The battle was long and tiring. And long. And tiring. I didn't think it was possible to fight for that long. What's important to say about this? The autobard is just showing a message that says too much was going on at once for it to accurately record anything. I think it's broken, silly thing. I'm having to write in it again for this part, and I've not been paying enough attention to remember what was important.
Oh yes! we defeated the remaining Gnolls in the city easily enough, several of them fled to the armies preparing to siege, which had begun to fight each other before taking the city, having decided it was weak enough. Of course the fighting stopped when they realised that humans had taken over, and all the remaining gnolls started to form up into what looked like a cohesive mob.
It seemed pretty obvious to me that they were to charge at first light, but Argent spied a little gnoll getting up to some mischief in the darkness. It looked like he was doing some kind of ritual to make a magical banner. I directed a siege team to move one the ballistas onto the outer wall of the city, and we proceeded to fire a bolt right at him. He got away, but a large portion of his banner was damaged and he scurried off. Terry has some fantastic eyesight, and reported that it looked like the gnoll I let go a couple of days ago, when we decapitated the city leadership. Once again, my soft heart had led us into trouble. I really should just let Vincent deal with the evil people.
Anyway, we hurried out in the darkness and put an end to his schemes. Argent stole the banner, and proceeded to spend the rest of the night performing rituals on it to torn it into... some sort of weapon to terrify our foes.
In the morning, the charge came. We were perhaps outnumbered as much as three to one. It's hard to count a horde. Argent and I stood in the centre of the ramparts and unfurled the banner just as the first wave of ballista bolts crashed into the approaching mob. The results were effective enough, but sickened me to the bottom of my stomach.
Upon seeing the banner, it became apparent that the gnoll we had defeated was trapped within it. The sight of him trapped there, still alive terrified the approaching army. There was probably some significant magical effect as well, as the front few ranks of their horde tried to turn and flee. They were trampled by the remainder of the army which somehow had been driven into a frenzy, their siege ladders and ranged weapons forgotten, they simply charged the walls of the city, where the Dwarven war machine efficiently disposed of them. Having already emptied my stomach, I did what I could to aid the defenders of the wall, and tried my best to minimise casualties on our front, but there were so manygnolls that by the end of the fight the corpses had formed a ramp up to our position. We'd lost a few of our own to hundreds of the gnolls, but the situation was starting to look more dangerous. While our victory was assured, the gnolls' bezerk frenzy seemed unstoppable, and they were likely to kill a good portion of our troops with their last assault.
I turned to Argent, and shouted for her to take down the banner, and then lost sight of her as our line was breached. Hoping she heard me, I turned to defending the dwarves around me, and shouted for the gnolls to surrender. "If you flee now," I cried, "we will not give chase. Throw down your weapons and survive this day."
Thankfully, the red mist clouding their eyes subsided, and the gnolls turned and fled.
I spent the rest of the day in war council with the elders. We had lost only eight dwarves to some six-hundred gnolls, thank Tymora that we broke their spirit when we did. Vincent, Argent and the humans liberated by the war proceeded to start clearing the battlefield. Vincent organised a funeral pyre for the gnolls, while Argent explained to the peasants how they could use the remains to fertilise the land, and how they should arm themselves with the weapons and armour of the fallen, to deal with any gnoll raiding parties who might set their eyes on Yare in the future.
Additionally, I spoke with the friends and families of those dwarves and learned the names of everyone who had died because they followed me. I keep the list close and pray to Tymora each night that I never have to add another to it. I also visited the wounded in a field hospital that had been errected, but I think I must have passed out at some point around then, because I don't remember anything else for some time.
Argent tells me that I have an illness. She calls it a "Destiny Parasite." I'm not really sure what it does, but she assures me that it's a good idea to remove it, so I'll trust her expertise on this matter and submit to whatever she needs to do.
I don't remember anything that's happened for the last... actually. I don't know how long it is. A dwarf tells me the date is Eleasis 19, so if they're on the same time we are, that's four days? Did I write those last two entries in my diary? Looks like my handwriting. Why is my hair blue?
I need to find Argent. She has some explaining to do.