Episode 3: Devil’s pact (DramaSystem: Heroes of the City)

With Pira watching over them in the infirmary, the twins — Alec the mage and Andros the Nightstalker — reconcile.

Elron challenges Stefan about him working with Dirk instead of executing him. Stefan informs him that he will end the trouble in the slums using whatever methods he sees fit and that violent suppression isn’t necessary.

Stefan goes to see Pira in the infirmary to ask for her help dealing with the plague that is spreading amongst his men. She expresses surprise that the Prince’s goblin-made cure didn’t work and then sees that Stefan knew nothing of such a cure. As they discuss it they realise that the plague didn’t start until after the Elron has asked Pira to distribute the “cure”. A horrible conclusion is drawn.

Andros discusses the portal with Toralas, the elf Captain. He learns that the portal is unstable, growing and that creatures are coming through it.

Balthazar, a literal creature of shadow, finds Andros (the metaphorical creature of shadow) in the corridors (how he got past Toralas isn’t discussed) and recognises him (incorrectly) as the one who opened the portal. He tells the assassin that the portal threatens both their realms and demands that he stabilises it. Andros agrees, although he has no idea how he could do that.

Elron seeks out Xathra in the forest and tells her that Sarissa had been seen in the city and that she was accompanied by Andros. He continues to fuel her anger towards the assasin by telling her that they were in the Dwarf King’s bed chambers shortly before he died… days before he was expected to.

Alec and Andros enter the portal in the spire and meet Balthazar in a lab much like Alec’s own but made mostly of white marble. Balthazar is confused by the concept of twins, failing to understand that two individuals could share so much (as far as his strange senses could detect). Alec transfers his power to the shadow creature so that he can seal the portal himself, this costs him dearly and the bargain leaves him with arcane symbols burnt into his hand.

With Alec returned from the other side, Elron once again asks him to for training in magic, and gets agreement, but the Prince also learns of the sacrifice of power and the reasons for it.

Stefan persuades Alec and Pira to work on a cure for the plague.

Andros goes to see Sarissa in the catacombs. While her back is turned, Andros pulls out a sword, stolen from his brother’s chambers, and stabs her with it. She lies dying on the floor as he leaves.

Balthazar attempts to close the portal but fails, his skill being insufficient even with Alec’s power. The portal becomes even more unstable and the effects can be felt in Alec’s lab. In a last ditch attempt to save his world, Balthazar reverses the spell that Alec used earlier and returns the gifted power along with as much of his own that he can. Witnessed by Stefan, glowing runes cover Alec’s flesh as he completes the spell and stabilizes the portal.

Xathra finds Sarissa’s hidden lab in the catacombs and follows a trail of blood heading towards the slums. Before long she comes across Sarissa, clinging on to life and slowly dragging herself towards an exit up to the slums. Xathra interrogates her and learns her version of what the sorceress and Andros were up to, and what happened on the night Oriene died . She is also told that Sarissa was trying to find a cure for Stefan’s curse, a fact that convinces Xathra to, reluctantly, save the sorceress’ life.

Episode 3 was a relatively short one. I had to leave early to visit a supermarket so I could orchestrate roast dinner for 28 people. This was also a success.

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