The Battle in the Chapel

On the night of October 7th through the early morning of October 8th, an invasion of Metamor was attempted. The attacker, Rescartes Inu, used a soul drinker (a type of sword powered by the souls of the victims it stabs) to open a portal inside Metamor Keep's Follower chapel, through which giants, Lutins, and a mage tried to kill Raven and Hough. Much of the battle was fought by Rickkter, Dream Serpent, and a 6-man group of Metamor Keep's Watch.

The battle itself happens in Llyn's Tribulations, though the backstory goes back much farther.

Background

In June of 706 CR, while investigating Nasoj's great road, Llyn was captured, stripped of her belongings, and sent into the Murkwood as a sacrifice to Lilith. She was rescued by Murikeer, who was also investigating the road. Llyn took a sword from her captors, not knowing it was a soul drinker.[1]

The first hint of its power came when a Lutin shaman named Hizpith tried to attack Llyn, but fended him off with her sword.[2] The next sign, not apparent at the time, was when Llyn suddenly had the impulse to kill Father Hough.[3]

In truth, Rescartes had a magic connection to the sword, and with the souls she'd taken, he was able to see through her sword and into Metamor. Each person she stabbed would take their soul and strengthen the sword long enough he yet lacked the power to cast spells directly. His ultimate goal was to take the souls of Metamor's two religious leaders and weaken Metamor enough to easily conquer it.[5] Over the course of a few weeks, he was able to possess her, and try to force her towards Hough.

His plans were foiled by Kyia's manipulation and by Llyn's subconscious willpower, both driving her away from the Keep and towards denizens of Euper who vaguely resembled Hough — mostly child morphs or old frail gendermorphs. Within eight days of the first attack, Rickkter and Murikeer were investigating the magical stab-victims, who remained alive but missing their souls, and had informed Thomas and Raven of the situation.[6]

Prelude

Late into the evening of October 7th, Llyn was led astray again, stabbing a thief named Meezil Neeks. This time, Dream, a dreamwalker, is alerted to the nearby evil and appears in Llyn's subconscious, where she stands over a dead Hough. He screams in horror, and she is broken from her sword's possession. Distraught and panicked from her thoughts of stabbing Hough, she runs to the chapel, knocking out two guards stationed by the chapel with the pommel of her sword.

Inside, she finds Ramad, an altar server, and demands to see Hough. Hough hears the commotion from his bedroom and steps out into the chapel. Llyn is initially relieved, but Rescartes re-activates the sword's spell on her. She resists attacking Hough, grabbing it with both hands and striking the altar instead. Ramad throws candles from the nearby candle holders to distract her. Though one candle hits her, she easily slices the candles, burning them as she does. Sensing what is happening, Hough refuses to flee, instead shouting at her to keep her attention.

6 members of the Watch enter, presumably alerted by the two guards outside the chapel. 4 lead the charge, and 2 run up to protect Hough. Llyn disarms the attackers, slicing through the forward two shields, shattering one sword, and throwing the other sword into the back of the pews. They change strategy; a Watch with most of her shield left joins Hough's defenders, while the other 3 distract her with improvised weapons.

The portal opens: golems, Lutins, and giants

Ramad flees to get Raven. Soon after he leaves, Rescartes opens a portal into the chapel and sends through at least 2 dozen undead lutins, as he prepares to send further troops.

By this point, Rickkter, Murikeer, Dream, and Raven had all been alerted, and were already headed to the chapel. Rickkter is the first to arrive and quickly kills several, though they emerge faster than he can kill. He is soon joined by Raven, who kills them with holy fire. A "miracle of faith" takes place, when Hough raises his hand and speaks some words, and kills 2 undead golems. Rickkter quickly directs Raven to protect Hough, while he directs his attention on the portal. He tries a shatter spell, but cracks the floor and splinters pews instead.

Rickkter uses his mage sight to see the magic energies that form the portal; he sees their link to a knot by Llyn's sword, and tries to cut the threads. Murikeer and Dream arrive just before he does so; the resulting explosion throws everyone except Llyn, Raven, and Hough off their feet. Soon after Murikeer and Dream enter, Kyia holds the chapel doors shut.

Knowing Rickkter is a threat, Rescartes orders Llyn to attack Rickkter. A giant named Ludos emerges and swings a mace at Rickkter, which he dodges. Llyn rushes up and, combined with Ludos's swings, forces Rickkter back. Dream quickly heads toward Rickkter, while Rickkter tells Muri to focus on Llyn and her sword. He punches Llyn, but she doesn't even flinch. Raven and Hough continue to fight off Lutins. One of the guards defending Hough, the older flankee, joins the fight below the altar. Raven stands on the altar, while Hough and the guards stay behind it.

