Session 22:
Heated Battle


[JadedDM]: Onix 27th, Darkday; 665.  The party wakes up at around 10 bells.  (Everyone gains 9 hp back.  Except Christophe, who only gets 8 hp).  They have only a couple of hours before the match.

[Talthul]: Talthul moves on over to Psyche and stand uncomfortably close. "Talthul smoke yet?"

[JadedDM]: Draven wakens and starts the usual procedure of combing out the rat's nest in her hair.  Kestrel, meanwhile, prays quietly.

[Psyche]: Psyche looks up to Talthul. "Not yet. You will have to wait until probably tomorrow or later."

[Christophe]: Christophe awakens feeling refreshed for a change. He sits and reaches for a crossbow that isn't there. He looks around frantically for a moment, and then begins to remember what happened...

[Talthul]: Talthul frowns as he wipes some of the drool from his mouth. "When we win Talthul smoke... Uhhhhhhh... Who we fight again?"

[Psyche]: "You will wait until I figure out what that pipe can do before you smoke." She shakes her head before pushing herself up. "I remember it has something to do with Eternal Flame." She can't remember the whole name off hand. "Speaking of which, Adolfo is in this group, so we need to come up with a plan...perhaps learn who is in his group. That might help a bit...and we also need to get more information on Shaka."

[JadedDM]: Kestrel finishes praying and starts putting on her studded leather.  "Psyche, you said you fought him before?  How did that go?"

[Christophe]: Christophe begins gingerly strapping his studded leather on.

[JadedDM]: Draven:  "That was all the rat's fault.  I popped him one good afterward."  She puts on her chain mail and starts braiding her hair to put under her helm.

[Psyche]: "He is a priest of Renos...and we lost. We had to make Usagi apologize to him. He has some very...faithful wolves on his side."

[Talthul]: Talthul rubs his chin. "Talthul uh... Talthul need new weapon... But..." He sits down on the nearest bed, his eyes in a far off place and his mouth moving slightly.

[JadedDM]: Kestrel:  "Renos...the Guardian of Flame.  I didn't think anyone really worshipped him anymore."

[Psyche]: "There are a select few still, but I figure that spell Jerros gave me would be extremely useful in this battle, considering we are fighting a Priest of Renos."

[JadedDM]: Draven glances over to Christophe.  "You feel better today?"

[JadedDM]: Kestrel:  "We can use the same strategy as before then."

[Psyche]: "We will have to be careful, Kestrel. I don't want to kill him, and that spell could possibly do so."

[Talthul]: "Talthul not feel so well." He holds his head in his hand, and one on his stomach.

[JadedDM]: Kestrel:  "I also have a prayer that will protect one of us from flame altogether."  She looks at Psyche.  "Do you think he'll extend that courtesy to us?"

[Talthul]: "Talthul not feel so well." He puts his hand to his head, and one on his stomach.

[Christophe]: Christophe finishes dressing, looking up to wink at her. "I feel much better now, yes."

[JadedDM]: Toby gets up from the cold, hard floor where she sleeps everynight and silently looks to the others.

[Psyche]: "I think he might believe this more as a friendly...rematch. Draven said last night that he really isn't an enemy, but he isn't a friend either."

[JadedDM]: Draven:  "Good.  I have a feeling this one will be tough."

[Talthul]: He gets to his feet and gives himself a little shake. "Guk come. Talthul get new cestus."

[Psyche]: "I have a feeling it will be too. Which is why we learn who is in his group before the battle. We might not have a lot of time to prepare, but it might give us some idea on what we are about to face. "She sighs, placing her hands on her hips for a moment as she thinks. "That means we will have to separate again...." She looks towards Talthul. "You are NOT going by yourself."

[Christophe]: Christophe moves a little closer to Draven and adjusts her helmet. "It was... uh... crooked."

[JadedDM]: Draven lifts the visor and smirks.  "Thanks."

[JadedDM]: Kestrel:  "We have limited time.  We'd have to move fast."

[Talthul]: "Well then come with Talthul." He picks at some crusted stain on his armor. "Need new weapon. Hurt all over; don't want to stand for long."

[Christophe]: Christophe finds himself grinning like an idiot and staring much too long. "Uhm... well... I need to buy a new weapon, myself." He says, turning to the rest of the group.

[JadedDM]: Draven:  "I need to pick something up in market, as well."

[Psyche]: Psyche turns her attention to Christophe. "Then you can go with Talthul.  As can you, Draven, which leaves Kestrel and myself to get that information from Duka."

[Christophe]: Christophe shrugs. "Might not be a bad idea, actually. Duka might want to lop my head off this morning if she sees me again..."

[JadedDM]: Draven looks at the hobgoblin.  "Looks like we're stuck baby-sitting you.  Just know, you get yourself in trouble, we're not going to bail you out."

[Psyche]: "Well, while you three are out gather all the information you can about the Eternal Flame." She walks to the door. "Kestrel and I will handle the rest."

