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Gemstone IV News

The Battle of ShadowGuard, A soldier's journal (An eyewitness account)
Posted on 09/16/2014 09:08 PM CDT by GS4-WYROM

Remnants from the Journal of Darterious Illyan Vaalor, Officer of the Legion of the Shadow, Chronicler.

Authenticated by the college of Mages and representatives of the Chronomages.

Leyan, the 3rd day of Koaratos ~ 8th day since sending to Ta'Vaalor for aid

It’s hot again today. The men sweat in their armor but they dare not remove it. The enemy comes with such swiftness one must always be prepared. The thaumaturge units have been working double time to find ways to destroy these...creatures. I can't even say what they really are, they are not alive yet they walk and fight.

~ Darterious Illyan Vaalor
Officer of the Legion of the Shadow
Chronicler
*******************
Niiman, the 4th day of Koaratos ~ Day 9

More incursions today and still we hear nothing from Ta’Vaalor. As always, the Legion of the Shadow remains while nobility squabbles. The system of calling upon the Arkati to bless our weapons that the thaumaturge units discovered is working, though it is keeping them busy as the favor does not last over long and the bless must constantly be replenished. As always, the EverWatchful hold firm.

~ Darterious Illyan Vaalor
Officer of the Legion of the Shadow
Chronicler
Day of the Huntress, the 5th day of Koaratos ~ Day 10

The fighting was hardest yet last night, the enemy grows in strength. The forests that surround the fortress and have kept us safe for centuries turn on us and become our adversary. They cloak the . . . abominations as they move silently through the woods to the very base of our walls.

~ Darterious Illyan Vaalor
Officer of the Legion of the Shadow
Chronicler
*******************
Volnes, the 8th day of Koaratos ~ day 13

Already the men are wavering, we lost the courtyard on Saturday and the cost was high to retake it. For now, ShadowGuard holds and the EverWatchful watch…and wait.

~ Darterious Illyan Vaalor
Officer of the Legion of the Shadow
Chronicler
*******************
Niiman, the 18th day of Koaratos, ~ day 23

No time to write, the fighting has been hard and constant. The wounded are piling up and the dead are beyond count.

~ Darterious Illyan Vaalor
Officer of the Legion of the Shadow
Chronicler
*******************
Feastday, the 20th day of Koaratos ~ day 25

The enemy general took the field today. The fiend is unnatural, an abomination that should not exist. Man and ghost, he moves with the fludity of a blademaster yet uses magic like an Illistm mage. He took the gatehouse tower single handedly and cast something atop our walls. Our battlemages did not recognize the spell and everyone waits with trepidation...tonight all is quiet.

~ Darterious Illyan Vaalor
Officer of the Legion of the Shadow
Chronicler
*******************
Volnes, the 22nd day of Koaratos ~ day 27

A nightmare come to life! The Legion of the Shadow lost half a bandon last night as the effects of the general's spell became obvious. Late last night several of the more gravely wounded men began to turn. Their very life seeped from them as their eyes took on a fiery glow and they attacked men sleeping in the barracks. We lost so many before anyone knew what was happening. At the same time, our dead that had been left where they fell due to the incessant attacks, rose under the command of this "Despana" and her general. We were forced to slaughter our friends again and retake the courtyard. It has been a long two days as every time one of ours was slain, they rose to join the enemy's ranks. For the first time, I sense true fear among the units as they stare at one another warily.

~ Darterious Illyan Vaalor
Officer of the Legion of the Shadow
Chronicler
*******************
Niiman, the 1st day of Phoenatos ~ 30th day since sending for aid

It's been a month since we asked the Crown for reinforcements. The men fear no help is coming and I begin to agree with them. Our numbers are barely enough to man the three remaining towers. The portcullis and gate tower are lost and every hour more men turn. We've been forced to quarantine our wounded. We will not last the week without aid. As always, the EverWatchful remain.

~ Darterious Illyan Vaalor
Officer of the Legion of the Shadow
Chronicler
*******************
Feastday, the 3rd day of Phoenatos ~ day 32

A great commotion outside the walls last night. Noises, sounds of battle, rang out in the darkness. With no moon and the way these creatures seem to become the shadows, there is no way of knowing what is happening. We dare not send out a scout though some have talk of a counterassault during the confusion. Our orders won out and we hold the fortress and wait for aid. We'll see what the morning brings... A welcome sight this morn, the standard of House Illynov was visible outside the gates from the eastern walls at dawn. The EverSworded are here, giving these demons a proper thrashing! Hope returns.

