Buried Secrets

Chapter 16: In Defence of Angels

Having concluded their meeting with the Eladrin, the party checked in at the Temple of Bahamut to see if Father Soltis had news. He passed on a letter recently delivered to Batal by a Warforged. The letter had a very structured script, suggesting an extremely steady hand, which led the party to believe that the Warforged penned the letter. The letter advised the party to stake out a dark part of the slums after midnight if they wanted to save two lives.

The party chose to obey this mysterious summons, surveying the area during the day before retiring to eat. An hour before midnight, Elzin took a roof position while Wrathy and Batal hid in shrubbery around nearby buildings. A gang of suspicious characters began to patrol the area and take positions themselves, before a roguish looking fellow arrived with a cloaked prisoner he led with a chain. Shortly after his arrival, a woman arrived and negotiations began.

From her perch on the roof, Elzin could hear the discussions below. The rogue appeared to be selling the chained humanoid, and after he removed its cloak the party identified it as an angel whose wings had been cut off. The woman and her associates seemed to value the creature for its blood – she cut the creature and had an ally drink its blood from the blade. When the ally retched, she accused the rogue of selling shoddy merchandise. The rogue replied that heavy drugs were required to keep the creature complacent.

Elzin’s absorption in the negotiations below nearly caused her to ignore the threats around her. One of the gang members had snuck up behind her and spoiled her cover! As he snarled through canine fangs, the party’s fears were confirmed – they were facing a gang of vampires. (Batal was quietly excited at this fact.)

The vampire on the roof quickly clawed at Elzin and grabbed her roughly. While his allies were quick to respond, they did not detect the other party members still in hiding. Furthermore, the suspicious natures of the business partners caused the vampires and the rogue to immediately suspect each other. Wasting these valuable seconds gave the remaining party members an opportunity to attack!

At this moment, Ragnar chose to announce his return to the land of the living with a Fireball at the vampire leader and the rogue. It caught them both in the blast, but also set the nearby buildings on fire, and severely scorched Elzin. Batal charged forward to engage the rogue, whom he discovered to be a duellist of considerable skill. Elzin struggled unsuccessfully against her rooftop foe, who began greedily drinking her blood.

Wrathy magically switched places with the drugged angel, and called upon Hacar to plunge the vampire witch and her follower into a cloud of hungry darkness. While the darkness immediately claimed the weaker vampire, the Night Witch was a creature of the shadows like Wrathy, and made of sterner stuff. What ensued was a most bizarre struggle, as the Night Witch and Wrathy used the various magics at their disposal to continually throw each other into the hungry darkness. Too late, Wrathy realized that the necrotic nature of the darkness was isolating the vampire from the full potency of the effect. With a final heroic heave, the vampire lifted Wrathy above her head and threw him into the darkness, which fed on its master and left him dying on the ground.

Batal and the duellist continued to square off in a clash of axe versus blade. Some of the vampire thugs attempted to enter the fray, but each was effortlessly dispatched as the true combatants focused on each other. Ragnar, after an unsuccessful attempt, was able to impale the vampire draining Elzin, saving her from a fate worse than death! After took a few seconds to recover, she quickly re-entered the battle, raining arrows down on rogue and vampire alike.

The vampire witch moved to engage Ragnar, hoping to use her dream visions to lure the fragile wizard into reach of her rending claws. Her attempts were narrowly thwarted by the defensive enchantments on Ragnar’s cloak, which instinctively teleported him onto a nearby rooftop. The vampire was frustrated, but that anger quickly turned to shock as she saw the dead rise – Wrathy had miraculously recovered from the hungering darkness, and had re-entered the fight!

Wrathy had learned from his errors in the first skirmish, and changed tactics accordingly. He now employed infernal magics to rain poisons upon the witch while holding her in place. She screamed for her servants to slay him, but when only one responded she knew the day was lost. With a curse she vanished!

The rogue had realized that he could not best Batal and sought to flee the engagement. Batal channeled the divine anger of Bahamut, who temporarily gifted him with a pair of angelic wings not unlike those the duellist had so casually butchered. Swooping upon his prey, Batal swiftly brought Bahamut’s judgement to the doomed criminal.

Using his knowledge of shadow magics, Wrathy realized that the witch had merely turned invisible rather than teleporting. However, he and his friends were unable to detect her, and she made her escape into the night.

Reunited with his friends, Ragnar quickly explained the circumstances of his resurrection, and his newfound allies in the Clockwork Rebellion. Seeking to avoid attention due to the fires started during the battle, the party fled into the sewers and Ragnar led them to the Rebellion’s hideout. The leader of the Rebellion thanked them for returning their brother 137 to them, and promised to deliver the details of the cortex reading when it was complete. In an ironic twist, the party learned that the golemsmith Grigor was a secret ally of the Rebellion, but he could not help them openly for fear that they were spies sent by the Mage Guilds.

Recognizing that the Illusion Guild would soon arrive to question them about the whereabouts of 137, the party moved to the Temple of Bahamut under cover of darkness to deliver the angel to them. Father Solstis identified it as an Angel of Pelor, and quickly summoned the high priest of the from their nearby temple. The priest took the angel into his care, and gave the party a meticulously-ornate treasure known as the Pendant of the Dawn. While it is not magical, the priest explained that it is only presented to the greatest allies of the church of Pelor, and would guarantee the heroes aid and sanctuary from the church wherever they travel.

Having quickly outworn their welcome with the Whispering Blades, the vampire gang and the Illusionists’ Guild, the party stole out of Starwhisper at first dawn and began the slow journey home to Sunvale.

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