The Fall of Banecroft
Author: Baron Diamond Banecroft
Hundreds of years ago the Illinareans attempted to colonize the Realms.
This was the era of Sir Weathermay and the scrolls deciphered at Creathorne
this spring. Apparently the local non-humans did not like the Illinareans.
It is unclear to me wether this was merely unfortunate or a result of the
Illinareans own actions. Anyway, the non-humans eventually had enough and
drove the Illinareans out. Somewhere along the line Sir Weathermay lost his
wife. These events presumably either created or solidified the Illinarean
hatred towards non-humans. I understand Slaader has detail on this era, and the Creathorne scrolls.
Several years ago, a Illinarean advance force attacked Northbrook. I was defending the western flank, so I don't have the details.It was something to do with the Litch Amon Hathrul, a local undead meanace. I surmize the Illinareans were trying to use his power like they used other sources of local magics.
Two years ago, there was a series of Illinarean scouting attacks in Northern Banecroft. First they sacrificed a local goddess for her power, leaving only two twisted halves behind. We (by which I include non-Baronial fellow adventurers) cured her and destroyed the Illinarean advance base.
Then they used demonic magics to cast a disease curse on several of my
commonfolk citizens. We were able to cure the citizens and contain the
Finally the Illinareans empowered a local Troll king, using him as a pawn to control a monster army to attack Banecroft. We defeated them and slew the overpowered Troll king. Illinar declared war on Banecroft. But they made a critical error- their general revealed he knew too much - that they had a spy in the Realms.
That spy was of course Monte Banks, who had been among us that whole summer. He had not been idle. For he personally engineered a magor diplomatic crisis; manipulating events, the Achorians and Gwenethelians and so on in his best efforts to cause a war.
That war was only narrowly averted that winter.
The next spring the Illinareans made good their threat to invade Banecroft. Choosing a time when almost all adventurers were on the Road to Chimeron's feast and thus incommunicado, the Illinareans seized the advantage. Monte Banks showed his true colors as their prince. The Illinarean's army greatest power was revealed: While they do have access to the healing magic we use, they do not have enough healers to keep up with the casualties we inflicted upon them. Instead, they had a huge magical tool to aid them.
Shortly after they died, a living ... copy, or clone or something would be gated in, presumably from their homeland across the sea.
These gates must be thwarted. Strategy hinges upon it. I'll dig into that tomorrow.
Good luck, and I'll see you on the field!
This weekend the full strength of Banecroft, supported by a handful
of adventurers, were defeated in the field by the Harvest Moon Invantry.
I formally thank all those who aided us in our desperate struggle. I
remember each of you with deep gratitude commesurate with your depth of assistance.
While I cannot name everyone specifically, even some whose merit deserve it, there are a few example whom I can highly commend here:
Dutchess Gwen and Sir Guilliam of Thorn Valley were vital in their support.
Pann (I apologize if I mispell that)of Teng Hua was a steadfast defender, steady as a rock.
Syrus, a very young borderguardian kept his head under terribly stressful situations.
Talon, who was very good at figuiring out how to effect the enemy (when he wasn't
causing minor mischeif).
Behbinn, who bore our banner and cut off the enemy's spawning points.
Da'oud of Rhiassa, who arrived fresh on Sunday and rekindled our flagging spirits and speaheaded our line.
Sir Danfordesque and the mercenary (but in the end extremely well paid) Tilly.
The enigmatic but tremendously effective Grey.
Reeve, leader of the forestrunners who was cooperative and brave and
And some who requested me keep the nature of their aid secret. Thank you
The first thing I must report is that, AS I HAD DEDUCED and reported to the other leaders of the Stone Shield Alliance months ago, Monte Banks was a spy for the enemy. (Sorry Nero, I did not have time to explain the reasoning behind my request on Wendsday. I had hoped you could confirm what I suspected independantly) But what I had not suspected was that he was Prince Banks, the LEADER of the invading force. This entirely confirmed my previously-submitted suspition regarding his motivations in creating the recent diplomatic crisis.
Since the attack was a suprise attack, with only 3 days of warning (it's only four if you count Saturday itself) I knew it would be difficult for help to arrive but I had hoped that since people were already on the road to gather at the Feast of Chimeron, we might be in luck. Unfortunately, no doubt our request for aid was no doubt awaiting many people upon their return to their homelands, having turned back when they heard the Feast was rescheguled. Thus fate had it that they were still on the road when my missives reached their destinations. It was only good fortune that Sir Sean and several Creathornians were in Banecroft on unrelated business.
During the battle on Saturday we were terribly hard pressed as we learned through painful trail and error how to effect our foes. For unlike many mindless monsters who are immune to mere normal steel, these foes cleverly combined their powers so as to obfuscate what worked on who. We were able to divine the following:
While within a few steps of their banner, all but the banner-bearer are entirely invulnerable. It is necessary to slay the bannerbearer in order to have any chance. They also made use of the redirect regional magic and armor to make archery effectively useless against the vulnerable banner.
Thus our only tactic was to surround and overrun the defenders even as they did terrible damage to us (since we could not effect them) until we could slay the bannerbearer.
Even the common soldiers had excellent unencumbering heavy armor with excellent coverage.
Their general was immune to anything short of silver/magic blows. This is in
addition to the heavy armor, which meant that magic missles had great difficulty penetrating. In addition, he had twice our strength- enough to carry off our banner
even when fighting, something which was beyond even the strongest of us.
