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Legendary Exploits of Three Not Viking Brothers

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Post by Robillard Griswald on 2017-06-21, 07:17

Robillard swallows, only muttering, "we must press on." His fingers compulsively search through the saddlepacks, hoping that Gisgo has somehow managed to hide another bottle of liquor.
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Post by InteroVegas on 2017-06-22, 19:17

"You do not bear the demeanor of a lord prepared to sacrifice his men. Are there alternative plans at work Lord Frey?"
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Post by Dekaru on 2017-06-23, 12:43

Gisgo doesn't say anything as the trio make their way down the small cliffside. Robillard can easily tell Yenin is eyeing potential loot piles among the dead as they continue their march. Despite everyone's best attempts, the smell of the rotting corpses is almost unbearable and makes it impossible for Robillard to forget about the carnage surrounding him. As the group continues Robillard can't help but notice strange black ooze that comes from the corpse's eyes in a tear streak pattern. Perhaps more unsettling is that every corpse Robillard looks at is missing its eyes and many still bear their weapons held in their hands in a death grip.

The only thing that pulls Robillard away from looking upon the many dead around him is the clanging of metal from Yenin behind him. Robillard turns to see him ripping weapons and the occasional finery from the hands of the dead or their pockets. Despite his continued stops, he has no struggle keeping pace with the rest of the group due to his extreme size.

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Lord Frey nods to Leewan and speaks quietly "There are many forts in these lands that we could draw the enemy forces to. If we were able to do so successfully it would allow us the advantage of walls between us and the enemy at the very least and not guarantee every advantage to our enemy. The greatest problem would be finding a fort large enough to house the entire army and a way to prevent them from just starving us out."

The Lord pulls at his beard and continues "Perhaps even better would be to split the army and force them to fight us in smaller skirmishes. The crusades have always ground on because they move as one massive force. This then risks the enemy picking us off one by one without any hope of support."
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Post by Robillard Griswald on 2017-06-23, 19:44

As they walk through the field of carnage, Robillard waits for a moment when Yenin is off looting corpses before speaking to Gisgo.

"You allow him to steal from the dead? These men lost enough when they were cursed by the Lych lords. Disturbing their rest now is improper and unwise."
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Post by InteroVegas on 2017-06-25, 00:02

"For any strategies other than this direct assault this army requires a great deal of resources. There is little to pillage here. How much have the other lords brought for their forces?"
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Post by Dekaru on 2017-06-25, 23:24

Gisgo looks over at Yenin's looting and then responds to Robillard "They have no use for them anymore. If he doesn't take his pick other looters will. Fine metal isn't common around here and the locals will take whatever they can get."

Robillard here's a clanging behind him and turns to see Yenin pulling up a great axe that is rather comically small enough to be a short axe to him. A big grin stretches across his face and with his red eyes looking at Robillard and Gisgo he shouts "Found a new axe! If I'm lucky there'll be a matching one around"

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Frey leans back in his horses saddle and relaxes a little while speaking "Supply line right now are looking to be the only thing we have plenty of. The houses not gifted with massed men of arms are pulling their weight this time around with enough food to keep the men going for months. They've supplied the men to guard the caravans. All this bravado from the King has at least guaranteed us the support of the peasants. They're working harder than ever to get us the materials we need."
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Post by Robillard Griswald on 2017-06-27, 01:08

"If you do not wish me to challenge him, then I shall wait for a later time. Lead on, so that we might finally finish this journey."
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Post by InteroVegas on 2017-06-27, 22:17

"Then it is still too early to make commitments to argue for a skirmishing tactic. If any pertinent details on the fields of battle are discovered we will reconvene and amend plans accordingly."
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Post by Dekaru on 2017-06-28, 13:55

Lord Frey, while obviously not satisfied with such a response, nods and says "May Themis guide us safely through these times."

He then heads into the camp leaving Leewan and Gwain alone at the entrance.
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Post by Gwain von Griswald on 2017-06-30, 19:44

"Lord Griswald, I managed to get some information from the prisoner." Gwain recounts his conversation with the man. Unless directly asked, Gwain won't reveal what the prisoner said about where his village is located.
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Post by InteroVegas on 2017-06-30, 21:40

"We speak of this where the soldiers cannot so easily hear us."

Leewan moves with Gwain towards their command tent and dismisses the guards to stand farther away from the tent than usual.

"Did your questioning reveal pertinent details?"
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Post by Gwain von Griswald on 2017-07-01, 10:23

"The prisoner seemed to believe Gisgo was not the man he was tasked with meeting. If that is true, then Gisgo must have some source which allowed him to know where to intercept the prisoner on his task. It appears that surrogates of the lichdom a frequent visitors to the peasant villages and often invoke requests with dire consequences. This man's village at least, does not comply happily and I believe the anguish of the populace could be used as a weapon against the liches."
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Post by InteroVegas on 2017-07-03, 13:32

"Matters of causing rebellion may be pertinent at a later time. You have done well to pry information from him and perhaps you can put him to task later on in this endeavor. For now there is more need of you. Under cover of cloak and darkness tour the other lord's camps and see the condition of the men as with as much honesty and truth as can be had. Secrecy is not of the utmost importance but may make your task easier."
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Post by Gwain von Griswald on 2017-07-03, 21:26

"Not that I question your order sire, but don't spys usually observe the enemy army? What information would I learn that we could not simply ask of the other commanders?"
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Post by InteroVegas on 2017-07-04, 04:06

"The morale of their men, the true scope of their logistical support and surprise retreats or escapes their personal officers are privy to."
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Post by Gwain von Griswald on 2017-07-04, 10:50

"I see your point then. I'm afraid my skills of disguise are not well trained and I could be recognized. Might I send a member of Gwain's Guard in my place?"
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Post by InteroVegas on 2017-07-04, 16:03

"Delegate as you see fit."
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Post by Gwain von Griswald on 2017-07-04, 17:02

"Very well, if you should have need of me, I will be in my quarters."

Gwain summons the uninjured members of The Guard and gives them their mission. "First we'll have to get some clothes that don't make us look so... out of place, something like what the other soldiers are wearing. Once that's done, one each will infiltrate the ally camps and act as an ordinary soldier. Your goal is to assess troop morale, supply levels, and discover hidden plans. If anyone seems like they are on to you, come back as soon as you can. Make up an excuse like sentinel duty if you have to. Meet back in Leewan's tent when the sun is at the same point in the sky tomorrow. If anything goes incredibly wrong, use your blade to reflect a beam of sunlight towards my camp in the distress pattern. This is your mission. Tally-ho my friends!"
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Post by Dekaru on 2017-07-05, 12:00

The members of Gwains Guard give a controlled hoorah and set off one by one. This leaves Gwain and Leewan to do whatever they so desire while they await a response and for the armies to set out the following day.
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Post by Gwain von Griswald on 2017-07-05, 13:07

Still recovering from his wound, Gwain makes sure there is a medic on hand to attend to him and relaxes for the rest of the day.
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Post by InteroVegas on 2017-07-06, 19:38

Leewan comes to Gwain's tent after sorting out several more managerial tasks.

He pulls open the tent curtain to meet his kin. The Griswald tents are larger than the soldier shelters but still compact, Leewan brushes aside a fold of cloth to completely enter his brother's temporary home. He pulls a short stool from a corner and plops himself down unceremoniously.

"What are your thoughts on these surroundings Gwain. Events unfold at rapid pace on this hellscape."
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Post by Gwain von Griswald on 2017-07-06, 19:47

"Our surroundings?" Gwain scoffs. "You mean the vast ocean of dirt and mud that stretches beyond the eye can see? Never have I entered a place that exudes such dread as this one. But in war, I think it could be our ally. The plains stretch far and long with nothing to obstruct the archers. Further, I have been thinking of how we might lay a trap to bolster our dismal odds. When the rains come, the hills droop under their own weight. With a little assistance, they could become a deadly weapon."
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Post by InteroVegas on 2017-07-07, 10:39

"Your stratagem requires us to hold as the defenders. The King and his fanatics are prepared in body and soul to charge headlong into throngs of diseased peasants. Further, the favor asked of our house requires us to approach instead of goad. In even that short time the will of our men can falter."
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Post by Gwain von Griswald on 2017-07-07, 11:08

"Is the king so unreasonable a man that he would send us marching to our deaths with no hope of victory? Surely there must be some plan beyond walking straight to our graves. Perhaps you could convene a war council, now that the lords have been assembled and we have seen the lay of the land?"
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Post by InteroVegas on 2017-07-08, 00:16

"Effort can be made. Yet the only alternative stratagem available to us is skirmish warfare, which may prove just as deadly. Our own forces can suffer mitigated losses in a joint assault and I am uncertain by what means Noske can be moved from his predetermined war plan."
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Post by Gwain von Griswald on 2017-07-08, 12:20

"I hear the king is fond of you, perhaps he will lend an ear to what you say."
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Post by InteroVegas on 2017-07-09, 19:04

"That is for tomorrow. I will hear from your men when they return from their mission. The men as well as you must rest."

Leewan rises and begins to exit the tent.
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Post by Dekaru on 2017-07-12, 14:58

With that, the LONG day comes to a close. The following morning several members of Gwains Guard who had infiltrated the allied camps report that the men's morale is high for being in a mud soaked hell hole but many express nervousnesses about how little they've been told of the overarching plan. After this report, the men go back to hiding among the allied ranks to try and discover any hidden plans.

Another two days pass in a similar manner as preparations are made for the army to march. During this time, two more Lords arrive with army in tow: Lord Bronstein and Lord Hodgkin. Between the two of them, they bring equal numbers of men as House Griswald in cavalry and few lineman by comparison. When asked why they are late Lord Hodgkin makes the comment that mountainous passes and crags make travel by horse difficult. On the third day, the army finally marches for the World Scar with each houses forces spreading out in their marching patterns surrounding the King and his Guard. With cavalry bringing up the rear and scouts moving ahead of the marching forces any thoughts that brigands would have to strike at outlying groups of men is made a suicidal prospect. As the march goes on, and perhaps distressingly, groups of around two dozen men are left at staggering positions along the marching path presumably to patrol the supply lines for any bandits who may try to steal food and supplies.

After five days of marching (totally not timed so Robillard and company arrive on the same date), the enormous gash in the now dry and sparse land comes into view. Measuring a full kilometre and a half in length and a half kilometre in width it is immediately obvious why this spot was chosen as a rallying point for the army. The land around the World Scar rises and turns upwards as it approaches the drop that leads down into the actual wound in the land. Jagged in structure, these outcroppings provide excellent height advantage to any sentries while the scar itself protects any forces within from banditry. On closer inspection, it is revealed that the area descends approximately one hundred and fifty feet down into a relatively moist expanse with the overhanging rocks above providing shade to anyone inside.

The engineers of the army and many of the men immediately begin setting up the base camp with some rudimentary sentry towers being built with wood that was dragged by cart from Acren and the near-literal sea of tents being prepared within the actual ravine itself. Ladder and pulley systems are setups to allow more rapid movement of supplies and men up and down and to relieve traffic on the small carved out slopes along the sides. A small space within the Scar is left for digging into the moist ground and as the day comes to a close fresh water begins to flow into pockets and is quickly collected and put into containers.

It is around this time that Robillard, Gisgo, and Yenin arrive at the Worlds Scar with the former breathing a sigh of relief to finally be back to the more friendly territory. On moving to the camp itself Yenin causes quite a stir among the men and word soon reaches Leewan and Gwain that their brother has returned.
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Post by Robillard Griswald on 2017-07-13, 07:48

Rob can feel the tension leaving his body as he finally returns to at least a semblance of civilization. He gestured to Yenin and Gisgo, telling them to stay close as they walk through the camp. As he walks, he soaks in the sights and smells of an active war-camp; in many ways, places such as this are closer to home for him than Heretic's End.

When he reaches Leewan and Gwain, he grasps their arms firmly. "Let us go inside," he rumbles. "We have news of import. And someone bring me a drink. My throat is dry with dust from the wastes."
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Post by InteroVegas on 2017-07-13, 20:23

Leewan stops Robillard in his tracks.

"Only the three sons of Griswald will speak now. Your new comrade and Gisgo can be privy to our conversation after you have relayed to us the information gathered on your journey in private."
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Post by Robillard Griswald on 2017-07-13, 20:27

Glad to finally be rid of Gisgo and the horrid Yenin, Rob has no issues telling them to depart. Once the three brothers find their way into a private tent, he tells them every detail of his trip, leaving out no detail. By the end of the report, his throat is parched.

"After a tale such as that, my threat is parched! Please, Brother, I have had nothing to drink but tepid water, soured by the leather of our skins. Can you not show some mercy and bring a good keg of ale, or flask of spirits?
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Post by Dekaru on 2017-07-14, 17:03

[I highly doubt the other two read all of the posts Rob was involved in]
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Post by InteroVegas on 2017-07-14, 20:27

"We suffer much as the men Robillard. No good kegs of ale have been brought with us. Cheap and plentiful stores of ale are available in sparing quantity to each soldier, officer and noble among our ranks until some degree of victory has been claimed from our foes."

Leewan fiddles with the tent entrance and peers at the bottom edges for any sign of Gisgo or his monstrous company before continuing.

"There is a likelihood that Gisgo spies for the lych forces. Your brother skillfully extracted plans of an information exchange between a Farasian agent and peasant servants of a lych bearing the emblem of a snake pertaining to the strategies and composition of our forces. You left Gisgo to enter the keep on his own and he brought no knowledge of consequence back."

Leewan looks to Gwain with rising suspicion in his eyes.

"Gwain you have been serving well as acting advisor of the house. Provide another perspective if per chance I am too eager to judge Gisgo a spy."
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Post by Gwain von Griswald on 2017-07-17, 17:45

"Hmm, I wouldn't say he provided nothing of value. We learned the fort is poorly maintained enough that breaching it from the outside is a small task. We learned that it holds at least a small garrison, but certainly no mighty force. And we've seen that its men are skilled enough to spot and wound Gisgo. That is of course, assuming Gisgo can be trusted. By all indication of what the prisoner said, Gisgo was not the dark-skinned man he was sent to meet. Let us remember too, that Gisgo had plenty of opportunity to capture or kill Robillard and me on our journey, and he took none of them."

"Now this giant that Gisgo brings to camp is another matter. His loyalties must be tested, or he should be expelled immediately."
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Post by InteroVegas on 2017-07-17, 22:19

Leewan gives a small nod.

"Robillard, gather this Yenin and Gisgo. I shall pass judgment upon him."

Leewan steps out of the tent and surveys for the horrible giant.
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Post by Dekaru on 2017-07-17, 23:18

Leewan steps from his tent and immediately spots the giant. Unexpectedly, the enormous man is surrounded by a full ring of soldiers all shouting and yelling various names and vulgar expressions. Leewan immediately spots Gisgo on the outskirts of the fighting ring with a large smirk on his face as he sits on top of a stack of barrels watching what is presumably a fight. The giant waves his arms through the air in powerful motions and after a brief moment heaves up a before unseen man and waves him about like a ragdoll before throwing him into the crowd who give cheers and boos.

Above along the scars edges countless men can be seen watching the scene below with enthusiasm. In the scar, many men can be seen running towards the scene with many men obviously placing bets. Leewan is immediately unhappy to see that his personal guard has moved a little ways away from the tent to try and get a better view. As of this moment, they have not realised Leewan has exited.
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Post by InteroVegas on 2017-07-18, 21:42

Leewan draws a shortsword from his side and approaches the ring quietly. When closes in yet unseen behind one of the men raring to take a swipe at Yenin he decisively forces the sword deep into the soldier's leg. He leans and pushes on the soldier's back to prevent him from shift around to face the lord of Griswald.

He looks around at the men that have gathered. "You are soldiers of Acren and Griswald. Until this giant has been dealt with appropriately you return to associating among yourselves. Or be like Theadric here."
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Post by Robillard Griswald on 2017-07-18, 21:58

Robillard exits the tent only a moment after Leewan, but in that moment it seems like all chaos has broken loose. He takes in Leewan holding one of the men, a sword buried deep in his thigh. He sees the men crowded around Yenin, screaming for blood. And he sees the broken body of one of the Griswald soldiers, clearly battered by an unnatural and foul enemy.

With deceptive speed (since for once he isn't wearing his armor) Robillard leaps up to Leewan's side, unsheathing The Rising Dawn as he moves.

"Gisgo!" He roars "Call off your mongrel giant, unless you wish to see his guts spread across the ground in front of you."
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Post by InteroVegas on 2017-07-18, 22:34

Leewan yells out:

"ENOUGH."

He waits for the men to quiet down even a bit.

"Six soldiers remain. You six." Leewan points out those nearest to him not of his personal guard.

"The rest of you scatter ... and remember that you will need to steel yourselves to cut down your brothers in arms if and when they are risen as monstrosity and walking corpses for the foul lyches we have come to destroy."
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Post by Dekaru on 2017-07-18, 22:37

No answer to Robillard comes immediately and an awkward silence sits over the men for a moment briefly interrupted by groans from the man with a sword in his leg. The eight other men in the ring all stand cautiously, each looking warily at Leewan obviously not desiring to be wounded like their comrade. The crowd begins to part as the Farasian steps forward with his hands in pockets and no longer smirking.

Yenin is the one to break the tension with a loud laugh that likely carries halfway across the camp before speaking "Now that one's funny Rob. What a man can't have a fun scrap around here with some new souls? I pity them for the boredom they must suffer."

Gisgo doesn't say a thing as the men around begin to dispers. Some obviously daudling to try and catch what happens.
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Post by InteroVegas on 2017-07-18, 23:36

Leewan responds.

"They are entitled to 'scrap' with trusted acquaintances and allies. Your intent could be to complete any number of malicious schemes. I do not know you. Robillard tells his own tales and I wish to hear how you would tell it. Explain what you will of yourself and convince this camp you are not a threat."
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Post by Dekaru on 2017-07-19, 00:44

Yenin scratches his head and says "Dunno what to tell you. I sure ain't smart enough to come up with some great plan outside of hitting stuff. Gisgo sent me a message saying he had a job he needed me for. Figured it better than trying to steal from people with nothing worth stealing."
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Post by Robillard Griswald on 2017-07-19, 03:35

"Don't trust a word this honorless dog say, Leewan. I personally watched him loot the dead without shame, laughing as he stole the last possessions of our honored fallen. Monsters like him killed my comrades by the score in the Crusades. Somehow he was able to withstand his vile lusts while we traveled together, but it's only a matter of time before his true darkness shows itself. We should smite him where we stands."
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Post by InteroVegas on 2017-07-19, 17:03

Leewan turns to Gisgo.

"You brought him to the camp with reason. Out with it."
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Post by Dekaru on 2017-07-19, 23:39

Gisgo sighs and says "When your brother nearly got us killed in the night by not following orders I wasn't willing to risk my safety by being alone with him. Yenin and I have run jobs before and I knew he'd be what I'd need to ensure I live through this job."
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Post by InteroVegas on 2017-07-20, 15:39

"If he is here to aid in the completion of a job you agreed to then it is implicit that his fees come from your payment."
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Post by Dekaru on 2017-07-20, 20:27

Gisgo shrugs and says "I had figured as much though a part of me hoped you'd be impressed and offer to pay him yourself." He looks at the man with the sword through his thigh who is still groaning and says "Though given the introduction I can't say I'm surprised now."
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Post by InteroVegas on 2017-07-20, 21:42

"The original deal holds. If your work is particularly impressive additional funds will be allotted."

Leewan scans Yenin.

"Your comrade is impressively large. With two, you should easily perform well beyond the expectations set for a one man contract. Until we near the Lych forces Yenin is not to bear arms inside the camp. Threatening shows of force will only antagonize the men. For now I wish to hear from both of you in as much privacy as can be allowed. Tell me of the journey with Robillard, your observations and speak frankly to how dire the situation is."
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Post by Dekaru on 2017-07-21, 11:20

Yenin speaks up through a grin and says "I ain't the one who antagonised them. If these soldiers start thinking they're big and pick a fight; I'm not going to sit by and let them think too highly of themselves."

Gisgo clears his throat to take the attention off of Yenin and says "The fort you wanted to have scouted is in poor condition. The walls are practically falling apart already so some minor sapping of the walls should open them wide open. I couldn't get a good number on the forces present due to the weather but it appears a Lich has taken up residence along with its forces. Identified by a snake."

Yenin cuts in to speak up "This Lich is communicating with others. We saw a couple of messengers leaving the fort as well."
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Post by InteroVegas on 2017-07-24, 21:29

Leewan squints with his eyes ever so slightly. The skin curls on itself in small folds giving away the lord's ageing into late adulthood.

"In these lands are messages delivered by missive or by word ? ... It is unimportant. The highest likelihood is that these messages are encrypted somehow. We have no scholars present to unravel the code of lyches."

Leewan looks around at his own camp taking note that despite the bleak surroundings of the great crater their army does not look sapped of strength nor few in number.

"If the lych is indeed in their crumbling castle then why would a greater force of fifty-score not be present?"
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