The final, decisive battle during the invasion of Rubia. Oringrad is besieged by the Imperial Army (led by Cassius Hardalio) but they are kept at bay by the Council of Mages who maintain a barrier around the city. To break the stalemate the Emperor has ordered the creation of an Edict to destroy the city which prompted Queen Merilda to send out the Faultless Arrow to gather allies.
Allies and Promises Edit
The Faultless Arrow set out to recruit the old enemies of Rubia for the battle of Oringrad. They all had much to lose if the Imperium won but old grudges are hard to overcome so Rubia had to promise them all substantial concessions. Our party has managed to negotiate alliances on the following terms:
- Zoralth, great red dragon of the Dragon Mountains. With the death of Rhaegos Zoralth's life lost purpose (what could one do without an archenemy?) so he joined the party without much negotiation. He was promised a giant. life sized statue in Oringrad and that his disciples can build temples for him and recruit in Rubia.
- The Cleaver Orcs, hiding in the Cascadian Mountain. The wounds inflicted by both Rubian slavers and the imperial conquest was still fresh in the mind of the orcs, above all they desired revenge. They also had to deal with the local gnolls and trolls who were putting up an unexpectedly organized resistance to the orc conquest. With the intervention of Vilgefortz the party offered the orcs half the prisoners from the battle at Oringrad as slaves and that the Rubian Merchant Navy will ferry the former orc slaves back to the Old Continent from Two Sisters. Furthermore The Faultless Arrow assasinated King Rujin, leader of the troll-gnoll alliance, ensuring that the orcs can easily conquer their homeland.
- Tredran, the necromancer at Urum-dor. Tredran had been raising the dead in the necropolis of Urum-dor for decades for some unknown reason but he required more so he agreed to help in exchange for the bodies of all who fall in the battle. The Faultless Arrow agreed to his terms immediately, not realizing that they would be dooming the souls of both friend and foe to eternal damnation.
- Aria Illithmoor and her battlegroup of mind flayers agreed to help in exchange for all the slaves they can gather after the battle and one small favor. That small favor meant stealing the silver sword of a githyanki commander for which the Lich Queen will spare no expense to recover. The party, however, has no idea the danger they put themselves in as Aria has erased their memory of that part of the deal.
Plan vs Reality Edit
Just as The Faultless Arrow had finished gathering allies for Rubia Archmage Vilgefortz told them that the Imperium had finished their newest edict and it would soon arrive to the Orin Valley crushing any hope of victory. The Rubian War Council quickly formulated a desperate plan to rout the Imperial Army before that happens:
- The barrier around the city is lowered (as if the mages could not maintain it). This will provoke the imperials to attack from all sides.
- Using the chaos The Faultless Arrow will use the teleportation orb to get to the Dimensional Lock, capture it and change its settings so that short-range teleportation within the valley works, but reinforcements can't come from the Imperium.
- The party will also set up a barrier around the Lock which takes some time to charge. The party will need to hold that area until that happens.
- Allied forces will teleport to the shadow gates and capture them allowing the allied armies to join the battle.
- The Royal Army will push towards the Legion HQ while the party and special forces attempt to reach it from the back. The hope is to kill General Hardalio who has bound his officers to himself through blood links which means that if he dies they die too. This way the Legion would lose its entire leadership granting Rubia a swift victory over the invading armies.
The next day the party set out to do their part and for a time everything seem to be happening according to plan, even the offer of wealth and power from Archmage Travenus (head of the Directorium) couldn't sway the party. All allied forces arrived and started pushing back the imperial forces. But before the final assault on the general's position could have started an imperial dragon rider had arrived carrying the Edict of Fire. The party faced a hard choice: should they follow the original plan or try to get the Edict before it could be cast?
In the end the party decided to go after the Edict so they joined forces with Vilgefortz and the rest of the Council of Mages (leaving Duke Sewell without reinforcements for his attack on the legion's HQ). There was fierce resistance and in the end the party had to face the dragon and its rider by themselves. After an intense battle The Faultless Arrow emerged victorious and acquired the Edict.
Unfortunately by this time the Rubian offensive had collapsed, the Crimson Tide had entered the city of Oringrad, the victory of the Imperium was imminent. In desperation Vilgefortz ordered the party to cast the Edict and destroy the invading forces while Alaldir and the dukes begged them not to so that the Edict could be studied. In the end The Faultless Arrow cast the Edict, sacrificing Oringrad to save the Kingdom of Rubia.
Armies and Assets Edit
Below are the detailed description of the forces taking part in the battle.
The Imperial Army Edit
The elite troops of the Imperial Army whose loyalty and devotion to the Emperor is beyond question. Honor, respect and discipline are the most prized virtues among legionnaires. Their fighting prowess is legendary; the Legion easily defeats regular troops even if outnumbered 1:3. So far the Legion has never met true defeat in battle.Number: 3000
Legion Archers and Siege Engines
The auxiliary troops of the Imperial Legion, they provide ranged support to the heavily armed legionnaires. Still, they are not to be underestimated, every member is an expert bowman and the imperial siege weapons can be devastating against fortifications and highly concentrated troops.
