- See The Crimson Gloaming
- Much to Newton’s surprise, Jenny has arrived in the Corpsecrafter’s lair.
- She offers him a magic item which she claims can transport him to her old home in Peloria
- He asks what she’ll do to get out, and she assures him she’ll sneak out and meet up with Thomas and Bee later
- Newton, too weak to believe he can help her in any way, bids Jenny farewell and uses the item to teleport to Roche
- Before passing out, he finds his way to the clerical district and gets help
- Meanwhile, Thomas, Imperious, Ursum, Prince Wayal, Finn Cyrus, and JouJou teleport to the refugees.
- Thomas introduces his new companions to Aulara and the others
- Aulara tells him that they have sent out scouts to try to find the batallion Thomas warned them about
- Prince Wayal commands JouJou to search for them as well, and after a few hours of divination, she identifies a group that may be the aggressors
- Imperious claims he will slow them down tomorrow, leaving the refugees sufficient time to slip by to safe lands
- The next morning, Newton awakens in a familiar temple, his injuries and ability damage resolved
- He is met by the leader of the Calvinguard Knights, and he tells him that Craddock has the disk
- The Knights ask him to focus his efforts on returning the artifact, but Newton insists on helping Thomas and the refugees first
- Reluctantly, the Peloran command allows him to travel with one of the allied Arcane Empire wizards back to the Freelands to meet up with the party
- The wizard immediately teleports away on her way to other matters
- Thomas gives Newton the bad news about Bee’s death at the hands of Salvation and the Crimson Fist
- Newton informs him of Jenn’y plan to escape the Corpsecrafter on her own and meet up with them
- Newton meets Imperious and the others, and learn of the contract in which he is expected to serve Imperious for one month in exchange for the assistance in slowing the Warband batallion
- Newton signs the contract, but treats Imperious and his companions with distrust
- Imperious, Thomas, Newton, and Ursum teleport ahead of the enemy batallion and immediately engage some of their scouts
- The scouts fight stealthily, but the party manages to kill all but one, which they keep for questioning
- They question the goblinoid, but quickly discover it’s too stupid to give them useful information
- Ursum and Thomas watch as Ursum’s dire weasel, Bragg, drains the scout of blood, while Imperious keeps Newton distracted to avoid his complaints
- The party travels West in order to intercept the batallion
- Ursum manages to find a gnoll gathering fire wood and transfers chain of eyes to it (cast by Imperious earlier)
- Imperious watches the surroundings for some time as they march and determines this company consists primarily of gnolls, with a small number of hobgoblins and ogres
- When the company stops for food, the party attacks.
- Ursum and Thomas sneak up close, Newton stays back in the woods, and Imperious mounts a phantom steed
- He rides the steed directly into a large group of gnolls and casts summon monster, releasing two achaierai amongst the ranks.
- Before the gnolls can react, he leaps away and repeats the act to another group of gnolls
- Each achaierai shrouds the nearby gnolls in a cloud of insanity-inducing gas.
- In the confusion, hobgoblin officers try to rally the sane members, but many begin to slaughter one another.
- Thomas and Ursum identify what appears to be a high-value officer and attack him
- The mounted officer spots them and charges in response, with several ogres in tow
- The fight is tough, nearly killing Ursum, but the two prevail and flee as Imperious arrives to distract the ogres.
- During all this, the second company following this vanguard spots the commotion and prepares to mount an offensive
- The party quickly regroups around Newton, who casts earth reaver on the confused gnoll company, killing quite a few of them
- As the party regroups, half a dozen constructs bear down on them
- Newton strikes them with a flame strike and Ursum finishes two of them off with well-placed arrows.
- Imperious teleports them all to the expected regroup point with the refugees
- When they arrive, they find the refugees have not yet arrived.
- They backtrack some to find the vanguard scouts collecting themselves after an attack…
After the Summoning Wars
Harassing the Warband