The sounds of battle greeted us as we approached Echocall Crossing, wounded Disfavored leaning against rocks and trees for support. A Scarlet Chorus commander was yelling at his counterpart in the Disfavored, arguing about failed plans and “tactical retreats.” After a few clipped questions, I learned that the Disfavored had attempted to rush the town, marching across one of the three main bridges, when the river beneath swelled and took the bridge, and most of the troops, in a torrent of frothing water. The Chorus regiment supposed to be backing them up were conveniently staying on this side of the bridge, not willing to advance, before the surge made crossing that way impossible.

Putting an end to their squabbling by shoving them both into the dirt, I ordered them to come up with a new plan, one that would result in both armies successfully crossing the river. After a moment of shameful consideration, it was decided that my party would distract the oathbreakers while a small contingent of both armies would string a rope across the river, enough to get a few nimble soldiers across, there to lower another bridge. Satisfied, I let them stand up again, though I did not appreciate being used as bait.

The siege was bloody, but the diversion worked and our forces swarmed across the river. Fiercely battling back the oathbreakers, who did not respect our request for surrender, we were near to entering the town proper when I discovered several heavier-than-expected crates. Upon further inspection, they contained the missing iron that was overdue to the Disfavored smithy. Undoubtedly the rebels had sought to use the powerful metal for their own purposes. I added theft to the already lengthy list of crimes they had committed against Kyros.

Our aim was the rebel leader, Matani Sybil, who was trying to bolster the villagers by saying the Vendrien Guard would protect them from the horde of Disfavored and Scarlet Chorus that were descending on their homes. To their great credit, she was largely unsuccessful at convincing them to resist, though the large stores of supplies spoke to the lengths of the village’s support of the oathbreakers.

We battled through the city, armed guards pouring from every house and scared villages running in terror, until we stood toe-to-toe with Matani Sybil herself. Knowing the villagers would be punished for their crimes, I offered to order the army not to slay them if she surrendered. Her concern for her fellow Tiersmen was great, to the point where she lay down her arms. She was transferred to the care of the Scarlet Chorus, where their Archon would question her at length.

Upon further search of the village, most of the townsfolk having escaped the battle, additional iron deposits were found, all taken from the same missing shipment. I made sure to gather all the precious metal we could, and headed back toward the Disfavored camp. We had won the day, captured an enemy commander, and showed the locals the unbridled power of Kyros’ armies.