Dragon Priest War II

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Dzree's sect of Dragon Priests arose once again in modern times. Glorifying a new empress, Hhrsaraa, from the bloodline of Dzree herself, and rallying renovated armies, this new generation of Dragon Priests provoked High Priestess Tallis to declare a holy war. Armies led by General Bazrid of Raven's Point, Vecuto of the Cleric guild, and Argred of the Paladin Council led an assault on the Dragon Priest stronghold of the Black Spire. Below are letters dispatched by Jihad Advisor Aetherie of the Cleric Council to Tallis.


Letters from the Front

Originally posted on the play.net boards

March on the Black Spire

Fall of the Barricades

Mother Tallis,
After you withdrew to your prayers, the assault on the first Dragon Priest barricade continued relentlessly. Although countless heretics were slaughtered, we were pushed back many times by the Dragon Priest partisans. (Even some non-S'Kra... Don't they know these false priests harbor no love of other races?) Sustained by the power of Resurrection (thanks to an efficient triage within our camp) and Murrula herself, our forces eventually toppled the barricade. As I write this in our camp chapel, I am told that the second barricade has been felled as well, significantly faster than the first.

Blood of the heretics, Dragon Priest and Adan'f alike, watered the Cragstone Vale in abundance. Trothfang is proud this day.
May the Thirteen continue to smile upon the armies of the faithful.

High Priest Aetherie
Jihad Advisor of the Cleric Council

At the Gates

Mother Tallis,
Since the last report, at least two more barricades have been torn down. At least two small Dragon Priest units, now without the support of arrow volleys and boiling waters, succumbed quickly to our attacking forces. The heretics have been pushed back to the Spire's gates. As we slew the last ones outside, there were sounds of hissed curses and steel against steel from behind the gates. Harawep's discord is seeping into their foul hearts, it seems.

Upon my suggestion, Father Vecuto is currently working on developing a way for our Curse of Zachriedek to cling to constructs, aiding our brethren in laying waste to those stubborn barricades and gates. I pray he succeeds; his knowledge on that spell and its namesake is matched by none.

May the Thirteen bless our impending incursion into the accursed Black Spire. Trothfang revels still.

High Priest Aetherie
Jihad Advisor of the Cleric Council

The Great Siege

Mother Tallis,
The Spire's gates, apparently constructed from hard mikkhalbamar and diamondique, held for days. The defenders huddling behind the gates were repairing the damage inflicted by our armies feverishly. Poor things; more misguided sacrifices to that filthy hag Dzree's teachings -- may Aldauth give no rest to her soul.

Today, Zachriedek smiled upon us, and Father Vecuto was able to bend the Curse of Zachriedek pattern to an unstable form that could creep over fortifications. As the diamondique of the gates eroded away under its divine might, they were at last crumbled by the myriad hammers of the faithful. There were more resistance beyond the gates, and the Dragon Priest partisans seemed more ferocious than ever. Many of our men and women fell to the heretics' retaliation. However, with the support of our forward triage, our forces reformed and swept throughout the Spire. We have finally secured their unholy Dragon temple at the top. Heretic Shaarl managed to slink away.

Heretic Serzyn remains silent, possibly watching from the shadows as his personal rival is vanquished. Now that the Dragon Priest heart of power has fallen, we should expect Serzyn's forces -- which include the korograths according to General Bazrid. May the Thirteen help us when we encounter those monstrosities.

High Priest Aetherie
Jihad Advisor of the Cleric Council

Occupation of the Black Spire

A Futile Skirmish

Mother Tallis,
A sizable company of several hundred heretics arrived at the Spire's gates today, only to be annihilated by our forces with minimal losses. Praise be to Everild. The Dragon Priest partisans were absent, perhaps in relation to the earlier sacrifice of their champion to the World Dragon (as punishment for failure, some speculate. Treachery upon treachery). The Spire and the shalswar corral region remains in our grip, appearing free of Dragon Priests during patrols.

It has come to my attention that your prolonged absence has caused some unease at the High Temple, Mother. Unless Father Esuin or one of the temple hierarchs is prepared to give proper quest instructions, should our eager brethren journey here to Forfedhdar to receive their quests from yourself traditionally?

May the Thirteen invigorate the hearts and souls of our triumphant armies.

