Part 12: Getting the Warning Out
With the realization of demons working for the rakshasas, the party knew that they needed to make contact with someone they’d already seen as a demon hunter. Remembering their supplier from the earlier mine raid, Leticia, they arranged for Damian to get in touch with her, after describing the drakeling to the lich. They followed up by meeting with Dorian early that evening, catching him just as he woke up. Dorian seemed a bit concerned, however, because his breastplate was missing and he suspected that Cecilia, his new convert, took it. Dorian then explained that there’s a protocol he usually has for anyone he turns into a vampire and the whole rakshasa incident has kept him from following it at all. Dorian also revealed that the people of the city had been pressing him to perform a funeral for Samuel Darrin, and he and Cecilia differed on how to do it – Dorian wanted a more serious funeral and Cecilia was more about celebrating the deceased.
What the party really wanted from Dorian was to find out how recent Sithembile’s infiltration could have been. Cross-referencing a few recent journals, Dorian discovered that “Samuel” had reported having a cold less than a week ago, but the guards could not convince him to get a proper examination. Before much more could be said on the subject, Damian made contact with the party, revealing that he had already found Leticia. Unfortunately, Leticia had doubts about going with the party because she wasn’t in good standing with a temple of Barong in the northern part of the kingdom. To get her to go with them later, the party agreed to help settle this dispute. When Damian arrived in Bludzen to take the party to the temple, hints were dropped that Dorian was expected to become the stand-in mayor of Bludzen – and he doesn’t seem to like the idea, feeling it’s too restrictive.
Part 13: Quarantine
After a quick trip to Nathkarin, Damian teleported the group to an area near the temple of Barong, hinting that he had a bit of falling-out with the temple priests over the placement of a teleportation circle for easy travel. The temple itself turned out to be somewhat ostentatious, but rather than the stained-glass windows many temples are known to have, the rich factor came from precious metal patterns inlaid on the outside walls. Once the party got to the main hall of worship, they found the dynastini priest, Lynette, arguing with a cloaked figure named Marcus. Marcus recognized the party immediately, being one of the sciurids that the party ordered out of the Ethess sulfur mine. It turned out the argument was because Marcus was trying to convert his clan away from Ose worship, but Lynette took a hard stance on the whole affair and is very reluctant to allow for conversion. Also, Lynette revealed why Leticia had a falling-out in status with her – Leticia asked for items to hunt a demon, but never used them herself. She loaned them out to “mercenaries” (the party) instead. That moment of weakness makes Lynette hesitant on trusting her.
When the party finally convinced her that the cause for the loan was worthy, Lynette revealed another problem – the iron mine that usually supplies the temple’s mystic item creations was getting its supplies diverted to the south. The party offered to go in exchange for Lynette reconciling with Leticia. Upon arrival at the mine, they found the skink foreman and pressed him into explaining why the shipments were diverted. Apparently, a large man with a rabbit head had tried to coerce him into diverting the shipments, and when the foreman refused, he tied the skink upside-down and assumed his form to implement the order himself. A day later, some werewolves showed up and ordered a quarantine of the mine, cutting off shipments entirely.
In the mine, the party negotiated with the werewolves and found out that they were in pursuit of a dangerous man named Grigor Sykora. As the party needed the mine open to appease Lynette, they reached an agreement where they would go in and clear the monsters that the werewolves were keeping back. The party would ultimately discover that the majority of the miners reached safety – mostly evident by dropped tools. They also discovered the nature of the monsters – a pair of aurumvoraxes (these gave Rephael no end of trouble, latching on and refusing to let go), a pack of leucrottas (that Drake scared into running with an audacious leaping impalement of one of them, which led to two of them getting torn to shreds by the werewolves), a pair of destrachans (inside a darkness field shed by a crystal, which Fiona took – the party also took the destrachan eggs)… and a warband of less-than-smart bugbears. Upon killing all of these, the party checked in with the werewolves and let them know that the mine was clear of threats, upon which the leader introduced himself as Mathias and tried to provide what little he knew about Grigor and the whole incident. Unfortunately, the note in the bugbear chieftain’s tent, aside from being written by Grigor, left little extra in the way of evidence. The werewolves stayed back to clean out the remains of the creatures.
Part 14: Sudden Assault!
The party checked in with the foreman and with Lynette, hinting that the mine was ready for business again. Before Lynette could discuss much else, however, Damian burst into the temple and alerted the party that something disastrous had happened in Bludzen. Upon arriving there, Cecilia ran into the party and revealed what had happened. A mountain had suddenly been created on the east side of town, wrecking the eastern quarter, and two demons rained fireballs on the city, causing significant damage to many buildings in the town. Dorian was struck by two of the fireballs as well, leaving him badly wounded. Going from the description Cecilia gave of the two demons, the party knew they were Gozuki and Mezuki, the exact two demons that Sithembile had hired. The party wants to strike at them and Sithembile quickly, but with Leticia going along.
Additionally, the party pressed Damian on two other things – magic to reveal the truth about someone to prevent another rakshasa infiltration, and any experts on transmutation. Damian revealed that the research was slow-going, and that transmutation experts were preoccupied with saving one of their number – who the party remembered as Gjurd Gomez, a wizard involved in the original rakshasa incident in the Ethess sulfur mine. Damian also hinted that he only just managed to convince the kingdom’s higher-ups that a war was going on – in other words, the party was going to get no help from political officials and things might even get hostile. Damian has made it clear that he needs the party more than ever.
The raid begins the next morning. The party will need to be at their best to overcome Sithembile and his minions.