The Siege of Valice
as told by Lefty
So we get out of the tomb of the unknown little king prick that had that live dragon buried with him – apparently Brassy didn’t know he could shapeshift until Melias told him. Brassy shapeshifts out of turtle form once we’re outside, and then him and Melias, Darky and Roderic have some kinda argument with him, cuz they’re the only ones that can understand the thing – I kept asking them to translate, but only Roderic did it very much at all, although I did pick up that the dragon thought Darky was a sick bastard or something. Then Roderic talks to it while he’s messing with some weird ring he has and the annoying thing flies off.
So we ride back to the farmer who told us about the tomb, and tell him to clear the Hells outta there cuz the place is dragon-infested. We don’t tell him it’s dragon-infested cuz we didn’t wanna risk trying to kill the zonked-out green dragon, but hey, whatever, cuz he’s all ready to set off for some big city the minute Darky gives him 100 gold pieces for his trouble. I ask him if he had any farmer booze and we get trashed with him that night.
The next day we ride to Valice. We’re freaking out about whether it’s gonna work to pretend to be this Baron of Valice jerk, and whether we look badass enough to be his new bodyguards, and whether Darky’s Alter Self scroll is gonna last long enough for our plan to work.
Oh yeah! The plan. So the plan is, we roll in, everyone’s all “Whoa! The Baron’s alive!” and Darky’s all “Yes, go kill the Lilia the Bandit Queen.” Then he appoints someone, probably Roderic, to take over for him if he should end up getting assassinated. Then we stage a fake assassination and bam! all of a sudden we’re rolling in gold pieces and comely maidens.
And it probably woulda worked too, cuz it was all going pretty sweet at first. Darky steps behind some hut in the outskirts of town, casts his scroll, and we ride into town like we’re not people they’d wanna kill. We just ride straight up to the gate and everyone’s all surprised to see that the “Baron” is unmurdered. The guy must’ve been some kind of weirdo, cuz Darky kept calling everything “quite quaint” and acting like a jerk and no one seemed to think it was strange or anything.
We act like we’re his bodyguards, like I guess we kinda are since he’s a wizard and all, those guys are easy to stab if you can get near ’em. The Captain of the Guard, Marcus Knight, comes up and listens to our story, which is all true except we left out the part about brutally murdering the actual baron. It was kind of funny acting like this Marcus guy was my commander, it reminded me of being in the Belierin militia, except this guy actually seemed like sort of a nice person. I tell him it had been a long day, to cover up whatever really obvious lie or weird thing someone was telling or doing, and he says he understands that, looking all tired.
We get to be alone for like two seconds to try to plan how we’re gonna fake the fake Baron’s brutal murder, when some messenger dork shows up and tells Darky about some meeting of elders that the Baron always has, that’s in like 20 minutes. So Darky decides to lay it on thick with the pissy royalty act and demands that it be held immediately, since his Alter Self spell is halfway over.
We pile in to the meeting room and stand behind Darky while these twelve old geezers come in and sit down and start yammering. The first thing Darky does is double the bounty on Lilia the Bandit Queen’s head. They wanna know how conquering Glenroy went, and Darky says to forget about it, I think – I get kinda bored and stop paying attention for a little bit. Then Darky makes his speech about appointing a successor and all the old guys are shocked, cuz apparently there’s some other jerk that would take over, the Baron’s nephew or something, I don’t know. They keep looking at us weird and we keep forgetting we’re supposed to shut up during the meeting, but eventually they all get up to go back to being useless old pricks, except for this last guy, Zule, who doesn’t leave the room. After the last other elder leaves, he looks at Darky and Darky tells him to get going, but he starts going on about how he remembers when he wasn’t the only elder who cast Detect Magic on himself before coming to meetings, and then he stares right at Darky and says, sounding super-pissed about it, “You are NOT the Baron of Valice.”
We all tense up, and I start thinking, maybe I should draw my swords and charge this guy, but Darky just looks at Zule, right in the eyes, and says, “Whaddya gonna do about it?” It was so badass.
