News from the front
The latest on the war for Wyndael
September 11, 20, 6E
Magnates Saved, Troll Emperor Defeated, Cauldron Destroyed!
A great victory was claimed for the Empire in the province of Wyndael: the destruction of the trolls’ cauldron and their emperor along with most of the troll leadership.
It all began when Magnate Izikiel Ryatt and Lady Elizabeth Keenan, as well as most of their cabinets, were rescued from their besiegement in the Weicht-Vig Tower. Rallied by Oxalis of Wyndael and Greyson McAllister, respectively members of Magnate Ryatt’s and Lady Keenan’s cabinets, several adventurers joined the efforts to free them.
General Argus Stratos assigned two cohorts, the 3rd and the 5th, from the already thinly stretched 2nd Legion to aid in the endeavor and Oxalis and Greyson took command of the few soldiers from Houses Heinlein and Sterne who had either resurrected in the initial fight or had stayed behind the guard the manor houses.
The Imperial forces attacked the troll lines on three sides. At first things looked promising, as Oxalis’ troops marched to the front gates while the 3rd and 5th legions hit the trolls from the east and west. Unfortunately despite initial gains, the 5th cohort was flanked by a force of trolls under a troll commander named Volkk. Kommander Shylya Kessi, the commanding officer of the 5th cohort, was forced to pull her troops back to regroup which unfortunately allowed the troll leader Skorgg to lead an ambush sorte and catch Oxalis’ force from the rear.
As a result Ox’s forces were forced to retreat into the tower with Magnate Ryatt’s and Lady Keenan’s troops. The rescuers had become the besieged. General Stratos pulled 3rd and 5th cohorts back to regroup and set up picket lines. Needing more troops to break the siege on the tower, but not willing to pull the troops he’d placed to bottle the trolls up in the cave where their cauldron was, General Stratos recalled the 6th cohort from the patrol of the northern lines. This allowed the trolls there to get into Wyndael, but the general reasoned it was preferable than allowing the more powerful trolls to escape the cauldron cave.
Once the troops were in position and reinforced with the 6th cohort, and the personal might of Barilise, General Stratos lead another assault on the Weicht-Vig Tower. As they attacked, Lady Keenan and Magnate Ryatt led their troops from the tower to punch through the lines. Though weakened by insufficient food over their several week besiegement, the Magnates and their troops (bolstered by the troops under the command of Oxalis and Greyson) smashed into the troll forces, making the fight a two front attack and breaking through the troll lines.
Once the Magnates and their forces were secured, General Stratos ordered a retreat, as he lacked the numbers to defeat the trolls and, worse, the troll emperor, Zhar Kraggok, had taken the field.
As the Imperial troops withdrew Kraggok climbed to the top of the tower and, taunting the Imperial forces, called upon the power of the Cauldron to cause a massive ice citadel to appear on the foundation of Weicht-Vig Tower. The cold emanating from the structure caused severe frost damage to anyone coming near it (though the trolls seemed invigorated by the cold).
There were over a dozen permanent deaths from the Battle for Weicht-Vig Tower, including that of Sargent Lexine of House Sterne’s guard, and easily over three times that in resurrections, including Captain Jaylin Barrol of House Sterne, Captain Drata Fortingard and Cabinet Member Galen Weatherlight of House Heinlein.
Shortly after the conclusion of the Battle of Weicht-Vig Tower, Overlady Elmary Sterne of House Sterne and Overmagnate Sanden Haynard of House Heinlein arrived with a large contingent of soldiers. They demanded to know why General Stratos had not yet freed Magnate Ryatt and Lady Keenan from the tower, unaware of the change in circumstances that had occurred only a few days prior. They personally thanked the adventurers who had participated in the battle.
Mere days after the battle General Stratos called upon the adventurers to attempt to eliminate the troll chieftains that aided Kraggok. Four were identified: Volkk: a trollish tactician, Skrogg: a skilled skirmisher, Bloodmouth: a slavering murderous beast of a troll and, of course, the troll shaman Tu’Throk who had created the cauldron in the first place.
