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adamg0d
12-28-2006, 09:09 AM
What number of units do you think each side fielded?

Beneath one banner;
Anuirian,
Masetian,
Basarji,
Rjuven,
Brechts,
Elves.

Beneath another;
Vos,
Adurians (and I can only imagine a vast number of these),
Orogs,
Goblins,
Beastmen & Gnolls


You don't have to list your guesses at the individual tribes (but if you want to, go for it) but I'm curious as to the overall epic scale of the battle. I'd imagine that each side had hundreds and hundreds of units battling, and I personally believe that the total number of units overall numbered in the 1500+ range...after all, its basically two continents warring.

Nameless One
12-28-2006, 12:11 PM
I doubt that it could be called "battle of two continents." Cerilia is just an island compared to Aduria, and most humans were based on Aduria anyway.

I imagine Aduria of that time as entirely or almost entirely human continent, with civilized lands much like ancient historical empires to the south (the ones that fell under influence of Azrai), and barbaric people to the north who worshiped other gods, among whom the Masetians advanced the most in copying the civilized ways of southern empires. Cerilia would be a magical island at that time, devoid of humans and inhabited by wondrous alien races.

The only question is how Basarji made it into the battle from afar. My best theory is that Masetian seafarers made contact with them and brought them to the battle as allies, supported by Basarji priesthood who were lead by visions from Basaļa.

Fizz
12-28-2006, 04:02 PM
The 6 tribes, Basarji included, had already arrived in Cerilia by the time of Deismaar. They had fled Aduria because of the Shadow. Azrai did bring minions from Aduria, but i'm not sure many of them were human.

The elves wouldn't have been under the same banner as most of the other human tribes. They had been swayed by Azrai, many of them blinded by their hatred of the humans. Only near the end of the battle did many (not all) of them change sides when they realized they'd been defeated.

There were also dwarves fighting alongside the humans. Not sure about the orogs though.


-Fizz

AndrewTall
12-28-2006, 08:49 PM
I would add Prince Raesene's forces - renegades and mercenaries admittedly, but led by a champion of Azrai against Haelyn and Roele.

The great beasts of Azrai (survivors include the Kraken and Leviathan) deserve to be included as a separate force.

The Serpent led an armada against the Masetians, this and the great beasts annihilated the Masetians so it was clearly not insubstantial.

I would note that the Lost probably fielded a fair number of undead and shadow-beasts being powerful necromancers.

I also note that Aduria is home to a number of 'beast-men' races - and these are noted to have followed Azrai.

All in all the Cerilian humans are lucky that most of the elves decided to kill Azrai's troops before finishing the extermination of human-kind rather than the other way around (Rhoubhe aside). This turn-around turned the tide of the battle, no other force could face the lost on equal or better terms and the elves were far more numerous then (I see Deismaar as the last great showing of the elven people, afterwards they fragmented into searate realms and with-drew from the world around them).

It should be noted that the choice of battlefield - Mount Deismaar on the land-bridge, likely had an impact. Despite having a vast army Azrai could have been limited in how much of it could be fielded at any one time by the terrain. I am presuming that the land-bridge was fairly narrow, or that the mountain was sheer enough to reduce the effective passage, certainly an inability to field his troops - many of which lack the discipline necessary to fight in tight areas - would go a long way to explaining the battles outcome - and Haelyn and Roele were both noted as brilliant military commanders so could have been expected to make full use of terrain in this manner.

I have to say although BR-canon says that the elves followed Azrai, I think that description is simply a human interpretation (or propaganda) - the elves barely follow their own leaders much less a self-proclaimed god younger than some of them, allies yes, servants no. they had a common goal, extermination of the human infestation but otherwise had little in common. Of course the difference was probably fairly unimportant to those facing the Gheallie Sidhe.

adamg0d
12-29-2006, 02:07 AM
I've always had this battle as the epic battle to end all battles. I'm sure each group takes its own interpretations of it, of course.

I follow the novels in regards to the elves, who switched sides on the eve of battle once they saw whom they were fighting alongside and realized the true nature of Azrai.

I also view the 'tribes' not as one large band per culture, but the entirety of that culture up and fleeing into Cerillia.

One time, I had the party accidently thrust through time and had them show up at various points in history both past and future. It made for interesting play and conjecture. But eventually, I had them 'accidently' thrust into Deismarr. Although they got there with the battle already underway.

I had the fight ranging at the foot of the mountains and ranging up and down the sides of quite a few, spilling over into the valleys in between. Prior to all this, over the course of months, the elven, goblin, gnoll, orog, and Vos armies began to converge and drive the Alliance back into the land bridge, working seperately at first. They finally converged and shoved the Alliance into the foot of the mountains, which is where the Alliance poured everything it had into one final stand. Unbeknownst to all, the beastmen & Adurian army began to come in from the opposite side of the mountains.

