Borders of the Imperium

Session 7

Hunting Jaganath

Isari’s forces have besieged the inverted castle.

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Characters learn that Vikar wishes to meet them at an area of the cross roads west of town. They learn he and his patrol are the ones who killed the Isari patrol. Jaganath had convinced the patrol that he was fleeing from the Order of the Tarrasque on grounds of religious persecution. Vikar could not let him be taken into protection and diplomacy quickly failed and in the skirmish Jaganath found his moment to escape.

Excorcist Vikar needs the help of the party to bring Jaganath to justice. Vikar’s hunting party has been gradually worn down by many attacks by gnolls until only he survived, but still he has tracked Jaganath to the wine rich town of Nariswar, which he suspects is now completely under Jaganath’s control.

Efforts are taken to disguise Vikar and the party heads to Nariswar, the scent of their quarry baiting them on.

The town of Nariswar has transformed. Ebadula, the wealthiest wine maker in town has become the defacto leader with a growing number of the populace now following him without question. Lata, the former community organizer, has disappeared. The only lead is the newest villager to fall under Ebadula’s sway. Locals say he vanished for several days only to reappear with his opinions on leadership completely changed. The party finds this individual doing a shift in the sentry tower on the south side of the village. He claims he was only gone for a few hours hunting pheasants and that those who say otherwise are clucking hens.

His story does not add up: there are no pheasants that close to town, and his account seems deliberately vague. Confronting him about this quickly escalates into a desperate melee, but their suspect has no thoughts of escape: in his last breaths triggers an alarm! The bell sounds out across town and before the characters can get out of the guard tower they find a militia has formed against them.

 An all out war breaks between the party and the townsfolk, culminating in the party storming the residence of Ebadula Madad. The fortified compound offers no easy entrance and arrow rain down on the party. The dwarf and half-orc attempt to batter down the heavy framed front door while the elven ranger and rogue slip over the eastern wall, though neither group is unharried by arrows. Finally breaking into the small towers at each corner of the compound the group manages to silence the enemies bow strings, but not before their leader makes an escape.

 Interrogating one guard reveals that the folks who disappear do so into the wine storage building adjacent to the compound. The party graciously spares their cooperative captive, and even allows him the wages he is owed by his employer. Also in the compound they find the journal of Ebadula Madad which tells of a compound under Nariswar which Jaganath commissioned as a hidden retreat when the Imperium began expanding towards his domains. Also, they learn that he has spent a fortune in recent weeks to raise a mercenary army.

Armed with this information they enter the wine storage building where they discover the entrance to the hidden bunker. Descending down they quickly come to an open portcullis, which they quickly lock in place with pitons lest they be trapped between it and the heavy doors in front of them. There paranoia quickly proves wise as the gate attempts to close behind them. Arrow slits open to the sides and burning sand pours from above. The heroes quickly develop a plan: the sleek ones hold up the shields as protection from above while the strongest breach the door. Soon enough space is made for the group to squeeze through and things quickly turn against the cultist defenders.  

 Catching their breath briefly, the group pushes onto the next room. It seems a plain room with three doors to proceed through. As they decide which to tackle first, one door opens and a small red bead clatters to the floor by their feet.  The roar of a fiery blossom fills the room and before the heroes can reorient themselves arrows and spells fly from every doorway. Ulfgar rushes to stop a cultist from pulling another small red bead from a necklace, inadvertently causing it to fall to the floor before his very eyes. This time there is at least the silver lining that the cultists are also taken in the fireball and their robes provide no protection.

 Badly burned and weary, the heroes press on to the next hallway, this time devoid of ambush. They elect to leave the room at the end of the hallway for last and go for a side room, finding a mostly empty storage room. It seems this was a vault that until recently held a vast amount of valuables, but now only has a small array of neatly stacked coins and a pair of chests.

 One chest rests in a place of prominence, and another in a seemingly random place off to the side. This is of course a Mimic, the bane of adventurers everywhere. While Kroll desperately struggles with a toothy treasure chest fused to him, Nailo judges the situation squarely in hand and begins working on the lock to another side room. Her sense of accomplishment is short lived as the easy lock opens to reveal none other than Jaganath himself, accompanied by several cultists and a Fang of Yeenoghu. At his feet is Lata, emaciated and desperately feasting on a fresh kill of the gnoll.

 “Ah well it seems my time here must come to an end. But do not worry, I will leave you in the company of someone I believe you are already acquainted with”. He slips into a dark passage from where there now echoes the dread sound of a three headed flail.

 Ulfgar’s memory of this creatures destructive potential is keen, and he immediately darts to the threshold of the door and throws in one of the two red beads he recovered from their last encounter. The fire consumes the room but the flind still stands. Ulfgar rushes back and prepares to throw his final bead the moment his quarry reaches the threshold. The Flind obligingly rushes to there and the final bead of the necklace of fireballs is consumed. As it pushes through Vikar rushes to confront it unleashing the full wrath of his smite. Kroll, having just rid himself of the troublesome treasure chest lunges forward to confront the beast and with all his fury finally lays it low.

 The power of the three headed flail proves too tempting for him to resist, and as he instinctively grabs for it he finds he finds himself overcome by a vision. The rest see him dumbstruck, his eyes wide with terror. The heroes ask Vikar to perform an exorcism post haste. The ritual causes a burst of arcane energy leaving Vikar depleted and helpless, but alive. Kroll seems shaken but sane, and the flail disintegrates into ash.

 The heroes give chase but only to see their quarry has united with his newly purchased army of mercenaries.

 Vikar sees only one choice before him: his mission to capture Jaganath failed, he can only hope to restore peace between the Isari forces and the Knights of the Tarrasque. Despite their attempts to dissuade him the party ultimately follows his plan.

 Stripped of his armour and weapons, Vikar presents himself to the Governess. The party presents to her the journal of Ebadula Madad and gives testimony of the beguiling tongue of Jaganath which no doubt held sway over her patrol when they came to blows with the Knights of the Order.

 With much to consider, The Governess orders the execution of the scouts who had reported all was well in Nariswar and sets off to end the siege of the Inverted Castle.



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