Not a little surprised, Elara a’ Tog was tempted to unleash her spell at the girl, but at the last second decided against it and instead said “yes my dear, I do!”. After a brief and somewhat surreal conversation Elara found out that the little girls name was Violet and that she lived near here with her parents. Elara asked if they go speak with her parents and Violet said she could take her there now but that she would like to go to the well first and wash up a bit – her parents wouldn’t like the blood she said.
Astonishingly, despite being alone, still hurt from her previous encounters, and with a friend lying unconscious and defenseless on the middle of the street, Elara agreed and taking the young girls pockmarked and cold hand (albeit wrapped up) the pair headed off for the nearby well. Elara was rightly wary but the as they entered the well crossroads Violet quickly ran over to the well and began to wash the blood from her hands, face and hair and was even humming a tune. But then disaster struck. The squelch of feet in mud behind her told her they were no longer alone and as she span round she saw how poor her luck had become as two of the adult creatures entered the crossroads. They were very different from Violet – they swayed from side to side, heads cocked slightly as they listened and sniffing the air. Their flesh looked to be rotting, open sores weeping as the skin peeled away from living but putrid flesh. Their jaws hung open, slaver dripping from bloodstained teeth, they clawed hands clenching in spasm every-now-and-then. They spread out a little, crouching as they began to advance, a low hiss escaping from them. What happened next was a blur….
They came at her fast. Elara had barely enough time to ring her watch bell loudly, the sound echoing over the slums, before they were on her. The first missed the mage, but the second caught her and tearing its foul talons through her side threw her across the intersection, leaving her dying on the floor. Amazingly, she survived the encounter. The massive magical surge had thrown Orion Pendragon out of his body, even as his mortal flesh lay unconscious int he street. Hearing the bell and heroically thinking nothing of himself, he swiftly sought out his friend and quickly came came across an amazing scene. Even as his friends life force ebbed and failed, her spilling blood mixing with the mud of the Dundee slums, the girl Violet crouched over her, protecting her, snarling like a wildcat at the two creatures that had attacked her, and amazingly they were keeping their distance,. The childs aura was astonishing. A violent, twisting, turbulent mix of ribbons, lace and fine dresses shot through with a virulent putrid yellow and black sickness that was somehow being held at bay.
Unsure if there was anything he could do he waited. Moments later Sir Arthur Fergusson arrived and with a mighty cry he drew the attention of the creatures and Orion saw his chance. He materialised his form even as they charged and managed to distract one of them long enough (as it tried to claw out the eyes of his spectral form!) for Sir Arthur to dispatch the other ghoul and ready himself to deal with this foe. The effort cost him though because the creatures claws seemed to be able to touch the astral and his connection to his body began to weaken, to fade. He was dying. The last thing he saw before being wrenched back to his flesh was Violet cradling Elaras head in her arms, imploring her to be OK, even as she held her wrist pressed close to Elaras mouth – who then swallowed.
Dispatching the second ghoul Sir Arthur Fergusson advanced on the child. He hesitated for a moment at seeing the fear in the childs eyes and hearing her plead for him to help her, but he swiftly decided that he would have to deal with the creature first before helping Elara and he drew back his sword. His attack was interrupted however by a figure who seemingly flashed out of nowhere, grabbed the child out of harms way and went crashing into a building wall – Fen MacBás was not about to let the child get hurt!
Violet struggled and attempted to get out of his grip even as Fen MacBás barely dragged her away from a devastating sweep from Sir Arthurs blade that nonetheless left her with a cut on her head. As he raised the sword to strike again, and Fen MacBás prepared himself to attack the noble warrior a voice of reason rang out extorting both of them to stop this madness. With authority in his voice Deputy Sherrif Struman calmed the tense encounter. Luckily this allowed Sir Arthur Fergusson to tend to Elara, saving her life as she was but seconds from death.
Amazingly, Orion also survived the encounter. Agnes and Cid Sitron-Blodåre, hearing the tolling bell, had hurried to find its source when they had come across the prone and crumpled form of Orion. Seeing the slood strem from his nose, eyes and hears they feared the worse and had quickly worked at healign him, both with magic and herb. The effort wrenched Orion back to his body and with a gasp he awoke. Shakily and using his katana as one might a walking stick, he stood and together they went in search of the bell, coming at last to the gruesome scene at the well even as Elaras life was saved and she regained consciousness.
