The attack came soon enough.
The Circle watched as the Lintha pressed a group of Chiaroscuro’s citizenry towards Dock Eight’s defensive field. The Circle knew that Tso Lien’s forces would attack the dock if they went out, but couldn’t allow the citizens to die so horribly.
V’neef Kafun passed Sundered Cliff a mask that he had used to disguise his appearance. Sundered Cliff adopted V’neef Kafun’s appearance, and he and Obsidian Skye proceeded outside to begin the confrontation.
6 Lintha warriors and 3 sorcerors stood outside, calling out their demands.
The sorcerors snapped into position, beginning a complicated spell-weaving even as the warriors moved to defend them. The Lintha had practiced their battle formations well, and attacked as exceptionally coordinated units.
V’neef Kafun managed to land a crippling blow against Tso Lien, who burst apart in a gout of acidic blood…
Only to reveal that the one the Circle believed to be Tso Lien was a decoy. The true Tso Lien completed his spell, coating himself in a bronze sheath, then crafting a shaped globe of water that repelled many attacks and allowed him to hover, while a whirling ethereal blade struck at his foes. Even as the Circle slowly struck down the other Lintha, Tso Lien himself moved into the defenseless Dock 8, leaving behind a group of sorcerous snakes that used virulent poison and severely weakened the Circle.
Even though they put up a valiant fight, Tauros and Autumnal Fire were unable to stand up to Tso Lien, 2 additional Lintha, and Tso-Lien’s mighty water demon. The rest of the Circle rushed in as soon as the venomous snakes were dealt with. They were severely weakened, but could not allow Tso Lien access to the boat.
Obsidian Skye began picking apart the two Lintha warriors – even injured, she far outmatched them, her fans whirling and striking at the two Lintha very quickly. Sundered Cliff meanwhile called on the power of his armor to boost his speed to thrice that he was normally capable of, leaping in to strike at Tso Lien himself, who had abandoned his globe of water. V’neef Kafun leapt into combat with the demon, his spear flashing like lightning from the heavens as he tried to strike at the creature from behind an invisibility field. But the water left on the walkway from Tso Lien’s globe gave his presence away and the creature detected his coming. Its arms thinned and split, becoming four deadly limbs even as it advanced on V’neef Kafun
Tso Lien attempted to leave combat, and surround himself with his men, but Sundered Cliff roared back to lock blades with him once again, cracking through his armor and burying Slaughterwake into the sorceror’s chest.
He crumpled, but one of his men managed to summon up the strength to toss Tso Lien bodily into the demon before the Circle could intervene. The demon adopted the sorceror’s bronze mien even as a chitinous head could be seen emerging here and there from Tso Lien’s wounds. The creature’s arms rejoined and it caught the whirling magical blade, which stretched and contorted as its fingers closed around the hilt.
Sundered Cliff closed to lock blades with it, as Obsidian Skye finished off the two Lintha, slicing them like so much fish for chumming. Sundered Cliff struck hard, but the creature’s sword cut through his defenses, dropping him to the floor.
V’neef Kafun retreated into the warehouse’s supply boxes, using his spear’s reach to evade strikes from the demon’s sword, while Obsidian Skye used her fans to strike down the two Lintha in a shower of gore and began to slice at the demon’s defenses. Her blades bit deep into it, even as V’neef Kafun extended his arms, shot out a bolt of light, and levitated up into the roof supports, his eyes darting this way and that, searching for a seam in its armor. The demon attempted to strike at Obsidian Skye even as her weapon dug into its flesh, but she evaded its strike. Water poured from the demon’s wounds, and its face contorted in pain and hurt. V’neef Kafun dropped onto the creature like a boulder crashing into the ocean, his strike shattering the creature’s flesh and impaling Tso Lien like a bug collector.
Tso Lien’s flesh shifted, and his demon poked its head out, questioning the Circle and wondering why they had interrupted his work. V’neef Kafun slowly and methodically dispatched it, while Obsidian Skye went outside to see if the crowd was safe. There she found a Captain of the City Guard, the Hand of the River, and a distinguished man in nondescript gray speaking. She informed them of their success, and of the casualties, then came back inside Dock 8, where she began gently tending the bodies of their fallen comrades while the Circle debated about how to treat the bodies. Sundered Cliff’s armor finally healed the worst of his wounds, and he stood slowly.
The Hand of the River and the man in gray came inside shortly. He introduced himself as Tamuz. Both Obsidian Skye and V’neef Kafun peered at him, seeing a powerful aura, one that they both recognized as a Lunar Exalted, and recognized his name as being a founder of Chiaroscuro some 400 years in the past. The Hand, meanwhile, offered to place the bodies of Tauros and Autumnal Fire into proper tombs… but the Circle would be unable to visit the tombs until such time as the River might allow it.
The Circle asked them to leave – not really capable of the diplomacy needed to properly discuss events. Sundered Cliff looked for some cloth to shroud the bodies. Celestine Arrow offered to shed some of its sail, which could then be used to transport them safely away. The Circle made its way back to their tower, and Sundered Cliff placed Tauros’ body on the top, where he had enjoyed greeting the Sun.
The Circle rested, while Obsidian Skye saw to the spirits of their friends, comforting Tauros about what lay beyond. She had the wise idea to host a farewell dinner to them, and invited Grandmother Bright and Autumnal Fire’s father to the event. She prepared a large amount of ghost tea, that allowed the group to see the ghosts, and the Emissary sent a special bottle of wine that would allow the spirits to interact and take part in the feast.
It was an event of both joy and regrets. V’neef Kafun slipped away early, having efficiently conveyed his feelings. As the night wore on,Sundered Cliff got progressively more drunk, and what little manners he possessed went right out the window, to the mortification of Obsidian Skye and the humor of Grandmother Bright.
The next day, they turned the bodies over to the River’s agents. Sundered Cliff went in search of a means of recovering from his wounds more quickly, which Grandmother Bright provided, as well as a doctor who owed her a favor. Over the next several days, he was treated, which allowed him to heal much more quickly than otherwise…