THE VALUS CAMPAIGN - Part 1Imperial Province of CYRODIIL – CHEYDINHAL
3th Sun's Dusk, 4E 203
A mass of horses had pushed forth along the Blue Road, clearing it of refugees as they went, making way for the infantry columns behind. The march to the camp at Harlun's Watch had been so fast it could almost be labeled a force-marched. The Grand Marshall of the Imperial host, dubbed the old general by his troops, stood atop a hill as the columns of legionaries, foot as well as cavalry, marched past. The columns stretched far over the horizon, as thousands of soldiers made their way to war. A table with several maps and documents placed upon it had been placed at his provisional headquarters and his general staff and senior officers stood around as they discussed plans and logistics for the coming campaign. The Grand Marshall walked over to join in on their discussions.
The Legates of the three Legions currently present had assembled and were discussing Akaviri troop movement on maps of Morrowind and the border regions. “By all reports, the war has gone badly for the Dunmer. The clans were already in constant turmoil before the invasion, so they were wholly unprepared. The invading Akaviri quickly captured Mournhold making all possibilities for a united response null. A pity really, it seems Dunmer battlemages are overrated.” The Legate Pilus of the Second Legion explained, adding a few remarks of his displeasure of Dunmer society along the way. The Dunmer Legate Dredil of the reestablished Ninth Legion looked on with squinty eyes, clearly annoyed by the blatant prejudice. The third Legate, Dexion of the reestablished Fifth Legion noticed Dredil’s expression and quickly moved the conversation along before a possible confrontation.
Grand Marshall Warhaft also noticed the brewing conflict, but decided it was too small of a problem to worry about. “It is a tragedy, really. A dozen great lords are dead, captured or missing. The Akaviri hosts march almost unabated, though it seems Kragenmoor has resisted their siege. Our informants and scouts tell us the Akaviri abandoned it. In the end I guess Cyrodiil was too good a price to waste manpower on a fringe city in Morrowind.” The others were in agreement, but before they could continue, a messenger came riding at speed.
“I bring news from the Skyrim Legions. They arrived north of Cheydinhal this morning, passing Fort Farragul just a few hours ago. However, they soon came into contact with the Akaviri, and a battle ensued. The Akaviri retreated and Legate Heidmir of the Twelfth Legion decided to pursue. The Twelfth is now on their way towards Fort Scinia, which is rumored to be under siege by a Akaviri host.”
Warhaft looked down on the maps, picking one showing the Valus Mountains between Cyrodiil and Morrowind. “They’re much closer than I thought. Do we have any idea where the main body is right now?” He asked, but no favorable answer came. Swearing under his breath he turned to the messenger. “If the Twelfth is pursuing the Akaviri towards Fort Scinia, where are the Sixth and Tenth Legions right now?” The messenger quickly replied. “They were last marching after them, but at a slower pace. They intend to meet up with the main force a few miles east of here before pursuing further.” Warhaft swore openly now. “That leaves us little choice. If the Akaviri are retreating with the Skyrim Legions in pursuit, then we have to back them up.” An officer from the general staff commented. “It’s not ideal, the troops are still tired from the march.” And while Warhaft agreed, he knew he had no choice. “Nothing we can do, make the legionaries ready, we march to battle!”
Just as they had arrived, the three Legions arriving at Harlun’s Watch abandoned their new camp in a hurry and marched east to meet up with the three Skyrim Legions, currently in pursuit of fleeing Akaviri forces. A great battle was soon about to take place, but few could imagine the hardships that were to come.
* * *
Roleplay: Akavir Invasion
The Empire of Tamriel: Cheydinhal 11th Sun's Dusk, 4E 203
Following the retreat from Canulusia Sir Mazog's Nibenean forces that had been left behind recruiting and fortifying Bravil and Leyawin met to his defense. It was not need however as the Akavir force did not give pursuit as the survivors reached the river, but seemed to split off, some returning to Canulusia and some going northeast. Additionally many Imperial soldiers have been moving east, the full might of the Imperial Legions summoned by General Warhaft of the knights of Nadd to Cheydinhal.
Sir Mazog takes about 3000 troops with him, while returning the surviving 1000 or so from the last battle to rest and fortify Bravil and Leyawin and the routes for the Imperial forces to maneuver. A newly formed Khajiti state formed out of Elsweyr's grant of independence called The Great Kingdom of Elsweyr and their new Great Mane Ri'Dara were invited to join the Imperial legions with armies to deal with the remnant forces of Akavir that were pouring out of Morrowind deep inland unopposed. The army crossed the Niben to position their detachment between the south of Cheydinhal and Canulusia's boundaries. Sir Mazog, Trollz, and Cassandra proceed personally with a small light guard to the city of Cheydinhal to meet with General Warhaft and assess the overall situation.
Entering from the southern gate and the forests Trollz gives out a little whimper as he looks up where the west road leads into the city. He recognizes the area and runs ahead of the group and disappears from view but returns after a while.
"Trollz what is it?" Sir Mazog pats Trollz on the head as the frost troll rejoins him and Cassandra and whimpers.
"Madai…" Trollz sighs. "Trollz lost Madai near here. Trollz captured here in cages." Trollz looks downcast sniffing the air and surroundings remembering them.
"I had wondered what became of you and him after you two fell off the Throat of the World." Sir Mazog replies. "Do you think Madai is still alive Trollz?"
"Madai hurt....Madai hurt bad, Trollz….dim...Trollz not remember well......Ajax..." Trollz squints and mutters trying to think but both his animal brain as advanced for a troll as he may be and the traumatic experience and Ajax using mind control spells on him makes it impossible for Trollz to recollect and he just frowns silently trying to remember.
"Ajax? That Argonian from Morrowind?" Sir Mazog asks incredulously remembering Ajax and their fights with him.
"Yes, Ajax..." Trollz nods and then scowls. "Ajax sell Trollz to cages!"
"Grrr I never trusted that Argonian slaver...so he is with vampires, perhaps even Dark Brotherhood and they're active around here...Daedric Princes like Hircine been active throughout the land and rumors even say The Namira Cult to that daedric prince is active ... nations have fallen in a flux and the empire weakened....And that Tsaesci we captured at the battle for Leyawin mentioned the scroll....The The Emperor of Tamriel chose me to be on the Elder Council when I was no more than a beggar and failed bandit when I met you Trollz... What do all these things of late mean?" Sir Mazog grits his teeth and begins to wonder.
"The hands of fate are strange for you Trollz, you have done so much for us all ready, you saved my life. I never did get to properly thank you." Cassandra pats Trollz reassuringly on the head and hugs him.
"Madai bad man, but not die like that. He was sad, he want to be beast, but he man." Trollz sobs a bit remembering seeing the vampires bite into the wounded Nord before Trollz passed out.
"I understand Trollz, I don't hate him but I wish it didn't happen. Maerwyn was severely injured, and Asher.....oh Felicity and Soregh they don't even know he is dead, and who knows what may have happened to them when these Akaviri waves crashed on Morowind's shores. But still they live because of you Trollz." Cassandra pats Trollz on the head a again and kisses his forehead.
"Maerwyn and Medea alive? Maerwyn live, yay! Trollz want to go see Maerwyn!" Trollz suddenly perks up and jumps in the air and claps and runs ahead a bit and turns back to see the other two grinning.
"Trollz, they're probably back in Solstheim at their cabin by now. Maerwyn was gravely hurt and nearly died, but the healers of Whiterun did keep him alive. There was a big uproar in the city and Madai was banished from the Companions and a bounty was put on his head. Maerwyn and Medea were allowed to stay only temporarily for Maerwyn to be healed since they're now husband and wife and had to leave the city. We had to leave immediately as Imperial Legionnaires, and so continued our way to Cyrodil." Sir Mazog recounts his perspective to Trollz and though much of it goes over Trollz simple mind, Trollz understands basically that Medea and Maerwyn his first real friends are alive somewhere out in the expanse of Tamriel which his brain can barely comprehend.
"I can't promise it, but if we see and end to this war Trollz, I will take you to see Maerwyn and Medea again." Sir Mazog puts his hand on Trollz shoulder and it glows and Sir Mazog gives Trollz a smile. gleefully the party enters Cheydinhal.
The Elder Councilor reaches the well fortified city of Cheydinhal, all about to the north and moving east are trains of Imperial Legionnaires. After the Elder Councilor gives full accounts and details of their rout from Canulusia, its situation, and the Akaviri movements, and receiving all intelligences and exchange he requests command of a some of the legions at Cheydinhal. General Warhaft of Nadd and the many Legions he had took command of had engaged the Akaviri which had fled to the far north towards the Valus Mountains and Skyrim and decided to send a mass force to pursue and strike down a mass bulk of the army. From Canulusia an Argonian captive named Cornelius had managed to escape after Sir Mazog and his small strike forces were repelled. Sir Mazog resolves to use part of the legions mustering at Cheydinhal to try to save the Canulusians while simultaneously defending Cheydihal as a point for more armies from throughout the The Empire of Tamriel to safely muster.
With a few Legions to spare to defend Cheydinhal, and also more legions from the general Imperial Legions all together coming across Cyrodil daily, Sir Mazog takes command of 30,000 men to add to his 3,000, keeping a distance but ready to move in to try to free the captive Canulusians still. It seems most of the Akaviri have fled northward, though now tens of thousands guard the captive Argonians that are the natives of Canulusia. It is uncertain if Sir Mazog will have to besiege this larger force again, or if they will evacuate and join up with the greater Akaviri army that in its cut off last desperate blitz is driving deep into Tamriel.
THE VALUS CAMPAIGN - Part 2Imperial Province of CYRODIIL – Valus Mountains
9th Sun's Dusk, 4E 203
Several days passed as the legions struggled through the Valus mountains. Everywhere they went they came into contact and fought smaller Akaviri contingents scattered throughout, wandering seemingly aimlessly. Grand Marshall Warhaft had to push his legions hard, chasing down enemies in the steep mountain terrain, all the while trying to keep his army as collected as possible. While he had quickly met up with most of the legions arriving from Skyrim, the Twelfth Legion that had begun this crazed chase was still far in front. Warhaft had several times urged them to halt, if not slow their advance, but the reply was always dismissive. The further they chased, the more enemies they encountered, and the faster they had to chase. Faced with his army being driven apart by scattered fighting and the mountainous terrain, Warhaft decided to drop the wild chase and instead begin a concentrated push towards the besieged Fort Scinia.
