The last time we saw our bearded adventurers, the attack on Franklin was in full swing. Captain Crimson and the Scribe provided naval support to draw out the Witch Doctor and then the Gunslinger, Barkeep, and Distiller led him on a wild goose chase through town, where the Marksman was able to trip him up. The Witch Doctor was knocked unconscious by the recently revealed Inventor and then restrained by the Wizard. The Wizard explains their survival: that they fell into a partially submerged chamber in the foundations containing thousands of crystals with magical properties, similar to the Time Changer stone, but without the generations of magical “marinading.” The Wizard absorbed the power of the island, causing it to collapse back into the sea. The Wizard utilizes the new powers given by the island’s immense power, teleporting through time, space, and dimensions trying to make his way back to his friends, finally finding them. In the meantime, the Marksman, the Hero, and Dr. Wolf stealthily traverse the city, seeking the perfect vantage point to bring this conflict to its ultimate end…
The Marksman sticks his head out of the alley looking up at the majestic hotel that stands untouched in the town center. This opulent symbol of Franklin towers in the town square, with 5 shining gold-gilded spires pointing towards the sky. The intricately carved gold-gilding continues down the pale alabaster walls, accenting the clear, crystalline windows and ending in decadent shaped moldings. The front door is a crystal rotating door with gold in-laid handles and trim.
This magnificent building stands out, untouched in the midst of the utter desolation that has fallen over the rest of the shining city of Franklin. While the forces of the Enchantress and the Witch Doctor had ravaged the rest of the town, the Enchantress had spared the hotel as its luxuriousness captured her heart. Her undead forces are occupying the hotel, but everything is untouched, as the Enchantress intends to make the shining hotel her palace. The Enchantress is currently sitting on a makeshift throne under an elaborate tent in the middle of the square, periodically inspecting the captives taken and the work they’ve completed for the day. Since the attack on the harbor, she is surrounded by a legion of the undead. She’s interrogating a townsperson, trying to determine who was attacking and by which avenues they were doing so. Surrender wasn’t on her mind, just complete annihilation of her enemies.
The Marksman retreats back into the alley to confer with his compatriots. The Hero stands, saber at the ready. Dr. Wolf clutches his cane in both hands, his knuckles whitening and his muscles flexing. The anxiety of the coming battle courses through his veins and restraining the beast within is becoming harder and harder by the second. However, stealth was still the highest priority for this mission.
The trio sneak over to a back access door and the Marksman casts a quick freeze spell on the door’s lock. After the lock was frozen solid, the Marksman flicked a small flame spell at the lock. The high temperature of the spell applied to the subzero lock creates a rapid expansion that shatters the lock instantly, with just a small *tinkle.*
The three heroes slide the door open quietly and step inside the hotel. The door opens into a small kitchen. Everything was perfect, in place, and clean. The marble floors and tabletops are all cleared and wiped down. The heroes alertly sneak through the kitchen and into the hallway. The Marksman takes point, followed by Dr. Wolf, while the Hero brings up the rear. Despite never having been in the hotel before, the Marksman had scouted the location during his late-night scouting trips. That, along with several discussions with the Hero, gave the party a decent mental plan to go by. So far, it was working.
The trio finds a stairwell in the back corner of the building. The Marksman walks up the stairs, crossbow nuzzled to his shoulder, clearing the stairwell with seasoned precision. The Hero, the last one to ascend the stairs, keeps his pistol pointed at the door until they disappear around the corner, and keeps his pistol pointed at the stairs behind him.
The party reaches the top of the stairs and proceeds down the stairwell. They reach an intersection. The Marksman and the Hero cross, but right as Dr. Wolf begins to walk across the hall, a pair of the reanimated guards lumber into the hallway. The Hero and Dr. Wolf press up against the wall. As the guards turn the corner, Dr. Wolf unsheaths his cane sword and with a quick swipe, decapitates the first guard. The second guard turns to face Dr. Wolf, when the Hero cuts him down with a quick slash/chop combination that leaves the second guard decapitated as well.
The heroes drag the dismembered corpses into one of the rooms and shut the door. The trio continues until they reach an exquisite dining room. The table is with fine china, but there’s no one sitting down for a meal any time soon. Three guards stand around the table, shuffling around. The Hero takes off, launching himself across the table, sliding on the side of his breeches, dishes crashing to the floor. The Hero leaps off the end of the table, raining down a diagonal blow on one guard, and then spinning and slashing the second guard across the chest the third guard quickly raises his battle-ax ready to drop it on the Hero.
An arrow buries itself between the eyes of the undead guard. The ghoulish guard crumples to the ground. The Hero looks over at the Marksman and grins sheepishly.
“You couldn’t have done that more quietly,” asks the Marksman derisively.
“Ahh you worry too much. And you’re welcome by the way,” replies the Hero cavalierly.
“You do have a flair for the dramatic,” comments Dr. Wolf.
The trio continues down the hallway until they come to the door leading to the steps for the center spire. The three enter the door, and the Hero and Dr. Wolf stay posted by the door. The Marksman continues climbing the stairs until he enters an opulent bedroom. The bed is covered in fine linens with a silky veil surrounding it. There are various rare animal rugs covering the floor and a solid marble desk against the wall. The Marksman walks over to the large window overlooking the town square and just barely pushes the window open. He stretches out bracing against the window seal and begins to slow his breathing. Then, he takes a deep breath…
Narrated by Brandon Warner