When we arrived at the event and donned our armor and took our place with the Southern army there were people everywhere. I believe that our purpose there had something to do with how we seem to help Rhiassa in many capacities, training the Oaken guard and helping defend their lands, but I digress. Throughout the day we faced battles in many forms. First were the line battles, unlimited to start. Our archers lined up behind Rhiassa due to our familiarity working together, came through their ranks and ran to skirmish with the North before they were close enough to engage in melee combat with our line. The archers ran back, and soon it was time for swords. It became evident quickly that while we had the advantage of numbers the North had the advantage of many seasoned fighters with Grimloch, the newly formed Invictus, and even the Southern Wastes fighting on their side. The Wastes’ decision confuses me, but I suppose they seem to be kind of freelancers in the Realms, traveling and doing as they see fit.
The line battles were all over quickly, both limited and unlimited even with the hilarity of healers accidently raising their friends from their opponents side forgetting that they were fighting each other. As a spellcaster I was worried about being ineffectual during the limited battles as that would normally mean magics would not work, but the Creator graced us with favor and we retained the ability to heal limbs and fire magic missiles at our enemies and found ourselves able to wield larger weapons than normal.
After the line battles we rotated on the field to play a game of “Capture the Flag”. We all found ourselves charging in, killing our enemies, looking for our opportunity to grab the other teams flag when seemingly as soon as the first game began we heard the call of “OVER!” Only to look over and see that there stood Darven of Mayerling, fighting with us on the South holding the North’s flag. Three cheers for Darven!
The next round was unlimited so I sought to delay the North by laying down a Circle of Protection around our flag, but after a couple of spellcasters failed to grab it a fighter was finally able to overwhelm me and thus brought about a victory for the North.
By the time the next game rolled around I was really starting to feel the fact that a horse (OOC: motorcycle) stepped on my foot a couple weeks ago, so as the ballista challenge began I took up station with Kwiddo who also warred with an injured foot at the regen flag. There he bravely sat repairing armor and bows as brave warriors came back to life, I waiting to cast a CoP to defend his forge from a disrupting abjurer but no such interference arrived. The battles were long and hard but eventually they ended, with no one I spoke to actually knowing the victor.
As we moved to bridges at last I felt useful, myself with my Circle of Healing, Kwiddo again with his forge. Together we saw many brave warriors pass through our ranks to return to the fray of fighting that seemed to never end. It took about forty minutes until someone fired an arrow through my circle, breaking it and putting a stop to my healing. The battle itself lasted long, 55 minutes of grueling combat, many picking up pikes for the first time in their lives doing everything they could to defend the line, but alas the North eventually broke through. One of our healers tried with all his might to call a cry of life while our warriors were dead behind enemy lines which would have certainly turned the tide of battle but… well could a bard perhaps give that man a lesson in projection?
From bridges we moved on to alternately besiege and defend a small fort in the woods, fight as we might we could not waylay our besiegers for long. As we sought to gain our own entry we fought valiantly, as fighters died new men and women came forward to grab the pikes and fill the ranks. It took a great deal of strength and courage but eventually we broke through the door shields of Invictus and entry was gained.
As we grew hungry we trooped down to the beach where there stood the final castle. Unfortunately in the tight quarters with spare weapons laid everywhere it was impossible to set up a Circle of Healing. I sat on the front lines holding my shield healing the limbs of pikemen and dragging the dead from under their door shields and knew with dismay the battle would not last long without the greater healing abilities.
As the battle ended a quick point capture battle began. At this point my foot demanded that I begin to make my way back to the tavern, but from what I hear this was a great time. At one point the dock came detached in the middle and the fighters upon it began to drift away, but all was soon restored to order. At the conclusion of this fight occurred a court, unfortunately all I could learn of was the gruesome resurgence of the nation of Rathkeale. Let me see how well my memory serves of this tale,
Lord and Chancellor Hayden Cromwell of Rathkeale the Devourer:
For those of you who DONT know me I am Hayden Cromwell and for the last 6 months or so I have been lording myself around as the Lord of Rockwood let me just say that I am no longer that! But instead I was recently named the LORD AND CHANCELOR of Rathkeale by our great Emperor Artex Bluebane the Unforgiven! woo isn’t that awesome! Now before I finish this up there have been some men and women that have fought with me! and I ask that those who BEAR MY Mark the broken chalice step forward and Kneel! (and so they did) you are all BRAVE enough to fight alongside me! now let us see if your Brave enough to follow my orders Drink from this Cup, the cup of my body as a sign of loyalty to me! Inside are FLUIDS drink. These FLUIDS from this cup and it will represent our bond! (and so they did) WOW you are brave I mean those fluids were inside me... it’s cool it was my blood haha! Congratulations brave men and women! you are now all Part of rathkeale and I am inside you! flowing through you and we are bound!
At this we broke for dinner, many grilling food over fires, my friends and I found an excellent local eatery serving pasta and pizzas that we would advise to anyone. Upon return to the event was an excellent bout of capture the flag in the dark in the woods. The whole site was live for this event; each team had 3 flags a large one with bells worth the most points and two small ones with lights attached. Another way for the teams to get points was to kill and scalp those on the other team, these scalpings were not permanent but a just a part of the tournament. I ended up watching from the tavern for most of the game, discussing the outcome with others when two members of Invictus and two members of the South resurrected at the tavern at the same time. An argument quickly ensued over each other’s safety upon leaving the neutral territory. I attempted to use my feminine wiles to distract Wrath, but surprisingly it bore no effect. The two girls from the South unfortunately quickly ended up dead and scalped again right outside the tavern.
At this point the highlight of the evening began for me in the opening of Panther’s Inn. Never having been to this establishment before but having heard many good things I was certainly looking forward to it. I knew some who were looking forward to gambling, I had heard many tales of the dancers and that all abound it would be a good time of story and drink. From the time I arrived at the door I was not disappointed. The… erm, door guard *cough cough* for those sensitive ears who may be around, certainly was not what I expected. She did not care that Sir Panther had expressly invited the nation of Mayerling to his Inn, I was still expected to pay entry. After much objection on my part she went and extracted the honorable knight away from his card table, though much to my shock I was STILL expected to pay entry, note to self, next time bring a pie or something. Well after much stuttering and stammering and inward lamenting over my very light money pouch I agreed to craft for Sir Panther arrows in return for the entry of everyone from my nation, to be delivered by the time the leaves begin to change and fall from the trees.
Once finally inside I can tell you it was a wondrous time. Drinks there were a plenty well crafted by Sir Kaz, Rob Scarlet made an excellent stew. The dancers were quite exquisite… and well Syruss, he wasn’t a bad dancer either. The lockpick training set was available for those who wished to learn this most useful skill, while I did not mess with them at the Inn I can remember from the Feast of Leviathan that they are a difficult but fun challenge that I encourage others to join in. The gambling was fierce, and talk and stories of past battles and friends and family and homelands was aplenty. While the air in the Inn was warm it started raining outside which brought more people in.
Alas and unfortunately the next day which was supposed to be full of squad battles, which Mayerling had been looking forward to until we were called back home for urgent engagements, was a day of great rain and storms. Only one from the South remained to fight for honor and glory, though the North remained largely en force.
So here our tale ends, with another year of warring between the North and the South now behind us adding to its deep rich history within the Realms. Who knows where the future of this war shall lead, that will only be determined by those who rise to defend their sides honor and seek victory.