With Lake Dilreen set firmly in their sights, the mindless army of Marred stomps their way around the old road from Mrs McCracken’s farm. In town, the council has cleared out the inn and is sweating over a crude leather map made by the Marshals. Wilson Tanner has managed to convince Wharfmaster Doddin and the others that evacuating most of the town to the lake and river will be safest. The citizens of the town and those with boats immediately set off toward the middle of the lake, far from the Marred horde. The throngs of tent town are none too happy about this plan, and many refuse to leave (Little do they know that there aren’t enough boats for their poor asses. Thoren Hyde has masterminded a plan to exploit their stoicism and turn them into human shields against the marred).
The town evacuated as thoroughly as possible before lunch, Grath, Marilyn, Gurrok, Posidina, and a few others are left with the guards to cobble together some sort of defense. Grath attempts to convince a few of the Tent-town ne’erdowells to fight. Recruiting a modest legion, they come up with a plan to divert the Marred army.
Gurrok, however, has gone south to attempt to negotiate with the marred. He demands to speak with the commander of the Marred forces. Green eyes glowing with no emotion, the Voice echos from the chests of these soldiers, beckoning Gurok to speak to the creature under its employ. Moving past a line of silent marred faces, he meets a hulking Mek-mar.
Over 12 feet tall, dressed in thick furs, the Mek-mar has the face of a ruggedly handsome human male. His rumbling voice sounds distorted, as if echoing inside of a long hallway. The Mek and Gurrok discuss the impending battle, and Gurrok spends a great deal of time convincing the behemoth that the best rocks for throwing are near the mountains. The giant, not quite sure, decides to head off and take a look. Gurrok can practically feel the eyes of the marred horde narrow on him as he heads back to town. The army stands motionless, waiting for their one-mek siege engine to return.
Meanwhile, back in town, the adventures have assembled a force of slightly more than two score. The guards, and the stalwart wanderers will take gunpowder from the absent Marcus’ stores, a cart, and other sundries, and attempt to blow up as much of the army as possible. They’ll pose as a caravan of refugees, and march right into the thicket of the waiting marred, positioning their explosives for maximum effect. Along the road south, they encounter Gurrok, who shares the tale of his encounter, further augmenting their strategy.
The motionless Marred army appears oblivious to the shrouded column of “refugees” plodding past. Grath and Marilyn circle on high, and begin the assault by laying a wreath of flames to divide the Marred forces. The warriors fight a surprisingly quick force of Go-Mar skirmishers while defending the cart. The sun obscured by smoke, meleers on both sides are forced to duck, dive and dodge as the Ho-mar wierdlings launch a salvo of spells. The noble draken love-connection cannot be stopped, claw and sword forcing these assholes to wear out their calloused feet as they make for the cover of the woods. The Uruk, lagging behind due to whatever sluggishness has beset their controlling force, advance at a constant rate toward the field of battle. Retreating Lake defenders get to their pre-defined point, and a few flaming projectiles ignite the cart. A modest explosion is made more spectacular by more gut-fire from the lovers, and the green glowing eyes of armored uglies turn a more natural brown. The brown of soiled pants! The Marred are jarred from their beguilement and flee the field. Ho-mar wizards can be seen glaring from all parts of the field as they sink back into the shadows. Thus far, the battle is won.
There is more work to be done, though. After returning to town and informing the council of their success, the remaining citizens are willing to build a barricade and attempt a defense of the town. Marilyn reports that whatever magic has compelled these marred to attack has regained control of them. This new force is smaller, but moves swiftly in formation toward the town. The hulking Mek Mar is with them, carrying a tarp full of heavy stones. Mustering the remaining resources at their disposal, they decide to employ another fire-based strategy. Using oil, they’ll burn a section of the forest to put up a smoke screen, trapping the advancing force near the town’s borders, and blocking the mek-mar’s aim. Their own forces assembled near a the last-minute fortifications, the wait in the woods for the marred to make their move. As night falls, Go-mar skirmishers move in first, and the pitch is ignited. Regrettably, few spook out of their bewitched rage, setting upon Posiadina and Gurrok with particular fury. The clearing between the acrid smoke and the marred forces is awash in green blood, as the adventurers slowly fight back the onslaught. Most of the goblins and their uruk masters are routed, and even hulking or-mar are no match for their might. The mek’s ranged assault begins, forcing our heroes to retreat beyond the giant’s range, and allow the marred to advance.
Refocusing their efforts at the barricade, the brave defenders of Dilreen hold their spear line as uruk surge forward. Thanks to the cunning tactics of their leaders, and a few inspiring displays of battle prowess, they hold their own. The lines break for a moment, allowing Grath and Posiadina to attack the Mek-mar. Ho-mar wizards chant at the feat of the behemoth, even as his throaty laughter echos through the night. Grath darts in and out, harrying the giant. Tiring of the draken’s acrobatics, the Mek makes to cut his losses and run, but not before the Ho-mar enact their incantation.
A small green orb, not unlike a gemstone, flies from their unwholesome circle and into the mouth of the Mek. The giant’s face is contorted in pain as long silvery tendrils begin to sprout from his face. The green glow of the enthralled Marred floods into his eyes, and he redoubles his efforts to swat the Drake from the sky. The Ho-mar are barely held off by Posiahdina and the others, and spells begin to fill the sky. Sensing the urgency of the situation, Grath conjures up all his resolve to burn the Mekmar alive with fire.
The results are quite staggering. Without even trying, Grath exhales a mighty blast of energy from his gullet. The blazing light burns at the Mek-mar’s skin. Blast after blast pelts the creature, and with a final filling of his lungs, the Draken blasts the Mek-Mar into oblivion! The remaining marred are so shocked by this sight, their enchantment is broken and they flee into the night. It appears as though the town is saved.
Jason and the others appear shortly after the Mek’s defeat, teleported through a tree by the badly wounded Brix-shee. Selthan and the others lead a caravan of diggers down from the mountain trails to chase after the fleeing marred. All appears well, until the magister delivers her grim news about the Eastenbarrow.