Battle of the Three Bridges

The Battle of the Three Bridges was the culminating battle of the Horde War, in which all three of the enemy factions facing Desia united and attempted to cross the Mabinog River into central Desia to attack the city itself. They were met by the First and Third Armies of the Desian Grand Army, as well as several units of Desian Rangers and the Desian Mercenary Corp.

Prelude to the Battle Being a nation consisting mostly of plains, Desia had few natural obstacles that could be used to staunch the flow of enemy forces into the country short of the city. However, the Mabinog River cuts through 2/3rds of the nation, dividing the western section from the rest. It was believed that by securing the river and devoting their forces to the plains in the north that the DGA could stop the Hordes and begin a counter-offensive. To this end forces were dispatched to all three bridges crossing the river, including the Mercenary Lords. Over the course of the Defense of the Mabinog, two bridges were held and turned into small fortresses, while the third was destroyed to deny the enemy access. The length of the river not crossed by the remaining bridges was then patrolled by several companies of Desian Rangers.

However, this was before the introduction of the Lizardfolk as the third and final enemy faction. The Lizardfolk were amphibious, capable of crossing the river at will. Before the DGA could react to the report from Commander Ike Rison and the Mercenary Lords the Lizardfolk made a crossing en masse. A company of Rangers attempted to stop the crossing, but at 1:60 odds the Desians could do little more than die with honor. The Lizardfolk were quick to build a camp on the eastern side of the river and to lay three makeshift bridges across it. Faced with their entire defensive perimeter being breached, the Desians through more than sixty percent of their regular army at the beachhead.

Day One By the time the First and Third Armies arrived the bridges were complete. However, so far the Lizardfolk were the only ones who had crossed over. The Orcs and Undead had yet to make it to the eastern bank. Commander Rison was given orders to assign a team to destroy the bridges, cutting off the Lizardfolks’ reinforcements while the Army engaged the Lizardfolk in the field. Naturally, the Commander called up his crack team. While Bigg and Akarn would remain with him and the Desian force attacking from the East, Laesath Aurelia, Mary-Lou Freebush, and Captain Cole Struuter would enter the enemy camp from the South and eliminate the bridges.

The odds against the Lizardfolk were steep indeed. Although the odd hybrids were indivdually dangerous, with the odd exception of their elite forces the Lizardfolk were armed with greatclubs and lacked both proper armor and tactics. It is estimated that they fielded 6,000 combatants. First and Third Armies combined amounted to 10,000 combatants, backed up by 400 Rangers, and 350 of Rison’s mercenaries. Also, the Lizardfolk did not stay behind their hastily constructed wooden walls and instead charged out to meet the Desians in combat. The Desians responded by forming shields walls and using the rangers and the magic users from the mercenaries to savage their attackers. Although the Desians still took roughly 1500 casualties, estimated number of Lizardfolk survivors was pitiful. Even the most pessimistic Commander estimated that just 700 of the Lizardfolk survived to retreat.

While the Lizardfolk army was being crushed in the open field, the strike team attacked and sundered the Southern gate of the enemy camp, killing the guards before they could alert anyone else. Mary-Lou left her two companions behind and proceeded to use her magic to turn invisible, taking one of the Fey Bombs issued to the team and heading for the Southern bridge. Despite being forced to reveal herself, Mary-Lou succeeded in destroying the bridge and fleeing South via the river, killing the handful of Lizardfolk who pursued her.

Laesath and Cole had not been idle over the half-hour they were forced to wait at the shattered gate. Using their fallen foes, the pair constructed a set of disguises and rigged another corpse with their second Fey Bomb. Upon Mary-Lou’s return the trio disguised themselves and proceeded to carry the corpse on a stretcher towards the second bridge, using magic and quick words to get themselves past various guard patrols. Upon reaching the bridge they placed the corpse on the middle of the psan and triggered the bomb, but not before Cole yelled ‘Distraction!’ to all the guards and pointed in the opposite direction as he and the others leaped into the water. Exactly what this was supposed to accomplished is anyone’s guess, but what it did accomplish was to keep the guards where they were. Once the bomb went off, destroying the bridge and tumbling the strike team around in the water, the guards were flash-cooked.

However, their disguises ruined by the turbulence, once the strike team crawled out of the river they were forced to ditch the disguises and fight enemy forces that flocked to the disturbance. Several squads of Lizardfolk and the surprise appearance of a wyvern later, the strike team limped into an empty portion of the camp to heal their wounds and plot their next move. Just as they did so they noticed something: the Desian main force had breached the eastern wall and begun moving onto the camp.

Rushing to destroy the third and final bridge, the trio decided to again send Mary-Lou in, covered by invisibility, while Laesath and Cole did their best to provide a distraction. It wasn’t too long before they had a ready made distraction: three wargs attacked the pair, and the cleric and swordmage were suddenly hard-pressed just to survive. And worst of all, they realized that the presence of wargs meant that orcs were crossing the river.

As Mary-Lou struggled past numerous enemy patrols and Laesath and Cole fought for their lives, Rison and his mercenaries were spearheading the assault into the enemy camp, helped along greatly by the mighty axe of Bigg. The dragonborn was never more than a step behind his Commander and was more often two steps ahead, and even when they ran into the much better armed and trained Orcs he barely slowed down. When a line of ogres suddenly charged the Desians, wreaking merry havoc and killing a good number of Rison’s personal platoon, Bigg wreaked havoc right back at them and broke the ogre’s attack with the barest of assistance from Rison and Adam Oakgrove.

Laesath and Cole finally managed to slay the wargs, although Cole spent a portion of the fight passed out from his wounds, and the pair limped to the relative safety of an abandoned tent. While they did so, and while Bigg maintained his rampage through the orc lines of battle, Mary-Lou continued her solo mission of sabotage. Along the way she observed a blue-robed figure apparently giving orders to representatives of each enemy faction, but hurried past, eager to complete her mission.

TO BE CONTINUED . . .

Battle of the Three Bridges

Fury of the Lost One blackmage88