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thanks for the correction Planefarer! I started working on a possible timeline for something like this this morning ... and asked for corrections if I missed something from the almanacs. I'll reread those events and adjust this story I'm working on accordingly...
I'll touch on the rest of your post after I finish posting this ...
anyway... here is what I have so far.
It stinks to be on-call on a beautiful spring day here in DC. Since I'm tied to the computer... I'll toss this out. If anyone sees any logical holes in it, or discrepancies with previous Almanacs let me know. Might use this in my campaign when finished.. or if the brains behind the Almanacs see any use of it. Feel free to use what you want. I'll start to sketch this out, bare bones. If people like it, I'll detail it out day by day over time.
Orc Warsby Michael Berry
Act 1. Playing with Fire...
Winter 1020 - Thanks for choosing Orclands, how we may serve you?
Location: Xorg, Orclands
A mysterious visitor meets with Gen. Tlatepetl. After a day spent in private meetings. Tlatepetl calls a meeting of his senior lieutenants. After which envoys are sent from Xorg to points south. Several weeks later major chieftains of goblin and orc tribes of the Altan Tepes and Black Mountain ranges arrive in Xorg. The mysterious visitor arrives again on a prearranged day, cloaked but speaking the Orc and Goblin and puts forth a proposal. After a couple of days to deliberate they meet the visitor again and accept his proposal and return home.
What this means: A plot by Thyatis to weaken it's primary economic rival, Darokin by uniting the humanoids under the leadership of Tlatepetl and striking Darokin. Offering sensitive information on Darokinian troop deployments and maps of the region made by Thyatian merchants and spies, the visitor suggests the time is right for the humanoids to move out of the mountains and create a true humanoid nation. The visitor hints of military aid, and recognition of the nation if they succeed in the goals laid out to them. The chiefs of the mountain humanoids are promised high positions in the new humanoid nation if they join, and after some deliberation they accept and head home to rally their forces, and those lesser tribes in their areas.
Spring 1020 Would you like your villagers rare, or well done?
Location: village of Reedle, Darokin
The citizens of Reedle wake up one fine spring morning to find a army of several thousand humanoids outside the village walls. Dispatchers are hurriedly sent to the north to Selenica before the village is completely surrounded to warn the Second Army and request help. The route south to Karameikos is blocked and any sent south to warn and request aid from the Duke's Keep are captured. Traps and ambushes are set for caravans and groups moving up from the south. Orders are given by a Lieutenant of Tlatepetl who is accompanied by a cloaked stranger speaking the humanoids tongue. After the messengers have left to the north the village is fully invested. Later in the day a probing attack begins on the village from all directions, they are easily repulsed until disaster hits and suddenly a 20' ft section of the village's wall literally disintegrates and the humanoids pour in through the gap. The village is soon captured and ransacked. The humanoid commander, an Orc named Stinkfoot orders a day of 'celebration' then the force is to be on the move. Skirmishers are sent north on the road to Selenica.
What this means: The mountain humanoids were able to rally their forces and under direction of an Lieutenant of Tlatepetl and sack the village of Reedle, with the timely assistance of a disguised Thyatian mage... but this was only the first move of the game.
Spring 1020 No Shirt, No shoes, Horns and Tusks?... No Dice
Location: Selenica, and Ft Hobart Darokin.
Messengers arrive from Reddle telling of the massing of humanoid forces and the dire straights of the village. Orders are sent out for three legions of the 2nd Army to depart immediately for Reedle from Ft. Hobart, the VII, IX, and X legions. The VIII, and XXV to remain behind at Ft Hobart. Word is sent immediately to Darokin City through instantaneous means requesting several legions from the 1st army to help suppress this humanoid threat. One is sent from Ft. Cruth and from Darokin City, two of the 1st armies three legions stationed at Ft. Nell are recalled to Darokin City.
Spring 1020 Saturated Fats or Trans Fatty Acids
Location: Eastern Darokin
as the 3 legions of the 2nd Army reach Selenica they receive orders to halt on their way to Reedle and the legion commanders are called to immediately meet with the Novash of the 2nd army. Scouts operating the north of Ft. Hobart have reported a massive force of humanoids, moving quickly toward Ft. Hobart. Reports and scouts also tell of forces moving up the road from Reedle to the south. Heavy skirmishers mask the size of the southern force but going on estimates from those that made it out of Reedle that force is at least several thousand strong. New orders are issued by the Novash. All outlying villages and homesteads should retire behind Selenica's wall, caravans are to turn back and stay away from eastern Darokin. The 2nd Army is to hold Selenica until reinforcements from the rest of Darokin arrive. The force presently at Ft. Hobart will fight a delaying action then withdraw to Selenica. Preparations are made for a siege. More messages are sent to Darokin City explaining the threat the area is under.
Spring 1020 Always flame-boiled ..never fried
Location: Eastern Darokin
The twin pincers of the Humanoid attack make their moves and the full scope of the Humanoid threat is revealed. First to the north, the Humanoid army arrives before Ft. Hobart and the full extent of the Humanoid mobilisation is revealed with the light of a new day. From the top of Ft. Hobart 10 separate divisions, estimated to be around 2,000 warriors each are counted. Messengers are sent immediately back to Selenica. General Tlatepetl wastes no time and sends forward his troops, led by the trolls of C'Kag. The two legions put up a spirited defence inflicting casualties on the attackers but are forced to give up the Palisades and being a withdraw to the south. General Tlatepetl orders his troops to follow them closely and soon the withdraw turns into a rout as the mobile air-force of skinwing mounted Orcs is deployed. Fewer than half of the men of the two legions left to defend Ft. Hobart will make it back to Selenica.
