Campaign of the Month: January 2013

DANgerous Kalamar 4

Battle of Ldamven

Battle of Ldamven
The Party





Companions






A good-will detour to give warning to the village of Durlden had shown the simple place to be safe from harm and unaware of the orcish war parties plaguing their neighboring communities. Apart from a handful of wandering trolls, the villagers appeared to have little need to concern themselves – as all evidence suggested the humanoid menace was indeed moving north, toward Ldamven. The impending face-off with Glormul would surely come soon.

Meanwhile, a lost temple to the Knight of the Gods pulled on the hearts strings of the Group’s newest member Alamir Artur. Informed by fellow cleric Senvus Broel that the recently rediscovered house of worship was in the despicable hands of The Broken Fang tribe, the Purifier had garnered the Party’s pledge to travel forth and reclaim the church for Brovadol on their way to assist the druid Nilu – as soon as the security of Ldamven could be assured.

Veshday, Twenty-first of Replanting, 1044 Y.K.

Moving north on their return trip to Ldamven, the Party’s focus was soon drawn to a series of strange arm movements being performed by Dokari. The elven illusion enthusiastically responded to questions, stating her decision to begin attempting sorcery, a revelation that prompted hesitation in Maldus. Her offers to also begin taking watches and hold Alamir’s Sphere of Awakening further worried him, in light of the recent “sighting” of her former master Argenon Remel.

The ensuing discussion ran the gamut of opinions as each Party member weighed in on the prospect of an intelligent item becoming a sorcerer. Where some felt it was something to be encouraged, others cautioned that nothing good would come from such an endeavor. In the end Maldus requested patience on the part of the projected lady, for while she had certainly displayed the utmost of loyalty, it remained to be seen if the “warlock” Argenon had other means to compel her.

Diaday, Twenty-second of Replanting, 1044 Y.K.

Exiting their camp in the remains of Vrehden the Party resumed its trek toward Ldamven. A brief thunderstorm intruded upon the day, but had passed hours before the Group settled down for the midday meal. Sharp eyes were kept for any signs of orcish passing, but nothing not already present from the previous raids could be found. By nightfall the Party had bypassed Vlorden and stood poised to reach their goal the following day.

Pelsday, Twenty-third of Replanting, 1044 Y.K.

Coming at last to within sight of Ldamven’s walls, the Group was met by a mounted patrol of Cosdol regulars, freshly arrived soldiers from the fort at Nurden. Part of a full brigade of better than four hundred men, the riders conversed briefly with the Party before continuing on and granting the Group access to Ldamven itself. Inside, additional soldiers were present, as well as Hilg and Mogbakh’s promised Iron Skulls warriors.

With the town now under the protection of a defensive force nearly seven hundred strong, the idea of journeying to Broel’s lost temple for a sideline mission seemed a plausible one. Indeed, the Servant of the Swift Sword was still in town, and would surely delight at their readiness to aid him. It was not to be however, as Mogbakh located the Group and announced that his scouts had spotted Glormul and his Broken Fang horde. The would-be invaders were only a handful of hours to the south, moving en masse to the town itself.

As word quickly spread throughout the town and its surrounding homesteads, the defenders ushered citizens inside whilst preparing for battle. Meanwhile, Mogbakh instructed the Party and human commanders on the tactics that Glormul would likely employ, being familiar with typical orcish strategy. He insisted that the Fang would send suicide bands to attack the walls and engage their men while the main body of Glormul’s army would strike only once many of the defending soldiers were preoccupied, and from a side previously undisturbed.

By the fall of night, the first glinting of orcish eyes in the distance accompanied the sound of numerous war-drums. Mogbakh explained that the drums were used to send commands in battle, akin to the flags and horns used by human armies. With the enemy lines forming to the south, the emergence of hill giant mercenaries caused significant concern to troops along the wall. The subsequent range-testing rock throws soon elicited a roaring cheer at the first hit to the town’s wall.

The return fire of the soldier’s trio of catapults slammed into the enemy lines as the first suicide band rushed the south wall and gatehouse, ladders and weapons in hand. Arrow fire and scolding liquids cost the creatures greatly, as howls of fury and agony filled the air. Mogbakh gave a knowing nod to the Party, as defenders began to consolidate on the south front. As far any within the Group could attest, things were going as predicted.

A second rush from the southwest occupied more soldiers from within the walls, and a third attack between the first two quickly escalated the fighting. With the fever pitch of battle established, Glormul and the main force made its move, charging from the east to the thunderous beating of a new and yet all too familiar sound. The suicide bands, though heavily damaged – were empowered by the drumming, as Glormul and his warriors raced across the field, closing the gap between themselves and the town.

