Sadly Daraja’s time has come to an end.
Continuing on from our last session, the battle continued, Daraja’s rangers slowly exhausting the cleric, Meredith, of her healing spells as they continued to fill Alphonse with arrows. Meanwhile the half-orc monk, Enizeag, snuck around the edge of the entangled area to attack, looking for the source of the arrows flying out across the darkness.
Enizeig, wielding his magical pistol taken from the fallen orcs of Acheron, got a lucky shot on Daraja as he lay hidden in the long grasses, so Daraja turned his attentions away from Alphonse to this new threat, casting a second entangle spell. The monk, using his grace and speed, battled through the grasping plants until he was within a few feet of Daraja but had not managed to spot him. Daraja then took the opportunity to strike.
Using the curse he had implanted in the rings he’d given his former colleagues, he whispered the command word shibboleth, causing the half-orc to become helpless as the embedded Hold Person spell took effect. Using the fire breath from the potion he’d drank earlier and his rapier, he stabbed the half-orc in the back and breathed fire upon him, a coup-de-grace that slew the half-orc outright.
The bard of the party called out, crying for there to be an end to the madness and slaughter. Daraja was reluctant, the others had made their choices, had chosen to ignore the law and chosen to align themselves with a person they knew was an attempted murderer. Regardless of what doubts they had about Daraja’s intents, they’d had to evidence and yet judged him guilty in their hearts anyway. Daraja would not back down, nor would he enter some foolish trial-by-combat against Alphonse - they were all without honour and could not be trusted to abide by any rules. Besides, the law was clear as was the evidence, trial by combat would only serve to diminish the truth.
At that moment, the surviving wardens from the crash caused by the Nezumi’s Darkness spell entered the field and called for them all to drop their weapons and cease the entanglements immediately. Daraja confirmed he was the caster of the entanglements and he would drop them when the others had disarmed themselves. Eventually, the others gave up and they were shackled and put in a carriage for transport back to Toreguard. All that remained of the force sent against them was Daraja, five of his rangers and 3 of the wardens. The opportunity to end this once and for all was too good to pass up.
His team had betrayed him at every opportunity. He had on multiple occasions saved their lives, helped them with their own goals as well has helping the city of Toreguard and for what? Constant suspicion and even attempted murder. Even then they sided with the man who tried to kill him rather than he. No, there could be no saving them, they were as guilty as Alphonse. Their misplaced loyalty had sealed their fate.
Climbing up to the window of the carriage, he peered scornfully at the captive people he had once called colleagues, his heart cold and full of hate.
“You made your choice.” He said, and breathed fire into the carriage, the inside turning into an inferno.
One of the ranger who was still under the effects of a charm spell tried to save them, so Daraja ‘accidentally’ threw him an oil flask instead of water to put it out, furthering the flames. The horses of the carriage went mad and tried to flee, and the burning box flew off into the dawn until it crashed. The others through miraculous luck managed to escape the carriage, diving from it as it was moving and Daraja began to fire on them from afar, ordering his men to do the same. The wardens lay dead, killed by the carriage and things looked like Daraja would finally have his revenge and be able to carry on his plans unopposed.
Then Meredith prayed to her god, and her god answered her. In a blaze of holy light, the half-orc and Alphonse were brought back to life by Moradin, the Dwarf-father. Even without his weapons, Alphonse was a formidable fighter and Daraja, still badly hurt from his bullet wound, fought back against both Enizeag and Alphonse with all he had, but it wasn’t enough. While he left them with some injuries, they managed to batter him into unconsciousness and as his vision faded to black, he thought of Galana, his goddess, and the injustice that the gods would deign to interfere with his holy work while her hand remained held back and uninvolved.
“The strong should have devoured the weak”, his thoughts faded, “that is natures way…”