The Siege of Castelon
The party marched west with the Emperor’s force towards Castelon as Gregory and Hendrix marched from the Southeast. They forced marched several days, resting only briefly in order to arrive during the initial attack on Castelon. The party continued to stay in contact with Gregory and Hendrix, coordinating their movements to arrive at the same time. It was very bizarre for the heroes to be marching with Coaltion troops, particularly when they could be facing Castelonian soldiers in combat. But they were determined that the war must be stopped and this was the best way to do it.
Due to careful coordination, Holtz’s army and the Harfaxian of Gregory army arrived at Castelon as the Northern Army of the Coalition made its final assault on the city. Holtz send scouts to order the Northern Army to stand down and other scouts to implore the Castelonian Army to accept his aid. Neither group of scouts returned. Holtz declared that there was no choice but to attempt to engage the Northern Army within the city itself, avoiding as many Castelonian troops as possible. Holtz communicated with Hendrix and Gregory, planning for the brothers’ army to attack the Northern Army outside of the side. Holtz believed that the enemy Coalition troops would fall between the two forces.
The battle that followed was truly horrific. The city of Castelon was a confusing melee, each street being held by different groups fighting against each other. Holt’s forces, including the heroes, encountered enemy Coaltion troops, loyal Castelonian troops, foul demons and Harfaxian soldiers loyal to Raulo Draves. In the midst of Castelon, the party encounters Rexus, one of the Dragon Kings of Freehold. Rexus was trying to protect the city, being one of the only Dragon Kings that left Freehold. The heroes implored Rexus to stand down and let them pass, but the dragon was too enraged and suspicious to hear the party’s plea. The heroes faced the red wyrm and were able to defeat him, being careful to spare his life. Holtz left an entire platoon to stay and protect the dragon from enemy forces and the party marched on.
The party, along with Holtz’s army, battled for hours, fighting increasing numbers of demons that had been summoned by Corrin Scard and Coalition troops loyal to Karl Prosek. Things became even more chaotic when reports suggested that Gregory’s army had started to break through the rear guard of the Northern Army and was also fighting in the city. The fighting had now become brutal street-to-street combat, and became thicker and more intense the further Holtz’s army moved on.
With the King’s Spire in sight, the party could see dark columns of smoke rising to the sky. Castelon was burning in several places. The party broke from the army in order to assault the King’s Spire and save Creed. While racing to the Spire, the heroes encountered Hendrix Draves. The paladin prince explained that he became separated from Gregory once in the city due to a offensive teleportation by Mida Elektis, one of the Council of Eight. Hendrix had been searching for the party or Gregory for several hours, but was interrupted by the cries of the injured. He did not know if Gregory was still alive, but had faith that he was. Hendrix joined the party in their assault on the King’s Spire, hoping that he could talk to King Creed and stop any bloodshed.
The party attacked the King’s Spire, facing the score of personal bodyguards to the King. Sadly, these men and women would not yield to the party, being told that they were usurpers and murderers, and fought with abandon. The party tried to spare as many as they could, but many still went to their deaths on the steps leading up to Creed’s throne room. In the throne room, the party meet Creed. King Creed spit cruses at his former friends, accusing them of abandoning Castelon, and attacked the heroes with powerful magic. Creed was a warrior mage before being king and it proved to be a difficult fight, however the party managed to subdue him. Once Creed regained consciousness, the party begged Creed to see reason: the city will be lost regardless of the outcome of the fight and he needed to give the order to retreat. Aiden dragged the King to the balcony of the throne room, looking out at the burning city from the open perch. Amellaniaand Glod told Creed of the horrors of war, Jamir told of Scard’s bloodlust, and Egg explained the Emperor’s declaring a cease fire. Creed broke down crying, stating that he was blinded by hatred and begged for forgiveness. The party encouraged the King to give the order to retreat. Creed immediately sends a magical message to all citizens of Castelon telling them to flee south by any means necessary.
As party began preparing to take Creed from the King’s Spire, the Warmaster Corrin Scard teleported to the top of the spire. He had heard of the order to retreat and demands an explanation. Creed said that he’d been blind to the pain of the people and the horrors of war and they must retreat. Scard declared him a weak man and, before anyone could intervene, struck the King down with his sword. As Creed lay bleeding to death, the party attacked Scard. The heroes attack was easy rebuffed by the “greatest swordsman in the world” and the Warmaster summons terrible demons to his aid. The battle waged on, things looking increasingly grim, especially when Scard struck down the crippled Hendrix. With Hendrix’s dying breath, he prayed that Solaris would help the party in their quest to save people. As if hearing that prayer, a terrible blinding light filled the room incinerating the demons and leaving Scard blind. The party renewed the attack. Even blind, Scard proved to be a very difficult opponent, injuring everyone gravely. In the end, he was mortally wounded by Ferrilad’s barrage of arrows and fell from the King’s Spire to the war torn city below. Glod was able to save King Creed with his most powerful healing magics. Creed, inspired by Hendrix’s sacrifice and the party’s actions, offered to lead as many people to safety. He vowed to protect them as King Gargudan did in the dark ages following the Third Dragon War and left to aid his people in the city.