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Action Id: 3130 Crisis: Participants: Preston, Ida, Marian, Sparte, Violet and Amund
Status: Resolved Submitted: Feb. 19, 2019, 12:46 p.m. Public: True GM: Apostate

Silver: 80000
Economic Resources: 200
Military Resources: 800

Action by Preston

The Faith Militant has learned of two enemies of the Faith within Valardin lands - the first are a group of Abandoned who mockingly refer to themselves as Malardin and who were not only behind the Tragedy, but also stole Valardin arms and armour and are thus suspected of the attack on the convoy of mercies and Templars in the south of Valardin before returning to their northern hideaways. This made them an enemy of the Faith. There is also an abandoned war chief known as The Reaper of the Oathlands, it is not known if she works with the Malardin or they simply co-exist within the Red Mountains, but she has proven herself also an enemy, but she must be dealt with second.

Preston has put out the call for parishes in the Oathlands to send a portion of their Templar levy to muster close to Sanctum, where he will join them as he journeys into the Oathlands on a pilgrimage with Alarissa (Action 3155). He has also asked for other Oathland houses, and other houses nearby, to send nobles and portions of house troops to help. He will be dispatching some troops from Arx to help form a core, and one he can trust.

A small portion of the van will go off with others in Action 3172 where they will seek to convince the abandoned tribes in the way who aren't involved to either leave or to bend the knee. Preston will then lead the army in its three sections up the roads to the Red Mountains, marching under the banner of the Faith.

The plan is to push into the forests at the foothills where Blackram scouts have reported the cultists performing foul rituals. By splitting the force into two flanking forces and the main line, they can hopefully funnel the overall withdrawal of the cultists back towards the mountain line, and away from the coast. It's hoped an army might come from Redrain as a blocking force to avoid them fleeing across and into redrain lands.

If the forces of the Malardin and the Reaper band together, the plan is to encricle them both and siege them, force them into a desperate sally or wait until they can be attacked in a storming of the Reaper's redoubt. If they fight, then they will let that happen and move on the survivor. If they avoid one another, Preston will detach a sieging force to siege the redoubt of the Reaper that Blackram identified, hoping she is there, while the forces sweep the Malardin up, hopefully, using the Redrain force as an anvil if necessary.

In case of any issues with Cardian aerial reinforcement, Preston is bringing along engineers and hopefully talented smiths to sort this out, with lighter bolt throwers coming along as well as heavier siege gear to deal with the Reaper's dedoubt (silver and econ in the action for smiths etc to use for this).

I realise this is a big action, so do feel free to stop it if along the way something goes wrong and it can't progress and we need to submit another action as a decision point!


Action by Marian

When the Faith militant calls for the Warchief of the North to block the escape of these Malardins, Princess Marian Redrain is there with her armies to act as a wall against these zealots. She brings the full fury of the Northlands on any enemy that steps across the border, brutally killing these murdered who may have had a hand in the Tragedy of Sanctum. During the down time, she will have her troops perform training exercises, using their time in the mountains to become a tighter unit.


Action by Amund

Two things that Amund hates a lot: Shavs and crazed cultists. Not that he's particularly religious, but their tendency to press others into obedience and raid Compact villages without a second thought just elicits the most violent reactions from him. He'll be joining Sir Preston in the fighting on behalf of House Blackram, his assortment of weapons ready at his side and clad in the best armor he can afford.


Action by Sparte

The Order of East Light volunteered assistance to the efforts by the Faith Militant, and Sparte has stepped forward to lead those volunteers. He is trusting those with him to be driven by duty and by their own sense of morality, so is focusing more on maintaining morale and courage in his fellows than acting the part of a battle commander. He will bring his steed Hyb, and a banner for the Order of East Light to be held high.

Sparte is also traveling as a pilgrim (Action 3155), and will be putting too much time in humble service to focus on command. For that reason - and the fact Preston is better at it - when combat comes Sparte will defer to the Faith Militant's leadership on matters of tactics and strategy. He will encourage the volunteers with him to do the same, augmenting the Faith's troops rather than acting as an independent force.

