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Cullen vs Robb Stark.png

Army will collide with army as an epic campaign of fantastical proportions where honor, strength, and skill will all collide! Cullen, the former Templar turned commander of the Inquisition that helped save Thedas from the threat of Corypheus and the Qunari invaders! Robb Stark, the Young Wolf who marched the entire North of Westeros against the Iron Throne in a brave and valiant rebellion to the tyrant Joffrey Baratheon! Two warriors turned reluctant generals will trade blows and battles as the Templar hunts down the Young Wolf, all to determine which commander is...

THE DEADLIEST WARRIOR!!!

Cullen

Cullen Profile.png
How many lives depend on our success? I swore myself to this cause. I will not give myself less to the Inquisition than I did to the Chantry.
— Cullen

Cullen Rutherford is a former Templar from Honnleath in Ferelden, and the current commander of the Inquisition's military forces. Despite beginning his training much older than other recruits, Cullen excelled in his work and was stationed in Kinloch Hold. While there, Cullen struck up a brief but tense friendship with a mage before the latter ending up leaving to join the Wardens. When Uldred took control of the Circle, Cullen was tortured for several days until he was rescued by the Warden. Cullen's trauma resulted in his murder of another mage, and he was transferred to the Gallows in Kirkwall.

In Kirkwall, Cullen had several encounters with the Champion of Kirkwall throughout his decade in Kirkwall. When Meredith finally snapped and starting killing mages, Cullen turned on his boss and fought her alongside Hawke. Left disillusioned by the Order, Cullen abandoned his post and joined the Inquisition as its main commander. While serving with the Inquisition, Cullen weans himself off of lyrium and helps the Inquisitor to find a way to break past Samson's red lyrium armor. Once the Inquisition is "officially" disbanded, Cullen retires and founds a sanctuary for Templars to wean themselves off of lyrium.

Personal Equipment:

  • Mainhand - Broadsword Cullen wields a more ornate version of the standard Inquisition broadsword. He is a skilled swordsman, and uses chops and slashes primarily in his fighting style. Although light enough to be wielded with one-hand with ease, the sword is also slightly larger and thicker than the typical sword, likely due to the style of swordfighting Cullen is trained in and because they made it bigger in cutscenes than gameplay
  • Off-Hand - Kite Shield Cullen wields a kite shield with the heraldry of the Templar Order.
  • Armor - Templar Armor: Cullen wears a unique variant of the standard Templar armor. Due to his position, it's fancier than most, but is fundamentally the same; an upper torso of plate armor with gauntlets, and plate greaves.
  • X-Factor - Templar Abilities: Cullen, as he has not fully completed the weaning process, still has access to his templar abilities. Most of it is irrelevant since Robb's army doesn't have access to magic, but there are a couple things worth including.

Army

Inquisition Soldier.jpg

The Inquisition Soldiers are the bulk of the Inquisition army. Most wield a longsword and tower or round shield, and wear chainmail with a helmet and breastplate. Most Inquisition soldiers choose to abandon their shields once the gritty melee begins. They are the primary part of the Inquisition army, and thus are its largest part.

See here for every talent in the sword and board tree.

Blades of Hessarian.png

The Blades of Hessarian are an infamous mercenary company that has pledged its service to Andraste and whoever proves worthy of her. When the Inquisitor defeated their first captain in trial by combat, the Blades pledged their allegiance to the Inquisitor, who put them under Cullen's command. They are a small but renowned company, utilizing swords, shields, bows, shields, and mabari war hounds.

The Blades of Hessarian come in three forms; the Blade, which wields a simple longsword and wears chainmail; the Archer, who wields a recurve bow and wears a metal gorget; and the Shield, who wears plate armor and uses a tower shield with a mace. The dogs also wear armor.

See here for the types of warriors available.

Bulls Chargers.png

The Bull's Chargers are an elite mercenary company employed by the Inquisition. They are composed of skilled and talented individuals, and in the Inquisition (thus for this battle) are led by their lieutenant Cremisius Aclassi. Additionally, they are fiercely devoted to their commander The Iron Bull and each other due to the small size of the company. The Chargers are employed as skirmishers and shock troops as a result of their small size, but are highly effective when utilized properly.

