The Massacre of Ghinor
Garuda would realize the horror of the Raksha firsthand
The following is an account taken from a mix of personal retellings, official records and spirit interviews from the bloody 50-year reign of the Raksha, Obalu of the Ravenous Hunger.
Birth By Night
To this day it's a mystery as to who exactly was the patient zero for the birth of the Raksha, Obalu. The carnage, at what seemed to be the start of the rampage, was too extreme for anyone to truly figure out who birthed the monster. In fact, it seemed like a completely ordinary night in Ghinor. That is until a primal and soul-shivering howl rang out through the growing lumber town. They say it made the blood run ice cold as a sense of death gripped any who heard the sound. While the noise instilled horror in anyone who heard it, it didn't cause immediate panic or fleeing. In many ways that was the fatal mistake that fell upon many victims that night. The failure to run for their life while there was still an option. The best-detailed facts from that night are from the very few survivors, the ones with the sense to flee when they first heard the screams that terrible night. The howl that signified the birth of the malignant creature came from the northeast side of town. The carnage was the most intense on that side of the town, to the point where it's impossible to tell where the origin was.
Within the first few minutes of the initial cries of slaughter, the various guards, protectors and such that made up the small security forces for the town went to investigate. According to town records, around 40 people made up the total of the towns small makeshift defense force. The self-proclaimed protectors of Ghinor encountered Obalu the Ravenous on the north side of town, only a dozen meters from where the howls had originated from. It's impossible to say what went through their minds that night when faced against such a foe, but their actions were certainly commendable. The remains of the security force were found scattered around the area. The local protectors were seemingly slaughtered on the spot, but their brave and short sacrifice is largely seen as the main reason the southern half of town was even given enough notice for some to escape. The speed of his slaughter caught everyone completely off guard. Within the first ten minutes of his awakening, Obalu had already murdered a couple dozen villagers.
It was that howl that first woke me up, even though I really didn't know what it was. It almost sounded like a large wolf or maybe even a Nandi Bear I suppose. I do remember being more annoyed about being awoken than anything else. Then I heard the screams. It started down near Mombe's store on the northeast side. Sky's above...the screams.
I recognized some of them ya know? I've known Mika and her husband for years, even started up a shared garden a while back. I know those voices. I heard the scream, had to be Mika, and then just silence. It kept getting closer with a new scream, and that's when I knew it was something else.
Within the first hour, Ghinor lost around half its population of 25,000. A few generations of growth erased in just an hour. The primal screams echoed throughout the town, confusing people as to where to run. Some of the voices were Obalu's, some of them his victims. The laughter mixed in with the screams until they were often one. Many victims accidentally ran toward the hulking Raksha, turned around by the echo of pleas chorusing around them. The nightmare creature was on a methodical mission of genocide, ruthlessly hunting down anything moving. He would run full sprint down the town roads, hunting for any stragglers or people looking to see what the commotion was. Obalu moved with haunting speed, overtaking people before they could even turn to run, impaling them on twisted spears. The next to show up were a pair of nearby Celestial Shield's. A Ghinor local had known the divine guardians were nearby and had run off to get them. The pair of Shields encountered the monster near the center of town. Their shields were found cracked in half at the scene and their remains scattered throughout the mid-town area.
At this point in the siege, very little was known about the entity that was stalking the streets, including its hulking size and speed. The swiftness of the midnight assault was catching the villagers off-guard, and vulnerable. Some successfully fled for the surrounding woods when they first heard the commotion. Many Ghinorian simply barricaded themselves in their homes, thinking they could ride out whatever disaster was happening outside. A few of the more brave citizens dared to defend their homes, either from inside or in small hunting parties that were hastily thrown together by neighbors. It was a fatal mistake for any who stayed behind, no matter the reason. This was not a night to ride it out, and all those who stayed in their homes, barricaded or not, died. Obalu systemically went from home to home, breaking down barricaded doors with ease. Bloodcurdling screams rang out as the Raksha impaled some victims onto his sickly spears, or simply ripping apart some with his bare hands. By the time the soft daylight touched the blood-soaked grounds of Ghinor, there was only one thing left alive in the town.