[Talthul]: It is obvious that Talthul isn't even paying attention to Draven, and is in fact making faces at Guk. He starts to walk out the door and slams into it, not having first opened it. "Ow!"

[JadedDM]: Draven:  "Why his parents didn't dash his brains out on the rocks the day he was born will forever be a mystery to me."

[Christophe]: "You'll need to bargain with her, Psyche. The loose tongue belongs to the announcer....Guko."

[JadedDM]: Kestrel stands.  "I'm ready, Psyche."

[Psyche]: Psyche nods before opening the door, staring at Talthul for a moment. She doesn't even know what to say to the fool, so she just steps out into the hall to make her way to Duka's office.

[Talthul]: Talthul happens to be blocking Psyche's way, but he makes his way out so no harm no foul.

[Christophe]: Christophe pats Talthul on the back. "Come on, chum."

[JadedDM]: Psyche and Kestrel depart, heading toward Duka's office.  Meanwhile, Draven, Talthul, Guk and Christophe head to the marketplace.

[Psyche]: "Before we go inside..," she speaks softly, "I want to cast the spell I need. That way she won't know what is coming."

[Guk]: Guk sniffs around at everyone and everything, wagging his tail happily.

[JadedDM]: Kestrel:  "Uh...very well."

[Talthul]: Talthul mutters about the day he will destroy all doors in the world, while looking for a weapon dealer.

[JadedDM]: Christophe, Guk, Talthul and Draven enter the merchant area, which seems very crowded at the moment, as it's approaching noon.  Various merchants of various wares shout out to them, hoping to get their attention and acquire some of their prize money.  Draven spots a weapons dealer, and leads the party there.  Adolfo is all ready there, a battle axe in hand.

[Psyche]: "Unless you have a better idea?" She glances over to Kestrel.

[JadedDM]: Kestrel shakes her head.

[Psyche]: "Are you okay?"

[JadedDM]: Kestrel blinks.  "Why wouldn't I be?"  She seems confused by Psyche's question.

[Talthul]: Talthul looks over the weapons, judging them on a scale of shininess. He occupies himself with this task for quite some time.

[Guk]: Guk sniffs around at the weapons and then Christophe's crotch.

[Psyche]: "It is nothing. I think I just expected...more...advice for you maybe."

[JadedDM]: Kestrel:  "Sorcery isn't really my expertise.  I do not know how to advise you on how to use it."

[JadedDM]: Adolfo:  "Ah, getting ready for the match, are you?  But where is your sorcerer friend?  Not ill, I hope."

[JadedDM]: Draven:  "Don't get your hopes up.  She's fine, just taking care of something."

[Psyche]: Psyche smiles very faintly. "Oh, I know." She turns her attention towards the way she is walking.

[JadedDM]: Adolfo chuckles.  "Fair enough.  I look forward to it.  The fight is soon.  Do not be tardy."  He sets his battle axe on his shoulder and walks off.

[JadedDM]: Psyche and Kestrel arrive at Duka's office.  On the door is a sign that reads:  "Chief Financial Officer."

[Talthul]: Talthul finally stops his shiny search and looks for a cestus.

[Christophe]: Christophe watches Adolfo go. "...What a jerk."

[Guk]: Guk begins to chase his tail, happy to be out of the cramped room.

[JadedDM]: Draven:  "Something about that guy...can't really put my finger on it."

[Psyche]: Psyche motions Kestrel forward as she pulls out a copper piece and quickly begins chanting the words to her spell.

[JadedDM]: Talthul notices a variety of cesti on display on one of the weapon racks near the booth.

[Christophe]: Christophe searches out the crossbows. "I can. Smugness. I can tell even if the person opens their mouth just once..."

[JadedDM]: Psyche finishes her spell without incident.

[Psyche]: Psyche takes a moment to knock on the door once the spell is complete, knowing she has a short amount of time before the spell wears off.

[JadedDM]: Christophe looks over the crossbows.  There are a few light, and one heavy, and a couple of hand ones, too.  Meanwhile, Draven looks at the more conventional bows.

[Talthul]: Talthul goes for one that looks like it will fit his considerably-sized fist.

[JadedDM]: The door opens, and Duka stands there, looking at Psyche and Kestrel with some annoyance.  "You again.  What now?"

[JadedDM]: Although it's a bit tight, it's the only cestus that will fit Talthul at all.

[Christophe]: Christophe plays with the light crossbows, testing their weight by mock-aiming them at the wall.

[Psyche]: "May we come inside?"

[JadedDM]: Vendor:  "All my goods are guaranteed of excellent quality," he says as the party looks over the wares.

[JadedDM]: Duka:  "Don't you have a match soon?  Make it quick."  She steps aside to let them in.

[Talthul]: Talthul waves his now more dangerous fist at the vendor. "How much clinkies you want?"

