A World Asunder

Chapter 42- "I think Piracy suits me"

What the unknown voice said to you was troubling and mystifying in equal parts, but you put it on the back burner to focus on the naval dogfight at hand.

By the time you’ve readied weapons, the IEG marines are 60 feet away and rowing at combat speed equal to an unarmored human (30ft). The nearest frigate is 100 feet away directly ahead. It is facing you head on. The other IEG frigate is 300 feet away with its broadside facing you on an intercept course for the Ironjack. You can barely make out the Dawn of Orthalyn flickering in the lantern light of the Ironjack. You can’t be certain you would notice it if you didn’t know it was there.

(naval battle)

After the IEG ships have been neutralized or taken over, Cade maneuvers the Dawn into position alongside the ship you took and extends a gangplank. Harxen, Myran and Declan are already onboard. Milo hands the helm off to a volunteer sailor and crosses to the Dawn.

(players cross over)
Cade says: “We’ll talk soon, right now Cecily needs our help. Harxen sent freefeather to find out what’s going on at the barricades. Enfys had to return to the Hexagon to tend to a new wave of wounded. Cecily and a group of volunteers are still fighting at the barricades blocking access to the docks. If they retreat, the IEG will overrun the district. I’ve got an idea, though.”

Cade then addresses the deck: “Gun Crews! Load Broadside cannons and prepare to target the IEG barricades on my signal! Ballista crews! Load Ballistae and wait for my signal! You’re going to cover the advance of the street fighters when they attack.”

It is still dark when the Dawn of Orthalyn enters cannon range of the Barricades. Cade gives the order to target the barricades and open fire one after another. The cannons fire and the sound of the blast echoes loudly off the multi-story warehouses. The cannonballs impact the barricade and cover the nearby air in dust and smoke. The next thing you see is dozens of rioters pouring out of the smoke wielding improvised weapons covered in blood. Cade gives the order for ballista crews to begin firing at IEG lines. Though still too far out for bows and crossbows to be effective, the Ballistae strike soldier after soldier as the IEG lines collapse. Cade moves the ship closer to the shore, barely an elf’s height from the docks as the ship matches pace of the advancing rioters. Finally in arrow range, you and any soldiers who are not using the ballistae begin firing arrows at any soldiers that attempt to form lines to stem the tide of advancing rebels. After an hour of fighting, any IEG mercenaries that remain have either been captured or forced to retreat. The combined assault of a rebel charge with naval support quickly overran the docks. Cecily runs to the end of a dock and beckons for you to come ashore. Even from a distance, there is a visible look of urgency on her face.

The sun begins to rise just as you approach the shore and she says: “Now that we’ve taken the docks, the rebel volunteers can finish mopping up any IEG forces in the warehouses and tenements. As it stands, the guild district and the grand estates are the only areas still under IEG control. A messenger came by just before we broke into the harbor district. His message was rushed, but apparently Enfys wants to regroup at the Hexagon. He said something else, too. Reilly’s been hurt. Bad.”

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Chapter 41- "This is so much more fun than being guard captain"

(to lucky)
You burst through the cellar door and haul ass up the spiral staircase adjacent to the lift. At the top of the stairs is a temporary storage area with a set of double doors. You throw them wide open, revealing an atrium full of guards whose faces say, in no uncertain terms: “What the fuck?”

You make a beeline for the nearest exit, a side door leading to a large alley. A guard nearby attempts to block your path. You can attempt to go through him with an overrun or around him by tumbling.

You pass by the guard and run through the rain-washed streets to the rendezvous point with Reilly. Two guards are in pursuit, 40ft and 50ft behind you.

(foot chase, 2 level 2 guards)

You can see the stables half a block away with Reilly waiting on the back of a horse and holding the reigns of another under torchlight. You approach Reilly and she asks “Did you set the charge?”

Boom

“never mind,” Reilly says. “Get on the damn horse and let’s go!”

You mount the horse and you and Reilly gallop off toward the harbor. As the guards fire insults and bullets at you from behind, Reilly looks at you and says “This is so much more fun than being guard captain. Come on, I want to see if we can find a way to join tonight’s other festivities.”

Crack You hear an abnormally loud gunshot. Before you even have time to turn around, you see Reilly on the cobblestone street, missing her elbow and everything below it. Embedded in a wall nearby is a steaming steel rod, about a foot of it is sticking out. You remember seeing this type of ammunition before and you recognize it as a Faskian Pin-cannon, A flintlock weapon famed for it’s accuracy, power and long reload times.

(if asked)
Reilly travelled without armor or pack in order to remain inconspicuous. Reilly’s normal weight is 152 lbs with her gear, minus her right arm, she weighs closer to 145. She has normal clothing, a chainmail vest and a short-sword concealed under her rain-cloak. Her chain vest weighs 15lbs.

(if approached)
Reilly is conscious and alert but has become weak from blood loss. She tells you “I’m in no shape to walk. If I don’t stop the bleeding in what’s left of my arm, I’ll be in no shape to breathe, either. I’m pretty useless right now. If you can’t stop the bleeding, just get your ass out of here.”

(bleeding stopped)
“Thanks, get me to the Hexagon. Enfys should be on her way back after the explosion. She’ll know what to do.

(successful strength check, dc=weight/10)
You hoist Reilly up onto the horse and then mount it yourself. The sound of the explosion left a ringing in your ears that just begins to fade as you whip around the corner at full gallop.

(to strike team)
Even from where you are, a barrel of gunpowder bursting through a stone cellar gives a deafening bang. You see a column of smoke, illuminated by whatever fire it came from coming from the guild district. Shortly after, a flare comes up and you hear a voice from the ship yell: “Reinforcements requested on shore! Marines to the landing craft!” You immediately begin to hear the scurrying of heavy boots and the squealing of pulleys coming from above. Various voices are bellowing orders involving weapons and lifeboats.

(players avoid)
You see the landing craft being rowed toward shore away from you. Two from each ship, each carrying 15 marines a piece.

You then hear a voice in the back of your head: “This Cade Greybarrel at the helm of the Paragon Frigate ‘Dawn of Orthalyn’. Can anyone respond.”

“Good, I was beginning to think you were indisposed. I saw a massive explosion. What in Pelor’s name did you do?”

“Of course you did. Regardless, we’ve dropped anchor a mile away from those ships and snuffed all lanterns. We found a few broadside cannons and ballistae at Polaris and we’ve fitted them to the Dawn. What’s the plan?”

“Alright, we’ll wait for your signal. It looks like all the remaining crew are looking at the shore and starting fires in the steam trebuchets. If you still plan on boarding that ship, now would be the time.”

