Lord Mayor, Colonel Baron Wolfhaven, Alexander
Commander of the Legio Heroes
Eternal Desert, South of A’Davar
First Day of White Stagg, Year 3126 Under the Light
Fall has been a tumultuous time for the forces of the Southern Kingdoms. I fear that when the hour truly comes, we may be too far stretched to be of any good. Ascended help us.
Raining Leaves 15th, 3126
Red Moons turn Black. All omens point to a growing power in the west…
Raining Leaves 17th, 3126
To the north, on the 17th of Raining Leaves, First Company of the White Silver Wolves successfully broke out at Stonefinger, joining the First Host of the Southern Blades as they marched west on the city of Lanier. After months of siege, the weary warriors deserved a rest. And yet, no sooner had they begun their march, when I was forced, by need to divert forces from First and Second companies south, by river, to join a Fifth Company forming in Eastport for the sole purpose of securing, and protecting, Paradise. Strange times these.
On the same day, I received my first communication from Alpha Team in the desert for weeks. Their temporary truce with Tempest was at an end. Tempari as he requested to be called had abandon them in the depths of an ancient tomb in the heart of the desert. And, despite the fact that Tempest DID help the team defeat a Mummy, Tempari left my team to die, alone, in the dark.
Fortunately, they were saved by a Sir Emris of House Kahnar, Master Knight of the Golden Torch, a man who has lived among the desert peoples for decades. It would appear that he learned of our mission from “friends” in Paradise. This war makes strange bedfellows. First, the Emissary, then the city of Almahrad. Eventually, Shayakar, Patrons from Landra’Feya, and even Tempest Magus. What threat could be so dire as to bring all but the Kal into battle on the same side? Not since the Dragons…
Alpha Team is, at least secure in the Desert Rider stronghold. That is a sentence I never imagined I would write.
Harvest Moons 2nd, 3126
Per orders, elements of First, Second, Third AND Fourth Companies of the White Silver Wolves are recalled south, marching via most direct routes to board River Trade Coalition ships at Tirene. Other recruits have been dispatched to a staging area in Eastport. The city is not pleased with our armed presence, but agreed quickly enough when sufficient incentive was offered.
Harvest Moons 5th, 3126
Word reached my command from Sir Emris. Prince Romar’s host had ridden out, the Alpha Team riding in the Van. I cannot express the relief I felt in having regular communication restored. And yet, from such a distance, my Rangers were still far beyond my ability to greatly aid. Though, I worked tirelessly to position resources within their grasp.
Harvest Moons 10th, 3126
As I continued preparations for my departure to Tar’Imas and received updates on the WSW 5th Company’s progress, Lady Moonsilver intruded upon work to inform me of a curious request for an audience. Eve (Evelyn Dakota) had resurfaced in the Defiant Lands, near where the Alpha Team first encountered her. Also, a new presence, though one undeniably familiar; Guardian Archmage Val’rethael Que’kasaars. Hearing the name Que’kasaars I felt a sharp pang, yet the Que’kasaars Family is large and distinguished.
Via Lady Moonsilver’s Farspeaker network we were able to speak. More, Eldais Val’rethael. Eve asked only for me to bring her candied nuts when I traveled north. Bewildering child. Of the Guardian Archmage, I learned much, but each answer brought more and deeper questions. He claimed to be “recently returned” to the “Realm of Starfall,” as he stated. More vital, however, Eldais Val’rethael claimed to be well familiar with Xoas and Set, the correct spelling and pronunciation of the invading forces. My conversation with the Guardian Archmage confirmed my darkest fears. Xaos joins Tempest as the newest in what may well be an unending series of invaders from beyond the Veil.
I dispatched both Eve and “Val” as he is to be called, to the desert. Eve assured me that there were ample Oasis’ tied to Life. Once again I reached out to Sir Emirs, who spoke with Prince Romar, son of Romar, Lion of the Dunes, Bearer of the Three Moon Pennant and Supreme Amir of the Desert Riders. An agreement was settled. When the Riders reached the vicinity of an oasis of sufficient power, they would contact Eve and prepare her arrival. With her power, the sands might be held at bay. Guardian Archmage “Val” agreed to provide tactical guidance to the Prince and his forces.
It would have been my preference to keep Eve with my forces, but needs outweigh desire. Fortunately, Nell reluctantly agreed to serve as our shield against the storms. She has grown…powerful…of late. I pray that does signal a growing presence of Z’zt. We haven’t the strength to face another powerful assault by Tempest.