[JadedDM]: Vendor:  He looks to Talthul and says "15 silver."

[Psyche]: Psyche steps inside. Once inside she pulls out ten gold pieces and sets them on Duka's desk. "For the mess our...hobgoblin made. Also, we have some information for you...providing you are willing to give us some information in return." She takes a deep breath. "We will give you the name of the one who told our friend who was placing illegal bets...providing you tell us a few, or at least one of Lady Shaka's weaknesses."

[JadedDM]: Duka laughs.  "What kind of deal is that?  I all ready know who told you--it was Guko.  He's one of my best customers."

[JadedDM]: Kestrel:  "But you would rather Shaka not know about this...hobby, correct?"

[Psyche]: Psyche turns her attention to Duka, focusing on her, letting Kestrel speak for the moment.

[JadedDM]: Duka:  "Oh, and you are going to tell her then?  I somehow doubt that."

[Talthul]: Talthul removes one gold and five silver from amongst his belongings, though digging for it takes him a considerable amount of time. He pays the man. "There." He then proceeds to examine his cestus with a grin.

[Guk]: Guk sniffs around and spins in a circle, then looks up at Talthul, grinning as well.

[Psyche]: "I have no problem going to Lady Shaka, telling her that her sister is going against the rules." She crosses her arms.

[Christophe]: Christophe decides on one of the bows. "How much for this, sir?"

[JadedDM]: Vendor:  He turns to Christophe and says "40 gold pieces."

[JadedDM]: Duka:  "You are bluffing, clearly.  I doubt you even know how to reach her.  And who would she believe?  Her own sister?  Or the Rebels?"

[Christophe]: Christophe pays the man with little fuss.

[Psyche]: Psyche doesn't believe herself to be bluffing. "It all depends on how close you and your sister are, but I could provide witnesses too, if I so desire. You can be sure that I would get her to believe us."

[JadedDM]: Duka:  "And in return, you want me to tell you how to kill my sister?  Laughable."

[Psyche]: "I did not say how to kill, I said a weakness. We do not plan to kill your sister."

[JadedDM]: Draven picks up a long bow.  "How much for this?"

[JadedDM]: Vendor:  "80 gold, miss."

[JadedDM]: Draven swears.  "Damn it, too much."  She drops the bow back on the table.

[JadedDM]: Duka:  "Then what is your intention?"

[JadedDM]: Kestrel frowns and rubs at her now visible holy symbol.

[Christophe]: Christophe looks at Draven quizzically. "You know how to use that thing?"

[Psyche]: "That is our business, I'm afraid." she sighs softly. "Though, we do know something....a name."

[JadedDM]: Draven shrugs.  " old mercenary friend of mine taught me, back in the day."

[JadedDM]: Duka:  "You know nothing.  And I should advise you to never play cards with such a poor bluff face."

[Christophe]: "An old... boyfriend?" he says playfully. "Well, I have more than enough to buy it for you..." He waves the vendor over again.

[Psyche]: "I don't?" She raises an eyebrow. "Hmm, I suppose Kabaq is nothing then after all."

[JadedDM]: Draven:  " was...," she stops suddenly.  "What?  No, you don't have to do that.  I'll pick it up after we win this match.  We'll get 100 gold each."

[Talthul]: Talthul looks around at his friends and saunters up. "Use bows? Talthul want know how use bow. He always look fun, like with bows."

[JadedDM]: Duka stands up so quickly, that Kestrel nearly falls out of her chair in surprise.  "How do you know that name?"

[Psyche]: "I see I now have your attention. Let me guess...Kabaq is…perhaps a son?"

[Christophe]: "Come on..." he nudges her.  "I'd like to buy you a gift. Our sort aren't exactly the flower buying type either... and if your bow skill may help us offensively in the upcoming fight, I'm all for it..."

[JadedDM]: Duka stares at Psyche a long, hard time and then sits back down, regaining her composure.  "You know nothing.  Just got lucky, is all.  But...perhaps we can help each other out."

[Psyche]: "What is it you have in mind?"

[JadedDM]: Draven grunts.  "Flowers...please."  She clears her throat.  "All right, but I'm going to pay you back after the fight."

[JadedDM]: Duka:  "First, tell me what you intend to do with my sister."

[Christophe]: Christophe clears his throat as he pays the man the eighty gold. "I thought you already owed me anyway.... or was I just hearing things yesterday?"

[Talthul]: Talthul stands there and scratches himself, looking from Christophe to Draven.

[Psyche]: "She has information that we need. We just want that information from her."

[JadedDM]: Draven takes the bow.  "I'll need some arrows, too.  About 12 sheaf ones."  She winks at Christophe.  "You didn't hear things, but there's not a lot of privacy in that room of ours, yeah?"

[JadedDM]: Duka:  "That does not answer my question."

[Psyche]: "We will not kill her, if that is what you want, though we do want her...out of commission so to speak."

