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  #136  
Old Apr 1st, 2023, 01:59 PM
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LaisrenA'Ru charges ahead of the others, and some growly talk ensues up ahead. Laisren keeps coughing, and is all too happy to take Hlin's suggestion to advance and move away from the smoke. With an occasional sharp intake of breath as fabric rubs against new burns, Laisren comes to the kennel. It takes him a few moments to make sense of the conversation, as he enters halfway through. But the elder Marda seems to have a stronger sense of what's going on than anyone else they've met.

Laisren steps forward. "Resets?" he repeats with urgency. He checks his tone and adds, "ma'am. Pardon. My name's Laisren. But... 'resets'? Like: happens all again? With us here? I did see a mirror, yes, and shining! Right in the middle of the ballroom. And I saw Liri, waiting, sad. For the groom. In the chapel, by the ballroom. We saw the groom. Earlier. And, hum, um, well, we laid into him, if you catch my drift. But he got away."

"But listen! Ma'am, sorry. Please: is it possible, is it possible that we could TAKE Liri? Or, I mean BRING her? Go to the chapel, find her, and bring her through the portal? With us? Would that work? Would it solve all this forever-misery? Can we do anything about, you know, those resets you mentioned? Resuce her for now, this now. And for our time, our later."
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Old Apr 1st, 2023, 10:32 PM
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Aru's jaw falls open when the wizened marda spirit appears to shed a great deal of light on Hlin's Question for Malveen, and he wonders for a moment how he and the centaur can help each other. But then Laisren gets immediately down to business with his questions, and so A'ru wastes no words. He gallops past the table and hooks the keys with his paw, then rushes from cage to cage, unlocking them with trembling fingers. As each of the young yet ancient marda drift out of their physical yet mental prisons, he mutters hurried greetings.

"Welcome to the Free Whatnots of the Plains...Welcome to the Free-Wheelin' Marda Ekcetra...'Grats, yez are now a Free Runner in the Grass..."

When all three cages at last hang open, the ranger tries to escape his suddenly sizeable entourage in order to bring Sneech to a halt beside Laisren. He listens to the remainder of Jaa'jee's answers with a critical gaze, expecting her to speak in still more riddles. But when she is done, he says more abruptly than he intended, "Liri's got our druid's stone and we can't leave here without it. After we gets it, we can take yer family wherever yez want. Oo'loo sez yer a healer so if yeh can patch us up, we can on with it."


 


 
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  #138  
Old Apr 3rd, 2023, 01:48 AM
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"Here, Laisren-friend." Nukky reaches into his bag and pulls out the last five goodberries he currently has. "Goodberries make you feel a little better."

He smiles as he watches A'ru greet the fellow ghost Marda. As he watches them talk of time resetting however, Nukky begins to get anxious. "Thank you, Aru-friend. Yes, Nukky family still in trouble, still need to find Liri person and maybe get family back from rock. Is it possible for Marda friends to help?" He looks at the Marda in earnest.

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  #139  
Old Apr 3rd, 2023, 07:50 PM
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Hlin, you guard the tunnel. The smoke is slowly dispersing now that all the webbing has burned itself out. If you try to get the spangled shoe off, your fingers go right through it. Because your whole horse part is ghost. Which means you could float right up a thousand ladders if you wanted. You can fly, and your large back end can go through floors and walls.

Laisren, Jaa-Jee is heartened to hear the mirror is still intact. The ghouls have destroyed the others over the centuries. We should hurry while there is still a way out. Malveen will not let us go easily, I fear; we are part of her story----she will try to stop us!

You ask if it is possible to take Liri, and if the story will reset, and she shrugs. Liri's story is Malveen's story, too. They are the same. The wedding is over by now, as it -- well, I don't know what happened, but I doubt vows were ever traded. I "died" many times, trying to see. That ceremony lasts maybe two minutes, and then all hell breaks loose, we hear the Banshee scream and rise and we all die, and are in blackness, and then we all rise as you see us now to play it out again.

You have a good, sweet heart to show an interest in her story and wish to help, but if the ceremony began more than two minutes ago, it has ended in a violence and terror, and the reset will be soon.

If you have a plan, an idea of how to help her, please, tell us---we will do all we can to assist you. Just tell us what to do!


