The Onland Campaign V

The War - Final [Death of Kings]

The Curia Urbanus, Vitruvi

A rider entered the Curia carrying a well-worn saddlebag over one shoulder. He was dusty from the road with mud caked boots from walking through the city. After presenting himself to the sarjeant of the watch, he was escorted to the Viscount of Guisares, Rennard L’Enfante, the current military governor of alsacean occupied Vitruvi. “Lord Guisares,” the rider said, bowing to the viscount, “I bring an urgent dispatch from His Majesty, the King, my lord.”

Guisares reached out and took the sealed dispatch from the rider, “Does His Majesty require an immediate reply?”

“No my lord.”

“Very well,” Guisares said, gesturing dismissively, “you are dismissed.” The viscount drew a narrow dagger from its sheath as the rider bowed again and backed away. He slipped the dagger under the wax seal and pried the orders open. He read. “Interesting,” he called to the sarjeant of the watch.

The sarjeant entered, bowed, “Lord Guisares, my lord?”

Guisares asked, “how fares Pharaoh against the Dramboreans?”

“The dramboreans took heavy casualties yesterday, my lord. The commanding general, Ten-Rax was going to keep pressure on the enemy throughout the night and conduct a full assault this morning once Pharaoh and the remainder of the Vangorean forces were in position. There have been no dispatches so far today though, my lord.”

“I see,” said the viscount, “keep me apprised. I want to know as soon as any word comes in. I will be in my quarters for the remainder of the day, but officially, I have gone hunting and am unavailable. Is that clear Sarjeant?”

“Yes, my lord. You will not be disturbed, except by me personally, with word from the Pharaoh.”

“Excellent, Sarjeant,” the viscount said as he refolded the dispatch and slipped it under his tunic.

Butchery Hill

The Vangorean infantry pressed forward on all fronts, as the chariots, lead by Pharaoh swung around to the left in an attempt to flank the Dramborean position. It would take some time to get around to the Dramborean flank without going through Teg Lax’s Coffin, but Pharaoh was not foolish enough to go that way even if it wasn’t already clogged with decimated Vangorean chariots.

Ten-Rax was more cautious this day, the lessons of the previous day and night having stung seriously. But by mid-morning, the Vangoreans and Dramboreans were engaged heavily all along the front, and the Dramboreans were being severly tested.

Aelwold’s unit was the end of the line. He almost didn’t notice the white stallion until he heard Combard’s steadfast voice calling out for the men to stand firm. He ducked one blow from a vangorean half-man, then bashed the brute with his shield and followed up with a thrust to the throat. Blood sprayed him in his already gore-crusted face and the half-man fell, clawing wildly at Aelwold’s feet.

Stepping back from the line, Aelwold shoved another soldier into the hole, and surveyed the situation as he watched Combard ride off and shouted orders. Then, he heard a voice, as clear as day through the din. It was as if it was speaking to him from within his mind.

Panic gripped him. He’d felt this sensation before, when that demon that’d possessed Mila and Felix had invaded his mind, tried to possess him! But then he recognized the voice and was filled with a sense of calm and purpose. And the voice said to him; “The time is almost upon us Aelwold. Assemble your men and be prepared. I will contact you again when you must act.”

“Yes, Your Majesty,” Aelwold said, not knowing whether the king could hear him or not. And he set about gathering the crossbowmen.

The Praetorian Castrum, Vitruvi

A sarjeant knocked on Viscount Guisares’ door, “Lord Guisares, it is Serjeant Julaird. I have news from Pharaoh, my lord.”

Rennard opened the door a crack, peered out, and yanked the serjeant into the chamber, quickly slammind the door behind him. “Victory? Is Drambor defeated?”

The sarjeant, somewhat startled, stammered, “Lord Guisares, sir, no, my lord. There was an accident, my lord! The berserks in the Vangorean camp went mad and slaughtered most of 1st and 2nd corps. Thankfully, Pharaoh had not yet arrived, so 3rd corps was not effected.”

“What? roared Guisares, “We are running out of time. I can’t sit on this forever!”

“My Lord? I’m not sure I understand, my lord” the serjeant said.

“Yes, of course. Once I return from hunting, so to speak, I will receive a dispatch from the King. Only you and I know that I’ve already read that dispatch. His Majesty made it explicitly clear, that he would be most greatly displeased if the instructions for Pharaoh within the dispatch be delivered before Drambor’s army is obliterated.”

The serjeant understood, “I see, so you must be indisposed so as to postpone delivery until after the battle is finished, my lord.”

“Yes, exactly Serjeant. And I fear that if Pharaoh doesn’t hurry up, his failure shall land my head on the block!” Guisares groaned.

The Temple of Tiamat, Vangor

The ritual would not take long and though the vizier longed to be elsewhere, he felt that a sacrifice was necessary at a time like this. So even though he longed to be done here as quickly as possible and to be back where he could keep an eye on things, he knew in his heart that this was exactly where he must be. He had to give the goddess her due if he wished for her favor in the hours to come.

The vizier bowed as the high priest lay the goat on the altar. The animal was slaughtered and its blood poured in a bowl and placed before the goddess. Prayers were offered, the priest paid, and the vizier was at last free. He rose and thanked the high priest, and then slithered back to his sanctum as quickly as his snake-belly would carry him.

Butchery Hill

The slaughter was like nothing Aelwold had seen before in his more than thirty years of service in the army. Not even yesterday’s carnage compared to today’s. Blood was everywhere, covered everything. He thought that if he looked up at the sky that instead of blue, it too, like everything else, would be red.

And then the voice said, “It is time.”

The Vizier’s Palace, Vangor

The vizier peered into the crystal ball. What a battle! Both sides had lost countless men. So many bodies littered the hillside that it looked, from his perspective high in the sky above the fighting, that the hill were not a hill at all, but a hideously monstrous mound of corpses.

The vizier saw the chariots approaching the Dramborean flank. He saw Pharaoh in his chariot. He saw six men loading stubby looking arrows into strange bow-like contraptions.

“It is time,” the vizier said, and began casting a spell.

Somewhere Dark and Far Away

I can feel it! Bring me the final scroll! Now!

“Yes master,” sniveled the slime covered scaley runt of a creature, “As master commands!” It handed over the black scroll, cracked its knuckles and while licking its lips with its slimy forked tongue begged, “Master, may I drinks the blood whens you are finished?”

“No, you worthless bag of dung.” He hit the runt backhanded and the thing squished as it hit the wall with a disturbing splat.

“It is time,” the master said, and began to read the scroll.

The Praetorian Castrum, Vitruvi

The sarjeant reported, “Lord Guisares, reports indicate that the battle continues. But both sides have suffered massive casualties. If our scout’s reports are correct, fewer than one man in twenty on either side still stands, my lord.”

The viscount smiled, “Good, Serjeant. Even in the unlikely event that Drambor wins the day, they won’t have the strength to besiege the city. In fact it sounds like they may not even be able to raise an army for some years.”

“Aye, my lord,” agreed the serjeant.

“Very well then, it is time. Send Pharaoh the dispatch.”

The Vizier’s Palace, Vangor

The vizier continued to watch as Pharaoh drew closer and the crossbowmen aimed carefully. He finished his spell as three half-men suddenly went berserk without cause. They crashed through the lines and began slaughtering the crossbowmen.

Butchery Hill

Aelwold watched in horror. All six crossbowmen went down in the span of a few heartbeats. Pharaoh’s chariot was just coming into view. But soon he would be gone.

Aelwold ignored the berserks and dove for one of the abandoned crossbows. He raised it, turned toward the chariots, saw the abomination wearing a crown; that thing must be Pharaoh!

He’d seen purebloods before, so they didn’t frighten him. But this thing was something almost entirely different. It was massive, at least ten feet tall, even with half of its body coiled in the bottom of the chariot. And it was almost entirely snake; only its head being that of a human.

“It is time,” he thought, took a deep breath and wham! The half-man’s axe came down on his back shattering a dozen ribs and puncturing Aelwold’s right lung. He spit up blood as the half-man jerked at the axe, trying to pry it loose for another swing.

The Dark Place

The master finished reading the scroll and smiled as magical energies surged through him. All the force of the ley line coursed through him and with his mind, he willed that energy towards his desired target.

The Vizier’s Palace, Vangor

The vizier gasped, “No! What is happening?”

Butchery Hill

Suddenly, the jerking stopped. Aelwold could not feel his legs. But his lungs burned with such intensity that he could feel consciousness slipping away. He coughed up more blood as he grappled for one of the crossbows. Got it! Something strange about that bolt, though, some kind of green goo on the tip?

Pharaoh was starting to turn away. Just a second left! He let loose his bolt.

And everything went black.

The Vizier’s Palace, Vangor

Suddenly an aged knight on a white stallion came into view. He gutted one berserk on his lance and leapt from the saddle, while the warhorse flew into a rage of whirling, spinning and bucking that nearly matched the ferocity of the berserks!

As the knight squared off with the third berserk, the vizier saw one of the dramborean soldiers, half-dead, with a great axe protruding from his back, reach for a crossbow and fire.

The bolt hit Pharaoh in the neck!

The vizier’s heart skipped a beat and then a thin reptilian smile spread across his lips. Pharaoh would be dead in minutes! First the poison would paralyze him, then his breathing would slow and stop, and he would begin to suffocate while still conscious and finally, mercifully, his heart would stop and Pharaoh would be dead!

Butchery Hill

Combard glanced down at the blood running out of the wound in his side. He looked over at Aelwold, and pried loose the axe. The blood was flowing quickly from Combard’s side and he became dizzy, dropping to his knees. Then, through force of will, he raised his torso up, knelt in prayer to Onn and lay his hands on Aelwold’s wound.

