Children of Netherhearth
Defending the tower
The four of you fled towards the White Tower, harried by the swiftest ratkin. Grindle, the least athletic of the group and also still injured, slowed the group down, forcing you to turn and drive off the nearest ratkin snapping at your heels. Although subject to a barrage of bites and sling stones, you were able to withstand the assault and then drive enough away with Leo and Stanley’s powers that you could resume your flight.
Soon you neared the White Tower, and the ratkin on your heels were driven back by the sling stones and magical attacks of those within. Arriving at the tower at the same time was the severely depleted group of soldiers sent to guard Calcott – over half their number had been massacred in the initial surge. The survivors staggered into the sanctuary of the tower, their retreat protected by a force led by Father Winston and Hubert.
You spent the next couple of hours crammed in the tower with the despairing populace of Netherhearth. The ratkin continued to make half-hearted attacks that were driven off. During this time you told Quill, Magda and Brodwyn about Seb and Marnie’s death, and the fact they appeared to have been murdered. All three seemed horrified. You managed to calm Quill enough to get him to concentrate on surviving the night, while both Magda and Brodwyn agreed that determining the true circumstances behind Marnie and Seb’s deaths would be essential… assuming everyone survived the siege. Leo also tried to give an inspirational speech to the people to improve morale, but it fell flat.
After a couple of hours, the bulk of the ratkin horde had converged on the tower. Shortly after, they attacked the barricade in large numbers, while also firing salvos of their sling bullets through the tower windows until the inside of the tower was spattered with ratkin excrement. The stench threatened to overcome the defenders, but the three of you managed to organise the non-combatants effectively, directing them to clean as fast as the bullets flew in, and to use whatever they could to cover the windows.
The next attack manifested as ratkin bursting through the windows and savaging anyone nearby. It seemed that they had a green iridescent ooze on their paws which enabled them to climb the sheer surface of the tower’s outer wall to enter the windows. It didn’t take long for the threat to be neutralised, but there were several horrific casualties among the non-combatants. However, Varian also noticed that some of the climbing ratkin seemed to be heading to the top of the tower. Fearing an attack on the Skystone, you warned the Viceroy. He seemed to think that damaging the Skystone would be beyond the capabilities of the ratkin, but readily gave you the key to the roof anyway, telling you to deal with the threat as you saw fit. Two guards, Cole and Lareth, accompanied you as you headed to the roof.
You emerged to find a horde of ratkin waiting for you. Their leader, a wretch, was vomiting some kind of foul, magical corrosive into a bowl, which the others were using to coat crude picks which they then used to attack the Skystone. Their attacks were clearly causing damage to the Skystone.
You all spilled out onto the roof and a frantic combat ensued …