The Third chapter of The Dark Spear
Cast: Aegir of the Enæidún, Mandan Bansl, Gryff Galan, Velimir Tito Toadface, and Yolander van Zaar. Also, as NPCs: Master Octavian Arbalestus, Onkel Smit, Admiral Colomb, Brigadier General Bothwell, First Mate Hawkins, a.k.a. Commander Spearhawk, and Adeptus Rupertus Ludenius.
The following takes place between 28 and 29 Octavum, YE 1022.
After a night of much needed debauchery in Göteshafen, the Pius Cabal sets sail again, and discover that the dastardly Thulists have established a base in the ruins of the University of Man. Toadface and Tito takes a bath in a river and decides that what they need is a mire. A hastily laid plan is made complicated and Bombmaster Bansl's craft becomes the target of criticism.
The Pius were flying low over the Elvenwoods now covering large tracts of Pendrellian land, the course was southerly, and through means of scrying, the cabal is planning to attack the enemy. One of the elements that were mentioned was the retaliation for an attack. Most agreed that the logical target for such a strike would be the capital of Pendrell, as so far the capitals of Wezell and Livonia has been hit.
Captain Galan wished to order the attack on the OUT base immediately, but as is often the case, a short discussion instigated a longer debate. Both Hawkins and Rupertus questioned the plan, and Yolander also had some arguments and concerns. Instead of giving battle straight away, a more prudent approach was chosen. Toadface and Tito, the Draccian Theurge, were set down in the Elvenwoods, Captain Galan and van Zaar set out to telepathically commune with friends, and Bansl locked himself in his workshop to manufacture explosives.
The first of the people consulted was Onkel Smit. Amongst the things discovered in this conversation was that the weight of the Onkel's Seal had changed Smit. He no longer spoke as a consular and a spy, but as a politician. Van Zaar, never very tolerant of those whom he deems not to be committing without reservation, reamed the Onkel out. In turn he was warned against repeating that particular exercise too often. In the end, Smit would not support an attack on the base in the Elevenwoods, although he would back a strike at the reputed base on the Moon.
Octavian, the commander of Battlefleet Hermetica, on the other hand, thought the proposed attack was a bloody marvellous notion, and promised to send his cabal of Wyvern-riders. The Commonwealth's man on Argos, Brig. Gen. Bothwell, also jumped on the idea of dealing the OUT a blow. Not only did he jump, he sent two companies of marines and ten gunboats to support the assault.
Down on the ground, Toadface and Tito were trying to figure the forest out. Adepti of Life and Spirit, respectively, the two soon found out that while the rapid growth of the forest earlier in the year were caused by the release of a powerful entity from Fornost. To get a feel for the spirit of the woods, they sought out a river. Here the two magicians shed their clothing had a night-time bath in the cool, clear water. While there was a clearly noticeable anger in the fabric of the land, they realized that whatever had been let out of Fornost now lay dormant.
Theurge Tito realized that he needed to find some wetlands, for as the Draccian saying goes, "though the forest is young, the mire is old." Not long after, the two had found to a suitable spot, and now they could feel the location of the OUT base like a wound in the landscape. They soon understood that though the trees would not march to war - as the more epic-minded members of the cabal had believed they would - removing the blight would cause the forest to reclaim the area before next summer.
The two rangers decided to scout towards the Thulist base. Located in the ruins of the Univesity of Man, on the Isle of Man, an island in the river Rother, it lies on what was once a Watchtower. As they closed in on the base, they started finding metal barrels, seemingly dropped from the sky, crushed on impact. It soon became clear that this was done deliberately, and in a pattern. At each location there were a handful of barrels, and whatever foul liquid was in them was leaking into the soil, killing plants, animals and spirits.
By now, the cabal had decided that the base on the Isle of Man had to be destroyed, and the final preparations were made. The Commonwealth gunboats were transported into position by use of magic and ley-lines, and the Hermetic cabal was briefed. Aegir would be teleported into the compound, and armed with Bansl's bombs he would blow the base to pieces.
Then the attack began. Tito and Toadface had made it to to the river, and from their position they started harrying the OUT soldiers with magics. The Wyvern-riders swooped out of the sky, attacking the enemy's flying vessels, and the Commonwealth gunboats headed towards the main base at full steam. Aegir of the Exalted were teleported in to the base, and surrounded by Hellghasts and in a storm of bullets, he managed to place his explosives.
This was when it became clear that the plan was based on a different type of bombs than those Bansl had made. After the charges had gone off, the enemy was still very much in the fight. On board the good ship Pius it was decided that instead of pulling the Prince out, more of his men was sent in to the fray. The Pius was teleported in to provide close support with her guns, and despite the miscalibrated bombs the massed strength of the attack soon made the outcome inevitable.
When the OUT-flag was finally lowered, two of the Exalted lay dead, a as did dozen men of the Pius. Amongst the Hermetics the losses were one wizard, one Proximus, and three Wyverns. The marines of the Expeditionary Corps had lost 1 gunboat, 6 officers and non-commissioned, and 31 enlisted men.
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[Picture sources unknown]