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Retaking Hilm

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Within three weeks of Molvarens departure from Hilm thousands line the still rubble strewn streets of Hilm city to watch line after line of soldiers, cavalry, pikes, shields and a various assortment of supplies and auxilery as they wend their way out of the castle and surrounding city and into the lands surrounding them heading south. Their ultimate destination being Briardusk.

At their lead is several hundred mixed cavalry and a shining figure bearing a Toranite standard. Behind Lady Daniella Stormhaven rode a score of hand picked Toranite shock cavalry and then came the various functionaries and army commanders from Hilm as well and so on and so forth. Long lines of rejuvenated and eager soldiers marching to reclaim their lost lands.

The only dark side to mar the leaving of the fifteen thousand strong army was the announcement that the legions of Rael troops will soon be recalled from Hilm unless Lord Rael is invited by the leaders to continue to support the war effort in its new phase.

Sir Lance, Queen Langovale, Lord Alexander and many others watched from the castle walls as the army led by Lady Daniella flowed south along the main road. Sir lance knew that if Rael withdrew it would leave Hilm Castle vulnerable again with many of its soldiers travelling with Lady Daniella to reclaim the lands south of Hilm Castle. He also know he had to work hard to prevent others from deciding their job wsa done and taking their soldiers away as well. The war was far from done yet.

As he stood on the wall Lance looked around the horizon, dark clouds still hung in the air to the north and the south west over the Orsgaunt mountains. While to the north west the sky was dark speckled with black and orange as even from this vast distance the fires and smoke from the erupting volcano's of Molten Isle cast a dark shadow over the entire northern regions of the world.

He worried that soon Boyer would also recall their troops since their country had been affected to a large degree by the fallout of ash and fires sparked by lava balls thrown hundreds of miles from the volcanos of Molten Isle that had truck their northern regions.

Work had arrived that morning that Ractrafiorez had been back to the renmants of Fort of last Hope and that the Jaedon Siphe's Siphe garra had now reached the five or six thousand mark and continued to grow everyday as highly trained man and women of the Drach Garra abandoned their Cult Masters in favour of the former General.

So too word had finally arrived of the Cult defeat at Zolinar and the horror stories that came with them of demons and devils, of the Risen Storan and the complete and utter destruction of Zolinar so that every building, every stone, every blade of grass had been reduced to nothing. Zolinar no longer existed but a barren and scorched area of forest that once housed a bustling and thriving city. Queen Langovale had wept when she heard what had happened and deputations had already been sent to Nesar to protest at what had occured.  Lance worried about Sundance and the Nesar army there doing the same thing but was reassured due to it being under Razeriem and Gork's control for the moment with no Corathites present. he knew one day there would have to be a reckoning for the leaders of the army that assaulted Zolinar, that this man who called himself the Mad Doctor would have to be found and dealt with...and Storan..well, that was a new worry for the future.

As Lance watched the army depart he considered his own departure in two days time. With Rael potentially withdrawing it was not going to give him anywhere near the 20,000 soldiers he was hoping to take to Sundance. In fact he and Lord Alexander had engaged in stern words he day before over just how many Lance would be able to take. Lord Alexander wanted at least ten thousand soldiers left to protect Castle Hilm and the north as well as the supply route to Alhon. That meant Lance could only field five to ten thousand able soldiers to go south. The plans had changed slightly in that he would give Daniella a head start then advance south and bypass the engagement at Briardusk. If Daniella looked like she was going to have problems the advance to Sundance would be given up and lance would join her at Briardusk, but for now he would go to Sundances aid.

As Daniella's large army slowly moved south her scouts spread far and wide. At regular intervals groups made up of about three scores would move off to resecure border posts to the west while other hunting parties ranged to the east towards the Orsgaunt mountains to flush out any remaining pockets of Cult soldiers or wayward Myr'drachs. Eerily however their advance south meet no resistance and within days the army was a hundred miles south of Castle Hilm and not far from the remains of Wallach's crypt.

Here the army settled for several more days while Daniella confirmed through arriving scouts who reported to Jillseponie that their rear was clear, the border posts reinstated and Lances army was on the move. Daniella knew the next week and a half would be unpleasant for the army following her, a journey through the Withered lands was hard enough at the best of times but when you faced the possibility of being attacked by hostile forces as well as the hostile natural creatures that lived there it was going to be unplesant indeed. She knew at some point she would branch off and head to Fort of last Hope while Captain Argali, Captain Vrebel, Captain Kromlek, Captain Gunder, Captain Daniel and others could continue on to Briardusk and settle the army and begin to gather intell on what they faced until she returned, she still worried at every detail and prayed regularly for strength and guidance.

