The Forgotten Throne
Mission 5E: The Countdown to Battle
Upon arrival home from Longshore the party found themselves cast in the role of conquering heroes by Prince Gurr, who hosted a huge party at the House of Great fortune to celebrate their return. During this incident, Pyrrah discovered that Lhaza had returned to the city and taken up residence in the Shrine at the Courtesan House. He had been drinking steadily, and when confronted about his behavior told Pyrrah that he had seen Shoryu… but that he didn’t want to talk about it. He said to leave him alone until after the battle – if they managed to beat the Leviathan, he might be more forthcoming.
The next day, the party confronted the Prince about the need to inform the public about the impending battle. They also compiled a list of the people in and around Halftown that the party wanted to enlist before the battle to serve as soldiers, commanders, and information resources.
The town meeting was long overdue, and reception to the Prince’s speech was mixed. None the less, there was a generally positive reception for Pyrrah and Jarn as the leaders of the defense. (Some of the rhetoric at this meeting was strongly anti-Wassi, which would later result in complications.) The evacuation and the port closure was scheduled, and those who wished to volunteer were steered towards the Watch office to register. It was clear fairly early on that the number of volunteers was likely going to be minimal.
With the worst of the announcements out of the way, the party went out looking for talent. Their first stop was the Traveling King, where they recruited Philomena Jinks and her crew (after some negotiation) in exchange for insuring the Traveling King. A similar deal was brokered with Nara Tallow & Finn Maggerk, the former Bradvakol Lieutenant and the ex-fishmonger who now co-owned the Finn and Whisker. Captain Gregor was a bit harder to convince – his asking price was support in building a new colony to the south. Instead, the party paid him in cash for his personal expertise in logistics.
This turned out to be money well spent. Gregor was one of the major driving forces behind the various reserve instillations, and his eccentric flotilla for the field hospital saved many lives during the battle (possibly including the party’s). He also agreed to personally oversee the supply depot, keeping the streets clear and the damaged buildings reinforced.
Artillery was another significant problem, and one which proved costly to solve. The only skilled Engineer in town was Embery Hongswoggle, and she was Wassi and planning to leave town due to an ongoing campaign of racist abuse. She took a hefty severance of 200 GP for the purchase of two ballista, which were installed hidden at the Greystone Inn and the House of Great Fortune. After that, she and her partner Tammer departed for Estoch, leaving Halftown without a weapon or armor-smith.
The shrines were another focus of the recruiting effort, but here the party had much less success. The Natakran church was understandably unwilling to participate in the battle, and removed their shrine to Nettlebrook with no clear timeline for return. The Distant Echo Shrine (Shoryu’s temple) was likewise unwilling to fight, but their objections were more practical – their acolytes were young and mostly untrained. Instead, they volunteered to take a leading role in the evacuation, serving as morale officers and helping hands for those being removed to Gambleright.The Silent Flock who tended Garada’s shrine remained to aid with the hospital, and also to be nearby if the emissary of their god needed them. (By this point, the party had become aware that Penfeather was roosting there, making it impossible for the acolytes to depart.)
The Holy Light was deeply troubled by the news of the attack. Sister Lumina accused Jarn of deception for withholding information from her again and again. In her anger, she asked that Jarn leave the church and not return. A very similar fate befell Lark, who faced censure both from the leader of his mission (Bircha Everee), as well as an old Earth Spirit who had been tracking him for some time. Lark was cast out of the Order of Ironbark, and was placed under the curse of Condemnation by the Earth Spirit – an ancient punishment where anything Lark attempted to grow would be mercilessly ruined for the rest of his life. The only consolation was that Bircha permitted Lark to keep his shield and seed, in hopes that he would wield them to redeem his name one day.
The final piece of their mission plan came together when the Obsidiantine Blade they had commissioned in Longshore arrived. Named “Heartbreak”, the blade was deeply unsettling despite its excellent workmanship. It was given into Jarn’s care, and in the final briefing before the battle it was agreed that the best strategy to use it would be to use the Leviathan’s tentacles against it. The allied forces would weaken one of the tentacles, and then tie it down to serve as a bridge for the party to cross to the main body and attack the heart directly.
After the meeting, the party was informed that a shadowy visitor wanted to meet them at the lighthouse outside town. It was then that they knew that the battle had arrived…