The Frontline - The War against Hellsteel Tower

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DM Golem
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The Frontline - The War against Hellsteel Tower

Unread post by DM Golem » Fri Sep 21, 2018 7:13 pm

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The Troll Hills have always been dangerous, as has the forest north of it. Anyone travelling here must be ready to face roving, flesh hungry trolls and it is not so long ago that a skeletal army marched upon the combined armies of Kraak Helzak and Baldur's Gate from the Warlock's Crypt, Fallen Orbedal of Netherill of old.

Now, ominous rumours once more filter south of evil lurking in the rocky heights. Some talk of the restless dead, the memories of the past war; others of hungry trolls or cruel bandits.

And one or two raving madmen speak of visions of fire, steel and smoke, the beating of hammers and the clanking of chains. And a rumbling, cruel voice looking out with hungry eyes over the south.


(((DMs to contact about this thread are: DM Golem, DM Ink

Please note the map! Troll Hills, not Troll CLAWS ! Its an easy mistake to make)))

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Re: The Troll Hills and Trollbark Forest [DM Posts]

Unread post by DM Golem » Fri Sep 21, 2018 7:19 pm

It takes hardy souls to cross the Winding River to carve out fortified homesteads and well guarded mining camps in the foothills of the Troll Hills. And yet in recent days several of such groups have returned south with tales of having been driven away by crazed, runt-like trolls; smaller and weaker than average, but apparently totally fearless, neither balking at steel or flame.

Talk of strange, arcane symbols cut into troll's foreheads - and oddly, not healing despite trollish regenerative properties - also comes south with the refugees.

No doubt many more of the refugees would be troll food were it not for the efforts of brave adventuerers.

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Re: The Troll Hills and Trollbark Forest [DM Posts]

Unread post by DM Golem » Fri Oct 19, 2018 11:17 am

The passage of refugees and rumours of troll attacks create a sense of unease among the small farming communities on the Fields of the Dead. Travellers also report clouds gathering in the centre of the Troll Hills, clouds ...or smoke.

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Re: The Troll Hills and Trollbark Forest [DM Posts]

Unread post by DM Golem » Thu Jan 24, 2019 1:58 pm

News spreads south of the situation on the Fields of the Dead. Travellers speak of the scattered communities north of the Winding Water being abandoned, and fear hanging like a pall over those south of it, due to rumours of roving bands of trolls plaguing the area.

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The Troll Hills themselves, to the north, are said to have a literal pall over them, like the thick black smoke of a furnace. At night the glow of forgefires can be seen by the keen eyed.

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Re: The Troll Hills and Trollbark Forest [DM Posts]

Unread post by DM Golem » Mon Jun 17, 2019 12:47 pm

((((Re posted to consolidate - dates back to FEBRUARY)))

The Tymount Offensive

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Flaming Fist soldiers in action.

The culmination of a month of planning, Duke Eltan ordered an offensive across the Winding Water, ostensibly to capture Tymount but actually to lure the devils into a trap. No less than seven companies of Flaming Fist took part, along with auxillaries from the adventuring population, and including representatives of the Order of the Radiant Heart, the Order of the Silver Rose, the Northern Watch, the Bladestone Foundation and the Zhentarim.


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Map of Operations


The attack plan was multistage. General Scar led a company as bait, to draw out the defenders of Tymount by openly building a bridge across the Winding Water using wood provided by House Darius. This force was assisted by a group of adventurers led by Baldurian native and Flaming Fist veteran Thedran. Notably the Zhentarim were present in this action as well. Both General Scar's troops and the adventurers held off multiple assaults by the devils who had marched out from Tymount, and also engaged a strange troop of armoured devils until these withdrew north.

The second stage of the attack was the assault on Tymount, after its garrison had been drawn out, by another force of adventurers including elements of the Order of the Radiant Heart, Bladestone, and the Order of the Silver Rose. This force was led by Sir Aaron Lyonaler, with Derik Ranloss commanding some siege engines. The swift assault took the town, and provoked devil reinforcements to march from nearby outposts - as Eltan had predicted. The force in Tymount held off these counter attacks.

The third stage of the attack was the assault by five assault columns crossing the winding water, to encircle the devils attacking General Scar as well as those assaulting Tymount. All columns saw fighting, and there was more success in the west than the east.

In particular, while the fist wreaked a bloody toll among the troll soldiers in service to the Devils, and even the bearded devils among them, a series of running engagements with strange armoured devils took place, with many (although not all) of the armoured devils withdrawing north in good order.