With exception to the notable members of the Chargers listed below, the standard member of the Bull's Chargers wields a Ferelden longsword and wears metal greaves and pauldrons, along with a metal breasplate over what appears to be chainmail.

Click here for notable members of the Bull's Chargers. Note: The Iron Bull will not be among them.

Sutherland and Company.png
Sutherland and Company are a small but effective mercenary crew composed of volunteers for the Inquisition. They are primarily utilized on small but key missions to serve in a semi-ambassadorial role. They are composed of the human warrior Sutherland, the human archer Shayd, the elven spellbinder Voth, and the dwarven runner/squire Rat.

Templars.jpg

When Cullen initially left the Templar Order, he convinced a number of Templars to join him in the Inquisition, such as Lysette and Knight-Captain Rylen. Once the Inquisition began its official alliance with the mage rebellion because I'm not a monster, Cullen began the process of secretly training templars to be prepared in case possession became a problem.

The Templars come in three units: the Knight, who wears full Templar plate and wields a longsword; the Archer, who wields a bow and for some reason wears no armor; and the Defender, who wields a tower shield, wears full plate, and uses a longsword.

templar abilities See here for a Templar's abilities.

Robb Stark

Robb Stark Profile.jpg
You insult yourself, Kingslayer. You've been defeated by a boy. You're held captive by a boy. Perhaps you'll be killed by a boy.
— Robb Stark

Robb Stark is the eldest child and son of Eddard Stark, and heir to Winterfell. A stoic and somber young man, Robb was raised to take his place as the head of House Stark since birth. As a young man, Robb was given the task of overseeing Winterfell while his father Eddard was made Hand of the King and travel to King's Landing. When his father was captured for attempting a coup against King Joffrey Baratheon, Robb called his banners to force Joffrey to release him. When Joffrey murdered Eddard and held his sister Sansa as a hostage, Robb officially declared the North a free kingdom and rebelled.

Initially, the young king waged a successful war against the better funded Lannister-Baratheon forces. However, several strategic errors such as breaking his betrothal to Walder Frey's daughter, giving Theon Greyjoy the freedom to return to the Ironborn, and executing a key ally in Rickard Karstark all lead to Robb losing men without having anything to show for it. Dedicated to ending the war, Robb plans to lay siege to Casterly Rock after securing another alliance with Walder Frey. However, he, his pregnant wife, his mother, and most of his allies are all betrayed by House Bolton and Frey, leading to Robb's unceremonious execution.

Personal Equipment:

  • Mainhand - Longsword: The primary weapon of Robb Stark is a longsword, a steel sword that has a double-edged blade. Robb is said to be the most skilled swordsman in Winterfell, and better than his "brother" Jon Snow at that point. He primarily wields it with one hand, although would be trained to use with two as well.
  • Offhand - Northern Dirk: Although he never gets a chance to use it, Robb carries the standard Northern dirk on his belt and can use it in self-defense if necessary.
  • Armor - Northern Calvary Armor: Robb primarily wears Northern Cavalry armor in battle, which included a steel brigadine over chainmail and a hardened leather tunic.
  • X-Factor - Grey Wind: Robb is always watched over by his faithful and loyal direwolf, Grey Wind. It's a giant wolf.

Army

NOTE: A full list of the houses loyal to House Stark can be found here. Below are only the most powerful and noteworthy.

House Stark.jpg

The average Stark soldier wears a brown or dark blue coat with green or grey sleeves, with chainmail worn under it and a suit of studded leather armor worn over it; he also wears a pair of grey or brown leather boots. The soldiers are often equipped with helmets and round shields of steel or iron, both grey in color and the shields emblazoned with the Stark direwolf. Warriors in the Northern heavy cavalry or heavy infantry wear relatively cheap brigandine armor, with many choosing to wear mail underneath as well, rather than the expensive plate armor of the well-equipped Lannister troops. They are the bulk of Robb's army, and are devoutly loyal to The Young Wolf.

