(written in a code, previously agreed upon)
I do not know if this missive will reach you in good time, however, I wanted to update you on the battle thus far. First, let me say that the trading post has held, and while there were deaths and we lost equipment, it was minimal to what we had envisioned.
It began fairly straightforward, the abominations both with flesh and without staggered forward as we had envisioned. The Prince’s Guard and the dwarves waited in their tunnels as ordered, and they moved forward. The ballistae were most effective against these forces, picking them off one group at a time. The Cynthians waited, again as they were ordered, and if they had been the whole of the effort by Barius, then none would have passed beyond life.
Only one group of abominations fell into the pit, which was disappointing, however, the pit did slow the approach of all, allowing the ballistae to have the time to continue decimating the ranks. At this point, the Cynthians were moving in to pincher the abominations from behind, whirling, shooting and riding, such as we have not seen! However, as they moved onto the map, Barius also sent forth his horse. 3 units of Cynthians moved to harry them while the other three continued fire on the abominations.
One of the commanders noticed at this point that there was something like a twister descending upon the middle tower. In the blink of an eye, the central ballista was pick up and flung from the battlements. The first volley of arrows upon the demon of air were simply sucked up into the wind. At that point, someone remembered that Darkarus had mentioned that air demons (I believe he called them elementals) were susceptible to fire. A second volley from both the bandit troops and the local levy hit the monster and destroyed it. All the crew for the ballista had managed to jump free before the ballista had been lifted. I would tell that priest to send our thanks to the gods for us. We did scurry to move one of the back wall ballista into place, as this was a key position. It was also around this time that we noticed a boat traveling up the river. We chose not to use the catapults at that time because we wanted Barius’ troops fully committed before revealing that we had such equipment. It remained out of easy Ballistae range, and we chose to focus on decimating the abominations.
The Cynthians, now in place, began firing, both on the abominations and on the enemy’s cavalry. However, the outcast Cynthians fired back and we lost one unit of the light horse! The Cynthians began evasive movements, circling back to their compatriots, as they realized that they were much too vulnerable. Both groups exchanged fire several times, before the Ballistae began shooting at the enemy cavalry. Though we were saddened by the lost of such a robust troop, things still seemed to be going well for us.
We continued to watch the barge move up along the shore, however, it did not pull into the docks as we had expected, rather, it moved in front of the keep. The few shots we took with the ballista were ineffective and there was no fire from the ship. Frankly, we were all watching carefully as the abominations finally got within extreme bowshot range of the archers on the wall. Then, the unthinkable happened. The barge stopped it’s motions, and a fiery beast lifted chains upon the barge, flew up to the top of the corner post and dropped the barge on the turret! The catapult, never had been fired, was destroyed instantly. From the boat, jumped two squads of Amyklai. The scorpion units, previously out of range for all attacks, immediately fired, destroying one of the units, but there was chaos upon the wall.
The Demon breathed fire, and the ballista and crew were destroyed. The fire carried to the levy led by Maulmin. In the blink of the eye, they were struck twice, and almost destroyed. Maulmin called a retreat, and the men regrouped away from the demon, but leaving one of the bandit crews in the path of the demon. During this chaos, the Amyklai army we had been waiting to prove that Barius’ troops were fully committeed, appeared. A runner was dispatched to alert the princes guard and the dwarves that their part of the battle plan was about to unfold. The ballistae and the cynthians had finished off the abominations. The wall units closest to the Demon tried using the water hose, but missed horribly. The ballista replacement finally showed up, just in time to shoot at the demon, along with the other archers on the wall. The demon struck at the bandit squad, and nearly killed them, but they rallied, knowing that they were the last stand before death. Between the scorpions, the ballistae, and the remaining squads, the demon and the remaining Amyklai force were defeated. Those injured retreated to the triage hospitals.
I hope this finds you well. We did attempt to hit the tower with the catapults, but we only got two rounds of shot off, and we only had 2 catapults to fire (as the Demon dropped a boat on the third) before I felt it was safe enough to send the missive to you. We will continue to watch and aid as we may. May the gods bless you in your endeavours and may you vanquish the evil.