(players board)
With the Marines heading to shore, the remainder of the crew is ill equipped to defend against a boarding attempt. Most are completely unarmed or armed only with a dagger. The few that do carry swords don’t appear to be proficient. Seeing a host of 20 soldiers coming out of the water armed to the teeth puts a scare in everyone aboard. Several of them yell for the marines to return. A man in an officer’s uniform emerges from the captain’s quarters below the helm and says: “What the seventh hell is… Oh, shit. Sailors, to arms! defend the ship!” The crew appears hesitant and the fear of death by sword is abundantly apparent in their eyes.

(players demand surrender)
What few crew members are armed drop their weapons and raise their hands in the air. The rest simply raise their hands in the air. Your soldiers take them to the brig and signal the sailing crew to come aboard.

(players slaughter crew)
The veterans you brought with you object to slaughtering defenseless sailors without offering surrender and refuse to participate. (to Irythan) As these are military personnel, attacking would not permanently change your alignment, but you would lose your paladin abilities for a day if you participate.

combat with level 1 sailors

The last sailor falls dead after begging for his life. Your soldiers take their bodies below decks and signal the sailing crew to approach.

The sailing crew ascends the portside ladders. Milo immediately begins giving orders and takes the helm. He says: “I need one of you by me to navigate and direct weapon crews. The rest of you, pick a weapon and start loading. One of you tell Cade he’s clear to approach.”

The frigate you’re on is equipped with one swivel gun, two broadside cannons and three ballistae on each side. It is also equipped with three steam trebuchets, which are ineffective at combat range. You can see one of the rowboats of marines returning to the ship. One of the marines aboard lights a pair of bright-red torches and begins waving them at the remaining frigates.

(players pick weapons)
You get to your stations and prepare the weapons for a fight as the two Kaptalis frigates and a rowboat of IEG marines approach you. The rainfall slows and then stops and as you begin to aim your weapons and select targets, you hear another voice in the back of your head: “You have perverted a power you cannot begin to comprehend. You toy with magics beyond that of mortal domain. These frivolous ventures into the mundane that you attempt to steer to your favor will be your undoing. Know you this, the ash lord will have his reckoning for that which you flailed from his grasp.”

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Chapter 40- "I've got two barrels of gilded coast whiskey"

Milo steers the cart down a nearby alley and motions for you to come over. He opens one of the barrels and says: “Okay, Lucky. You’re up.” Inside the barrel you can see Milo has placed some snacks and a water skin. Milo motions for Lucky to pay attention. “When you want to use the bomb, empty out the whiskey in the compartment and remove the tap. Place the primer charge where the tap was and cut the fuse to the desired length. I suppose light it and run is a bit obvious, but it’s important enough to deserve a mention.”

Reilly says: “Milo will be with the infiltration team. He knows how to avoid being killed but he’s… unpracticed in combat” Milo makes a gesture in response suggesting that Reilly has increased rectal turgor. Reilly ignores him and continues “Slingshot will be with the secondary boarding party awaiting your signal from a rowboat. Enfys and Cecily will be supporting the rioters with abjuration and healing while they finish fortifying the factories and making the most of whatever Chaos the explosion causes. I Will stand by with two horses so Lucky can make an escape. Lucky, I’ll be five blocks away at an abandoned stable I noticed on our first visit here. Cecily tells me the IEG mercenaries likely won’t know it’s abandoned. You’ll have to make it that far on foot.. Irythan, it would help if one of them was yours.”

(Irythan responds)
“Alright,” Reilly says, with a grin.“Let’s go blow up an official building and steal military equipment. Last clock-tower chime was 4:00, we should get into position.”

(to Lucky)
Milo tells you that one knock means continue as planned, two knocks means abort. You enter the empty barrel and Milo closes the lid. It is pitch-dark inside and sound is muffled, but you can make out the words of nearby conversations. You hear the mule snort and then feel the cart rolling off down the cobblestone street.

(to strike team)
The rest of you make your way to the docks on foot. Reilly, Enfys, Slingshot and Cecily walk with you. It is around sunset when you make it to the edge of the factory district. By this time, Rioters and Mercenaries have fought to a stalemate. As you walk west looking for an opening in their lines you see that both sides have set up opposing barricades on every street, distance between the barricades ranges from 30 up to about 100 feet apart. Patrols on the IEG side of the barricades are stretched thin. After passing five of these barricades, Slingshot asks you to stop for a moment. He says: “There’s no way we can break through their lines without opening the factories up to a retaking. I used to play hide and seek around here as a kid.” Slingshot points to a warehouse and says “That warehouse is used to store goods that have to remain dry. In the basement, there is a tunnel that leads to one of the dockhouses. Used to be used to keep goods out of the rain. I doubt these out-of-town mercs know about it. If we feign an assault, it should tie up their patrols long enough for you to swim out of their patrol routes. We’ll wait for Milo to get back, then make our move.”

(to Lucky)
Lucky, you’ve been in the barrel for about an hour now when you feel the cart stop. You can hear Milo outside. “Guard, I’ve got a delivery. Two barrels of Gilded Coast Whiskey for a Fetrian Hawkins. Tell him the Legacy of Gold Distillery sends their apologies that they could not send the full quantity and their assurances that the remainder will be sent as soon as this unfortunate uprising is quelled.”

A few minutes later, you here another voice: “Ah, mister Brinneth. I was beginning to think you weren’t going to make it. The acting mayor is expecting to meet with the commander of a new mercenary company tomorrow. I’m told this commander has quite the whiskey habit. I’ll have it brought down to the cellar.”

You hear jangling buckles and the shifting of armored feet, then a mule sighing with relief. You hear a small hand knocking once on the barrel. Milo says, “I’ll return for the cart tomorrow” and you hear soft hoofbeats fading away as a clock-tower chimes 5pm. The cart is rolled forward and you then hear a squeaking pully and feel yourself softly being lowered down. The pully stops and you are rolled forward further, a short turn, then rolled again. The voice that greeted Milo says: “Thank you, Guardsmen. I’ll handle the inventory.” Armored feet shuffle away. The voice then says: “Tell Cecily she owes me a real barrel of whiskey. Wait a half-hour or so, then emerge at your leasure” You hear a door close and then silence.

(to the strike team)
After an hour, Milo approaches riding a mule. The sun has set and given way to a dull twilight. Slingshot has been explaining the plan and gathering volunteers. Milo gets off the mule and says: “I want to make it a matter of public record that that crazy bastard Fetrian will drink for free as soon as I build a new bar.”

