The Battle of Creigoth Serth
I have gazed into abyss and found pieces of it in myself. Through a divine vision I have seen the mistake I have made. A grave mistake of succumbing into blind hatred and arrogance fueled by hubris. I have seen our enemy as a single mass of evil and soulless adversaries and channeled my hatred against the individual pawns of our enemy – the ones who themselves are victims of a malevolent tyrant: the Dragon Emperor of Visirothia.
The shame I feel is overwhelming and I do apoligize for the lack of detail I put into the writings that detail the past few weeks. Maybe if I survive this war, I will later write a more detailed version of the events that happened in the month of Equos on year 1270. I pray for the gods to spare not only the Cernish nation, but all nations from the tyranny of the Dragon Emperor. If needed, I will give my life to prevent this.
We arrived at the valley at noon and saw the immense army that had gathered there. The King had gathered an admirable army, although mostly infantry, to battle the Visiroths. We saw Dun Men, the heavily armored greatsword-wielding elite infantry, honing their weapons and Furies of Morrigna inspiring battle frenzy among the soldiers. It seemed like we could have a fisghting chance. At least the terrain had been chosen by us.
We met Robert magh Connacht and changed few words with him. I could see that even he was nervous of the outcome of the battle. We soon met Sweeney but this time Badb was missing. He told us that he had discovered peculiar things about the teleport ring we had found earlier, but that he needed us to help him before he would tell us what he had found. We agreed to help him as he explained the situation: the Dragon Emperor was present among the enemy army and they would put significant pressure in this battle. He explained that the Visiroths used groups of wizards, called a Cabbal in battles to cause serious damage against their opponents. He explained that he alone could fight of against such a cabbal for a while, but without other strong mages on our side, they might prevail. Therefore he wanted us to interfere with the Cabal and try to distract it. Once the Cabbal would form, he could pin-point the location for us and then we could flank them.
Soon the Visirothian army began to flow into the valley – thousands and thousands of them. The battlefield had been chosen well – the enemy had trouble manouvering in the difficult terrain. The field in the valley was cut in two paths by a dense forest, forcing the enemy to divide their strength. As the Visirothian army moved forward like a massive crimson wave, I quickly rode into the front ranks of our infantry. I chanted for Teutanis and pointed my hands toward the other clear passage the Visiroths were advancing. A wave of nurturing heat protruded from my hands and the ground the Visiroths were marching. A great forrest of branches and thick vegetation rose from the ground in a heartbeat blocking the way. This would slow down the other side of the enemy’s army and give us time to focus on the other part. Immediately I rode back to the command post where Sweeney was already waving for us: he had located the cabbal. It was on top of a forest covered hill on the higher slopes of the valley. We wasted no time taking our leave, taking a platoon of Cernish soldiers with us.
The cabbal was well defended. The group of black robed wizards were gathered into a ring, a blueish force field surrounded them. Around the force field sphere there were two dozen well armoured Visirothian soldiers. It was in this battle that I lost myself to hatred. Without mercy or the slightest knock on my conscience I partook in the zealous butchery of our enemy. Even the retreating ones I did not spare. A thing of great shame for me. How could have I been so blind. They were people just like us.
Like I said, the battle was fierce. I channeled immensive amounts of divine power and strenght into Aeran who, then towering twelve feet tall, spreaded havoc with his gargantuan sword. The Visiroths fought back hard and gave us a good match, but in the end their lines began to falter. There was this one enemy soldier who turned his back against me as he tried to run away. I tripped him with my hammer and as he lay there, his back on the ground, looking at me terrified, I buried the end of my hammer’s shaft into his face. The magical frost pommel that I had inserted into the hammer sank deep into his skull and I could hear the crunching sound as his face and brain froze from the magical cold. It was not then that I felt shame. No. I didn’t even think of it. How could have I seen the twisted expression of hatred on my face as the shaft of my hammer landed down on his face? The fear he felt? The injustice he had endured and the sympathy he had felt for the Cerns he had seen slaughtered by his fellows? Sympathy, a humane feeling. Something I did not offer him. How I came to this revelation? I will explain that later.
