Kyle Darkwood was born the second son of Kieth Darkwood making him second in line in inherit House Darkwood behind his brother Jamie Darkwood of whom as he grew up would become his best friend and there was not even the slightest hint of resentment between the two brothers. Kieth Darkwood would travel to Hillsbrad on the command of Glenn Greymane and during the meeting there on the direction of western Lucerne he would be turned to the side of William Lovie III. commiting the forces of House Darkwood to the cause of the young prince something that Jamie Darkwood would be extremely happy about.
Kyle Darkwood was born the second son of Kieth Darkwood making him second in line in inherit House Darkwood behind his brother Jamie Darkwood of whom as he grew up would become his best friend and there was not even the slightest hint of resentment between the two brothers.
Main Article : The Journey
| The Meeting of the Western Lords|
My father made sure I knew three things going into that meeting. Firstly I was to be as rude to the Greymane`s as I could. Secondly I was to try and talk to the Brents and get a diologue going between our two houses. Finally I was to make it extremely clear that we would under no curcumstances assist William. Well atleast I talked to Franklin Brent.
With William Lovie III. leaving Lucerne for the event that would become later known as The Journey the rest of the Kingdom became increasingly positive about his actions, but also throughout the Valley of Lucerne there was significant discussion on what to do as the previous time someone had moved against Bill Lovie it had resulted in The Plague. In the city of Hillsbrad the Arch Lord in House Greymane would call an assembly of all of his vassals of which included every major house in western Hillsbrad without exception and without ability for the houses to decline invitation. Arriving in Hillsbrad the meetings began with Genn Greymane talking of the continued consequences of them allowing the current King to wield unending power, and that their only chance of survival was to find this William Lovie III. and help him achieve victory. Vincent Godfrey would openly support King Bill Lovie and said as a warning to all those around that the last time anyone tried to resist him they were destroyed in The Plague. Franklin Brent would stand on the other side openly speaking of supporting William , and these two would continue to argue for minutes as other lords stepped in siding with their respective lords, and this continued for some time. Demi Snow would stand up during this fighting and state that her family was one hundred percent behind William and was going to send forces to assist him immediately, and this information shocked the other houses as everyone had assumed that they were not going to do anything like they always did. Still without her Lord father`s support she would during the meeting commit to sending one hundred men immediately with the larger force being sent by the Greymane`s and after this promise there was little that her father could do to turn against it.
With the support of House Crowley the movement of some of the houses would change as all the Crowley loyalists quickly jumped on board with this plan as most had wanted to do this but didn't due to their belief that Vincent Godfrey would never have supported this.
Demi Snow following the ending of the meeting would take to staying near Andrew Garfield of whom accompanied her back to her families estate. Spending some time there getting the one hundred men she had promiced she would leave shortly after and return with Andrew to the assembling party outside of the eastern gate. By this point hours later her father learned of what she had done, and left the Crowley castle hours west of Hillsbrad and attempted to return to Hillsbrad. Demi realizing that her father was going to do something like that left with the hundred men of House Crowley ahead of the main Hillsbrad force heading for Forks.
Demi Hill Marries
Following the arrival of the Hillsbrad force in Forks Demi Snow would continue with the next step of her plan when she handed a letter of forged consent of marriage to Andrew`s father Harron Garfield of whom knew that his son desperately wanted to marry Demi, and knew that the match was perfect for his house so he jumped at the opportunity. Realizing that she couldn`t return unmarried or else her father would put an end to her scheming she persuaded Andrew and his father to have the ceremony in Forks so that she could truly be a part of their family during The Journey. Following her persuasion the marriage happened with the large Dragon Temple of Forks and Demi Snow became Demi Garfield and was now protected so she believed from the actions of her brother Dexter.
| Third Battle of Minus Tirith |
Tomorrow is the moment we stand as free men of Europe and say in one loud voice the truth that we have always known. We will scream out our truth, and when were done the Dark Lord himself will know that the men of Europe will not stand for evil anymore. Tomorrow we strike. Tomorrow he will know pain.
The Third Battle of Minus Ithil
Main Article : The Third Battle of Minus Ithil
With Aragorn`s success in gathering the forces of the Sindar Elves of High Forest he would send word to William Lovie III. of whom had succeed in gaining his father`s permission to lead the forces of Lucerne into Gondor and drive away the Mordor Orcs so that they could then relieve Tree Hill. In terms of the Sindar Elves of High Forest they would travel by boat from High Forest to Osgiliath where they would land north of the port city and meet with the overall forces in the area just north of the Battle site itself. The Orcs for there part had recently sent a smaller force through through the Morgul Pass of which had been moving southward towards the fortress of Narvine of which they would as usual most likely raid the already barren farmland north of Narvine and then retreat when they were opposed. William Lovie III. would lead the Lucernian army alongside his main commanders in Lucerne in the form of Charlie Swan, Renault Scarlet, Jack Shepard alongside many others of whom the main ones they would be meeting east of Stormwind in the Rhunian province.
