Sunday, 25 November 2012

The Battle for Sigmarheim

Following the defeat at the Battle of Neuland Plain the Imperial Army was left with but one chance for a desperate last stand against the Drazkharov host that now closed on Sigmarheim. The soldiers of Sigmarheim knew well the stories of the terrors that had been visited upon Pellenar during its occupation by rebel forces. In the spring of the year 670PC the men of Sigmarheim now stood with their backs to the wall, ready to defend their homes to the last.

Grand Theogonist Ignatius took to the field in person to bolster the Imperial morale, riding atop the colossal gleaming war altar that would be the beacon of faith and hope to the army of Sigmarheim. Standing shoulder to shoulder with Prince Karl, the two leaders would fight knowing that defeat here would mean catastrophe for the Imperial cause.

Riding high on the string of victories that had carried them to this decisive moment, the army of Count Viktor marched down the Easting Road. From the walls of Sigmarheim the fluttering banners of House Drazkharov flew the proud black beast that had come to herald woe to all those who dared stand before it.

Battle was met before the city walls, with both Ignatius and Karl in the thick of the fighting. For a time the mix of fervour and desperation of the Imperial solidery lent them a fresh strength, even after enduring the hardships of months of bitter fighting. They held the rebel lines in check, and none were able to get near the gates.

Yet as before, the Drazkharovs could rely upon the supernatural to tip the balance in their favour. A ban of thrall wizards brought from Niederdam helped to push the Drazkharov forces onward with dark magicks that imbued the troops devilish vigour. As the troops of the Imperial army were inexorably forced back, Viktor unleashed his winged terrors to make the decisive winning stroke. The arrival of the airborne monsters broke the Imperial resolve. Ignatius was snatched from his perch atop the towering war alter, his death sending ripples of dismay through the Imperial lines.

The battle lost, Prince Karl surrendered himself and his surviving troops to Viktor to spare his men any further bloodshed. The city gates were opened, the victorious rebels leading their general to the steps of the Imperial Palace. Meanwhile the nobles within the city abandonned all compsure as they scrambled to flee the Drazkharov occupation. Some were captured, but a good many managed to escape during the confusion as some citizens made forlorn attempts to defend their ciy. The majority fled to Sudhafen in the south with Kronprinz Johann, even as Viktor consolidated his hold on Sigmarheim, crushing all resistance and making bloody example of any citizen who challenged his advance.

The remaining aristocrats were corralled into the throne room to bear witness to the end of the war. With grossly staged pomp and ceremony, Count Viktor accepted the Emperor's public declaration of the Alptraum's surrender, which ceded all imperial governing powers to House Drazkharov. The nobles were then left little choice but to sign their names to the proclamation of truce between the great houses and await the terms a Drazkharov victory would force upon them.

Only Sudhafen and Galamory now stood in defiance of Drazkharov hegemony. Count von Schaffernacke and Lord Larkin refused to disband their armies or to travel to Sigmarheim to accept the truce. They steeled themselves for the retribution that was certain to follow.

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