From the journal of Elspeth, Deputy Mayor of New Sandrith
We have succeeded. Our forces accomplished what I thought, only ten days ago, would have been impossible. The Imperial lines retreated, their blockade has fled the docks, and we have prevailed. Truly, Bahamut blesses this planet and its most culturally important settlement.
It has not been without sacrifice, though. Many of our fighting men lie dead or severely wounded. Atiratu’s Mendicants are doing what they can, but even they can only heal so many. The temple of Pelor has also opened its gates and now acts as a combat hospital. It seems they were preparing the temple in this way before the fighting even began. I have only now learned that not one of their priests or acolytes evacuated the city ahead of the siege. Their determination to prove the merits of the god of humans to a people enslaved by that same race is admirable. Not that our own priests comported themselves otherwise — indeed, under Esili’s guidance, it was the priests of Bahamut and their prayers and admonitions that gave our outnumbered archers at the main gate the strength to withstand the Imperial army long enough for us to employ our melee units.
For my part, I sat with Mayor Darvil and Elion Wyrmfang in the council room and heard news of the battle from runners. When we learned that the south gate would be overrun, he and I went personally to see what might be done. Our travel was in vain, however, as Oswin had heroically placed himself in the center of the broken gate, and no Imperial soldier could move him. I’m told he fought with the strength of any dozen dragonborn, though I imagine it had something to do with the magekillers stationed overhead raining arrows on his opponents before they could close with him and his forces. The Strength spell I cast on him as I arrived may also have contributed to his now-legendary prowess.
Though I was not present, I’m told our northern forces experienced a similar miracle. Though their gates were destroyed by catapult, a member of my defense council flew from the walltop to attack their commander and separate him from his men. Though she was nearly slain in the process, we owe a debt to the courage of the Platinum Knight Sammiah. It seems the gnomish commander was eventually slain by a ballista bolt, though. Some report that it was the drow lord Caerwyn who delivered the final blow, though others say he was too busy slaughtering Imperial soldiers and shining with the blood of his enemies atop the walls to have fired the ballista. The most reliable witnesses seem to think that he never drew a blade throughout the battle.
The majority of our forces were centered around the main gate and bolstered by Esili’s coterie of priests. Their commander, perhaps more zealous than wise, committed their archers to the undefended front ranks, and our swiftest units took advantage of their lack of protection. The archers broke and ran, many leaving their bows or quivers where they had stood. Some later reported that our advancing line of swordsmen appeared to them to be a shining silver dragon rushing down on them. Their commander, brave but inexperienced, stepped forward in person to defend his retreating archers and was soon struck down by Naya. With their commander felled, their mages spent, their archers broken and a giant standing on the wall mocking them, the Imperial troops at the main gate fled. While such a victory was more than we could have hoped for, it appears the city will be paying for it with at least a shrine (if not a temple) to Hachiman near that gate. A small price, I suppose.
Now we begin the work of rebuilding. The city didn’t sustain much damage, though almost all of our gates will need to be repaired or replaced. The bridge at Aluren’s Crossing will have to be rebuilt, and I do not look forward to the complaints from residents of that settlement when they have had enough time to realize what has been done and make their way to New Sandrith. I’ve also petitioned the Platinum Knights for a cadre of evocation specialists to aid in bringing magic to the dragonborn people. Though faith magic has come quickly to them, the more academic arcane arts are still a very foreign concept to a people that have only recently begun to read and write. But without the ability to cast arcane spells, we will again have to rely on the aid of others when the Empire’s eye turns our way again.
And rest assured that it will. A fertile planet within the domain of the Empire will not long remain unmolested. The best we can do is defend ourselves well enough that we prove more costly to conquer than beneficial to rule. We’ve bought ourselves time, but we must use that time wisely. There is much to be done.