GLOBAL STORYLINE UPDATE: Part 6 - The Battle of Fýrdraca Apr 28, 2017 5:17:33 GMT -8 Mitah Val Karem, AardWolf, and 3 more like this
Post by Sir Caelan Munro on Apr 28, 2017 5:17:33 GMT -8
NEW GLOBAL STORYLINE UPDATE, continued from Part 5: Flower of Fire
———— ~ A Path We Were Destined to Follow, Part 6: The Battle of Fýrdraca ~ ————
Story by Sir Caelan Munro
Build by Lands of Roawia members at Brickfair VA 2016
War cries. The distinct sounds of metal-on-metal. War beasts growling as elephants trumpeted in their charges. The twangs of ballistae releasing their loads. The screams of the wounded. The pleading of those dying……..
It all mixed into the chaos, dust, and confusion of the Battle of Fýrdraca.
Many heroes of Roawia were there. And many villains as well. Sir Micah Silver, Lady Ana Glen, Edorin Gwyn, High General Mythrog, Drakk the infamous wizard, Skyelia Murdale, Ser Hamlock Of Stonewald, Boethius The Exiled, Ivanovich the Sea Wizard. And Sir Thomas of Torith, whose lifeless body now lay alone by a patch of Fýrdraca Fire flowers.
On the left flank of the Loreesi-Garhim army, another hero of Roawia moved out into the open field to lead his brave Garhim into the fight. General Ingvar Stendahl directed his forces by hand, out in front, with enemy arrows and bolts landing all about him. He marshaled his men of the North from out of the jungle and into effective fighting formations, readying their charge into the Lenfald-Outlaw right flank.
“Now they will feel our fury!” he yelled over the noise of battle to rally his men. They were already worn from the heavy slog through the jungle in the heat and humidity, but he knew them well, their hardy souls would carry them forward no matter. Looking forward, he saw a large ancient tower and ruins, with a river beyond. In the distance, the Loreesi were heavily engaged with Outlaw war beasts and men in green uniforms, but here this field before them was open. Yet amongst the rocks and ancient stones he could see figures, many wearing red capes and looking most ugly, ready to meet his forces. “That tower,” he commanded, “all converge on that tower! It is there we will cross and destroy them!”
His men ready, General Stendahl raised his weapon and gave the charge….
Across the battlefield, another hero was charging. Prince Mark of Falworth had crossed the swift channel of water with the help of his war elephant, and leapt down at the run. His target was some twenty yards ahead, the brutal Lord Hans Zarkan. The men who followed Mark had managed to cross just behind him, and they now spread out from him to cover his charge.
Behind them, their elephant suddenly smashed into a snarling war beast, and the two giants spun in massive contortions, crushing several of Mark’s men and multiple Lenfels alike.
Falworth caught glimpses of the action as he closed with his enemy. The Loreesi force had charged along with him and now were fully engaged all along the line of troops, with the swift current forming a deadly barrier. Some of his men were bravely trying to ford it under fire from the precise shots of the Lenfel Scout Snipers, while others were, as he had, hanging onto war elephants for the difficult crossing. Still others were fighting vicious hand-to-hand fights at the few places where one could cross via crumbling stone bridges.
Mark's path to Zarkan was fairly clear, but there were at least two Scout Snipers taking shots at him, one of whom hung off to his left, watching carefully and moving towards him. Falworth was able to deflect one of their arrows and the other shot bounced off his armor. Neither of these men in green was Corporal Graeme Blair, so Falworth continued on to Zarkan to get his revenge for Thomas’s death.
“Why have you come here to die, Falworth!?” Zarkan boomed as he raised a black sinister-looking two handed sword and held it before him. Mark ignored this and closed with him so rapidly Zarkan barely had time to parry his gold-hilted shining weapon. No sooner had Hans dashed it away when the silver blade was biting at him again, and Zarkan quickly got a lesson in just how great a fighter Falworth really was. But the mercenary wasn’t feared for nothing, and when he was finally able to get a blow in, it sent Mark backward four feet, and he barely was able to hold his balance.
“Why are you here in the jungle, Desert Rat?” Zarkan demanded again.