The Vizier’s Palace, Vangor

The vizier left his sanctum and went to seek out the prince. “Pharaoh is dead,” he thought. “Long live Pharaoh.” He smiled again, then put on a somber façade, “well maybe not too long.”

The Praetorian Castrum, Vitruvi

It started as a rumbling. What is that? Thought the viscount. Then with sudden and violent force, the stone floor beneath his feet rose twelve feet and then, just as suddenly dropped forty. This, in and of itself did not kill Rennard L’Enfante, Viscount of Guisares; it was the ceiling above him dropping fifty and the floor above that dropping sixty, that crushed him like an ant under a plow-horse’s hoof. In an instant, a third of the occupying alsacean force, those off duty and asleep at the Castrum joined Guisares in death.

The Excavation Site, Outside Vitruvi

But the Praetorian Castrum was not the epicenter of the quake. Outside the city, the former archaeological site had become a fountain of magma. Black smoke rose in the air and gray ash rained down and darkness fell over the city as the smoke blotted out the sun.

Butchery Hill

That was intense! Aelwold thought.

He sat back up. The fighting had pretty much stopped after the explosion. Soldiers on both sides looked around with awe and fear at the firey jet of magma a few miles away. The King, beside him looked dead. Funny, he thought he had been mortally wounded. Nah, couldn’t be. He felt fine now. Although maybe, he thought, I am dead, and this is the afterlife.

Then the earth shook again. Nah, this can’t be the afterlife. This isn’t at all like what the afterlife is supposed to be like. Faithful believers of Onn, like him, are supposed to go up above the sky, to a nice place, to await the final battle with Ahriman. And if he were dead, he’d died in the service of Onn, carrying out Onn’s will, so there was one thing Aelwold was sure of and that was that he hadn’t died and gone down to the other place.

Ergo, if he wasn’t up above and he wasn’t down below he had to still be alive.

Then the earth shook again, and continued to shake. Soldiers from both sides panicked and bolted in all directions while Aelwold continued to ponder his existence; “unless, there are just so many dead folk that there’s a backlog getting souls to their proper destination…

The Excavation Site (Volcano)

From the rapidly enlarging crater of the volcano, a vast scaley head arose. Two leathery eyelids winked open revealing serpentine eyeballs, each the size of a large house. Then a mile-long stretch of the Vitruvean highlands rose up a half-mile into the sky and was shook loose from the dragon’s back like a wet dog shaking the water from his coat. Vast batlike wings snapped open, and Ojisandemo, father of all dragons lifted into the air.

Hours Later, Near Ha’th

Rouie pointed and grunted.

Fri-Wynn looked up. “Damn, Roo! That’s a big-ass dragon. Its gotta be ten, maybe twenty times the size of that one we killed on the positive energy plane!”

Rouezue nodded in agreement, “Uh huh. More that two. That’s for sure.”

“Come on Roo, lets get inside before Tanis sees it. He’ll want to go kill it or something.” The pair entered the giant spider’s belly and sealed the door tightly behind them.

As Fri-Wynn walked onto the bridge, Airteax asked if everything was all clear. “Yep,” Fri-Wynn responded. “Lets get otta here. I’m sick of this time!”

“Now you’re sure you can control this thing Tanis?” Ten-Eyeck asked.

Tanis replied, “Um, no, this thing’s brain is a thousand times more alien as anything I’ve ever probed. Controling it ain’t gonna be as easy as vomiting up a molten sword or anything.

“That’s not very reassuring, Tanis,” Yukkie chided.

“Nope, but do you got a better idea?” Tanis responded.

“Nope,” Fri-Wynn said, so kick lets go already. Kick this sucker in the id and make her take us to the year 2499. I got a wedding to go to.”

“You’re not marrying that Mila chick are you Fri-Wynn?” Airteax asked.

“Shit no!” Fri-Wynn said, “I’m keeping her in the box until she pops out my heir and then I’ll figure out where to get rid of her. That yappy twat is already getting on my nerves with all her wining about how bitchy her girlfriend turned out to be and how that Brom dude fucked her over and how cursed her life turned out to be. I mean shit, man, the only way to shut her up is to stick something in her mouth!”

While pulling out a stiletto, “I could kill her for you,” Drake interjected, “but you’d have to let me have her body when she’s dead.”

“No!” Tanis and Yukkie barked in unison.

“You never want to let me have any fun,” Drake grumbled as he twirled his dagger.

“Anyway,” Fri-Wynn continued, “Lets get the heck otta here Tanis and get you married before we get caught up in some other bullshit adventure.”

“All right, here goes!”

The End of Onland IV

The War (Continued)

Butchery Hill

The sun was just coming up over the horizon. From the hilltop, Aelwold could see Vitruvia in the distance; the duomo of the Cathedral of Onn, the Imperial Palaces, the two rings of massive impregnable stone walls.

Ewein grimaced. “How do things look, Aelwold?”

Aelwold looked back down at the Vangorean camp. It was in ruins. Tens of thousands of dead lay scattered in the valley below. What was left of the army had pulled back. Most actually had fled when the half-men berserked. But now, they were being rallied by Pharaoh and re-grouping about a half mile away.

This gave the Dramboreans a much needed break from the near constant fighting of the last sixteen hours. Not that they had any chance to rest, as they were immediately put to work assisting the wounded men still on the battlefield.

Ewein had lost a leg in the fighting, or at least, it was so badly mangled, that amputation would be the only way to save the knight’s life. Aelwold signaled again for the surgeon who was busy with another patient some distance away.

“Ahh, it looks good sir,” said Aelwold as he made a rough estimate of the strength of the Vangorean and Dramborean forces. The Vangoreans had suffered massive casualties, but so had the Dramboreans. Aelwold estimated that Drambor was only outnumbered about two to one now, rather than six to one. “I think we’ve broken them. They won’t be able to put up much of a fight now.”

“Good,” said Ewein, “the Wise Lord’s blessing is upon us today.”

“Yes sir, Onn has certainly smiled on Drambor this day.”



“Have you heard any news of my son?”

“No sir, but when last I heard, the center, where he was stationed had not taken as bad a pounding as we did.”

“Oh, how bad is that?”

“Forty-seven, sir.”

“We lost forty-seven men?”

“No sir. We’ve forty-seven left, sir. Sixty or so wounded at last count, but that number is growing with each passing minute as we pull men from the field. The rest are unaccounted for.”

“That means that only one man in five is still able to fight!”

“I’m not so good with numbers, but that sounds about right sir.”

Ewein sank, “Where is Ulred?”

“Dead, sir, as are Sir Cuthric and Sir Wyddig. Sir Aethelstan is wounded. The rest of your lieutenants are all missing.”

“Then who’s in charge?”

“Right now, that’d be me sir.”

“I see, well at least the men are in good hands. How did the crossbowmen fare?”

“We only lost one of them, sir, along with sergeant Gwydd.”

Just then the surgeon arrived. He was covered in blood and carried a stout saw whose teeth were choked with gristle and gore. “Yep. That leg will have to go before it turns septic. Hold him down sergeant.”

The Grove of Lost Souls (The Former Vangorean Camp)

Ten Rax picked through the wreckage. When he pulled away the fallen canvas, Zug’s lifeless face stared up at him, contorted into a look of panic confusion and agony. Ten Rax pulled a few coins out of his purse, closed Zug’s eyes and placed the coins on Zug’s eyelids as he said a prayer to Drax. Then he went back to searching the tent for his gear.

The Village of Fervio Garum

Gina approached the Friar on the donkey. He was dressed in the robes of a militant priest and his shaved head glistened in the sun. The expression on his face showed surprise to see a group of armed Vitruvean centurions riding outside the walls of the city.

“A great morning for a ride wouldn’t you say, friar?” the young woman spoke.

“Why yes it is.” the friar responded in his native Vitruvean, “Would you happen to know where the Dramborean army is at this moment?”

“We are in fact heading in that direction. You may accompany us if you wish. The Vangoreans are not known for their restraint upon priests of Onn. They will not be likely to show any mercy upon those they catch. But the Dramboreans are not far away. We’ve reports of a great battle taking place near the village of Pascolo Del Vino.”

Javonis needed to get to the Dramborean troops as soon as possible. Onndom would need every man in the coming battle against the minions of Ahriman gathering around Ha’th. He needed to somehow deliver his message and stop the battle.

The woman seemed to be waiting for Javonis to say something. Her gaze was steely and she had the air of a Cadre Magus. “I would be honored to have the Vitruvean Centurions escort me to the Dramborean army. And Citizen, whom might you be?”

“I, good friar, am Gina Pilius, Profanus of the Cadre and a patrician of Vitruvia,” she said, proudly displaying her silver ring. This is Julius Darius, son of Senator Darius.”

“Both a seeker and a Vitruvean patrician? Interesting. I thought that the Cadre required its members to give up all claims to former secular titles,” Javonis said while thinking to himself; `A Pilius and the young Darius. These two should be trustworthy if they are anything like their sires.’

“It is only required of those whom hold office within the Cadre to entirely break their ties with the outside world, besides, as a woman I am forbidden by Vitruvean law from bearing any true titular authority so I have nothing to give up.”

“Well, even so, I am honored to be in the company of such nobility,” Javonis said, concealing his bemusement at the woman’s pride. He rarely ever wore his gold senatorial ring, having retired some years ago to join the clergy. “I feel I am better off already.”

“Fear not, plebe,” she said, assuming that since he wore no ring he was not a full citizen, “it is the duty of the nobility to protect the lesser classes. We shall see you safely to the Dramboreans.”

