After action report: Chester 1117
~ Dain Stormcrow
I was in the lead transport group, sixteen brave Albione warriors going to defend Chester. The cannibals were closing in and the garrison and walls would not be enough unless assistance arrived quickly. As we waited in the circle I saw the determination of those around me and was pleased to see that they seemed ready and able for combat, deploying into the circle in battle formation ready for whatever may await as we arrived. Reinforcements stood waiting to follow us through, over sixty in all with warriors, healers, and masters of magical arts responding to the call to defend our land.
The transportation itself was handled with professionalism by a spellcaster who had the wisdom to stand in the center of the group that he may be safe when we arrived. As we passed through the void I felt the familiar timeless call to wanderlust but then the mists cleared and we stood at a small circle outside of a walled town. The walls themselves stood and a few guards manned them but the gates were open and clearly could not be shut. Whether through sabotage, neglect, or simply lack of resources after all the trials that have recently beset our fair land the gates were not closing and it seemed they could not be closed.
Fortunately the town seemed intact, although an uneasy hush in the air showed that the inhabitants knew trouble was coming. I could see the look of fear on the face of one last farmer who was hurriedly taking his family into what safety the walls could provide but it seemed we had arrived in time. This was confirmed as checking for tracks showed regular travel between transport circle and town but no evidence of cannibals.
As the next group arrived they were ordered up the hill to defend the gate, which was clearly the weakest point of Chester’s defenses. It was only a few seconds later though that the first wave of cannibals started to arrive. Screaming wildly and foaming at the mouth, with blood dripping down their chin and wild roaming eyes. They were possessed by an evil hunger and descended upon us with no thought to their own safety.
Our warriors responded valiantly, quickly moving to protect the more vulnerable and combining steel and magic to strike down the attackers. As the last foe fell more of our number arrived in the circle and while the vanguard remained to defend the circle the rest moved up to hold the gate. In the distance we could hear the frenzied shrieks of the cannibal horde descending upon us. Fields rustled and trees shook as their numbers grew and they never paused their running, a ragtag force with no discipline or co-ordination but with madness, numbers and ferocity on their side.
Under command of the warleaders as the last group arrived we moved up to the gate and a shieldwall was formed in a rough arc. Noticing an area on the left flank where we did not quite have enough warriors to complete the arc I took up position their to help fill the gap. Being newly returned to court I cannot give the names of all those present, but I saw the Knights of Annubis who I had recently met through my friends in the Macintash taking a position in the center of the line.
Then the horde descended upon us once more, stained with blood of their past victims and determined to add us to the list. Their lust for blood was such that they kept going even after taking multiple blows that would drop a strong man in his tracks. Their frenzy also seemed to give them some feral instinct for the weak spot in their foes armour, striking for openings where the protection was not complete. Fortunately my own reinforced armour held and not for the first time I was grateful for my Milita training but I saw them descend upon one poor knight. They were stabbing at the joints in his armour and left him sorely wounded before they were driven back to allow the healers to do their work.
With the wave driven back for now everyone set to repairing any damage done and healing the wounded, but in so doing we discovered that the filthy blades and noxious emissions of these poor creatures were spreading some form of disease. Our healers found their work made much more difficult by this, being forced to use their power to treat the disease before they could begin upon the wounds themselves.
Being myself uninjured I tried my best to ignore the sudden nausea caused by the disease while working with the aid of some others on repairing the damage done to my armour. Almost as soon as that was done though the next group of foes appeared and were charging towards us.
The battle continued for some time. Some groups of the cannibals were clearly too far gone to have any thought but battle and came charging directly at our lines. Others showed more cunning, attempting to circle around and find weak points that would allow them to breach our defenses and pass through the gate into Chester. A few times my armour was breached despite seizing every opportunity to repair it but fortunately the healers were able to clear both the disease and the wounds in short order and I returned to the front ready to fight once more.
One archer who’s name I did not catch at the time, but asking around afterwards I believe may be called Lupus, proved himself an excellent shot. Arrows flew unerringly from his bow and struck the enemy so hard and so accurately it would stun them for a few seconds. Those few seconds often proving vital to allow us to either descend upon the briefly helpless target or to take out their companions.
At length we spied a few different individuals among the horde. These moved with more purpose and showed some knowledge of language and tactics, even using spells as I saw some magic being thrown around. Finding a lull in the fighting myself and some few others saw the opportunity and charged forth to engage these foes, quickly felling them and dragging them back behind our lines to be dealt with appropriately.
I do not know what happened next as I had returned to my position but somehow one of the prisoners escaped, running through our lines with the aid of her magic being used to disrupt those who tried to stop her. She did not get far though as the archer proved his worth once more, with a well placed arrow catching her square in the torso and stunning her. Our brief opportunity was lost as another wave of cannibals descended but as they fell I saw her still standing as yet another arrow slammed into her. Seizing the opportunity we leapt forwards and brought her down for the second time, only to have yet more cannibals come slavering up the hill towards our position.
Falling back slightly most of the cannibals moved to defend their leader as she lay on the floor but some few came after me. Cutting them down for their foolishness I was pleased to see our lines advancing, and then even more so to see Dr Morgan step forwards and cast a powerful magics. With words of command he took control of the entire group standing over their leader. They were bound to follow his voice, helpless to resist as he led them away.
With that we were able to recapture the escapee and reform our lines, holding the gate against the rapidly thinning horde until finally the threat was done. Chester was saved and the cannibal threat dealt with, hopefully for good.