[Christophe]: "I know..," he says with a sigh. He starts fumbling around in his pouch again as he picks up some arrows. "...And how much for these?"

[JadedDM]: Duka:  "And how do you intend to do this without killing her?"

[JadedDM]: Vendor:  "For 12, it costs 1 gold."

[Christophe]: Christophe flips a gold coin at the (likely) filthy rich vendor and thanks him.

[Psyche]: "If I had the answer to that, I would probably tell you." She shrugs slightly. "Though, for reasons of my own, I cannot allow her to be killed."

[JadedDM]: Duka leans back in her chair.  "If something were to happen to my sister and my brother...the arena would fall into my hands."

[JadedDM]: Draven takes the bow and arrows.  "Thanks."  She leans forward and kisses his cheek.

[Psyche]: "That it would." She raises an eyebrow.

[Christophe]: He smiles. "There. A bouquet of arrows just for you."

[Talthul]: Talthul's eyes widen in realization. "Talthul get it!" He points at Chris. "You!" and then at Draven. "And you!"

[JadedDM]: Duka:  "If I tell you what you want to know, and you die will not matter.  If, however--in the unlikely event that you succeed...I would need to be assured that Shaka and Makin would be 'out of the picture' one way or another.

[JadedDM]: Draven rolls her eyes at Talthul.

[Psyche]: "Well, if we do win this fight, are we to fight both Shaka and Makin?"

[Christophe]: Christophe openly laughs and pats him on the back again. "Well done, old boy."

[JadedDM]: Duka:  "Normally, Shaka fights alone.  Let me emphasize that she still wins this way.  But in your case, she is not taking chances.  Makin and several of her underlings will be fighting with her."

[Psyche]: Psyche glances over to Kestrel. "Is Makin as powerful as Lady Shaka?"

[Talthul]: Talthul puckers his lips and makes kissing noises. "Talthul get it!" He pauses, face blank. "Uhhhhhhh..."

[JadedDM]: Duka:  "Not even close, although he is no push-over."

[Christophe]: "Come on, we should get back before Lukia comes to fetch us."

[JadedDM]: Draven:  "Like you would know," she says to Talthul.  "I can't think of any woman who'd have any interest in a piece of crap like you."

[Talthul]: Talthul narrows his eyes at Draven. "Whore."

[JadedDM]: Draven puts a hand on her battle axe.  "You want to say that again, you son of an orc?"

[Psyche]: "How can we assure you that both your sister and brother will be out of the picture? As stated before, I am not going to kill your sister."

[JadedDM]: Duka:  "Then again, I ask...what will you do?"

[Christophe]: Christophe puts a calming hand on hers. "Not here... not out in the open..."

[Talthul]: Talthul raises his fists. "Talthul smash if you want."

[Psyche]: Psyche sighs, this is not going anywhere. "Whatever we plan to do, I will assure you that both of them will be out of commission."

[JadedDM]: Draven's face burns with anger.  She looks at Christophe and seems to calm slightly, but still speaks between clenched teeth.  "Let me tell you this, you fat, sack of stupid--you better watch your back today at the match.  Accidents do happen."

[JadedDM]: Duka:  "The word of a Rebel scum.  Hmm...but still...if you do win...that's a gamble either way..."

[Talthul]: Talthul does some quick thinking, then throws himself at Draven, fists a' flyin'.

[Psyche]: Psyche keeps quiet for the moment, studying Duka. "It is a gamble, but do you want this arena bad enough?"

[JadedDM]: Kestrel:  "They say fortune favors the bold."

[JadedDM]: Duka:  "Perhaps...perhaps.  Very well.  I will take this chance.  You have done well, and the fact that Shaka refuses to underestimate you speaks volumes in itself."

[JadedDM]: (Roll initiative, Keith.)

[Talthul]: [1d10] -> [8] = (8)

[JadedDM]: (Talthul goes first.)

[Psyche]: "So what can you tell us then?"

[Talthul]: [1d20] -> [3] = (3)

[Talthul]: [1d20] -> [19] = (19)

[Talthul]: [1d4+2] -> [3,2] = (5)

[Talthul]: [1d100+2] -> [98] = (98)

[JadedDM]: Duka:  " the son of Shaka.  But...that in itself is not the important part."

[Talthul]: Talthul throws two punches at Draven, a quick jab and a haymaker. She manages to lean back and avoid the brunt of the large punch, but it connects anyway.

[Guk]: Guk whimpers and slinks away from the fight.

[JadedDM]: Draven:  "I've been looking for an excuse to do this for a loooong time!"  She wipes a bit of blood from her nose, then readies her axe and takes a swing.

[Psyche]: Psyche didn't really expect Shaka to have a son, but nods. "And the important part?" she isn't so sure she wants to know though.

[JadedDM]: Duka:  "The important part is Kabaq's father.  Perhaps you've heard of him?  His name is...Quar'toth."

