Winds of war : the hills rise wild

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[size=200]THE HILLS RISE WILD[/size]
“West of Segura, the hills rise wild, and there are valleys there no human has ever seen.”

[size=150]Reinos, the Northern Hills[/size]

Shortly after the Spring Equniox, apparently in response to an Imperial presence in Faraden, the Jotun orcs launched an invasion of the northern Lasambrian Hills. During the Summer Solstice, a delegation of Lasambrian orcs approached the Empire to enlist their aid against the Jotun. General Tiesto Hierro, representing the largest orc clan in the Hills, negotiated a treaty securing aid for his people. As a result, the Senate voted to abrogate the Jotun peace treaty. Instructions were given to the civil service to assist Imperial captains wishing to fight the Jotun alongside the Hierro.

At a rough estimate, perhaps as many as thirty Imperial captains have taken their companies to the northern Lasambrian hills. This represents a fighting strength of more than three thousand Imperial citizens under arms. While the majority of those going to fight in the foreign conflict are from Wintermark and Varushka, every Imperial nation is represented. In conjunction with the potent Imperial magic used to enchant the general of the Lasambrian force, every effort is made to integrate the Empire’s disciplined soldiers with the unruly horde of the Hierro army.

The orcs of the Lasambrian Hills are roughly divided into three clans; Hierro, Corazón, and Naguerro. The Hierro represent the strongest of the three; their chieftan is responsible for bringing the other two clans into the loose alliance that helped them organise the recent conquest of Segura. They seem to be the most practical in their attitudes to the Empire.

The second most populous clan are the Corazón. Much of northern Reinos is claimed by this clan and they have taken the brunt of the Jotun advance. In contrast to the Hierro and the Naguerro, the Corazón are somewhat ambivalent toward the Empire - but they make little secret of the fact that they do not particularly like the human warriors. While they accept in theory the neccessity of foreign aid, reports of interactions between Imperials and Corazón make it clear that they resent the fact of their presence.

The Naguerro, the smallest of the three clans … are not currently in Reinos. Anecdotally, they do not like the Empire at all.

[size=150]Kalino, the southern hills[/size]

As part of their treaty with the Empire, General Tiesto of the Hierro agreed to a strategy consolidating Lasambrian forces in Reinos to resist the Jotun. This strategy did not sit well with the chieftans of the smallest of the three Lasambrian clans. Called the “witch-clan”, known even among the barbarians for their superstitious ways and suspicion of the Empire, the Naguerro control much of eastern Kalino. They have been desperately trying to resist the invasion of the Iron Confederacy from the south.

The Hierro demand to abandon Kalino proved utterly unacceptable to the Naguerro. They have ended their alliance with the Hierro and Corazón and recalled their remaining warriors to the southern hills to protect their homes. While the internal politics of the tribes of the Lasambrian Hills are murky at best to Imperial eyes, there is some evidence that the leaders of the Naguerro place some of blame for this perceived betrayal by their allies squarely at the feet of the treaty with the Empire.

No Imperial forces are present in Kalino, but a few details regarding the campaign there have been pieced together from dispatches from Reinos, and the stories of Suranni merchants visiting the Brass Coast. Stories trickle into the Empire that the Naguerro and the Iron Confederacy are not the only forces with an interest in the conquest of Kalino.

A “major” force of Grendel orcs, both ships and soldiers, have made landfall along the eastern coast. It seems likely that this force represents - either in part or in whole - the naval force that moved south from Feroz shortly after the Summer Solstice.

[size=150]The Broken Hills[/size]

Precise details are scant at this time, but the news coming out of the northern Hills - out of the territory of Reinos - is not good. By all accounts, the beleaguered Lasambrian forces in Reinos are outnumbered four-to-one by the invading Jotun armies. The presence of the Imperial forces slows their advance a little, but that is all.

In the last weeks before the Autumn Equinox, dispatches from the south-western front indicate that the Jotun have decisively routed the Lasambrians and taken control of more than half the territory.

The Hierro are falling back, desperately. Their army will not survive another season against the Jotun. In the last month, there are suspicions that the Hierro have attempted to contact the Jotun generals to negotiate an end to the invasion … and been categorically rebuffed.

By contrast - and despite the presence of not one but two foreign armies in Kalino - it appears the Naguerro are actually holding their own. No concrete information has come out of the south as yet, but it seems that the Iron Confederacy advance has slowed to a crawl. This is in spite of conservative estimates of three-times as many Suranni soldiers as Naguerro orcs in Kalino, and the presence of the Grendel ships and warriors.

Speculation about how the Naguerro are managing to hold the Suranni at bay is rife. It is likely that the Suranni ambassador - or diplomats from the ducal court of the so-called “Iron Wolf” - will be visiting Anvil during the Autumn Equniox. Perhaps they will know the truth of the situation.

[size=150]From the Jotun, no word[/size]

There is no way that the presence of three thousand Imperial soldiers in Lasambria can have gone unnoticed. Shortly before the Summer Solstice Gudmundur Arason, King of Narkyst, Jarl-of-Jarl of the Jotun made the position of the barbarians very clear “If your armies or your military units march to help the Lasambrians then you must know that the treaty between us will be no more.”

So far, however, there has been no further communication between the Empire and the Jotun.

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The OOC Bit

All the Empire knows for sure is that the Jotun have won in the northern Lasambrian hills. As is typical, our plan here is to give a more detailed write-up of events in Reinos to the captains of the military units actually committed there - so if you want to know more, you will need to track down one of those captains and ask them about their summer in Reinos.

That’s all the winds of war for now - anyone who sent their troops to the Tunnels of Kaban in downtime will likewise need to wait for the event to get a feel for how the Axos campaign is going.

When I have a few minutes spare, you’ll also be able to read these winds of war reports and Interludes on the main wiki, probably here.

Winds of Fortune will begin to trickle in over the next two days. I also think it’s worth mentioning that the late-booking deadline for the Summer Solstice is Firday evening, so if you haven’t booked now why not get on it and avoid the hassle of a gate booking?

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Picture is from Peter Parker, an up-and-coming photographer from America who … nah I’m kidding. It’s Tom Garnett from the Winter Solstice earlier in the year. I have no idea who the orc is but for now they are the poster child for the Lasambrian campaign …