Rhonis's powerful and commanding voice quickly dispersed what idle chatter there was between the assembly of nine standing before the paladin as they shuffled into a group formation. All, save but one, stood as familiar faces of the Retribution of Arathor, save for one, though Alunara was no stranger to the group. With exceptions to the three members of the secretive Violet Eye standing in front of the looming tower of Karazhan, they were the only living beings here this eve.
"Fellow Retributioners and friends!" he hollered into the night, voice echoing for what seems to be miles. "Tonight, we will strike a blow to the evils that lurk within this hollowed, ancient Tower!" Many stood attentive to the paladin's speech, though few made last minute checks on their weapons and armor.
"You can feel it can you not?!" The paladin made a few pointed gestures towards the building. "The evil, demonic presence that now lurks within the ancient halls before us! As defenders of the Alliance and Azeroth, it is our duty to put an end to what schemes may be plotted by our adversaries!" While Rhonis continued with his speech to inspire his fellow comrades, Ravine found her thoughts elsewhere. The warlock had her own personal reasons for journeying into Karazhan this eve, many of them trailing back to several months ago when a ghost of her past crept back into her life with little warning. Though there were no longer any signs of her presence, nor those that caused her trouble, the research that the warlock conducted traced her origins back to Karazhan.
Pulling out a worn, leather bound book, she began flipping through its pages until she found a fresh sheet. As quickly as she could, she penned down the words "The Karazhan Compendium" in a fancy scripture. Blotting the ink with a spare piece of netherweave to dry it quicker, she pocketed the book away as motivated cheers rose from the crowd. It looked as though the paladin commander was through with his little speech, and they would be moving soon. Armed with only a lantern, a sword, a lazy imp who perched onto her shoulder and her shadowy magic, Ravine marched in with the rest of her company into the depths of Karazhan, preparing herself for what they may find lurking within.
The following seems to have been hastily scripted onto the pages.
Stepping in the Tower was... chilling to say the least. I began to feel as though there was something always watching me, but the source of this... I cannot say. If my companions feel the same way, then they are hiding it well.
From the base of the Tower we had a number of options in terms of where we could path. A set of stairs to our right led up into what appeared to be a sort of Grand Hall, or a Ballroom mayhaps. It's hard to imagine that this... place once accommodated nobles. From my research, I gathered that Medivh was rather secluded as to not have guests over. One of the lower rooms led to what appeared to be a rather deprecated part of the tower. I could not see far for the place was swarmed by large bats and spiders, even with the Eye of Kilrogg that I deployed.
The last doorway led to an old, abandoned stable yard. It was here that we decided to investigate first as we crept inside cautiously, and came across a ghostly night man who called himself Calliard. I suppose he resided here once before, but it seems he is bound to the Tower, like many of the spirits whom once resided in this area. However, he did not seem hostile, and even warned us of a Huntsman and his Steed and of some strange magic that tied them to the spirits around the stables.
Unfortunately, the rest of the ghostly residents (horses included) did not take kindly to our presence as we had to battle our way through. Thank the Nether for Sarriel and Sarena, two of our most skilled priestesses in our guild. Not only did they help to keep our strength, but they also had to keep the spirits at bay, shackling them where they stood as we took them down one at a time. Without them, I do not wish to think what would have become of us. Not only that, but I also must give my thanks and appreciation to the hunter to accompanied us, for Alunara's traps did well to keep these creatures at bay by encasing their spirits in ice for a time.
Though we subdued them for a time, the air around us was teeming with energy. In time, the strange power of this place would likely raise them again so we moved quickly down the stables, fighting against those that would stand against us, until we came across a curious horse. Unlike the spiritual skeletal horses, this one was not ethereal. Rather, it was of flesh, bone... and felfire as green flames flickered from its hooves. Its eyes of flame stared at us intently though it did not seem initially hostile. Remembering the night man's words, mayhaps he is the steed of the Huntsman he had spoken to earlier. And if that were true... perhaps the magic enchantment placed here, this feeling of sizzling magic in the air would stop.
It was difficult to say how much time we had left until they began to raise themselves again, so we blindly charged forth. Brave Duraedin lead the charge as he agitated the horse first, before we followed suit. It didn't take long before the ruckus he created drew out the horse's owner, who seemed none too pleased to see us attacking his steed. Still, his appearance did not daunt us as we continued our attacks. Mayhaps crippling his horse would also cripple this Huntsman's Spirit...
Alas we proved to be wrong. Just when the horse seemed to give, it arose as strong as it was with unholy strength. I say this because this horse was able to support the weight of its rider while we fought. It was as if... these two shared an unseen bond. But more than that, it was clear that these two were drawing from the magics of the Tower. However, as the battle wore on, strain was beginning to show on both sides. Though Sarriel, Sarena... even myself and the mages around were beginning to feel the fatigue of battle, the Huntsman's attacks were slowing down little by little, and the light in the steed's eyes grew dim with each passing moment. It turned into a battle of endurance as to who could outlast the other.
Things seemed almost hopeless as our draenai paladin defender fell to stone floor. Angry eyes seethed at the rest of us as we charged the last of our spells, out of breath and out of time. The last arrows were shot, and the last spells flung.
As the Huntsman charged towards our group, he fell backwards with a thud as an arrow cracked into his armor, piercing his heart. His mount (Midnight as we later learned during the course of the fight) seemed confused at the events that had just happened, but had little time to think of it as the last spells slammed into him, and he soon joined his master in what afterlife lies ahead of them.
There was a moment of dead silence. It felt as if time itself had frozen. Then as quickly as it started, both priests quickly attended to the fallen, Duraedin in particular while many others simply collapsed to the ground, out of breath as exhaustion set in. But with that exhaustion came relief and excitement. The sense of urgency was gone. The magic buzzing in the air was no longer present.
We were safe. For now.
Ravine wiped the tip of the quill of excess ink, looking rather satisfied as she quickly skimmed her writing thus far. Looking upwards, she breathed a sigh. "It seems as if this place goes on up forever..." she mused to herself as she pocked the book away, rising to her feet as she followed the company out of the stables.
Though the Huntsman had been dealt with, there were still more to be done.