Posts relating to the Ravelin.
Moving fluidly through the Fearling Pass, the runner uses easy strides to bring him within sight of the Fortress City. Merchants and commoners move in and out of the city on their daily errands, and the runner observes the daily activity with a casual gaze. The elves that he passes nod to him in greeting, and move off the beaten path to give him room. He nods in return and smiles at their courtesy.
His steady gait carries him through the Amaranth Gate where he pauses briefly to open his cylindrical case and retrieves a missive from its depths. With a stiff salute, he passes a missive to the guard, who immediately stiffens as he reads the tidy script, and then dashes off to headquarters.
As he moves through the bustling city he notices other runners - their uniforms slightly different - making their way on the same path as he. He notes Neartofar runners, cemetery runners, Misty Deep runners, and also notes the absence of the Victory Gate runner.
Move slowly through the gates of Headquarters he begins to pass his missive to the Lieutenant and watches as other runners do the same. The Lieutenant waves them all to the mess for drinks, but bids them to come quickly back as he will shortly have missives to return to the various outposts they have trickled in from.
They move off and casually converse. All of them have come with the same message.
The Neartofar orcs are on the move.
Reports from the Ravelin
Creeping slowly from day to evening, dusk canopies the landscape in hues of plum, rose, and tangerine. Standing at his post, a Vaalorian guard turns his head to watch the sun sink as it has done every day of his fifty years of service. The horizon ripples one last time and the dieing day is done.
Something about the end of this day, ending much as it has before, nags at the back of the guard's mind. He strains his senses to resolve the riddle and listens intently to the clues he can gain from the encroaching evening. Only the Misty Deep River and its nearby waterfall respond, the sound of the waters passage ever present and eternal.
Suddenly, the guard realizes that he can only hear the river. Gone are the crickets, cicada, and birds of the evening chorus. Resting his hand upon his sheathed sword he watches the tree line and freezes all other movement, his body alert.
Behind him, others make the same observation and they too turn statuesque in anticipation.
Cries from the small community that has risen around the Ravelin draw their attention and they move as one towards the chaotic sounds.
Orcs! This far North? The guard thinks to himself. What could they possible want here?
Later that night, when order is returned to the Ravelin, the guard will write his report of how two dozen oddly courageous orcs wearing strange amulets brazenly attempted to claim the Ravelin for their own.
At dawn another attempt will be made, and other soldiers and guards will notice that the eastern, southern, and northern approaches have far more orcs than is typical.
News will be sent to the King.
Tendrils of sunlight slip across the horizon and illuminate the landscape, its warm fingers dispelling the pre-dawn mist and ushering it back into the Misty Deep River. The dawn chorus begins its sweet song and the soldiers of the Ravelin change shifts with little to nothing to report. Another normal night has transitioned into another normal morning.
Hours pass and the day progresses as it always has in the small fort. The mess hall clears out, and the night's guards head to their bunks for their much deserved rest.
As the fort settles into its normal routine strange popping sounds can be heard within the stone walls of the Ravelin followed by grunts and snorts. Massive orcs, larger than anything seen in the Neartofar Forest, emerge from various rooms within the sprawling fort--their swords steeped in blood. They attack from within and slowly overpower the surprised Vaalorian guards, their numbers simply two massive to resist them.
Hours pass and the orcs begin to make their way through the community that surrounds the Ravelin. They take what they can and destroy the rest.
A strange, gnarled orc moves amongst the much larger creatures. They respectfully defer to him as he passes and follow his every command. He stands before several survivors of the morning's raid and crouches low to speak to them, his black robes pooling around his bulbous feet.
"Tell them," he says in perfect common, "That the Ravelin is mine now and that I claim it for the Orcs. Now go."
Standing, he turns away from the elves and begins to incant a spell. The orcs around him ignore the elves in favor of watching the robed orc.
Not wasting any time, the elves collect themselves and begin to run towards Vaalor as quickly as their bruised bodies will allow them. One man turns back, his features set in a mask of hatred, and watches as hundreds of orcs pour through a shimmering blue portal. He watches for a short time, counting their numbers as quickly as he can, and then he too abandons the Ravelin.
