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Author Topic: Bryald’s Journal – Part 4 – The Ishensa Gates  (Read 1558 times)
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Kane
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« on: September 10, 2009, 04:29:33 PM »

I could see the Ishensa Gates on the horizon almost a day before we reached them, they stood out like man made mountains. As we got closer I was awed by the size and strength of the fortresses, relics of an earlier age when the alliance with the dwarves was strong and they came out of their mountains to help build the Wall. Pennants flew proudly from every tower and the wide river between the gates was filled with small ships. Late in the afternoon, a mounted patrol came out the western fortress carrying messages for our Captain and escorting us to our temporary home. 


Just as the sun was fading in the west, we passed through the fortress’s massive iron spiked gates, which swung closed behind us. The gates were as tall as three men, wide enough to allow half a dozen horsemen to ride through at a time, and five feet thick. It took a team of twenty oxen to pull the gates closed. Once closed, iron bars slid out from the walls to reinforce it. As we traveled through the gatehouse tunnel we passed under three portcullises and countless arrow slits and murderholes. The strength of the gate made it easy to understand how the fortress held against the Shadow’s hordes in the darkest days at the end of the Second Age. 


We were escorted to one of the empty barracks buildings along the southwest wall. This corner of the fortress was ominously quiet, with only the distant sounds of a forge and our footsteps echoing through the courtyard. We passed numerous shuttered buildings before reaching our barracks. The building was enormous and could easily house four times our number and it was only one of a dozen similar and empty buildings. The fortress felt derelict and empty even with the thousands of soldiers we have seen. Instead of being cheered by the size and strength of the fortress, I was saddened knowing that it was seriously undermanned, a hollow shell. 


The company was told that we would be here for two days before pushing on to Ergel’s Keep. I had hoped to have a chance to explore the Fortress and see the Burnt Tower where the Dragon Yithrix fell and the north wall where Torin held the breach in the final battles of the Second Age, but I never left the barracks area. Sergeant Yorin kept us busy with armorers and weaponsmiths, ensuring we were properly fitted before we left the “last good forges along the Wall.” He also brought in some old friends, seasoned veterans and trackers to help “keep us alive” with lessons on the orc tribes, their tactics, and how best to track them. They brought in captured weapons, including a massive orc blade called a greater vardatch. It was almost as long as I am and incredibly heavy. I couldn’t help thinking that in just a few short weeks I might have to face an orc wielding that huge blade.
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Against the Shadow  |  Forum  |  Midnight & RPGs  |  Games and Stories (Moderators: Kane, Bleak Knight)  |  Topic: Bryald’s Journal – Part 4 – The Ishensa Gates
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