Phase 3 Desperation and Pillaging Day 21 30
Phase 3: Desperation and Pillaging (Day 21-30)
21 Summertide 1061 FA
Needless raids into the Sidicea hinterlands cause massive unrest. The Triumvirate begins tightening the budget and demobilizing armies to cut cost. The army has resorted to eating their shoes.
The Siege of Kalens (continued)
The people of the Kalens countryside suffer from the army’s requisitioning of resources. Sergeant Jason, a young officer of Kalens, is the most senior officer left after disastrous sorties against the Mineosi and is promoted to Commander of the City Guard. General Simon in the Sickle Islands continues skirmishes in the Great Sea to fend off even more trouble, but the people of Kalens are still in peril from the encroaching Mineosi infantries.
Great Sickle, long neglected by the coalition forces, has been infiltrated by the Mineosi under Calis’s command on day 23. They hold onto it with little resistance but General Simon begins mobilizing Sickle Island navies to liberate their ally.
Fleets from Zagari and Adugari are raised to support the Siege of Kalens.
The Battle of Podana Pass
The yellow-wreathed Mineosi infantry are joined by a cavalry of strange beasts and their riders. Leading the charge is a man in white shining armor, his white hair catching the breeze, and he rides a white saber-toothed lion with massive wings. Foot soldiers struck by his magical bolts are unable to recover, resistant to any potions or conventional medicine, as their flesh deteriorates. Others merely turn to ash as they get near. Those who survive speak of his lion, Cloudstride, devouring the dead on the field. Helios is the rider’s name and his magic burns like the sun.
Kaolina Serrat does not sit. From the door, she hands one of the city councilors the signed agreement for aid. “The Werriadi Republic takes a great interest in protecting your city-state against Mineosi encroachment.” She thanks the councilor and leaves. Leandro watches as a pair of Werriadi legionaries escort her back to the embassy. Calantha steps over to Leandro and says, loud enough for the rest of the council to hear, “You let in one empire while fighting off another.” Leandro has nothing to say, recalling his deal with Sora Nemmonis. Calantha’s words sting as he wonders whether there was another way, an Argolosi way, to solve this, and prays to all the gods that he hasn’t just surrendered his own country in order to save it.
The Siege of Kalens (continued)
Kalens continues to stave off attacks from both land and sea, but the coalition army resorts to raiding the city stores as the siege becomes dire, entering its eighth day.
The undead are among the warriors here, but it is no surprise. Ravenous ghouls are led by aristocratic vampires on black steeds, alongside regular humanoid infantry. The Argoti and coalition soldiers were warned as much. But they were not forewarned for what they saw on the field that day: Living metal, creatures made of forged steel and moving parts. The largest of them, a brute made of blades who cut the poor youths to ribbons and set them ablaze with bolts of fire. But it was not just a brute. The officers that day heard it shouting commands, its automatons snapping to attention and moving in unison. The Iron Reaper they called him, for they knew no of no other name.
The Second Siege of Telens
Another small naval force from Podana begins the Second Siege of Telens, which lasts all of a few days, and the city falls to the Mineosi on the 26th day. But King Radu of Grypsera and Commander Zosimo and the city council of Sidicea raise levees to free the city, on Leandro’s command. Yet more soldiers are recruited from the Sidicea hinterlands to defend the city as the Podana armies under Helios march forward.
Operation Great Reaping
Starting into the fifth week (day 29), Odoacer relays to General Simon to initiate Operation Great Reaping. The combat begins with an amphibious landing on Great Sickle to liberate the island from Calis.
The people of Grypsera are called upon again to give up their grain and food to the coalition’s cause. By the end of 30 days, the situation back in Argot deteriorates once more.
Disease runs rampant as the regional trade grinds to a halt. Without medicine, people become desperate and are dying in the streets.
The people of the Undercity, long maligned and blamed for problems, have begun emerging during the night. Attacks begin, merrows, duergar, doppelgangers, and goblins start murdering and robbing citizens. Though Hespero tries to stop the attacks and his partisans assure him they have nothing to do with them, the attacks continue.
Stretched as the Argoti resources have been at the front, fewer city patrol are able to track the comings and goings of the people in town. Even Hespero’s partisans in the Undercity are losing track. The crowds have become more diverse, and people have reported suspicious behavior, but without any hard proof.
The Treasurer’s clerk summons Hespero once more to negotiate a deal with a banker.
Hespero enters carrying a bag of holding with a variety of riches, as collateral, one more extravagant than the next. He sets them each on a table. The banker nods appraisingly over the assortment of treasures and tells the clerk to shove off. “You heard him,” Hespero said, “leave the adults alone to talk.”
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