Children of Netherhearth
Defending the Skystone
With the help of Stanley, Lareth and Cole you were able to tear through the ratkin on the roof of the tower, using Stanley and Leo’s powers to knock many over the edge to their doom. Both Varian and Cole came close to being overwhelmed, but sound tactics and Grindle’s healing powers allowed you to prevail.
As the tide swung in your favour, Varian was gripped by a compulsion to destroy the Skystone. Having previously distanced himself from his family, he found he was unable to resist the subconscious command, and used a pair of fallen ratkin picks to vigorously attack the Skystone. He was soon subdued by the rest of you, but not before significantly adding to the damage already inflicted by the ratkin.
Grindle and Stanley then took the opportunity to examine the Skystone with their Ritual of Psychic Senses. They noted its breathtaking complexity, as well as the fact that it had many kinds of magic entwined that they wouldn’t have expected, though most of these were latent and probably activated by some kind of complementary device. You also discovered that some of the enchantments had weakened over the centuries, including one that could possibly be manipulated to briefly change the Skystone from night to day.
After that, you summoned the Viceroy, Father Winston and Magda to inform them of your success, but also of Varian’s attack on the Skystone. Although they accepted Varian was not in control of his actions, the Viceroy was adamant that he be placed at the forefront of the fighting by the barricade, that he unflinchingly hurl himself into any battle, and that following the conversation he remain well clear of Netherhearth’s leaders. He warned you that he had the power to order your execution, and wouldn’t hesitate to call for it if he felt it necessary.
Grindle also told the Viceroy what they had discovered about the Sunstone. The Viceroy was furious that you had interfered with it. However, with Father Winston’s and Magda’s support, the Viceroy at least agreed that if things got desperate he would himself attempt to take advantage of what you had learned.
With the main attack having been beaten off, the ratkin spread out through the cavern once more, seemingly content to ravage and befoul the crops and dwellings. Also, a vile green glow could be seen emanating from Calcoth. Using one of Quill’s rituals, it was possible to view the cause of the corruption: a two-headed, four-armed ratkin, taller than a man, and wearing a swarm of rats like a cloak. As this leader corrupted the very earth around Calcott, other ratkin were damming the river nearby with debris from the razed village. Soon the corruption met the waters of the flooding river, and a sickly green glow began to spread out through the cavern as the contaminated water flowed outwards.
Realising time was of the essence, a meeting of the council was quickly called. There were still too many ratkin alive to send soldiers to face the threat: they would be overwhelmed once they left the tower and the ratkin raised the alarm. However, Grindle pointed out that a small fast-moving group might be able to circle around behind Calcott and take the leader by surprise. Plans began to be made …