The Warlocks Escape?
A Guard’s head slams to the floor. Their nose and ears are bleeding and their eyes are glazed over blood red. The sounds of arcane spell incantations are heard, as black-cloaked figures use magic to remove art pieces from the frames that house them.
“Quiet, your chanting could wake the dead,” said the figure standing in the middle of the cloaked group. In his arms, he carries a heavy crossbow aimed towards the Museum entrance.
The Crossbowmen notices one of the thugs reaching for an animated marble statue of a maiden playing a harp. “Hands off,” The Crossbowmen said. “The Master told us we are to take these pieces, and these pieces we’s be taken, nothing else.”
The thieves sever the last painting from its ancient home, and then the Crossbowman nods to the door. He holds one palm out as a sign of wait towards a group of casters who are sweating and reduced to one knee, as they fight to hold off the Museum's protection wards from triggering. One of the cloaked mages puts the last painting into a long cylindrical leather tube, then stores the tube in a black bag strapped to the back of the Crossbowmen. The Crossbowmen turns to those left in the Museum and gives the signal. As the casters drop their hands, a loud disembodied voice begins bellowing alarm notifications, that could be heard across the cityscape. The casters move through the doorway and the Crossbowmen follows behind into the streets.
“On your feet,” the Captain of the guard said standing in the barracks room doorway, sword in hand. Down the hall, another door slams open, and the soldiers hear a second call of on your feet. The soldiers, who are members of the Cities Elite Guard, stumble out of their bunks as they try to gather themselves and make ready.
In the courtyard, the Captain rallies the ranks into formation.
“What the hell is happening Captain?” asked one of the guards. “Where’s the alarm coming from?”
“Sounds like it’s coming from the Wizard’s college, maybe the museum?”
Just then, almost from nowhere, the Grand Battle Mage walks to the group from the shadows.
“Captain, are your men ready?”
“Yes sir, what is happening?”
“Looks like the damn Museum was hit. Come gather around me,” said the Battle Mage.
The group huddled around him and with a wave of his hand, hearing arcane words echoing all around them, the group vanished from the courtyard and appeared outside the Great Wizards Museum.
Immediately, the Battle Mage can tell that poisoned darts and Mind Magics were used to take out the Museums Security Detail. The cranial bleeding, gaunt skin, and puncture wounds are the telltale signs of Mage Assassins. As the Captain begins to issue out perimeter security instructions, he sees the Battle Mage staring at an empty wooden painting frame, hovering in a broken steel-framed glass container labeled, “The Dark One”.
“The Warlock is gone! I must alert The Grand Council,” said the Mage turning to the group. “Captain, you must not let them escape the city. My Apprentice will be here soon, and she can help you track them down.”
The Mage nods to the group, runs towards the museum entrance, jumps into the air, and transforms into a giant eagle as he makes his way to the Grand Council Chambers.
As the Captain and his guards make their way outside, they survey the road for an idea to where the assailants fled. Then, just as her master did earlier, the Apprentice appears out of the shadows, carrying a black cat and walking towards the group.
The Apprentice holds the cat up to her face. “Ok Pandora, find the Master and tell him I am with the soldiers,” said the Apprentice.
The Apprentice then tossed the cat into the air, but before the cat could come back down, she was flying away in raven form.
“My master said we are chasing some bandit types or something?” asked the apprentice.
Half dumbfounded and staring at the flying cat-raven in the distance, and then looking back to the Apprentice, “Yes, they robbed the Museum,” The Captain said, thumbing to the building behind him.
The Apprentice nods and pulls out her spellbook, flipping through the pages. Finding what she was looking for she pulls out some type of powder and other small spell components. She crushes them in her hand and begins to cast a spell. After the spell words are complete, she throws the dust into the air, and a light purple glow begins to appear in front of the group. “This will lead us to them,” the apprentice said to the Captain.
In front of the group purple arcane magic starts to coalesce into a pseudo tracking line that seems to follow the thieves’ line of escape. Seeing this the Captain commands his guards to take pursuit. As the group begins running forward, they feel the ground moving further away from their feet. Underneath their boot’s dark blue arcane sigils begin manifesting as the troops hear the apprentice chanting something ancient and unintelligible. The arcane lines solidify into arcane disks that propel the group forward like cannon shot.
Following the purple tracking line, the group turns on to the main thoroughfare that heads straight to the House of Transportation. The flying Cavaliers continued into the building and down the passageways, entering the main chamber. They see the band of thieves standing in front of a black portal. The Captain and his men stop in their tracks as a Fiend, horned with dark red skin, like it was hemorrhage from the veins of Hell itself, steps through the portal.
The Fiend stands 15 feet tall and with one claw it takes the bag of leather crafted tubes housing the stolen art pieces from the Crossbowman. With the other claw, the Fiend blasts the Bandits back towards the phalanx of guards, sacrificing them for its escape. The Fiend looks to the case holding the painting of The Warlock and begins roaring a cacophony of sound that could only be presumed as laughter. The tumult shook the ground and began to make the walls crumble.
“Welcome home my pathetic servant, I have been looking for you for so long,” the Devil said. Then it stepped back through the portal, closing it behind them.
The Captain and his band of courageous defenders stared with horrified faces, as they gaze at the carnage of dismembered bodies sprawled before them.