Harvest Moons 15th, 3126
Within an Oasis some miles south of the Xaos’ purported ritual site, Eve and “Val” joined members of the Desert Riders in the relative protection provided by the Ascended. By that evening, Prince Romar’s column arrived. It is good that Eve has rejoined the Rangers, and it is also well that Eldais Val’rethael met RFC Danica. She is one of the last to serve any length with Evoran. I know not how closely related Eldais Val’rethael and Evoran may have been, but they were clearly well acquainted. I hope that time, and situation permits “Val” to join us here. Moreover, I hope to invite him to join the Legios Heroes. His knowledge and natural talents would prove invaluable to our cause.
Harvest Moons 18th, 3126
And amidst all else, the Long Recon Rangers return after months of absence bringing with them dire news. After so many years, the time I long feared has come. We are not alone. It falls to us now to stand or fall. May Archanon grant us strength, and Celesia hope for tomorrow. And yet, I cannot hope to grapple that challenge while I also face this emergence in the Desert!!!
Then, on the same day the LRT arrived in Echer’Naught, I departed Echer’Naught for Tar’Imas, companions in tow. At the height of the 13th hour, I gathered with an elite team within Echer’Naught’s Sacred Grove. There, High Druidess Treesinger summoned Landra’s power and whisked us away, across the lands. What would take weeks even upon Thunder was achieved in no more than a heartbeat.
We arrived in Tar’Imas, within the sacred grove deep in the heart of the city. There, I was met by representatives of the elves, and a few notables. Among them, commanders of the Wolfhaven Free Company of Riders, dispatched months ago to assemble and scout the area between Tar’Imas and A’Davar. I was also heartened to find members of the Order of Hammerfall Riders. My old Order answered my summons, relishing the chance to pit their skills against the famed riders of the sands. Included was a small force of fellow Silver Paladins, those who can sit a horse. All told, we counted nor more than 500, but with Archanon’s Strength and Celesia’s Grace may we turn the tide.
We rode before the hour was fully gone, riding hard. My route skirted the foothills of the Black Mountains, and passed south of A’Davar by a few days ride. We cross open territory, avoiding all strongholds, gathers, towns, and villages.
Even as we gathered, the newly formed Fifth Company of the White Silver Wolves departed south by RTC ships for Eastport.
Harvest Moons 21st, 3126
Rangers in A’Davar informed command that Prince Morok ki Anzher, Emir of A’Davar had answered the summons and his forces marched south from the city. Numbering around 500 foot.
Harvest Moons 23rd, 3126
Late in the eve, reports arrive that the RTC transports landed in Eastport where Galaen carracks stood ready to accept the troops, along with gear, supplies, and funds for an extended mission in the desert. Fresh recruits also joined the company increasing the number, with staff and support, to a heavy company of 250. Tirelessly, the troops loaded supplies and prepared for travel.
Harvest Moons 24th, 3126
Sailing with the tide, the Carrack Glory departed Eastport bound for Paradise escorted a the twin War Caravels, Windsward and Callomine. Already, Captain Roberts and the Sea Ranger dock at Paradise providing key information and reports via a Ranger bonded Farspeaker among his crew, hired specifically for this mission. From his reports, the situation in Paradise has grown well beyond dire. I pray the Wolves will have a city left to protect.
Harvest Moons 30th, 3126
The Carrack Glory, and Caravels Windsward and Callmoine arrived safely, but found the harbor choked with traffic. Due to riots and overpopulation on the docks, there is no where to offload troops, stranding the Wolves just off shore. Every effort has been made to mobilize our forces, but at present, the city is far to chaotic to hope for a landing. I have even reached out to Prince Velthana in hopes that his office might sway the Prince of Paradise to make some special accommodation. However, from the ships, reports reach me that even the port city is now engulfed by sandstorms.
Time is running out.
Harvest Moons 33rd, 3126
The Day all things turned.
In the morning, before the dawn, both forces from A’Davar and Prince Romar’s Desert Riders arrived at a location known locally as, the Valley of the Dead. Here, Lieutenant Volstagg, with Sir Emris, Eldais Val’rethael, and Prince Romar spied a battle already long in progress. Around a VAST excavation site, a force of Kal about 1000 strong assault from the west. From the east, another force of Tempest also attacked. Between them, a massive horde of Xaos, mercenary, local desert warriors, and zealots held fortifications around the ritual.
