And so we awaken.
Sunday, September 7, 1208 SA
On the rooftops, once again, we’ve taken shelter – to heal, to rest, to recharge. Few pockets of Allied forces remain.. in this recent slog through the city streets we only chance upon one group of churchmen cowering in the darkness. They will not accept assistance and so through their own inaction will likely lose their lives. I’m weary of the loss of innocents, but angry at those who elevated themselves as better. Church priests, Queen’s guards, Inquisitors, Nobles.. where are they now for the people of Avignon cowering in the wrack and ruin of the City.
Time to move, we still attempt to reach the Cathedral, hoping to find some organized defense and strategic thought there. Presuming that Marcel is within, we plan to head that direction. Down from the rooftop we come.. into the rear of the Bookstore. It is one of four buildings sharing a common courtyard in the rear. Inside, in the storeroom, we decide that it may be advantageous to search for arcane texts and histories.. anything that might be useful to empower us as we make the long march to regaining our once and future powers. We search for a couple of hours, finding a few useful books and scrolls, some on evocation, some on divination, another on the care and feeding of ettins.
Avari and Erik keep lookout as we search the shelves, making certain we’d not be surprised by forces inimical to us. And yet, as I turn with another book in-hand, I see an Orc turn its head towards us. Its face is framed in the shattered front window for but a second, and then it is gone and hollering to its companions excitedly. Combat looms again.
I prepare a quick spell, casting Haste on all of our party excepting Avari, Erik, and Oliver. It has provided an indispensible assistance to our combat effectiveness in past encounters, so now I cast it almost without thought. Having cast the spell, I dash to the front of the bookstore, using the front walls as concealment from which to attack the coming force. And coming they are.. we hear the random jingle of armor and the stomp and slap of hobnailed boots mixed with bare orcish feet.
Avari backs to the opposite corner of the building front, draws his bow, and sights out the window. Erebus makes his way to the main door and turns to the approaching squad of orcs and 2 ogres. He seems to grow in the doorway, filling it completely, then bellows at them to ‘CEASE’ and ‘LEAVE NOW’. The orcs seem stunned by his demeanor and words, drop what they are carrying, and scamper in the opposite direction. The ogres look confusedly at their fellows turning, then continue on as though the cannot detect the threat from Erebus.
As the ogres reach the front door, I cast Warding Weapon on myself and step up behind the first large foe. Fate smiles on me as I unleash Shocking grasp into the creature’s torso, following up with lighting thrusts of my sword for additional damage to the beast. I hear Erebus grunt heavily from a few feet away, then shout “Connor, I could use your assistance.. Now”. As soon as I am able, I step across the windowsill and rush through the front door near him. As I disengage from the ogre, he attempts a following strike which is fortuitously blocked by my warding weapon.
Moving through the doorway, we begin to come under sniper fire from the rooftops as arrows pepper the ground around me. I take a slashing hit to one shoulder, but shrug it off. It stings.. likely diseased or poisoned, but I drive forward regardless. I use Shocking grasp again on my original target, driving additional electrical damage into the ogre. The enemy shakes and quivers with the force, then falls backward as its eyes roll back in its head.. dead. Arrows are hitting all around me and my companions, and the other Ogre is starting to look damaged. I evaluate the situation and make a decision. As I start to move, I hear Erebus mutter to me.. “there goes the dwarf again.” I have no time for his shenanigans in the midst of battle. Why is he not on the frontline battling his self-avowed racial foes?!
I maneuver backwards throught the doorway, concentrate, then unleash my arcane energies as a destructive fireball between the remaining ogre and its single orcish companion. The glowing fire erupts, expanding quickly to a sphere forty feet in diameter. The fire quenches almost as soon as it starts, leaving behind two very crispy enemies. Erebus and I glare at the remaining forces (still hesitating because of his initimidation).. sending them running in the opposite direction up the street. Necahual uses her powers to raise one of the dead ogres, turning it into a zombie. It will walk along with us and bolster both our “chaotic” appearance as well as providing some additional melee force.
As we turn to decide next moves, Erik returns from the courtyard. He mumbles something about covering our rear flank, but I’m too frustrated to care. The rest of us quickly agree on leaving the area, duck out the backdoor into the courtyard, and begin movement towards the cathedral. We wind and twist our way through the back streets, keeping care to avoid central boulevards and streets. After a short time, we come to a halt. There before us we can see the cathedral, enclosed within a dome of glowing light, and we begin to hear the shouts and chanting of an encircling force. It is obvious that the Cathedral de’Avignon is under siege, and it is likely that the central park is being used as a camp for the enemy.
So, time to collect our thoughts and make different plans. We pledged to fight the attacking forces until defense of the town was impossible or ineffective. Our larger goals against the Chaos cults must lead us to survive this battle. We will avoid this siege.. heading towards Pont Edouard Deladier, planning to exfiltrate the city when the Cathedral falls. We will continue to reduce the enemy troops as we make our way through the city, but avoid combat with patrols of superior numbers. It looks like the Laurette Theatre may be a good vantage from which to scout and observe the siege.
Making our way down smaller streets and alleys, Emrys takes point. She will be forward scout with Avari secondary scount betwixt her and the rest of the team.
Emrys raises her fist, signaling that we must halt. She runs back to Avari and speaks, then they both come back to the main group. Emrys tells that there is a force of Maker troops ahead, numbering near 50. After discussing this, we decide to halt progress until a few of us can talk to their commander and evaluate the situation based on any new information provided.
Connor removes and stores chaos costume. Main group will hide in nearby storefront building including zombie ogre. Connor, Erebus, and Emrys will go forward to meet the Queen’s forces.
We round the corner into the open intersection and head toward the priestess. A Queen’s guard approaches us and we indicate our need to ‘check-in’ with the ‘local commander’. He nods approval and leads us to the Sister. The sister queries us, then suggests we must reinforce those at the Cathedral. As we turn to leave, Erebus looks at her and asks if she needs assistance.. the intersection is not a safe or defensible location. She declines, saying “The maker will cover the eyes of our foe and protect us.”
We return, meet with our team, and continue towards the Pont. As we cross the Rue de la Republique, we watch.. wait.. and stealthily move. After only a little longer, we finally reach the Laurette Theatre. It is locked and seemingly unharmed by battle. We infiltrate, and scout, with plans to Secure doors from the outside with the original chain and lock. Our plan is to rest, and observe the Cathedral. If it falls.. we leave Avignon. Connor plans to craft magic wands to consume the wait time.