Eddard Starke led the eastern forces alongside the Lannisters of whom were behind the attack surprisingly even before the acceptance of Bill Lovie and these two massive forces would send most of their forces to Lamedon but the leadership remained at Stormwind where it would meet the main army as it came through. The western forces of Lucerne led by the Greymane would lead their forces as well eastward with their army being the furthest behind but using ships from Highgarden, and Fogtown the armies were moved eastward towards Lamedon. The Gondor forces would begin to marshal under the command of Aragorn Elessar III. and while the vast majority traveled to Osgiliath to prepare a smaller force traveled to Lamedon where they would meet William Lovie III. once his army had gathered and was preparing to cross into Gondor.
Aragorn Elessar II. would watch with silent fright as the nearly sixty thousand Lucernian troops would mass themselves on the west side of Lamdeon, and it was only upon the arrival of the flags of House Lovie signalling the arrival of William Lovie III. that Aragorn crossed the bridges of Lamedon and met with the Lucernian leadership. William Lovie III. would be awaiting him alongside nearly his entire leadership of whom had arrayed themselves as much as possible inside a massive tent that had been brought for this very occasion, but knowing the importance of this conversation noone outside of William was to speak and it was in this way that Aragorn entered the tent of the Lucernian King and the two would speak one last time before going to war.
After speaking together it was Aragorn that would lead the Lucernian army across the bridges of Lamedon and the Lucernian marched eastward towards Osgiliath and the eventual battle that everyone had been waiting for. The now combining forces of Gondor, and Lucerne would meet at Osgiliath with their two forces gaining immense numbers after aligning together, and this led to a serious escalation in belief on specifically the side of the Gondorians of whom had been spending years watching the Orcs overwhelm them. With both forces combining plus the eventual assistance of the Sindar Elves they had almost ninety thousand human troops and nearly ten thousand Elven troops of which would be opposed on the other side by the main orcish army of more then one hundred thousand.
The two armies crossed the river and made their way to the hills west of the location of the Orcish Army, and from there pieces of the army begin to separate and move to their positions with heavy cavalry moving into the south, and north while the forces of Cair Andros, and Dal Imnil met them south east of Pelagir in the forests that the Sindar Elves had hidden themselves in adding another five thousand troops to the alliance. With one night before the assault the Shadow Council would meet and spent time together, and throughout the night they were joined by other young nobles that William had befriended, and this was the way they spent the day before the assault. During the night the armies would move into a closer position to the Orcs with the Gondor Army arraying itself directly before the Mordor Orcs in an attempt to get their full attention while the Lucernians and Sindar Elves would hide themselves as close as possible and once battle was met they would charge. At this point the besieged forces of Gondor inside Minas Ithil still had no idea that relief was coming and it had been decided that they would not make any attempts to alert the defenders as it was possible the Orcs might intercept the attempt and then everything would change dramatically for the plans of the attack. By this point the Magi Commander of the Lucernian forces in the form of Edward Cullen would group together with the Gondorian Istari and would discover to their great happiness that Ren the Unclean the Nazgul commander of the Orcish armies was not present on the battlefield. Despite the the fact that Ren the Unclean was not present the Kingdom of Orthanac was present with a force some five thousand troops and led by the Magi Sa-Uluos Thelvhian of whom also had some five other Magi with him and thus realizing they would be facing a significant Magi threat Edward Cullen would gather the Magi in the Lucernian army and alongside the Gondorian Istari would prepare a plan to attack the Orthanac forces and crush the Orthanac Magi swiftly.With the forces in place the armies of Gondor, Lucerne, and High Forest moved into their positions in their corresponding areas, and prepared for light to signal what they hoped was a blind charge by the forces of Mordor into the Gondor army. The day would break and at this point as the Gondorians had moved into the open of the field west of the Orcs they were noticed quickly, and it didn`t take more then a few minutes before the Orcs did exactly what was believed they would do. The Orc commander Urgreek Madd ordered his forces to charge the Gondor soldiers and in this way the entire Mordor army except the few thousand archers that moved in behind the charging Orcs. The Orcs that were sieging the city itself would remain mostly still there but there was a sizable amount that broke from the siege upon seeing the larger army fighting and were now moving away from their position outside Minus Ithil, and towards the Gondorians, which meant the plan was going perfectly. The Gondor archers opened up on the orcs but the numbers were immense, and the Orcs kept coming and coming. When the orcs finally reached the lines, the Gondor soldiers used delaying tactics and simply held the Orcs in place. Aragorn and his leadership would fight like men possessed in the center and Aragorn himself during the early moments of the Battle would kill two of Urgreek`s sons of whom had both wanted to sway their father by killing the King of Gondor but found him out of their league. Also during the initial assault Ildarion would be struck by an arrow, and despite this fact he would remain in the battle and for the rest of the battle had an arrow sticking out of his right shoulder. While the moment the Orcs had moved against Gondor the Lucernians, and Sindar armies had begun slowly moving it was the moment the orcs engaged with the army of Gondor the Lucernians and Sindar launched their full out attacks.
