Pa'Aerth

Howling inthe wind

Avari…

Thump…Thump!!!!!! Thump…Thump!!!!!! The rhythm of my bow sings through the air. The cry goes out to save the gate. I draw forth my trusty sword Rancor and have at the giant advancing on my position. Stopping the beast in his tracks with a mighty blow from my blade…..It continues to advance with an unholy vengeance. I think to myself that a blow like that should have stopped this creature and fell it with one swing. The power that drives these creatures opens a portal and produces a demon from the abyss. The stench assaults my senses and the giant seizes the moment to sneak a blow in causing me great discomfort. I tumble away to reach an advantageous position. Suddenly seized by a cloud I wretch with abandon. Regaining my senses my companions and I slay the giant, ogre, and demon. The field spins again and I feel a presence from my past, another member of the 88. Tobadzistsini smiles on me this day.

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Avignon - Orcs at the Gates III
The Horde Brings Demons

September 4, 1208 SA

03:00 AM

The bulk of the horde died upon the walls but a few orcs, a giant and orge managed to slip past the Battling Eyes Port and crossed the wall near Port Limbert. These members of the hoard formed a ring and fought against the on rushing mercenaries and members of the Queen’s Guard. After a few moments the giant and orge manage to expand the circle as they step over several dead bodies before them.

The Queen’s Guard’s archers line up and begin to rain down a hail or arrows upon the attackers.

Within this space in the center of the circle, Avari and Eric, notice a shimmering rent in the fabric of reality. Out of this distortion steps a massive mound of animated ooze has about its shifting countenance the hideous shape of a half-melted man. With the Omox at their back the giant and orge press the battle toward the gate. Several members of the Grey Hand recognize the creature from the battle beneath the streets of St. Etienne.

A huge cloud of rancid-smell smoke causes dozens of mercenaries, Queen’s Guard and Avari to become nauseated. The cloud obscured sight through it and limited the effectiveness of many of the archers.

Avari’s misery continues as he notices two older men dragging bodies to an elven woman. As he focuses on the woman he is stunned by memories of Necahual

Sergeant Valentine of the Queen’s guard calls out to Connor and Nikola… “Have half of your number defend the gates!”

The group manages to dispatch the Omox, giant, orge and orcs.

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The enemy reveals that it is more than it seems...

Early September, European Calendar; Tobi Waxing, the time of Going Forth, Stygian Civil Calendar

It occurred to me that the arrival of the Chaos Hoard is coincident with Going Forth in Stygia. If my calculations are right about the alignment of calendars…the waters of the Styx have receded and have given ground back for the purpose of planting. In Stygia…those that have been shut in for the time of year known as Deficiency are now free to travel since the waters have drawn back and the ground has dried hard enough for travel.

Odd that they would choose exactly this time to start their advance. Will have to look into the potential meanings behind this. Perhaps there is some pattern…some logic to their choices that can be tied to astrological rhythms or the like. Any insight here might be valuable later on.

As I write this, propped against the parapet wall of the Porte Limbert Gate, the hoard gnashes teeth just to the south.

Probing assaults have kept us alert throughout the night.

The advance is not as I’d expected. The hoard is rather systematic. They deploy harassing troops to probe at odd hours. Engines and Giants hurl stones at the wall with regularity that is created an almost hypnotic rhythm.

All of this, of course, is intended. Growing accustomed to the crashing stones hinders full alertness. Once the stones have started, a ferocious assault is soon to follow.  

To this point, The Gray Hand has defended its assigned section and held attackers at bay. If anything, perhaps the strength of the defense here will give the hoard pause when it comes to selecting this section of the wall for their point of entry into the city.

Perhaps it is the strength of this defense that has led to a new tactic…the enemy has launched plague rats into the city to spread sickness and disease. Surely this isn’t a serious attempt at creating  death within the walls, but an attempt to harry the priests of the Deceiver by increasing the cost of defending the people within the city. If the priests are directing their prayers toward healing infected victims of plague…they are not praying for blessings in war. Again, the cause and effect logic that seems uncharacteristic of a host that revels in random, erratic, and unpredictable behaviors.

There is more to the enemy here than would appear. Much more. The driving force behind the army’s advance may well be a creature of the Hells…instead of the Abyss. Perhaps as the attacks step up and the hoard dashes itself against the high walls of the city…perhaps more tricks will be revealed…and in these we learn more about the nature of those commanding the hoard and what might have joined them in collective purpose to finally march and bring about the end of times…or as some of them have called it ‘The Tolling of the Bell’.

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The hoard
The tide pours in.

