The Blind Raven

Day 18 - A Fitting Grave

The group hurries up the steps into The Mortuary, having just blown a sizable hole under the town water reservoir, intending to flood The Citadel. The iron gate behind them protected them for the moment, but they needed to hurry before escaping cult members made their way to the exits. Outside, the weather has turned violent, a wild storm raging as if the heavens themselves had sprung a leak. Looking out from the main office of the mortuary, the group is startled by a voice behind them. “We don’t have much time. Help me, quickly,” Melchior shouts while attempting to move a desk from the wall.

Reng and Lelouche grab the desk and it frees itself from the wall with a pull. Melchior directs them to the back room, running ahead to shut the door leading to the basement. “Cover it with everything you can. We can’t let them escape.” The group works to cover the cellar door. Reng breaks off the metal contraption used for pushing bodies into the furnace and covers the hole, while Melchior grabs body bags from the cooling room and uses them as well. He turns to the group hurriedly, “You need to close off the main exit by the city gates. They’ll be heading out of it soon. You need to hurry. I’ll finish up here.”. He shoos them out the door and they go out into the fury of the storm.

The group rushes to the front gates, west along the street passed the church and the guard station. At the station, men can be seen shouting and being directed to grab sand bags, rushing out in odd directions to stave off the inevitably flooding. The group continues along their way out the front gate, taking a sharp left to the eastern wall where they first entered The Citadel so long ago. They notice that the area seems to be empty, and they rush to the rock wall that previously had opened up to reveal the main entryway into the facility.

Gralamin looks all around the rock wall but can’t seem to find any sort of opening mechanism for the wall. Lelouche checks for a repository for the death necklaces but finds nothing of the sort. Reng begins to discuss the possibility of blowing a hole above the doorway when there is a sudden rumble and the door begins to open. The group rushes to the side just in time to avoid being seen by two men frantically running from the facility. Fortunately they don’t seem to have any interest in looking back in their hurry, and the group goes undetected. They quickly enter the doorway and find themselves in the long hallway leading to the central corridor.

Realizing they haven’t thought through a plan, they begin to devise one, taking into account what items they have. Reng argues that they should use the remaining gunpowder to create a cave-in, but there is no time to drill a hole to put it in. Siobhan has the idea to use his Passwall ritual to create a hole into the rock which they can throw the gunpowder into, then close, creating a compacting trigger for the explosion. The only problem is that it takes a few minutes to do, and the group must defend their position while he does it. Not having a better plan, they agree and he begins drawing his circle on the ground.

Lelouche attempts to find a way to create a strategic advantage, grasping his hidden summoning stone in one hand in case the retreating cult members come their way. Reng makes a pile of stones a hundred feet down the path, covering a remaining pound of gunpowder which will act as a shrapnel explosion if need be. The group hunkers down while Siobhan continues his ritual. A few minutes in, the group hears a loud male voice yell “Hey! Who’s there?!” but see no one coming. They shout back, but no one responds. The tension eventually dissolves a bit, but then the group sees the cult members. Hundreds, possibly thousands of them have formed an orderly exit group a few hundred feet down the path, where the central corridor begins. Siobhan continues his ritual as they approach.

Reng shouts out that they must turn back, and one cult members pulls to the front and shouts “Reng!” back, as if he recognizes him. Reng tells them all to turn around, but there are far too many and most don’t seem to recognize him (falsely so, as the alternate timeline Reng is not a high-ranking member). As the group reaches the threshold of the gunpowder rock trap, Lelouche realizes they aren’t going to turn back, and he must act quickly while the window of opportunity exists. He fires off a Magic Missile through the crowd, into the gunpowder. A bright flash and a deafening blast later, the group looks up to see a scene of absolute chaos.

