The sanctuary interior was suddenly filled with shafts of pale, morning sunshine that came bursting through the cracks and holes in the doors, windows, and walls. The Shadowguard realized the town outside the cathedral had become still and quiet.
Dawn had come, and the power of the undead horde faded in the light of the morning sun, turning the walking corpses to ash. The Shadowguard and the people of Threshold had won out and survived the zombie apocalypse.
As Prelate Abercrombie led the townsfolk out of the priest hole, they celebrated and thanked the Shadowguard for all they had done. After a night of the walking dead reaching and grasping for them in thronging hordes, the heroes were in no mood for crowds – even if they were of people wishing to congratulate them.
After nearly half an hour seeing to their own injuries, to the townsfolk making it out of the hideaway, and to ensuring that the undead threat did not persist, the Shadowguard made to leave for some much deserved rest in their rental house. But a commotion at the cathedral entrance stopped them in their tracks as the masses began to stop and bow – Lady Jadale and an entourage of fully equipped Tarnskeep guards had entered looking for the Prelate:
“By Him Above and all the saints! What WAS that?” Lady Jadale had found Prelate Abercrombie in a small huddle with Inquisitor Dace, Sister Linora, and a number of other clergy around the broken remains of the sanctuary’s altar.
It was not long after that a call went throughout Threshold that a Council of Town Leaders was being convened and, as the Champions of Threshold, the Shadowguard were summoned as well. It was only a few hours after sunrise before all who had been called were in the Town Hall.
It was Lady Jadale who addressed the assembly. “What happened last night was a disaster of profane magnitude. It is only the divine protections of the Holy Light and the courageous acts of the Champions of Threshold, our watch and guards, and you, the dedicated leaders of this township, that no lives were lost. Though much property was destroyed, we will rebuild.”
“There is too much speculation and conjecture regarding the cause of last night’s events and there are none who can say with certitude that tonight will not offer more of the same. Therefore, in the name of his lordship Lord Padraig Kovosar, I decree that Threshold is in a state of siege. All of those outside the township’s walls are to withdraw within by nightfall and the gates thereupon sealed. The Militia is to be called up and armed. Additionally, all those learned and educated people within the town are to work in unity and given full access to any and all repositories of arcane and esoteric knowledge here to one single purpose – explaining what threat we are facing. We are to reconvene here at three hours after noon to determine our next steps.”
The research could only be cursory given such a short period of time, but with so many working together to aid one another their efforts paid off. From such diverse fields of knowledge such as Arcana, History, Nature, and the Planes the findings were presented with Yasir bin Hassan as spokesman:
“The Rite of the Blood Moon is a great and blasphemous ritual designed by Thuul-Sogoth to plunge the world into the Shadowfell under his command and cut it off from the gods. In such a state, the Arch-Lich’s power would be unmatched and he would ascend to godhood himself to lord as Necromancer-King over all the world.”
“Thuul-Sogoth was defeated before he could accomplish this ritual millennia ago when he ruled over Arjhaan and has renewed it upon returning his Pyramid of Shadows to the Natural World.”
“The Blood Moon can only occur once a month on the night of the full moon. Each time it does so it brings the Natural World and the Shadowfell closer into alignment. Should it rise three months in a row, the ritual will be complete and the world will be lost to a reign of darkness.”
After hearing all that had been discovered the Town Hall was deathly silent. Once again, it was Lady Jadale who spoke first. Addressing the Shadowguard she asked one question: “Will you do all you can to stop this from happening?”