The first thing we heard was the ding of the bell, long and deep from the heights of Thraben Cathedral. The chilling sound let us know exactly what we were getting into — Innistrad stands in disarray, its leadership and people decimated, and we had wandered into the middle of it.
As the doors opened on Thraben Cathedral, we were given a simple instruction: find a way out of the sanctuary at all costs. A series of puzzles stood between us and that goal, and there were no easy answers here. While we began to investigate the clues around the room, a local villager prayed to Avacyn for her guidance. Little did we know how bad an idea that was.
The puzzles were challenging, truly — as the villager pointed out to us — a feat of the mind, not of the body. With the iconic stained-glass portrait of Avacyn herself above us, our team began working out the details needed to rejoin the crowd steadily gathering outside of the cathedral.
Our first break came slowly, but once it had — one member of our group exclaiming proudly when he worked out the puzzle to find the candle needed to unlock the next obstacle — progress came quickly. As we progressed, we began to fill up the partially shattered portrait of Avacyn, moving one step closer to escape with each piece.
With the clock running, we finally moved to the last puzzle: splotched ink scrawled on an old piece of parchment. As the team puzzled out how to find the key needed to unlock the exit, it turned out our escape plans were not the only thing in motion. Little did we know what awaited us when we finally found the key that led us once again to us the presumed safety of the outside world.
Avacyn herself was our reward, much to the joy of the villager alongside us. But it didn’t take long for that joy to turn to terror, as we heard the shattering of glass and the opening of another set of heavy wooden doors.
We weren’t the only ones watching events unfold outside Thraben Cathedral. In front of a huge and quickly growing crowd, Avacyn marveled at the heights of her power, while we took in the wonder of the fallen angel herself.
As the crowd on hand stood in awe, the world outside began to catch up on what exactly was going on in Thraben Cathedral and the rest of Innistrad.
The finals of our PPTQ just paused between games for everyone to admire flip Avacyn. #MTGSOI— Andrew Rudiger (@nostrangenames) March 6, 2016
So ended our trip into Thraben Cathedral. But as we left, meek with the knowledge of the awesome powers at work on this world, we knew our journey into Innistrad was only beginning.