Slingshot approaches and says: “I think we’re as ready as we’ll ever be. Go on inside and make your way through the tunnel. When the clock-tower chimes 11, we’ll make ourselves the IEG’s most pressing concern for as long as we can”

(strike team enters tunnels)
The tunnels are well-maintained and refreshingly clear of undead. After an hour’s delve, you reach the door that Slingshot described as opening up into an outdoor loading bay with it’s own rain-shelter. It is a wooden door with a built-in lock. Your perception of time is not perfect, but you remember hearing a clock-tower chime a muffled 9pm shortly after entering the tunnel

(players detect evil)
No evil auras are detected.

(players peak under door)
You see a series of wooden crates and barrels scattered across the floor.

(listen check)
You hear an ocean tide and a soft wind whistling under the door.

(players open door)
You see a series of docks, most of them are vacant as far as the eye can see. The closest boat that is not being guarded by IEG mercenaries is a 10-seat rowboat 3 piers down, clearly lit by torch, about half a mile away. You can see sentries between you and the rowboat. One is stationary guarding a fishing trawler and two are mobile (spot check dc 16 will reveal a route by water that sentries cannot see). The closest artillery Frigate is just over a mile offshore and has dropped its aft-starboard anchor.

(players escort sailors to the boat)
After avoiding the sentries, you successfully lead the volunteer sailors aboard the rowboat and push off. Do you wish to remove your armor before swimming? You are all equipped with chain-shirts which take a full-round action to don. You and the Weslythan veterans swim toward the IEG frigate.

(players begin swimming to the ship)
Do you wish to remove your armor before swimming? You are all equipped with chain-shirts which take a full-round action to don. You lower yourselves into the temperate water and begin swimming toward the IEG frigate. Behind you, you can see Milo chopping up barrels and crates and handing pieces to the volunteers. The group of Weslythan veterans follows behind you.

(Swim check dc 10) The last thing you hear as you swim away from shore is the clocktower chiming 10:00

(to Lucky)
Your best guess tells you it’s been a half hour and the barrel is becoming increasingly uncomfortable in tension and odor. (exit barrel) You kick the lid off the barrel and hop out on to the floor. You are in a dimly torch-lit room with heavy brick walls and an imposing vault door on the opposite side of the room. The cart is just as it was when you entered and you can see a pocket-watch on a nearby shelf with a note that reads: “This was my mother’s watch. I’ve synchronized it with the clock-tower in the factory district. Lose this watch and you lose your left social finger. Good hunting, -your friendly neighborhood bartender and spy.” The watch reads 5:20 PM. You have over six hours to set the bomb. (inform kindra she can take 20).

You work meticulously for the next six hours, checking and re-checking your work and taking breaks to avoid drops in attention span. All that’s left is to cut the fuse to the desired length for timing. From experience you have in the city, you know it will take you 3 minutes at full sprint to get from the front door of city hall to the stables where Reilly is waiting. By your estimate it will take 20-30 seconds to get out of the building. The way you set up the bomb, any windows within a quarter-mile will be shattered and any person within 200 feet of city hall could be knocked flat. It will take a full minute to escape that zone. How long of a delay do you want?

You cut the fuse and ready yourself to light it. You’re equipped with all your carried gear. Any further preparations you’d like to make in the next half-hour?

(Lucky lights fuse)
You light the fuse and begin your escape.

(strike team)
It began raining shortly after you started swimming from shore. The clocktower in the distance reads 11:30pm. You are currently 200 feet away from the IEG frigate and you can see sentries patrolling the upper decks and five landing craft on the visible side of the ship and two on the stern. How do you proceed?

(players dive)
You dive below the water and swim toward the ship. It takes a full minute for all of you to make it. Once you surface, you see that the side of the ship you are on has 2 affixed ladders, 40 feet apart from each-other and each 20 feet from the stern or bow. One of the Caer’Daugh veterans approaches you and says: “So, what’s the plan?”. The clocktower says 11:50

By the time you finish explaining the plan and answering questions, the clocktower chimes midnight. Time comes to a standstill as you wait for the blast and the rain continues to fall.

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Chapter 39- "The factories are ours"

You hug the walls on either side of the door that no longer exists. Your forces, 15 veteran city guards from the Battle of Caer’Daugh, stand ready on the flanks of the door to assault the Hexagon. The smoke and sawdust that was the door is obscuring your view of the inside.

Combat with 30 enforcers and one dusk-blade

Once inside, you see yourself in a large corridor, about 30ft wide. 40ft down, you can see a force of Mercenaries lined up in a defensive formation. They are all wearing scale-mail and carrying round metal shields and spears. Just behind their lines is a man in chain-shirt carrying a larger shield and a spear of higher quality. He looks about 50 and is a half-elf. Reilly informs you that she recognizes his fighting style as that of the Weslythan Duskblades, a unit of elite war-mages whose craft originates in ancient elven tradition.

Your soldiers instinctively line up in an attack formation and await the command to attack.

(duskblade is below 1/4hp)

The duskblade drops his weapons and says in a Weslythan accent: “Fuck it, I’m not being paid well enough to die for this. I surrender.”

Reilly finds a pair of manacles and binds his hands to an empty weapon rack. When she’s done, she hands Irythan the key and turns to all of you saying: “What should we do with him?”

(players elect to kill or extract information)
“Wait” he says “Seeing as a mercenary is a businessman with a sword, how about we make a deal? In exchange for safe passage out of the city and all the gold my dead hirelings had, I’ll tell you how to paralyze the IEG. Do we have an accord?”

(no)
“Fine. If you’re going to kill me, get on with it. I don’t have all day.”

(yes)
“Very well. You’ve seen the mercenaries hired by the IEG, yes? Well, mercenaries are skilled, equipped and organized. No need to fuss about mobilizing an army when you can hire who you need on a few days’ notice. The catch is, as soon as they’re no longer being paid, they piss off to find another contract. They get paid daily in gold.”

(players ask another question)
“Slow down. Unchain me and get me a cigarette. Sign of good faith.”

The mercenary takes a puff and says: “Right then. The gold is kept in a vault in the city hall basement. The former refuge of the mayor in rags.”

(if asked)
“I’m not telling you a damn thing more until I have some guarantees. You, elf with the big fucking armor (beat). Yeah, you. I want your oath as a paladin that I get to walk out of this city.”

“Satisfactory. I don’t know all the details, but the streets around city hall are heavily patrolled. They’ll probably have new fortifications since the riots started.”