Joining his scattered forces into a mighty host, Warhaft marched in haste along the main road network linking Cyrodiil with Morrowind. Resting his legions a few miles from Fort Scinia, Warhaft held a war council with his general staff and senior officers. They were simultaneously briefed on events on other fronts.
“Councilor Mazog has arrived at Cheydinhal from his defeat at Fort Cuptor with the remnants of his army. It seems he wishes to requisition forces currently garrisoning Cheydinhal for his endeavour further south.” There was much murmur among those present. Warhaft did the numbers in his head. “That is a significant number of our reserve, almost thirty thousand I gather.” The messenger confirmed the specifics.
Legate Pilus of the Second Legion seemed bemused “Quite brazen of him, to come running to us after the pounding he took down south.” Warhaft shut him down with a stern look. “Defeat is only temporary. What is important is the survival of the army. Councilor Mazog seems to have retreated with much of his army still whole, something certainly commendable.” The members of Warhafts general staff, most of them comrades from the great war or their protégées voiced their agreement, while many of the younger officers present, listened with keen interest.
Legate Dredil of the Ninth Legion joined in “While that may be true, our army will certainly be weakened without those reserves.” Imperial Prince Regulus Mede, newly appointed the commander of the Imperial Chavalry rose to comment “Councilor Mazog may have faced a small setback, but his actions at the Siege of Leyawiin certainly prove his military merit. I’m certain he will come back stronger and bring us victory.” Warhaft nodded in agreement, continuing “Indeed, there are many fronts in this war. We cannot expect to have optimal strength at all times. More importantly, if the Akaviri forces in the south do a breakout, there is little we can do to stop them. No! I say let Councilor Mazog have his forces and leave the southern front to him.” There were a few more comments, but the war council ended in agreement.
The army rested through the night, only awoken a few times by wandering Akaviri scouts. By morning they continued forth, finally meeting up with the stubborn Twelfth Legion, just before they arrived by Fort Scinia. But as they approached the valley the fort was situated in, a worrying scout rapport arrived at Warhaft’s general staff. Unable to believe the rapport, he rode forth in front and hastened to see with his own eyes. What he saw was much worse than he had feared. As the legions passed over the hill and beheld the valley, a feeling of shock and horror swept over everyone. In front of them stood Fort Scinia in flames, smoke rising far into the sky. The valley around it was a sea of outlandish shapes, strange tents and untold numbers of Akaviri. It didn’t take long for Warhaft and the rest of his army to figure out what they were facing. The main Akaviri host was camped in front of them, a hundred thousand strong at least, covering the terrain like a thick black mist. Warhaft shouted angrily “How can the main Akaviri host be here? I was told it had dispersed into several contingents?” None around dared to give an answer, they could only stand in shock at the sight of the overwhelming foe in the valley below. Cursing loudly, Warhaft began shouting orders to get his legions into battle position while riding about encouraging his legionaries. Even so, the task ahead was overwhelming, if not impossible.
Taken by surprise, the sight of the imperial banners had sent shockwaves throughout the akaviri host, and the scuffeling of activity swept over the massive camp like ripples in the sea. Still shocked by the enemy facing them, the Imperial legions were slow to move, hesitant to charge into what seemed an endless horde. But, courage still existed among the once so mity Imperial Legion. The dogged Twelfth Legion had through their tenacity and grim persistence in chasing the enemy brought the legions into what basically was a giant trap. But in such moments, that same persistence made them the first to take action, charging down into the mass of Akaviri with the courage rivaling the Divine Crusader himself. The rest of the legions saw their courage and with newfound vitality charged after them, but they would soon regret their passion. Like a raging sea the Akaviri host moved, crashing into the legions with thunderous magic and insane zeal. As soon as a frontline had crumbled, more waves were pushed forth, encircling whole companies and splitting the legions from each other. Though taken by surprise, the akaviri numbers were too overwhelming. No army in Tamriel could hope to face them in open battle alone and expect to come out victorious. The battle had been lost before it even began.
As his legions buckled under the weight of the akaviri host, Grand Marshall Warhaft rode around behind the lines, shouting orders and trying to keep his army together. But it soon became obvious to him that the battle was certainly lost. Meeting up with the rest of his general staff, a quick plan for retreat was hatched before orders were sent out. Time was of the essence. If nothing was done soon, the main Imperial army would crumble into nothingness, leaving the road to Cheydinhal and the Imperial City open. As soon the orders were delivered, a new kind of courage rose throughout the ranks. The will to live. The legions began a coordinated fighting retreat, different legions aiding each other as they disengaged, while the Imperial Cavalry counter charged the surging akaviri host to give room for the retreat.
But the persistence of the akaviri was too strong, and the retreat was in danger of developing into a rout. Just as Warhaft was faced with the prospect of three quarters of his army being trapped in the valley, a wounded messenger arrived in the midst of battle bearing a message from the Twelfth Legion. “Legate Heidmir and the Twelfth Legion volunteer as the rearguard, giving room so that other legions might escape.” Warhaft had little to say, only cursing under his breath as he dismissed the wounded messenger with words of thanks. They knew it would be suicide mission, as did he, but there was no other choice. As he rode with the last of his other legions in retreat, he stopped his mount and gazed over the valley with a sundered heart. The akaviri host, covering the valley like a black sea, fumed as it crashed again and again against the tight formations of the Twelfth Legion. Warhaft and a few of the legionaries stood in absolute quiet as they watched the battle inside the valley. They all knew it was a moment for the ages, a moment to celebrate the courage and sacrifice of the legions, but soaked in the disgrace of defeat. They stood and watched for a while, feeling a duty to their comrades to witness their last moments. Then at last the might of the akaviri host finally overwhelmed the Twelfth Legion, it’s members trampled and burnt, slaughtered like prey as the akaviri went wild with rage and hunger. Ordering the last of the remaining legionaries to go, Warhaft began to ride away, only to turn his head one last time. In that valley lay his legionaries, thousands of them. They would never again fight for their homeland, but he would make sure to continue their fight. While he had not felt this dejected since the sack of the Imperial City in the Great War. Just as then, the Empire might have been beaten, but would always strike back even harder. This was a dark day, but there was always a tomorrow!
* * *
Roleplay: Akavir Invasion
THE VALUS CAMPAIGN - Part 3Imperial Province of CYRODIIL – Valus Mountains
12th Sun's Dusk, 4E 203
The makeshift camp was a mess, the order and structure so expected in the legion put aside. There simply had not been any time for proper procedure, the chaos of retreat and fear of attack had set the standard, nothing more could be expected. Grand Marshall Warhaft walked slowly in between the thousands of tens dotting the valley and mountainsides, conversing with the legionaries. Wounded and tired from the battle, what he said did not matter, his presence itself was the important part. Arriving at the temporary field hospital, the sight and smell would make any man or woman vomit, soldier or not. Warhaft however had experienced such a sight before, it’s horrors only an inconvenience to him. After a few rounds visiting and speaking to the wounded, a crowd had assembled in the space outside. They were tired and weary legionnaires, shaken by their defeat and lamenting the loss of their comrades. Warhaft understood the mood, the terrible fear and shame, and decided to give them his attention. As he climbed up onto a table the crowd turned quiet, their tired eyes locking onto him with awaiting stares. Raising his voice, Grand Marshall Warhaft, their ‘old general’ spoke to them.
“This day my tongue be blunt! The war goes against us. The border forts have been broken, in battle we have been defeated. Back there the bodies and ashes of our dead cover the ground, and the list of missing grows longer every day. But we are far from broken! Our army may have faced defeat, but not for lacking courage. Courage, like that shown by the Twelfth in their last stand is in us all, you only need to believe. We will break the enemy into pieces, crush them in detail, bring victory back from defeat. What say you legionaries of the Empire? What say you!?”
The crowd first stood in shock, but soon there was a sense of relief, if not hope in their eyes. Shouts and applause spread like wildfire, the mood from the speech spreading like wildfire across the camp, instilling a sense of newfound vigour in the defeated soldiers. The Imperial Legions may have faced defeat, but they were far from broken. Warhaft made his way back to his temporary headquarters and summoned his general staff and senior officers for a war council. It was time for a counterattack.
Just as with the lower ranked legionaries, the officers were clearly dejected if not discontent by the situation. The discussion was heated, as new information was shared and plans laid out, the debate turned bitter in tone. In the end, Warhaft had to intervene. “Calm yourself! As I have said previously, defeat is only temporary. Only when the army is broken is defeat permanent. Now get out there and reorganize your forces, we have more battles ahead.” With that war council adjourned, but Warhaft assembled his closest advisors in the general staff to discuss their future plans ahead in more detail.
The scout contingents had been much to blame for the great defeat at Fort Scinia, their lack of information leading the army into basically a trap. That failure had been a painful lesson, one they had learned from. Since the defeat they’d completely revamped their activities and now stalked the akaviri’s every move. Their newest report told of strange akaviri activity, of splitting of forces and a hurried if not scrambled march towards Cheydinhal. “The Akaviri have split their forces?” Warhaft exclaimed, surprised. It seemed like the akaviri had completely lost interest in Warhaft and his army, instead trying to bypass it entirely and hurry further into Cyrodiil. To quicken their march, they had split their massive host into two contingents. The reports seemed to indicate the largest contingent taking a longer but easier southern route, while the smaller contingent was taking a quicker but trickier northern route, passing by Rickety Mine and the Ayleid ruins of Kemen. Warhaft pondered, ‘why the haste?’ One of his closest comrades spoke up. “There can only be one explanation. They lack a logistical network to sustain their forces. This hurried pace must be a wild gamble to sack Cheydinhal before they starve themself to death.” The others seemed to agree, and Warhaft jumped up and scoured the map. “Northern route towards Rickety Mine? That’s an arduous route, I can’t imagine they’ll be able to keep their force from splintering in the mountains.” The others saw his train of thought and joined, and after much discussion a detailed plan of attack was made. It involved seeking to destroy the weaker of the akaviri contingents with the majority of the army, while a smaller contingent would hasten south-west to delay the main akaviri host from reaching Cheydinhal. The northern host would be set upon by cavalry and light infantry in the mountains. At the same time, Rickety Mine would be evacuated and it’s storehouses emptied and burnt, leaving no provisions to be taken. This would then be the opportune moment to strike, to fall upon the weakened force with absolute force.
