An Attack on a Stronghold
The Wizard Crowley Thran, driven by grief and fuelled by his hatred, called huge flaming meteors from the sky. The fireballs hitting the ground with such an impact that Luther could feel the earth groaning under his feet. The Cleric Luther Sengir, of the House Sengir, turned his head to watch the Wizard casting his almighty spell, the elderly man’s jaw clenched tightly and hands moving in large sweeping motions. The only sounds to be heard were Crowley’s incantations in Draconic and the crashes against the earth from the falling fireballs. To the right of Luther, stood the Northern Barbarian Firion Wolfcloak. So called for his cloak made from the pelts of Dire Wolves he had personally killed. The double sided bearded axe the barbarian lord held reflected the lights of the fires burning in front of the group. Both the cleric and barbarian looked at each other pensively while throwing glances at the High Wizard. Luther knew what drove Crowley to such acts of destruction. The murder of the Wizard’s wife had devastated the older man significantly. Luther had never known Crowley to fly off the handle or to even raise his voice in an argument before and his actions at this moment were very out of character. While he objected to the reason for wanton destruction as well as the physical toll it would have on Crowley. Luther understood that without such an act, they would never be able to gain entry into their enemies stronghold. Somehow this vile god had summoned hundreds of outsiders, beings from another plane, to fight on his behalf. This was in addition to his army of cultists and soldier already in his evil service. Then, just as suddenly as it began, the explosions ceased and the High Wizard slumped forward and was caught by the Cleric Luther. Firion was the first to break the silence. “I’ve always loved fireworks. Ever since i was a child. These ones were bigger than the ones i remember, but these were even more enjoyable.” the barbarian narrowed his eyes to survey the charred field. “But normally fireworks don’t leave such foul smelling left overs” He raised his hand to pinch his nostrils shut.
“ Would you have preferred to charge straight into them?” Luther ran his hand over his black beard “Those things would’ve ripped you apart piece by piece. However they might have taken a second thought about eating you after a taste” Luther replied slyly.
“ Hey, I had a bath only three weeks ago. “ Firion sniffed at his own armpit. “Yeah, ok. When i get home, i’ll have to clean myself up”
“If we get home” Luther emphasised the ‘if’. “This really isn’t like one of our normal quests. If we lose here, everyone dies.”
“I know the stakes Luther. You don’t need to remind me” Firion twirled his axe in his hands and slung it over his shoulder. The Barbarian lord shot a look behind him at the army they had brought with them to the foothills of the Noma Mountains. Noma soldiers and Noble House Knights, a regiment of heavily armoured Dwarves led by Thanna, the King Under the Mountain, the Elf Prince Gareth with the first royal Dragoons as well as Firion’s own clan of Barbarians.
“Do you remember the plan Firion?” Luther tensed his shoulders back and forth under his black full plate armour. “We allow Thanna, Gareth and Christina to lead the army against the Cultists while we, with the Band of the Morningsong, infiltrate the temple and kill this so called God.” Luther spat at the last word. This man designed to call himself a god. It was an affront to everything that the Cleric of Pelor stood for. He found himself absentmindedly running his gauntleted hand over the gold emblazoned symbol of the son God on his chest silently praying for strength.
A stocky dwarf covered head to toe in armour stepped out of formation, a long grey plaited beard hanging out the front of his helmet. A large ornate ivory and brass horn held in both hands. After a few moments the dwarf lifts the horn under his helmet and begins to make a bellowing sound. Immediately following this sound, the formation of Dwarves lock their shields together and begin moving forward at a steady pace. In the centre of the dwarves, born aloft by four stalwart bearers, a mighty dwarf stood on a shield. Adorned by thick silverly armour and a hammer larger than a man’s head. Thanna, The King Under the Mountain, shouted commands and inspirations to his soldiers slogging forward. The king of the dwarves had entered this conflict begrudgingly after a number of his people had gone missing, apparently stolen to become slaves or sacrificed to this new threat. The dwarves kingdom consisted of several Thaigs, or cities built deep underground connected to each other by tunnels known as the Deep Roads. Thanna had lost contact with one of his outer Thaigs, word brought back to him was that one of the Diciples of this new evil had infiltrated the town and had murdered or taken everyone inside. Over five hundred dwarves had been killed or dragged away for sacrifice at a later time. Thanna had decreed the gates to the Dwarves Kingdom shut and no more contact with the surface dwellers. Shortly after this, the Cleric Luther and the Sorceress Christina had teleported directly into his throne room. After a lengthy discussion, Luther had persuaded Thanna to help in this final assault with his finest dwarves warriors.
Following behind the dwarves a unit of Noma soldiers, their blue and white tabards a bright contrast to the brass and silver armour of the dwarves in front of them. On the front rank of the Noma soldiers strode Lord Stromkirk, His enchanted armour and weaponry a stark difference from the gear of those surrounding him. Even with the differing levels of equipment, these soldiers were more than willing to die for a Lord of one of the Noble houses. Lord Glenn Stromkirk, the head of both the House Stromkirk and the Noma army, inspired his troops by always leading by example and from the front. The soldiers around him were dressed in Noma military armour along with standard weaponry. It was all that the houses could spare as a majority of the Noma army was needed to secure the cities, towns and villages against possible reprisals from this evil entity. On the direct flanks of the Noma army, stood the Northern Barbarians. Covered in crude hide, furs and leather armours and wielding a wide variety of axes, swords and spears. Glenn could see the anticipation of battle in their eyes and he thought he could even see some of them grinning, excited for the imminent battle. Although Glenn trusted Firion, he was unsure if during the battle he could trust these beserkers not to attack their allies.
To the right of the main formation, all saddled on powerful warhorses, came the Noble house Knights. Covered in heavy armour and brandishing long lances with bannerets denoting their house. At the head of the mounted spear, rode Lord Markov resplendent in his mastercrafted adamantine armour and a longsword pointed forward urging the mounted force forward. Lord Ving Markov, leader of the house of Markov was no fighter. While he had been brought up with some of the finest sword fighting teacher and fighting from horseback. Here, in the company of hardened knights, he was well outside of his depth.
While on the other flank, golden armoured elves covered in green cloaks, long curved greatswords held at their sides and mighty longbows slung over their backs. Prince Gareth of the elven Kingdom of Quelos’nera walked neck and neck with his Royal Dragoons. Directly next to him was the captain of the dragoons, Horashu, an elf of extraordinary talent and one of the only few to ever speak their mind to Gareth. “I don’t think i’ve ever seen a human cast such a complicated and powerful spell in all my three hundred and five years.”
“He is driven by grief Gareth. Crowley is burning his own life force to power that spell” Horashu looked to the left where the three men stood. “If he keeps this up. He will most surely perish” The captain frowned slightly “To lose your mate after so long. It is a devastating feeling”
From the mountain pass came a group of black ragged cultists wielding a crude assortment of daggers and pitted swords. The first few cultists to issue forth were pinned to the ground by a barrage of white tipped elven arrows. Even under the hail of arrows for the Royal Dragoons, the cultists swarmed towards the ranks of the Dwarves warriors. The Dwarven soldiers stopped and locked their shields together. Slamming the pointed bases of the shields into the ground. The first wave of poorly armed cultists hit the shields hard. The force of the impact not enough to move the shields even an centimetre. Daggers and clubs beat against the shields of the dwarves and any attempt to come over the top were thwarted by the halberd’s of the dwarves behind the first line. Following an unvocalised order, the four bearers of the King braced themselves, and the shield line drew their shields from the ground and smashed them forwards. As the cultists flailed backwards, Thanna leapt over the line and crushed the skull of the first man he came into contact with. Just as suddenly as the shield bash, the shield line split apart and the halberd wielders rushed forward to eviscerate the bewildered cultists.
Following the cultists from the pass came huge iron golems surrounded by black armoured soldiers. Metal plates the size of housing panels held facing upwards prevented the elven arrows from raining down on them. Driven in front of these troops, hundreds of orcish warriors and lizardmen. Even without the outsiders on their side, the cult outnumbered the free peoples three to one.
The Band of the Morningsong, a group of adventurers had grown rich and powerful from battling evil. The five friends had known each other from a younger age. Kwanda Maas, the fighter. Well versed in the art of battle and warfare. He was well known for being insanely strong. Wearing thick plates of armour as well as wielding a shield carved from a solid chunk of rock. As a weapon he carried a former Dragon’s tooth and used it to bludgeon anything that stood in his way. Then there was Cedric Kain, a Sorcerer of mediocre powers, but what he lacked in actual power, he made up with genius. Cedric was partial to a rusty red long coat that had a wide collar and carried a repeating crossbow.
Kaslim Hamor, Cleric of St. Cuthbert
Sonya Shlukien, Ranger
Milich Oppenhimer, Rogue
On the rocky outcrop in front of the Temple appeared eight figures in a quick burst of light. Almost as soon as they materialised, a large ogre on the plataeu swung a club the size of an oak tree at the group. Wooden club met a solid stone shield and the club shattered. The retaliation was swift from behind the shield, a massive black club swung in one arc and a crunching sound came from the ogre’s knee as it fell. Just as swiftly as the first blow came, a second blow to the ogre’s head crushed the skull into a bloody mess. Kwanda Maas, also know as the Rock, lifted his club up to rest on his shoulder. The club itself once a fang from an ancient dragon now used in a slightly different fashion. His four companions however unfazed by the show of strength the other three stood shocked at the speed of the man covered in enough metal to make an anvil and carrying a stone made of solid rock. Firion and Luther took a moment to compose themselves. The Band of the Morningsong were well known for being strong, but even this went beyond their imaginations. Across the rocky ground a small opening cut into the rock. If they didn’t know what they were looking for, they might’ve missed it. Sonya Shlukien said that she would keep watch outside for any thing coming back and that she would catch up to the rest of them shortly. Moving slowly and carefully they made their way into the Temple. The short tunnel opening into a dimly lit room hewn from the surrounding stone. As they enter the room, the seven notice a iron wrought blocking off the rest of the rooms from them. Short seconds after entering full view of the grate, orcish warriors began to launch barbed javelins at the eight of them. Again the Rock stepped in and the stone shield slammed down protecting them from harm. From behind the Rock, Milich Oppenheimer shot a quick look over the shield. “One second mon ami” in a flourish Milich drew several roses from under his crimson cape and in a quick motion threw them around Kwanda. The barrage of javelins stopped almost immediately.