Cecily considers for a moment and then asks you for a word. “It’s a good Idea.” she says “But I’m concerned that once taking the city is no longer an option, they’ll elect to destroy it and set an example. The ships they have in the harbor are equipped with steam-catapults that can hit anywhere in the city. If they’re still up and running when the merecenaries desert, they’ll pound and burn this city to smoking rubble and maybe even launch diseased corpses to spread a plague among the survivors.”

Reilly says: “Okay, so we blow up their ships. The Dawn of Orthalyn will be here by midnight along with the Ironjack. We’ve also captured the repeater ballistae from the checkpoints. With siege support from those ballistae, our ships could take them in a naval battle.”

“Your plan sucks, McTeague” Cecily and Reilly both turn to Milo, who continues. “Oh, I was talking to both of you. Cecily, your plan sucks because there’s no way we can cart out a vault full of gold bars. Reilly, your plan sucks because it would get people killed and risk both our ships. Not to mention Gildenport will probably need them in order to defend itself.”

Reilly and Cecily begin to argue with Milo. After a few rebuttals you hear a gunshot.

Slingshot is holding a smoking pistol. “Hell yes,” he says, admiring the hole he made in an IEG helmet “And you three, stop arguing, put on your adult pants and make a plan that doesn’t suck.”

(players plan)

You finalize the plan and break into the supply cabinets. Most of what was in the building has been taken for use by the forces in the streets, but in addition to an impressive supply of mundane weapons, there is a barrel of Faskian gunpowder in the armory as well as 2 potions marked “for serious injuries”.

As you distribute supplies and think of all the wonderful things to blow up with the gunpowder, Enfys walks in the door, hands covered in blood, and says “We’ve taken casualties. And the district. The factories are ours and the fighting has died down. Wounded will be here shortly, help me set up to receive the injured.”

While you move tables and find blankets, Enfys begins scavenging what she can for supplies. She sterilizes curtains with magic and pieces bits of broken armor together to make splints. A brief respite after setting up tables, then the injured begin to pour in. Enfys directs people carrying patients to set them down on improvised cots and tells you “This is my clinic now. Help or get out. You don’t need to use magic if you’re low on spells. We need them breathing, not fighting.”

The injuries before you range from whacks on the head to what look like acid burns, along with the usual assortment of battlefield wounds and embedded projectiles.

(players must make heal checks, real knowledge grants a +4 bonus)

You save who you can for a good half hour. At that point, Enfys approaches you and says: “Thanks for that. Me and the other healers can handle it from here. Go do what you have to do, or this will all be for nought.”

You step outside to the familiar smell of burning buildings and bloodsoaked cobblestone. Reilly remarks: “This feels different than Caer’Daugh. Instead of a desperate struggle to survive, it is a desperate struggle to truly live before their time is up. Let’s go make it worth it.”

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Chapter 38- "Let's see who really runs this city"

The next morning, you wake up to see Cecily reading from her spellbook. Enfys is changing a bandage on slingshot’s left arm. Everyone else in your cohort is still asleep. Enfys sees you waking up and starts to wake up the rest of the group. Milo wakes up grumbling and says: “Whatever scourge-warped voodoo makes you all wake up together at the ass-crack of dawn needs to stay the seventh hell away from me. Got it?”

Cecily puts down her spellbook and starts waking up the rest of the rebel volunteers. Once they’ve gathered around the table, Cecily asks you to come over.

“Alright, let’s go over the plan one more time”

Cecily starts passing out weapons and ammo to the other volunteers. “Alright,” She says “We know the plan and we know what’s at stake. Put on your work clothes and conceal your weapons. Slingshot has stashed some equipment near the checkpoint that you can retrieve when the time is right. The paragons are going to punch a hole in their lines and weaken their defenses so we can rush through. Don’t wait for them to kill every guard. If you see an opening, take it. Agreed?”

The volunteers echo, “Agreed!”

“alright, let’s get moving”

On your way to the checkpoint, Enfys asks for a word. She lights a cigarette, takes a puff and says: “Listen, I’m going with slingshot and the other volunteers. They’re going to get their asses kicked and I think they’ll need healing more than you do. I’ll meet you back at the hexagon once the barricades are operational.”

Veil catches up with you afterward, smoking a cigarette she bummed from Enfys. She’s wearing wilderness gear. “Listen”, she says, “I need to do something. The Arkali wardragons have pissed off to who knows where. I don’t know about you, but that scares the shit out of me. I’m leaving to track them down. Whatever made them flee the field, whether they’re going after a larger threat, massing for another attack or fleeing from something. I want to know. I expect I’ll be gone for a few months.”

When you reach the checkpoint, you see a wall with a narrow gate just large enough for two people to stand abreast in. On the other side, you can see three snipers on platforms suspended in tripods 30 feet off the ground. There are two repeater ballistas crewed by two dwarven engineers a piece. You can also see ten guards in studded leather with large metal shields and longspears. The shields are specially designed to balance the spear for one-handed use.

Cecily signals to stop and says: “Wait for the diversion” Slingshot leads a group down a nearby alley. ten minutes later, as the crowds begin to form lines for the morning commute, Slingshot and his crew come back with a collection of improvised shields, some of them more like mobile barricades large enough for 3 people to hide behind.

You hear a muffled explosion in the distance, everyone turns their head. Two minutes later, a messenger in IEG uniform comes on horseback and says: “Accident at the distillery on Oakbarrel street. They need reinforcements.”

A guard in full-plate with sergeant’s rank pins turns to the soldiers and says: “You four come with me. The rest of you, stand at full readiness. I don’t want these gutter-rats getting any ideas.”

As the sergeant’s squad runs down the street in formation, the remaining five soldiers line up in formation and point spears. The snipers load and draw their repeater crossbows and the ballista crews aim and ready.

combat with checkpoint guards

(dc 15 strength check will topple the tripods)

(after 2 rounds) The crowd begins hammering on the fence, attempting to break it down.

(ballistas can be disabled as a full-round action that provokes attacks of opportunity)

combat ends

The rioters cheer as (last thing players did) and slingshot climbs to the top of the ruined fence. He addresses the crows: “Friends and comrades! For too long we have toiled under bootheel for the wealth of other men while we settle for scraps. Too long we have been a city of starving farmers and homeless carpenters! No longer! Today we take to the streets! Tonight we take to the barricades! And tomorrow we take our city!” He turns to face the line of guards gazing nervously at the sheer volume of the forces arrayed against them. He draws his axe and yells: “For a free Gildenport and a free Orthalyn!”