It didn’t take long before the plan was set in motion, as the smaller force of the two reestablished legions hurriedly left south-west to interrupt and delay the main akaviri host. At the same time, several small contingents of cavalry and rangers traveled north to disrupt the northern host’s march, attacking and wiping out isolated pockets lost in the harsh mountain terrain. The chunk of the legions under Warhaft kept their distance, traveling parallel with the northern host on the road towards Rickety Mine. The plan worked wonders, the northern host kept falling further apart every day that went. By the time they had reached Rickety Mine they were tired and starved, dispersed into small isolated units covering a large area. The Mine and its settlement was empty, burnt to the ground, leaving nothing to be plundered for provisions. In a last bid to keep their force whole and not break apart, the Akaviri leaders tried to gather them together at the Ayleid ruins of Kemen where they hoped they could forage for provisions. This decision would ultimately prove their downfall. The ruins proved to be far more treacherous than anyone could have imagined. The broken down buildings and constructions acted like a maze with fatal traps littered all around, hostile creatures and strange magical power seeped up from the ruined parts of the city below. After less than a day, the northern akaviri host was falling apart. Their leaders found themself effectively trapped inside the ruined city, surrounded by what remained of their previously so mighty host. Their soldiers were starving, tired and exhausted from the march and constant harassment along the way. Many were wounded, incapable of traveling by themself. There were even episodes of brawls and fights between different akaviri species, even some cannibalisation. At the same time, isolated pockets scattered around had effectively given up on rejoining the main force, choosing instead to wander aimlessly in search of provisions and something to pillage. Most of them were quickly set upon by the Imperial Cavalry and slaughtered to the last. No quarter was given. With the situation as it was, Warhaft decided to strike.
At the turn of midnight on the 18th Sun's Dusk, the attack began. Warhaft preferred to strike as his foe was at their weakest. In the darkness the remnants of the northern akaviri host tried fruitlessly to gain some rest in the intolerable conditions inside the ruins of Kemen. The Imperial Legions surrounded the whole ruins complex, set on not letting any akaviri escape. Then at the preplanned signal they charged forth. While it was a night attack, they didn’t attempt to attack stealthily. All the officers knew their legionaries were almost shaking with anger and anticipation to finally take revenge. As such, no code of conduct had been set before the battle. Warhaft had deemed it suitable this time to let the soldier’s rage fuel them as they set about butchering every akaviri in their sight, it would be a free for all. A civilized observer might have deemed their conduct as barbaric, but no such thoughts were present in an army set on revenge. The legions charged forth into the ruins and set upon the akaviri with insatiable rage, surrounding and wiping out small groups one after the other, butchering the sleeping and wounded. Even though they were weakened by hunger and exhaustion, the akaviri fought as desperate fanatics. They knew there was no way out. Tang Mo tried to climb up into higher portions of the ruins, but were shot down with hails of arrows. A few Kamal attempted to break the Imperial advance with blistering frost magic, but were cornered and bombarded with fireballs by Imperial Battlemages. Tsaesci on the other hand seemed completely dejected, the hunger robbing them of their so priced vigour. Many were found hiding in dark chambers, only giving token resistance before their deaths. The leaders merged with their brethren and were never found in the piles of bodies. The fighting lasted until morning, as the akaviri fought to the last. The Revenge at the Kemen Ruins as the soldiers quickly dubbed it was a bloody affair, thousands upon thousands of bodies scattered and burned throughout the Ayleid ruins, only half buried. In the future this battlefield might become a hazard of fiends, wriths and undead, but for the legionaries and officers of the Imperial Legions, such dangers were of no concern. The Imperial Legions had taken their revenge, satiated their bloodlust. But still, the larger of the akaviri hosts still persisted, far less weakened by hunger. There had been no word from the two legions sent to slow it’s advance, and Warhaft thought the worst. But just for this single moment, he could be satisfied.
* * *
Roleplay: Akavir Invasion
(I am going to wait a few more days for Canulusia before I wrap up my part with the Akaviri since he had telegrammed me a few days back asking me to post. I also noticed I made a mistake in dating my latest entry, so I will have a post coming at some point soon so that the time gap doesn't get too extreme.)
<The Elders meet in Fort Cuptor to discuss recent events>
Chases-Her-Tail: It appears that young Cornelius has escaped and is seeking out Grand Marshall Warhaft with the aim of assisting the Imperials!
Wanders-Many-Lands: Let him run. Like a rat fleeing a ship only to plunge into the ocean, he will soon die! And besides, what use will he be?
Chases-Her-Tail: There are many secret passageways under the fort and the Lake, he may know of one that we do not. Additionally, many of our citizens in the surrounds villages, like Leafrot, are unprotected and may be persuaded by him to join the Imperial cause.
Wanders-Many-Lands: Let the villagers flee to him. The Akaviri will punish them for their treachery!
Nibenay-Born: Let us not be quick to wish death on our people, brother. The war goes well but when it is over we will need an economy and we cannot afford to lose many of our citizens; if any at all!
Wanders-Many-Lands: We'll survive. The Akaviri will provide us with Imperial slaves to replace our lost brethren.
Nibenay-Born: And if the Akaviri are defeated? What then? They have already been defeated in Kemen, what if the Imperials inflict a similar defeat on the larger force?
Wanders-Many-Lands: I find your lack of faith disturbing.
Nibenay-Born: I'm trying to be reasonable here, for Divine's sake! I will not tolerate or support your callous indifference to the lives of our own people!
<Wanders-Many-Lands eyes narrowed and he turned away from the other two councillors before clicking his fingers>
Wanders-Many-Lands: You can tolerate or support whatever you like in the dungeons! Guards arrest this traitor!
<Burly Tsaesci warriors charged into the room, grabbed Nibenay-Born by both arms and dragged him out.>
Chases-Her-Tail: What's happened to you? We're supposed to be a commune and you're imprisoning so many of us because of your ego!
Wanders-Many-Lands: Silence! I will not be smeared by you! <his voice turned sinisterly pleasant> ...we are a commune, though, that we can agree on! And to show our commitment to that founding principle, we will be expanding the Council to five members. This will facilitate great democratisation of the commune.
<He turned to the door of the fort>
Wanders-Many-Lands: Vhysradue, Dances-In-The-Rain, Hides-His-Coins; please enter.
<A female Tsaesci and a female and male Argonian enter the room>
Wanders-Many-Lands: So now we are five! In order to quell any sentiments that I am some sort of autocrat, we will vote on all proposals and only act on proposals which receive a majority verdict. Are we all in agreement?
<His and the hands of the three newcomers raised in order to show their approval, while Chases-Her-Tail only observed.>
Wanders-Many-Lands: Good. Then we are in agreement. Now, should we conscript some of the prisoners and less useful citizens for the use of our Akaviri friends?
<The hands of the newcomers shot up, while Wanders-Many-Lands and Chases-Her-Tail kept their hands down.>
Wanders-Many-Lands: <with a far from believable tone of defeat> Oh dear, well I could not support such a proposal but, as we are a commune, I... I mean 'we'... have no choice but to consent to the motion. Vhysradue, please inform your soldiers to go to down the dungeons and the villages to conscript any able bodied individuals for whatever uses you may have for them. Council dismissed!
The Empire of Tamriel: Bedrock Break 23rd Sun's Dusk, 4E 203
Over the past week Sir Mazog and 33,000 legionnaires moved southwards to try to free the people of Canulusia and defeat the Akavir's last splinter force of about 30,000 strong. General Warhaft of the Imperial Legions in the order of Nadd led the bulk of the army to the Valus Mountains to fight the main army of Akavir, a fearsome 100,000 strong force driving its way towards the Imperial City. News reaches the Empire that the legions were mostly cut down and the forces of Nadd had to retreat, though some of the Akaviri's forces were drawn off and cut down by the ingenuity of Warhaft and the valiance of the Imperial Legions at the ruins of Kemen.
Still though a force at the least 70,000 some strong of Akavir's enraged and desperate hordes continued and are bearing down upon Cheydinhal, which is defended by only about 20,000 men that Sir Mazog and General Warhaft had left to guard the city as a waypoint for where legions and recruits were arriving and mustering. Cheydinhal is the last real city in the way of an assault on the Imperial City itself. The forces of Nadd try their best to slow down and hamper the main host of Akavir's march.
Sir Mazog arriving at Fort Cuptor and after a brief skirmish, re-establishes his burnt out camp that he had been forced to retreat from earlier. In the early morning he rides out with all his closest companions and elite troops to the gate of Fort Cuptor with Cornelius, the escaped Argonian from Canulusia. Cornelius pleads with both the Akaviri and the Argonian captives of Canulusia that are sympathetic to their captors to send out the Canulusian prisoners. Sir Mazog moved by his pleas offers the Akaviri a chance for a peaceful surrender of Fort Cuptor and allow them to retreat to their main army to face him in battle elsewhere if they will free the Canulusians that wish to be free. A sly Argonian named Wanders-Many-Lands appears on the wall with a female Tsaesci warrior and another captive Argonian Canulusian. Wanders-Many-Lands pulls back an arrow and fires it at Cornelius, missing him. At once the legions throw their shields up, and just in time as a rain of arrows from the Akaviri answers back bouncing off the metal of their shields in reply. Repelled from the immediate vicinity of the walls, Sir Mazog sets a siege as before and holds a council later that night.
"We don't have the time to really besiege them before the main Akavir army reaches Cheydinhal. And we just cannot leave them here in such decisive number to come help their armies by attacking Cheydinhal on our vulnerable flank or we will certainly lose. This is a hard spot." Sir Mazog looks down at the map and the dispatches about the war's turns.
