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Isaella's Dance takes the field for the first time in Kahraman.
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Grass, Stone, and Water

During the Summer Solstice, the Lasambrian Jotun and their former-Mournwold yegarra allies cooperated on a plan to divide the mountainous regions of Kahraman. In the week following the Solstice, they complete their scheme. Roads are torn up, bridges collapsed, even a few small landslides caused. The settlements of Kahraman become more isolated. Braydon's Jasse and its vital fort are cut off from Serra Briante and Serra Damata, and the Jotun Lasambrians regroup on the arid Jade Range, the grasslands wilted and beaten under the relentless sun of the great drought. Their target is Fort Braydon; if they can take Braydon's Jasse then in a stroke they will take control of the entire territory, cutting off access to the Great Mine of Briante and the Damatian Cliffs.

Unfortunately for the orcs, the Empire has other ideas. As the first fat raindrops detonate in the dust of Jade Range, announcing the arrival of the season of storms, five Imperial armies arrive from the east. Both Freeborn armies and all three Navarr armies - including the newly mustered Isaella's Dance - come to the defence of Kahraman. The great host of the Black Thorns set the pace, launching an overwhelming assault against the orc flanks, driving straight for Nestor's Rise and the main orc force. In their wake follow Isaella's Dance and the Quiet Step, flanked by the Fire of the South and the daring raiders of the Red Wind Corsairs.

The armies are supported by the garrison of Fort Braydon - the walls of which glow with sigils of burning brass. With the garrison reinforced with great four-armed constructs of bronze summoned from the mountain of Shikal, the weary soldiers are able to issue forth and join their Freeborn fellows in the fight to liberate the southern plains.

Black Thorns we march to Kahraman with overwhelming assault we will attack the Jotun without mercy allow none to leave the field alive, push with all your strength we will not stop until this land has been scoured of the enemy.

Karrow Strangers Song, General of the Black Thorns

Last time the Jotun and their Lasambrian pets come to Kahraman, the Quiet Step littered the mountains with the skulls of the Godhi, and they fled promising to return. Now they have, and so shall we, and we will do whatever it takes to make Kahraman a boneyard to their heresy and drive their last from Freeborn land forever.

Brennos Brackensong, General of Quiet Step

Isaella's Dance, I am your first general. This is our first fight. We march, the poisoned thorns of Navarr, with the Quiet Step and the Black Thorns, and our allied freeborn warriors-in-arms. We march to break our enemy. So break them, fight with me, and win. Strength to the Empire! Strength to Navarr!

Larkin Shattersong, General of Isaella's Dance

Freeborn! You are sick of waiting, sick of routine and rest and rumination. You have felt the aligning of our minds and now is the time to do what you do best. Our siblings in the Fire of the South sweep towards us with our Navarri cousins. Flow through Jade Range with these armies and hit the invaders with your most Daring Raid. Take all that they have Leave them nothing. Through their losses, we will raise the Burning Falcons.

Delora i Sol-Devorador i Erigo, General of Red Wind Corsairs

We have waited, we have bled, we will hold back the tide no longer. Follow me to our homes in Kahraman and we will crash down upon them. Burn them from our land with the flame in our souls. We fight with virtue and our balanced attack will tear them from our land.

Aracelis I Erigo, General of the Fire of the South

Blood, Thorns, and Ravens

From the moment the Navarr armies arrive in Kahraman, it is clear that they have no less a goal in mind than the eradication of the Lasambrian Jotun. The Black Thorns take the fore, smashing the Jotun again and again. They show no mercy - it is clear their intent is to kill every single orc they can get their hands on. They are aided in this by the Quiet Step, who not only employ strategies intended to lure their enemies into ambushes (no mean feat on the open plains), but also ensure their allies - Navarr and Freeborn alike - are equipped with venomous weapons and battle potions. They take every opportunity to launch surprise attacks against the orc armies' weak spots, taking particular pains to kill enemy healers. They seem to revel in spilling orc blood, favouring opportunities to kill the enemy over chances to actually claim land from them. Their drive to kill is matched by that of Isaella's Dance whose thorns are supported by both Spring magic and poison, both turned toward quick slaughter of their enemies.

