Weatherday 26th Sun’s Rise yr 2534 (continued)
Summary: Regroup at Lake Town, the army arrives, war council, recruitment, beach assault, advance through forest, the Lizard camp.
Eventually arriving at Lake Town, the PCs notice that an army has arrived from Salamonis- 50 adventurer mercenaries hired through the ‘Border Push’ initiative and 25 infantry from the Salamon 1st “Skulltakers” regiment. The PCs are asked to meet at the tower to discuss the matter of the island at the center of Lake Pechwe.
With an hour to kill, the PCs make preparations to leave for Salamonis as soon as possible in order to investigate the fall of Tiamat’s Tail and ensure that the city is safe. They pack their wagon and buy last minute rations and supplies. They also deal with a suspicious Alarisian merchant who has come to Lake Town with his camel to trade with the adventurers who are now frequenting the area. They sell some of the loot found at the Gloomwood dungeon and also get a few things identified.
An hour later, the PCs are led through to the briefing room of the tower at the center of town and are met by Morgann Veldyncross, Raven, Nightshade, Chaplain Scabbia and the officers of the Salamon 1st ‘C’ company; Lieutenant DesSaints, Sergeant Manau and Sergeant Francesco. Morgann outlines a plan to assault the island of Lake Pechwe to remove any Lizardfolk holed up there. Intel would suggest that they are beginning to fortify the island and may have moved troops there. The plan would be to launch an amphibious attack with the mercenaries led by Morgann, Raven, Nightshade, Scabbia and the PCs on the eastern beach then sweep across the island, hemming the enemy to the western tip where they could be flanked and eradicated or forced to flee. Meanwhile the Salamon 1st would fortify Lake Town.
Carlos and Lt. DesSaints have a shouting match over Carlos’ lack of respect for the senior officer while Folkvar suggests launching the attack at dawn due to the Lizard’s cold blooded nature which would allow them to catch the enemy off guard.
That night, the PCs meet the troops who will lead the assault and hand pick a team to lead:
The rest of the night is spent chatting and drinking with the mercenaries around the camp fires and in Hamfist’s Rest.
Trickday 27th Sun’s Rise yr 2534
Before dawn, the town is bustling with activity- soldiers gathering up weapons and supplies and officers herding them onto the four long rowboats which are to convey them across the lake. Morgann, Raven, Nightshade and Chaplain Scabbia each lead a boat- Alhena, Dashel and Rosi take their followers onto Morgann’s boat while Carlos, Folkvar and Mikhail lead their men under Chaplain Scabbia’s command.
The boats begin cutting through the water with the men rowing hard. Before long the shadowy image of the island begins to grow larger as the boats full of adventurers race to outdo each other and reach the enemy first. Mikhail, Folkvar and Dashel manage to stir their rowing teams to ever greater feats of strength while Alhena points out a few inefficiencies in the rowing technique of her boat which, when corrected allow them to slightly overtake the other boats.
As they get closer, it becomes clear that the Lizardfolk are manning the beach in a defensive position- something that wasn’t expected. Morgann screams “Shields!” as a rain of arrows falls from the cliffs to the right. At the center, the beach is covered in defensive earthworks and filled with Lizards while on the left, a group of Lizards could be seen preparing something. Consulting with the PCs, Morgann decides to pull his boat right to deal with the archers on the cliff while Raven pulls left to attack the Lizards on the hill. Nightshade and Scabbia’s boats continue down the middle to attack the beach. More arrows fall and a few minor injuries are sustained by the attackers but Mikhail’s puts himself in front of his boat, protecting the others by taking plenty of hits to his shield, armour and helmet. The element of surprise lost, Rosi starts up a rousing rendition of the Salamon National Anthem “March to Freedom”, soon joined by sixty other throats, the song reaching the ears of the now intimidated defenders on the shore.
As the boats close down on the beach, the archers on the cliff become visible and so does their commander issuing the volley fire orders. Carlos and Rosi make short work of him with their crossbows and he tumbles off into the watery rocks far below.
Scabbia and Nightshade’s boats crunch up on the sand and the men charge forth, up the beach and into the Lizardfolk lines. Mikhail advances forward, shield raised and draws a significant amount of fire from the archers, allowing the troops to move up the beach without getting shot up too much. Folkvar rushes to the left flank of the beach with Stellan and engages a Blackscale giant and his squad defending a Lizardfolk shaman. Carlos remains in the surf with his bodyguards and opens fire along with Logan and Baz. Meanwhile Morgann’s boat circles the cliff and finds a narrow trail, protected from the fire arcs of the archers. Dashel and his men race up the trail and find themselves exposed at the top of the cliff. The archers fire at point blank range and The Disciple is taken out. Dashel rushes forward as Rosi and Alhena crest the hill behind and his sword begins its dark work. Now further separated from the rest of the force, Rosi continues to belt out the National Anthem, her voice carrying over the din of battle and inspiring the men still.
