Water or Blood

The Desperate Crusade, An Account of The Disputed Era

I
Some fifty-and-nine vessels gathered under the Ascendant’s Banner on The Second and Twentieth Day of the Descendant Month of Krate, 488 AU/35 AC’A. Many purposes were brought to bear upon a single city on Xha’Maar, birthplace of the Embattled or deceased Godking. The warriors of a thousand families have been rallied and set forth under the charge of Naath of House Thrane, the first of his Name. Across the Risen Sea, an outpost lay besieged by strange savages and the walking dead. Some had taken their commitments more seriously than others. The Avowed order of the Brotherhood of the Immaculate Dawn holds no more than four-score men, and the Finers of Heon, no more than a dozen. The Iron Scythes of Dremold Krate sail in great number, and are eager to spread their god’s glory to the Old Land. The Sovengers have never forgotten their duty to the Empire, and duly extended some two hundred odd men, mostly Grinning Sphinx and Brine Martyrs under the Command of Lord Archivist Ralem Heon, The Second of His Name.

II The Ten-and-Sixth Day of the Falling Month of Umar 488 AU/35 ACA
Lady Gonna had visions of great faces beneath the waters of the old Xha’Maar coast. Ralem Heon of the Grinning Sphinxes consulted The Histories of Maar and initiated the rites of divination through the The Cryptonomicon. The Books told of Ancient Brine Giants who demanded bloody tolls in the age of Forgotten Gods who once inhabited the coasts of the old land. Silver Quill Heoden A’Rai was consulted on the matter and knew very little, a surprise, given his high standing. Naath Thrane and Lorn Six Fingers were informed and reacted bravely within their line of duty. Roderick Pherylls, Admiral of
the Still Waters proved to be invaluable in preparations and other military matters.

That evening, the godreams of Lady Gonna came to pass. The Brinelords rose from the sea, entities as tall as gods, and almost as powerful. Ralem’s invocation of Arcanum established the sacred discourse However, they honored the vassalage Umar bound them too, and were forbidden from harming his children.
The collosus of coral granted the fleet a great wind which pressed the ships hard towards the coast leaving only the mutterings of strange sorcerers. The Fleet was separated by the great winds, leaving only The Green Door to share salt and bread with the surviving citizens of Xha’Maar.

III
The Greendoor joined with the Grey Gull and the Vigilant over the waters that once held Xha’Maar. Scrivengers established that the Kar’iv Layline traveled through the waters, and originated from Port Maar, an old southern outpost of the Old Empire. It seemed as though Chor’A’Rai has extended its dominion in the south as well as the north.

Upon discovering the cape of the port city, the evidence of war became evident. The wrecks of ships great and small, gutted by fire and sword littered the harbor. Locals warned landing parties of Yellow Plague, putting the educated blood in ill-spirits, and answering part of the mystery of walking dead. Naath Thrane demanded to speak with the reigning Lord Protector, a one time city Magistrate responsible for the message that rallied-a-hundred-banners. The magistrate spoke of a strange and savage people called Tolecci who wore bronze armor and vivid paints. These mongrels were fond of raiding the coasts to carry off people for slavery, sacrifice, or fodder for unspeakable heresies. Lord Archivist Heon and Lord Admiral Pherylls swore to protect the remaining land and people of the Empire.

IV
The enemy came at dusk. Heralded by drums and infernal tongues, a barge of fire, bronze and wood swept upon the three imperial ships. There were no sails or oars, for the contraption was pulled along the bottom by a horde of fleshed dead. The vessal was surrounded by an armlength of bewitched fire, which consumed all vollies launched at it. Soon it stopped, and let slip its dead soldiers upon the sons of Umar.

The walking dead lay siege to the greendoor, but were repelled with little effort by six score silencers led by the Stillwater Prince himself. The Grey Gull was poorly organized and was overrun soon after.
Meanwhile The Silencers of the Vigilant rammed the floating temple, and joined in bloody battle with the heathen warrior-priests, aided by Heoden A’Rai and his elemantalists from afar.
Naath Thrane fell in battle when Unfleshed joined the siege of the Green Door, but was saved from death by quick actions of Lord Archivist Heon, who had sustained grievous wounds by the same walking dead. Wounded and half consious, Ralem Heon lead two score of Thranish men to aid the embattled Silencers aboard the Vigilant, as the barges fires had consumed the proud ship. Once aboard, The Sovenger lead the combined host against the defenders of the temple, smashing the heathen priests who bore the likeness of wild animals, and slaying the necromancers at their alters. Thus ended the first battle of the Desperate Crusade, the Battle of Dusk-lit bay.

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