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 The Cycle Wars

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Joker
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Name: Amus
Profession: Assassin, the Wind

PostSubject: The Cycle Wars   Fri Jan 06, 2012 12:16 am

In the old days, when elves, Tybai, and dwarves were the only living inhabitants of Brayst, the Sovereigns walked the land freely, completely careless that their presence was known to the mortal races. Desh, Sovereign of death, was still an accepted member of the Sovereign family. The races lived in relative peace, with Kestal and Farona leading the elves, the dominant race of the time, in the ways of peace and justice. However, Desh and Nefelgh had grown impatient and bored over the centuries of tranquility. Pascha, Farona, and Kestal had consolidated most of the power over the realm, with Natura, Bergin, and Meere content with their dominion over the natural elements. Desh began to experiment with using his powers over death to reanimate the deceased to be entirely malleable, mindless minions. Realizing the destruction he could unleash upon the order-loving trinity, Desh approached Nefelgh, who also sought a way to overthrow Farona and Kestal. He offered the Sovereign of War a deathless army to ravage the civilized world that their oppressors had created. Nefelgh, quite ready to unleash chaos into the world after centuries of complacency, jumped at the offer. And so Desh began to breed his army while Nefelgh sowed the seeds of war.

While Desh was busy constructing his forces in secrecy in the then deserted Southern Isles, Nefelgh went about preparing their enemies for war. Despite his ally's goal of outright destruction of their enemies, Nefelgh relished the challenge of warfare. But the elves would be too difficult to instigate, and the Tybai would prove harmless against the might of an undead army. This left the dwarves, a headstrong people that would not only provide an enemy for Nefelgh to unleash the undead horde against, but one that would put up a formidable defense.
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Joker
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Name: Amus
Profession: Assassin, the Wind

PostSubject: Re: The Cycle Wars   Fri Jan 06, 2012 9:47 am

Nefelgh disguised himself as Manard, son of Graben Firefist, one of the most powerful dwarven clans of the time. He went to the Bullsturm family enclave, the rival clan to the Firefists. It had long been known that Manard had his eye on Bjorn Bullsturm's daughter, Hannalore, to be his wife. Bjorn strictly forbade it, preferring that she be betrothed to a member of the Stonehammer clan. So Nefelgh snuck into the Bullsturm enclave and kidnapped Hannelore. Bjorn sent his son, Svericht, to the Firefist camp to threaten Manard to return his daughter. But Nefelgh had taken Hannelore to the Southern Isles to be imprisoned.

The Bullsturm family accused the Firefists of kidnapping Hannelore and demanded her safe return. The Firefists, knowing nothing of Nefelgh's treachery, insisted that they didn't have Bjorn's daughter. This was far from the first disagreement between the clans, and tensions were already at a peak. Both sides began to prepare their armies in preparation for the impending feud.

Meanwhile, Nefelgh began to march his newly spawned legion of undead soldiers through the Black Desert toward the Crystal Mountains. The Plains of Andhuul were a part of the Elven Empire at the time, and were scarcely inhabited. The army pillaged any village it came across, leaving no survivors to warn the Elven rulers of the threat. By the time the army had reached the Crystal Mountains, the conflict between the dwarven clans had escalated to a declaration of war, and the Bullsturms had already begun a siege of the Firefist enclave on the eastern border of the mountains. Excited by the chaos he had caused, Nefelgh led his army to join the fight. The Bullsturms had attacked from the east, but had to fight through the soldiers guarding the main gate. Many of Nefelgh's soldiers were able to climb walls, so they could attack from the unprotected west.

While the Firefist soldiers were occupied with the Bullsturm army at their gate, half of Nefelgh's troops scaled the walls of the compound and began to pillage the village within. The civilians retreated to the safety of the keep, which was sturdy and moderately defended. The Fatherguard, the personal guard of the head of the clan, held off the undead with minimal losses. But that was only half the threat. The other half of the undead horde split and flanked the assaulting Bullsturms. The rear guard folded under the surprise attack. The undead that had assaulted the rear of the compound had moved up and crashed against the rear of the Firefist defense. With their armies pinned between both halves of Nefelgh's surprise attack, the clan heads met during the battle and called a truce. The Bullsturms made an about face and pressed their way through the numerous yet unskilled undead army, while the Firefists cleansed their fortress of the menace. Both dwarven clans took heavy losses, but eradicated the unholy army.

Bjorn and Graben met after the fighting had ceased to negotiate a truce. During this meeting, Nefelgh parted the remainder of the Bullsturm army and joined the peace summit. He admitted to the abduction of Hannelore, and warned the dwarves of future attacks. Bjorn sent messengers out to the outlying dwarven clans and to Feldheim, the capital, to bring the news. They each gathered their clans and prepared to fall back to the outlying fortresses defending the passes into Feldheim. The Bullsturms fell back to Kelmark at the mouth of the Eastern Pass, and the Firefists commanded the defense of Starkhelm, which guarded the Southern Pass. When news had reached the Stonehammers, who were also one of the strongest clans, they assumed the position at Zoglagen, a massive fortress that oversaw the point where the Eastern and Southern Pass converged. Between Zoglagen and Feldheim was a narrow pass littered with guard towers and smaller fortresses, called the Valley of Arrows. This and Feldheim were commandeered by the Thundergrave clan, the ruling clan of the dwarves, led by King Donnegh.
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Joker
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Name: Amus
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PostSubject: Re: The Cycle Wars   Wed Jan 11, 2012 10:27 pm

King Donnegh called on Bergin, father of the dwarves and Sovereign of the Mountains, to ask for aid against Nefelgh. It was during this meeting that the dwarves learned of Desh's involvement. The Four Bergers, Donnegh Thundergrave, Bjorn Bullsturm, Graben Firefist, and Holger Stonehammer gathered and discussed the defense of Feldheim. The Thundergraves would man the defenses of the Valley of Arrows and Feldheim, and would also send subsidiary soldiers to bolster the garrisons at Kelmark and Starkhelm. The Stonehammers would prepare Zoglagen for siege and create additional defenses in the passes to cover any retreat from Starkhelm or Kelmark. The Firefists would defend Starkhelm, and the Bullsturms would garrison Kelmark. Each of the fortresses was constructed of fifty layers of fully defendable walls, with a extensive keep behind the last layer. This would allow a lot of time for additional support to come from the elves.

