Part 33: Day 77: Defense of Einartoft (Day 1)
By an overwhelming majority, we stand and fight.
Fasolt nods, and puts you in line with others. "Don't be a hero," he grunts. "Kill a few and come back alive." A slow terror starts to creep in from waiting to go into battle, but eventually you find yourself face to face with rows of dredge packed shoulder to shoulder.
We're down one varl, so might as well see how Ekkill works out for us.
Enemy forces: Two Slinger Marksmen, an Inferno Slinger, a Scourge, a Stoneguard Defender, and a Stoneguard Colossus. Six against six.
Our defensive line is slightly weaker this time, and theirs slightly stronger. We'll have to make do.
Fasolt starts us off by charging in and provoking the Colossus. With 13 Strength, it shouldn't be able to do any meaningful damage, and might even be deflected.
Finally got it! The Inferno Slinger throws some bombs down under Fasolt's feet. I need to make sure he'll be able to move out of range.
Krumr has to burn an extra point of Willpower to attack from a position where the bombs won't hit him. First damage inflicted, and a splinter chain down the whole row!
Ekkill will get to doing real work next turn. For now, he needs to stay out of Fasolt's way.
Just as planned.
The lines are too tight for Oddleif to get any decent traps in, so she does some armor damage instead. A slinger moves forwards, but doesn't reach us.
Pretty much the same thing from Rook, only harder. We're in good morale, so we have will to burn.
Eyvind, with his one higher Armor, steps forward to protect the archers, and throws down some lightning to get the enemy's Strength under control.
However, a poorly-planned Kindle from the Defender makes that largely unnecessary - they won't be able to reach my back line this turn anyway.
Fasolt moves out to stay in the way of this jerk, while also escaping the bombs and ensuring that the Scourge won't be able to reach anyone come his turn.
This is the trouble with Inferno Slingers compared to Flame Slingers.
It took some doing, but now both of the shield dredge are down to manageable Armor ratings.
Here's Ekkill's active ability, Guts! It pushes all adjacent targets up to 2 spaces away, inflicting Strength damage that ignores Armor in the process. A great power that makes him almost like a melee Yrsa.
(Just kidding. Nobody but Yrsa can be Yrsa.)
The Colossus, low on Strength, slams back Fasolt. Still got 11 Armor.
Ekkill has some nice skill synergy with Oddleif - he pushes the enemy back with Guts, Oddleif punishes any attempt for them to move back into position.
Because he can shred Strength with Guts, Ekkill's promotion path will focus on Armor, I think.
Ekkill is in serious danger from this Defender right now, so Rook moves in both to block and to use Mark Prey, calling in attacks from Krumr and Oddleif. On the other hand, this creates a tempting new target for that Scourge, which still has full Strength...
Defender tries to move around to finish off Ekkill, but is interrupted by Oddleif's trap, doing nothing besides blocking the Scourge's advance towards Ekkill.
One more hit and the Colossus is down.
With 1 Strength remaining, the Inferno Slinger doesn't have much to do besides burn through armor. Ekkill is even more exposed than he was a moment ago.
Rather than attack, Krumr will help rescue Ekkill, by bringing Eyvind to the top of the initiative order.
Scourge is summoning. I don't think I can stop it.
Eyvind then casts Mend, pushing Onef back into the realm of safety.
Even at low Strength, a Colossus is dangerous.
I am not sure why this didn't push anyone! But hey, the Inferno Slinger is dead, so that new Grunt will keep us on even numbers.
This would've been near fatal if I hadn't accelerated Eyvind.
Rook needs kills right now, so Oddleif sets him up for one.
Ekkill is down to 2 Strength. Probably not lasting much longer.
And the Grunt spawns wonderfully, Too far to reach any of us. Free turn!
These slingers are the most dangerous things on the map. For now, I need to keep that Colossus alive to delay them a little longer.
So instead, Krumr whittles down the Scourge a bit more.
This is really, really bad - Fasolt is down to 2 Armor, and that Grunt is coming up now. If it hits him, it'll almost take him out in a single blow.
And another thunderstorm from Eyvind keeps the second Slinger from kiling Ekkill!
1 Armor left. Fasolt is now in instakill range.
His Strength too low to do meaningful damage anyway, Ekkill moves in for a shield wall with Fasolt. This should keep him alive, at least for now.
I can't say for sure if this will work or not. Calling it a 50-50 change of saving Fasolt.
Rook gets the kill...
And Fasolt counters, bringing the bastard down a peg!
Krumr kills another one!
I don't know if Fasolt can survive this!
Wait, yes I do. I have a PLAN.
Eyvind empties the Horn for a single casting of Mend, bringing Fasolt back up to 4 Armor!
Not my coolest turn, but he needs to keep that shield wall up!
Ekkill goes down.
Yes, good. More of this.
Thanks to the Armor damage that Ekkill died before his demise, Oddleif is able to get a solid hit in here.
3 Strength left! I think I've got this!
Worst case scenario, one hit from the slinger or two hits from the grunt takes Fasolt down.
But the slinger won't get one hit in.
And the battle ends with a rare melee attack from Eyvind.
You'd swear the fighting is getting more vicious and dangerous. Again you let the next line of varl push into battle when you don't dare to risk it anymore.
"Come back tomorrow if you're looking for more," says Fasolt. You sleep poorly, Eyvind's suggestion to collapse the bridge repeating in your mind.
Rook uses most of my Renown to promote to rank 4, earning a point of Armor and a point of Exertion.
More importantly, he can now equip the Farthingjörd. We will no doubt see its power soon. The Bjarken Rune passes, for now, to Krumr, and Alette's bracelet passes to Fasolt (how it fits around his arm, I can only guess).
No word from Iver. No word from the varl king. The battle for Einartoft has entered its second day.
Do we keep fighting, destroy the bridge, or abandon the city?
Voting will last for 24 hours.