Part 23: Day 23: To Grofheim
You want my opinion? How unexpected. I think there's no point in waiting. Let the wounded ones fall behind.
We attack tonight.
Good. That wasn't so hard, was it?
If we're doing this now we need an approach. We can't just go up there swinging.
For each option, Mogr has some commentary that might influence decisions.
Bait the dredge into attacking and wear them down:
Break through the front lines and don't stop:
Send the shieldbangers forward and fight defensively:
Go all out, strike hard and drive them off:
Send a diversion to draw their attention and escape:
Ultimately, the thread's decision:
We'll do this carefully.
Your shieldbangers gather at the front of the group, and push forward through bashing maces and exploding shrapnel. With few casualties, the caravan has crossed the land bridge. Now it just remains to fight your way out.
As Mogr predicted, the surround you from every direction, and you start cracking heads as soon as the shields give way to the crush of enemies pushing past.
This team worked nicely for me last time, and Eirik is still recovering.
I am really starting to hate this formation.
Right side: Slag Slinger, Stoneguard. Left side: Slag Slinger Veteran, Stoneguard Colossus. Just few enough that the enemy will be getting an annoying number of turns, and enough thick-Armor enemies that rushing Pillage isn't an option. On the flip side, the highest Strength in the enemy formation is 13.
Mogr starts fast with a Bring the Pain, positioning himself to be the most attractive target for the colossus. Risky, but I need to start bringing that thing down fast.
Bersi takes an unfortunate early hit. The difference between 12 Strength and 10 Strength is huge.
I honestly am just not a huge fan of Warhawks.
Hakon is strong enough that, following this, he can already start doing direct damage to the Stoneguard.
This is what I'm worried about, though.
A Colossus is a Stoneguard with 5 more Armor, 2 more Strength, and 4 Break. Mogr won't last long here, not at all.
It takes 3 Armor damage in retaliation, at least. Only 18 left!
Continuing in my theme of burning huge amounts of will on the first turn, Yrsa moves as far as she can in one action, then Slags both of these enemies.
The Stoneguard uses Kindle, doing some middling Armor damage to Hakon. He walks over two coals to do it. 12 Armor, 7 Strength left.
The slingers, while annoying, are of negligible danger.
Bersi knocks the veteran Slinger down to low strength.
Mogr is taking a solid beating here. Things have the potential to turn ugly.
This is my strategy. It blocks Bersi's movement a bit, but it limits the Colossus's options a lot - he can either attack Mogr, and eat a double-strength counter, or attack Fasolt, who still has full Armor.
Or that. I forgot that Colossi get Kindle, too.
The bastard is down to nearly reasonable Armor! One more Break attack ought to do it.
Demonstrating surprising speed, the weakened Stoneguard flanks Fasolt for a nasty Armor hit, suddenly changing the shape of the battle.
Fortunately, now he's at 1 Strength.
This Slinger did a decent thing with moving there - I couldn't drop a Slag right on top of him without also hitting Hakon. Wonder why he didn't attack, though.
That's TWO enemies down to one point of Strength.
Lord, that thing hits hard. At least they're focusing on Fasolt and Mogr - that's why I brought them along, after all.
Okay, that should be about good.
Fights like this are intense, but not for very long. Time to start cascading kills.
Fasolt has taken quite the pounding - he's down to 6 Armor.
And that's another threat cut down to size.
Yikes, Fasolt's at 2 Armor now. Fortunately, I think that Colossus only has one turn left in it.
Hakon takes down the Stoneguard.
Yrsa takes down the Slinger.
Fasolt nearly dies in a single blow, but it's too late for him - pillage has begun.
And Bersi finishes the Colossus off.
With the first wave of dredge out of the picture, you stop and take stock of the battlefield.
Your warriors are doing as well as you could hope; fortunately there were enough of them to pull it off. The dredge are furious, but falling quickly. You think you could safely out-distance them at this point.
I've seen quite enough of Ridgehorn.
You take stock of the survivors. It hurts to think how many you lost to get this far, with nothing but an unconscious mender to show for it. You hope it was worth it.
Good riddance, I say.
Quite a lot of time.
We're not far from our destination, now.
Is it a welcoming party from Grofheim, bearing mead? That's about the only thing I want to see.
No such luck. The mender from Ridgehorn woke up. He says his name is Eyvind.
Sounds like a mender name. How is he?
A day or two from Grofheim. We found you at the tower of Ridgehorn. What were you doing there?
Grofheim... no. No, no, that's the wrong way... Juno. Where is she? Where's the woman who was with me?
She didn't make it, my friend. We only brought the living with us.
No, we have to go back.
I don't think so. We barely made it out two weeks ago. Do you know why the dredge were crawling all over Ridgehorn?
Dredge! WE HAVE TO GO BACK!
It's a damned graveyard, boy! I'm sorry, Eyvind, the girl was dead when we got there. What we have to do is tell Jorundr what's happening and prepare for a bloody war, so if you...
She is dead. I couldn't save her. I couldn't save her.
Eyvind suddenly looks spent. He slips to the ground and you motion for some varl to help him onto the cart.
Not what I had hoped to hear. Not sure what I was hoping.
Come on, Ubin. Sooner we get to Grofheim, the better.