Part 6: Research and Development
Before heading to Pakarix, Fiona decided to take some time to research the mushroom powder and vampire weaknesses. She discovered that the act of diablerie is one of those things that happens twice a century, which seems often by vampire standards. She also got a full indication of vampire weaknesses. The mushroom powder is one of those things that could help illusions or enchantments. After this, the party got called to Damian’s office about the amount of money they just brought out of his province from the spending spree, but Rephael and Fiona were able to talk him down easily.
Then the party went to Pakarix. There, they encountered Leticia Hajek trying to convince the miner’s guild leader to let her into the Ethess sulfur mine, only for the party to take over the role. When discussing the nature of the rakshasa, they suddenly got the attention of Roderick Stenberg, who had a vendetta against the rakshasa and offered to go with the group. Leticia chose to step aside and loan the use of her longspear and several items to the party.
Part 7: The Ethess Sulfur Mine
Roderick gave a no-flames order and led the party into the mine only to discover that several of the blattar had taken over the entrance. The ensuing fight dropped Roderick and would have dropped Bruin had he not gone ballistic. The party discovered the raw durability of the blattar and knew quickly that overkill was the only option. After dealing with the blattar and recovering, the party glanced around and saw a blood trail leading up to a dead dragon. What the party gathered was that the dragon had puncture wounds all over, and they got the impression that he was harvested.
Further into the mine, the party encountered a massed group of sciurids that had been brought into the mine. The wizard of the group tried to explain that he didn’t know why they were there, and wanted to pack up, but a thrown bomb started a melee that got their cleric killed. Fiona’s forceful words ultimately got the group to surrender, at which point the wizard revealed that they were bullied by Samir into doing their work, but Samir still did not want to reveal the truth. The party ordered the sciurids out, with Drake assisting.
Behind a secret wall, the party encountered Shun Lichtenberg, who revealed that she’d seen the rakshasas firsthand and was being geas-ed into helping them. She also mentioned a “Maharaja” leading the rakshasas. The group convinced her to let herself be tied up and brought back, even though she warned that the geas would “make her wish she was dead” if she wasn’t near them. Shortly thereafter, the group fought zombies that turned out to be the remains of some of the miners, further fueling Roderick’s rage.
Finally, the object of their rage – the party encountered Samir, who recognized Roderick as one of the rare few to disrupt his magic. Between a combined attack, a well-placed dispel from an ingot that Leticia had given the party, and the rakshasa’s failure at a good black tentacles spell, the party brought him to his knees without taking any damage from him whatsoever. Samir used a communication crystal to try to warn “Maharaja” about Rephael not actually being a ranger, but his final communication was cut short by Rephael’s blade and Fiona’s taunting words into the crystal. Roderick slammed his pickaxe into the now-dead rakshasa’s skull, completing his revenge and leaving him with great sorrow for his fellow miners. Meanwhile, Fiona and Rephael discovered that summons were being tried and a portal was being used (these things they disrupted as much as possible), but no scroll was to be found anywhere. Additionally, something about Samir’s weaponry made the party suddenly realize the rakshasa was chaotic – something that goes well against the rakshasa ethos.
Part 8: It’s War!
The good news about the rakshasa’s demise was that the mine was open for business again, the party made its way back to Nathkarin, and one major threat to the Kingdom of Orozhaki was gone. Unfortunately, a lot of bad news has come of this as well. To wit:
- Leticia and Damian are both completely scared about the rakshasa being chaotic and don’t fully know the implications.
- Rephael has felt the need to finally reveal his true colors as a paladin to the rest of the party.
- Damian is terrified about the prospect of a “Maharaja” leading the rakshasas, even though most of them shouldn’t be operating in the north.
- The rakshasas are using geas spells to prevent anyone from fighting them, so they are capable of strong and exceptionally dangerous magic.
- Shun’s condition has taken a nosedive as a result of the geas.
- With a scroll missing, Damian is concerned about the prospect of a demon lord being bound up in four scrolls scattered across the land. He REALLY hopes it’s not true, because this would mean he’s facing an enemy he can’t possibly beat.
- The fact that the rakshasas are working as a group means the Kingdom of Orozhaki is now at war with an enemy they do not understand.
Additionally, it was revealed that people were petitioning for Dominic’s release and Rantrabi was helping the kingdom develop gunpowder. Pacallus was in a maximum-security prison and both Quianna and Shun were wanted by Rantrabi because they used to work for him.
The party seems keenly interested in breaking Shun’s geas to learn more about the rakshasas. Thankfully, they also had the foresight to steal Samir’s communication crystal and hope to track this “Maharaja” with its help. These two leads may be the only hope they have of stopping this enemy before they strike again.