The ritual site was a massive black stone pyramid rising from the sand pit, carefully dug out by thousands of workers. Around the pyramid were four massive obelisks pouring energy into a rift above the capstone of the pyramid. Something massive pushed and strained to step through that tear….
Across the field to the north, A’Davar stood watching. Prince Romar took his column north, around behind Tempest to join his cousins from A’Davar. There, a war council ensued. Both Princes determined to attack the Kal forces while they were distracted, but Lieutenant Volstagg, aided by Sergeant Amaroth and RFC Zathlan convinced the Princes to focus first on Xaos. Once the Kal had spent their strength against the Xaos fortifications, the allies could turn and attack. By the Grace of Celesia, they acquiesced.
Just as they prepared to attack, emissaries from Tempest arrived. The same team that recovered Tempari and abandoned the Alpha Team approached. Their leader, a man intelligence has named only as “Gilmer” offered greetings and informed the allies that Tempest had no quarrel with them this day. They only sought to destroy the interlopers and seal the breach. If the Alpha Team wished to join them on that mission, they were welcome.
With the plan decided, Eldais Val’rethael began the battle by walking into the valley and opening of a magicstorm of energy which ripped holes in Xaos lines. In the gap rode the Desert Riders, and charged the Alpha Team along with their A’Davar allies.
Kal-A-Nar forces (1000), Tempest (500), and our combined forces of Desert Riders and A’Davar warriors (~1000) pressed Xaos from west, north and east, and yet, the invaders outnumbered our combined forces by Three to One. Worse, they continued to draw support from through the breach. The battle raged all day, only the Allies made significant headway, though late into the evening, Tempest joined out assault and finally came close to breaking the enemy lines.
Having ridden over 50 miles under a blazing sun, my column reached the battle just at sundown. We broke into two arms, flanked our allies, and slammed into Xaos lines. With our addition force focused on the weakest point in their northern flank, we finally managed to break their lines. Into that gap, I ordered the Ranges fore.
Lieutenant Volstagg and his Alpha Team, along with other Rangers, and Gilmer’s Tempest strike team, broke through the lines and assaulted the ritual directly.
I only learned of what transpired the following day, but the Rangers were suddenly faced with a choice:
They could scale the pyramid and assault the ritual at the apex, but risked being cut down by Reapers in the surrounding scaffolding.
They could attempt to hunt down and destroy the Xaos mages around the archaeological site, but there were many, possibly 13 or more. And all were well defended. Sergeant Amaroth, who was now in charge as Volstagg had fallen minutes before feared they would run out of time before finding enough mages.
The final option was destroying the four, massive obelisks, but the Rangers lacked sufficient explsoives to get the job done. However, Tempest offered an agreement. If the Rangers would hold Xaos at bay, THEY would bring down the towers.
Seeing the battlefield truce as the best option, the Alpha Team launched their attack on the pillars. They managed to bring down the first, but time ran out and something, a massive creature breached the tear and slammed into the battlefield nearby.
Described as an animal headed godlike being, over 18 feet tall, and armed/geared in Xaos tech, teh avatar of Set attacked.
The battle was swift and brutal. By the end, half the team was down, and the rest, save Ranna, were nearly so. She survived unscathed. Nevertheless, the avatar was defeated and with it, much of the ritual power. At about the same time, Tempest, and Kal, destroyed two of the remaining three obelisks. That ended the ritual.
White Stagg 1st, 3126
There would be no celebration. Even as the towers fell, Tempest turned and quit the field. To the west a warning horn sounded. On the horizon, our rear guard spotted a massive force, 1000+ approaching fast. Maelstrom. Kal had summoned reinforcements. There was not hope in reforming our forces. We could only retreat.
Prince Romar chose discretion and the Desert riders peeled away south, leaving A’Davar, my cav and the Rangers between the Kal and Maelstrom armies.
Our only saving grace, the remnants of the Xaos forces still held Kal in place. I used that distraction to suggest to the Prince that he should quit the field and march for A’Davar. He agreed, and while his troops jostled into column, taking my wounded with them, I sent my cav force to screen our withdrawal.
Even as I pen this report from the saddle, my rear guard clashes with Maelstrom van. The Kal? I surmise they remain to take the spoils of victory.
And I have just learned that RFC Nexus Zathlan, of House Volstagg is missing…
…and I still have nothing but scattered reports that the Wolves have engaged Xaos in Paradise…
Archanon and my Lady Celesia granted their faith in me is warranted.
Your most obedient servant,
Lord Mayor Wolfhaven, Colonel
Eternal Desert, South of A’Davar