With the Lich King “dispatched” and the trail on Marcaus seemingly dead, the group decided that it was time to collect on some of those bounties that had evaded them for so long. They first decided to seek out the Spellgaunt that they had planned to kill before Marcaus blew the bridge out from underneath them.
They spent five days traveling through the The Falgern Mountains before they finally came across it’s cave. The fight was anything but epic. They killed the creature in mere seconds and collected int’s saliva from off the ground in a small canteen. Bazrak then used these tears to coat Heinrich’s swords with adamatium.
The last bounty they had listed was the Cauchemar. They traveled back to The Swamps of Ruurg and spent Three nights waiting for the Cauchemar to appear. On the last night, they finally saw it’s firey mane in the distance. This was again a very short battle for the group as Edward told some great equistrian joke and caused the horse to fall to the ground in laughter, while the others finished it off. They cut off the creatures hoofs and returned them to the Bazrak to recieve a pair of rings that would cause the wearer to hit with fire behind every punch. Moultager gladly doned the rings.
As they turned in the last bounty they decided to do a little bit of shopping about town. Urd had decided that T-I-Double-G-ER II was looking a bit plain and decided to buy him some much needed accessories. This proved a terrible decision as the second they stepped out of the shop, they found themselves face-to-face with a batallion of King Rayor’s men.
A wall of force was put up around them and it was soon to see that this was not a winnable fight. The group surrendered, but Heinrich was much too stubborn to follow suit. He fought valiantly, but fell to a barage of swords and sheilds. They were taken back to Istantia as captives and thrown into the prison.
They had no clue what they were being convicted of, but the guards were glad to inform them of their treason. You see, when they had previously rescued the man they thought to be Sigmund they had informed Sir Gareth that they were under the order of the king. When Sir Gareth returned and mentioned of the extra searching party the king was more than baffled. It was soon believed that the men must be working for Marcaus, and that the man that they said was not Sigmund clearly was, and that they did not remove a imagery spell, but instead cast one upon him.
Knowing this to be untrue, and fearing the inevitable punishment that the king would order, they decided that they would have to escape. It would not be easy. The glyphs on the walls prevented the use of magic and there were three guard patrolling around the cells. But this group was a smart one.
The bard fascinated one guard and left him in a stuppor due to his superior grasp on the word of song. Another became heavily involved in conversation with Kylin. Urd used her wild shape ability to turn into a tiny mouse and make her way out of the bars and up to the last guard. Quickley changing wildshape once more, she turned into a dire bear, and punced on top of the guard. Once he was dispatched she took the keys and began the anarchy.
Moultager was the closest, and Urd passed the keys off to him. Moultager released Kylin, Kylin released the bard, and the bard released Heinrich. And in the chaos Moultager knocked out one of the other guards.
They made their way up the steps to find out that the glyphs on the walls were on the next floor as well. At the top of the steps Urd began to get the odd feeling that she was looking at herself. She approached and unlatched a nearby steel door and T-I-Double-G-ER II came leaping out.
With the team back together, it was now time to find their possesions. Moultager attempted to travel out into the hallway7s but soon found himself trapped by a patrolling guard. Urd was required to be his saving grace in the form of her thousand faces ability. She made herself look just like the patrolling guard and wandered around searching the room for their things.
Once found, she stashed them all into his bag of holding and brought them back to the steps where her team was hiding. This gave her a genius idea. She could easily sneak by the guards, but what of her allies? They would be perfectly concealed within her bag of holding. They jumped in and from there it was smooth sailing.
Urd walked them right through the guard’s quarters and up to the main hall where she released them all in an empty back room. They immediately began discussing the need to go and talk to the king about why they had been taken captive and put themselves back into his good graces.
This was not an agreed upon decision however, and it required much time for debating, yet time was soon to be taken from them. Just then there was a loud commotion coming from the main hall. They leaned their ears against the door to hear what was going on. There was a man who sounded to be in complete hysterics. He claimed that a castle had been spotted to the Southeast, but there had never been a castle or any sort of building in that direction before. It had seemingly appeared overnight.