The standard House Stark soldier wields a spear and a round steel shield as his primary weapons, with a longsword and dirk on his hip. The Stark cavalary likewise wield a spear and a sword on their side. Stark soldiers that are skilled wield bows, but these archers are not seen often.

House Tully.png

The Tully soldiers are outfitted with black brigandine leather armor with chainmail beneath, adding further protection to the wearer. Many of them intricately crafted with overlapping “scales” made from leather, possibly being inspired by the Tully sigil. This design, is not aesthetically practical but more symbolic, since the Tully men live in a region that consists mostly of rivers. The design also provides a degree of low visibility during nighttime, allowing them to raid enemy camps with little detection. This makes them nimble compared to soldiers who might be wearing heavy plates of armor, while retaining a degree of protection. House Tully is led by Brynden "Blackfish" Tully, a Chad a veteran of Robert's Rebellion and a tough, gritty, and brilliant warrior.

House Tully soldiers primarily wield a longsword with a dirk as backup, in order to maintain a nimble fighting force that is well-suited to taking advantage of their small size. House Tully also seems more able to deploy archers, with their men wielding either crossbows or longbows.

House Bolton.png

The Bolton soldiers are outfitted with dark-colored leather tunics with chainmail and gorgets carved with the Bolton sigil. The most distinct characteristic of the Bolton army is the conical point-shaped helmets with a distinct groove at the edges which distinguishes them from other northern soldiers. House Frey is infamous for its brutality and viciousness, not just allowing but actively encouraging its soldiers to engage in the most brutal and violent methods while at war. They are led by the cunning and opportunistic Roose Bolton, a cautious but savage and calculating strategist and Robb's most pragmatic if flimsiest advisor.

House Bolton infantry soldiers use either a spear and tower shield or a longsword and round shield. Their cavalry primarily wield a sword, but carry a kite shield upon their back if they end up dismounted. House Bolton also stands out as one of the most prepared for long range engagements, making ample use of archers wielding composite bows or crossbows, depending on the engagement.

X-Factors

Cullen / X-Factor / Robb Stark

90 Experience 75

Cullen has participated in several of the most important conflicts in Thedas for over a decade, from the Circle takeover to the Qunari invasion of Kirkwall to the activities of the Inquisition. Cullen has served in various capacities over his life, starting as a common soldier and working in different leadership roles before finally becoming the commander of the Inquisition. While he mostly stays in Skyhold to strategize his forces, Cullen is known to occasionally adventure into the field when required. Robb Stark has seen much for a man his age, but ultimately he has only just recently become a man. Earning the title of the Young Wolf for a good reason, Robb's rebellion only lasted about a year before his untimely death. During that year, Robb gained a lot of practical battlefield experience, becoming skilled in small-scale tactics and personal combat as a result.

75 Tactics 85

Cullen isn't a failure on this regard, but he's hardly outstanding. He managed to raise an adequate defense against Meredith once she went insane, and could manage to keep control of a battle long enough to allow the Inquisitor to accomplish his actual goals. Despite this, due in part to Cullen's own mindset and because the plot demands it, Cullen has a preference for keeping engagements swift and brief. Robb's brilliance as a general lay in his ability to conceive of strategies and tactics for each battle. With great knowledge on his opponents from scouts and studying, Robb was swiftly able to take control of the War of the Five Kings in the Riverlands. He utilized deception, hit-and-run tactics, and outright fighting prowess to win battle after battle with ease.

75 Strategy 60

Cullen is also not a failure on this front, but lacks substantive feats to impress. He tends to view strategy as a blunt hammer; while he was capable of executing efficient battle plans, he always viewed matters to be solved with fighting rather than deception or alliances. He acted more as a servant of the Inquisitor on this regard, with the latter coming up with the long-term plan with the rest of his war table while Cullen executed their forces. Robb's sense of honor and his inexperience as a real commander show itself here more than anything else; Robb consistently made crippling, dangerous mistakes in terms of long-term strategy. He rarely informed his generals of the long-term plan, he hardly paid attention to his allies and their needs, and was consistently outplayed in the more important moments of the war.