In the end, Camil charged against the force field sphere where the wizards were chanting their spells. Through some strange fate Camil managed to pack incredible strength into his blow – something that should not have been possible. Camil’s sword struck the blueish transparent field and at first seemed to glance from it. Then, the sphere cracked and a thunderous clash knocked us all down. It took us a while to gather ourselves and when we did so, we saw that where there earlier had been the cabbal of wizards, there was now a blackened hole in the ground and torn pieces of black robes. The cabbal had been destroyed. We gathered ourselves and the remaining soldiers and turned back towards our own lines.
As we arrived at the lower valley we saw that the two armies locked in an intese close combat. We found Sweeney at the command post knocked unconsious and bleeding all over. He managed to say the words ‘’What in the name of abyss did you do?’’ and then he faded out. I tried to take care of him and casted several healing spells on him, but I could not wake him up. I inspected him and understood that he would live, but the mental struck he had suffered would keep him unconsious for several hours still.
Suddenly we heard a roar of victory and as we looked into the valley we saw the Visirothian infantry turn their backs and retreat towards their own lines. For a moment I smiled, but the I saw it: the King and his cavalry began to chase after the fleeing infantry and was soon ambushed by the enemy spearmen. It was a simple trap and the glory-hungry King had fallen into it. Just as the royal cavalry, the King at the front, plunged into the narrow passage, the Visiroths turned back again and launched a counter attack against the chasing cavalry. The King was soon surrounded and in few minutes desperate cries began to reach us: ‘’The King has fallen!’’
The morale of the Cern army crumbled and regiments began to break. I felt rage yet again, but this time it was directed at the foolish King who had let himself get killed like that. It ruined everything. We had no other choice but to take Sweeney with us and ride back to Caern Môrn. The first battle of the invasion had been lost.
We rode through the night, again. We were feeling tired already as we had not sleeped in two nights.
We were the first to arrive back and we gave the news to Devin magh Keeth at the palace. For the first time he looked clueless and the the grief on the old man’s face was something even he could not hide. He told us that Caern Môrn could withstand a siege for a long time, but if we wanted to get out, we should do so before the Visirothian army reached the city.
By then Sweeney had gained consciousness and wanted to talk to us. He told us that when he had inspected the teleport ring he had found things that disturbed him a lot. The runes inscribed in the teleport were the ones of the Mages Council, the very council he had once been part of. He explained that during the last time the Visiroths had invaded Eastern Drystan, the Mages Council had fought along Ellysia against them. Led by the leader of the necromancers, [[::evander]], they decided to try to open the World Gates permanently. Sweeney had protested against the idea as according to him it would only lead to self-destruction. Therefore he had resigned from the Council. The reason for Skyfall might have actually been the fact that the Council tried to do just this.
Sweeney explained that the teleport had actually transported people into two different locations. The other had been the capital city Caernfaddon and the other had been in the Awyr Mountains. When Sweeney had resigned, the Mages Council had erased all knowledge of the whereabouts of the Council, but he told us that the Awyr Mountains was a good place to start searching, if one would wish to find the Council.
As we had no other lead to follow we decided that it might be wise to seek out the Mages Council. Surely we could use some powerful allies and the menace of the Visiroths was something that threatened everyone, even the Mages Council. Sweeney warned us that the Council was filled with power hungry fools, and that the last thing we should was to trust them. We went to the library to find information on the Awyr Mountains and found out that there was an old abandoned tower on the mountain Sweeney had told us the teleport had led. Next to the mountain there was a small village called Colwyn Bae. That was the place we would go next. The hope of finding this Counsil was slight, but I could see from Branden’s eyes he would go to hell and back to find the woman kidnapped by The Priory.
The autumn rains started as we began our journey to the eastern mountains. For two week we rode there, silently. The mood was not good. The only noice that broke the drumming of rain drops on our armor plates was the occasional idiotism Camil blurted out.
This was the day we arrived to Colwyn Bae. The locals were celebrating a wedding, totally unaware of the happenings in the east. The local tavern keeper helped us with information. He told us that there indeed was an old ruined tower on the foor of a mountain callet the Tooth of Teutanis. ‘The name is an omen’, I thought remembering the old Ellysian proverb. The tavern keeper told us the mountain was a ten hour ride from the village. We decided to stay in the village for the night. The warmth of the small village tavern felt good. The burdens of war were still far away from here and for short moments one could forget all about it. Still ignorant of the dreadful things I had done during the battle of Creigoth Sert, I slept well.
The journey took us ten hours, just like the tavern keeper had told us. Branden scouted the mountain and found the ruins quite soon. We entered the half collapsed tower and searched it. Inside we found a pedestal with a curious bronze sphere, unknown runes carved on it. Grzegorz began studying the runes while we waited. The wizard couldn’t intrepid them but gathered he could unravel the power of the object very easily. As he touched the sphere a sudden blinding flashed from the object.
Whatever Grzegorz did, it caused us all to witness a series of vivid dreams. What they witheld, I’m too weak to write at the moment. Lets just say that the vision I saw mortified me. I witnessed the life of the Visirothian soldier I had cold-heartedly slain as he tried to retreat. I saw him as a person with feelings and a good heart. I saw my own face as I murdered him.
From what I can gather we all saw a vision. As if we were for a while someone else, in some other time. All of us saw what the other did, but each experienced their own more vivid than the others.
Aeran experienced his own childhood. He relived his violent childhood, travelling the northern lands along his somber mercenary father. His father always seemed to hold a silent grudge against his son, never spoken aloud. They lived on the road, his father earning their keep by antagonising proud noblemen and slaying them in duels. He finally met his end defending his son from hillpeople raiders. Aeran slew his first man when he was only seven; stabbing to death the barbarian who speared his father. On his dying bed his father pleaded Aeran not to become as he was. After his father passed away, Aeran Replied. “I promise… never to fall in battle like you did”
Grzegorz relived a life of a farmer’s wife. Her husband was sold defentive medicine by the young Grzegorz travelling through the countryside. He fell ill and died from a disease of the stomach. Unable to pay for her upkeep, she and her two small children were kicked out by the sadistic landlord. Trekking homeless through the province they arrived at a city, living in horrible squalor. Her only son dead from hunger, she was left alone in the cold streets with her infant daughter. Desperate and half-mad from exposure, she was forced to slay a family man for his purse of copper, continuing the cycle of violence started by Grzegorz.
Camil was cast in the past as the very young Findley whose life and body was shattered by the three year old paladin. Afte his family was destroyed by Camil’s clan, Findley was forced into a revolting job in a tannery, where the young boy toiled for years, wading in animal filth and excrement. He swore to rise up and to avenge his family. Years later when he had risen to his position as an emerging merchant prince (and drowning the owner of the tannery in a vat of pigshit) he was approached by a dark figure calling himself the Master. “Great plans are soon starting, and have no dear, merchant prince: you shall have your revenge”
Differing from the rest of us Branden experienced not the past, but a future that might happen. He was cast a few years after the armies of Aenoria had fallen and Visiroths had occupied the land. He was back at Clydewell as his younger brother. He saw what would happen in the future had we never left the town. Branden was still among his clan, taking in the teachings of his uncle that they need not care for anyone else outside their own family; “Best to keep your head down and let the world go its way. Ain’t nothing out there you couldnät find right at yer own clan” He also saw me; a broken drunk, loitering in the Shamrock Inn, muttering to myself and rubbing my tattood wedding finger. Our friendship had waded to nothing many years ago. The village was suddenly attacked by Visiroth slavers, who were rampaging throught the countryside. Branden’s brother opted to run to help the villagers instead of getting back to his clan. He managed to save his other brother and his pregnant local wife from the raiders before getting caught by the slavers. He ended his life many years later as a broken man: a slave in the Visiroths’ gold mine.
I myself… I am ashamed of what a saw. I lived as a young Visiroth officer. Despite serving in the Empire’s fourth legion – the Hellbounds – I secretly despited the Dragon Emperor and all he stood for. I longed to be free from his and his clergy’s tyranny and to end the endless slaughter of lesser people toiling as our slaves. I bid farewell to my wife and our young son as I was once more called to fight in a new war. We were in the first wave of the invasion of Aenoria. I saw many horrible crimes committed by my fellow soldiers. Not all of us were repulsed by the ways of our leaders. My last order was to protect a Cabal during the first true battle against the Cerns. We were suddenly attacked by the enemy who wielded great arcane powers and deadly martial skills. As they crushed us I turned to run, but was tripped and fell to the ground. I saw… me, Magnus, pounding my head in with a hammer.
The visions ceased and we found ourselves standing in the ruined tower, bewildered from the experience. The bronze sphere had opened.
I fear my friends will see me as the monster I now see myself. I must admit that I saw my friends make bad things too, but they were done in ignorance not in blinding hatred like my deed. My my friends forgive me. May the gods forgive me.