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The Battle of Portland

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This is a supporting story for the history of the lands, explaining what happened at Portland through the eyes of two of the combatants. It'll be done in small chunks like the histories.

 

---------------------------

 

Folis and Salia

 

Prologue

 

There are two stories of the battle of Portland, which ended Selain's rise to ultimate power. One is the infamous tale of Salia, the other is that of Folis, a hero of the war. Salia's notes, written in a tree as he hid from the enemy, were retrieved and translated by his Satyr brethren, crumpled and damp with mud. Folis rasped his recollections to a few remaining warriors as he lay dying from his wounds. Between them the two tell of what happened in those frightening days, and our scholars have woven their words into a single tapestry.

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Salia

 

Salia held his pike tight against the groan of the wind, straining his eyes for a glimpse of Portland in the gathering dark. He wished he was home, but that had been destroyed nearly a year ago now, when the Satyr capitol in the woods of the Second Continent was burned by an Orc horde.

 

Burly, savage warriors had struck where their defences were weakest, tipped off by a traitor in the ranks, slaughtering indiscriminately. His family home was razed to the ground, the city flamed like a beacon for days, black smoke staining the sky for miles around. His kin were forced out, scattered to the winds, left to fend for themselves as the legion protecting the town ran away in fear...

 

When he'd run away...

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A Dwarf stumped noisily out of the darkness, allowing Salia to swing his pike around to meet her. "Password."

 

The Dwarf bowed, her face hidden in her cloak, and replied. "Essence."

 

Salia raised his spear and saluted. "Pass friend. What's the news?" His new companion didn't speak, but pushed back her hood to reveal finely crafted features, pretty for a Dwarf. Long Red hair rippled down her back as she shook it out, and a scent of purple Lilacs wafted through the air, calming Salia's frayed nerves. She looked at him patronisingly for a moment, and his patience ebbed. "What news Dwarf?"

 

"We've taken the pass at Kamara, their lines were routed by our magic, combined with a surprise attack by my people that impressed even your Dreagoni allies. General Glilin has as much skill in tactics as he has in craftsmanship, though he is too elderly to fight."

 

Salia grinned in delight. Victory - and the Dwarves - couldn't have come at a better time for Aluwen's army.

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SEND IN THE GNOMES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LOL :lol:

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Gnomes suck.

 

---------------------------------

 

The Aluwenists stood in a cordon around the outskirts of Portland, tied up by impressive defences arrayed in the Quartz filled passages between Portland and White Stone, and at the desert mountain passes of Tahraji and Kamara. Losses had been high on all three fronts, as fanatical Orcs spared no prisoners and taunted their hungry enemies with promises of food from the rich silt plains lying in front of the city.

 

This latest attack was obviously a desperate measure, as supply lines to the army had grown scarce in the North, hampered by desert storms thrashing across the entire region. Stories were circulating of ships spotted off the coast as well, which if true could spell the end of them. But they had broken through... This could change everything.

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SEND IN THE GNOMES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LOL :lol:

 

Gnomes suck.

 

I'd say Frogger was just owned :)

 

Anyway, I like it :) Didn't read the history of the lands though (intend to do so, will take a while to read entirely), but I gotta say it's good.

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:wink:

----------------

 

Portland itself was supposedly neutral, but had little actual choice over who came through the great docks, thanks to Selain's apparent stranglehold over several pivotal officials. If the armies of Aluwen were to take control of the plains around it however, they would be able to exert a great deal of pressure and perhaps set up an ambush before the bulk of Selain's troops got through.

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"All the border pickets are being recalled for a full assault on Tahraji Pass." The Dwarf smiled, but there was no warmth in it. "Perhaps what remains of the Satyr army can be of some use as cannon fodder, though they certainly haven't made much of themselves thus far."

 

Salia bristled. "We were fighting and dying at these passes while you sat on your short fat bottoms making earrings!"

 

The Dwarf snarled back. "Yes, and you've made such poor work of it that we've had to intervene! Glilin makes no secret of his distaste for your species weakness and neither do I you prancing luvvie!"

 

Salia, enraged, brought his spear up level with the Dwarf's head, but elicited only a howl of laughter.

