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Scroll XI - The Siege of Takesh

Recorded by Scribe Delrus and completed on Quartus 4th of Ghorkar, year 923 7 th age. It should be noted that chronologically this would be considered the 11 th scroll detailing the adventures of the Greyslayers, but it holds the honor of being the first completed scroll entered into the Scriptorium, as our honored Order of Sacred Knowledge was not officially created until that year.
This scroll is also considered the most historically accurate telling of the tales of the Greyslayers as there were many witnesses to the events and a dearth of journals, scrolls, oratory accounts from bards who had been present during the fighting.

It should also be noted that the tales described of their descent into the city’s core was recorded by no less than four nobles, including the Queen herself, and should be considered verifiably accurate. It should also be noted that there are stories that something happened to Master Inar of Vain’Estra while he and the Greyslayers were below the city, though these rumors have never officially been verified, and so they have ended up as tales told about Master Inar and not included in this scroll.

The completion of this scroll also signifies both an ending and a beginning. It is often considered the end of what will later be termed “The Azure Crown Cycle” by future Greyslayers historians, Azure being the primary color of Queen Aliona’s heraldry, and the Greyslayers being almost single handedly responsible for installing the Queen on her throne and then securing it for her from enemies near and abroad. It is considered the beginning of what would soon be called the Chaos Wheel Cycle, as many of the Greyslayers adventures beyond this point feature the Chaos Wheel in some form or another.

These events take place from 1st of Tertium, Behimbayon, until the end of the war, officially recognized by Valishdal as 4th of Quintus, Behimbayon, year 897 7th age.

The scroll details the events that transpired when the Greyslayers left the city of High Callan and raced to the city of Takesh. The Greyslayers were witnessed by Legion 7th and 10th to race down the highway pulled by a magical steed enabling them to cut many weeks off the journey to the city. On the way they stopped briefly to secure the help of the Legions and asked that they march to Takesh to help shore up the defenses.

When the Greyslayers arrive in the city they quickly engage in battle planning with Baron Sochess. The King had left the city previously and was marching his armies to Fort Beyden, where he hoped to stall the armies of Dar’Amkul or stop them entirely.

While meeting, the Master of Secrets confessed that he believed that his messages were getting intercepted and that there was a spy hidden within the castle itself. Believing it to be the Master of Ravens that was stealing the messages they set a trap, only to discover that it was the High Steward who was the spy. They gave chase and caught the spy, interrogating him to find out that he was Shadis.

Shadis had been hiding inside the castle for years, manipulating events from behind the scenes, planting whispers against the king and building a web of rumors that Shadis was a code name used throughout history. He admitted that his master, Zrenungari, was manipulating both nations, many nations, to cause as much chaos as possible. He did not divulge why before his death at the hands of Alston.

The Greyslayers used Alston’s Orb of Scrying to witness the Massacre of Fort Beyden, as King Lysanders bannerman Lord Reybehn turned against him, killing his men and beheading the King. The Greyslayers could see that the Brightspear’s army was landing at the beach outside the Fort, a mere two days march instead of the weeks that they believed they had before the start of the war. Furthermore, reports of the Dragon Aesrakyr, The Blackscale, indicated that he was also only a few days away from the city.

The Greyslayers had hard choices to make and in the end decided that the Dragon was too much a weapon that the enemy had to use. The Greyslayers mounted up on Pegasus and flew together with Karath and the Silver Talons to do battle against the Dragon.

Flying throughout the night and well into the next day they traversed the land until they came upon the Blackscales, burning the small village of Visenday. The heroes began to rescue the citizens when from out of the sky the Black Dragon descended, the dark armored form of Karahl riding on his back.

The battle was epic. Blade met blade, the thunderous boom of 5 th age magic shredded the wing of Aesrakyr, while his acid breath wreaked havoc on Thresh. The roars of the dragon ripped through the air, met by the roars of the Greyslayers as they fought. Thresh was felled under the axe of Karahl and Dusky was brought low by a Dragons Claw. Clover leaped onto the back of the beast while Alston’s magic ripped into the Dragons scaly hide.

