'Amidst the tumult, lights began to dance upon the walls. Swords were lowered and each combatant began to stare to the windows, where in the night thousands of torches flickered.
'Well, this places us in an odd predicament.' The Teifling lowered her crossbow and gave a malignant chuckle. 'If it is your army that has arrived, then there is no point to continue fighting. But if it is mine, your fates are already sealed.'
The hall was strewn with bodies, and tattered uniforms denounced most as the town's militia. Atop the tables running down the centre lay the beginnings of a feast, mixed with the blood of the dead and dying and the scent of roasted pigeons, meaty soups and numerous delectable carcasses had been drowned in the acrid smell of sweat and wounded men. Along one wall, the party of adventurers looked at one another, taking the opportunity to pick up their companions and dust themselves off.' - started it like this, so I thought I'd keep it there - TheBasementVampire.
With the arrival of an unidentified army of orcs, the fight in the banquet hall came to a hold and Myatara offered the party an ultimatum. Proceed to the observation tower to identify the army, and decide who wins from that, or continue the battle, reasoning that there was no point to continue when whoever's army was outside had already won. Although deciding to take the easy-less-chance-of-being-kicked-off-a-tower option, after a short break Sylvanna Wildarrow planted an arrow in Mytara to signal a continuation of the fighting.
Lariel, having departed with the pack a few days before, had learned that the horde was in fact under the command of Hartin Elfslayer, who had apparently arranged with Scarra Shatterskul to bring them to Realmsend. The party had been betrayed. Again. Inside the town with Meldorain, a human-lycanthrope, they decide to split, with Lariel regrouping with the party and Meldorain rescuing Haysword and the Dragonborn Gateguard from the orcs that had turned on the militia.
Upon Lariel's entrance to the battle, Mytara fled and after beating upon the remaining heavily armored Sheild bodygaurds, Scarra Shatterskull arrived with her fellow orcs and began to beat Marsh Stormwatcher to a bloody pulp, calling him a traitor. However when Scarra referred to Imperial scum, Lariel pointed that she was taking commands from an imperial herself, and bluffed that Hartorin as an imperial himself was the one to blame for Galzug Shatterskull's death. Driven by vengeance, she saw that she had been betrayed and turned on the other Imperial soldiers.
After the fighting between the militia and the orcs was called to a halt, Joran Wintershield called a for a meeting in the Banquet hall with the remaining militia and goblonoids and after much deliberation a plan was crafted. The party would challenge Hartorin to single combat, which he would have to accept or lose favour with the orcs, as their honour dictates. However, in case all did not go to plan, Padriel Enmaster, the elf that assisted Mytara in her coup, would redeem himself by leading the citizens to safety and when the orcish army came over the walls to take realmsend it would be blown up by the trap the kobolds had already set in case negotiations did not go to plan.
Nevertheless, the kobolds needed to be brought over to Realmsend's side, as they were still following Hartorin's orders. Scarra summoned them, and the party made use of Marsh Stormwatcher's suave negotiational skills, and several compromising favours later, _____ Drillclaw agreed to change sides and detonate the town on the orcs if they invaded.
In preparation for the fight ahead, the party visited Ceynari Puresoul to purchase healing potions, which he generously offered as a gift to be paid for later, and proceeded to the gate that was secured by Meldorain. Unfortunately, the dragonborn and Melkara Haysword were killed in the fighting. Atop the walls, they were approached by Hartorin and Myatara, dragging two captives along with them; Ryman and Alfsier. At two hundred yards, they stopped and Hartorin declared that if they came any closer, he would kill Ryman Wintershield.
The party then challenged his leadership of the orcs, which he stated he was not their commander, rather Scarra Shatterskull was. However, when the party called him a coward, he lost his temper and carved off half of Ryman's face. Sylvanna Wildarrow used this to the party's advantage, and played upon his maiming of another orc's thrall to shatter his favour with the orcs, and being a coward, he fled on horseback and calling for his man on the walls to slit Lariel's throat.
Amidst the verbal fray, Meldorain had moved behind Lariel and his direwolves subtly placed themselves to menace the party. To turn his dagger, Lariel began to question his allegiance, revealing that she believed Hartorin served the usurper. In response, he told her of what he had heard, that Tysus the 13th had left for the feywild he had been murdered by rouge shields of which Hartorin tried to stop. In the feywild, after their charge had been killed the remaining shields are said to have fled, and Hartorin was ambushed and branded as a traitor by those that had tried to kill the emperor. He also spoke of the knowledge Hartorin and he guarded, of the true empress, and that of the several children born of Tysus, one had been placed amongst her elite guard; the lycanthrope army of the Queen of Spring. After the fey war, he revealed that he had been administered with the disease to infiltrate them, and keep an eye upon this one with special abilities.
Lariel, reasoning that it only made sense they actually ambushed him because Hartorin had been the one to betray the empire and murder the rightful emperor, rather than the Shields. Vengeance, Meldorain said, was all there was, and so Lariel called for him to take vengeance upon Hartorin for slaying who she believed to be her father, and he agreed to follow her if she would lead.
(still not sure of - his true allegiance, why he followed Hartorin, how does Hartorin reward his soldiers, why they let the emperor's children live, what he seeks vengeance for and why. What does the empire/Hartorin wish to achieve? Not to be trusted)
While this conversation ensued, the party managed to provoke Mytara (calling her a coward too?) and she picked up a knife and began marching Ryman to the gate with the blade pressed to his throat. After many demeaning terms were used to describe the party, she declared her terms to be the handing over of Realmsend to be placed under her management, and the thralldom of the entire party. However while she talked, Alfsier, although badly beaten, had found an axe and was creeping up behind her. With the party keeping her distracted by speaking of the terms of thralldom until he was directly behind her, Sylvanna Wildarrow gave the word. 'Do you know how a thrall earns his freedom? - By killing his master.' And Mytara's head promptly split in two.