Upon a pale horse... (The Mists of Ravenloft)
To Rescue Colette
Continued from Resistance is Futile…
The heroes had returned to Castle Hunadora after being used as bait by the Gundarak rebels in their defiance of the forces of Malocchio Aderre and Vigo Drakov. However their rest was short as the arrival of a messenger brought ill news.
The rider was Evan’s trusted messenger, Gerard who brought a note saying that Evan’s wife Colette had been kidnapped by Ezekiel Hawthorne, who still desired to avenge the death of his sister at Evan’s hands. Fearing for the safety of his wife Colette, Evan hurriedly tried to convince his companions to help him rescue her from her abductor, and although it was not easy, he was eventually successful. Boris journeyed for an opportunity to slay the evil that Ezekiel had become. Kira and Melantha were there to support their friend. Lydis was terrified at leaving the refugees, but was convinced that she would be essential to help save Colette. Eli accompanied the group because he wanted to save Colette and make sure that if Evan crossed any lines, he would be there to stop him.
Before they departed, Evan instructed Kira in the proper rituals to travel the Mists as insurance in case he was incapacitated or worse. During this time, Eli had a heartfelt conversation with Tara Kolyana, who he had become quite close with. The conversation was private, but it appeared that Eli promised to return to the castle, and more importantly, to her. Eli was not the only one who had become close with some of the people met in Invidia, after her instruction, Kira sent a message to Kessler, who was out on a covert mission with Matton Blanchard, letting him know that she would be gone for a while, but would return as quickly as she could.
The group, including Gerard, traveled the Mists from Invidia to Martira Bay in Darkon, promising to return to help defend the castle within a day or two. They arrived in the basement of the Cosmopolis Club and tried to exit without drawing too much attention to themselves. Unfortunately, the proprietor of the Club, and an ally/antagonist of Evan’s, the woman Kazandra intervened. She was not pleased with the uninvited arrival of Evan and his guests, but allowed them to leave. With Gerard at the reins of one of Evan’s coaches, the group made excellent time to the meeting place with Ezekiel, the same location where Evan had killed Elizabeth Hawthorne to prevent her from becoming possessed by the vengeful spirit of Lynn (whom Evan had accidentally released into the world).
Within the ruins, the group quickly located Ezekiel who was standing over a shrouded form, poised with a knife. Evan offered himself to Ezekiel in exchange for Colette’s freedom, but he declined, wanting to make Evan suffer for his crimes. Ezekiel proceeded to challenge Evan’s motives regarding the necessity of Elizabeth’s death and Evan ultimate responsibility over the situation. Unmoved by Evan’s explanation of his and Father Cross’s good intentions, but tragic results, Ezekiel plunged the knife into the figure under the shroud.
Stunned, Evan was unable to react. His companions, however, some of whom (such as Eli) were unsure of where their loyalties were, leaped into action. Rushing forward Eli, Kira and Boris pushed back Ezekiel wounding him severely. Lydis moved up to reveal the “person” under the blanket was not more than a body of a pig, a ruse. Evan, shaken by this revelation, attempted to disable Ezekiel and discover the true location of Collette. However, when he used his magic on Ezekiel, it rebounded. The spirits of Evan’s victims appeared to arise from the ground and began to torment Evan, who fell to the ground. Ezekiel, laughing maniacally, proclaimed that Colette was safe, but that Evan would have to live with his sins forever. With that he fell upon his own sword, dying where his sister had, many years before.
With his death, the spirits torturing Evan disappeared and he recovered somewhat. Lydis uncovered Colette below the altar, who was aghast at the revelation of the full extent of Evan’s adventures. Unable to stop her, she and Gerard left, with Colette saying she and their son could no longer be with Evan. Gerard took them back to the Moreau estates, making sure that Evan knew that he felt she was more a part of the family than he ever was. Left alone in the ruins, Evan and his companions began the long walk to the nearest village where they arranged transportation back to Martira Bay.
Once back in Martira Bay, at the Cosmopolis Club, Evan was not permitted to use the magic circle to travel the Mists back to Invidia. Kazandra wanted to make sure that Evan knew she was in charge and he was being punished for his abuse of her facilities. With the rest of the party retiring for the evening, Evan went to confront Kazandra, and in a outburst of rage Evan began to assault her physically, unable to control the conflicting emotions within himself. The commotion drew the attention of Eli and Melantha who found Evan in a futile struggle against Kazandra. Eventually restrained, Evan and Eli retired to the common room of the club and began to drink. They were joined shortly by Kira, who watched over them both.
In the morning, Kazandra allowed the group to use the magic circle, but Evan was in no condition to perform the magic ritual. Kira, being Evan’s student in ritual magic, performed the ritual. All appeared to go well until the Mists receded and the group found themselves in an unknown forest standing in front of a Vistani vardo.
Continued in Melantha’s Quest…