17 February 2012
We have about 2 weeks in the capital before the army marches north. For the march, we get warhorses (but not the Mounted Combat feat, so we cannot access the warhorse powers with the Mount keyword). We re-equip. Kleft buys a lot of rituals. There is some consternation among the clergy of Kord at Kriv’s new status.
Kriv goes and talks with the Arkhosians, especially about the Turathoi. The Arkhosians are very interested, and take the information under advisement. Bonkk writes a letter to his “family” on the Star of the Leeb and takes it to the Rivermens’ Guild for transport; Kleft tags along with him. Cruhorn has more contact with the local Shifters. Lann finds another Githzerai in town, who was initially spooked, fearing Lann was an assassin sent after him.
We have the equivalent of an APO Box assigned to us for routine mail.
The Hyperstrategos is leading the army, about 25,000 strong. It will be a straight, mundane march: the magic highways cannot handle that large a group in a single host, and breaking the army up into smaller packets in the face of the invaders is hazardous. We are in the van, and do our turns riding as scouts.
Several days out, on the steppes, while we are on patrol duty we top a rise and see four or five circled wagons, and people ringed around those. The wagons belong to a party of refugees. The attackers are mostly humans (not Orcs) … there are eight or ten on foot, eight or ten on horseback, and another four on dire wolves.
We attack, and the guys on the wolves are Tieflings, so we opt to charge at them. The other mounted group rides to intercept us. Cruhorn’s opening rifle shot crits its target. We drop that one, and slow from headlong rush as it is apparent we cannot avoid the horseback group. The guys on horseback include some elves with longbows, and we concentrate fire and drop most of them: they are minions.
Bonkk impetuously rides forward as the enemy’s entire first wave of mercenaries is cut down, but the group that had been on foot has mounted and is coming. Outrunning his fire and healing support, he gets put down by the Tieflings, though Kriv and Sasha come up fast in support and get him back up. THey summon a bunch of devil minions, but Kleft pops three of those like firecrackers on a string with a jumping bolt, and the others are similarly snuffed without hitting any of us.
THe enemy’s third wave, the former foot fighters, come up and start getting chewed up, though Lann gets beat up much as Bonkk did earlier.
The Tieflings start doing break-off tactical moves, targeting mounts rather than riders, and start into flight.
The four remaining mercenaries are cowed into surrendering by Kriv. Kleft immobilizes one retreating Tiefling mage’s horse; Bonkk does the same to a second. We use more manuvers and powers to halt their flight. Listar crits and kills one of their mages, and is in turn critted (but not killed) by the dying mage’s counterblast. We beat up and capture one remaining mage, and the last Tiefling is in headlong flight. We decide to run him down rather than let him escape, and are ruled to capture that one, too.
The Tieflings were spies and agents provocateurs; the rest were local opportunistic rabble. All of the captives will be taken back to the main army for questioning.
We have some dire wolves and steppe ponies (both of these are superior mounts to horses), and some loot:
- a potion of Life Shield
- a +2 Resounding Staff (which becomes party swag)
- a Stonewall Belt (which goes to Bonkk, who passes his Belt of Vigor to Lann)
- a Cat’s Eye Headband (which goes to Lann)
- a Scroll of Protection Against Demons
We rescued a group of about 20 refugees, of whom 6 could use a weapon. They give us news: the army investing Evik is Orcs (about 3/4 of it) and Tieflings (about 1/4 of it), and seems to number about 50,000 in all. They have invested Evik, ringing it with trenches.
We’ll be Level 6 after next session, and in the vicinity of Evik.