Dawn of the Unflankables

Chapter 26: Breaking News

Following the horrible bug incident, the Unflankables have no further obstacles on their way back to Ravenswood. They fill in Ulfgar on what he slept through and even watch a wondrous sunset. Finally they arrive back at the town, though they’re less than enthused. They quickly learn from Fyvo Puleesman that mere days earlier the town prison was destroyed, and all the prisoners disappeared. Puleesman tells them that there were twenty-eight prisoners at the time of the breakout. Darksex almost makes a joke about how they are experts at prison riots, but thinks better of it. Pineroot tells Puleesman that he should make sure all guards are accounted for, before the whole gang heads to the town hall. Ulfgar, Darksex, and Pineroot decide to head in with the spies while the rest of the Unflankables stay in the wagon.

Despite the pandemonium that seems to have infested the town hall, the heroes are able to spot their old cohort, Barnabus. Realizing that only the shortest members of the Unflankables are present, Darksex lifts Pineroot into the air to get the attention of the busy bureaucrat. Barnabus hurries over to them and asks how their mission went. The heroes are proud to say that they located the rumored elemental chamber of Wickhaven, and subsequently blew it to hell. Barnabus is shocked to learn of exploding part. Lucius and Alton are shocked to learn of Barnabus’ shock, not realizing that the Unflankables’ bombing wasn’t part of the plan. The heroes try and wheedle some more cash out of Barnabus, before asking about the prison break.

Barnabus gives them much of the same information that they received at the remains of the prison. The worst offender to escape was a horrible man named Mavron, known for stabbing defenseless innocents to death for funsies. The heroes offer to help out and Barnabus offers to give them a bounty of 500 gold pieces for each prisoner they can recapture. The heroes are enthralled with the opportunity to help out, or at least with the opportunity to make some fat stacks. Barnabus advises them to return later so that their sketch artist can make copies of the hand-drawn mug shots.

The heroes head back to the rubble of the prison to tell Fyvo Puleesman that they’re on the case. The officer assures them that besides the bodies of a couple guards, there were no others found. Not to mention that no crimes have been committed since the breakout. The heroes find that some of the rubble is more charred than the rest and determine that a spell must have originated there. Puleesman doesn’t think that could be the case since Jack Carver placed spells over the prison to prevent such a thing from happening. Nothing left for the two dwarves and Pineroot to do but head to Carver’s Institute for Lycanthropic Studies.

On the way to the institute, the three heroes pass many citizens all abuzz about the prison break. A young boy runs up to Pineroot, who recognizes him as Areth from the stickball tournament. He is super excited to see the heroes and they all share a conversation about the prison break. Areth also tells them about his desire to be an adventurer someday, so the Unflankables give him some generic advice.

Once the heroes reach the institute, they have a short talk with Jibly, the security guard. They ask him if he’s concerned about Timocles being loose and some possible vengeance in his future, but he seems more concerned with other criminals. They part ways and the Unflankables head to the office of Jack Carver.

The adventurers of course talk with Jack about the prison break. Jack tells them that there should have been no way that magic could have been cast from inside the prison. Pineroot subtly asks if Jack could maybe have been possessed or if someone more powerful could have broken through the protective spell. Jack thinks the latter could have been possible. The possibility of witches is briefly discussed, though Ulfgar and Darksex insist they don’t exist when Pineroot gets uncomfortably curious.

The topic switches to portal magic and Archibald Mandalus. The name doesn’t ring a bell with Jack, though he is able to shed a little light on the mysterious sign carved into the cultist stones in the desert. He recognizes the sign as that of an ancient being of great power, though not that of a god. So much talk of magic gives the heroes the idea of conducting some kind of séance to determine who destroyed the prison. They also ask Jack if he could make them some kind of short range device to keep in touch with Barnabus.

Jack thinks he may be able to detect the magical signature at the prison. He suggests the stroke of midnight to meet at the prison, but the heroes think eleven forty-five would be better. Jack agrees and they part ways.

Later that night, Ulfgar, Darksex, and Pineroot meet up with Jack at the remains of the prison. While guards look on, Jack hands each of the three Unflankables a raindrop-shaped gem and sprinkles some kind of powder around the rubble. The heroes and Jack take positions at the four corners of the destroyed prison and Jack begins his ritual. The heroes try to raise and lower their gems when Jack does, but their attention is focused on the sand-like powder which has begun to glow. A mist soon materializes complimenting the glowing powder rather nicely. After several minutes of this, Jack brings the gem to his chest and falls silent. The mist dissipates and the powder stops glowing.

Jack has good news. He doesn’t know who cast the destructive spell, but he can tell that its signature left a trail moving southwest. He suspects that the perpetrator is headed for Addertown, a village known for brewing potions. The heroes decide that the best course of action is to head there since maybe the prisoners have followed their savior. Jack gives them the amulet he created for Barnabus to call for the Unflankables’ aid. Grateful for his assistance, the heroes offer to pick up anything he needs from Addertown. Jack would love it if they brought him some Lunar Brew and tells them to ask for Mognan. Super tired and a journey ahead of them, the heroes decide to call it a night.

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