Soon the battle had commenced: We fought tooth an nail against the pirates who landed, calling encouragement to those we had conscripted. Soon after the battle was joined however, McKnuckle noticed a small band of pirates that had broken through our ranks. We chased after them. They flung flares hither and thither, and an instant later mighty fireballs fell from the sky onto the flares. With renewed vigour we engaged the pirates and stopped them from flinging a flare into any of the major buildings like my pub. Instead it was dropped into the fountain. We continued fighting, forgetting for the moment the massive fireballs. The skirmish went well, and in our favour, but as it drew to a close, Murdock suddenly looked to the sky, shrieked and began to run. I, confused, glanced skyward to see one of those massive fireballs making it's way towards us, and followed Murdock's lead.
The world around us momentarily became something like the pits of hell: searing heat, exploding chunks of rock and tortured screams. As magic of the fireball faded away, most of us where left only slightly singed and tottering. Poor McKnuckle though. I don't recall if I have mentioned it before, but at some point he and the ice elemental in his war axe entered some sort of communion, whereby the dwarf becomes infused completely with the Elemental's power. Unfortunately for him, this power was 'switched on' when the fireball landed, and he was greatly more injured than the rest of us. It deterred him not and after downing a couple of potions, and a quick healing spell from Lorcian, he was fit as ever and if anything more ready to fight.
As we were recovering form this, we noticed more pirate bands had snuck through our lines, each of them carrying several flares, obviously intending to completely raze Farshore. Joe advised that we wouldn't have enough time to run around and take all of them out, so we decided to take a dingy and row out to the ship from which the fireballs where coming. With myself and McKnuckle taking the oars, we sped through the water and swiftly climbed aboard.
Once aboard we were faced with several lizardmen, and on the ship's forecastle, the sorcerer we had vowed to destroy. Getting through the sorcerer's mooks was easy, however the sorcerer had a few tricks up his sleeve and began to levitate beyond our reach. Murdock shot at him with his crossbow, but was rewarded only with a sizzle of lightning that very nearly killed him. At this point McKnuckle and I had the same idea: to climb the mast and grapple him from the air. We reached about halfway before the sorcerer let loose one of those gigantic fireballs at the party. Fortunately for McKnuckle and I, were were not him. However not so lucky where Lorican and Joe. Doubly unlucky was Murdock. While Lorcian and Joe somehow managed to escape death, Murdock fell to the Grim Reaper1. With that the whole party become enraged, and with the situation seeming desperate, I determined that as soon as I had the chance I was going to use my secret power and knock the lizard scum from the air. However, by some fortunate chance, my powers will remain secret, for before any of us could act, Lorcian had skewered the sorcerer with magic arrows and his piercing wit.
At some point Fixer had appeared on deck. We had sent him off early on in the battle to scupper some of the ships, given that he does not need to breath. He informed us that there was now a large hole in the bottom and we should probably leave post-haste. With unusual reverence McKuckle picked up the charred remains of Murdock Sprocketheim, and carefully placed them in our boat, and as we began to row away, we watched the ship split in twain and sink beneath the waves. With sorrow for our downed companion, we headed toward the Blue Nixi to assist them, as it seemed they had been overrun with pirate scum.
That battle was swift and short, and we stood panting in the now midday sun, covered with blood and viscera. Suddenly though there was a scream of pain and rage from the end of the boat. We all turned to see Lavidia, our noble employer, being confronted by a terrible beast. I was astonished to hear her call it 'Brother' as they yelled at each other. Lavidia seemed closer to true rage than at any other time I had seen her. This monster was obviously causing her pain of the deepest kind – the kind only a family member can bestow. Needless to say, we all saw red, myself included. I threw caution to the winds and used the power of my Dragon Mark. I Leapt for the beast and dealt it two stinging blows to the back of the head. McKnuckle wasn't far behind me, with his Urgosh held at the ready. Lorcian and Fixer followed too, while Joe and Snappy took Lavidia to safety. We surrounded the brute and beat on him until he lay dead at our feet. [Strangely, even though I have never used my power in front of the others, except Joe, none of them commented on my Leap. I guess either no one was paying attention or they put it down to a trick of the light]
With this the victory of Farshore was secured. I learnt later that we lost around 40 souls that day, and we held a mass funeral and memorial service for them. Murdock was interred in the mines by McKnuckle. We held his memorial at The Brass Knuckle, and toasted to his memory, and the memory of all those who fell. There was much damage to the town, but I had no doubt that with hard work and perseverance we would see it become a thriving commercial centre. It may have been difficult and frightening at times, but never a day goes by I am not glad that I came to Farshore and the Isle of Dread, for I have good friends and a thriving business. All that is behind me now, and I have only to look around to know my future is secured.
1Feel sorry for Gregmandu. This is the second character he's lost to fire, and the fourth to die in the whole campaign. It's not that the GM has it in for him – he's just supremely unlucky.