To the south, Stinkfoot has left a garrison of roughly 500 orcs and goblins to watch the pass from Karameikos and to raid the surrounding area for supplies and deployed his thousands of troops to the south and east of Selenica. To raid until Tlatepetl arrives from the north.
Once Tlatepetl arrives his sends a force of 3 divisions to the west down the Darokin road and invests the city of Selenica with a now combined force of roughly 15,000 humanoids.
Spring 1020 I didn't order this...I want my money back!!!
Location: Darokin City
In an emergency meeting of the Western Defence League. Darokin explains the mass humanoid attack and requests aid. The Halflings immediately agree, the Dwarves (don't recall if they are back in the WDL at this point) say their forces are spread too thin but will send any volunteer units that might be raised. Karameikos is too wrapped up in it's civil war and cannot participate. Separate talks with the ambassadors of Forest and Shadow Elves. The representative of each says that they must speak of this to their respective leaders and they will decide on a course of action together.
Once word of the extent of humanoid numbers is revealed. The entire 3rd Army is ordered to march toward Selenica, along with the previously sent element of the 1st army. Units from the 5th army are redeployed to the north to cover for the 3rd Army. The Halfling army will meet the Darokinian army at Fort Cruth before proceeding to lift the siege of Selenica.
Spring 1020 One crispy Whooper for you.. hold the fries
A week has passed since the fall of Ft. Hobart. The humanoids have been living and eating better than any orc has in generations off of the wealth of Darokin. Probing assaults are sent against Selenica daily. To the west the 3 Humanoid division make first contact with the relief forces of Darokin. The III and XXI legions of the 1st Army have been advancing slowly down the road between Darokin City and Selenica. The two forces meet east of Nemiston and the severely outnumbered legions fight well but are unable to counter the mobile flanking assaults of the disciplined and well-trained humanoids. They attempt to make a stand at Nemiston but again are outflanked and had to retire leaving the town, though most residents had evacuated to the west. The humanoids halt in Nemiston and begin to prepare defences for the inevitable Darokinian response.
end of Act !.
Act II Were your eyes too big for your stomach.
Spring 1020 Revenge is a dish, best served raw haha
Location: Thyatis City, Thyatis
In one of the luxurious villas up Emperor's Hill a party is being held. Full of people, young people, old people. Merchants, military officers, government bureaucrats. Men and woman of all types. A richly dressed man stands off by himself and watches the debauchery with a grin on his face.
Life is good for the VERY rich and powerful in Thyatis. This is his party, his villa, and these people are his guests.
His mind drifts back in time. Back past that fateful meeting three months ago in the private dining room of the cities most exclusive Inn.. the Sword of the Emperor. All the way to his youth, where many would be surprised to know that he was not born into wealth and power but the son of a farmer whose talents lay with the sword, not negotiating prices on commodities. Long ago, almost 40 years ago, he was a swordsman for hire and caravan routes were where he learned his trade. A good life he led, till his outspoken manner led him to run afoul of a merchant whom he had seen using magic to charm another merchant. When he pressed the merchant on what he saw, things got heated and words were said and he learned the hard way that he had crossed the wrong person. He was accused of stealing from the wares of a caravan he was paid to protect by none other than a young Corwyn Mauntea. Heir to one of the richest families, if not THE richest family in all of Darokin. He was exiled with warning never to return to Darokin or he would never see the light of day again from the dungeon he would be thrown into. Well he changed his name, found his fortune in Thyatis and now was living the life of riches and luxury. His thoughts were interrupted by a stunning redhead in the uniform of an officer of Kerendan Calvary smiling at him. Yes life is good..
but revenge is even sweater...
what this means? - it is good to be rich enough to be so bad haha
Spring 1020 You say Tomato...I say Tomatoe. I am woman...you are man. I am right...and you are wrong
Location: in the forests of Aengmor/Alfheim
After being briefed by their ambassadors to Darokin, the leaders of the two factions of elves meet to discuss what is to be done in regards to Darokin's request for military support in it's war with the humanoids. The meeting starts of pleasantly, reflecting the good working relationship King Doriath, and Princess Tanadaleyo have enjoyed over the last year. Things quickly break down though when Doriath makes clear he thinks that they should march to Darokin's aid. Tanadaleyo believes their fight is against Atzanteotl not fighting for fat merchants, no matter who they fight against. She rages on.. this becomes a problem of ours if they dare enter our borders. She tells Doriath that their troops should be at the ready.. but what kind of leaders would they be if the war came to them.. and their troops were off fighting in Darokin. Doriath.. sort of brow beaten by the infuriated Princess tells her that her words have wisdom and he will notify their ambassador to tell Darokin that the Elves have to look to their own defence first, but will help in any way they can. The Darokinians are disappointed but feel their forces plus the halflings should push the humanoids back to where they came from without too much trouble.
What this means? - the elves are staying out the conflict for now. Believing Darokin will throw the humanoids back where they came from.
Spring 1020 Would you like to supersize that combo sir?
Location: Fort Cruth, Darokin
The legions of the 3rd Army make it to Fort Cruth today, meeting the 1st Army and the Halfling expeditionary army. Combined they make a lethal force of nearly 20,000 experienced troops and after a day to rest and resupply they will soon be on the road to Selenica. Roughly a week's journey down the main road. Two skyships, The Happy Faenare and the Nephele have been taken from Glantrian trade missions to drop supplies off and proceed to Selenica to resupply the troops, deliver some mages to help with defence of the city and finally for the ships to do an aerial reconnaissance and to report back to the supreme commander of the expedition when the force reaches Nemiston. They leave for Selenica the day before the troops head off.
What this means? - Darokin has mobilised it's relief effort for Selenica and is on the way.
Spring 1020 Don't nuke that baby.. throw it in on the grill and light a fire under it.
