The Therai Incident

The Therai Incident was a domestic conflict within Desia, possibly having some relation to the Horde War.

At the same time as the War raged in the west, it came to the attention of the City Watch that a cult was operating somewhere within the city. Unwilling to let troubles at home exacerbate the greater troubles of the War, the Guard began a thorough investigation. Slick, an agent on loan from the Desian Grand Army, managed to infiltrate the cult to a point and recovered vital information.

A tiefling cleric named Therai was the leader of the cult, and his behavior matched that of a follower of Vecna. It was discovered that his cult was based in the depths of the city’s sewers, and it was suspected that Therai was blackmailing a number of high-profile citizens.

Wasting no time the Guard sent fifty men, lead by a Commander, down into the sewers to crush the cult and bring Therai in for questioning. Two days went by, though, and none of the soldiers returned.

With no other options the Guard asked the Desian Mercenary Corp for a team. Commander Rison quickly tasked Laesath Aurelia, Mary-Lou Freebush, Captain Cole Strutter, and Akarn with the Therai mission, with the added objective of discovering what had happened to the soldiers.

Strangely, before they even began their mission, the team was approached by a stranger. The stranger told them that certain parties would prefer that Therai be killed instead of captured, and that those certain parties would gladly reward the team for arranging such an occurence. The team did not really come to an agreement on the matter before they decided to begin the mission.

The team did not have to go far before the trouble began. Upon entering the sewers they found signs of combat. Upon attempting to progress further gravehounds, undead beasts, attacked them. Soon after dispatching the undead the team located a single surviving soldier who apparently had tried with several others to escape. Attempts to garner information from him in his hysterical state resulted in little more than confirmation that the gravehounds had killed his fellow escapees and the strong implication that more undead horrors awaited them. The team escorted the soldier back to the surface and then continued onwards.

However, the next trouble they ran into was quite alive. They stumbled upon a number of new recruits to the cult and the man inducting them in. When the man in question attempted to get the recruits to slay the team, the team in turn killed him and convinced the recruits to surrender peacefully. Akarn also took everything they had before chasing them back to the surface. Discovered among the belongings was proof that the cult was worshipping Vecna.

When they attempted to move on, the team managed to spot an otyugh lurking in the murky water. Unwilling to fight this large carrion eater, the team backtracked and found another way further into the sewer, only to be attacked by a gang of club-wielding cultists. The cultists made poor opponents for the skilled team, but things took a turn for the worse when the metal grating covering the water gave way beneath Laesath’s feet. The cleric barely managed to hang on to the grating with one hand to prevent himself from falling into the water. However, the otyugh they had spotted had in fact followed them, along with another otyugh, and it quickly snatched the cleric from his perch and dragged him into the water.

The result was a convoluted fight, with most of the team ending underwater at some point. Notable moments included Mary-Lou managing to avoid getting dragged in by simply teleporting out of an otyugh’s grip, while Akarn leaped head-first into the water to assist Laesath (after some convincing from Cole to not just finish the mission themselves).

Upon killing the otyughs and recovering their half-drowned members from the murky depths, the team forged onwards, engaging cult soldiers who attacked them wearing black cloaks and wielding halberds. However, the team decided to use the weakness of their environment as a strength, utilizing magic to blast the metal grating from beneath their foes’ feet. Doing so at their location sent the screaming cultists plunging down a waterfall to the second level, where they either drowned or were killed by the fall.

Upon climbing down to the second level themselves, the party fell into a trap. The walls on either side of them fell away to reveal almost one hundred zombies. To the party’s horror, several of the undead creations appeared to be the reanimated corpses of the soldiers sent down into the sewers. Using mostly divine and arcane attacks the team managed to clear the corridor, although the area was heavily damaged in the fight.

Upon reaching a large waste water collection area the team was attacked by several more cult guards reinforced by large zombie hulks and corruption corpses. Akarn was nearly killed when he made the discovery that corruption corpses explode upon death, and despite managing to slice one hulk straight in half the team was hard-pressed. However, some assistance was rendered when the Commander of the original force led two surviving soldiers in a flanking maneuver, emerging from a side passage and providing ranged support. Once the last corruption corpse met its explosive end, the team and the Commander exchanged information. According to the Commander, most of his men had been killed by the ambush in the corridor, while some had been captured by a human necromancer.

Laesath and Mary-Lou recognized the Commander’s description of the necromancer as a perfect match for one they had fought during the Northern Skirmishes, and Laesath in particular was eager to finish their business with him. Sending the survivors back to the surface the team rushed to find the hidden lair of this necromancer. Soon enough they broke into his private chambers, only to find him in the process of torturing a Desian soldier. The necromancer was both shocked and immensely displeased to see Laesath and Mary-Lou again, and the fact that they had brought friends did not help. Despite summoning a variety of undead thralls the necromancer was killed easily enough and the prisoners were freed. On the necromancer’s corpse were several papers indicating that Therai was paid for sending his assistant to help with the Skirmishes.

Cole and Akarn escorted the freed prisoners to the surface, effectively ending the pair’s part in the mission. To bolster the team’s strength Commander Rison sent an acquaintance of his down into the sewers: Bigg, an aptly named dragonborn fighter. With this rather tough looking addition the team headed for the third and final level of the sewers.

After fighting their way through another squad of undead at the bottom of the ladder, and cutting their way through yet another corridor and its defenders, the team finally confronted Therai and his personal guards, both living and undead. The two sides wasted no time in engaging one another, and the trio of mercenaries quickly gained the upper hand in the fight. However, the fight unraveled just as soon as Therai fell to the ground, rendered unconscious by the blows delivered to him.

Laesath, driven by his sworn hatred of all things related to Vecna, wanted to finish the evil cleric off. Whether or not the offered reward from the unknown parties seeking Therai’s death played a part in this is not known. Bigg, extremely loyal to Commander Rison, sought to return Therai to the surface, and began to do so. This resulted in a fight that left Bigg unconscious and Therai awake and on the loose. Rather than restart a futile battle, the cleric of Vecna dove into the sewer water and began rushing for the one-way portal that the sewer emptied into, straight into the Elemental Chaos. Laesath gave chase. Upn being revived by Mary-Lou’s quick use of a potion, Bigg also gave chase. Therai, Laesath, and Bigg all tumbled through the portal, leaving Mary-Lou by herself facing several zombies.

Luckily for the Eladrin she managed to use quick wits and a disguise self spell to trick the zombies out of attacking her, quickly looting Therai’s personal chambers before heading back to the surface to report the mission’s result to an extremely befuddled and unamused Ike.

Therai managed to escape into the Chaos, although whether he actually survived is unknown. Bigg and Laesath were both rescued thanks to Mary-Lou spending no small amount of money to have a powerful wizard warp them out of the Chaos. However, before they were rescued the pair bore witness to a battle of the War in the Elemental Chaos.

The Therai Incident

Fury of the Lost One blackmage88