The chaos of the night unfolded as the brave soldiers of Coras rallied just inside the wall. On some unseen cue the great northern gates were opened and they marched from the warmth of the city onto what has become the field of battle just outside the wall. They were expecting something that would not be. Reinforcements from Vasage. On the word of someone in the upper ranks of advisers to the King, more than half the forces of Coras marched out into the night, outnumbered as much as 10 to 1.
A young man of northern decent raced his horse out of the still open gates to implore them back using everything he could of. Finally, as hope and time both ran out, he closed his eyes and prayed. His god is not a merciful god, not a kind god, and not a god that relishes in doubt and weakness but that was what he prayed for. Some way to save these people, these soldiers from the end. The distance began to close impossibly quick as the war party outside charged. In the moments before the two sides clashed, the god of the young man answered. In hindsight, maybe it wasn’t his god. Maybe when you pray for the impossible, you get answer in kind.
He held his sword to the sky expecting salvation and was rewarded with pain. The sky opened up and lashed out at him, striking his sword and throwing him to the ground. His horse was not so lucky. Flesh was ravaged as the arc completed it’s travel to the ground and the horse fell moments later in a smolder mess. The young man rose, deafened by the blow and stunned. A moment later his horse rose as well, though no longer as the beast that bore him here. It arched it back and screamed, the sound a haunting shrill tone that reverberated off the walls and sapped the bravado of those near it. It’s flesh began to reshape, ever so slightly at first but more quickly after it began to attack the kingdom soldiers around it. With each bite and kick it became something else until it finally stomped the ground and wisps of flame haloed the impact. It’s otherworldly eyes shone brightly against the night and smoke seeped from it’s mouth and nostrils.
The young man stumbled back, grabbed his sword and headed for the wall as this new terror raged at anyone near it. The kingdom soldiers retreated into the gate as the charging war party descended upon them and the nightmare screamed again, this time as wings grew from it’s back. With a few short steps it took to the skies and was lost in the night. All that remained of the formed ranks were the kingdom had stood were those that died to the touch of the beast and the few still scrambling to get back inside. There was simply no time left though to close the gates and Alston knew it. Two casters bonded in the moment and formed a living wall just inside the gate and Alston did the only thing he had left to do. He destroyed the wards that had protected this city for over a century. All the power laced into the chain, all the energy harnessed over the years and all the effort put into it by the Archmage that had created them were at once released upon the charging forces. Anyone caught outside the living wall was obliterated. Thousands gone in a moment. Sadly, among those were the brave archers that had held the wall, firing into the charge to buy the kingdom more time, and those that had not made it back inside yet.
The next few hours were a blur. The gates were cleared of the dead and debris and closed. Thousands inside the gate expecting salvation after the armies of Vasage arrived now scattered throughout the city. Those that bravely fought at the wall continued on with what they came here to do.
After a rest that felt far too short they began to make their way down into the caverns beneath the capital. After several turns, backtracking repeatedly, and one entertaining discussion with the spirits of Avery Lake, they have found themselves standing in front of a door, far beneath the ground. The eerie green crystals burning brightly on either side of the steps up and the walls covered in the writing of the old gods.
Here is where we stand.