Amidst the throbbing sway of the revelers, you hear the sound of metal, sliding across metal. It almost sounds like… swords being drawn… Sudden screams erupt in the throng. The music screeches to a halt and all that remains is the frightened whispers of the crowd. You look around, straining to see the source. Then it hits you. All the Knights of the Dusk have drawn their weapons and are lined up in attack formation at the edge of the city center. The garrison seems to have swelled. There are now 40 troops total. Lancaster Oren, Captain of the Guard, steps forward. Long brown hair, armor gleaming. Hand on the pummel of his sword. Azure, the garrison mage, drifts behind him. Cowl obscuring her face. Ashe the Elder stumbles up. “What… what is the meaning of this!? Explain yourself, Oren!!” Lancaster points at Ashe. “Seize him. Gently, please…” Two soldiers of the dusk scale the scaffold and grab the terrified old man. Lancaster speaks slowly, confidently. “Good people of Welton. Strangers from afar. We have reason to believe that a rebellion against the Sister Queens is brewing here. At this very feast. Reports have been intercepted that a powerful weapon was delivered here… powerful enough to raze the royal fortress of Rift Kawl and destroy all those inside. We must investigate and seize this weapon and all those who conspire against the crown. All those who resist will be made an example of. Any Knights or Soldiers of the Dusk who are now in attendance, please leave the civilians and rejoin the ranks of your garrison.” Ashe splutters “A weapon?? Revolt? Why that’s absurd! We—we are loyal to the Queens… we would never—“ “Quiet old man…” “I will not be quiet! And you will release us, Lancaster, or I’ll send word to your father in Ured that you have—-“ Lancaster’s pretty face darkens. He nods at the garrison mage… “Azure… would you please…” Azure steps forward, and lets her dusky, hooded robe fall to the ground. The commoners gasp in abject horror… before them stands a young Malcanthet fire demon.
Large, twisted red horns stretch from her forehead. Dark red hair spirals down her shoulders in a tangled top knot. Her eyes seethe a cold blue, face greenish red and brown, lips small and thin. Demonic runes glow yellow and orange across her flesh. Her lean limbs seethe with a penetrating heat that bathes all who look at her in sopping sweat. Light on her bare, human feet she trots across the courtyard. The peasants scatter like moths from a flame. Azure brings her hands together and generates a ball of seething flame… With a shriek she releases it at Ashe. The flaming projectile ignites both him and the nearby peasants. The ungodly fire gnaws into the old man, burning out his guts. His intestines fall to the stone street, sizzling in their own juices. Azure glides forward and grabbing his head, tears it from his shoulders with an effortless tug. Blood gushes across the horrified throng. She tosses the head on the ground and walks back to Lancaster’s side. Lancaster clears his throat, addressing the crowd. “Any questions?” The crowd explodes with fear, fleeing in all directions, desperate to escape. Lancaster sighs, turning towards his troops. “This is taking too long. The lives of our Queens hang in the balance. Kill the commoners and find the weapon. Take anyone of interest hostage for interrogation. Go on… that’s an order.” The knights hesitate, swords up. “But sir… the—“ “They’re disloyal traitors… All of them. Go on, do as your told!” One elite takes a swing, cutting down Gen, the tailor. The rest follow, falling into the fray… hacking off arms and limbs. Blood pools in the gutters. Azure leads the assault, yanking out hearts and incinerating everything in her path. An unstoppable wave of seething demonic power.
During the battle, Azure tried to capture Dun but was thwarted by the heroes. Saba let fly a deadly arrow from her thorn tree long bow which critically wounded Lancaster Oren. Alder pulled Dun onto Rio and rode into Blackthorn Forest. Nobody diplomatically convinced the Knights of the Dusk that they were fighting on the wrong side, causing them to desert the battle. Juniper, Artex and Nobody were nearly incinerated by Azure’s fireball, but dove out of the way just in time thanks to their quick reflexes. Azure, sensing that Lancaster would perish, teleported him away, leaving the entire citizenry of Welton dead in their wake.