Things have been getting rough in Selenica over the last week.. the probing attacks are getting stronger and stores of food are beginning to run short with some 40,000 people in the city plus another 5,000 troops. Many able bodied men have been impressed into service on the city walls and gates but the strain and fatigue is beginning to show. Word that relief forces are soon to arrive helps raise morale but nothing raises morale more than seeing two skyships come in from the west bearing supplies as promised. The guards on the walls raise their pikes and shout insults down to the humanoids in salute on the impending resupply. As the ships circle around to make a landing, terror comes swiftly and silently from above in the form of a massive Red Dragon and several smaller red dragons. The airships are caught by surprise and are knocking out of the air quickly when their hot air balloons are burst. Both ships fell several hundred feet and landed behind humanoid lines. Few of the crew survived the fall and those that were probably wished they had as they were taken by the humanoids. The cheers of the city turned to silence then screams as the dragons dart in and attack clearing a section of the wall and breathed great blasts of flame into the city and down each section of the wall before flying away in a hail of arrows. Several hundred of the 2nd Armies finest lost their lives in an instant flash of fire. The dragons circle the city a few times before perching on a hill to the east of the city.. where the defenders see orcs bringing the dragons chest filled with gold and gems taken from home and caravans captured...and prisoners taken as a snack for the overexerted and hungry dragons.
What this means - the humanoids have been getting rich off the spoils of Darokin.. and with those spoils they could afford a ringer or two. Khordarg and his retinue of bound female reds.
Spring 1020 Dessert is served..
Location: Selenica, Darokin
Weary after two days of fighting fires in city thanks to hit and run raids by the dragons. Night comes on the second day after the airships went down and dragons appeared. The night air around the city sounds like the sound of hundreds of horns and Tlatepetl's forces begin a major night time assault on the city. The dragons swoop down and assault a section of the NW quarter of the city. One of the smaller red's is killed but a 30' section of the wall is cleared in advance of the humanoids assault and they scale the walls and being moving steadily to clear the walls to either side of the Dragons. By morning 7,000 humanoids led by their elite Troll assault regiment have penetrated the city. Taking no quarter and asking for none the carnage is on a vast scale. With the morning light Tlatepetl begins a major assault on the west gate of the city and after several hours and with help from those already in the city it is broken and thousands more humanoids flow into the city. The city is now doomed but continues to fight for another day. Organised resistance has ended but knowing the fate that awaits them and that help is on the way the soldiers and civilians fight on.. often to the last man. Tlatepetl takes heavy casualties finally by the end of the day has taken the city. However the mass slaughter expected by the all does not happen. After the city is captured, some pillaging of wealth and food does occur of course but the disciplined humanoids do not slaughter the citizens of Selenica that lived through the fighting. They are told assemble in the cities main square at the next morning but no harm would come to them. The next morning before the assembled population of Selenica General Tlatepetl introduces himself and says that he is not in the business of slaughter and that the population is guarantied safe passage from the city. They will be escorted to Nemiston with his forces. He tells them to the time to leave is now. their possessions will taken in exchange for their lives. Within the hour a long procession of humans leaves the city heading to the east with an 'escort' of 500 mounted goblins. The city of Selenica is renamed Tlatepetl .. capital of the new Orc Kingdom of Huitzilihuitl. A garrison force is left to loot all wealth and organise supplies from the city and rest of the army marches rapidly to the west towards Nemiston along with their guests.
What this means? - General Tlatepetl has won a great victory for the humanoids. The first major human city to fall to humanoids in many years but that was the easy part and he knows it. Now he has to hold on to it. Casualties on both sides were horrid. On the Darokin side.. the 2nd army simply died in the fighting for Selenica, some 6000 men of the 2nd Army including it's commander died to defend the city. Selenica a city before the battle of nearly 40,000 suffered many civilian casualties in the firestorms that raged during the siege and from those caught in the final fighting and of course those that were helping the vastly outnumbered 2nd Army defend the city. Estimates among the Orc High Command estimate civilian dead around 30 to 40%. Orcish losses were severe as well. Of the roughly 20,000 humanoids Tlatepetl brought down from the Orclands he lost half of those. Of the mountains clans led by Stinkfoot, killed in action at the last stand of the remnants of the 2nd Army. Causalities were a bit less. Only 20% of the original force of 5000 was lost. Leaving Tlatepetl with a force of 6000 humanoids in Nemiston and 8000 in Selenica from his original force. Reinforcements are coming in daily though from the mountains of the area as word of this great leader and his exploits gets out. Since the battle came another 2000 humanoids have come from the Rockhome mountains leaving Tlatepetl with a force of roughly 16000. Now for Tlatepetl comes the hard part...consolidating his gains. He has gained enough loot to last a lifetime but what he wants is a nation. Not to merely raid.. but rule. In that.. he has a bit of a surprise lined up for the approaching Darokin forces.
Spring 1020 I love the smell of a campfire... but this is taking it a bit too far
The Darokin armies advancing toward Selenica have to stop today a day or two short of the forward humanoid positions when their path is blocked by a massive forest fire that fed by an intense wind that is blowing it right into their path. Clerics, Wizards, and the few Elves serving with Darokin forces manage to stop and suppress the fire but the day is lost trying to fight the fire and keep from being burned alive by the inferno.
What this means? - delaying tactics by the orcs to slow the advancing armies to allow
Spring 1020 oh you busy little beaver...
Location: Nemiston, Darokin
Tlatepetl's forces arrive in Nemiston are reunited with the 3 divisions sent to probe to the west and set up defensive positions. They have not wasted any time over these weeks making strong defensive positions in an arc to the west of Nemiston leading to the hills to the south-east of Nemiston which will be the anchor of the line. Tlatepetl deploys his troops and has a conference with all his division and corp commanders to explain his plans for the battle. Scouts believe the Darokin army will arrive possibly by nightfall... or the next morning at the latest.