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"Ooh no don't kill me with your pointy stick, oh please!" Without warning the Dwarf stopped, grabbed hold of Salia's spear and deftly twisted it out of his hands. From behind her back she drew a small axe and placed it below his cheek, drawing a thin scar down his face. "If you and your kind run from here tonight as they did from their homes on the Second Continent, my people will hunt you down and kill you."

 

She withdrew her weapon and threw Salia's spear into some nearby bushes, then walked away, calling over her shoulder: "While you look for your weapon, you might want to think of ways to stop your fellow Satyrs from showing their cowardice."

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Folis

 

Folis stood tall, his long elegant features framed against the dull gold of the skyline, whipped by thrashing winds. He was one of the last of those old, wild chieftans who had dominated the clans of the Second Continent before Selain wrought his genocide and enforced exodus upon them.

 

His wide, piercing green eyes stared hungrily into the dusty maw of the Tahraji Pass and his crooked teeth ground together impatiently. Stood beside several hundred of his fleet-footed brothers, he was perhaps a head taller than any other, broad across the shoulder, big hooves stamping lightly at the ground. His short grey beard was wound with black and red ribbons, the sign of a warrior and leader.

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He had come, with these few living remnants of his race, on the greatships with Gaia and her legion of Satyrs to escape the horror of Selain's relentless advance. Unlike the Satyr the Centaur had never run, but their fractured and isolated clans had been easy prey for the regiments of Orcs and Orchan sent to destroy them. The Centaur who stood with him now - less than a thousand - were all that was left of his race, their need to wander at last tamed for this one chance of revenge.

 

He had an inexplicable feeling of connection to them all, something he'd never felt before but which seemed somehow to have been dormant in his very bones since the moment of his birth. He had heard of this from the Elves, who claimed they felt so whenever Aluwen was near, yet he knew she was busy in the East, directing the assault on the Quartz tunnel at White Stone. Gaia too was busy, though she was near, as she was teaching the ways of magic to some of her more gifted pupils.

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It seemed to come from the sea itself, though he could not place how he knew. Vast chaotic winds howled from those turbulent waters, battering into the Tahraji pass and barrelling down its length, forcing back all who tried to go through.

 

Yet despite this possibly fatal setback to the big push, which was on hold until the winds died down, Folis' feeling allowed him to remain calm against his every instinct. The other Centaur obviously felt it too, for there was none of the usual nervous twitching that took place before battle. They all seemed to be waiting for something.

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A young buck, barely old enough to hold his lance properly, whispered. "What are we waiting for chief?"

 

Folis shifted uncomfortably on his hooves, not nervously, but with a giddy sort of excitement. "The winds need to die down first, then the Satyrs will lead the way. Gaia's orders." He sneered slightly as he said it. No-one really trusted the Satyrs to do anything except run away.

 

He could see ranks of the musical beings standing some distance off, and despite the wind he could smell their fear. They were musicians, not warriors, yet that ruthless streak of Gaia's was going to drive them to their doom.

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-Go-

 

Folias looked around, startled.

 

-Go to war-

 

Folias strained to hear the words, which came as if from a great distance, carried on the wind.

 

-It is time my child, vengeance against Mortos-

 

Folias whispered it; Vengeance.

 

-Lead our people to victory-

 

Folias spoke aloud; "Vengeance." A thousand heads turned to watch him, though his voice had been drowned by the pounding storm.

 

-Bring my wrath-

 

Folias walked forward, as if in a trance, and shouted. "Vengeance!" The lines of Centaur behind him spoke the word.

 

-Destroy them-

 

Folias broke into a run, and felt the earth move as a thousand Centaur took up his cry.

 

"VENGEANCE!"

 

"VENGEANCE!"

 

"VENGEANCE!"

 

He raced forward, the wind no longer flailing but caressing his face. He was spurred on by it, uplifted by it. Behind him the deafening thunder of his people charging the road to Portland filled the world as he passed bewildered Satyr faces, on towards the deadly Orc lines.

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Storming the pass

 

Salia watched the charge of the Centaurs, dumbfounded yet relieved. He and his kind were no match for the Orcs; their lean bodies and long, elegant fingers were made for other things. Nevertheless, his commanders, after a few moments discussion between themselves, sounded the horn to advance in support of their allies. The Satyrs moved off, slower than their allies yet, in the main, no less enthusiastic.

