Royal Palace, La Longi.
The Moon was waning and thick darkness fell upon La Longi.
Lord Rainport’s plan to take over the city was thorough. At the moment, he was biding his time for the Alchemist to conjure up creatures with his scrolls.
Other than minor resistance and the loss of two ships, the city was overtaken by Admiral Gryll and his mercenaries.
Control of the Palace and the ousting of the King would complete Lord Rainport’s objective.
He could feel the power of the throne already.
His eldest son had sent scouts to watch the trail from Northwich and word came to them from Silverfinch. Emerson Berengar of Northwich, the O’Hagans, the men of Veigmanshire, and a tribe of savages (as Lord Rainport saw them) were fast approaching.
A former convict and soldier, Nicholas Peralta, was leading them.
Rainport’s army of minions was more than enough to overwhelm the walls despite the Alchemist’s slow response. However, a two-fronted conflict would prove problematic.
It was time to move.
Siege equipment had been assembled on site. Stout ladders had been prepared and would be used immediately under cover of darkness.
A shout of alarm could be heard from the palace wall. Attempts were made to push the ladders off the wall but to no avail. Minions scaled the walls and began the hard press for mastery of the gatehouse.
The Captain of the King’s Guard had been surprised by the suddenness of the attack. Valiantly, his men fought to contain the horde.
Men fell and resolve wavered.
A guard was pushed off the wall by the minions. He was mortally wounded and his cries for help could be heard among the fighting. The Captain of the Guard rallied his men and drove the attackers off the wall. While they had repulsed the attack, heavy losses were sustained.
The man who fell into the darkness below was silent.
As the wounded were tended to, Galvin The Bard ascended the wall thoughtfully.
Morale had taken a large hit and the castle would be lost if reinforcements did not arrive soon.
He sang for the wounded to take their minds off of the pain and the prospect of death.
“Twas the dark night of a siege, when all through field.
“The minions were stirring, but we would not yield.
“To stockings they turned, we gave them a scare,
“They knew Commander Nicholas soon would be there.”
In the siege camp, Lord Rainport swore a vile oath. Another attack this night would be advantageous and perhaps decisive, but reinforcements were on the way to bolster the town’s defenses.
As he and his advisors drew up plans for the next assault, a light in the dark indigo sky appeared.
The minions began to make terrible noises and shrieks of terror.
Their overseers found it difficult to keep order as they descended into a madness of sorts. The minions fell with their faces to the ground.
In the distance, the bleating of sheep was heard.
Shepherds, abiding in the fields, watching over their flocks were moving towards them and pointing at the bright star excitedly.