The Blind Raven

Day 20 - Loose Ends

The group finds themselves on top of the Eastern Tower in Meridian Keep, having just sent Sandar Meloris to The Controller, relinquishing their fate-bound status and completing their mission for The Raven Queen. Looking around, they see the walls and roof were completely disintegrated by the blast from the Arcane Glass. The room resembles a balcony roof at this point. Lissar removes the legion captain’s armor and puts it on minus the helmet, which is beyond repair. Concealing it under her leather garb, she continues looking for valuable items to pilfer.

Lelouche finds a bookshelf, mostly blown away in the blast, with a bottom shelf still salvageable. Within it, he finds two ritual tomes and five scrolls that he believes he can take with him. Having trouble carrying the large books, serendipity strikes and he locates a bag of holding within Sandar’s desk drawers, slipping a number of objects inside before tying it to his side.

Siobhan recovers a bit from the news that he will not see his son again in this lifetime. He stands back up and says his goodbyes to the group. Lelouche asks him to stay to speak with the king and receive their reward, but Siobhan insists it is his time to leave, heading out to find adventure until his life is taken, so that he can see his son again in the next life. The group accepts this and he heads down the steps. On the floor below he is stopped by a legion guard who asks him about the commander, but Siobhan tells him to go see for himself. Reaching the ground floor, he pushes off the inquiries of the curious soldiers and tells them only that the danger has passed, and they should head inside to tend to the wounded. A number of guards enter the tower and Siobhan exits in the commotion, heading out of the castle grounds and on to adventure.

The guard that had asked Siobhan about the legion commander appears on the top floor, temporarily stunned by the room’s near-complete destruction. He snaps out of it and spots the commander’s body on the floor. He pays his respects and asks the remaining group where Sandar is. He walks to the ledge and looks over, apparently looking to see if he had fallen to his death. Lelouche informs the guard that Sandar is gone, and that he will not be a risk to the kingdom anymore. The guard is dumbfounded, and insists that the group will need to tell the king all that has happened.

Heading down the tower, the group witnesses dozens of men in varying levels of injury, being tended to and carried down to the lower levels to seek medical attention. Once they reach the ground floor, a group of legion guards approach them, telling them that the king will have to see them. They follow the guards in through the eastern gate to a door leading behind the throne room. Two men stand guard outside the large wooden doors. Upon seeing the group and their escort, they open the doors to reveal the king, next to the remaining members of the high council and surrounded by a 40-strong legion guard regiment. The soldiers lower their guard but remain between the group and the king.

From the council, a voice booms across the room, demanding the group identify themselves. Lelouche announces himself and Reng follows. Upon hearing Reng, a member of the council walks to the king and whispers into his ear. The council member appears to be a religious leader, possibly the High Cleric of the Court. The king waves his hand, causing the guards to clear a space in front of him. Having a direct line of sight to him, the group notices how frail the boy looks, barely able to sit up straight in his throne. He speaks, declaring that his council detects the bindings of a deity in Reng’s voice. He demands to know who his patron is. Reng declares himself as a demigod of The Raven Queen. The king asks about the whereabouts the three demigods that came to the kingdom previously in an investigation, and Reng informs the king that they have returned to the queen.

The king asks if their mission for the queen is complete, and Reng confirms that they’ve accomplished what they were sent to do. The king changes his tone, respectfully requesting that if they had no official business, they should leave the kingdom at their earliest convenience. He explains that in all of history, a demigod’s presence only brings chaos, and he needs to turn his attention to repairing his kingdom. The group seems to understand, agreeing to settle their affairs and leave as soon as they could reasonably do so.

Lelouche requests to see Sandar’s living quarters. The king is hesitant, explaining that he would like to keep them private as part of the investigation that will now have to be done. Lelouche insists, and the king offers that they can enter with a small group of guards acting as an escort. The group heads to the northern quadrant of the castle, the living quarters, and is brought to a large blue-green door. Two guards open the doors and stand guard outside while five accompany the group.