Days later the army packed up and moved into the Withered Lands and within days they met their first resistance. Drach Tesak had set up a myriad of traps and deadfalls throughout different areas and it seemed Drach ori had also set up magical traps as well. Daniella lost a number of soldiers to the deadly traps before slowly the advance and asking some of the more seasoned adventurers to move forward with Jills scouts and support the recovery of the traps. For perhaps the first time in her life she would have liked Lord Arkolio to be present to deal with the traps since he seemed to have a knack for them but then she thought she'd have to put up with his own self aggrandizement for the entire journey. In that moment she was glad he decided his Katherian soldiers and he would stay in Hilm and help with the clean up. Mind you she was a bit concerned about hearing they were looting the bodies as opposed to cleaning them up.

Their movement slowed to a crawl through the ravines and it took more than a week to reach the other side and be within a few days march of Briardusk itself. Here Daniella stopped the army again and prepared to take a small group to the east to hopefully meet and speak with the former Cult General, Jaedon Siphe. It was here she heard some disturbing news. A Toranite patrol had failed to return from a sweep in the Withered Lands. Almost a score of solid dependable Toranites unnacounted for. Daniella waited another day while Ferrit was sent out with Jill to look at the area they were supposed to be and when they returned they reported finding no trace of the patrol.

Concerned but unable to do much about the incident, Daniella gave her Captains their instructions and left with a score of Toranite Cavalry as well as Drexia and Ferrit and set off for the remains of Fort of last Hope.

Two weeks later and so much has happened!

Lady Daniella has returned to the army camped north of Briardusk with startling news. A fanatical sect of Toranites were behind the attacks on the Siphe Garra and have been brought down and Jaedon Siphe has issued a startling request that has left many Hilmites angry and confused. He wants to carve out his own little kingdom in the middle of Hilm.

In the last day also Sir Lance has arrived from securing Sundance in Hilm control. Having left most of his force there to secure the lands to the original border with Nesar he has arrived with a smaller force to join the existing one waiting to assault Briardusk.

Sergeant Brank Far has brought 1000 Elite Heavy Nesar Infantry to join the fight.

A number of adventurers have begun to arrive at the scene also in preparation for the coming conflict.

Scouts have spent their time trying to find ways in, out, around, under and over in getting into Briardusk coming up against blank walls at every occassion.

What they have been able to find out is that there is maybe eight to ten thousand soldiers, which includes maybe 5 or 6 hundred Myr'drachs and approximately a third of the army being enlisted Drachs of different orders within the city. They also indicate there are a number of Drach Ori and ex adventurers as well.

It is clear to all those arriving that the enemy have dug ditches around the city and filled them with as much debris and dead wood as can be found for miles in each direction in the Withered Lands. They have soaked the ditches in thick oil as well. The city is surrounded by not one but three rings of thick earthernwork walls reinforced by steel framework inside them. The outer two formed in the last few months after they took the city. Dragon fire has been used to bake the walls to a dense and extremely hard consistency.

The concerning matters as well is that the Drach Oi have also set up some sort of magical defense around the city. There are buildings at regular points with large metal rods protruding from them and extending at least 60 feet into the air. There is one of these buildings in a ring around the inner city every 1200 feet or as close as possible to it. At night the metal rods create a humming sound that can be heard across the withered lands to where the army is camped to the north awaiting orders.

As well as that at night there are strange growling sounds coming from a building close to the middle of the city.

Two dragons have also been causing trouble destroying a number of war machines set up by the allied forces. On top of this night allied sentries have sworn they saw a large dark shape fly over the allied lines on more than one occassion but have assumed its one of the dragons.

At least a dozen scouts have been lost, never returning on scouting missions.

Finally the land around the city lives up to its name, the Withered Lands and is barren of just about everything meaning the army is relying heavily on supplies being brought down almost daily from Castle Hilm.

Into this situation, with Lady Daniella's arrival with five Siphe Garra War Advisors plans begin to be made for the inevitable assault on the city.

Script Wrecked:
Argali addresses the force's commanders.

"The firrst thing we arre doing iz torching their fire ditches, no? Once they have burnt out, then we take the action."

Steel arrives and spends some time conferring with Razeriem before making his way to Lance Stargazer's command tent. Assuming he is given entry, he addresses the commanders present.

"If you attack Briardusk, Kuhl is lost to Molvaren. This is Molvaren's gambit to drain you of men and leave you nothing with which to retake Kuhl. I would suggest that instead of attacking, you lay in for a prolonged siege. Starve them out. Keep them busy. And then pick a weak point in Kuhl and attack. Force Molvaren to retreat from Hilm just to maintain Kuhl. And then hit Kuhl hard.

Do not make the mistake of attacking Briardusk. Your men will suffer and die, and all you will have accomplished is regaining a crumbled city and a weakened Hilm that sits next to a secure Kuhl. I'll say it again, do not attack Briardusk."

Daniella looks at Steel.

"Your suggestion is noted and will be taken into consideration, Mercenary."


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