on Jan 4, 2007
Surprisingly, everyone was here this week.
Three days later the Dwarven army arrives, backed by the last of the Alidian soldiers. Mordan has pulled his army back and has not returned. The time has come for a counterattack. The army marches over the bridge, aiming north.
Many Dwarves look back over their shoulders as they travel, gazing up at the dark smoking peak of Khelberg.
The players ride out front. While not formally in command of the army, the commanders are nevertheless following their lead. The players have seen every side of this war, every part of the island, and have a clearer picture of what is going on than anyone else. They do not command the army, but if they tell the generals that a course of action is a good idea, then it is going to happen that way.
The army passes Hillstead, which is a smoking ruin. A few grave walkers are prowling around, gnawing on bones. They are overwhelmed and exterminated by the army without difficulty. They ride further north without contest. Mordan didn’t just pull back a little – he has evidently withdrawn all the way to Crossway.
The army moves slowly. The players are on hoseback, but the army is mostly on foot and some of them have siege machinery in tow. The trip to Crossway takes three days, during which they see only single grave walkers or other spies. They feared Mordan would strike while they were in the open, but now they have traveled for three days without answer from him. Nobody knows what to think of this.
They stop a few miles short of the city. Even from here they can see the city is smoking. Did Mordan put his own city to the torch? Did the Lormanites suddenly produce an army and assult him? Is this a trick? What is going on?
Eomer goes ahead and scouts out the town. It is, as they suspected, a smoking ruin. Stone buildings are toppled as if pummeled by siege weapons. Everything burnable has done do. A few grave walkers scamper about. Eomer evades their notice and returns to the others.
They deliberate. There is not much choice. Trick or not, they don’t have any option but to march into the city and see what happens.