Some debate was had on their course of action now and eventually it was decided that they needed to help the girl and that her parents was not the place to take her right now. Instead they resolved to take her to the Cathedral and enlist the help of Father Colban and Father Phillip, the exorcist – they hoped that the child state, conscious, free thinking and not insane might mean they had caught things early enough to save her. Badly hurt and not wishing to bring himself to the attention of the church, Orion decided to return to the university along with Agnes and Cid Sitron-Blodåre in the hopes that Brother Claudius may have returned. Trusting hat the others would no longer slay the girl outright, nor fight amongst themselves, Deputy Sherrif Struman departed on an errand elsewhere while the others took the girl to the cathedral to see if there was anything the church could do to aid her.
Meanwhile, Murdo (Murdoch) had rested for most of the day but decided to attend the eveneing mass at the Cathedral, as was his want. The service was unusually busy and took a seat on one of the last pues despite arriving a little early Murdo. lightly confused he spoke to his neighbour and found out that the service was so busy, and the reason why so many of the nobles were in attendance in in their finery, was that this was the first service from the newly appointed and recently arrived Bishop of Dundee, . As sucht he service began very formally, with a procession of senser swinging Lay church members and priests of incresing standing in the church, accompanied by the singing of the choir. Then a surprise; two large middle ages, hard-looking men, heavily armed and armoured in shining mail with gleaming gilt edges came next, their eyes fixed forward, marching in lockstep. Their tabards were red with a white cross and gold edges, the mark of [[http://historymedren.about.com/od/hospitallers/p/hospitallers.htm|The Knights Hospitalier]], and order dedicated to protecting the Sick and Injured. A pace behind them came a nun; perhaps in her early twenties her face was stunningly beautiful with the complexion of fine alabaster. Her eyes were a deep rich green, her lips a delicate red and beneath her scarlet wimple her hair was a deep and rich auburn – touched by fire. Behind her again came the bishop himself, flanked by four more of the Knights Hospitalier, two of which were somewhat older. The Bishop himself was arrayed in the finery of his office, but even that and his white bearded face couldn’t hide the austerity of the man beneath. He was thin, almost gaunt, but his piercing blue eyes darting out from beneath a heavy brow showed a quick wit and quick condemnation.
Murdo was not unduly concerned until, as the armed men passed, he noticed that the soft buckskin gloves worn by the two more elderly nights both bore an odd symbol; a symbol he reckognised from his past and one that bode no good for him or, he feared for Dundee! His fears were confirmed during the ceremony as the Bishop gave his sermon. His rhetoric was powerful, bombastic and driven by fervour and orthodoxy, with no sign of the tolerance and calm understanding that the previous bishop was known for. Worse, in the middle of the sermon he extorted those present to beware. That he had been sent by God and the church to Dundee to guide the city back into the light and that as proof of this God had provided for him a perfect symbol of the sickness that plagued the city. The armed men spread out into a protective cordon as several priests led out a young man in chains. His eyes were glowing crimson, his skin pocked, rotted and stinking, his jaw distended with sharp fangs clearly showing and his hands, bent like talons, ended in thick yellowed talon like claws. He fought powerfully against the chain, struggling to get at the food – the people – he so greatly desired. It was the young man Fen MacBás had bought to the cathedral and left here sedated. The young man he was truing to help.
Murdo paid little attention to the remainder of the sermon and left the church swiftly after it finished (as did the Earl). Knowing what his friends sought in the slums he headed straight there to warn them, only to find them walking calmly up the street towards the cathedral hand-in-hand with a small demon-child, red eyes glowing brightly in the darkness of the evening. He glanced around – they had been noticed – he swiftly intercepted them and hid them off the main street to the square. He explained the situation, one that stunned the party. The anger in Fen MacBás was palpable and Murdo could feel his desire to mark into the church and confront . That would be suicide though and they both knew it – more so than ever with the two elderly knights there! They decided to return to the slums and find a place to hide while they considered their options. They headed for Father Christophers Church and hid in an alleyway nearby as they waited for the father to return to give council…., decrying him a a symbol for Dundee, as a live wallowing in sin that had invited the Devil into his heart and soul so much that he had become the Devils vessel and was now unredeemable, damned for all eternity to the fires of Hell. The crowd int he church was stunned to silence, even as the Bishop declared that on the morrow he would be burned in a mighty fire, mirroring his fate int he afterlife, and beginning a new era of faith in Dundee that would begin by rooting out those who defied gods law and had invited the Devil into their life. Deeply concerned by this turn of events,