For the Gray
Point of View (Horus Calmuck)
Jon Gray looked awfully weary when he came out of that portal and he is going to be hard pressed over the next few days but he somehow looked more like a leader than I’ve ever seen him before. I imagine the fighting in the south against the Lizard Folk and particularly those warriors of Stav’rol was demanding. I’m not sure what 5,000 Gray Knights can do against 50,000 Gnolls but every little bit helps.
We traveled all day and arrived at Tanelorn City late in the afternoon to find it completely invested by what appeared to be the entire nation of Grelm. Jon quickly devised a plan to launch a small diversionary attack with a group of soldiers who surely went to their deaths while the main force moved into the city in diminutive units. The plan worked to perfection although we encountered a small group of Gnolls led by one of those Craggen Steep Dwarves who kept them at their post long enough for us to crush them.
Once inside the Gray City we found the place teeming with soldiers in contrast to the picture Rambledon painted for us just two days ago. In addition to Gray Knights we found Gray Druids, warriors of both Alianus and Fellhelm and a general spirit of victory about the place.
We decided to visit Captain Masassa and he explained the situation to us. Jon has apparently finally decided to grow up. Perhaps this was part of the Gray Lord’s reason for avoiding decision making these last two years. He wanted his children to accept their own responsibilities. Or, perhaps he just got old and tired.
The Longest Night
After out engagement with the captain we returned to our quarters and got a good meal before we headed off to bed. The battle in the morning promised to be most arduous. While we slumbered the Gnolls unleashed their terrible plan and sent hundreds of demonic entities into the city. We woke to the tumult and donned our gear for battle!
As we rushed into the streets we encountered a group of the demon things almost immediately and battle was upon us.
We killed the first group after a short but difficult fight and then found another bunch of the vile creatures busy killing and maiming anything they came across. The second fight proved more trying but near the end a sudden wave of energy rushed over the battlefield and although it did no harm to our band of heroes it caused tremendous distress for the demonic creatures which allowed us to gain the upper hand.
After we finally disposed of those demons we spotted a group of Gray Knights as they prepared to entire a small domicile. They informed us that a terrible demon waited below at a circle where it brought more of its kind to the fight. At first they told us to wait but then news came that an attack was on at the House of the Gray Lord and they rushed off and wished us good hunting.
We headed into the basement and found a most terrible beast below.
The fight that ensued tested us all to a very limits. Rhia was three times sent crashing to the floor but each time the stalwart Disciple of Davim, Josephus used his healing powers to bring her back to her feat. Likewise young Rambledon was sent to his apparent death by the poisonous spittle of the beast but Rhia managed to cure him with her divine paladin powers. Azraim fought particularly fiercely against the demon unleashing a heretofore unseen fiery spirit.
In the end we finally vanquished the terrible beast and my allies destroyed the circle before it could spawn any more creatures. We then put out conflagrations ignited by the demons and helped to bury the many dead for the rest of the endless night.
The mood was glum and rumors of the death of Jon Gray swirled all over the city. If the stories are to be given countenance the Demon Lord Arioch himself appeared at the Gray House and the Gray Lord used the legendary Black Sword to defeat him. Perhaps this was the wave of energy that rushed over us as we battled the demons in the streets.
I managed to make my way over to the military headquarters and overhear part of the strategy for the morning. Things looked most grim indeed.
Before we knew it the dawn arrived and with it the promise of almost certain death.
Battle at the Gates of Tanelorn
We joined perhaps seven or eight thousand weary Gray Knights at the gates of Tanelorn although the walls are low and there is no one central place to defend the city. A fearsome Gnoll champion approached the gathered throng and issued a challenge.
I stepped forward to accept the challenge along with almost every Gray Knight at the gate but then I felt a heavy hand on my back and Jon Gray appeared to take the gauntlet thrown down by the Gnoll.
After Jon slew the great beast with a single punch he turned and gave a rousing speech to the assembled warriors and the mood transformed immediately. We all rushed forward to take our place in the line and advance upon the Gnolls. I cannot say what sort of haze overcame me after that speech but I know that I shall never feel quite the same again. I gladly readied myself to attack an overwhelming force, I’ve experienced fear many times and my stomach is never without qualm even before a minor skirmish but this time I was positively rapturous in the face of certain death. In retrospect, I must conclude that it was an effective speech.
As we approached the Gnoll lines it quickly became apparent that we had no chance for victory. Just when the final charge was to begin we spotted a strange signal in the hills.
With the arrival of the One Nation Jon immediately bellowed out orders for defensive positions although in the bustle of it I got a bit lost. Luckily there were many Gray Knight veterans all around me and they pushed me into the proper position.
The battle last all morning and into the afternoon with the creatures making charge after charge while we held out in the vain hope the vanguard of the One Nation would arrive in time to relieve our force.
The standing Gray Knights were reduced to only perhaps five hundred and only Misrael of my companions remained able to stand by my side when the Gnolls assembled for the final charge. They brought forward their most powerful troops fresh and at the ready and the Chieftain, Icarus along with the villainous Borrombo Blackiron and his dwarf companions who took positions in the center of the line.
Just at that moment the horns of the One Nation sounded and there was chaos all over the field. The center of the Gnoll line held and seemed to keep the various tribes together for the moment but then Jon led a spirited charge against them.
I tried to keep pace with the young Knight of Gray but he was far too fast for me and only the sergeant-at-arms was at his side for the telling blow.
After the Charge of Two the enemies ranks were torn asunder and they began to flee with each man fighting for his own life. Jon then offered them peace if they wanted to stay in Tanelorn and many of the most powerful Gnolls knelt at his feet and offered him their sword.
With Adusko in command of the One Nation our chance at vengeance against the terrible foe is completely over. What he will do with this kind of power is impossible to say with any certitude but I can safely guess that whatever his plan might be it will entail benefit for he and his friends. I laughed when I read his boyish journal about becoming Emperor of the world one day but I am not laughing anymore.
As if that revelation was not ill enough we then spotted Orc warriors carrying the body of young Retribul Blackrose the heir apparent to the throne of the Blackrose Clan and the Five Nations. He was the figure that carried the banner to the top of the Blue Hills.
With his death the path becomes ever clearer for Adusko to take control of Tanelorn although he will certainly find Jon Gray a formidable opponent.
For now, I simply want to sleep and I do not care to dream for I have seen enough today to fill my memories for a lifetime.