Following Aulonia’s back-handed dissolution of the treaty between itself and Ravenshore, the Aulonian military landed several of its troops on the island, and marched on the city. Efforts to find a diplomatic solution were fruitless, and was clear that the Aulonian military had been looking for any excuse possible to breach Ravenshore, and kill as many arcane users and creatures as they could.
Previously, Hawkeye admitted that it was the magic registration and tracking wards that had allowed him and his men to find all of the magic-users in the city. As a result of this, Councilor Redmond’s political career was left in shambles, and he resigned from the city’s council.
With the Aulonian army approaching fast, the party and several of the city’s authorities gathered together to strategize and muster their forces. Beak returned to the party as a revenant, just as Stasi and Valindra had before him. Richard revealed himself to the city’s authorities, and explained that he sought to start a rebellion against Duncan’s vicious anti-magic crusade, and that he would help to defend the city in exchange for its support. In addition to whatever aid he could provide, the city had a standing police force of a few hundred officers, and a sizeable militia made up mostly of hastily-trained civilians. Surprisingly, several of the city’s gang and underground elements stepped up to aid its defense, and many members of gangs like The Dragons joining the fight. All in all, the invasion of Duncan’s armies mobilized all of Ravenshore’s inhabitants with unprecedented unity.
When the Aulonian army finally reached the city limits, several of the city’s most important figures met to finalize the battle plans. Richard was of course present, along with the leader of The Dragons, The Shade, Varahallusk, and members of the police force along with Chief O’Hara. Richard told all present that the army would probably be led by one of Duncan’s brigadiers, and that because of this Ravenshore might be able to use this to their advantage: if Richard could find out which brigadier was leading the army, he could make an educated guess at their strategy, and counter it effectively. Orders were distributed, and the party was given one night to prepare themselves for battle.
While most trained and mental steeled themselves for the battle to come, Jim had certain other pursuits in mind. Later on, when he and Horacio traded heart-warming stories on the ship to Aulonia, he recounted his efforts, which were then recorded in Horacio’s journal for ‘posterity’:
And then I asked my friend, “Where were you on the eve of our combat with the brigadier? You missed my rousing toast to our inevitable victory at the Angry Owlbear?” The young Eladrin’s lip curled into a crooked smile, and he said, “Well Horacio, I guess you could say that I wanted to make the night before the battle a memorable one.” This piqued my curiosity, and I demanded details from the fellow, for I do so enjoy a tale of romance.
He would not speak any more of it—that is, until he drained another of Longbottom Ale, and grew more forthcoming. Finally, he admitted what had happened: “I just hic I went to her, and I said— I said hic Hannah—you’re an amazing woman, and hands or no just about the most impressive hic and most— most beautiful Wizard I’ve ever hic seen.”
At this I spat out a mouth-full of ale in surprise, and exclaimed, “Eladrin! Gods above, Jim, she must be—she must hic be eighty years old!” Jim chuckled, and with another swig of ale replied, “But she doesn’t look it, Horacio old buddy, she hic really doesn’t.”
A hearty laugh overtook me at the young Eladrin’s comment, and jabbed him in the ribs and called him a sly fellow. Were it not for my lack of inhibition due to inebriation, I would not have asked him what I asked him next, “So, then. Did you two—“
The Eladrin shifted awkwardly, and blushed profusely. “Er—well, no. We didn’t. She was still recovering from the loss of her hands, and the ones hic Rodoric crafted for her would take a hic while to er—function properly.” At this point, my young friend stopped to collect his thoughts before he continued—drunk as he was. “I guess the timing just wasn’t right, man,” he said, turning and smiling his crooked smile once again. He then stood up, and began shuffling towards his bunk. Before he left the mess, he turned and added, “But it was worth a shot.”
All harlequin-esque romance aside, the battle began the next morning. Based on the formation of the Aulonian armies, Richard knew immediately who had led them into battle—the brigadier Stonefist. A giant gap lay in the center of their lines, and Stonefist stood alone within it. He was an imposing figure, to say the least: seven and a half feet tall, shirtless, covered in tattoos, and to top it all of he was wearing a blindfold. The party went out to meet him in combat, hoping to break a hole in the Aulonian lines to tip the battle in Ravenshore’s favor.
It was a difficult fight, but we managed to take down the hulking brigadier. With Stonefist down, the rest of the Aulonian army retreated, and Ravenshore emerged victorious! Richard delivered a rousing speech, and announced that he and his rebellion would set sail for Aulonia on the following day. Our party, and the forces of Ravenshore, would join him to confront Duncan, and make him pay for what his atrocities once, and for all.