Feastday ~ Late afternoon -

The EverSworded lived up to their name. House Ilynov cut a path through the hordes of undead and liberated the front gate this morning, allowing reinforcements into the fortress. Taki Rassien and the Sabrar that weren't already garrisoned here have bolstered our ranks. Despite their heroics, House Ilynov was lost to a man outside the gates this morning. May their sacrifice never be forgotten and their name live forever in glory. The relief the men feel at the reinforcements is tempered by this loss and the men are somber. The counterattack has given the enemy pause as the rest of the morning and early afternoon have been ominously quiet. On a personal note, I was wounded in the battle this morning. The wound festers and I have been quarantined to the bell tower that I may throw myself off should I start to turn. I will use what time I have left to record what I can of the battle.

~ Darterious Illyan Vaalor
Officer of the Legion of the Shadow
Chronicler
*******************
Restday, the 4th day of Phoenatos ~ Day 33

Dark magic outside the gate last night. I watched in horror as Despana herself performed her foul incantations over the fallen. It was much worse than we could have expected. When dawn came this morning, the Lich General Dharthiir besieged the front gate which we had retaken and reinforced. We held for an hour, maybe two before falling back into the other towers and the cathedral. I nearly fell from the bell tower in disbelief and disgust as Dharthiir entered the courtyard flanked by the EverSworded! Quickly I scanned their ranks and tallied the numbers, the full regiment stood with the enemy. The banner of House Ilynov fluttered on an unfelt breeze at the fore of 100 of the best fighting men House Vaalor had ever produced. Koar grant us that in their new form their skills are diminished. Noise from the entryway below tells me Taki and the Sabrar have just been informed of this new development.

The enemy has taken the courtyard without much resistance. The men are demoralized by the sight of the EverSworded against us and most were slain without raising their weapon. The elation the Legions felt at the arrival of Taki and the Sabrar has evaporated. Koar help the Houses, we cannot hold long. Reports from squires tell me that Taki is planning a charge to retake the courtyard. I can hear the legions mustering below. 

Taki and the Sabrar have taken the field against Dharthiir and the EverSworded, a strong push and they have formed a pocket just outside the Cathedral in the north courtyard. The fighting is fierce, everywhere I look legionnaires fall and more of the undead rise to fight. Taki must sense the desperation as he has pushed forward and engaged the lich general one on one. What a glorious sight if the circumstances were not so dire. Everywhere, men and undead alike stand rooted, staring at the battle taking place. I have never seen such skill in all my life yet I fear for our survival. Taki is the best of us and still this Dharthiir meets him blow for blow. It is only a matter of time, the combination of his skills with the blade and his dark magic will prove too much for Taki. Endlessly they circle one another, trading feints and blows. Aramir is the only thing keeping Taki alive right now. More than half of the unholy spells the lich throws his way are being absorbed into the veil iron bastard sword. I'm not the best tactician in the legion but even I can wonder what the enemy is doing with the EverSworded. They stand idle at Dharthiir's rear and flanks, forming a half circle around the two combatants. Why doesn't he send them on the attack and end this now? Taki is tiring. It's evident as he struggles to meet the enemy's blows, barely parrying them now. The end is near.

Glory and honor be to House Ilynov forever and ever! The EverSworded have somehow thrown off the lich's control and attacked Dharthiir from the rear. The brief respite was all Taki needed as he launched a vicious counterattack. The enemy general is on the defensive, barely blocking each mighty swing. A massive explosion has rocked the fortress. With one glorious swing, Aramir bit deep into the shadowy blade of Dharthiir. I'm not well versed in magics but the clash between veil iron and dark magic must have been too much. A brilliant light filled the courtyard below as the two weapons exploded and a wave of magical energy spread outward, engulfing the courtyard. When the dust settled, the courtyard is empty below. Nothing remains, Taki….gone, Dharthiir...gone, the EverSworded...gone. All gone. Not dead…just gone. Koar has blessed me to witness such a battle, yet no hope remains. We are defeated, none remain to fight the undead massed outside the gate. I will hide this journal in hopes that someday it may be recovered and the praises of Taki and the EverSworded may be sung, then I will take my life with the consecrated blade I have been given that I may not rise to do harm to my House. This is a true and accurate accounting of what I have witnessed this day, the 4th of Phoenatos.

~ Darterious Illyan Vaalor
Officer of the Legion of the Shadow
Chronicler



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