The bloodthirst of the 'Step and the 'Dance is exacerbated by the unique enchantment that cloaks them in a cloying, clinging supernatural fog. While the rest of the territory is wracked with storms, with flash floods thundering in the mountains, the arrival of the two Navarr armies is heralded by an unnatural calm that quietens the tempest. Ahead of the armies comes a great flooding sea of magical mist, thicker than any that has been seen in Kahraman in living memory. It not only conceals the thorns of Navarr from their enemies, it seems to spread uncertainty and confusion among the orcs they attack. Within the mist drift dark shadows - ravens and other carrion birds - that gather in increasing numbers as the season proceeds. Where their shadows fall, where their grim croaking voices sing, fear comes with them. More and more of these avian shades gather each week; as the Autumn Equinox approaches the sky is darkened by immense flocks of carrion birds that descend on every battlefield through the territory, even those where the 'Dance and the 'Step are not present. By all accounts not all these birds are "real" in the conventional sense - there is talk of black birds with yellow eyes that materialise out of and return to the mist as if embodying the fear it brings. Some of these birds are very large indeed - one Freeborn soldier swears that they saw one the size of an ox that lifted an orc scout impossibly high into the night sky and dropped them, wailing, to the muddy earth below.

This magical fog obfuscates the battlefields where the Navarr fight, allowing them to kill even more Jotun. Yet, disturbingly, the mist also seems to have some insidious effect on the soldiers who fight beneath it. It greatly amplifies the bloodthirsty, violent impulses of those influenced by it. Thorns who do not take pleasure in killing are mostly unaffected beyond the occasional surge of anger or irrational hatred. Yet in any army there are soldiers who revel in the chance to kill their enemies, whether out of a thirst for death or a twisted idea of expediency. It is these Navarr who are most influenced by the enchantment. As the campaign in Kahraman rolls on, the bloodthirst becomes stronger, and even some of the soldiers of the Red Wind Corsairs and the Fire of the South begin to eye their allies nervously.

Thunder, Lightning, and Rain

While the Navarr seem hell-bent on slaughtering every orc in Kahraman, the Red Wind Corsairs have a very different aim. They push through their enemies, striking at supply lines, caravans, and the stockades where the Hierro store their provisions. They seek out the wealth the Corazón have already stolen from the people of the Cinnabar Hills. They are aided by the Fire of the South, who take a more measured approach to war with the Lasambrian Jotun than any of their fellows - seeking weaknesses in the enemy lines rather than attempting to smash through strong positions. They are supported by nearly a thousand soldiers belonging to independent captains, bound together with Autumn magic that lets each warband fight with the same fervour and understanding of Freeborn ways as any Brass Coast soldier or kohan.

The Lasambrian Jotun would easily be outnumbered two-to-one, were they not supported by several thousand elfin warriors drawn from the Summer realm. Both the Escuta and the Hierro have the favour of Eleonaris, who has sent her legions of knights and goblin foot-soldiers to fight alongside them. The Corazón are further reinforced by Stephen of Sarcombe and his fellow yegarra, still seeking every opportunity to avenge themselves on those who slew beloved Wallis during the Spring Equinox. Their initial strategy is clearly to push forward to Braydon's Jasse. Even the Corazón have put aside their raiding ways to focus their attention on victory, on securing Kahraman. When it is clear they are facing not a single beleaguered garrison but five armies of Imperial soldiers, they are forced to quickly adapt their plans. They fight to hold back the tide, but it is clear that they are overwhelmed and outmatched. They are forced into a fighting retreat in the face of the Navarr fury, pushed mile after mile back towards Gambit - and to the Lasambrian Hills.

A month after the first engagement, the Lasambrian orcs rally at Nestor's Bounty, gather their forces, and begin to push back. There are new warriors supporting their counterattack - crimson-clad Skjalderborn, a fourth army, fresh from a great charge along the length of Kalsea and Narkyst to aid their Lasambrian cousins. Their presence stiffens the resolve of the Lasambrians, renewing their morale. Buoyed up by the words of their godhi, who urge them to fight with Courage and Pride against the Imperial forces, to show the Navarr how truly virtuous people make war, they take the battle to the Empire.