What this means? - General Tlatepetl wants his subordinate commanders to know exactly what his plans are and he makes sure his orders are to be followed to the letter. Their discipline has won them a battle, he tells them if they continue to follow their orders and maintain discipline they can win the war.
Spring 1020 - Surprise!!!
Location - Nemiston, Darokin
The combined forces of Darokin and the Shires arrive before Nemiston this morning having camped for the night just short of Nemiston having already heard of the fall of Selenica. They deploy their legions for a probing assault on Nemiston but before the order for an attack can be given. A white flag of truce is seen waving from the humanoid lines, and a single unarmed figure comes from the humanoid lines. The Darokin commander believes this must be a trick but is curious to see what the humanoids have to say so he allows the messenger to not be shot down by his archers and he sends a captain of his personal guard who speaks Orc to meet the messenger half way. The commander watches the two meet.. then is shocked to see both running back towards his lines. The Commander is more shocked when they get closer and he sees that the cloaked messenger is not a humanoid.. but a famished but otherwise unhurt man.. who says he is a tailor from Selenica...and that he bears a message for the ears of the Commander only. They retire to the Commander's tent where the tailor gives him a handwritten note.
Greetings my brother in arms,
I am General Tlatepetl. Leader of the forces arrayed against you. I am an Orc, but I am a fighting man, a man of honour and not a butcher. Just beyond my lines that I suspect you are about to attack are approximately 24,000 civilian refugees of the fighting at Selenica. I have not the food nor the time to feed them. I propose a 4 week truce so that you may take these refugees and escort them back to civilised lands and give them food and medical care they need. If you shall refuse they will merely be additional casualties on this field of battle that we as soldiers have sworn to die upon if necessary for our countries. Do these innocents deserve to die as well. If you say so, then they will to help protect my forces. If you agree to this truce, I will agree not to move west of Nemiston and take advantage of your compassion. If you agree to these terms show us the white flag and we will be begin sending your citizens over to you.
The commander dropped the letter to the floor after reading it and muttered something to the effect of 'you have to be %$&*@ kidding me'. After a quick conference with his commanders the white flag was shown and over the course of the rest of the day civilian refugees, hungry and tired but otherwise unhurt moved from the humanoid lines into Darokinian lines. The next day the force withdrew to the west leaving behind a legion to keep an eye on the humanoids.
What this means? well.. what have you done in his case. As Tlatepetl's favourite strategist once wrote. The famous Ochalean theorist, Sun-Tzu, that “every battle is won before it is even fought”. Tlatepetl gained his time for consolidation.. four weeks.. but he knows the Darokin forces will be back and with even more strength.
end of act II
anyhow... TGIF everyone and getting back to work on this. First off.. an interlude.
As I noted before, what I have done so far has been a bare bones treatment, I know it all in my head but if anyone is trying to follow the story, here is some of the peripheral stuff going on. With an event like this there is a lot going on behind the scenes not directly related to the story I'm trying to sketch out.
first question... what are the other countries doing at this point.
Karameikos - engaged in a war of succession after Stefan's death in the first month of 1020.(natural causes.. which happens.. even in a fantasy setting) They have been a non-player in the conflict to this point... in the minds of their leaders.. this was a pest problem at the start and Darokin didn't need their help when matters at home were MUCH more pressing.
Here is the idea of a civil war that I am using ..with modification especially as the events of this war sort of impress themselves on Karameikos.
Five Shires - completely with Darokin and has troops currently at the front with Darokin's army.
Aengmor/Alfheim - some forest elf volunteers have joined the Darokinian main force, but the government of the two groups of elves so far has not agreed on a course of action. The Forest Elves of course wanted to march off with Darokin to retake Selenica. The Shadow Elves, far from being on the humanoid side, see this as a problem of Darokin. Not theirs. At this point Tanadaleyo has the upper hand over Doriath thus the elves officially are neutral.
Glantri - mundaners with a pest problem? pfff. They are more interested at this point if AC Vyonnes striker Yannick Vander will be ready for the Wizards Cup final against the underdog the Scribes of Metro Glantri City Prince Kol though of course.. IS watching what is going on.
Thyatis - though unofficially involved... they are of course closely watching matters.
Ylaruam, the Northern Reaches - like Thyatis... sitting and watching.. like everyone. Just a matter of time before the pests are exterminated or at least sent back to their holes in the ground.
Rockhome - after several devastating wars in the last few years they have dispatching volunteers but no active units. Again.. they believe this would be over by the time their units arrive to coordinate with allied units. Not to mention.. they haven't forgotten 1012.
Act III Survival... of the fittest
Yarthmont 1: Meeting of the minds
Location: City Tlatepetl, Orc Kingdom of Huitzilihuitl
Description: General Tlatepetl after seeing off the Darokin forces to the west has arrived back in the city of Tlatepetl, the former city of Selenica. Immediately upon arriving he takes up quarters in a manor that survived the destruction of the earlier fighting. Upon arriving he calls for a meeting of his subordinates and advisers. He receives briefings as to the wealth taken from the city and surrounding areas. He also receives briefings as to the strength of his forces, outside of the forces arrayed to the west against the expected counterattack by Darokin. After receiving his briefings he retires to a closed door meeting with is closest advisers, including several humans, by their dress and mannerisms they are thought to be mages by the rest of the guards and subordinates.