Well, the group decided that it had to be Marcaus’ doing and they immediately set off to investigate. Kylin teleported them out of the room and into the general direction of this new castle. They were a little bit of course, but in the general area. They could see the structure in the near distance and decided it was time to storm the castle and finish this once and for all.
They charged through the main gate with amazing force. There a few of Marcaus’ men in the main hall, but they were no match for our hero’s. Heinrich’s swords sliced through armor. Moultager’s fists cracked bones. Urd tossed in some explosives accorns, she does wonderous things with mother nature, and the main hall as well as the hallway to the stairwell was cleared out.
They didn’t waste any time searching the rooms, there would be time for that later. They pushed their way up the main steps and continued to cut, bash, burn, and explode every poor sap that was unlucky enough to cross their path.
Once the second floor landing was cleared out, Urd blocked their back with a field of briars. The men tried to catch up to them, but the briar was thick, and it dug into their skin as they tried to push through. It’s not a pleasant experience, let me tell you.
WIth their backs guarded they continued the push to the third floor, rushing through the kitchen and dining hall. After pushing past the opposition’s feeble defenses they soon found themselves at the steps to the third floor. Unfortunately, those steps were situated within the living quarters and the group had been surrounded The battle was intense and they had their backs up against the wall. Heinrich moved to cover the left flank, but was soon overwhelmed as the men from the first floor managed to bypass the briar and swarmed onto him.
Again his arrogance had gotten the better of him. You’ll notice this becomes a bit of a theme throughout the story. With the left flank destroyed they pulled back into the corner and fought for their lives. Thanks to Kylin and Urd’s magic they managed to blow the remaining assailants away and make their way to Heinrich’s body. they used their staff once more to bring him back: 18 left.
It was now time to confront Marcaus. They traveled up to the top of the steps and made their way into the throne room, which occupied the entire third floor. Marcaus was there standing at the throne. The lich stood in front of him with a small group of his goons. Another stood beside him, holding the Sigmund captive. He drove his fist into his side and Sigmund hit his knees.
The man had used a rather powerful ability. He know had control over Sigmund since he could kill him at will. If Sigmund did not act accordingly, he would die. Once his pieces were set Marcaus gave the order to attack. Two more of his men sprung out from behind the group and attempted to take them by surprise.
They were not so foolish. They split their ranks, Moultager moving directly for the Lich and T-I-Double-G-ER II heading back with the bard to fend off the two in the rear. Urd moved her way around to the back of Sigmund, hoping to eliminate his warden. Marcaus let loose with his whip, taking them off their feet again and again. Were it not for Kylin repeatedly putting them back on their feet, they would never have been able to get a single strike in.
The battle was far from easy, but soon they had managed to defeat all but Marcaus. He stepped down and attempted to take them all on, but his plan did not go as he wished. Something was wrong with his armor and he yelled back at Sigmund for the error. They had no clue what he was talking about and they would be in the dark for quite some time. Fighting on an even plain, Marcaus was only able to fight for a short time before he began to appear weak. Just then Sigmund, pulled him out using a teleportation spell. “It was never supposed to come to this.”, he yelled as he reached behind his back.
Now what he pulled out I cannot accurately describe in words that we know. It appeared as if some sort of wand made of solid steel, but it launched forth tiny pieces of metal at a rapid pace which ripped through their flesh as he waved the wand accross the air. As they starred on in shcok of this unforseen magic, he looked on with a smirk. He raised his hand and grabbed hold of a ring on his finger and with that, he was gone.
As he disappeared out of sight, Sigmund screamed in pain as he hit the floor dead. His guardian had done his job. Urd kept hold of him. He was the last man alive and the last one that could give them any information about what went on there. They tried to interogate him in the not so friendly way, but he fell unconcious after only a few blows.
Before they had time to think, Sir Gareth came bursting through the door with a small group of men. Urd quickly lowered the staff and brought Sigmund back to the realm of the living, trying not to be seen. Gareth rushed forward and demanded them to stand down and surrender.