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Attention! Since it took me nearly a year to continue this story, recent events have overtaken me. Therefore, this story part takes place before MassEditor's prelude story that is linked below. All links are in chronological order. Make sure to (re-)read it! Glance into the future Three Ravens At the Black Knight's Inn The Resistance Unites (by MassEditor) When you ran out of coin, get out of here! the host had said. “Always the same sad business. No one treasures the value of a wise old man anymore.” Perry Ratchett mumbled into his grey beard, while he stumbled out of the Black Knight’s Inn. Aye, that old hoax of the heroic black knight defending a bridge against a king and losing all his limbs, one by one. That was a popular tale here in the East. The old wizard wondered how the people would react when they were told that this very story served as a shining example of chivalry and ideal courage in Avalonia. “I’m too late again! Foolish old dunderhead. “ Ratchett thought. He had never been an excellent wizard. Often he had proven himself not even an average wizard. But, after all, he was one. It was not a matter of the prowess as magician at all, he was just unfortunate enough to live in a wondrous world that offered as much kinds of ale, vine and liquor as it housed magical miracles. But now he was on a quest. He had witnessed what may would be and no it was on him, Peregrine Ratchett, the purple wizard, to prevent this city and its lord from ruin. He could see his course clear, the first time for years he felt the weightiness of his role in the world. He now had influence on the lifes of many. And although he was well aware of the immense threat to come, Perry silently enjoyed the feeling to be of some importance again. This wizard was back into business. As soon as he set a foot on the rough cobblestone the wizard had found for whom he was looking. Several armed men surrounded him, ensuring there would be no escape. A tall rat furred with brown and white hair approached. His look was strict and hard. But for those who were able to listen, his eyes would tell stories of grief and sorrow, deeply immured in an will of iron. The wizard recognized him immediately from his vision. “What is thy business in this town, old man?” the rat lord said. “I was told of a wizard arriving, speaking of great matters; dark menaces toward. Now all I see is a drunken vagabond, maybe hoping to be kept by my household in return for palmistry and other legerdemain. Do not dare to waste my time by trying to fool me.” The old wizard had expected mistrust. But this rat proved to be amongst that kind of stubborn beings who wouldn’t believe in dragons unless they recognised the smell of their burnt skin, or fur in such a case. He had to take care of what to say:”You may take me for a drunkard an impostor. And whilst I cannot deny my flaws I affirm you that serious wizardry is my business. I am Peregrine Ratchett. And I am called the purple wizard. And not only for the colour of my hat, I assure you. That is just frippery.” The lord of Skavenport kept his straight face, while his companions bandied inquiring gazes. A very uncomfortable silence spread and lasted far too long. Perry realised that this lord was still waiting for his explanations, either to be convinced or for having a reason to throw him into the deepest dungeon of the city; “I have come to assist you by the quest that lies ahead of you. For I have seen what may will be, and I say you there is no time to lose!” Osric Isentooth’s face became even more sceptical: “And what quest shall this be? Gathering my troops, march out with all the banners of red and gold waving in the wind? Many souls in Nocturnus call for this. No day that I do not receive requests for assistance from this lord and that village. I have no need for another supplicant to tell me about the sorrows that plague this land. I know them. Call the town watch and chase this vagabond out of my city!” The wizard rushed towards Osric:”The Lord of Shadowmere is calling for you! Will you deny his request?” The lord’s face turned angry: “You should have heard the rumours on your pub crawl. It is told in every tavern; Vladivus is dead.” Ratchett’s lips formed a grim smile: “He is alive. At least as much as his kind can be. You will see. Assemble Skavenport’s army, my lord. March out and engage the Black Spire. You are not alone. Raavage’s craft is to cloud his enemies’ awareness. The resistance is still strong. But you must unite your forces. Separating the last strongholds of the Darklands, destroying the remaining free peoples of Nocturnus one by one is the very intention of the Spire. Unite your armies, reclaim the East from Raavage, and the other guilds will join you. Because this fight is not the mere battle for Nocturnus. If you fail it will conclude the fate of all Historica. Tis the quest I have foreseen, the quest you will have to face up to.” Osric seemed to stare into an abyss, when he finally spoke: “All what you say... it either makes you an egregiously able wizard, or an equally able agent of my foes. Either way, I will learn the truth. Into the dungeon with him!” Perry felt that everything had gone wrong. While he resigned himself to a longer phase of soberness, a black hooded messenger arrived, bowed shortly before lord Osric, giving him a small piece of parchment, before heading away in a hurry. The rat lord looked at the sigil in surprise, broke it and unfurled the writing. It took him a moment to come to terms with it. Then he looked at the wizard and spoke: “Bring him to the castle. Host him in the keep, but do not let him leave it. And keep him sober.” He turned to his two captains, a rat and a grim looking sturdy human: “I have to leave the city. Lord Vladivus is indeed alive, or correctly: undead. A council will be held in Shadowmere. A council of the Resistance. I have to go.” “Alone? My lord! Every swathe of land between Shadowmere and the Grimwoods is occupied by the Spire. Damn it! Every single bloody stone in the Moruth has a Spire soldier guarding it!” the human said indignantly. “I have to go. And no time to lose. But I am well aware of the dangers such a journey involves. Therefore you will escort me, Dunstan. Why shall I fear a thousand Spire soldiers with you roaring at them?” Osric responded. Visibly amused the other captain began to speak: “I rest assured that you will make the journey without harm, my lord. My dear Sir Dunstan is no doubt the loudest man in Skavenport. But what are thy orders to me?” “You, good sir Aethelrat, will procure that an army in readiness will await our return. Gather supplies, lade war machines and keep the city’s fortifications operational.” Lord Isentooth commanded. Then he turned back towards the purple wizard: “I am still in doubt about your intentions. I will concern myself with you when I return. But for the time being I shall not call you a liar; war is to come. Allies are calling. And Skavenport shall answer.” ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________- So far, thanks for reading! And I am deeply sorry about the low photo quality. It's impossible for me to get the right lighting for such a weirdly angled build.