What this means: Tlatepetl has no time to enjoy his battles won, he has a war to win. He retires to his chambers with his corp commanders and several mages that have served him through this campaign so far. Numbers are encouraging to him.. the amount of gold, gems, and valuables taken is staggering. Much is discussed with what to do with it. Discussion later turns to where to deploy the troops that are arriving in the city daily from various clans around the area. It has been estimated that another 1000 humanoids have joined Tlatepetl since the city fell. After orders are issued for them, Tlatepetl lays down his plan for the next several weeks and the inevitable battle to come once the truce has expired. Talks continue well into the night before orders are sent out the next day to all division commanders.
Yarthmont 3: Darokin looks for assistance ... again
Location: Capitals of Aengmor/Alfheim, Rockhome, Ylaruam, Karameikos, and Glantri
Description: Members of the Darokin Diplomatic Corp (DDC) are dispatched to the capitals of it's allies and neighbours today with urgent requests for meetings with the rulers of those countries. While the message is the same with each nation, an explanation of what has happened, a tactical briefing explaining the forces available to Darokin and the forces against Darokin, an assessment of the dangers not just to Darokin but possibly to their countries as well, and finally a stronger request for military forces to assault the occupied regions of Darokin. While the message is the same to each, each has it's own unique reply to Darokin. By the end of the day all the messengers have been teleported back to Darokin City and meet with Chancellor Mauntea and the Inner Council. Those meetings go on through the rest of the night.
What this means: Chancellor Mauntea and the council do not like what they have heard from their neighbours at all.
The following is a summation of a classified briefing that was relayed to the Almanac by.. 'unnamed Government officials'.
The mission to Karameikos was an utter failure. Upon arriving in Mirros the chief Diplomat was briefed by embassy staff that their is no leader TO talk to. The country is split evenly into two fractions and neither will entertain any such request for military aid.
The Aengmor/Alfheim mission was only slightly more successful. After hours of haggling which resorted to near pleading by the chief Diplomat, the Shadow Elves who seem to hold the upper hand in the balance in the coalition of Forest and Shadow Elves ruling Aengmor/Alfheim, agreed to consider the request for use of their territory by Darokinian forces but under NO circumstances would Aengmor get involved in a conflict between Darokin and humanoids. Volunteers are of course free to join the allied forces and they promised facilitate and expedite any volunteers that wanted to fight alongside Darokin. It is the chief Diplomat's belief that the elves do not consider the humanoids any threat to them, believing they would easily handle any that ventured into the forest.
The Glantrian Council also refused to send troops again saying this was a matter within Darokin and belonging to Darokin. However they did offer magical assistance if it should be requested. The chief Diplomat notes that the asking price is...errr.. steep. Very steep.
The Ylaruam mission showed a bit more promise. They listened to the briefing, listened to our proposal to attack from the east in a diversion to draw forces from the west. They said they would consider the proposal and asked our Diplomat to come back in 3 days where they will have an answer for us.
The Rockhome mission was thought to be the be the most important of the five missions sent. As such it was probably the most disappointing. Again our briefing was received and our proposal given, in person by King Everast. He asked an hour meeting in private with his advisors after which he returned and said that the events have outstripped his ability to help in the manner that Darokin requests. He will provide 15,000 dwarves to Darokin's defence.. but they will not be mobilised and ready for at least six weeks. He explained that with the threats to Rockhome from all over and the losses his nation has taken in the last decade he can not.. nor will not send his standing army off to fight in another land. No matter how logical or great Darokin's need, he cannot strip his standing army. His decision was final.. and if Darokin accepts his offer he will give orders to begin mobilising reserves and volunteers into expeditionary units. The chief Diplomat said he had to confer with the Inner Council in Darokin but Darokin appreciates any aid Rockhome can give.
no further information came to us regarding what the council discussed behind closed doors after they were briefed by their chief Diplomats. I'm sure though that will become apparent in the days and weeks to come
Yarthmont 4: Hope for the best... plan for the worst
Location: City of Darokin, Republic of Darokin
Description: Notices are posted in Darokin City and Corunglain, and the surrounding area today. Without divulging the severity of the need, the loss of the 2nd Army has not become public knowledge yet, the Republic of Darokin issues a call up of reservists to and activates 30 reserve legions to active duty to counter the humanoid threat. The formations are to proceed at to Corunglain, Darokin City, 15 legions to each city as soon as they are assembled.
Also orders are sent by instantaneous means for the 4th army (on alert for such a possibility and ready to move immediately) to depart for Fort Cruth. The 5th army will remain to defend the volatile western frontier. Orders are sent for the commanders of the 1st, 3rd, 4th, and 5th armies, as well as the commander of the Shire forces to come to Darokin City immediately
What this means: A simple look at the roll-call sheet of Darokin's standing army balanced against estimates of humanoid strength tells any military man that Darokin does not have the available manpower to deal with the humanoids with high probability of success, without stripping it's other frontiers defenceless. Most of the troops will be drawn from the cities of Corunglain and Darokin City so mobilisation will be complete with several days. Darokin has a strong tradition of military service in it's legions so there is no shortage of trained reservists to meet the call. Some of Chancellor Mauntea's general's called for a larger call-off but Mauntea goes with the advice of the 'Commander' who thinks that number should be sufficient.. not to mention Mauntea always is looking at the bottom line and doesn't want to have to pay the wages of reservists who aren't needed with a larger call-up. Once the 4th army reaches the front, the Darokinian forces along with the forces from the Shires should be enough to overwhelm the humanoids. The Commander assures the Chancellor he should now have the forces available to deal with this scum and take back what is theirs. With the combined 3 armies of Darokin.. roughly 18 thousand men plus the 7 divisions of Shire-folk which total roughly an additional 7 thousand more the Chancellor agrees and tells the Commander to assume field command of the forces and take back Selenica and run every last humanoid to ground.
Now that the forces have been deployed to the front the high command of Darokin starts to think on how they will take back eastern Darokin.
