The siege of Zarash'ak
The armies of Rhesh surrounded the old outer wall of Zarash’ek as dusk set upon the swamp city, and the attack began. The heroes were put in charge of a small contingent of warriors whose task was to hold the Southern gate as long as possible. The heroes performed beyond expectation, particularly James, who used psionic fire to counter the onslaught of brutal troll siegers. James literally became a beacon of flame upon the battlefield, rallying the disheartened Tharashk defenders with his singular devastation of the troll attackers. Teranu selflessly leaped into the heart of the battle himself, becoming an impassable wall. With Rampart calling on the valor of old heroes, James the signal of hope, and Teranu the bastion of stalwart defense, the seeds of great tales were planted that day. Those orcs on the wall said they could feel the legacy of the Heroes of the Order rise up that day, and rumor quickly spread through the city that a new generation of immortal heroes had arrived to take up the orders mantle. The party suddenly found itself dubbed “The Heroes of the Old Order”.
It was inevitable that Rhesh would finally break through the outer wall, and once this was done he had his men set up artillery around Zarash’ek. Over several days, the large catapults and trebuchet rained fiery Hell upon the people of Zarash’ek. General Legazi assembled small groups of her strongest warriors into small strike teams, with the aim of destroying the least guarded artillery weapons on the west side of Zarash’ek. Once again, the Old Order heroes rose to the challenge, striking at Rhesh’s artillery encampments with stealthy ferocity, laying waste to the siege engines and the demonic minotaurs who guarded them. The artillery barrage of Zarash’ek would continue of course, for little could be done about the Eastern regiment. At reduced capacity in artillery, however, Rhesh would now be forced to make his final assault at disadvantage in numbers.
This disadvantage proved impossible to overcome. As dusk fell on the 8th day of the siege, Rhesh’s men charged the inner wall. The brutality of this onslaught was unmatched, and victory for Rhesh seemed imminent when a suicide bomber blew a hole in the side of the keep wall. It was at this moment that Terios, one of the leaders of the Zarash’ek defense and a good friend to Teranu, was slain by Ithyria, just seconds before Terios was to claim victory over Rhesh in one one combat. Just as it seemed the corrupted pair of Ithyria and Rhesh would breach the keep and descend to its heart (where an imprisoned Daelkyr waits for a chance at freedom), gnome reinforcements lead by Talia and Manishtu arrived, blocking Rhesh from his ad purpose. Arcane destruction rained down upon the minotaur raiders from numerous airships, and the rout was on. Rhesh, seeing his plans crumble so near to their success, had no choice but to flee with Ithyria. The heroes had delayed the onslaught long enough to allow for the needed reinforcements to finally arrive. Against all hope, old treaty’s were honored and a great evil would remain locked under the black waters of the Shadow Marches. Nothing was left for the heroes now except to pick through the rubble and assemble some meaning out of the revelations that had been divulged to them over the course of the siege.