Dryug and Hope regroup with the others after some minor mischief. They’re able to convince the rest of the group to head to the breached southern gate. Rekas Selchar is particularly excited about going where the enemies are thickest.
Hope adds his knowledge to Dryug‘s stealth. Miria spots some soldiers and the group is able to avoid the patrol. Hope leads them through a tavern as a “shortcut” and manages to lap up some booze along the way (he’s in dog form again). Everyone makes it to the warehouse district just inside the southern wall without being detected or ambushed.
They climb to a second story roof to survey the scene. Troops are attempting to regroup and establish a temporary base within the wall. They seem to be re-purposing a former open air market for their staging ground for the assault on the inner wall.
Dryug goes to set a fire in a warehouse across the street. The fire starts burning rather quicker than expected and attracts the attention of some soldiers. He is charged and attacked. He casts darkness, hits two fellows, and in the confusion causes one of them to swing his blade at a third. He then runs down an alley and disappears. The fire begins to spread and he is quickly forgotten.
He returns to the group, “Well that didn’t go quite according to plan. What next?”
In the open air market, there is a flurry of voices and activity. Occasionally a distinct sentence can be heard above the cacophony. “It doesn’t matter what your politics are… EVERYONE loves Uncle Paco’s Crepe Shop.” “I’m a fire wizard. I make fire, I don’t put it out.”
Wil makes himself invisible and then throws a giant ball of electricity at the soldiers gathering water from the fountain to put out the fires. More than a dozen soldiers fall immediately, others are thrown backward and slowly get up, dazed. Despite being invisible, he’s not able to hide the direction the attack came from. In characteristic act of brilliance Hope ends up in the alley and shape-shifts to look like Wil. He then shouts to draw everyone’s attention. Soldiers charge toward him while others go up toward the roof where the shock sphere had originated.
While looking like the king, Hope uses his aberrant powers. Rekas Selchar falls down the stairs as he charges to meet enemies. Dryug more gracefully arrives at the bottom of the stairs and uses darkness to protect Rekas Selchar while he finds his footing. He then suggests that the top of the stairs might be a more strategic place to fight enemies. Rekas Selchar then storms up the stairs and jumps off the building. He crash lands on top of one of the soldiers fighting Hope in the alley and kills him without getting up. Inspired, Asher leaps off the building too, no more gracefully than Rekas Selchar. For a few moments, Hope gets to watch as assailants an allies roll around in the alley in front of him.
Dryug defends the top of the staircase, allowing Wil and Miria a chance to escape. Wil jumps to a nearby building. Miria is boring (sane?) and chooses to climb down a nearby ladder.
Battle continues in the alley below and the upon the rooftops above. After everyone is able to flee the original rooftop, Dryug harnesses his ki to fly away. Wil takes one more opportunity to spray fire on the pursing soldiers before jumping off his second rooftop and fleeing the scene.
Rekas Selchar is brought down in the middle of an alley by a volley of arrows in the middle of an alley. Teamwork saves the hapless barbarian: Ashar force-feeds him a potion and Hope‘s drags him out of harm’s way.
Everyone then makes a tactical retreat as they are showered by a rain of daggers from soldiers on the rooftops.
A dramatic scene unfolds as the party returns to the castle. Soldiers cheer the return of Wil and his brave companions. A relieved Pontmercy stands in the middle of the courtyard.
Driven by the fervor of war, realizing that today might be his last, Wil impulsively walks up to Pontmercy and takes her in his arms.
Sensing the mood, Hope strums on his fiddle and sings an old song of lovers parted (The Titanic Theme). Wil’s first attempt at a kiss goes awry, eliciting chuckles from the sea of onlookers. Maria takes the lead, and lips couple in a culmination of pent-up passion.
Most who view the scene howl and whistle in appreciation, but a few of the nobles look on in askance. The few foolish enough to object are quickly silenced by the glares of those around them.
The business of war pulls Wil out of his pleasant encounter with Pontmercy. He learns from Kahn that half the defenders were lost, and pauses a moment to mourn their loss.
At this point, Henri Volchaire shows up and repeats his offer of support. In return, he requests two of Wil’s soldiers for use in his nefarious plans. Wil quickly rejects Volchaire’s offer, and he disappears in a mist.
The Peredhil find themselves in shock after the events of the day. Hope explains to a blood-covered Rima that sometimes it’s OK to kill people.
Rekas, Hope, and Ashar briefly consider another sortie, but think better of it and decide to get a good night’s sleep.
In the morning, Hope delivers a bolstering speech of courage and perseverance. Its like has not been equaled in the land of Haven.
The enemy forces begin their assault by raising ladders against the city walls. Ashar becomes a mighty avatar of the storm, sweeping soldiers from the walls left and right. Hope, Rekas, and Ashar each experience the thrill of kicking down a ladder.
The fight has gone well elsewhere on the walls. The castle holds – for now.