United They Stood; Depraved They Fell

Chapter 3: The Yorktown Massacre

It was the fall of 1781. Many battles were fought since the "twang" heard round the world seven years before. Military campaigns were fought long and hard in New York, in Boston, and in the south. At this time, the British seemed to be gaining great strides on all fronts. But, the Americans had since gained a powerful ally. Thanks to the connections and influence provided by Clemont and Marc de la Fayette, the French navy joined in the colonial cause, if nothing else but to infuriate and frustrate the British even further.

In this crucial season, General Wodgington invited his finest officers and advisors to a war meeting (with dinner provided by Martha Wodgington) in his temporary home at Valley Forge. Dinner guests included Jack McDonough, Clement, Hanzo, Drake, Oliver, and two other characters. One had an Asian appearance (a red dragonborn ranger) and called himself Arjan "Arnold" Benedict, and the other looked like a mix between a Native and an Afro, but had a more wild, greenish appearance than most members of either race, and introduced himself as "Spork—er—xander Haemilton" (he was a half-orc bard).

These Wodgington had gathered to plan a siege on the port city of Yorktown in Virginia. Three of them (Hanzo, Jack, and "Arnold") would infiltrate the city walls and communicate British strengths and weaknesses by a sending spell to the rest of the army. The remaining gentlemen would each take control of a regiment.

[Note: for this session, I took advantage of the large-scale battle rules provided as an Unearthed Arcana installment from the official writers D&D.]

The colonial regiments made a steady, strategic advance on the city, focusing on the north and western fronts, while the spies approached from the southern front. Despite the advantage of the fortress, the British soldiers couldn't make much headway in getting rid of the Americans.

As soon as the three spies were able to sneak past the walls, Jack tried to lead the British general, General Cornwalsh, astray through telepathic messages, pretending to be one of the British officers under Cornwalsh. The general was convinced, through Jack's messages, that the colonial army would focus their attack on the southern walls, so he ordered most of his troops to fortify that front. As this was happening, Jack informed the other colonial leaders (again, through magic, telepathic messages) of the British movement. The colonials continued their heavy assault on the north and western walls, now the weakest points of the fortress.

Hanzo slaughtered any British soldier he could reach. Not much was seen of Arnold. Some suspected that he would turn traitor against the colonists, but he remained loyal and fought against the British.

Eventually, the British lines were broken by the bluecoat armies, and colonists stormed into Yorktown. The British attempted to surround the commanders (the PCs) within the city, but to no avail. Hanzo himself could handle a whole regiment of soldiers and hardly break a sweat.

Finally, it was clear to General Cornwalsh that the battle was over for his army. He saw that he had lost Britain one of their last truly strategic positions. That coupled with the might of the French navy bearing down, he felt that the best thing for Great Britain would be to surrender control to the colonists. He raised the white flag of surrender, ready to discuss with the American military leaders, even with Wodgington himself, the conditions of surrender.

But the players wanted more than a meager surrender. They wanted a slaughter of the redcoats. This is a pivotal point for our heroes (who will soon be unworthy of the title). This was the true point of transition from good to evil; unity with the cause of freedom succumbing to their depraved desires for blood and power.

It was Jack McDonough who dealt the killing blow to Cornwalsh, and he even took the general's red coat military. Inside one of the pockets, he found a slip of paper with these words: Look to Fraenklin's bill.

Needless to say, General Wodgington, though thrilled with the defeat and surrender of the British, was not pleased with the actions of our "heroes." Nevertheless, he chose not to concern himself with the event, instead focusing on the details of the surrender (with another British general) and the first steps of true American freedom. Since that day, some remembered that final battle of the revolution as the Battle of Yorktown. But those who know better often give it the bitter name of the Yorktown Massacre.

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