Slingshot, Cecily and Enfys join the charging lines and smash into the kaptalis line. The line of IEG forces is overrun in seconds and the rioters scatter into the streets.

As you make for the hexagon, you see crowds of rioters quickly overrunning and beating city guards and IEG forces alike to a bloody pulp. You see groups breaking into mass-bakery shops and looting bread for themselves and for their friends. Barricades and fortifications at the slum entrances are torn down and reconstructed to fortify the district against IEG assault. Finally, you come to the hexagon. The guards have already withdrawn inside the fortified building and barred the thick reinforced doors. The veterans from Caer’Daugh are waiting for you with eager looks on their faces and freshly sharpened blades.

Cecily steps forward with a sack smelling of gunpowder with a fuse sticking out. She puts it in a guardsman’s helmet and nails it to the door. “I’ve been saving this for a special occasion. Lorraine, why don’t you blow something up for us?”

Time seems to crawl as the fuse burns down and disappears behind the helmet. There is a short delay and then BOOM!. The door is reduced to splinters and a cloud of dust is all that stands between you and whatever forces were cowering behind the door.

View
Chapter 37- "A riot's the thing"

Inside the chapel, Cecily approaches the far wall and draws a diagram of the second bridge and it’s fortifications.

Cecily begins: “This report is accurate as of one hour ago, when we were briefed by a group returning from shift at one of the weaving mills. As you can see, there are 10 guards at the gate, 2 ballista crews and three snipers. A group of distillery workers has offered to arrange for a workplace accident. This accident would create an opening for workers to loot the distillery’s safe. In order to stop this, the IEG will have to pull guards from the second bridge. This will give us an opening to attack. I’ll stay behind to provide abjuration support against seige weapons. Paragons, you’ll need to plan the assault and also the defense of citizens crossing the bridge. We’ve been preparing for this for a while, I’ll let slingshot brief you on some of the ideas we came up with.”

Slingshot points to one of the rooftops adjacent tot he bridge and says: "Early on, we hid a ballista in one of the buildings facing the river. We have one bolt that we were planning to use to create a zipline. We also thought of swimming across under the water to access their flank undetected, but you’d have to climb the lip of the canal in order to access the street. Whether you want to use them or not is your call.

Slingshot speaks up: “You’re forgetting something, Cess. What do we do once the fortifications are taken out? So we cross the bridge, then what?”

Milo, whose been silent the whole time, says: “A riot’s the thing. I’ve seen enough of this place to know people are looking for an excuse. If we do this during a major crossing for a shift-change, people will see the fortifications taken down and go for it.”

Slingshot says: “Okay, I like a riot as much as the next rebellious peasent. But we can’t just depend on a riot taking the city. Eventually, the guild will rally their forces and quell the uprising just like last time. How will this be any different.”

Cecily grins, points at a spot on the map and says “We go right to the IEG’s doorstep and gouge out their eyes. The hexagon used to be the headquarters of the city guard. Now the IEG has taken over and all but a few of the guards are in their pocket. Any guards that aren’t are too afraid to act, at least for now. The hexagon’s main spire has a view of almost everything in the factory district and it’s filled with weapons caches and ammunition stores. From there, we can take the rest of the city, district by district.”

Reilly says: “It’s a good idea, Cecily, but I don’t think these volunteers are going to be enough to take and defend the hexagon, especially if you factor in the casualties we’ll take fighting our way through the streets. Not to mention that our assault on the bridge will give them plenty of warning to set up defenses in what is already a fortress.”

(players suggest using paragon forces to supplement)

Reilly agrees that supplementing the volunteers with the 15 combat veterans that came with you would make a significant difference.

Cecily rolls up the map and says: “Alright, tomorrow during the morning crossing, we’ll assault the bridge and then take the hexagon. Make sure you’re prepared because once we attack the bridge, we’ll be committed to the battle to take the city of Gildenport for those who actually run it and we don’t know when we’ll be able to stop. For too long we’ve chosen between eeking out a meager survival or leaving our friends behind to join the class that keeps us in the slums. Tomorrow we will discover a third option: Risk everything to take the wealth we create and not leave a damn soul behind.”

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Chapter 36 - "There might be another way"

(players chalk on the lighthouse)

You mark the lighthouse and go about your day. An hour later, man in the familiar garb of the Night-blades approaches you and says: “I honestly didn’t believe it when they told me you’d showed up. My name’s Jacc. We met briefly in the sanctum, remember?”

“I’m assuming Fetrian gave you the run-down on the checkpoints, right? We have an alternative that would allow you to sneak past them. You’ve probably seen the wells around, right? They’re fed into directly from the canal. It’s a way to draw up water from the river without having to walk over to it. Cecily finally managed to get a well built in the Slums a month ago. We sent a crew in three days ago to try to smuggle in weapons, food and medical supplies. Only one of the five couriers returned. He said they ran into a Drowned Wight in one of the stonemason’s tunnels. We sent 2 clerics and an ex-paladin in to take it out, but they were forced to retreat. After that, we sent a scout, who returned saying he could not find an alternate route since the other tunnels were still under construction when the riots broke out.”

(players decide to sneak through a checkpoint) Milo says: “They won’t let us in if we don’t look like we belong. I’d suggest we look the part.”

You approach the checkpoint and the guard asks for your permit. He looks it over and says: “I’m reading on your permit you work at the steel foundry. Is that true?”

“Are you carrying any weapons or other prohibited items?”

“Alright, move along.”

Deeper in the slums, you start to see improvised barricades set up. No sign of rebel agents. A group of four kids approaches you. One of them bumps into you clumsily and asks if you have any food. Reilly hands them a bag of trail rations. The kid says: “Thanks, lady” and they run off.

An hour later, a man with a sword on his belt walks out of a tenement building and says: “Come with me, our people want to know who comes armed and armored into free territory. She’s waiting at St. Laerta’s Temple.”

St. Laerta’s temple looks like an ordinary chapel from the outside, minus some extra fortifications. The inside looks less like a place of worship and more like a public forum with amenities. There are now pews, but a series of chairs that can be moved around to suit the needs of the moment. Currently, most of them have been taken apart for barricade materials and splints for injured limbs. The communal kitchen is filled with volunteers making meals for those on the barricades. Clerics and Medics are doing what they can to nurse the injured back to health. Small groups are talking amongst themselves. In the back is a small group hunched over a map. One of the kids who bumped into you earlier is giving a report to a athletic-built woman with greying-brown hair in her early 40’s armed with a spear and wearing work clothes. She turns around and you recognize her as Cecily, though she sports a new bandage over her left cheek and she looks like she hasn’t slept in a while.

