The Duke of Alderbridge turned his back on the River Gods his family has worshipped for generations and was purified by the priests of a new faith, a god of humans, the prime primate, the First Man. He demanded the elf prince’s delegation leave the city walls. He demanded the dwarven guildsfolk take their goods and begone. His priests blamed halflings for several problems and their shire was raided (without the Duke’s permission, of course) by local knights and squires seeking vengeance. A halfling visiting the city with a wizard was found floating in the river. The duke kept hostages – an elf prince, a dwarven shield-maiden and the wizard said to be a friend and drug dealer of the halflings.
When the Duke sent missives saying that all impure (non-human) goods would be further taxed in order to mitigate the damage done to human souls for trafficking in xenosin, the armies gathered. The elven queen and 7 dwarven kings declared the duke a misbegotten son of a youngling species whose head would be put on display on an adamant pike and marched between their thrones as a warning. The villages between the elves, dwarves and Alderbridge were put to the torch, their people driven behind the duke’s walls in hopes of speeding up the siege’s starvation.
The elven archers and cavalry have set up camp beyond a catapult’s throw from the northern wall. The best nigh-immortal archers watch the castle walls, taking shots whenever they see movement. The duke’s nephew was shot in the throat and will likely die.
The dwarven host took the south. The long, straight, southern wall appealed to the stone-lords. They are building their siege engines even now, singing songs about turning the younglings’ architecture into rubble. Kuroth’s Crossing will be left untouched.
It seemed like the orchards to the northeast were open. The duke’s first riders were sent during the first moonless night. Halfling sling-stones pelted horse and rider alike. None were said to survive.
Mercenary wizards have summoned Water Elementals that prowl the river, destroying boat traffic.
The harvests had not yet been brought in. They say the fields are afire even now. Rumors have it that anyone caught is either killed on sight or sent south to be put into the dungeon-prison of the Archmage, whose disdain for the First Man’s religion is well known.
And here you are: indentured servants, wainrights, criminals, turnip farmers, costermongers, alchemists, barbers and squires, all driven behind the walls. Alderbridge folk are already hiding food and grumbling about the newcomers in from the villages.
What will chaos, blood, sorcery, hubris and steel cause you to become?