Nukky, you ask her how to get the stone back, but her answer is nearly the same. Tell us what you think you should do to get it back! We will help you!

A'ru, if Jee'jaa had physical form and the ability to mind-read, you would probably get whapped a good one for that "wizened." She is Oo'loo's mother, not his creaky meemaw. She is likely younger than you.

All the other Marda that you release are young, very cute and fetching, wearing absolutely humiliating outfits. She seems to be a surrogate mom for all of them. The young'ns spill out and cluster around you, patting at you with ghost hands that feel like cool wind, bright eyed and excited, saying. You came, at last, and Now, now we shall run free! Jaa-Jee's un-wizened eyes are very bright. She knows she is dead, she knows they are dead, but she is as excited as they are---as if this were a rescue, a real rescue, not a mere laying to rest. Let's go to the rift! The rift! We all need to be on the centaur, or touching it, at least, when we go through!

Again the Banshee's answer to your original question rings in your memory: I tell you true, because it pleases me to do so... You'll need a mirror to see another living Marda on the Prime Material.

Canterbear said the Banshee was a true seer, and her answers would be right. Was she being literal? If you can get this group through the mirror, will you see another---maybe more than a dozen other---living Marda on the Prime?


OOCJaa'Jee cannot cast heals on you because she is a ghost---but she is a cleric. If someone invites her to possess them, as per Yoshi's great and creative idea, that character will have full agency as she will not try to control you, but can also as an action ask her to deploy 2 turn undeads and 2 Cure Wound spells, level 3. That person can communicate silently with her as well. Oo-loo also has 2 turn undeads, still, that can be deployed by the action of asking him to use your body to cast.

You could also, Jaa'Jee would say, short rest here if you wanted. What is an hour after a thousand years? If you want to do this, the first person to post can say you complete a short rest and then everyone can say what you do after it is over.

We don't need to spend a round on it -- you absolutely can complete it.
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  #140  
Old Apr 3rd, 2023, 09:00 PM
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"All clear down here! Can you wait a second, maybe take a short rest as I join you?" Hlin calls up, rather boisterously as he tries to cover his shame in forgetting he was now a different being, one untrammeled by ladders, and one--dare he even imagine?--who could now venture into what the gnome kingdom calls a Ferris wheel? Truly this was a new world of possibilities.

Floating up and into the room, he stops in wonder at the number of Marda pups all around him. Dumbfounded, he listens to the end of the conversation and asks: "So, we need to run with the herd through the mirror and do it before the banshee screams? Perhaps this key I wear can activate merely by trodding on or tapping the mirror? If not, then we can remove it there, for it doesn't seem like we have time to waste. And there will be a fight, yes? We might be able to accomplice the Mardas' escape as we turn the undead ... but the banshee is likely to remain. And we must vanquish her to claim the stone. So ... are we united in this? "

He looks around, then happily adds after all preparations are done, "I will lead us back down the ladder. After all, it's just a ladder."

And if the group is ready to leave, so will he, down the ladder, through the tunnel, and even back up the strange passage between floors ... as far as they can run to the wedding in the time they have.

 


 

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  #141  
Old Apr 5th, 2023, 06:41 PM
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LaisrenLaisren looks completely crestfallen as Jaa-Jee tells him that it's too late to prevent Liri's Depair. "She's a banshee already, now? I've messed everything up. I should have helped her, when I saw her. I shouldn't have come this way, I should have returned. I knew it!"

His shoulders slump as Hlin comes into the room, proposing a rest. Laisren looks almost pathetically thankful that someone else suggested it. His legs were shaking and his faith in his ability to continue was wavering, but Laisren was not willing to be the one to say they needed to stop. Despite the fact that Laisren is now 'older' than the bard, Laisren can't help the honorifics ingrained in his system: "Now that you mention it, Mister Hlin..." and he plops down, mopping his wrinkled brow and rubbing his weary face.

As he sits, finding the first moment of respite since Centerbear's camp, Laisren ponders the questions of the less-wizened-than-himself Marda. Her question was simple: how can the adventurers help Malve'en? He again rubs his face, and scratches his new salt-and-pepper stubble. "I... can we help? We need to stop her from screaming? Maybe, maybe... I... she's depairing for her true love, yeah? Can we, could we protect HIM still? Find the murderers here? Stop them? Or, or, hold the line at Vildenai? Offer to do that for her, I mean. If we can't stop her from becoming Malve'en, the banshee Malve'en, then maybe we can stop the scream, since that's where the whole 'everyone dies' thing happens."

