The party attends the play, which is performed in the open air, in front of the cathedral. Crispin’s uncle plays God. The party sits on the stairs above the performance where they can be seen. They are, after all, the heroes who made it through the siege.
At the end of the play, they receive an invitation to an audience with the King/Lord High Clerist. They attend and the King explains that they can’t get communication out of the city. They need to know what’s going on in fortress, which has 25,000 sword he would have expected to show up by now. After that, Karas has 10,000 sword. They are to go out and find a general and get him to bring an army here to break the siege. They are given fairly broad powers to get this done. Everyone in the sword is promoted one level. Val becomes a Commander, Rosamund and Vincent Captains.
They sneak out again and don’t make it far in the dark before grounding their raft, but they land on the north of the river. Traveling, they find refugees from Masgalar and the surrounding region. They have them gather others and meet in Abaria. After that, they hit the first villages that have been more or less spared attack. Vincent uses their blanket powers to start a conscription.
They arrive in Abaria. They use their authority and a bag of gold given to Val by the king to buy war horses (Abaria trains the best in the country.) It cost about 200 gold, but they are outfitted. They meet with the refugees they sent and take them to the mayor. They quickly discover the mayor is just a rich craftsman and he doesn’t have the resources to directly help them. He offers to ask around and Vincent decides that they are going to go to someone with actual power. They go to the Sword and the Division Commander in charge of the city welcomes the refugees, essentially conscripting them. That only solves the problem for 30 days, but it helps, and Vincent suggest that they might re-up under other names after a month.
They then head to Fortress and have great difficulty getting through the gate (this meets with approval from Crispin, and maybe an exclaimed “Finally!”). They meet with the Castellan and discover that Fortress has been under siege from Wraith Wood since the cairns opened. He’s dropped from 25,000 sword to 20,000. About all he can offer them is the gear of his 5,000 lost Sword. Vincent asks if he can abandon Fortress, but he can’t without sacrificing Abaria. They ask about evacuating Abaria, but in the dead of winter that would be a death march and there’s no place to put them.
They discuss solving the Wraith Wood problem, and while some good ideas are discussed, these are all “post siege” solutions when they can get the full might of the Church involved. Possibly the best is Hannah’s idea to redirect rivers into the wood and use magical rituals to sanctify them.
The party decides to stay the night to see how bad the situation is. We ended the session there.