An Unwanted Interruption

Ix-Tab1The night was beautifully filled with bright stars,  not a cloud in sight.  Even the heavens must of known the Queen would travel to Umbra for this great gathering.  Our friend Jonas Callahan had dutifully written his speech and with the assistance of Marius had finished it.  He didn’t want it to be too obvious that he was now one of our kind, so Marius helped him adjust his words.

I had spoken myself the eve’ before with Capt. Erikkson in regards to any additional security that may be needed, as our coven is closely tied to Umbra and service as its protectorate.  He assured me no additional presence would be needed, so most of our coven opted to forgo the event entirely, leaving only myself and a few other Kindred in attendance. Marius was actually excited to have such an even within the walls of Umbra.  Of course, we all know how cultured he is and this was just the opportunity he had wanted to dust off his favorite tuxedo and of course have me on his arm.  To escort me to a ball or gala was his favorite mortal pass time.

As we got there,  we saw that at the moongate lay a path lined beautifully with white flowers, interlaced with dim lighting, and a lovely red carpet.  My idea of course. The Queen would be most pleased at her entrance.  She had been escorted by the Royal Guards, Kalmar of course was among them, and also several of her citizens from across Sosaria. By the time the Queen arrived, the Necromantic Amphitheatre was filled with all sorts of citizens.  Some I recognized to be Kindred, for example the Lord Rameses was in attendance, as well as Lord Podolak and Lady Izznet.  One Kindred I did not see was Va’lis, perhaps he’s once again detained.  We have seen less and less of Va’lis.  There were other undead present but not known to me. Most of us did not announce, “we are vampires” at this event.

Capt. Kalmar Erikkson now at the podium, which was up a short flight of stairs and gave everyone clear view of the man, took to his speech with diligence.  He wanted to tell the citizens of his new station at Umbra and why it was necessary to have a permanent regiment reside in Umbra,  he spoke of threats from long ago from a group of undead calling themselves, Letum Intus Corpus Horrendus or LICH for short. How they had destroyed the town of Umbra and enslaved its people before departing and that the Guard was assisting in the rebuilding efforts of Umbra.  He said the Gala was to raise funds for the rebuild of not only Umbra but also eventually the ravaged town of Magincia, which was on the Queen’s “To Do” list. Magincia, as I remembered, was a great magical city of Mages. It was beautiful and I often enjoyed visiting.  My return to Sosaria has now found it leveled to rubble.  Everyone, just about, cheered at the prospect that Magincia could be rebuilt.

Our friend Jonas Callahan took the podium next,  he talked to us about the great knight that Ilhenir once was. How he proudly and bravely served the people of Sosaria under the rule of Lord British, having great admiration for the man.  He also told us of his unfortunate fate… he died fighting against Lord Blackthrone’s army. Outnumbered 7 to 1 he took 4 of the opposing side with him to Valhalla, along with his trusted steed, Red.  To Ilhenir this had been the death of a warrior; valiant and in true fashion.  He had received a glorious send off, the streets of Britain lined with mourners as his adorned casket was charioteered by his Captain and other members of his regiment. A top his casket were his sword and shield, which was ceremonially presented his bereaved parents by none other than Lord British himself.  After the story, Jonas thanked the Queen for her continued support in the rebuilding of Umbra and for the increased presence of her Royal Guard.  The Queen then wished to address her citizens.

You wouldn’t think it but this beautiful, dainty woman walked with an air of confidence that made her seem 10 feet tall.  Sword in her sheath, she walked up the short flight of stairs to the podium to the applause of her citizens. She wanted to thank the Captain, our friend Kalmar, and also Jonas for their commitment to increase trade and commerce at the city. She mentioned the threats from Bedlam having increased purpose and diligence, and also said that part of the funds raised tonight would go to increase the strength of the magic portal that leads to Bedlam from the city’s Bloodletter’s guild. Although she did not name anyone specifically, the Queen made a speech that directly referenced our assistance at the Red Skull Bay incident that certainly made quite the impression among the attendees.  Seems that we are still very much unwelcome.  This reaction was typical, and the Children were used to it, specially Marius. But other Kindred among us, including Marius, openly protested… pleading their case as to their misunderstood existence.  Some that I didn’t know protested as to why we had taken the liberty to show ourselves at the request of the Crown at all, let alone on behalf of pirates.

Just as this debate was getting heated, an essence of evil filled the air. I felt the cool wind rush through those in attendance,  Marius turned to me, watching my reaction carefully.  I stayed still.  The Apparition made itself present and immediately we knew it was one such as us.  What followed was complete chaos… after idle threats were made, Kalmar had had enough, he ordered his Guard to kill the thing. Just then, Marius leaped over the tabled and engaged the Apparition, wrapping his hands around its neck tearing at the red flesh.  Just as the masses had jumped on the Apparation, something caught the corner of my eye. A skeletal horse, drapped in red, appeared as it out of no where.  It started to attack unsuspecting mortals.  I took to it, summoning my magic in the form of energy, and unloading all my powers on it.  Soon there were more… all around us. It seemed to be a summoned power.  Mystic and me took to dispatching these red horses as quickly as possible.  Mystic retrieved one of its briddles, and told me we should have it examined. I quickly tucked it away.

When all was calm, finally under control… Marius called to me.  As I rushed to his side, I saw Kalmar had been severely wounded and laid unconcious.  His armor had been stripped off of him.  Marius, in one flailed swoosh, hoisted the Captain onto his shoulders and moved quickly to the Bloodletter’s guild.  Many citizens now adorned the beds there, also injured.  Terrance the guildmaster on duty for the Bloodletters, made his way quickly to Marius with a stretcher. Once he placed the Captain on the stretcher, the Bloodletters got to work. The Queen joined me, back by the Necromantic Amphitheater, after making sure the citizens had recovered.  She was a master healer herself. I told her of the injuries suffered by her Captain, to which she exclaimed, “Oh no!” turned on her heel and ran to the Bloodletter’s guild, other members of her Royal Guard in tow. There she found Terrance, spoke with him and he let her see the Captain, as he was being worked on. She joined in and added her own skillset to the team.  Marius, with a state of worry on his face, came back to me as I stood with Aedon Durreah. “It doesn’t look good, Pand.”  He said as he dropped his head.  I bid Aedon a pleasant good bye and walked with Marius over to the Bloodletters. If only we could give him a few drops of our blood. He would heal much faster then. But alas, we decided that moment would not have been prudent.  It is still unknown what had attacked the Captain, and who had taken his armor in the process.

For now, we know two things… 1) the threat from Ix Tab and Ilhenir is real, ever growing… and 2) Kalmar, our friend and the Captain of the Umbra regiment was out of commission, if not permanently, at least for a long while.


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