Knowing the powerful drumming as that of the instrument placed into the hands of Mogbakh and the Iron Skulls, the Party quickly turned to find their orcish ally, who had maneuvered himself nearer the command post during the intervening combat. Plunging his sword into the human commander’s back, the betrayer called upon his warriors, who eagerly turned against their human compatriots, revealing the falsehood of the tribe’s alliance with the Cosdolites.

Engaged now from both sides of the wall, the soldiers struggled to counter the assault and solidify their previous perimeter. The Party focused itself against the traitorous Iron Skulls, using their magic and fierce martial capabilities to assist the troops. The southern wall needed to be re-secured quickly if the Group was to head east to meet the main force under Glormul himself.

Meanwhile, the traitor Mogbakh had spotted Maldus and charged the cleric in a maddened rage. His feigned civility fully gone, the monstrous humanoid sought to fulfill his previously hidden fantasy of slaying the Cosdolite and bringing about Ldamven’s fall. Joined by Senvus Broel and elite soldiers of the fort, the Party squared off against Mogbakh and his fellows, soon bringing the creatures down and repaying the lead scout for his betrayal.

Elsewhere, orcish invaders bolted into nearby structures, attacking civilians in an attempt to cause mayhem and draw defenders inward. Their plan, though initially showing signs of success, ended quickly with the discovery of the once-captured storm giant, who made his presence known by smashing apart a squad of the creatures and tossing one unfortunate clear over the town’s wall. No longer the victim of Rarnok’s Wall of Shadows, the towering being brought forth storms and hurled lightning at nearby enemies.

Determining the new arrival to be against the orcs who had previously dominated its mind, Maldus appealed to the giant, persuading it to seek out the magical drums fueling the unnatural rage within their foes. With a nod, the storm giant vaulted the wall and dashed toward the enemy’s reserve, toward the sound of the magical drum.

In the meantime, the Group had another giant to deal with, as one of the hill giant mercenaries had moved to the south gate, and was attempting to lift the portcullis to allow its allies easier access to the town. A well aimed Hold spell by Maldus ceased the giant’s efforts, leaving it open to attack. The now magically immobilized monster became the focus of Stoat’s fury, as the halfling targeted the vulnerable creature mercilessly – bringing it down and cementing the defender’s hold on the south front.

Finally able to proceed to the overrun eastern front, Alamir joined swords with Senvus Broel as the Party battled its way through the invading lesser ranks to confront the horde’s leader, Glormul. The combined magics of Maldus and Rarnok left the humanoid trapped within a Wall of Thought, sluggish from a Slow spell, and drained of strength by a crippling Wall of Shadows. The sudden silence of the thunderous drumming signaled another victory within the enemy’s reserve and heralded the end of Glormul’s power.

Bolstered by the Group’s presence and battling against a now-faltering, leaderless enemy, the human soldiers intensified their defense, before long halting the orcish advance. With their invasion stalling, Glormul captured and their greatest weapon quiet, the cowardly nature of the creatures began to surface, and a crude withdraw was carried out. Through much blood and sacrifice, Ldamven had been saved.

Katarday, Twenty-fourth of Replanting, 1044 Y.K.

Tallying the fallen defenders as two-thirds of their original number, Alamir took to encouraging the men, issuing makeshift medals to surviving soldiers and leading them in prayer. Estimates placed the retreating Broken Fang forces as half or less of the initial numbers, with only a few of the mercenary hill giants having been lost. Cleanup efforts and burial details filled the morning, and busied virtually all within the community.

Touring the remains of the shattered orcish drums, Maldus located the body of the fallen storm giant, evidently killed shortly after destroying the cursed instrument. The humanoid had sacrificed itself to help save the town, a place that had held it prisoner mere days before. If any being was worthy of resurrection, surely this one was. Utilizing his mightiest magics, Maldus returned the giant, whom he learned was named Oralon, to life.

Back inside the walls, Stoat paid visit to the captured Glormul. Despite the failure of his invasion and his current predicament, the orc remained arrogant, mocking the foolishness of the humans and insisting that the Broken Fang was victorious in its mission. Unmoved, the halfing took steps to ensure the Black Orc would never again be a threat to the realm, shattering the bound orc’s hands and severing muscle and ligaments in his heels and calves. Through even this great pain, the humanoid’s insistence of victory remained.

Finally reassembled in the early afternoon, the Party agreed that Prince Sevlen needed to be notified of the recent events. Glormul would be made to stand trial for his crimes, and his hints of a larger play would require further investigation…

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