16 Gozran – 17 Gozran
First Matten and Snot, then the rest of the party head into no-man’s-land and retrieve Hajira ap’Salim’s body. At one point, someone on the Westergarde walls fires an arrow, but he’s noisily shouted down.
After handing over the body to waiting soldiers behind the lines, Volkov holds a briefing. He informs the assembled that Viktor will lead a company against the South walls, Kagdir and the party will lead an assault against the walls to the North, and Volkov will lead the main force against the main gates. A small Dwarf approaches and informs Volkov that they’re ready, at which point he signals Giles to fire a flare. After the flare is fired, the sound of cannon fire erupts from the bay, and Giles’ artillery begin to pound the walls. Volkov informs the party that the assault will begin at dawn.
The party builds a pyre for the fallen Etu’Sauri. At one point during the work, Syl catches Diego leering at her and confronts him. He tells her he gets that a lot, since he has “resting lusty face”. Disgusted, she returns to the party and warns Sanorin again to steer clear of him.
Meanwhile, Kagdir goes to meet the officers and men of the companies he’ll be leading the next day. He also scouts out the terrain around the North wall and comes up with several additional troop and artillery placements. He notices a massive Man-of-War out in the bay, painted black with forest green sails and shelling the city from the sea. Volkov’s “navy”.
The party meets back up for dinner in the camp. Viktor joins them. They chat about the war briefly, but most roads lead back to “if we don’t end this war, Isaac Vane will end it for us”.
The next morning, Viktor and another man arrive, both in the Mithril plate armor of the Order of Leopold. The armies take position, the artillery shelling ceases, and with a booming “For Emperor and Empire!” the assault begins.
Kagdir’s plan executes flawlessly, and the troops rapidly scale the wall under the cover of Bubblesneezer Cannons from the treeline. The fighting atop the wall is fierce, and Sanorin stays on the ground treating the wounded who fall or retreat from the heights.
Eventually, Matten leads the troops on the wall in a charge down to the gatehouse, and shortly thereafter the North gate is thrown open and the Westergarde soldiers are in retreat or surrendering.
Kagdir deploys his troops to reinforce the wall, and the party begins to move alone through the city towards the keep.
During their travels, they catch sight of yet another man in the mithril plate of the Knights Leopold down near the docks, ravaging troops with magic. He’s smaller, and they conclude it could be Billy Bones.
The party encounters a platoon of infantry led by Sir Gregory Darrow and they attack. The fighting is fierce, and Matten is seriously wounded in a near one-on-one duel with the Knight. At one point in the fighting, Darrow’s squire, Kev, shouts “the master’s retreat has a green door”, which doesn’t make much sense to anyone.
Once Darrow falls, the remainder of the troop retreat, including two of Sir Gregory’s companions. His squire takes a knee and submits.
It was as if everyone was holding his or her breath. And then Matten started walking down towards the dead Etu’Sari, Starry Night following. Of course. I looked at Kagdir, wondering what he would do, and when he too started walking down towards the dead woman, I decided I might as well go as well. If nothing else, because Matten would need someone to help carry her. While I didn’t doubt Kagdir’s strength, the difference in height between the two of them might make it awkward, and she deserved better.
I suppose this was a test of the enemy as well; it would be interesting knowing how they reacted to us heading down in the open, a clear shot for their archers. Only one arrow was released, though, and from the shouting from the other side, it was clear that they would allow us to honour their fallen champion and allow us to retrieve the body. We carried her back on Kagdir’s shield; there was something right about that, a fallen warrior carried off the battleground on a shield.
As we watched the fire from the pyre burn, Syl came up to me and warned me to stay clear of one of the men; Diego. In the “watch out for that guy, he’s _that_ kind of guy” sense. Hopefully, it means she’s not furious with me anymore; it would make cooperation a lot easier.
The next day, the battle started. Or battles, rather; we were fighting in several places. We were making our way towards the keep, when we ran into a large group of soldiers. Matten pulled an Etu’Sari thing on them, and took them out, more or less on his own.
Then we ran into Sir Gregory, and, I suspect at least partly still thinking himself invincible after his rather stunning success earlier, Matten charged in on his own, while we were trying to deal with people between Sir Gregory and us. Including archers.
Well, at least Matten survived, though he took quite the beating. He still fared better than Sir Gregory, who refused to yield, even when it should be obvious that he was losing.
At some point during the fight, his squire cried out something strange: “The master’s retreat has a green door”. It sounded like a code phrase or something, though it makes no sense at the moment. But since the squire surrendered when Sir Gregory fell, we might be able to ask him about that.