The Armagorus Cycle
One of the most successful spies Cinera ever played against Iridine was the man named Armagorus. He was able to wreak much havoc before he was cornered and cut down by a legionary. Despite his successes, Armagorus proved that the Legions could pull together to accomplish the tasks set before them, for it was only once in the hands of others that Armagorus caused havoc.
Poison! – 2000
Something unusual was going down and it drew curious people to the Wayfarer Inn, just inside the city walls. Into that crowd rode Centurion Maximinus, on his battle-steed Oscuro. The horse was obviously sickly and collapsed, throwing the Centurion.
As the thrown Centurion was tended to, a pall of smoke arose in the West. Cries of alert and alarm rose in the crowd and the crowd, made of soldiers, citizens and foreigners, made their way to Vetallun. There,they found the area littered with dead and dying horses, as well as some dead stable-hands. Vetallun Fort’s whole compliment of horses had been slain by poison.
A call went out to question the remaining stable-hands, and they were gathered. They acted nervous and hedged on the questions, and after some minutes pulled Cineran fighting dirks from their clothes and attacked their questioners. They were Cineran spies in disguise!
Beaten down and captured, the spies eventually gave out the name of the one who planned the poisoning: Armagorus, one of Cinera’s master spies.
Armagorus was brought forward to answer for his crimes against the Republic in a location outside of the City, giving the Legio jurisdiction. The execution was publicly announced and promoted and a large crowd gathered to see the handsome spy pay for his misdeeds with his life. In the crowd, also, came his compatriots who drew their weapons and stormed the gallows, freeing their man. Dreadfully injured in the escape, Armagorus and his men nevertheless eluded capture and fled from the Legio and the angry crowd.
The Missing Patrol – 2001
Aulus called any interested in adventure to him and assigned them a mission. Some days past, a patrol of soldiers had gone missing, and despite their efforts, had not been found. They were either captured, or evading his soldiers, thus a civilian force may be helpful.
Two teams set out, one under the lead of Constable Annatar and comprised of civilians, the other under Optio Dahkneth comprised of Legionaries. They kept in touch via Cadae, and eventually they found a campsite.
At this campsite were four crosses, and upon them tied broken and tortured legionaries. Three were dead and one barely clung to life. He reported that they had been followed for days and eventually ambushed and captured. The ones on the crosses had withstood questioning, but the others had cracked and had been taken elsewhere.
The soldier then died, and the groups set out again. They found another campsite, this one with Cinerans. They attacked and subdued them, capturing a soldier which was questioned. He revealed that Armagorus was moving to Grey Sands but the movement was slow due to the injuries he had sustained in his escape.
The Kidnapped Healer – 2001
The injuries taken by Armagorus during his escape had been left to fester, and fester they had. The fleeing Cinerans finally had to pause in their retreat to find someone to help their sick and dying spy.
Heading to the city, the Cinerans disguised themselves and spied upon the Hospice. They then noted a healer who made ’rounds’ that took her to Vetallun every few days. They retired to Vetallun and the healer did not disappoint.
With a warning not to scream or think for help, they took her and dragged her across the grasslands and into the Oak Forest. The healer, Govan, remained passive, knowing that she could not escape the Cinerans and may do more harm to the spy instead.
Somewhere in the forest, she was tossed to the ground before a gravely injured man. He introduced himself and told Govan to heal him. Taking a risk, the healer thought out for help, explaining that Cinerans had grabbed her and she was with Armagorus. The thoughts earned her a swat upside the head from one of the heavies, one that left her reeling.
Finally, however, she had no choice. She gave Armagorus a choice: She could cauterize the wound or she could make a poultice. The poultice, though, would require her to search for herbs for it. Obviously disfavoring something that would take the healer out of his sight, the spy chose cauterization.
One of the heavies heated his dirk for Govan, then passed the cloth-wrapped hilt to her. He held Armagorus down as the healer burned the horribly infected wound clean, then closed. The spy fainted from the pain.
When the man swooned, Govan once again thought for help, knowing that several people were searching the forest for her. The heavy swatted her again and both she and Armagorus came towards consciousness at the same time.
As a repayment for her services, Armagorus had one of the heavies take her back to the search parties. He had promised her safe travel and when the search parties took her to grey sands and the Cinerans attacked, the spy slipped from hiding to save her life. However, she was too disoriented to think and he escaped again.
The Death of a Spy
Subject: The rescue of Signifer Vespus and the execution of Armagorus
Upon our arrival at the main gate of the Vetallun Fortress, Centurion Viridius issued us our orders. Scouts had spotted a trail leading north from the fort along the river which we had burnt in an earlier mission. It was believed that the spy Armagorus was using this trail to move the captured signifer and his standard. Our objective was to follow this trail, find the group that had Vespus, free him and the standard, and as a secondary objective.. bring Armagorus in, or dispatch him ourselves.
