City of Drezen
Founded in 4628 AR by the crusaders to establish a lasting foothold in demon-controlled territory, the warhardened city of Drezen was engineered by talented dwarven crusaders . These dwarves carved the central citadel from a massive, granite plateau, using a style reminiscent of their ancient Sky Citadels , but the city fell before many upper stories or lower levels could be added. As work on Citadel Drezen commenced, greater numbers of stonemasons and architects toiled on the surrounding lands, and it didn’t take long before the city could house tens of thousands of crusaders and the many artisans, laborers , and other supporters of the war effort. River traffic and supply lines from Mendev continued to bring a steady influx of soldiers, even as two massive cemeteries were established to bury those they replaced.
Unfortunately, Citadel Drezen fell to treachery in 4638, when an unknown knight was tricked into removing the city’s greatest defense, the Sword of Valor, from its walls . Now, cultists devoted to Deskari and Baphomet control the ruins as well as the city’s formidable stronghold- their fires light the city’s battlements, the nearby spawning grounds, and the mountain pass where valuable prisoners are taken deeper into the Worldwound for sacrifice or worse. The Abyssal influence on the surrounding terrain has also dried up the tributary of the Sellen River running through the city, creating a wide gulf separating its once-green banks. These cliffs contain several caves and aeries for gargoyles, harpies , and flying demons, all of whom delight in harassing the many slaves and prisoners who make up much of the city’s population. Soldiers and mercenaries constitute the bulk of Drezen’s inhabitants , frequently patrolling the streets and eastern approaches before reporting back to the cult leaders and their demonic masters.
While the ruins of Drezen could hold a much larger number of inhabitants , the vast majority have left for the war front far to the south. The town itself no longer holds much strategic value for the demons , and they’re trusting the crusaders’ low morale and the defenders holding the southern borders to protect this once-valued prize.
The Siege Begins
As the Hammers of Kenabres arrive in Drezen, scouting groups lead by Zeldir volunteer to scout the city to get the lay of the land. They return in a few hours with their report, including some tactical observations .
Southbank: A large number of tieflings and human cultists alike are camped in Drezen’s southern district, and they’re guarding a large warehouse.
Ahari Bridge: While the rivers of Drezen are dry, their beds and the steep angled gulches still present a difficulty for mounted paladins to navigate. One bridge is destroyed – securing the remaining bridge will help the army’s mobility when the time comes to attack the citadel.
Paradise Hill: A large amount of schir demons hold Paradise Hill, once a district of warehouses and food stores that sat atop the high ground east of the citadel. It appears the demons are guarding a fortified tower on top of the hill.
Drezen Cemetery: The scouts report sightings of large numbers of undead lurking in Drezen’s cemetery, particularly ghouls and skeletons. Until these undead are wiped out, they’ll continue to be a dangerous element that could whittle away at the troops during the night.
Haunted Vault: The largest vault in the cemetery seems to be surrounded by eerie shadows, as if some vile magic were at work within – the vault should be investigated.
Citadel Watchtowers: Citadel Drezen is surrounded by a wall and seven watchtowers . Four of the watchtowers seem to be guarded by a few figures, and each is armed with a large catapult. Disabling as many of these catapults as possible can make the siege more effective.
Defeat at Southbank
As the sun rises the army prepares for battle. You have decided to begin the siege by gaining control of Southbank. As the scouts reported, this part of the city is protected by an army of Tieflings and an army of cultists. The attack begins at noon. The Hammers quickly disable the tiefling army, but is then ambushed by the cultists who enjoy the benefit of knowing the streets and buildings as well as commit some atrocities and dirty tricks while fighting. The defeat is bitter; most of the paladins were killed, many were taken prisoners and only a few managed to escape.
Zeldir, Orion, Brant, Lann, Nurah, Sosiel and Aron managed to survive somehow and escaped via the Ahari riverbed into the Vescavor caves where they remain in hiding. From your hiding place you follow Sosiel’s and Aron’s advice and use your scroll to send a message to the queen that your mission has failed and reinforcements are needed. An answer from the queen arrived soon after: Irabeth Tirabade is leading 150 knights of the Eagle Watch into the Wourldwound to help you retake Drezen. She will arrive within 5 days.