Saturday, April 20, 2013

Letter IV - Battle at the dam and the defense of Talsit

To my brother,

      I trust this will reach you at our family’s country estate. You have no doubt heard news of events at Talsit. It is dire. The cultists are here, preparing to assault the city. Everything hangs in the balance. If Talsit falls, nowhere is safe.
       Let me tell you more of my return to the city. When I last wrote, I was in a ship making its way back to Talsit. We had discovered orcs prowling the shores of the great river, attacking the locks and killing the workers. We soon discovered worse: they had constructed a massive fortified dam across the river. (I guess now that this was to prevent relief of the city during their forthcoming attack.)
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      Although we approached the structure in stealth, we soon found outselves in a brisk fight and in the sights of their archers. At one point Aethelred (that’s the oiled dwarf I mentioned before) tossed me up onto the parapet so I could disrupt their aim. Lord Araval rushed through a hail of arrow to cleave an orc leader in twain while the engineer Aastrod set a fire on the dam. We had only just dispatched the dam’s defenders when a much stronger force of orcs appeared on the field. There was a warchanter among them who unleashed a great tongue of flame at us, nearly frying Mishka and Aastrod. “Red” charged straight at them but was felled by an arrow in the eye. Only Mishka’s quick application of a potion of healing saved the valiant dwarf’s life. Though blinded in one eye, he stood and fought toe to toe with the great armoured orc chieftain. The battle was fierce and I did not escape injury myself. But in the end, we prevailed.
      We took a surviving orc prisoner and returned to the ship, leaving the dam to be consumed by flame. From what we could gather from this Grashk and from a scroll found on the body of the warchanter, the orcs had received some kind of orders to deploy in the area. But by whom, we do not know.
            Our ship resumed its course for Talsit. Upon our arrival, we bore the messages of counsellor Anarion to the city hall. They took the tidings seriously and set about preparing the city for defense from the cultists who we suspected would attack. Aastrod worked at designing a water pump to fight fires while the rest of us reconnoitred the countryside around the city. Investigating a plume of smoke, we found our worst fears confirmed: 
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the cultists were there, killing innocents and using their blood in a foul ritual to summon a fiery demon so powerful that it consumed the water elemental I sent against it. Weakened therefrom, it was soon extinguished, but at the cost of all the water we had with us. We retreated to the city, and though we slew a dozen cultists on the way, we could see all about us the telltale flame-wreathed tornadoes of the dread firetreaders others of them had succeeded in creating.
      We can only hope that Aastrod’s pumps will help us protect the city. And the city’s greatest mages have been convened to bring nature herself to our aid. Only rain can save us now.
      Pray for Talsit, brother. And pray for rain.

                                                                   Yours in the All,