Upon arriving in the High Lord’s Chambers, the party are briefed by the High Lords.
“Shortly after you left, the host that you see surrounding the city appeared, both on land and sea. The monsters on the rafts and boats just outside our harbour are not a problem, our flagship, the Inevitable, has been able to sink a few of them, and the rest of the fleet is staying back. It’s the land that concerns us more. Even though the walls of Marash are thick, there are enough creatures out there to if not breach them, certainly to scale them, even if it is over the corpses of their allies. Our ballistae and catapults can kill dozens in a minute, but we have limited ammunition in our magazines, and with our armies so depleted from Dragonhide’s Folly, we will be very hard pressed to hold the horde back. Tell us, did you locate the orb?”
After the party responded in the affirmative, the High Lord’s let out a collective sigh. “Thank the Celestials, please, hand it over to the Blade of Heironeous and his priests, surely they can get it going in short order.”
As the party handed over the Orb, the sky went suddenly dark, as if someone and pulled the curtains across the chambers window. Moving to the windows (which were uncovered), all present in the chamber heard the chanting of the horde outside of Marash, “Tarthuul Kuur, Tarthuul Kuur”, and as the party look to the sky, they could see that one of Kundar’s moons, Sylha, had moved in front of the sun, casting the entire region into a kind of late twilight.
The High Lords admonished the Blade of Heironeous to be quick with his investigation of the Orb, and asked the party to help out on the walls as best they can. Uneasily agreeing, the party handed the Orb to the Blade, and left to man the walls of Marash.
Reaching the walls, they could see the battle was on in the full, with ballistae and catapults keeping up a constant stream of boulders and heavy spears out into the mass of orcs, goblins and ogres, killing dozens every few seconds, with the few archers and crossbowman that could be mustered firing constantly, finding it impossible to miss hitting a monstrous form.
More of interest to the party, were a few dark forms, barely visible in the mass, apparently directing the chaos of the horde, and Arabella, with her keen sight, could just barely, at the rear of the throng, make out a large shadowy shape, surrounded by several dark figures, which she recognised as drow.
Before they could do anything about it, several ladder teams made it to the base of the wall, and were raised, seemingly impervious to the sporadic spells being launched from the walls by the city’s wizards. As soon as the tops of the ladders touched the crenulations of Marash’s walls, several ogres leapt off them, trying to clear some space for the smaller goblinoids and orcs to secure the beachhead. Ado and Gaarbunn waded into the frantic melee, whilst Thronus helped to heal the wounded archers who hadn’t been quick enough to escape the first swings of the ogres. Arabella started to hurl spells and the dark shapes amongst the horde, bringing down a couple of them, whilst Iggy sang songs of courage and valour, boasting the morale of the troops of Marash. Slowly, the party managed to secure that section of wall, but as they did so, another section became threatened, and they hurried over to help. This continued for what seemed to be hours, with wall sections being secured and others threatened, though in reality it could of only have been a few minutes, until suddenly, the sky above the Temple of Heironeous exploded in a fierce orange light, and a dozen, no two dozen, no too many to count Battle Dragons appeared, and winged their way to the battlefield of Marash’s walls. All of the dragons attacked the horde but a few, who went after the large shape at the rear of the invading force. However, before these dragons could even get close, they turned slowly colourless, then vanished into clouds of sparkles, presumably sent back to wherever they came from. Seeing this, one of the larger dragons, landed inside the city, near the walls, and stretched her head over to address the party, who now had a brief respite.
“My name is Gramzon, and you must come with me. If you can defeat the leaders of the horde, they shall surely flee!”
After having their wounds tended by priests of Heironeous, the party mounted up on Gramzon, who took off and flew out and around the horde, coming at the command group from the rear, landing about a mile off to offload the party.
Once the party had climbed off Gramzon, she took off, going back to the horde the same way she had just flown, leaving the party to trudge towards the hordes leaders.
As they got close to the commanders, the party rushed in, catching several of the drow by surprise, and began to slowly kill their way to the commander of the horde, a hideous black and purple scaled dragon, whose form seemed to float away on the wind. Once the party had killed most of the guards, three figures stepped forward from near the dragon, one was instantly recognised by Ado as the drow who had been impersonating Lord Ragnar Dragonhide! Whilst the rest of the party attacked the other two figures, a drow wizard and a female priestess, Ado and “Ragnar” squared off and duelled.
The dragon, after watching for a few moments, joined in the battle, sorely pressing the party, until Gaarbunn, along with Iggy, took down the priestess and turned to fight off the dragon, with Arabella and Thronus joining soon after, dispatching the wizard quickly now that the priestess was unable to support him with defensive magics.
As the party fully engaged the dragon, Ado scored a wicked hit on the drow. Now in his bear form, Ado literally took the head from “Ragnar’s” shoulders, and then Ado lumbered up to engage the dragon.
Even though the party were exhausted, even though they had few spells to sling, and the rear ranks of the horde were turning back to aid the dragon, they were victorious, bleeding from hundreds of tiny cuts, the party stood their ground as the rear of the horde, then the rest of it, broke ranks, and fled the field, desperately trying to escape the few battle dragons still alive, now that the leaders of the force and been killed. Some of the horde passed so close to the party, that if they held out their weapons, an orc or goblin would have run itself through. Thankfully, it was over. The horde had fled, and the city of Marash was mostly intact, the few holes in its walls caused by misfired catapults than the enemy. As the party trudged their way to the city gates through the bloody mud and corpse piles, they made to the city gates, which were flung wide, and the party were welcomed into the city as heroes.
Slowly, the clean up of the area outside the walls began, whilst the party licked their wounds, and tidied themselves up. For their services to Marash, each member of the party were given the title “Saviour of Marash”, and granted more land to each of their baronies.
Thus ends this campaign, and our time playing 3.5e. Join me soon for more dungeon exploring action as we rip open 4th edition later this year!