Date: 1 March 2012
PCs: Audrey, Barnaby, Cut, Ja'Tubis, Martin, Pritchard, Roland (I), Roland (II)
The Company of Crossed Swords, again rallying 'round one of their own, decided to take up Trianoman Matriarch Josephine's offer to exchange a restoration spell for Martin le Renais for taking her place in the breaking of the Siege of Gantelet, home of the Hexarchs. The Matriarch warned them that this mission may be fraught with danger, as the Darokin forces greatly outnumbered the Glantrian host, perhaps four to one. Shortly after receiving their commission, the Company set out south from Glantri City under the command of General Jean-Romulus with one hundred veterans of Glantri, hoping to crush the enemy between the combined might of the siege breakers and the hundred or so men of the Gantelet fortress.
Each member of the Company meditated on what they sought to gain. For Martin, it was the restoration of his very soul, attenuated by the wraith Lydiane d'Ambreville in the harrowing Eternal War Below. For Audrey, her mind was only on the task at hand, defeating the Darokinese and the greater glory of Seff, both at the point of her spear. Cut Coutelain thrilled at the prospect of impressing his fellows with the new moves he'd recently perfected at Hamfist's gym, while Ja'Tubis, bucket of sea-water in hand, was slyly hopeful he'd discover a sleeping platoon of Darokin soldiers he might be able to ruthlessly drown, one by one. Pritchard Hood, ever mysterious, merely wished for the triumph of Law, and perhaps a few magical gewgaws with which to replenish his bandolier. Roland Wolfric, Lord Zanzibar, swiftly commissioned a standard of House Zanzibar and rode gallantly on his steed Veillantif, hoping to turn heads and garner notice for his skill at arms. Barnaby Flanders would, above all, achieve his desires — that of slaying the enemy, and making them blanch at the very sight of his flashing blade. Roland the Veteran yearned not to get killed. He too, would see his greatest hopes fulfilled.
Jean-Romulus informed the Company of Crossed swords that they would lead a sortie into one of the Darokinese flanks, the details of which they were free to plan themselves. The Company requested ten additional troops, and we given a squad of stout footmen. Maurice, Chevalier, Hugo, Jean-Francois…all but one of these ten would die for their country. Putting their heads together, the Company decided on a combination of mighty magics and force of arms. Pritchard Hood would scout the Darokinese forces invisibly from the air the night before. Then on the morning of the attack, he would use the earth staff secured from the dungeons beneath the Chateau to instantly create a stone bridge across the swift river encircling Gantelet, allowing the martial troops of the CCoS to advance on the exposed Darokinese flank and cleave their fill of soft underbelly.
The Company decided that their plan would best be achieved through stealth, so leaving their mounts at the Glantrian expedition's base camp, they stole over a ridge and into sight of the pavilions of the Darokinese forces across the river. Despite their best efforts to remain behind cover, the gleam from Lord Zanzibar's Friend of the Perch platemail in the rising sun caught the eye of a nearby picket of four men, who quickly ran to raise an alarm, despite Cut Coutelain felling one with a well-placed arrow. Seizing the moment as the time to strike, Pritchard Hood cast the enchanted bridge and the Company of Crossed Swords advanced in formation towards the overwhelming forces of Darokin.
The Darokinese forces, caught somewhat unawares and still in the process of arming and armoring themselves, managed to rouse a cadre of archers who wheeled and tested the Company with withering hails of missile fire. The Company of Crossed Swords advanced in a staggered formation, with Martin and Roland each commanding a handful of footmen at the fore, while Cut, Ja'Tubis, Roland the Veteran, Barnaby Flanders, Audrey and Pritchard comprised the second wave. Despite a few losses amongst the footmen, the party's morale held, and Martin and Roland sliced through the first line of defenders, many of whom were still donning hauberks and helms as whickering blades cut them to ribbons. The Darokinese rallied behind their sergeants, stiffening their resistance, until the second wave of the Company crashed into their ranks with blades, spells, and murderous intent. Cut Coutelain's dagger fell again and again into the meat of his enemies' thighs, while Barnaby Flanders carved the Darokinese as though they were no better than hogs on his personal block. Pritchard Hood ensorcelled a group of soldiers with Sleep, choked a swath of the battlefield with a Stinking Cloud, and again summoned a rock wall to cut off the enemy's advances and retreats, before fleeing under another determined hail of arrows. The enemy reinforced itself with a wizard whose magically enhanced strength allowed him to pelt Martin with small boulders, and a complement of cavalry whose charge was thwarted by the aforementioned mystic wall. The wizard, having caused Martin great pain, was finally Held by Audrey, as Lord Zanzibar whirled Yakutsk in a deadly arc, keeping a half dozen Darokinese regulars at bay. Things began to look grim as the Company's vanguard weakened, but the determined assault by Roland the Veteran, Cut Coutelain, and Barnaby Flanders soon reduced the Darokinese front to tatters and a full-scale retreat was on. Martin, in high-swashbuckling fashion, leapt astride one of the cavalry mounts and charged into the disarry in hopes of dislodging a valuable treasure from the clutches of one of the opposing wizards, but sadly was dismounted due to a combination of poor luck and questionable decision making. Nevertheless, everyone was suitably impressed.
Due in no small part to the brutal and swift surprise attack brought to bear by the Company of Crossed Swords on the Darokinese flank, the enemy was routed and the siege of Gantelet was broken. Among the fallen were nine of the Company's footman companions (the sole survivor, Jean-Francois, agreed to enter into the service of House Zanzibar) and Jean-Romulus, the leader of the host. The CCoS gathered their reward from the weapons and trinkets of the fallen, while Lord Zanzibar claimed his rights as a nobleman to imprison three captured Darokinese knights to be held for ransom.
Losses and Loot
Miraculously, there were no deaths. Each party member received 196xp and 50g from the salvaged arms of the Darokinese.