“Thank you, seeker,” Javonis said as the group moved out and he pondered; If the battle had already been joined, the two armies would be less inclined to put aside their differences, particularly the Vangoreans, whom were all heathens and did not have to answer to the mother church. This would change his plans. He would probably have to contact the Vangorean generals and negotiate terms for a truce between the two armies. And that would not be so simple a matter now that blood had been spilled. But Onland needed as many able bodied men as possible, so he would have to figure out something. He hoped it was not too late.

“So Friar. What brings you to these parts?” The young Darius spoke.

“I am here to pray for peace between the two armies. The Canon has entrusted me to stop this unsanctioned war.”

“Too bad you could not get the Alsacians out of Vitruvia and let us be a sovereign state again.”

“Alas, that will have to wait for another day.” The riders headed towards Pascolo Del Vino and the hill which would become known as Butchery Hill.

The Grove of Lost Souls

Rag Zax, having recovered all of his gear, stepped back into his chariot and headed back to where Pharaoh was assembling the Vangorean troops. His guards were on foot and kept pace behind the chariot. There was little danger of Dramborean soldiers being near as they were busy tending to their wounded up on the hill.

The small grove which the path ran through seemed surreal. It was as a mote of solitude within a sea of carnage. The sun shone thru the canopy of trees and the sounds of birds chirping in their morning quest for food could be heard. The air seemed cool and the hoof-beats of the trotting horses echoed thru the grove.

Suddenly a white mist erupted around Rag Zax’s chariot. A rain of arrows sliced through his wall of guards. Rag Zax pushed forward to escape the volley of arrows. But as he emerged from the mist, something struck him in the throat sending him tumbling off of his chariot. The white toga was strung across the path could not be seen in the mist and he had charged right into it.

Rag Zax lie on his back stunned, the breath knocked from his lungs. As he fought to gather his wits, a woman came into his view. She wore naught but a black loincloth and carried a spear in her hand.

“Masters of Eversil grant me your power. Grant me the power of this blood sacrifice to empower my magic. Strengthen my will to slay my enemies, to drive the scourge from my lands.”

Rag Zax fought for his weapon but the woman drove the spear thru his throat. He had been wounded in the past and knew what pain felt like but this time it was different. He felt the essence of his soul being pulled from his mortal body. His will fought to keep his soul inside his body but it was futile. His body twitched and finally succumbed to death.

Gina pulled the spear from Rag Zax’s throat as the rest of the Vitruvean centurions made quick work of the guards. She fell to her knees as the power of the Rag Zax’s soul made her body quiver. She almost lost consciousness but managed to hold on. Things became very clear and well-defined; everything in the world seemed to be impartial.

Just then, Julius came down the path. His toga was stained red with Vangorean blood.

Gina looked up at him and smiled, but the look on his face was of concern not joy. She could not figure out why he looked that way until she realized she was holding Rag Zax’s heart in her hands.

She dropped the heart, drew the khopesh from Rag Zax’s sheath and with several chopping thrusts severed the Vangorean general’s head. “Be a sweetie and bring this to your father would you?” Gina mused. “A message to the people that the times are changing in our favor.”

“Uhh huh,” stuttered Darius in shock.

“Did you find the Dramboreans?” she continued, unphased.

“Yes, I they are not far. Gina, is that Rag Zax?”

“It was Rag Zax.” Gina said as she put the head into a sack and handed it to Julius.

The Vangorean Command Post

Teg Rax finally had his command, what there was of it, back together. All of his half-men were spent. His infantry decimated, less than one in ten men still fit for battle, and his chariots, though somewhat better off numerically, were mostly now light footmen because the horses had all either run off or been slaughtered by the berserks. 2nd corps was in worse shape, having been where the massacre started. Only 3rd corps, now under the command of Pharaoh was still mostly intact.

Butchery Hill

Down below, the Vangoreans maneuvered into attack positions. 2nd corps was to the Dramborean left, closest to the river. 1st corps was in the center. 3rd corps was to the right with its chariots backing all three corps.

The dramboreans were arrayed now much as they had been the day before, except that during the night a stout wooden barricade and ditch had been erected just below the ridge line.

“My liege,” the herald called as he approached, followed by a handful of people. “Emissaries from Artibia and Vitruvia.”

Combard turned to meet his guests.

“Friar Javonis, representative of the Father Church, Julius Darius, son of Senator Darius of Vitruvia, and his associate, Gina Pilius, Profanus of the Cadre.”

“What brings you good people, thence? Asked Combard.

Javonis, stepping forward and holding forth a scroll bearing the holy seal, replied, “A directive from the Church, your highness, the Canon wishes the cessation of hostilities between Drambor and Alsace. Onland has greater threats than squabbles between sister kingdoms.”

Combard took the scroll, cracked the seal and read. He frowned, “And has Alsace assented?”

“It has, your majesty,” Said Javonis, “as has your ally, Vrad.”

“And what of Vangor? The church holds little sway over Pharaoh.”

“Alsace has sent word to Pharaoh. Vangor’s forces shall return home.”

“Very well,” Combard said, “if it is the will of Onn, so be it. Let it not be said that Drambor failed to come to the aid of the Church in its time of need. We shall move upon Ha’th as soon as the way is…” His voice was cut off by the sounds of trumpets below signaling the advance of the Vangorean forces.

The Vangoreans moved forward in force. It would be a full assault with everything that they had. “Well, sorry to cut this short, but it looks as if I have more immediate matters to attend to. Strom,’ the King said, “see to it that the good friar and his companions are given safe escort into the city.”

“Yes, your majesty,” the Duke replied, then called out to a young knight, “Sir Quartz! See to it that the priest and his entourage make it safely back to the city.”

Recent Events - The War

La Cour Grand du Roi de Lune au Caillou du Ley

The Grand Court of the Moon King was abuzz with gossip about the imprisonment of the Grand Duke of Najat, but went absolutely silent when the herald tapped his baton on the travertine floor and announced, “Sir Marrack Larron, Knight Captain of the Knights of Onn, Knight Champion of Drambor, Victor of the Crown Jousting Tournament of Alsace, Ambassador of King Combard Tarrant of Drambor.”

Courtiers pressed back to make way for the scruffy bearded knight in a dusty, road weary cloak. Larron strode confidently forward, as if he owned the place. If his clothing was less than spectacular, particularly amongst the garishly decadent outfits of the courtiers, his arms and armor were immaculate. His meticulously crafted sword was honed to a razor’s edge. His well worn shield though scratched and dented was still stout and sturdy. His well oiled chain mail clinked slightly as he walked.

He scanned the crowd of courtiers with his eyes as he passed. The Ladies of Alsace were certainly fair to look upon, with their smooth pale skin and dark hair. And, scented with perfumes and floral fragrances, they smelled much better than their Dramborean counterparts, whom didn’t have the luxury and consequently had a more natural aroma. But most of the bitches didn’t have a brain the size of a pea, and those that did gave new meaning to the word `shrew.’

He continued forward, from tier to tier until he stood a mere five feet before the final set of steps up to the throne of Alsace. There he paused, making note of the wizards flanking the king. One he knew only by reputation; Guillame the Red Wizard of Antil. The other, he knew intimately well; Wormal Grenhalt, the Earl of Ciad.

He gave no sign that he even noticed their presence, nor the twenty Royal Guards flanking him on either side, though it was obvious that his reputation preceded him and that the Lestat was taking no chances. Larron was after all Combard’s Champion. He was the one knight trusted enough to train Combard’s three sons in the art of war. And he had bested the best Alsacean chevaliers in the last six Crown Jousting Tournaments of Alsace.

Sir Marrack bowed, deeply enough to be passable, but shallow enough to still be recognized as an insult to everyone in the court, “Greetings to the Moon King from his cousin Drambor,” he said in Dramborean. Another insult, Lestat knew full well that Sir Marrack spoke perfect Alsacean.

Philippe Lestat glared at Marrack, fuming. “Alsace welcomes our cousin’s messenger,” returning the insult. “What news do you bring us from our cousin in the east?”

“His majesty has instructed me to offer terms, your highness.”

“I see. He has finally come to his senses, then?”

“No, your highness, his terms are the same as before; you shall remove your troops from Vitruvia and Drambor shall not make war upon Alsace.”

Lestat shot forward in his chair, “What! Why does he waste my time? Two-thirds of western Drambor has fallen to my armies. Koln is under siege and will fall any day now. Then all of southern Drambor will follow.”

“The King has faith that the Crown Prince will not allow that to happen.”

“Crown Prince?” Lestat responded. Which one would that be now? You do seem to be running out of them these days. Sandur is dead. Crasmor has disappeared, vanished without a trace. Ahh, the young Eardrik? He’s but a boy, and his army is but a band of grandfathers and farm-boys with pitchforks.”

“And you wouldn’t have had anything to do with Crasmor’s disappearance would you? No, I think not.”

“So sure of yourself? So sure that the prince hasn’t made a deal with his old cousin?”

Marrack studied the king, making note of every nuance, every gesture, and the inflection of his voice. “The Crown Prince is true. He would never betray his king and country!” He turned and gazed piercingly at Grenhalt.

“Ah, well, it is no matter,” said Lestat. “Whether loyal or not, he is nowhere to be found.” Changing the subject, “And so, the matter of terms.”

“You have our terms, leave Vitruvia.”

“Leave Vitruvia, leave Vitruvia,” Philippe said, “You Dramboreans are such single-minded simpletons. Alas, you are forgetting the twenty thousand veteran soldiers that I have stationed there, not to mention Pharaoh and the Vangorean mercenaries.”