75 Logistics 75

When it came to marshalling the Inquisition's forces, Cullen was aided and skilled in using the initially limited logistics of the Inquisition to full effect. He could effectively distribute the right amount of forces when necessary, and was able to utilize them as either the primary attack force or as a distraction for larger goals. Robb's army is one, if not the largest army in all of Westeros, and thus has ample amounts of manpower at its disposal. However, the hasty assembly and deployment of Robb's forces also means they have been spread out. Additionally, they were cut off from the North by the Ironborn, leaving Robb fighting a war on two fronts.

Something to note; there are some factors that are purely situational to this specific fight to take into account for this X-Factor. Cullen and the Inquisition are acting as the invader, and are funded partially by House Lannister. This means that Cullen and his troops have ample funds for things like equipment and food, but have very little to replenish them in terms of manpower. Robb's own army is the "defensive" entity of this war, and thus have more knowledge of the terrain itself, forts, and key positions. They are also likely the larger force, numbering at nearly 35,000 soldiers in total compared to the Inquisition's unknown but decidedly smaller force.

80 Leadership 95

Cullen is an inspiring and charismatic soldier, with a reputation that precedes him and the ability to back it up. His men believe in the cause of the Inquisition, and they trust his ability to lead them through it. They are more than willing to sacrifice themselves or hold an impossible position in the name of the Inquisition. Robb Stark is a beloved king and warrior, who has taken up an almost mythical perception among his rank-and-file soldiers. Robb's ability to win battle after battle and their cause of true Northern independence has inspired every one of his soldiers to follow the King in the North.

85 Discipline 80

Cullen does well in this category, both on a personal and military level. His self-discipline to cure himself of his lyrium addiction is a sight to behold, while he constantly drills his men to keep order in the rank-and-file. As briefly discussed before, Cullen's men are inspired by a religious devotion to the Inquisition's cause, and are more than willing to give up their lives in the name of Andraste, the Inquisitor, and by extension Cullen. Robb, while inspiring loyalty in his own men, had difficulty maintaining it with his generals. The competing interests of them all, combined with Robb's own sense of honor, is what led to several of his key allies either leaving his cause or outright betraying him.

Notes

  • Full votes require well-written edges OR a detailed explanation of at least ten sentences.
  • Half-votes are the previously mentioned requirements sans the "well-written".
  • Votes with little to no reason, bias, or irrelevant information will not count at all.
  • All votes must contain proper grammar and spelling.
  • All votes must clearly express a winner/tie to ensure proper tallying of votes.
  • These requirements are abstract; I reserve the right to count or discount votes depending on their individual merit.
  • My rebuttal policy is as follows; the initial rebuttal will reduce a vote to half, and a particularly outstanding rebuttal will reduce it to nothing. The first counter-argument, if adequate, will raise the vote back to full value. Going forward from there, all rebuttals and counter-arguments will only affect a vote if I believe it does so adequately.
  • Voting closes eventually.

The Iron Throne has grown tired of the War of the Five Kings, and has reached out to the Inquisition to aid them in hunting and putting down the King in the North. The Inquisition agrees, sending Cullen and the bulk of its army to help stop Robb Stark. Realizing he will be outnumbered if he fights the Lannisters, the Baratheons, the Inquisition, and the Ironborn, Robb begins the process of retreating to the North.

The resulting war takes place over the course of six months, with small skirmishes and pitched battles taking place as Robb and his forces retreat. Assuming that neither warrior has forced the other's surrender, the final battle will take place in Winterfell, where Robb and however many of his forces must repel what remains of the Inquisition for an additional month.

The win conditions are as follows:

  • Cullen - All must be met to win.
    • Stay alive.
    • Force Robb Stark to surrender at or prior to the Battle of Winterfell.
  • Robb Stark - Condition 1 must be met with Condition 2 or Conditions 3 and 4.
    • Stay alive.
    • Force Cullen to surrender at or prior to the Battle of Winterfell.
    • Return to Winterfell.
    • Hold off the Inquisition for one month at the Battle of Winterfell.
  • Tie
    • A commander dies but meets all of their other win conditions.