One of their officers (distinguishable by his black beret) was immune to everything
but axes, in addition to the usual heavy armor.
There was a knight, Sir Sessel, who was mighty in battle and, given the company he
kept, peversely honorable. Prince Banks was not only a mage of some stripe but was also armored similar to the others. There was a healer as well of course.
Even the gods weighed in this struggle. My patron goddess Faelie altered the land
and forests so as to keep out the bulk of the invading army until they were gated in
later. An avatar of Fortuna, present because I had recently granted Lord Elwick
permission to found a church to her in Nadina, gave somewhat mercurial help.
Although her suggestion that I surrender in order to spare the commonfolk citizens
the ravages of war was not well taken. My duty requires me not to leave my people's
safety with those who have already called a demond from hell to corrupt them into
terrorlings, or who have twisted local goddesses into pain-induced schitzophenia, or who
empower monsters at the expense of civilization, who routinely scalp all nonhumans such as our elvish citizens. Who admitted that day that they were in the habit of sacrificing their commonfolk to dark powers LIKE AZRAEL, which is how they got part of their impressive powers (as listed above).
Anyway, we defended the town from monster attack (which was a dramatic success only
after we sorted out our organization). Then night fell, and we set aside our battle
as mandated by our mutually-agreed terms during the opening parley. That night, several
intersting things happened:
Ser Sessel came to use to offer aid against the undead which he had detected prowling
close. He was soon proved correct as a vampire, in whose manner and subsequent actions (related below) I quickly deduced was none other than the dread Azrael.
Later, we discovered Elwick running around in the dark! Talon, Sir Guilliam and I ran him down and took him prisoner. Then Lady Phoenix and Twenaria cast a difficult
and dangerous ritual to rescue Lord Elwick. They were entirely successful, although
I had to sacrifice a significant part of our gains earlier that day in order to give
them a necessary spell reset. They deserve great credit and have my gratitude for
Elwick's rescue. Phoenix had researched what was necessary and carried it off perfectly.
When she described the process as "the same thing Sir Shane used to save Peregrine" I
finally realized what should have been obvious to me the instant I realized Elwick was
lost. He was not a vampiric thrall, but rather posessed by a Mach'Ma'Drenn!
The dark spirits which the Nameless One used to posess people. It is particularly effective on fighters like Elwick and Peregrine, magic users such as Decion have a
certain amount of resistance. I had assumed that was a power of the Nameless One herself, but now we know Mara can do this as well.
Partway through this ritual, we noticed a vampiric woman hovering nearby. It was estroyed by Azrael. Reeve reported that the woman was one of the Mara-clones, that
is to say women who look like Mara and made her vampiric childre so as to make it more
difficult to catch Mara herself. This and other comments Azrael made inclines me to think he does not approve of Mara's escapades. In any case, Phoenix's information was right on the money and Elwick was made much better, although he was so sick from his ordeal that he was unable to fight or even talk beyond the shortest of interviews. We saw to his care and continued the battle.
A necromancer assasin also stalked us that night. He apparently was seeking the pieces to the gate which the Harvest Moon invantry needed to bring in the main body of their army. We had secured three peices that day. The necromancer eventually stopped
assasinating us from the shadows and was defeated in open battle. Finishing him off was
particularly difficult, but it was accomplished thanks to Talon, Darwin, Matthew and Sirus. 400 magic blows is hard to do in a minuite when there is only one magic item
So ended the night's battle. The next day, as we wearily armored up and assayed the situation, we were dismayed to discover that our support had melted away during the night. Grimly, we tallied that with the exception of the Barony itself, only a tiny few had hung in there overnight. Again, Pann's steadfastness was appreciated. However, a large contingent of the remainder declined to overtly help us at first. We won one victory outside the tavern, but our morale gained a much needed boost when Da'oud appeared with an infusion of energy and discipline.
The tide of battle took us to the Tower itself, as the enemy had taken it while we fought in their feint in the field. This was a terribly difficult seige. Time and again we threw our strength against them, only to be broken against the invulnerability of their banner-backed forces. In the narrow entrance to the tower, we could not reach around their line to get the bannerbearer. Their prudence frustrated my attempts to bring him down with archery fire, and soon my ammunition was expended. It was here that Grey's imense abilities and clever application was most... timely. It was only when Da'oud convinced those who were hanging back to support us directly that we were able to
storm the tower and destroy their spawn point.
A final battle sealed our fate. As it wound down, it was clear that too many of the enemy had gated in. I gave up a magic item to Tilly, which I gained earlier that year, an heirloom from the days of my father and kept for me by a reclusive hermit Baronial from the original Barony. I did this to pay her for her continued services, so that she would continue to heal us in this desperate 11th hour. But even this was too little, for as I threw myself and what was left of my followers into the fray in the final seconds of the battle yet again. We failed but our bodies were recovered.
Da'oud did us the infinite service of recovering the contents of Area 51 from under the noses of the occupying army. In addition to two of the pieces of the gate which we had secured, Area 51 contained the dread lore and items which I had hidden away because I judged them too dangerous to be unleashed on the Realms.
Created by Faelinn Shadowmoon (Leanne Micciche) at 05-10-07 10:58 AM
Last Modified by Faelinn Shadowmoon (Leanne Micciche) at 04-05-08 08:55 AM