Saturday, April 23, 2016

Beatriss settles into her new fortress

Beatriss left her son with the Emperor and with her other children, moved into her newly-completed fortress in the Happy Valley.  Friends new and old gathered around her, pledging to help protect her idyllic dominion.  These included Naron and Ju-Mei, Bangqiu and Kafka.  Bahen—their unexpected ally in defeating Red Nar’s band—arrived with a company of 20 riders and began organizing the people of Happy Valley, selecting and arming a garrison of 100 foot soldiers.  The Emperor sent a bodyguard of 20 monks.  Tetsukichi settled in with his family and henchman.  Prince Slash and Sir Crowler were welcomed as guests and soon proved themselves valuable companions.

One day Prince Slash was leading a company of foot soldiers in a patrol on far side of the western ridge.  Spotting smoke above the treetops, they went closer and found a large company of dragon people, led by a huge reptilian-headed monster.  Prince Slash raced back to the fortress to raise the alarm and the dragon people followed in close pursuit.

The people of Happy Valley took refuge inside the fortress but the dragon people followed close behind and the gates could not be closed.  Beatriss, Tetsukichi, Naron, and Bahen drove them back and pursued them into the field in front of the fortress.  The Lizard Lord and his toughest soldiers met them in battle, knocking Beatriss from her horse and scattering her bodyguard.  Naron’s soldiers threw down their spears and ran for the forest.  Tetsukichi and Bahen were also defeated.  The giant lizardman charged into the fortress, his minions coming after him. 

Inside the fortress, the defenders had organized.  Bangqiu used his magic to break the dragon people’s charge.  Al-Fitar led a countercharge.  Many people of the dragon people retreated and suddenly the Lizard Lord and his company were greatly outnumbered.  Kafka and Bayan surrounded them and slowly exhausted them.  The Happy Valley soldiers rallied and finally killed the Lizard Lord; the dragon people were routed.