Coy goes to work dismantling the travesty that is this church, he seems to take the bone church as a personal affront evidenced by the energy with which he is tearing it apart.
Dom and I keep watch while Alaric explores the area under the trap door. Gertie prays and Keth explores looking for clues to what made this place the way it is.
A cloaked figure approaches, small of stature, possibly female. She calls out as she strides forward, “May I enter”, more of a statement that a question, though she does pause at the door.
“No?” I say, so very forcefully and sure.
Gertie speaks, “Only if you promise to do no harm”.
The cloaked figure enters, she is clad in rough scale armor that has seen better days, draped over the shoulders by a ragged red cloak. She pulls back her hood, revealing a corpse that is much better preserved than others we’ve seen. She also differs in that she is not immediately attempting to separate us from our lives.
She introduces herself as Petra, daughter to a prominent teacher in this city. He and his students were brutally slain, she asks for the heart we found so she can wreak vengeance upon the one that killed her family. As we thought, it is the means to his demise, or as she would have it, his torture.
Keth asks to be given the time to study the magic that is animating the heart in an effort to understand it enough to be able to counter the spell.
He is able to determine that it is warded, the ward must be overcome before the heart can be destroyed. The strength required to break the ward is beyond him.
We learn that the scholar we have been searching for, the owner of the undead heart is Hywelledd, as we had guessed. The former head of the illuminators guild (run out by Tobias), and author of the book of necromancy.
We debate the merits of facing the necromantic scholar now, vs. being more prudent and leaving with the heart to regain our strength. Ultimately we decide to let reason prevail by taking our leave now and facing the necromancer when we are at full strength.
Petra understands our decision, she is disappointed not to wreak her vengeance now, but believes we have every intention of destroying him as soon as we are able.
We plan our route out of the city using the shortest means possible to regain our horses. We set out at a brisk pace with Kiki leading the way. We know we are being followed, but so far they have not approached too closely. We press on.
We enter into a square at the base of the tower along the wall where we plan to make our escape from the city. Diagonally across the expanse of cobbled market space, we see the base of the tower is blocked by several heavily armored skeletons, as is the lane directly across where we enter into the square.
Gertie surges forward, the rest of our band straggles out in an unorganized line diagonally across the square, the enemy moves up in a mob toward her. I drop to my knees to invoke the rod.
Gertie and Dom cut one down while I charge the group on the right. Most of those move past where I’ve engaged and face off with giant Coy. Keth casts another pit directly behind those Coy is facing, almost all tumble in.
I face three now, handily set up for a cleave, as long as I can stand the stench rolling off them. Keth has summoned the Hound Archon, we need to buy this guy a mug of ale sometime, he’s saved our keisters too often and with little thanks.
Dom takes out one of the three that were lined up so nicely for me, hard as it is to admit, that is probably a good thing as I am still feeling weakened and my sword weighs overly heavy in my hand. I cleave the remaining two, dealing them telling blows but taking neither of them death blows, or re-death blows I should say.
I hear a surge of sound behind me as hooves clatter into the square. I steal a glance over my shoulder, another of the headless horsemen. Cilka raises her hands, Fire lances out and all but pierces the monster to the right, she spins and invokes again, lashing out at the horse and horsemen in a searing beam.
All the wretched undead in front of me are down, the horseman looks to be well attended to by my companions, I decide to run toward the archers that are remaining by the tower. We all converge on the three archers, I almost feel badly for them, almost. We destroy them and continue on our way, leaving the three remaining in the pit to their own devices.
We climb the tower stairs to the top of the wall. Using ropes we climb down and gather our horses. We press on pushing ourselves to the point of exhaustion to put as much distance as we can between ourselves and the necromancer, carrying his heart along with us. Alaric, Kuni and Gerti heal us as best they are able and in the morning Alaric helps Kiki and I regain our strength. We travel hard for another day looking for a ford across the river but find no luck. During the night Dom and Alaric report a bat winged creature flying around in the distance and possibly spotting us but nothing else happens of note the rest of the night.
Morning of April 19th, I am feeling like myself again and Alaric helps Kiki regain herself as well. We hit foothills midday but nothing of note happens that day or night, just riding, and more riding.
Smoke on the skyline!! We can see Legnica!…it only took most of the day to get here..
We enter Legnica midday. Legnica is a junction of rivers. The walls all look fairly new, as if they have been rebuilt from ruin. We find an inn called the Plough and the Star and take rooms there. Alaric, Cilka, and Gertie head off to find the Order of the Star.
Gertie comes back and tells us we’ve been invited to dinner by the local order of the star, Master Lucas. They would like to hear of our travels, what we’ve experienced. This is a military order; we assume they will want facts and evidence.
While at dinner, I do my best to entertain everyone with the funniest joke I know, it always got a good laugh and a few snarfs around the bandit’s campfire. These folks are too good for that kind of humor and my foot is now sore from being stomped on repeatedly by my lovely cousin. Fine, I will stick to my ale and keep my mouth shut, I should be used to that by now.
Kuni, Gertie and Alaric all talk of our experience and the return of the gods, Master Lucas is skeptical. Keth steps up and slices open his hand, before Master Lucas can finish asking us for a demonstration. Gertie prays, and Keth’s wound is healed. Master Lucas is impressed, never having seen such a display. Alaric looking to Gertie for her agreement moves to introduce Master Lucas to the Devine Record. Master Lucas asks for our permission to study the writings overnight.
We all return to our tavern to sleep.
We are invited back after breaking fast at a leisurely pace.
Master Lucas was very impressed by the scroll; he was persuaded and wishes to share it with his order to the north.
After much discussion, we decide to accompany the scroll north to Koshlin to speak to Master Lucas’s lord and bring him the word in person. We will be accompanied by members of the order of the star assigned to the task by Master Lucas.