Thursday, December 7, 2017

The story of Sir Gilglind of the XXth Company, Holy Tribunal

Cormanthor, after its reclamation from Demons in the Weeping War, is the home for all our stalwart characters as we focus in on their lives. This is located in the middle of the Faerun map right below Thar. (artwork below by GerryArthur on deviantART)

Though they now adventure and call the west shores of the Forgotten Realms home, it was quite a different tale of woe and heartache that brought these elves together.

After Cormanthor was rebuilt and became the mighty capital of Cormanthyr it was still under constant hostile attack by waves of orc tribes migrating into the forests from the Kingdom of Many Arrows. The armies of Gruumsh were constantly probing and attacking their neighbors. Once orcs threatened to move south through Lurkwood and toward the Evermoors and Waterdeep it was decided by the good races to send a mighty army to stop the southward advance of Gruumsh's tribes.

Cormanthor put together a contingent of its finest: housed from the nobles of the land and a strike force from the Holy Tribunal, a military organization devoted to spreading the word of Corellon Larethian patron god of all Elves. The god Corellon long approved of all those who killed orcs and the followers of Lolth the Demonweb Queen.

So it was that Sir Gilglind, a man of exceptional personal wealth from a high elf noble line, gathered his detachment and rode west to face the orc hordes. With him his long time friend Algarfin Dunhare who sang the songs of battle and lore for the Tribunal XXth Company, Faen Imiril the druid who hailed from further away but was Gilglind's advisor and confidant in the ways of travel, and scribe and weaver of the magic arts Eron Fingoneth, Sorcerer of Cormanthor.

West they rode 150 strong through Tilverton Scar, the Stonelands and Well of Dragons. Along the way they cleansed the Crypt of the Six, the High Moor and gained more soldiers from hidden villages in the High Forest a place of great mystery. Though casualties were light Gilglind knew the true test lay ahead against the hordes of Gruumsh and his commanders.

Arriving at Mithral Hall,  the great home of Bruenor Battlehammer (see RA Salvatore's The Thousand Orcs ) Gilglind set about taking up position to defend the pass to the north and the road that came down from Dark Arrow keep. Gruumsh had other plans however and struck south from Spire of the World Mountains, threatening Luskan almost immediately. With a two pronged assault Bruenor was forced to gather the majority of his forces east as the treaty he had signed with Obould Many Arrows so long ago disintegrated before his eyes. Gilglind set off with the Tribunal to the east and skirting Lurkwood and looking to relieve Mirabar which was under heavy siege. Arriving at the scene Gilglind found Mirabar in disrepair and not in state to withstand siege (Mirabar has its own seedy history see ). He immediately assumed control and in his perceived overconfidence decided to strike north to break the orc willpower and send a message. 

Gruumsh, not wanting to the chance to lose the opportunity to snatch Mirabar at the same time had sent 1000 orcs to reinforce the siege and in a bizarre twist of fate the battle of Mirabar was set into motion.

Meeting just north of Mirabar Gruumsh's reinforcements clashed with the strike force of Sir Gilglind. Gildlind had kept the river on his right expecting attacks from the east. Instead the armies of Gruumsh smashed him from the west and pinned him against the river. In three days of bloody hectic battle Gilglind was forced to retreat south and east and had the river to his back. Amid massive losses he launched retreat barges across the river Mirar, then after extracting his forces, assailed the weakest point of the orc siege of Mirabar and had to break into the very city he was trying to free from encirclement.
Andrew Woodyard's drawing of Mirabar
​After the slaughter of many of his close friends and troops Gilglind was crushed and out of hope that the city would stand. Suffering three weeks of siege and constant bombardment and down to the last of their rations the city was about to fall when Bruenor Battlehammer was able to approach from the East and relieve Mirabar.

Gilglind had arrived with over 250 men and been afforded almost 300 more by local garrisons. Now he was exiting to rest and recuperate with fewer than 50. By his side however his friends still stood despite him turning over his command and retiring from military service in the months to follow. While the battles north of Mirabar and Mithral Hall still rage Gilglind had retired back home and not seen his friends for many years.

News travels swiftly however and when word reached him that his old Bard friend Algarfin had fallen into trouble with a powerful noble Gilglind decided to step in and take personal charge of having crime accusations against the bard dropped. Reunited the two shared tales of what had transpired since that fateful battle so long ago and they wondered now where the rest of their friends were....and if perhaps it was time to once again reignite their sense of adventure and prove they still had the ability to do good across the land though each had their own inner demons.