Siege of Gondamon

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Siege of Gondamon

Amidst the falling snow that obscured our vision, and the beating of the drums of war that shook the stone upon which we stood, I remembered Hithlim’s warning…

“Kaleigh, the foes you go to meet are not the sort that fill legions upon the battlefield. They are of the highest Tier one can imagine dwelling in this realm. And with most of us scattered in distant places, you will not likely find any to aid you, nor to run to should things go badly. If you should fall, there is no retreat.”

[While running the ‘gauntlet’, a permanent death rule applies. Any that are forced to ‘retreat’ have instead died and are forever lost from these lands.]

…the gauntlet had begun…

[Siege of Gondamon. Size: Duo. Tier: 3]

Mathi’s words brought me back to the present…

“Gondamon has been a free city so long as I have ever known. The Dourhand wish to take that from you. To take your homes, and slaughter your families! But I say not today. I say we stand. I say we fight!”

We cheered, rousing our spirits for the battle to come…

“Now to the walls! We defend Gondamon to our last breath!”

As the defenders moved to the gates they each were assigned to defend, Deverell and I took our place in the central courtyard. Lord Mathi had tasked us with assessing the threats the Dourhand presented at each of the three gates, and to strengthen the defending line of each as needed.

That need was swift and sudden…

The Dourhand had forged an alliance with the Blue Crag goblins entrapped within Rath Teraig. The barricade that had held them fast was overrun…

Together, they had laid siege to Gondamon for nearly two weeks before we arrived, and they now launched their final assault…

Under the bleak light of an early Autumnal day, they meant to wrest control of the settlement from the Longbeards’ hands, forevermore…

We raced over cobblestone slick with melting snow, from Northern gate, to Eastern, to Southern, and back again, filling the line as needed…

A call went up…

“To the north! The enemy has nearly broken through!”

At the Northern gate, we met a horde of goblins with the wolves they had bred for war…

I did not see the evil spirit with them, until it laced the stone beneath us with a spectral light…

I twirled to face the spirit and what was left of the goblins, Deverell aiding Master Mergeth and I with her cries…

When the spirit came for me, I looked to Mergeth, who circled behind…

…and his mighty strike nearly clove the wicked thing in twain…

“Another falls!” he cried.

“Like the flakes of snow that dust the ground!” answered Deverell.

“We best look to the other gates,” I smiled. “Call out if you need aid once more!”

But our spirits fell soon after, as upon our return we found enemies within the central courtyard. The line guarding the Southern gate had been routed…

“Reinforcements to the Southern Gate!” I cried out, as Deverell and I tried to stem the tide that threatened to sweep inside…

We held fast until aid arrived, but there were not enough sent to fully defend the gate…

I endeavored to strike down the crebain spies that threatened to carry word of our weakness to their masters…

“Let us know if you need aid,” I told those just arrived, before we ran off once again to answer a call from the West…

The Dourhand had lured a wood troll down from the mountains to aid in their fight…

We helped to bring it down, but calls were now coming from all sides of the courtyard…

The Enemy was closing in…

To the South…

…and then the West, where we met a force led by one of the Dourhands’ lieutenants…

With the terraces of Gondamon reaching skyward in view, I twirled behind the enemy leader to strike him down…

…and, when he turned toward me, the others that held the line brought him down, instead…

We heard a call from the North as we finished the rest, and we ran to meet the new foe that pressed inward upon us…

…before returning to the Western gate once more, where the Dourhand had unleashed a pack of wolves to harry those charged with its defense…

As we struck down the last of the pack, the sound of war horns blaring outside the walls gave us pause. We rushed to the Southern gate fearing the worst…

…only to find the enemy retreating into the vale. A cheer went up from those upon the walls of Gondamon and those within…

“Surely, they are not driven off so easily?” asked Deverell.

“I wish it were so,” I sighed wearily. “I fear some of their spies have escaped to give word of where our weaknesses lie, and they pause only to regroup and realign their attack, to strike at us where their surges have the best chance of breaking the line.”

She nodded, and we both looked off into the distance where the enemy swarmed and massed, preparing for another assault…

“We best stay near the Southern gate as long as we are able,” I whispered…

It was soon as I had feared, for the enemy surged toward the Southern gate. Enemy lieutenants led charge after charge into the line…

We endeavored to hold, fighting furiously to keep the enemy from breaking through into the courtyard…

Deverell’s cries kept us from falling and made us able to fight on when, otherwise, we would have been lost…

A swarm of goblins, led by an orcish shaman, threatened to sweep past us and into the keep. I bound the shaman with a word of power, and we struck down its minions before it could act…

I felt a rage take hold of me. I stood before my foe, taunting him with my presence, while seeing the fear in his eyes as he found himself alone, powerless to save those who had walked with him…

I cut him down, unaware of the commotion about me…

…and the cries going up from the walls…

“Kaleigh!”

“To Lord Mathi! Lord Mathi is under attack!”

I finally looked up to see a swarm of goblins, led by one of the Angmarrim, climbing the stair to where Lord Mathi’s command stood.

The Dourhand spies had reported our weakness at the Southern gate, but their general had used it as a diversion…

Deverell beckoned to me.

“To Lord Mathi!”

We took the stair as quickly as we could and came to a frightful sight…

Lord Mathi battled the remaining foes, alone…

Deverell and I entered the fray, and the three of us fought to keep the battle from ending, then and there…

We battled through the goblin horde, until the Angmarrim advanced upon me…

He spoke a word of dark power, freezing me in time before I could ready myself…

…and then delivered a frightful blow, sending me to a knee and into a fog…

He raised his hammer, as I slowly rose to my feet…

Were it not for Deverell lending me courage and strength, his next strike would have been my end…

Mathi jumped to my defense, and both he and Deverell kept me safe as I gathered my wits before rejoining the fight…

The battle raged below us in the courtyard, the defenders keeping the enemy from joining our fight on the upper tier…

…while we struggled against the Angarrim, whose might was strengthened by a dark and frightening power…

Finally, while I kept his attention, Mathi circled behind our foe…

..and he was able to knock him to the ground. Once, we we had finished him, Deverell and I made for the courtyard, while Mathi tried to regain order amongst his garrison…

Gondamon’s soldiers rallied, and we drove the enemy from the courtyard back to the gates, as we attempted to make one final stand…

Wave after wave of the Dourhand rushed the Northern gate, trying to break the line…

…though we held fast, cutting down those that did not retreat to safer ground…

But we had not a moment to catch our breath before a call for aid rang out to the West…

“Go on, lasses! I will hold them!” bellowed Mergeth.

“Holler if you need aid,” I called out over my shoulder, as Deverell and I made for the Western gate…

At the Western gate, we found a great craban scout spying upon what remained of Gondamon’s defenses…

As we tried to lure it to our knives, I heard the sound of another surge of foes approaching from the West…

We were forced to leave the craban scout on its own, as we turned to stem the new surge…

We held fast and turned them away, finding no more enemies approaching us . We looked down into the vale and saw that many of the Dourhand and their allies were making for the northern and southern walls…

A cry went up…

“The walls! They are scaling the walls!”

While the others left to battle the foes outside, Deverell and I flew to Lord Mathi to confer…

“I’ve sent forces outside to tear down their ladders, and more onto the walls to meet those that make the climb,” growled Mathi, as he drew his sword.

“What about the gates?” I asked.

“We hope for the best and deal with what gets through ourselves, lass.”

I nodded, gripping my stickers and trying to summon the energy for one last stand. I looked over to Deverell, who favored me with a weary smile, while holding her staff before her…

We kept watch, over the courtyard below and the walls above, waiting to engage any enemy that broke through our last defence…

And they came swiftly…

Another of the Angmarrim, and his force of goblins and Dourhand, broke through the gates and into the courtyard, gaining the platform upon which we stood…

Lord Mathi dealt with the others, while Deverell and I held the Angmarrim away…

…before we then surrounded him, crushing him between the force of our attack…

More foes broke through the lines, either scaling the wall and dropping onto the platform we held, or by fighting through the defense at the gates…

The battle turned to chaos, each of us beset upon by many foes…

In the moments that we were able, we fought to aid one another…

…and those moments helped keep us standing, as we held the platform against foe after foe that entered the fray…

Lieutenants led their charges, sending their minions to divide us from one another, to leave us weak and vulnerable…

We gave ground, collapsing upon one another, fighting back-to-back…

And we clung to hope, as the light of the fading sun yet clung to the heights of Gondamon’s walls…

It was then, as we fought off a swarm of goblins that had dropped down upon us from above, that we noticed a shadow circling the courtyard…

…and we heard a sound upon the air, like a banner rippling in a mighty breeze…

As if leather was fighting the wind...

“Mathi, today is the day you and Gondamon fall to the Dourhands!”

We turned to see the Dourhand General, Ingithor Blackhand, had scaled the northern wall…

Mathi spit upon the ground…

“Blackhand! The Dourhands will never rule Gondamon!”