Yarthmont 4: Hope is for losers.. plan to win and the best shall happen
Location: City of Tlatepetl, Orc Kingdom of Huitzilihuitl
Description: General Tlatepetl receives a invited guest today. Fully 22 feet tall, the Frost Giant Jarl of the Altan Tepes, the High Jarl Olav Icebeard has come to the city to meet this interesting orc, and discuss his even more interesting proposal. Finding the lack of a suitable building for an audience, they meet under a great canopy in the cities main square and proceed to discuss mutual interests for most of the day. As day begins to fade and dusk comes onlookers see the two offer gifts to each other and the Jarl collects his retinue of Carls and leaves the city heading to the SE towards the Jarl's lands in the mountains bordering Thyatis, Karameikos, Ylaruam
What this means: Tlatepetl has long known of a large clan of Frost Giants living to the south-east. He proposed an alliance between Huitzilihuitl and the Frost Giants. The Jarl's asking price was high.. but Tlatepetl believes that in paying it he will gain a firm ally in a world were he has very very few. The details of the alliance are not announced at this time.
Yarthmont 5: The day begins
Location: City of Glantri, Principalities of Glantri
Description: At the break of dawn at a roach infested, run down Inn deep in Glantri City's West End, a short cloaked and hooded man walks in the door and without saying a word to the innkeeper. He proceeds to the door of room 11 and knocks once.. then three times. At the sound of the door being unlatched he walks in.
Inside the room, a tall figure already dressed and also cloaked and hooded meets his guest. No words are exchanged. A scroll is given to the tall man along with a large sack after which the smaller man leaves the room. The tall man reads the scroll then lights the scroll aflame with a candle. Taking the bag and sitting on his bed he dumps out the bag on his bed. The man laughs a guttural laugh as he runs his hands through a pile of Glantrian Crowns, as he does his hood falls back, revealing the distinctive toad-faced, protruding eyes and light tan skin of an Goblinus Grandis ... commonly known as a Hobgoblin. This Hobgoblin though has a name, though few know it. Tarak Tompff. His alias, Dirk Digler, though is more familiar, to those who have dealings with Guild of Thugs. Though few but the very wealthy or powerful themselves can afford the services of Tarak, who has never failed to complete an assignment in his meteoric rise within the guild in five short years. Tarak gathers his few belonging and grasping an amulet in his hand, mutters a word and disappears if a puff of black smoke.
What this means: Someone is going to die.. who.. and who hired him? That is guild business.. you can ask.. sure... and I'll send a guild member to you to answer that....
Yarthmont 6: The DDC is AOK
Location: Cities of Dengar and Ylaruam, kingdom of Rockhome and Emirates of Ylaruam
Description: Diplomatic events on two fronts on this day. First the DDC ambassador returns to the Sultan's court to hear the answer to Darokin's request for military aid. The Sultan agrees to deploy a sizeable military force to the Darokinian border at the time of Darokin's choosing to provide a distraction or a feign to assist the forces of Darokin in retaking the held territories of eastern Darokin. The ambassador thanks the Sultan and tells him that as soon as he receives word from his superiors as to when the diversion is to begin that he will inform the Sultan. The Sultan says that is acceptable to him and wishes him and his forces the blessing of Al Kalim for success on the battlefield.
On the second front the Darokinian Ambassador to Rockhome meets with King Everast XVI and tells him that Rockhome's offer is greatly appreciated and extends an invitation for the commanders of the expeditionary forces to come to Darokin City to discuss strategy with the 'Commander' of the Darokin Forces. The Ambassador informs the King that he has the ability to have the commander teleported to the Marquee House (Darokinian Armed Forces Headquarters in Darokin City) whenever the commander is ready. King Everast says the Expeditionary Force commander will be in Dengar tomorrow and ready to leave on the next day.
What this means: Finally some success for Darokin on the diplomatic front. Messages are sent to the Marquee House informing them of the decisions of the two leaders and planning begins in earnest for the retaking of eastern Darokin.
*waves my magic mouse and resurrects this thread from the dead*
have received some requests to come back to this and continue on with it. I am going to do something a bit different though, instead of really getting detailed, as much fun as that is, I think a broader overview.. timeline might be better. To be honest I am not sure if the almanac project is dead, on extended vacation or what so not sure if we will be getting anything else to guide our campaigns and the world around the campaign past 1019 (if one uses them like I do as guides), so planning ahead for what I will use for the next couple of years in our campaign.
here is the basic premise... already detailed earlier in the thread...
in AC1020 the Orc lord Tlatepetl unites the humanoids of the region, and attacks eastern Darokin with the unofficial support of merchantile interests in Thyatis. The Orcs capture Selenica and the far eastern section of Darokin showing, thanks to Tlatepetl, good strategic and tactical sense along with strong discipline instilled over years in the Orclands.
I spent a lot of time detailing that much already.. but fear I was heading towards bogging myself down in too much detail and plot minutia and never finishing what should be a multi-year event.
