September 11, 1650, pre-dawn Thursday
Weather: cool, with cloudy conditions and a gentle breeze
When the party finds Hornung's camp, and makes their way past the pickets and temporary defenses, they are bone tired. They've picked up a number of refugees on the way, children and cripples, and there is a long line of refugees escaping the town behind them. The party learns that Hornung is directing the movement of the host - numbering about seven thousand, you'd reckon - and can't see them ... so they collapse and get some sleep. Even Emmanuel is too tired to properly break down the wagon - but the party finds help for such in a couple of soldiers who pitch in without being ordered. The children and cripples are bedded, and impromptu tents are being set up for the refugees.
After two hours of sleep the party is awakened to meet with Hornung. Hornung has much to tell you. He is attended by a self-declared 'medicant' who once tended horses in the Lower Bailey, who has been making use of an object that allows him clairvoyance of the proceedings there; he has been able to cast clairaudience besides, for brief periods, and so Hornung is better informed than the party as to what's gone on inside.
The tale goes that that the Bishop has deliberately caused the ground in the Lower Bailey to be descecrated (see note on descecration to follow). The mine that collapsed (it is uncertain, but theories abound as to how the Bishop managed this - perhaps it was always set up to fall when desired - had a great many convicts that worked within. These convicts, having been thus buried in descecrated ground, rose during the vigil as ghasts - who proceeded to attack and feed upon the convenient food supply of the mourners. The bowmen, you learn, were actually shooting at the mourners just to stun them long enough to be sure the ghasts got their hooks in.
The Bishop then ordered his men to seize as many servants and lesser townspeople as possible to dump them into the Bailey to make even more ghasts; this process will probably continue all through the night.
It is believed the Evil Bishop has some means to keep the ghasts in place, to keep them from swarming out of the Lower Bailey. For one thing, Hornung is supported by the Bishop of Minden, who thinks he may be able to destroy ghasts at will, or certainly turn them away easily ... provided the ghasts are not on descecrated ground when the attempt is made. It may be that, upon their own ground, the ghasts will have to be killed hand-to-hand; it may be impossible to turn them, because of the power the Evil Bishop possesses.
So the plan is obviously not to release the ghasts through the countryside. Forcing an attack on the Middle or High Bailies, or the Castle itself, severely reduces the benefit of numbers Hornung has brought. This will either be a long siege, or a successful attack made by sappers or small bands with a mage or two who can breach parts of the castle long enough for Hornung's army to enter. The alternative is to slog through the ghasts on their ground.
Eventually the Bishop will certainly lose; Hornung will surround Arnsberg and wait him out if necessary.
What news can the party tell?