It's not enough. A bloody clash on the plans near Nestor's Bounty breaks the Lasambrian line, inflicting horrible casualties. The orcs are forced to retreat again, ceding the town, the Escuta barely pausing to gather what wounded they can recover from the field before they are forced back toward the borders of Gambit. The fighting is vicious, bloody, savage, and the Jotun have no answer to it. They are forced to fall back again and again until finally Jade Range is swept clean of the western orcs.

The armies do not pause, give them no opportunity to regroup. The Black Thorns are eager to chase the Lasambrians wheresoever they try to retreat; they lead the Imperial armies in pursuing them into Gambit. As the Autumn Equinox draws near, and the tempestuous weather finally begins to wane, the orcs are still being driven westward. Not only have the Empire claimed Jade Range, they are nearly a third of the way toward driving the invaders out of the territory entirely. The bulk of the orc forces are encamped on the edge of the Sand Woods, but there are warbands of Corazón and yegarra spread out across the entire region. The Lasambrian Jotun must know they are defeated, but the fires of virtue burn in their hearts... so it remains to be seen if they are prepared to accept that they cannot win.

Game Information

The Lasambrian Jotun are overwhelmed by Imperial forces. The Empire has reclaimed Jade Range and driven the orcs back into Gambit.

During the Summer Solstice, the Lasambrian Jotun enacted a plan detailed in the One tree at a time Wind of War. As a result, travel through Serra Damata, Serra Briante, and Braydon's Jasse has been crippled. Campaign armies now struggle to move freely between Braydon's Jasse and Serra Briante, or between Serra Briante and Serra Damata. This makes it impossible to attack more than one of these regions in the same season. However it has also dealt a devastating blow to the effectiveness of Fort Braydon - and to any other fortifications in the surrounding area. Any fortification in Serra Briante, Serra Damata or Braydon's Jasse will be able to defend the region it is in, but will not provide any benefit in either of the other two regions. This situation will persist until the Empire is able to commit the time and money needed to repair the roads and bridges - something that will be difficult to do while the Lasambrian Jotun are still present.

Two of the Navarr armies were under the effect of Shroud of Fog and Ravens - a ritual not part of Imperial lore that enhanced their ability to kill Jotun warriors. Unfortunately, this ritual is completely incompatible with Empire's magic theory and was a remnant from the very first years of the game before we had nailed down all these elements. As a consequence we are removing this ritual. Any character who has it mastered will now have an empty "slot" for mastering new rituals. The in-character explanation is that the recent conjunction of the Lock has rendered the ritual unworkable, taking away whatever strange power it relied on. We will continue to reject attempts to create similar effects in this realm using arcane projections; it is not possible to to enchant armies in this way with Night magic.

Tapestry (Battle)

Request for Volunteers
This event, we are seeking a group of volunteers to help monster for the Saturday battle who would not normally participate in playing and monstering battles. In this battle, they would be playing yegarra humans, and you can find out more about the request on the Winds of War page.
  • The Lasambrian forces are falling back all across Kahraman, leaving many casualties trapped in Rojota
  • Steven of Sarcombe is leading a desperate counter-attack, trying to recover the wounded and save up one thousand casualties the Lasambrians have suffered
  • There is a battlefield opportunity that would allow the Lasambrians to recover an additional a thousand casualties
  • A major conjunction to Rojota Vantage has been identified

Together, the Freeborn and Navarr forces have made a sweeping advance across the plains of Kahraman, disrupting the barbarian forces and driving the Lasambrian Jotun back westward. The relentless assault has left the orc raiders in disarray, with lines of communication broken, and casualties stranded all across Gambit in their retreat. The Lasambrian's previously courageous and cavalier manner has collapsed, as panic and the desperation to escape the murderous advance takes hold.

