Tuesday, July 21, 2015

The Necromancer's Legacy - part 62: The Siege of Neddam, episode 2

As a new day dawns Charon, Horacio and Thriatos enjoys a good breakfast after their excellent results on the previous day. They are interrupted by lieutenant Tyras who wants them to come to the city walls. Finishing with haste they follow the commander and discovers that the enemy has started to construct massive siege towers - clearly yesterday's actions have raised the stakes.

Its soon a race against time as the defenders work hard on their own preparations. Copies of the demonic ballistae are produced by the city's craftsmen, the mages summon rains to turn the fields in front of the walls into a swamp and oil is collected from the city's lighthouse to be used in the defense. Horacio also commands the wizard house to produce elixirs for night vision, should they later decide to sally forth in the darkness. At the same time the extra food - which now seems a bit superfluous - have started to arrive. Confident they've done what they could, as the dusk settles the mages go to bed.

While the sleep is good they are awoken early by the news that the enemy has, protected by the mists from the endless rains outside the walls, landed a small force on the island Karnor, housing the city's Lighthouse. As the island is connected to the city's unprotected harbour via several islands and bridges the attackers have opened up a second front and appear to be digging in. Hurriedly, Horacio takes the lead and gathers a company of mages and soldiers to attempt to repell the landing force.

At the small Island of Langlong, which houses the only guard tower between Karnor and the rest of the city, the force is greeted by relieved city guards who had expected to be overrun at any moment. They can report that almost two companies of legionnaires have made their way ashore and for Charon, Horacio and Thriatos it is clear they must act now. They command their accompanying mages to summon forth servants - be they demonic or elemental - to bolster their numbers. As not all mages are used to handling this kind of pressure a demon is set loose and attacks but Thriatos is quick to capture it. But the commotion gives the legionnaires time to prepare a defensive formation around the Karnor bridge.

As the battle begins Horacio and Thriatos use aeromancy to weaken the enemy's formation followed by a charge of demons and elementals across the bridge and a barrage of spells from the mages. Again, some of the mages fail to control their spells and soon the battlefield is haunted by a lightning storm and fires rage in the tall grass of the island, killing attackers and defenders alike. At this point lieutenant Tyras personally leads a charge with his soldiers towards the weakened legionnaire ranks. Attacking in a wedge against the center of the enemy formation, Horacio and Thriatos batter the flanks using pyromancy. Charon meanwhile spots the enemy commander and gathering a few mages he manage to get close enough to kill the commander with a necromantic spell. Buckling under the pressure the legionnaires' left flank starts to retreat while the the center and right is broken and routs. The even battle is turned into a great victory as only a handfull of legionnaires manage to leave the island before being captured. Leaving a few scouts behind the defenders return triumphantly to the city and the attackers' plans are halted for the rest of the day.

As a new day dawns the siege towers stand ready with grim determination. The summoned rains are banished - which suits the defenders just fine as they prefer a clear aim for their Archers and the ground is already saturated with water. Despite the muddy ground the attackers manage to move the siege towers forward - each pushed by four massive earth elementals. Fire from the newly constructed ballistae have limited effects on the giants so is instead directed towards the towers, aiming to kill the soldiers waiting inside. Horacio sends Soraman to the wizard house to find any banishing spells they might have while Charon and Thriatos commence a ritual to attempt to disspell one of the elementals. While successful, the crumbling giant creates an earthquake as it is absorbed into the ground - bringing one of the towers off course, thus delaying its arrival to the walls. As the other towers reach the walls Charon implodes the landing gate, exposing the soldiers behind to a rain of stones and arrows.  

The battle for Neddam has begun.

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