Time for some Winds of War! Only three for this event, one for the Druj, one for the Jotun and one for the heralds of the eternal known as the Cold Sun.
A Walk in Shadow
This Downtime, the armies of the Empire pushed East past the Barrens and further into the lands of the Druj. The Citadel Guard hit the Nameless River first, setting up a base camp where it would be most easily forded and keeping the Druj forces back long enough for the other armies to cross, though many soldiers were lost under arrow fire from the Druj.
There were large numbers of Druj on the other side of the river, apparently in the midst of a re-supply, but the Imperial Armies disrupted this, preventing the Druj armies from fighting at their strongest.
This region was not under any Spring enchantments or curses but was under the Druj Miasma, however, the Iron Helms were able to turn this to their advantage, using their fear tactics to riddle the enemy lines with terror and break their morale.
After the first push into the Salt Flats of Sanath, the Imperial Armies are pushed back to the Nameless River with casualties of 1500 or so soldiers, but they hold on and refuse to be pushed over back over the river.
The Empire has no maps of the area, but the Salt Flats are a Marsh area and there is a fortification somewhere in the territory. As previously said, it is covered in the Druj Miasma, something that the locals seem somewhat inured to. The territory appears to be very large, not quite as big as the Barrens but closer to that than many other territories in the Empire. There is a also likely a decent sized city somewhere in the territory, rumour has it that it is called Leen and is somewhere to the East of the Marshes.
Any player who has sent their Military Unit alongside the Citadel Guard or the Gryphon’s Pride can roleplay being effected by the strong Summer Enchantments that were cast on these armies. If you are a changeling then this is particularly potent, and if you are not you can roleplay that you became lineaged due to the impact of this enchantment. Anyone who fought alongside these two armies can also roleplay having gained a single hero point, even if they do not usually have the skill.
Serra Grubfeast has been seen in the territory, making her way towards the City of Leen, there is an opportunity to intercept her and capture or kill her.
Further details are still to be decided.
A Tale Told
On the Western Front, the Empire has also chosen to push forwards. There are seven Imperial armies here, plus several thousand heralds and soldiers from the magical realms who have been sent to assist them. Only the Fire of the South and the Strong Reeds are not accompanied by Summer Realm fighters, the Fire of the South have troops from Tharim of the Winter Realm. He was apparently impressed by their actions las season and so leant them his fighters to aid in their efforts.
In addition, a trio of mercenary companies paid for by the Academy turn up. They are called Plate Metal Reeves; the Tin Helms; and the Mercury Blades, and while they are not as strong in a direct fight as an Imperial soldier they make very good runners, even if they are a bit fragile having apparently been made from tin.
The armies cross over into Tromsa early in the season, they continue almost without stopping until they come up to a spot in the Icewood where Wise Rangara has apparently built a fane, given the good relationship the Empire has with this eternal the army sensibly skirts around the region, choosing not to impede upon her territory. Though there were some second thoughts about this given the ass-kicking the Empire received from a similar thane to Estavus last season. But the region of Icewood is taken, and the jarl and their warriors retreat deeper into the Jotun lands.
The region of Skyfall is quickly taken over by the Imperial Armies, the massive lake, Lake Karnakadatha, sits here and illium is regularly drawn up from its lake bed. Sometimes from the bellies of very strange fish, which are sent along with the Illium to the Jotun smiths of the South.
The region of Rikskog is more heavily fortified and puts up more of a defence against the oncoming Imperials. Jarl Klarra Sembansscion is the leader here, and is joined by many Yegarra who are sworn to Matilda Fisher. This is where the first major battle takes place, at the heavily fortified town of Viheltavathorn. For a couple of days, the siege holds, but the rest of the army catches up and the Imperials smash open the gates, killing Jarl Klarra Sembansscion and Jarl Oglaf Anagarsson who were holding the gates personally in the hopes that it would allow their people a chance to retreat.
There are rumours that Matilda Fisher meets her doom here, but there is no sign of her body amongst the dead. Her yegarra retreat along with the rest of the Jotun soldiers, and the Imperial Armies follow.
The armies continue harrying the Jotun until they come to the fortress of Oksenesfestsal, which is under the command of Igya Oglafsdottir. It has been reinforced with Adamant, suggesting that the eternal named the same favours Igya, and she is also rumoured to be favoured by Cathan Canae. All the surviving war bands collect here, including Fisher’s, and await the Imperial Forces.