  • Cullen and the Inquisition: 40,554 men total
    • Inquisition: 39,000
    • Blades of Hessarian: 500 men total
      • Blades: 250
      • Archers: 100
      • Shields: 100
      • Mabari Hounds: 50
    • Sutherland and Company: 4
    • Bull's Chargers: 50 (including Cremissius and his personal squad)
    • Templars: 1,000
      • Knights: 500
      • Archers: 200
      • Defenders: 300
  • Robb Stark and House Stark: 39,000 men total
    • House Stark: 18,000
      • Infantry: 12,000
      • Cavalry: 5,000
      • Archers: 1,000
    • House Tully: 15,000
      • Infantry: 13,000
      • Archers: 2,000
    • House Bolton: 6,000
      • Infantry: 3,500
      • Cavalry: 1,000
      • Archers: 1,500
  • The reasons for these numbers is that, despite being the invader and having an inherent disadvantage in that regard, the Inquisition possesses magical abilities in the Templars, guard building, and mages that Robb and his men have no counter to.

    The numbers used here are from what the Game of Thrones wiki, which only states Robb at his peak and not what his numbers are prior to the Red Wedding. The numbers for the Inquisition have never been explicitly given, so I made them up to best suit the numbers of Robb's own army.

    If these numbers are considered unfair to either party, please reach out to me on Discord or in the comments below to contest them.

    • Cullen and the Inquisition will not be bolstered by the Lannister army. They must win this war on their own.
    • For the purpose of voting, the Ironborn will not be a problem for Robb on retreat. Robb will not have to worry about retaking Winterfell or facing them.
    • Both warriors have a "war report" of the other, including a brief history lesson, publicaly known allies and the accompanying information, and an estimated number of strength.

    Battle

    Prologue: The Song of Faith and Fealty

    Weary after a day of travel, the Inquisitor trades his armored robes for the casual hunting garb he wore around Skyhold. As he shrugs the heavy purple coat onto his body, a knock interrupts his thoughts.

    "Come in, I won't bite," he says with a smirk. One of his soldiers approaches, bowing his head and pounding his chest reverently before looking back up.

    "Reports have arrived sir. Your advisors are ready to convene."

    The Inquisitor nods, and he bids the messenger farewell. He finishes his ensemble, briefing a glance in the mirror, before walking out the door of his chambers.

    As he approaches the massive wooden doors that led into his war table, he could hear the banter and lighthearted yelling from within.

    "Hush! Just look pretty," A melodic voice whispers as he walks into the end of the conversation. Before him stood his three advisors; the former Left Hand of, and current Divine-elect, Leliana, his lover and ambassador Josephine, and close friend Cullen.

    The latter quickly bristles and stands at attention, puffing out his chest. "Inquisitor," he says, only to elicit a series of giggles from the girls.

    "I love what you've done with your hair Commander. What do you use to style it?"

    "Just a bit of beeswax product I picked up in-" he starts to explain, only to cut himself off. "I do not style my hair, Your Grace."

    "I knew it!" Josephine exclaims, pointing an accusatory finger at Cullen.

    "'Tis a shame, Commander," Leliana says with a smirk. "These reports seem to show quite a few who would pine for your hand."

    "I am not bait!"

    The Inquisitor coughs, interrupting the conversation. "As much as I enjoy humiliating Cullen, there is business to attend to."

    Josephine pulls out a map, causing the Inquisitor to raise an eye. "What's this?" he says as he reads it over. "I don't recognize it from any maps I've seen."

    "This is Westeros, Your Grace," Josephine explains, pointing to a spot on the south end of it. "After your discovery of Inquisitor Ameridan, Professor Kenric divulged ancient maps of the land to the south of the Korcari Wilds."

    "What does this mean?" The Inquisitor says, raising his eyebrow.

    "By itself, this means nothing," Leliana explains. "But to the east is Essos, where rumors of a powerful new party are boiling. Her name is Daenerys Targaryen, and she controls an army in the thousands and three dragons."

    "Three?"

    Cullen concludes the summary. "Yes, three. We can and have verified this. The country is currently going through a civil war that makes Celene and Gaspard look like a sparring session. All three of us believe it is within our best interest to intervene and ensure they are prepared to defend Westeros from her."

    "Alright then- what are our options?"