Seeing her friends brought low, Clover summoned the fey magic of her druid heritage to revive Dusky from the brink of death while Alston used the magic of his craft, shaping Dusky into a roaring beast out of nightmare. This beast’s maw crunched down onto Karahl, while his brother, Karath, in righteous fury and anger brought his axe of judgement down through the neck of the black armored tyrant, lopping it off in one fell swing.

Thresh, summoned once again to the land of the living by a careful use of a revivify scroll, charged the Dragon, cutting into its hide and bringing its attention off Alston. Tenzijen used this opportunity to leap across the battlefield, axe held high in vengeance, as her beloved owl Manzanita had been crushed under the dragon’s claws, crashed down into the dragons injured neck, chopping deep into the exposed flesh.

Tales are said that Tenzijen chopped and chopped, like a woodsman felling a tree. The great Dragon crumbled to the earth, blood flying high into the air with each mighty swing, yet Tenzijen would not stop, could not stop, until the head of the dragon came free. That is how the mighty Dragon Aesrakyr died, by the hands of the Greyslayers.

The Greyslayers took their trophy’s and headed back to Takesh. When they arrived, it was fully besieged by the Brightspear’s army. Checking in with Baron Sochess, he gave the city a week or less before the Brightspear would first engage the cities defenses. Using this opportunity, the Greyslayers rested, then moved on to their next task, retaking Fort Beyden.

It is said that Master Inar approached Dusky as they rested that night. He had made his way into the city before the war and was researching 5 th age technologies and histories. The previous mage, Mortanion, had been lost for over two years now but Master Inar felt the old mage might have had some important information regarding the 5 th age still in his libraries.

It is also said it took 7 maids and 4 guardsmen to give Tenzijen a bath to wash off all the dragon blood. Scholars are still debating if this part qualifies as a scroll or a tale.

The Greyslayers ordered the two Akarian Legions to meet them on the march to Fort Beyden. They planned on retaking the fort, by assaulting the front gates. The Greyslayers would split up and each take a tower in the Fort, securing the gate mechanisms and opening the portcullis before Tenzijen would jump down and lift the locking bar, allowing the Fort’s gates to be opened.

The assault went as planned, with far fewer casualties than expected. During the fighting they discovered that some of the men, on their deaths, would release smoke demons that they had faced before in Akar. On questioning the commanding officers, the Greyslayers discovered that Lord Reybehn had ordered his most loyal men to wear these small pouches filled with a fine black sand, as a sign of loyalty. When the pouches were investigated it was discovered that all the black sand was gone, seemingly absorbed into the soldiers themselves.

Observing Lord Reybehn the Greyslayers discovered that he was McCray in disguise, a warrior that had been working with the Witch and Shadis. Alston began contacting the Brightspear, letting her know that Takesh wanted peace and not bloodshed. The Brightspear agreed, but had no choice, as she was commanded by Amenhotep, who only wanted war.

When they arrived back in Takesh there was a peace talk that was arranged by the armies of the Brightspear. In it, Amenhotep outlined his demands for surrender, but the Greyslayers and Baroness Sochess could not agree as the demands were too steep. Alston laid out a very convincing argument but found out later to his dismay that Amenhotep never contacted his superiors, to bent on taking the city.

Before the first arrows were fired Master Inar summoned the Greyslayers together. He believed he had found the answer as to what Shadis and Zrenungari were doing. He had found a door, hidden in secret beneath the city, locked since the time of the 5 th age. This door held within it the Chaos Wheel a magical artifact said to house the power of the 5 th age, and the ability to control, or dismiss, the wyldstorms.

Master Inar believed that only if enough Chaos was spread, both around the world, and locally in Takesh, would the defenses of the door be overloaded, and the door would be able to be opened. He warned the Greyslayers that war alone could not produce enough chaos, and that if something really big happened, they would need to rush to the door, for Master Inar feared what would happen if Zrenungari were to ever have hold of such a powerful artifact.

The next day the war started, with the armies of the Brightspear testing the walls. Many brave, crazy deeds were accomplished by the Greyslayers as they began to learn their enemy’s tactics and fight against the armies of the Brightspear. Even so, the armies of Valishdal were severely outnumbered. It would only take a concerted effort by the enemy to breach the walls.

