With the Lunars in turmoil and Brygga Scissortongue, Mayor of Pavis, asserting control over the city, rumor reached the triumphant heroes and their allies that Duke Raus was on his way to New Pavis to bring peace to the troubled region. Less gratifying was the news that Count Julan and the Lunar Coders were also returning to the city.
When Raus arrived in the city, he received Xaraya at the Silk and Plume (his house having been burgled recently), but Xraya was surprised to find the Coder Princess Anderida also visiting him. After she had left, Raus assured Xaraya that should he be ratified as governor he would restrain the Lunars and allow the city a great degree of the increased freedom it was enjoying. However, he noted that there would have to be limits; the alternative was a visit from the Crimson Bat.
In this atmosphere, Krogar confided in the heroes with his latest plan. At the upcoming High Holy day of Orlanth (it being Storm Season, appropriately), there would be a religious putsch of sorts against the Lunar placeman High Priest Faltikus, with one Orvost Tintalker, who was hiding in the Rubble, asserting primacy in the temple. He hoped that Skye, now a fully-fledged Loyal Daughter of Vinga, and Grom, now a Sword of Humakt, would lend their support to the attempt, and that Xaraya, with her unique abilities, would help stand guard in case the Lunars tried a counter of any sort. The heroes readily agreed.
Come the great day, things did not go entirely to plan. Tintalker did indeed appear at the high point of the ceremony, dressed in the full regalia of the city’s high priest, and finished the ceremony in Faltikus’ place, but the Lunar Coders launched an attack that almost ruined everything. Grom managed to hold off Nose Ring, but Count Julan outmatched Skye and Xaraya. Tintalker summoned a sylph to escape, and Julan disengaged to run to his wyvern to pursue him. Skye then summoned an enormous sylph which picked up our heroes and interposed itself between Julan and Tintalker. The Count realized his wyvern would be no match for the elemental, and decided discretion was the better part of valor.
Krogar told the heroes where Tintalker had gone and asked them to guard him. He realized that there must have been a mole in the camp who revealed the plan to the Coders, and that therefore Tintalker’s hideout was in jeopardy. The heroes made their way post-haste to the Rubble.
Tintalker did not feel he needed extra guards. He pointed out that he had a super-secret escape rout – a guided teleport spell that would take him to an even safer location should the need arise.
Xaraya was not so sure, and having experienced the power of the Coders realized she needed a heavy hitter in support. She flew over with Skye to their friend Windwhistler the Wyrm, and persuaded him to provide aerial reconnaissance and firepower, so that if the Coders and their wyverns arrived, they would face unexpected resistance.
It was not long before an attack presented itself. In the distance, a war band of Sable Riders could be seen charging towards the heroes’ strongpoint. Xaraya’s Sight Projection revealed it to be none other than Asparukh Longhorn’s gang, clearly out for revenge. Moreover, Xaraya’s Mystic Vision revealed the presence of a very powerful spirit manifesting in Asparukh’sshaman.
Unfortunately for the Sables, both Skye and Xaraya had gained heroic abilities with their bows during a previous heroquest. They quickly picked off Asparukh’s men, including Shorvagh, until the warrior cried out that he demanded a duel. Grom being unable to refuse such a call, the surviving Sables rode into the compound, and Asparukh and Grom faced off. Though closely matched in skill, Grom’s magic overwhelmed Asparukh, and he soon lay dead at his feet.
Then came a surprise. Windwhistler the Wyrm crashed to earth, alive, but with an arrow impaled in each wing. The Sables had been a distraction, and the Coders attacked. Xaraya found herself pinned down by accurate arrow after arrow raining down from an impossibly far distance above. Eventually, Xaraya’s sight projection located her assailant: Eslas the Tracker atop her wyvern, possessed by an Arrow Trance.
Meanwhile, Julan had landed. Once again, he was able to handle both Grom and Skye easily, brushing aside their attacks and pressing them back. Xaraya persuaded Tintalker to run for his escape route, while Skye disengaged to summon a sylph. Julan brought Grom down but before he could follow Tintalker, Skye’s sylph picked him up and far away from the fight. Eslas disengaged from her aerial bombardment and together she and Julan dispersed the sylph, but by this time they were far away. Eslas picked up Julan on her wyvern and the two flew away.
Patching up their wounds and burying their dead, the heroes realized that with the hideout discovered, a strong Lunar contingent could be on its way. They decided to seek refuge in the nearby Real City. This was to prove a pivotal decision…