The beast roared like something between a lion and dragon as it launched from balcony to the ceremony rooftop. Its body loosely resembled a massive four-armed, ram-horned ape, with smokey claws and fangs as long as daggers and swords. Loud snaps sounded from the frenetic, fiery sparks trapped within in its gray, roiling, cloud-like body. It was a demon, a storm cloud, a murderous monstrosity – truly a Mourning nightmare come to life.
Screams of terror echoed across the rooftops from the thousands assembled – thousands of people of all races and callings, from all over Khorvaire and beyond were suddenly a frantic, terrified mob driven only by one thing: survival.
Seemingly always with an arrow at the ready, Amenadiel's shot gave the massive creature pause, leaving a smoking wound even as the beast's sparks devoured the arrow. And Sovelo's spell delayed the beast's assault further, blasting it back toward the balcony from whence it came, spinning horned creature head over heals.
But soon the Mourning Beast was above the Remembrance Day Ceremony's main rooftop, cleaving heads, splattering brains and guts, and sending broken corpses falling down through Sharn, their bodies snapping and breaking further onto Sharn's rooftops, streets and bridges.
Every bridge exploded into a mad scramble, people calling out for aid even as they were being trampled. Like all bridges surrounding the ceremony, the two bridges off the ceremony rooftop were a crush of desperate attendees. Many on the main rooftop were high ranking officials, dignitaries, lords and nobles, including Lord Bren – one of the few survivors, like you, and thanks to you, of The Mourning that ended the Last War exactly four years ago.
And yet here it was again – The Mourning Returned – in the form of some awful cloud-like beast, slaughtering everyone in its path.
And then, the main rooftop began to shake as tiles cracked, broke and were blasted away. Like a living pit of spikes, dozens of animated blades launched and lanced into the feet and legs of the main rooftop attendees – including you.
Sovelo and Akra the dragonborn seized onto the suspicious antiquities professor they and Amenadiel had been tailing, the sixty-some odd winters old father of Lorn Bren's lover – and made for the north bridge.
Mazikeen and dwarf twins Caiomhe (KEE-VAH) and Elgeon's attention also turned their attention to the north bridge. Elgeon's horse form swiftly sped his sister and the tiefling into and even through the mob, toward their charge, a drunken young lordling Daric they were to watch from a distance during the Rememberance ceremony.
The Mourning Beast halted its assault then, searching the bridges and rooves for several intense moments. Whatever it was looking for, it did not seem to find. It only roared in frustration and fury, resuming its attack on who was still on the main rooftop.
Lord Bren was doing his best to escort people towards the south bridge, and even brandished his hidden rapier, challenging the beast in a clear mix bravery and personal terror. "Go! Go, my love! Get out here!" he called out after the cloaked half-elf Ethelene, daughter of Professor Gydd.
She was as striking as Mazikeen – for a half-elf without tiefling horns, of course. From what you knew about Lord Bren's tastes the first day you met him and the four years since, it was not hard to understand why Lord Bren had fallen for Ethelene.
Most the party doubled back and came to Lord Bren's aid then. Amenadiel and Mazikeen were the, followed soon after by Akra, Caiomhe (KEE-VAH) and Elgeon. Only Sovelo was nowhere to be found, having whisked the Professor into the safety of a "friend's" antiquities shop to wait out the chaos and danger.
Though Mazikeen would fall momentarily, succumbing to the deep wounds from the smoking claws of the beast, a flurry of steel, shots and spells later finally destroyed the Mourning Beast. It exploded, its mist shooting into everyone's nostrils, and the sparks of life inside its cloudy body dissipating around a diamond. Fresh from death's door, the gold-craving tiefling wasted no time diving to save the diamond from falling deep into Sharn. Moments later, Elgeon and his owl also "saved" Daric's briefly lost magical goblet from the hands of a small child below mistaking it and its everflowing wine for a toy. Even Sovelo and the Professor reappeared, clearly in their cups and apparently no worse for the wear from the attack. Lord Bren, Professor Gydd and Ethelene expressed their deepest gratitude for your aid and protection.
Elite guard arrived on scene and immediately assisting the other guards in securing and sealing off the blood, guts, and corpse-filled area.
Lord Bren and the party were asked by to stay in Sharn during the potentially long investigation; officials would be by at their earliest opportunity to collect more information. There were hundreds if not thousands Sharn citizens and visitors to interview, buildings to search, and much blood and death to clean up from the Rememberance Day attack.
Caiomhe, Elgeon and Mazikeen escorted Lord Daric "home." The building was riddled in all kinds of overgrowth, as if no none had tended to it in years. Young Daric seemed stunned that the dwarves and the tielfing – "Oh shite! A fucking tiefling!!" – took such good care of him and were so kind as to bring him home safely, and in thanks, seemed like he gave them both his enchanted goblet and his home – though he did warn the trio that were some "things" they might want to kill inside before moving in. Otherwise, happily drunk Daric made off to Sheila's with a naughty grin on his eternally oblivious face.
The companions cleaned up at Lord Bren's home, his dutiful servants providing new clothes and washing and cleaning salvageable clothing, weapons and armor.
Two such servants, Durn and Donna, revealed themselves to Akra and Amenadiel working against the Order of the Emerald Claw, having more information related to the Dragonmark in Saerun Tower from the Day of Mourning. This included the Emerald Claw being involved in the building of some sort of massive Dragonmarked machine out of slain warforged parts. The trail had finally led Durn and Donna to Sharn, but after working for Lord Bren for four months, their trail had all but dried up. They told Akra and Amenadiel their secret employer would like to recruit the dragonborn and elf to hunt down the Emerald once again – just like they did four years ago, and the two servants offered gifts from their benefactor in a gesture of good faith for their consideration. Durn and Donna handed the warrior and ranger something hand-sized each, wrapped in blue silks – which they stowed away, for now.
Sovelo also took Lord Bren aside to discuss ways to protect the Professor – sending him away on on a special productive assignment for Morgrave University or somesuch was wise. Illusory goods and compromised deals? Far south in Xen'drik? With dark elves? Bren was shocked to find out how deep his someday-father-in-law was with his illegal antiquities activities. And Bren was equally shocked that the silver-tongued Sovelo was able to glean so many details out of the old professor.
The companions, appearing clean once more except for the day's awful memories, met with Lord Bren to eat.
Oreon, the warforged joined them, and had a wealth of information to provide on the Mourning Beast – or Beasts. They were others, and he had fought them on a few of his contracts, but never defeated one. According to Oreon's experiences with them, victims of Mourning Beasts sometimes exploded, sometimes rose again, or sometimes perished slowly. Lord Bren swore, thankful yet jarred by all the information, headed off in alarm to speak with the lead investigator.
Durn and Donna, the servants, came to clear the tables as Oreon reached for and unsuccessfully tried to eat a bread roll. The servants' curious eyes lingered on Akra and Amenadiel and their packs a few extra moments.
Suddenly, the double doors exploded from their hinges and splintered apart in a loud crash. Once more, the companions saw the heavy, black boots of Emerald Claw Order Knights before them.