Laisren pauses his stream of consciousness. "That sounds really bad. Sorry. Sorry you go through that."
OOCI throw all teh dice at my short rest: 28 HP recovered, when I was down 23. Tanks are re-filled!

Laisren and Jaa-Jee seems to be on pleasant enough terms, so if no one else wants to host a ghost, I could. Maybe being consentually-posessed by one ghost will crowd out the possibility of being posessed by another, which is definitely a situation Laisren is interested in avoiding.

 
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  #142  
Old Apr 6th, 2023, 11:06 AM
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A'ru removes his cap, revealing a tousled shock of red-orange hair, which he scratches with one paw. As he puts the cap back on, he says begrudingly, "Laisren, yez're gonna make me rethink my ideas about humans. Maybe growin' a tail makes 'em grow a heart."

He shakes his head. "I don't see how we stop Malveen from becomin' Malveen. Malveen already is. I guess Liri was kind to the marda, so I'd not mind helpin' her. But her life ended in disaster, and yez can't undo that by bein' sad an' nice. Still..." He turns to look at Laisren and Nukky as he climbs down from Sneech and the group settles down to rest. "..yez gotta ask yerself why we ended up in Vildenai. She coulda taken our stuff and left us at home. Maybe that's the hunnerd gold piece question to ask her."

In the relative sanctuary of the kennel, A'ru lays back with his head on Sneech's flank and closes his eyes. He breathes deeply and tries to let all his aches and pains soften and ebb. After an hour, he rises feeling fully refreshed, and invites Oo'loo to climb aboard, bracing himself for the slimy, tingly reunion.

"Let's go."



 


 
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Old Apr 6th, 2023, 03:27 PM
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Nukky nods. "Nukky ready to go help." He turns to Jee'Jaa as everyone gets ready for a short rest. "Nukky is druid, can use Nukky to help find way around. Marda spirit maybe no different to nature spirit, Nukky thinks. Can use time to think of what to do." He stretches out his arm to the old Marda ghost. "Nukky glad to help Marda family, now wish for help for Nukky family. Maybe....maybe even help Liri before big scream."

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  #144  
Old Apr 8th, 2023, 07:51 AM
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Nukky, you decide to come up with a plan as you short rest. Jaa'Jee assures you that she and the other Marda will help you as best they can, just let them know what you want them to do. Everyone settles, and you spend an uninterrupted hour in thought. As you all get up and prepare to head back down the tunnel, Jaa'Jee asks you, What did you come up with?

Hlin, Jaa'Jee clarifies, The scream has happened before, it will happen again. Of course, it could kill you all, and then maybe you would just do it all over again endlessly as a ghost or a ghoul. So that's a good reason to get out now, or at least take some precautions before she screams. But for us? It has repeated for a thousand years, scream and all. We mostly stay in the kennels, as this is what we did on the real day, and if any of the ghosts see me wandering I am dragged back anyway, sometimes beaten or killed, and then I wake up back at the beginning again.

No reason to hurry is the mirror. There is only one left! Please, please take us out.


Laisren, you understand in a flash of insight that A'ru is correct. Sweet doomed Liri and hateful insane murderous Malveen are the same being, and the only being who currently exists at all outside this fake small pocket of repeating misery is Malveen. You cannot stop the orcs, or protect Tomas, because you have not time traveled; there are no orcs, there is no Tomas.

Is it possible that having an audience for her tale might have ended her need to tell it or given you ideas of ways to set her to rest? Theoretically, sure, you might you have changed something --- but only for Malveen, who has been an absolute nightmare to all of you. When the wedding began, you all agreed with Hlin that the Marda took precedence. You left her story to play out as it has for a thousand years, and came to save A'ru's lost people---which as it turns out, is more than just a gesture. You could actually save them! This is big hero stuff, Lais.

As for Malveen, she still has Nukky's rock inside of her. You saw it glowing in Liri in the chapel, and Malveen is Liri.

Jaa'Jee accepts your invitation; Lais, you are possessed, but like A'ru, you are entirely in control of yourself. She is not a pushy visitor, and you can feel some of her powers as a cleric at your fingertips.

