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D&D5e [PBF] FIRELIGHT - Vol. 1


#3026

“You have no idea what you’re dealing with. I do. She is not Alice anymore.”
Alice recoils physically at her father’s words.
“That’s… That’s not true! I’m still Alice… I’m just strong now. I don’t hurt or freeze or burn anymore. I’m not afraid of anything now!”
The Duke is unmoved. “Proof that you lack essential human characteristics.” He looks to Ryuko, straight in his eyes. “She doesn’t need to eat or drink, but soon, she will need to sate a different desire. A Lich can only remain hardy and strong by absorbing souls. How will you help her then? Offer yours? Bring her sacrifices? She may not be of evil heart, but her very nature is that of an abomination. Her life is a desecration of the natural order. You do not know the pain it gives me to say these things. I am her father, she is the very image of my wife, her last surviving footprint on this world.”
The duke does look genuinely distraught, but he remains determined. “Give yourself up, my child. It’s better to sleep than live an eternal deafh.”

Alice actually tears up. She’s broken, unable to decide what is the right thing to do.
“I don’t want to eat souls… But I don’t want to die.” She stands shaking, looking at Mirk and Ryuko, her eyes begging for help.


#3027

Needle remains seated on Shake as she frisks him, though she pokes him with some kind of antidote for the pain, and then redrugs him with sleeping poison.

“I’ll be taking him to Hann. I made a promise to him, no killing in cold blood. Hard to keep. But I guess the promises worth keeping are never easy.”
She looks down at Shake with disgust.
“I was just a murderer, before. My father beat me, almost every day. One day I punched my sewing needles through his eyes. Got a bit famous, was angry and desperate enough to take to the work. Hann saw past all the stuff I’d done. Gave me something to rely on.”
She spits on Shake’s head.
“I guess I thought he was the same. Let him get familiar with me…”
She stands up and gives him a kick across the face. He doesn’t wake up, but he’ll sure feel it later.
“Sorry for getting all sappy. I’m just grateful, you know, for your help. I’m guessing that the other captains have been so edgy about looking into this because of Nemal. He’s powerful in this city. No way this will take him down. But at least it will clear up this mess. Shake’s testimony will get a lot of people deep in jail.”

As if in response, there is a thunderous report. Needle reflexively rolls backward, but the attack isn’t meant for her. A massive bolt of searing lightning strikes Shake’s prone form - immolating it in a mere second. He likely didn’t even feel it.

Needle fires off a brace of needles in the direction of the lighting strike, but she needn’t have bothered. It came from high up, straight overhead, and there’s nothing there. The needles clatter uselessly on the stone statues far away.

“Gods, let’s get out of here Roop!” Needle vacates the clearing in the direction of the Mercenary guild.

(Roop finds on the bodies (both of whom are half-orcs):
2 Iron Bats (simple weapons, 2handed 1d8 damage), 1 Heavy Crossbow, 1 dagger, a heavy purse containing 200 gold, 45 silver. One of the thugs has an especially well-made shortsword of unfamiliar design. It’s a +1 shortsword.

Both thugs have the same paper on them.

Assist the smoker as long as he requires. Do not allow him to be caught, by whatever means necessary. Return to me the day before the peace talks.
-B.


#3028

Meanwhile (in the afternoon…), elsewhere in the city, a slender high-elf girl with mussy pitch-black hair up in a ponytail, flawless golden skin, azure eyes, and a remarkably industrious attitude seeks entry to the Adder’s Kiss Guildhall. It’s a small hall, merely one hub on the Alchemy Guild Network, and it’s currently not open. It’s rather odd, because all the other halls are most certainly open, and have been for hours. More irritatingly, the chimney is belching out weird-coloured smokes, so there’s definitely someone there.
Finally after some persistent knocking, a little slat opens in the door, and the scaly features of a dragonborn can be seen looking suspiciously out.
“Hm?! Who’re you?!” He growls, though it’s more grumpy than mean or angry.


#3029

Roop will grab the sword, the purse, and the notes from the bodies. He lopes off after Needle, struggling a little in the aftermarth of her poison.

“The help went both ways; you had my back, an’ that’s worth a favour in return. Is Hann going to move against Nemal, or is he likely to gather his strength first? If the Blackthorns can help, you drop us a message.”


#3030

Ryuko is silent for a moment, racking his brain for a solution. He understands the dilemma, but he can’t stand aside and allow an innocent to such a cruel fate.

“Let her… come with us,” Ryuko says arriving at an idea, “I’m a Sorcerer and I will find a solution to save Alice. She can come with me and I will give her the souls of the monsters I would destroy as we search for a cure. If Alice does indeed become the monster you fear… I will destroy her myself. Do not give into despair just yet, for the sake of your wife and your daughter.”