The first of the challenges came when Volkk was leading a force of trolls to attack the 2nd legion troops around the cauldron cave. The adventurers gathered and attacked the trolls en route, but unfortunately the confusion of the dark seemed to work to the trolls advantage and the battle went poorly. There were three resurrections: Cabinet Member Oxalis and the adventurers Mardex, and Keegan. Volkk led his trolls to attack the 2nd legion forces and there were many deaths. Worse, Volkk somehow managed to use the magic of the cauldron to create an ice bulwark that emanated damaging frost which forced Imperial troops not to get too close to the cauldron cave, making the task of containing the trolls far more challenging.
The following day the adventurers were thankfully able to slay Bloodmouth and Skrogg. The beasts resurrected at the cauldron but were thankfully off the field, allowing Imperial troops to contain the enemy line to only the cauldron cave and the ice castle that the Zhar had created.
Later that day General Stratos gathered the adventurers and revealed his strategy to them. He explained that his request for information on how to destroy the cauldron had been delayed by a bureaucratic mishap, but that he’d dispatched Barilise to Wolkenstadt to recover the information personally, and that she had returned with the secret of how to destroy the cauldron. He explained that the 2nd legion, stretched as thin as it was and with the casualties it had suffered, would likely be unable to break into the cave to destroy it. However, General Stratos had prepared an alternate plan beforehand. He explained that as soon as the cauldron was found he’d ordered the dwarves of House Cavestone to begin construction of a secret tunnel that would lead into the cave, and that the tunnel was ready. The general explained that, in spite of the losses that would be suffered because of the icy bulwark Volkk had created that he would lead the 2nd on a frontal assault while a group of adventurers used this tunnel to get into the cave and destroy the cauldron.
To that end a group led by Greyson McAllister gathered. The dwarf Olē, a member of House Cavestone, led Greyson’s group through the secret tunnel. They broke into the cauldron chamber and immediately engaged the trolls. While fighting off the trolls the mages in the group managed to land the necessary spells upon the cauldron to destroy it, generating a powerful blast that slew the trolls in the cave.
At the same time as the cauldron was destroyed, the icy bulwark that was hampering the 2nd Legion outside the cave shattered, and the ice castle built around Weicht-Vig Tower cracked and began melting in the hot summer sun. Almost immediately Tu’Throk led a force of trolls to attack Stormbreak Keep, openly announcing that he sought Greyson McAllister. It’s theorized that the troll somehow knew Greyson was present at the destruction of the Cauldron because of a necklace that had been taken from Tu’Throk when he was run off the field in early July. The necklace seemed to have some sort of magical link between the wearer (Greyson in this case) and the troll.
The troll attack seemed to catch the adventurers off guard and they retreated to the safety of the keep quickly. Ultimately the adventurers dared not venture out and Tu’Throk could not take the keep with his numbers so the troll left to say he would allow his troops to feed on the Wylderkin farmers in the region. True to his word, Tu’Throk led a series of raids on Wylderkin citizens, resulting in dozens of resurrections and two permanent deaths.
The following day the 3rd Legion had arrived in response to General Stratos’ request for reinforcements. This, coupled with the forces that had accompanied Overlady Sterne and Overmagnate Haynard allowed enough troops to box the trolls into the melting ice castle and eliminate them.
General Stratos ordered Magnate Ryatt to take his and Lady Keenan’s personal house guards and attack the from the south. He then requested that Overmagnates Sterne and Haynard attack from the west, while he would lead the 3rd and remnants of the 2nd Legion from the east. Lady Keenan was to lead the adventurers from the north. No troll was to be given quarter. If successful this would be the final battle of the war against the trolls.
The battle was fiercely fought on all fronts, as most of the trolls had retreated to the ice castle after the destruction of the cauldron. Through sheer bad luck, three of the troll commanders and Zhar Kraggok himself tried to make a push through the adventurers, possibly because they were numerically the fewest of the troops marching on the castle. In spite of a number of setbacks, however, Lady Keenan led her force to victory. Each of the troll leaders, including Kraggok, was slain. Without a cauldron, they were also unable to resurrect, robbing the trolls of their leadership.
