Riftgate Session 7 - 05.03.09

After a meager half an hour of rest for the exhausted men on the hill they are disturbed by a very loud but welcome procession. King Themarodes arrives with a sizable force of fresh soldiers and proceeds to set up his command upon the hilltop. Bleddyn sallies out with some of the King’s men to scout the field beyond the reach of the seemingly incessant candles. As Pello continues to tend the victims of the surprise attack, Balthius confers with the King in private. The remainder of the party takes advantage of the lull with the exception of a very anxious Linnaeus who watches Voxis rest with a particularly mischievous look set on his face.

At dawn of all times the candles finally cease and under the suns first rays far out before them can be seen, the enemy army taking the field. Balthius sends his winged companion high into the air to gather intelligence of the opposition for the King and his commanders. The enemy force marching on their position is comprised of light and heavy infantry units with ranged in support. Banners are seen belonging to Ardani mercenaries within their ranks. The Kings scouts return, pairs at a time, confirming Balthius’ report. Orders are relayed and shouted amongst the men and they form for the best defense and the King surveys his armies stretching away to the south one last time before concentrating on his own position, trusting to his commanders training and discipline to hold their lines.

The air is heavy and the tension can be felt an even greater burden. As the enemy nears bowshot Bleddyn and the last of the scouts return to the relative protection of their allies and the hill. The Nesian march halts and through loose formation their archers and peltists come forth. The first volley is fired, which breaks upon the Shields of Thasos. Against their solid wall and elevation, none fall. They loose a second volley but a vicious and howling wind arises at the behest of Linnaeus, blowing into the west and turning aside their barrage harmlessly.

With no hope of inflicting damage the Nesian ranged units fall back and their infantry’s ranks close behind them. They resume their march and those at the Thasoan front begin to see their impetuous disposition from their advance and the expressions of their faces as they near. They seem to have taken the King’s bait striking at Themarodes’ best-fortified position with a full third of their army. They push into a charge over the last yards of the distance and their roar is deafening yet it falters as they crash onto the silent unmoving wall of the Kings elite Shields of Thasos.

With their line unyielding they thrust their weapons from the shadows of their shields into those futilely attempting to force an opening. The enemy’s only thought before them is to retreat to a safe distance while running into their own reinforcements. The battle rages at the base of the hill for near twenty minutes and panic starts to set in. A small unit of Nesian heavy infantry breaks the Thasoan light infantry they had been engaging and pushes into the breach. Linnaeus is confronted with this threat and unleashes bolts of Dark Aura at the enemy soldiers who forfeit their advantage and flee.

The Nesians succeed in organizing just out of range and make more organized thrusts, yet neither side can gain any significant advantage over the other. The Shields cannot press forward beyond the reach of their allies guarding the flanks and they know not to leave the hill and their King unguarded.

A successful advance of Nesians under a particularly bold commander break through and Bleddyn takes aim at the leader. In the midst of the violent attack, Bleddyns arrow lodges in the shoulder of his targets left side. The commander charges Bleddyn followed by his closest men. With time for one more shot he strikes the man in the chest. He falls to his knees and his men stop at his sides. The commander collapses, driving the arrow deeper and breaking the shaft. He is dead. Allied archers come to Bleddyns aid and finish off the remaining men putting an end to the immediate danger.

Voxis spies a leader with a company of heavy infantry pushing on the Shields flank, attempting to cut a route to the King. At the same time a group of peltists freed from the fray call for Pello who with some aids begin their unconventional methods of tending the wounded on the field. The enemy commander loses a second as he surveys Pello and his entourage in their brightly colored robes. Voxis takes full advantage of this opportunity, ending his life with a deft stroke.

Lost and confused the enemy heavy infantry become even more of a threat striking out viciously and are soon reinforced by more allies gaining a firm hold behind the Shields on the slopes. The King swiftly requests of Balthius a spell of warding, unfortunately Balthius’ spell fails. Without a second thought Themarodes takes his personal guard down upon the enemy. Pello looks up from his work to see their charge and the ranks streaming past him. The enemy holds but the Kings men begin to cut off the tide of their reinforcements when a great commotion stirs from their far right flank. Ardani Mercenaries and light infantry are sweeping around and attempting to unite with their embroiled allies to encircle Themarodes and his forces.

They do not reach their destination because of the valor of a scant few manning the fortifications erected on the hillside and horns sound as a force of chariots drives the Ardani back. Convinced they cannot dislodge the Thasoan forces now with the addition of their pressing cavalry units, the Nesian commander orders the withdrawal, covering the retreat of his men with enough efficiency to deter pursuit with the exception of half the heavy infantry that, cutoff, surrender to Themarodes.

Returning to the hilltop the King, Balthius, and his advisors take the time to survey and see the overall strategic situation, despite the intense fighting, has remained unchanged. Pello continues to press more bewildered surgeons and attendants into his service to erect a gathering point for the wounded. They are moved and those too far gone are made as comfortable as possible for their time left.

What felt like ages to everyone only lasted barely till noon. The soldiers tend to preparations in case of further attack while most of the group rests, none having had sufficient time the night before. Voxis asks Balthius about his pilfered amulet but he seems too distracted to say any more than that it is magical and to inquire of Linnaeus for more information. Upon doing so Voxis catches Linnaeus in a lie, not believing that it is worthless, injuring their already straining relationship. He takes his leave to be attended by Pello realizing he has sustained a minor wound during the battle.

The rest are summoned to a council and Marius opens with the knowledge that the wizard that escaped their retribution the night before was the one that had betrayed him. The King then reveals his plans to let the enemy take the hill at their next engagement. Before he can get into details a messenger is announced from the Nesian camp. He requests a meeting on behalf of his King at dawn upon the field. Balthius informs him that it is safe and Themarodes agrees. The group is dismissed while the King ponders this meeting further and with no more incidents, they all tend to their own requirements for the remainder of the day.

In the morning each King arrives with an entourage of about ten men. Of note are the mage Marius mentioned along with the commander of the Ardani Mercenaries and what appears to be a sage from the Order Balthius belongs to. With Themarodes are those who had attended his council after the battle. The Nesian King wastes no time and launches into an account of his long lineage and declares himself the lost Ajani King. He demands Themarodes join him. Marius takes the initiative and to everyone’s surprise he lists his own closely-knit lineage making him the rightful King to that once great dynasty. In a further display that causes murmuring and outrage from their enemies, Marius kneels before Themarodes and pledges fealty to him. The Nesian King shouts that they try and achieve with words what they have no hope of gaining with arms, they must accept him or die! The Ardani commander silences the bickering and shouting. He says while his commission is not up he will continue to serve Nesios but they will not raise arms against the Ajani King. With hatred in his eyes the enemy king departs in a huff. Marius and the Ardani make eye contact and there is a connection between them, respect. Without any more words both retinues return to their camps.



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