Sextus 26 – Corantine 15
The heroes got things under control in Odyesse until the army arrived almost a week later. General Montague got a status update and decided to send the sick and wounded back to Montaigne on the remaining boats while the remainder of the army marched home through Eisen. Captain Wilhelm, the Eisen mercenary liaison, told the General that the mercenaries would not march through their homeland with a foreign army. Montague was understanding and decided to send them to guard the soldiers returning home on the boats.
Regarding the traitors, Montague planned to have them executed. He gave Nigel authority over what to do with Alexandre since the Porte mage didn’t seem to be involved with the traitors and instead attacked Katy opportunistically. Nigel decided to have Alexandre demoted, fined, and kept under guard. Nigel was also promoted within the army and given command of an infantry company due to a shortage of officers.
Rations were also very short so Montague took as much food as he could without risking the Ussuran starving. He gave them extra military supplies that he no longer needed such as cannons and anything else his army couldn’t afford to take with them.
Montague announced the marching orders to his men the next day and had the traitors executed by hanging in public. A few days after that the army marched south toward the pass to Eisen. The rear continued to be harried by Ussuran raids and so Montague kept the pace up as much as possible. When they arrived at St. Andresgorod the Ussurans met the heroes’ scouting party and told them that Matushka had warned them the army was coming and they were prepared to trade half their food for supplies and a promise of no hostilities.
By Julius 27 the army made it to Eisen and began travelling through Posen’s province. Quartermaster Martine warned Montague that the army needed to get more food in Posen due to Wische having almost nothing so Montague ordered the forward guard to take half the food of any farms they could find and give the farmers guilders in compensation. Unfortunately due to declining finances within the army they couldn’t pay reasonable prices for the crops and so many farmers declined the deal. Nigel ordered his men to enforce the deal regardless of the farmer’s wishes, otherwise the army would starve.
On Corantine 1, Katy had a horrible nightmare about an artificial island in the middle of an ocean. She sensed a overwhelming aura of evil and malice coming from it. She awoke with a scream and consulted Henri about it who recognized the imagery as probably Syneth in origin. The dreams got worse over the coming days so Federico gave her a sleeping draught to help her rest. Further details let Henri suspect that the island was the mythical Cabora that the Explorer’s Society thought lay at the bottom of the Mirror Sea. One Explorer in particular, Guy McCormick, was obsessed with it after his wife disappeared searching for the 7th Sea. Eventually Katy even started to hear voices of her ancestors warning that the island needed to stay hidden and not to let them raise it.
Meanwhile, Eisenfurst Fauner Posen received word that a Montaigne army had invaded her lands and was stealing from her common folk. She mustered her army and went to confront Montague. By mid Corantine Montague’s scouts became aware of an Eisen army of 60,000 soldiers bearing down on them. Montague tried to open diplomatic talks but his scouts were rebuffed. Nigel led the heroes himself to try and get through to Posen with his status as a Knight of Avalon. Initially the Eisen soldiers didn’t want to let him into the camp but he managed to convince them to let him and a translator talk to the Eisenfurst. Nigel and Katy met with Posen and Nigel made his case that Montague wanted no quarrel with Eisen and that she could join forces with Montague and help bring down the Emperor. Posen responded that she didn’t care about Montaigne politics and just wanted to protect her citizens and territory from foreign invaders. She then had them escorted out of her camp.
Nigel talked with Montague about what happened and requested and received a command of 1,000 soldiers for the battle. The night before the battle Nigel had a dream of being in the ruins of Carleon and Derwyddon was there and warned him that the larger the destiny he changes with his Geas, the larger the sacrifice. And that if he didn’t choose the sacrifice himself, it would be chosen for him.
The day of the battle Montague positioned his army as defensively as possible. They put up a good fight at first but Posen’s overwhelming numbers quickly broke the army’s ranks. The day seemed lost except for Nigel’s company that stood their ground against all odds. Annoyed, Posen led a cavalry charge to deal with the problem herself. Nigel managed to dismount Posen so she picked up a fallen Zweihander and pommel striked him in the face, staggering him. Nigel desperately tried to bind her weapon with his shield but Posen broke it and then lunged and sliced Nigel across the chest with a blow that would have killed any normal man. To her shock, Nigel remained standing and hit her hard across the back of her leg with a blow that managed to break her shin and send her sprawling to the ground.
Nigel kneeled over the fallen Eisenfurst, tore off her helmet, and put his sword to her throat. “Yield,” he told her. She replied in Eisen, “What are you Avalon devil?” In the confusion that followed the Eisen soldiers realized their leader had been captured and withdrew while Nigel’s soldiers formed up to guard their hostage. Montague’s army rallied and after about an hour it was established that the Eisen army would stand down and cease hostilities in exchange for Posen’s life.
Once the truce was finalized, Nigel slumped to the ground and succumbed to his wounds.s As the life drained from his body, his face produced a smile. “I have achieved my dream, those in Avalon will know my name and speak of my bravery. Long live Queen Elaine. Tell my wife that I am sorry,” he said. “Tell her that I still love her.” Thus the Devil of Avalon died.