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Jamallo Kreen
Master of Realmslore

1537 Posts

Posted - 28 Jun 2007 :  01:27:04  Show Profile  Visit Jamallo Kreen's Homepage Send Jamallo Kreen a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
by Thom Reaverson
(or at least as written into Thom Reaverson's Grand History by ... ah ... somebody)

FLAMERULE 1: Among other things, K'Thoth suggested trying to pull a long con on the Tuigan by convincing them that Thay had betrayed them. Marek Ilsor suggested -- oh so politely -- that the plan won't work and suggests that K'thoth has better things to do than plan strategy at the 11th-and-a-half hour.

FLAMERULE 2: Some creative marketing took place in the afternoon. In the evening, a delegation led by King Azoun IV Obarskyr went to the camp of Yamun Khahan, Illustrious Emperor of All Peoples. It held a surprise for magic users. Vangerdahast collapsed off of his horse, and only Nalleia and Van App (among *known* magic users) seemed not to be adversely affected. Chanar Ong Khan was first spotted by PCs, and Batu Min Ho and Yamun Khahan heard. Azoun (who had already lost one envoy to decapitation because he wouldn't drink his kumiss), got a bellyfull of it from yamun, who made him drink it from a cup made from the skull of one of Yamun's first enemies. This did not bode well for negotiations. Azoun said that even if he acknowledged Yamun as his superior -- which he wan't about to do -- no one else in the West would submit. The delegation returned to the Alliance camp. Vangerdahast remained incapacitated. Van App sent Eel and Thorgunna to work establishing a corridor of blankets on poles about ten feet wide and ten feet high from the entrance to his tent, and secures Ilsor's orders that no one was to do anything to anything which might thereafter appear from the Chirurgeon's tent. Which was a good thing, because a group of ... er ... "abominations" came waddling out and then took to the air, partially concealed during take-off by the blanket screen. Some found the display ... disturbing. After an hour or so the abominations returned and that was that -- everyone was urged to get a good night's sleep and prepare to die or run away on the morrow.

FLAMERULE 3 (day) -- The (First) Battle of the Golden Way -- tens of thousands of Tuigan horse archers attack the Alliance lines and thousands of them die when they stop in their tracks, allow the Alliance archers to feather them, and then return a few desultory volleys, very few of them getting past the Company of the Red Spears' Wall of Iron or its Wall of Force. The Tuigan rode back towards the Tuigan lines. The enthusiasm of the the Alliance soldiers is somewhat dampened when the more strategically- minded inform them that the Tuigan had just thrown away several thousand cavalry just to get the range of the Alliance archers (!!). Shortly thereafter, the horse archers came riding back, supported by thousands of cataphract cavalry, who hung back at the extreme range of Alliance archery. Once the horse archers had softened up the Alliance a bit (and taken hundreds of more casualties, some of it dished out by PCs), the cataphracts charged. Led by Caladnei instead of the still-incapacitated Vangey, the War Wizards hurled mucho-many fireballs at the Tuigan (but K'thoth favored lightning), and just before the heavy cavalry hit the fragile front of the Alliance of the West, scores of huge earth elementals came rising up from the ground, and they did bad things to the Tuigan ... very bad things. The Tuigan, heavy and light horse alike, turn tail and fled. Kvelling with blood-lust and the desire to win some battlefield laurels, the Alliance cavalry (reluctantly *followed* by their erstwhile commander, Lord Harcourt) charged after the fleeing Tuigan, and overtook and passed the earth elementals. When the Alliance cavalry had passed the woods on their left, thousands of Tuigan and Shou heavy cavalry and Shou archers appeared. The Alliance infantry watched in horror as the flower of the West's cavalry -- thousands of knights and mounted men-at-arms, were completely and utterly destroyed. After mopping up the last of the West's best, the Tuigan and Shou attacked the west flank of the Alliance line, anchored now only by the Red Spears, unshielded by cavalry, and just when it became likely that the Tuigan would outflank the Red Spears and begin to surround the Alliance forces, the Earthfast dwarves arrive to fill the gap, accompanied by their king, Torg mac Cei, and by Alusair Obarskyr, the "Steel Princess" of Cormyr. The dwarves formed infantry squares and the Tuigan and Shou were unable to break them. Thwarted in their plan to outflank the Alliance, the Horse Lords withdrew, and the PCs began looting the dead. Torg mac Cei's dwarves seemed particulalry thrilled over something which they had found.

FLAMERULE 3 (night) -- Word quickly spread that Azoun IV Obarskyr, most recent in a thousand-year dynasty of kings of Cormyr, had died from a fatal arrow wound (to his thigh, of all places!), and the center of the Alliance line was torn by conflicting cries of, "the King is dead. Long Live Queen Tanalasta!" and, "the King is dead. Long live Queen Alusair!" Farl Bloodaxe manages to get the infantry to withdraw ten miles back up the Golden Way, where the forest will help to protect the left flank, at least. Few mages get their requisite eight hours of sleep. Van App, who had been busy doing arrow extractions and amputations all afternoon, finally got in a little fun by unleashing his "abominations" against the Tuigan, who had now moved away from their camp of the night before. Keen-eyed viewers saw two unexplained fireballs explode at the edges of the Tuigan lines. As the forces withdrew, armed clashes broke out between the supporters of Tanalasta and those of Alusair.