 

At the back of the line stood Gaia herself, filling them with a sense of wholeness and pushing them forward with kind words and the promise of better things. Though she rarely spoke aloud, when she did she was heard by everyone, and her shock at the rush of the Centaurs was felt by all. She muttered in her sweet wispy voice, which wound out over her peaopls so they could hear evey word. "THE WIND... IT CARRIES A VOICE WHICH MADDENS THEM..."

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Salia felt the hairs prick up on his shanks, and he almost turned from the march before being carried forward by waves of his fellows. Already he could hear battle cries, drifting from the maw of the pass which drew close at a frightening speed. Screams mingled with sighs, metal clashes and meaty thuds mixed with the whistle of spears through the air.

 

Soon they could see at the edges of their vision the first dead - Orc sentries and Centaur front runners. The noise became deafening and they could barely make out the difference between screams of pain and shouts of elation. The sands had whipped up into a haze that blocked the light of the sun, and everyone was quickly coated, tiny granules stinging their eyes and matting their fur.

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Suddenly from out of the mire a Centaur ran towards them, half-crazed with fear and foaming at the mouth. A group of Satyr ran him down and pushed him to the front of the line, where he was interrogated by the nearest officer. Salia pushed a little closer and could just catch some words from the terrified creature. "Where were you... Many dead... Still fighting..."

 

Salia's heart jumped. To him the prospect of coming out of that mess ahead looked slim, but if he could stay close to the Centaurs he might be all right. He quietly moved to the part of the line he'd seen the messenger come from, and marched with renewed vigour.

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It seemed as though an age of the earth had gone by the time they got to the front, caked in filth, half-blind from the sandy winds. As the pass opened up and fell away behind them it seemed as though a curtain had been torn open and their view suddenly cleared. Ahead were the lush fields of Portland, revealed to show the sheer scope of the battle they faced.

 

For miles in every direction, a mass of creatures fought for these lands. Orchans, Orcs and horrifying Ogres were so numerous as to spill over the far horizon, while Aluwenist troops poured into breaches they had forced, fighting like demons for a foothold big enough to force an army through.

 

Far to the East, Salia could see a smudge of dirty grey smoke which his sharp eyes resolved into the shapes of Wizards and Dwarves, pounding their Orc foes with magic of untold savagery. Fireworks lit up the sky as Elven Mages threw vast sorceries into the enemy hordes, causing horrific devastation.

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But his roving eyes could not for long ignore the scene before him, just yards away, for there a few hundred Centaurs fought and died with the madness of rabid dogs. They were hurling themselves with reckless abandon at the Orcs, biting and lashing out with their hooves when weapons broke, dragging themselves forwards on broken legs, stumbling over the bodies of their friends and ignoring horrific wounds.

 

Salia felt sick, yet saw through his nausea that the Centaur's battle-lust was making the nearest Orc lines waver, and sight of the Satyrs was causing many to warily back away. Orcish fear and sheer incomprehension of the magnificent anger of the Centaurs gave those few equine warriors the upper hand.

 

Salia's Sergeant stepped forward, as staggered as the rest of his kin but determined to do the Centaurs justice.

 

"For Gaia!"

 

Salia gladly raised his spear in salute to their Goddess, and charged with his people.

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Well it's nicely written, and a good read. But I do have a few questions...what are you planning on doing with the centaurs and satyr's? I mean, I guess I might still have them in the game as "monsters", but they won't ever be playable characters.

 

Also, if we will use your stories, then you'll have to change them to fit in with the ones we already have. Then centaurs & satyr's, you'll have to change Selain a bit, because in your story he seems to be a big dirty, battle hungry orc :D But, in the story we already have with him, he is more feeble and sly, maybe a little less powerful. I think of him more as an elf type, with an evil twist. He is the god of summoning remember.

We have to be consistent with all the stories we have.

 

You also mentioned that Orchan are a cross between humans and orcs, but if you read my description on the website of them, you'll see that I put they MIGHT be, or might not be...I kinda left that open to involve more story with that in the future, the question doesnt' have to be answered.