“Gondamon will be mine!” answered Blackhand. “Drake! Come to me!”

…and a drake of fire appeared, soaring above the Northern wall and circling above the courtyard. It thrashed its leathery wings upon the air…

…before coming to land upon the northwestern corner of the platform, shaking the stone upon which we stood…

“Gondamon will belong to the Dourhands! To battle!” shouted Blackhand.

I watched as Lord Mathi and Blackhand advanced upon one another. I knew that the hatred between the two dwarven clans ran too deeply to allow either one of them to suffer another foe before each other…

And I also knew that, were we to face both the general and the drake at once, we had no chance to prevail…

I readied my words of binding and prayed that they would hold…

I bound the drake as it began to approach and we then engaged Blackhand…

Every blow he struck was staggering, even those we managed to parry away…

The battle wore on, as I kept the drake bound with words of power, fearing each time that the last might not hold…

Blackhand realized this and began to play for time, deftly dodging or parrying away our attacks, while calling out to his drake to awaken…

And his dual-shafted, double-sided hammer forced us to keep our distance…

But, with the drake bound, we had the advantage of numbers…

Mathi was able to land a vicious blow, dazing the general, and we made the most of the moment…

Blackhand fought on, but we had wounded him grievously…

…and, soon after, Mathi and I closed in upon him. Mathi dealt him one last strike…

Blackhand staggered from the blow, twisting toward Mathi…

“I spit my last breath at you, Mathi!” he wheezed, before falling to his knees…

I kept an eye on the drake, while Mathi saw justice done for Gondamon. And the Dourhand forces, seeing their general felled, began to retreat…

But we were not going to allow the drake to flee, only to be a threat once more on a future day…

We engaged the creature, finding the warmth that it emanated welcome for but a brief moment, before it became scorching…

It roared at us, spitting smoke and fire, while clawing at us with its talons…

…but, between the three of us, we were able to wear it down…

The drake began to teeter and wobble before us…

“Careful! It is going to fall!” I cried out…

It spit its fire one last time upon us, before crashing to the ground…

…and, there in a heap, lay the last of Gondamon’s assailants. We had slain or beaten back every last one.

Those who yet lived cheered our victory and began to gather near Lord Mathi, aiding those who had been injured up the stair to lie before him…

“Gondamon stands a free city, a damaged and beaten city, but a free one,” said Lord Mathi.

“Gondamon is saved! Gondamon is saved!”

“We held out for as long as we had strength,” continued Lord Mathi.

“Today will be remembered as a great victory!”

He then turned to Deverell and I.

“I fear if you hadn’t come when you did, the city would have fallen. The Longbeards owe you a great debt,” Lord Mathi said.

And the people of Gondamon cheered for us. But they also cheered for one another, as each one of us had a hand in the victory that was won that day…

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The Spirit Gauntlet Saga

Crossroads (1)

Opportunity (2)

Reflections (3)

Homecoming (4)

Wishes (5)

Mistrals (6)

Promise (7)

Harbinger (8)

Unity (9)

Appreciation (10)

Reticence (11)

Spirits (12)

Acquiescence (13)

Discretion (14)

Stand at Amon Sul (15)

Obstacles (16)

Siege of Gondamon (17)

Passages (18)

Defense of the Prancing Pony (19)

Penumbra (20)

Counsel (21)

Attack at Dawn (22)

Also, the entire saga, with full-sized renderings, can be found here!

The full Spirit Gauntlet Saga with full-sized renderings

(The full renderings make for a completely different experience!)

6 comments

  1. Andang /

    Amazing shots as always! I really don’t know how you get them to look so good!

  2. Robert /

    Could you put a ‘read more’ link in the RSS feed instead of the whole post for posts of this size? It’s quite large to load the whole thing.

    • Kaleigh Starshine /

      I am sorry about that. I am afraid I am new to this sort of thing, and I am not quite sure how to do what it is your are asking. I have looked at all the possible options when posting but see no option for this, and no one I have spoken to about it knows how to do this, either.

      Is there a category I can uncheck so that you will not see my posts? Or can you (or anyone else, for that matter) explain how to go about doing this? Thanks!

  3. The Nimrodelian Tale-Spinner /

    Another riveting installment. I do hope that you are able to finish this story Miss Kaleigh for I have enjoyed it quite a lot.

  4. Achazia /

    Really good reading and screenshots 🙂

  5. Kaleigh Starshine /

    Thanks so much, everyone! 🙂

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