The Dark Edge
Zedd, the Master Tactician
In the first Redgull-Avarus war waged nearly 200 years ago, a bloody battle took place as Redgull tried to advance onto the mainland of Avarus. Launching a clever sneak attack from multiple sides, Redgull used its greater population as a key aspect to creating a powerful force that washed over the Avarus shoreline defenses. By breaking onto land and controlling the Dragon Sea, Redgull had the upper hand in the battle from the start, especially once the kingdom of Gilon pulled their forces back from helping Avarus.
However, in these hard times, legends tell of a single tiefling who rode to Avarus’ capital of Avarus City mounted on a black horse with a golden mane. Though initially turned away, the tiefling introduced himself as Zedd, and offered an answer to beating the Redgull forces. No one knew where he came from, nor did he find it important to say, but many believe that he was one of the outsiders enslaved by the Drow that was able to help lead the Underdark Revolution. Zedd was reluctantly heard out, as the previous tactician had died leading a defense at Brillmore, and Avarus was desperate.
Zedd displayed exceptional knowledge of war tactics, and organized maneuvers and positioning that were revolutionary, allowing the Avarus forces to strike back at Redgull with a mix of brute force, subterfuge, and guerilla tactics. The Redgull forces, confused by the change of pace, could not keep up and started getting pushed out of Avarus.
Seeing his opportunity to land the final debilitating blow against the Redgull forces, Zedd organized a complex and pinpoint tactical strike to the Redgull backlines and supply lines in the Dragon Sea, while simultaneously having ground forces push key Redgull militia off Avarus soil into the waters. It was going to be tough to pull off, and Zedd took it upon himself to go to the frontlines to lead the attack.
Zedd led the ground forces from horseback as the Avarus ground forces deftly worked to push key Redgull foes back into the sea. However, the Redgullans were not backing down without a fight, and knowing of Zedd’s pedigree, their war commander Graw Shillshank led his personal force to slay Zedd himself. A bloody battle was waged, and finally Graw and his tattered group fought their way to Zedd’s camp, where he faced them in combat. Zedd was no match for the terrifying captain, and fell. In his last dying breath, he sputtered blood drenched words – “I win…you lose.”
Graw reveled in his victory for only a short moment before he realized Zedd had set him up. The tactician had purposely gone to the battlefield to draw Graw out, and without him, their naval fleet was crumbling without his guidance as the Avarus forces attacked with precision. Graw was stranded on the land, and was captured. This was the last major battle of the war, nicknamed “The Last Battle of Zedd,” and the Redgull forces fell on the losing side and were forced to retreat.
Zedd’s tactics are rigorously studied by students of warfare, and some of his maneuvers are now mainstays for tacticians. Some legends are told that his spirit still wanders the world, looking to help those in times of desperation. Soldiers that have given up hope will record seeing a mysterious spirit riding a black horse with a gold mane appear and lead them into battle, often showing them approaches or routes not previously known, and securing victory from the clutches of defeat.
A statue to Zedd is erected in Avarus City at the Academy of Warfare to commemorate his deft leadership.