Battle for the Ravelin
Four days and nights of constant invasion have been led against the mysterious force of orcs that laid claim to the Ravelin, which is located north of Ta'Vaalor off of Fearling Pass and upon the Mistydeep River. During that time reports flooded the city of the peculiarly strong barricades, which seemed to track those that attempted to tamper with it. Major injury was caused to those near it, some utterly fatal, as the barrier was reported to send waves of energy both into the ground and sky; many times calling lightning to do its bidding.
Mages led by Lieutenant Atharin, and supported by citizens of Ta'Vaalor, attacked the first barricade set within the steppes of the Ravelin where a small town has formed. During the initial phase of magic used to bring down the barricade several Vaalorian mages, those of lower rank within the corps and a handful of the elders, were injured from the magical backlash, however none were permanently harmed. The barricade's magic was weakened enough to allow soldiers, and willing citizens, a chance to batter it down. While the attack was successful, the orcs within the area rose up in greater numbers and continued to attack those attempting to reclaim the Ravelin well into the night.
Upon the secondary steppe, within an area named the Wyvern Plaza, a second barricade resonated oddly and was unable to be brought down. Lieutenant Atharin was reported to have headed to Illistim to do research on the information he was able to glean from his brief study of the offending piece's magic.
Vaalorian Mage Corps leads Ravelin assault!
After days study in the Library of Aies in Illistim, Lieutenant Atharin gathered the Vaalorian Mage Corps for an assault on the barricades within the Ravelin. Citizens and Mages alike gathered within the steppes and repelled wave after wave of attack, while those with more power began to call upon the four elements to destroy the magic surrounding the odd structure. At one point, the barricade seemed to have a mind of its own and started to strike out at those near it, causing many Mages to be evacuated by the diligent Medics of the Vaalorian Army.
A great wind was summoned, and a driving rain beat heavily upon the defenders as it was focused on the magic that enshrouded the barricade. In time, the oak was saturated and its power to resist was undone. Quickly, the citizens of Ta'Vaalor brought it down only to find a second wave of the occupying forces behind yet another barricade. This one proved stronger still, powered directly by the Orc Elder spoken of by Dallos earlier.
Lieutenant Atharin's lineage served him well that day, allowing him to best the Elder's magicks and rend the second barricade asunder. In mere moments, the Army, militia, and citizens of Ta'Vaalor stood before a third barricade where they sighted the Elder Orc himself. Surrounded by his vast army of occupation, he hurled bolt after bolt of lightning down upon the heads of the brave defenders.
As the night lengthened, Lornon rose, casting ghastly shadows upon the battle. The Elves, weakened by dark magicks shrouding the barricade, were forced to withdraw. The Lieutenant gave the order, confident that a way to prevail would be found in the morning. It is to be noted that the withdrawing defenders endured the macabre scene of hordes of woodland animals impaling themselves on the dark oaken barricade.
Led by Captain Frentilein, forces from Ta'Vaalor moved out of the city last night and made an assault on the Ravelin. The Captain generously allowed citizens and foreign militias to join under her banner and swell the already formidable forces of the Vaalorian Army. All present, rightfully, deferred to the Captain in decisions for tactical combat and advancements.
Lieutenant Thissa's scouts made several reports through the evening about the dwindling forces of the orc occupation forces and as a result few casualties were received. The final barricade rose ominously before them, however, Lieutenant Atharin met the match much as he had the other barricades and the structure was removed in now time.
As the last of the orc forces were decimated, the orc elder appeared and taunted the combined forces of Vaalor. With no more orcs at his disposal, the elder grew irate and began to speak, in the common tongue, of the destruction that was owed to Vaalor for all that she had done to his people.
It came as a great surprise to many that the defeated orc elder was not as he seemed. Working under the illusion of an elder, the mastermind behind the occupation of the Ravelin was none other than a Faendryl bent on the destruction of Vaalor. He was quickly apprehended and thrown in stocks, where he lamented on all he was losing. His threats were many and the Vaalorian Army has kept him in the Citadel under arrest so that they might garner more information from him.
Denizens of the Ravelin were moved back into their homes early in the morning following the freedom of her streets.