While the leaders led a force against Lady Keenan’s command, trolls under lesser commanders attacked in other directions, clashing with the other Imperial forces. A huge amount of the troll forces were slain in the battle, although the shaman Tu’Throk is still at large, which means that if he could potentially gather the materials he could build another cauldron and start the war all over again. General Stratos has dispatched the 2nd and 3rd legions to sweep Wyndael killing any trolls and searching for Tu’Throk. It is believed that he will be caught and slain or, at least, will be on the run too much to be able to gather the materials for another cauldron since he’s bereft of the troll armies that helped him gather the materials last time.
House Sterne Wins Contest for Wyndael
The contest for who will rule the Imperial Province of Wyndael has concluded. Originally announced by Emperor Ernst to allow Houses Sterne and Heinlein to compete for the region, the contest seems to have morphed into a joint collaboration in the face of the Wylderkin Resistance and the war against the trolls. Still, the Emperor’s orders were clear: one house was to win over the other. However, this changed by the order of Regent Vikkin Stratos, who is ruling the Empire until the missing Emperor Ernst is found or his daughter comes of age. A letter sent to General Argus Stratos, the governor of Wyndael, empowered him to make the decision however he saw fit a quickly as possible.
Meantime, Magnate Ryatt and Lady Keenan, while trapped together in Weicht-Vig Tower for weeks, had begun considering the possibility of a joint endeavor to resolve the contest. After discussing the matter with their cabinet members the idea to try to rule the region jointly was learned to be widely popular. Unfortunately, neither House was likely going to happily lose the potential wealth and prestige of ruling Wyndael. With Overlady Sterne and Overmagnate Haynard in Wyndael with their forces, it was a prime opportunity to try to convince them.
Over the course of the following day a deal was hammered out between the two great houses by the warriors of Stormbreak Keep. A new minor house, House Wyndael, would be formed as a vassal house of House Sterne. Magnate Ryatt and Lady Keenan would both be elevated to the rank of High Magnates and would rule the house jointly. To cement the alliance they would marry, an option that seemed agreeable to both of them as rumors were that romantic feelings had blossomed during their time under siege together.
To ameliorate their losses in the region, House Heinlein would be paid a sum to be determined by Imperial Auditors by House Sterne and the newly formed House Wyndael, and the Storm’ren Izikiel Ryatt (or his child) would be the heir to House Wyndael when the human Elizabeth Keenan passes away.
General Stratos still had to agree to the deal, but after deliberating on the matter overnight he agreed that it was acceptable and officially received an Oath of Engagement between Magnate Ryatt and Lady Keenan to the applause of the gathered adventurers.
Though this was undoubtedly a joyous and triumphant moment, many note that the newly minted High Magnates Ryatt and Keenan have their work cut out for them. With winter coming and the land ravaged by the troll war, and the Wylderkin resistance still fighting the Empire, it will be some time before Wyndael is a fully functional and productive member of the Empire. Fortunately the harvest will be helped some, as the elf adventurer Mari sold a Bountiful Harvest ritual scroll to House Heinlein and Assistant Guildmistress Acara Firth successfully cast it. This is expected to help offset the shortages caused by fields destroyed and left fallow by the war.
A statement released by the new High Magnates has said that they stand ready to rise the Wylderkin up to full members of the Empire with all the rights and privileges thereof and to include Kin in their cabinet so they have a full voice in House Wyndael.
The violent goat Wylderkin rebel known as Molain was transported to Wolkenstadt for trial in mid-August. Although great pains were taken to keep Molain’s prison transport secret somehow the Wylderkin resistance found out and launched an attack. Thankfully it was soundly defeated, and two prisoners were taken. Sources inside the Legion state that the attack seemed “Hasty and ill planned, as if they had thrown it together at the last minute.”
The prisoners initially refused to reveal any information, however further interrogation by Barilise ultimately led to intelligence that revealed a Wylderkin spy in the 2nd Legion. Soldat Clem Maknab was revealed to actually be a wylderkin named Amrad who had race changed and posed as a soldier and fed information from within the legion to the Wylderkin resistance. Amrad too was apprehended and charged with Treason.