The long march of the Imperial Armies stops here, deeper into the lands of the Jotun than any have made it before.However, this has also caused issues that might turn out to bite the Imperial Armies. They have travelled so far into the Jotun lands that news of a massive Jotun army mustering in Skallahn reaches the Imperials, they have taken back the lands the armies conquered last season and are now in a position to either attack Semersuaq OR cut the Imperial Armies off from their supply and retreat lines.
The WInterfolk armies fight heroically, as per usual, in return the Jotun treat them similarly and the numbers dead in each their armies are reduced. Meanwhile, the winter heralds accompanying the Fire of the South are slaughtering any enemies they come across, singling out healers and killing captives, despite the orders the Fire of the South is under to not do such things.
Interestingly, there appears to be something strange going on with the Imperial Orcs. Apparently, they are finding it easier to speak to their ancestors here, especially anyone with a connection to Sjöfn of the Bittenblade an ancient Jotun ancestor.
Anyone whose military unit fought alongside the Green Shield or the Summer Storm can roleplay that they have received inspiration from watching the summer heralds, this includes an extra hero point (even if you don’t normally have any) plus the following roleplay effect, “you feel driven to get take action, especially in pursuit or defence of the things you care for most. Whether a person or an ideal, it is easy for you to act without thinking when you feel that thing is in danger, or when an opportunity to support it presents itself.”
A parley is called outside the walls of the besieged fortress, the Igya Oglafsdottir wishes to speak to the Winterfolk and Marcher forces. It is not clear what is said, but there is a conjunction through the Sentinel Gate this coming event linked to it, so there must be something going on.
There are very few details available at the moment, but hopefully, more will come out before the event.
To The Last Syllable
Finally, the last Wind of War is not about any of the expected neighbours or enemies of the Empire, instead this is all about the heralds of the Cold Sun of the Day Realm who have invaded the empire.
During the last event there were several skirmishes to protect people and places of the empire from these heralds, but the danger was larger than that, the egregores report entire communities ceasing to exist as these heralds seek to destroy all thinking life.
Three assemblies were organised enough to get a warning out, the Navaar and Dawnish told their people to be vigilant and to fight these warriors from another world, while the Vigilance Assembly put out a warning to flee at the sight of these blue clad strangers. Shout out to Lenochka for getting the word out, and being a friend of the writer 🙂
The enemies were aided by the casting of a major enchantment across the Empire, the enchantment was Bright Eyes Gleam in the Depths and as it was a Day ritual it acted to open the doors for these soldiers at the various Day Regio that exist, and several that started to exist thanks to the ritual.
The attacks slowed for a time after the last solstice, before increasing again as the months went on. In some cases, specific warnings were delivered by other Day Heralds, from Phaleron and Kimus especially, while Navaar and Dawnish people spread the news of the attacks more generally and helped to defeat the threats.
On the whole, it is believed that as many as 2000 citizens of the Empire have been killed by these heralds.
Nation by Nation Info at the Beginning of the Season
Urizen – In Morrow an attempted attack on the Great Library of Canterspire is prevented by creatures belonging to the Great Library eternal, the crystalline lizards take up watch over the regio the heralds spawned from. In Zenith the people are already well prepared for war, and they are aided by kobolds and heralds of Estavus from the Crucible of Fate, who drive the enemies into the marshes and fens enchanted with Dripping Echoes of the Fen, they are not seen again after. However, in Redoubt the Grand Conservatory of Music is destroyed and many of the musicians are killed or forced to flee.
The Marches – The Beaters of the Marches were recently warned to keep an eye out for threats, this isn’t quite what anyone expected but it certainly helps. In Bregasland they are prepared for war, and so make use of what they have ready, like magical wards and enchanted bogs. In Mournwold the orcs and humans work together, some of the younger orcs even giving up their pacifist life style in order to help defend their homes and allies. The Heralds seem determined to take destroy the quiet calm of Honour’s Rest, but they are fought off, though with many casualties. Things do not go so well in Mitwold, last season a group of Siakha heralds were spotted causing trouble here and it appears this has just added to the damage that is occurring.
Wintermark – There was an attack on Freya’s Garden, and while the gardeners are saved the garden itself is burned down. In Kallavasea a nameless Suaq hero and their fellows help to light the Beacons and defend the sacred marshes, the Cold Sun’s heralds are rebuffed.
