Quickly, the group began to make their way up to the top floor of the catacombs. Just before they reached the main floor, Xylia convinced them that it would be a good idea to remove the arm bands that they had received from the paladins prior to descending into the deeper levels of the catacombs—perhaps, she thought, they might come in handy later.
They quickly came to regret their decision to remove their armbands. Upon entering the main entrance hall of the catacombs, they were immediately placed under arrest, their wrists bound by a powerful magic. Allela, a powerful priestess, accused them of grave desecration and for being the cause of the unholy disruptions in the catacombs. Immediately they blamed Grunt, although Allela told them that they were all responsible for each other. Remulus attempted to cast a spell, but the magical bonds around his wrists prevented him from casting it, and its effects immediately rebounded upon him.
They were led to a small dungeon area located in the main barracks just outside the entrance to the catacombs. Remulus, Grunt, and Alleon were placed into one cell together, and Ennet and Xylia were placed in an adjacent one. Grunt attempted to pick the lock, but a powerful spell prevented him from doing so (it also administered a slight shock, no doubt a magical deterrent built into the locking mechanism.) Alleon tried to teleport out of the cell, although he too was unable to leave the cell, and he was punished in the same way that Grunt was.
Realizing that there was no way to break out of the cell, Remulus and Grunt decided to lay down and take naps. From the neighboring cell, Xylia implored Remulus to use his connection with Emlia to get them out of prison. Out of frustration, Alleon attempted to throw Remulus across the room, although he was also magically prevented from doing this (and punished accordingly.)
Growing even more agitated, Alleon attempted to bribe the guard, but bolts of electricity shot out from the walls and shocked him. Eventually the guards came to fetch them, and they were escorted into a large room where Allela was waiting for them.
Allela told the group that the act of grave robbing cannot go unpunished, even if they helped to restore order in the catacombs. She also expressed her suspicion at Remulus, because of his apparent friendship with Crulamin prior to his arrival at Santa Cora. Alleon attempted to threaten Allela with the specter of war, given his position in the Elf Queen’s government. However, Allela informed Alleon that she had already spoken with ministers of the Elf Queen’s government, and that they approved of any action that she was planning on taking against him.
After a brief explanation of the events that initially brought the group together, Allela told them of their fate. They were to accompany a young minor named Norman Carter and to make sure that he arrived there safe and sound. To make sure that they completed their task, and didn’t corrupt the child, she sent one of her most trusted paladins, Exeter, along with them. As she told them this, they could hear the approaching sound of screaming coming down the hallway…
In preparation for their trip, all of their items were returned to them and they were given rations for the journey to Myrken. As they approached the gate of Santa Cora, Norman began to wail uncontrollably—Remulus attempted to calm him down, but Norman kicked him in the knee. Somehow they all knew that this was going to be an incredibly long and painful journey.
After walking for some hours, the group found a clearing in order to spend the night. Norman complained bitterly about being hungry, and Remulus offered him some of his rations—Norman, however, spit the rations back into Remulus’ face. Grunt and Ennet slipped away in order to find firewood and set traps for food.
After getting the fire started, Norman began to demand a soft bed to sleep on. Ennet and Grunt began to fashion a makeshift bed for him, and Remulus successfully performed a ritual of calming and peace, which had the effect of reducing some of Norman’s complaining.
After everyone had eaten dinner, Norman demanded a bed time story. Each of them took turns telling a part of the story, and when they got to the end, just as Norman was falling asleep, Remulus told such a terrifying conclusion that Norman became terrified. It took Remulus, Alleon, and Grunt two more hours to calm Norman down again—eventually, though, he fell asleep.
Eventually the morning came, and after having eaten breakfast, the group began to pack up in order to continue on the journey to Myrken. Suddenly, Xylia heard a noise off in the bushes—when she went to inspect it, she drew the attention of several dire bears, which began to menacingly approach the group.
They all drew their weapons, and probably a couple of them hoped that Norman would mysteriously disappear during the fight…