As we arrived at the prison and opened the door, we found it… still guarded. Which was a bit disappointing, to be honest – we were rather that hoping all those dwarves, wights and zombies we’d already dealt with had been everyone (except those manning – dwarfing? – the ballistae).
So… guards. Including another wight! Poor Mel copped three hits and three negative levels. The only thing on the increase was our collective hatred for undead. But we did finally overcome them, and then freed the prisoners. Using the cover of mist and silence, we returned to the other side and the gate room. The prisoners were tired, but nevertheless they got on the winches. At that point, the 87D was 4.5 inches up (give or take). It was going to be a while before even a dwarf could get underneath. Denerik got on the speaking tube to talk to the main force and tell them what was happening.
While ten of the prisoners take the winches, the others scavenged the dead dwarves for armour and shields and weapons, so they’d be ready to help out if we needed to defend our position.
Meanwhile, Al lay down for a nap in case things took a while (and because she always feels more comfortable with some decent spells up her sleeves). The Abbey occupants kept thumping on the doors with sledgehammers, which did make it hard to sleep.
Eventually, without much in the way of sleep, Al decided to take up a position overlooking the door to the main stores, with a heavy crossbow and a pot of giant spider venom. Cog positioned himself by the door (which was now looking very much the worse for wear) ready with sneaky attacking and alchemist’s fire.
But no sooner did the door begin to break, and some zombies come through the door, than the whole area went dark.
Eltoo was blinded, and then whacked by a wight. Indeed, a lot of things happened in the dark, which Al did not see at the time. Nevertheless, Al managed to interrupt two spells with literal shots-in-the-dark. Al was herself hit twice with crossbow bolts, after which she decided to lie low.
At this point, the outer 87D was 1.5 feet up, and we heard spell-casting from outside the 87D, followed by what sounded like a group of chipmunks giving a war cry: mass reduce person! In rushed the miniaturised main force under the 87D, and on into our gate room.
With that, the overwhelming advantage was ours… and so, in due course, was the Abbey. It took several hours to mop up the remaining Abbey forces, and there were a number of casualties (including – unsurprisingly – the sergeant).
In the ensuing search of the fortress, a journal was discovered!
Torva, however, was not found… perhaps he had gone off exploring.
The dwarves were very grateful to us for helping, but they were also a bit uncomfortable about outsiders having led the invasion. The abbot asked us to accept a geas never to reveal what happened – or the nature of the defences – to anyone outside the party.