A'ru, you know from Canterbear that Pilgrims come every month, enter Malveen's cabin where the Prime and this bleak demiplane overlap, ask their questions, leave. Why was it different for you? You all asked your questions, except Hlin, who decided not to ask at all, and then----

As soon as you say, Yez gotta ask yerself why we ended up in Vildenai, you know the answer to this 100 gold piece question. Nukky, in a flash of equally blistering insight, you know it, too.

When Baly presented her with the earring, the interview was over, and she slammed the door shut and went full murder hobo on you. You recall that it was Baly she threatened, though, Baly she tried hardest to kill.

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That silver earring was elegant, simple, perfectly crafted---as was all of Tomas's work. You saw Tomas himself wearing it---or one just like it. Where did Baly get that earring?

How can you ask Baly, who is stuck in a cat statue? You have had an hour to think on it, so maybe you or Nukky have had time to think of a way to ask him, or maybe you have enough of an idea of why it enraged her from context and need no details.

Oo'loo leaps back into your, uh, cloak. Uuuurgle.

Party, the smoke has cleared from the tunnel. You bypass the corpse of the only other living creature you have found in this whole place, and now you know that she will live again to eat the same ghoul she has eaten for a thousand years, and then reset. No wonder she was so yacky. Well, she is silent now. Briefly. Also silent, the more-than-a-dozen young Marda ghosts who trail you, wanting to be close to Hlin. He carries the hurt girl.

You make your way back through the tunnel, up the dumbwaiter, and into the dressing room.

You have three routes you know of into the ballroom where the mirror waits in the darkness and rubble at the center.

First, this dressing room has a curtain that leads out onto a balcony where the Quartetta played, thirty feet over the floor. They are no longer playing. In fact, through that curtain, all sounds strangely quiet. You could look out or go out that way.

Or, if you go down the stairs to the second level of the dressing room, the cracked door to the chapel will show you it is empty now. No titular banshee bride, no singer, no waiting groom, just fresh splashes of ectoplasm to indicate that something went down. You know exactly where the secret door is to the ballroom is though---behind a tapestry in the chapel wall.

Last, you could leave the dressing room and go back into the library, where a gaping hole in the floor can also show you the ballroom where the mirror lies. This is sicty feet up, but right over the mirror.

How will you go?

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  #145  
Old Apr 8th, 2023, 07:40 PM
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Worry is a human thing.

But when the human is attached to a ghost, or to a horse (or even to both, as some stories say is a thing), then the human's anxiety contaminates the greater creature. And so he found himself pacing around as they exited the dumb waiter, stomping with ghostly hooves and twitching his tail needlessly.

Looking at the group, he knew he had to make a selection for his advice--however needed or needless it might prove to be. So he approached the kobold. It seemed natural that Nukky, who had weathered the tragic loss of his parents and stone so stoically, would be the group's natural selection to talk with Malveen. Nukky could be calm and cool, plus his oversized eyes and tiny head might trigger some maternal instincts in the creature who was once a young elf who dreamed of love ... and perhaps of a family? And then ... there was Hlin's own desire to see an orphan--the scaly cousin of his own Forgotten--be the one who saved their group and returned a spirit from the dark side of death.

"Nukky," Hlin nodded, "thank you for the berries, my friend. You are a giver. A protector. Your forest will grow again and it will not require a stone, because you are its heart."

And he moved on. Because he realized that the group did not require a composed diplomat to speak to Malveen. They needed the love-shook.

"Laisren," Hlin said, standing before the human hero. "Here is my most diplomatic advice when you speak to the banshee ... do not bury your heart in your frustration. Allow it to rage; allow her to see how much you have been hurt. Don't try to persuade her with logic. Tell her how your prince has allowed the dictates of the family to sideline your meetings to chicken shacks and grain mills at night, how the court has subverted your love by refusing you entrance, how unjust it has all been. This is a story of a lost love, and a rage at that. You do not need to persuade her of anything. You do not need to ask her any favors or suggest what she needs to do. You need to scream your anger and heartbreak so it is resonant with hers."

He finishes with a shrug. "At least that is what I think would be best. But it's hard to tell how the non-tailed love."

Hlin then looks at A'ru, allowing the marda to be the one to divide the pack and send most of them with Hlin and decide who, if any, should remain with the group.