With the Orcs embroiled in combat with the Gondorians they were completely focused in front of them and missed the Lucerne army, and they definitely missed the High Forest trees as they charged out as well. The first signs the Orcs had that things were changing was when the cries of battle appeared behind their lines, and the Lucernian cavalry along with the Ents of High Forest slammed into their rear, while accurate archery fell into the core of the Orcs. During this initial assault Jamie Lannister and the Lannister cavalry would overrun the center of the Pitghost Tribe and during this overrunning of the Pitghost Tribe their overlord Ghorgauth, and all his warchiefs would be killed leading to a complete route of the Pitghost tribe who fled eastward. Moving past the Pitghost tribe the camped army was cut down in their hundreds during the initial assault the forces of Gondor as well would switch themselves and become more aggressive as they realized the trap was on thus the Orcs felt pressure from all sides which only increased the desperation of the Battle. William Lovie III. alongside his Shadow Council and many other noble young men were in the thick of the main cavalry charge and William himself got into a fight with a large Troll of whom had killed several others around him including Lord Osgood Elbertson, and Davin Percy II. and fighting against the Troll he was pushed back and nearly killed by the Troll before his personal guards would mass around him and murder the giant Troll.As the Orcs realized they had become caught in a trap Ugreek Madd would meet with overlord Ugled of whom with his warchief Ghaddish rallied their elite troops and followed Ugreek Madd as he looked along the battle line for the commander of the opposing force hoping to end his enemy and route the army in one fell swoop. Ugreek would become distacted by the arrival of several Sindari Elven wareagles and thus Ugled led his Nightshred elite guard alone towards the Sindari lines abandoning Ugreek. Fighting his way through the Sindari lines Ugled would come to face to face with Taflarion Stormrage of whom accompanied by the Treekin Ashthorn would resist this charge and after a brief duel between the group Ashthorn would crush Ugled and with Ugled dead Ghaddish would retreat from the field of battle alongside the remainder of his forces. Located near the front lines Ugreek would see Aragorn Elessar the king of Gondor slashing and killing all along the line, and would smile before making his way towards the King. Ugreek had been alive for many many years and as an Orc this meant that he had grown to impressive size and his power was something beyond which most had ever faced. The two would come face to face, and despite Aragorn's superior skill he was pushed back and fell to the ground seemingly defeated. As the men around him watched their King seemingly defeated the entire battle line just stopped, as the men and Orcs watched the titanic fight between these two amazing fighters.
But as Ugreek reached him and raised his mace, Aragorn suddenly lunged up and stabbed the Orc through the chest before swiping across and nearly cleaving him in two. Ugreek coughed out blood before falling backwards dead. Aragorn looked around at his men who seemed to be still shaken, and without another second thought he screamed out a battle cry and flew back into the Orc lines followed by the rest of his force behind him. The Orcs for their part were now broken as a force, and all along the line begin to realize they were defeated. A renewed cavalry charge led by Jamie Lannister alongside the Reynes would finally smash the only surviving leader in the fourth and only surviving child of Ugreek leaving the army completely leaderless.
With the Orcs realizing they were surrounded and Aragorn having killed the Orcs leader the nature of Orcs led them to a full scale retreat. The defeat was hopeless as they were utterly surrounded, and as they ran they were cut down in their thousands by the vengeful attackers, and those that managed to break the line were taken down by the accurate fire of the Sindar Elven archers. The few hundreds of Orcs that managed to escape the main battle found themselves cut down by the Lucernian and Gondorian cavalry of whom had attacked the besieging Orcish army and had been preparing to assault the remaining Orcs.