Avari…

So they come,straining at the ends of their leashes. Invisibly they approached the wall, our arrows meeting out death. Ice, lightning and fire exploding on the field.They still come. The Gray Hand holds it’s position on the wall;felling the enemy as they assault our position. We have seen our left flank destroyed by the Orcs, Ogres, and giants. Breaching the wall they jump across and are met by the throng of soldiers and mercenary bands. My attention stays to the field as I know that our strength is being probed by their forces. My songs of battle ring forth, inspiring the Gray Hand to higher strengths. We need to ration our resources to continue to hold our position. The creatures seem to have some sort of intellect which allows them to perform outside of their normal scope. I will find their secondary mind and level the field to assure our victory.

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Avignon - Orcs at the Gates II
The Second Wave

September 1208 SA

It is my hope that the Maker’s Blessings are still upon you. These are trying times and I include the Gray Hand in my prayers each day and night. The diseased vermin were eradicated by the sisters and those that were exposed to their filth were healed by the sisters. The swarms of vermin were filled with filth fever.

Be wary upon the wall and stay diligent.
Brother Marcel

2nd watch captain… he is very tall, with tan skin and thick white hair. Athletic frame.

Inquisitor Maddox Huffman,

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Short notes - Battle comes

The War Preparations – continued, 6th

My quick notes as we prepare for battle.. they come..

>Night watch is over – Morning of Sept 1st..

We return to Crimson Flask as dawn breaks.

Priests of the Maker calming the masses. Trebuchet and sheafs of arrows are ready and waiting near the wall.

Erebus is troubled about the teaching of the street preachers.

Visit the Red Circle at Port St Joseph
– Acanthus – Commander
– Silanus of House Domitius
– Stygians are sworn to see combat and defense of the Queen

Sleep, awaken, magic crafting

>Head to Night watch

Glow on the horizon

Take the form of a great horned owl to survey the fire

Probably 2 days distant – about where Lord Marsh Chopin might be

Return down to walls

Valentine reports a ship taken over by orcs and goblins, then crashed into the north gate.

>Night Watch is over – Morning of Sept 2nd

Head north to see shipwreck, 100ft long, wrecked at Port Linier

Paladin of the Maker, talks to me abruptly, then refers me to my commander for more information

Scan and evaluate people, carts, ship, walls.. no magic out of the ordinary detected.

Go by Port St. Joseph, talk to Silanus.. the Stygians will be released to follow other paths after the combat is over.

Head back to Crimson Flask

Sleep, awaken, magic crafting

>Head to Night Watch

Valentine reports sorties by the scouting forces with the enemy.. expect the force to arrive tonight.. ship is dismantled.. orcs were killed.. a few escaped..

Battle is engaged.. Ogre+10 orcs+1 goblin per squad

Connor displays the Living armor plates inside the Ogre after he is killed. Teaches the group how to more effectively kill them.

>Night Watch is over – Morning of Sept 3rd

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Under assault...

Silence.

Since the signal, an eerie quiet consumed Port Limbert. No one spoke. They just watched, bows at ready, over the shafts of their arrows – a score or more eyes scoured the dark for signs of the encroaching enemy.

A massive fire raged across the northern horizon, making perfect silhouettes of any on the wall for an army approaching from the south.

“Chaos. Not so much,” Erebus laughed to himself as his trained eye scanned the kill zone of flat ground and low grass just beyond the wall, “The LAW of cause and effect makes your tactics as discernible as if you’d sent a raven ahead with an announcement.”

Explosions and shouting erupted in the distance. A force of some size was ripped through the town that lay to the south of Avignon. Destruction and fire tore through the town with unnerving speed. Beyond the wall all could hear the advance. The noise was unmistakable…the sound of heavy armored shock troops running in close formation.

They were heard, but not seen.

“The siege engines would make you pay dearly in this formation,” Erebus whispered quietly to no one in particular, ”What better way to render them useless than to…”

Then he saw it. Trampled grass in clearing ahead.

“Connor. Light my arrow,” Erebus whisper-shouted and stepped back to give Connor room, “And be quick about it” Connor deftly doused the arrow with oil and set it ablaze. Erebus estimated the location of the target and placed his arrow firmly at the feet of the approaching mass.

“There they are!” Erebus shouted to his comrades. “Loose your arrows! I’ve marked the advance!”

The familiar din of War instantly engulfed the space around him. The staccato shuk-shuk of arrows was soon followed by cries of alarm as the alert spread along the wall. The deep, bass crackle of conjured lightning followed along with an ear splitting whoosh as air was sucked in to fuel a fireball.

Cries of triumph and oaths of valor came from the wall as the defenders made claim to feats and kills they had no way of truly knowing when fighting the invisible in darkness.

