Play begins outside town #5, having just defeated a large goblin army. A large group of horsemen is moving at supernatural speed towards us. The party notices that the villagers do not appear to be scared or otherwise panicked by the horsemen; we also notice that the horses are extremely fast and large – thundering along.
We continue towards town and hear some cheers as the remaining soldiers and our party are nearing town. There is also cheering as the horseman arrive at the far end of town. We ask a towns-person who the new horseman are – and he reveals that this group is the prince of this land. His name is Faron, and he has just arrived from town 5 (turns out we are actually in the outskirts of the area – the burbs!). Preparations are underway for a feast.
We move to the center of town, and are greeted by Faron, who apologizes for being too late to aid us in the battle. SKS explains that we are happy to have helped, and come under the banner of Braiden – the true king of this land. Faron accepts the greetings from Jimmue, and invites us to his father’s hall for the feast.
We notice a large ancient tree in town, and inquire about it. The tree showed the way to the people of the area finding a water source.
Brom asks if these attacks are normal and frequent. Faron indicates that they are happening more and more, and that the numbers and organization are surprising. His horsemen are swift and typically come in time. Brom also asks if Faron knows the nature of the ancient in this area – whether that may be driving these attacks? Faron explains that the ancient actually dwells within his father…Braloar. It chooses the next chief by inhabiting him.
We ask if there are any theories of why the attacks are coming with such frequency, but there are none.
We join with the horsemen and travel to the 5th city; our own steeds receive the speed benefits they have, and we are covering a great distance in little time. Darkness has fallen now, the night is clear and cool. There is a light in the distance, surrounded by a temporary camp of huts/tents… the nomadic HQ of this people.
Faron leads us to the central fire; people are enjoying a feast and festival to celebrate the day’s victory. There is a head table that is spread wide. There is a man in the middle who is large and has a commanding presence. As Faron begins to speak, the crowd falls silent and all eyes fall on us. He presents us to his Braloar, as heroes, and asks for his father to address us.
Brom asks Braloar is he would like to fight against the greatest evil in the land! Braloar indicates that as a young man he was likewise asked to join in battle against evil – and no benefit came of it to the desert. He will not ride into battle with us. Brom pleads once more, indicating that the evil we fight will not leave them alone, and may be the cause of the current goblin attacks. It is evident that Braloar is not pleased with the second attempt to get him to roll on our side. The party excuses themselves respectfully, and moves away from the head table.
SKS hears in the distance that Faron and Braloar are arguing in the their native language. Faron is frustrated, asking “why are you denying the young men in our tribe their chance for glory? – you had your chance in the great war, and now you are robbing us our chance to do the same. What if these men have come to ask our help because the spirit would have us be involved in the fight.” Braloar reminds him that he and the spirit are one – and their desire is intertwined. Faron bows his head, acknowledging that this is indeed the case.
The party enjoys the feast, and settles in to rest. Late in the night, Faron approaches us and mentions to the party that there is a strong group of warriors who would ride with Faron and us – if we but ask for his for their help. We ask if there is anything that would sway Braloar in our favor? Evidence of the goblin attacks origins? Faron explains that his father has become hardened with time, and has forgotten the glory of the battlefield. He thinks that the only thing which would sway his father would be the battle coming to them – he would certainly defend.
We rest for the night. An eagle approaches the camp, lands at our feet, and brings the voices of the wood elves – and army has moved into the woods at breakneck speed and will be at Wright’s Ferry by noon. We find Faron – give him eagle paper and our destination, giving him the tools he needs to join the fight if he chooses. He grins and runs off, and the party bampfs to Jimmue/Braiden.
We tell them all that we have done in the past couple of days (fighting fires, dwarves, and the horsemen). Braiden, hearing our full report, exits the room and makes a rousing speech. He asks that everyone come to make a stand against evil and tyranny. WE MARCH! The troops cheer and ready for battle.
It has begun.
We send messages to our contacts throughout the world – meet us post haste at the joining of the rivers to the east of Wrights Ferry…and we prepare for battle.
We bampf to the confluence to meet with whatever troops have responded to our call to arms. We are in the forest, and so far no one is there. However, emerging from our invisibility, some elves and ents reveal themselves. They take a knee and indicate that they await our orders. We request the intel on the enemy force – they reveal that a force of unbelievable magnitude is retooling in Wright’s Ferry and preparing to move NW. The elves have yet to see any of our other forces, but it is perhaps too early for them to have arrived.
The plan is thus: we bampf into the middle of town, drop an earthquake (we pre-wound Balthor) and a hurricane as a 1-2 punch, then bampf back away.
-We bampf to within 45 minutes of town to scout. GPD goes on a scouting mission, and SKS can telepathically see through his eyes. He sees camp and notices a shimmering over the town, potentially protecting the town from magic. SKS can tell that it is a prismatic sphere: which would protect them from our attacks. The size of that sphere is disconcerting – it is much larger than normal and probably means they have some serious magic powers. Plan foiled!
We send word of the status to Braiden with eagle paper… letting him know that we will wait for our forces and attack. He has 2,000 soldiers coming from Port Helsing. We have 100 elves and 50 ents. Eventually we should have around 1,000 people.
We bampf back and Feron is there with 200 riders! So far, no one is here from town 3, 7, or the dwarves. Our force is growing large. We institute a no-fire camp rule to keep as low a profile as possible.
As dawn arrives, an elf approaches Kelrick and let’s him know “they’ve left.” The elves were watching the encampment and everyone all of a sudden vanished! Were they an illusion? The ents do confirm that the army was real – but perhaps they left early and left an illusion behind to get the jump on us.
We decide to head straight west in hopes of making up time instead of going down through town. The horsemens’ speed is astounding. We receive word from Braiden – they’ve engaged the enemy at the edge of the forest, move with haste!"
At the edge of the forest, pirates from town 7 join us. We can now see smoke/haze and the obvious signs of a battle begun. The flag of Braiden is entrenched on some high ground and surrounded. Smaug is on site, and sleeping – not engadged in the battle. There is a destroyed village nearby, and it looks like the enemy had moved through a screening force of Braiden’s. The Isling flag is in the village keep.
Our force is just under 1,000 men. We send Feran at the head of the group, with the horsemen, ents, elves, etc. They avoid the castle as they can to flank to the main force. We move with the pirates from town 7 towards the Isling banner. Smaug awakes, and begins to tear at us with a roar so loud it seems to pause the whole of the battle for a moment. He skids to a halt in front of us and let’s go a mighty roar. Brom is shaken. Smaug spreads his wings wide – and announces “you’ve hurt me, I owe you.”
Balthor holds high his ring and says “hello old friend.” Smaug smiles and explains that the agreement is broken b/c Balthor hurt him!
We notice that Smaug is actually wearing armor crafted by the dwarves. His breath weapon instantly kills SKS and knocks Kelrick unconscious. After the first round, we feel the power of the three ancients we’ve encountered – healing the party and granting awesome powers to all in the party (except Kelrick, who instead gets Rhino Armor for Cody).
A furious battle ensues, ending with a desperate fire breath from the dying Smaug.
Out of a giant hole that has opened next to us – a flaming sword emerges, held by an arm wreathed in flames. We ask who has summoned him, and he responds that a fool has brought him – a vanguard of an army that will come to take this world. We decide that we must go and kill Isling!
Brom rides into the fortress and launches a six-arrow attack – killing Isling and sending the demon back to hell. The force of Isling’s spell explodes outward, knocking the full party unconscious.