With a few hours left before Krondal’s expected arrival, Holtz had a problem. He was in possession of an apparently magical blade, and he needed to find a way to get it to Krondal without making it obvious that he looted the tomb. He thought for a moment, then applied his “Chameleon” spell to the blade and placed it on the mound. There was now an invisible, reputedly magical two-handed sword rising from the dirt above the burial mound.
Krondal arrived to retrieve his sword. (Find out more here.) Gina spied Holtz sitting some distance away, apparently lost in his papers. It set off a red flag to her. She tried to get one of Krondal’s bodyguards to go harass Holtz to no avail. She sauntered up the hill to see what was going on. Despite his protests that he was merely mapping, Gina didn’t buy it. Finally, she picked up a subtle gesture—one that would have been unnoticed most times. But as Holtz was proclaiming the innocent nature of his presence upon that very hillside so close to the tomb, she caught a dismissive gesture. Had he been standing differently, she would have not picked up on it. But he as he tried to distract her, he unfortunately positioned himself so that she could watch his hand move and see as the sword suddenly appeared in a gleaming beam of light upon the hillside by Krondal. There was no doubt in her mind any longer: Holtz was a mage!
With Krondal equipped with his mighty, “holy” blade, Holtz joined his party and they set sail to meet up with his soldiers.
North of the undead boatworks, a ranger approached Felix with a report. “Captain, a force under General Lind is moving from Dunwick towards the undead boats. Judging by the artillery train and the force with them, they’ll probably be a couple days late.” Felix sent off a rider to let General Lind know, and prepared to go speak with the Delzig chief to offer assistance and try to gain some concessions.
First, Felix brought a “holy” spear that he promised had been seen to permanently kill the undead, and he offered it as a gift to the Deliz chief. Next, Felix tried to negotiate free passage for his rangers through the Delzig lands in instances when they were spreading messages of an impending threat to the Vale. Waiting at the territorial boundaries and playing the typical Fideli games could cost lives—including the lives of Fideli. The chief was busy deploying his men to prepare to meet Adelbert’s horde, but promised to speak more on it after the threat had passed. In the meantime, Felix offered some of his rangers to help carry messages swiftly through the battlefield in the upcoming conflict.
On their way to the rendevous, Krondal’s group met some of his tribesmen returning north with a good fishing haul. They also reported that ogres had been sighted far to the south where they had been assembling on the bank, having crossed from their islands by shuttling back and forth on crude rafts. They weren’t sure quite what they were up to, but no force that large could stay still for long.
Krondal, Gina and Holtz landed at the agreed-upon meeting point and reconnected with Krondal’s army. They then moved a bit closer and prepared for Krondal to make his first formal visit to the Delzig tribe. His army made camp while he went off.
A short meeting with the Delzig chieftan went well, and he accepted the offer of aid. (Apparently, in the face of nearly certain death, the famous Fideli pridefulness could be put aside.) At a war council (that included Felix), Krondal also brought news that ogres were massing far to the south, and the Delzig might find themselves in an even tougher position soon. Krondal was invited to stay the night and bring his army over in the morning to work out a battle plan.
Felix received word that General Lind and a party of horsemen had been sighted across the river. He rode out and made contact with the imperial forces. Having heard word of the undead boats, and that he was running behind, General Lind took all the horsemen he could quickly muster and brought a large amount of powder kegs. His plan was to float them downriver when the undead began to move in order to disrupt their landing even if it couldn’t completely prevent them from crossing. Felix bore the news back to the Fidelii.
Meanwhile, back in Krondal’s army camp, a commotion caught Gina’s attention. A dwarven scout/spy had been turned up when a sentry trod upon him. Things did not look good for the young dwarf. Gina managed to wrangle control of the dwarf, and set about trying to get information out of him. It didn’t take long before she thought she could turn him and develop him as an information source inside the North Gate. Unfortunately, in order to do that, she’d have to arrange his escape and risk angering Krondal. She decided that she could persuade him to forgive her, or maybe even believe that it wasn’t her fault the dwarf got away. With a subtle distraction, she managed to give the dwarf time to make good on his getaway.
The next day, Krondal didn’t have time to deal with news of the escaped spy – battle was too imminent. His force set out quickly to get in position.
Our heroes decided the best way to face the undead was to lure them into traps in the hills and try to destroy them piecemeal. Krondal’s Fideli launched flaming quarrels at the boats, while Silas Lind’s engineers had good success in disrupting the flotilla with their improvised torpedoes and ensured the undead would have trouble massing in force.
Throughout the battle, Krondal came to appreciate the great skill of Chief Delzig. He was quite possibly the most agile, fastest warrior he had seen in action. But Krondal had a mission. He wanted to try to make Delzig into a sub-chief, and to do that, he needed to display his battle prowess and defeat Adelbert himself. With great care and subtlety, he managed to keep Chief Delzig out of the fight even as he strove to beat Adelbert toe-to-toe. Even with his magical (sorry…”holy”) sword, Krondal was hard pressed, but he fought brilliantly. Over a battle that raged for over an hour, he finally slew his inhumanly-powerful, uncannily tough foe, although he suffered several significant wounds in the process.
As the fight ended, and the now-leaderless undead were mopped up, the legend of his exploits had already begun to spread amongst the Fidelii.