Areas around Ghinor remain a ruined battlefield
The erasing of Ghinor wasn't the end of Obalu's slaughter, it was the start of his reign. It was just the beginning of a nightmare, the place where the effigy of brutality was born. The annihilation was an announcement, a gore-soaked statement. The streets of Ghinor literally ran with blood and the buildings dripped with gore. When the first traders arrived that morning, they could barely contemplate the scene. The town was unrecognizable. The level of death that had happened overnight defied everything they knew up to that point. The bodies that had been left all had been completely decapitated. There was not a single human head in the whole of Ghinor. At first, the death's were blamed on mythical Nandi Bear packs, the only native Garuda creature with murderous intentions and a taste for brains. The The Divine Order of the Phoenix was called to investigate as rumors circulated about the ghost town. The investigation hit a dead end however when the first witnesses and the initial traders went missing as well. That was when reports started coming in about something in the Ghinor Forest that encircled the town and nearby area. People had started disappearing at an alarming rate.
The mystery of what happened that night in Ghinor and it's haunted woods would persist for another 40 years. It wasn't for lack of trying though as over the years dozens of spirit investigators, diviners and more would look into the mystery. Many of these sleuths would never return, only adding to the mystery and hype of Ghinor. In 1505 D.A a breakthrough would happen that would finally shine a light on the haunted woods. The famous Spirit Investigator, Sahar Lightdawn was able to successfully channel a spirit from one of the victims that terrible night. Up until that point, no spirit medium had been able to successfully channel any victim from the Ghinor massacre. The trauma of what transpired made them either dangerous to medium or mad it impossible to hold a stable connection. Sahar, along with the help of a Ghinor survivor, was able to channel a fallen Celestial Shield who gave a sickening first-hand account of the murder spree. The pair of Shield's had been completely crushed by a hulking beast of incomprehensible strength. Only one thing in history had the power of that magnitude, Xavian's favorite monsters, the Raksha. The The Divine Order of the Phoenix immediately ordered a full regiment of soldiers to locate and destroy the voidbeast.
...As we came around the corner we weren't really sure what we were looking for. But I think we all had assumed it would be an animal. Something large and out control, like a starving Nandi Bear or the like. That's what the locals had screamed as they ran past us. I had my doubts though. I remember thinking to myself, "Nandi Bears aren't around these parts.." as we turned that corner. The thing's back was to us.
And just from seeing the muscles in its huge back, I knew we were over our head. Then it slowly turned its head around toward us, right as the thing pulled the head off of some poor man....that's when I knew we were dead.
Battle for Ghinor
Throne of Skulls
It's hard to say if the regiment tracked Obalu to his cave or if the Raksha lured them there. Mainly because of the first night the regiment spent along the outskirts of the Ghinor forest region where a few soldiers went missing while on patrol. A few days after that a soldier disappeared while taking a pee in the nearby woods. The nighttime disappearances only intensified as they moved deeper into the thick woods. After a week of a cat and mouse game, the forward edge of the regiment came across a large and ominous cave. When Prime Shield Malik Faye and his commanders entered the tight cave space, they knew they were at the beast's lair.
They, however, weren't ready for its sheer size, speed, and power. The Raksha was standing atop an enormous pile of skulls. The work of over 40 years terrorizing the countryside unabated. The monster killed one of the cave exploring party before they even had a chance to react. A swift demonstration of what they were in store for. When the rest of the regiment outside of the cave witnessed the Prime Shield and two other senior leaders emerging from the cave at top speed, they knew something was wrong. When the howling 2-meter tall brute came barrelling out the cave, the regiment was stunned. They were staring into the maw of an original horror. Their great nightmare had come to life.
The first thing any survivor of the Battle of Ghinor talks about is the sheer mass of the Raksha. The word hulking paints a picture in itself, but when the survivors say it, it's with an emphasis. It's size not just in height but in width had arrested the mind of many. A monster that looked strong enough to rip a tree from the ground, root and all. This strength was confirmed when he leaped onto a helpless soldier near the cave exit, ripping the young man's head clean from his shoulder with a sickening pop. Its speed was uncanny, and it's violence was unprecedented. The first handful of soldiers died just from the sudden confusion caused by the spray of fonts of blood.