Knowing this, Dusky had a plan. He was able to summon his chained demon, Na’Az’Karumin from the onyx box. If he brought forth the demon and had it assassinate Amenhotep, then the Brightspear could call off the war and retreat.

The Greyslayers quickly came up with a battle strategy, summoning the demon, then layering a cloak of magic on it to make it look like an angel. Clover summoned a flight of fairies to assist the demon on his tasks, and Alston spied with the Orb nearby the tent of Amenhotep.

The demon garbed in angel wings took flight, flying over the armies of the Brightspear. From high atop the tower in the castle the Greyslayers could hear the cheering of the enemy army as they thought a powerful ally had come to join them. The cheers turned into gasps as the demon landed, and as it walked into the tent of Amenhotep the spell cloaking him was disrupted, showing his true demonic form. His blade crashed down into the priest, who held out for only a moment as the demonic blade broke through his divine shield. The demon plunged the blade through Amenhotep’s heart, then grabbed him by the head and took flight. He did not get far before another priest Banished the demon back to the onyx box, but the deed had been done.

Suddenly, while watching the priests, Alston could here screams coming from the Brightspear’s army. Rushing outside, Clover witnessed that great blooms of fire began erupting inside the massed ranks of the enemy army, and hellhounds leaped from the fires, rushing into the armies unprepared. Dusky’s heart sang for but a moment, as suddenly armored giants of demons riding hellish horses sprang from the fires, clashing into men who were disorganized and panicked, the chaos spreading thick across the battlefield. The skies turned dark and an ominous thick roiling cloud appeared above the city. Lightning began to rage, colored red, blue, green, and violet. A wyldstorm had appeared above the city.

Knowing that this would be enough chaos to open the door below the city, the Greyslayers rushed to Mortanion’s chambers to take a secret lift to the underground 5th age door. Upon arriving they found Master Inar, seriously wounded, who told the Greyslayers that McCray and his men had stabbed him and moved to open the door. Master Inar then pulled a key from under his clothing that should help to unlock the 5th age door. This key was the top of the staff the Greyslayers had rescued previously from Dark Temple in Azhem.

Racing ahead, the Greyslayers did battle with McCray and his lackeys, killing them all outside the Chaos door. Using the key provided by Master Inar, the part entered the chamber of the Chaos Engine.

A walkway spread out before them to an elevated platform. On the platform was a pedestal, where the Chaos Engine floated, with three golden rings revolving around them. The ceiling was alighted with the chaotic energies of the Wyld. As the party approached, McCray entered the walkway from behind. He was leaking black shadow and grey mist and proclaimed that they would not survive and that his master, Zrenungari, would take them all. He then transformed into a large, spindly shadow beast, with massive fangs and long reaching clawed arms.

McCray the Shadowed attacked the Greyslayers, moving so fast that the Greyslayers had a hard time catching him. McCray flew across the bridge, picking up Alston and slamming him into the protective barrier around the Chaos Engine. With a bloodied smirk Alston pulled the 5 th age gun from his pocket, but it to McCray’s head, and pulled the trigger until the gun ran empty, destroying McCray.

As McCray lay dying, his shadowed form broke apart and attacked the barrier around the Chaos Engine and in a blinding light the barrier fell. Alston then reached out with his magic and brought the three protective rings down, grabbing the Chaos Engine.

All that Wyld magic in one place was detrimental to the structural integrity of the ancient tomb and the Greyslayers had to run to get free as a massive blast of chaotic Wyld magic burst through the ceiling, blasting a hole up through the city, and dispersing the Wyld storm above the city.

When the Greyslayers arrived back onto the surface the war had ended. The Brightspear’s army had broken and fled when the demons attacked. The demons had disappeared after the Wyld storm began striking down into them. At last, finally, after almost two years of adventuring, the war was over, and peace could fall onto the city of Takesh and the kingdom of Valishdal.

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story/siege_of_takesh.txt · Last modified: 2021/08/15 16:47 by clover