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TOPIC OF THE MONTH:
THE INVASION OF GLANTRI
This letter was written by Alasdhair McCallum, who, although never visiting the front himself, has interviewed many of the wounded returned to Glantri City for details as to what is happening in the war zones.
It is a day that most people of Glantri have always feared. The day when the barbaric warriors of the steppes mount their horses and ride into our wonderful nation intent on slaying every last women and child. Everyone in Glantri has grown up with these stories, and all know the grizzly deaths suffered by the peasants during previous invasions of the Ethengarians throughout our history. Of course, if one takes a close look at our history, the Ethengarians never made it pass the Colossus Mounts, and only soldiers defending our land were killed. One wonders where these stories truly come from.
This time, things are different. First of all, there are many settlements on the other side of the Colossus Mounts - settlements that have been plundered by these horse warriors. Bramyra, one of our newest principalities has been all but destroyed, and Boldavia is now facing the full brunt of the invasion. Will the rest of Glantri suffer a similar fate? According to Prince Jaggar, not a chance. There are only two ways for the Ethengarians to reach Glantri City. The first is through Skullhorn Pass, where they don't stand a chance, and the second is by going through Boldavia, Klantyre, and Krondahar, which will severely deplete their forces.
Skullhorn Pass is indeed very well defended. First, the horse warriors must get by Skullhorn Keep. This, unfortunately, they have managed to do when they conquered Bramyra. The real challenge comes when they arrive at Skullhorn Pass Camp.
Skullhorn Pass Camp is located midway through the mountain pass, near the base of Mount Skullhorn, an active volcano that almost continuously releases a plume of hot ash into the air. The camp itself is about 100 feet above the pass, allowing them to rain down arrows and ballistae bolts with ease on the encroaching horse warriors. The greatest defence of the camp, however, comes from Mount Skullhorn itself.
A secondary caldera of the volcano is located just near the camp. This "volcano crater" is filled with water from the runoffs of the mount, forming a lake. A very small plume of ash is released by a small vent in the centre of this lake which looks like a mini-volcano island right in the middle. Unlike the major caldera, there isn't enough pressure or force at this vent to send the ash up into the sky. The extremely hot ash therefore falls back down and lands into the lake. The constant mix of this ash into the water gives the lake the consistency of boiling mud. Wizards regularly empty this mud to prevent it from filling up the crater and destroying the lake.
Now, the advantage from this is that engineers have created a dam on the side of the lake that overlooks the mountain pass. I heard that when the Ethengarians charged the pass down below, Sir Duncan McGregor, the military commander of Skullhorn Pass Camp, gave the order to open the dam. The boiling mud came crashing down the slopes and burned the horse warriors to death. Their screams were apparently horrible until the mud buried them and silenced them forever. The Ethengarians lost over half their men in that one stroke.
In Boldavia, I have not heard as much information as the soldiers stay away from the battle. It appears that hordes of skeletons and zombies are roaming the land, slaying every Ethengarian they encounter. Glantrian soldiers stay as far back as possible from this carnage for fear that the undead might turn on them.
I find this turn of event particularly interesting. The Traladarans have always claimed that Boldavia was a haven for undead, yet Prince Morphail Gorevitch-Woszlany always denied the accusations and dared adventurers to find these rumoured undead. I wonder what he'll have to say now that the only reason his principality hasn't been destroyed is because of the horde upon horde of undead holding back the enemy?