High Priest Aetherie
Jihad Advisor of the Cleric Council

Field Battles

Mother Tallis,
Seemingly given up on reconquering the Spire directly, the Dragon Priest hordes have been throwing themselves at our camp, blockading the infirmary and chapel tent. During the assaults, the triage successfully relocated to the barracks. Several large enemy units were again crushed outside in the name of the Thirteen; Trothfang's fury strengthened our arms as holy fire rained devastation upon the heretics.

Our camp is unscathed and is brimming with war supplies which the faithful have been delivering tirelessly. With Tamsine's blessing it shall remain so, lest it be trampled under the footfalls of the korograths -- whose lair is dangerously close to our position.

There have also been an increasing number of Dragon Priest imperial wardens seen on the battlefield, scurrying forth from their place at their impudent empress' feet to salvage their shattered presence within the Cragstone Vale. May Ushnish devour them all in the fires of the lizard they worship.

High Priest Aetherie
Jihad Advisor of the Cleric Council

North Wind's Judgment

Mother Tallis,
Shortly after you left to meet with the Council, our camp was attacked by Heretic Shaarl and the Dragon Priest partisans. The unexpected raid disrupted the formations and left our forces largely scattered. By Rutilor's grace we were able to reassemble soon, but the enemy had already withdrawn to their triage somewhere within the vast Gilen Otso steppes via moongate.

The militia commanders were discussing the next possible course of action when the enemy partisans' champion, in a shocking display of violence, murdered Shaarl before the scrying eyes of our mages. He then delivered the corpse to our hands before leaving once again. We can only assume that Heretic Serzyn has finally contacted him and swayed his allegiance. Now without troops, supporters and likely his empress' favor, the fate of the broken S'Kra lying before us needed to be determined.

The talks, complete with quips from Shaarl's spirit, continued within a magical ice fortress to ensure safety. I reminded Father Vecuto that the Temple of the North Wind had many vacant cells, and that Mother Denizelva would be most pleased to hold the heretic as I don't think her ceremonial slab has had a suitable sacrifice in a long time. Father agreed and decided upon the Last Sacrifice hall which houses the slab instead of the ghast-infested catacombs. Delightful place, really. What better place to feel divine punishment in full force? A moongate was soon arranged for passage to Asketi's Mount.

As we dragged Shaarl's carcass to the sacred mountain summit, his spirit maintained his feeble mockery and threats of his empress' arrival. (Let the upstart come and face the Thirteen's fury.) We finally entered through the grand arch and headed for the open northern corner of the frozen fortress-temple amid howling winds, trying to avoid the fierce guardian gargoyles.

Arriving at the Last Sacrifice hall, Father Vecuto manacled the corpse to the angled slab facing precisely into the teeth of the deadly North Wind. Father then asked us to leave the body to him and the Asketian monks. Wise decision; not everyone among us would have been able to endure the tortured wails of Shaarl's spirit as the vengeful gales ate away at it. The heretic is now imprisoned in a place more secure than the Black Spire itself. Praise Asketi.

High Priest Aetherie
Jihad Advisor of the Cleric Council

Asketi's Prey Snatched

Mother Tallis,
I regret to inform you that our Forfedhdarian guildhall and Father Vecuto's monks have fallen into such disrepair that they managed to lose Heretic Shaarl's corpse to a gaggle of Dragon Priest assassins. May Dergati wither their incompetent hands! They may have caused a re-infestation of the Spire on top of the already present menace of Heretic Serzyn's faction.

I do not see it possible that the Temple of the North Wind could be breached even by those slick snakes. Interior passages of the mountain are sealed with potent enchantments, and any intruders scaling the outer Hag's Crag toward the summit would undoubtedly be spotted within mere seconds. Moreover, there was no mention of the Asketians being among Vecuto's monks at the time of the incursion. Thus I am led to believe that the carcass was foolishly moved to the Vela'tohr monastery after the brief ritual at the temple.

Please do send a body of inquisitors from the High Temple to investigate this matter. Mother Denizelva must be infuriated to hear that heretics are arbitrarily being removed from the sacrificial slab. May her wisdom suffice to placate Asketi.

High Priest Aetherie
Jihad Advisor of the Cleric Council