The trio of ancient dragons leave the city of Wyldshire in a destruction fashion. The Heroes quickly put their heads together to figure out a plan of action to retrieve Crolin Orcslayer, demanded by said dragons, and in turn, find the whereabouts of Archbishop Ruger. Just as the Heroes decide their best efforts will be served at the Temple of Light, Jeric’s medallion begins to react wildly and pull upward. In the same moment, an arrow of magical qualities nearly strikes Jeric. The Heroes look up to see a shock of red hair blowing in the wind on top of a high building: Cesa Alera, the assassin from Valencia here to finish the job.
The Heroes immediately give chase. They quickly find themselves in crowded streets and must dismount their horses. Santos takes charge of the mounts while the rest of the Heroes attempt to close the gap. They use all of their specific abilities to keep the chase close. Traavor rides Dioge and keeps on top of Alera, able to navigate through peoples’ legs. Jeric uses his expeditious retreat and flying to close the gap although it attracts the attention of many Peacekeepers. Darious is unable to keep up in his heavy armor and begins to tire from the long journey. Sigfried climbs to higher ground, able to keep an eye on Cesa with both his own eyes and his hawk Talonious Monk. Taran, having been to Wyldshire before, thinks he knows of a shortcut and takes that route (unfortunately not as certain as he had hoped).
Talonious Monk is able to hinder the red-headed assassin allowing Jeric to close the gap even further. Santos and Sigfried, an unlikely team, begin to heal the people that have been damaged and slain in the streets due to the chase. Traavor and Dioge close in and tackle the assassin but she is able to fend off the dog. This distracts her long enough to allow Jeric to cast a damaging bout of electricity, scorching the red haired woman. Just as he does though, those near Alera hear a odd voice.
Meanwhile, Taran is unable to help who a man who may be drowning in a river of Essence; he MUST keep chase. The man was knocked off a bridge by the fleeing assassin. The cries for help go unheeded by the Samurai as he focuses on his quarry.
The odd voice that Jeric and Traavor hear belongs to a Lizardman who seems to be in charge of a gang of thugs which includes a Minotaur. He insists that Jeric and Traavor leave the would-be assassin alone, saying “they’ll take it from here.” It seems like they mean her harm. The gang proceeds to beat the woman for stealing the Lizardman’s floater, and the Minotaur starts to take her away. Jeric goes invisible and, while the Lizard man threatens Traavor, Jeric lays in wait. It seems the gang intends to rape the woman before killing her. Jeric decides he can’t let that atrocity happen (he only intended to kill her…without the rape) and begins to move to try and help. Despite the magic of invisibility and the loud sounds of the city, Jeric manages to step on a perfectly placed piece of trash, alerting the gang members and now in plain sight. In legends of the event told later, the stories would say that the trash looked like the visage of a Samurai. Some said it was a takeout box that ruined the Duskblade’s chances. Regardless of the happenstance, everyone believed that day that through mystery and magic a Ronin had somehow thwarted Jeric’s ability to stay invisible (For the second time of the day, Corn cursed Al to roll a one….asshole. And therefore was subjected to order the sandwiches).
Battle quickly ensues. Traavor uses his mount, Dioge, as cover as the gang members begin to try and hit the diminutive gnome (yes that’s redundant). Jeric chances an attack of opportunity in order to dimension hop the large Minotaur on top of his Lizardman boss. Both non-humans fall to the ground in pain while Cesa Alera begins to crawl away trying to avoid the large number of attackers she has accumulated. Dioge latches onto a gang member while Jeric attacks the prone gang leader and his muscle, all the while making sure Alera knows who spared her…THIS time. Jeric, Traavor and Dioge do their best to defeat the gang and seem to be evenly matched. Things begin to not go so well for Traavor. That is until Jeric levels the playing field by wrapping the Minotaur with his spiked chain and electrocuting him. The Minotaur returns the favor and begins to dig into Jeric’s flesh with his battle axe. Inspired, a bear-transformed Traavor mauls one of the gangsters attacking him. Dioge tries to follow suit to no avail.
Taran finally arrives on the scene. After observing the scuffle, he swipes at one of the gang members next to Bear Traacor, cleaving him in two. He quikcly brings his blade around into another unlucky thug. The Lizardman, gaining his footing, begins to move away from the battle. Darious also arrives on the scene as the remaining thug begins to escape with the Lizardman and the Minotaur. The Heroes, now with better numbers, are able to finish off the last thug thanks to Darious’ arrows and Taran’s beheading. The Minotaur and Lizardman continue their escape. Just as the heroes are about to round the corner, a floater jets out at an alarming rate with Cesa Alera behind the helm, nearly running down the Heroes. She apparently already hit the Minotaur and Lizardman. The two humanoids seem to be done with the fight, but that does not satisfy some of the more bloodthirsty members of the group. They thusly stab the Minotaur as he carries his Lizardman boss to safety. Sigfried and Taran repeatedly slash at the man-beast. Just before the Minotaur can make any movement, lightening courtesy of Traavor strikes the Minotaur. The rest of the party begin to close in on the him.
Santos has the horses…and heals some people.