“And you are forgetting that your most able general rots in a tower, his army brought to ruin. Combard will smash Pharaoh’s army as if it was made of straw and twine. Then we will see how your twenty thousand constables fair against a real army. I hear that they are barely capable of keeping the locals under their thumb as it is. How well do you think they’ll fare with the Dramborean army outside the gate?”

“Najat was a fool!” snapped Philippe. “He didn’t follow my orders and he will pay dearly for that. But now my other vassals see my resolve. They know the price of failure, and thus they dare not fail.”

“We shall see their resolve Your Highness. The seeds of discontent are strong amongst the people of Alsace. As Najat’s defeat reveals, the common man has lost the will to fight.”

“The common man?” asked Lestat mockingly, “What cares a King about the common man?”

“A great deal, I should hope,” replied Sir Marrack, “It is the burden of the nobility to care for the people under his charge.”

Philippe sighed and spoke as if talking to an ignorant child, “Ahhh, so naïve. You would not last a day in the Court of Alsace, Larron. Commoners are chattel. One need not concern oneself with peasants. Peasants are here for our pleasure, to serve us, the chosen people, the nobility, the blessed of Onn, whom by divine right were created superior. The only people a nobleman needs concern himself with are his peers.”

“That is abundantly clear,” Sir Marrack said with disdain as he looked around at the opulence of the court and thought about all of the starving peasants and commoners of Alsace, all of the Alsacean soldiers that fought and died so that the privileged few of Alsace could look down on them from on high with contempt. “But alas, it is not only the commoners that lack resolve. Many of your vassals desire nothing more than an end of hostilities, to return home to their manors and their wives and their mistresses. How much longer can you keep them in line? How much longer before they realize that it’s a better idea to band together and topple a king than to fall one by one by one like Najat?”

Philippe jumped to his feet, roaring with anger, “How dare you come into my court and attempt to sow the seeds of rebellion! Any man that stands against me shall forefeet his title, his lands, his head! And they all know that with dread certainty. None shall fall prey to your foolish games.” He sat back down on the throne. “Alsace grows weary of this childish banter. These are our terms. You will take them back to our cousin and he will assent or we will drive him into the outlands to live amongst the goatmen! Firstly, Vitruvia shall remain under the protectorship of Alsace. Secondly, in reparation for the grievous losses that Drambor has wrongfully inflicted upon us Drambor shall cede sovereignty of the Earldom of Ciad unto Alsace. Lastly, as a gesture of good will, we shall yield unto our cousin Drambor all of the lands of eastern Drambor conquered during the recent hostilities less any lands within one hundred miles of the Protectorship of Vitruvia.”

“Alsace wants Ciad? I see,” said Marrack. He turned to face the wizard to Lestat’s left. It has been some time old friend, hasn’t it? I wasn’t expecting to see you here, considering you were supposed to be cut off at Castle Ciad while Bonecrusher ravaged the south. But, of course, we now know that Bonecrusher was your apprentice. Tell me, how is it that the apprentice of the Earl of Ciad ends up leading an orc horde against his own king?”

“Combard never appreciated my talents,” Grenhalt replied. “I decided to teach him a lesson. At the last moment, I would have broken free of my confinement at Ciad and slain Bonecrusher and in the process become the savior of Drambor and been granted the respect that I deserve. And if that fool hadn’t allowed himself to be killed by Lyssaer it would have worked.”

Marrack’s eyes turned to slits. Things were suddenly crashing into place. “Ahh, I see now. You were to come to the King’s aid, to save the day,” his voice raising, “the same way that you did when the Combard was poisoned?”

“Ah yes, that,” said Grenhalt. “So sorry to use you old boy, but I needed that poison and that damned dwarf out bid me for the black fruit.”

“Yes, which you used on the King!”

“A fool I was not to suspect you, of course, by the time I’d returned to Drambor, the King was cured and you were his savior. What I didn’t know was that you already had the white fruit, the only thing that could save the Kings life. All you had to do was sit back and wait while the Priests of Onn failed and failed again in their attempts to save Combard’s life. Then once they had all given up hope, you miraculously came up with an antidote.”

“Yes!” growled Grenhalt, “But he still wouldn’t give me my due. And for that he will pay!”

“No,” Marrack said, drawing his sword, “You shall!”

As soon as Marrack reached for his blade, the royal guard rushed forward with their halberds to surround the king.

Meanwhile Grenhalt unleashed a meteor swarm at Marrack and a conflagration erupted around the Dramborean champion.

The royal guards trembled as Marrack casually strode from the inferno, unharmed but for a bright glow from his now pearly white luminescent skin. “Parlour tricks? You’ll have to do better than that old man”

Grenhalt’s eyes were wide with terror.

“Kill him!” cried the King as he fled in panic, followed by the magus.

Marrack laughed as he began to slaughter the guardsman, “So much for diplomacy.”

A camp on the Ulga River, 25 miles from Vitruvia

Aelwold paced back and forth during his watch. Why had he come back to Drambor? He knew that he’d end up getting conscripted. And so, here he was, back in the army. Oh well. At least it was safer than traveling with that lizard man and his half-demon brother.

A lone figure approached.

“Who goes there,” challenged Aelwold.

“I bring orders for your commander. Where is your lieutenant?” the man responded.

“What is the password?” Aelwold asked, his pike ready.

“Providence,” replied the man. “Good to see that your lieutenant keeps up discipline.”

“As you say, Lord,” Aelwold replied. He could tell that this man was a nobleman by his speech and by the way he carried himself with unshakable confidence, “this way.”

The nobleman followed Aelwold. He was old, older even than Aelwold by a few years, which somehow made the grizzled veteran feel better about his own plight. Even this old nobleman could not avoid the king’s call to arms. Yep, they were all in the same boat together.

They stopped outside the lieutenant’s tent. Aelwold held his torch near to the canvas so that its light would shine through, then cleared his throat, “Lieutenant Ewein, there is a dispatch here from command, Sir.”

The lieutenant stirred, “I’ll be right out, carry on sergeant.”

“Yes sir!” he snapped then went back to his watch, leaving the old nobleman standing in the darkness.

When Aelwold next passed, the lieutenant and the nobleman were talking outside the tent. Aelwold paused near the fire to warm himself and strained to overhear what they were saying. They spoke a mixture of Dramborean and battle-tongue;

“They are but a few miles ahead of us. We will engage them on the morrow.”

“Excellent, the men have been itching for a good stand-up fight. All of this hiding in the forest and hit and run business has grown wearisome.”

“Quite,” said the nobleman, “but necessary. Until now we dared not a full engagement. And they will expect the same tomorrow, but we will surprise them by meeting them head-on.”

“How is the ground?” asked the lieutenant.

“The ground is good. The river covers our left flank and our battle line should be able to spread to the right far enough to hold the hilltop here.” He pointed at a map before them. “But, we will still be outnumbered more than six-to-one. And among their host are many battle-hardened veterans and half-men berserks.”

Berserks! Aelwold thought, Just great! The half-men berserks of Vangor were feared and renowned all across Onland. It was rumored that the half-men had no fear, that they’d been used against demonbrand and that though the berserks went into certain death (or worse) against the demon army, that they did so unflinchingly, and fought to the last man. Aelwold didn’t know how much of these rumors were true, but he did know that during his 20-plus years of service in the Dramborean army he’d never known a man that’d been up against berserks and lived to tell of it.

La Cour Grand du Roi de Lune au Caillou du Ley

Marrack breathed heavily, “these guys are pretty good,” he thought as he prepared for their next rush, “If they had another company here, I might even be in trouble.”

“Who is this guy!” said one of the guards incredulously, “the great great grandson of Garrand Du Grun?”

“Silence!” snapped the captain, “stay focused. We can take him!” He sounded more as if he was trying to convince himself than rally his men.

“Du Grun was a fraud,” Marrack said.

An Alsacean courtier walked forward, apparently unconcerned by the ring of royal guards or Marrack’s blood dripping blade. He bowed politely before the Dramborean, “Garrand Du Grun was the savior of Alsace! He is our greatest hero.”

“He killed a few goblins, Minister Thalos,” replied Marrack. “That hardly makes one a hero.”

Minister Thalos was dressed impeccably, in a crimson doublet with black hose, “Whether goblins or not, he single-handedly defeated an entire invading army, and for this He is the beloved of our people.”

“The Alsacean people? Or their overlords? Alsace is decadent and corrupt and its people are little more than slaves. Such is the legacy of Garrand Du Grun. How does this make him a hero?

Thalos stroked his jet black goatee, He sighed as if talking to an ignorant child, “Alsace is the future of Onland. Garrand Du Grun is a hero because we say so. Because we will make the history.”

“And to hell with the facts?”

“To hell? How quaint,” said Thalos, grinning mischievously, “Du Grun is the blessed of Onn. How could he possibly go to hell?”

Marrack glowered. “In life, Onn sometimes smiles on the fool. But you are mistaken Minister, the hag waits for all those whom are unworthy to join the Wise Lord in heaven; the fool… and his progeny alike.”

“Yes, well we shall see,” said Thalos, “but in the mean time we live in the real world. And in the real world one must be pragmatic. Our good cousins from Drambor should be less concerned with the next life and worry more about this one.”

“I desire less to debate you, Minister Thalos, than you desire to cross swords with me, so unless you wish to test out your theory along with your kinsman here,” Marrack said gesturing to score of fallen guardsmen, “I suggest you stand aside and let me pass.”

The minister cleared his throat and bowed before stepping aside. “Perhaps another time.”