"All of the Kamal have abandoned this place and went up to their main host. This army here at Fort Cuptor is just Tang Mo and especially heavy Tsaesci. They are defenseless magically. This is a great opportunity, 30,000 Akaviri fish in a barrel, many of them their elite infantry, that we can destroy without losing a single life on our side! We can then race back to Cheydinhal like lightning and strike Akavir's armies down for good!" Tizona the High Elf spellsword of the Thalmor stands up and zealously proposes her idea, a spark flies between her hand and the hilt of her enchanted elven sword.
"No, please..."Cornelius jumps up and begins to speak but Sir Mazog holds up his hand and nods to him reassuringly.
"I will not massacre the people of Canulusia. Though indeed it is helpful as you noted that the Kamal are not here. Perhaps there is a way by stealth rather than force, like your brother Colada used in the siege of Leyawin." Sir Mazog calmly acknowledges Tizona but she glares back at him with a stung look on her face at the mention of Colada, a fierce gleam lights in her eyes.
"Don't mention my brother's name orc, it is because of you that he died. If you cannot act to defeat the Akavir in three days then I will do what we must to survive this war. And I won't let a bunch of traitorous slaves stop me!" Tizona's hand crackles with lightning between her sword, but tears run down her eyes, and exits the tents to join the Thalmor.
"Actually I was about to say, there is many ways into Fort Cuptor underground. A nearby one is at Bedrock Break." Cornelius speaks up as the group is silenced by Tizona storming off.
"Why that be Trollz' home. I remember scouting this place out earlier. Perhaps we can sneak into Fort Cuptor." Sir Jaquavis says cheerily and points out on the map, and takes a pen making a small mark where Bedrock Break is.
The next day Sir Mazog's army harasses the enemy, forcing them to stay inside their walls. As evening and dusk loom on, a small detachment of soldiers stealthily break away from the main camp heading for Bedrock Break. Sir Jaquavis, Sir Plutarch, Cassandra and some of the Mages Guild wizards, and Trollz leading the company enter the area of the mouth to the cave. Outside the cave are several bodies of Tang Mo decomposing, bones broken in the swampy mire. Signs of scorching line the mouth of the cave and the litter of torches is nearby. Some of the soldiers salvage some good torches and light them as they proceed to file into the cave.
Illuminated by light from torches and magic a grim site in the entrance to the cave greets Trollz eyes. Through the bodies of Tang Mo are the dead bodies of his brothers. Lifeless and pinned with many arrows and stab wounds, Older Brother Trollz' vacant eyes stare back at Trollz. With a sad whimper, Trollz shuts his older brother's eyes as Cassandra and Sir Plutarch place a reassuring hand on his shoulders. The entourage goes deeper into Bedrock Break.
The damp cave reveals how Trollz' clan has survived well here. Fish in the cave dart about in underground springs of fresh water. Little nests where families of swamp trolls have bedded for generations line the inner chamber of the cave. Here too though signs of the fight as bodies of trolls are the thickest, but here even a few strong serpentine Tsaesci fell with heaps of Tang Mo. Trollz' bigger but younger brother lies dead here near the entrance to the deeper caves, in his hand the limp neck of a Tang Mo dead in his grip. Trollz closes his eyes as well and lifts his heavy brother and releasing the Tang Mo from his hand lays him down in a pool of water so that the legions may pass by.
Coming to the inner part of the cave Trollz walks over to a rocky wall and gropes around. Finding an ancient lever installed by smugglers long a go, Trollz pulls on it and the rocky wall slides down. A brown fist collides with Trollz' jaw and staggers him for a moment, but he lifts up his strong frost troll arms blocking the next incoming punches.
"Trollz!" A deep voice shouts out.
"Father Trollz!" Trollz cries out at first happy to see his father, but turning to concern as Father Trollz slumps forward into his arms, poisoned arrowheads embedded throughout his body.
"Trollz, strangers come. We fight, but they come, they find Trollzhome….they kill all my Son Trollz...but you live Trollz….I die happy." Father Trollz blurry three eyes look up at Trollz and he gives a smile while speaking through heavy breaths in the speech of trolls.
Tears stream down Trollz face and he pulls his father inside to a cozy nook that was hollowed out for smugglers, but turned into Trollz' families little camp. From here Cornelius of Canulusia knows the way through some catacombs that link to Fort Cuptor. Trollz communicates the best he can for the team and the thousand some strong infiltration force to go on ahead of him. With his Father Trollz in his arms, Trollz stays with him all night, telling him the best he can about his adventures.
Hours pass by and Father Trollz weakly smiles and asks to know more as Trollz tells him about the time he went to Morrowind. Trollz happily continues on telling his tale, and when he reaches the end of his summary of the First Trollz Saga, he looks down and notices Father Trollz has stopped breathing with his eyes shut peacefully. A great tear rolls down his snow white fur and Trollz lays Father Trollz down in his bedding as if he were asleep. Trollz takes one last looks around his cozy little trollhole from whence he came, and following after the legions, forever leaves Bedrock Break.
<The Council meet in Fort Cuptor>
Chases-Her-Tail: It would appear that we are surrounded.
Vhysradue: But do not fear, if you brave Argoniansss fight along ssside usss we have a chanccce.
Wanders-Many-Lands: Do not fear. We will aid you in any way we can.
Chases-Her-Tail: Is it wise to send our own people into what could well be a massacre?
Wanders-Many-Lands <in a sinister tone>: Well, let's have a vote on it shall we? All in favour of our forces aiding our Akaviri friends?
<four hands shoot up!>
Wanders-Many-Lands: Then it's decided! Vhysradue assemble the forces!
<The Tsaesci leaves the room and, after an hour, returns>
Vhysradue: The army is ready, my lord.
Wanders-Many-Lands: Good, I will go to see them.
<The two exit the Fort and look down upon the mass of scared looking Argonians, approximately 1,000 strong>
Wanders-Many-Lands: Brothers and Sisters! March out and bring our Alliance glory! I wish I could join you on the battlefield, but the dirty game of politics keeps me eternally occupied. Fight in My stead and allow the memory of Me to propel you to victory!
<The conscripts looked unconvinced but followed the Akaviri commander out of the settlement towards the battlefield>
The Empire of Tamriel: Victory At Fort Cuptor 26th Sun's Dusk, 4E 203
A day before Tizona's ultimatum expires the Tsaesci holed up in Fort Cuptor decide to charge Sir Mazog's main army. Akavir's forces issue forth in a general charge, sending to the front the young and fit Argonian captives of Canulusia. Tizona and the Thalmor with her charge up their spells and ask the Elder Councilor to allow them to decimate this force. Sir Mazog notices from the distance peering through a looking glass at the poor morale of the Argonians and denies the Thalmor their request.
Sir Mazog marshals what cavalry is with him and his archers and makes haste instead to meet the Akaviri head on. He advises his soldiers to aim for the Tsaesci captains and to try to separate the Canulusians from their captors. The forces meet and clash with archers on both sides exchanging fire at one another. Sir Mazog personally charges in with his most elite cavalry, driving a wedge between the Akavir and the Canulusians that have been used essentially as meat shields. The Orc Elder Councilor shouts and pleads to the Argonians to turn on the Tsaesci or hastily flee back to his camp.
This gambit pays off and the Argonians for the most part throw down their weapons and flee the field, either running off to join Sir Mazog's camp, or elsewise run off into the wilderness, free at last from captivity. A handful of the Argonians stay with their new masters and fight back either for misguided loyalty or fear with their captors still close at hand. When most of the Canulusians depart the field Sir Mazog retreats with his cavalry while his archers pelt the enemy lines and then likewise fall back. Akavir's forces pursue hard after the Elder Councilor. Coming to the crest of a small slope, Sir Mazog wheels his cavalry around suddenly. Firing off the Emperor's Blessing ability Sir Mazog rallies his troops and over the small hill the mages and the infantry come appear and are covered with the powerful spell bestowed by the The Emperor of Tamriel on the Elder Councilors making them stronger and faster.
Tizona doesn't even ask this time, but groupcasts with her High Elf companions a massive chain lighting spell at the Akaviri. Their front line is literally disintegrated to ash before their eyes. Those behind them are badly burnt or killed by the flashing forks of electricity. In panic the Akavir turn back and begin to rout, trying to reach Fort Cuptor. Sir Mazog gives a triumphant shout and the cavalry charge in cutting down as many foes as they find. Some of the Canulusians which had not fled before are rescued either coming to their senses or with the fear of their captors gone seeing them defeated before their eyes.
Inside Fort Cuptor, deep in the dungeons some stones silently slip away. Dim and torchlit, the shadows of Cornelius of Canulusia, Cassandra, and Sir Jaquavis go unnoticed by both the residents of the cells and the handful of Tang Mo guards with one Tsaesci captain. Sir Plutarch steps into the dungeon, his heavy armor clinks and clatters causing the guards to immediately look up at him. Before they can react though Cassandra fires off some spells while Sir Jaquavis and Cornelius dash forward and finish off the guards.
More troops pour into the dungeon from the catacombs below which link Fort Cuptor to Bedrock Break. The prisoners of Canulusia are freed and given some small weapons. Many of them opt to join the Imperials in the fight, though a few are granted leave with a pair of soldiers to be escorted back through this secret passage to Bedrock Break and freedom. Last of all Trollz emerges from the catacombs following the rear of the infiltration battalion as they fight their way ascending up the Fort. They don't meet much resistance as just an hour before the Akaviri had sent the bulk of their force and many of the young Canulusians to fight Sir Mazog.
The soldiers in the infiltration force manage to secure the gates by the time the routing Akavir reach them, thinking to return to the safety of their hold. Instead they find their gates barred and magic and arrows fired upon them from above by Cassandra and the Mages Guild. In total surprise many of them are killed. Others try to flee, but run headlong into Tizona. Full of energy the High Elf spellsword comes upon those fleeing from the walls of their lost fort. She shows them no mercy. Pulling out her enchanted blade she goes into a frenzy so quick and full of bursts of magic that it is hard to say where she is casting a spell and where the enchanted blade of Colada is peeling with thunder.