Overnight, the elves switched sides and stood alongside the forces of good in the morning. The Cerillian contingent of Azrai slammed into their front, while the Adurian forces of Azrai spilled over the mountains to hammer at their rear.

Despite the elven assistance, I had the alliance steadily losing. Hence the need for the deities themselves to step into the fray. It was at this point that I had the party show up, with the lines blurred and ranging for miles. I had a few Cerillian dragons on either side as well.

Above, I had the gods battling in giant form across the heavens while their champions clashed amoung the mortal forces below. It was cool to watch the players glimpse their future deities as all too mortal humans, struggling as much as they were. At one point, I had a gigantic shield dozens and dozens of feet wide slam into the earth, shattering allied and enemy lines. The players looked skyward, and could no longer see the gods fighting clearly. They did see vibrantly glowing clouds of light (one per deity) swarming around a much larger, darker stormcloud (hmmm), from which they could catch glimpses of the deities struggling.

One glowing cloud began to sink and fragment, as if mortally struck. At that point, all the clouds merged into the dark one after a slight pause. Combat swept the pc's away again, as they tried to influence things that mattered to them. One PC rushed to fight alongside the elves, another strove to reach the side of Roele, etc. Anyway, then the gods all perished as one. The divine explosion hammered down the slopes, sweeping aside allies and enemies with impunity. I had secondary explosions center around each champion, with descriptions fitting each patron god (lightning for azrai, fire for basaia, etc). The survivors were scattered, the majority of the forces destroyed, and the land bridge itself began to fragment and sink (although this took a full day). I used the divine explosion to thrust them foward through time again, leaving a rather stunned party who seemed pleased to have apparently contributed in some small way to their favorite historical whatevers. Of course they were at this point in the future, which led to its own problems. But I won't go into that unless asked.

All in all, I like my interpretation. Flame away, if you like. I stand by it :p

Doyle
12-29-2006, 08:26 AM
...<snip>... I used the divine explosion to thrust them foward through time again, leaving a rather stunned party who seemed pleased to have apparently contributed in some small way to their favorite historical whatevers. ...

So how long did it take for one of the players to ask if they were now elegible for a 'true' bloodline - or at least for a huge bump to their current bloodline?

adamg0d
12-29-2006, 09:02 AM
Haha, took around a minute once they were done talking about what they saw. I did give each of them a unique blood ability related to their current bloodline.

Of the three PC's there, one of them went on to challenge the Gorgon (along with a few NPC's loyal to the players, and with a PC from each player. I didn't really approve, but then I warned them that I wasn't too happy about their chances....but hey, what did I know?). The Gorgon tore into them like an adult would wade into a gang of toddlers. He perished, along with another NPC, and the rest magically fled with nearly all of them in critical condition. The Gorgon was happy for the extra bloodline. Pretty foolish.

Another was killed in a landslide months later, that the player triggered, to sacrifice himself to kill the enemy. Pretty noble.

The last died as well, easily a year later, after he single handedly assaulted the camp of two fellow PC's who were trying to establish a new religious hold in Avanil. He killed one of the PC's, and a number of henchmen. Then he was cut down by archers, and it serves him right.

None of these PC's were regents, they were adventurers. (I have PC's of both types in my group, on Cerillia.)

My campaigns are somewhat difficult, but those who do pass through the fire come out stronger for it. I don't enjoy coddling the players however, and I don't mind occasionally killing one when they leave little other option. I always set them up for success, though, as best I can.

And come to think of it, they each only have one regent PC. The rest of their characters are all adventurers from across Cerillia.
------
But hey, what do you think of my story?

Doyle
12-29-2006, 11:03 AM
...<snip>...But hey, what do you think of my story?
Epic, like it should be :)

I'm wanting to write in a view of the great battle for the PCs IMC, but I don't want them getting too close. I've got an idea still in the process of forming that involves reflection of the view from the Shadow world (the PC's least favourite part of my campaign).

As a side note, the one player who died nobly rather than stupidly - did you consider giving him (or her) a bonus for their next character?

adamg0d
12-29-2006, 06:34 PM
Reflection from the shadow realm, eh? Intriguing.

As for that PC, yea I helped him out. I didn't give him a quantifiable bonus at the start, but I did give him assistance throughout his initial campaign. Plus I had him eventually run into a town named after his old character in that area.

Nicholas Harrison
12-30-2006, 06:47 AM
One interesting avenue that you might also explore is the "fog of war" . . . .

Take the Vos, for example. History says that they were seduced by Azrai. However, at one point, they were allies of the other tribes. And, the Vos are very clan-like in nature anyway. So, there was bound to be a lot of confusion during the fight against Azrai.

