Part 24: The Secret Weapon
With the war arriving in Nathkarin, the entire town needed to prepare. Fiona spent this time checking fortifications, requesting certain enchantments on the siege weaponry, and insisting that priests bless as many arrows as possible. Bruin focused mainly on getting an enchanted weapon of his own, but could only find another rune of alignment because most of the magic weapons were already distributed. Rephael sought illusionists and evokers to bait any opposing armies into traps. Drake did a little scouting of his own and got the impression that the invading army wasn’t here to go through a protracted siege or even occupation. The armies were mainly composed of blattar infantry and sciurid siege crews.
Once he reported back and got his heroes’ feast, Drake reported his findings to Rantrabi and Dominic, who were stationed on the northeast end of the city. Rantrabi took another look, and realized that the catapults the siege crews were using were going to be loaded with live ammunition – sciurids carrying bombs and strapped to rockets. While Rantrabi revealed a secret weapon that was to be used in the siege against them, Drake had his own weapon – by magically bringing his hands to the midst of the siege engines, then using his ring of retribution, he was able to ruin a number of the weapons and throw the siege crews into disarray. The remaining engines that launched their payloads were dealt with by well-timed walls of force for the most part, although some sciurids got through and dropped bombs onto the fortifications.
The blattar infantry followed, revealing that they were capable of limited flight. This came, however, at the cost of having to wear lighter armor, meaning that anyone with any level of skill had little worry taking them out of combat. Thus, the battle began in earnest.
Part 25: Surprise Attack!
Not long after the battle got underway, the party got a communication from none other than Itri Patil, the rakshasa that Rephael was trying to convert. He requested immediate help at the south end of town. The scene the party saw was a disaster – many defenders were dead, Isora was hiding behind the walls, and Damian was trying to keep a group of four rakshasas away from the city gate by using a summoned creature and his magic. Itri was on the other side of the gate, with a heavy crossbow and two supporting allies, Roas and Marcus. The party realized very quickly that one of the rakshasas, a tiger, was his own siege weapon, firing clusters of exploding arrows at the city defenses and at Damian. Alongside him were a jackal, a rhino, and a boar.
The party quickly learned that the quartet worked as one. The rhino’s job was to keep everyone aware and focused, making it easier for them to evade the party’s blows. The boar’s focus was keeping everyone healed as much as possible. The tiger was initially believed to be the main punch of the team, using primarily exploding arrows. The jackal was meant to be the team’s defender, using heavy armor and a shield to absorb blows.
The party leveled the playing field primarily by using blessed weaponry as much as possible, with Fiona and Rantrabi firing from above thanks to a magic carpet. Eventually, after the tiger used an explosive arrow to leap away from Rephael and the boar healed him, the jackal revealed her true colors as an antipaladin and the summoned creature, Urien, broke loose of Damian’s control. Still, with enough blessed weaponry and Damian’s magical assistance, the party prevailed against the rakshasa force – and Rephael made it a point to kill the jackal for being an antipaladin.
Part 26: Breaking Point
With the attack halted and the rakshasa party defeated, the party questioned the rakshasas as to why they would attack. Minh Shulac, the tiger archer, revealed that he, Oluchi (the jackal antipaladin), Amadi (the rhino defensive specialist), and Rutendo (the boar healer) were all of the same family of rakshasa. The attack served two purposes: retrieving the scroll believed to be kept in Nathkarin, and getting revenge for the death of Samir Shulac, one of their brothers. With both plans failed, Minh went into some detail about how the actual priest among the rakshasa ranks, Marjani Patil, had a falling-out with Samir and Oluchi over religion – apparently, Marjani serves a god of madness and the god that Samir and Oluchi worshipped to get their antipaladin powers is one the god of madness helped seal away. In fact, the antipaladins’ god was the one that brought down the previous pantheon, single-handedly – and apparently a strong enough god to bestow power even when sealed away.
When Itri piped up about the possibility of a geas, inferred by Minh’s hesitancy in revealing the bit about the scroll, Minh went crazy. He revealed that he and many rakshasas had a hatred of Grigor, the only one of the Maharaja’s allies without the geas, and hinted that he’s been avoiding the party as long as possible. Ultimately, the party brought the three rakshasa attackers to jail, at which point Itri returned to his cell… leaving the orderlies baffled and infuriated at his recklessness. Itri had apparently charged past the orderlies when he realized the city was in grave danger.
Rephael also addressed Damian about Urien, but Damian immediately expressed contempt. Urien, it turns out, was an experiment – an infusion of demonic essence into a living being. The person responsible for the experiment had been executed five years ago, and Damian wanted to execute Urien himself, but he was ordered to imprison him for 50 years. As a result, Damian is actually glad Urien is dead.
The city gets a little time to rebuild. The party gets a little time to do what they need.
The battle has been won… but the war is not over.