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The Massacre at Khadi Junction was mass killing of nearly one thousand priests which took place in Taglios during the Shadowmaster wars. It was orchestrated by Lady, the new Black Company Captain, and was a key event of Dreams of Steel.

Dreams of Steel[]

Background[]

The Taglian priesthoods were divided into three cults: Gunni, Shadar, and Vehdna. Their ceaseless bickering and disunity caused constant problems for the Prince of Taglios, the Prahbrindrah Drah, and his sister, the Radisha Drah. The problem became exacerbated when the royal siblings hired Croaker as the city's "Liberator" to prosecute the Shadowmaster wars. Key priests like Jahamaraj Jah and Chandra Chan Tal betrayed and even attempted to assassinate Croaker and his wife Lady, badly hampering the Company's efforts to defend the city from the Shadowlanders.

During the Siege of Dejagore, Lady ordered building crews to work on fortifications for a military encampment near Taglios. Iman ul Habn Adr of the Vehdna and the other chief priests, rejecting her authority, ordered the workers belonging to their respective cults to cease all labor on Lady's camp and to construct a city wall instead. They also vocally criticized her for failing to commit ritual suicide upon the reported death of her husband.

In reply, Lady sent word to the priests to meet at Khadi Junction, hinting that she would be resigning her position as Croaker's replacement as commander of the Taglian armies. The priests from all three cults excitedly gathered in their finest clothes to hear her abdication. Meanwhile, her new ally Narayan Singh secretly assembled several hundred loyal archers who were liberated slaves from the Shadowlands. The took the owners of homes around the square hostage, and they positioned themselves at windows.

Massacre[]

Lady arrived at the square astride one of her towering black stallions and wearing her Lifetaker costume armor, with the oblivious Prahbrindrah on a lesser mount at her side. Using a voice augmentation spell, she delivered a speech regarding the pitfalls of factionalism, and the doom that would face Taglios if that factionalism was allowed to continue. She declared that Taglios would put forth one face from that day on, fighting the Shadowmasters relentlessly. As she spoke, more of her troops placed barriers at all of the exits to the square. When her speech was complete, the archers opened fire. She contributed lethal sorcery to protect herself, the Prince, and her nearby drummers as well. Eventually, all of the priests gathered there were killed, with Lady walking among the wounded to cut their throats herself.

Aftermath[]

After the Radisha was informed by her brother the Prince of what transpired, she was especially frightened by Lady's ruthlessness: "Never had she been so terrified." She was confronted by Lady immediately after the massacre. Lady left the archers that killed the priests behind as a garrison when she departed Taglios to relieve the Siege of Dejagore. The archers were given orders to travel to Vehdna-Bota after one week in Taglios. These archers received an unexpected visit from by the Prahbrindrah Drah and Croaker later.

The massacre had immediate political consequences in Taglios. For the next 4 years, the priesthoods replaced their leaders and rebuilt their organizations, but the Black Company had far less internal interference in their prosecution of the Shadowmaster wars. They would eventually lead Taglios to total victory over Longshadow in She Is the Darkness.

Subsequent developments[]

The peace between the Black Company and the Taglian priesthoods that was forged in the blood of the Massacre at Khadi Junction would eventually disintegrate. While the priesthoods never seemed to regain their former levels of authority, they did eventually force the Radisha to share some power with a new high priest, the Purohita. They also conspired with her and the Prahbrindrah to betray the Black Company in a special arrangement with Soulcatcher. After the Captivity began, the Purohita and some other cult leaders would spend the next 15 years grasping to seize the crumbs of authority Soulcatcher permitted them to share with Chandra Gokhale and the Radisha.

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