While he will lend his voice to mercy when dealing with shavs who are not guilty of terrible crimes and commend those encouraging non-violent shavs to get out of the way or bend the knee (Action 3172), there will be no such forgiveness spoken of by him for the Malardin nor the Reaper. There he will speak of justice to be done as if it were a burden to be carried with head held high.


Action by Ida

Tasked with working out a way to securely mount the lighter ballistae on the back of wagons once the party has arrived at their destination, Ida will do just that. She will bring several journeymen with her and the group will frame the wagons in steel and even some rubicund from her personal stores; sheets on top and bottom to prevent splintering and rods in and around the wheels for the same purpose. Using her knowledge from the days of repairing farming equipment, the ballistae will be bolted securely in place. Lastly, Ida will also lend her strength in battle to move them, should that be necessary.


Action by Violet

Violet has brought a portion of the elite Crimson Blades to the task. Though this may have been given to her as penance it matters not. This is a travesty that needs mending and her Blades are up for the task. Many times they have fought against Abandoned and Shav tribes. Knowing they will use dirty tactics she offers up her services as Scouts and Gorilla warfare.

In addition to this, Violet keeps her other sense open. Hopefully it will give them all some warning, so that things don't go bad.


Result

Roll Result: 123

The response from Sir Preston, Grandmaster of the Knights Templar, is more than might be expected. He very specifically said it was not a crusade, but he still called upon the Oathland houses for support, and they respond- the number of knights and household troops of the Oathland houses number in the tens of thousands, and it's a large enough response that the logistics of it are acutely strained, with much of the funds and resources raised being used to sustain a very short, powerful campaign against the Malardin in the hills near Blackram lands.

The Crimson Blades manage to uncover three targets with their scouting, assisted by the Order of East Light under Sparte's command. They find a redoubt manned by very hostile bandits that most believe is controlled by the Reaper, and is her holdfast. The Trompeuris tribe is the second finding, which is another major Abandoned group that has certainly declared themselves Malardin, and are within a day's distance of Reaper's holdfast, and start being steadily pushed in that direction as soon as they start to come into contact with Preston's outer forces. And then there's Clan Blood Oak, another mighty Malardin force, which seem to have been completely exterminated- their main camps only have ashes which are thought to be human remains.

It's not one sided, but the Trompeuris probably only number at most a thousand, and the Reaper's forces aren't leaving the holdfast. With Princess Marian's Redrain forces blocking off the retreat north, the tribe is steadily pushed towards the Reaper's redoubt with only light losses. A single large scale ambush attempt by the Malardin is scouted out by Violet, and the large scale cavalry charge by knights in reply put the Trompeuris to rout, with hundreds cut down during their flight, and some scant signs of Valardin arms and armor among them. The brutally outnumbered Abandoned are cut off by a flanking maneuver and completely annihilated short of Reaper's redoubt.

While a volley of arrows coming from the Reaper's redoubt leaves no doubt of the number of defenders, Ida's ballistas are brought up to reply as Preston's massive forces prepare to storm. One ballista in particular that Ida works on seems to glow white right before it fires, and the crew launching it yells as it seems to ignite, with the bolt looking like a white ray of light as it streaks towards Reaper's redoubt. The fortress seems to explode into fire as it's struck, and the ballista burns down to ash. Many of the templars are speaking of a miracle on Gloria's part, as the redoubt has been reduced to rubble with strewn bodies everywhere. Unfortunately, the Reaper doesn't seem to be among them.

There are some conclusions that can be drawn- the number of Valardin arms and armor is extremely limited, and looks more recent- forgeries, and thefts from Valardin's armories. Nor do any seem to match what was seen in the further south, so it's unlikely the 'Malardin' in the northern hills were responsible for the attacks on Fournier lands and similar. It's possible, but there's nothing directly connecting them. Not that the Oathlander host with Preston care that much- they crushed a major Abandoned force, and that's something they are always down for. With apparently a miracle of Gloria to boot.