Early September, European Calendar; Tobi Waxing, the time of Going Forth, Stygian Civil Calendar
It occurred to me that the arrival of the Chaos Hoard is coincident with Going Forth in Stygia. If my calculations are right about the alignment of calendars…the waters of the Styx have receded and have given ground back for the purpose of planting. In Stygia…those that have been shut in for the time of year known as Deficiency are now free to travel since the waters have drawn back and the ground has dried hard enough for travel.
Odd that they would choose exactly this time to start their advance. Will have to look into the potential meanings behind this. Perhaps there is some pattern…some logic to their choices that can be tied to astrological rhythms or the like. Any insight here might be valuable later on.
As I write this, propped against the parapet wall of the Porte Limbert Gate, the hoard gnashes teeth just to the south.
Probing assaults have kept us alert throughout the night.
The advance is not as I’d expected. The hoard is rather systematic. They deploy harassing troops to probe at odd hours. Engines and Giants hurl stones at the wall with regularity that is created an almost hypnotic rhythm.
All of this, of course, is intended. Growing accustomed to the crashing stones hinders full alertness. Once the stones have started, a ferocious assault is soon to follow.
To this point, The Gray Hand has defended its assigned section and held attackers at bay. If anything, perhaps the strength of the defense here will give the hoard pause when it comes to selecting this section of the wall for their point of entry into the city.
Perhaps it is the strength of this defense that has led to a new tactic…the enemy has launched plague rats into the city to spread sickness and disease. Surely this isn’t a serious attempt at creating death within the walls, but an attempt to harry the priests of the Deceiver by increasing the cost of defending the people within the city. If the priests are directing their prayers toward healing infected victims of plague…they are not praying for blessings in war. Again, the cause and effect logic that seems uncharacteristic of a host that revels in random, erratic, and unpredictable behaviors.
There is more to the enemy here than would appear. Much more. The driving force behind the army’s advance may well be a creature of the Hells…instead of the Abyss. Perhaps as the attacks step up and the hoard dashes itself against the high walls of the city…perhaps more tricks will be revealed…and in these we learn more about the nature of those commanding the hoard and what might have joined them in collective purpose to finally march and bring about the end of times…or as some of them have called it ‘The Tolling of the Bell’.