Chapter I: The Mountains of Carrana, Republic side Oct 22, 2017 10:30:36 GMT
Post by ashenmoon on Oct 22, 2017 10:30:36 GMT
turn 1: day 1, just past noon - MAPS LINK
turn ends: 25th October
Several unusual things happened swiftly while Constantin Noval was contemplating the flat rectangle of the Albalvo Dam, many miles down-valley. First, the skies turned a lurid red nuance with alarming speed, as strange billowing clouds swept up from the west; soon a muddy rain began to patter against the roof of his little stand.
Second, one of the mountain-men - unkempt and wild-eyed - walked up to the recruitment tent..
Constantin was not sure which was more surprising.
But, of course, the man was uninterested in joining Gustavius’ army. Pestered by a skeletal woman hovering in the near distance behind him, he related what he had heard from an uncle of his, having arrived from across the mountains earlier that morning.
“An army? Crossing the badlands to the east? Heading for Vanozza Fastness?” Constantin repeated.
“Look’t like ‘un,” the man shrugged. “So’s my uncle says, ‘neehow.”
The Vanozza Fastness was built by the Mason, aeons ago. At least the core of the fortress, squeezed into between the mountains in a deep valley. Over the years, the Old Empire, Dominion and Republican additions to the original defences have, like barnacles over a behemoth of the deep, crept across the sheer mountain-sides, spilled out over the valley.
The forward defences - twin arms, resting upon the heights above and stretching east and inwards to almost encircle a region the size of a small city - were, naturally, the first to spot the column of Malvernian soldiers snaking up the winding road. These days, only the north side - the Marble Towers - were manned, as the stairs leading to the south side were in great disrepair.
Alessandro de Cereso, watchman on guard, managed a single, feeble ring of the alarm-bell before a pride of manticores tore his body apart. The sound coincided with a strange rain beginning to fall from skies turned a muddy ochre, and the rest of the company stationed in the Marble Towers did not manage to break through to the bell. They sent runners up the mountain to spread the word instead, and fortified themselves in the depths of the Towers.
So it was that it was Marconi Escula, two weeks from retirement, standing upon the battlements of the Fastness itself, that first saw the Malvernian host spilling into the Inner Valley.
Soon, all the Fastness was ringing with alarms and shouts. The garrison lined the crenellations and looked down as more and more of the Malvernian army appeared.
But, for all their enemy’s numbers, the Republicans felt little fear. The Fastness had never fallen. Few were the fools who had attempted to attack it. Not even in the dawning age of blackpowder and cannons was the Fastness threatened: for who had better artillery than the Republicans defending it? A garrison half their size could hold off an enemy twice as great for weeks.
Then a figure emerged from the midst of the Malvernian host. Silver flashed in the gloom as he put a hunting-horn to his lips and blew...
Somewhere on the walls below him, Marco was screaming. Donato Khalez, colonel of the Fastness, could not make out the words, but the panic in the old man's familiar voice was clear, and contagious. He was about to bark some semblance of order back into his men - for shame, the battle had not yet even begun! - when a strange pressure blocked his ears.
In the span of seconds, the pressure built from surprising to painful. A strange sound climbed into the audible registers.
He noticed the mortar glueing the wall beneath his hand was… drifting away. Like dust. Quicker and quicker, as the sound rose in volume until it was as if he were standing beneath a waterfall.
A drawn-out roar somehow pierced the din and pulled his eyes up: on the other side of the valley, the Marble Towers were sagging, falling apart. Dust billowed into the air, met the low brown clouds above and churned into a chaotic miasma. More rain fell down.
“Jofré!” he shouted, and spun around.
The black robes of the Inquisitor fluttered in the doorway leading to the stairs below, as the garrison’s anti-magic defences fled.