Events post #315: The Second War of Night, Part IX: The Battle for Kald, Part I

7/31/2022 at 15:39
The Second War of Night, Part IX: The Battle for Kald, Part I

While most were focused on the scorching arguments between the Gods and dealing with the ensuing aftermath, Ohlsana's rot continued to creep forward almost unabated. Slowed by the tens of thousands of souls laid out in trenches by the Carnifex, defence of the Shadow Keep was in full force, but it seemed inevitable that within only a few short weeks, the encroaching taint would reach, not only the Underking's spear in Kentorakro, nor just the Monolith of the Apocalyptia in the Mamashi, but the Village of Kald, too.

Forgotten by many save those with a penchant for perfume, and save by Warden Reave Lavalde who stood eternal vigil over her home town beside her people, Kald had been busy with preparations of their own. Townsmen and farmers, most with no experience in battle or warfare whatsoever, nonetheless arranged themselves into a ragtag militia, mobilising to guard the borders of their home.

The people of Kald are a proud people. A stubborn people. A hard people. Drawn by local gossip, a number of adventurers flocked to the village in an effort to help them evacuate. Led largely by Lenoriel, the visitors implored the Kald villagers to flee, to save themselves, and to save their children, counselling the indiscriminate and seemingly inconquerable nature of the rot.

To a man, they each of them point blank refused, claiming that to abandon their home was to abandon who they were. More voices joined in support of Lenoriel, insisting that there was no hope, and no purpose in staying only to meet inevitable doom. Kald would hear none of it, only digging their heels in further with each request for them to leave, even as nearby Mrenadh was making plans for a hasty evacuation.

Inspired by Kald's defiant refusal to give up their homes, members of the Carnifex, the Templars, and the Sentinels - between them, making up the three Seluno-founded organisations - began stockpiling weapons to arm the villagers, reasoning that if they couldn't convince them to leave, they could at least put spear and sword and bow in their hand and give them some basic training.

As the week wound on and the adventurers provided countless supplies, the villagers, who had so far proven reluctant to accept even material help, finally sent a representive forward from their militia to negotiate. The chosen representative agreed to accept training on the grounds that it was given unconditionally, and that those sent to offer tutelage would be accepted as Kald's own people so long as they remained, and so long as they respected the village's customs. Though they were inexperienced and untrained, they were eager and willing, and already counted two expert hunters among their numbers - Ater, and Beadr.

Agreeing to the terms, Commander Mjoll and the Carnifex dispatched Reaper Avrax to the village, who immediately began teaching them about discipline and organisation. The eager Kobold took to the task with excitement, immediately barking orders too loud for his size as Lord Rijetta Alhazrad looked upon the young Carnifex with a hint of pride. True to the orders given to him by Rijetta, he has managed to avoid killing a single villager. So far.

Rasani started instructing a tanner upon the correct formation for a shield-wall while waiting for the Pentarch Kalena to bring back Jermar, a wingless Templar Knight, to train the militia further. Some minor arguments about the appropriateness of arming untrained militia men with a shield were soon stifled as the trainees took to the task with aplomb. To protect Jermar for the invasion ahead, Rasani generously bestowed her holy vestments - blessed armour from Damariel - upon him to wear in the battle.

Prideleader Eaku grilled the archers on tactics and their ability to utilise the village's highground and rooftops. Satisfied with their answers, and at the request of further training from the militia, he sent Iesid to retrieve Huntleader Tomor in order to bestow training in the bow. Concerns about the Satyr's one-armed status was soon put aside as the grizzled ranger commenced expert drills in proper aiming and nocking techniques.

As the training began in earnest against a backdrop of Rijetta's zealous proselytising about the Lady of Corruption, the villagers busied themselves with practice and preparations, doggedly determined to face the incoming Shadow with heads - and now, bows, spears, and shields - held high.

Penned by my hand on Falsday, the 20th of Severin, in the year 504 MA.
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