The enemy, a degenerate mass and fetid mass answered their discovery with a throaty roar and leapt forward at the wall.

Their speed was astonishing. In bounds they were upon the wall, seeming not to truly need the ladders they had raised. The initial few were turned back with arrows but several of the vanguard managed to top the wall.

Orcs.

The clamor of steel against steel rang out in the air. The musty, rancid stink of the hoard wafted up the wall with each attempt to scale. Men screamed, either at the sight of the twisted enemy that had descended upon them or from wounds the beasts unleashed with unthinking fury.

Erebus saw the thing top the wall and lock its attention on the smallish form of Lewanna. He moved to intercept. Erebus led with an upward shield-punch that caught the creature in the throat, crushing bone and cartilage with a wet crunch. Erebus saw his opponent was off balance and dying and finished him with a full-shield bash that sent the limp form back over the wall.

Erik, nearby, starred blankly, processing what he just witnessed.

“You’ll have to move quicker if you want to be in this fight!” Erebus barked. “Look to our flank. We can not leave it unguarded,” he added as he moved past the dwarf.

To his right, Connor unleashed lightning magic that sent another creature back over the wall and to his doom. Avari, cleaved at the shadows with his sword as they came over the wall. Keal’s summoned skeletons fired into the darkness, adding more to the noise of battle than the casualties.

The capable defenders were spread too thin. Erebus realized this a moment to late…

Several hulking shapes crested the wall…one to his right…another to his left…they hacked their way through the less stalwart and made their way over the wall and into the streets of Avignon.

These were followed by a truly massive ogre…it moved with more swiftness and agility than would seem appropriate…and was upon them. With a with a full swing it connected with Lewanna…and sent her up into the air and over the wall with an unpleasant crack. After watching her body impact with the ground, it leapt down to finish her.

Erik moved past the skirmish on the wall to Valentine’s post and looked over the wall into the darkness. A few defenders, Erebus, Emrys, and Kael remained on the wall. The others moved to engage the creatures on the ground or to help Lewanna.

Those that made it over the wall were quickly slain by the mass of defenders in the streets.

Losses were tallied and everyone moved to secure their posts and made ready for the next wave.

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They come
Avari's song of death

The enemy comes….long has the Gray Hand waited for this day to come.As they near I hold my action until their stench fills the air. I let loose with an arrow to get the cloaked enemy to release it’s covering. The second shot to test their armor. Let the body’s hit the floo, Let the bodies hit the floor, let the bodies hit the floor! Two arrows from Mithrind’e and their spell slinging Goblin dies, nailed to the earth which will reclaim what was formed from its essence. Upon me was one of the augmented Ogres, its Lucerne Hammer bearing down on me. Tumbling out of its reach I fired two shots which glanced off his shielding. He struck hard at my compatriot who was knocked off the wall. I jumped down to defend her. The Ogre attempted to strike again but I fired a shot from my bow;disarming the villain who was then caught by my second shot to his chest. My song and action rallied the troops who took the beast down,…asunder. They still are coming….The Gray Hand will be waiting.

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The battle at the wall in Avigon

At the gates, we standby for any disturbance in the distance. We know there is goning to be an attack in Avigon, so our unit/mercenary group arms themselves at the wall preparing for the attack. Lewanna takes trust in her companion and sends him off in the distant to scout what is all is coming our way, coming back from high in the sky, I communitcate with him. He tells me a horde of orcs, goblins and orgres are on the way to pilliage the towns and break through our defenses. I yell back to my fellow commarades the information my companion has told me, and we all get ready the on coming attack.
When the hordes comes through the town, they don’t leave any stone/ home unturned everything from each home was trash and had it goods stolen from within and hte finish with what seemed like a bomb of some sort. All that I know is that the house went boom in a burst of fire and rubble. It seems as the horde came closer in they disappeared closer to the wall where our mercenary group was waiting for them. One of my fellow commarades doused one of his arrows in oil and ask another of our commarades to light his arrow to signify where the horde was to everyone else who could not see where they were.
After Eribus lit the way I shot down one of my thunderous lightning bolts hoping to hit something. Everyone was following in suit hitting where the arrow had been lodged in the ground. We all successfully hit at least one or more enemies, until they all just started to climb the wall. Which unfortunately, I got hit with an orgre’s hammer and got knocked off the wall. An enraged half-elf with an bad attitude just wanted to turn into a giant fericous animal and rip some orgre, orc and goblin’s throats out. But unfortunately, there were too many guards and civilians to be able to turn and reek havoc. So now I patiently wait for the second wave, if there is any to come in and get their lives torn away.

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Avignon - Orcs at the Gates

August 27, 1208 SA

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