Rylocke was awakened by the alarm of a giant bell. Immediately he could tell something was wrong. The bell was being rung by someone in a panic. Outside his room at the inn, he could make out several different sounds; someone shouting orders, the clanking of metal, the screams of women, and the cries of children.
He peered out his second-floor window, into the courtyard below. It was not yet dawn, only the faintest light made out the scene. Crudely armored men were running with purpose to different parts of the town. Torches were sparsely situated around the busy courtyard and on the walls. The town militia could be seen barring the gates, attempting to form ranks, readying weapons. There couldn’t be more than a hundred armed men in the town, and they all seemed to be present.
The Dwarf opened the door to his room and saw a pale-skinned Eladrin with black hair, wearing ornately runed leather, gliding hurriedly down the hall. He called out to him, asking what was happening. The tall Eladrin turned and answered him.
“Enemies – enemies at the gate!”
He retreated back inside, donning his armor and grasping his war hammer. As he looked out the window again, He could see a mass of moving torches, marching toward the front gate. Their flame was burning an unnatural green; the very sight of it filled his heart with dread. The coming horde vastly outnumbered the small band of men inside the gates, and he realized that the townsfolk and soldiers knew this as well. Waves of despair flowed through the town, weakening the defender’s resolve. Rylocke knew that in order to survive whatever is beyond the walls, he mustn’t despair.
The cleric made his way down to the courtyard, the shouts of soldiers filling his ears. One voice was louder than the others; a heavily armored man sitting upon an equally armored white horse, giving orders as men went to and fro. His eyes fell on the Dwarf.
“Dwarf!” He shouted. “Are you here to fight? We could use your hammer!”
“I can fight. What do you need?” Rylocke answered.
“I need men to help barricade the gate, and hold back the horde. I also need those inexperienced fools up on the walls to properly man the catapults. I can’t be everywhere at once!”
Nearby the captain, there were three other visitors, donned in their garments of war, with uncertain looks on their faces. They looked to the captain as he was speaking with authority.
“Outsiders!” The captain gestured to the other three. “I also need you to defend the town with this dwarf and my men, we need every bit of help we can get.“
As they approached the gate, men were reinforcing it with giant wooden planks. Atop the walls, soldiers were loading catapults and archers were trying to find their place. The men manning these siege weapons looked confused and scared, unsure of what to do next.
“Hold the gates! The enemy is upon us!” The captain yelled from the courtyard. “Ready catapults, wait for my mar-“
Suddenly, a hail of flaming arrows fell on the courtyard. The captain was struck in the chest and neck, and fell from his horse. Fear was spreading among the men defending the town, as their leader was struck down. The putrid smell of filth and waste hit the defenders like a wall as they realized the enemy had reached the gates of Blackworth.
As the soldiers looked on, Rylocke was able to inspire them to fight for their lives. He took command of the squad of archers on the wall, directing their fire to great effect. Adrie, the Half-Elf Swordmage led the men on the parapet to pour scalding oil on any enemies unfortunate enough to be at the front gate. Erevan, the Eladrin Wizard, gave orders to a small team manning one of the catapults, and rained massive destruction on the horde. Garret, the Halfling Rogue, took charge of the other catapult, leading them and inspiring those around them to stand fast and destroyed many of the enemy.
The enemy rained flaming arrows on Blackworth, and followed them with giant magically green-flaming boulders that crashed down among the ranks. An evil voice could be heard in the horde, and Adrie sensed that this voice was feverishly shouting angry incantations, directed at the town. Above the gates, dark clouds began to form and swirl, crackling with magical energy. As the fight went on, the voice seemed to get louder and the clouds above grew and became angrier. The defenders felt this was a bad omen, and they retreated from the walls to gather in the courtyard to hold back the gates. But it was too late.
Suddenly, all sounds ceased. A giant lightning bolt tore out of the clouds, and struck the gate, as if directed by some evil force. Splintered wood and broken stones flew through the air as the gates and wall exploded. The defenders were thrown from their positions and everything went black.