In the morning, Faust receives a planar message from Sandman back in Chedhurst. In it he says that King Maxim Isaak has labeled the Freak Squad as traitors out of necessity. Additionally, The Aforementioned have been dispatched to retrieve Chrysanthe Xene, though it is not clear is to return her to Chedhurst or deliver her to Tremblent. With this new information the group is in turmoil, but Aishe Malinova believes in finishing their current plan since there’s not much they can do about it and they are relatively hidden.
Aishe Malinova finds her old Shadar-Kai fighting master, Diathilis. After reuniting and exchanging stories, Aishe describes the situation in Tremblent. Diathilis concurs with her assessment on Orcus’ forces, and mentions that the frequency of attacks around Letherna, the realm of The Raven Queen, has been increasing. It has gotten to the point that they expect an attack. He sends them to the master-at-arms, commander of the citatel’s guard and militia.
This warrior is a famed archer, named Lamias, and he welcomes Tobin after she introduces herself. He himself is a former bearer of the Starlit Bow of Sagittarius, having proven himself in the Starlit tournament a few decades ago after honing his skills by training away from the Shadowfell. Now he trains the Raven Queen’s archers, and sends a couple of his best students every twelve years to compete in the Starlit tournament.
Tobin remembers another gifted archer of her past, the one that she competed against for the Starlit tournament of Sagittarius final round. He was a Shadar-Kai fellow called Siphy. The Lamias recognizes the name as one of his former students. It appears that after leaving the Shadowfell area to compete in the games, he never returned to the Shadowfell. Tobin can not remember what happened, since neither she nor the Shadar-Kai won the prized bow.
The city alarms suddenly sound, and the city defenses are set in motion. An Orcus’ army ten thousand strong is marching towards the city. The Shadar-Kai don’t seem to worry much, this seems to be a routine attack. A small squadron is spotted on the opposite side of the city, and master-at-arms decides to entrust the perimeter defense to the current Starlit archery winner, even though unknown to him, Tobin got that title by appointment while on the Path of the Titans.
The Undead Attack!
The forty-feet tall outer walls of the city present a great defense for the Freak Squad, who sees a small squadron of undead forces approach. Animated corpses start making their slow trip towards the walls, which are further protected by a moat. They start as a stream at first, and Tobin and Faust position themselves in the tallest turrets with the longest field of view, and use arrows and magic to pelt them from a distance and making them collapse. The stream turns into a river, and Aishe, Rad and Mazith join in the attack against the undead that make it past the defense perimeter and reach the bottom of the walls. Not long after, the full force of the undead arrive like a flood, wave after wave of them crash against the walls after maneuvering through the piles of their fallen comrades lying in the field. Faust starts to use magic lightning to zap the moat water as more of the poor wretches as fall in. Tobin runs out of arrows, and has to leave her post to retrieve more of them.
In the horizon, two ghost harpies, surely slain and now controlled by Orcus forces, fly towards the walls and towers. Screeching a horrible tune, they entrance the minds of the party members and command them to come closer. Faust obeys and almost falls from 60 feet, but his uncanny halfling luck prevents it as his shoe lace becomes tangled. With the two harpies screeching, eventually Mazith falls in, even after being warned by Aishe Malinova’s Gypsy Vision ™. Shaken by the screech, he is paralyzed as his body falls into the moat, and starts to drown among all the attacks from all the corpses who no longer need to breathe. Aishe and Rad eventually also fall, but they quickly get back to their feet, while Mazith defends against multiple enemies and they all dispatch the undead. Rad Longhammer turns around to see a magic ball headed their way, and it explodes and freezes the air around them. An undead lich, a hundred yards away, smiles sadistically as he sends another freezing bombs against the close quarter fighting warriors.
Meanwhile, the ranged members of the party have been busy avoiding the suicide commands of the harpies. Tobin saves herself multiple times, a reward for thinking ahead and tying a rope around herself and a crenelation, for safety in her precarious yet advantageous spot at the top of the turrets. The harpies refocus on Faust, while a pair of shadows appear behind Tobin and enter her mind as they wrap around her. Knowing that the shadows will command Tobin to fire against her allies, Faust sinks in his staff in a thunderous explosion. The blast injures the harpies and propels him across the towers to land near Tobin with another thunderous crash, pushing away the shadows towards the ground. With them in range, Aishe and Mazith finally get rid of the shadows.
The harpies do one final act before escaping the dire situation, and pick up Tobin’s safety rope, fly her and drop her towards Rad on the battleground with surprising accuracy. Tobin uses her acrobatics skill to do a ground roll landing, not preventing injury but certainly preventing her bones from breaking. An unsuspecting Rad suddenly becomes stomped by Tobin’s fall and takes large amount of damage. Frustrated by his inefficiency against the animated corpses, Rad charges against the lich, running 100 yards at inhuman speed, and with two massive monk punches destroys the bones of the powerful undead wizard. Mazith is left astonished, wondering how Rad singlehandedly stole his spotlight without him getting a chance to stop it!