Shaya'Nor's Army arrives at the Bearheart Pass

Our first indication of the enemy’s closeness were lighting raids on our supply columns. Thousands of civilians were slaughtered by werewolves and winged Vampires while surprised and ambushed conscripts died desperately trying to cover their evacuation. Worse, the werewolf scouts targeted any and all draft animals completely paralyzing our supply chain.

By the dusk on the 24th the first of Shaya’Nor’s main force arrived just north of our position, at least 30 miles into Olara. All throughout the night their army grew to a size at least 10 times our own, and more arrived by the hour. In response, I maneuvered my more elite units to the best positions available in the pass, placing my less experience conscripts in skirmish companies supported by archers and magical support. Bearhearts siege weapons had been upgraded, but even those only secured our west flank.

Even with 7,000+ troops, we still could only secure a fraction of the nearly 40 mile pass between the Forges and the southern Ranger. Ironically, much of the border defenses recently abandoned by Camon were cannibalized and re-positioned to provide added strength to our positions.

After that, all that was left was to wait. Which, did not take long. Shortly after the 13th hour, Shaya’Nor’s army struck, making their advance under thick cloud cover in the wee hours of Dark Moons 25th. The fighting was as brutal as it was overwhelming.

All throughout that long night I maneuvered units into line, re-positioning them as the enemy stretched us out, flanking at every possible location. It was a shell game, a stalling tactic. My only hope was that they would break off at dawn, as is Darkness’ preferred tactic. Yet despite the unparalleled bravery of our troops, and their courage, sometimes numbers simply win out.

With the light of dawn, tantalizingly close, our weak right flank, nearest the Southern Range wavered and then began to collapse. With all reserves tapped, I simply had nothing left to do but begin to give ground and abandon the pass…and our only hope to prevent a larger invasion of Olara and Galea.

Even as I turned to give the order, a shout went up from the lines. Looking far to the east I saw a sight I know will remain with me till my dying days. Units of gilded warriors, the upturned crimson sword of Archanon emblazoned on their standards firing volley after volley of arcfire into the ranks of Shaya’Nor’s undead. For an hour, the Paladins of the Prelacy decimated Shaya’Nor’s left flank, giving my own forces the needed room to rally.

Together, we staved off destruction, if only for a day.

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