Upon defeating Taxma, at least temporarily, the agents returned to the Shuja estates to lick their wounds and plan their next move. They knew they had to act fast if they wanted to hunt down AkuNu Dark Moon before Taxma got resurrected and warned the newly undead assassin they were coming.
Najaf knew they had a handful of hours, nearly all of which he would need to spend resting to recover his magical reserves. The rest of the group similarly rested and recovered, but not until they had contacted Jia asking her to set up a “meeting” with AkuNu in a particular dark alley. The plan would be that one of them would disguise as Jia to lure him in, then they would attack.
As Najaf slept, his father, Jahandar Shuja, and Safa Maarham watched over his sleeping body. Jahandar sought to understand better the transformation that was happening in his son, and he cast a number of esoteric arcane rituals to monitor such things.
Upon resting, they put their plan into motion. AkuNu approached the site, and some of the agents detected another, shadowy figure following in his trail. They lured him within reach and immediately attacked. The shadowy figure revealed itself as a Kuotagha, which despite its skills as stealthy assassination, was rapidly dispatched by the focused attacks from behind crates and boxes of the rest of the concealed agents. AkuNu, however, proved a harder nut to crack. His elven facade fell almost immediately to reveal the withered flesh and carious burning yellow eyes of a Mohrg. He called upon the tormented psyches of the New Moon Elves whose minds were ripped apart by Mon Adderath’s ritual. They manifested in a swirl of vengeful agony. As the combat progressed, many of the agents found themselves briefly overwhelmed by a mindless vengeful hate that caused them to lash out at their own allies, while AkuNu flew about the alley shredding into them with claws.
After a long and difficult battle, as AkuNu began to feel somewhat taxed, he opted to attempt to flee the battle (being an assassin, and preferring unfair fights). Dhaara called upon primal wind to drag him back, and Shahzadi pierced him through the thigh with a sword to keep him immobile, at least for the moment. That’s when he put up his hands and asked if, perhaps, they could negotiate a peaceful solution.
The agents, bloodied and battered, minds frazzled by surges of vengeful hatred, were not absolutely certain they could defeat this creature, and so began negotiations.
They learned that AkuNu felt a sense of blood-debt against House Shuja for their part in annihilating the Night Runners in Raam, but his sense was somewhat loose, as he had been an outcast from his tribe. He was willing to drop the blood debt if the Shuja children were willing to do the same. The agents asked him to help them track down and kill the remaining Kuotagha in the city, which he seemed willing to at least help them to do. He revealed that the Kuotagha they had killed was the one currently attached to Taxma. He indicated he could probably fairly easily kill the one attached to the Veiled Alliance, but the one attached to the Night Runners was unlikely, as he himself was not welcome among his own people, especially now that he had accepted undead servitude to Taxma. The last one, the one attached to the Mercantile Templar-spies, he was willing to help the agents locate and defeat.
Upon reaching this tentative arrangement, Shahzadi let slip that Jia had sold AkuNu out, which upset her, as she appeared in a flare of gray light. Nevertheless, Jia was able to dedicate the soul of the slain Kuotagha to her patron, which opened the door, as it were, to negotiating the return of Padme Shuja’s soul.
AkuNu departed cautiously, as did the agents, to lick their respective wounds.
Dhaara returned to her Uncle’s house where she took pains to hide all evidence that she had been engaged in caste-violating combat. The rest of them dropped by one of their safehouses. While Najaf took a bath, Shahzadi and Queri-Sed returned to the Shuja estates so that Shahzadi could discuss with her father the possibility of detecting Khayal, for fear that her betrothed might be one. Jahandar Shuja indicated that as a result of his study of Najaf, he could probably detect if someone was a Khayal if they were unconscious in his presence long enough for him to cast a ritual.
Najaf, after his bath, cast a Sending to Taxma, who was alive once more, to relate their arrangement with AkuNu, and try to smooth matters over with Dregoth’s apprentice. Taxma seemed somewhat put out, and asked Najaf to meet him once more in the Consecrated Sepulchre of Badna to discuss such terms.
Total: 99,607 – Level 18
Shadowdancer’s Mask (lvl. 10)(5,000gp)
Shadowdancer’s Gloves (lvl. 11)(9,000gp)
Shadowdancer’s Boots (lvl. 12)(13,000gps)
Shadowdancer’s Cloak +2 (lvl. 9)(4,200gp)