The morning of 12 Erastus, 4708
He arrives at the docks to see people fleeing as an army of frogmen and sea trolls surges out of the river, swarming over the boats in dock and beginning to clamber onto shore. Nox rushes forward to clash with the monsters, trying to protect the escaping civilians. After a short while, however, sheer numbers force him to fall back.
He runs into Grau, who is leading a detachment of rebel forces to the docks. Grau explains that the monsters simply erupted out of the river, catching the rebel leaders off guard. The bulk of the monsters are attacking West Dock, while a group of scrags have scaled the High Bridge to East Shore, where they have been snatching off any rebels who try to cross.
Nox leaves Grau and his troops to try to contain the attack, while he investigates the bridge. There, a small group of rebels are uncertainly guarding the gatehouse. They explain that the standard tactic for fighting trolls is to use longspears, five man to a troll, followed by fire or acid to quench their regeneration. But they have neither the spears nor the men nor the incendiaries.
Nox convinces them to open the gates and let him deal with the scrags, recalling that sea trolls cannot regenerate while out of the water. He draws them out onto the bridge and cuts them down, leaving their bodies to rot in the sun.
Afterwards, Nox meets up with Cressida at the Citadel. She thanks him for opening the bridge, allowing reinforcements to come in from East Shore. They agree that the frogmen, boggards from the Mushfens north east of Korvosa, are likely working for the Queen.
Cressida says the Queen’s loyalists are already trying to take advantage of the situation by pressing the attack on the rebels from the other direction. And she’s frustrated that the efforts to repel the creatures seem to have bogged down. No one on the ground seems to be following the orders she is relaying from the Citadel wall. She asks Nox to head back down to West Dock and take charge.
When the fighter returns, he finds that Grau’s rebels have been bolstered by troops from the Jeggare House Guard and Sabina’s Gray Maiden rebels. Unfortunately, the three commanders can’t agree on what to do about the army. Their disagreement has descended into a shouting match by the time Nox arrives, and he orders them to shut up and talk to him one at a time.
Grau wants to try to drive the frogmen back into the river and entrench the shoreline. Mercival Jeggare, dismissive of the boggards as warriors, thinks they can just hold their ground and wear the creatures out on the streets. Sabina, meanwhile, is concerned that the Queen’s Gray Maiden loyalists are trying to trap the rebels in a pincer. She wants to deal with the frogmen quickly by drawing them into a trap in Eodred’s Circle.
Nox says that Cressida’s orders are to push the boggards back into the river. It is at this point that Mistress of Blades Maidrayne Vox and her cavalry detachment arrive. Nox concocts a scheme. He orders Sabina to hold the line against the loyalists, while Grau and Mercival’s forces push the boggards back. Then Vox’s Hellknights will charge along boardwalk, forcing the frogmen to choose between leaping into the river or onto rebel spears.
Mercival notes that the boggards will simply retreat onto the ships in dock—it could take hours for them to clear all the monsters out. Nox says they will have to destroy the ships. Mercival is incensed, noting that those vessels belong to many of the noble houses, including his own. Nox says that it will be a sacrifice for the city, one that would be remembered—and compensated. At that, Mercival gives his assent and they enact the plan.
Nox rides beside Lady Vox as they charge up the boardwalk. The boggards they don’t cut down mostly dive into the water, while those that remain are killed by Grau and Mercival’s soldiers. Nox then orders Egan’s treants, who had joined in the fighting, to begin demolishing the ships, while the Citadel catapults join in the fun.
The ground then trembles and the river waters drain away into deep fissures, leaving the boggard army caught in the open on the muddy ground. The catapults on Citadel Volshyenek quickly tear into the frogmen with incendiaries. Howerever, another strange war horn sounds—a conch shell, being blown from the wreck of the Direption. The boggards quickly about face and start charging towards East Shore.
Nox recalls that the boggards answer to their priest-kings and suspects they might lose heart if their leaders are taken out. he urges the rebels to send a force across the riverbed to take the wrecked ship. A group of about 60 soldiers, half rebels and half Jeggare guards, follows nox’s lead out into the river. The muck of the riverbed slows them down, but they slog onward towards the sunken ship.
The boggard defenders on the ship pelt them with arrows, but Nox simply ducks behind Ovis. His comrades are not as fortunate, as many are cut down by the hail of death. The survivors press on to the ship, where the soldiers keep the main force of boggards busy while Nox climbs onto the hull. A boggard warrior spits out its tongue and sticks it to Ovis. nox simply rams him with the shield and pushes him into his fellows.
He closes in on one of the priest-kings, a bloated frog man bedecked in red and black feathers. The boggard leader casts a spell that causes sickly green energy to swirl around its hand. It reaches out to grasp Nox, but the spell has little effect. Nox lops off the boggards head and forces his way through the remaining warriors to attack the remaining two priest-kings. Their spells, likewise, are not able to slow him down, and their deaths are enough to scatter their followers from the ship.
Nox has the priest-king’s heads mounted on pikes, the sight of which drives the boggards into a panic. Many more are cut down as they flee the city for the waters of Conqueror’s Bay.
Nox’s detachment lost more than half its number, but Grau and Mercival both survived. Together, they slog back through the mud to West Dock, troubled by the thought that Ileosa managed to conjure up a whole other army.