After a brief skirmish with one of Draj’s expeditionary forces, the party decides to further assist with defending the city. Gundrek spends some time assisting with training the very green conscripts who will be helping to fight off the attack. Mela assists with morale and finding places to convert areas of the city to make-shift hospitals. Dryder does what he can to find out the political climate of the city, trying to determine of the bodyguard of the fake Abalach-Re was truly the power behind the throne. Kratas and Katrie travel to the outer planes, looking for the Githzerai they assisted months ago.
This was a series of skill challenges that the entire party rolled remarkably well for. The results of their success aren’t apparent to them just yet, but in the next few sessions, their efforts will pay off.
Kratas is able to convince the Githzerai to send a few Zerths and a small battalion of Githzerai to assist in the defense of Raam. Since the party assisted with defeating the Githyanki so many months ago, Kratas felt that they had an obligation to assist. The githzerai agree to help, but only if they can colonize Yathazor and Kiris Dahn. Kratas agrees, and Katrie succeeds remarkably in another skill challenge to get the group back within a reasonable amount of time. Travel back to Raam takes just over a week.
A week after the party encounters the expeditionary force, the Draj army arrives. They camp one day away from the city and wait. Tensions mount in the city, and the party has their hands full keeping everyone calm.
Several days later, a massive sand storm billows up from the east, covering the enemy army. As it blows over the city walls, the group hears several alarms. Someone is within the city attacking the gates.
Rushing to the east gate, the group runs into several of Tectuktitlay’s moon priests and assassins. After a very fun and quite humorous encounter (Gundrek uses 4 Power Point Web of Betrayal on one of the assassins, which forced all adjacent allies who attack Gundrek’s allies to also attack the target of Web of Betrayal. This forced the second assassin, who does extra damage against targets granting CA, to attack Gundrek’s target (who was prone), and he critted….it was brutal and glorious), the party discovers that this group was trying to open the gates. They then hear shouts from atop the wall.
The group rushes to the wall, where they find a large group of enemies (having climbed siege ladders). Noticing that all of the defenders on this section of the wall are dead, the party decides to help defend it.
This was a fun encounter mixed with a skill challenge. Every round, a new enemy would climb the wall on each ladder (there were three). There were 12 minions and 3 Captains atop the wall to defend the ladders. There were also two cauldrons of burning oil. The challenge here was to push the siege ladders away, all while fighting off the captains and the minions. Each time a ladder was pushed away, it would prevent a minion from climbing. If the burning oil was poured, it would prevent anyone from climbing a nearby ladder for one round.
What made the encounter somewhat challenging was the sand storm, which inflicted a -2 penalty to attack rolls, and the Captain’s aura, which provided a +2 bonus to all allies’ defenses while within the aura. So, effectively, all of the enemies (other than the captains) were at +4 to all defenses.
Kharne shined here…rushing into groups of minions and doing area attacks. Katrie also had a blast, using her Savage Rend to try to force enemies off the wall (which she succeeded on with one of the Captains). Kratas and Dryder both took heavy hits and almost went down, if it wasn’t for Mela’s healing powers.
Soon after clearing off the wall, the group hears that a second army had arrived at one of the western gates. They are able to surmise that the reason why the main army had camped for over a week was to allow time for this second force to reach position for this second attack. They learn that the gates have fallen, and that the enemy army is invading.
Soon, they are found by Nanda Shatri, who urges them to hide until the storm clears. The party moves underground, pondering whether they should abandon the city. Tor Val and Ela, who had taken a small force to harry the enemy army as it approached, are unaccounted for.
It is as the party is deciding its next move that they discover than Gundrek is missing.
The day is now the 25th day of Morrow, in the Season of High Sun, in the Year of Guthay’s Defiance, 190th King's Age. In the skies above, the comet known as the Messenger can be seen.