Part 21: Prisoner Panic
Bruin spent some time after the events in Mazikiri looking for contractors and then resumed his bar-crawl, where he heard rumors that a rakshasa-led army was making advances from the north. Fiona focused on finding a good legal team for making the library official, but also spent time with Shun, where she learned that the equus was on a quest for vengeance against the selachim. Drake tinkered around with his new crystal and discovered that the glowing rodent that teleported him back to Bludzen had stayed around and wanted to follow him everywhere. After consulting with Damian about it, Drake decided to keep it, considering the possibility of having it bound to him instead.
Rephael spent the time educating Itri about Dou-Bral and also fasted for a couple of days. During the first day of this, he received a vision that implied Itri was in severe pain. As this expressly went against the instructions he gave to Itri’s captors, he paid them a visit… to find that they were in complete panic after Itri experienced a seizure. According to Itri, this was not in fact the fault of the staff where he was kept – it was the fault both of Dou-Bral and of Zheng Horak. Itri experienced massive pain at night thanks to a geas Zheng had put on him, and prayed for help from Dou-Bral, after which he barely remembers anything. Rephael left strict instructions for the staff – have a cleric on hand at all times to watch over Itri.
Rephael also learned from Itri that Zheng had put the geas on everyone working with her except Grigor. Itri realized that this is the kind of reason why the Horak family was so hated among the rakshasas – to the point that they are the only family outright barred from a secret enclave established in the last century to train rakshasas and redirect their innate lust for power.
It is somewhat apparent to Rephael that both of his gods approve of his actions. He also has a hint to seek out the servants of the moon god, relating to the divine-deflecting amulets that Gozuki and Mezuki had.
Part 22: Sticking Your Neck Out
Our adventurers would soon receive a letter that warned of trouble in the eastern part of the kingdom. Apparently, a sunborne human by the name of Anthony Rictal had made friends with a tribe of peraltans. However, said peraltans suddenly cut themselves off from the outside world and insisted on challenging anyone who tried to approach. This on its own would not have been an issue, but a rakshasa-led army was on the move in that area and the tribe risked being annihilated if they stayed. As a result, Anthony called upon the heroes to get them to move.
The peraltans turned out to be somewhat hostile to the party at first. However, they were awestruck when they realized some of the heroes were women. This was ultimately how the party got into the camp – although one of the tribe’s warriors, Isora, insisted on challenging Bruin to a duel. Said duel was called off quickly with Bruin as the victor. After this, one of the tribal guards, Dexn, led the party to the chieftain, Zurem. Zurem seemed a bit hesitant and confused at what he was being told, but Leticia pointed out that something was off. Rephael checked again with his divine sight and realized the problem – Zurem was undead, and two familiar demons were on the scene. The demons, Gozuki and Mezuki, made themselves known by batting Zurem away. Rephael attempted to convince them what was going on with Zheng, but the demons refused to listen to reason – they apparently fully enjoyed working with the Maharaja and received new training.
The ensuing battle was enough to bring the peraltan women out of hiding, at which point they used druidic magic to assist the heroes, revealing that the demons had a weakness to cold. Once the demons were defeated (and again disappeared due to magic tattoos), the women revealed that this was the Caligari tribe and unfortunately, Zurem’s views echoed the standard peraltan sentiment. The tribe has not, however, had to deal with demons before this incident. It was at this point that Isora warned the heroes of hydras attacking the town. The hydras had incapacitated the guards already, but proved little match for the heroes.
Part 23: It’s War!
The incident with the hydras was the final straw that made the Caligari tribe realize they were not safe if they stayed secluded. After taking an hour to gather the tribe’s belongings, they evacuated with the party and headed to the town of Masali, where Anthony was waiting for them. Anthony was amazed at what the party had done, and since it was getting late, he offered to have them stay in town.
The party was rudely awakened early in the morning, however, by another human. Apparently, he had just learned that an army was marching on Nathkarin and was going to strike in a matter of hours.
The war, it seems, has come to Orozhaki.