With the victory at the Adarium, the King of Talingarde lies dead. However, Lord Havelyn and the princess have escaped. And Chargammon the Black’s last words still resonate in our minds: “Antharia”.
Reunited with Dessiter and having slain Brigit of the Brijidine, our villains have sought and met with the Envoy of Asmodeus to Talingarde himself, a high-ranking Pit Fiend. With their help, a loophole in the Cardinal’s Pact of Thorns has been found. The Cardinal must be stripped of his title, but a new Cardinal needs to rise in his place.
Who will take the mantle of supreme ruler of the church of Asmodeus in Talingarde?
The Battle of Fallings Bridge Another event of great import happens while the PCs are raiding the Adarium. In the city of Daveryn, General Vastenus Barca leads the armies of Talingarde into battle against the forces of the Fire-Axe. He gives a rousing speech to his assembled throng before the battle about how “…in one glorious stroke we will free Daveryn and slay the monster that threatens us all!” His men gallantly raise their swords and salute their high-born general.
General Barca orders these valiants en masse to attack the northern gate. “They think their flank conquered and pacified. They will never expect we men of the south and west to attack them from the north!”
Thanks to the treacherous infiltration of the city, Northgate was completely undamaged in the fighting as the city was taken. The gate house of Northgate plus its two flanking towers are fully manned by the Fire-Axe’s most veteran troops as the battle begins. Every square foot of those ramparts is crammed with hardened killers. Behind the gate waited a host of ogres and trolls kept in line by a mighty frost giant.
Again and again, the men of Talingarde charged those gate houses. Valiant knights, hardy yeomanry, and a thousand low-born volunteers here only because they believed in the dream that is Talingarde – charged those walls following the Sacred Banner of St. Theonas that had shielded through the winter chill. And upon those walls they died. Not by the tens nor the hundred, but by their thousands. They hallow the ground with their sacrifice.
Duty officers and lesser soldiers beg General Barca to stop the assault. “No,” he answers, “I can feel the enemy breaking. And once broken here, we shall break them everywhere.” The slaughter continued unabated.
Northgate was Duke Martin’s masterpiece of fortification. The Duke knew that the Fire-Axe were coming for him and so he had dedicated uncountable resources to shoring up this gatehouse over the last winter to be ready for the northern invaders. Its walls were buttressed by stone masons forced to work through winter nights. Its gates framed in iron by smiths heated only by their forge fires. Its armories stocked with tens of thousands of arrows made by every fletcher in the city.
Only a single bridge crossed the River Briden, here at its deepest and swiftest. This bridge was named for its architect – Sir Falstaff. The locals named the old stone crossing Fallingsbridge almost as a joke since it was so sturdily built. And upon that bridge, for hours upon one fine spring day, did the armies of Talingarde at the behest of a treacherous lord, give their lives for a king already dead.
It is almost shocking how well the men of Talingarde fared in a battle so horrifically stacked against them. They charged the gate house not once but seven times. They managed to push a battering ram up to the gate even under the most intense hail of missile fire imaginable. Even as boiling oil poured upon their ranks like a black waterfall, they broke the outer gate and swarmed into the gatehouse. Past countless murder-holes and arrow slits they pushed. They broke the inner gate and there they met the frost giant king’s personal guard. And only there in the streets of conquered Daveryn did their might at last wane.
Every giant, ogre and troll who barred their passage died that day. The knights of the Alerion led the charge and finally managed to achieve what seemed for a moment a pyrrhic victory. But the survivors of the slaughter were too few. And just as it seemed this might be the most horrific sort of triumph – The Fire-Axe himself took the field leading his cadre of lieutenants and their personal warbands. And with one charge, every hero left alive beneath the Northgate died.
The Fire-Axe raised the fallen Standard of St. Theonas that had marched at the armies fore. With his infernal weapon he set it aflame and cried victory loud enough for even hell to hear. Far away upon the field, Vastenus Barca broke a clay seal. His work was done. Tiadora and her furies teleported to his location and slew all that remained of his high command. Tiadora approached General Barca, covered in the blood of his most trusted subordinates, and bowed. “Well done, Lord of the Cainite Knot.”
General Barca looked upon the slaughter that surrounded him and shed a single tear._ “You promised me a crown! Where is it?”_
“You shall have your crown.”