    "The official monarchy of Westeros is Joffrey Baratheon, who is Baratheon in name but enforces his will with the influence of his mother's family, House Lannister." Josephine explains. "There is a separate faction of the Baratheons led by Stannis "The Mannis" Baratheon, who disputes Joffrey's claim to the throne. Finally, there is House Stark, led by Robb Stark, who is on the warpath to rescue his sister Sansa and declare the North a 'free kingdom'."

    The Inquisitor nods at Leliana, gesturing for her to go first. "I believe it is best to look into the rumors of Joffrey's legitimacy. Both Stannis and Stark have disputed it publicly, and I see them both willing to work together if we can verify it."

    Josephine shakes her head. "Stannis Baratheon is a brute, and no better than Gaspard or Cailan. I would say to fully support the Starks' claim for independence; many believe that they might have the moral high ground, and it is best if the Inquisition abides by that. Let the Baratheons sort themselves out."

    Cullen places his hand on the pommel of his sword and shrugs. "I don't trust the rumors of a usurper and a rebel. The Iron Throne has recently repelled a siege of Stannis' armies at King's Landing - if we eliminate the Starks, that allows Joffrey to defeat his uncle and present a united Westeros against the Targaryen girl."

    The Inquisitor thinks it over, before nodding to Cullen. "Get rid of the Starks first. When they're dealt with, we'll let the Baratheons duke it out and we'll pick a side from there."

    With his decision made, the Inquisitor promptly walks out of the room. Cullen places the small metal lion that represented his forces onto the map as the two women to disperse. As they begin their small talk, the Inquisitor bursts into the room and slams the door open.

    "What's wrong, Your Grace?"

    "Nothing. I just, um..." he starts to say. "I forgot I needed to hear the reports from the other operations. Again."

    "Don't forget the increase in the Inquisition's new influence."

    At this, the Inquisitor groans in frustration. Cullen smirks as he returns to his side of the war table. "Nobody said this would be easy, Trevelyan."


    As twilight gives way to evening, a Stark guardsman leans on his spear in boredom. He shifts his feet and looks at his companion, who picks at his fingernails with his dirk.

    "How long until-" His question is interrupted as a horn blares, and the beat of hooves blasts his tired ears.

    Edmure Tully gallops indignantly into camp on his horse, kicking up mud and water as he plows through the rank and file. As he approaches the tent, he barely slows down as he swings from his saddle. One of the guards takes the reins as the other steps forward.

    "M'lord, His Grace is in the middle of-"

    "Get out of my way. The boy may be king, but my nephew-"

    A gruff voice interrupts Edmure. "But nothing, Edmure. He is your king, and we will wait for him," says Brynden "Blackfish" Tully as he rides behind. He sits atop his own horse, his eyes unreadable to the Stark soldiers.

    "Well? You going to fetch him or am I going to sit on this horse until my grey hair goes white?"

    "You're torturing the poor boy."

    Robb Stark moves the flap of his tent as he walks out, nodding at Edmure. Brynden dismounts and lowers his head, only for Robb to grip him into a hug.

    "I've missed you, uncle."

    The family walks into the tent, where Robb's lieutenant Roose Bolton observes a map. A piece of parchment lays unfurled on the table, and Brynden reads it over.

    "The Inquisition? What the bloody hell is an inquisition?

    Robb looks over the map stretched out over the table, where a silver lion has now been placed at Lannisport.

    "Some army that Tywin Lannister has hired to do his dirty work for him. Lord Bolton's spies have informed us of their arrival last week."

    Roose takes over, walking over and pointing to Casterly Rock. "With the Lannisters regrouping in King's Landing and the Inquisition preparing to take the Westerlands, we believe it best to return to the north and regroup."

    "Surely we can take the fight to them," Edmure protests. "Or perhaps we could hold the Twins."

    Robb shook his head, pointing to the small green dot that represented the Iron Islands. "We don't have the manpower to hold the Twins. Additionally, we must reclaim the North from the Ironborn before the Inquisition does it for us."

    Roose nodded in agreement. "My spies say this Inquisition sails for Pyke, and they'll likely take it. That gives them the ability to sail around the Twins and trap us here."

