Open Chronicles The Razing of Grayshore

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Geladryx

The Emerald Death
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Grayshore
The Allir Reach
Early Morning


The Sayve River had soured. Weeks ago the Dragon had completed a ritual to befoul the waters causing them to run black with decay and necrosis. The Dark Magic instilled in the waters of the sayve caused sickness where it spread, it could kill the weak and make the strong bedridden yet this was not its purpose.

The Waters, befouled and stagnant had been a message. They were coming. Then, as no ritual except the most powerful kind could promote lasting change the waters had cleared and the sayve returned as though nothing was amiss.



The Orcs had crossed the Sayve River. Where the Dragon once had scores at his command he now saw hundreds flock to the promise of conquest and a new domain where the realm of man would be pushed back and cut off.

Most of the Orcs had come from the Spine, along the southern reaches where the rocky crags swept into vast and untamed evergreen forests. These Orcs were savage, barbarous in many cases and sought bloodshed and battle. The Dragon promised them all of this and more, this was to be the first battle in the conquest of the Allir Reach.

They came from the south where they'd crossed the sayve and marched north, burning fertile farmland in the process on their way to the village. Farmsteads are put to the torch, farmers and their families taken as slaves.

Oxen and carts were taken from the farmsteads they raided to carry supplies, both brought and stolen.

On foot the Orcs would appear as a stagnant wound upon the rich land of the Reach from above, they roved as an enormous band with an enormous shadow cast over them from overhead occasionally.

When they reached the village of Grayshore it was early in the day, the sun was rising overhead though being a farming community many residents had long since started the work of the day. Across the verdant fields of the Reach the Orcs, marching would loom larger as they came towards the community.

Pikes pointed skyward, wicked looking blades were drawn and rattled.

An enormous shadow coasted over the line of Orcs, casting itself towards the village and the shores of the sayve beyond before banking around and returning to the lines. The Dragon would land somewhere behind the Orcs, surveying what equated to two, maybe three companies strong of warriors thirsty for battle.

After settling, Geladryx rested on his haunches with wings folding against either side of its massive reptilian body while powerful forelimbs held him in a pose with head cocked forward, tail dragging across the fertile earth as it stretched out behind him, back and forth. There was silence and then.

Take the skins you've come for. Kill them!

Its hissing voice slithered over the lines of Orcs, unleashing them. There would be a charge. Grayshore had a Militia, there may be a cohort of the Allirian Guard present and beyond that it was difficult to say. The Dragon had positioned the Orcs so that the Reach spread out behind them, the banks of the River Sayve and the rocky crags of the Spine were what was behind Grayshore.

Khurash
 
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Khurash

The Warrior
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Thum. Thum. Thumthumthum.

The beat of the drums rolled out across the farmland in a terrible tattoo. Farmers knew those drums. Drums fashioned from the flesh of men, orcs, and dwarves. Skin drums. Bone drums. The drums that promised death.

Thum. Thum. Thumthumthum.

Skin drums at the rising of a blood-drenched sun, its rays bleeding the golden fields of wheat scarlet as it crept skyward along its heavenly track.

Thum. Thum. Thum.

Farmers fled from their fields to their village. Hasty barricades began to pile high along dirt roads into the village.

Khurash the Exile inhaled the air, nostrils flaring. It smelled of their fear. His fingers curled tight around the sweat stained leathers of his paired axe and dagger.

How many would he kill this day? How many more skins could he add to his collection?

Not enough. Never enough. Until his tribe saw his worth again and took him back. Only then would honor be satisfied.



So along with the hundreds of other orcs, Khurash surged toward the hapless village.
 
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Geladryx

The Emerald Death
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The Dragon watched from the rear as lines of Orcs surged forward, charging towards Grayshore as its defenders hastily erected defenses. Directing the onslaught was a surprisingly relaxed affair as Geladryx had reasoned that it would not take the Orcs long to overcome any defenses if no clear leader was their to oppose his forces.

On his haunches, resting with his tail continuing to swish across the landscape of the plains stretching out behind him the Dragon heard the beat of the drums continuing to pound rhythmically. Letting his head sway to one side he set sickly eyes on an Orc that remained with him as a defender and aide de camp, the pulsating orange of his gaze sending a chill through the warriors spine as he hissed...

Bring me the girl.

The Orc knew the one he meant, she had survived the massacre on the banks of the River Sayve weeks ago when the ritual had been conducted. There had been rumblings as to why the Dragon had permitted the girl to live, surely he had some ulterior motive for doing so and it was not out of a sense of mercy.

When he let his head turn forward again Geladryx watched as arrows took flight from the village, aimed at the line of Orcs. Amongst the Militia of Grayshore there must have been a handful of bows that the men wielding them hoped would stem the tide of Orcs but this was doubtful. What were a handful of arrows against a horde of charging, frenzied Warriors?

The Defenders came outfitted with swords, spears, shields. The arms a professional soldier might use but these men still came from a farming community. They worn the garb of soldiers but they had never made real war, they fought to defend their lives and the lives of their families. Staying behind their barricades they would seek to stab at and skewer the Orc's long enough to hold them back, give their families enough time to retreat to the boats used for fishing and in daily life.

Across his neck, the frills stretching across his neck down to his torso flexed with apparent excitement as Geladryx watched. Grayshore would fall, the Dragon had determined as much as he watched, waiting to see the wave of Orc's crash into the defenses that had been raised.

Khurash



Elsewhere, among the camp followers and captives an Orc would come for Palmyra Creze. Using a large meat hook of a hand he would jostle the woman and ensure she was on her feet before directing her in the direction of the Dragon. At a distance, to someone like Palmyra who had been face to face with the creature prior to this moment Geladryx must still seem immense. The Dragon was taller than a house at the shoulder and torso stretched back longer than lesser creatures, dwarfing someone like her without effort.