A significant number of Lasambrian casualties, warriors too badly wounded to fight or flee, are trapped in Rojota. Imperial forces are already moving to secure the area, but Steven of Sarcombe is doing everything he can to stop the Imperial advance. He is at Rojota with his bill block attempting to break through the Imperial line and reach Rojota so that up to a thousand casualties can be evacuated. If he is able to succeed, the Lasambrians will recover their wounded, significantly reducing the casualties they have lost in the campaign so far. An opportunity to intercept the Escuta's attack and prevent the Lasambrian's rescuing their wounded from Rojota has been identified on the Saturday of the equinox.

In addition to the casualties in Rojota, there are approximately one thousand Lasambrian casualties spread across Gambit. The Lasambrians will have an opportunity to recover these casualties if the Empire takes the battle. If this battle is not taken, then the majority of Imperial soldiers will follow the orders provided by the Navarr generals and wipe out any wounded Lasambrians they encounter. The Lasambrians armies will recover a thousand casualties freed by the Escuta from Rojota, but the thousand injured spread across Gambit will be lost.

Key Objective

Prevent the Lasambrians Reaching Rojota

  • Each enemy unit of twenty or more strength that escapes the field will result in the Lasambrian armies regaining one hundred casualties

A large group of Lasambrian Jotun are currently isolated in Rojota, cut off by Imperial forces investing the town. The settlement contains nearly a thousand orcs, but most are seriously injured and unable to fight. Separated from the Lasambrian armies' ranks, and without healing herbs, these orcs cannot effect a retreat, nor stand against the Empire's approaching forces. However Steven of Sarcombe is spearheading a daring raid that includes ghodi and physicians from the Escuta trying to break into Rojota. If this force were able to get to the town, then the healers would be able to tend to the injured who could then break out and flee westward.

To reach their objective, the Lasambrians will have to break through the Imperial line and move off the battlefield towards Rojota. To be effective, individual members of a Lasambrian unit will need to remain together, if they attempt to split up and reach the town in ones or twos, they'll be picked off by Imperial pickets. Each unit includes physicans, healers and healing supplies so each unit that gets off the battlefield will be able to provide healing to up to five times their number in the town, restoring a hundred casualties to the Lasambrian forces.

Battlefield Opportunities

Kill Steven of Sarcombe

  • Kill the traitorous Mournwolder Steven of Sarcombe
  • Success will result in his military force disbanding

Steven has once again been sighted assisting the orc forces in Kahraman, and is currently lending the strength of his bill block to the strike on Rojota, eager for revenge after the death of his love. The force of yegarra with him are predominantly humans raised under Jotun rule in the Mourn, and have little love lost for the Empire. Their spirits are currently high following news of Mathilda's sweeping victory in Bregasland and are understood to be planning to retreat from the southern Empire, likely to pastures closer to home.

Stephen has demonstrated his tactical acumen on several occasions and is expected to make use of several defensive stockades in the area to effect a retreat should the battle go ill for the orcs. A surgical strike aimed to kill Stephen and his comrades would break the strength of the forces under his leadership, denying the Jotun their force in future.

Determine the Fate of the Wounded Lasambrians

  • There is a small group of wounded yegarra on the battlefield, Imperial heroes can determine their fate
  • Similar groups, totalling a thousand strength, are spread across Gambit; they will suffer the same fate as the group on the battlefield

Not all the wounded barbarians have made it back to the relative safety of Rojota. One group of casualties are present on the battlefield itself, unable to escape by themselves. The Lasambrians will eventually try to recover this group, but the Empire can reach them before the Escuta's healers get there. If that happens, then the Empire will need to decide their fate. While this is a small group, there are similar groups of casualties spread across Gambit; whatever approach the Empire takes on this battle will be adopted by the advancing Imperial soldiers magnifying the effects considerably.

The simplest option would be to excute them. If that happens, then the Imperial armies on campaign in the territory will follow the hero's lead and butcher any similar groups they come across. Any opportunity for the Lasambrians to recover the thousand casualties spread across Gambit would be lost.