Once A'ru has given his commands, Hlin takes off to the second floor, to the edge of the gaping hole in the floor above the mirror.

He turns to the marda around him. "Okay, my brave pups, bitches, and dogs--we leave the kennels and race toward your range. Stay in contact with me as we ... leap!"

 


 

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Old Apr 9th, 2023, 03:44 PM
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LaisrenLaisren nods, slack jawed, like a befuddled student as Hlin lectures him. He knows that Hlin is right - he always seems to be. But hearing your own plight spelled out like a storybook somehow makes it harder to digest. Your life becomes a puzzle to solve, rather than the thing you're stumbling through. "Yessir," is all the response he gives as he begins to turn the issue over in his head. Rage has never been Laisren's thing. Worry has. Righteousness has. But rage seems scary. Can that really be what Laisren does?

As the group gets ready to move on, Jaa-Jee asks to move along with Laisren. He gulps but accedes. He moves into him. The initial sensation is much like the groom's. But she is not a hateful misanthrope. She settles in and whispers a small reassurance. Laisren gulps again, and breathes deeply, and decides to be re-assured.

The group walks back out of the kennels. "Oh, the chair would have stuffing. For ears. By the library." He shows the group the nanny's seat, and pulls out some fluff for himself. Hlin looks inclined to remain on the second floor, with the mass of Marda. "I don't think I want to make that jump. I can lead you down to the chapel, anyone who wants to come with me. That's the side entrance to the ballroom. Does that make sense? Some come in from the top, and some from below?" Barely noticing who follows, Laisren leads down to the first floor, muttering "Rage... of lost love? Angry, sure, makes you angry..."
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Old Apr 9th, 2023, 07:20 PM
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By Laisren's side in the nanny's parlor, A'ru reaches for a clump of matted horsehair protruding from a rent in the moldering fabric of the chair. But before his paw closes on the stuffing, the weight of the moment suddenly crashes through the surface terror at what his party is about to face, and the nearly two decades of hopelessness and cynicism with which the orphaned marda had padded his crabbed but sensitive heart.

The ranger feels as if his knees might give way, and he quickly grabs hold of Sneech's fur to steady himself. In a half-whisper, he says, "Did yez get a look at 'em, Sneech? I daren't hope that we can make 'em real flesh an' bone. How can a miracle come of such a nightmare? Since when do miracles happen to me? I'll just hope we wakes up in one piece." Sneech just cocks his head and gives his companion a stare that might be understanding or might be impatience. A'ru blows out a deep breath and yanks free several hanks of stuffing, which he fashions as best he can into earplugs for himself and the mastiff.

As Laisren turns to go, he hold up a paw and calls out a little louder than necessary due to his blocked hearing, "Laisren, hold a moment, would yez?" He quickly pulls off his boots, and the little wings instantly go dormant. Then he holds them out to Nukky. "These'll let yez reach the portal from above, with Hlin and the kiddies. Me an' Laisren got some power over the undead, now. We'll be all right, an' besides Sneech can run along walls in a pinch."

With that, he leaps atop Sneech and growls, "For the Free Marda of the Hills Ekcetra!" He spurs the dog to keep up with Laisren, but stops next to the barbarian. A'ru holds up his staff and lays his free hand on Laisren, chanting in a high-pitched singsong:

"Spiorad an tsiůg
Luas a thabhairt do mo chosa"


Then the holly leaf in his hatband flashes bright green, and the same glow temporarily limns Laisren's legs. While he still holds the power, he concentrates it into his staff which takes on a gleaming cast.










 


 
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Old Apr 10th, 2023, 12:05 AM
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Nukky
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Nukky nods over at Aru. "Thankee, friend. Nukky will try and use the boots." He sits down and begins the attunement process, familiarizing himself with the Winged Boots.

As he lets the magic work, a nagging feeling comes over him. He reaches into his bag, shuffles through the space, and pulls out the cat statue that still has Baly in it. Nukky begins to ponder on the nature of events that brought them here to this strange world. Deep inside he is glad that he was able to help Aru and his Marda ghosts, but a gnawing worry comes over Nukky. Why was Malveen so angry with them in the first place, and why did those earrings matter? Can they get them out safely? Do they even have enough time to make sure to find Liri before this....this reset occurs? And what happens to them when that happens, those who are not of the dead, not of the cyclical nature of this dimension?