Entering the first room, they find a shrine of sorts. The room is covered wall to wall with paintings and drawings of Laura. Scenes in some images show her performing beginner magic, running through the streets, and doing cartwheels. Other paintings focus on her face. The room speaks volumes with it’s silence, and the group decides to move on to the next room.

Walking in, they find a number of large working boards, each containing research pertaining to ritual alteration. Drawings, calculations, and writings describe a long-term project researching the possibility of combining different ritual runes to create effects that might be deemed “unnatural” by the magic-using community. One of the more extreme experiments is documented, showing repeated attempts to combine a reversed Gentle Repose rune with the Make Whole ritual to create an affect that could resurrect and reform an entire body and spirit from only a small piece of the corpse. Repeated attempts seem to have resulted in amalgamations of the original creature, bound between life and death and begging for release. After what seems like many months or even years of attempts, the documentation ends with a note that though he bends the nature of the arcane to do the impossible, even he has limits he must respect.

The group heads to the last room of his quarters, his bedroom. The room stands out as a very normal space, though there is one painting of Laura framed across from the bed. A figure is sketched hastily on it, and seems to be a form of Laura’s spirit before she was able to fully appear as a human girl again in the mortal realm. At the bottom, a note reads: “Two reports of the spirit. The descriptions are vague, but it must be her.” Lelouche finds a chest near the bed containing a number of wands. He can surmise that they each have different enchantments, but with the guards nearby he decides to close the chest and move on. He surmises that the room is most likely devoid of magical tools because if found, Sandar would be outed as a Warlock and not a Wizard, which would put him under suspicion. The group decides to leave, satisfied that they’ve seen what they need to.

They return to the throne room, where they find the king has come out looking as if he has recovered quite a bit since their last interaction. Lelouche comments on his improvement, and the king assures him that he is feeling better every minute. Turning to Reng, the king offers the group a large reward of two thousand gold pieces for their work, noting that although demigods usually do not accept rewards, his mortal party members were welcome to it. The king seems to imply that he believes Reng to be the party’s leader as a demigod, which Lelouche takes issue with but remains relatively quiet about. Reng accepts the gold and takes only 290 pieces for himself, giving Lissar, Gralamin, and Lelouche 570 pieces each.

Lissar explains that as her mission for the queen is over, she’ll be heading out to find adventure and hopefully retire to a land full of dogs. Gralamin adds that he too will be leaving to find his fortune across the western mountains. They say their goodbyes and head out of the castle, leaving Lelouche and Reng. Lelouche suggests they go say goodbye the Francis and Melchior, and inform them of all that has happened before leaving the kingdom.

Arriving at the church, they find a number of the city’s vagabonds have sought shelter from the dust storm, receiving medical attention and being fed by clergy members. Heading up the steps in the back, they yell through the illusory stone wall to be let in, but Melchior informs them that Francis is not inside and he is embarrassed to admit he doesn’t actually know how to open the gate. Lelouche and Reng find Francis within his office, and they rush upstairs with him, heading into the study to go over the events of the night.

“Is it done?” Francis asks, to which Lelouche replies in confirmation. “Sandar is defeated. The king is free.” Melchior appears to have been crying, and Lelouche asks him why. Melchior explains that just minutes ago, Laura’s spirit came to him to say her goodbyes. While it was good to finally have a chance to say goodbye, it felt like losing her all over again. Francis notes that he wishes Laura’s spirit a safe and speedy journey to the next life. He adds that although Sandar has done so many evil things, he hopes his spirit finds peace as well. Lelouche offers Sandar’s Tome to Melchior, who accepts it and says that he will read it while traveling, as he is going to set out to find a new home not full of bad memories.

Reng says his goodbyes and leaves, heading out the gates of Meridian Keep and across the countryside. Lelouche heads to Ramshire, taking a well-earned rest at the inn until morning, knowing that the next day would see him on another amazing adventure.




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