Nearly fifty thousand Orcs were destroyed in the battle with the loss of just under fifteen hundred in the Gondor Army, and less then five hundred in the Lucernian Army meaning the battle was far more then just a victory. The Battle cemented the alliance between the three nations and in this way led to the continuation of the Journey which would not lead the alliance towards the Lucernian city of Tree Hill where they would lead their army in the liberating battle of the Second Battle of Tree Hill.
Commemorating the Losses
| Second Battle of Tree Hill |
Today my brothers we right a terrible wrong in the history of this kingdom. We all know what happened here, and there isn't a thing that we could do to take it back. We may not be able to change what happened, but right here and right now united together we can make sure the people of Tree Hill are finally given the rescue they have long deserved. Today don't fight for vengeance. Don't fight for revenge. Fight to save the lives of the innocent. Fight so that a betrayed city may finally awaken.
Second Battle of Tree Hill
Main Article : Second Battle of Tree Hill
As the human/elven alliance destroyed the Orcs that had held the Gondor siege of Minus Ithil for many years, Jurden Hardaxe paid this little heed despite the fact that he was sent word of it from some of his scouts who had been watching that siege for any signs of Mordor weakness. Jurden over the decade of the siege had become obsessed with maintaining his own power, and had basically become uninterested in actually ending the siege through conventional means. Alongside this he also had a growing belief that the humans were completely useless and for all of these reasons Jurden Hardaxe made no effort to double his scouts or anything that might have assisted him in stopping the coming ambush. And if all of this added up wasn't enough he was also still being whispered to by Morrigan who was telling him that it was all a trick and Sauron was only days away. As the Sindar Elven/Human forces moved to the high ground of the area near the bridge of Weidenhouse and from this position they begin planning the method they would use to end the conflict. As the planning begin it became clear that the fight would be started during the night as town they were in described the fact that they noticed very little activity in the Orc camp during the night most likely due to the fact that they had become completely confident in their lack of any kind of threat.
The Night Comes
Waiting for the night to come William would be able to watch for the first and last time the Orcs setting off their massive drums and horns in order to force the defenders to be unable to sleep during the night and thus exhausted during the day. Hearing this many among the attacking army grew even more angry at the fact that the defenders had been forced to endure this for all this time without anyone helping them. William would spend the night with Leven, Jasper, Emmett, and Edward as the Shadow Council as they were not openly to each other calling themselves spent a few last hours with each other before they all knew everything was going to change. Finding themselves greeted throughout the night by every lord who not wanted to speak to William they couldn't help but see how different things had become for the naive group. The Orcs by this point had no contact with their scouts, and yet they still remained completely unaware. Morrigan would at this point make her final step towards sealing the fate of Jurden Hardaxe when she would convince Jurden to host a large party for his Orcs which made them all drunk and even less prepared.
As the night neared the Orcs would begin their party and the loud noise would alert the alliance that this was underway, and also awake most of the defenders of Tree Hill of whom were prepared for what many believed was the final attack. The party continued, and the alliance moved itself completely into position against the now scout less Orcish force, and pushed in many places all the way against the wall with the entire Orcish force within the city itself or dead outside. The night came and the army would move on their predetermined signal of which moved everything forward. The infiltration of House Scarlet into the under tunnels of the city begin as Saiden Scarlet led a large force of hundreds into the tunnels in the goal of reaching the estate of House James and once the attack was underway they would spring upon the already ambushed Orcs. From the west the forces of House Greymane, and House Ordos would move themselves through the broken shattered western gate and encountered hundreds of Orcs in differing stages of drunkenness and the fighting wouldn't spark any concerns from the Orcs as it was all believed still to be a part of the party. Seeing the ambush was underway it was at this moment that Morrigan finally ended the charade and came upon Jurden while he was standing in his residence.
The battle would end with the complete destruction of the Orc army and the liberation of Tree Hill. When the armies of Lucerne and Gondor entered the remains of Tree Hill, they found the sad remnants of a once truly mighty city. Food, aid and supplies were rushed to the city, but before the true rebuild could begin Andrew Lovie would take the reigns of the King of Lucerne following a duel with his father.
First Battle of Castle Stragnarax
Main Article : Battle of Castle Stragnarax
| Battle of Castle Stragnarax |
Everyone was moving on Westbridge when the monsters came to our doors. We were horribly outnumbered, but we had strength of our own. I would be damned if I let these monsters beat us.
