A Dark God Arises

The Broken Lance

Rothelar, Fiona, and Dreyhan retreated to their rooms for the night while Davik remained downstairs, drinking ale and trying to make conversation with a taciturn Hiram. Night settled upon the town, followed by a heavy storm. The rain beat upon the roof of the inn and flashes of lightning illuminated the interiors of their rooms.

Following a crash of thunder, the glass of the tavern exploded inward as three hairy ghouls leapt through the windows. They reeked of decay and dripped rainwater from their hairy backs. One landed on a table, pointed a nasty claw at Hiram, who was ducking behind his counter, and shouted something gutteral. Davik wasted no time and swung into motion, drawing his sword free and lashing out at the one on the table. His swing went wide, but he continued with his momentum and jumped onto the table, catching the ghoul in the backswing. Staggered by the blow, the ghoul’s claws swing wide of its target, but the others move to engage.

Hearing the commotion downstairs, the other three Agents hurry down the narrow staircase as quickly as they can, just in time to see Davik’s sword slice open the chest of the ghoul he was fighting with. Rothelar reached Davik and placed a hand on the man. Davik’s head suddenly began emitting a translucent green light, illuminating the entire room. The ghoul shrieked and swung a clawed fist at him, but the bright light threw him off and he missed.

Dreyhan leapt at one of the ghouls but was met in the air with tooth and claw. The two combatants fell to the floor, the ghoul springing away and Dreyhan lying on the floor, gasping to catch his breath. The other ghoul jumped on Rothelar, attempting to bite through the cleric’s armor, but was unable to do so.

Fiona, meanwhile, pulled out her flute and began to play a lively tune. The other three recognized the song as the Ballad of the Beast and it bolstered their efforts. The sound of it gave Dreyhan the strength he needed to catch his breath and roll to his feet. Davik swung his sword again, this time catching the ghoul just below the ear, severing skin and bone, and causing the head to spin away. Rothelar spun away from the ghoul clamoring after him and fires his crossbow into the creature’s torso. The creature twists in agony, clawing uselessly after him.

The second remaining ghoul climbed onto the table and tries to sneak up behind Davik. Fiona saw the danger and stopped playing, drawing her rapier and slashing wildly at the monster. No blow was landed, but it captured its attention long enough for Dreyhan to jump onto the table as well. Claws extended, the wolfen attacks savagely, tearing the ghoul to pieces.

Davik attacked the last remaining ghoul, but his balance was thrown off from all the movement on the table and he missed. Rothelar moves to Fiona and an aura appears around him as he blesses her. He finished his incantation just as the creature hit her with a savage blow, incapacitating her. He spun around and lashed out at Davik as well, but missed.

Dreyhan launches himself with his powerful hindlegs, catapulting over Davik. He twisted in the air and landed behind the ghoul. He reached around the neck, and slashed back with his claws, opening the jugular of the creature. Blood issued forth and the ghoul collapsed onto the floor.

They all remain tense for a moment, looking around for any other attackers. The edges of the room are wet from the rain coming in the broken windows while the center of the room is wet from spilt blood. The four Agents catch a glimpse of Hiram peeking over the edge of the counter. He hesitantly asks, “Is it over?”

The group assures him that the fighting is complete, then asks if this is the first time there has been attack like this. Whimpering, the barkeeper answers that it’s not the first time there had been an attackā€¦but it was the first time anyone survived. Dreyhan’s sensitive nose picks up the smell of human urine and he realizes just how terrified this man was. They do their best to clean up the room, tossing out the bodies, mopping the floors, and boarding up the windows. Not seeing much else they could do, they retire to their rooms for the rest of the night.

The following morning, they descend to the lower level to find Hiram exactly where they had left him the night before. The only difference was the presence of a number of empty bottles lying around the man. Fiona scurried into the kitchen and made breakfast for everyone, then brightened their spirits with a lively number on her flute.

Their breakfast was interrupted however by a gaggle of sounds from outside. The four exit the tavern and encounter a large crowd that had formed around the bodies of the ghouls. A well-dressed man cockily approached them and demanded an explanation, citing town laws against violence and killing. After hearing a description of the events of the night before, he simply scoffed, “Poppycock. They probably followed you into town. You probably killed their entire village and they were out for revenge. We should lock you up!” His attitude softened somewhat when Davik showed him his royal seal, but again harrumped, “You probably stole that.”

Dreyhan pressed the issue, leveraging their official mission, but the mayor retorted, “He may be the King, but he’s not here. I’m the Mayor of this town!” The monk pushed him aside and addressed the crowd, “The Mayor won his position by private ballot, but I ask you, who here voted for this man?” The crowd looked at each other wonderingly, but no one raised their hands. Dreyhan turned back to the mayor, whose hand was in the air, and said, “By authority of the King, I hereby strip you of the title of Mayor and assign Salibard to the position. If there are any objections, another ballot can be drawn in three months’ time. Now, throw this man in jail.”

They discussed a few more matters with Salibard before gathering their things and setting off toward Janick’s Tower.

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