The operations were assisted by raiders behind enemy lines led by Commander Di'Corvi of the Northern Watch. Heavy fighting intercepting devil columns headed for Tymount forced the raiders on the back foot for a while, and while the flow of devil troops was slowed, the group was not able to interfere with the withdrawal of the disciplined bodies of armoured devils.

The operation has ended in a significant victory. Its estimated the majority of the troll soldiers and devils within the region of Tymount were killed, and the remainder routed. The forces marching from the outposts suffered heavy casualties, particularly of fodder devils. The only setback was the ability of the strange armoured devils to avoid or fight off encirclement and make good their escape, but for all their discipline, their first appearance on the battlefield has been defeat.

While the Tymount's buildings and fortifications were leveled by Flaming Fist engineers before the place was abandoned, and the Flaming Fist are now constructing forts on the Winding Water, meaning to use the river as a natural defensive boundary against devil encroachment.

A note has been taken of all participants in the battle at Duke Eltan's order, so their service to the city is not forgotten.

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Re: The Troll Hills and Trollbark Forest [DM Posts]

Unread post by DM Golem » Mon Jun 17, 2019 12:48 pm

((((Re posted to consolidate - dates back to APRIL)))

Security Council



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Behind closed doors, Duke Eltan consulted with trusted advisors and a number of paladins of the Most Noble Order of the Radiant Heart who had traveled all the way from the High Hall in Athkatla. The meeting was long and concerned an evidently serious matter.

Following the meeting, Commander Di'Corvi had a private interview with General Scar, after which a statement was issued.
Commander Wren Di'Corvi of the Nothern Watch has been reprimanded following reports of overly close relations with criminal elements. However, the Council of Four is satisfied these relations were born of naivety rather than malicious intent, and she has undertaken to honour her oath to the city more strictly in the future.

On behalf of the Council of Four
The Grand Narlhelm



Questions as to the above proclamation are met simply with statements that this is all the Dukes have to say on the matter. However, rumours give more detail. Some say she has had too close a relationship with local criminals, others that she has treated with pirates and other outlaws in Roaringshore. A third set of rumours say the proclamation relates to a business deal, variously either with an Amnian merchant interest or one from her home city of Everlund, that was a cover for smuggled goods. Either way, all agree that the former Zhentarim clearly has to be on her best behaviour in the future.

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Re: The Troll Hills and Trollbark Forest [DM Posts]

Unread post by DM Golem » Mon Jun 17, 2019 2:03 pm

War Preparations

Map of the Frontline


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Map Key:
Hidden: show
1: General Scar's Fort on the Winding Water, garrisoned by a company of Flaming Fist (NB: This is the IG map). This is the crossing of the Winding Water closest to the sea.

2: Blaze Regnon' fort on the Winding Water, garrisoned by a company of Flaming Fist. It lies near the ruined village of Plumstead north of the river. The crossings have been intentionally destroyed here.

3: Marshal Nenon's fort on the Winding Water, garrisoned by a company of Flaming Fist. The bridge the Fist built for the Tymount offensive is here. Some miles south of this fort is the Flaming Fist reserve camp and headquarters for another two companies, from which patrols are sent and reserves are sent.

4: Blaze Tulumvist' fort on the Winding Water, garrisoned by a company of Flaming Fist. This is a ford, and an artillery killzone covers the crossing point.

5: Marshall Yulimtul's fort on the Winding Water, garrisoned by a company of Flaming Fist. The river is narrow enough to cross here.

6: The extent of Flaming Fist patrols between the forts.

7: Extent of increased pirate activity on the Sea of Swords. It extends as far north as Orlumbar.

8: Devil Outpost. A fortified mining encampment established by the Devils resting under a pall of smoke. Signs of heavy industry from afar. Approach dangerous due to numerous devil raiding parties in the vicinity.

9: Devil Outpost. A heavily fortified mini-fortress of dull steel, again under a pall of smoke. Approach highly dangerous.

10: Devil Outpost. Little is known about this outpost.

11: The presumed location of Hellsteel Tower; the thick black smog over it is almost impenetrable.

12: Areas of infestation by "Spirits of Dis". Highly dangerous.

13: Warlock's Crypt "Exclusion Zone."

14: The Ruins of Tymount.

15: The Ruins of Ebondross Citadel.

Baldur's Gate


The Spring has seen the consolidation of the line of forts along the Winding Water, under the command of General Scar. General Scar's fort has seen the most action, with probing attacks by the devils slave auxiliaries being repulsed several times with the aid of adventurers. The Winding Water has so far served as an effective barrier, with patrols between the forts managing to hold the river.