As thousands of Akavir's foot soldiers are falling outside, the knights along with Cornelius and Trollz explore Fort Cuptor's many nooks and crannies seeking out the female officer Tsaesci, Vhysradue, whom they saw, and the Argonian would-be communal dictator of Canulusia, Wanders-Many-Lands whom sided with the Akaviri. Catching up to a small retinue of Tang Mo, and defeating them fleeing down a side chamber in the dungeons leads the soldiers to sight of these enemy leaders as they disappear between a hidden door in the rock of a wall. Immediately following after them a tunnel of swinging blade traps greets them. Cornelius and Sir Jaquavis, both very agile, leap and somersault forward through the gauntlet with ease and continue on. Heavier Sir Plutarch and Trollz test their patience slowly crawling through.
"It is over!" Cornelius cries out from the bottom of an underground slope going upwards leading to catacombs to some landmark outside.
"It is never over Dog Of Imperials!" Wanders-Many-Lands turns around suddenly and screams back his taunt and pulls out his bow and an arrow.
The Argonian self-proclaimed leader Canulusia pulls back an arrow and releases it, it misses and pings of the ledge to a small pit below. Sir Jaquavis dashes forward as Wanders-Many-Lands reloads. Just as the Redguard goes to leap and stab him, suddenly his duel blades are blocked by the outstretched sword of the female Tsaesci. The two begin to duel perilously on the ledge as Wanders-Many-Lands focuses on Cornelius. A lucky shot strikes brave Cornelius in the shoulder, though not lethal, it sends him reeling, and losing his footing he falls over the ledge.
A white blur emerges from the passageway with the blade traps as Trollz leaps off the ledge after Cornelius. In mid-air Trollz grabs the Argonian, and awkwardly positioning himself the best he can lands with a thick thud on the rocks below in the pit. Badly hurt, but still alive, and after all he has fallen off the tallest mountain of all Tamriel, Trollz gets up slowly grunting and Cornelius unharmed besides the light arrow wound gives him some health potion to drink. Sir Plutarch above takes a few arrows which ping off his heavy armor. Before he can get his hands on Wanders-Many-Lands however the wily Argonian yelps and runs past Sir Jaquavis and the Tsaesci captain Vhysradue fighting, and flees into the secret passage to the outside.
Vhysradue is outmatching Sir Jaquavis, fighting him with two swords to match his twin blades, but also fighting with her tail. For a Tsaesci her snakelike body is quite long and her tail is a powerful weapon in itself. Whereas Sir Jaquavis can match her blade for blade, the tail comes in bashing him or stunning him for just long enough to slice him. With many cuts the swift Redguard knight is being cut down. Catching him off balance she grasps his ankle with her tail and with a powerful twist of her body tries to launch him over the ledge. Sir Jaquavis drops his sword in his good arm and manages to catch the ledge, dangling above the pit from its highest point with one hand.
Sir Plutarch reaches the fight and seeing his best friend nearly thrown to his death delivers a power blow at Vhysradue, though she blocks it with her blades she is staggered a little by the sheer force. Sir Plutarch comes back with another blow which she tries to block, but her right hand comes up too slow and the head of the steel hammer breaks her wrist. Shrieking and dropping her blade she launches at Sir Plutarch with a flurry of slashes. Some he blocks and some hit his heavy armor, the force of the impact leaving dents and hurting the knight though he sustains her blows.
With all his strength Sir Jaquavis pulls himself up with one arm. Crawling up on the ledge he sees the Tsaesci captain laying into Sir Plutarch in front of him. Seeing his chance Sir Jaquavis rushes forward and with his grafted on sword arm stabs her tail, pinning it to the ground. The Tsaesci captain gives up a bloody scream. With his good hand Sir Jaquavis reaches forward and grasps her long hair pulling her serpentine body back in an arch.
"You know for a snakewoman and all you're kinda cute." Sir Plutarch laughs and with a power downward slam of his hammer ends Vhysradue's life with a gory conclusion.
After the battle Tizona's forces continue to pursue the few fleeing Akavir northwards to Cheydinhal. In their bloodlust and frenzy they go on ahead of the army on their own accord. Cornelius and Trollz are rescued from the pit. Though Sir Jaquavis and Sir Plutarch search for hours, they cannot find Wanders-Many-Lands. Canulusia is freed and Sir Mazog leaves Cornelius along with 2,000 soldiers and the liberated Canulusians to rebuild their society and reintegrate. A few of the younger Canulusians agree to join the Imperials for the battle coming at Cherydinhal. With no time to waste Sir Mazog and his company, still over 20,000 strong, make haste racing to reach the beleaguered city where Nadd has been holding off Akavir's last but massive army. At a force march speed north out of the swamps and into the forests.
(Fantastic read! Bravo! Wish I could like it twice :)
Changed my national classification in response and will post something soon to thank your brave warriors!)
<The Canulusians meet in Cuptor marketplace, just outside Fort Cuptor. Wanders-Many-Lands is dragged from his hiding hole and brought in front of the baying mob, along with some of the few Tsaesci who were captured.>
Nibenay-Born: Wanders-Many-Lands, we once called you brother yet you betrayed your own brethren and sent them to their death. What do you have to say in your defence?
Wanders-Many-Lands: All that I did was necessary for the prosperity of our people. I cannot apologise for doing what I believe was right.
<Cornelius steps forward>
Cornelius: What was right?! Many would have died and for what? The exchange of one light yoke for a heavier one?
Wanders-Many-Lands: Silly boy! Do you think the Akaviri would have stayed here? When they were gone, and the Imperial lands ravaged, we could have taken them for ourselves! We would not only be free but would own an Empire the size of which the old gods <the Hist> couldn't even have dreamed of!
Chases-Her-Tail: And if we lost? How many of us would have died?
Wanders-Many-Lands: Freedom has a price. For some of us that is death, for the rest it is the risk of death. I thought to be free and was prepared to pay the necessary and inevitable price.
Cornelius: From what I saw, you were more happy to let others pay the price for you! I didn't see you among the conscripts marching out of Cuptor onto the battlefield!
Nibenay-Born: Do not worry, he will pay it now.
Chases-Her-Tail: Soldiers! Step forward.
<The Imperial garrison kindly provided by The Fellowship of Trollz step forward>
Nibenay-Born: Friends, please execute this traitor and his Akaviri allies.
<The Imperials set upon the captives and execute them all without mercy. Wanders-Many-Lands does not flinch and dies bravely.>
Cornelius: Shall we now send word to the Emperor that we will rejoin the Empire?
<The elder Argonians look at each other>
Chases-Her-Tail: No, I do not think that is wise. Wanders-Many-Lands may have been a fanatical fool, but we all - or most of us, anyway - agreed that life under the Empire was not in our interest. That is, after all, why we sided with the Akaviri in the first place.
Cornelius: So, even in death, Wanders-Many-Lands has won?
Nibenay-Born: No, we will not live as he wished. We will be friends of the Empire and will, of course, extend honorary Knighthoods to the brave Trollz and Nadd, but we will live as an independent people.
Chases-Her-Tail: I agree, and I am sure that the Emperor would admit that The Emperor of Tamriel would concede that this land is worthless to him and would be better managed by us, his friends.
Nibenay-Born: Yes, and we will learn from Wanders-Many-Lands mistakes. We will become a Commonwealth and all citizen will have a right to vote on the governing of these lands. Believe me, this will usher in a true golden age for our people! Praise Zenithar!
<Cornelius seemed happy with this response and the mood lightened. After a few hours, a party began and there was much celebration and drinking, including from the Imperial soldiers! Long live Canulusia!>
The Empire of Tamriel: Siege of Cheydinhal 6th Evening Star, 4E 203
Before Sir Mazog and his army reach Cheydinhal messengers from Canulusia catch up to the Elder Councilor. The messengers inform Sir Mazog that the fugitive leader of the rebellious Canulusians, Wanders-Many-Lands, has been captured by his countrymen hiding in the wilderness around Fort Cuptor. Cornelius and the other Argonians of Canulusia held a brief trial and executed the villain along with some of the scattered Akaviri that the Canulusians had managed to capture. Cornelius and the Canulusians have decided not to outright join the Empire, but to incorporate their state of Canulusia as a friend of the Empire with autonomy and to permit the legions under Sir Mazog and the order of the knights of Nadd to conduct business within their lands on the borders of Cyrodil and Black Marsh.
The day passes into night and the night into day and the Tamirelites push on towards Cheydinhal. Scouts that are sent on ahead come back with a harrowing tale. The city has been surrounded by the massive last army of Akavir. There are about 20,000 defenders trying to hold out. To the north of the city pockets of the knights of Nadd have been harassing the bulk of the Akaviri army while a few of the knights managed to smuggle themselves safely inside the city. The south side of the city, which Sir Mazog is approaching, is also surrounded, but this is the weakest flank of the siege as the Akaviri still expect to be reinforced from Fort Cuptor, unaware that their army there has been recently defeated. They are also unaware that Sir Mazog's force is approaching them.
It is with this element of surprise that Sir Mazog and the imperial forces arrive at the edge of the forest south of Cheydinhal. The frontline troops pause for a moment looking at the writhing mass of troops ahead of them. Crudely built catapults release their payloads at the city and the loud crack of stones meeting each other is heard for a distance. The sight of the siege weapons firing at the desperate city lights a fire within the Imperials. Withdrawing his sword and slashing the wind, Sir Mazog orders his cavalry to charge straight at the siege weapons. The imperial horsemen gallop hard out of the forest and straight into the enemy. Coming up behind them are the Thalmor and Tizona, unleashing massive bolts of lightning into the Akaviri and killing many in surprise before the Kamal ice mages of Akavir can intervene and stave off their magical assault. The light infantry with Sir Jaquavis and Trollz at their head run in next, catching up to the horsemen and Thalmor, they begin pressing hard into the enemy as the heavy infantry led by Sir Plutarch catches up to the fray.
