Legacy of the Portal War
Our plan for escape worked. The Lord and Peter led 200 brave souls to their death while I guided the remaining 300 men south. We traveled for about a week before reaching the nearest city. The city was nearly surrounded by the encampments of various refugees. The civilians which we had sent south were there as well. The refugees were clearly not welcome and where mostly kept out of the city. Despite this they didn’t seem to lacking in anything. A short time after we arrived Peter walked in to the camp as well. He explained that he had been taken prisoner by the jackals but that they had let him go. Even though I am glad he survived, it makes me wonder what those creatures are up to.
I met with a local clerk, a representative of the Lord of the city. He informed me that the city could muster about 500 men to defend it. Seeing as how the previous city fell with four times that number of defenders I did not see any way it would survive if the jackals came further south.
I needed to know if the enemy was on its way, so I sent out Varric and Richard to scout. They eventually returned with troubling news, it seems these jackal creatures have the power to regenerate. I remember creatures from my previous adventures who had that ability, trolls, demons and the like. They needed to be wounded with a specific kind of weapon, such as cold iron or fire or their wounds would disappear in a few minutes. The worst part however, was that the jackal army was a mere two days away from the city.
Meanwhile a disease had broken out in the camp surrounding the city, and even Jon had gotten ill. Me and Wolfgang tried to find the cause of the disease and with the help of a local healer found out it came from certain foods. Curing it seemed difficult.
Wolfgang had also started an investigation in to the assassins that had attempted to kill Lydia, my wife. He found out a price had been placed on my head, the sum of 100.000 gold. He also found out the reward had been issued about 60 years ago, so I had to explain that I am a little older than I look. He promised to keep it to himself but I wonder if I can trust anyone anymore, seeing as how 100.000 gold can be very tempting. Wolfgang’s investigation and my actions did attract the attention of the guild however, and several assassins tried to kill me and my group one night. We defeated them.
The Jackal army arrived not long thereafter and I rode out to meet with their representatives. The clerk of the city arrived as well and demanded the surrender of the invading army. It seems the local Lord cannot be compared to the Lord of the previous city. The jackals however proved more honorable and seem to be able to adapt and learn about our way of warfare more easily than I had expected. They offered us 48 hours to retreat. I decided to return the favor and told them to watch out for the diseased food. I realize that this was a tactical error but there is no honor in fighting a sick man. The jackals examined Jon, who was still sick, and told us the disease was magical. They gave us the time necessary to cure it before they would resume their attacks.
A local healer told us of an artifact hidden in the crypts below the old temple that could still have enough power to cure the disease. We went in to the crypt and fought the burrowing beast that had made its home there. It tried to suck us in to the ground, and both me and Wolfgang were almost buried alive, but we managed to kill it. When we returned upstairs the new owner of the temple building demanded that we hand over the medallion. I refused, he may have bought the building but the relics of the faith of the One will never belong to anyone but the faithful. The healer cured Jon and said he would do all he could for the rest of the city.
Wolfgang and I have started to convince people to evacuate further south. The remaining 300 soldiers we brought with us from the north will escort the civilians. If only the local Lord would listen and leave his city behind. Our only goal of surviving this invasion is to gather all out forces further south. We must abandon the north for now and gather our forces. Then, maybe, we could defeat the invaders, stop their march and one day return home.