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Meanwhile, the stockpiling of supplies by Baldur's Gate is becoming noticeable, just as it did before the Tymount offensive. Rumors spread that the Flaming Fist plan further operations, but just what is a closely guarded secret.

Hellsteel Tower


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Rumours from the frontline suggest that Hellsteel tower is increasingly deploying a wider range of mortal forces. Cultists and half-fiends serve as shock-troopers, as well as seemingly mortals bought with wealth, increasing the quality of mortal forces serving the devils.

The loss of slave trolls in the offensive to take Tymount means trolls are less common, although their numbers are rising again, suggesting some source for finding more.

Recently, waves of goblin slaves join devil raids. They are ill-disciplined and poorly equipped, with some notably tough exceptions. The source of these goblins is unclear.

Meanwhile the smog over the Troll Hills grows ever darker.

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Re: The Troll Hills and Trollbark Forest [DM Posts]

Unread post by DM Golem » Wed Jul 03, 2019 9:12 am

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Rumours spread of Duke Eltan's security council meeting with the Open Court; surely offensive action is coming.

(((Credit to Steve for the Screenshot!)))

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Re: The Frontline

Unread post by DM Ink » Thu Jul 04, 2019 11:36 am

Word From the Front Lines

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Word arrives from the front lines against the forces of Hellsteel Tower to the north. Several Flaming Fist soldiers are carried back injured in carts and brought to the barracks where they are treated.



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Soldiers report the presence of massive trolls, devils, and scattered goblinoids, marching from a massive encampment of devils and their forces to the north-east of the line of forts.



Hidden: show
(((Location 9 on the map below)))

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The war efforts are tireless with several casualties and heavy assaults on each of the Flaming Fist Forts on the Winding Water, but word is the front line is holding.

General Scar's fort has come under the heaviest attack, but the additional soldiers provided by the Ebon Blade, Northern Watch, as well as the additional "vagrants" have fortified and allowed the Fist efforts to push forward against the line. Special mention to a tiefling convict known only as "The horned head crusher" who saved a Flaming Fist soldier from the maw of a devil. This soldier says he owes this tiefling his life.


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News of the threat has spread to the city itself and Duke Eltan has dispatched freshly formed companies of Flaming Fist, composed of City Watch volunteers and retired soldiers returning to the colours, as reinforcements. With them march the Flaming Fist's heavy cavalry contingent.

With a potential invasion, the Lords Alliance has sent word to several cities both neighboring and distant. The word has not fallen on deaf ears. In the coming days Baldur's Gate has welcomed in several soldiers under the Unicorn banner. These soldiers carry silver weapons and fine blue and white cloaks.


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Those familiar with the eastern region would recognize these soldiers easily as Iriaebor soldiers.

“He the forsaken, who speaks in two lies and one truth.. The arrogant..”

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Re: The Frontline

Unread post by DM Golem » Thu Jul 04, 2019 11:36 am

NOTE:

Freshly renamed thread that used to be Troll Hills and Troll Claws. This is the arc that has led to the "Frontline" maps IG

Player RP welcome here!

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Re: The Frontline - The War against Hellsteel Tower

Unread post by Fury_US » Thu Jul 18, 2019 1:02 am

Word filtered from a traumatized eye witness to one arrived too late- The barricade overrun, the fort smouldering, the bridge destroyed and in flames, the dead and dying littering the field. Of the enemy, it's spoken of massive devils in full plate, bearing heraldry, and behind them swarms upon swarms of barbazu. Portals opened, that could kill a man by touch, and naught could stop the assault except the devils themselves.

"It's like they were sending a message"

Loud and clear, Hellsteel stated they rather enjoyed the game, knowing they could win at any time they wished.

By the Fort, two Watchmen- too late to fight- pay respects to the fallen and stand vigil over their rest, until relieved.
Wren Di'Corvi- Retired
"A bit ex-Zhentric" -Winterborne

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Re: The Frontline - The War against Hellsteel Tower

Unread post by DM Golem » Sat Jul 20, 2019 11:49 am

The Hammer and the Anvil



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Current map of Operations - all fronts

Map Key:
Hidden: show
1: General Scar's Fort on the Winding Water, garrisoned by a company of Flaming Fist and extensively supported by adventurers (NB: This is the IG map). There is a healing station here provided by the Order of the Silver Rose and a priestess from the Halls of Inner Light here. Paladins of the Baldurian Chapter of the Order of the Radiant Heart Auxiliary also patrol from here. This is the crossing of the Winding Water closest to the sea.

2: Blaze Regnon's fort on the Winding Water, garrisoned by a company of Flaming Fist. It lies near the ruined village of Plumstead north of the river. The crossings have been intentionally destroyed here.