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I was planning to all but kill off the Centaur as a race, along with the Satyr, though there could be survivors who could act any way you like in game, or even not be there at all. As it stands in the Portland story both groups are down to their last couple of thousand people already, after a campaign of genocide carried out against them by Selain.

 

I was considering expanding on that by writing something about the campaign on the second continent later. Basically I'm trying to make the histories as rich as possible to give people plenty of scope for role play (plus in any future version that leaves scope to reintroduce them if you want).

 

I envisaged Selain in much the same way as you describe but slightly more confident physically (not as in appearances of course) simply cos he's an immortal. It's difficult to reconcile the idea of Selain being both feeble and a god. In all fairness my description is of a tall, wirey (i.e thin), crone-like orchan with dank unhealthy skin, clammy hands, yellow teeth and oily eyes, so I dunno about big dirty and battle hungry :D.

 

Fair enough about the Orchan, that can be rewritten if you want, I just quite liked the neatness of them being a symptom of Mortos' anger and the cause of his imprisonment.

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***

 

FOLIS felt a great elation as he fought. His coat was slick with dark blood, his beard no longer grey but red. His Green eyes darted incessantly, their whites showing almost luminous against his dirtied face. He was limping slightly from a nasty wound to his left front leg, but still wielded his sword effortlessly - it seemed to weigh nothing. He and his kind were fighting in a way not seen since the early days of the world, when they and their God had done everything with such brash speed.

 

Their numbers were depleted now, but they fought on as if they were fresh to the fight, and everything in their path was cut down. The only fighters left were the best, the ones who would not, could not give up, and the Orcs closest to them were finding it impossible to get a sword in edgeways.

 

Behind him he knew vaguely the Satyrs were racing to the fray, which in theory should have been welcome relief, but in a strange way Folis had come to know himself this day, fighting against overwhelming odds without cease, moving endlessly towards the goal of victory. These Satyrs would ruin it. He paused in the fighting for just a moment, to see where his kin needed the most help, then dived back in.

 

***

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SALIA had finally reached the front lines, bare yards from Centaur warriors who were still killing with gleeful intensity, and noticed Folis as the big stallion paused for breath, steam pouring from his gaping mouth. Salia did a double take. Wasn't that the one who had led the charge? As fast as he could look, Folis ducked into a melee and was gone. Yet Salia's bardic instincts called him to the cause of a ballad, and he followed Folis into the scrum of whirling blades.

 

It was several moments before he spotted Folis again, beating two Orcs back with a lash of his mighty hind legs. Despite moving as fast as he could over still-warm bodies and a ground treacherous with blood, Salia struggled to keep Foils in sight as the warrior rushed to yet another fight. The Centaur leader seemed to be everywhere, wielding his scarlet sword and gnashing his teeth as he ploughed through wave after wave of foes. They seemed to melt away by the dozen beneath Folis' ethereal rage, and Salia suddenly realised - the other Centaurs were simply for show. Folis was winning this battle.

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THE ORC line broke all of a sudden, as though on an unspoken command. Thousands of terrified eyes seemed to light up as one with the knowledge that they could not win this, and with a unison never seen before nor since in the Orcish peoples, the horde surrounding the Aluwenists turned and ran.

 

Folis screamed his indignation, followed by his small remaining band of followers, yet with the passing of the Orcs there followed a lessening of his anger, as though the presence that sustained him grew bored. He grew aware enough of himself to feel a slight sting in his wounded leg, and looked around to check the damage. Perhaps 100 Centaur troops remained of the thousands that had run with him, yet around each was a pile of Orc corpses, and more littered the ground for each step the Centaur had taken.

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His Satyr allies looked upon him in fear and awe, shocked that so few could rout so many.

One Satyr, short in stature and wearing a rapturous look on its clear, childish face, picked through the silent crowd to meet him. Folis looked down in disgust at the creature, whose fur though filthy with sand and mud was unsullied by blood.

 

It spoke in a quavering voice. "What is your name great warrior, that we may immortalise you in song?"

 

Folis lifted his head to the distant horizon, where an ocean of enemies moved to replace those who had run. "We are the Centaurs, and that is enough. Bring news of our victory to the Dwarves little one, while there is still time to cross the plain."

The Satyr nodded happily. "Yes I shall tell them of the Centaur and his magnificent triumph."

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