[Christophe]: "Oh, for cruk's sake..." Christophe, knowing damn well this is trouble, pulls his quarterstaff out, preparing to defend or attack.

[JadedDM]: Draven slices through Talthul's exposed neck, cutting deeply.

[Talthul]: Talthul spurts blood and collapses.

[Psyche]: Psyche's eyes widen. "The....The Overlord?"

[JadedDM]: By this point, everyone has cleared away in a panic, giving them more room.  You see several men in armor approaching--guards most likely.

[JadedDM]: Duka:  "Yes.  They were married in secret and had a son.  It was quite clever of him, really.  He chose a Kaurath for the good bloodline, even though nobody would ever know his heritage."

[Christophe]: Christophe puts the staff down... "Guards! This hobgoblin started the fight!"

[Guk]: Guk whimpers in the corner.

[Psyche]: "That is extremely interesting. I assume that her son does not stay in Dan'gen though?"

[JadedDM]: Duka:  "I do not know exactly where they keep him.  Just that he is not held here, in the arena."

[JadedDM]: The guards arrive and look to the two combatants.  "The hobgoblin started it?  What happened?" one asks.

[Psyche]: "I see. You have been of some great help. I believe it is time we take our leave, for we do have a fight to prepare for."

[Christophe]: Christophe swallows. "This crazed hobgoblin leapt at my... my... wife here." He looks at Draven with wide-eyed seriousness. "She only defended herself. I... I think he was drunk."

[JadedDM]: Duka:  "I will deny any part of this should you decide to betray me.  And believe me, my sister will not take the words of her hated enemies over my own."

[JadedDM]: Guard:  "Your...wife?"  He looks to Draven, who looks about half of his age.  "I see."  He looks to one of his companions.  "Is he dead?"  The second guard leans down to check and says, "Barely alive, but going fast."  The first guard looks back to them.  "You know this hobgoblin?" he asks.

[Psyche]: "I'm not one to betray." She turns from the desk moving towards the door.

[JadedDM]: Kestrel follows her out silently.

[Talthul]: Talthul bleeds to death, like any person with a gaping wound in their throat should.

[Psyche]: Psyche moves away from the door, moving back down the hall towards the room, silently, thinking all of this over.

[Christophe]: "He..." Christophe looks at the massive wound on Talthul's neck and shakes his head from side to side. "No... can't say I do."

[JadedDM]: Kestrel goes with her.  "Psyche...the fight starts in half an hour," she says.

[JadedDM]: Draven crosses her arms.  "Nope, never saw him before."

[JadedDM]: Guard:  "All right.  Let's get rid of him.  I think it's best if you folks return to your room for now."

[Psyche]: "Hopefully, the others are there with the information we need though probably not."

[JadedDM]: Once Psyche and Kestrel are back in their room, Kestrel sits down at the table, while Toby makes their beds and cleans the room diligently.  Kestrel looks to Psyche.  "A son...I can see why he would hide this from the public."

[Christophe]: Christophe nods and offers a meek, silent 'thank you' gesture. He retrieves his staff and hastily heads back to the room with Draven.

[Psyche]: "I would too if I was him. It could be a great danger, not only to him, but to his son as well."

[JadedDM]: Christophe and Draven quickly return to the room to find Psyche and Kestrel have all ready arrived.

[Christophe]: "I'm... sorry I had to say you were my wife there... I just thought... it might look even worse otherwise..." He looks apologetic.

[JadedDM]: Draven, who doesn't seem the least bit upset about the whole ordeal, looks to Christophe.  "Wife, huh?"  She grins and shrugs.  "Just not very believable, I guess."

[Psyche]: Psyche turns her attention towards the two coming within the room. "....Where is Talthul?"

[JadedDM]: Draven, splattered in blood now, just smiles cheerfully at Psyche.

[Christophe]: "It's the hair isn't it? Prematurely gray, I tell you..." He looks at Psyche. "Er... yes... bit of a problem here..."

[Psyche]: Psyche is all ready guessing most of it at the moment. "What did the fool do?"

[Christophe]: Christophe makes sure to look at Kestrel too.... "He... he used the 'w' word towards Draven, then foolishly tried to attack her. You can guess the rest..." He looks down towards the floor...

[JadedDM]: Draven crosses her arms.  "He attacked me.  Don't I have just the worst luck with demi-humans?"

[Psyche]: "And you do realize that fighting could have kicked us out of these games?" She sighs. "And I'm going to assume that he is...dead as well?" she doesn't seem like it was much of a loss, but must ask.

[JadedDM]: Kestrel:  "You killed him?"

[JadedDM]: Draven:  "He was the one who threw himself into my axe.  Honestly, he should have died years ago.  How he survived this long is a mystery."

[Christophe]: "Yeah...." he shakes his head. "He's dead. I know fighting is illegal here outside the arena... but as I said... Draven was defending herself from the fool."

[Psyche]: "That...knocks us down to four." She sits down on one of the beds.

