United They Stood; Depraved They Fell

Chapter 1: The Battle of Lexington

It was the year 1775 in the new colonies known collectively as America. Tensions between America and her mother Britain have been running high for years, and at long last, they are coming to a head in battle. The Americans have amassed an impressively diverse army, though the British army is much more impressive in numbers. On one spring evening, a group of soldiers gathered around a campfire, awaiting news of British movement. They were as follows:

Oliver Akando, a half-Native, half-European bardic rogue (College of Blades and Time Thief archetypes) whose loyalty remains strong with his Native ancestry and very strongly against the British assassins who murdered his father. Strangely enough, the assassins called themselves the King's Watchmen, a group to which Oliver's father once belonged. Some secrets of the Watchmen have been passed down to Oliver.

Jack McDonough, a timid, well-traveled, well-learned Scottish man who specializes in all kinds of alchemical science and magic. He became an American ally as he has become more and more acquainted with the ways of the Natives. We will soon see, however, the hulking savagery that now lies dormant in Mr. McDonough's psyche.

Clement, a French rogue who—like most French men—has come to hate the British and sees the American conflicts as a way to fight the evil power that he believes has plagued his homeland for so long. But, will he later become part of the very problem he's sworn to fight against?

Hanzo, a native of the Asian countries and thus a natural dragonborn. But, he is of a special and secret draconic bloodline, so he looks more European than Asian. For his own reasons, he has traveled from Asia, across the wild western lands of America, and was led by the Natives to the eastern civilization of the New World. A trained assassin, and perhaps something much more powerful, he keeps his words and his secrets to himself for a reason.

Drake, a Native rogue who has tremendous animosity for civilized man. But, he sees freedom as a result of an American victory.

Tiger Lily, a Native shaman (wizard) and one of several women who wished to actively participate in the upcoming war, but came disguised as a man to keep from danger and suspicion.

Virginia, a half-Native, half-European warlock with similar desires as Tiger Lily to join in the American/British war.

Lagatha, a female cleric from the Nordic countries (a dwarf). Her ties with the British have brought her to America, and she has been persuaded to join in the American cause.

These characters surrounded a campfire as their captain approached. He told them that the army would be alerted to the British troops' advance by lights shining from the Old North Church in Boston (one if by land, two if by sea, three if by air). The well-known blacksmith and activist, Paul Reviere, was performing reconnaissance and would alert the soldiers in the church of any movement. Soon, two lights appeared from the chapel steeple, and the colonial army immediately mobilized.

The next morning, the colonists were stationed at Lexington, forming a wall between Boston and the military arsenal stashed in Concord. The captain ordered all soldiers to form two long straight ranks to make their line. Our heroes, originally assigned to the very front line, protested the strategy, suggesting that they break from the line and retreat into the woods behind their own army to shoot from a distance and from cover. The captain was intrigued by this idea and allowed them to do so.

The British troops arrived, with greater numbers than the American colonists. As soon as the British ranks were formed, all was quiet. No one knew who would talk—or shoot—first.

The first shot was fired. The shot heard round the world. In actuality, it would be more accurate to call it the twang heard round the world, because it was Tiger Lily's anxious hand that let an arrow fly prematurely, killing a redcoat on the spot. The Battle of Lexington, indeed, the Revolutionary War, had begun.

As the colonists and the redcoats exchanged musket fire, our heroes continued to fire from the trees, mostly with muskets. The women were especially effective. Virginia threw a grease spell at the redcoats, followed closely by Tiger Lily's fireball. The fire spread in seconds, cutting through the British lines. Lagatha was also very effective with her musket, killing with almost every shot, while healing and stabilizing the wounded in her party when she could. The party desperately needed this healing when the British captain ordered his men to fire into the woods. The musket blows were to strong for some of our heroes. But, little by little, the British were getting weaker.

Eventually, the party had helped the rest of the colonial army to wipe out the British regiment. But, this was no time for celebration, for in the distance, more redcoat lines could be seen. The colonists retreated to Concord and there diminished what was left British morale, taking out more soldiers as the redcoats retreated.

The party's captain, quite impressed with each of our heroes, decided to recommend each of them as higher officers. It is clear that the beginning of the Revolutionary War was also the beginning of greatness for each of these warriors.

And yet, it was also the beginning of animosity. Most notable is a small skirmish between Jack McDonough and Drake. Jack, who kept a diary, wrote a few disparaging words against Drake, which upset the Native. A scuffle ensued, and later Jack convinced their captain that it was Drake's fault. Though the scenario could compare to the bickerings of schoolboys, Drake was one to hold a grudge. He started to hate Europeans, such as Jack.

Yes, the American colonists won the battle, but the war was just beginning.

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