3: Marshal Nenon's fort on the Winding Water, garrisoned by a depleted company of Flaming Fist and reinforcements from Mirabar, Citadel Adbar, Sundabar and Silverymoon. The bridge the Fist built for the Tymount offensive was here.

4: Blaze Tulumvist's fort on the Winding Water, garrisoned by a company of Flaming Fist. This is a ford, and an artillery killzone covers the crossing point.

5: Marshal Yulimtul's fort on the Winding Water, garrisoned by a company of Flaming Fist. The river is narrow enough to cross here. The party of Athkatlan paladins of the Order of the Radiant Heart led by Sir Crozas of Tyr is based here primarily.

6: The extent of Lord's Alliance between the forts.

7: Extent of increased pirate activity on the Sea of Swords. It extends as far north as Orlumbar.

8: Devil Outpost. A fortified mining encampment established by the Devils resting under a pall of smoke. Signs of heavy industry from afar. Approach dangerous due to numerous devil raiding parties in the vicinity.

9: Devil Outpost. A heavily fortified mini-fortress of dull steel, again under a pall of smoke. Approach highly dangerous.

10: Devil Outpost. Little is known about this outpost.

11: The presumed location of Hellsteel Tower; the thick black smog over it is almost impenetrable.

12: Areas of infestation by "Spirits of Dis". Highly dangerous.

13: Warlock's Crypt "Exclusion Zone."

14: The Ruins of Tymount.

15: The Ruins of Ebondross Citadel.

16: Flaming Fist reserve camp and headquarters for another two companies, from which patrols are sent and reserves are sent. There are more troops from Mirabar, Citadel Adbar, Sundabar and Silverymoon here too.

17: Shield of Iriaebor Camp. The contingent of Iriaebor soldiers sent to join the war effort is based here in a large camp, from which it conducts patrols in force to prevent the Flaming Fist line being flanked. It also supports the deployment of further Iriaebor soldiers into the Trollclaws.

18: Neverwinter Camp. The contingent of Neverwinter soldiers sent to join the war effort is based here in a large camp, from which it conducts patrols in force to prevent the Flaming Fist line being flanked. Neverwinter soldiery also relieves Flaming Fist troops when they grow exhausted.

19: An old silver mine, rumoured site of devil activity in the Trollclaws.

20: Zhentilar camp at the confluence of the Winding Water and the Serpent's Tail Stream, garrisoned by Black Lightning Company.
The Frontline as a Whole

Assaults from the mortal forces of Hellsteel Tower have grown in intensity. With the addition of slave goblins to their ranks, the devil-led forces have assaulted up and down the line. Time and again hordes of the devil's mortal slaves were driven onwards against the points of strongest resistance, the forts. The garrisons commanded Blazes Regnon and Tulumvist grow tired from the ceaseless assaults, and causalities mount as devils increasingly join the fray.

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Battle with goblins

Meanwhile, mortal devil followers composed of human cultists have begun trying to cross the Winding Water quietly and raid villages behind the lines for slaves. So far, patrols have intercepted most of these warbands but nevertheless they sow terror when they meet success.

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A warband of cultists of Dis, adopting terrifying disguises, attacking a hamlet south of the Winding Water

The fort on the right flank under Marshal Yulimtul however fares better, due to the support of Sir Crozas and the paladins of the Most Noble Order of the Radiant Heart from Athkatla. The paladins and clerics have proven to be a stout counter to fiendish assaults.

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Dante Maziacas of Torm, in battle at Marshal Yulimtuls' fort

A new phase of the war is now beginning. The participation of the Devils themselves in assaults over the past tenday has increased, and a major offensive took place two days ago against the Baldurian bridge that Marshal Nenon's fort was guarding. Hellsteel Tower's forces temporarily captured the bridge and overran the fort; only being driven back by the arrival of Flaming Fist reserves.

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The devil legions assault Marshal Nenon's fort

Rumour spreads that this attack was led by a wingless female devil declaring herself to be Ilrataxena the Huntress, who called out a number of Flaming Fist warriors to accept her challenge before reaping a bloody toll among the defenders, breaking their line. The Flaming Fist took heavy losses, and the company guarding this fort is now significantly understrength.



General Scar's Fort


General Scar's fort, on the left flank, has weathered a number of heavy attacks. With the support of adventurers from a wide variety of backgrounds, numerous goblin and troll assaults have been thrown back.

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Adventurers drive off yet another goblin horde from the barricades!



