As Sh’rayas the Sylvan prepared his ritual to attack the brain in the central chamber of Osh’ra, the five adventurers could feel the psionic pulse of the creature. It sent wave after wave of pain to their temples, and it took the strongest amount of will power the party could summon to resist the evil of the monster in front of them. Gripping his head, Sh’rayas was able to stun the brain with magic, but footsteps were heard rushing the door. “Occupy their forces, and I will have enough time to neutralize their psychics! Go now!” the drow ordered the heroes and he pointed to the gates ahead of them.
Indeed, the party met with fierce opposition as they rushed up the stairs and into the next room. Two defilers pulled on the essence of the land and life force around them to damage them, and a bloodthirsty mind blade warrior went toe to toe with Kao-Tsu Quan and Nathan Bishop. Luckily Talia Lancaster (Black) was able to mage hand hot coals into some nearby explosives and nearly take out their halfling assassin while Taiass Atwari and Vivian tagged up on the defilers. The battle was won, but as the heroes finished off their last adversary, a terrible wave of pain overcame their mental capacities and they fell to the ground, unconscious.
About ten minutes later, Nathan awoke and attempted to stir the other party members. The sound of mournful wailing was faintly heard, and Kao-Tsu, still woozy, found a window high above them. From what he could see, Gaul’s forces had halted their attack, but the wailing was coming from the city itself. Nathan narrowed his eyes as he helped Talia back onto her feet. It was time to check on their drow friend’s progress. Everyone gathered together and walked back down the stairs to the throne room to confront Sh’rayas on his progress.
The brain lay a dead and bloodied mess on the floor, and Sh’rayas stood triumphantly before them as the remaining mage lords filtered into the room, now freed of their psionic oppressors. The drow congratulated them on their success, and as they asked him what had happened to the psions, Sh’rayas coolly explained that they had been all killed by the elder’s brain’s passing. Aghast and angry at his cold demeanor, Nathan demanded further explanation. Sh’rayas explained that he told the Calicans that his ritual would neutralize the psions, and by neutralize, he had always meant kill….just no one had ever asked him to go into more detail. Kao-Tsu lashed out in anger as Taiass held back the monk. “Does this mean that we just helped you kill 7500 people????” The drow smiled and looked down at the human. “I suppose it does. However as Head Mage Lord of the Shifting Sands, I will now fulfill my promise to you. Half of the food and weapons will go to the Gaul Who Grasps. And the Calican Military now has use of the largest land army in Nevermore. Does this really seem to be the time or place to be crossing me?” He folded his arms across his chest, and the twelve other mage lords took knee in allegiance to their new ruler. “I think I’m going to be sick,” Talia muttered under her breath as she and her friends left the room to regroup with the military. The Assault on Osh’ra was finished, but at a great cost of life.
Back in camp, the party took a few days to recover and reflect on what had occurred. Nathan took the liberties of filling in Commander Belcoot on Sh’rayas’ actions, but it was agreed that nothing could be done. The drow had put himself into such a position of power that he could not be knocked down without major consequences for their current military operations. For the time being, they would have to tolerate and work with the Sands for the greater good of Calica.