Adhana and Khoul hear the sounds of battle and hope that it will stay away from the inn. Neither of them believes in fighting, although both are trained in the martial arts. Unfortunately for them the brigands have other ideas. Knowing that the party was staying at the teahouse a few members of the band circled around and stole unnoticed to the back of the inn. They took Adhana and Khoul by surprise, but they managed to deflect the blows enough to be only slightly hurt.
Using very similar styles, since Adhana had learned from her foster father, they spun to face their adversaries. The fight was drawn out due to the fact that the two priests tried to only subdue, rather than harm their opponents, relying mostly on defense until some of the guards appeared, drawn by the sounds of fighting. The guards quickly finished the fight and made sure the Blessed ones were mostly unharmed and the offering was safe.
In the meantime, the rest of the group can hear the faint sounds of rest of the guards running toward the sounds of battle. Onye, seeing the dire straits of his companion, runs to defend psedera swinging at the mounted brigand with his naginata twice before trying to pull him off his chinti. The bandit simply tries to cling to his chinti and not fall off, barely able to do that, since he is so wounded. Writing him off, Onye runs over and body slams the other one near Psedera and knocks him senseless. He then literally stands over Psedera to guard her from the chaos of battle.
Having just clipped the fleeing bandit, Ghora tries to sweep his legs out from under him. The brigand jumps over his leg. Ghora follows the sweep with a chop to back of his neck, doing a lot of damage. The final straw was a kick to groin that dropped his adversary to the mud, clutching his groin.
Finally the rest of guards arrive and overwhelm the remaining brigands. When all is said and done, one guard was killed and another was wounded. Three brigands were kept for questioning. One was gorilla leader. The others either died of their wounds or escaped.
The group debates over what horrible things to do to the prisoners. Psedera is very insistant that whatever is done to them is her job. Eventually Onye throws Psedera over his shoulder, grabs the gorilla by the neck and drags him back to inn with Ghora to check on Adhana and Khoul. Once they are back together Ghora asks the priests about the change in the inn. Khoul says he has no idea and now is not the time for figuring it out. More important at the moment is to see to the wounded and get rest . He says they can deal with the strange issues and the prisoners in morning after prayers.
Being more skilled in healing than Khoul, Adhana sees to the wounds of the party. She spends quite some time on Psedera’s wounds and after much bandaging she is feeling much better. The wounded guard is taken care of as well. Ghora, on the other hand, though carefully ministered to, still has a couple deep sword wounds that will take some time to heal.
Onye ties up the prisoners. The guards set up watch. They want to the interrogate the prisoners right away, but Ghora stalls them till morning. Psedera insists yet again that it is HER job. During the evening one brigand manages to wiggle loose, not leader though since he is still unconscious. The escapee tries to flee but is caught by the guards.
Khoul and Adhana sing in the new day with prayers at False Dawn joined by Ghora, Onye and the guards. Psedera sings while she cleans her weapons in front of the captured Brigands. After Prayers she interrogates the prisoners asking them what happened to the town and why they are here.
She terrifies all three prisoners, but it is the minion who didn’t try to escape that babbles in barely understandable broken Tishíni that it was the “boss’s” fault, and that they hadn’t wanted to burn the temple. Psedera asks why they burnt the temple? He responds that the villagers fled from their attack and hid there. Our leader wanted us to smoke them out but the fire engulfed the building to quickly. Psedera switches to the question why is town like this? The question seems to panic him and she can’t get anything more out of him than whimpering and crying Gilárhi gibberish. She moves on to the leader who has finally regained consciousness and asks him why the town is like this. He looks at her with fear in his eyes. He just keeps shaking his head saying that the temple burned… the temple burned. At that point Khoul steps in and says perhaps we should go see the Temple now. Psedera responds, Yes, your grace. Onye grabs prisoners by their ropes and drags them with him “accidentally” bashing them into stuff and Psedera follows behind ensuring they don’t get loose and escape.
In the meantime before the interrogation started Ghora took Adhana with him to inspect the temple. She went willingly, having no desire to witness the interrogation.
The ruined, stone walls of the burned and gutted temple lay in the center of the village. It was a terrible sight to see. Little was left of the elaborate wooden upper floors, most of which had collapsed in upon themselves in the fire that must have been many weeks ago. The lower level’s carved walls of stone, and the wide-open, singed, wooden main doors are all that remain. The seasonal rains have turned the ground to ashy mud.
In the doorway itself lay two bodies festering with rot, one wearing the soiled saffron robes of a Satyan priest, and the other a badger that had been carrying him in his burned arms when he fell. An arrow is sunk deeply in his decomposing chest. Within the ruined temple are even more horrors. It appears as if the villagers, having been attacked by the brigands, fled to these relatively fortified walls in an attempt to hold them off. Whatever happened, the temple began to burn, and the villagers all died within, perhaps by heat or smoke, as the burning upper floors fell around them. They lay huddled, as a group, clinging to one another against the scorched inner walls, their bodies twisted in their agonizing last moments. Not far from the door one jánah lay caught in the light of the rising suns. Grasped tightly in the corpse’s arms is the charred remnant of a multistringed sitar. Apparently, the only escapee from the inferno (the badger) was shot dead before he could even get beyond the door.
Ghora kneels in front of the the temple and whispers a prayer to the devahs. Adhana joins him. She says softly that she and khoul will need to do a ritual to lay these souls to rest. Ghora turns to head back to the inn saying to the souls of the dead, be at peace justice will be done.
Ghora and Adhana return to the inn as the others are leaving for the temple. Adhana is openly crying and Ghora is speechless with anger. Onye asks whats going on. Adhana just shakes head and goes over to Khoul leaning against his shoulder crying and whispers in his ear. Khoul’s expresssion hardens.
After a moment of contemplative silence the old priest tells them that he and Adhana hold the divine laws of the Partakám (the holiest of texts) in their hearts and on their tongues. He says Adhana has told him of the horrors these brigands have commited.. He calls upon the players, as noble Sunborn and warrior caste, to decide if the prisoners should die now, perhaps appeasing the tortured spirits of their victims, or stand for judgment before the magistrate and the Lawspeakers of Tiari in a public forum many days from now.
Psedera and Onye want to see what they have done before passing judgement, carrying the prisoners with them to the temple. Ghora says nothing until after they see the masacre. Psedera is very confused as is Onye. Ghora explains that it is obvious to him that the spirits needed their aid and manifested in an attempt to get it. Psedera votes for execution so does Ghora. Onye agrees.
At this point the prisoners are screaming and crying for mercy. Onye bashes their heads against a rock till they stop. Ghora says vermin like this do not deserve to live in this beautiful world. Psedera is concerned that hanging them would mean others might cut them down before they die. Ghora replies that is why I will stay and watch them die. He is rubbing his necklace. It is decided to hang them from the nearby buildings facing the temple. Psedera makes nooses from her rope. Onye binds their feet and hands. The guards hang them. Ghora says may the Devahs have mercy on you for you will find none here.