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August 2022 – The Siege of the Celestial

= EVENT STORY =
As the excitement of last month’s market faire winds down, gossip continues about the City-State of Newhope’s proclamation. It seems that a major shift has taken place within the Council of Newhope, with Celestial Arragones being removed from her position. Skeptics have jumped at the chance to proclaim that this is a sign of greater instability within the City-State while others worry if influences, both inside and out, might try to take advantage of the situation against the City-State or the Council.

Eventually, news catches up on the next step of this unfolding drama; the City-State Council has made their intent known that there is a plan to detain Celestial Arragones and bring her in so that she may work through this situation in the City-State court system. This could become a large City-State effort and may end up requiring those that swear fealty to Newhope to be present or involved in some way.

Sources close to the council have said that Celestial Arragones has removed herself from the city proper due to feeling like the Council was “looking for a scapegoat” and is now residing in one of her outer estates. She has taken her most loyal followers with her, and it becomes clear rather quickly that the magical libraries she tended to within the city have been almost completely emptied. She has long proclaimed that these libraries are personal property of hers and until now there has been little to no dispute of that. Word on the street is that various local mercenary groups are being contacted for a “security contract” which is speculated to be from the Celestial’s people.

As this unfolding situation seems to be quickly coming to a head, it is unknown at this time as to whether the City-State will be collaborative on moving forward or if the Celestial will be cooperative with these recent decisions.

Many hold their breath to see what will happen next as some sort of confrontation, one way or another, seems unavoidable.

= UPDATE =

After receiving a foreboding letter early in the day bearing the seal of Aylin’s Reach, it was learned by those assembled that the Aldorian garrison of troops at the Spire of the Archons was made aware that a mysterious benefactor had given aid to the Archons and their (in)famous Recall Point magical project was completed. The timing seemed incredibly convenient given the fact that the Celestial was well versed in the magical defenses and countermeasures available to the City-State. On a similar note, City-State forces reported a magical feeling wash over them, detonating protective auras and harming those that wore them. It seemed the Celestial’s forces had unique magical defenses of their own.

The anti-Arragones forces did some work ahead of time to undermine the efforts of hiring mercenary thugs in the area, the collective group was able to negotiate with and pay off the remaining mercs. While trying to oversell their skills and abilities, it was obvious this group was little more than a band of thugs and brigands. Still, they took a pretty substantial amount of money after some tense discussion and left the area without further issue.

The second line of defense was the Tartan Moors, a semi-professional mercenary unit. It seemed like there would be no real efforts to pay them off or even an attempt to, as the honor and reputation of the group was on the line. Without a substantial reason given to the mercenary unit to abandon their contract, both sides would agree that they would fight it out but would spare the wounded or those who would yield. After a drawn out fight with both groups feeling the attrition of the battle, the Tartan Moors were defeated and given quarter and first aid. This was also done in tandem with awaiting martial units of the City-State and several of their allies and vassals pressing in to begin a fight against the estate’s defenders on multiple fronts.

The final line of defense was the devote followers and personal retinue of Celestial Arragones. Access to the personal libraries of the Celestial seemed sought after by many, but the Celestial’s demands to appease her tarnished reputation and standing revealed her intentions to destroy it instead of handing it over or be taken for her were deemed too much. After brief negotiations seem to stagnate, it was clear that the group had come to an impasse; the Celestial would not back down on her demands and the City-State would not agree to them. Both sides prepared for violence.

Where the first group was paid off and violence avoided and the second group battled it out in honorable and respectful combat, the third group of defenders saw the full brutality of martial conflict. Martial units in other parts of the estate’s holding pressed in to fight various groups of the Celestial’s defenders. The City-State task force pushed in and soon a pell mell skirmish took place all over. Wounded City-State allies were dragged off to be tended to while the Celestial’s defenders were cut down and either bled to death or a few were saved by neutral parties that offered to lend aid. Even with some the City-State forces giving some quarter to their enemy, many were killed in the fighting.

At the start of the attack, the Celestial’s forces were given a signal; to burn her private research and materials and deny it from being taken from her. She, and her followers, were determined that if the City-State persisted, they would not be allowed to take these items. Numerous fires were fed immense amounts of documents, scrolls, invaluable research notes, and magical formulas and it choked the air around the estate. Some of these materials had no copies, were one of a kind, and survived the fall of Faedrun, but were burned to ash and lost forever. The entirety of magical research of the people of Mardrun has been dealt an incredible setback.

However, as these materials were cast into the fire, a traitor among the Celestial’s groups convinced a scholar to turn on her forces and steal away some research materials. Trapped away from City-State forces, these two were able to save some research materials from the fire composing of lustful letters and stories between scholars along with some important and even some rare research notes. Despite these few items being saved, the vast majority of the libraries were destroyed.

As soldiers marched into the inner sanctum of the estate, Celestial Arragones conducted a Recall ritual to attempt to escape. Due to the fact that the City-State forces voted to deploy a “Recall Trap” magical countermeasure and their choice to move it as close as possible to the estate, the Celestial found herself reappearing from the mana stream into the waiting arms of City-State soldiers and shackled instead of whisked away to safety.

By the end of the day, the Celestial was detained and her forces were utterly devastated. The ramp-up of intensity of the fighting left many dead or seriously wounded, and the billowing smoke of numerous fires carried away the ashes of the largest magical library on the entire continent, the condemning words of several wounded and dying Arragones supporters reminding everyone of the consequences of the day.

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