October 27, 2013
*All present except Verran
The Aquonan detachment was responsible for opposing the landings on the beach closest to the main gates of Decenis. On either side of the beach, Decenians and their allies would similarly be attempting to contest the Aerrisans and the auxiliaries. Wooden stakes, pits, and some cover gave them some protection.
Before any of the ships reached the beach, Tyrael ensured two of them would be struck by lightning, thanks to the Sun Lord. One ship was very badly damaged, and the other at least moderately so. The ships belong to auxiliary troops from the Vanguard Isles—arrow fodder to soften up defense before the Aerrisan legions arrived.
When the ships started landing, several of the party used slings and bows to reduce the number of invaders. However, the invaders kept landing, and slowly and grimly pushed their way ahead on the beach, to the basic line of defense the Aquonans had made.
In the middle of the line, Masago and Amantius found themselves in lively fights with unexpectedly tough opponents. It took them some time to wear them down, and Amantius worked himself into a rage against the spearman who had kept up such a good fight. On the left, Richter used his bow to good effect, while keeping up a constant stream of hopefully demoralizing oratory against the foe. Tyrael used everything from rocks to daggers to his shield to maintain the center-left, and Kook rained down shocking and numbing spells on the opposition on the right.
Meanwhile, Halia took down one of the enemy with her net on the extreme right, finishing him off with her dagger. Oddin and Boddin got off to a slow start next to her, with Boddin taking an early injury that took him out of action early.
Still, more ships came in, and more enemy troops flooded the shore. It was a fight the party could not win in the long run—not that day, in any case.
Tyrael used his last lightning strike to completely incinerate one of the Vanguard Islanders, causing some of his allies to hold back. Meanwhile, Richter brandished the medallion of the Sun Lord he had found on Respite, and used his oratory to give the rapidly-flanking opponents to hang back. (What the Sun Lord would think of this remains to be seen).
The party held their own for a while, but injuries began to mount. Masago took several nasty hits, as did Oddin. They stuck it out on the right for longer than perhaps they should have, and had to count on the unwounded Kook to cover their retreat with his folk magic spells numbing and shocking the foes, slowing them down just enough. Masago had to evade to the left and right, dodging and rolling until he gained enough space to get clear. It was a very close escape.
On the left, Tyrael took a terrible injury to the arm. He blacked out from the agonizing pain, and only Boddin’s help, and a slow retreat (weathering several nasty blows by the enemy) by Richter staved off disaster. Tyrael fervently prayed to his god for assistance, and he recovered just enough to limp off the field with assistance.
Amantius also managed a fighting retreat in very good order, and shrugged off several blows as well. He covered Tyrael and Noddin’s retreat, and would not leave the field ahead of them.
While this was happening, the ships of the Aerrisan Legions had arrived, and began to form on the beach.
Meanwhile, Halia had snuck around in the surf to one of the enemy’s ships, and managed to catch one on fire. Realizing she had been cut off, she had no choice but to dive into the water. It looked dire, but then Halia tried something. She had felt a communion with the aquatic life when she had gone into the mysterious deep tidepool last session. She tried at first, and nothing happened. Trying again, a school of fish showed themselves, and directed her to a tiny underwater cave, with the destination unknown. Halia escaped the Aerrisans, but to what fate is unknown.
The rest of the group made it back to the gates and walls of Decenios, where the next fight would take place. It was a hard-fought action, one that was simply the opening fight in a much bigger conflict. The Battle of Decenios had ended its first phase; the Siege of Decenios was soon to begin.
GM’s Notes: There’s probably not as much written about this session, because it was 100% combat. The group knew they were in for a tough fight, and having one of their best fighters not present didn’t help. Still, they inflicted a large number of casualties on their opponents, and despite having some party members severely injured, they’re still all alive—at least for the moment.
Were there things they could have done better? Maybe, but they put up a great fight, all things considered. I didn’t scale back the difficulty, despite only having 6 players plus the 3 NPCs, but they managed to get through. I’ll be curious to see how they deal with fatigue and injuries.
Next session will cover the inevitable battle for the walls and city gates. The party is already tired, low on magic and health, and will have no time to really recover.