Castle Stragnarax was designed as the center of the western defences of Lucerne, alongside the rebuilt Eyes, and the castles of Dragonhorn, and and it was during the period following the Invasion of Westbridge that its purpose and defences would be tested for the first time. Following the end of the invasion and with the armies of Lucerne retrurning to the valley after victory the Eyes caught sight of a large force of Orcs moving towards Castle Stragnarax. Commander Lothar Wornwayne would realize the severity of the coming attack, and thus The Eyes immediatly sent ravens and a single scout to Castle Stragnarax. Learning of the attack the defenders under the command of Thomas Brent would send out dozens of scouts and runners to the surrounding region both warning them of the coming attack, and also requesting immeiate assistence at the castle. The two main places that they sent requests for assistence were to Hilsbrad and House Greymane, as well as from the nearer forces of House Ordos and its vassals from Marburg. Alongside these two though the very powerful House Mountain would be sent word, and while they were not expected they would eventually prove to be one of the most steadfast comers into the conflict.
For his own part Lothar Wornwayne was forced to deal with the Orcs overruning the Eyes, and this forced him to recall many of his troops into the cave systems they had long set up. Lothar would send word to his second in command Rolly Reyne of whom would be commanded to follow as closely as humanly possible to the forces of the Orcs, and find out as much as possible about their numbers, while the rest of the Rangers either defended themselves or in the case of Lothar prepared to make the rest of the journey for the Orcs as miserable as he possibly could.
With the Orcs incoming the defences were prepared and all troops were called in from the villages and farms nearby. This swelled the defenders of Castle Strangarax to a force of some 5,500 men at arms along with the twelve training members of the Order of the Violet Dragon that had remained in Castle Stragnarax under the command of Benjamin Bradfoot. The castle itself was commanded by Thomas Brent but his percieved inexperiance meant that he left the defence of the city to his honor gaurd commanders and Benjamin Bradfoot, along with the council of his military force. One of the other premier commanders of the castle was the recently arrived Edric Summerwall, and his Knights of the Summerwall of whom had been commanded to move themselves from their previous home in Forks to Castle Stragnarax where they would be the official Knightly Order of the castle. The Plan for the defence consisted of holding on for as long as they possibly could while they waited for the army of Hillsbrad to arrive and relieve them, alongside the rest of House Brent coming as well. As the Battle reached the point that everyone knew it was going happen they would drain the women, old, and young from the town and they would make there way eastward towards Marburg of which was the closest nearbye town. As the old, women, and children were withdrawn, and in their place came wagon after wagon of supplies from the surrounding region they knew there preperation was about to end as the Orcs were nearly at the castle. Fionna Brent would be one of the few women that didn't leave the Battle and she would lead a contingent of Dragon Priests of whom preached the power of Glaurung and tried to raise the moral of the forces. Knowing how long they had before the attack the defenders would send out some two hundred cavalry of whom were tasked with further scouting the incoming Orcs and giving them some extra amount of knowledge when they would attack. In Hohenstein the leadership of House Mountain would make the decision to assist Castle Stragnarax after Baelor Mountain stated that he believed this would help to uplift them in the eyes of Lucerne, and specifically the King in Lucerne of whom was not exactly shy about his distain for those who sat on the sidelines. As the furthest away of those who cold come to the aid of Castle Stragnarax, there assistence unknown by most and they were going to arrive later then the others anyway. By this point Franklin Brent would marshal his personal knightly order, and while he did this his father would gather the forces of House Brent, of whom would meet with House Ordos outside of Marburg and prepare themselves to also assist Castle Stragnarax. Franklin Brent would lead his forces seperate from his father Frank, as he was still unwilling to forgive his father for being passed over, and while making the trip the sickly Frank Brent would be forced to return to the Brent Seat and thus left command to Franklin. The Knights of the Gilded Fell would also mount themselves and leave their seat at White Hill led by Desmond Hill and make their way southward, and their location meant that they would arrive hours before the Orcish army did and they were thus able to enter the castle before the Orcs blocked the routes in. One of the final arrivals was the unexpected forces of House Darkmore, and House Darkwood of whom had been meeting in the Darkwood of seat of
While the scouts did this it the Rangers of the Eyes were continueing to harass the Orcish Hordeas they moved eastward. Special attention was paid by the Rangers to the dozen or so Gronn that had accompanied the Orcish army. As the Orcs continued to move they lost four of the Gronn to hit and run attacks as the Rangers used hidden caves and cliff tops to rain arrows down on the Orcish army while retreating once they had done the damage they could. Lothar Wornwayne was constantly harrassing the Orcish force, and this only increased in intensity when he and Rolly Reyne finally met up days away from Castle Stragnarax, and in a join ambush during the night they killed some four hundred Orcs before they were forced to retreat southward and into Dragonhorn while the Orc army had finally reached the outskirts of the Castle Stragnarax.
