Flight of the Gryphons

An Acarthian Rider enters the tavern, quickly posts a note pulled from his scroll case to the messaging board before ducking back out to see to his horse.


The message reads:

My friends –

Fortunes on the front lines have been shifting wildly over the course of the past few weeks. The losses incurred when the two houses withdrew from the lines have been difficult to replace, but aid came in the form of Mud and Blood, Fame and Fortune, and Clockwork. These mercenary companies showed up at our encampment with a letter from Duke Wagerset conveying his regards. The aid was rather timely, indeed.

Undead forces had been holding their ground. There were a few minor skirmishes, but we could all tell something was coming. Then it did. From the eastern sky came a shape, we thought it was perhaps a griffon rider come to offer aid at the front, until it came closer, and we could see the glowing red of its eyes, and its blasted and twisted form. The damn lich has killed and animated a griffon.

The beast plowed into our lines, and the woods to the east shook as a massive force came lumbering from the Phoenix border. Out soldiers reacted quickly, and setup a defensive line, but the battle was swift. The griffon inflicted immense damage, though we chased it away with ballistae. Once it was driven off, the remainder of the force ceased getting reinforced, so we were able to mop up what was left.

The truth was plain though. Phoenix was done, and in the time Dreadrot left us alone, he smashed the biata nation. This could only mean one thing: that we had to withdraw further south. Yalinth and Garthok were long gone, as were Epyxia and Norwist, and I could only pound my fist on our campaign table when reports came back with what we already knew. If Phoenix was gone, Ungsteen and Tasis were strategically indefensible. I gave the word to make sure who was left in the are was to get out, and we made preparations to move southward.

We have arrived at Aspen Keep and are shoring up our defenses. If we were to be driven back from here, the only line of defense between us and Acarthia proper is Sparhawk keep. What I wouldn’t give for these bastards to throw themselves against the walls of Shadow Watch Keep, but we play the hands we are dealt.

The undead were advancing again, relentless in their onslaught. The outer defenses had begun to give way, when a deafening roar echoed through the sky. Out of the setting sun came the immense beating of golden wings as a gold dragon strafed the enemy positions, incinerating the siege equipment they had begun to set up. The beast howled again and went for another run, then another. Undead boned blackened and burned, some were simply vaporized in the heat.

And then it was gone. The undead force had been reduced to smoldering remains in a matter of moments. But this was only the corporeal creatures. There were sure to be spectral undead left, but strangely, that night, they did not come. It has been three days now, and still no attack. We continue to fortify and scout and no new reports of undead have been coming in.

For now we can hope. The aid you have given us has given us the tenacity to see this through, and now our forces have the upper hand. We will continue to hold out until everyone is safe. When all this is said and done, I hope to see you all on the other side of it.

For Acarthia! -Baron-General Egil Nordheim
 
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