Imperial Orcs – In Skarsind the heralds attempt to set up defences, but are spotted by some herders and the combined forces of the local garrison, Tamazi mages and Ethengraw warriors, were able to prevent the enemies of the Empire becoming entrenched.
Highguard – The Highguard Assembly were able to pass a warning, but not able to get it the greater majority that would ensure everyone heeded it. This meant that some of the attacks were stopped before they could do too much damage, but in the town of Tabernacle the great memorial hall is attacked and a great deal of the relics and the stones bearing the names of the fallen are lost.
Navaar – With the warning the Navaar Assembly put out the Thorns are ready to defend their people, and with the help of the Great Forest Orcs they are able to prevent damage coming to the hospital of Peakedge Stead. The creatures do release a magical attack that seems to damage the trods in the area, but they are not destroyed.
Varushka – The heralds attempt to attack the College of Magic in Miekarova, but there are many strong cabalists and war mages and so they are prevented from doing a lot of harm. Elsewhere the heralds are seen avoiding the forests and keeping to the roads, as if they were aware of the hearth magic of the nation, but there are many people ready to defend themselves from monsters in this nation and the heralds do not fair well against them.
The League – While some people are killed, most are kept safe by the walls of the cities. The only city not to be attacked at all is Apulian, which may be evidence of something nefarious, or it might just be a timing issue since they didn’t join the empire until the Saturday of the last event.
Brass Coast – The Freeborn do not take being attacked very well after their recent losses. Or in other words, they completely stomp the Cold Sun heralds. The soldiers barely turning up in time to help out before the locals have destroyed them all.
Dawn – Because of a combination of eternal help from the realm of Summer and the two armies that are having their holidays in Dawn the heralds of the Cold Sun do not have a chance. No one in Dawn is killed by them.
Overall – All of the fortresses and defences of the empire have received a little damage, but none have been broken. Likewise, none of the armies in the midst of resupply have been prevented from doing so.
Two Weeks Before the Autumn Equinox
The heralds return after a month or so of being absent. This time, however, they do not raid in small-ish groups going after particular sites of interest, instead they act like an invading army. But instead of conquering they are intent on destruction.
Four are in the north-west; in Rundhal Marsh in Kallavesa; in Valasmark in Hahnmark; in Northpines in Hercynia; and in Oakways in Miaren. Two are in Varushka; in Livardz in Volodmartz, and in Duzekani in Karov. One is slowly spreading across Burnish in Segura, and a final force has coalesced in Woodbury in Bastion itself.
While none of the individual groups is equal to an Imperial Army they are all very dangerous, they can send messages to one another almost instantly by using the Day Realm, and their numbers are potentially never ending if they have access to a Day Regio. Luckily the Day enchantment seems to be running its course, but if they have a way of making certain regios stay open regardless then they could potentially just keep sending armies through. If the Conclave moves the Cold Sun to Enmity then it will not be able to send anymore heralds through the regios, but that will not stop the ones that are already here from causing havoc.
EVERY fortification in the Empire except for those in Dawn, Spiral and the Broch in Broceliande has been damaged 500 points and failed to resupply this downtime.
The Grand Conservatory of Music in Redoubt has been destroyed, as has Freya’s Garden in Hahnmark and the Unbound Hall of Steel Chapters in Reikos.
The Trods in Therunin have been badly damaged and will continue to deteriorate if they are not repaired. Because there is a Vallorn in Therunin the repairs must be cast from a regio in a region with the Vallorn quality.
There are numerous Cold Sun forces within the Empire. They work in a similar way to normal armies, but they can resupply from any Day Regio, they can remain in a territory without having control of it, and they can attack without controlling a nearby region.
They must be defeated like an ordinary army, they cannot be removed through Arcane Projections or other rituals.
They are not everywhere, many people won’t have seen one at all, let alone an entire force. But they are attracted to “specific targets, often those associated with some combination of Spring or Night magic, music or the arts, intuition and imagination.”
There will not be a battle conjunction to face the Cold Sun at E4, but there will likely be a lot of smaller skirmishes.
Time for some Winds of War! Only three for this event, one for the Druj, one for the Jotun and one for the heralds of the eternal known as the Cold Sun.