From the journal of Elion Wyrmfang
After our retreat from Winterhaven, my defense team was in somewhat dire need of healing. Esili especially had been terribly wounded, and it took some time to get them back on their feet again.
During the morning’s meetings, the most relevant subjects of discussion were the division of Imperial forces in the south, the approaching reinforcements in the north and the impending invasion of Aluren’s Crossing. After some discussion, the Council decided that evacuating Aluren’s Crossing took precedence over other actions, though I remain under the impression that Captain Iver has been conducting activities without the Council’s approval, hence his frequent silence during Council meetings where for the first few days there was only dissent.
And so Esili with the aid of Nazir and Friday convinced the people of Aluren’s Crossing to evacuate their town and make camp north along the river. Unbeknownst to the townsfolk, however, was their plan to have John remain in town overnight to destroy the bridge. In this way, we betrayed the dragonborn people. Slowing the enemy advance and disrupting their supply wagons was necessary, but I regret the manner in which it was accomplished. I must commend John’s bravery, however, as he was then forced to swim downriver until a skiff could safely retrieve him, allowing him to finally arrive back in New Sandrith late on day five. But I get ahead of myself.
After his part in leading the refugees north, Nazir worked tirelessly to provision the battlements with stones and rubble to cast down at our enemies when they arrive. The way in which he works, seemingly without sleep, never ceases to amaze me. It’s a shame the Blue Shield got to him before we did. He would have been an asset to our order.
Belen continued reporting to Sami about the movements of the Temple of Tiamat, and a few hours after midnight, she came to my door most unceremoniously to inform me that she’d taken a Talons of Tiamat operative hostage. Apparently she and Esili had conducted a midnight raid on a location south of the city that I’m told was once a temple of Setesh. Their activities were observed and aided by Tuuli who it appears is responsible in some way for the subsequent destruction of several of the temple’s walls. Needless to say, the structure is now quite unsafe.
Despite my concerns about the Talons of Tiamat still presumably camped in the south, the party was loathe to face them without John’s help, and so they divided to accomplish disparate tasks. Tuuli seems to have disappeared for a time, Sami took her pegasus friend for a flight around the city, Nazir continued his work on the walls and Esili and her golden eagle scouted the reinforcements in the north. What Esili found there is still unclear to me.
Upon her return, Esili gathered the rest of her force (excluding John, of course, as he was still traveling downriver) and took them and Captain Iver back to a fortress of some kind that she had found. Apparently it contains one of our silver gazebos along with some other fantastic artifacts of a magical nature. When they returned from the fortress, they reported that the northern reinforcements had been routed. There was also talk of a resurrecting fire genasi and crystals that act as some kind of spell cannon. We’ll have to bring those back to the city for testing and possible use in the city’s defense.
Also of note is the defection of the Blue Shield Mercenaries. Nazir tells me that the Empire has contracted the entire Blue Shield to aid them in their conquest of their region of space, though such widespread action is unlike the mercenary organization I believed the Blue Shield to be. Regardless, Tristan and his company have withdrawn from New Sandrith, leaving Nazir behind. Fearful of treachery, I checked with the dock clerks to confirm their departure. With so many ships leaving port now, it took some time to find. But finally I was able to confirm that they departed on the Claudia not long after Nazir reported their defection to me.
I must again commend the bravery of the team that Elspeth and I have assembled. They’ve dealt a tremendous blow to the Empire over the past two days. I’m currently awaiting a scouting report regarding the Empire’s movements in the south now that they’ve been unable to use the bridge at Aluren’s Crossing, likely forcing them to leave their supply wagons behind. The only way they could continue to move their full force toward New Sandrith is on the south bank of the river, which would force them to attack from the southern end of town, though that will allow our forces to concentrate their defense on only a small portion of the walls. Only time will tell.