Two more giants, Fogal and Bruug enter through the portal with a half dozen lutins. While Fogal targets Hough and Raven, Bruug heads to the back of the chapel, unnoticed by all, and lays down. Dream gracefully hacks his way through the lutins to Rickkter's defense. Rickkter guts a lutin and dodges Ludos's attack, and casts lightning at Llyn. She is unfazed and swings at Rickkter, noticeably avoiding Dream. Dream gets between her and Rickkter; he is fast enough to block her parries.

Raven says a prayer to Dokorath, and blocks Fogal's mace with her sword. Fogal pushes against her, forcing her back 2 steps; Fogal suddenly kicks her away, her head hitting a pillar, her sword flying to the lectern. Fogal prepares another attack; Raven summons white holy flames from Yajiit to block the giant. While one of the guards distracts Fogal, and is smacked across the chapel, the other guard kicks Elemacil back to Raven. As several lutin golems turn their attention to Raven, Raven takes her sword and transfers the flames to her sword. The guard smacked away by Fogal starts attacking Lutins, joining the other guards who finish killing the Lutin golems.

Dream suddenly pins Llyn's arms to her sides and grapples her, pinning the sword between him and her. She struggles until Murikeer steps up and asks her to let go of the sword, as one of his hands holds a powerful spell. She raises her sword at him but resists; she begs him to kill her. Rickkter breaks away from Llyn, Dream, and Muri to target Ludos.[7]

At some point around this time, Thomas, Misha, and several knights and guards arrive to fight, but are unable to enter the sealed chapel doors.

Votik, Ludos, and the sword

Votik emerges from the portal. Raven warns Rickkter, who is 5 paces behind Fogal, about the portal, just as Fogal renews his attack. Her warning momentarily distracts Murikeer.

Rickkter hurls a dagger immediately at Votik before he can cast a defensive spell on Fogal. Votik halts the dagger in mid-air, taunts Rickkter, and throws it back twice as fast, which Rick simply side-steps. Rickkter calls him arrogant and casts a spell to send a barrage of small stones at Votik. Votik has armed himself with several magical shields, against both physical and magical attacks, seemingly unaware that Kyia is sapping these shields of energy as the battle continues. Five of these stones manage to penetrate the shields; two of them hit Votik's body.

Rescartes, frustrated by Llyn's obstinate will, casts a spell himself through the sword on Murikeer to drain his life. Murikeer barely saves himself by burning his magic. The terrified Llyn stares in shock before she finally breaks free of the spell and throws the sword away, and passes out instantly. The spell on Murikeer is broken, but Murikeer had lost all of his personal mana; fortunately, he can use the Keep's own mana instead. With his mage sight, he follows the connection between Llyn and the sword, hiding in the alcoves.

Votik plucks out the stones and recasts his shields. Rickkter casts a spear of gray light to break one of his shields. Rickkter casts several more low-level but quickly-cast spells; most of these are stopped or deflected, but many penetrate and hit Votik, forcing him to focus his spells on his shields. Meanwhile, Dream is fighting off Ludos; one attack forces Dream back against Rickkter. Dream shouts a warning, and Rickkter turns around in time to attack the giant with his sword, and back around to be hit by Votik's lightning bolt. Dream leads Ludos away as Rickkter counterattacks with lightning and fire bolts, which Votik blocks with an ice shield. Votik then fires 4 green fire bolts; Rickkter parries one and dodges the rest, as does Dream. One of these bolts hits Ludos, catching his armor on fire.

Votik puts up several more shields and mocks Rickkter for using apprentice-level spells; Rickkter retorts that's all he's worth. Rickkter casts several spells in all directions, all circling around to Votik. Votik quickly puts up a sphere of protection, but Rickkter casts a shatter spell and charges with his sword; together, they break the shield. Votik tries to cast a powerful spell, but Rickkter slices off Votik's hands and stabs him through the ribcage; Votik made the fatal mistake of forgetting that some mages like Rickkter can use swords.

Dream quickly asks that Rickkter help him fight the giant 3 paces away. Ludos is scared of directly attacking Rickkter, and tries to get behind the guards. When Rick moves in front, Ludos swings his mace hard; Rickkter blocks with his sword. Rickkter slashes the armor on Ludos's shins. Dream attacks Ludos's hand as he swings again, hitting his mace instead. Dream and Rickkter circle Ludos, who swings his mace at them. Dream jumps over the mace, while Rick ducks under his legs and stabs Ludos's thigh. Rickkter again blocks Ludos's attack, but this time Ludos grabs Rick by his arm and taunts him. Dream stabs him through his leg armor, and Ludos swings at Dream with both Rick and his mace. The enraged Rickkter casts a rarely-used spell to vaporize Ludos's shoulder, landing on the ground with the detached hand. As Ludos screams in agony, Rickkter gets up and slashes Ludos's throat.

