The city of Cerl. Each of our heroes found themselves in the city during the festivities of Founder’s Day. The great war-hero and the city’s founder, Sir Gerant Carlyle, honored the citizens with a speech. It was, after all, the tradition.
Baron McClelland started speaking on the stage, but the crowd’s noise makes it nigh impossible to understand what the man was saying.
A few moments later, it became apparent that he was making some sort of introduction. The crowd that filled The Promenade erupted in wild cheers when an elderly, but strong-looking, man stepped to the front of the platform. The cheering, applauding and tossing of hats into the air continued for minutes with no sign of dying down. A person next to the party, noting their bewilderment, hollered that the man is Gerant Carlyle, as if it explained anything.
When the man at the podium signaled that he’s ready to talk, the crowd obediently fell into rapt silence.
For several minutes, he heaped civic praise on Cerl, expounded on the virtues of shared opportunity and waxed poetic about the future.
Then quite suddenly, Sir Carlyle’s speech trailed off, and he started looking around among the crowd. But he wasn’t looking at anyone in particular.
A worried murmur started in the crowd, but above it all someone shouted, “Hey! Look up there! In the window!”
Not knowing which window to look at, the party quickly scanned the nearby buildings and among the onlookers from the upper floors they saw several people armed with crossbows. Then they fire.
Both the party of adventurers and the Baltair Companyman stationed at the event leaped into action, charging into the buildings and firing from the ground with bows and magic.
Soon after, horrified screams pierced the frightened clamor of the crowd. Glancing around, they saw small clear spaces open up as people struggled to distance themselves from scenes of slaughter. Armed warriors are grabbing people in the crowd and stabbing them.
While the adventurers and Baltair Company tried to deal with the new threat, a darkly cloaked figure suddenly leapt up onto the stage near Gerant Carlyle as two menacing-looking ruffians separated from the crowd and take up stations at either side of the stage.
The cloaked figure said, “now we finish this!”
Gerant nodded to him, and the both drew their swords. And squared off in a spectacular duel. Gerant refused the help of the adventurers and Gerant manged to slay his attacker.
A horrified hush cames over the courtyard as the slain man crumpled to the ground. The survivor then unleashed an unearthly howl of anguish. Bones cracked, flesh was torn and armor squealed and snapped as the victor’s body warped into a grotesquely muscled mockery of a human being.
What emerged was not a man anymore, but a monster. It opened it’s blood-rimmed eyes, stared out with a look of madness and bloodlust, and roared, spraying the ground with spittle from its fanged maw.
The heroes and surviving Baltair Companymen fought the mutated man and with great effort, managed to defeat it. After being slain, the beast exploded in a spectacular display of blood and viscera. The shock knocked everyone in the promenade to the ground and covered the area in gore.
The silence that followed the strange, bloody explosion was broken by the groans of fallen citizens. As people picked themselves up, the Baltair Companyman attempted to restore order, cordoning off the bodies of the fallen and getting citizens to help attend the wounded. Many in the crowd doffed their hats or bowed to the heroes as they attempted to do as the Guards commanded.