Mark took the time to catch his breath from the charge, as his opponent was now so foolish as to let him. “Sport, of course,” he declared. “I’m in need of a wingless dragon’s head on my trophy wall. But I might as well add yours next to it for good measure.”
The big mercenary gave his joyless laugh, “You are three hours too late Falworth; whose blood do you think adorns my sword and armor? But I will add your own to it now!”
Glancing at Hans’ armor, Mark noted that it was splattered with a blackish bloody residue. “You’ll pay for that insolence. With that massive treasure we can’t let you Lenfels have.”
A strange look quickly crossed Zarkan’s face, one of both amusement and confusion. “That puny pile of change? That is why you’ve come? The laugh’s on you, fool! It will barely pay for these bloodsucking Outlaws to pretend to fight alongside us!”
“Liar!” Finally having had enough time to sufficiently catch his breath, Mark lunged at him with a force neither of them was prepared for. Their swords clashed brutally but as it happened, at the same time both men were suddenly and violently slammed from the side by a flash of something dark and scaly.
All went dark on Mark for a time. Coming to, he began choking on a cloud of dust stirred up by the melee between another war beast and an elephant. By the sound of it, this whirling fight of the giants must be taking place just a few feet from him. As he gained better presence of mind he realized he had been thrown back almost all the way to the water’s edge. He reached out to find his sword, and locating a hilt, he latched onto it and began to look for his opponent through the dust.
Still crouched on the ground and vulnerable, he now came to focus on an arrow pointed directly at his face, only five or six feet away. Behind the arrow and it’s bow was that same Scout Sniper who had previously been hovering off his left, and in the microseconds of time he had to see what was happening, Falworth took in what he could of his would-be slayer: the man was cold-eyed, well-tanned, with black hair, and he wore the look of someone about to achieve victory. About to…but not quite.
A Loreesi sword came out of nowhere, slashing down into the bow and snapping it in two. The Sniper pulled back from the action in surprise, his weapon now useless.
Mark glanced over happily expecting to see an ally, but was taken aback instead.
“How many times do I have to tell you Pig Stickers to back off…he’s mine!” Mark’s “savior” now pushed the furious Sniper back, but the man held his ground, a strange thing to do before the fearsome Lord Hans Zarkan.
Rolling over to gain his feet and get back into action, Mark now raised his own weapon for defense, finding it a bit heavier than expected.
The two men went at it once more, exchanging blows quickly as a group of Loreesi approached from the river to help their leader.
After a few blows however, both men realized something was wrong. Mark had assumed his weapon was heavy due to his being worn out, but Hans couldn’t understand why his weapon was so light. Pausing just long enough to glance at it, Zarkan then roared at his Loreesi opponent, “You give me back my sword right now!” They had in the confusion wound up with each other’s weapons.
“Certainly!” Mark quipped as he stabbed the dark sword at it’s owner’s face.
For such a big man however, Zarkan was incredibly nimble and he deftly jumped back to avoid the hit -- right into the path of a charging elephant.
It knocked Hans with a glancing blow into the air and out of the fight, at least for the moment.
“Ha!” Mark chuckled in victory, but was immediately assaulted by none other than that tanned Scout Sniper. Without a bow, the man flung himself at Falworth with such force that he was knocked backward. The Sniper had forced himself so close to Mark that he was inside the range of Zarkan’s two-handed sword, and the prince was forced to drop the weapon and reach for the dagger he carried as a spare on his belt. But this took time and a certain amount of attention, and in that fraction of a second all Mark could do was reach up with his other hand and stop the forward stabbing motion of whatever the Sniper was using for his attack.
With an all-too close look at the weapon, Mark saw that it was a completely unexpected black dagger of some kind. His mind racing, he rapidly tried to think of a way to gain an advantage in their struggle, but got stuck on the strange fact that he was now in a deadly fight, grappling with a common soldier who would otherwise normally avoid hand-to-hand combat, as Scout Snipers were not trained for it. Rangers, they were not! As they struggled, Mark realized the Sniper was strong too, with an iron grip. Why was this man so determined to slay him?
He managed to blurt out, “Did I kill your brother or something?”
