Wednesday, 23 December 2015

As Winter sets in

The quest to unleash the denizens of the dark underworld seemed an insurmountable task. At every turn, and despite a myriad of deceptions being played out, Count Bartholomew's campaign on the mainland had been a fruitless endeavour. The Obdsidian Mausoleum lay in ruins and the forces of the undead had been forced back to Salemere. There were even rumours that the enslaved human populace was becoming restless. Numerous villages on the island had begun to refuse their tax collections and there had even been minor skirmishes between villagers and the Count's Thralls and Revenants.

Militarily the Count could barely pull together a coherent force to defend the Castle let alone police the island. What remained of the Obsidian Order was trapped on the mainland living like fugitives; constantly harried by the Orcs and was probably by now not much of a fighting force.

Bartholomew's one hope lay in his Daughter, the new Queen of  Moulebourg. Her allegiance to the Count was still unknown to the Orcs, however the involvement of the mercenary Dark Elf force which had despatched of the Orc Garrison at Moulebourg so efficiently had come at a steep price; so steep that the coffers were almost empty. The only Liche capable of raising a new and more powerful undead horde was unlikely to be found with such a shortfall of funds.

Back on the mainland, the spoils of war were no fairer on the Orcs of Kragonia. The scorched earth of the wastelands and the horrific casualties sustained in defeating the undead were further compounded by the winter months beginning to set in. Despite these reverses, Knabadug remained defiant continuing to take the fight to the remnants of the Obsidian Order. The Despoiler could proudly boast that other than the Kingdom of the Dwarves (whom no-one had seen or heard from in decades) the remainder of the mainland was now effectively ruled by or subserviant to Kragonia.

The new Kingdom of Moulebourg would need to be watched carefully by Knabadug. No understandable reason had emerged as to what had happened to the Orc Garrison there and the Orc Chieftain was acutely aware that the new monarchs still controlled other renegade Taurian Warbands in the Timberlands. Whilst he could not justify releasing another Orc Legion to Garrison Moulebourg, Knabadug knew that by sending the Goblins back to their enclave he could ensure that Windrider would toe the line with such a powerful Orc ally deployed in what was primarily his own back garden.

As Winter began to set in, the leaders on all sides of the conflict sat back to plan their next moves whilst in the far North East the dull rumbling of something from beneath the ground continued to play a tune like far off thunder.

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