From the countryside, Mheallie rallied the foresters and cut the Oaken army off from support in Dhoesone. A few scouts were sent to the mountain pass known as Mhelliviene, but almost as soon as they arrived, rangers from Torien`s Watch cleared them out again. Meanwhile in Cariele Castle, Larra proved invaluable in keeping the outnumbered defenders` spirits up. The druids used powerful magic in the wilderness to seperate and confuse the companies of Adrian`s infantry, the kinghts in Haelyn`s service, and the foresters of the Stonecrown Coster. This prevented Adrian, Mheallie, and the Bastion from uniting their forces and driving the druids out by force. With the principle city of the barony in the hands of the Oaken Grove, Cariele Castle under siege, the last few supporters of Aeric in Cariele came forward and joined the Grove`s army. It proved too little too late.
Baron Adrian issued a formal protest with Dhoesone, who had no desire to get mixed up in a civil war in Cariele. Mheallie`s scouts took control of the Cariele side of the bridges which crossed the Ruide River and began constructing wooden fortifications there. The Grove was cut off from reinforcements. Gradually, the forces of Cariele began to get closer to Caelinien. Reinforcements were sent to the Mhelliviene pass, but they were thrown back by small numbers of elite archers, who, it is said, were aided by birds, wolves, and other woodland creatures.
Although Larra Nielems had very little in the way of battle magic, as a priestess of Sarimie, she was able to improve the quality of the workmanship of the armorers, boyers, weaponsmiths, and fletchers hard at work in the Cariele castle so that no warrior wanted for quality weapons and armor. Many masterwork items were created during that siege and the smiths and armorers never wavered
from devotion to Sarimie every since.
As the siege went on towards six months Euric Aelis, the High Druid of Cariele concluded that the effort had failed. Eventually the scouts and knights would arrive to break the siege, no new reinforcements could be brought in, and the foresters of Cariele had sided with Mheallie, not the Oaken Grove. Euric arranged a truce with Adrian and the knights of Haelyn who remained inside
Castle Cariele. The Oaken Grove would yield in exchange for free passage out of Cariele for all who served the banner of the Oaken Grove. Adrian and the Bastion agreed to the offer, and the army of the Grove made way for Dhoesone.
No deal had been worked out with the Stonecrown Coster, so the Rjurik
warriors planned to fight thereway across the bridge back into Tradebhein.
The druids had other ideas. When they arrived at the stone bridge at Brynville,
the druids declared their intention to pass peacefully. The scouts refused and
brandished their weapons. While it was the roll of some druids to speak, it
now fell on others. They stepped forward and cast spells which caused the
whole south wall of the fort to bow down to the ground giving the four
companies of the Oaken Grove direct access to the defenders at Brynville.
Again the druids declared their intention to cross the bridge peacefully.
This time, the scouts agreed.
Berric Cariele was no of no use to Mheallie anymore, and remained a
potential threat. So, she had him assasinated. Later, her spies reported
that Berric`s successor had been designated and invested, and that even Berric`s
Regency was transfered to the heir. Mheallie realized that the whole Cariele
family would have to be broken to remove the threat in the long term. It
turns out that Adrian was similarly minded on this point.
At this point, many holdings had become independent through the
many conflicts between rulers. Mheallie and Larra made a total commitment
to aquiring these remaining independent holdings and integrating them into
into their realms. Again a conflict developed over the law holdings between
Adrian and Mheallie and the temple holdlings between Larra and the Bastion.
Already denied a reserve of money or regency from previous conflicts with,
Adrian and the Bastion were not equal to the task.
Still, they proved stubborn defenders, and Mheallie decided it was best
to go around the problem, by replacing Adrian. When Adrian turned up
poisoned, his son, Entier understood the message. Furthermore, he
never formally accepted the title of baron, but continues to call himself a
count. When Entier abandon his father`s struggle for the law holdings,
it was the final phase of the struggle for Haelyn`s Bastion of Truth in
As Mheallie expanded outside of Caerile, she anticipated her long
struggle within Caerile would make other rulers wary of her building her
guilds in their realm. So, she invented the Northlands Exchange as a
cover organization in Dhoesone and Tuarievel, and the Source of the Maesil
is her cover organization in Alamie and Tournen. It is in fact one
organization with three names. As James Ardannt once said, "deception is as natural to
Mistress Mheallie as leaves are to an elm."

Kenneth Gauck

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