Plagues in the Planes

Shadow from the past - The Black Rose

... the feywild is lost to me... I am forgotten...

Three weeks after the destruction of the portal, repairs are coming along well in the city of Tordek. Things are slowly returning to a state of normality, though for generations to come the people of this city will be marked by the events that transpired.

Alistair, with the aid of Thraxus, convinced the rest of the party to lend a helping hand with the repairs. Tarrasol has even been training some new guardsmen, with Thrax overseeing. On the 25th day since the demons were driven back, Alistair has taken a break from directing repairs on the library. He has come, at Tarrasols request to give the new recruits a bit of a show. Haunt and Moloch arrive late to catch the end of a friendly duel.

Haunt spots a figure spying from a nearby rooftop and climbs up to investigate. When he reaches the roof no one is in sight but a small wooden carving of an eladrin holding a sword in triumph is left on the ground near some wood shavings.

Back in the courtyard the rookies are amazed at the swordsmanship and applaud each time Alistair escapes Tarrasols swirling net of blade and shield using his teleportation powers

The day wanes and evening approaches. Even after so much destruction twilight in the Vale has a certain beauty to it. The Guardsmen say their farewells for the night as you depart for the Auburn Raven. Where you have been staying these past few weeks. The thought of some of Old Sandy’s Hotpot Stew makes your stomach growl. Not to mention the thought of Old Sandy’s daughter serving it to you making other parts of you growl.

You walk through a part of town that was hit hardest by the demonic onslaught. The streets are as quiet as the grave. Ahead Haunt sees a small object in the centre of the road. Tarrasol investigates and calls back that he has found a dagger with a black rose bound to it with chord.

Alistair immediately draws his longsword and asks Tarrasol if he is sure the rose is black, which Tarrasol confirms. Before Alistair can give any more warning a black robbed figure appears on a nearby roof top and blue light shines from the end of a wand he is wielding. Haunt and Moloch had spotted him as before he cast his spell and quickly launch spell and dagger at him. The black clothed assassin finishes his spell and launches a blue orb of light at Tarrasol, which sends flashes of pain through his muscles and teleports him further away from the party into a the ankle deep water of a nearby fountain.

More assassins in black appear from various alleyways and a large panther charges Haunt, knocking him to he ground before darting away.

Thrax: “Hit and Run tactics! Be careful!”

To confirm Thraxus fears, another black clothed figure darts out from behind a wall. He alternates between running on two feet and leaping over obstacles using all four limbs like a cat. He charges Moloch who stands alone behind the rest of the party. At the last second he darts to the right and steps around Moloch swiping twice with Claw shaped Katars attached to his wrists.

Alistair recognises this assassin from rumours he had heard when he was a soldier in the city of Kanthyr within the Feywild Realm. He is Neith and he is dangerous.

These assassins are The Black Flowers, likely sent by The Raven Prince.

Alistair has not forgotten the hatred of the so called Raven Prince, obviously he hasn’t forgotten Alistair either.

Two eldritch knights, cloaked in chainmail and glowing moonlike step out from behind the rubble and engage their targets. One points its sword at Alistair and speaks an eladrin insult, and the other repeats the gesture at Tarrasol.

Though Tarrasol doesn’t understand the insult, he recognises a challenge when he sees one, and he moves quickly to intercept. He takes a swing, cutting through the chain on one arm, and leaving a bloody gash behind. He then follows up the swing with a series of attacks. The fey knight calls for help, and as if from a wind, its eldritch sorcerer springs from the building to immobilise Tarrasol with a spell.

Alistair is faring just as well. He had intended to fight Neith toe-to-toe, but with this enemy marking him, he decides to fight this battle first. The eldritch knight summons up a green energy on its sword, and slashes Alistair across the face, restraining him with binds of magic. As he becomes restrained, Neith orders his panther to charge into the fray. The panther pounces on Alistair, and leaves with blood on its teeth.