Moments later Nukky finds himself stretching after what seemed like a long nap. He looks up and sees everyone getting prepared. Nukky hops to his feet, thoughts lingering. But, for now, they had a mission to do. And hopefully his own family to save. Boots promptly prepped and cotton from a chair Laisren pierced open stuck in his ear, the young Kobold feels prepared.

Nukky raises his staff, and quietly whispers words of power. As they stand around the hole leading to the mirror below, Nukky casts Pass Without Trace on himself and the others, giving them the stealth needed to make their way through unseen as much as possible.

 


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Nukky

 


 



Last edited by BestTeaMaker; Apr 10th, 2023 at 12:38 AM.
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  #149  
Old Apr 11th, 2023, 04:31 PM
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AT THE HOLE IN THE CEILING
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Hlin, you stand on the edge of the hole in the library floor absolutely dripping in young, anxious ghost Marda. They are piled all around hurt Ra’rar and pressing in among your legs and holding your ghost tail. They are overlapping each other and you. It feels strange and Jello-y, but not bad. They rustle and make small high noises, anxious and hopeful.

You do know that any who do not go through touching you cannot go through. Or---maybe they can, but they will arrive dead. It is the hoof that Jaa’Jee says will restore them. All the Marda are touching you currently except Jaa'Jee and Oo’loo, who are infesting two of your friends.

Nukky, you go to the edge of the huge ceiling hole with Hlin, wearing FLY boots. Interesting! You don’t know for sure why Malveen hates Baly, but you can guess that Tomas made the beautiful simple silver earring Baly presented as his gift when he asked his question. You realize now, when you saw Malveen, she was wearing another, identical. Just one. They would have been unable to exchange rings openly because of her family, so these earrings must have been how they sealed their vow to one another.

So how did Baly come to have it? Again, no way to know for sure, but you do know Baly was a thief. He was hoovering up treasures as the party killed undead, hiding them in his pack. He found a magic dagger that could have helped you fight undead, but he hid it at the bottom of his pack, willing to risk your lives before sharing treasure. He asked Malveen his question in Elvish so the party would not know his plan or his heart. He is a moon elf--so was Liri. SO was her father. Who knows how old he is, or how long ago he got that earring, or what he did to whom to get it. Maybe Malveen knows. Maybe this is why...

Laisren and A’ru, you stuff your ears and talk a bit, then accompany Hlin to the hole. Looking down, you see two members of the Quartetta are still on the balcony, packing away instruments. On the floor, the hordes of ghostly guests are gone. Three ghouls are cleaning up the buffet in ragged outfits that look like the remains of servant livery. A couple of footmen ghosts yawn by the door.

In the corner, Malveen herself stands, a strange mix of rot and ruin and beauty, head cocked as if listening for something. She is gravely injured, ectoplasm leakign from the fight back at the cabin.

The room is otherwise empty. It is so quiet. You start to head downstairs together, but----

Laisren, Jaa’Jee pops her head out of your chest. It’s disconcerting. No, no, do not bring my son in your, uh, cloak, A’ru! Oo’loo can’t be trapped here, I want him to live! Please, leave him with the centaur. Oo’loo---go to Hlin, now. A'ru, if you need a Cleric to scatter the dead and miss the ride out, let it be me who is trapped here, not my child!

A’ru, Oo’Loo pops his head out of your chest. Now here you both stand with ghostly dog heads jutting out of your chests, dog heads that weepily glaring at each other. Oo'Loo says,I won’t leave you, Ma, not for anything!

Marda were such loyal, loving things. Perhaps the world did not deserve them. Perhaps it still does not, but if things go well, the world may get some anyway.




OOCHere is a map in case you need help imagining the spacial relationshipss (I know I always do!). Wyn and Yoshi, you just said DOWNSTAIRS, so I didn't know where to place you. You can go in any way you choose.

Huzzah! We have reached the very last round of posts in this pocket plane. I am going to step back and put this conclusion entirely in your hands. Work together, agree on a plan, and RP how you retrieve Nukky’s rock and get the ghost Marda through the mirror portal.

If you like Yoshi’s idea, please know that Malveen would 100% trade Nukky’s rock for the cat/earring.

