The Battle of Lakewood
Three days after the Battle of the Honeycomb, the ranger Breeda gathers the party and leads them to the muster area on the Brennevin Trail, at Dryad Falls. The party passes soldiers feeling trees for timber with axes. A the muster area, a liberation force is gathering, including 120 of Basil’s knights and volunteers from Lakewood, 200 of Sir Renton’s knights of the Duke (having failed to hold the town of Steelheart, to the south) 50 elven archers, and 100 footsoldiers and equipment arrived from the Duchy of Highsee.
Led to the tent of Sir Renton, who is planning the liberation of Lakewood, the knight of Tyn proceeds to lay forth an assignment for the party for which they’ve been prepaid. First, they are to proceed to Lakewood’s western watch tower on the Brennevin Trail and take out any guards so they cannot warn the Vermese of the approaching army. The army will hook to the north after the tower and attack the town by surprise from the north, so the party has two days to deliver messages to resistance cells and capture the Magistrate.
The party proceeds along the path, meeting a group of travelers known as “The Brave Entertainers”, from which they buy some adventuring supplies. The party proceeds to the tower and takes out some guards, using summoned celestial owls to ensure no pigeons get away. The party, with the help of Clinton’s new bear companion, Cinnamon, take out the riders, along with a strange Fell Druid wearing rotting skins and a deer skull mask. A pidgeon master, Gideon, is left to send the “all clear” message to the Magistrate’s men.
Disguised as a dancing bear show, the party enters the outskirts of Lakewood the next day, and finds Loricone at Fat Nelly’s fish stand. They deliver a scroll to Loricone, who reads it and private and is seen talking to his men. Loricone arranges for Fat Nelly to sneak the party into town in a fish wagon, gaining entrance to the west gate, which is overlooked by Fort Dennus, the only major stone structure in the city, topped with catapults covering the Brennevin trail. They pass the Magistrate in the center of town, and armored Pain Priest who is torturing a troublesome townsperson. Unable to assist while surrounded by Vermese soldiers and the thick crowd, the party proceeds to the Black Pudding Inn, waiting for nightfall to find the second contact at the Honey House.
At night, the party delivers their second scroll to Roisin, a harlot at the Black Pudding Inn, who has been scarred by a Vermese soldier and now leads one of the major resistance cells. Roison reads the scroll, in which Renton says that they know that the Magistrate plans to destroy the city somehow if he cannot hold it. The scroll confirms that the liberation force will attack in two nights from the north, and that Roisin must assist the party in getting to the magistrate and capturing him before that can happen.
Roisin leaves the party at the Honey House while she finds a contact that can get her into Fort Dennus, or Stonedennus, the fortress at the west entrance of the town. She returns with a key that can get her access to the roof, where the party can rappel down to the Magistrate’s private chamber and catch him by surprise.
That night, Roisin convinces the group to leave the bear behind, and the party and Roison climbs the wall of the surrounding barracks, and quickly dispatches the only guard across the courtyard at the back entrance to Stonedennus. Te key indeed opens the door, which leads to a narrow passage that goes up many flights, past locked oak doors on each level. At the top, Porkins opens the door to the roof and scouts the roof, which is strangely empty except for a top area which holds a large brazier, with some kind of signal fire lit.
While Porkins fixes a rope to one of the battlements, the Magistrate’s voice booms from behind them. He knows of the party’s plan, and plans to save them the trouble of finding him. He has already moved the catapults to the north wall to crush the attackers in two days, and will be ready for the assault. A battle ensues as the Magistrate summons an unholy lemure, spearmen rush up the stairs to trap the party on the roof. The magistrate is joined by the sorcerer Chezlit and several heavy crossbowmen, while Roisin reveals herself to be the Doppleganger that the party fought on Inish Bora when she starts to choke Clinton with a garrotte. Radcliffe is able to close the entrance to the roof and bar it with the immovable rod, preventing the spearmen from joining the fray. Pat dispatches the lemure quickly, and porkins spider-climbs around the tower to attack the magistrate in melee, who wields a flaming morning star. Chezlit casts enchantments to little effect until he is able to get Porkins with a sleep spell. “Roison” releases Clinton when Radcliffe hits her with magic missles, and they fight as mirrored Radcliffes, and Radcliffe kills “her”. Pat gains access to the upper wall via the immovable rod and engages the Magistrate hand to hand, who trade vicious blows. Soon, the party is wounded but all of the crossbowmen are dispatched and the magistrate is weakened. At this point, a loud bell is heard ringing at the western gate. The liberation force is seen attacking tonight. Men are riding wooden rafts across the river, while mounted knights charge from the path. The rafts are then used as ramps to gain access to the wall, while the guards, underprepared and partially engaged at Stonedennus, fall to the attackers. A commotion is heard from the roof access tunnel as some group appears to be engaging the spearmen from behind.
At this point, the Magistrate realizes the town is lost to him and summons a fire elemental from the brazier. Pat kills the Magistrate, but the fire elemental almost kills him. Meanwhile, the brazier continues to heat up, as if to summon more elementals. CLinton and Radcliffe continue to cool the brazier with icy blasts and summoned water, which seems to delay the summoning effect. Radcliffe uses his final magic missles on the elemental, which dispatches it. Clinton uses warp wood on the platform holding the brazier, and the round brazier crashes sideways to the roof and rolls off of Stonedennus, 100 feet to the ground where it explodes into harmless brass.
After the battle, Loricone’s men are revealed in the tunnel, mopping up the spearmen. Loricone explains that his message indicated the following in code: Goodwin, under truth magic, knows that Roisin was replaced with a spy, and that she worked for the Magistrate. Goodwin also knew the magistrate planned to destroy the city somehow if he could not hold it. The only way to assure success was to have the party deliver a false message to Roison with a false attack date, which succeeded so well that the Magistrate even moved the catapults before the assault, and occupied he and thirty of his guards during the assault. The only way they could assure success would be if the party did not know the true plan.
Later, Sir Renton apologizes for the misdirection, and congratulates the party on surviving. Renton hopes the party will stay on to defend the town from a likely attack from Vermese troops seen fleeing from the capital of Tyn, to the north.