She practically tackles Enfys in an embrace. Looking at you, she chuckles and says “Damn, you all look like hell. Did you pick a fight with a dragon again?”

“Laerta’s last arrow, I was kidding. Promise you’ll tell me the full story. First, let me tell you what we’ve been doing here.” She hesitates “Where’s Brill?”

“Damn it, I’m so sorry.”, she says.

Enfys replies: “It was tough. I take comfort in the fact that he died knowing he saved all our hides. And that he didn’t die sober. He would have hated that.”

Cecily pours each of you a glass, plus one for herself. “To Brill,” She says “And hope that wherever he is, there are good fights, bad whiskey and worse hangovers.”

“Now, how about a tour?”

“You’ve already met our spy network. Kids can go unnoticed and even when they do get noticed, nobody remembers them unless they know them personally. Remember when the little kid bumped into you? He was checking you for weapons. We have barricades set up throughout the slums, but they’re unguarded at most times. We use them to delay incursion teams until we can set up an ambush. We worked ourselves into a good stalemate. It’s not worth the effort and risk for either side to make a move. On less bloody matters, the people here have practically formed their own society. They just look out for each-other. Those who can’t get a work permit help however they can. I’ve been teaching some rudimentary cantrips and I think I’ve patched about 3 roofs since this shit-storm began. This uprising forced us to depend on no-one but each-other. Whatever we build here will effectively be the governing body of Gildenport when we’re done.”

“For now, we need to kick the Internal Enforcement Guild out of the city. But to do that, we’ll need to break through their defenses. The first objective is to get a large host across one of the bridges. Problem is, the soldiers guarding the bridges aren’t exactly pushovers. They’re combat veterans from the war with Termalyn seven years ago. They’re experts at fighting infantry supported by spellcasters, so they’ll target anyone using magic first. I learned that the hard way duing our last break-through attempt” She says, pointing t the bandage on her cheek."

She draws a map of one of the bridges and it’s fortifications. “Every time people get let out for work, we get reports of the fortifications. We’ve managed to arrange for a workplace accident near the southernmost barricade. They’ll have to pull guards to respond to the resulting chaos. While that’s happening, we hit them hard and fast. I was hoping the heroes of Caer’Daugh would be willing to plan it out.”

(after players finish)
“Good. I’ll call in some volunteers to brief them. You may have to explain it to them yourself. They won’t agree if they think the plan is crap, but they know you by reputation.”

A scout stumbles in the door, badly wounded. Cecily catches him mid-fall and Enfys reflexively reaches for her healers kit. The scout says: “They sent in 20 soldiers and a war-golem. We set an ambush, like usual but with some extra kick. The golem tore right through and the soldiers split off and got away. Our arrows hit the golem, but we barely made a dent. We were forced to disgengage. The rest of my crew went after the soldiers, I came back here to warn you.”

Cecily tells the scout he did well and to rest up. She picks up her spear and backpack from the table and says: “I’m gonna take some friends and go break this thing. Any volunteers?”

“Right, then.” She turns to a shirtless elven teenager with boxing wraps, improvised bracers and a shortbow. “Slingshot, take all the other volunteers and go after the soldiers. Take Enfys Gwalchine and Sergeant McTeague, show them the way. I’m going to blow this machine sky-high and I don’t plan on being subtle about it. Lorraine, Dez, Irythan, Veil and Cade, follow me.”

Slingshot covers his face in a rag and hands two more to Enfys and Reilly before leading a group of fifteen fighters outside.

Cecily opens the door and signals for you to follow. As you run through the narrow streets of the slums, citizens point the way to the Golem. You can first see it from 200 feet away. It’s about 9 feet tall and shaped like a human. It’s limbs are cased in some form of leather armor with metal plates covering the chest and back with it’s head completely covered in an oversized IEG helmet. It has a repeating crossbow strapped to it’s left arm and carries a madu shield in it’s right arm. It’s left hand is carrying a large truncheon-style mace. Cecily points to two ladders leading to the rooftops on either side of the street and says: “If you want to take that position, now would be the time.” She scurries up the one on the left and says: “Most of my magic is used for a barrier to keep them from using trebuchets to target us. All I’ve got left is a scorching ray and 3 magic missiles. I hope you guys now how to blow stuff up.”

Combat with War-Golem

The war golem collapses in a heap of metal, held together only by the leather casing. Cecily approaches it and touches her hand to the head. She waits for a moment, then pulls her hand away and says: “Well, that’s just brilliant”

“War golems are not intelligent. When they’re activated, a mage has to give it a specific task that cannot be changed. This one’s task was to kill me. The guild is smart, they know that killing me now would only piss people off and create more rebels. This means they’ve figured out that I’m the one erecting the barrier that prevents them from using siege artillery on the slums. They kill me, they can target our barricades and infrastructure and use catapults to cover an assault. Let’s get back to the chapel. The others will need to hear our plan.”

The chapel looks untouched by the fighting. Slingshot and his crew have taken injuries, casualties and a prisoner. A soldier in IEG armor is tied up on a barricade, wounded. Enfys approaches you and says: “That soldier killed one of the volunteers in our squad. He ran off after the rest of his buddies were killed and Slingshot gave chase and tackled him. One thing of note is that Reilly didn’t try to blow his kneecaps off. His injuries are bad, but not life-threatening. How did you guys make out?”

(if players don’t mention it) Cecily says: “I was the golem’s target. They know I’m the one keeping the siege weapons from smashing our infrastructure to bits. Before we prepare our assault, I want to see if we can get this pig to squeal.”

Reilly asks for a word before you ask him questions.

“I’ve seen his type before. You remember Enfys said I didn’t blow his kneecaps off? That’s because it wouldn’t have done any good. He’s been trained to tolerate pain and he know’s we’re in the dark. He’ll resist and then he’ll give us a very convincing lie, knowing we have no way to verify it before we attack. I have another idea. He’s arrogant. Let him think we’re accidentally giving him valuable information. You can make that information whatever you want. Then we let him escape. If we make this convincing, we can make them do something extremely stupid.”

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Chapter 35- "It's a damn coup"

The next day is smooth sailing, with the exception of some annoying seagulls. At sunset, you lay eyes on Gildenport and see scattered columns of smoke coming from the city. Five military vessels are anchored off the harbor, flying Kaptalis guard colors and yellow sails. Milo hands you a spyglass and says: “See the Figurehead on the bow? The two headed bird of prey with an eagle head and an owl head? It’s the symbol of the Internal Enforcement Guild. Looks like they’re here in force. I don’t favor our chances head on.”