The clash is fierce with many soldiers falling on both sides, but the Imperials have the upper hand. The infantry reach the siege works just as Cassandra and the Mages Guild enter the battlefield and break the deadlock between the Kamal and the Thalmor. Overpowered in magic, the Kamal turn and flee around the city making their way to their main host as archers fire upon them from the walls of the city. The catapults are seized by Sir Plutarch, whom ingeniously turns the weapons around upon their own masters. A barrage of their own artillery dismays the remainder of the Akaviri and they begin to panic. Sir Mazog and the cavalry give some pursuit cutting down as many as they can before they escape to the safety of their larger numbers. Within hours the southern flank of the city is totally cleared of Akaviri. Sir Mazog and the rest of his army, still slightly over 20,000 strong gather what supplies they can on the field and enter Cheydinhal.
Inside the massive city are the hallmarks of the siege. People are grouped about in the middle of the city. The wounded and dying are laid out in tents or even outside exposed to the weather. Cassandra and some of the mages go to help the understaffed healers. Archers line the walls while what remains of the infantry guards the gates. A few knights of Nadd stroll the streets doing what they can to assist the besieged. Every now and then the sound of battle is heard to the north, and the archers duck down as stones hurled by engines crash into the walls. Some of the houses around the north end of town are damaged. An old abandoned house sits locked and boarded up. Many of the houses here are similarly abandoned by their owners, and some have been temporarily taken by the army to use.
As the evening wears on Sir Mazog ascends the northern wall and looks out at the main host of Akavir. A sea of enemies greets his eyes as far as they see going all the way to the foothills of the Valus Mountains. The Akaviuri are still at least 60,000 strong and their army is well diversified among their races. They also have their own array of siege-works here, mainly some catapults, which being crudely designed are not terribly effective for busting into the city, though they have been useful in keeping the Tamirleite archers on the walls at bay. Sir Plutarch points out in the distance at a grim sight and Sir Mazog frowns. Clearly visible from the height of the walls a massive battering ram being built can be seen. Many of the troops that have been holding out in Cheydinhal point this out and note that the Akavir have begun building the ram days a go, it should be almost done. From the distance it can be seen that they are smelting some metal to cap the ram, and making a large housing for it to protect the troops that will man it. The Kamal mages are almost exclusively focused at this point defending the ram, and their best chance to break into Cheydinhal.
In the dead of night Sir Mazog sends out messengers across the The Empire of Tamriel for any aid that they might be able to send. With not much time until the battering ram is completed, all eyes look to Cheydinhal as the armies of Akavir and the defenders of Tamriel prepare themselves for a battle which will determine the fate of Nirn.
(I have created a poll for this month realizing that either way next month will be a new imperial year, 204. I am personally ready to end the Fourth Trollz Saga here soon with the Battle of Cheydinhal so I figure as the Akaviri War RP arch is ending this is a convenient time for a timeskip to finally align the RP calendar to the real world calendar. I personally have cast my own vote and am quite biased to reckoning the calendar having raised the issue many times as it be a great organizational help to me lol, but feel free to vote your own conscience.
Yes will result in a timeskip at the end of the month jumping us forward a few months to Last Seed 204.
No will result in nothing changing really and the RP world will just continue on into its next month and year (equivalent to real life January tho) Morning Star 204.)
The Empire of Tamriel: Battle of Cheydinhal 13th Evening Star, 4E 203
BOOM BOOM BOOM! The gates of Cheydinhal creak under the smiting of the ram of Akavir. On the walls archers fire at the enemy below. They are met with magical hail and arrows returned from below ceasing their volleys. The ram itself is well housed and immune to arrow fire and continues pounding against the northern gate. Cassandra and Tizona mount the walls with their mage units to provide the archers with magic protection and stave off the enemy attempts to establish ladders on the wall.
Akavir's forces are totally massed, writhing, pressed against the northern wall. Their elite Kamal mages guard the ram heavily and shield the ram from magic. Against the wider section of the wall the ground troops led by the Tsaesci are attempting to snake their way up the walls. Echoing for miles the colossal ram at the center of the grim scene continues its assault upon the gates of Cheydinhal, they are starting to give way. Tang Mo hordes pack in tighter anticipating the rush when the gates fall.
A horn blasts and a bright flash of the blessing of the The Emperor of Tamriel appears. Sir Mazog's cavalry along with the volunteers of Canulusia, and some of the knights of Nadd which had been stranded outside harassing the enemy for weeks, turn the sharpest corner near the gate. Coming into view the host of horsemen comes charging towards the vastly larger army. The Elder Councilor with Sir Jaquavis and Sir Plutarch riding at his flanks barrel into the bulk of the enemy around the ram trying to dislodge them from the gates. Many of their light Tang Mo soldiers go flying from the collision of the cavalry charge. The Kamal are disrupted from casting their enchantments allowing the Thalmor's devastating lightning spells from above to begin to strike the Akaviri lines.
Another thunderous crack and a frightful groan silences the din of the battle just as it seems the Tamrielites are peeling back the enemy. The gate buckles inwards and the sound of the braces snapping inside is heard. A small sliver of the gate opens, both sides press at the gate stabbing outwards and inwards fighting for the door. Sir Mazog and the most elite knights cry out rallying their troops and fight their way to the ram. Sir Plutarch with the mightiest swing of his great hammer smashes into the side of the ram. The infernal machine delivers another crushing blow to the gate, its braces break, but the soldiers inside and their makeshift barricades hold it shut as they hasten to try to repair the braces. The Imperials storm the ram's housing cutting down the Tang Mo slaves operating the machine. Lighting some torches Sir Plutarch and the knights set fire to the ram.
Sir Mazog begins pulling his men back, fighting fiercely and killing many Akaviri as he tries to extract his troops safely after disabling the ram. All ready he has lost half his force in the brave effort, though the enemy have lost tens of thousands of men in this assault and the previous days of battle. The remainder of the Kamal mages focus their magic on the ram, seeming to put out the blaze, they freeze it several times over in ice. Tizona and the Thalmor see the opportunity here to cast a massive lightning storm to finish off the Kamal. Just as the lightning bolts strike the last of the Kamal mages they give out a great cry and cast a group reflect spell. A counter flash suddenly blinds the scene for a few moments.
A deafening crash is heard as the frozen over ram is electrified and shoots out like a rocket and shatters, blowing apart not just the gate of Cheydinhal, but even the whole massive section of the wall which housed it. Below the Kamal and the front line of the Akavir are killed by the falling debris. Most of the Thalmor and Imperial mages are killed or badly injured as they are thrown from the wall by the force of the explosion. Cassandra is knocked unconscious from the fall. Tizona gets up bloodily but with electric resolve. She despairs seeing most of her High Elf comrades whom have been with her since the Battle of Leyawin laying dead or wounded around her. Tizona grabs Cassandra from the ground and commands the surviving mages to fall back to the south gate and evacuate the wounded from the city.
As their sight returns from the flash at the reflecting of the lightning spell Sir Mazog and the knights see the terrible scene just as they had slipped out of the fray to safety. The wall of Cheydinhal has been blasted open. The dazed Akaviri likewise have come to their senses and are pouring straight into the city. Sir Mazog curses under his breath at the ill turn and shouts out to his cavalrymen to wheel around. With another blast of his horn they make another charge into the very thick of the Akavir army, driving into its heart as Sir Mazog calls upon the blessing of the Emperor one more time. The two armies are at about equal numbers at this point in the battle.
Inside the city the infantry and archers which had been guarding Cheydinhal rush to defend the gap that has been made in the wall. Trollz gives out a mighty trollroar and slams into the frontline of Tang Mo sending them reeling. The Imperials come up and dig in defending the position making a shieldwall. Trollz and some of the light infantry hastily dig through the debris, saving a few of the badly wounded that survived the fall of the wall. When the wounded are securely removed from the vicinity of the wall, Trollz rejoins the infantry whom are slowly and bloodily pushing the Akavir back.
Pressure mounts against the defenders as they push against a mass of flesh. Soldiers fall on both sides and replace each other. With great effort Trollz and the city defenders repel the Akavir from the wall and push out of the city. Fighting intensifies as the two forces and their dwindling soldiers fight outside the city. Though there is some relief as the Imperials initially reclaim the gap it is soon replaced by the problem of fighting the Akaviri in the open. Seeing Sir Mazog and the cavalry fighting bravely in the midst of the Akavir, keeping their army from launching its full might at the city, the Imperials rush to aid the Elder Councilor. Trollz helps a handful of the defenders lift and move debris and try to form a makeshift barricade and line in the gap to defend the injured and the townspeople inside as the fate of the battle still hangs in the balance.
In the middle of the battlefield Sir Mazog and his knights are making a great slaughter of the enemy's core, but to their own expense. The lone rider still mounted upon his horse, Sir Mazog, runs through the enemy slashing down at opponents and trying to defend his troops from being totally overwhelmed as they are surrounded on all sides. Sir Jaquavis and Sir Plutarch are on foot fighting their hearts out. Their regiment was cut down around them and the two friends fight back to back for hours killing hundreds of enemies by themselves. Sunset goes down with the Elder Councilor and a few hundred knights fighting in the midst of the Akaviri.
Both sides grind eachother down to their last thousands of troops. The Imperials fight hard trying to make their way to Sir Mazog as the last handful of his knights make their last stand with tens of thousands of bodies laying around them. Akavir's last remaining bulk fights all the harder to push the Tamrielites back to the wall, killing many of the stubborn defenders. With only a few hundred able-bodied troops left the defenders fall back resignedly to the wall of Cheydinhal. Akavir's army has been cut down to their last two thousand. The enemy divide their last forces sending a thousand to break into Cheydinhal and the remainder to finish off Sir Mazog.
The gleeful Tsaesci captains and few remaining Tang Mo along with one lone Kamal mage surround Sir Mazog and his handful of knights. Sir Jaquavis charges forward slicing one Tang Mo in half, and juking from the one before him, stabbing into an unsuspecting Tsaesci. He leaves his sword behind in the snakeman and fights with his grafted on sword arm against the baying horde. The Kamal mage come to the fore of the enemy and blasts many of the knights to death with his magic. Sir Jaquavis focuses on this mage and Sir Plutarch catching sight of his friend dispatches the foes before him and turns to aid him. Tang Mo rush forward to duel the duo, but between the two they are no match. The Kamal mage sees the duo coming upon him and pierces Sir Plutarch's armor with a deadly ice spear. Sir Jaquavis leaps upon the eemy mage, catching a stream of frost damage as he slays the last Kamal. A Tsaesci to his side stabs the Redguard knight and the Tang Mo attendant of the mage strikes him with his staff, breaking it over his back. Sir Plutarch wounded badly bashes his way through the enemy screaming abuse at them and slays the Tsaesci before it can kill Sir Jaquavis. Sir Jaquavis avoids the dagger of the Tang Mo attendant and dispatches it with a reckless slash that doesn't quite cut the enemy soldier in half.
