Part 13: We're in the Army Now Part II: ByzanopleUpdate 13: We're in the Army Now: Byzanople
Paragraph 33 posted:Ahead you see the walled city of Byzanople. The tattered banner of Byzanople still flies above the city's unbreached walls. The approaches to the city are occupied by the army of Kingshome. The besieging army is spread across thecountryside, indicating it has been several months since Byzanople was invaded.
As you approach, several heavily armored soldiers launch an assault on the city. They scramble over rubble and rush the city's gate, waving their weapons and shouting war cries. A hail of arrows, stones, and boiling oil descends upon theattackers wherever they stray too near the wall. The defenders make short work of the Kingshomer assault, and fewer than one in ten of the soldiers launching the assault make it back to their camp.
The suicide mission begins! To our left is the main pathway into the city.
Paragraph 34 posted:A rough pile of rubble marks the perimeter of the Kingshome advance siege camp. The cyclopean walls of Byzanople are just a few yards away. A twisted path leads through the rubble toward the gates of the city. The path passes beneath the walls of the city, forming a savage killing ground. The path is littered with broken arrow shafts, debris, and the bodies of others who have tried to take this city by storm.
Sure enough, if we walk in this direction, our whole party takes damage from arrows with each step.
After just a few steps, we'll have about half of our HP depleted. Before we reach the gate, our weaker characters will be dead. We can actually counteract this by using the Bandage skill every few steps, but perhaps we should look for a way to get in without becoming human pincushions. In fact, such a way is right in front of us.
Paragraph 37 posted:Several squat figures surround the entrance to a tunnel leading under the walls of Byzanople. A wooden palisade shields the tunnel entrance from the eyes and weapons of the city's defenders. You recognize the figures as siegeengineers, and surmise they are attempting to undermine Byzanople's walls. A short and powerful man covered with mud and sweat emerges from the tunnel. "I think we're through," he says. We had to find our way through a patch of granite, but I think we've come up against a cistern or basement wall. He looks at you expectantly. "All we need now is a pack of brave idiots to try the tunnel, find their way into the city, and open the gate for us."
That's more like it. We're not arrow fodder, we're a pack of brave idiots!
Whenever you see a message like this, it's time to use the old Strength attribute. Piers or Ulrik can do it, the others aren't strong enough.
We're now in the Byzanople dungeon. Quick, let's find a way to infiltrate the city from here!
I suppose there's a joke to be made about a woman in red asking us to "surrender," but surely I wouldn't be one to make such a joke.
But really, surrender? To guards? Never!
So, it turns out this is Princess Myrolla of Byzanople. We don't actually want to fight her, so let's try running away. This is effectively the same as if we surrendered.
Yeah, no sexual undertones there.
But anyway, yeah, we've now gone from going AWOL to becoming POW's.
Of course, we weren't actually on the side of Kingshome to begin with. We've been captured by the good guys.
Attempting to break out of our cell definitely does not work. However, walking into the door a few times will move things along.
Myrolla and her "escort" take us to see her brother, Prince Jordan.
Paragraph 108 posted:You are led to a secret throne room beneath the city of Byzanople. There Prince Jordan and several advisors huddle around a map in a council of war. Jordan is stunned when he sees his sister has brought you into the heart of his defenses. Jordan's private guards tense as they lock eyes with you.
Prince Jordan recovers his composure and listens with interest to his sister's story. He is very interested to learn you are infiltrators recently pressed into service with the Kingshomer army. "You are not native to Dilmun, I can see that," Jordan says. "This isn't your war. No Outlander reaches the interior without going through Purgatory...and Purgatory is administered by Kingshome. I know because my sister was formerly Governor of Purgatory."
Jordan invites you to sit and offers you wine. "My father is King Drake of Kingshome," Jordan says. "I haven't seen my father in over a year - not since Namtar rose from the Pit. My father is a peaceful man, and he loves his children...but hehas recently dismissed my sister from her post at Purgatory, and then layed siege to me here at Byzanople. My father loves me and the succession is not disputed. I want to see my father die in bed - I do not covet his throne. There is no reason for the King to make war on me. It must be Namtar's doing.
"My father is not perfect, but it was never his way to imprison Outlanders for no reason. Namtar has stolen my father from me; he has robbed you of your dignity. He is our common enemy. I make you an offer - reject Kingshome and join me in my struggle against Namtar. When my father is restored to the throne, I will see you are richly rewarded."
Hmm. Should we really turn our backs on Namtar's army and ally ourselves with Byzanople? (Yes.)
Paragraph 109 posted:Jordan smiles. He leads you to the map he and his men were examining. You recognize it as a plan of the Kingshomer siege camp. Jordan pumps you for information concerning the camp and the size of the force stationed there. "We'll attack them tonight," Jordan decides. "There is a secret way from the citadel to the enemy camp - we will take them by surprise." Jordan looks at you as he continues, "Feel free to explore the city until we are ready to leave.
And with that, we're left in an unlocked room of the dungeon. It's a small dungeon, and since we're now allies of Byzanople, there are no enemy encounters here. There is, however, one spot we really want to visit. All we have to do is break into the room right next to us, and...
The Magic Chain (Chain Armor without the AV penalty) and Magic Shield are two good pieces of armor. But that's not the Big story here.
Big Chill. Much like the Humbaba, it is Big with a capital "B".
It's High Magic. Like Poog's Vortex or Fire Blast, it deals 4-24 damage to enemies. It costs 15 (slightly more than the other two spells), targets all enemies, range is 30'.
Read that again. It does not target an enemy group. It targets ALL ENEMIES within 30'.
As you can imagine, this might come in handy when taking on the Kingshome army.
Dazzle costs 3 MP and causes an enemy to miss a turn. Not all enemies or even a group, one enemy. Yawn. Not very dazzling. Naturally, I don't plan on using it.
Long Bolt is better than Bolt. Again, not that exciting.
Returning to where we met Myrolla, we find a set of stairs leading up to the city of Byzanople.
Paragraph 110 posted:"The time has come," Prince Jordan says as he meets you on the stairs. Together with several of Prince Jordan's best fighters, you sneak away from Byzanople through a secret passage. Only a skeleton garrison is left behind - you realize Jordan is throwing everything into this attack.
Using a local guide, you pick your way through the mountains surrounding the Kingshomer siege camp. The guide seems to lead you through solid rock at times, and you soon have little idea of where you are. Suddenly, from ahead, you hear Buck Ironhead bellow orders to a pack of new "recruits". The battle is about to begin!
Next update: we put the Kingshomer army on ice!