FLAMERULE 4 (day) -- The morning allowed the Alliance a very brief respite, for the Tuigan, loathing night fighting, had not advanced during the preceding night. Word drifted down the ranks that the joy of the dwarves yesterday had been their capture of Batu Min Ho, sworn brother of Yamun and commander of his Shou forces; the joy was tempered by the fact that after he was questioned by the Chirurgeon (the only person who could question him without wasting spells), Batu Min Ho had taken a guard's dagger and cut open his own belly, mumbling some inexplicable Shou names as he died. The bearer of this news, the superlative diviner Zhove, cheered up those who sought his advice by telling them that while *they* wouldn't die that day, the Army of the Western Alliance would be utterly destroyed.

The (Second) Battle of the Golden Way began as had the previous one, with light horse archers softening up the Alliance. Those archers were followed, however, by what seemed to be the entire remaining Tuigan cavalry -- tens of thousands of cavalry, followed at a distance by what seemed like tens of thousands of Shou infantry and other auxiliaries. Those of the Alliance who still had spells cast them, and the Company of the Red Spear was fortunate to have in its employ an Elven priestess of the Goddess of Magic, who cast Wall of Wind, which, like yesterday's Wall of Iron, left the Red Spears relatively unharmed by Tuigan archery. To the left and right, however, the Alliance forces withered away under the clouds of Tuigan arrows. Seeing that the Company's force was relatively unharmed, and recognizing the Company's colors, the Tuigan leadership drew what they thought was the only logical conclusion: that "Ak-soon of Cormeer" was making his stand *there,* and Yamun Khahan and his bodyguard charged the Company of the Red Spear, ignoring Princess Alusair's presence entirely. When the Tuigan rode down the troops to the left and right of the Wind Wall, they were able to lob hundreds of arrows into the flanks of the Company. Marek Ilsor saw that the battle was lost and ordered a withdrawl to the wagon laager and the Company's horses. The Tuigan -- no respecters of persons -- began butchering the wounded, which proved just too, too, TOO annoying for the Chirurgeon, who, wreathed in a black cloud, finally revealed his full (?) magical powers, creating a monstrous whirlwind of blood which ate away the flesh of the surrounding Tuigan, a gray cloud of death which charging Tuigan passed through only at the cost of countless wounds, a run-of-the-mill Cloudkill spell, a Fireball which kept going (and going and going and ...) and a few spells reserved for Yamun Khahan personally: a powerful lightning bolt which destroyed Yamun's horse, but not Yamun, who simply mounted another horse, and a damaging, but not fatal, bolt of pure, white, magical power. (Yeah, "white" -- doesn't quite match his spell thematics, does it?) Frustrated, Van App, alternating between chutneyfying riders who got too close to him and the "forelorn hope" who were covering the retreat, and throwing up hideous area-of effect spells, finally pointed at Yamun and said, simply, "Die;" he didn't. Fel pointed out to Van App the charge of Chanar Ong Khan, and Van App sent a green ray towards him, which past Yamun's general and vaporized some anonymous cavalryman behind him. His spells nearly exhausted, Van App, who had been urging the Red Halberds and other "bitter enders" to retreat, finally gave the reins of his horse to Fel with onstructions to await him a mile or so down the road. Glancing over their shoulders as they rode away, Eel and Fel saw Van App continue to slice away with his sword and then vanish, replaced by a large eagle. Further down the road the eagle landed next to Fel and the few remaining Red Halberds, and took to his horse, riding for safety. A few miles on they realized that a hundred or so pursuing Tuigan would probably suffice to tear apart the remants of the Copany, so Van App again dismounted. Sheathing himself in a sphere of blackness, he simply walked down the center of the road towards the Tuigan, precious few of whom survived their entry into that black spehere, and those few who did survive, generally died of multiple wounds a few yards further on. The pursuing Tuigan decided to rejoin their friends, who were looting the Alliance camp, and a few well-placed black spheres along the road allowed the Company's survivors and the few who were still with them to enter the relative safety of the woods.

FLAMERULE 4 (night) -- under cover of darkness, cover of magic, and with muffled hooves and gagged wounded, the Company of the Red Spear slipped past the Tuigan horde as they encamped down the Golden Way, and, by Flamerule 6 the 54 surviving Red Spears and Red Halberds, and the few hundred battered remnants of the 40,000-strong Army of the Western Alliance entered Telflamm -- the only fortified city in western Thesk, destined to become -- perhaps! -- the last stand of the Alliance against the Illustrious Emperor of All Peoples.

FLAMERULE 6-- ragged messengers slipping into Telflamm harbor on small fishing boats bring word that fragments of the Army remain relatively intact, including at least two hundred Dalesmen and Zhentish orcs, forced into an unlikely alliance of convenience. From Nyth southward for scores of miles small fishing villages have acquired garrisons of wounded, but still determined Alliance troops. Will they make separate stands and die glorious deaths worthy of the tales of bards, or will they slip into Telflamm and prepare to endure what will certainly be a grim, grim siege? In either case, more than fifty thousand Tuigan remain at large in Thesk, most beginning to besiege little Telflamm....

I have a mouth, but I am in a library and must not scream.

Feed the poor and stroke your ego, too:

Edited by - Jamallo Kreen on 28 Jun 2007 01:32:16
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