The Burnt World of Athas

Sessions 19 +20

Defying a Sorcerer-King

The party defeated the Urikite command force and the templar commander had fled. Shade's lightning dispersed the scouts that had closed in on the company. And Glamor had begun to breach the Urikite forces at the switchbacks. But the Orphan Company was still pinned in and outnumbered at the mines, and Glamor's forces were thinning while Urik held cavalry in reserves and archers on high ground.

The group searched the templars finding some potions, some supplies, and several notes. Most seemed to be about troop formations or where intercepted from the stranded company. One was cryptic enough to stand out. It read:

Watcher Grinner Malachi,

His maleficent children Those dark sons and daughters  That most dangerous one still rises

Kid recognized the phrasing ("sun" vs "son" rise) kind of matched that of the note found on Urikite scouts right after the Black Steppes. And sure enough the handwriting matched. But that would have to wait.

To continue tipping the battle the group bet on turning the goliaths and swinging the balance of power at the Iron Mines drastically. They communicated with the company to hold off and made a great show of burning Urik's flag and approached boldly, having shown their power in defeating the most powerful units in Urik's army. Somewhat surprisingly, it worked. Daysmasher agreed to join Tyr, in exchange for more payment than Hamanu had promised and the assurance they would face glorious battle in defying a sorcerer-king himself. 

Leaving thje Goliaths to handle the mines, the group used Malachi's druidic powers to create a series of underground trenches, ready to collapse under the weight of enough crodlu. They had time to prepare the trap on the first set of cavalry before they charged. In the ensuing chaos the party killed off many of the units and left the rest mostly injured, separated, and in disarray against the leftovers of Glamor's footsoldiers, the surviving Mekillot, and a second round of illusions. Although the group had no time to dig trenches for the second set of cavalry, they exhausted the last of their spells to daze a quarter of the units mid charge and cause another quarter to slip, once again giving Glamor's forces a chance to survive. 

Ultimately Glamor's forces did not survive, the remaining cavalry and the still untouched archers cut down the Tyrian soldiers and recruits almost to the last man, before the mounted soldiers were killed and the archers fled. But the command structure made it Intact. A couple of Bertrand's men and a few of the veiled alliance perished. Glamor, Bertrand, Hakar, Nori, Shivrin, and Mariam all lived. Meanwhile the main forces of the company survived with relatively minor losses, having the advantage of a battalion of Goliaths flanking their foes.

The soldiers cleaned up, killing those who resisted, capturing the injured and those who surrendered. The company set up camp on the command point and ransacked Urik's stores. They also surveyed that nothing had changed below, there was no fighting on the plains, nor had Urik moved on Tyr, nor had any forces made a move to the switchbacks to close in on the mines.

As the company gathered they discussed the battle. The few of Glamor's forces who survived said they had seen someone among the conscripts raise a dead Tyrian soldier amid the fighting, but all those involved eventually were slain. The Company members also began to remember their dead, the hundreds who had fallen at the Black Steppes and the mines, and in between. The survivors spoke of the dead's greatest exploits. Chronicler was called on to share old passages about Watcher, Grinner, and DragonPaw. And the party related the details of what had happened and how their brothers had fallen.

The informal celebration transitioned eventually to commendations from the captain, who praised Glamor for saving the company and Watcher's men for the impossible feats they had accomplished. It had been quite some time since the Company was so involved in world changing events. The Company was in immense danger, and also stood at the cusp of unmatched renown. She replaced the standard bearer with Watcher's passing and replaced Grinner and the other commanders who had fallen.

The Captain formally made Malachi a Sergeant. She made the remains of Watcher's unit a separate section even though it contained (the) Chronicler,  an aide-de-camp, and a high proportion of powerful magic users. When the Captain promoted Malachi and formally created a section, the group felt magically empowered.

This special unit, the Company's commanders, Bertrand and Hakar gathered to discuss the next steps. The Captain shared that they had received a copy of the exact same note, three weeks ago, before Grinner's death. 

The party tried to puzzle it out: Is "he" Kalak and the "children" are Templars? A warning about Lucien or Tithian? Is he Rajaat and the children are Sorcerer-Kings? A warning about Hamanu or Borys?  Who sent these notes and why addressed that way and sent in that method? The company speculated these were prophetic, and guessed the origin was a sorcerer-king: maybe Nibenay gaining a new interest in the world or even Kalid-Ma sending messages to her former army, despite her presumed death.

Turning to the more immediate concern, the group gathered all the info they could. The goliaths shared that the Urikites were creating something to allow Hamanu to travel to Tyr and, more importantly, be assured he can return without issue. He seemed to be concerned about being so far from Urik. They messaged with Tithian, weighed their options, and decided to return to Tyr, rejoin the siege, and speak with the emissary of the dragon who sought an audience with them.



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