We began to bombard them. I focused my fire at the wizard and at huge statue they were assembling as I saw them both as the likely biggest threat to the ship. Our initial volley killed several of the wizard’s companions and the statue took a direct hit, but neither threat was eliminated. Jez made use of her new bow and started aiming for the general of the army, though her first shot seemed to have little effect. Her second however took down the general and caused confusion in the ranks. A line of skeletal warriors and archers had positioned to face us, but we remained at too great a distance. The wizard called upon their magics and began a magical attack upon Lilith. Our second volley resulted in a direct hit on the wizard who did not survive the blow. The statue remained whole however.
Isidore did an odd, but very useful thing next. He leapt overboard, swam to shore and held his fake orb aloft and pointed at the generals. This caused panic and a full third of the army took off after him in pursuit. From what I understand they ran into a lizardman ambush and none of the soldiers survived, only Isidore returned.
The Nehekarans brought their own artillery to bear and used catapults to launch huge illusory skulls at us. The mortals among the crew were driven mad briefly and we lost several good men to friendly fire, one of those fallen was shot by Hans, a fact that continues to haunt him. At this Lilith attempted to calm the crew, and I unleashed my secret weapon. My skeletal band had been training since Altdorf and between their stirring music and Lilith’s fiery commands the crew regained their sense. Several of the smaller statues had taken positions in the shore building and were opening fire with their huge bows. William and Lillith were both pinned to the ship by volley’s and many of the crew were injured.
Unfortunately our split attentions would cost us as the statue was finally assembled and lurched to life. It fired a beam of light that struck the ship and caused one of the minor magazines to explode. The grail had a huge hole in her and we took many casualties. Dr Quinn, Vidda, Cimarron, Leon Chado, Hauptman and Reyes were the most notable. William and Lilith were both overboards and unconscious. Jeeves, Adam and little Timmy were all injured also as I would learn later. We managed one more blast of the cannons that did serious damage, but not enough. Then the dragon, bloodied and injured appeared and crashed onto the statue pummeling it to the ground and she was swarmed by armed skeletons. Seeing the opportunity to break the spirit of the generals I made my move, even as many friends lay injured or dying. I called one of my sharks and jumped onto its back and headed for shore, beginning a dark ritual in the hopes of fooling the generals into thinking I was taking control of their army. It only worked didn’t it. No idea what I would have done if it hadn’t to be honest.
They called for a cease fire and as soon as I had their surrender and the terms, which were they could go home but the matter was resolved and all of their treasures were given as tribute. I returned to the ship to help my comrades. It was to be some days till I slept again.
Once the immediate danger was passed I set about sending skeletons to recover the fallen as well as William and Lilith from the sea. I also organised the conversion of several buildings to field hospitals. Lilith awoke the next day and wished more time to rest so I left the difficult news of Adam’s injury as news for later as it was not life threatening and she needed to rest. I also brought William one of the Tomb Princes’ swords as a get well soon present. Hans also confessed his fear that he had killed a crewman in the supernatural panic. I feel greatly for him, but he knows as well as I do that it was not his fault, not that that is likely to salve his conscious much.
After several days of recovery people were well enough for the funeral. I lead the procession in silence aside from my orders for the ceremony. Lilith was Captain and she gave a very stirring speech. Following the funeral I returned command to her and retired to rest and grieve in isolation. I have lost good soldiers before, and in much worse circumstances, but the quality of good people cut down due to my failure to recognise the greatest danger will haunt me for a long time, and my grief was not swift