The Dramborean Camp

After his watch Aelwold passed back by the lieutenant and the old nobleman on his way to bed.

“Once you are heavily engaged with the half-men a unit of chariots will loop behind the lines and attempt to flank you. He will be with them. It is our only chance.”

“Are you sure he will be there? How do you know?”

“He will be there. It is Onn’s will. I have seen it.”

“I understand,” the lieutenant said.

“Do not fail Sir Ewein. All our hopes rest with you and your men.”

“We will not fail, Your Majesty.”

Aelwold stopped dead in his tracks. ‘Your Majesty.’ The King!

“I trust that you won’t,” said the old man as he rose. He strode back toward the center of camp pausing to slap Aelwold on the shoulder along the way. “Get some sleep sergeant. Tomorrow’s your big day.”

25 miles from Vitruvia, 6 hours before the Battle of Pascolo Del Vino

The army was almost ready to move when Bodo arrived.

Aelwold watched as the Earl cantered up to the lieutenant followed by his son and two squires. Behind them rode six common soldiers. They were all gristled veterans. All had oddly shaped items wrapped in burlap sticking out of their saddlebags. Aelwold pondered what might be hidden within.

“Good tidings Sir Ewein,” said Bodo.

“Good morning you grace,” replied the lieutenant.

“I hope you’re ready for a good fight, Sir, our scouts have spotted the Vangoreans moving our direction. They are several miles closer than the King anticipated. We may not be able to reach high ground before them if their scouts have also spotted us,” Bodo said, sounding concerned.”

“I understand Earl Bodo.”

“We will have to march double-time if there is any hope of beating them to the field of battle. I hope your men are well rested.”

“They are, your grace.”

“Good. The plan remains the same. You will be the right flank. Do you understand Ewein? You are the end of the line.”

“I understand. We will deny the enemy. They shall not be allowed to flank us, your Grace.”

“Very well, here are the crossbowmen that the King told you of. Keep them safe until the appointed time.”

“I should like to see one of these marvelous devices,” said Ewein.

“Perhaps after the battle, Sir,” replied the Earl. “They should be kept well hidden until the chariots come close. It isn’t likely the Vangoreans will know what they are, but it is imperative that the Vangoreans think that your unit has no ranged attack capabilities. Otherwise Pharaoh will not pass close enough to get a good shot.”

“Of course, your grace, I understand.”

“May Onn’s blessing be upon you today,” said the earl, then turned his mount and cantered back toward command. His squires followed, leading the six horses from which the soldiers had dismounted and removed their oddly shaped burlap packages.

“Uther! Wilford! Cuthric! Aelwold! Gwydd! Aethelbald!” the lieutenant shouted. “Front and center!”

Aelwold and the others formed a line before the lieutenant.

“Today is the day we either win the war or lose it,” the lieutenant shouted. “If we lose it, it’s because you six screwed up!”

The six veterans all stood at attention as the lieutenant continued, now addressing the entire company. “We’re gonna get dirty today boys, really filthy bloody dirty. We’re going to be outnumbered; six of their men for every one of ours. We’re going to be tired from humping it double-time it up-hill all morning. And then, to top it all off, we’re going to be up against the biggest, meanest, toughest bastards in the entire Vangorean army. That’s right; we’re gonna be knee deep in half-men berserks!”

“I’m not gonna lie to you. Most of you boys won’t survive. But none of you have wives or families anyway. That’s why you were re-assigned to this unit last month. But you’re gonna go in there and show those mutant juggernaut freaks that you’re just as mean and just as tough and just as stark raving crazy as they are!”

“And do you want to know why? You’re gonna do it because its your job. And you’re gonna do it because its your duty. And you’re gonna do it because your King and country commands it. And you’re gonna do it because if you don’t; we lose the war!”

He looked at Aelwold and the other five veterans he’d called out. “You lugs,” he said, and then pointed at the six newcomers with burlap sacks. “You see those fellows there? Those fellows are your responsibility. Anything happens to them and you better pray to the Wise Lord that you don’t make it through the day, because I’ll see to it personally that the rest of your days are a torment worse than death. Those guys got a job to do; a job appointed by Onn himself! And its your job to see to it they live long enough to do their job. Understand?”

“Yes Sir!” Aelwold replied in unison.

“Good. Take those six around to the rear and form up. It’s time to move out.”

Meanwhile, Outside Vitruvia

The fields outside the city were covered with a blanket of shallow pits. Once covered and camouflaged, these pits would conceal more than 100,000 half-men. The Dramboreans would have to pass this way to engage the main force. Not that directly engaging the Vangorean army made any sort of tactical sense, but Pharaoh’s seers had told him that the Dramborean King would do just that.

So, based on their fore-knowledge, a plan was devised. When the Dramboreans arrived, First Corps would pull back, seemingly in order to regroup. The Dramboreans, seeing an advantage would press forward, intent on engaging First Corps before they could regroup. In so doing, they would unknowingly pass by the berserks. Once the Dramboreans and First Corps were heavily engaged, a signal would be given and the half-men would spring from their hiding places and hit the Dramboreans from the rear. Simultaneously, Second and Third Corps would be closing in to deal with anything that the berserks left behind. First Corps would be decimated, but that was a small price to pay for the ability to crush the entire western army in one devastating blow.

It would utterly destroy any hope for Drambor to resolve the Vitruvean conflict through military action. They would be forced to negotiate. And Vangor, who had already stuffed its coffers with Alsacean gold, being on the winning side of the war and having been the instrument of Drambor’s destruction, would stand to profit further still. They could demand practically anything in the treaty agreement and neither Drambor nor Alsace would be in any position to refuse.

8 miles from Vitruvia, 4 hours before the Battle of Pascolo Del Vino

The sky was clear blue. Pharaoh ordered a slave to remove the canopy from his palanquin so that he could gaze up at the wispy clouds that were beginning to blow in from the south. He was supposed to inspect Third Corps, stationed ten miles east today, but had decided to stop here to relax on a hillside overlooking the Ulga to the north, maybe have a swim before lunch, then drink some wine and read the dispatches that had arrived just before he’d left First Corps this morning.

Such a beautiful day. Shame to waste it with some boring inspection. Everything was in order anyway. It always was. That’s what mamluk generals were for. Besides, the reports said that the Dramborean army wouldn’t be able to reach Vitruvia for another week. Plenty of time to prepare his trap. It was almost done now. Fools, they wouldn’t know what hit them.

19 miles from Vitruvia, 4 hours before the Battle of Pascolo Del Vino

The riders pulled up before the King’s retinue. Their horses were frothy with sweat and snorted as they sucked in air through flared nostrils.

Gasping for breath himself, Wallacht addressed the Knight Commander of the Royal Rangers, “They’ve spotted us Sir! We’ve been trailing a Vangorean scouting party for the past three days. They picked up the scent early this morning and about an hour ago took off like rampaging centaurs straight towards Vitruvia. We tried to cut them off, but they outran us. They’ll report in within the hour.”

Combard had ridden forward as the ranger reported in and stood beside the Knight Commander. “Thank you. Wallacht, isn’t it?”

“Yes, you highness,” Wallacht replied brightly.

“Well done Wallacht. “Have yourself a drink and cool off a bit before you switch out horses and head back out.” He tossed the ranger a silver flask full of fine Alsacean wine. “I have a special job for you Wallacht. Report back to me personally when you’re ready to head out”

The King turned to his herald. “I was hoping for another hour before they spotted us. Signal double-quick-time. It’s going to be closer than two gnats humping, but we have to beat them to the punch.”

Signalmen started flashing flags.

Thirty seconds later the army lunged forward.

10 miles from Vitruvia, 3 hours before the Battle of Pascolo Del Vino

Pharaoh was supposed to inspect Third Corps today, but he was nowhere to be seen. Commander Rag Zax pondered what to do. The rider had just delivered news that the Dramboreans were on their doorstep. Thus their trap was ruined. Most of the pits had been dug, but there was no time to cover them and adequately camouflage them. Thus, at best, they were only useful to delay a charge through that portion of the battlefield. But they were located in such a position that no one in his right mind would want to attack the Vangoreans from that direction anyway; utterly useless.

Vangor would have to take the battle to the Dramboreans. He thought about the ground around Vitruvia. Where would be the best place to meet the enemy? He remembered their early discussions. Ten Rax, the mamluk general of 1st corps had suggested the highlands a few miles south of their current position. The highlands now seemed like their best option.

He commanded the rider to return to 1st corps and tell Ten Rax that 3rd Corps was mobilizing and would be moving to the highlands.

He also sent scouts out to scour the countryside for Pharaoh.

10 miles from Vitruvia, 2 1/2 hours before the Battle of Pascolo Del Vino

3rd Corps was just about ready to move out when Pharaoh arrived.

The commander explained the situation to Pharaoh, whom seemed none too pleased. Then he explained his plan, at which point Pharaoh flew into a rage. Pharaoh insisted that they stick to the original plan. It was a good plan, he said. They would still catch the Dramboreans with their pants down. They would still crush them with one mighty blow.

Pharaoh ordered 1st Corps to move into their assigned attack position and no further. Against his wishes, the commander complied with Pharaoh’s orders.

Outside Vitruvia, 1 hour before the Battle of Pascolo Del Vino

Third Corps arrived in their attack position, only to find that 1st Corps had pulled out. General Rag Zax waited for Pharaoh to calm down, then asked what Pharaoh wished to do, as politely as possible, so as not to become the object of Pharaoh’s ire.

3 1/2 miles from Vitruvia, 1 hour before the Battle of Pascolo Del Vino

The scouts reported spotting the enemy approximately one mile ahead of the army. That meant that they were closer to the battlefield than the Dramboreans. Combard knew that he had to get to the high ground first. But that was not possible unless the Vangoreans could be stalled.