Some of the soldiers wanted to retreat, while others such as Prime Shield Malik seemed poised to fight to the death. It's agreed upon by the warriors from that battle that the Prime Shield is what kept them all alive that long night. Malik kept the regiment together from the first assault of the Raksha, as its mighty swings felled dozens of men at a time. The power difference was stark and grim. At one point the cackling monster announced his name to the audience, gleefully telling them his name was Obalu the Ravenous. And all he wanted was to feed on them. The Raksha was terrifying in every sense of the word, but the regiment knew that if they didn't defeat the nightmare creature than his rampage would never end.
Some of the finest soldiers in the Holy Armada were picked for the critical and dangerous mission. Any creature capable of effortlessly killing two Celestial Shields had to be taken seriously. The mission was marked as voluntary due to the nature of it. A hunt of an unknown beast only had the highest chance of success when all the people on it wanted to be there. Even with extreme danger of it, the Order had little trouble finding volunteers for the possible suicide mission.
The exact number of deployed soldiers is slightly disputed as a regiment size can vary based on turnout. Ordinarily, a regiment of Divine Order soldiers is 1,800, though in this case, they had an increased number of volunteers. The estimates are between 1800 to 2,000 troops from the Divine Order of the Phoenix that marched toward the woods.
When the troops first set off for the unknown monster, they didn't know where the trail was ultimately going to lead them. They were prepared for a battle on a variety of terrain, be it the open field, forest, or caves. The final battle, however, would take place in a small clearing outside the cave that had served as Obalu's nest. It was a dangerously small area to fight in and the walking slaughterhouse only made the staging arena that much smaller.
HAHAHA YESSSS WELCOME FLESHLINGS. I AM OBALU THE RAVENOUS HUNGER. YESSSS. IT'S A GOOD DAY TO FEAST, DON'T YOU THINK? HAHA AHAHAHA YESSSSS!!!!
The battle against the behemoth known as Obalu the Ravenous was one of almost sheer attrition. Obalu's insane physical strength was daunting in the deepest of ways. Some of the warriors afterward remarked that they wondered if that's what its like to fight a deity. Obalu would lash out with his stained spear and impale four to five people at a time. He was effortless in his carnage. No one could figure out where the spears were coming from either. Obalu seemed to pull them out of the ground and behind his back like deadly ethereal spears. Yet the way they pierced men like they were paper showed they were more than just a conjured weapon.
The battle went on for hours as waves of men met the reincarnated horror in battle. Each soldier adding their mark, their slash, before retreating. With every leap into battle, they tested their luck against Xavian's chosen horror. Eventually, a soldiers luck would run out as the timed dodge was intercepted with a sharp thrust of a spectral spear. After this cycle of carnage had repeated after a few hours, the fighting force had lost a third of its troops. Obalu had started bleeding from the thousands of small cuts they had rendered on him. Yet through it all, he was smiling, laughing with each blow to his massive frame.
It was when the Prime Shield Malik Faye started to invoke the Pangool gods that the tide felt like it could turn. The veteran shield had been measuring the monster, gauging when to use his limited powers. With the power of the Pangool shield gods, Malik was able to weather some of Obalu's heavy blows. This allowed more of the troops to focus in on the tender, vulnerable parts of the thrashing daemon. Each life lost was a small amount of the monsters health chipped away.
Malik cycled through the Pangool pantheon, unleashing a number of techniques including some that no one outside of The See'er Sigil Temples had seen. Watching a Prime Shield work their special brand of invocation was the awe-inspiring moral push the shrinking army needed. However, as the battle raged through the evening dusk and into the night, it was clear that the Raksha had better stamina. The sort of energy that only comes from a creature of another plane of existence. The Prime Shield, Malik, a warrior of over 50 years experience, made a desperate gambit for success.
