The Rakshasa get what they deserve
I fucking hate Rakshasa.
They are lying, smarmy, evil, murdering bastards who have to die. You are the key, their leader told me. You are the point of the sword. I knew at the time he was full of shit, and I was right.
We are not your true enemy. Well, maybe they are not the enemy, but they sure as hell are one of them.
Despite our best efforts, they had little difficulty finding our campsite the evening after our battle. We’d crept as close to their village as we dared, and I guess we should be thankful they sought us out to negotiate, rather than simply attack us again. They offered us a counter-offer against the deal we’d previously made with the dragon.
Our deal with the dragon: kill or drive out the Rakshasa and return the treasure they stole, in return for the Stars of the Flail of Wind and Rain.
The Rakshasa counter-offer: kill the dragon with the aid of a dozen Rakshasa, in return for half the dragon’s treasure and free passage out of here. (With the return of my stolen longsword as a gesture of good faith.)
Basically, we’ve never trusted either party. So we agreed to the Rakshasa’s deal, since maybe there was a chance they’d actually help us defeat the dragon. We figured they would use us to get rid of the dragon, after which they’d probably turn on us.
It seems they’re not that smart.
We’d barely joined forces, when the Rakshasa were hurling fireballs and other spells at us. Twelve of them. Five of us. It was touch and go for poor Blaze, who isn’t so great at dodging fireballs, but in the end we prevailed.
We’ve taken two of them captive for interrogation. Nightshade is scarily good at this — and I’m glad it’s her and not me. At her command, Squirrel dispatches one to demonstrate our intent, and the final remaining one squeals all their secrets.
It seems the Rakshasa are clearing out of their village. This is excellent news — except we need to retrieve the treasure they stole from the dragon. No way are we going anywhere near that dragon without the treasure. Not to mention the rest of the stuff the Rakshasa stole from Alix and me when they killed us a few days ago. I am cursed well getting that back.
The dragon gets the upper hand
Outside, the dragon rampages.
We could honestly do with some Rakshasa allies right about now. But maybe they knew how utterly futile it is to take on a dragon. Maybe we ought to have known — or at least heeded our own misgivings.
But we need the Stars to remake the Flail to take down the goddess Varrien. We never really had an option. We must get the Stars from the dragon — or die trying.
The drowned city of Jhardhemeth shudders beneath the dragon’s onslaught.
She’s a black dragon. Huge. Spewing acid, slapping us with wings and tail. She’s already carried Blaze off and dropped his fully armoured form in the water. I have no idea what’s become of Squirrel, who fled into the bowels of another building.
Nightshade and Alix are, I believe, seeking shelter in the building across the square. It took me a few tries to get the door of this building open, but for a few moments Fleet and I are safe.
Once I’ve caught my breath, I peer outside into the square.
It would have been beautiful once, all marble paving stones and columned archways. The treasure chest we reclaimed from the Rakshasa (so much treasure!) stands where we left it in the centre of the square, right before the bitch dragon decided to betray us. Of course, we expected it. Dragons are not known for fair dealing. But the reality is so much worse than we could have imagined.
I can’t see any of my companions, but the dragon is attacking something over by the next building. I hear Alix and Nightshade shouting, so I run in their direction, just in time to see the dragon rise into the air with Alix clasped in her claws.
Nightshade is sprinting towards me as the dragon takes Alix up high, so high over the water, where there are beasts with long necks and sharp teeth waiting.
Oh, blessed Emrys. Is that how Blaze met his fate?
Where the hell is Squirrel?
With a triumphant roar, the dragon releases Alix. She drops, and my heart almost stops, but then her airwalking boots kick in and she’s sprinting through the air towards Nightshade and me.
The three of us flee inside the building.
Yep. We obviously called it a night in the middle of a somewhat tricky situation… Will we prevail against the dragon and retrieve the Stars of the Flail of Wind and Rain? (And the rest of the treasure hoard?)
That, my friends, remains to be seen.
But it does unfortunately appear that our party will not escape unscathed. 😦