So I’m still thinking I might have to slice this old guy up, but it turns out he doesn’t really care, he even says, “I understand your desire for power” at one point. He says, “But this is my home.” And he goes on to tell this crazy story. Apparently there’s some evil lich guy trying to reopen these portals to gods-know-where, and they end up spewing undead all over the place. Oh, and like a billion years ago there were these 4 super-badass warriors that sealed up these portals, only they had to physically give up part of themselves to do it. The one they have in Valice is called The Hand of Valice, and it’s made from, whaddya know, the hand of Ida Valice. Turns out she was the Baron’s mother, too, which is sorta real messed up considering my new pals killed her son and all, but whatcha gonna do?
So this guy Zule, who’s a real big prick to me I might add, gets all serious and is like, “Do you accept this charge I lay upon you?” and we’re all, “Fine, sure, whatever.” I mean, I think there was a lot more, but I get real bored cuz the guy talks for so long and I start thinking about fighting monsters. Oh, I do remember Darky saying, “Why should we care?” and I remember Melias saying, “I REALLY hate the undead.”
So just as this dude is finishing up his zillion or so words about portals, someone comes in and says that a whole mess of undead are attacking the castle. Zule has agreed to let us impersonate the Baron cuz he loves closing portals so damn much, so he says that traditionally, the Baron’s bodyguards participate in the defense of any attacks on the castle that come up, so we charge on up to the battlements.
And man, I gotta say, Valice got itself some niiiiiiiice battlemets – ballistas, flaming catapults, boiling oil, the works. We all run to man these fine pieces of murder. I go right for the flaming catapult, Brutney and Maledetto go for ballistas I think. Anyway, so there’s like sixty, seventy zombies massing around the castle, and we just lay into ’em, blowing ’em up right and left.
There’s a little bit of a problem when I miss with the flaming catapult and hit the turret Maledetto is using – I see him and some Valician soldiers jump the hells out of the way. “Sorry!” I yell out, but we’re ao far away I don ’t think they can hear me and anyway the only thing to do is keep frying zombies. At one point these huge scary undead, Shadows, come out and they run inside the keep. Roderic summons a hippogriff and flies off after it.
Meanwhile I see Brutney scream at a whole bunch of the bastards and she runs along the walls with them chasing her below. I fire my catapult and hit a bunch of undead just over the wall from where I almost killed Mal. It turns out that I also light the nearby buildings on fire, including the marketplace.
Roderic comes back from turning the crap out of those Shadows and starts flying around healing us – we’re all getting pretty scratched up from all the arrows being shot at us. Did I mention that? Undead shooting arrows at us? Because they totally did.
I get freaked out about shooting a flaming catapult into a city, so I jump down from the controls, cast Swift Expeditious Retreat, run halfway across the castle courtyard and leap to a ballista and shoot it into a buncha zombie leftovers outside the front gate. Yeah, actually we’re pretty much just mopping up at this point. Eventually we finish them off.
Before Roderic got to them, those Shadows killed about a dozen soldiers inside, and it’s now that I find out that I torched the marketplace and the butcher shop and gods-know-what-else. Melias uses his endless water thing he loves so much to put out the fire, but not before a lot of people die.
I feel awful, so I snap at the first Valician I see that if they’d let me pick up some new gear before battle, then it wouldn’t’ve been so bad, which doesn’t make any damn sense, I was too far away to land a single blow on anything, but like I said, I felt
horrible about it.
I go to the guards and ask where I can get a mithral chain shirt, to replace my stylin’ if kinda stiff studded leather armor. They tell me the armorer’s the one with fancy stuff like that. “I’m all about the fancy [excrement,]” I say, and go find him. I make up some ridiculous story about needing to be close to the Baron at all times, so I need the armor right away, but the armorer looks at me and says, “Ain’t you the guy set the marketplace in fire?”
“Yeah, that was me. Although I’d say it was more the undead horde. Still, I feel like [excrement] about it.”
“Well, that’s the way it goes, I guess. I guess I owe you one, now everyone’s coming to me and asking for fire-resistant enchantments.”
I pay for the shirt, setting the gold down on the counter, and as I leave I say, “You don’t owe me anything.”