OOC: I promised Zula an extra update, and I just spoke to Wulf.
Jin'thek's orders were distributed and immediately the Amani parties sprang into action. Messengers were sent south, to the Smolderthorn in the Arathi Highlands. After all, secret preparations had been underway for a long time now. Everything was in place.
Jin'thek's plans could be executed; and his enemies as well.
The messenger reached the waiting party in the south of the Hinterlands atop the back of a giant bat, the winged steed of the Amani. He told the commander in charge that it was time for the operation, and the operation began.
Several hours later, three warparties of Amani thundered over the hills in the south, into the Arathi Highlands. They targeted a military encampment known as Stonehold, using their speed to quickly overwhelm the sleeping garrison. By morning, several catapults, ballistas and other siege weapons were being hauled safely towards trollish lands.
The Stromgarde garrison had either been massacred or simply forced to bunk down, unable to stop the theft of the siege weapons. It was a small border outpost, but the Amani had taken what they wanted.
In the meanwhile, the Shadowpine tribe's hunters under their Speaker Ha'lin left their village and headed silently down into Quel'Thalas; into the Amani Catacombs. It was a region the elves dared not approach often, and surely enough, Ha'lin met no resistance. The trolls remained in waiting for the next phase of Jin'thek's plan.
Messengers departed, ready to go to the distant realm of Jin'thek's uncle to bring him a warning.
Jin'thek also set out, leaving Nuvazgal and Gruc'jen in Zul'Aman. He began travelling behind the realm of Lordaeron and down into the Hinterlands accompanied by his closest warriors. There he was met by his scouts, bringing a blindfolded man.
"Here be a prisoner, mon'. He was a woodsman, callin' himself Harold Potter. His family is being guarded. Whad'we do next, chief?"
With Grigori Dosantos absent, Thomassy and the blind magus Saadhal were left to manage the defenses of Ambermill. In the council of war, Saadhal finally chimed up.
"I have a plan, as it seems we are in desperate need of one." Thomassy, wearing a wide-brimmed hat, tilted it up to look at Saadhal curiously. "Speak, comrade."
Saadhal faced the assembled crowd of Kirin Mora archmagi, not seeing them, but addressing them no less. "It is only a matter of time before the armies of Dalaran attack us; and now they are reinforced. We are buckled down and weak, without the strength to resist another full attack. The Perinany Legion may not arrive in time either." The crowd murmured agreement. Saadhal's expression remained serious, but he moved his mouth as if hesitant to mouth his idea. "We must withdraw the bulk of our forces from Ambermill."
This was met by furious protest. One of the magi, grey haired and stubborn, shook his fist; though Saadhal did not see it, he heard the man no less. "And who will stay and die? Are we to run like cowards? I suppose you will be quite happy to run away, Saadhal!"
Thomassy shook his head, interjecting himself into the debate. "No, no! We cannot abandon any of our number to death. It is unethical."
Saadhal raised his hands for silence. "At ease, all of you. Filbert de Niglac, calm yourself! Now hear me!" Saadhal continued gradually. "I do not propose cowardice, only reason. I will stay. I will command the local garrison, while you, Thomassy, friend of my friend, light of deliverance from Lordaeron, will lead these people to freedom from this prison, and-"
Disbelieving the very idea of such defeatist talk, Thomassy cut Saadhal's speech. "Archmage Saadhal, it is noble of you to waste yourself - but the Kirin Mora needs you. No less, Ambermill needs us all as well. If we run, the dictator advances. You tell him, Filbert."
Yet the grey haired magus seemed to have been won over by Saadhal. "I think Saadhal has a point. If the Perinany Legion decides to strike, we can rejoin them from the outside, and their strength will be the vanguard. But we are short on time. If Dalaran attacks, we will all die. The Kirin Mora will be no more."
Thomassy, however, decided to insist. He doubted that King Alford would appreciate him reporting that Ambermill had fallen, and that Dalaran now had a road open to march on the capital. Besides, he knew Saadhal from his days studying in Dalaran. The man deserved a far better fate than this. Thomassy thought back to the days when Saadhal could see; before his battle with the rogue demon, Mephistroth, summoned in by a cabal of mad Alterac magi. Saadhal had been a man more appreciatve of life back then.
"I won't accept this verdict. Dosantos left me in charge, and I have decided we will hold this city."
Saadhal sighed, his wrinkled brow creasing. "Thomassy, when you are my age and you see the end of the road ahead of you, you will realise that there is no point in trying to step into the woods to avoid it. I will not lose my path just because my time has come, and try to live out the rest of my days as an old baggart afraid of death. Now - go!"
And with the wave of his hand, Saadhal had made Thomassy fall asleep.
The mage woke up being hoisted atop a horse, amongst a rather long retinue of soldiers escaping through the back gate.
Battle for Ambermill
Count Dorian and his reinforcements formed the first wave advancing on the barricaded city of Ambermill. De Luca, in charge of the cavalry, moved against the largely deserted Port Ambermill.
General Marius, with Augusta at his side, watched as the soldiers began to move into position. With the mountain forces moving into place as well, it would only be a matter of time before Javali could be informed of the grand victory at hand.
The Kirin Mora wasted no time in firing arrows in defensive attempts to ward off Count Dorian's men, but their fire was lacking. Atop the battlements, a couple of magi struck lightning down at the soldiers, buying time for the defenders.
The second attack had begun.