The Orcs Arrive
It was nearly two weeks after the Raven fortold of the coming Orcs they arrived west of the castle and begin chopping down the trees that were there to use to construct ladders, and siege towers. The Orcs spent an entire day doing this and as they worked the defenders of the towers were firing long range balista shots at them which were able to destory one of the towers before it was able to be used the following day. Also during this day the Orcs attempted to push forward siege machines in order to batter holes in the walls but they discovered the accurasy of the balistas was extreme as each siege machine pushed forward was destoryed in turn with only a few shots getting off and dowing little damage to the wall. When the final batch of catapults were brought up defended by large trenches and by blocks of wood meant to shield from the Balistas it was Alann, and Bran Voil that had the entire Order of the Blue Dragon force set the field ablaze destroying the remaining catapults and hundreds of Orcs manning the trenches, shiels, and catapults.
As the day wore on the forces of Franklin Brent arrived at the Battle, and he would make his forces move towards the southern wall where he arrayed against the large southern Orc host. Sending word into the castle that they had arrived, this would greatly uplift the defenders moral who knew they were in some amount of trouble. Franklin constructed a series of trenches lined with anti-cavalry poles of which he planned to retreat into in case the Orcs sent an army to deal with his forces. After spending all of the energy constructing the siege machines they found that the catapults and such were destroyed the moment they got into range, with only a few actually able to launch a real shot at the walls. The Orcs were forced to place more forces in the southern end as the arrival of Franklin Brent meant they were now threatened by somone outside the walls and the mainly cavalry force was of great danger to them. Without any hope of launching their catapults the Orcs would move their forces forward and their seige towers that had been hidden would be pushed forward for the first attack.
The First Attack
With their seige machines set up the Orcs attacked in a vast wave of upwards of 25,000 of which the vast majority attacked the main gate while some 7,000 attacked the southern section defended by Marbrand Keep. The northern wall also had some two thousand Orcs attack it but these were extremely disorganized and the least of the problems of the Castle. Outside of the seven thousand sent towards the southern wall four thousand Orcs were sent against the army of Franklin Brent in order to keep them away from the fighting. Mainly Worgs this force would chase Franklin's forces into the trenches they had constructed, and suffered many casualties to this traps before fighting broke out between the two forces. Franklin Brent was forced to battle against a large Orc of which had killed two other men, and finally reaching the Orc he and the Orc dueled for several minutes until he shot the Orc with a hand crossbow he was finally able to reach off his back. Staggered by the shot the Orc would be sliced across the chest fatally by Franklin as he attempted to pull the crossbow from his neck. Following the large Orc's death the other Worgs became less threatening but there numbers still meant that Franklin could not advance agains the southern forces and aid the defenders. As the Orcs advanced they were devestated by the massive array of archer, and balista fire by the time they reached the wall they had lost significant numbers.
Attack on the Main Gate
The attack on the main gate went disastrously with all four of the Siege towers destroyed, and with the huge array of archers present the Orcs that massed on the ground trying to get up the ladders were caught in a killing zone and lost huge numbers before the Orcs retreated leaving behind the ruins of much of their force alongside the destroyed siege towers. The Balistas that sat on the towers continued to destroy anything that even resembled a battering ram, and because of the hoardings all along the wall the few Orcish archers that were on the ground found very few targets, and the few they did were unable to be struck because of the hoarding. Along the main gate though despite this horrifying aray of weapons the Orcs did manage to get several of their number onto the walls where the Knights of the Gilded Fell under the command of Orival Black would stand in the breaks and kill them as they climbed over the walls. The Magi of the Order of the Blue Dragon had been completely concentrated along this defence and had been responsible for two of the towers going down as they lit them on fire using spells.
Attack on the Tower of James the Vigilant
The Orcs attacked the three areas and it was only at the tower of James the Vigilant that they had any real success. The Orcs were able to keep their seige tower alive in this section and with its survival they were able to mass over the wall, and this caused the beggining of an intense fight over the tower. The Orcs slowly pushed them back into the tower, and forced the defenders to lock the gates into the tower, and block them outside. The Orcs attemtped to break through the gate, and during this time the Orcs begin to take fire from the inner wall as they were free to fire on them now that the defenders were gone. As they took heavy casualties they found themselves unable to break into the tower itself, and begin spreading throughout the walls of the western walls to the point that they attempted to break into the main forces at the main tower itself. During this time Thomas Brent would order the main reserve forces sneaking out through the more southern tower and behind the Orcs of whom were busy sprawling all over the walls. Now behind their lines the relief force set the siege tower alight and then was able to get back through the tower with minimal casualties. As the siege tower burned down the Orcs found their reinforcements ended and they were slowly wittled away at by the massive number of archers all along the James Towers. The final holdouts were to be dealt with personally by Benjamin Bradfoot of whom was directed to the castle under the command of Thomas Brent of whom was worried over the prospect of Orcs within the walls.