(players attempt disguise) The crews of the Enforcement ships offer casual friendly gestures as you pass.

After you disembark, a Halflling identifying himself as the harbormaster approaches you and says: “I’m afraid that due to the uprising, docking fees have increased. It will cost you 30 plat to dock and an additional 5 plat per day. Otherwise, you’ll have to turn around.”

(players ask about the uprising) the Harbormaster says: “Yes, an unfortunate affair. An upstart mayor decided she didn’t have to play by the rules. The merchant lords sent the Enforcement Guild to remove her from power and ensure a fair election for her successor. Instead of leaving with dignity, she fled into the slums like a rat and started her own little peasant uprising. I’d admire her gumption if she weren’t costing me a small fortune. Now, are you paying or not?”

Reilly slips the crew and combat unit a smattering of coin and tells them to wait at the anchorman’s rest. She explains that in her experience it’s best not to attract attention until you know what’s going on.

(players go to the slums)
The slums are seperated from the rest of the city by a river. At each of the 11 bridges is a series of fortifications manned by guards and repeater ballistae. You can see snipers deployed on nearby rooftops as well. All their weapons are pointed toward the slums. All the rope bridges have been cut down. The main bridges are gated and guarded by 15-20 guards each, plus five snipers and 2 repeater ballista crews. Each guard is armed with a longsword and a repeater heavy crossbow. Three guards at the gate are armed with longspears and carry a bandolier of ceramic flasks. Most of the guards are human, but the snipers are halflings and the ballista crews are dwarves. There are signs posted at each gate which read: “No entry or exit permitted without valid work permit. No weapons permitted.”

(if players ask about permits) The guard informs you that you can acquire a work permit from the merchant’s guild office in city hall for a fee.

(players go to city hall) Since your last visit, city hall has been hung with Kaptalis national flags and IEG heraldry. You also note a slightly higher guard presence. Inside, there are signs leading to a permit office on the second floor.

(permit office) The office has three booths, but only one of them is staffed. You recognize the staffer as Fetrian. He waves you forward and says: “One at a time. Name and occupation?”

“It looks like selected for an additional interview. Please follow me to my office.” Fetrian gets up from his booth and walks to a door. He opens it and says “please step inside”

Fetrian closes the door behind him and says: “Laerta’s last arrow am I glad to see you. Cecily asked me to stay behind after the uprising started. I managed to convince them that I was in it for the coin, but they didn’t trust me enough to give me back my old position. So here we are. We have a very small window before the guard outside realizes that this is not standard procedure.” Fetrian spills a coin purse on the desk. “If anyone asks, this is a bribe. I’ll have to share it with the guard outside if he comes in. Now, let me tell you what I know. About a week ago, the morning after you left, the IEG showed up in force by sea to demand Cecily’s resignation. Cecily declined to resign willingly and went public with the information you uncovered about the attempts on her life. The information started a riot which lasted two days and gave her and some of her friends from youth time to organize a resistance and secure the slums. Halfway through the second day of rioting, IEG reinforcements arrived by land. They quashed the riots and locked the slums down. You probably saw that on the way over. It’s a stalemate. Every time the guards send a patrol in, they get ambushed. Every time the rebels try to break out, they get slaughtered. For two days, nobody went in or out of the slums, then the local merchant’s guild began complaining about the lack of a workforce. So, they began letting people in and out for work. Everyone is patted down for weapons and notes on their way out and visually checked on their way in. Both ways, their permit is checked. So far, I’ve been unable to make contact with Cecily or anyone else inside the slums. I can get you a permit, but you’ll be on your own to get your equipment inside. You’ll have to look like workers, so any visible armor or weapons are out of the question. Although you could probably smuggle a few small ones in. Any questions?”

Fetrian hands you several permits and says “We know we don’t have enough power to take on the entire Kaptalis Empire, but if we can take the city, there’s a good chance the rest of the empire will cut it’s losses and call a truce. We’d have a free city. Find Cecily. She’ll have some ideas. I need to kick you out now, otherwise the guard will get suspicious and I really don’t want to bribe him.”

Once outside, Reilly says: “Okay. Of course this shit got complicated. Just once, I’d like to kick in a door, remove the left kneecap of exactly the right evil bastard and go home for tea. So, what do you want to do?”

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Chapter 34- "Next time I get to save your hide, Okay?"

(if players ambush the ship in the fortress port)

After setting the signal beacon, Enfys says: “How do you want to do this? We can use the guard uniforms to bullshit them or we could point weapons at them and force a surrender. Keep in mind that if they don’t believe we’re prepared to sink the ship, it’ll turn into a stalemate fast and likely end badly, though the same could happen if we can’t convince them we’re guards.”

Milo says: “If we look like guards and have gold, their backsides are covered and they might not care whether they believe us or not. The trick is getting our hands on enough gold or making them think we have enough gold.”

Reilly takes a look at the schematic of the Ironjack and says: “I want that boat. Once we have an army, we’ll need a transport vessel if we hope to bring our forces to bear. If we can find a way to seize it, I’ll vote for that.”

(Players bluff without gold, dc 15)

The captain comes off ship and says: “We brought you the prisoners. We’d like to get home as we’ve been at sea longer than we thought we would. So let’s skip the usual pleasantries and go to the part where I get my gold.”

(Success) Pleasure doing business with you. We caught a special batch near the Faskian border. Rebels calling themselves the “peregrines” or some shit. We managed to “convince” a few of them to divulge the mission. Since they’re a library full of open books now, I’ll give you the information for free. They aim to take this fortress, so be on the lookout."

(failure) Now it makes sense. We managed to coax some information out of your comrades. If you had been a better liar, we’d have bought your line. Now we’re leaving. With our hostages.

(players intimidate, dc 17)

(Success) The captain of the vessel yells from the deck. “We’re prepared to negotiate a release. Send the sorceress aboard, unarmed and alone and we’ll talk.” (they will release the prisoners in exchange for safe passage)

(Failure) You’re bluffing. You wouldn’t sink this ship with your friends aboard! We have hostages. You have until sunset to open the gates or we start killing your friends. Starting with the gnome. (warning shot will allow re-check)

(players attempt to bribe, dc 12)

(Success) “Your terms are Acceptable”

(bribe or intimidate)
The captain of the vessel screams: “The prisoners are escaping!”, then goes below deck. Shortly after, Declan and a host of others walk onto the deck. Many of them look as though they’ve been beaten or worse. Some have a vacant expression on their face. Declan looks to have had the worst of the beatings, though his expression is one of vindictive determination. The captain looks at you and says: “What a tragic state of affairs. A riot broke out aboard the ship and we were powerless to stop the prisoners from escaping.” Declan walks up to him and kicks him in the shin. The captain buckles and Declan grabs his finger, twisting it for leverage and bringing the captain to his knees. Declan smiles sweetly, says: “Just making your story convincing, you sadistic piece of shit.” and promptly knees him in the face. Declan walks off the gangplank and says to you: “That felt good. Next time, I get to save your hide, deal?”