    Brynden nods thoughtfully, before picking up the tokens of their forces. "Getting back into the open country isn't a bad idea. We won't be able to hold the Riverlands with a force this large, and we can't risk heading south of the Twins."

    Robb nods his head, allowing his commanders to leave. Only Brynden stays behind, looking over the map. "Speak, uncle."

    "How sure are you that you can trust Roose Bolton?"

    "I'd trust my bannermen with my life." Robb says as he sits in his chair. Brynden grunts, observing the vast distance between their home and the Twins.

    "Personally I trust Bolton about as far as I could throw him in my younger days." Brynden shrugs, but bows his head and leaves Robb's tent. The King in the North looked over the table, already planning where this "Inquisition" could be beat first.

    Month 1: The Neck of the Woods

    On a brisk early morning, Darlen Snow watched from the reeds as the thud of hundreds of Inquisition boots marched the Kingsroad towards him. Gritting himself, Darlen itched in anticipation as he gripped the hilt of his sword. He could feel his knuckles growing white as he bit his tongue to suppress his nerves. If one thing went wrong, one person moved to quickly or too slowly, the rest of the Inquisition would swam them before they could retreat back to the bogs.

    "This your first fight?" a voice whispers beside him, and he looks to see an older man in black maille lying behind him. Darlen gulps and nods, eliciting a quiet laugh from him. "Don't worry, lad. We'll split a cask back at camp, and I'll tell you about a real battle. Should've seen me back then, gods I was strong."

    "Aye, sir. What's your name?"

    "Kendrick." the Tully soldier says.

    "Darlen Snow." The Reed soldier replies, offering his hand. The two men shook, and Darlen breathed in a more casual breath.


    Knight-Captain Alec could feel the squish of mud in his boots, caking the skirt that was a comfortable but somewhat impractical part of his Templar armor. Despite that, his spirits were in high hopes. Serving as one of the vanguard's commanders was rare honor for those templars who had not joined the Inquisition until after the Breach had been dealt with.

    "You know, for somewhere called the "North", there's not a lot of snow," a perky voice states. Alec turns to see a lightly armored elven man - a rarity in the Inquisition's army - approach him from behind. His short sword hangs loosely at his side as he strides beside Alec.

    "There's not usually this much talking on a march, Loranil," Alec says stoically.

    "Yes. You shems really are the serious bunch. Even when my clan moved the aravel, we kept up high spirits..." Loranil starts to say. He pauses for just a moment, his usual grin slipping into a frown.

    "What is it?"

    "Do you hear that?" Loranil asks, looking around the bog of the Neck.

    "Hear what?"

    "...Exactly."


    A horn blares in the air, causing Darlen to practically leap into the air in surprise. Kendrick chuckles, and rises with a war cry. A horde of five hundred soldiers from House Reed and Tully answer, swords drawn and shields up. Darlen himself rushed forward, tackling a startled Inquisition soldier to the ground.

    He slammed his shield into his foe, sending them to the ground as he hacked off their arm. The Inquisition soldier screamed in agony as Darlen finished him off with a thrust to the gut, before turning around. Looking at his fellow men, Darlen quickly helped to form a small but adequate line of defenders as more footmen of Stark vassals and allies descended upon the Inquisition.

    Screams of dying men and scrambling soldiers filled the air as Reed archers blocked off reinforcements from joining the forward column of Inquisition soldiers. As the ranks of Inquisition soldiers tried to assembled themselves, any attempt at cohesion fell apart as a brutal melee began. Tower shields abandoned and without the aid of mages and only a handful of Templars, the three hundred men who made up the forward guard of Inquisition were put to the blade without hesitation.


    Alec watched in brief horror as the enemy attacked their forward column. He pulled the war horn from his belt and let out two long blasts - the signal that there was an ambush. That will have to do, Alec thought to himself, before unholstering the mace at his side and hoisting his shield off his back. Behind him, another five hundred Inquisition and Hessian soldiers roared as they charged forward to aid their comrades.

