Session 10 - 1st of May to the 5th of May, 508 ANI.
Aisling, Greex, Hloomawl, Himmel, and Trahaern reunite with the southern army and reorganize commands. On the 3rd, they head west from Hortskink and fend off an Orc company that crossed the Berger. The next day, at Mayla, they defeat another two Orc companies that control the ferry. With some difficulty, they cross into Kristinsund and spend the night there.
That night, they are attacked by humans while sleeping.
Session 11 - 5th of May to the 10th of May, 508 ANI.
The Resistance leaders defeat the traitors, but not before Himmel loses Diamanter, his magic mace.
On the 6th, the army advances on the citadel of Vestning Krufe and quickly storms it. The local Orc regiment has already crossed into Otern and begun burning the northern villages.
The army pursues the orcs, and catches up with them outside of Hortskink on the 9th. Aisling and Greex trick the orcs into making a futile night assault against the strongly held walls, and on the next morning, Trahaern and Himmel lead a general assault that disperses the remaining orcs.
In the general melee, the commanders of the two forces come face to face, and Himmel leads a desperate assault to recover Diamanter.
Session 12 - 1st of May to the 12th of May, 508 ANI
The orc general retreats without Himmel managing to recover Diamanter.
The northern army returns to Elverum and investigates the mysterious walled and forested noble district. Based on what they find there, they conclude that the Empire is actually run by elves with orc underlings. It is still uncertain if Dread Emperor Karsen is an elf or just married an elf, but it seems likely that Princess Nima is at least half elf.
Meanwhile, on the southern front, Duzen Iken is invested by five companies of orcs on May 6th. A courier is set to fetch reinforcements but the fortress must hold out for days. The orc general is more competent that most.
On May 7th, Attivi finishes fixing the flying boat. The Resistance leaders sally out in it to assassinate the enemy commander.
Session 13 - 7th of May to the 12th of May, 508 ANI
Nesta and Ariana, covered by arrow fire from Mikael and Nayla, assassinate the orc general. The next day, the new orc commander stages a grandiose change of command ceremony and is killed at extreme range by Nayla. On the 9th, Pennant Zo "Bloody" Ving launches a desperate all-out charge against Duzen Iken's walls and by the end of the day the sixty or so surviving goblin wolfriders and orcish heavy cavalry flee to the west.
On the 10th, the Resistance Leaders take the flying boat to Hortskink and inform the army leaders of their successful defense of Duzen Iken. Then they return to Duzen Iken and prepare for a trip to Stinecrice.
Hloomawl, Nesta, Mikael, Ariana, and Nayla take the Flying Boat to Stinecrice. They fly high enough that the garrison is alerted to their arrival. They land nearby and eliminate the near patrols, then enter the circle itself which transports them to an extra-dimensional space.
Inside that space, time is disjoint and they are subjected to testings and trials. The trial of stone and wood involves fighting demons on the inside of a cubic room with gravity local to each wall. The trial of water and fire involves fighting ice and fire demons on a vast checkerboard of ice and fire. The trial of air requires retrieving a gem from a tall spire in the middle of a room filled with poisonous air. Strangely, all the demons ignore Nayla until she uses her imbuement powers, at which point they all scream "She cannot be here! The wards hold!" and attack her exclusively. Though there are some rough parts, the group completes the trials without any deaths or crippling injuries.
At the same time, the team is tested for their faith and willingness to serve the gods. They are required to make a leap of faith across a wide chasm, but Mikael and Nesta take the skeptic's way and crawl along a ledge. They are asked to choose among heaps of tools and nick-nacks of varying quality to symbolize their understanding of their role in the divine plan. Hloomawl chooses not to choose and Ariana fails by choosing damaged forge tools. Finally, they are asked to lay down their lives when they are attacked by divine servitors. Only Hloomawl is willing to make the ultimate sacrifice. In all cases, Nayla is not allowed to make a choice: she uses a bridge that only she can see and interact with to cross the chasm, she does not have to make a choice in the room of items, and none of the servitors attack her.
After having completed the trials and tests, the team is brought into a room with the gods. They are told of the ways they failed and succeeded the testings and congratulated for passing the trials and breaking the first of five wards that will release the Gods and the Hope that have been imprisoned by the Usurper. Destroying those wards is revealed to be only way to destroy the Usurper permanently, and they are given knowledge of the location of the other wards.
Nayla is addressed by the Gods as Harbinger, told that she has failed before, and warned not to fail again.
The team is then returned, unwounded, to the surface at Stinecrice. Ariana is despondent for her failure, but Nayla and Hloomawl manage to force her to return to the boat. Hloomawl takes the boat and uses it to hide in the swamp from the orc patrols, and after a harrowing day and night, the boat recharges and the team returns to Hortskink.
There is a council of the Resistance leadership. Aisling, Nesta, and Hloomawl put forward the theory that the leaders of the Resistance are reincarnations of the Incarnate Hope. Nevertheless, they continue their plan to finish freeing Hanist and then moving into Menkgu and the Dwarven Safeholds.
The rest of the month is spent recruiting, training, and reorganizing the Liberation Army. Scouts and the Resistance grapevine report that orc forces are withdrawing from their fortresses and strongholds in western Hanist and regrouping at the citadel of Landzby in the north and the fortress of Rundbord in the south.