Fiction

Vinewrath Siege

To the people of Tyria,

It has begun. Several days past, Pact forces lay siege to the foul cavern in which the Mordrem Vinewrath resides. ‘Tis a most wretched abode, dank and pustular, the smell emanating from within its depths more abhorrent than even the fetid beaches of Arah itself. Every able hand has been called to fight… even my own. Sword has been placed in hand, and, though I am no soldier, I have been in the thick of the fighting. It is woeful work, hacking, slashing, and disemboweling for hours on end. The Mordrem are not particularly skilled fighters, and fall easily enough to the sword, but their numbers are great, and they posses black magicks formed of the depraved mind of the jungle Dragon himself. More fall every day, on both sides.

I sit now behind the walls of Amber Sandfall, one of the old stone fortresses that scatter the landscape here. We fight in shifts, several dozen of us taking to the forefront of the battle every two hours. We butcher our way through hordes of Mordrem in the valley-like choke points that precede the Vinewrath’s chamber. I have been assigned to the southernmost of these choke-points, adjacent to the fort in which I now take respite. It is an unpleasant sensation, to sink a blade into the flesh of another living being, Mordrem or otherwise. The feeling of soft tissue splitting beneath the driving force of my own arm, the sight of pulpy, fibrous plant flesh flying in all directions, and the screams; the screams of dying beings. They will haunt me for days to come.

However, we are gaining ground, albeit slowly. Our strategy is… direct. Perhaps it is because I have no mind for war, but I would have been in favor of a… cleverer scheme. The Pact has been deploying siege engines at the mouth of each choke-point, hoping to get them close enough to the impenetrable walls of vines that keep the Vinewrath safe from harm. The walls are impervious to small and medium sized missiles, but Trahearne thinks that enough physical force may break the powerful enchantments that bind the walls. As he is an expert on these matters, I shall put my faith in him. However, that faith wears thinner and thinner with each passing hour as the casualty count rises. How many of those men, women, charr, norn, asura, and sylvari placed their trust in this strategy only to have it swallow them whole? Bah, my mind has gone to a dark place, one from which I fear it shall never return. Out here in the Silverwastes, the days stretch endlessly before us as we realize what it has cost us to come this far, and just how much more it may cost to finish what we have started. I, for one, am not so sure it is a cost that Tyria can afford to pay.

With all due respect,

Ellis Knox

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