Attack on Marbrand Keep
Marbrand Keep was defended by Domeric Marbrand of whom defended the large keep with some three hundred men, while the main wall was defended by another three hunded. The men on the walls were designed to hit them with as many arrow barrages as they could, but the moment the Orcs manned the walls the force was to enter the heavily fortified gates and make their way into the keep. The Orcs would attack with some two thousand forces against the wall, and at first for the Orcs the Attack on Marbrand keep went well at first with the Orcs able to climb over the walls after suffering some three hundred losses to the defenders on the walls. With the ladders against the walls the defenders retreated into the towers and through the tunnels allowing the Orcs to get into the actual castle but once there the design plan went into affect with the Orcs now stuck in no mans land with no ability to get over the next defences. The Orcs attempted to follow the retreating defenders through the tunnels into Mabrand Keep but discovered the tunnels filled with nearly twenty feet deep gates that would be nearly impossible to break through without Magi, or some sort of explosive. The Orcs then attempted to charge across the field but the defenders of the keep were able to fire acurate shots into them and caused horrible casulties against them. By this point the Orcs were in panic, but begin to run past the Keep and into the city proper where the nearly five hundred remaining Orcs were confronted by a force led by Thomas Brent himself. Leading his most elite troops they would battle against the Orcs and defeat them causing them to retreat back as they came, and they were basically anihilated with very few returning to camp.
The Second Attack
The Orc army was still massive but it had suffered heavy casualties accomplishing nothing the first day, and in even worse news for the Orcish army was the fact that the reinforcements of the defenders had begun to arrive in heavy numbers. The full army of House Mountain led by Baelor Mountain had arrived alongside the forces of House Garfield and they were camped northwest of the battle moving in behind the Orc forces. Andrew Garfield would lead the forces of House Garfield into the fray as he was joined by several of his loyal retainers including Edmund Frotenhood, Esla Tollsen, and several other important knights of the region north of Hillsbrad. House Greymane had now joined the army of Franklin Brent bringing the southern army to more then ten thousand, and that number grew throughout the day as the southern vassals came north and more of the army filtered in. Realizing the main gate was a killing zone he didn't have the force to take down the Orc commander would move nearly his entire force to the southern wall of which caused most of the defenders to shift to the same wall. With this in motion the relief armies would move into place, and House Mountain was nearly completely behind them and was actually destroying the reargaurd of the Orc army as the Orcs attacked the Tower of James the Vigilant.
The Orcs charged the walls using three new siege towers and were this time unable to get any to the walls as the casulties of the previous attack, and the heavily increased defender numbers meant the three new towers took far too long to reach the walls. Stuck again with no towers the ladders went up and a great amount of fighting went all along the walls as the Orcs massed onto the ramparts. The defenders were hard up to resist, but as the battle reached a turning point the Orcs begin screaming as the forces of Franklin Brent, and Liam Greymane's army of House Greymane smashed into their rear. The commander of the Orcs would die during the inital assault, and as mass panic spread amongst the Orcs they begin retreating despite still outnumbering the human attackers, and nearly overwhelming the defenders at the tower. As they retreated westward they came directly in the path of the army of House Mountain and were cut down in their hundreds as the Mountain forces had entered the previously constructed Orc trenches and were in a great defence position.
With the Orcish army completely routed and on top of this most of the army had been destroyed in the field leaving the remaining elements to move westward where they were chased down by the cavalry force of House Greymane, and House Ordos and thus the victory was completed. Damage was heavy in the James the Vigilant region of the castle, but elsewhere the losses and damage was nearly non-existence but hours were spent burning the bodies of the Orcs so that they would not send out spores and cause a real problem for the humans of the area. With the clean up beginning the relief armies would camp, while the leadership all met within the castle. Thomas Brent was by this point hailed as a hero and became known as Thomas "The Orc Killer" in honor for what people saw as his great victory, and this was in spite of the two larger armies led by the Mountains, and Franklin Brent moving in and being the true changer of the battle. The story of the battle that had not been seen through the eyes of Franklin Brent were told at dinner, and the next day the armies prepared to return home. Franklin and Thomas would say one last goodbye as Franklin told his brother that he was going to take forces and lead expansion in the Westerlands alongside House Arryn. The two brothers who had constantly battled eachother for position understood that Franklin was accepting defeat and they hugged goodbye knowing they would probably not be meeting any time soon.