Not sure if anyone has any input but at this point my basic flow at this point is something like this.
late Spring 1020 - Eastern Darokin
Tlatepetl opens the war with a two pronged assault on eastern Darokin, captures Selencia and executes a brilliant tactical political move to force Darokin into a temporary truce to give him time to consolidate his gains. (already detailed)
early Summer 1020- Eastern Darokin and Orclands
Darokin with help from the Five Shires and forest elf volunteers from Aengmor/Alfheim, with a forcenumbering just over 25,000 troops, attack Tlatepetl and his 19,000 humanoids facing him just to the west of Nemiston. Ylari forces seal the border to the east and feign attacks to keep the humanoids and giants holding the eastern pass off balance. To the north the Dwarf Expeditionary Army moves into the likely lightly held Orclands with plans to seal off escape to the north and press down from the north towards Selenica.
mid Summer 1020 - eastern Darokin and Orclands
after weeks of bitter and costly fighting, Darokin has pushed the humanoids back halfway to Selenica but have lacked the manpower to overwhelm the humanoids. These advances at the cost of their available front line troops.The fight is fairly even as the humanoids have constructed effective defenses, defending fiercely and intelligently. The humanoids though slightly outnumbered, have had good quality reinforcements and replacements come from humanoid tribes in the area while Darokin draws from recent draftees and conscription thrown directly into action, with only a minimum of training before being thrown into action. In the Orclands the Dwarf Expeditionary Army discovered that the Orclands were not left undefended, and have engaged in running combat with substantial numbers of trolls apparently led by a large Red Dragon. The Dwarfs have not managed to turn south but have kept the trolls and Khordarg and his retinue of bound female reds from helping Tlatepetl on the west front. To the east, the planned diversion has failed as the attack to the west bogged down and it became clear no attack was coming from the Ylari. Detachments of Giants in the hills to the east are dispatched to the west front after the nature of the diversion is confirmed to help strengthen the line.
mid summer 1020 - central Aengmor
reports begin to arrive in to Princess Tanadaleyo and King Doriath in Rafielton about communications being lost with communities around the Goblin Point magic point. Army patrols are sent to ascertain the nature of the problem and deal with it. Nothing is heard back from the first patrols sent, they simply disappear. Experienced agents, adventurers are sent to see what is going on. A week later a half dead shadow elf is brought back to Rafielton with an incredible tale of tens of thousands.. maybe of hundreds of thousands of humanoids running around the central part of Aengmor killing everything in their path. He dies before he can say anything more....
midsummer 1020 - Aengmor/Alfheim
in the weeks since the return of the lone scout, all hell has broken out in Aengmor/Alfheim. Units of Shadow and Forest elves try in vain to hold back seemingly endless waves of humanoids originating from the area of Goblin Park. The command is given to give up the eastern half of the forest and concentrate all forces on a Turnclaw-Desnae-Thornbush-Ainsun line to protect Rafielton. Orders are given for all elves in the eastern half of the forest to retreat west or fend for themselves. Messengers are sent to the Darokin army to recall all the forest elf volunteers to have them return home to the forests immediately.
midsummer 1020 - Eastern Darokin
savage fighting continues between Nemiston and Selenica as Darokin presses hard to break the humanoid lines. In the battle of Five Oaks, the Darokin forces attain a momentary breakthrough but the victory is fleeting as the hole is plugged by the timely arrival of a regiment of stone and frost giants just arrived from the eastern hills. The apparent victory turns quickly into a rout as the exhausted Darokinean forces are routed and flee west before the giants advance. A stalemate appears looms as many of Darokin's experienced troops are dead on the field, wounded or simply exhausted from weeks of continuous fighting, and reinforcements are slow to come and of lesser quality, being conscripts, draftees or men who served in the army many years previous. Tlatepetl draws replacements from experienced warriors from the clans of the surrounding region who had resisted joining him, but now see Tlatepetl has a real chance of winning this war. More humanoids come down from the Altan Tepes smelling blood in the water.
late summer 1020 - ruins of Nemiston, Darokin
after two months of near continual fighting the commander in charge of Darokinean and Shire forces unhappily orders a halt to offensive operations. In the last two months, at the cost of over 8,000 casualties, all he has to show for his troops blood and bravery is having pushed Tlatepetl back some 40 miles, only halfway back to Selenica. He makes plans to bring up more troops from the heartland of Darokin and resume his offensive when he can bring Darokin's substantially higher population base into play. Darokin City sends more delegations to Ylaruam City and Dengar to ask more troops and direct involvement in the fighting. In the north, the Dwarven Expeditionary Army has made no progress in pressuring Tlatepetl from the north. They are just not strong enough to eliminate the trolls and continue south towards Selenica. For the last month they have engaged in a running guerrilla war in the hills and mountains of the Dwarfgate Mountains against what is estimated to be a force of 750-1000 trolls, supported and led by several Red Dragons including the fearsome Red Dragon Khordarg.
late summer 1020 - Rafielton, Aengmor/Alfheim
In the chambers of Princess Tanadaleyo a meeting is held attended by the Forest Elf King Doriath and leading generals of Shadow Elf and Forest Elf troops. The generals report both good news and bad news to the two regents. The good news first of course. They report that a solid of defense has been established between Rafielton and the humanoids. They report that many elves were able to escape the eastern half of the forest and make it to the safety of the western forest. The generals estimate they have 10% of the shadow elf population on the front line roughly 13,000 troops. King Doriath's senior commander estimates another 10,000 forest elves are also on the front line. The Princess asked if they felt that would be sufficient to hold to the line. After a long period of silence, General Sputafiel speaks up bravely and offers his opinion that he does not believe it will be enough to hold the forest or Rafielton. That brave opinon then leads to to bad news the generals have to deliver to the Princess. They inform the Princess that the latest intelligence reports arriving this morning are estimating the numbers of humanoids to be in excess of 50,000, and they warn that might be on the low side with no idea just how many there are, or if all the forces are even in the field yet. All the elves are aware of the history of the Goblin Point magic site and most now suspect the invasion is not related to Tlatepetl but something perhaps far more sinister. After a few minutes of silence.. Princess Tanadaleyo dismisses them with orders to hold the line at all costs
late Summer 1020 - Darokin City, Darokin
several orders are sent out from the office of the Chancellor today. One directs the newly formed 6th, 7th, and 8th armies east, each with 6 reserve legions, a total of just over 12,000 troops, to meet the 1st and 3rd armies east of Nemiston. The veteran 4th army 'Shield of Darokin', protecting Corrunglain and the northern border with nearly 6000 troops, is replaced with the newly formed reserve 9th army and ordered to join the force at Nemiston. Darokinian High Command is confident this new force..totalling almost 40,000 troops should be enough to defeat Tlatepetl and reclaim Selenica before the end of the year.
