Kalen had done it, he had gotten clear of the twisted hellscape in which he had been forced to exist for far too long. As he walked, Kalen reveled in the deep green of the fir trees around him. The crackle and crunch of the fallen leaves as he walked was like a sweet melody. The chill of the autumn air caressed his skin like a lover’s touch.

He could hardly wait to take the next step in his journey home. He couldn’t rush it, however. He had only just escaped with his key from Travance. They were far more resourceful than he had first thought. He had barely talked his way out of some sort of healing or purification ritual that surely would have weakened him. He could not take the chance of losing the power from the defeat of one of his Legionnaires.

His natures, both Faerie and Demon would aid him. He knew that all he had to do was wait. It may mean some time spent here among mortals – maybe a century or two – but he knew his patience would serve him well. Once these mortals had passed on, he would summon his two other Legionnaires for new mortals to finish off. Then the full power of the Mantle would transfer to him. By then, the stain of corruption on his key should fade and he would be able to use it, along with his full power, to open a new portal to his home.

 

*     *     *     *     *

 

A burst of putrid green energy pulsed, and several more demons from the Abyssal Plain of Earth spewed from the portal. Travance was ready though. When the feast weekend was over a multitude of Heroes chose to stay in or near the Proper and do whatever they could to help. Several Travancians, including the Paladins and the Witchhunters noticed that the closer a positive energy creature got to the portal, the more the portal reacted and ejected demons in response. They set up barriers and camps at what seemed “sweet spots” and fought in shifts for weeks.

 

Inevitably, demons slipped past even the most diligent front-liners. The bulk of those were met by patrolling groups, led mostly by the Baronial Guard who also worked in shifts to patrol the Proper and sought to keep large parties of the abyssal scourge from spilling out into the rest of the Barony.

 

Even the most vigilant patrols cannot account for the sheer number of demons that spilled from the portal. Several individuals made sure to set up shelters and safe havens for the smallfolk who would be effected by the invasion. Many places, including Panther Lily Winery, the Church of Light Mission, Vindholm, and Culpepper Farms were prepared for the influx of frightened people. Hot food, warm beds and the safety of numbers met all who sought refuge.

 

Those who follow the Divine did their part as well. Along with the various Missions accepting evacuees, members of the Light Church spoke to the masses, infusing them with courage and hope that together they all would prevail against this newest threat. From the forges, prayers to Brazen rang out as clear as the hammer on anvil while many smiths labored to craft weapons to be used against the enemy.

 

Patrols from Alisandria, including many Halflings, could be heard reciting Enaxian prayers from scrolls to heal the wounded and bolster their own damage against the threat.

 

The aid from those of Darker faith manifested as well. A hoard of undead, wielding lightning weapons, stood against the demons who dared get close to the Cathedral.

Many others also contributed by purchasing supplies for those in need, healing and encouraging any and all – and even by making sure those who were tasked to stay alert did not fall asleep on the job.

 

To date, the combined efforts of the people of Travance had miraculously made it so that not one report included a single casualty. There was a fair share of damage to structures and property, but the people of Travance knew from past experience that they would rebuild and thrive as long as they worked together.

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