Songs of the Bards – Autumn 27, 58AD

Hail adventurers!

The Bards have been singing the praises of Marshall Roehm and Duke Reynald since the victory at Yew ten days earlier. The Marshall has been quick to try and restore some basic services and provisions to those who were left. He has also been securing the area around Yew to try and prepare for both a counter-attack and for the coming Winter.

The news of his missing daughter is not welcome to any, though. She is missing and neither ransom or fate is known. It is said she was either taken by the orcs or the cowardly humans in black armor, but it is not know for sure who has her.

The harvest is going very well, and the Enonian markets have filled many of the streets and surrounding fields outside the wall, as animals and produce come by wagon-fulls to head into the other parts of the Duchy and kingdom. It would appear that after 2 years of poor harvests, the Light has blessed the Duchy with plenty.

Dame Oriolt and Marshall Kelvin have invoked a centuries old rule allowing them to declare any worship of deities or religions outside of the Light to be “heretical and treasonous, bringing discord and disobedience to law and Man and therefore illegal in the eyes of the King and His Agents.” They are basing on a local interpretation that any worship outside the Light is “heretical and treasonous.” This has never been done before, and is considered controversional, especially when being done as locally as by a regional priest and a Marshall of a Duke. It is not known what the position of the Church and Duke will be, but the Dame is a strong and well liked priestess in the southern center of the Duchy. She has also declared that the activities of the Lightbringers to be Lawful in the eyes of the Marshall. It is said that several small gatherings of worshipers of old gods have been arrested.

Several bards sing of a strange story of trolls attacking a mine that lies between Enonia and Stouton. The mercenary captain, Ralen Gold and her tough group of men at arms, currently under the employ of Sir Chaddius Reynald, fought the foul creatures and prevented them from a raid, but the rocks they were found with are considered a strange haul. It is not known why the beasts were after a what is considered a scrap ore, instead of the valuable iron that the mine produces.

And finally, the bards are telling of ominous tales from the beleaguered Duchy of Pisces. It is said that the entire “neck” of land between the Southern Sithasten Mountains and the Callisto Seas has been overrun by orcs. This land bridge connects the Piscean lands with the rest of the kingdom. The Southron Ducal council is supposed to convene to determine their next course of action, as they have not received word from the Duchess of Pisces, Duchess Childress.

Songs of the Bards – Autumn 17, 58AD – The Battle of Yew

Hail Enonians!

The town is in a state of giddy celebration as word has come – the Marshal was victorious and has retaken Yew from the combined forces of the Black Brotherhood and the Orcs! A last minute desperate attack saw the Marshal’s knights drive the fearsome Orcs away from the town. With half of their forces lost, and both their camp and the town taken, the Orcs have retreated in disarray towards Notchland Keep, and some forces headed to Upland Hold.

The butcher’s bill was high, with a third of the Marshal’s forces lost. It is said that one of his twin daughters, a knight-in-training, is missing as well.

It is a time of great celebration in the Duchy! This year has already seen two major victories against the Orcs and everyone feels hope, even in the face of the grim news from elsewhere of Orcs advancing.

Songs of the Bards – Summer 1, 58AD – Assault on the Orc Fort

Gather close, Enonians, and let me tell you a tale of great bravery and victory!

On the first day of Summer, the 58th year after The Doom, the brave Marshall Roehm, his valiant companion Sir Reynald, a large company of knights, cavalry and foot soldiers crushed the Orcs who had set up a fort on the site of the old Dalewoods Wayfarer’s Inn. Aided by a brave group of adventurers who snuck into the fort unseen and blew open the gates, Roehm’s forces soundly defeated or drove off the orcs. It was the Marshall himself who speared the Orc Chieftain with his lance, ending the battle.

The adventurers, who’ve now been named Heroes of the Duchy of Irecia, had discovered a way into the inside of the palisade walls that was unknown to the Orcs. One of the adventurers, an elven mage by the name of Pyria, struck a dangerous deal with the mysterious Striped Mage for scrolls of Fireball, in order to blow the gates open and provide a clear path for the Marshall’s forces to overcome the defending Orcs.

The Marshall gathered his forces – knights consisting of nobles and landowners from around the vicinity of Enonia, militias and men-at-arms sworn to his service. Sir Reynald, brother to the Duke of Irecia, also joined the forces, bringing his mercenaries and his own retinue of knights and cavalry. Nearly 200 brave men and women marched at a double-time pace to the fort, making the trek in under 6 hours for what normally took 8 to 10 hours of a walk. Unfortunately, for the adventurers who would again enter the palisade to surprise the orcs, their mage Pyria was nowhere to be found!

The group was approached by a former adventurer by the name of Parabellum. It seemed that Pyria had been compelled to do something else, but wanted the attack to succeed, so she bargained with Parabellum to join the attack. He eagerly agreed, packing only a few things, the precious Fireball scroll and several pipes to keep his courage up. With their plan still intact, the adventurers set off with the attack force to begin the battle at dawn!

The adventurers entered the dark dirt tunnel. Their group consisted of the Might Mazlor – Curate of The Light, Balto and Fergus – the littleling and human friends, Ja’kar – the Fist of Mesha, Ragar the Ranger, Bel-a-dur the enigmatic elven warrior and Grel, Paladin of Tangadorin the Light Bringer. Joining them were Sally, an Adept of the Light, and the pipe-smoking, frying-pan toting Parabellum the Mage. Negotiating with a crazy kobold shaman who had a rat farm at the entrance to these dank and dirty tunnels, they bribed him with shanks of freshly butchered pork. He eagerly let them through and they negotiated familiar tunnels until they reached the basement walls of what had been the Inn.

