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Operation Hydra: Day 17

by Alex Benson

Force A: The siege continues. Activities are slight. The previous night's raid has gotten the Thyatians' attention to the reality of the situation. Adm. Helena spends the majority of the day conferring with her subordinates. The previous day's battle at Malfton intensifies Thyatian resolve to destroy what remains of the Thadder Naval Forces. She orders her admirals to reorganise the Thyatian Fleets to destroy them.

Force B: Not to be outdone by Gen. di Cicero, Adm. Serpico orders his ships and landed marines to enter the city from the seaward side. With his galleys docked at the water's edge, they focus their artillery upon the southernmost coastal gatehouse. After about an hour, he orders the marines to assault the battered gatehouse. With the defenders spread throughout the city , they make haste in battering down the barred doors. Those few defenders they meet offer but a slight fight, many surrendering outright. The Marines take the gatehouse and quickly move into the city.

With Serpico's marines assaulting the city, Gen. di Cicero sends all three of his infantry cohorts into the city. Both forces move into the city, each intent upon reaching the Olde Wall in the city's centre. The Harbortown defenders have lost all of their fight. The streets are littered with the discarded uniforms and weaponry of the defenders. Those that choose to fight surrender after a minimal resistance. By noon elements of the marines meet with contingents of the infantry at the Olde Wall. About an hour later city officials approach the Thyatian lines and formally surrenders the city. Gen. di Cicero accepts the surrender and declares marshal law. He informs Adm. Helena of the city's capture. With Serpico expected to lead his forces on patrol, Gen. di Cicero is given the role as military governor. The remainder of the day sees the Thyatians dealing with the wounded and establishing themselves within the city. Serpico rests his marines and has his crews begin preparing to depart.

Force C: Gen. Nikkos spends the day cleaning up from the previous day's battle. He places 4th Cohort in Malfton and 6th Cohort in Prosperity Hill. He tasks the cavalry of 28th Cohort to overseeing the prisoners and patrolling the surrounding countryside. The Hin produce enough gold to buy the ransoms of several of the prisoners. Kimber Nimblefingers promises more gold soon after, though it is doubtful that enough is on hand to buy all of the prisoners' freedom.

Force D: Adm. Pentalon's fleet of treasure ships spends most of the day fighting the gale force winds of the storms. Scattered during the storm, it takes the rest of the day for them to reassemble. Though most ships suffer some degree of storm damage, only one vessel is lost. The crews offer praise to Protius and work through the night to make repairs.

Force E: Capt. Ostenphius is informed that the bodies of several of his officers have been found. The guilty party is quickly discovered as they eagerly confess to the deed. The murderers were the family that the soldiers had been billeted with. It seems that during the night they had become quite patriotic and killed the sleeping troops in their sleep. Ostenphius assembles the populace and pronounces punishment. The father, a widower, is executed outright. The two daughters are sentenced to a life of slavery. Their spacious home and properties would be confiscated as property of the Empire.

The ships of 23rd Fleet forego their hunt of the Minrothad ships and set a course for the Thyatian Sealane.

Oran Meditor tries to contact Harbortown, but to no avail. He can only assume that the city has fallen. He summons Ambassador Andrea Secuva and proposes an armistice with Thyatis. For a peace agreement, Oran offers trade concessions and gold as tribute. Secuva tells him that such a negotiation is not up to her. Oran allows her to use magical means to forward the offer to Thyatis City. The response is quick and to the point. The offer is denied as being insufficient. Oran makes several more offers, however each of these are turned down.

With Harbortown lost, Warheart Cleaver sends individual messages to both Stronghold on Fortress Island and the elven cities on Alfeisle. He tells them of the continued siege of the capital and the loss of Harbortown. He requests that they send forces to Trader Island. The elves protest his request, citing their own need for forces to protect their island. The dwarves are a bit more open and offer assistance if they could. However the presence of Thyatian ships makes this difficult. Warheart tells them to focus on defending Fortress Island. With aid not forthcoming, Warheart intensifies training of the conscripts gathered from the capital's populace.

In Minrothad City, the morale boost from the previous night's raid begins to fade. Despite their joy, the dawn's light reveals the Thyatians to still be there. To worsen matters, it is discovered that the food supply is worse than expected. An inventory check reveals a clerical error. Word of this spreads quickly. Soon, rumours run rampant of sabotage and food hoarding. Warheart Cleaver declares marshal law and places troops at the food warehouses. He also reduces rations for non-military personnel. He hopes that this move will promote recruitment.

Warheart then sends a magical message to the NACE lands. He does not request military aid, he offers to hire NACE troops as mercenaries. With pay rates double the normal fare, the response is positive. However it would take weeks to mobilise the troops and get them to Minrothad waters. With Minrothad not having the luxury of that much time, the deal dies.

The 2nd Privateer Fleet sent to Fire Island arrives early in the morning just prior to sunrise. Throwing caution to the wind, the four vessels set sail for Cove Harbour. They habitually stop at the barricade only to find it gone. Sailing up the Reedy River they spot several bodies caught in snags at the banks. Making the turn they come across the surprisingly quiet town. The pirates decide to dock and see the city up close. The carnage is beyond their expectations. The buildings are in ruins and bear the signs of being torched. Strewn about the streets are the corpses of their fallen brethren. As they survey the wrecked buildings, some of the bodies begin to stir. Before they know it the corpses are staggering towards them, their clawed fingers reaching for their throats. Horrified the pirates rush back to their ships. Not all make it past the zombies. Those that do make it hurry to cast off before the approach undead reach them. Their efforts are in vain. The mages that created the undead appear high above the vessels. They bombard the vessels with spells, sending them down in pieces. Those that survive the sinking are cut down as they thrash about in the waters of the Reedy.