The second option would be to ransom them back to the Lasambrians. The orcs have looted the territory as part of their campaign of conquest and have grown rich on the wealth they have seized. If the wounded Lasambrians are still alive and prisoners of the Empire by the end of the battle then they can be ransomed back to the Jotun who will pay for their return. If this happens, then the Imperial armies on campaign in the territory will follow the hero's lead and ransom any similar groups they come across. The Jotun will pay the Empire a total of 10 wains of white granite and 10 wains of mithril, but in return a thousand Lasambrians casualties suffered this season will be recovered.

The final option would be to let the Lasambrians withdraw. Wintermark in particular has made a conscious effort to avoid unneccessary bloodshed when fighting the Jotun, which has won a grundging acceptance from them. If the wounded Lasambrians are still alive and still prisoners by the end of the battle. If this happens, then the Imperial armies on campaign in the territory will follow the hero's lead and let any similar groups pull back. The Lasambrians will recover a thousand casualties from the losses they have suffered this season, but it might begin to shake the implacapable hostility the Jotun have clung to since the devastation of the Mournwold.

Invoke Arhallogen's Aid

  • There is an opportunity to invoke Arhallogen's Aid but the details and benefits are unclear at this time
  • Information on this battlefield opportunity has been provided to the Navarr generals

The eternal Arhallogen is known to favour the aggressive tactics and cunning strategies employed by the Quiet Step, and heralds and creatures loyal to the Spider King have been seen supporting the army. The eternal is greatly pleased by the ruthless approach of the Navarr generals as they have cut a bloody paht through the Lasambrian forces. As a result there is an opportunity for the Empire to invoke the aid of Eight Red Eyes and gain additional assistance in the campaign against the Jotun in Kahraman.

Unfortunately the heralds that accompany the Quiet Step have been unable to communicate clearly what exactly their master is proposing. Either they don't know, or they don't understand, it is impossible to tell which. As a result the details of this opportunity are maddeningly vague - all that the heralds have been able to tell the Imperial prognosticators is that a mortal servant of the Spider King has written to the Navarr generals to inform them of the details of Arhallogen's offer.

Wish On a Tide (Conjunction)

  • There is an opportunity to rescue Catalina i Burna i Riqueza, the head quarry woman from the Damation cliffs via a conjunction to Talaeiros in Gambit
  • The Dhomiro of the Cinnabar Hills has been asked to try to arrange to rescue her and punish the thieves

Following the Empire's swift response to the destruction of the roads through the mountain passes of Kahraman, raiders from the Corazon tribe of the Lasambrian Jotun are racing back westwards towards Reinos. For the most part they are content to make off with their ill-gotten gains, but one group have abducted Catalina i Burna i Riqueza, the quarry woman in charge of the Damation Cliffs. Catalina is something of a legend at the Cliffs, it's said she can tell which way the stone will sheer just by running her fingers over it. The most experienced person working the Cliffs, her loss is a bitter blow to the operation, which is perhaps why the Lasambrians decided to take her with them.

From comments over-heard it seems there might be some small deposits of white granite in Reinos that the Lasambrians are desperate to develop. It seems they are planning to force Catalina to work for them, as some kind of thrall, using her expertise and experience to help them open a quarry. If that happens, the Lasambrians will have a regular source of white granite that they can make use of. In theory the Empire might ransom Catalina back - but that assumes the Lasambrians want the money more than the white granite.

Even now warriors from Isaella's Dance and the Fire in the South are racing to catch up with the raiders, but the column will make the safety of the woods of western Gambit before the can be intercepted. However the prognosticators have identified a conjunction that will allow travel to Talaeiros, close to the edge of the woodlands. A force could reach the area and lie in wait for the Corazon to arrive before ambushing them.

Wealthy friends of Catalina have asked the Dhomiro of the Cinnabar Hills, to try to arrange a rescue. Of course they hope that the Dhomiro will be as motivated as they are to rescue this skilled artisan, but in case the Dhormiso is struggling to find enough heroes prepared to risk their lives to save the stonemason, they have promised to reward the Dhomiro with 5 wains of white granite if the rescue is successful, with the understanding that they would then distribute the wains among those responsible for bringing Catalina back to safety.