Category Archives: Chapter 6: The Flawed Tactics of Field Marshall Spidertung
The night after the Battle of the Honeycomb, after the dead are buried, the wounded soldiers gather round fires and tell tales. One soldier, Mennox, is a refugee from Redriver, the Vermese border town which the Baron himself destroyed in order to build the barges which would attack the southern Tyn city of Pallmoor gates.
“Two hundred years ago, the elves can say that the Duchys of Tyn, Northwood, and Highsee were allied with the Duchy of Vendra under good King Alligard, who united the lands and drove the orc warlord Gulgiruth from the continent.
The duke of Vendra was said to have three sons. Two sons were noble, but one was greedy and petty. The petty son, Rotli found an ancient altar under the fortress or Vendra, and legend has it that he killed his brothers and father there as offering in exchange for power over death.
A great earthquake struck Vendra at this time, and a huge chasm opened in the ground, swallowing the fortress of Vendra and most of the main city. There are legends that an evil god was summoned from the chasm. Others think that the earthquake was punishment from the good gods for Rotli’s vile acts. All this is legend. What is known is that the chasm does exist, and from the ashes of the earthquake, Rotli alone survived. He renamed his shattered kingdom the Barony of Verma and made war amongst the Kingdom. In time, Rotli was defeated and truce was made, but the kingdom was forever shattered.
Two hundred years later, the Vermese still make war on the northlands, and a Rotli descendent still rules the Barony, though they never take wives. Baron Rotli V made war on Tyn 20 years ago, as he does today, but the Vermese forces are more dangerous than ever, driven by their dying lands to new pastures.
Some say the chasm is a curse and a source of power for the Vermese. We do know that a strange blight has attacked the forests and plantations, and famine rules the land. Where once elves and fey danced in the forest, goblinoids from the dark lands have taken over and pledged themselves to the Baron. Redriver was destroyed when the Blight made paying taxes to the Baron impossible. The three evil guilds rule the land now. The Vermosi, led by necromancers with the power over death. The Vermeddics, or Fell Druids, who get their power from decay instead of life, and the Pain Priests, who believe they receive their power from a dark god deep in the chasm. Finally, the baron rules all from the slave city that lines the chasm walls.
But many say that this is just a story, that the Baron is just an evil man allied to brutes looking for spoil. But, I have seen a Fell Druid, commanding wasps and crows, and I know those who have seen the chasm. My father fought in the war 20 years ago and saw the Baron himself leading an army, and he said his face looked to be one hundred years old even then.