Before Dream and Rickkter can help Raven with Fogal, 5 more Lutins emerge from the portal. The 5 guards in the lower half regroup and gather weapons before they join Rickkter and Dream in fighting the Lutins.

The portal is destroyed

Rescartes orders the Arl'at'lar cohort sent through, and for the glacier hounds and any other beast at their disposal to be sent through. He is angry at Llyn for losing the sword; Nuia is angry that they are wasting resources; Fylmar is exhausted from his scrying.

With his mage sight, Murikeer finds what he is looking for: a single thin silver thread of magic hidden amongst the Keep's background magic, leading to the north, likely to the sword's owner. The sergeant of the guard salutes the departing Murikeer with a Lutin shortsword. Murikeer cracks open the chapel doors and exits to a waiting army led by Thomas. Thomas demands answers, but Murikeer tersely replies that the battle does not need them. With his magic sight, he sees a fox holding a magic axe. He unsuccessfully tries to pull Misha away with him; Misha waits for Thomas to allow it. Murikeer first enters the chapel, but changes his mind and races to the north slope of the Keep hill.

Misha introduces himself on the way, as the Keep arranges itself for them. On the slope, Murikeer gives Misha some temporary mage sight, so that he can sever the magic thread from the sword to the north. Murikeer then sticks the end to the north in a ley line, and adds a spark spell, hoping that it will work.

Rescartes senses someone tampering with his spell, but before he can reassert his spell, a vision of his first wife appears with a pitying smile. The gilded hands of his wife that form his scrying mirror's stands have grabbed him. After a message of tortured love, sparks fly from her eyes. An explosion tears through Rescartes's study, vaporizing Rescartes and charring Nuia's eyes and face with holy light.[8] The portal, which is linked to the fortress's portal room, is unaffected.

The battle ends

Raven and Fogal trade blows, neither gaining an edge. Raven's prayers to Yajiit are answered as her sword ignites and strength flows through her. From the far side of the chapel, Ramad slings a votive candle at Fogal's head, and Raven slashes Fogal's hip. Fogal swings his mace, missing and breaking it. Raven stumbles away, howls, and charges. Fogal bats away her sword, wounding his hand, and tries to grab her. Raven stumbles when she dodges, but stabs him in the left eye when he turns. The giant roars, stumbles back with his broken mace, and runs off to grab Ludos's mace.

Hough dodges between the pillars, watching Raven. Raven loses Dokorath's strength and Yajiit's fire; she falls to her knees and gasps. Ramad runs up to Hough, and both help Raven onto a topple urn. Ramad apologizing for shedding blood in a house of Eli.

Lutins continue to enter through the portal and attack Dream and Rickkter. Dream calmly sings "Foul King Yanlem" as both he and Rickkter disarm Lutins and decapitate them in one move with their two swords. Rickkter advances offensively, while Dream quickly defends and sometimes counter-attacks.

Suddenly, the doors open, and Thomas's army enters. Dream separates from Rickkter to kill Lutins, while Rickkter focuses on Fogal. Among his techniques, Dream stabs a Lutin in the eyes and kicks him backwards; he spins with his arms out, slashing 1 Lutin in the arm as 2 others dodge and parry. One of these two is killed by Thomas; Dream salutes him and joins a woman and boar morph to attack Fogal. Fogal tries swinging his mace at the army. Together, Dream and Rickkter roll under and cut Fogal's hamstrings, and the soldiers finish off the giant.

With every giant down, and every Lutin killed, there is a brief silence. Llyn wakes up and begins screaming and writhing. Rickkter shouts at Raven to destroy the soul drinker. Llyn screams for Murikeer. Raven runs to the sword, blue flames moving up Elemacil. Rickkter runs to Llyn, but Raven chops it just above the crossbar. The blade explodes, slicing shards through Raven's robes. Llyn passes out, and the portal collapses in a short gust.

After another short silence, the third giant Bruug finally gets up, surrendering at once and pleading for mercy. Thomas accepts, and assigns Bruug to clean up the bodies, the lieutenant to oversee him, and the sergeant to collect the wounded.[9]

Aftermath

With Llyn in custody and the sword in pieces, Thomas ordered the chapel be cleaned up. Rickkter was able to verify that all remains of the sword's spell and of the portal have vanished.[9] It is very likely that Kyia had a hand in restoring the Chapel to its former state, seeing as it was newly restored when, just a few days later, the Patriarch himself would visit the Chapel[11].

Metamor Keep suffered only one injury in the battle, a guard who was smacked across the chapel, and suffered a broken arm and cracked ribs. Rumors spread about the incident, knowing only that an agent tried to open a portal into the chapel. Everyone involved, however, swore a vow not to reveal Llyn's involvement in the affair, or of the soul drinker. Llyn would be privately prosecuted for endangering the Keep with a month of prison and a year of house arrest in the Keep, excepting for overt endangerment to the Keep.[10]

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