[JadedDM]: Kestrel:  "And we have 20 minutes until the next fight."  She rubs at her temples.

[Psyche]: "So I'm going to assume, since you three were fighting, that you learned nothing about the group coming up either?"

[JadedDM]: Draven:  "I wouldn't worry.  He was more of a nuisance than a help.  We'll probably fight better without him."

[Christophe]: Christophe leans against the wall. "Yeah... he was good for... well... he was.... okay, so he wasn't all that skilled. But he could punch hard sometimes..."

[JadedDM]: Draven:  "Well...them's the breaks.  We didn't learn anything.  Although we did run into Adolfo out there.  What did you guys learn?"

[Psyche]: "Shaka has a son....The Overlord's son."

[JadedDM]: Draven blinks...twice.  "The Overlord...has a kid?"

[Psyche]: "Named Kabaq. Shaka and the Overlord are apparently secret of course. To get this information though, we had to promise to take Shaka...and her brother out of commission when we fight them."

[JadedDM]: Draven:  "Why would she betray her own family?"

[Christophe]: "Out of commission? You mean kill?"

[Psyche]: "She wants the arena, and no, I don't mean kill...just where she can't run the arena anymore."

[JadedDM]: Kestrel:  "I hate to bring this up, but this is what we were hoping for.  If we threaten Shaka that we know about her son, she may be willing to accept a surrender."

[Psyche]: "She's right."

[Christophe]: "Okay... but we have a fight coming up in a matter of minutes, ladies..." He looks at everyone. "And we're down a number... I hesitate to put this idea forward... but Psyche... we might need that spell of yours today..."

[Psyche]: "It is all ready memorized."

[Christophe]: "You blast them with it early then... we could win this thing before it even gets started..."

[JadedDM]: Draven:  "I could take point--have Kestrel use her prayer on me, and I can keep them off of her until she casts."

[Psyche]: "I need someone to protect me, if we are to do that. The rest of you will have to keep away from me."  She looks to Kestrel. "You can do that...right?" She then turns to Draven. "And...and you are okay health wise to do that. You know it really hurts."

[Christophe]: "Alright.... I'll fire my new crossbow from the flank."

[JadedDM]: Draven shrugs.  "That hobgoblin got in a lucky hit...but it didn't hurt much.  I'm fine."

[Psyche]: "All right, then we will do this first thing."

[JadedDM]: There is a knock at the door.

[Christophe]: Christophe shivers. "Just don't want to be hit by the thing again...."

[Psyche]: "Just keep away from me and you should be fine, Christophe." She walks to the door and opens it. "I have better control over it now."

[JadedDM]: Lukia awaits them.  "It is time."

[Psyche]: Psyche nods before stepping out into the hall to follow after Lukia, motioning for the others to follow.

[Christophe]: Christophe loads his crossbow, pulls his hood up and follows the others.

[JadedDM]: Lukia leads the four to the arena.  Once they step outside, they are no doubt a bit relieved to find clear weather this day.  When they reach the starting point, Lukia looks back to them.  "You seem to be missing one."

[Christophe]: "Yes... he has... withdrawn from our group."

[Psyche]: Psyche nods at Christophe's words. "I'm afraid it could not be avoided." She shrugs slightly.

[JadedDM]: Lukia adjusts her specs.  "I can't say I blame him.  This next group is something.  Have you watched their fights?  Most impressive."

[Psyche]: "We...we have an idea what to expect."

[Christophe]: Christophe looks at Draven, and then wipes off a little dried blood from her face. "Damn it... that hobgoblin was wearing my helmet. You know... I think the luck on that thing expired last night..."

[JadedDM]: Just then, the opposition arrives on the other side of the arena.  First is Adolfo, wearing chain mail and carrying a battle axe.  After him steps out an older woman in red plate mail with a ram-like helmet.  She has red hair and weather beaten skin and carries a halberd.  The third person to emerge is the Azgar dwarf, wearing some kind of apron-like armor and carrying a spear or javelin of some sort.  The final contestant is a wolf.  However, it's about 10 feet long and has red and orange fur.

[Psyche]: Psyche's eyes widen upon seeing the dwarf. "Oh no...."

[JadedDM]: Draven:  "I'd bet the hobgoblin sucked all the luck out of it."

[Christophe]: Christophe eyes the opposition. "Oh... dear."

[JadedDM]: Draven:  "Damn...look at the size of that wolf."

[JadedDM]: Guko emerges from his balcony then and pulls out his magic wand.  "Good evening, folks!  What a fiery match we have for you today!"

[JadedDM]: Kestrel:  "So are we sticking with our plan?"

[Psyche]: "Uh...yeah...yeah we are. Kestrel...uh concentrate on the...well wolf until after my spell is done. kind of have your pick here."

[Christophe]: "That Dwarf looks dangerous... I'll concentrate some shots there..."