A second order is also issued.. relieving General Vanisi of command in Nemiston and replacing him with national hero General Droughen Anders. He departs immediately for Nemiston.
F21, Plate +3, Shield +4, ring of Protection +4, Longsword +3, various assorted magic items found over a decade of adventuring.
S-17, I-13, W-9, D-18, Con-13, Chr-10
Droughen is one of the most famous warriors in all Darokin. Leaving his home in Corrunglain at 16 he joined the legions of Darokin and served for several years with the XV legion before suffering a grievous facial injury in a fight with goblins from the Broken Lands. After separating he went on the adventurer path and joined a adventuring party with which he became known throughout the known world. The party, a disparate group that included: a Glantrian wizard, Wendarian Elf, Thyatin warrior, and a Heldannic priest of Vanya became known for such adventuring coups as recovering the Wendarian Elvenstar from the Shadow Lord, saving the Duke of Rhoona, and finally in his countries time of greatest need traveling west to defeat the Master in person which helped break the back of the Master's invasion of Darokin. He brought further honor to himself by fighting alongside his adventuring comrades and serving in the Glantrian Expeditionary Force during the last stages of the Great War. After the war Droughen retired from adventuring, full time at least, and was given command of a legion, the XIII, which he held for several years before being promoted to Inspector General of the Darokinian Armed forces.
Late Summer 1020 - Ylaruam City, Ylaruam, Rafielton, Aengmor and Dengar, Rockhome.
DDC envoys plead and offer major trade concessions and deals to for expanded intervention in the war against Tlatepetl.
King Everast responds frostily and tells the DDC envoy that nothing has changed in last couple of months ..that Rockhome simply can not spare more troops to the conflict.
The Ylari Sultan though is more open to the suggestion and finally after some preliminary trade concessions are discussed he agrees and says that his troops will move on Selenica from the east when Darokin begins it's fall offensive against Tlatepetl.
In Rafielton the DDC envoy arrives and is refused an audience with the explanation that the King and Princess are both too busy to see anyone now. The DDC envoy notices something VERY wrong, it appears as if the town is an armed camp. He DEMANDS an audience with SOMEONE.. finally late in the night he is brought to King Doriath's quarters, and find the King in full battle gear seemingly ready to leave his quarters. The envoy is told that he must warn Darokin that a greater problem than Tlatepetl may be coming if the combined forces of the elves can not stop it, if fact.. it might too late for his forces south of east of the concentrated humanoid forces. He tells the envoy to consider withdrawing his forces before they are lost or cut off. He bids farewell to his old friend and disappears into the woods to the east.
Late Summer 1020 - Nemiston, Darokin
newly arrived commander Droughen Anders is reviewing troop positions and the condition of the 1st and 3rd armies when a series of dispatches arrive detailing brutal raids against communities and homesteads to the west of Nemiston.. in Darokinin held territory. What is worse is the new of where the raids originated.. from the forests of Aengmor. Droughen immediately orders 2 Halfing divisions to the west to check out these reports and confirm them.
late Summer 1020 - forest elf lines, forest of Aengmor/Alfheim northeast of Rafielton
King Doriath, shadowed by his most trusted bodyguards and advisers, looks east through the dim early morning light and can see nothing. Yet all can hear the sounds of what must be thousands on the move to the east. The King grips his shield tight and steps to the front rank. Soon the sounds die down and a dead silence comes over the elven lines. The silence lasts seemingly forever before the silence is broken by the guttural roar of thousands upon thousands of voices. The King mutters a prayer to Ilusundal as the attackers come charging finally into view and take dead aim upon the elf lines...
late Summer 10120 - Nemiston, Darokin
General Anders is faced with a tough choice. He glances at several notes on his makeshift desk. One from the Inner Council at the capital is a warning about an as of yet ascertained threat threatening the elves to the north which might also be a danger to his flank. Another report, just arrived, from the commander of the Halflings sent to the west tells of strong raids coming out of the Aengmor forest. General Anders cradles his head in his hands for a moment before calling his advisers in and issuing orders for the army to prepare for retreat, no not a retreat, but a redeployment in the morning. His forces are ordered leave in the morning to move west to join the advancing armies being sent to reinforce him.
whoops... discovered a major mistake.
for this I was planning on using the work of Steven Wilson and his civil war in Karameikos, however the timeline (upon closer look since I was about to introduce what was going on there, with what I'm doing here) I don't have the time line for this event matching what he did with that.
In Steven's work (which I'd prefer to keep as much as possible), Stefan doesn't die until 1020 and the civil war doesn't begin in earnest till 1021. In 1021 with the timeline I had been working under... there would be no civil war thus eliminating all his work and his timeline of events there. Karameikos would be united in a fight for survival against the threat about to unleashed upon the KW. To keep Stefan, makes Tlatepetl a non-player here since he could have never taken Selenica with Darokin having the troops of Karameikos to relieve Selenica and aid Darokin's 2nd Army in the far east of Darokin.
so to preserve his work as much as possible.. not to mention selfishly mine hahah... I'm thinking of pushing the events of this war back a year to 1021. What the greater war interrupts in the Karameikan Civil War can be resolved or continued after the Great War is completed. Not sure if SWilson is around. If you are... would love your feedback on how to combine the two events.
just as my creative motor was getting revved on this project... shutting this down for some time to see how I can make the two events coexist.