If he sent his cavalry out ahead of the infantry, they could get to the hills ahead of Vangor. But they would be fatigued by the hard ride. His hope would be that upon seeing the Dramboreans on the high ground, the Vangorean general would hesitate, giving Combard’s infantry time to arrive on the scene.

If the Vangorean general ordered an immediate assault on the hills, Combard would lose his cavalry, would lose the high ground, and would lose the war. But there was no other choice. He had to gamble.

The signal was sent out and within minutes, Drambor’s cavalry was surging forward at a full gallop, leaving the jogging infantrymen in their dust.

3 miles from Vitruvia, 1/2 hour before the Battle of Pascolo Del Vino

1st Corps moved steadily forward. Ten Rax expected to see 3rd Corps ahead of him, atop the hills of Pascolo Del Vino. He squinted. Yes, indeed, he could see troops on the rise, spread out from the riverbanks up to one of the larger hilltops. “General Rag Zax was good,” he thought to himself. “Just how I’d have arrayed my troops.”

He looked again. Something didn’t seem quite right. He didn’t see any chariots. “Perhaps they are deployed beyond the crest of the hill? But that’s odd. Why would the chariots be in front of the infantry?” Then he realized that he wasn’t looking at infantry.

“Those are mounted Dramborean knights!”

Atop Butchery Hill, 1/2 hour before the Battle of Pascolo Del Vino

Strom, Duke of Koln looked down from the hilltop as 1st Corps column began forming for battle. “What do you think, boys?” he asked, turning to the three brothers.

“I wish Blasmar was here,” said Sir Quartz, breathing heavily.

“Yea,” said Sir Feldspar, “Jellybean would have a field day with these guys. Wonder what He’s up to?”

“I think I need a drink,” chimed in Sir Topaz, fumbling for his flask.

Quartz sighed.

“Hey, give me a hit of that, Tope!” said Feldspar.

Topaz took three or four large swigs from the flask then tossed it to his brother, “Here, you can finish it off, there’s only a swallow or two left.”

Quartz shot Feldspar a disgusted look, “You’re getting to be as bad as him!”

“What!” Feldspar countered, we’re probably all going to die today anyway. Might as well go out feeling a little toasty.”

Topaz laughed.

Quartz wheeled his horse and pulled up next to the Duke. “They seem to be waiting for something.”

“Indeed,” replied Strom, “But for what? And for how long?

The Vangorean lines, Opening Engagement: the Battle of Pascolo Del Vino

“Where in hell was Rag Zax?” thought Ten Rax. “He should have arrived before us. We should hold the high ground; make the Dramboreans attack our position, not the other way around.”

He studied the ground, looking for the best approach to assault the Dramboreans. It worried him that he saw no infantry on the ridge line. “Where were they hiding?”

Third Corps was missing and 2nd Corp wouldn’t be able to make it here for another six to eight hours. Rax commanded but a single corps. That meant that he outnumbered the Dramboreans, but they had the ground in their favor. The ground could turn a battle against you, even when outnumbering your opponent. And the threat of being flanked made him cautious.

He’d sent out scouts, and they’d not returned. And that made him double cautious.

“Send a company of chariots to loop around behind the hill,” he ordered. “I need to know if their infantry is back there or waiting somewhere to spring a trap!”

The orders were passed along and a company of chariots moved out.

Atop Butchery Hill

“Well, it looks like they’re up to something now,” Strom said. He watched as the chariots moved out.

After a few moments, “It looks like they’re trying to get around behind us,” said Topaz.

Strom grunted, “Indeed. Any sign of the footmen yet?

“Not yet, my liege,” replied Quartz.

“Heel draggers!” exclaimed Feldspar. “I bet they decided to call it quits, go back home for wine and women and song.”

“Huh!” said Topaz, “I dinna know that was an option. What in the Lano’s name are we doing here?”

“We’re about to get bloody,” replied Feldspar, “If those war-buckets get behind us and see there’s nobody there, we’ll be finished faster than Topaz in a whorehouse.”

“Indeed,” agreed Strom. “Mount up. As soon as their lead buggies pass that boulder,” he pointed at a large outcropping down below, “I want you to signal a charge for first and second company. But befor that order every third man from the remaining companies to pull out of the line and come around behind the lines, out of sight, to fill in our position as soon as we move out.”

Teg Lax’s Coffin

Captain Teg Lax lead his company of chariots up a broad ravine west of the hilltop. A few hundred yards further he’d be at the top of the ravine and able to see the back side of the hill. So far he’d seen no sign of the enemy infantry. But he’d know soon enough.

As they passed a large outcropping, he looked up and saw the end of the Dramborean lines on the hilltop. It would be a very steep ascent from here. There’d be a bloody price to pay charging up that hill. He was glad that he no longer served in the infantry. Chariots were typically only used on open ground; to harass the enemy, or occasionally to split their lines with a charge. They were never used to attack up-hill. This suited Teg Lax just fine.

A shout caught him off guard. He turned to see two full companies of heavy infantry charging down on his command. He’d heard no signal from the Dramborean lines, and cursed himself for forgetting that he’d heard that the Dramboreans often used some sort of secret battle language to silently pass orders to their troops. “Turn around!” shouted the captain.

His herald began blowing his horn.

But it was too late. In fact, the order to turn only made things worse for the Vangoreans. As the chariots tried to maneuver in the tight quarters of the ravine, the Dramboreans crashed through them, splitting their column in twain then wheeled around and hit them again.

The first charge had taken out a third of Teg Lax’s command. The second was worse. If the tight quarters of the ravine weren’t bad enough, the log jam created by those chariots overturned in the first charge made any sort of maneuvering at all completely impossible.

Teg Lax had survived the first charge, but his herald hadn’t. He shouted meaningless orders as the Dramboreans came crashing in again.

The Vangorean lines

“Damn fool!” cursed Ten Rax. “What sort of idiot takes his chariots up that ravine? It was suicide!” But, on the positive side of things; now the hilltop was empty. It might just be his best chance to seize the high ground before the Dramboreans could mop up the chariots and re-form.

“Order four companies of berserks to hit them along the riverbanks. Keep the rest in reserve.” The berserks began to move forward through the Vangorean lines.

“As soon as they’re through the lines, send the regular infantry to assault the high ground and bring up the archers behind them to Harry their middle and prevent them from reinforcing the hilltop. Keep the remaining chariots in reserve. No need throwing them away just yet.”

“On my signal!”

La Cour Grand du Roi de Lune au Caillou du Ley

Javonis bowed before King Phillepe of Alsace, “I bring with me tidings from Artibia, your majesty. The Church requests that Alsace cease its hostilities with Drambor and Vrad and take up its arms instead in a common cause, for the glory of Onn.” He held out a scroll. “The Barons of Vrad have already agreed to such terms and I bear with me an identical dispatch to be delivered unto Combard, King of Drambor.”

The King nodded to his herald whom took the scroll, returned to the dais, clearing his throat as he broke the canonical seal and unrolled the parchment;

Guy Du Ronde, cantor, servant of the servants of Onn, to all who are willing to defend the Onnic faith, greeting and apostolic benediction.

We hereby inform you that the bearer of this letter, on his recent return from across the sea [from Silvercrest], came to Artibia to visit us. He repeated what we had heard from many others, that a cult of the Dark One had overcome the Onnish monestary at Ha’th and with horrible cruelty had devastated everything there with hellfire from the sky, and were now governing the conquered lands with tyrannical violence, and that they had slain many thousands of Onnish men and Rakasta as if they were but sheep.

If we love Onn and wish to be recognized as Onnish, we should be filled with grief at the misfortune of this great bastion of faith and learning and the murder of so many Onnish faithful. But simply to grieve is not our whole duty. The example of the Prophet and the bond of fraternal love demand that we should lay down our lives to liberate them. “Because he has laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren,” [1 Prophecies 3:16]. Know, therefore, that we are trusting in the mercy of Onn and in the power of his might and that we are striving in all possible ways and making preparations to render aid to the Onnic peoples of Ha’th as quickly as possible.

Therefore we beseech you by the faith in which you are united through Lano the Prophet in the adoption of the crusade of Onn, and by the authority of Sacropietas, prince of the Eternal Goodness, and his earthly avatar; the holy cannon, we admonish you that you be moved to proper compassion by the wounds and blood of your brethren and the danger of the aforesaid lands and that, for the sake of Lano, you undertake the difficult task of bearing aid to your brethren.

Send messengers to us at once inform us of what Onn may inspire you to do in this matter.

Phillepe smiled broadly, he hardly could believe his ears, “Alsace never desired war with her brothers. Should Drambor agree to concord,” which he knew absolutely they would, under the circumstances, “Alsace shall heartily agree to armistice.”

“It must be the will of Onn,” thought Phillepe. Just when the tides seemed to be turning against Alsace, the Church of Onn had delivered unto him victory.

The Vangorean lines

Ten Rax watched the battle. The initial Dramborean charge had inflicted heavy losses on the Vangorean center, but now Vangor’s superior numbers were starting to push the Dramboreans back. The half-men were engaged along the riverbank at the right flank and the signal to berserk had just been sounded. They would make quick work of the enemy there and once finished, would turn on one another until no one was left standing on the riverbank. Then the way would be clear for a flanking move. On the left, the Dramborean knights that had charged Teg Lax’s command were finishing up and beginning to reform. They would either loop around behind the Dramborean lines into a supporting position or hit the flank of the Vangorean’s assaulting the hilltop. Most likely, the latter, thought Ten Rax. He ordered archers forward to harry their charge and brought up infantry to the left of the center, forming a dog-leg line of battle, thus denying the Dramboreans the possibility of flanking the assault force. Everything seemed to be going well.