The Minotaur, realizing that he is severely outmatched, simply covers his boss and tries to convince the Heroes to no longer harm them. Sigfried has decided he has had enough and begins to turn away making ugly faces at onlookers. Taran wants answers from the Minotaur who decides he would rather choose death than being a snitch. Taran happily appeases him. Jeric finds a tracker on the Lizardman’s body that would allow him to discern the location of the floater that Cesa Alera stole. Jeric needs more answers however, and continues to ask onlookers. The fearful city dwellers do not want to help them and Sigfried suggests cutting off fingers to gain some information. Jeric and Sigfried go to take the Lizardman’s body, but then decide he’s too fat and kill him anyway. Onlookers once again are horrified at the acts being performed by the “Golden Saviors.”
The “Heroes” decide they will continue to the Temple of Light and head directly to the Main Cathedral. Santos gives them all a guilt trip (of course) that does little to change anyone’s opinions because he wasn’t there anyway. Upon entering the Main Cathedral the Heroes find the floor of the Temple is cracked in certain parts. From the holes, shrieks and screams of the Labyrinth can be heard below. Santos is reunited with a Dwarven Templar, Maulik, and a Human Templar, Father Liam. Both of them seem unlikely Templars or even friends of the Cleric but they are able to help the Heroes and point them in the right direction, handing Santos a book as well.
Before getting to business, Santos performs last rights for Berek’s funeral, offering sympathies to his mother. It is a somber moment in the garden courtyard. Finally, before heading out, Santos, Darious and Taran attend the ceremony to make Darious a Templar. As Santos says the words of the ritual a light shoots down from the heavens; a bright light, brighter than many have ever seen. Maulik tells Santos that it is special, and not only is Darious special as the receiver but Santos is even more important as the giver of the ritual.
The Heroes next head to the scene of Orclslayer’s and Ruger’s disappearance behind the Evocations Cafe. They find many Peacekeepers and Investigators are already there looking over the area. Two shadowy figures approach the group and address Sigfried as The Avatar. Gyliam and Ferim, two Darkbringers who seem to regard Sigfried with high esteem, speak of “Redemption.” The party asks the Darkbringers what all of these cryptic things mean, but Sigfried tells the pair not to say anything. Sigfried seems less appreciative of their help. The party pries to get some information out of Sigfried. The Ranger tells them that demons were behind the abduction of Archbishop Ruger and Crolin Orcslayer; demons like Kal’Shzzk, the beast from the woods where the heroes first met Traavor. Sigfried, after being fed up with not having any sense of direction, throws down his cursed sword and tells it to tell him where to go, resulting in horrible pain that wracks his brain.
The Heroes realize that searching Ruger’s chambers might be useful and head in that direction. Santos is able to gain entrance to the room alone. After receiving guidance from Light, Santos finds a letter with a falcon seal on it . The letter thanks Ruger for assistance and says “let light be with [him]”. It is signed “SF”. He also uncovers an appointment letter for the Dome of Heavens granting Ruger access to the famed wizard Madolyne Elias. The meeting took place a few days before Ruger went missing.
Ferim finds the Heroes to tell them of Sebastian Falconcrest. The information relates to the SF initials and the emblem on the letter Santos found. Ferim goes on to tell the Heroes a lot about the city: how it is being rebuilt with the Essence Rail, the coming festivals and the current state of the tensions between clerics and arcanists. They also hear more information about Flaconcrest, Elias and other politics.
The Heroes go to a Norms to discuss some very important Majerian history and a message given to Santos by an Angel. Ultimately, Sigfried and Santos relate that a dark Demon, Cathist’s father, is trying to re-enter Majeria in the same manner he attempted during the Mage Rebellion. The Heroes also think about fencing the fake Divine Augmenter to bring Falconcrest out of hiding. Gyliam sheds some light on the prophecy, stating that Santos is in fact the “Beacon” mentioned by the Angel Ezekiel:
The Beacon shall see Redemption on its way,
The reluctant Avatar sets Ascension in motion.
The Child chooses its Champions,
The Parents retire once more.
The Pantheon rises.
See that the tortured soul fulfills his quest.
He also states that Lord Cathist’s father is a Dromelic.
Just as the Heroes are about to gather information in the town to try and find Falconcrest, a Dwarven Samurai arrives and instantly calls Taran a traitor in the open street. Taran takes the high road and does not submit to the Dwarf’s challenge. Taran decides the needs of Wyldshire is much more important. It is, however, revealed that Taran has a fairly dark past with his people being destroyed and him doing nothing according to the dwarf.
The Heroes determine they do need more information about Falconcrest and go to a tavern. Santos magically reads the thoughts of the tavern. He finds five ogres that begin to walk towards them with the intent to attack. After a fruitless negotiation about payment, Santos magically orders the ogres to sleep which they do. The Heroes realize they don’t know what to do with five sleeping ogres and end up wasting their time arguing about it. Ultimately, they only tie up one thanks only to Traavor. Battle begins!
The ogres quickly tear into the heroes with Sigfried taking the brunt of the damage. The Heroes learn meeting them head on was not going to be the best option. After some quick spell casting and using the bar to their advantage, the Heroes are able to light the ogres and the rest of the bar ablaze with both fire and lightning. The ogres are dispatched although one invisibly escaped.