Mythodea / The Northern Lights Maneuver
The Northern Lights Maneuver: During the high summer period of the year in Mythodea, the Margrave Balor the Red and Stordan von Zackenberg hosted a large training maneuver in the no-man's-land between the northern reaches of the Realm of Roses and the Domain of the Black Ice. The goal was to establish a bridgehead or staging point where the forces of the Realm of Roses and her allies could launch an attack on Viria its self or the outlying strongholds of the Schwarzes Eis (Black Ice). Answering the call to maneuver were Zackenberg, the Bogatyri, Zweiwasser, Schönweiler, Waldesleben, Gorasian, East Blackwood, the Narech'Tuloch and, a Naldar. Richter Bo Angusson, Pandio, and later Skara Schildwahrer, were also present during the maneuver as honored observers.
After a long march North East from Zackenberg along the old road connecting Shan Meng-Feyn and Viria, the collected fiefdoms, companies and groups established a camp on a hill and, upon the suggestion of Oswulf Marbrück of Waldesleben, went quickly to work building palisade fortifications. Scouts were sent out to get a better look at the surrounding region reporting a long chain of blue and black flags.
On the second day, the commanders of their respective camps once again met in the command tent. Discussion on the naming of military division leadership continued as well as the receiving of the report from the previous day. Baron Nevjan of the Bogatyri proposed that Sir Dagger of Blackwood be in charge of logistics and that Oswulf of Waldeslaben of dyke and fortification. This discussion broke down however due to differences in leadership cultures as some opted for a military council and others for fixed leadership of various sections. Baron Nevjan von Nowa Seweria, Sargent Oswulf and Sir Dagger were in favor of clear and defined leadership while the tribes were in favor of communal leadership.
The discussion pushed on however when Antonius zu Zackenberg restarted the importance of at least having a person, or people, with overall command of the army. With that in mind, Baron Nevjan was proposed by Ser Dagger of Blackwood and near agreed upon as overall maneuver commander. When Ser Briceus of Thalgrund arrived at the command tent he did away with the voting of an all-around commander. He instead declared Ser Varek Aestus, Captain of the Emerald Tower and Knight of the Order of Thorns and Roses general of the small army. This was accepted by those present and Baron Nevjan and Antonius zu Zackenberg were named Varek's lieutenants.
The the early hours, still the middle of the night at the start of the third day, some 40 soldiers, in the guise of Black Ice Rakhs, performed a night raid on the allied camp. Fighting was hard and chaotic, but the defenders prevailed. This attack served to put on display the gaps in the camps defenses and highlighted organizational weaknesses. During the day the camp's defenses were improved and a guard-rotation plan was established by Antonius.
Fortifications were completed on the forth day as rain became heavier and heavier and scouts reported the discovery of a pillar of the Black Ice during which was heavy guarded. The black ice advanced on the scout position forcing them to withdraw. Eventually, due to the heavy rain, the scouts returned to camp. During the day, a delegation from the capital, Shan Meng-Feyn with Skara Schildwahrer at its head arrived to observe the maneuver as a guest.
Later that night Ser Varek called all the commanders to the command tent to announce the birth of his child and as such that he would be stepping down from overall command and returning home to his wife and newborn son.
With the abdication of Ser Varek, the position of overall commander was once again vacant. Antonius zu Zackenberg declared that there would be no vote on command and instead installed the Castellan of the Altmark, Briceus, based on noble rank as general. To this Briceus put the decision of commander to a vote and immediately cast his for Oswulf of Waldesleben. The vote was not disputed but the commanders were given time to discuss none-the-less.
After Oswulf was placed in charge of the maneuver he assigned Sir Dagger the Ambassador of Blackwood and Leader of the East Blackwood Company to coordinate the work on maintaining the infrastructure of the camp and protecting it against the heavy and constant rain. It was also reported that Narech'Tuloch and the Naldar Iramar were experiencing a weakening of their elemental powers yet they did not know why. In spite of these complications the maneuver continued especially after scouts from Schönweiler discovered that the river had swollen considerably and was likely impassible at that time.
Since the onset of the rain it had not let up. The hill was soaked by it so completely that part of it collapsed under its own weight destroying part of the fortifications, damaging camps and injuring soldiers. Not long after the landslide the weather improved slowly becoming warm and sunny. Scouts were once again sent out.
At the start of the seventh day in the early hours of the morning, a small force of Bogatyri, East Blackwood and Zweiwasser left he camp for the ruins just north to investigate its usefulness as a potential base or outpost in the future. Likewise, the Narech'Tuloch scouted the hills and countryside. Later that day, Antoius zu Zackenberg led a force of 90 or so soldiers against around 50 "Black Ice Rakhs." To end the training battle, the mage Nemekath and the elementalists of Gorasia destroyed the Essence Pool found there.
The collective forces of the maneuver returned to camp. Around that time word arrived that Skargen had been spotted between the borders of Zackenberg and Zweiwasser. This was not something which was part of the training mission and was quickly clarified as a very real threat to the security of the northern region of the Realm of Roses. The maneuver was declared complete and the formed-allied soldiers broke camp and journeyed to the river. An agreement was made that all present parties would rally to rapidly respond to the threat of the Skargen, united.