Vangorean 2nd Corps Camp, 12 miles from Vitruvia

It hadn’t taken long to catch up with the patrol. Wallacht slipped into the empty position at the rear of the half-man formation. His heart raced.

The half-man next to him looked over.

Wallacht wore nothing but a loincloth and carried nothing but the dead half-man’s khopesh. He felt extremely vulnerable as the half man looked him up and down.

The half-man frowned and Wallacht’s heart skipped a beat. But then the sergeant called out for the patrol to halt and the half-man snapped to attention, completely forgetting about Wallacht.

“All right you dirtbags!” shouted the sergeant, “Time to take a dump! You know the drill; I want both number one and number two. Be finished and back here in five minutes. Fall out!”

Wallacht followed the pack of half-men into a thicket. One half-man pulled out a spade and quickly dug a stout hole. Then the half-men went about their business, one-by-one. Wallacht followed suit. Then, the hole was filled in and the half-men went back to the sergeant.

Wallacht took a position near the middle of the formation this time. Soon, he was marching straight into the center of the Vangorean camp, escorted by a dozen half-men.

The Riverbank

“So, what was brilliant the plan, Bugman? We’re getting our asses handed to us by these buggers,” shouted Kerowynn over the sound of battle. The half-men were grinding them down with their superior numbers, incredible strength and tireless fortitude. While Bugman’s men were laboring heavily as they tried to hold off the half-men, the half-men, seemed unaffected by the exertion of combat. They swung their khopeshes so effortlessly and with such nonchalance that they might as well have been taking a stroll through a garden on a warm summer day.

“Well, I dunno for sure, Kerowynn, but I’m hoping that their training didn’t include swimming. When the time is right, we’re going to fall back into the river.”

“What! You don’t know? You’ve gone soft in the head! This plan is kind of a gamble, isn’t it?”

“Well, I figure; dead is dead, Kerowynn. We don’t stand a chance against these beasts head-to-head. Especially if they berserk on us, So anything’s worth a shot.”

“Bugman, you’re a crazy bastard. Do you know that?”

`Yep, that’s what my dear old mum used to tell me anyway.”

At that point, a trumpet was heard blasting out as a chariot raced by behind the Vangorean line. The half-men stopped fighting momentarily. Some fell to the ground and began rolling around. Others stood still, staring, wide-eyed, at nothing. Others began beating their chests and bellowing or tearing their hair and biting themselves.

The Dramboreans looked on aghast. “It’s just about time,” called out Bugman.

“Gee, do you think so?” eked out Kerowynn.

“On my signal, every man disengages and heads for the river. Swim out as far as you can and don’t come back until the banks are clear!”

Then the half-men were on them.

The Dramborean lines broke within twenty seconds. Half-men, wild with rage and bloodlust were all around them, clawing and biting and ripping men apart with their bare hands.

Bugman gave the signal, though it was hardly necessary as all but the most fearless men were already fleeing in abject terror. “Into the water! Now! For the love of Onn!” then plunged head-first into the icy cold water.

Teg Lax’s Coffin

“Lano protect us!” said Duke Strom as he watched the berserks engulf the Dramborean forces at the riverbank.

“Your grace, the men are ready,” said Sir Feldspar.

“Yes, of course,” the Duke said with a shudder. He turned his attention back to the hilltop and the advancing Vangorean infantry. “All right, let’s break up that rabble and give your drunken brother some relief.”

“Aye, you grace,” said Sir Quartz, “Herald! Sound the charge.”

The Vangorean lines

Why did they strip off their armor, Ten Rax wondered. Not that it would make any real difference; only prolong the agony. Nothing could stand up to a unit of half-men berserks.

Then he realized his mistake. As he watched, the Dramboreans broke contact and dove into the river and began to be carried away by the swift current. They didn’t have to stand up to the berserks.

Under normal circumstances, Half-men, with their incredible strength and fortitude, are very good swimmers and those under his command were no exception. But, when a berserk enters a fit of rage, his only concern is bloody murder! Swimming is not an option. Drowning is not even a consideration; the water filling his lungs only registering as a minor annoyance. Thus, the berserks plunged into the river following after the Dramboreans, and unable to focus on anything but driving their swords into the soft innards of the enemy, they began to drown.

“Those slippery bastards!” Ten Rax cursed, “That was a third of my compliment of berserks!”

“Shall I bring up the reserves commander?” asked his aide.

“No Zug, I want regular infantry into that hole as quickly as possible, though. Before they can reinforce their line. Then we can wheel and hit them from the flank.”

“At once commander.”

Commander Ten Rax couldn’t help admiring the Dramboreans. That was sheer genius. But he made a mental note never to allow half-men to berserk anywhere near water ever again.

Butchery Hill

Strom’s knights met the Vangoreans one-hundred yards the down hill from where Topaz was already engaged. But this time, the Vangoreans were ready. They set their spears against the mounted cavalry charge and proved their valiance as the huge warhorses crashed into their lines. The Vangoreans kept formation and thus in that first deadly charge dealt out ruin almost as well as they received.

A wild melee broke out as the Dramborean horsemen mixed with the Vangorean foot-soldiers. The Dramboreans used the size and speed and strength of their heavy warhorses to advantage, as well as their height advantage as they wheeled and slashed and trampled, guiding their mounts with their knees. The Vangoreans used their sheer numbers to swarm the Dramboreans, in an attempt to separate, surround and overwhelm individual knights and drag them kicking from their mounts where they could be dealt with.

Thus the carnage there was on par with the slaughter already ensuing above them.

The Riverbank, One and One-Half Miles Down River

Kerowynn dragged himself up onto the muddy riverbank, struggling to pull Bugman up beside him, “Don’t you die on me!”

“Oh relax, I’ve had much worse,” Bugman replied, though his grimace betrayed his falsehood, “I survived the Citadel, you’ll remember.”

Kerowyn looked at the blood coming from the gut wound. It didn’t look good to him. “If you say so, but let’s tend to that all the same. I think I still have some Chateau St.Garche in my pack. That’ll at least clean out the wound so that it won’t go septic.”

“Alsacean brandy, ay? That’s contraband, you know.”

“Em, yes, well all men have their vices.” Kerowynn pulled a skin out of his waterlogged pack. “Only a bit left anyhow.”

“Yea, well give me a nip of that before you waste it all cleaning out this scratch.”

“Hmm, I could use a wee snort myself,” Kerowynn said as he untied the stopper. “But the look of that `scratch’ makes me want to down the whole bladder.”

Armistice Hill

Aelwold grunted as the unit lumbered up the hill. He could hear the sound of fighting up ahead. They couldn’t be far now. “Thank the wise lord; at least all this running was just about at an end!”

As he crested the hill, he saw a shallow valley and then rising up, an even larger hill beyond. Atop the hill, he saw Dramborean pennons flying. “Uh! More blasted hills!” he groaned, “Why couldn’t the Wise Lord see fit to make the world flat?

A horse passed him close by. “You’ll be glad for that hill before this day is out, you old goat,” Sir Ewein chided.

“Aye captain, I reckon I will. Provided I don’t collapse before I reach the summit!” Aelwold retorted.

Ewein laughed, “You’d better not collapse, sergeant. And that’s an order. Don’t you forget that you have some pups to look after.” He gestured to the crossbowmen trudging along behind him.

“Of course, Captain. But while you’re at it, why don’t you just order up an earthquake to swallow up all those Vangoreans over yonder hill?”

“Ha ha!” Ewein laughed, “Just make it up the hill, all right.”

Aelwold stopped; leaned on his spear, “Yes Sir. Just give me a minute to catch my wind.”

Sergeant Uther plodded past him. “Stop for a spot of tea, ay Aelwold?”

“Bollocks!” Aelwold spat as he started forward again, “I’ll be waiting for you at the top Uther.”

The Vangorean lines

“It’s no good Zug, damn it!” cursed Ten Rax, “With those reinforcements we’re not going to push them off that hill, not with our regulars, anyway.”

“I believe you are right, commander,” replied Zug.

Ten Rax sighed, “So be it. First bring the reserves forward. Then call for a withdrawal of all engaged units. Have them reform behind the fresh units. Then bring forward all remaining Berserk units for a full assault!”

“Yes Commander, right away!”

Butchery Hill

“They’re withdrawing your Majesty.”

“Yes,” Combard said, “Press the attack until we come under missile fire then pull back to the hilltop. They’re reorganizing; going to hit us with their shock troops. But before they do, we will make them pay.”

Vangorean 2nd Corps Camp, 12 miles from Vitruvia

By the time Wallacht had found his man, 2nd corps was well underway with their effort to break camp. “Follow me,” he said.

The half-man looked at him then stopped what he was doing and followed after Wallacht.

They marched through the camp. Wallacht tried to look as if he was on official business.

No one paid them any special notice, even as they left the camp and started working their way in the direction of Wallacht’s horse.

Butchery Hill

Morning had turned to afternoon.

As the Vangoreans shuffled their troops back and forth below, Combard raced back and forth before the Dramborean lines. The soldiers cheered and shouted with esprit de corps as the King passed. Horns blasted, drums beat, and men pounded their swords against their shields and stamped their feet.

