Last time: A literal god came back to life and we were distracted looking at one of those himalayan rock salt lamps. Jesus.
This time: We die.
As the creature dissappears, the blood itself becomes icy and void-like. The party sees it- and sees it begin to coalesce into the shape of strange creatures of shadow. The party immediately begins to cast spells- empowering Riaeki, as Riaeki guard those around her with divine energy, while Sharzad hides herself in her perch. The crowd begins to flee, though some still linger with curiosity. The guards direct some out of the square, while Belinda guards the Duke, whose retinue is beginning to flee.
Riaeki runs in and strikes first, landing the blow and unleashing a smite of divine energy on it. The divine energy damages somewhat, but it seems to resist the thunderous strike. She strikes again, smiting once more, emboldened by the rage of the first blow not fully landing, and the energy of this attack rings true.
>The Wraith retaliates, burning away at Riaeki’s life force with it’s terrifying etheral claws.
>The other wraiths harvest lives from the crowd.
>Sharzad fires her full clip from her divinely enhanced pepperbox, destroying the Wraith threatening the Lord before firing a bullet through the Wraith that struck Riaeki, ending that one as well. She whips out her pepperbox’s twin and fires at another wraith, but the strike is weak.
>Afa lashes out at the Wraith that Sharzad struck last, hexing it, taunting it, and unleashing Eldritch blasts at it- but her Hex does not seem to harm it even as the force of her blasts takes chunks out of it.
>Nalia rushes towards the Wraith and strikes it with her Skyspire, landing a true blow with a shroud of electrical punishment on the creature, staggering it and then disengaging.
>The crowd hesitates, unsure of where to flee, and isn’t fleeing the area as well, while the guards around the duke’s pavilion are swarmed for protection, preventing the Duke & Belinda from fleeing.
> Riaeki charges the Wraith by the belltower, lashing out at it wildly. Her first strike falls short as the creature dodges, but she presses the attack, slicing her sword through it twice in a blur of activity; it looks half-disposed-of.
>A shadowed figure in a blue cloak hurtles with impossible speed out of the belltower, unleashing a flurry of strikes on the wraith with her’s fists, The wraith avoid the first, but takes the third fully, dissolving into vapor. The figure moves to engage the last Wraith.
>The last wraith whispers eldritch words to the body it just stole the life of, and raises a spectre of it’s victim before attempting to flee.
>Sharzad trains her remaining pistol on the fleeing wraith, and lets out three shots, obliterating it.
>Afa blasts the specter twice and though each blow strikes weakly she still does a great deal of damage. She also manages to get a good look at the spector- a 30 year old sea elf woman.
>Nalia rounds toward the specter and unleashes a firebolt, but it goes wide.
>The crowd, panicked by the sight of the resurrected specter, pushing further into the pavilion for protection- but the guards turn on the them to protect the duke, and the as the nightsticks come out and the crowd rolls over city officials, the crush of people threatens to turn into a melee.
>Riaeki runs to the specter and strikes it, and it dissolves. She turns the the stranger and tells them to help break up the melee, then begins running that way herself/
>The stranger rushes that way herself, and makes it all the way over. She helps Belinda up.
>Sharzad reloads her guns then runs for the statue, where Lydia and some of the others (?) are.
>Afa speaks to some of the crowd, instruction them to proceed in an orderly fashion of the square. It’s not the most successful.
>Nalia inspects the execution stage- the bottom side is covered in magical runes. She looks at the portal- it’s an active portal to another realm of shadows and glowing eyed creatures… that are moving our way.
>The conditions at the pavilion continues to degrade as the melee fully breaks out. Belinda tries to get to the duke, but his guards are formed into almost a phalanx.
>Riaeki uses her ring to slam her fist into the walls of the city, making a loud booming sound. She uses the attention to threaten people into dispersing.
>Lilith (the stranger) moves to put herself into a position to guard the nobles from the pressing throng of people- and Duke Carpenter recognizes her.
>Two strangely shaped grey figures, covered in strange slimy tattered hoods with massive foot-long mouths emerge from the portal, and as they burn under the sunlight;one of them locks eyes with Nalia… and instantly drain all of the life from Nalia’s body. The other turns to Riaeki, but Riaeki lets out a curdling scream and shrugs off the brunt of this terrible strike, though her mind is still ravaged by the beast. They then move to attack- Riaeki blocks the blow from one, and the other send a lance of necrotic energy at her- which she also resists.
>Sharzad runs for the Lightheart company, yelling a rallying cry- Lydia hears her and Sharzad tells her to run and get the company and any available guards to help with the evacuation, while ordering Minu to advance with her towards the portal. She fires three shots at the creature, hitting twice and nearly destroying it.
>Afa, seeing Nalia fall, lets out a primal scream, Shattering the stage; a shockwave of energy destroys the creature Sharzad damaged, and harms the other. The stage itself also cracks, splintering & splitting; as it does so, the blood ice that makes up the portal cracks as well.
>Nalia rolls on the ground in pain, but her resolve steels- but even as it does, the necrotic energy of the creature threatens to drag her down into the grips of death.
>The melee at the pavilion continues- and a rock strikes the Duke in the chest.
>Riaeki lashes out at the remaining creature with the ring of the ram, landing a strudy blow to his chest- he flies backwards from the force of the blow, crashing with force into the stage. She breathes divine life back into Nalia, reawakening her, and then casts compel duel on the creature before running away, forcing it to follow her.
>It does follow, and strikes out at her for a deal of damage.
>Sharzad runs to Riaeki and, with the last shot of her gun blessed with divine favor she summons up every last bit of divine power in her and shoots the specter in the mouth with a glowing bullet- the specter soaks up the energy and cracks through with radiant light, bursting out into a glowing flash before being reduced to ash. The threat, for now, is gone.
Riaeki goes and finds the bodies of the dead; there are several. She must choose. She goes to the high elf woman & casts Revivify, calling her back from beyond the veil. Riaeki pulls the woman over the body of the other man- the man she couldn’t save- and explains the circumstances of this woman’s resurrection (she’s a student at the university), and tells her to help with his funeral, and live her life in his honor. She’s named Liri Isariel. Riaeki tells her how to find her, and leaves the woman alone to cry over this man’s corpse.
We comfort each other (Nalia especially) and then alert Belinda that we need to talk to her, while the lightheart company helps evacuate the square. We explain what Ylethaen is; we talk about the lifting of the death curse (and what that might mean about the ability of people to remember the Ylethaen), theorize on what the Ylethaen’s domains might be (Death & Winter?), and finally meet Lilith, a regal-looking Lilith Vineland, of the Marin Vinelands, who knows of Ylethaen. We’re introduced to each other, and decide to learn more about Lilith Vineland’s story, and how she knows of Ylethaen.