The front lines of the exiting group have been torn to pieces. Men and women alike are dead or dying on the ground missing limbs, while others have been smashed into the rock wall and their faces have become unrecognizable. A handful of the group seems to have noticed that Lelouche set off the explosion, and he realizes he must act quickly yet again to prevent them from killing the group. He throws his summoning stone down the walk-way. It bounces to a stop in front of the first few men as they attempt to help the injured survivors off of the ground. Recognizing the object, they give up hope of a tactful recovery and retreat down the hallway. Arcane power escapes the cracking orb and before the group appears an enormous Wyrm. Almost immediately, it begins devouring the injured and the dead before the remaining cult members attack it foolishly.

The Wyrm turns on the cult members, chasing them down the corridor. Passed the Wyrm, the group can see that as the members enter the corridor, they are splashing into a shallow bed of water, signalling that the entire underground must be flooded by this point. This seems a bit strange judging by the size of the underground area they’ve seen, and the group makes a mental note of this as Siobhan finishes up his ritual. The Passwall opens up a rift in the ceiling above them, and he signals to Reng to finish the job. Reng swings the bag of remaining gunpowder and tosses it up into the hole, which Siobhan closes immediately, locking the powder in an infinitely compounded crevice. The group wastes no time running to the exit, which remains open. They rush out into the rain once again and keep running, not knowing the size of the upcoming explosion and not wanting to risk being in the blast area. Just before rounding the corner toward the main keep gates, they hear an earth-shattering crack and turn back in time to see the mountain above the doorway crumble and cave in to the area below, closing the remaining cult members inside as the waters continue to rise.

The group heads to the well to see if they can discover anything about the power within. Rushing passed the guard station, they see the soldiers still hurrying to blockade the water with sand bags around the city. They head east passed the church and as they pass The Mortuary they notice a large fire inside of it, and Melchior doesn’t seem to be around. They continue toward the well, running north along the main road. Reaching the well, they see a large wall of sand bags on either side of the well, funneling what appears to be a small river into the side of the well, which has been broken open. Looking around, they spot a guard set down a sandbag and go around a corner, and then Francis rushes from behind a pillar and grabs the bag, adding it to the walls redirecting the water.

Lelouche detects a large amount of arcane power coming from the well, as if something innately powerful had been broken inside and was rushing out. Francis tells them to head north and redirect more water down toward the well, and the group rushes up a side street to do so. They split up, grabbing any sand bags they can find and creating a small blockade on the eastern side of the street. At this point, the rushing waters are so high through the diverted course that it wouldn’t even be safe to cross. They see Melchior on the other side of the street adding to his side, but at some point they look over and he’s left. They return to the well and find Francis being questioned by three guards. They approach and a guard asks “Do you know this man?” and seem to be questioning what Francis is doing with the bags. Siobhan manages to convince them, with the help of Lissar and Francis, that the water is heading in to the well because the bottom broke out and it’s a safe place to divert the water to avoid the southern slums being flooded. The guards seem to accept this and tell him that he needs to allow them to do their job and not to grab any more bags, to which Francis agrees.

The group returns to the church, soaking from the rain but confident that they’ve struck a mighty blow against the cult. The group, excluding Siobhan, climb up the secret entryway into Francis’s study and find Melchior and three ravens (Red, Blue, and Gray) waiting for them. Lelouche tells Melchior that he is sorry about The Mortuary, but Melchior assures him that it had to be done, implying that he set the fire himself. The group lets Francis in on all that has occurred since the last time they saw him, and he expereses worry that they might have another object as dangerous as the Wyrm stone. Lelouche assures him that they have nothing like that remaining, but Francis remains worried, considering they had no idea how powerful it was when they had it.

Francis conveys the story of what happened with Melchior and himself. The The Yellow Raven told him to break the northern side of the well’s wall, and begin setting up sand bags to divert water inside. The skies were clear but he followed her orders with Melchior. They were just about to start looking for sand bags when they noticed the clouds had shifted and a great storm was pulling over the city. Guards appeared with sand bags to divert water away from shops. Francis and Melchior took as many as they could, taking advantage of the confusion the guards seemed to have about who was setting up the water guards in what areas. After explaining their actions, Francis asks Lelouche for clarification about where the water went, and whether he was implicit in killing hundreds, if not thousands, of men. Lelouche confirms that they did, and Francis seems troubled but eventually shakes it off since he did not cause the deaths knowingly, and he was only following the orders of his patron.