The Imperium's nobility prefers traditional heavy cavalry warfare, they make up the bulk of the Imperial Cavalry. Due to the high status of its members these troops have relatively little discipline (compared to legionnaires) making them equivalent to traditional knights.
Arcane Directorium Mages
Master wizards from the Arcane Directorium and their apprentices. They provide magical support for the Imperial Army both in combat and behind the lines. Should the Emperor choose to enact the ultimate sanction of proclaiming an Edict, the Directorium mages are the ones tasked with casting it
(200 more embedded with troops)
Crimson Tide Recruits
Little more than an unruly horde, the newly recruited members of the Tide are forced into suicidal charges so that only the strongest survives. They are conscripted by force from the newly conquered Rubian and Cleaver lands, most of them have never seen battle and will likely never see a second one.
Crimson Tide Veterans
Veteran Tide soldiers who have repeatedly proven themselves in combat. They are significantly more skilled at war than regular troops, many consider themselves “artists of bloodshed”. However, due to the nature of their "training" they function better as individual fighters than as a unit.
Crimson Tide Griffon Riders
A number of veteran Tide soldiers were given training in riding griffons. Each beast is permanently bonded with its rider, allowing them to communicate without words. These riders are essentially flying cavalry, capable of both harassing an enemy and crushing it with an aerial assault. They often intervene during key moments of the battle, shattering the enemy’s morale with a surprise charge to their flanks.
This device embodies the pinnacle of both technology and magic. It creates minute planar instabilities that are unnoticable to ordinary folk but are strong enough to make all attempts at teleportation and planeshifting impossible. Anyone attempting such a bold move risk more than just ending up lost in foreign lands, it is just as possible for the spell to fail and to scatter the body parts of the caster among the Outer Planes
General Cassius Hardalio
Cassius Antonius Hardalio was not born into riches but with dedication, cunning and boundless ambition he has become one of the wealthiest men in the Imperium. He owns guilds, lands and noble titles, he has at least a dozen members of the Imperial Senate in his pocket. He offered to finance the entire campaign against Rubia, an offer the Emperor could not refuse. He no longer cares about money, what he craves is glory and respect. But such ambitions can be dangerous in the Imperium.
Rubian Royal Army Edit
Rubian Royal Infantry
The remnants of the army raised by Queen Merida. Most of the poorly trained peasants fled or died during the battle of Kaedwen Crossing leaving behind mostly experienced soldiers. They are supported by priests of Pelor and the remaining members of the Council of Mages.
The cream of the Rubian nobility and their retinue, these knights are well equipped and trained. They suffered relatively mild losses at Kaedwen Crossing and are more than eager to fight to defend the lands that are rightfully theirs.
Rubian Special Forces
Former adventurers, soldiers and mercenaries who gave up their former life to serve Rubia and the Queen. They are the best Rubia has to offer, but their numbers are small. These specialists are mostly tasked with high risk missions behind enemy lines. For these men and women Rubia comes first, failure is not an option.
Cannons of Oringrad
As part of Queen Merilda's modernization effort a number of artillery batteries were constructed to defend the capital. These cannons represent the pinnacle of technology, capable of accurately firing their magically infused explosive shells up to a range of two miles. Their numbers are, however, limited due to the extreme cost of the weapon.
Allied Forces Edit
The great red dragon Zoralth, one of the Ancient Ones from the Dragon Mountains. He is an extremely powerful and ancient creature; he has seen empires rise and kingdoms fall, but now, for some reason, he has allied himself to Rubia. He is an army by himself.
If only you had more than one of him
Disciples of Zoralth
The personal guard of Zoralth, highly trained and fanatically loyal, some of them are actually half-dragon offspring of Zoralth. Due to their small numbers these cultists work best in small groups (similar to adventurer parties); they are ideal for infiltration and sabotage.
Orc warriors from various Cleaver tribes, eager for vengeance against the Imperium. Orcs train for war their whole life, they are famed for their battle prowess, but they lack discipline due to their focus on personal glory. They are supported by shamans and priestesses who ensure that the bloodlust never leaves the warriors.
Army of the Dead
A collection of dreadful moans and clattering bones. The necromancer Tredran has spent decades raising the dead from Urum-dor giving him an army of his own. Most of the "soldiers" are skeletons, zombies and ghouls but there are also a number of wraiths and even some vampires. These troops never panic or tire, but they lack organization, initiative and don't understand tactics.
Illithid Battle Party
The battle party of Aria Illithmoor (if that is her real name). They are excellent fighters and sorcerers, but their true power lies with their psionics as they can shake the morale of an entire army, create panic and mind control hundreds of people at the same time. They brought no slaves as they plan to leave with as many as they can control.
Imperial Dragon Rider The Imperial Dragon Riders are the Emperor's personal agents sent only on the most crucial and urgent missions. They are often seen riding adult dragons, although it is not clear how they keep such beasts under their control (most scholars suspect some form of mind control). The arrival of a Rider can only mean that the Emperor has taken a personal interest in the battle for Oringrad and has sent an Edict.