[Forum Fun 'RPG']: The Tyranny of King Blackmoore

Argent Dawn
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The party continue along the riverbank until they reach the guard tower. It's an old looking stone structure with a wooden parapet. It looked like it had been damaged, likely during the Second War, and hastily repaired. One of the guards, a young human lad with a buckler in chainmail, walked over and asked "We saw you take the barge across from the lumbermill. What's happening over there? Are we under attack?"
Croecell silently approaches.

"No, you're not under attack. We have orders involving the church."
"The Church? Are you working for Alonsus Faol?" he looks at the Forest Troll and the Ogre. "Have the savages finally chosen to accept the Light?"
Thalanaar joined Croecell at the fore in addressing the guardsman, while having a keen look at the defensibility of their position, their equipment, and the rest of the guards.

"We are not here on a religious mission. These are mercenaries, bound by contract to defend the Eastweald. The Church is the point of assembly. Tell me -- any news of Quel'thalas? Are reinforcements on their way?"
He shakes his head with a sad expression. "They were due west of here half an hour ago milord, but we haven't seen or heard anything from them. So were Lord Lothar's knights, in fact, you've a perfect view of the road from the church for when they get back. I hope they're alright."
"Very well, thank you..." Thalanaar responded in something of a daze. His eyes were not on the man's face, but out West, to the Church and beyond.

Where were they? What terrible fate had befallen these supposed reinforcements? Could Quel'thalas have been laid siege to, in his absence? Light, he must return...

"We should press on to the Church. We're nearly there, now."

I don't mean to be presumptuous in assuming we're carrying on, but I certainly don't want to be the cause we stop, either! I'm still looking forward to where this goes.
The ogre, almost unintentionally brandishing his sword, looks at the guardsmen with a wary look in his tiny eyes. He clumsily sheathes his sword upon realizing that the guardsmen might give him an odd look because of that. "Maybe you lead", Odmugg replies to Thalanaar's urging. He starts marching toward the Church as soon as the cue is given.
Croecell was also looking westwards, she purses her lips a little, but then looks back at the party.

"Come, let us be on our way."

She starts heading towards the church.
The party made their way down the road, before them, bordered by a low flagstone wall, was an expansive graveyard which covered the grassy hill. After what seemed like weeks had passed, they finally arrived at the church. It was a beautiful building of old grey stone, small statues of angels decorated it's alcoves, and it's large gothic stained glass windows shone like a bejewelled rainbow. The shadow of it's tall spire fell over the graveyard, the low sun radiating golden autumnal light over the tranquil place.

The party had been ordered to wait here until Lord Lothar's knights had returned. Yet there didn't seem to be anyone here, at least at present. The graveyard was deserted, inhabited only by the quiet dead and the occassional bird that perched upon the gravestones. Suddenly, though, Thalanaar heard a distant clopping...further down the road, coming around the bend, was a lone rider.

Something wasn't right.

The Dragonhawk Rider was the first to notice. It wasn't a rider...it was an armoured corpse lacking a head and arms! It was tied roughly with rope to a terrified stallion, carrying what appeared to be a large scroll in a leather scabbard slung over it's chest.
Thalanaar frowned, peering around the eerily quiet church grounds... It would be beautiful, if the atmosphere was not one of such unease. He could practically taste the ill portent... And then it came. His face twitched a little at the low rumbling of clopping hooves, and turned to face the road.

Thalanaar ran out to the road to meet the horse, calling over his shoulder to Croecell as he went.

"Croecell...! Might be one for you!"

He spread his arms wide and intoned to the horse: "Woah, woah!"

He clocked the large scroll as the horse approached, and his face twisted into a grim expression as he took in the sight of the headless corpse rider. A message from the Tyrant King, no doubt.
Croecell sprang into action imediately, she walks swiftly but without panic in front of the horse, she makes reassuring noises to the frightened animal, keeping a calm pressence to try and reassure the horse. She also prepares to move out of the way if it decides to run through her.

If that happens she will try to grab the reins and hoist herself onto the horse and pull the reins to one side, pulling the horses' head towards her knee
The horse reared up on it's back hooves as Thalanaar ran out, causing the body to slip off the back of it and collide to the ground with a clatter of mithril platemail. Soon, the beast was calmed by Croecell's magic. The stallion bowed it's head, and allowed itself to be led away calmly and smoothly.

The corpse was badly mutilated, it's tabard stained red with blood and badly slashed. The pauldrons, though severely dented, appeared to be in the shape of lion's heads. The armour looked incredibly ceremonial, this wasn't a simple knight. However, on closer inspection, it led to a horrifying realisation.

This was all that remained of General Anduin Lothar.