"Well Jaq, this looks like the end of me, get out of here." Sir Plutarch heaves out from his wounds as he pulls back from bashing the enemy to death, the ice spear still sticking out of him at a sick angle.
"Pluto, it was an honor serving at your side." Sir Jaquavis gives a weak smile and limps towards Sir Plutarch, his good hand covering the wound to his torso. "I don't think I can run anymore either. I am done too good friend."
"Then I suppose we shall leave Nirn as friends together." Sir Plutarch laughs and turns to coughing up some blood and picks his hammer back up.
Sir Jaquavis laughs also and the two friends staggeringly charge at the leering and taunting enemy. They kill at least a score more a piece before they are overwhelmed. Bravely the two knights that were friends in life are slain by eachother's side in death at the Battle of Cheydinhal. Succumbing to many wounds the enemy takes their bodies as trophies, proudly parading them about and rallying their troops to attack the city with vigor.
Sir Mazog's last few knights are overwhelmed and cut down. The Elder Councilor's blade flashes back and forth as he alone remains staving off the enemy. Sir Mazog receives some arrows and then some wounds from melee weapons but buoyed by the blessing of the Emperor, he fights on. Beset by Tsaesci, a few blows from a mace from behind knock the young orc to the ground. Battered he lifts himself and receives a kick to the face swelling his left eye shut. Hands grab him roughly from all around and lift him up, taking his weapons from him. Akavir rejoices loudly as they bind Sir Mazog's hands behind his back.
"We have taken one of their Elder Councilorssss! Victory to Akaviri!" A large and well armed Tsaesci general slithers forward and gloats.
"You might kill me, but you have lost." Sir Mazog spits out bitterly being force to look at the enemy general with his good eye.
"Behold, you have lossst!" Gesturing his hand forward the Tsaesci general shows what remains of his troops rushing to help their brethren at the walls of Cheydinhal.
"No, you have lost. Even though you might kill us all you only have less than a thousand men left after this. Our sacrifice was not in vain. Your army can go no further than this and the The Empire of Tamriel is saved." Sir Mazog lifts his voice up defiantly to his captors.
"Before I kill you I will let you watch everyone in this city die!" The Tsaesci general rages back realizing that indeed, though they might have won the battle his army can go no further.
From the distance Trollz and the last defenders are seen still fighting, but pushed back inside the city as the Akaviri simply in superior number, though down to their last thousand men break into the city and begin to ravage and massacre Cheydinhal. Punching Sir Mazog in the gut the Tsaesci general turns his attention back to himself. The Tang Mo host carry up to Sir Mazog's face the bloody bodies of Sir Plutarch and Sir Jaquavis and begin making a mockery of them and desecrating them before him. Sir Mazog breaks down and weeps seeing his friends bodies treated so horribly. The Tsaesci general satisfied with this takes Sir Mazog alive into the city to watch as Cheydinhal is massacred by the last remnant of Akavir.
The Empire of Tamriel: End Of The War 14th Evening Star, 4E 203
Fires are burning out of control in the thick of the night at Cheydinhal. Sounds of screams which are deftly silenced cry out in the city as the Akaviri go door to door pulling people out of their houses and slaughter them in the streets. Having just won a pyrrhic victory, the last few hundred Akaviri take out their desperate rage on Cheydinhal. Sir Mazog is made to watch as townspeople are lined up in front of their homes and executed by the cruel enemy.
"The war is over, you cannot win. You should spare this people and use your time to escape." Sir Mazog continues reminding the Akaviri that they are doomed now with only a few hundred men left, and he makes a suggestion to try to stop their massacre.
"Foolisssh! We may have lost for now, but when our sssservants that we met here find the Ssssscroll....Mwahahahaha, when we have the Sssscroll then the gatessss will be open." The Tsaesci General, the last of the leaders of the Akaviri army makes a hissing laugh and taunts Sir Mazog.
"What scroll? An Elder Scroll?" Sir Mazog asks curiously, remembering the words of the captive Tsaesci from Leyawin.
"Yesss, the Elder Sssscroll! One of the Ssscrollsss wasss opened not long a go. Beyond the wavesss we could feel itsss power call. Our sservants here will find it and when they do they will open the portalssss between Akavir and Tamriel. We saw that this, but a mere one of our professssional armiesss can do much damage on this expedition. Imagine how quickly we will conquer when all the hosssst of Akavir can sssimply march in." The Tsaesci General begins laughing hideously.
"Who are your servants?" Sir Mazog asks sheepishly, this new knowledge shocking him greatly.
"They are an ancient order founded when Akavir first invaded Tamriel eons ago, not many left, but sssssome. We can sssstill feel their pressence. They are called the Bladesss. Ssssome of them must still be alive for the ancient power of the Bladessss in Sssskyrim was activated just a few yearsss a go in 202 4E." The Tsaesci General recounts unknowingly some of the Dragonborn's quest which in order to defeat Alduin required that famous hero to activate many Blades artifacts as well as an Elder Scroll.
"So is the Elder Scroll in Skyrim?" Sir Mazog tries to press for some more information, but the Tsaesci General rebukes the Orc with a punch to the face and continues to force the Elder Councilor to tour the carnage of Cheydinhal.
Trollz lets out a fearsome roar as the Tang Mo gang up on him. Poking at the cornered beast they strike out at him with their staffs and then back away teasing the frost troll. Trollz charges the pack but they scatter and reform around him. The spectacle catches the eye of the other Akaviri as they loot and massacre the town. More foes surround Trollz making sport of him and also somewhat intrigued by him, not knowing what kind of creature he is.
A Tang Mo slaps Troll in the face with his staff, but Trollz grabs it and jerks the laughing enemy forward off balance. The Tang Mo's glee turns upon him quickly as Trollz takes hold of the monkeyman and snaps his neck and charges at the crowd. The other Tang Mo laugh at this and run around the beast making a game of it. Trollz catches one by the tail and tears the tail off its body to the monkeylike laughter of the crowd at their unfortunate comrade. Trollz frustrated beats his chest challenging them.
The handful of Tsaesci overlords that remain slither up hearing this. Their general comes with Sir Mazog. The Elder Councilor lets out a little groan partly of joy seeing Trollz still alive, but then of pain and dismay seeing him being toyed with and still caught up in the city. Trollz looks up from punching out one of the slower Tang Mo and catches sight of Sir Mazog. Renewed to fight at the sight of his friend, Trollz barrels into the Tang Mo, knocking them senselessly aside as he tries to make his way to his old friend. Around him the handful of Tsaesci and his Tang Mo tormentors press in on him and shoot him with arrows and cast nets around him. Trollz struggles mightily as the enemy bind him with many ropes and nets.
"Trollz!" Sir Mazog cries out at the sight as the enemy stab at Trollz and beat him.
"Ahhh so you know thisss ssstrange creature. A Trollzzzz...... What isss it? What province are these Trollzzzzz from and do they serve the Emperor? Who isss their king?" The Tsaesci General's tone turns a bit to one of high curiosity.
"Why would I tell you?" Sir Mazog responds flatly.
"Becausssse...." The Tsaesci General strikes Sir Mazog on the face, but then pulls out a potion and force feeds it to Sir Mazog. It's a spicy tasting mixture, but it restores his fatigue and health a little bit and perks him back up. "You will tell me and I will make itsssss death short and painlesss. Or elssse..." The Tsaesci General snaps his fingers and his fellow surviving Tsaesci together hoist Trollz up. The General with a deft motion plucks out Trollz' third eye to the worst trollscream from the poor beast.
"Okay...okay. Trollz they come from all over Tamriel. You have had it wrong this whole time and it is actually the Trollz that rule this land. This is their king actually, now they will use their Trollz magic and will all invade Akavir..." Sir Mazog hastily speaks out his lies and the General smites him across the mouth.
"Liesssss! Take the beast, let's open it up and sssseee what isss insside!" The furious General drags Sir Mazog and Trollz into the city.
The last few hundred of Akavir's troops are assembled with the wounded Imperials dragged out in the streets lining the city. As the General slithers down the streets the Tsaesci lifts his hand and all around his grim and tired soldiers begin killing the wounded captives. As the slaughter finishes the General drags Sir Mazog and Trollz in front of an abandoned house, the last two of the Imperial army.
"Watch now as I kill the lassst of your people. You will live tonight and we will take you in front of the Imperial City and kill you before the face of the The Emperor of Tamriel tomorrow." The General hisses sweetly to Sir Mazog and pulls out his sword.
Trollz struggles under the ropes as the General approaches. The other Tsaesci grab hold of him and force him to the ground. Tang Mo all around pile on Trollz to hold him down. Lifting his sword high into the air, the point facing down at Trollz outstretched body the Tsaesci General locks eyes with Sir Mazog making sure that his troops force the Elder Councilor to watch. Sir Mazog cries out as the sword plunges downward.
An axe whips through the air and cleaves into the face of the Tsaesci General, killing him, causing him to fall over before he can dispatch Trollz. Arrow shafts pierce the Tsaesci holding Trollz down. Shadows blurry rush forth and the gleam of blades against the torchlight dispatch the Tang Mo. A robed figure jumps forward and retrieves the axe from the Tsaesci General. The figure slashes downwards at Trollz, cutting asunder his bonds. Trollz scrambles to his feet as the figure throws aside its masked helmet to reveal the pallid face of Madai, his blonde hair now starkly white, but still long and wild.
Trollz gives out a cry of surprise and happiness but it is short lived as the fight immediately renews. Several other hooded figures are firing arrows out of the windows of the abandoned house, and a few more come charging out the door. The guards holding Sir Mazog fall to his sides as arrows strike them. Dark Brotherhood members rush forward to cut his ropes and give him a sword. The small but skilled coven of assassins and vampires set about fighting the hundreds of Akavir. The surprise creates some chaos and allows them get an upperhand. They secure the neighborhood around their abandoned house hideout and defend it fiercely as the last five hundred of Akavir realize what is happening and descend on them.
