Nearby, Lucille stirred in her cage.
As the fight began, Wyverna pulled the unconscious guards out of the way, Janos watched from a distance, and Quinn and the Rolling Thunder stood back to give some room. Tavus was fast – too fast, it seemed – darting in and out with cruel precision, thrusting and slashing at Corvus, dancing around him as he tried to maneuver him into a corner.
Corvus fought back, slamming Tavus with his shield and slashing with his axe as he tried to spot a weakness in his opponent’s form. Tavus was a force, the Stars realized, and Quinn, Wyverna, and Janos exchanged worried glances. Corvus refused to back down, however, keeping his feet as he dodged attack after attack, looking for a chance, waiting for Tavus to make a mistake.
But so far, no luck.
The other Rolling Thunder members looked on smugly. Things were looking dire. Corvus began to lag, stumbling from the flurry of attacks, and it seemed that defeat was inevitable. But the Stars weren’t willing to give up, not with so much at stake.
Capitalizing on a strong hit from Corvus that knocked Tavus to the ground, Wyverna suddenly leapt into action, striking Bordstrom in the back and buying Corvus and the Stars a few precious seconds to make their escape. As the rest of the Rolling Thunder cried foul and drew their weapons, Quinn wasted no time, throwing a bottle of alchemist’s fire into the back of Lucille’s cage. The armored creature panicked and tried to escape, slamming against the bars and breaking free.
All hell broke loose.
Lucille began to charge around the vault, demolishing anything in her way – crates, merchandise, and, fortunately for the Stars, the Rolling Thunder. She was seemingly indestructible. Wood splintered as everyone scrambled to get out of the way of the trampling creature, while the Stars fought through the Thunder toward the rear exit.
The noise drew guards, both from upstairs and the rear storeroom, and, still wearing the FETC uniforms, the Stars took advantage of the chaos to slip by the confused guards, declaring that Tavus had let Lucille loose. Once inside, the Stars quickly made their way to the secret door, dropping into the tunnels below Silverwatch Fort.
Up ahead, they could hear voices and see a light – guards were coming down the narrow tunnel from Silverwatch House! Quickly consulting the map, the Stars ducked into another tunnel leading to the Arkane Spires, hoping to escape out the front door. They pushed open a trap door and Janos looked over the piles of crates and leftover game props, realizing that he wasn’t alone. A bright blue light revealed a handful of the Crone’s ghosts, surrounding none other than Saze of the Darktide. In her arms, she held a small wooden box, blue light escaping from the lid.
Saze’s ears perked, and Janos saw the ghosts begin to fan out. He dropped back into the tunnel and reported, and the Stars began to turn around, but heard a commotion in the tunnel ahead – the FETC guards, now looking for them specifically. They quickly weighed their options, choosing to take their chances above where they could look for a chance to escape in an open area.
As they left the tunnel, Saze warned them to stay out of the Crone’s business, and ordered the ghosts to make sure they don’t follow her, before leaving through the front door of the spires.
The Stars tried to act quickly, spreading out and engaging the ghosts, who gave several warnings to stand down, saying they couldn’t allow them to follow. Corvus and Wyverna charged to the front lines, trying to force the ghosts to retreat, while Janos and Quinn spread out, attacking from afar.
Before long, a handful of FETC guards emerged from the trap door, looked over the ongoing brawl, then commanded everyone to surrender. The other ghosts called out to one near the door to escape and go on without them. That ghost, revealing their magical prowess, froze their pursuers and created an enormous ice wall to stop the others, before escaping.
The Stars fought desperately to elude the guards and make their escape. Quinn activated some of the game equipment to unleash a fiery beam which melted the icy wall enough for Janos to dodge through, as Wyverna and Corvus leapt over from an upper platform. Guards surrounded the ghosts, who immediately surrendered, and Quinn, who was soon overtaken.
Wyverna slammed against the doors with all her might, realizing they had been frozen shut. Managing to get them open just in time, she, Corvus, and Janos, waited as long as they could for Quinn. Seeing that he had been captured and that they were likely next, they ran out into Silverwatch Fort.
Ahead of them were nearly twenty FETC guards, armed with spears, pointing at the Stars as they rushed toward them.