Mark’s men were almost on top of them by now, and it looked like he was soon to be out of this mess. But the Sniper, upon seeing the other Loreesi, did something once again unexpected. Still grabbing him tightly, the man swung hard, using his own weight to propel both himself and Prince Mark right into the swiftly flowing stream behind them.
“The armor!” Falworth thought in horror as he fell into the churning water. Realization flashed through his mind, that if he didn’t get as much of it off as he could right now he was doomed…
Though his attacker had managed to swing him into the water, Mark wasn’t quite helpless. As he fell, he brought his dagger up and sliced at the determined brute and it must have worked as the fellow disappeared from his immediate vicinity. Slammed by the current, he came up for a breath, ditched his red cape which was dragging him badly, and ducked back down again to start cutting at the straps of his plate armor. He managed to get both greaves off of his lower legs before coming up for air again.
This allowed him to get a glimpse of what was taking place around him — and it wasn’t good. The stream really was an extensive chute running along the ruins, likely man-made, and offered almost no opportunities for exit due to the smooth walls and swift current. So it really did come down to ditching the armor or drowning. He was an exceptionally strong swimmer but he was already drained from the fighting, and eventually he would tire and drown — or plunge off the waterfall he knew was at the end of this channel. Back to cutting and he got both poleynes and cuises off and his legs were now free, offering him a little bit more freedom.
Up for air again, but still no hope in something to grab on to…and highly disturbing sights came to him in limited visual snippets between the splashes of water into his eyes. There were a lot more of both Lenfels and Outlaws than he realized, and both banks of the river had become entangled in deadly hand-to-hand fighting. It looked like the Loreesi were in trouble…
Back to cutting, he now started working on his fauld and tuille, and as they fell free he rose back again to catch a breath…just in time to see the body of a slain Loreesi falling into the chute next to him. The battle clearly was not going well. Down again to begin working on the pauldrons. They sunk away and he rose up again.
The face of the tanned Sniper filled his eyes as the wet but furious man stabbed at him once again with that black dagger! Out of nowhere Mark was once more fighting for his life, a desperate water-logged version of their death-grip they had back before he had been slung into the water. Where had this crazed fool come from!?!
The man seemed more determined than ever, trying to force Mark’s head below the water. They wrestled amidst the chaos and current, and in those frantic seconds two quick glimpses came to Falworth: the Sniper had some kind of tattoo on his forearm, and downstream there was something…but his head plunged below the water, and he was in danger of drowning right then and there. He kicked furiously, and his toes touched bottom, allowing him to steer their fight a little to the left…
Taking an incredible chance, Mark let go of the other’s arm, allowing the attacker to strike at him, in order to push the crazed man’s head just a little to the left…the black dagger hit home but dragged across his still-armored chest…
There came an audible thud and Mark’s hand shuddered from the impact of the Sniper’s head upon a stone projection from the left which Mark had previously seen…the man’s eyes rolled strangely back into his head, revealing the whites of his eyes, and he went limp. Even with all the water churning and washing about them, Falworth still saw blood gushing from the dead Sniper’s mouth, nose and back of his head. “Done with you!” Mark thought as he pushed away from the body.
But the vision which now came to him revealed that the man had actually succeeded, for to his horror Mark realized the loud crashing of water he was hearing was the impending waterfall. With the current getting even stronger, he had lost his last chances to swim out of his peril, and was going over no matter what he did now. The breastplate and its heavy padding underneath were still with him however, and he spent his last few seconds trying desperately to work free of them, but alas…
As he plunged over the edge, with the sickening feeling of falling moving over his body, an even more horrendous thing came to him, the sight of which burned into his mind: the full extent of their defeat was there before him.
On the expanse of ocean below the waterfall, the small Loreesi-Garheim fleet lay devastated and sinking, with a sea serpent crushing one Garheim ship and a second allied ship being overwhelmed by an unnatural huge wave of water. And Lenfel and Outlaw ships clearly had the upper hand in the fight...
As he plunged into the foam at the bottom of the waterfall, to his complete despair he realized that in his final mission, the Great Mark of Falworth had utterly failed…
Take heart Loreesi and Garhim friends, our tale of the Battle of Fýrdraca is not over...Up next, Part 7: To The Last
Congratulations to Excalibur for his win on the Fýrdraca Fire Flower: