Category Archives: Chapter 22: Rahu!
The chapter starts with the party searching out the evil Rakshasa, Rahu, who they believe has stolen the legendy Golden Shield via the traitorious Tanaroan Witch Doctor known as Papa Gonsho. The party is being led to the base of the Smoking Mountain by a group of indigenous tribesmen, while they are disguised as human offerings for Rahu. After proceeding past a large stone head that guards the entrance to Rahu’s lair, the party proceeds into a tunnel that leads into the mountain. Stone gates open to reveal the tiger-headed, turbaned Rakshasa known as Rahu, born on a litter carried by his retinue, along with his consorts. He has apparently also charmed the young indigenous girl named Oja whom the party rescued from the Tong’s temple.
Rahu goes on to casually explain his surprise that the party arrived as his front door, rather than looking for the secret entrance that Oja and the Observer Cirrilus has told them about. Rahu explains that the Golden Shield stolen by Papa Gonsho was a fake, and that Gonsho paid for the mistake with his life. The real Shield, he claims, is still held by the Tanaroans, and he aims to kill or capture the party, leaving one person free to retrieve the real Shield in exchange for the bodies of the others. He also claims that Cirrilus did not mention that, as long as the shield remains intact, the party will not be free to leave the island.
At this, Rahu’s bodyguards attack (consisting of indigean archer and bola expert) while the giant stone head bursts forth from the ground, revealing a stylized stone golem which attacks the party from behind. An attack aimed at Rahu strikes true, but an illusion is revealed that he had traded places with Oja, and the attack appears to kill her.
As the attack presses on, Radcliffe casts a wall of fire to cut off Rahu and his allies and the party dives into the shallow trench separating the entrance from Rahu, but the stone golem follows them into the dry moat. The party is able to use a mechanical draw bridge to pin the golem in place while they follow Rahu deeper into the mountain. The party proceeds through Rahu’s lair, encountering giant lizards and troglodytes, strange 4-armed caryatid columns which control access to the upper levels of his lair, and an open area on the side of the mountain where displacer beasts hide amongst thick foliage. At the open area, Teliko breaks off to try to warn the Tanaroans of the situation.
After defeating these challenges the party finds their way to Rahu’s crystalline throne room, which is like the inside of a giant geode. Rahu’s guards battle the party, alongside his were-jaguar wives, his intelligent gorilla Majordomo, and his indigenous warriors. All the while Rahu uses spells and controls the very crystals of the room itself to attack the party. Near the end of a pitched battle, the party is rejoined by Mama Kutsi and Telico, and when only Rahu and some of the party remain conscious, a ghostly female figure floats among the room. Porkins, suspicious of more tricks, stabs at the creature with his ghost touch blade, and she emits a shrill shout of pain.
When Rahu is finally defeated, his body begins to turn incorporeal, his vest, weapons, and turban falling to the floor. However, before he can disappear into smoke, Mother Morena materializes with the Paladin known as Kyle the Unkillable, and captures Rahu’s essense in a black diamond.
As the Tanaroans enter the chamber, Mother Morena explains that she learned the location of the party from the wizard Maximillian, only after asserting that she had prayed for wisdom from the gods and has decided to leave Father Pat and the party be. Through meditation she has decided that the path of the Silver Spear belongs with Pat, who has once again proven himself a Worthy b y dispatching a Rakshasa, a being of great evil. She has taken an oath not to interfere with the Party, including helping them return to the Duchies, for the Spear must find it’s own way in the world. She wonders aloud if it is also the party’s fate to find the Shield, or if it will lay in wait for another Worthy.
As the party, the Tanaroans, and the priestess and her bodyguard leave the mountain into the breezy afternoon air, they cannot help but notice that the mountain has at last stopped smoking, and for the first time in a long time, a sense of hope hangs over the Isle of Dread.