traitors of Isember, to face the anger of the Empire. Yet there is trouble in store – despite the aid of the grateful miners of Moresvah, the imperial armies are battered - the fervour of their attack coupled with the magical might of their foes has meant many casualties. Carrion birds, scavenging rats and hungry Wolves feast well on the battlefields of Karsk.

Let the inner eye glide south, towards Holberg. Two walls united under the Empire again, yet the forces of humanity are fought to a standstill. A vast Druj army fights beneath the banner of the Scorpion’s Sting, terrible in their wrath and versed in the arts of siege and sabotage. The Imperial tide crashes against the fortifications of Rebeshof, but is driven back time and again. The orcs are on the defensive, clinging to their control of the Mines at Ennerlund with grim resolve. The forces use the forests and the marshes to their best advantage, flanking Imperial assaults and using their command of the terrain to harry and slow the Imperial advance.

Yet so great is the fervour of the fallen soldiers of the Empire that they will not let death stop them fighting. On the last night of the Winter Solstice, a great wind roared down from the empty sky, a wailing surge pouring through the streets of Holberg and surging out across the battlefields of Holfried. The dead walk, pulling themselves from spikes, clawing their way from their graces. An army of walking corpses – human and orc alike – shambling forth to join the fray beneath the banner of the Winter Sun orcs. Without their aid, the Imperial forces would surely have been decimated … as it is, Holberg is stalemated.

The Barrens – something is happening in the Barrens. The watchers of Drycastle and the Towers of the Dawn speak of orcs fighting each other – pitched battles, a bloody slaughter. Armies turning against each other. As Winter turns to Spring, there are stories of whole tribes of orcs crossing the border from Brocéliande to the east – avoiding patrols. Deserting their hideaways beneath the green trees to heed some call from deep within the Barrens. The keen-eyed Navarr and the courageous scouts of Dawn speak of Druj banners, burning, burning in the rising sun …

Away from the mystery of the Barrens! Fly south, further south. To Therunin.

The Black Thorns face two armies of Druj, fighting across the border from Reikos. Courageous, but outnumber by a force twice their size, they use the forest against their foe. The invaders pay for each inch of Navarri soil they claim with blood, but the defenders are slowly driven back, step by step. Nearly a thousand Navarr lay down their lives to hold their home against the barbarians. A great force of ten thousand orcs is closing in on Peakedge Stand … a peaceful settlement, a haven for refugess … sure to be a slaughterhouse if the Druj are not held back.

Five fires on the eastern front, the last down by the bay. In Spiral, Highborn courage and Navarri cunning meet cold barbarian fury. Nearly matched, the orcs have the advantage – but they are denied their prize. The Imperial forces turn the tide of barbarians seeking to conquer the Ossuary – and claim the bounty mithril mined from the Legacy for their own. The Granite Pillar and the Quiet Step buy time as well – work has begun again on the Fist. The stone-crafters guild of Ateri works feverishly on the great fortress of Mezudan; will their work be completed in time? Or will they simply attract the ire of the barbarians.

Fragmented reports from Spiral whisper of confusion – the orcs here do not fight beneath any known banner of the Druj. Something is amiss.

There then the Eastern front in the war against the barbarians. Dark clouds gather, but the sun still shines bright and cold as the Spring gathers momentum.

*There is more to come … I’m having a whale of a time looking at the outcomes of actual player actions here.

Picture is from the portfolio of the multi-talented Charlie Moss (charlottemoss.co.uk/#!/index … gUmhbcA/12). I picked it because it captured that feeling of fighting hard, while leaving the viewer to make up their own mind if they are winning or losing …*