After Armageddon: 3) Burning Towns, Achieving Dreams

Read Part 2 of After Armageddon: An Unlikely Ally

The town was built on the edge of Iota, on the Northern side. It was becoming a frozen marketplace. One single garrison built of wood housed the Duke Maliance and his warriors, while traders, travelers, and would-be allies set up tents all around. Ships were already docking regularly along the shore, hoping to trade with the wealthy noble.

The heroes had hoped for an easy ambush. Seeing the town, with hundreds milling around the garrison, put a quick stop to those plans. But then Soliel had an idea. She told the group to head straight for the Duke’s garrison while she travelled around back…

Of course, Hong had plans of his own as well. He casually ignored everyone else and headed for the only blacksmith’s shop in town.

Achilles, Klanghorn, and Cadmar traipsed through the thick snow, crunching with every step until they were at the make-shift town center. They called a challenge to the Duke, who responded with enough soldiers surrounding him to kill a small army. And of course, the threats from the three stopped as soon as they saw the degree to which they were outmatched. Achilles even started to turn around and walk away before he was caught by faithful Cadmar.

But suddenly, screams were heard on the far side of the town. The only blacksmith’s shop had lit ablaze.

Then another fire erupted on the back side of the Duke’s garrison, consumed by an abyssal flare spell of Soliel’s.

Suddenly, the Duke’s soldiers seemed less sure of themselves. Some rushed off to help put out the fires while some rushed off, perhaps home, to attend to less dangerous matters.

The undead jadori sent by the Jester vaulted from their hiding places, sprinting without concern towards the Duke. Several guards were slain before Achilles, Klanghorn, and Cadmar joined in the assault. As the fight progressed, Hong in his werewolf form, and Soliel joined the fight from the Duke’s flanks. Skilled as the Duke was in battle, he was cut down in the end, though a few of his entourage escaped the fight, including his pyromancer wife.

Unsurprisingly, the undead jadori turned on the heroes after the Duke was killed. The Jester hadn’t been intent on keeping allies, it seemed, once the battle was guaranteed.

But so it was that the fledgling town of the frozen wastes was burned to ashes by a team of unlikely heroes. A noble Duke was killed by commoners. And a vengeful paladin’s bloodlust was abated against his uncle. All in a single day’s campaign.