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Operation Hydra Day 11by Alex Benson
Force A- Adm. Helena stays with the current strategy and keeps the land forces at their beachhead. They spend the day beefing up their defence works. The land force commander, Gen. Xerathas, sends scouts out to patrol the area. In particular, he wants a good look at Minrothad City. His scouts return later in the day and offer their reports. There are no Minrothad Forces near the beach head. Some signs of troops camps and movement were found near the Thadder capital, but all indications show that the troops have moved toward the city. The city of Minrothad seems to be readying itself for a siege. This displeases both Adm. Helena and Gen. Xerathas, as they had hoped to whittle down the defenders out in the open instead of assaulting them at the walls. Adm. Helena and Gen. Xerathas both decide to wait one more day before marching on to the city. Perhaps they may still be able to draw them out.
Force B- Gen. di Cicero decides to move onto the objective, Harbortown. While the Cohorts assemble and make ready to march, scouts are sent ahead to plot a easy rout to Harbortown. This done, Force B begins its march. Their route will take them inland where they will strike from the land side. As such, the march will take longer than a direct rout. The Fleet Forces under Adm. Serpico are to sail onto Harbortown. They will bombard the city from the sea as well as blockade it.
Force C- The assault on Malfton begins. For the most part, the Thyatians concentrate on bombarding the defences with their siege weapons. The ballistae on shore and aboard the galleys steadily break holes in the neglected wooden palisade. Also, the few artillery pieces the Hin have are engaged and destroyed. The Thyatian crossbowmen move into range of the walls and begin launching their bolts upon the defenders at the walls. Several small probing troop assaults are staged, mainly to test the defences. For now, the Thyatians are content to wear down the Hin from afar before committing to hand to hand combat. As night falls, the bombardment continues with troops being rotated frequently to allow them rest. Gen. Nikkos wants his to keep the defenders on edge, but not exhaust his own men. The land forces use the cover of night to move their ballistae closer to the walls of Malfton. The day's action has opened several gaps in the walls. Gen. Nikkos plans on assaulting these gaps in the morning.
Force D- Recently appointed Adm. Merrik set forth the reorganised Force C. He sees the wounded as a priority. Fearing most would do poorly on the voyage to Thyatis, he opts to set sail for Open Island. He is also aware that his ships are at capacity with the prisoners, soldiers, and war prizes. He has his doubts of a prolonged voyage back to Thyatis. He feels that Force D should regroup at Open Island and assemble a more efficient convoy to ferry the war spoils and wounded back to Thyatis. This plan is endorsed by Gen Delagro and passed on to Adm. Helena for approval. She quickly gives her approval and sends the orders to Adm. Pentalon.
"Booty Convoy" commanded by Adm. Pentalon is already enroute to Thyatis City but due to being heavily laden with looted goods, hasn't made much progress. This is amplified by Adm. Pentalon's cautious nature of sailing around the eastern side of Fire Island to avoid any Thadder naval forces that might be abroad. The advantage of this is that his convoy is fairly close to Open Island.
Adm. Pentalon receives orders to sail onto Malfton to assemble a more suitable escort. Adm. Pentalon agrees and set sail immediately for Open Island.
Adm. Merrik leads his ships out of Cove Harbour and away from Fire Island. The ships are cramped but the actual trip is expected to be rather brief. By nightfall, Thyatian ships of Force C report sighting both Adm. Pentalon's ships and Adm. Merrik's ships. Also, the Wizards of Sclaras arrive and join up with Force A, Force B, and Force C. The elements of Retebius Air Fleet mount their beasts and make way back to Crossbones. The Wizards are rumoured to have animated some of the Privateer dead to "greet" any Thadders that decide to return to their former homes.
Minrothad prepares for the expected assault. HG troops are placed along the walls to supplement the garrison. No Minrothad troops will leave the city to engage the Thyatians unless ordered from Gapton.
Likewise, Harbortown prepares for the coming assault. The loss of Anrod Miller's troops offer proof of the need to utilise the walls of the city. The people of Harbortown erect crude barricades among the alleyways of the harbour facilities.
Malfton- The Hin of Kimber Nimblefingers crouch behind their crumbling walls, enduring the Thyatian bombardment. The Hin artillerists have failed in engaging and nullifying the Thyatian ballistae. The Hin artillery lay in ruins. Their own archers and slingers do return fire. These missile counterattacks cause minimal damage. The Thyatians are to well placed and mostly out of range. The Thyatians galleys do come within range, but what can sling stones do against their thick hulls. For the most part, the counterfire is to relieve tension. Most of the Hin taunt at the Thyatians to begin their assault. Anything is better than this constant bombardment. The one saving grace is that the fire attacks are minimal. Though they wreak havoc on the rotting palisades and blockhouses, the damage to the town's interior is minor due to the sodden construction of the Hin homes.
Warheart Cleaver dispatches vessels to scout the waters around North Island. The Mercenary GM wants to make sure no Thyatian assault force is poised off the island preparing to land. This is insure Gapton, as well as himself, that he can commit his forces without fear of leaving his own home port unprotected. His first priority is Malfton, so he begins preparations for a relief force.
Warheart contacts the dwarves at Fortress Island. Once again, he asks if they need forces sent. Once again, he is told that the dwarves are confident of their defences. Also, no sightings of Thyatian forces in the area bolster the Mercenary Guild Master.
Warheart realises that the strategy of dividing the HG defenders also applies to Minrothad Fleets. As is, the Fleets are spread out and greatly outnumbered when they do engage the Thyatians. He debates on whether to recall his remaining naval forces to join and bolster their numbers into a force sizeable to meet the Thyatians.
He sends orders to the his vessels in the Fortress Island area to make sail for Gapton, North Island. He also sends a similar message to the naval commanders at Minrothad City and Harbortown.
Cleaver informs Oran Meditor of this move. At first, the Ruling Guildmaster disagrees, but Cleaver manages to convince him. He tells Meditor that if they wait, the Thyatians will blockade the capital making the ships useless. Combined with his own vessels, they could be put to better use. Under the cover of darkness, the Minrothad ships creep out of their harbours.
Alfeisle is given different orders. The ships around the elves' island will remain at their station. Cleaver still suspects an assault on them. As such, he wants to be prepared. He does inform them of the Thyatian tactic of drawing the defenders out. He suggests that troops be placed along the coast in force and strike at the landing Thyatians. In particular, he points at the effect that the elven (Verdun) bowmen would have against a landing force. He does tell them to not try to sustain an ongoing battle, but to thwart the landings for as long as possible before the Thyatians can amass enough troops to counterattack.