Nigel, Oswald, Brizanthimus, and Xarth work their way through the tunnels, eventually reaching an abandoned cellar. After tearing apart a makeshift wall and up a set of narrow stairs they come out in the kitchens within the Lord Marshall of Bornheim’s residence. Briz is carrying the body of his lost love, while Xarth Ilse Lange, the Baron’s daughter.
It causes a rather large commotion until the staff straightens out what has happened. They speak with Baron Lange and a Karashite priest called the Dawnwatcher. Oswald and Nigel accept the Dawnwatcher’s invitation to visit the Temple of Luminous Kaskade, convincing Briz to come along with them. Xarth prefers to go speak with Merrick Stonearm about what is happening on the north wall.
Belenus goes in search of Mirwen in the Medaille District. He finds her with others that fought the burning Reavers. The battle has passes and they sit around drinking and talking about rebuilding and repairing what was damaged. It is a forced moment as the city remains besieged. Belenus speaks privately with Mirwen about the plans of Lord Brandr.
Mirwen has known several people that have gone over the north wall to scout the surrounding land. The demons seem disorganized attacking just about anything that moves. Most of the villages have been destroyed, with only a few towns still remaining. The exception is the village of Kernwerk, which has not yet been attacked. Several scouts have seen a mercenary band operating around the outskirts of the woods fighting the demons. Nobody has managed to make contact with them.
She plans to go over the wall and speak with these mercenaries to see if they can help shield refugees fleeing to the north. Belenus says he plans to travel to Kernwerk and see if the stonemasons there can be talked into helping the city. He knows they have some sort of powerful connection to the stone and it is possible they could widen the passages under the ridge south of the city. Mirwen wants Bel to be careful, there is something off-kilter about that village.
Gia Sojourner goes in search of Lady Hapsteng, but finds her house destroyed – along with her garden and carriage house. The only thing left behind is a gnarled fire-roasted tree and a large sunken hole. A guard standing outside tells her that Lady Hapsteng is staying a Liese House. Lord Markus Liese welcomes her to his house and has his servants tend to Gia’s wounds. Once she has been properly cared for he escorts her to see Lady Hapsteng.
Gia finds Lady Hapsteng clearly drugged and resting in a chair with a heavy blanket wrapped tightly around her. Lady Hapsteng believes that Gia is a spirit come to harry her to the afterlife. Lord Liese adds another chunk of wood to the fire and leaves the two women alone to talk. Gia tries to inspire Lady Hapsteng to hope to strive towards a better future. Lady Hapsteng wants to speak with Gloria. Gloria knows how to call upon Hugo, an angel of beauty who brought such hope to her.
Temple of Luminous Kaskade
When Nigel, Briz, and Oswald arrive at the temple the Dawnwatcher sees to their needs. The temple is a large six story building of stone columns and timber floors. Open to the storms that blow from the sea. With temperatures below freezing additional braziers and tapestries have been used to stop freezing. The pinnacle of the temple are areas for each of the Chosen of Karash, the Dawnwatcher’s shrine looks southwest over the sea.
The Dawnwatcher explains that the temple has three Stormships inside the storm – strengthening it, but on his word slowing it down as well. He believes in his purpose – the dawn will break over the city before the arrival of the storm, but he is only the watcher – a witness to events. He is forbidden to directly intervene in the fate of this city, but he can assist those who do. Briz asks that Gloria Hoelzer’s funeral be given dignity and respect. He agrees that he will see to the ritual himself, a lost child of the temple can find redemption in the arms of Karash.
Oswald convinces the others that the Daughter of Karash they saved will aid them. Before leaving the Dawnwatcher tries to convince Nigel to convert. He can see his suffering, but Nigel has far too many blood scores to settle before thinking about himself. Briz stays in the temple to participate in the funeral while Oswald goes to the bay and Nigel simply leaves.
Nigel wants information about Charles or whatever other names he names he has used over the centuries. He goes to speak with Dae, but she is working with Father Dannick in the temple archives. A priest escorts her down to the lower cellars when the smell of smoke becomes overpowering. The priest rushes forward to open the door to the room where the things recovered from Amer Terrante’s house are stored. The entire room is on fire and in the middle stands Dae, covered in blood with the symbol of Danshi on her face.The priest flees, but Nigel braves the flames to reach his sister. She begs Nigel to save himself. She saw the darkness consuming him and scarified herself to pay the price of their blood. She switching between talking to Nigel and their long-dead father. Nigel finally manages to reach her, knocking her unconscious and dragging her through the door. In the flames of the room Nigel sees his father standing. The visage tells Nigel to claim his birthright – the seize the Bloodstaff and yoke the army to himself. The death of everyone has been for Nigel to reach this point – the life of his sister is the interference of the lesser gods, but her death will set him free.
Nigel shuts the door and drags his sister up the stairs. He meets Captain Alanna on the way, who carries Dae the rest of the way. Alanna knows nothing about Father Dannick, whose body was not in the room, but the good priest has stopped by the past few days to speak with Dae. After seeing to his sister and getting assurances from Alanna that she would be protected, Nigel leaves the temple grounds. Nigel has questions and only Father Dannick has the answers.
Daughter of Karash
Oswald has decided to ask the spirit of the bay for help. He needs ships and protection from the open ocean. The spirit drove the demons from Borulli Bay, but they cannot escape the city. He gathers up his captains, the Lords of Water, and the hashan shipbuilders along the docks. The elves are reluctant, but allow the people through their picket. Oswald jumps into the bay and swim out to the center. As the cold begins to sap his strength he feels the spirit circling him. Although he saved her she is still wary of his intentions.
He drinks and swallows the water of the bay, entrusting her to save him if necessary. With the touch of her father in his mouth she comes to him. He asks her to help him save the people, she tells him that her father will not see his city cursed by Danshi. He offers his life if necessary – his wealth if she will take it, just help him save the people of this city. The spirit rises up and whispers into his ear.
Empty the blood of she who imprisoned me into the bay – all of her blood. Bring me the one called Lady Hapsteng.Spirit of the Bay
If Oswald brings her every drop of Lady Hapsteng’s blood she will raise for him a fleet never before seen. It will strike terror in the hearts of his enemies. When Oswald agrees she raises him out of the water. As he walks back to the shore on the water spouts constantly rise up and drench him. With each drenching the spirit proclaims in a voice heard across the city. A Champion of Karash has been chosen! His voice speaks with thunder and the seas his domain! Let all fools who challenge him be cast down into the depths of the earth to never again touch the water!
The crowd parts as Oswald reaches the docks. Many of them in awe with what they just witnessed while others wary of what more trouble this will bring to the city.
Belenus speaks with Lord Brandr and Ælfric Reiner about the rebellion. Ælfric announced himself in front of his supporters and the elves. The elves have already pledged their support and Belenus notices several elven “guards” already watching over Lord Brandor’s house. Belenus believes that something wrong is happening, but he cannot quite seem to understand the full picture. Instead he tries to pass on a vague warning to Lord Brandr concerning the elves and hope that when the time comes it provides help. This is all the more important because an emissary from the Lord Marshall has agreed to speak with Ælfric in the coming days.
More importantly, Lord Brandr reminded Belenus about the tunnels the run beneath the ridge. The twisting maze of natural and mined tunnels are unknown to all but a few. Considered dangerous even with knowledge of the safest paths. Belenus remembers that the people of Kernwerk have a very special relationship with earth and stone. More than simple masons the visions show that they can work stone with their thoughts. He offers Lord Brandr at last warning and leaves to visit Kernwerk. Avoiding the demons will be difficult, but the people of the village can save the lives of thousands.
Tiny URL for this post: