As a team, The Nameless Company makes surprisingly quick work of the iron bulwark that is Aiqor Tharax. No sooner has he fallen, however, than battalions upon battalions of warforged come pouring from the open maw of the dragon-shaped siege tower. The heroes do their best to stem the tide – even manage to destroy one tower by dropping a barrel of flaming residuum down its central shaft and exploding its lowest floor – but they’re ultimately unable to hold back such unstoppable numbers. As soon as they can, they retreat to the lowest level of the Ijo Mal and linked portal back to Zalkabad, their tails between their legs.
The year passes, Earthentide all but unobserved by the heroes. Over nearly sixteen days, The Nameless Army waits, ever vigilant, for any move from the True Arkhosian Front. Those 50,000 Truarkhs within Tepemkau’s borders engage the lich’s forces in many pitched battles, back and forth across his lands before his dwindling eladrin forces are pushed back to Iar Gyasi, the Regent somehow unconcerned about his prospects of defeat. Queen Mexa receives assurances from a dozen Arkhosian Legates that they’re ready to turncloak against Ptolomos at her signal, with the hope that many more might as well. Two dragons, Xandromox the silver and Tojezen the blue, arrive in the war camp with much fanfare and are included in the war councils.
On Zahal 12, both the Wyrmling Princes strike out, burning more of Nypacia’s countryside and expanding the Ashway into triple its previous width. Under these conditions, The Nameless Army’s previous advantage of a bottleneck is denied them and the entire True Arkhosian Front – 100,000 soldiers in all – comes marching along abreast. The final battle looms.
Scrambling an emergency council of war, The Nameless Army’s many commanders debate, back and forth, their chances of victory. During the meeting, one of Txomin’s officers brings the Field General a strange notice, collected from the battlefield, with only the word “Surprise” written in Dwarven upon its House Topaz letterhead. When uttered, the mechanical hands of Captain Mose spring to life, stabbing the Field General in the back with his blade, suddenly enchanted with the dreaded and fatal finger of death disease.
Chogaruk and Zencaré instantly disable the enchanted swordarm, whereas Tojezen drops Captain Mose with a lightning bolt. Though Vaca and Zanna make a valiant effort to resuscitate him, Txomin the Locust perishes. His last earthly act, however, is to remove his helm and hand it, in trembling hands, to his weeping daughter Zanna.