Monday, December 14th, 540 YV, with their potions prepared and the distraction scheduled, the three most effective recruits of the magic ban resistance group prepare to scale Hilbrent’s Tower in search of information that might convince the people to rise up against the magic ban. They are:
- Doane Six (ByW): Level 2 Nekolyn Monk
- Lamila (BiW): Level 2 Half-Orc, Half-Elf Fighter
- Benquil: Level 2 Spider Monkey Animal Companion
- Lucifer “Lucy” Underfoot (RiH): Level 2 Halfling Bard
They quaff their potions, their skin turning grey and stoney, and begin to climb. They quickly make their way to the top of the tower, finding it flat and open with a single hatch leading down into the building interior. It is locked and Lucy quickly picks the lock (having forseen this need and temporarily learned lock picking from a skilled operator with his Emulate ability). They descend the ladder to the floor below and find it is a massive bedroom surrounded with other living amenities, but seemingly long unused and currently cluttered with crates and piles of things apparently in long-term storage.
Lucy leads the way down the stairs, peeking down to the next floor and seeing a well-equipped and competent-looking warrior sitting on a cot. As he listens, he hears something like a dozen voices in the room below, apparently a garrison of some sort mildly annoyed with the great event transpiring on the floor below.
When their distraction begins on the floor below, the garrison perks up, becoming alert to anyone attempting to climb the stairs from the event to their floor. Lucy takes advantage of the opportunity to scurry across the ceiling and into the garrison armory where he observes an unusual assortment of seemly mundane but uniform items carefully arrayed, including bracelets, ropes, helmets, boots, and many more. He quickly returns, informing the others of what he saw.
Stymied by the apparent might of the garrison, they search the cluttered room and Lucy finds a stack of boards like those Doane found archived in the Library of Brimahil. With them are sheets of instructions that reveal that claim that the boards accept a platinum coin as payment for a resurrection spell. This hits Lucy deep, having lost his father in a factory accident and studying to become a doctor, and he enters a crisis of faith. He must know if the boards still work and when Lamila suggests that she climb down to the garrison window and knock to get their attention, Lucy insists that she try using a silver coin in the device to create a flash of light as well, as a test of its continuing functionality.
Lamila climbs down to the window on the dark side of the tower and when the light doesn’t work, she knocks on the window, waving at the garrison members who look her way. A few rush to the armory while others run through the floor above to the hatch onto the roof while Lucy and Doane lay low in the cluttered room. Lamila climbs down to where she can’t be hit by crossbow bolts over the lip of the tower’s contour and they mill around up top looking for her.
Eventually, one of the soldiers realizes that the hatch was unlocked and they becoem suspicious of the room below. Hearing this, Doane rushes up the ladder, giving them the run around for a little while before leaping off the tower with the help of a potion of weightlessness.Lamila does the same and Lucy is left in the top room of Hilbrent’s tower, hiding in a crate too small for most humanoids, while the soldiers return to their garrison, satisfied that the immediate threat has passed.
After dark, Lucy emerges from his crate and creeps down through the sleeping garrison to the armory. There, he tries on a helmet that fills him with resolve, only to imemdiately hear a siren in the garrison nearby. He puts the helmet back and runs to the garrison, sliding under the nearest bed before any of the members are attentive enough to spot him. From his hiding place, he hears them searching for a perpetrator of magic usage, apparently knowing it came from the armory. Soon, they decide that one of the items must have malfunctioned and that a priest of Hilbrent will have to come check them all in the morning. They return to bed, satisfied.
Once he’s sure they’re all sleeping, Lucy crawls out from under the bunk and makes preparations. He gets the hatch to the roof open by disassembling the hinges, melts the lock with some acid, repairs the hinges, steals one of everything from the armory, and escapes by leaping off the roof.
Back at the manor the cult is using as a base of operations, their handlers are very impressed with the information, considering the knowledge of resurrection magic the kind of thing that might inspire the people to rebel against the magic ban. They also find it disturbing that a well-trained garrison with magical equipment would be operating out of the Temple of Hilbrent, apparently tasked with enforcing the magic ban. They mention that they might have passed the information gathering stage of their efforts and that the next step might be to contact Ilgrind Hindrilshin about distribution beyond what their printing press could manage.
In the wee hours of the morning, they party are all awakened by a strange tingling. Leaping from their beds, they quickly notice that the cob webs in their room are gone and that the grime and dirt has been cleaned from them. Within minutes, and before they can grasp the implications of this, windows break and gas fills the room. Lucy collapses and Doane rushes from the room to escape it. Overlooking the great hall, he sees soldiers like those from the tower storming the house.
He leaps over the railing and makes a bee-line for the library where the knowledge they’ve accumulated is on display. He grabs several vital documents, hiding them beneath his robes, and leaps out window to the alley before they can get to him. In the alley, he dodges crossbow bolts and rushes for the road, leaping over the man there only to be grabbed when he teleports into him. He quickly breaks the grapple and gets enough of a lead to lose them by hopping a wall into yard of a neighbouring manor.
Meanwhile, Lamila stoically resists the effects of the gas, bow at the ready with an arrow on the string. When the soldiers come into her room, she looses an arrow but is soon entangled in a series of grapples with two of them after which she manages to reach the hall only to be finally brought down and bound.
Outside, Doane watches the manor from the rooftop of one nearby, seeing a number of people loaded onto a truck in the dark. As the truck trundles away, he follows, tailing it to the train station, where he sees Lucy and Lamila, along with other members of the cult loaded onto a train head West toward the capitol. He stows away on a car away from the one full of prisoners and two on either side full of guards, hoping to get a chance to save them later.
Check out my mystery one-shot: Cult of the Sleeping God.