The ravens express that they are pleased with the group’s progress. The The Red Raven can barely contain her joy, showing that she is quite happy to see the deaths of the enemies of her queen. The gray raven congratulates them on doing exactly what they were supposed to do, exactly when they were supposed to do it. The blue raven tells Lelouche that it isn’t her best day, but it was a necessary action and it will save lives in the end. Reng tells Francis that he needs to summon The Raven Queen, and asks if that is something he can do. Francis tells him that normally that is a complicated matter, but at the moment it would be quite simple. He turns to The Gray Raven (Shayla) and asks “Would you be so kind?”, to which the raven snaps her fingers and the queen appears before them. The ravens vanish into the air, while Francis and Melchior bow to her.

The group asks the queen about their current state and she tells them how pleased she is with their recent progress. They ask her what they need to do next, but she is unable to tell them. She says that with everyone in The Citadel dead or dying, Sandar must be hidden within his tower. It remains the one place she can’t see within, and they’ll have to find some way to get in, or some way to draw him out. The group ponders on this as the queen takes her leave. Gralamin asks Francis to cook some pork chops, and Siobhan comes up to eat, getting caught up on what has been discussed while he was away.

Siobhan pulls down his pants and shits directly onto a plate in the corner of the room, to everyone’s surprise and shock. Francis is incredibly mad, but seems to calm down as Siobhan drops it out of the window. He manages to miss the homeless people that are standing near the church entrance, and no one seems to immediately notice that it fell. The group attributes his strange actions to the stress of the day and they all continue eating. The group decides to sleep until late at night and then investigate the well. While the others sleep, Lelouche searches Francis’s library and finds the Glyph of Warding ritual book, which he studies carefully in silence. As the group begins waking, he finishes learning the ritual and marks it down in his spell-book.

They exit through the side office again and notice that the rain has subsided. They return to the well, and notice immediately that a number of guards have cordoned off the area. Two engineers are investigating the outside of the well, one being strapped to a mechanism to be lowered into the hole. An assistant is nearby preparing the ropes to lower the engineer down. They seem to be investigating what happened with the well, and why the bottom fell out, perhaps intending to research repairs to get it back into working order.

Siobhan uses his Mage Voice to distract a guard and pull him away from the group. The guard harasses a homeless man from which the sound appears to be coming from, but then follows the continuing sound around a corner and out of view. Lelouche walks around the side of the well and looks over, seeing the engineer preparing to be lowered inside. The assistant lowering the engineer in is slowly releasing the rope more and more, until Siobhan casts Sleep on him and knocks him unconscious. The rope is released completely and the engineer falls down the well screaming, presumably to his death. The second engineer is screaming “NATHAN” down the hole but receiving no response. There is a bit of chaos as the guards try to wake up the assistant and keep the now-curious townsfolk from approaching to check out the commotion.

Siobhan approaches one of the guards and introduces the group as a roaming band of adventurers. He tells the guard that he has rope and would be happy to go in after the engineer to check if he is okay. The guard, realizing that their only rope just went down the well with the engineer, accepts his offer. Siobhan begins wrapping his climbing rope around his waist while Reng finds a place to hitch the rope to. The second engineer seems relieved to not be sent down, and still seems a bit shaken from his friend’s fall. He asks them to hurry and please help Nathan.

200 EXP from battle + 400 EXP from role-play = 600 EXP total (12200 EXP total)
The Wand of Orcus has been stolen and is now in the hands of Sandar Meloris, who has been revealed as the leader of The Last Shadow. It appears he has used it to find a way to kill Yoren, one of two Yellow Ravens. The Citadel has flooded, killing the large majority of The Last Shadow members. Sandar is assumed to be in his tower.



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