While Kalali the East continues to be one of the most famous Prime Shields in The Celestial Shields of the Eternal Flame history, Malik is remembered as the bravest. Using his own body as a trap and shield, the veteran warrior took a spear through his body but trapping Obalu's arm in his chest cavity. Using an invocation to harden his skin and grip. With the mammoth horror immobilized, Malik gave the order for a last-ditch full-on assault. The remaining soldiers rushed in hacked relentlessly at Obalu. Pouring the very last bit of their all into the fight, sensing their last chance.
Even with an arm trapped, the Raksha was able to kill a score of fighters as they stabbed and cut away at the nightmare creature. Finally, after a bloody fight that had lasted the better part of the late day and night, Obalu sank to his knees. The wicked grin had never faded from his bloodstained face. Even in death, the Raksha mock the living. It was the final resting place of Malik Faye as well, expiring shortly after Obalu's energy faded back toward the void. The Prime Shield himself smiled back at the nightmare creature, seemingly proud in humanity's effort. He's hailed as largely the reason the battle was won that day and his name is still said with reverence in the Ilun Valley and Ghinor region.
After a bloody 50-year reign, the mystery of the Ghinor's massacre was uncovered and Obala was slain. However, the victory came at a terrible cost in human lives. Many have questioned afterward if this horrific tragedy could have been averted if they initial survivors had been believed.
To this day the town of Ghinor remains a ghost town. Before the shadow of a Raksha stained their doorstep, the town had been a rising lumber town. It and the general area is all but abandoned now. The strength of the spirits in the area make it uncomfortable for most to be near for extended periods of time.
Over the years, various Spirit Mediums have been through the area in an attempt to help ease the spirits of the area. After a few weeks or even months of efforts, they all report the same thing. The area is too contaminated by the Raksha's murderous glee to really connect with the ghosts. Over time the residue from the otherworldly beast will fade and perhaps the area can be smudged. But as of right now, it's a haunting tomb and reminder of the power of a Raksha.
Before the Massacre of Ghinor, the Raksha were simply bedtime stories that adults used to scare the pants form children. However after the public as a whole began to learn the truth behind the Haunted Woods of Ghinor and the towns decimation, that sentiment changed. Where once the Karu would casually mention The Withering King, Xavian, by name, after Ghinor that stopped.
The amount of bloodshed that had happened in the area made the threat very real and was taken seriously as such. Xavian's Touch, unfortunately, has also faced renewed scrutiny in the centuries after the incident. Where once it was seen as a sort of rage disease, it was now seen as the carrier for death. Discrimination and violence against those perceived to have the virus have skyrocketed.
The Divine Order of the Phoenix Official Flag
The Touch of Corruption
Raksha like Obalu aren't born via regular means. They are the final byproduct of the cursed disease, Xavian's Touch. The disease itself is well known, though it normally culminates in effects like spoiled luck for the affected. In most, it leads to mental breaks which in itself can be destructive. But the few ever reach the depths of peril that result in a Raksha summoning. Obalu the Ravenous was the proof the world didn't know it needed in taking Xavian's Touch seriously.
- Conflict Result
- Obalu was killed, but at a great cost in human lives.
Raksha Related Organizations The Divine Order of the Phoenix
The Celestial Shields of the Eternal Flame
Beneath It All
Underneath the physical world their lies something vile and corrupt. Something that waits for you to becon it. To corrupt you.
The Spirit Medium reading that confirmed the four stages of Xavian's Touch
A dark twisted divine being of immense power. Blocked from coming to Tikor, he rains terror on humans in other ways
Nightmare Creatures that Come from Beneath It All through possessed people. Devouring the host soul once birthed.
The grassland and forest region of northern Tikor. Home of The Divinity and The Karu.
The Divine Order of the Phoenix
The devout organization of worshipers that govern the affairs of Garuda and its Divine.
Shield wielding warriors that invoke the Pangool to fuel their magical defenses.
4 Celestial Shields
1 Prime Shield
1,200 Divine Order Soldiers
3 Celestial Shields
1 Prime Shield
Details of a Monster
Obalu was simply the vanguard. The hot-tempered upstart. He's just the beginning...