After we accepted the surrender of the Turathoi, we took stock of the survivors (which included the annoying Eladrin and the Half-Orc archer) and the slaves we freed, and tried to get information out of them. Kleft & Sasha started first, with Heskan coming in after in the “bad cop” role, while Kriv attended to people who’d been hurt. Our interrogation doesn’t do very well. The Turathoi will give their parole, a year’s worth of not taking up arms against the Empire.
The lookouts can see two significant rising dust clouds, about 10 miles away the south and heading east.
From the unspoken manner (i.e., an Insight check) of the Eladrin … he thinks we are clueless, hopeless rubes. The inference is that these Turathoi know about and are allied with the invasion at the very least, and it could be these Turathoi think that the Turathoi are the ones who are behind the whole thing, and they believe we have no idea what is coming down. The Turathoi have massed an army and made alliances with demonic forces … “Power is power” … and the army is making straight for Evik. “For numbers, get goblins. For strength, Orcs. For power, go beyond this world.”
Comparing notes on what we can get from the prisoners and the lookouts, it seems that the leading group of the two dust clouds is larger and on foot, while the second group is smaller and wheeled. They are on the Feyroad that is nearest to us, but we can’t tell at this point whether they are making use of the enhancement of the road.
“The column you see has engines of such power that you have never seen the like.” It is probably a couple of weeks out before the enginess’ assault can start, though the goblins will probably assault first, and take losses, which clearly is just fine with the Eladrin.
(Personal opinion: Whether the Turathoi really are the major motivators behind the invasion is not something I expect we could get for certain from a motley group like this one, but it seems clear that the guys we captured from this group thinks they are.)
We send the freed slaves downriver to the Halfling boat; these slaves are not combatants but enslaved local civilians, and want no part of the fight we’re going to. The paroled Turathoi we deposit boatless on the west bank.
We decide quite quickly on a major path: we will see if we can attack the siege train.
There is some nuts & bolts to be dealt with, repacking for an overland march now, and distributing the loot we got from the vanquished. The loot includes
- + 2 Elven Cloak, a neck slot item (which goes to Cruhorn)
- + 2 Amulet of Health, a neck slot item (which goes to Heskan, whose old + 1 Amulet of Health is “on the table”)
- + 2 Orc’s Eye Amulet, a neck slot item (which goes to Listar, whose old + 1 Brooch of No Regrets goes back “on the table”)
- + 2 Psiweave Cloak, a neck slot item (which goes to Kriv, whose old + 1 Frostwolf Pelt goes back “on the table”)
- Coif of Mindiron, a head slot item (which goes to Sasha)
- + 2 Luckblade Fullblade, which goes to Lann (and his old + 1 Fullblade goes into Sasha’s custody for now, though she has not got proficiency with it yet)
There are also three potions: Health, Life Shield, and Firebeetle, the distribution of which we did not specify. (Oddly, I have no notation in my notes of what we did with either our boat or the one we captured from the Turathoi.)
The march to the southeast goes quickly and we get to a copse ahead of the siege column. Our arcane types can tell that yes, the invaders are using the Feyroad’s magical acceleration power. We see about twenty wagons in all, and two great bombards, and four other cannon. The artillery all are inscribed with magical symbols, and they lack touch-holes; we cannot examine them well enough at distance to tell exactly what they do or how they are fired. The gunners are Duergar, of whom there are about twenty; there is a company of about 50 Orcs, and a couple of dozen Tieflings, who seem to be in charge. The bombards are each drawn by a quartet of Trolls, while oxen draw the other vehicles. There are also four trebuchets and ten supply wagons.
(Clearly there will be more in the way of supplies following behind this group if the siege is to last more than a day or two.)
We decide on tactics: we will try harassing at range, trying to pick off anyone who comes out after us; fire-arrows at extreme longbow range is an obvious start. The archers will withdraw ahead of anything closing with us, and we’ll see if we can wipe out that force on ground of our choosing.
We try setting up a cold camp to get an extended rest just out of striking distance, and while we get the rest, the invaders are not harassed by us and send out a recon party after us before we can try an ambush against their column. Their recon party is not up for the task, however. The ten or so Orcs and half-dozen Tieflings (and their allies; there also was at least an Imp of some sort) are overwhelmed by us: Cruhorn turns one of them on our left flank into a sparkling light (whom we leave alive while we beat up those around him) and most of the action is there with Lann in the thick of it, but Kriv and Bonkk nail down the other flank. Only two of them escape.
We take a short rest (we lost some of our minions, I think, but I don’t have a number recorded). The session ends at 2345 local time, and we have at least three weeks before the next session is to occur.