We left the fortress, heading east along the river. It was rather dreary weather, torrential rain, lightening and all, thus the march seemed long and cold. However, the rain limited vision and hid the sounds of our clanking armor, thus we managed to avoid any patrols that might have otherwise seen us and ambushed us.
When we arrived at the burnt fortress, I was hit with a rather bad case of narcolepsy so I am unsure of what events occurred there. However, when I came to, we were a ways north of it and there was a young girl there, an undone by the name of Zarei. In an effort to disguise our mission, we first tried getting information from her by making our mission a little more.. colorful and ‘flowery’ sounding, but the child didn’t quite follow. However, when we told her of evil men carrying nice men away and pretty sticks with red cloth on them, she was happy to help. Through a bit of bribery (luckily we had a few ‘toys’ with us), she agreed to take us to her ‘cousins’ who would probably know a bit more than she did.
Thus we began marching again, a seven-year-old undone leading the way. The storms subsided and the march was still rather uneventful. We did stop a few times however, when the sound of an owl hooting penetrated the silence of the night. Our young guide explained to us that this was one of the calls used by the ‘evil men’ (or the Cinerans), and after she thought it was safe, we trudged onward. We passed through seemingly endless stretches of grassland until finally, we reached the oaks and the cousins mentioned before. The young child had no desire to press further, so after giving her thanks and a few hugs she skipped off back into the darkness that brought her to us the first time.
We walked further into the forest, looking out for any camp fires or groups of undone standing around. Finally, we spotted a camp fire nearby. Decurion Wallace and I were to negotiate, though it was a rather peculiar situation.. walking into a pack of undone to ask for directions to a Cineran spy and a captured signifer. Needless to say, we were both rather nervous about all of this. Entering into the camp, we were met with a few gasps and stares, but that was it. Not knowing where to start.. we did something that we had felt was rather essential when walking into a group of magic wielding beings that really didn’t like you.. “We come in peace.”
A tall one stood up and gazed at us, then asked, “What do you want?” We then explained our situation, though we made it seem like Vespus was more of a brother to us than a superior officer.. which did seem to help us out in the long run in the negotiations. At first they were skeptical saying that since we were soldiers we should get our information –from- soldiers and that we had no business here, but we persisted in our attempt to find out more from them. Finally, after a long bit of arguing and negotiation, the tall incurara spoke of a camp with the missing standard.. just north of the burnt fortress we had passed.
We gave them thanks and just as we were leaving, I heard a thumping sound from one of the wagons. I paused briefly, glancing at it, then moved on. Back east to the soldiers. Something was strange, amiss. I wasn’t sure of it but I didn’t trust what was happening. Watching from a short distance away in the dark forest, we saw the taller incurara walk over to the wagon and peak in before closing it. He gazed in our direction then sat back down. They were well aware of our presence.. but I had a plan. We ordered Optio Enkar to take the entire group and head south for a few paces, while the decurion and I crouched low into the brush, keeping completely still and silent. The ploy worked. The tall incurara began slapping his knee and laughing.. then he stood up and did something rather unexpected.. he made the sound of a hoot owl, which in turn was answered by another hoot from the east. Thus it was all a deception from the start.
Wallace and I crawled back to our men to get them ready for battle. Orders were to go in swinging, don’t let up until they give in. Thus we grouped up, moved forward, then charged into the camp. The sounds of screaming and cries of mercy filled the air, much to our dismay. The tall incurara disappeared into the forests, I gave chase for a while, but lost him. Then our heads were filled with the laughing of Armagorus.
“Those were my prisoners you fools, kill them if you may but it will do you no good,” he taunted us over thoughts. Optio Enkar took off with half the group to the east, and was ambushed by a rather large patrol of Cinerans nearby. Perhaps two officers and a dozen ground troops, it would be an impossible fight. Chaos seemed to break loose as soldiers fell and the lines shattered. We charged in, fell back, and charged yet again to no avail. Armagorus loomed nearby, too much of a coward to enter the fray, or even face me alone (as he said he would). However, he came too close and was sighted. I was told that Recruit Kirre held him down as Recruit Takius planted his blade into the spy’s chest. The bastard was finally dead.
I borrowed a gladius from Legionary Splaticus and proceeded to smashing the doors of the wagons open in an attempt to find our missing signifer. Lady luck was on our side as Armagorus neglected to take his prized prisoner and standard with him when he ran. After breaking the lock on the second wagon, Signifer Vespus tumbled out, badly hurt but alive. The standard of the legion was stowed inside. All objectives were met and there was no need for us to risk our lives further. We regrouped at the fire, tended to the wounded and waited until we could move them safely.
Thus, another great victory for the legions of Iridine. One of Cinera’s most well known spies.. practically a hero to them, was dead by the hands of a recruit (on another note, I was also told that he was screaming for mercy as they executed him, just like the first time we took him in). Our signifer was alive and well and our standard was liberated. And that, is the end of my tale.
Optio Dahkneth Shilmenah,
Wolf Squad, Legio I, Cohort I, Century I.