Foward: Several months had passed since the first rumors of the Dark Energy Crystals traveled across the lands. The forces of death under the Lord of Darkness were the first to extract and utilize the power of the crystals. His army destroyed the advance guard of the Silver Shield followed by a jarring blow to the inhabitants of ΛZMΛRÉ in the battle of the Dark Waters. Perhaps with a reckless overconfidence from these early victories, the Lord of Darkness dispatched an inadequate force to raid the crystal mining operation at the molten mountain. The raiders subsequent loss of crystals to the creatures of Anumün rebalanced power in the lands and prevented the Lord of Darkness from establishing an insurmountable hold on the dark energy....
Avenging the Advance Guard:
It was the Order of the Silver Shield who first attempted to halt the Lord of Darkness and his manipulation of the Dark Energy Crystals. Their commitment to balance and justice for the splinterlands resulted in the total sacrifice of their advance guard at the battle of the Dark Seas. However, that selflessness by the Silvershield Paladins lead to an unexpected alliance and resurgence of their forces.
The sacred unicorns had long kept to themselves, avoiding conflict except when required for self defense. Their small herds were elusive with only the rare sighting from afar during auspicious occasions. However, the sacrifice of the advance guard caught the unicorns' attention and appealed to their belief in justice. They approached the Order of the Silver Shield not only with a proposed alliance but also with a gift. Through their roaming along the crystal mountain peaks, they had discovered small deposits of the energy crystals. Without attracting attention, they gathered the crystals into several caves guarded by their trusted werewolf allies.
They now presented the Silver Shield with the collected crystals and military support. The Order quickly summoned their best craftsmen throughout Kymeria to examine and work with the crystals. The armorsmiths were the first with results, mastering the crystals to strengthen the shields and chainmail. Peakrider was presented the new armor and after examination put in motion a plan to strike back at the forces of death.
A call went out through Kymeria mustering troops for battle. The army camp of Order of the Silver Shield swelled, as knights, archers, and warriors joined the paladins, and two herds of sacred unicorns resided just to the north. Peakrider and the Defender of Truth conferred on a strategy in the general's tent.
It was decided the army would strike a stronghold of skeletons on the edge of Mortis. The plan relied on the newly designed armor, as the attackers were required to push through narrow passageways without sustaining heavy losses. The army set off after sunset intent on launching the attack at first light. Several unicorns scouted ahead allowing the army to avoid skeleton patrols as they massed just outside the walls.
A Silvershield bard announced the assault just before dawn. The Silver Shield warriors barrelled through the gates and down the dark passageways with their lances and crystalized shields cutting through the defenders and allowing their advance. Skeleton warriors and undead archers hurled themselves into the narrow alleys, but the Silver Shield pressed on. Finally the attackers made their way to an expanded room, and the paladins and knights spilled out from behind, swinging their blades freely.
The Defender of Truth charged past the paladins with the herd of unicorns, as the fate of the battle appeared decided. Through the alleys and towards the rear gates they trampled skeletons, causing further panic in the defenders' ranks. Rounding the final corner, they came upon an unexpected band of hated vampires fleeing the slaughter. Ill equipped for close combat, the vampires screamed in defeat, as they were swiftly cut down by the unicorns. The escape path through the back gate was blocked and the stronghold had fallen.
The Silver Shield did not linger on the battlefield nor did they advance further. They had avenged the fallen advance guard and successfully tested the enhanced armor. With a substantial number of prisoners, they began the march back to their lands, the skeleton stronghold burning behind them.