18th of Sunwane
Dawn arrives and promises a pleasant day to come, if it weren’t for the impending hostilities. The air has freshened and with it, comes a pleasantly cooling breeze.
As planned, another embassy approaches the walls and repeats the previous days entreaties. Again, they receive only silence. On the hillside, the Party watches and wonders how they can be of help. Anything that would ease this assault would be worthwhile. The Militia possesses scaling ladders and a moderately sized ram, but to use them, men still need to reach the walls. Though success is all but assured, losses will be high during the approach as well as the assault itself. The inevitable outcome seems to be recognized by a number of the bandits as well. Desperate to escape, some of the bandits attempt a desperate escape. Three goblins appear from the pier and make a mad dash towards the hill where the party is watching. A shouted order is heard, and a brief shower of arrows ends their escape. Apparently the bandits will defend this fortress willing or no.
With little to mark the moment, the assault begins. The militia has their own ballistae and archers, these move into range and begin a barrage against the defenders. The Mayors goal is to thin out the enemy numbers as much as is practical before rushing the walls. The ship draws closer and, also using archers and ballistae, works to clear the opposite side as well as the tower defenses. With its tall masts, the ship can match the height advantage of the tower. This double assault also thins out the defenders along the wall. They are unable to concentrate in any one area without weakening another.
Under a barrage from two sides, the bandits return fire. Their archers are relatively few, but their ballistae are well manned and accurate. Casualties mount on both sides. The ship Captain orders his crew to concentrate on the ballista crews first, before continuing to fire on the other defenders
The Party watches, anxious that, for the moment, they can be of no real use. If only they could get inside. Then it occurs to them to wonder how the three goblins got outside the walls. Taking another look, they recall that when first spotted, the goblins appeared from under the pier. With the tide low right now, the part of the pier attached to the wall is out of the water. A small, seasonal creek runs into the tower from the hills. At this time of year, it is only just beginning to carry water. If a creek runs in, it must run out, and that outlet just might be under the pier, emptying into the river.
Quickly deciding it’s worth a try, the Party quickly chooses a rout along the bank of the river. With the tide low (the Bay is within a couple miles) they can easily crawl along the edge of the bank, concealed by the rushes. Further, most of the defenders are occupied away from this side
Dangerous though this is, they proceed, and, with a healthy dose of good fortune, make it to the pier without incident. Sure enough, the remains of a culvert open into the river. A few crates and sacks can be seen through the opening. Cautiously peering inside, the party realizes that in further good fortune, a pile of supplies is situated in such a way as to obscure this area from the view of the garrison. With the attention of the defenders elsewhere, the whole Party enters safely. Looking about, they note that the larger proportion of defenders is stationed on the landward side of the wall. They also see what seems to be a sentry, partially hidden by the corner of the tower, standing at what must be the door into the tower. This doorway faces the river-side part of the wall. They can also see that the wall facing the hills has been emptied, probably in order to bolster the other sections. A stairway is close by, on the other side of their hiding-place.
Recognizing an opportunity when they see one, the Party wastes no time and rushes up the stairs. As they prepare to advance on the gate defenders, an idea occurs to Lassidil. Drawing on her druidic powers, she uses Warp Wood on the frame of the dock-gate. No longer secured, the gate swings open. The Party then turns their attention back to the main gate.
_Note: I’d honestly not expected this. Jill surprised us all with such an elegantly simple action. It was a spectacular, exciting and battle-changing moment. Good stuff.
Seeing the open gate at the dock, the ship captain quickly changes plans. While his crew was intended to only provide distraction and covering fire from another direction, and aren’t really equipped for an assault, the open door MUST be taken advantage of. He gives orders to make way and steer directly for the dock. Ignoring finesse, he rams the ship into the side of the dock and orders his crew to charge into the opening. Ill prepared as they are, the crew leaps to it and storms the fortress.