The morning before the Battle of Overlook, no siege engines had been spotted outside the city walls, but magic and muscle clearly ruled the surrounding countryside. The hills, fields, and forests (what one old-timer on the guard described as generic Oerth countryside—just like every other environs surrounding every other city in every other kingdom on our world) were being ravage by the coming army. From his perch atop the walls, Arranis estimated their numbers in the thousands.
Arranis began his day early, heading to a contact he had in town. All I could get on this contact was that he enjoyed the occasional “goat-based beverage.” (Really? That sounds too disgusting even for a goblin to drink.) He of the flouncing silvery locks reported back that there was no proof the invasion was the work of Zithran, but logic would dictate such. Arranis also said that his contact had no idea why Overlook would be invaded; it simply seemed illogical, and that his contact was caught off guard by this force. If the contact was unaware, no one knew this was coming, but an invasion force this large must have been in the works for a long time. His Eladrininess also spoke of a bounty hunter whose name I recognize—Thorn, who was playing it cool but acting tough. What little I know of the guy, yeah, that sounds about right. Thorn was approached by someone looking for “heavy hitters” to “stir up trouble;” the exact nature of the job was left vague, but Thorn turned it down as it wasn’t his line of work. Thorn also assumed that if anyone would be behind said offers, it would be Zithran.
Meanwhile, Mako spent the day with his family, as his father-in-law tanned leather goods for the guard and his wife rolled bandages. Mako checked on the archers’ training, mostly dwarven crossbowmen with the occasional longbowman of another race thrown in.
Orsik visited the Wayfarers’ old friend Now-Captain Kalad, and was asked to review the troops. As a “Hero of Overlook” he was a boost to their morale and a model for the coming conflict.
Kah sought out other members of his people, if any had infiltrated the city. He also spoke briefly with Overlook’s scouts, hoping there might be similarities in the invading army and that which leveled our old school.
I spent the evening and early morning debriefing one Sergeant Alison Stormgale, a member of the guard whom I relieved of her duties and insured her personal morale was at its peak. Alison was more than willing to keep me abreast of the guards’ strong and weak positions and shared quite a few of the techniques she had picked up over her training. After Alison reported for duty, I made for the less shiny parts of town, to see what the Lost Boys and other unsavory types were planning and preparing. As to be expected, their judgment of what to protect and what to let go was quite different from Kalad and the Wayfarers, but I may have a clue as to one of the Lost Boys’ chapter houses. Something to look into later? Perhaps Captain Kalad would be interested to the tune of a tiny sum…
As is typical, early-to-mid morning, we are summoned to the Stone Anvil, and, as these things conveniently happen (good thing we never have to sit around and wait) shortly after arriving, a runner bursts in to the War Room to report a group of “men” have arrived at the South Gate seeking Arranis. It turns out 50 Shadar Kai have been sent by an old “friend” of the Wayfarers, one Modra of the Shadowfell. Based on Orsik and Mako’s recounting, “friend” means they didn’t kill him, he didn’t kill them, despite initial efforts on both parties. While the Shadar Kai leader (Hat Rack? I couldn’t have heard that right) and Arranis discussed their arrival, I devoted my attention to one Gloom Shadowdove…I’ll have to look her up again once this mess in Overlook has been cleared. As the dwarves lead the Shadar Kai to quarters, a thought crossed my mind; do these dwarves have any air cavalry: griffon riders, hippogriffs, etc? Looking up, I spotted several winged shapes heading toward the city; blue demons and manticores fly overhead.
The demons dropped some sort of fiery grenade, and we rushed to where the nearest smokepoure above the rooftops of Overlook. The blue demon had set a street afire—Orsik would later recognize it as a berbalang (Do they make rugs? Or was that a juice drink? I can’t keep this stuff straight), which eats flesh and consumes the memories store therein. It can also replicate itself, as we discovered when three copies of the blue bastard appeared in a flash of light. Our battle with the berbalang was watched by citizens of Overlook slowly settling their panic and encircling our melee, despite the fires raging around. We put on a pretty good show; I’d like to think we made them feel a little better about their losses that day. I’d especially like to go back and see what I can do to fill the emptiness in that baker’s daughter I noticed…
Following the berbalang, we make to the wall; it had been breached! Three large trolls and one of those little spitting bastards poured though, while the men and dwarves of the watch were engaged with orcs, it became clear these four have us on the menu. Things were not looking well early on, but fate must have rolled a different die halfway through the battle, because the tide turned in our favor. Also, I broke into a house. It was in order to get a better shot at the spitter. Kalad will understand.
The dwarven engineers were able to reinforce the wall, and while there was no way of knowing how many of the foe poured through the breach, we spent the rest of the day in a mopping-up action, jumping from hot spot to hot spot and taking out small bands of orcs and the like. We rejoined with the Shadar Kai to find they fought well, only four of their number fell that day. Eventually, Elder Durkick caught up with our combined party and forced us to the House of Sleep, collectively, we were too exhausted to even consider objecting. Overlook held that day, due to the noble efforts of its people, its guard, and the Wayfarers of Brindol.