Crisis in Darkhaven
Main Article : Pitch Black
| Crisis in Darkhaven|
You are all being lied to by this girl. She is a murderer. She killed her friends, and now she has a taste for lying. She got away with it once, do not allow this monster of a girl to trick you into believing her.
It would be Ephraim Black working under the commands of the Order of the Three Sins who would use the Battle of Castle Stragnarax to fufill the orders of his leader in the Lord of Gluttony. Using the battle he would be now able to move forward with their plot to take control of Darkhaven following his succesful killing of Harbard Darkmore during the Battle of Castle Stragnarax, of whom he killed by stabbing him in the shoulder and then holding him down for nearly an hour while the Lord of House Darkmore bled out, and then during the night he would drag him to the walls which made it appear he had died to the Orcs. House Darkmore following the death of Harbert Darkmore would have a succession crisis due to the fact that Harbert had died without any male heirs and his sister had not had any children. Realizing this the lords of Darkmore were preparing to make Amantha Darkmore the lady of House Darkmore when Ephraim Black arrived at Darkmore with the idea of a better male canidate in the form of Colin Black of whom was the son of Melina Darkmore and thus a cousin to the lord of House Darkmore. Shocked about the turn of events Leana petitioned against the change as Amantha was the closest blood relative, and Colin Black had never visited, or knew anything of the land he would inherit. Ephraim arrived in Duskenvale with Cellia Black and begin making plans with the nobles there, and found many willing to listen to him as there were many who didn't want to be ruled by a young girl, and during this time Cellia Black used her considerable beauty to convinse several of the nobles of Duskhaven. Colin Black who was at this point still in Forks would be met by his cousin Rebecca Black of whom told him about the reality of his father's plan and that his father planned to remove the Darkmore girls as they were nothing but a threat to Colin and needed to be removed if Ephraim was to rule through Colin. Colin didn't want to believe what Rebecca said, but would agree to travel to Duskenvale with Rebecca Black of whom together with Colin's friend Eric Weinbrum, and his wife Vanessa Black the group would meet Lyle Crakehall and a small troop of House Crakehall on the road and then made there way to Duskenvale. Thus arriving at Duskenvale with his friend, wife, Lyle Crakehall, and Rebecca Black he would be met by his father of whom was furious that he had come to Duskenvale and was going to command his son to return to Forks when he would be interupted by Rebecca Black and Lyle Crakehall of whom took Colin Black and left him with his cousin Amantha. During this time spent time with his cousin Amantha Darkmore of whom he liked very much he came to learn about the reality of what his father was doing and how much it would ruin Amantha, and hearing this he would leave her to find her father of whom he was able to find through the assistence of Rebecca Black. Finding his father in the tower of Darkmore his plan to talk to his father would change dramatically when he overheard his father discussing how he was going to murder the Darkmore girls once he had control so that they wouldn't trouble him anymore, and how after he married Colin off to some girl he would then murder Colin and finally finish what he truly wanted for someone he called the Lord of Gluttony. Overhearing this Colin knew that Rebecca wasn't lying at all and went to his cousin of whom he found kissing Lyle Crakehall and telling her what he had heard the group would go to Amantha and leaving Eric Weinbrum behind with her to protect her with a few Crakehall men the group would leave for Hillsbrad to meet with the Arch Duke of the region in the form of House Greymane.
Rebecca Black, Lyle Crakehall, Vanessa Black, and Colin Black would arrive in Hillsbrad and were given an audience with the new Lord of House Greymane in the form of Liam Greymane. Laying out the situation with Liam they were very open about what was going on, and while Liam was reluctant to believe the true extent of how nefarious Ephraim was being in Duskhaven he would agree to travel to Duskhaven in several weeks and he would decide the lordship of Duskhaven himself. Rebecca and the group returned to Duskhaven to find that several of the prominent lords of the province had arrived in Duskhaven including Jon Lowport of whom brought with him his wife, son, and daughter, while Edric Fordale arrived as the new lord of House Fordale accompanied by his sister, and wife, and finally Robin Highport arrived with his wife and sister, but Rebecca would quickly find that each of these lords had their own agendas. The arrival of House Darkwood would incense tensions as Kieth Darkwood, and his brother Derek Darkwood would bring significant forces in order to protect their niece Leana Darkmore, and upon their arrival blood was nearly spilled between Derek Darkwood, and Ephraim upon learning his plotting.
With the arrival of the Arch Duke only a week away the meeting in Duskhaven would be increased when Orival Crane arrived with two of his brothers and a sister on the request of his friend Jon Lowport II.
The Arch Duke Arrives