[JadedDM]: Guko:  "On this side, we have the Order of the Eternal Flame!"  The audience cheers loudly.  "And challenging them for the final none other than the vile law-breakers and criminals--the Rebels!"  The audience shouts, cheers, and spits.

[Psyche]: Psyche enters into the actual arena behind Draven, as is the plan, muttering a prayer to Azedeth as she moves.

[Christophe]: Christophe prepares to let loose his first shot.

[JadedDM]: Adolfo and his group step forward, as well.  The Red Ram stands in front of Adolfo, protecting him.  The wolf and Azgar flank them from the front, preparing to engage.

[JadedDM]: (Christophe's pre-emptive strike.)

[Christophe]: [1d20+2] -> [8,2] = (10)

[Christophe]: Christophe's shot is wide of the mark. He curses in an incomprehensible hiss and starts to move off to the left flank, reloading.

[JadedDM]: (Actions for Round 1?)

[Psyche]: Psyche is obviously going to chant the words of her spell, once Kestrel casts that spell needed on Draven.

[Christophe]: Christophe fires at the dwarf once again, while edging away from Psyche.

[Christophe]: [1d10] -> [8] = (8)

[Psyche]: Psyche waits actually, until everyone is in position.

[Psyche]: [1d10] -> [8] = (8)

[JadedDM]: Adolfo's turn.

[JadedDM]: Adolfo chants to his god, while holding his holy symbol in hand.  (I need Psyche to roll a saving throw.)

[Psyche]: [1d20] -> [15] = (15)

[JadedDM]: A globe of light appears right behind Psyche's head, but has no effect on her.

[JadedDM]: Summer Wolf's turn.

[JadedDM]: The summer wolf leaps into sprint, and heads straight for Kestrel.  However, the priestess is able to dodge its strike.

[JadedDM]: Azgar's turn.

[JadedDM]: The Azgar goes for Psyche, but Draven is blocking her.  She stabs with her javelin, but Draven manages to block it with her own weapon.

[JadedDM]: Draven:  "Damn...this thing's radiating heat!" she says, raising her visor.

[JadedDM]: Draven's turn.

[Psyche]: "Just do what you can, Draven!"

[JadedDM]: Draven takes a counter-swing with Soul Biter, but the Azgar ducks and evades.

[JadedDM]: Kestrel's turn.

[JadedDM]: Kestrel:  "Azedeth, Lord of Light and Life...protect this woman with your hand...let your light warm her and ward off cold."  She touches Draven's shoulder, and a golden circle of runes appears at the mercenary's feet.

[JadedDM]: Christophe's turn.

[Christophe]: [1d20+2] -> [2,2] = (4)

[Christophe]: Christophe's shot is again wide, this time thumping into the turf before even getting close to his target.

[JadedDM]: Red Ram's turn.

[JadedDM]: She protects Adolfo.  Since nobody is attacking him, she does nothing.

[JadedDM]: Guko:  "Looks like we're off to a slow start!  No real blood yet, but I have a feeling things will heat up!"

[JadedDM]: Adolfo:  "Come now, let's not hold back.  I learned much from our last battle.  Have you?"  He laughs.

[JadedDM]: (Actions for Round 2?)

[Christophe]: Christophe reloads and tries another shot, backing further away as he does.

[Christophe]: [1d10] -> [9] = (9)

[Psyche]: Psyche looks at those around her, frowning. This was not going as planned, so she had to change things. "Kestrel...lead that wolf away! Draven...just keep the dwarf busy," she orders before she starts to move around Draven so that she can cast her spell.

[Psyche]: [1d10] -> [9] = (9)

[JadedDM]: Azgar's turn.

[JadedDM]: The Azgar growls something in a strange tongue and stabs at Draven's shoulder with her super-heated javelin.  Draven cries out a sharp yell of pain and swears.

[JadedDM]: Psyche's turn.

[Crowd]: The crowd cheers heavily at the first sign of what might be a serious injury.

[Psyche]: Psyche moves forward, quite far enough away from Draven, Kestrel, the wolf, and the dwarf, as to protect Kestrel from the effects of this spell. Once she gets rather close to the Red Ram and Adolfo, she begins chanting the words to her spell quickly. She pulls the component out of a pouch, holding it within her right hand as her arms slowly spread out so she is shaped like a "T". As she chants, the ground beneath her feet starts to frost over, a cold wind starts to blow around her, her robes blowing slightly. Her fingernails start to form ice on them, as the clouds seem to move in up above. Finally, her hair seems to frost over as she drops the component to the ground, letting the cold spread towards the Red Ram and Adolfo.

[Psyche]: [6d6] -> [3,1,6,5,2,3] = (20)

[JadedDM]: Adolfo manages to get out of the way in time and doesn't get hurt as much.  The Red Ram, however, takes very heavy damage from the freezing cold and looks about ready to fall over.

[JadedDM]: Draven:  "Psyche!  What are you doing?!"

