The Midnight Watch

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#1 2017-03-27 16:28:42

Registered: 2013-05-16
Posts: 143

[News] The Altmerian, Issue #1 - March 27, 2017 - Altmere Abandoned?


Covian forces reportedly suffered heavy casualties during their breakout.

Following a pitched battle before the walls of Altmere, in which a large orcish warband advancing on the city from Avaricia was destroyed, the city's Covian Army garrison has marched off in the direction of Cove in what appears to have been an unannounced - and possibly unplanned - withdrawal from Altmere. Sources say that Commander Osric Orson, the garrison's commanding officer, led a force comprising the majority of the Covian Army's locally stationed personnel in a sortie from the east gate with the stated intention of providing a diversion for a raid on the siege camps by the militia. However, no sooner had the garrison formed up beyond the gate than a large warband of orcs exited the treeline and advanced on them! Showing their characteristic discipline and valor, the army held firm and prevailed despite being vastly outnumbered. The cheers from the walls soon died to confused murmuring, however, when instead of returning to the safety of the walls the garrison pressed on and continued their march on the road to Cove! For several minutes the assembled crowds watched in growing panic as the Covian banners disappeared over the horizon, all the while half-expecting them to about-face and return. When that did not happen, the remaining troops - now noticed to comprise solely of local recruits - dispersed the crowd. A tense silence, like the hours before a storm breaks, has since settled over the city.

Questions abound. Was the retreat from Altmere planned? If it was, was the plan authorized? By whom? Did the Count know about it, and, if so, why did he not depart with the rest of the Covian authorities? This alone maintains hope that perhaps this withdrawal was part of a larger effort. Perhaps the Baron of Cove has not forsaken his frontier holdings, and even now an army gathers in Covianshire, preparing to march to our relief? Already the city's refugee population whispers that Altmere has taken the first step toward meeting the same fate as Blackwell and countless other villages. But it seems difficult to believe that Cove would abandon Altmere, the last defensible position between the North and the plague-wracked world beyond. And if that is indeed what has happened, who now rules Altmere? Does not the Count's authority stem from his appointment as governor by the Baron of Cove? What is the status of the city's mage population, now that the Army has withdrawn, and service can no longer guarantee them sanction to work their talents?

For now, this writer sees only one silver lining in this cloud of uncertainty: the militia's raid on the west camp, now revealed to have been a diversion for the eastern force's breakout, was an unexpected and resounding success. Caught by surprise, the orcs were unable to stop the raiders from entering their encampment and destroying their stores. What's more, an undermining tunnel filled with explosives was discovered, and the orcs' own blasting powder turned against them. The militia retreated to the safety of the walls just in time to witness the orcs' main camp explode in a shower of dirt, splintered wood, and bewildered greenskins. The remaining orcs seem to have retreated into the wilderness, but they doubtless remain in the region in great numbers. For now, though, the siege has been lifted. Whether that remains the case will yet be seen.

Marah Ulfing, esq.


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