How many messengers and emissaries were lost -- beseeching various Vos clans to send their forces to support the war effort? How long did it take for everyone to determine that it wasn't just a few clans that had been turned? Were there any Vos clans that remained loyal to the Alliance? Were the Vos loyaltists slaughtered by their own people or did they appear at Deismaar -- possibly taking the brunt of the assault from their own people during that battle? And, did the Vos march in with Azrai's forces or did they turn on the battlefield?

You also have Raesene turning against his brothers -- probably most dramatically, if it occurs at Deismaar if they still thought they could count on him. Perhaps, Raesene was "slighted" at the battle. His legitimate brothers were given the honor of command of the frontlines -- despite their youth and inexperience. Perhaps, he was given command of the rear -- where he causes all mannerof mischief, murdering the King (so that Roele would later take over after thebattle) and destroying supply lines before leading an assault on the rear.

The Alliance would also wonder what had happened to the ships they had sent -- perhaps relying heavily on the promise of those reinforcements, reinforcements which would be tied up in the titantic battle with the Serpent.

The elves dramatic decision to switch sides would be another area to explore. Perhaps, they were wooed by Vorynn -- who "lost" the Vos to Azrai because he was concentrating too much on the elves.

And, you also have to wonder if there were any other turncoats -- in Azrai's ranks or the Alliance's ranks. And, what was the effect on the battlefield -- people constantly wondering who was loyal to who after stories of the more dramatic switches circulated amongst the masses.

irdeggman
12-30-2006, 01:56 PM
Raesene was Haelyn and Roele's half-brother. That is an important distinction.

He was an illegitamate son and thus was never going to be emporer, even if he was the "eldest" son. While his father treated him better than others with similar sons, he still was always reminded of his place.

I don't think it makes sense to have him "turned" at Deismaar. The "seeds" and grip of Azrai were planted long before that.

adamg0d
12-30-2006, 06:15 PM
Nich, I like alot of your ideas :D Unfortunately, I've already done my jaunt through Deismarr. I don't think I could ever go back and have the campaign lend quite the same impact. :(

Nicholas Harrison
12-31-2006, 02:56 PM
Thanks. It sounds like it was an awesome scene . . . . :)

Re: Raesene . . . . You need to think in terms of medieval politics.

Raesene is probably the most qualified person to lead Anuire's armies at the Battle of Mount Deismaar. (Personally, I always view him as a military genius.)

However, the King doesn't want to give Raesene the honor of leading Anuire's armies in the titanic battle against Azrai. A victory like that over the forces of evil would give someone the support and acclaim to depose the King's family. And, the King probably can't lead from the front himself. A King has broader responsibilities. So, the ideal choice would be to put his sons in command on the front lines -- ensuring that his house reaps the benefits of the battle, motivating his fellow Anuireans to fight harder because (even though he can't risk himself) the King's willing to put his sons on the frontlines.

Who, then, does he get to guard the throne and his person? Someone close to him (related by blood is usually good). However, the person tapped also needs to be someone who can never inherit the throne. Thus, this person would have nothing to gain from the King's death. And, the rewards he reaps would be entirely dependent upon the King's good graces. So, a bastard the ideal choice.

It would translate into the final slight. By removing Raesene from the front lines and taking away his glory (relegating him to a position at the King's side in the rear of the battle), he denies Raesene the opportunity to prove himself in the greatest battle in the history of the world -- denies him the one thing Raesene dseires most of all, the opportunity to prove himself better than his younger (but legitimate) brothers. In doing so, the King ensures that there is no chance that Raesene can inherit -- while appearing to show compassion to his "bastard", giving him a place of honor at the King's side during the fight. However, this "honor" also ensures that noone will ever respect Raesene again. While all of the other important personages were fighting to defend Anuire's way of life, Raesene would always be thought of as the "guy in the rear" -- protecting the King, safe from the front where people were fighting and dying, a coward amongst those who were participants in the greatest event in history.

You've just painted a villain that people can almost sympathize with.

Now, think of the situation from Azrai's perspective . . . . What does he really stand to gain from recruiting a traitor? Nothing much if this traitor switches sides openly in a grand public gesture of defiance. Nothing much if the only thing Raesene brings with him is the loyalty of his own retainers.

However, there is a decisive advantage in recruiting a traitor who stays at the King's side. Imagine the terror and confusion that occurs if the King is slain during the Battle of Mount Deismaar.

Raesene might even have the chance to take command of the King's army -- especially if the Prince's sons are cut off from all lines of communication by the tides of battle.

Azrai was an evil genius when it comes to using and manipulating people. And, the best way for him to use Raesene is if the Black Prince is at the King's side, the best way for Azrai to recruit him is if he plays upon the situation.

Was Raesene turned at the Battle of Mount Deismaar. Probably not. Azrai definitely planted the seeds long before then.

However, was he fully in Azrai's camp before then? It is much more dramatic if he wasn't.