The Gate and the Wall

The silk glove arrive at the Westgate Cathedral in sited in the ruined walls of Caratia. In the lat part of their journey they have been met by many creatures of the plain that have offered their help to Salix whose new status affords him some reverence. A pack of wolves lead them to the walls and even show them a way through, but it is clear that powerful magic prevents passage to humankind.

The cathedral is defended by a coterie of immortals, the greatest of the necromancers in service to Orcus. Salix summons a nearby woods to fight for them, and the party attempt to fight their way past, holding the gates whilst Claudia deconsecrates the cathedral. Their hope is that as Orcus is afforded passage though the walls by virtue of being head of the church, deconsecration might close the way. The battle is fierce and without the paladin to defend them, Puff and Salix struggle, but they persevere for long enough and Claudia delivers her verdict: it cannot be done.

The heroes are obliged to fight their way out of the cathedral and with Claudia to help they defeat the remnants of the Immortals. The wolves spoke of a battle within the city between the undead and strange creatures made of slime and ichor. Standing at the threshold of the city with their slain foes about them, they can now hear the sounds of a fearful battle coming from within.

"Orcus is weakened and holds the gate to the mortal realm, the other lords of hell are fighting to wrest this prize from him"' this is Claudia's conjecture. "Those are the legions of Juiblex, and we had better keep out of the way".

The wolves return and tell of another army to the north of the city, this one human and the Silk Glove move around the outskirts to observe. As they travel they reason about how else they might resolve the situation. With them they carry the copy of The Settlement of Caratia used by Orcus to formulate his union with the head of the church of the Immortals. What if the settlement itself was revoked? What would that require?

They meet the army and discover that it is an expeditionary force mounted by New Eden on the basis of their reports to that nations ambassadors several months ago. They have just come across the border and are observing the dark magics evident in the ruins of Caratia. The force is head by the Duke de Fleurie, and he greets the party with some familiarity, it appears that their reputation precedes them.

There are further discussions on the nature of the Settlement and consultations with the court sages and magicians. The conclusion is that the Duke as an appointed representative of the nation of New Eden has the authority to revoke their part of the settlement, but that it still stands as long as there is a majority supporting it. The chances of finding a representative of Battle are slim, if one even exists for that fractured inconstant federation of nation states. It is not considered likely that Hanoria would be persuaded to lend their signature.

At this point Claudia suggests that their might be another party that was overlooked when the contract was drawn up. What if it could be amended to permit representation from the land itself this is a mortal document but the parchment upon which its consequences are drawn out is the dusty plains of the Trinus Delta. Throughout the night the discussions continue, documents are drawn up and arguments tested. The process goes on through another day and night.

Over the city it is clear that there is a change, and in the steel grey of the morning scouts report that a regiment of undead have appeared at the gates. Amongst them, the figure of Orcus surveys his spoils.

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