Having learned of Verrick‘s manipulation at the hands of High Legate Cerano, the heroes decided to convince both Asa and then with her help Kenneth to accompany them to the Corbran Isles off the coast of Fallport to attempt to intercept, and then sink, five dromons full of Orc soldiers bound for Baden’s Bluff.
Meanwhile, driven by his magical compulsion, Verrick’s desperation to find and betray Kenneth grew steadily, until he was forced to resort to having anyone with a name that is anything like “Kenneth” dragged in for “questioning” and taken before HLC. After a few days of this, HLC withdrew the compulsion – clearly Verrick had done all he possibly could, and had moved to digging in shadowy corners with his bare hands until his fingertips were bloody, looking for Kenneth, unable to think about anything else. Early on in his ordeal, his trial with regard to Legate Philibus went much as planned, resulting in the defendant being mutilated, blinded, and driven out onto the street. As “fate” would have it, Verrick took his position temporarily.
The other heroes sailed out to the Corbran Islands; there they created three fake light-houses which, in a dense fog and rainy weather, misled the dromons off course and into rocky shallows between the Isles. Catching four of them on the rocks, the pirates and Resistance swept in and a brutal battle ensued. Using fire-throwing trebuchets (not to mention Jin-throwing as well) and exploding firework-bolts shot from crossbows, the four pirate vessels, supported by some of the Worm Docks fishing fleet, boarded the dromons. Jin and the Miransil pirate captain led one boarding party, supported by Kendall Hunter shooting exploding bolts into port-holes, and took the undamaged ship after a brutal and protracted battle. Maeve, defended by Cyrus, tore a hole in the hull of another below the waterline while it was engaged with a feinted boarding maneuver; during a similar maneuver, Emre burned a hole in another ship, causing it to erupt in flames and causing maximum casualties. The third foundering ship was taken by a combination of Resistance and Pirates after a protracted battle. The fourth foundering ship was able to break itself free, and was ultimately overtaken and sunk.
Estimates are that nearly 2000 servants of the Shadow were killed. For many of them, the last thing they saw before death took them was a massive fireworks display celebrating another victory for the Dorn Hill Resistors. That same night, during the Hour of Shadow (the hour after midnight), a huge, identical display was set alight in the city of Baden’s Bluff, heralded by scattered cheering throughout the city.
50 of the 200 pirates were killed in the battle, as well as a dozen of the Resistance, including Victor Fausebender, who died defending Tomas Baden so he could continue using his magic throughout the battle, and Asa, who succumbed to accumulated wounds, whose body was found beneath the last Orc she killed, who hacked at her in his death-throes.
Ultimately, Prince Orn Umbar gained five trading vessels to add to his fleet, all of the salvage from five war-dromons taken in battle, and all of the supplies from two of the five trading vessels. The resistance gained all that was on three of the trading vessels, as well as some spoils each was personally able to take from the battle as the opportunity presented itself. Through Jin, a strong contact was made between the Pirate Prince and the Resistance, who both hope to work together again in the future.
As it stands, the plan the heroes have come up with is to try to use Kenneth to lure HLC into the open, and then to ambush HLC and whoever he has with him, killing the High Legate and freeing Verrick from his control. The challenge will be, apart from killing a very powerful spellcaster, to somehow work in the aftermath so that the result of his death isn’t worse than he was in life. There is a significant chance that if HLC is assassinated, one of the Night Kings might be sent to sort things out. Being that they are immortal demigods and the four most powerful servants of Izrador, that would be very bad news.