Pavo was first to arrive at Aria Park, wanting to be early to soak up the atmosphere. He was soon joined by the others, all expecting to meet with Rexus while the citizens vented at the lord-mayor, holed up in the Opera House.
But things seldom go to plan. Angry at the Kintargans’ lack of respect, and eager to disperse their protest, Barzillai Thrune ordered his henchman Nox to clear the park. She led the dottari forward as hidden agents loyal to House Thrune revealed themselves from among the crowd and proceeded to mete out “justice” to the ungrateful mob.
At first some brave citizens resisted, using their greater numbers to push back against the dottari and Loyalists. The violence increased however, and only the more stalwart citizens still held their ground, all the while shouting anti-government slogans.
Viewing the violence around him, including against women, children, and the defenceless, Rufus had had enough. He drew his weapons and turned to stand his ground. “This is not the time to make a stand!” Pavo cried over the crowd. Titus paused but considered the situation too dangerous, and followed the bard through the park.
Across from the crowd, Keldor attempted to strategically withdraw, escorting Rexus to safety. Gaian ran with him, pausing long enough to defiantly throw a dagger at a nearby Loyalist.
Screams of anger turned to terror when Nox encouraged her hellhound into the throng. Laughing at the chaos, she watched her pet run down victim after victim, viciously mauling them or breathing fire on groups of resistors. Gaian attempted to flee as the beast tracked him, pouncing from behind and knocking him to the ground. Flailing wildly the tour-guide managed to hold off the snapping jaws for a few moments before the hellhound clamped down on his face. The beast then breathed a stream of scorching flame over his prey.
Keldor and other brave citizens beat the beast off while Rexus dragged the unconscious Gaian to safety. Eventually the group made it to the safety of Belor’s Beer Hall.
After recovering, Rexus stated Barzillai had played his hand, first with the Night of Ashes and now with setting his goons on the common people, attempting to quash any spirit of rebellion Kintargo might have. But now more than ever Kintargo needed that spirit of rebellion to stay strong. Barzillai had driven into hiding those who would resist. And those who could once rally the city to a cause were missing or dead.
“Will you aid Kintargo? Will you save the city from the devil?”
Those gathered had a heated discussion on what to do. Rexus was adamant: now was the time to make a stand against injustice. Gaian was worried about the safety of his family, but others pointed out nobody was safe in this environment. Pavo decried it was evident the bourgeoisie was unfit any longer to be the ruling class and to impose its conditions of existence upon society. “Let the ruling classes tremble at this revolution! The proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains. They have a world to win!”
Rexus confided that his mother was a member of the Secret Order of Archivists, a group dedicated to the preservation of history, countering the imperial narratives and propaganda. He directed them to the Fair Fortune Livery, an abandoned stable which his mother had discovered was once used by the Silver Ravens, a rebel group in an age gone by. In the basement of the livery the group recovered documents written by the Silver Ravens, many in code. Rexus began deciphering them, but admitted he could use the assistance of a specialist.
Other documents laid out blueprints on how to start a revolution – the Silver Ravens once hoped to spread their revolutionary zeal to neighbouring cities. The group read it with interest. They then swore oaths of secrecy, and entrusted Rufus with their joint treasury. They took upon themselves roles of recruiter, spymaster, and demagogue, and discussed how to plant the seed of revolution among the citizenry of Kintargo…
Vive la revolution!