A few scenes around Madinat Almuhit as it readies itself for war.
- In the Sward, Peschi Tenderfoot is haggling with a member of the Finfolk (who happens to have a necklace, but that allows him to breathe the air). Ulric informs the PCs that Finfolk are both oddly reclusive and also traders. They will trade with anyone and have been known to make contact with surface folk to act as their representatives. However, they do have a bad reputation on the surface. It is said that should a finman marry a finwife (the name for females of the species), the finwife gradually becomes uglier and uglier. For this reason, Finfolk prey on coastal communities, kidnapping lone fishermen or folk walking the beaches at night. Through their magic, they disguise themselves until they are close enough to their victims to grapple them and drag them underwater, whereupon they cast environmental protection on their captives to stop them drowning. The poor victim is dragged back to the finfolks’ undersea kingdom and forced to marry.
- The Coral Grotto – families of the Merfolk quietly take in the beauty of the formations. People are solemn, but upbeat about the coming fight.
- The Palace – the place is bustling with activity. Couriers rush about, key leaders provide advice to King Mathias Taj, and Princess Salana helps organize the citizens to prepare the city.
- The Pearl Beds and Emerald Fields are quiet as the Merfolk have retreated to the city for protection.
The city readies itself. Our heroes pitch in to help the city ready itself for the savage onslaught of the Kreana. Mechanically, the PCs partake in a Dramatic Task (with the Merfolk general doing the adjusted Knowledge (Battle Roll) to build up the Battle Tokens. The maximum is 9 due to their failure to prevent the summoning of the Avatar of Carcharas.
- [Spade] – Probing skirmish in the Grotto. A Quick Combat (-2) for the crew. A Solid victory that results in a way into the city cut off, the Kreana repelled, and spirits raised.
- [Diamonds] Mustering resources (Notice/Streetwise -2) – there is a feeling of security in the city, perhaps too much so. The PCs have difficulty mustering key resources to reinforce the defenses. Defensive points may not be as strong as needed.
- [Club] Extraction at the Ironclad! (Quick Combat -4) The Kreana are on the move, and strike quicker than anticipated. The PCs lead a strike force to extract the Coral Guard stationed there. The fight is fierce and the losses are high for the Merfolk
- [Heart] The gravity of the situation has sunk in as the military forces do not appear ready (Persuasion/Intimidation -2(. People need inspiration. The PCs do help rally the populace to keep preparations moving.
- [Spade] A final skirmish before the main battle.
Things look grim (5 Battle Tokens vs. the Kreana’s 10). Will the city survive?
Although badly outnumbered, the Merfolk fight more strategically. The Kreana use blunt assaults with a Kraken, a magically enhanced King, and the Avatar. Losses are high, but the Merfolk even the odds. (multiple rounds, the previously poor Knowledge Battle rolls heat up for the home town folks).
A key moment is the Battle of the Sward. The Merfolk in their planning had not fully grasped that the Kreana could spend extended periods of time out of the water and survive just breathing air. Fortunately, the Heroes were recuperating in the Sward when the assault occurred. The magical properties of the Sward both provide air but also a “feather fall” effect for those that happened cross over from the water side of the barrier. So suddenly, its raining Kreana! This also so that return of the water version of the fabled Vacuum Lung Death!
The Heroes work quickly to save the residents of the Sward. Some help in the fight as many are experienced mariners and no stranger to a weapon. The battle is fierce with Ahmed continuing to display his dervish style of combat! The heroes repel the force in a definitive victory!
[note: this replaced one of the Mass Combat rounds, with the winner criteria set by the number of people saved]
The Wizar then comes to the PCs during a lull in the battle. They have discovered the King of the Kreana uses spellcasters to enhance his abilities. They safely secured back at the Ironclad during the battle. Silara floats forward and gives the group a Pearl of Recall keyed to the Ironclad. She had one more keyed to the ship that she sent with her patrols – she figured they could get away as a group, but was worried a small patrol could be overwhelmed.
While they feel the battle is going their way, the toll the King is taking on them in the battle is horrific. If they can bring down his protections, they might be able to kill him and end the battle once and for all. The mission is simple – use the Pearl to get to the Ironclad when the Kreana next engage. Then kill every spellcaster. Word will be sent to Little Jon to have sea horses secured nearby in case haste is needed to escape (even the Kreana are wary of a Reef Giant).