Meanwhile, the Sovereigns gathered to discuss the usurpers' actions. Bergin, Kestal, Farona, Meere, and Pascha called for war, while Natura simply declared herself neutral. The undead had not threatened the forests, and she was sure that Desh and Nefelgh had no interest in conquering Doherwos, Farlok, or the Lost Wood. Farona went to Avynral to warn the High Priestess, Gwevyn, of Desh and Nefelgh's army. She commanded the preparation of an army, and defenses were erected around Avynral and other surrounding villages. Kestal went to Lord Emperor Laruin at Pyrela in the south. But rather than advising him to prepare an army to aid the West, Kestal told Laruin to diverge from the rest of Brayst and build a wall and place magical barriers around the southern peninsula. This would save the South from invasion, because the north and west would fall quickly. Doing this would save unnecessary death among the southern elves and would stop Desh and Nefelgh's rampage dead. But Kestal did not tell the other Sovereigns of this plan.
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Joker
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Profession: Assassin, the Wind

PostSubject: Re: The Cycle Wars   Wed Jan 11, 2012 10:31 pm

A month later, Desh had tripled the size of the army that had originally attacked the Firefists and Bullsturms. But the elves had prepared their army, and the undead army, despite its size, was flimsy in combat. In addition, Nefelgh needed another commander to lead the forces during the battles. There was a brilliant tactician among the dwarves in Feldheim. Desh disguised himself as a dwarven captain and entered the quarters of Klegen Thundergrave, Prince of Feldheim. Turning him to their side would not only be a great addition to their forces, but also a crippling blow to the dwarven defenses. In addition to being a skilled commander, Klegen was also one of the most powerful mountain sages of the era. He recognized Desh immediately, being used to the aura of power around Sovereigns. Rather than killing Klegen and resurrecting him, Desh proposed a deal. Killing Klegen first would destroy his ability to use Mystika, which could prove useful in the future.

Desh promised Klegen dominion over the lower planes if he aided them in overthrowing Pascha, Farona, and Kestal, as well as power that would surpass the Bergers and even rival the Sovereigns. Of course, Desh couldn't back up these promises, but it would be easy to deal with them later. Klegen, infatuated with the opportunity for immense power, accepted Desh's proposal. The Death Sovereign smuggled his new puppet out of Feldheim and delivered him to the head of the forces marching toward Starkhelm. Nefelgh insisted that he retain command of the forces attacking Kelmark and the elves.
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Joker
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Character sheet
Name: Amus
Profession: Assassin, the Wind

PostSubject: Re: The Cycle Wars   Wed Feb 01, 2012 9:48 am

Harred, at the time, had been very peaceful. They had no military to speak of, not even a veteran soldier. They had never entered a war before, and had never intended on having to do so. They peacefully traded with all parties and did not interfere with external conflicts not directly involving them. They were a people of trade and religion, not war. So when the first village was attacked, they completely unprepared, despite Farona's warning. The only chance they had were the magical wards constructed around the entire city of Avynral, Harred's capital.

The High Priestess, Gwevyn, had begun to assemble as many soldiers as possible. Despite having minimal military experience, the Harredyn were renowned for their weapon and armorsmiths, especially their bowyers and fletchers. By the time the third village fell, ten thousand soldiers were equipped and deployed to the outposts built in a perimeter around Avynral. Within another week, the undead army had prgressed to the Harredyn line of defense.

The place that Nefelgh had led his troops to meet the elves was the river crossing at Muirael. The river there was thirty yards wide, and the only way across was a wide stone bridge guarded by multiple arrow towers and a large border fort. Elven scouts had followed the movements of the unholy army, so more troops had been deployed to Muirael. The elven garrison numbered at five hundred archers and one thousand ground troops. These soldiers were supported by a large contingent of priestesses, who were tasked with healing wounds and providing magical defenses to prevent the undead from entering the walls for as long as possible.

Meanwhile, Nefelgh had his own plans. Several miles before reaching the crossing, the War God ordered a large contingent of his troops to go two miles upstream. He knew that the elves were unsure of his soldiers' capabilities, and intended to use their ignorance to his advantage. His soldiers, to their great benefit, did not need air to survive. They could move under the river just as easily as across land, and did not tire. The regiment that he had sent north were ordered to cross the river and swing around to the rear of the fort, where he expected the elves to be less prepared.

His main force began to assault the front of the fort from the bridge, taking heavy casualties. But, where one soldier fell, three more came up in it's place to press the attack. The Harredyn held fast, however, and the undead forces were unable to press into the keep.

About three hours into the conflict, the separated contingent of undead crashed against the meagerly defended rear of the border fort. Constant magical bombardment of the priestesses' wards tore down the invisible barrier in minutes, and the undead flooded into the fort. The elves, to that point, had taken minimal losses, and most of their ground troops were still ready for battle. A large group of them rushed to the defense of the priestesses, who were positioned in the back of the fort. The battle then raged within the walls of the fort, but the archers continued to hold the undead that advanced over the bridge at bay.
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