Fighting goes on all night and by the time the sky begins to lighten with expectation of the dawn much of the Dark Brotherhood members have perished and been forced back to their lair. Bella the vampiress spends the last of her arrows sniping some torchbearers trying to set the abandoned house alight. Madai defends the door as a one man army, his natural fighting ferocity augmented by unworldly vampiric speed. The last mass of Akavir rush forward towards him with great choler that this nuisance stands in their way.
As the first rays of sun come over the horizon unseen behind the forest around the city a sudden horn blast is heard. In their anger the Akaviri barely notice as they rush upon Madai and his whirlwind of violence. Lightning cracks through the rear of the troops as Tizona and Cassandra and a handful of mages come up through the south gate of the city. The High Elf maiden unsheathes her magical sword Colada and dashes into the fray slicing enemies down with spells and steel until she meets Madai. Behind the mages some light infantry, a small reinforcement force from Canulusia which had reached the area yesterday, runs in to help Tizona and Cassandra.
Akavir's forces greatly dismayed and being slaughtered at this turn of events run for their lives towards the massive gap in the wall to the north of the city. As they reach the walls another horn blast echoes around the city. About a thousand cavalry from the knights of Nadd gallop in from the north and cut off the escape of Akavir. The enemy panics as Trollz, Sir Mazog, Madai, Tizona, Cassandra and the reinforcements behind them come upon them. Like a hammer to the anvil the knights of Nadd smash into the last bulk of enemy breaking them upon the line of Canulusians and Fellowship troops. The last Akaviri soldier, a Tang Mo, screams out in his foreign tongue curses as Tizona cuts off his head. Her enchanted sword Colada sparks and glows and shoots out lightning disintegrating the last foe's body. None of the Akaviri survive.
Afterwards the Imperial forces celebrated their victory, but it came at a great cost. Sir Plutarch and Sir Jaquavis were laid to rest with high honors alongside the dead of the battle of Cheydinhal. Though Akavir was stopped Cyrodil, Morrowind, and the borderlands of Black Marsh have been fairly ravaged in the war. Many great cities and civilizations collapsed or were destroyed. The Empire would have the Legions rebuild the chief cities and towns of Cyrodil in the immediate aftermath of the war. While in Morrowind, things would continue at their own pace in the highly autonomous province.
Sir Mazog and his company returned to the Imperial City, along with Madai. Besides dispensing with his usual political duties, the issue of the Blades and Elder Scrolls and their connection to Akavir weighs heavily on his mind. The Elder Councilor writes a full report of the war for the historical record. Mazog resolves to solve this mysterious matter of the Elder Scrolls. After some time rebuilding and helping those ravaged by the war Trollz and his friends will go on their destiny to seek the Elder Scroll, but that is another story for another time. For now Akaviri War is finally over, their second invasion of Tamriel is foiled, and their ships will be found no more upon the shore.
THE VALUS CAMPAIGN - Part 4Imperial Province of CYRODIIL – CHEYDINHAL
5th Evening Star, 4E 203
The forward camp of the army was situated on the top of a tall hill, overlooking the city of Cheydinhal below. Much of the famous forests that dotted the landscape around the city had been felled, creating a strange unnatural plane, filled with murmuling activity from the massive Akaviri host. They all looked like ants, tiny figues milling about, but far more terrifying. Grand Marshal Warhaft had his Imperial Army make camp on the other side of the hills, away from the Akaviri, while smaller contingents took up positions in the hills surrounding Cheydinhal. However, Warhaft was hesitant. While he had defeated one of the two Akaviri hosts, the southern one in front of him was much larger and well entrenched. His remaining army was far too weak to undertake a full on engagement, it was obvious he needed reinforcements. But that would take time, and time was not on his side.
The Akaviri seemed to have changed tactics after the terrible losses incurred on them by Warhaft’s army and the reported defeats down south by the forces of the Elder Councilor Sir Mazog. Faced with a butchered invasion and fear of starvation, they seemed to have decided to capture Cheydinhal and establish a seat of power from which they could continue their campaign in the future. Trees were felled, a large camp constructed and parties sent out to gather food. However, they faced a complicated task. The walls of Cheydinhal were tall and thick, well made by the finest Imperial standards. They wouldn’t fall from simple frontal attacks, and so the Akaviri began building siege weapons. Crude by design from the hasty build, they nonetheless posed a great threat when in large numbers. More and more of the forests had been cut down to satiate their need for wood, both for shelter and for weapons. With time, the city would be subjected to a fierce bombardment, and even the great walls of Cheydinhal would fall with time.
That said, the city was far from unprepared for a siege. After news of the Akaviri advance, and the beginning of Warhaft’s campaign into the Valus Mountains, work had begun to prepare for such an eventuality. After weeks of preparation had been completed, the city was well stocked on supplies and garrison troops. Much of the population had also evacuated, leaving far less stress on the city’s stockpiles. By the last report received by Warhaft’s staff the Cheydinhal garrison had grown to about 20,000 people capable of fighting. A big mix of Legionaries, County guards and city militia. A strong force by any standard, but their enemy was on a whole different plane. 60,000 by the scouts latest calculations. This would be a momentous battle, and Warhaft hesitated. The previous battles had caused a great strain on his army, thousands were dead, wounded or missing. His forces were barely half of their original number, a far cry from the mighty Imperial Army that marched into the mountains. He no longer had the numbers to engage the Akaviri host down below, but he knew there was still hope. The Legions from High Rock were yet to arrive, currently making their way through Cyrodiil after disembarking at Anvil. If he could link up with them, he’d have the numbers he’d need. The question was what to do in the meantime.
The next few days were filled with small skirmishes with the Akaviri foraging parties and hasty discussions for how to approach the fight ahead. Then, the stalemate was shattered by the sudden arrival of the Elder Councilor Sir Mazog and his forces from the south. Taking the Akaviri by surprise, they attacked with lightning speed and routed the Akaviri positions on the southern flank, taking their crude siege weapons and turning them back on them. Cheers filled the Imperial Camps as they got news of the arrival of their comrades, Warhaft and his generals decided to wait no longer. The time to act was now, even before the reinforcements had arrived. Though there were still serious doubts about engaging the Akaviri horde directly in front of the walls, a task most definitely suicidal. A different approach was instead decided on, to draw away as many Akaviri from the siege as possible, by completely cutting off their supply lines from Morrowind, while hunting down all their foraging parties. To do this, Warhaft decided to relocate his headquarters and most of his army south-eastward to the landmark called Hero’s Hill, a mountain overlooking the main road to Morrowind. From there, Warhaft and his army harried the Akaviri ruthlessly, slaughtering all who strode away from their camp, and blocking all attempts to resupply from Morrowind. Their activities were soon felt as the lack of supplies would only worsen their hunger.
It was on the 10th Evening Star that the Akaviri reacted in force. While their siege was quickly coming to a climax, with the construction of a massive battering ram, a portion of their host was sent to engage Warhaft’s army in the Valus Mountains and restore the supply lines to Morrowind. Counting tens of thousands at least, the Akaviri host made its way up the main road, engaging the Imperial vanguard at the mouth of the valleys passing through the mountains, clashing fiercely with the Imperials in their entrenched positions. Grand Marshal Warhaft commanded and directed his Legions from his fortified position on top of Hero’s Hill, rotating his forces regularly to keep them from collapsing and breaking from the relentless attacks. However, the Akaviri attack was beginning to take its toll on his Legions as they began to buckle under the ferocious attack. By the 12th Evening Star, Warhaft’s Legions were pushed back to the foot of Hero’s Hill mountain, and Warhaft himself could see the fighting taking place just a few hundred meters from his command post. But in this last moment, when all hope seemed lost, horns could be heard in the distance. Storming up the valley they came, Imperial banners waving in the wind, the long awaited reinforcements. Warhaft couldn't hold himself and let out energetic cheer, soon joined by all the Imperials on the mountain. Finally, the Legions from High Rock had arrived from their journey across half the continent, and just in time. With mighty shouts and horns aloud, the High Rock Legions smashed into the Akaviri rear, breaking their formations in front of them. The Akaviri were also exhausted after several days of constant fighting, only winning by their numerical superiority, but now cracked under the weight of the fresh Imperial Legions. Losing all hope, large swaths of the Akaviri host tried to break away and retreat around the Imperial reinforcements to rejoin their main force, but they wouldn’t get the chance.
With a shout echoing throughout the valley, Imperial Prince Regulus Mede rallied the Imperial Cavalry for a definitive charge “Ride ride legionaries! Send these foul fiends to oblivion!”. With thunderous hooves the cavalry charged into the fleeing Akaviri, crushing them under their hooves as they rode forth. Onwards they continued, chasing the Akaviri all the way to Cheydinhal where they arrived in the final moments of the battle to take part in the slaughter of the final remnants of the once so mighty Akaviri host. Victory had been achieved.
With the mighty enemy defeated, Warhaft marched the remnants of his army to Cheydinhal where they took part in the celebrations, though the countless sacrifices were far from forgotten. From the Great Defeat at Fort Scinia to the Revenge at Kemen to the Stand at Hero’s Hill and finally the Great Siege of Cheydinhal. The Imperial Forces had battled an enemy set on their destruction, routless to the last, but faced their foe with overwhelming courage, even in defeat. The Akaviri had been defeated, but Sir Mazog of Trollz told of strange information obtained from the Akaviri, of an Elder Scroll and the presumed to be destroyed Blades. But for Warhaft, such troubles were best left to younger men and women, and he quickly informed the Emperor and the Imperial Court of his retirement. He had lived through enough Great Wars in his life, and it was time to retire to his family estate in the Colovian Highlands. The enemy had been driven off from Cyrodiil and the borders secured, though at great cost. But for the old Grand Marshal, his time was past. Glory was his, but a quiet end in his family home was his fate, far away from the great battles that had filled his life.
* * *
Roleplay: Akavir Invasion