Persuasion again:

d20: 16 + 5


#3031

Althaea is a little startled, but gets our her guild seal.
“I’m Althaea Holimion, I need to pay my guild membership fee and let whoever is in charge of this hall know that i will be in this city for a while. May i come in?”


#3032

Mirk nods. “I am more than willing to treat her as my ward.”


#3033

After a little while Needle slows to a walk. It’s dead quiet, and there’s no sign of pursuit.
“Not sure. Hann usually likes to strike while the opponent has little time to prepare, but it seems like someone’s already aware of what’s going on. I’m guessing that you can count the guild abuse over now, though.”
She rummages through her cloak - she’s remembered that Roop’s still affected by her poison. She hands him a small vial with a pin in the cap. “Powerful anti-toxin. Just a drop, delivered directly to the blood will do for most poisons. You’ll be needing it. That drug doesn’t stop until your heart explodes.
Oh, and I don’t know if you’re interested, but Shake had this ring. Might be valuable, I may even have gotten it for him. Sure as hell don’t want it myself.”


#3034

Roop grunts as he jabs himself with the anti-toxin. “Cheers. You gotta mean talent for brews.”

He takes Shake’s ring with a nod. “Realise you had your own reasons for coming along, but I reckon you’ve earned a share of the coin for the job.” He bounces the purse of coins in one hand. “This is probably fair reward, if you want it?”


#3035

Duke Vicard slowly puts down the sword, and looks at the two. He recognizes that they are both young, but he also sees that there is honour in their eyes.
“This would be a great burden, one that would eclipse your lives. She constitutes a perpetual danger to life, a danger of discovery, and a threat to the fragile balance of the realm.”
He looks at Alice.
“But you have already managed the spirit of one Lich, and seen the cost. Perhaps I am indeed too quick to give up hope. These times have stretched me thin.”
He talks to Alice directly, now.
“Is that what you would want? This druid and wizard are different from others - I could not keep you here even if I desired to, my own staff would betray me to the Counsel of Lords. Do you choose to be under their charge?”
Alice doesn’t hesitate. “Yes, I do. I trust them, and I want to help them. Please, father. Let me go with them.” She pleads earnestly, and the duke bows his head.
“So be it, but I would have you two take oaths before me, that you will do what you can to lead her away from evil, and that if Alice embraces the dark path, you will do what you can to destroy her.”


#3036

“Oh,” the dragonborn is interested but still sounds wary as he unbolts the door and opens it. “I heard there was someone new on their way. From the Purple Coast, yes? Large guild hall there. How is the old master, Huji Gon Poora?”

This is obviously a trick question, since Huji Gon Poora has been dead for 300 years. He did found the Adder’s Kiss, and built the hall that Althaea learned her craft in.


#3037

“I will swear on whatever you deem appropriate.”


#3038

Althaea isnt shaken.

“im sure Huji is quite comfortable in his grave. And yes I’m from the purple coast.”


#3039

Ryuko dips his head. “I swear on the namesake of my people, the Kimbatuul. Those that have moved on to the next plane and my own life. I will do whatever is in my power to see Alice set along a righteous path.”


#3040

Needle takes the bag, weighs it in her hand, and pockets it. “Generous. Thanks. Those thugs are well-compensated, I guess. See you 'round, Roop. Swing by anytime.”

Needle splits to hurry off to the guild office. Roop is free to return to the inn, or go wherever he wishes!


#3041

Roop will (reluctantly) go and pay a visit to Flintfingers to tell him that the job is done. Then back to the Tally Ho (and an ale or two). Enroute he will have a closer look at Shake’s ring, trying to appraise exactly what it is and how much coin it might be worth.


#3042

(Hey all! I’m currently out of province helping my dad build a house, and am super duper sick! I’m probably going to be exceptionally slow this week! Sorry in advance!)


#3043

(no worries man, real life comes first.)


#3044

(did you catch the horrible Convention Plague? side note: I almost got to go to SHUX, but couldn’t swing it, but I was psyched for the potential to get to play D&D in real life with you!)


#3045

(I’m cristening the sickness the ‘Shux Shakes’. Though it’s more like a really bad cold. Also I think I’m going through caffeine withdrawal, so I have a terrible terrible headache. I’m sorta determined to keep away from caffeine though, 'cause I seem to be sleeping better, even with the sickness.
I got to meet @clg6000 and we played D&D! No surprise, he’s a super cool top-tier guy and playing D&D with him and more new friends (who may play D&D with us on the forums here, actually!) was my highlight of the Con. I’ll cross my fingers that more of you can make it out next year. I’d love to meet you all!)