The barricades have been approached a number of times by one of the Lieutenants of Hellsteel Tower, Lamazeeza, who has tried to sway the spirits of the defenders. Increasingly her arrival has announced the attacks by the armoured legions of Hellsteel Tower.



However, Lamazeeza has not been seen since adventurers shot at her recently when she came to parlay and since then attacks have increased in ferocity, the barricades falling more than once and the fort's gates being burned.

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The Fires of Hell

Timely Reinforcements

Meanwhile, as rumours begin to grow that Duke Eltan and the Flaming Fist are planning moves of their own, reinforcements have arrived from the Lord's Alliance. Troops from Iriaebor have arrived and taken up a strong position to guard the Flaming Fist's right flank, operating in the Trollclaws as far as Kheldrivver.

A contingent from Neverwinter has also arrived, taking position to guard the Flaming Fist's left flank, and help block any fiendish breakthroughs towards the city itself.

Finally, contingents from the Northern Lord's Alliance have arrived, hailing from the cities of Mirabar, Citadel Adbar, Sundabar and Silverymoon, brought to the city by the magic of Alustriel Silverhand herself. They have deployed at the centre of the line of forts, reinforcing Marshal Nenon's fort and providing a strong presence to bolster the line.
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A contingent of Sundabaran Shieldsar arriving on the frontline

Baldur's Gate's forces have endured and gained a moment's breathing room. What will be done with it yet remains to be seen.

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Re: The Frontline - The War against Hellsteel Tower

Unread post by Winterborne » Fri Jul 26, 2019 6:03 pm

Recently, members of House Darius could be seen on the regular passing out something known as "Field Kits" to the fighters on the front, free of charge.

Designed in consultation with Lieutenant Thedran of the Flaming Fist, they are canvas belt-worn pouches that contain a number of useful emergency items for soldiers in battle. Each kit contains ten bandages, three potions of Heal, two potions of Greater Heroism, one potion each of Restoration, Speed, and Invisibility, and a dose of smelling salts. The potions are contained in metal vials to prevent breaking in the harsh conditions of battle, and are labelled for quick reference.

These Kits were funded by the donations to the House's charity fund, Operation Compassion, at the opening Masquerade of the Lewd Lyre.

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Nathan Goldenmane - Knife Fighter of Sune

Steward and Head of Business, House Darius -
Guard and Performer, The Siren's Song

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Re: The Frontline - The War against Hellsteel Tower

Unread post by DM Soulcatcher » Wed Sep 11, 2019 8:39 am

Word comes from the Winding Way that the frontlines suddenly erupted with battles across the fields. The fiendish forces of Hellsteel Tower have clashed at border outposts of Flaming Fist on a number of occasions. The fights have been vicious, though most of them have been victorious. All except one considerable blow.

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A frontline fortress under command of Captain Yulimtul came under siege for two, full days, after a sizeable force of fiends outmanoeuvred a skirmish company of the Flaming Fist and marched to attack. The defenders held strong and valiantly, supported by clerics and Athkatlan paladins of the Order of the Radiant Heart led by a specifically heroic and resilient Sir Crozas of Tyr. Despite the soldiers holding ground against the infernal tide, the casualties on their side became unsustainable enough for Yulimtul to call a retreat and fight their way towards Blaze Tulumvist's outpost.

The remaining forces managed to battle through the siege and, later, be reinforced by the Flaming Fist soldiers coming from Blaze Tulumvist's fort. The small band of fiends that kept harassing Captain Yulimtul's forces was then dispatched and the survivors had been taken care of. In the end, over around half of the soldiers stationed there were lost, along with the outpost that was reduced into nothing more than a pile of rubble and smouldering ruins. Among the Flaming Fist survivors are the Athkatlan paladins and some clerics.

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On the other end of the frontline, the fort commanded by General Scar himself has been recently facing increased amounts of attacks- forces of Hellsteel Tower trying to probe and pierce the defences. The General calls out to all adventurers willing to pick up arms to come and join the war reignited anew against the infernal forces or, as some more cynical people remark, "Stop sitting on our asses and kick theirs instead".
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Re: The Frontline - The War against Hellsteel Tower

Unread post by DM Soulcatcher » Mon Sep 30, 2019 6:39 pm

((This Friday is going to be a big battle in regards to Hellsteel Tower. Timeframe: 20:00 GMT +0. Prepare your Heavy Metal and battle music appropriately!

Saturday might be a follow-up, depending on how things pan out for me during the week. I'll post on it once I know for sure!))
~All Their Days are Numbered~
~Campaign Coordinator for 1353DR, 1354DR and 1355DR Metaplot~

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