Molain was taken to Wokenstadt where he was tried by Regent Vikkin Stratos personally. He was found guilty of all charges and sentenced to Rite of Banishment. Molain was immediately flown straight to Berghalten to have the sentence carried out.
Regent Vikkin released a statement saying “Let it be known that this, and no less, is the cost of continued attacks against the Cloud Empire. Emperor Ernst tried everything possible to reason with these murderous malcontents, and we received only attacks and destruction for our largesse. Our patience is at it’s end. This so-called ‘Wylderkin Resistance’ and ‘Blood for Blood’ will either fall into line, or they will just fall.”
Wylderkin Riots in Ellbogenstadt, Wyndael
The execution of the Wylderkin Resistance leader Molain has led to widespread unrest in Wyndael and in Ellbogenstadt, where a number of Wylderkin under the Kin Dorent had been protesting the Imperial occupation of Wyndael.
When news of Molain’s death in the Rite of Banishment was announced many the previously peaceful protesters under Dorent turned violent, burning and vandalizing parts of the city and causing a great deal of property damage. There are also reports of attacks and resurrections reportedly caused by the rioting Kin. Dorent himself condemned the attacks saying that Molain would not want more violence and that these acts would only invite violent reprisals from the Empire.
Other Kin, clearly enraged at Molain’s death, openly broke with Dorent and his peaceful, intellectually driven, anti-violence faction. “Molain was peaceful and they killed him. If they’re going to kill us anyway, I’d rather go out fighting,” one said.
Many of the Kin took to chanting “blood for blood” as they burned and destroyed property and attacked any Imperial officials they could locate. Blood for Blood is the name of a more violent offshoot of the Wylderkin Resistance that advocates getting the Empire out of Wyndael by attacking and killing all Imperial citizens and officials in Wyndael.
Meanwhile, in Wyndael, Molian’s execution resulted in widespread violence there as well. Reports of attacks on Imperial citizens and soldiers increased in the wake of the news, and many resurrections were reported. Some were even able to somehow get into the headquarters of House Heinlein in the province and set several fires, destroying a great deal of the house’s supplies, tents, and outbuildings as well as High Magnate Izikiel Ryatt’s manor house. It’s reported that three Imperial auditors, present to help creation of House Wyndael, were killed. Cabinet Member Galen Weathergreen was also slain trying to fight off the attack. All resurrected successfully.
Both Overmagnate Haynard and the new high magnates of House Wyndael, Ryatt and High Magnate Elizabeth Keenan, have spoken out and requested a halt to the attacks, beseeching the Wylderkin to come and negotiate to create a better future for the kin.
After several days of rioting in Ellbogenstadt, Heinlein House forces were able to quell the resistance, trying whenever possible to detain the rioters rather than kill them. Thankfully they were stopped just a day ahead of a deadline from Regent Vikkin Stratos that if the riots had not stopped he would send in the 1st Legion to put any Wylderkin rioter to the sword immediately.
Meanwhile, in Wyndael, the population density is low enough that widespread riots as was seen in Ellbogenstadt have not occurred but it is clear that the Blood for Blood movement is ascendant and very active in attacking Imperial forces at every turn. Regent Vikkin has ordered House Wyndael to “handle the matter.”
Law and Order
-The traitorous goat Wylderkin Molain was tried for multiple counts of Treason, Conspiracy, Arson, Destruction of Property, Disobedience, Larceny, Obstruction, Reckless Endangerment, and Robbery. He was tried by Regent Vikkin Stratos himself and sentenced to the Rite of Banishment. The sentence was carried out the following day and he permanently died.
-A wylderkin named Amrad was masquerading as an Imperial soldier in the 2nd Legion named Clem Maknab. He used his position in the Legion to slip information to the Wylderkin Resistance including when Molain was to be moved to the capital. He was arrested and tried for Treason and sentenced to the Rite of Banishment. He permanently died.
-An ostrich Wylderkin named Wobben was arrested and tried for leading an attack on an Imperial convoy. He refused to help locate his co-conspirators and was sentenced to death for Treason, Battery and Larceny. He resurrected successfully.
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