Once the PCs had passed the Trial of the Totems, they had accomplished their goals—they had befriended the Sklar-Quah, and now needed only wait for the Sun Shaman to finish his communion with his ancestors to learn about the truth of what afflicts Queen Ileosa. Yet one more hurdle remained between the PCs and this triumph. The Red Mantis.
Frustrated that the PCs had found sanctuary among the Sun Clan and sensing that her window of opportunity to eliminate the PCs was quickly vanishing, Tarya organized her allies in preparation for an all-out assault.
With her remaining assassins, her well-paid Ashwing gargoyle allies, and the Cinderlander, Tarya’s spies and scrying revealed that the Sun Shaman, Chief Ready-Klar, and several burn riders were going to be gone for a day, making this her best opportunity. That evening, as dusk approached, she and her allies stalked toward Flameford with ill intent.
Chaos erupted throughout the camp as Ashwing gargoyles carried the Red Mantis into Flamford. Fires burned as sounds of battle echoes throughout the camp. The heroes worked there way through the battle field to find Krojun Eats-What-He-Kills CR engaged in deadly combat with the cinderlander.
Rushing to his aid the tables were turned once again. Illendrian’s mentor Tarya called him out by name. Tired of games she offered the Sklar-Quah a deal. Turn over Illendrian and his friends and they would leave in peace. Krojun’s answer was simple and swift. “We do not turn our back on nalharest, tshemek!” Many slowed to watch the fight unfold. With Korjun’s aid, Illendrian was able to free himself from his mentor’s grasp once and for all. With Illendrian’s killing blow, Tarya started to shift into into an intangible red mist and her armor clattered to the ground. Her voice could still be heard as she began to dissipate. “How Illendrian? How??? I taught you everything you know… You couldn’t have possible grew this strong in such short time…” With sagging shoulders and a sense of overwhelming releif, Illendrian watched what was left of his teacher float away into the night sky. “I learned some new tricks.”
As the Flameford assault drew to a close, the Sklar-Quah sent up a cheer. The Shoanti are hardy folk, and the people of Flameford came through the assault with relatively few casualties—certainly not enough to dull the sense of triumph. Until the Sun Shaman returned to Flameford, the campsite quickly became a victory party.
At the request of the shoanti, Trinia was more than happy to recount the tale of the party’s encounter with Cindermaw by the council fire. Almost half the clan listened with absolute fascination. Krojun challenged Illendrian to another sredna match and shared a good laugh. One of the Thunder callers offered to tattoo Zarian to celebrate his triumph in the totem trial and his strength over the pack of bulettes. Henric had taken the opportunity to find some where private to reach out to Vimanda. He was surprised by the honest self admission that he had actually missed her.
The night was filled with drinking, merriment and celebration into the early hours. It was a well deserved evening.