The drati raid
Two dratis overran Sojiro and barged on the cobblestone pavement atop the sacred hill. They caught everyone by surprise, despite the feeble attempt of the young samurai to raise the alarm. One of the drati impaled its leg in an impromptu pit, but merely caused it to notice.
The drati were blinded by the bonfire near the Jita-Da. Devasheesh and Gubdan were busy fixing the steel cable on the airship when the creature arrived. The largest of the pair savaged the gas envelope. The leaking gas spontaneously ignited and caused a huge fireball to light the night sky.
Nathan rallied the royal guards while Devasheesh and Gubdan reached for their rifles. A third, and much smaller drati arrived from the rear and started snacking on the royal guards.
The witch is dead
Following his skull fracture and subsequent estrangement from his wife. Lord Bell-Hudson had developed an odd streak. His wife had gone native, against all sense of propriety and Christian morality. He knew that he would find her in the temple praying to pagan gods. As the drati were engaged by the others, he rallied two guards and ran up the hill to the temple.
There, he indeed found Gene praying in the presence of the Queen. He knew exactly what he had to do: “Now or never, Lord. Gene will redeem herself”. He uttered as he walked to her and shot her in the back. Gene fell to the ground and snapped out of her trance. She begged Nathan to help her, but Nathan was beyond reason. He wrestle a rifle from the hands of one of the guards and shot Gene one last time. Gene lay on the temple floor as her blood was running through the cracks. Gene asked Nathan to take care of the others, and died.
The Queen takes matter into her own hands
The Queen, oblivious to the murder taking place in the temple, had found her way to the mind of one of the rampaging dratis. She took it over and assaulted the other with vicious bites and tail sweeps. To everyone’s confusion, the two dratis fought each others while being peppered with gunfire. The Queen finally lead the drati away from the camp.
Some 4 guards had died in the incident. As many more were wounded. The Jita-Da had exploded and scattered the Voronod engines to the ground. In the temple, Nathan was bound and dragged away from the lifeless body of his wife.
The following day, the Queen was loaded carefully on a cart (due to her broken leg), along with the other wounded men. The pilgrims returned to Alwar with the knowledge that the temple granted untold power to the Queen, but also was guarded by fierce creatures.
Later in the month, Devasheesh recovered the Voronod engines while the others prepared to take Gene’s body to the Gange for a proper sendoff to the afterlife.
In loving memory of Lady Genevieve Bell-Hudson.