If you prefer to kill her, she had three HP when she peaced out at the cabin, so no rolls or initiative are needed. You can say who gets the death blow and then dig out Nukky’s rock from whatever kind of corpse you decide a banshee leaves. She won’t scream (plus if her scream was heard now, she would not be the source, anyway).

Or you can do something else. In other words, you can RP this scene out exactly as you want it, but please stop when your character enters the portal in the mirror.

Don’t worry, I am not stopping you there for a bad reason. Things have happened in the Wilds while you were gone, but nothing bad or worrisome. You will land in the Prime safely and I will tell you what you see after you have made your plan, posted, and escaped through the mirror.
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Last edited by Fillyjonk; Apr 11th, 2023 at 04:40 PM.
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  #150  
Old Apr 12th, 2023, 07:04 PM
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LaisrenLaisren leads A'Ru (and their repsective posessor Marda-ghosts) down the path he trod before. From the vestry, down to the chapel. He peeps in to see if it is occupied. It is not. He enters there, and then turns to the east door. He looks down at his ridiculous acolyte's disguise and tears it off. His tail remains hidden under his farmer's tunic. He grips his weapon tight, confirms A'Ru is ready, and then bursts through the door.

There is Malveen! Not Liri (though of course Liri), but the Malveen they battled, gruesome and beaten. She looks to the two warriors but does not charge. She does not wail. She looks pensive, even lost. Laisren stops his charge short, skidding amidst the debris. He puts up his fork and raises is left hand, as if in surrender or truce. He looks around to see the others finding their places. He notes the mirror. But Laisren only has attention for the Bride.

He advances slowly towards her, holding his fork vertically, like a walking stick. It clacks along with him as he approaches. He stops at a respectful distance, trying to meet her eyes (and trying his best to avoid the shudder that wants to pass down his spine). He again rubs his wizened face, and he sighs. He leans on the fork like a crook and can't help a small chuckle. "Do you even recognize me anymore? Your Groom did this to me. Just like he ..." he looks Malveen's undead form, but decides not to press that issue. "I can't say I like him very much."

He sighs again and shift his weight on his makeshift crook. A joint pops. He speaks low, like in a conversation over a dimming fireplace. ďWe failed. Iím sorry. For all this. You didnít deserve it. Tomas didnít. Vildenai didnít. You deserved better. AndÖ and I think we could have helped. I thought we could. But we didnít."

He pauses to see if there's a response - will she snap back? Attack? - but nothing immediately comes. Laisren scowls. She should do SOMETHING!

Raising his voice, he blurts, ďWe shouldnít be here! You donít get off free. We just wanted your help. We came to you. And you hurt us. You did this to us. Look at me! Look at poor Master Hlin. Don't expect forgiveness all of a sudden! But. Well. Once we were here, we saw the way of things. Everyone has their reasons. There's no forgiveness for what your Groom was doing. What your father did. We say the way of things. I tried to help. But. Iím no hero. I couldnít do it. So all I can say is: Iím sorry for what was done to you. And Iím sorry for what I didnít do. What I should have done."

Hanging his head, Laisren summages into his pack. ďLook, I have this.Ē He produces a statuette of a cat, their companion, Baly. ďThis wasÖ isÖ the elf who came with us, Baly. He had an ear ring, made by your love. The pair to yours. We know. WouldÖ would you like it? We can give it to you. But. Youíve got something that matters to our friend, Nukky. That red stone. We need it. We canít leave without it. We can offer you this statue, it has the earring within it. And look, Iíve even got these.Ē Laisren pulls out the daggers he bought for a pittance from Tomas. "He said you helped him with them. He said they said... um, oh I can't remember. About a hero, a false one." He grimaces. "Here I am. I will give you what I have." He extends his now-overflowing hands, with statue and dagger pair, handles first.

"They belong together. They belong with you. Like he did. Like the two of you did, together. I know itís not enough. ButÖ itís what I can do."

ďSometimes together canít happen, even when itís the right thing. I know. I know. Itís terrible. Youíve shown me. I belong to someone. Like you do. But fate got in our way, too. It's in your book. So, I guessÖ We just need to put one foot in front of another. IÖ I donít know what that means for me. I canít evenÖĒ His mouth involuntarily turns down in pain, and he wipes a tear with a shirtsleeve. ďBut hereís a piece of your love, that you wonít ever lose. JustÖ please give us that piece of NukkyĒ
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