Ok, the second part of the session.

Session 8- Part 2- Battle at Vilareth ford

(A small note: Sena's player had to return home around this point. so we tried to keep him and the first ascendents "in the background")

Next morning, each commander gives his own version of a rising speech to the unit they command (Nothing that special), and the party set out. The Tiefling host marches in front, as the rest don't trust them to be at their backs. I put this marching music:

The Silver Banner rides by the Lions of Sarkori, and the two units banter at who'll charge first. The party decides they may need someone to command the Silver Banner, and try and hold them in check. Harry surprisingly decides to take charge, and joins the group of battle hardened veterans. They are mostly amused by him (He's supposed to look somewhat like Harry Potter) and take him "under their wing",regaling the "youngling" with tales of battles and so on.

Originally the plan was for Andera, Mad Dog and Anevia to do short scouting missions ahead of the army, but they preferred to just leave it be, and roll with what Anevia brings them. And as they near the most northern settlement in Mendev- Vilareth Ford, where they are supposed to resupply, Anevia indeed comes with news- the ford has fallen! There is some black smoke rising, and she got close enough to notice the place is held by a large number of tieflings, and some dretches as well. There is little sign of the ford's people though...

The party goes into planning, and I put on the tactical battle map of the ford' surroundings. (I took a picture, but it got corrupted somehow. Sorry). Basically the army was traveling on the east side of a river, with forests mostly surrounding them. Vilareth ford was just beyond a bridge crossing the river, on the west side, there were also a hilly terrain to the west and south west of the ford.

Strategy was discussed. The party wished to gain info of what was going on, and so a plan of soem trickery came up. Andera, under the guise of disguise and magic, would approach with the tiefling host, and will try and get info, and learn of what happened there. Tell the truth, I think this was also a "loyalty" test the party had for the tieflings. A bit of a dangerous loyalty test, considering that Andera and Nurah will be alone there amongst 200 tieflings + who knows how many other enemies!

Before their approach though, The Bartlet hounds (Commanded by Julia) Will cross the river from the south, and make head for the hills, trying to get to a vantage point, and a look out. The First ascendents will travel by the cover of the forest up north of the ford, and will cross there, and will block any enemies escaping north. The rest will wait for a signal from Julian's eagle familiar. Anevia's report said that the tieflings looked mostly like an undisciplined bunch, and were mostly celebrating, so hopefully there were few scouts.

Julian and the hounds started this. They indeed managed to get close enough to the range of their long bows, hiding in the hills. They counted about 400 tieflings in the village, half looking more like raiders than an army (1st level rogues), while the other half looked more like an army (2nd level fighters). There were also Dretches strewen about, and a heavy smell of cooking meat. Julian didn't like this. Through the eyes of her eagle she saw the first ascendents finally reaching their position, and sent her eagle to Andera.

Andera spent the time disguising himself, with some help from Nurah's magic. He warned Qulin "Betray me and I'll have your hide!" Qulin groveled. "Our fate is yours oh master". The plan started to look quite risky to Andera all of a sudden. As they approached lonely from the woods, some lookouts from the village noticed them, and called an alert. It was just then that Andera's player realized that he doesn't speak Abyssal. It was up to Qulin to direct the negotiations...

The tieflign army unit along with the dretches crossed the bridge to meet with the new comers, highly suspicious. Qulin started t ogrovel and explain, with Andera desperately trying to read body language. A big horned demon, with fire in his eyes and breath (The Brimorak Commander) approached and roared at Qulin, speaking briefly, before striking him down, splaying the sorcerer on the ground. Andera almost panicked, but Long Shadow gave him a quick smile and warning look. The Brimorak yelled at them, and motioned them into the village. Somehow (and with lucky rolls on the players part) this worked. Qulin portrayed themselves as raiders and harrasers, coming to resupply.

The source of the smell soon became apparent- bodies of the villagers over roasting pits. Andera's tieflings entered the village, amongst the other tieflings, when all of a sudden (Maybe because the enemy forces were split? Half across the bridge), Julian gave the order to attack. A hail of arrows came upon the unprepared raiders, felling almost all of them in once concentrated Volley. "Betrayal!" Yelled the Brimorak, but surprise was on the PC's army side. The Sarkori lions as well as the Silver Banner rushed forth towards the enemy, but didn't reach them just yet, With the Queen's Knights just behind them.

The Dretches summoned another small army (one size less by our rules), and both charged the Banner and the Sarkori. The Sarkori took an aggressive approach, which enabled them to destroy the Dretch army, but at heavy wounds. They resorted to drinking part of their healing potions stock (Quite early in the march...) And retreating, while the tiefling army shot behind the dretches at the knights. Meanwhile at the village, both tiefling hosts started a battle between the buildings streets, tiefling fighting tiefling, and ANdera caught in the mess, not knowing who to strike or defend against! The engagement meant that the Bartlets couldn't fire, and so they moved more north to help catch escapees.

The battle was soon over though, The last of the dretches vanished, and the combined charge of the Queen's knights and the Silver Banner quickly cut down the tiefling army with few wounds. Qulin's sorcerers deployed their abyssal powers and gave the needed edge to strike down the heavily wounded tiefling raiders, cutting them all down. Qulin looked at Andera, somewhat bruised, but smiling enigmatically "As I said Master, our lives are yours".

But one thing did go amiss- As the tieflign army was trodden by the knights, Harry riding beside Dumas saw the Brimorak panicking, and then suddenly vanish- teleporting. "Crap!" said Julian's player. "Our presence has been exposed..."
We stopped the session there. For the first battle it went ok, with the specific battle stages of our system (Reconissance, Strategy and tactics, Ranged combat, movement and last melee). It was quite fast (Which was the point), but perhaps a bit too deadly. With the low hit points of hte units (Half their max according to their ACRx HD of the basic unit) An army could easily be utterly wiped out with one lucky roll (Which was close to happen with the Lions of Sarkori). We need to think about it , but I think we'll just double the army's hp. this will lengthen the battle a bit, but not by a whole lot, and might make the battle less swingy.

Our next session in on this Saturday (I took a loooong time to update this time. Sorry.) The next Session will probably include some inter army interactions, The battle at Keeper's Canyon, the PCs tackling the Lost Chapel, and generally getting into the Worldwound, and with some stuff that happens with it. I've made some adjustments, we'll see how it goes.

We'll be able to test this battle system more, and see how it develops, as well as see the mythical powers coming to play for the first time I think. Should be interesting. As always, feel free to leave comments, questions, or whatever you'd like! See ya!