The adventurers pushed through rocks and rubble that had been used to plug the tunnel from the basement. Creeping inside, they discovered that the orcs and goblyns had been busy! The former tunnels and small storerooms had been opened up into large workshops and barracks! Clearly, the bestials were looking to make this simple fort into a much larger facility, one that could support a thrust into the heart of the remaining human lands!

The adventurers found an opening to peek through, the stealthy thief Balto avoiding being seen. Horns blared as the Marshall began a pre-arranged feint, distracting the Orcs so that the adventurers could get in position to use the Fireball and destroy the gate. Deciding that the opening was too risky, the adventurers found the main doors from the workshops to the outside, but guarded by two goblyns! Bows thrummed, fists flew and swords flashed as two goblyns fell quickly. The adventurers crept outside into the middle of frantic Orc activity! The cavalry was about to ride out the East gate to sweep around the fort and flank the humans. The goblyn and orc foot soldiers massed at the West gate, ready to smash into the human lines.

A loud cheer erupted from the humans as the palisade gate blew apart in a fiery burst! The orcs, shocked, all turned to look at the adventurers now in their midst! Parabellum stood with a disintegrating parchment and a proud grin at his handiwork, while the rest of the party drew weapons and prepared to fight for their lives.

The Orc Chieftain bellowed out orders – ATTACK! – and the orc cavalry swept out of the fort in one direction, the complaining goblyns and dour orcs out the other to face the humans. Little did they know that a trap had been laid by the cunning Marshall… most of his knights were waiting for the orc cavalry to sweep by and he would crush them from behind!

The tide of battle shifted decisively when the orc foot soldiers broke and ran! Seeing the Marshall himself hold up to the charge of the cavalry, watching their orc mates die quickly, the foot soldiers’ resolve broke. They followed the goblyns, who never regained their morale, into the Dale Woods and back east towards orc lands. They ran past the charging knights of Sir Reynald, who had swept from the woods and were bearing down on the orc cavalry from the rear.

The orc cavalry crashed into the archers and into the guard of Marshall Roehm. The poor archers held up bravely, but were overrun, all dead save for three souls out of twenty. The Marshall, his knights and the orcs traded blows, and although the Marshall was injured, he kept fighting.

The orcs had been defeated! With the body of the fearsome Orc Chieftain laying dead at the feet of the Marshall, any hope the remaining forces had of regrouping vanished. Orcs and goblyns fled into the woods and back to the lands they came from. The men and women cheered long and hard. The victorious Marshall rode into the fort and the soldiers followed.

“We have taken the day!” the reinvigorated Marshall shouted. “We have bloodied their nose and sent them running! Long will this day be remembered for the bravery and stoutness of human hearts and arms! YOU are the victors and this is the first blow we strike against the Darkness! And to you, brave adventurers, we salute you! This day is because of your achievement and drive to find a way for us to take the fort. By my authority as Marshall, I name you all Heroes of the Duchy of Irecia!”

What are The Chronicles of Etinerra?

Some say it was sight of the three greater planets joining together in the sky that heralded the downfall of Man in the Lands.

Some say that the great silver sphere that plunged through the sky, bringing fire and destruction in its wake delivered the retribution for our sins.

Some say that the plagues that stalked the towns and keeps of our frontiers were the final stroke before the bestial beasts ravenged our farms and villages and drove the decimated Legions from the Far Reaches.

Whatever they say, it could not possibly fully account and list all of the calamities and travails that Man has suffered since the Darkest Hours. Our Doom has been multiple and ceaseless in its entirety. Its effects are long lasting, as we sit huddled in our small cities and fortified keeps. Slowly, we learn to adapt and we learn to live in this new Age – the age of The Doom, and the Dark Age.

And yet, there are those who will seek out the frontier again, who will seek to advance their station and plumb the secrets of the ancients, beat back the hordes of beasts and maybe perhaps cleanse our old lands of the Damned… those rare few who have decided to step forth. The so-called Nobility will not. The few armies that remain will not. But someone will…
— Ta-Shanarbiya, Priest of Yallowforth Keep, Year 52 AD (After Doom)

It is a dark time. Much has changed in the world that your forefathers and granddams knew. It almost two generations ago that the skies lit in flames, the world cracked open, the beasts and bestials poured from the dark and civilization retreated.

Man, Elf and Littlelings have retreated to the safety of numbers, abandoning much that they had gained in many generations. Kingdoms fell, fortresses crumbled and the tramp of foul feet was heard across many leagues. The Dwarfs have not been seen in generations and rumors abound of the “Dark Ones” return.

Man has survived in the face of Chaos and Doom, but much has been lost. Now, the Duchies struggle to hold the line against the ever-present Darkness. Survival is never certain, especially on the now sparsely populated frontiers. Once, these were well-known lands, but since the Doom of Man, they have fallen into darkness, now the story of legends and whispered myths. The other races, Elf and Littleling, they sit in their lands and hold their own, both cursing Man for the Doom of the lands and reaching out in the hopes that all may join to regain what was lost.

Links of interest:
The Lands of Men
Time of History (coming)
Five Year History Prior to the Doom (coming)