    As they began their approach, a small wall of round shields tipped with spears stood to await them. Alec began to mutter the Chant under his breath, his breathing steady and his muscles only tense enough to be prepared for an attack. Alec felt darkness descend upon him. Reacting on years of instinct and experience, Alec raised his shield as three arrows slammed into his kite shield. One managed to slip past the shield, clipping his shoulder as it bounced off the templar plate. "Shields! Shields now!" He yelled as he looked back to his subordinates.

    Those lucky enough to be wielding tower shields bunkered underneath of them, but a handful of his archers and foot soldiers were quickly cut down by the storm of arrows. Alec activated his Templar abilities, kneeling on the ground as he let the magical flow of his lyrium-induced powers inspire his troops. With a renewed roar, the Inquisition charged forward as arrows collided into their shields.


    Darlen gulped back his fear as the Inquisition forces marched forward without pause. He looked behind him, where the last remnants of this Inquisition force were being beaten. His commanding officer solemnly nodded and a quick horn blast, signalling the retreat. Before the shield wall could retreat under the cover of archer fire, a blinding light pierced into the eyes of the Westerossi forces. Those not pecked down by a wave of Inquisition archers could do little as a fresh wave of Inquisition soldiers washed over the Stark forces' shield wall. Covering his eyes in haste, Darlen could do little as Alec barreled into him.

    From the corner of his eye, Alec watched as a couple of the lighter armored Hessians advanced. They swung their axes at the spears, breaking apart the line, only to be skewered with swords or the splintered shafts. Pushing a Reed soldier onto the ground, Alec thrust his mace down only for his foe to roll out of its way. The Templar felt his arm stiffen in pain as his opponent kicked his exposed arm, and he inwardly cursed at himself as he foolishly left his heavy mace in the mud.

    Darlen quickly rose and tackled the invader, bringing his heavily armored opponent to the ground. A war cry draws his attention, and he steps backwards to avoid the attack of another Inquisition soldier. Behind him, Kendrick pulls out his dirk and throws it, with the blade landing point first in the Inquisition soldier's eye. She grabbed the wound in a vain attempt to stop the bleeding, only for Darlen to grab the dagger and rip it out. Her blood gushed onto his coat as she fell, eliciting a gasp of shock from the fallen Templar before him.

    "You're not dying today, Snow," Kendrick says, only for an Inquisition archer to return the favor. Two arrows slam into his throat, and he falls to the mud with a gasp.

    Darlen shakes his head in horror, spotting Alec rising from his spot on the ground. Letting out a vengeful roar, the Reed soldier raised the bloody dirk in his hand and thrust it down. Alec quickly raises his hands to block Darlen's attack, struggling in vain as the Westerossi's strength and gravity pushed him further into the mud.

    He manages to deflect Darlen's aim, resulting in the dagger piercing a gap in his shoulder instead. This does little to stop Darlen, who simply wraps his hands around Alec's throat to strangle him. Alec felt his eyes bulge in pain, and he could do little in his exhausted state. Maker, guide me to your side...

    As if to answer his prayer, a snarl broke his train of thought as a large brown shape tackled Darlen off of him. Alec rose as the mabari hound ripped its teeth into Darlen's throat, his screams overshadowed by the dog's vicious barks and the din of the battle around them. Quickly picking up the mace, Alec clicked his tongue. The mabari stopped attacking and sprinted to find another victim, leaving the dying Darlen in the mud. Driven by the frenzy of battle, Alec let out a yell as he swung the mace downward, reducing the Westerossi's head to a bloody pulp.

    The bloodlust subsiding and his senses returning, Alec looks around as the battle rages on. He had seen abominations and bandits, but this cruelty, this battle frenzy - it would make the Avvar he had fought in the Frostbacks recoil. There was more red in the water than brown in the water at this point. His ears ringing, Alec barely notices the frantic yelling of his name.

    "Knight-Captain! Knight-Captain, snap out of it."

    Alec looked wearily as Loranil put his hand on his shoulder. "We've won."

    Only a handful of Reed and Tully soldiers remained standing, throwing down their weapons in surrender. Despite this, Alec let out a sigh of despair at the broken bodies adorned in the green and orange of the Inquisition, far outnumbering the dull browns of their foe.

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