War of the Burning Sky
Scourge Act 2 Scene 5
Torrent guides tyou to a nearby temple of the Order of the Aquiline Cross, devoted to a god of healing. She says it is a gathering place for resistance members.
The temple is packed with at least a hundred nervous people, all squeezed into a 40-foot circular prayer chamber and adjacent rooms. Many are nervously relating rumors of how the battle at the main gates is going. Children cry, and priests tend to numerous injuries from fire, stampeding crowds, or violent looters. People are scared and demoralized. Priests go between the wounded, tending them as best they can, their healing capability all expended.
Torrent then leads you to an ornate door behind the altar area and opens it. Stairs lead down into a crypt and are guarded by two large half-orcs. The underground area contains supplies and weapons for the Gate Pass resistance. Rivereye, coughing almost nonstop, is immediately taken to the infirmary.
Resistance members guide you to a small room with a few sleeping pallets, and then show you the common area and kitchen. The living spaces are makeshift, but function well.
You are introduced to Buron Watcher, a devout priest and high-ranking member of the resistance. Buron greets you warmly after a brief word with Torrent, presumably to establish your credibility. He invites you to make yourselves comfortable, and urges you to seek some much-needed rest.
Rivereye’s cough appears to be pneumonia and he is bed-ridden. Torrent is assigned to gather some information about Gabal’s School, and Shealis in particular. Torrent has never heard of the Singing Chasm mentioned by the solon, and wonders about the tunnel that will become an escape route for the Shalahesti. She suspects the two spies who have the case are probably by the tunnel’s entrance.
While you rest on crude cots, one of the dwarves from the Depository tower, a resistance member, reports to Buron with information about a terrorist cell working with the Ragesians that is believed to be in the area. Both Torrent and Rivereye have been impressed with your abilities and recommend you all as best able to handle the situation.
After a morning of rest, you are all fully refreshed and able to face this new challenge. Torrent’s worry is evident as she prepares to leave with Rivereye. “The dwarf mentioned that the thugs have some awful beast to unleash that strikes and hides like a cat. I assume that they are waiting for some signal to come from the Ragesians, and it will probably be soon.” She then gestures to a nearby table covered with a cloth. “Buron was able to acquire some items and equipment for you this morning. Take them with his blessing – and mine. We’ll see you later this evening.” While you sort out the treasure, Buron approaches and hands you a map to the terrorists’ warehouse lair.
The streets are slippery from the ice and a chill wind blows from west to east. You are surprised at the devastation the daylight reveals. Along the streets, it appears no building has been spared. Most of the structures have surface damage, but a few have been completely razed and smoke rises lazily from embers and smoldering debris. The odor of burnt wood and stone is cloying. Much of the roadside clutter seems to be decorations for the The Festival of Dreams, which was to be celebrated today.
A few brave souls wander about, picking up loose junk and chatting with others they meet. The news you overhear is worrisome. A small portion of the Ragesian force made last night’s attack. They were driven back, but the invading army has demanded that a group of Inquisitors be allowed into the city, or the next attack will be more persuasive. Still, despite the devastation, a few bemoan the cancellation of the festival parade.