The King raced past Aelwold’s unit once again. Aelwold heard the rising roar of voices before the King’s charger came into view and reared on hind legs turning around. Aelwold felt as if something were stuck in his throat as he watched the King, sword held aloft; skillfully guide the horse with his knees. He seemed much more kingly now, than when Aelwold had seen him at the camp the previous night. In fact, he seemed more like a god than a king. His polished armor shone in the sun like a jewel. And for a moment, Aelwold could almost swear that there was a halo about the king’s head!

The Vangorean lines

“Stop staring and get to work, damn it Zug!” snapped Ten Rax,

“Um, yes commander,” Zug said. He turned and bellowed orders to an underling, but just as he did so, Combard made another pass and the roar of the Dramboreans drown out Zug’s order.

“By Drax!” spat Ten Rax acknowledging the Dramborean King, “He certainly knows how to rouse his troops. One wonders whether they might actually believe that they stand a chance of winning.”

Zug was staring again, “No commander, I think they’re certain of it.”

“Where are those damn half-men?” Ten Rax barked, “What is taking so long?”

“It’s all the noise commander. I have to issue the same orders two and three times over before our captains get it right.”

The Village of Fervio Garum

The smell of Fervio Garum’s only export, a spicy fish-sauce that was a renowned delicacy in Vitruvia assaulted Javonis’ nostrils. Its pungent aroma reminded Javonis of home, and he longed to walk the streets of Vitruvia again. Unfortunately that would have to wait for a few days as the shallow hulled dhow had stopped several miles short of Vitruvia because the captain said that the port was closed.

Friar Javonis was plenty happy to off of the ship, having barely completed a long ocean voyage to Silvercrest when sent by Cantor Du Ronde to the court of Alsace and then on to meet up with the Dramborean army as the Canon’s emissary. He hopped over the gunwale and splashed the last two dozen feet up to the riverbank.

The latest news was that the Dramborean army was headed this way, having recently defeated the Alsaceans in the forest outside of Caillou Du Ley. But, Javonis had also heard that the Vangorean army had been hired as mercenaries by Alsace and waited outside Vangor to intercept the Dramboreans.

Hopefully, Javonis thought, he would be able to get to Combard before fighting broke out and thus save a few thousand lives. He walked up the riverbank toward the town square. He’d need a mount of some sort and could probably get a mule or donkey somewhere in the village.

The Vangorean lines

Though evenly matched in terms of numbers, the Dramborean army was vastly outclassed by the strength and fortitude of the half-men berserks. Half-men could fight for hours without even becoming winded. And they could wield their weapons with great strength, well beyond the point when an ordinary human being would have had difficulty even lifting a blade. And berserks fought with an unmatched ferocity; a cravenness for bloodletting that shocked and terrified normal men.

To their advantage, the Dramboreans had the high ground. Though it would not tire the half-men charging up the steep hillside, the tactic of holding the high ground against the Vangorean assault was still to their advantage. Also, the Dramboreans were much better armed and armored. As the half-men charged, the Dramborean longbowmen would thin their numbers. Though tough, half-men were slow, so many would fall before reaching the enemy. Once there, they would face the shield wall and spears of a well disciplined army. And once the shield wall was broken, they’d still face armored men with long swords, helms and shields while the half-men carried shorter khopesh swords and wore naught but loincloths.

Ten Rax had faced well disciplined, well armed and armored armies many times in the past, though. No matter how stout a force was before him, though, they all broke before the onslaught of half-men berserks. Ten Rax knew that today would be no different. It was a foregone conclusion.

Butchery Hill

The carnage was like nothing he had ever seen. Every man around him was covered in blood and gore and bodies were piled so deep that they almost formed a wall against the attackers. Aelwold had never faced such fearless and ferocious warriors as the half-men. They just kept coming. No matter how many times the Dramboreans pushed them back, they just came back again. Aelwold could sense that the men were failing. Though he still had some pluck in him, Aelwold could tell that the morning’s run had taken its toll. Many of the men were barely able to stand.

The berserks charged again. To his left, the line was pushed back and started to break. Aelwold called to his men to reinforce the faltering area, but it was too late. The half-men were pushing through the shield wall and into the ranks!

Then the sound of beating hooves came from behind and Aelwold saw the white horse and the King atop it, towering like a giant and heard the King’s voice ringing out over the din of battle. And Aelwold felt a well of untapped strength arising from the men around him.

The Vangorean lines

As the afternoon passed into evening, Ten Rax began to have his doubts. He had to give the Dramboreans credit. Never, in his nearly thirty years of military service had he ever seen any force stand up to berserks without panicking and running in fear. Sometimes they did so without ever swinging a single blow. But these Dramboreans had the courage of lions. They would not break.

For hours they had fought toe-to-toe with the half-men. Their king seemed to always be right where he needed to be, just in the nick of time. Again and again, Ten Rax had seen the Dramborean shield wall begin to falter, almost break, and then there would be Combard atop his snow white stallion to stir the resolve of his men and drive the half-men back. It was as if he was everywhere. And Combard not only seemed to have the instinct to be where he needed to be at the critical moment, he also had tactical cunning and prowess as well. Every one of Ten Rax’s feints was recognized as a feint. Every assault was stopped by opposing force and every retreat was taken advantage of by an advance.

Ten Rax, trained two decades ago as a mamluk and in all the years since then, had never lost a battle. He now was the commander of 1st Corps, Vangor’s most prestigious and elite military post, short of Pharaoh. He had climbed as high as he could possibly climb, as no slave could ever become Pharaoh. He was the best of the best. Yet, Ten Rax now begrudgingly admitted to himself that the Dramborean was better. It was almost as if Combard had seen the battle ahead of time and thus knew exactly where to be and when and what must be done that he might turn the tides against the Vangorean offensive. For every move that Ten Rax made, Combard was one move, or two ahead. And thus the battle ground on towards dusk.

But then, in the distance, he heard the sound of trumpets. He turned and looked. There in the distance was 2nd Corps, and at its van was Pharaoh. Combard may have stalemated him thus far, but now the Vangorean numbers were doubled!

Butchery Hill

With the addition of 3rd Corps to the Vangorean host, the Dramboreans were outnumbered almost six to one, but the arrival of Pharaoh, if anything, strengthened the resolve of the Dramborean soldiers. They continued fighting as Pharaoh and a regiment of chariots rode out towards Ten Rax’s command post.

Combard watched. 3rd Corps was an over-sized corps, numbering nearly 45,000 Vangoreans. But, comprised of two divisions of chariots and only one of infantry, thus nearly half of 3rd corps number was practically useless on the broken and hilly terrain.

Combard smiled. Pharaoh would not let all of those men sit idly by doing nothing, especially after Wallacht’s work was finished. And that would be his undoing.

The Vangorean Command Post

Pharaoh was in no hurry. The sun had set by the time he had made it to the command post, so it was hard for anyone to say what, exactly, was happening on the battlefield. But once the order had been given to berserk, there was no calling back the half-men already engaged, so there wasn’t much choice but to wait and see.

They’d keep the conflict manageable until morning, by which time, 2nd Corps would also have arrived. “Send just enough troops throughout the night to keep the Dramboreans from being able to get any sleep or to dig in any further,” thought Pharaoh. “In the morning we will crush them!”

Vangorean 2nd Corps

Wallacht and the half-man had been trailing 2nd Corps for hours and he was very tired. It was just past midnight when 2nd Corp arrived at Pascolo Del Vino.

He talked to the half-man for a few minutes, explaining the orders, demonstrated the signal, then sent him into the camp.

Once the half-man was in the Vangorean camp, Wallacht took a deep breath and blew long and hard into the horn.

“That was the signal,” thought the half-man, “Time to execute the orders.” He pulled out his trumpet and began to blow.”

The Vangorean Command Post

Ten Rax bolted upright in his hammock. “I must be dreaming!” Then he heard it again. The trumpet blasted out a general order to all berserker units; “BERSERK! BERSERK! BERSERK!”

“Oh hell,” thought Ten Rax as he scrambled for his armor and sword!

Butchery Hill

The sun was just coming up over the horizon. From the hilltop, Aelwold could see Vitruvia in the distance; the duomo of the Cathedral of Onn, the Imperial Palaces, the two rings of massive impregnable stone walls.

Ewein grimaced. “How do things look, Aelwold?”

Aelwold looked back down at the Vangorean camp. It was in ruins. Tens of thousands of dead lay scattered in the valley below. What was left of the army had pulled back. Most actually had fled when the half-men berserked. But now, they were being rallied by Pharaoh and re-grouping about a half mile away.

This gave the Dramboreans a much needed break from the near constant fighting of the last sixteen hours. Not that they had any chance to rest, as they were immediately put to work assisting the wounded men still on the battlefield.

Ewein had lost a leg in the fighting, or at least, it was so badly mangled, that amputation would be the only way to save the knight’s life. Aelwold signaled again for the surgeon who was busy with another patient some distance away.

“Ahh, it looks good sir,” said Aelwold as he made a rough estimate of the strength of the

Welcome to your Adventure Log!
A blog for your campaign

Every campaign gets an Adventure Log, a blog for your adventures!

While the wiki is great for organizing your campaign world, it’s not the best way to chronicle your adventures. For that purpose, you need a blog!

The Adventure Log will allow you to chronologically order the happenings of your campaign. It serves as the record of what has passed. After each gaming session, come to the Adventure Log and write up what happened. In time, it will grow into a great story!

Best of all, each Adventure Log post is also a wiki page! You can link back and forth with your wiki, characters, and so forth as you wish.

One final tip: Before you jump in and try to write up the entire history for your campaign, take a deep breath. Rather than spending days writing and getting exhausted, I would suggest writing a quick “Story So Far” with only a summary. Then, get back to gaming! Grow your Adventure Log over time, rather than all at once.


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