The horse could not have come from far away.
They were coming.
-He- was coming.
Croecell makes her way back and inspects the corpse, her normally calm expression flashes fear when she sees how mutilated it is. She looks around quickly, knowing their foe could not be far away.

She quickly snatches the scroll off of the corpse and opens it up to read it, more out of morbid curiosity.
The Dragonhawk and its rider are on high alert, beginning to circle the area.
She is on the lookout for hostiles and draws an arrow just in case.
The scroll reads:

Vandermar Village,

Your 'Lion of Azeroth' proved to be little more than a pussycat. Did you know he screamed as he died? Indeed, I imagine you are currently waiting for reinforcements from Quel'thalas and the Eastweald. But did you know that Stratholme has already pledged allegience to their true king? Indeed, I think you'll find those Elven reinforcements aren't going to arrive any time soon, or ever.

Try as you might, you cannot stand in the way of the future. Our armies combine the brutish might of the Orcs with the discipline and training of a Human mind. You give your lives for a dead dynasty, a fruitless one. Even that boy, Arthas, chooses to flee rather than fight. There doesn't have to be bloodshed, and my liege is not without mercy, and indeed, he offers you an ultimatum he will spare your little town from a most unpleasant fate.

Aedelas, first of his name, your rightful and true king, demands mistresses. You, Vandermar, are to provide your high liege with all your female humanoids between the ages of eighteen and thirty years. In return, we will spare ourselves from the bloody business of unleashing a legion of our loyal hounds upon you.

There doesn't have to be any death. Show loyalty to your king, and the house of Blackmoore, and it will not go unrewarded. Try and resist, however, and you will only be slaughtering your own children.

Make your choice wisely.

~ Lord General Karramyn Langston

To Wintershore's horror, she gazes into the distance and sees something no one ever wants to see.

Legions of armour-plated Orcs march beneath the orange and black banners of Blackmoore; the emblem of Lordaeron's crest, fused with the emblem of the Horde. Dread Human knights upon horseback tower over the vast army of slaves, commanding them with dark scepters that lash them with pain if they show any sign of insubordination. They march not with the reckless fury of the Horde, but cold, brutal efficiency.

Mercenaries march alongside them, from all corners of Azeroth, known and unknown. She sees strange Dwarves with ashen skin and glowing eyes holding cannons in their hands, a great giant from Northrend with a beard the size of a forest carrying one of the towers of Capital City like a sword, strange creatures resembling bull-men with bearded axes and clubs, fiendish goblins and their war machines, a great red dragon chained to a war cart and pulled by Ettins, many trolls, gnolls and wolvar, and battalions of Human and Dwarven traitors and sellswords.

Yet they are nothing compared to the sheer number of armoured, obedient orcs that march in formation beside them, lashed and broken by their masters to the point of utmost obedience. The army chants as they march, and a terrible noise of armour and feet clanking echoes even to the Church. War drums echo over the tops of the trees, causing the very ground to shake.

"Lok'tar Blackmoore! Lok'tar Blackmoore! Lok'tar Blackmoore!"
"Well... it is lucky I'm over thirty then isn't it?"

Croecell mutters with a snort, handing the scroll over to whoever wants to read it next, she looks up at Wintershore and yells.

"What do you see up there?"
She turns even more pale from the horror she witnesses. A thalassian prayer to the light escapes her lips.
Descending as if chased by the devil himself, she arrives in front of Croecell and the others, the horror written in her face, even in the Dragonhawk's features is etched a deep unease.

"An army. A terrible army. How could we possibly hope to stand against this? Monsters, Humans, Orcs. Beasts.
We are going to need a miracle. By the light of the sun, they are going to break through, otherwise."
Croecell pales.

"I've got worse news, we're not getting reinforcements. Stratholme as joined Blackmoore and are holding off the Thalassian army."

Croecell bites her lip and turns to the church.

"Perhaps there is something in the church that can help?"

She starts running towards the church, she looks over her shoulder to yell;

"I'm going to go check it out, how long until the army is upon us?"
At current rate of marching, they would reach the borders to the town within the hour, though the full army would take longer to assemble. As they would likely attempt to besiege the town rather htan assault it outright, that brought valuable time. The door to the church was open, inside, a female voice reciting a hymn echoed.

Inside was a grand hall, the walls were of spare, elegant stone carved into mighty columns. Coloured light filled the great chamber from the many stained glass windows. The stone tombs of nobles and knights lined the walls. The source of the voice was a young woman standing in the choir. Another priest, hooded, tended to the altar.
Croecell looks around, taken aback by the grand hall. She composes herself and decides to approach the priest at the alter.

"Excuse me?"

She says quietly, she felt uneasy, like she'd disturb the place by raising her voice.

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