Seeing his enemy is wavering, Alistair turns full force of command onto the knight. “Run away now, or I will kill you,” he promises, the green of the restraint giving his eyes an evil glow. The foe stumbles back and falls to the ground. Alistair swings around and looks at the panther, pointing his ring at it. “Bad kitty!” He calls to it, weakening its resolve.

In the middle of the courtyard, meanwhile, Haunt finds himself fighting off Neith, and discovers his agility easily matched. He lashes out once or twice, and springs in with a handspring, kicking Neith in the face, and taking advantage of the momentary stunned eladrin by stabbing him. The dagger sinks in, and leaves a gash where it went in.

Tarrasol finally gets sick of the enemy, and calls out “Come and get me!”, drawing them all in as he swings with sword and shield in a hurricane whirlwind, cutting into them all. He charges at the eldritch sorcerer, slaying him, then turns and charges the knight who is hiding behind a box. A giant dragonborn charging would scare anyone, and this is no different. As the knight turns to leave, Tarrasol kicks the box into splinters over his back, then slashes at the downed enemy.

Neith sees the battle turning against him, and charges Alistair, hoping to at least take out his target. Alistair responds, seeing a weak point and stabbing Neith in his armpit, leaving that arm hanging limp. Alistair’s armour reaches out in a combination of cold and necrotic energies and turns that arm blue with frost and rot. The same frosty armour extends icicles into the air, freezing the other knight solid.

Seeing himself surrounded by enemies, and feeling much the worst for ware, Alistair calls out to Neith, “come and get me!” Then spins around in a whirl. The foes get a brief glimpse of the feywild as Alistair summons its fey energies and vanishes into it, lashing out and immobilising them.

Through a combination of Moloch’s fiery death spells, and Haunt’s springing stabs, the panther and other knight are taken down. Neith is the only one who remains. He draws on his own fey might and cancels the immobilisation, chasing after Alistair. As he swings for the deathblow, Alistair lashes out again, stabbing him beneath his other armpit. The attack hits, and Alistair attacks again, cutting across Neith’s face, then vanishing in a misty step to atop a nearby roof. He leaves behind only the winter’s chill on the ground.

“Don’t kill him,” Alistair calls out, as Haunt moves in to finish the job. Neith looks like he’s about to run. A combination of dragon breaths, magic, and stabs finishes him off.


The battle is over. Alistair explains about the Black Flowers, an elite assassin organisation dedicated to the Raven Prince. He drags Neith’s unconscious form over to the fountain and dunks him in until he wakes. Then, staring into the panther assassin’s very soul and holding a sword to his throat, the eldritch warlock asks a few questions.

The questions he asks are hidden from his friends, as question and answer are asked in elven. When he is done, and the fire has gone from his eyes, Alistair asks one final question. Neith’s face hardens in resolve. “We will keep coming until you are dead.”

Neith smiles. Both eladrin disappear as Neith attempts to fey step away. Alistair is prepared for this though, and the eladrin appear twenty feet away, Alistair’s blade through Neith’s neck, and an expression of shock on the assassin’s neck.

“Awwww, I wanted to ask him a question too,” Haunt complains, moving to loot the body. “Oh well… oh hey, a little panther!” He holds up his find: a wooden sculpture of a panther. “I bet this is how he summoned it.”

Alistair frowns. “I didn’t want to kill him, but he was going to keep coming until we finally did. That one can go though,” he points to the eldritch knight, who had begun to thaw.

“Are you sure that’s wise?” Tarrasol asks. “They don’t know the assassination failed. If he returns, he’ll tell them.”

“They’ll know it failed if Neith doesn’t return. Besides, I want them to fear me.” He grabs the eldritch knight by a frozen arm and stares him hard in the eyes. “You will go back to the Raven Prince,” he says in elven, “and tell him I’m coming for him. And if I see you again, I will kill you.”

The knight stares back, the fear of Khirad in his eyes, and hobbles off as fast as he can.

“How will he get back to the feywild though?” Haunt asks.

“He will,” Alistair says, looking off after the eladrin. “Don’t worry about it, he will.”

Comments

Bravo. That was a great read. Good Stuff!

Foxtale

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