Combat with guards
The ship’s captain bellows: “To arms, we’ve been boarded! Jettison the cages and send for the warden!”

Reilly draws her sword and pistol and says: “Enfys! Take Robyn, Milo and Harxen to the lower deck to rescue the captives there. Myran, get to the aft and disble the engine. We’ll take this deck! Let’s see how much these goons value their kneecaps.”

(after combat)

After both the guard commander and the ship’s captain fall dead, the remaining crew surrender. Reilly orders a squad of soldiers to, in her words, “Find our new guests some accommodations. I want them healthy in case we need them for a prisoner exchange in the future.”

You disembark from the ship and Enfys gives each one of the prisoners a check up and reports back to you: “There’s 28 in total, there were others, but they didn’t survive the journey. 17 of them are combat trained, though it will take a couple days of training to get our Weslythan and Kaptalis troops to adapt to each-other’s combat styles. As for injuries, everyone has clotted lacerations and fresh scars consistent with heavy flogging and some have broken bones. Declan had his left pinky cut off, apparently for speculating on the size of the captain’s genetalia. I’ll let you picture that image at your leisure. Everyone in the group is on track to make a full recovery and the ship is ours. Personally, I’m okay with calling it a win.”

Reilly comes up to you with a ledger and offers a report on supplies and equipment: “We have enough weapons to arm a full battalion and the Dawn is being fitted with broadside cannons as we speak. Although the Dawn is seaworthy, we found several parts of the armor that were damaged quite badly. I’d like to take the Ironjack or a Dinghy while we work on repairs.”

Reilly, Robyn, Milo and Enfys come aboard the ship to accompany you to Gildenport, Myran, Declan and and Harxen stay behind to train new soldiers and make sure the Fortress is up to scratch. The 15 soldiers from Caer’daugh volunteer for the journey, while the new recruits ask to stay behind and help clear the rest of the fortress.

You set off with cohort and crew at full sail. Milo serves up a fish chowder and pours ale for the entire crew. The meal is spent trading war stories and showing mementos of husbands, wives and children. Partway through, Robyn Niles stops writing in her journal to refill on Ale. She leaves it open as if to deliberately allow you to read it. It says:

“Growing up in Bastion, I was taught that it was the duty of every soldier, sailor, scout and spy to protect Irythan not only from the grey wastes, but from it’s own temptation to return. I was assigned to a scouting unit and a week ago, we were ordered to the Faskian coast to confirm rumors of an Arkali landing party. We were ambushed by a War-dragon and I was the only survivor. My unit was shattered. I wandered in Fask until I found the Paragons’ camp. They were not what I expected from the briefings. They risked everything to save Caer’Daugh from Arkali assault while Bastion was still assembling forces. These were the dangerous radicals I had been warned about. They were the terrorists who took refugees into their midst and the villains who saved Caer’Daugh from the slaughter. These are the enemies who I know from first hand experience will leave not one soul behind. These are the heroes who would open wide hell’s gaping maw and charge headlong in with bared steel. They won against an Arkali assault which broke a city not by numbers or skill. They won because they showed the people that they were fighting to live, not just to survive. Amidst all the despair of this invasion and all the uncertainty that comes with it’s resolution, these impossible survivors bring a vital message which will change everything: We are not alone in the world. Our struggles are shared by our neighbors and by those we did not know even existed. And as we sail into the unknown among trusted friends, that is all I need to know.”

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Chapter 33- "I'm sick of being on the defensive"

After the battle in the main Yard, Reilly approaches you and says: “We’ve taken the main yard and the Armory and set up fortifications. Next, we’ll go structure to structure and clear them out one at a time with traps and ambushes. Two soldiers were badly wounded in the fight, but they’ll both live as long as they rest. We’re not finished yet, but we’ve got it under control. I’ve ordered some of the builders and smiths to begin turning the ballistas and guns out toward the sea and I should have the Dawn equipped with four broadside cannons and six ballistas by the time you leave, though it should stay moored for a while longer so we can complete the repairs.”

Milo emerges from the main tower and says: “Come on upstairs, I’ve already turned the warden’s office into our new war-room.”

The bottom floor of the tower has been made into a temporary shelter until the fortress is completely clear. The Caer’Daugh volunteers are milling about unpacking their gear. Some are playing cards for first pick of living quarters, while others are assembling mementos of people they lost at sea or left behind in Caer’Daugh.

Upstairs, the war-room has the same setup as before, though with a larger table and a section curtained off as sleeping quarters for you and the others of the de-facto inner circle.

Once everyone is gathered, Enfys begins by saying: “Let’s do a quick run-down of the den of ghouls we’ve just walked ourselves into. And no, I’m not talking about this fortress. We’ve made a lot of enemies in the past couple weeks. The governments of Fask and Kaptal, the Bastion inquisition, a new wave of Scourge Worshippers, a Lich-Necromancer with a powerful army and a cabal of assassins are all going after our heads. In addition, we have our own problems and several requests for aid. Cecily wants our help back in Gildenport, Kartha has gone off to fuck knows where, Lilia has a proposal of action that could collapse the alliance between Kaptal and Fask, we know of Arkali war-dragons that are missing from battle and finally, we still need to translate this book.”

Reilly adds: “Let’s not forget that the Arkali are still on a war-path. There will be food shortages, orphans and refugees. I think we should open our gates to refugees. We have plenty of room in the fortress and there’s good soil nearby for farming. We could make a city out of this place.”

Milo says: “Somewhat petty, but hate the name Gorch’thul. This place needs a new one.”

Myran pounds her fist on the table and says: “We can name it later Milo, right now we need to decide our next course of action. Fast.”

Enfys brings up a Diagram of the Ironjack and says: “It seems like that Lich swapped the beacon’s signal. The ship is coming here. If we want Declan back, we’ll need to secure a release.”

Reilly places a Kaptalis guard uniform, a cannonball and a coin purse on the table and says: “Bulllshit, Bluffing or Bribery. Pick one.”

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