The Lizardfolk shaman calls fire from the sky and water from his staff, destroying one of the boats and injuring many men, who are picked up and throttled by the violent ball of water he conjures across the battlefield. Mikhail is barely saved from the attack by the magic of Rosi’s song which now ends. Folkvar finishes the Blackscale giant and smashes through the lesser Lizards to engage the shaman who’s futile attempts to fight back in melee are not nearly enough to stop the rampaging Northman who crushes the caster’s skull with the Demondrum Hammer. At the trenches, Mikhail engages the Lizardfolk commander, bedecked in elaborate feather headdress and cloak with gold dragonscale shield and khopesh. Mikhail takes a few vicious hits before being forced into a defensive stance as the enemy swordsman rallies his men in a final defense of the beach. The ferocious assault of Dashel’s sword, Rosi’s crossbow, Alhena’s magic, Morgann’s crossbow and the weapons of their followers decimate the archers on the cliff before turning on the troops below on the beach, forcing that flank to withdraw. Raven and his team descend the hill on the opposite flank, victorious but bloody as Folkvar and Carlos charge in to help Mikhail. The lizards now completely fallen back to the trench are surrounded on all sides by enemies but the fight is still not over. Carlos darts between the warriors scrambling in the bloody sand and manages to get behind the commander and run him through with his rapier as Mikhail is distracting him but the lizard is tough and fights on. Alhena adds her magic to the fight and hits the commander with a magic missile while Rosi, Folkvar and the mercenaries finish off the troops. Suddenly a shadow falls over the combat as Dashel, under the effects of an enlarge person potion barrels through the crowd and lands a blow with his greatsword on the lizard commander, felling him in a single powerful blow.
With the loss of their leader and the overwhelming of their positions, the Lizards turn tail and flee into the woods pursued by Folkvar, Nightshade and a few others. Few escape and Nightshade’s kukri ensures that no prisoners are taken.
The troops regroup on the beach, Chaplain Scabbia with help from Mikhail and the clerics tend to the wounded and administer rudimentary funerals and rites for the fallen while the others pick over the bodies of the enemies, taking arrows and bolts and any loot they can find. The shaman and the commander’s magical equipment is shared out among the party, in particular Mikhail now sports the commander’s brightly coloured feather cloak of resistance, Alhena takes the shaman’s staff of the swamp warden and Folkvar takes teeth and headdresses as trophies from the shaman and blackscale giant. Mikhail takes the commander’s khopesh which is made from a single gold dragon’s tooth but the shields of the shaman and commander are given over to Chaplain Scabbia as they are made from the hides of wyrmling metallic dragons and the party feel that they are better off not using them out of respect to the pure creatures.
The army splits into two groups, the PCs leading their followers through the center of the island along a forested trail while the bulk of the force swings south along the beach led by Morgann and the others.
Along the trail, the PCs fall victim to vicious punjee-filled pits and poisoned whip-scythe traps. Folkvar finds evidence of small lizardfolk hiding in the trees and setting the traps but it would appear the decisive victory at the beach has sent them fleeing. Sounds of battle are heard away to the south but the PCs decide to press forward and complete their mission.
Emerging on the far side of the forest the PCs see the main Lizardfolk camp below them on the opposite shore of the island. As they survey the emplacements, mud huts and even a raft docked at a makeshift jetty, the rest of their army appears to the right, sweeping away the remnants of a Lizardfolk army which was defeated on the south beach. The troops appear injured and many have fallen but the lizardfolk appear to have been mostly eradicated. The force that remains in the camp is well dug-in but consists of few actual fighting lizards and mostly non-combatants, slaves and small Poison dusk lizardfolk.
The PCs regroup with the rest of the army and make preparations to take the camp.
At last my chance to prove myself a warrior worthy of the title of Asgierr. We discussed battle plans for how we should engage the Lizardmen on the island at set off at dawn. The lizards were prepared for us as we rowed across the lake. Arrows whiped overhead and thuded into shield as we plowed through the water. I was fully into the glory of the moment and roared for the boatsmen to go faster to convey me to my theatre. We crashed onto the beach and I lost myself to my rage.
I recall running to a flank and felling a lumbering black giant before launching myself into his comrades. I get flashes of a brightly coloured headress and chanting being brutally silenced by my hammer. I can recollect little of the fight after that point. I found that I sustain some injuries, but slayed enough for me to consider this a victory. Once trophies and spoils have been gathered we set out after the rest of the lizards, who seem to have thier main body further onto the island.
We decide to push on through the centre of the island, while the army skirts around the sides along the beach. We encounter several traps, but no lizards in the dense forest of the island. Sounds of battle could be heard to our flanks, and despite my desire for more combat, we press on. Eventually we reach the edge of the forest overlooking the main lizard camp. It is well defended with archers and towering black-scales. However, at its core is a large group of civilians, so their fighting force may be much smaller than it appears. We regroup with the army, who look more depleated than last I saw them, and discus our battle plans.