Episode 52: The City Avallonis

It was dark and it was raining. The similarities ended there. The city before Isabelle, the capitol of the entire Empire, was as large as the heroes' town had been small. The majority of its residents were, presumably, as mundane as the heroes had been incredible. It was also as closed as the town had been welcoming.

The city was built on an island. The island stood in a lake. Between the city and each shore a causeway ran, but at either end of the causeways there was a gap that, during the daylight hours, was covered by a drawbridge. It was not the daylight hours.

Arthur was arguing with the gate guard on the shore side of the causeway terminus. "Look, if you don't let us in right now, the next Imperial forces to cross this drawbridge will probably be liberating the city."

The tired Captain above the shoreside gate sighed and pointed out that it was due to exactly those security concerns that he didn't want to have his counterpart on the causeway lower the drawbridge.

"The enemy will be likely arriving on the causeway!"

"Be that as it may, I must insist that you stand down for the night. I have asked my signalman to relay your arrival and concerns to the Tactical Operations Center; if they order that you be let in, I will do so."

"At this time of night the T.O.C. will be staffed by a Lieutenant with less field experience than my dog, and you know it. At least send word to the Great Hall at the Imperial War Academy!"

"The Great Hall has not been activated; nobody's there." The Captain turned to go.

Arthur grabbed for his horn. "I am a former Captain of the Silver Order, damn it. Let me pass or I will sound the Defense of the Crown." He looked deadly serious.

The Captain turned back in obvious shock, opened his mouth as if to speak, and shut it again when he saw Arthur's face. He disappeared into one of the mini-turrets that supported his gate. A moment later, the sounds of heavy chains could be heard, and the gates opened to reveal a drawbridge lowering towards the heroes from the causeway.

They crossed over the drawbridge and into a nightmare.

End of Season 2.5