[JadedDM]: Summer Wolf's turn.

[Crowd]: The crowd gasps in awe at the display, but quickly recovers, cheering hard with some scattered "Booooooo!"s

[JadedDM]: The wolf bites at Kestrel, catching her in the arm.  She cries out to her god in pain.

[JadedDM]: Adolfo's turn.

[Psyche]: "Just concentrate on what you are doing! Don't worry about me!"

[JadedDM]: Adolfo points at Psyche and calls on his god's wrath.  (Another save from Psyche.)

[Psyche]: [1d20] -> [20] = (20)

[JadedDM]: Again, a globe of light materializes behind her, but that is all.

[JadedDM]: Kestrel's turn.

[JadedDM]: Kestrel stabs at the wolf with her short sword, but the wound on her arm weakens her attack, and she winds up dropping the sword to the ground.

[JadedDM]: Christophe's turn.

[Christophe]: [1d20+2] -> [4,2] = (6)

[Christophe]: Christophe fires up, well above his target this time... "That merchant sold me a bum crossbow!"

[Psyche]: "Christophe! Change targets!"

[JadedDM]: Draven's turn.

[JadedDM]: Draven lifts her axe above her head.  As she brings it down at the Azgar, time almost seems to slow down.  The axe suddenly bursts into bright light and cackles with power.  On impact, white energy seems to draw from the dwarf into the axe, and into Draven.  Her wounds are fully healed.

[JadedDM]: The Azgar stumbles back, looking seriously hurt now.  Draven screams a primal roar, and the air around her body begins to become wavy, just like the azgar.

[Psyche]: Psyche looks over her shoulder, as she can't help her, her eyes widening. "Oh...not now...please Azedeth, let her be able to control it...please."

[Crowd]: The crowd hisses and boos, thinking it some kind of trick. A few scatter cheers are heard, which build to a roaring crescendo.

[JadedDM]: Red Ram's turn.

[JadedDM]: Wounded, but serious pissed, the Red Ram gets back up and charges the now unprotected Psyche.  She slashes across her wildly.

[Psyche]: Psyche stumbles backwards, her hand moving to her stomach as the axe cuts deep into her, yet she doesn't cry out.

[JadedDM]: Azgar's second strike.

[JadedDM]: Now horribly weakened as most of her soul has been drained from her, she still manages to stand up and stab again with her javelin.  However, her aura of heat seems not to bother Draven at all.  Draven, now fully charged with energy, easily dodges the attack.

[JadedDM]: Draven's second strike.

[JadedDM]: Draven, brimming with spirit energy, slices horizontally at the dwarf, slicing right into her neck.  The dwarf falls over, flails about, and then vanishes in a burst of flame and smoke.

[Crowd]: The crowd is roaring for all they're worth at this point, after having seen so much action.

[JadedDM]: Guko:  "Amazing!  One of the Rebels has performed some kind of odd trick, and took out Shyak!"

[JadedDM]: (Actions for Round 3?)

[Psyche]: Psyche pulls her arm from her stomach, which is now covered in blood and begins chanting the words to another spell.

[Christophe]: Christophe reloads and changes targets, seeing as his intended target is down without him even coming close. He focuses on the Red Ram giving Psyche trouble.

[Christophe]: [1d10] -> [10] = (10)

[Psyche]: [1d10] -> [10] = (10)

[JadedDM]:  Adolfo’s turn.

[JadedDM]: Adolfo prays again, and holds out one hand.  Suddenly, his hand catches fire, although this does not look to harm him at all.  He then hurls one at Psyche, which bursts when it strikes her.

[Psyche]: Psyche stumbles backwards again, the words of her spell dying away as she looks up in surprise. "Damn it!"

[JadedDM]: Psyche's turn.

[Psyche]: Psyche tries moving backwards away from the Red Ram that is attacking her.

[JadedDM]: Summer Wolf's turn.

[Crowd]: The crowd laughs as the ball of fire strikes Psyche.

[JadedDM]: The summer wolf again bites at her, this time catching her thigh.  Kestrel's prayer is lost as she falls over, weaponless.

[JadedDM]: Draven's turn.

[JadedDM]: Draven looks to Kestrel, then Psyche, trying to pick her next target.  She rushes over to Psyche and attacks the Red Ram.

[JadedDM]: With a slash of her axe, Draven drops the Red Ram, ending her threat.  "Who's next?!" she cries out loudly.

[Psyche]: "The Wolf...get the wolf!" She cries out to Draven. "Save Kestrel!"

[Crowd]: The crowd yells it self hoarse as Draven takes down the Red Ram.

[JadedDM]: Kestrel's turn.

[JadedDM]: The priestess manages to kick the wolf off of her and gets back to her feet, but has no weapon and has lost her prayer.

[JadedDM]: Christophe's turn.

[Christophe]: Christophe, seeing his target downed again by Draven, hastily quarter-turns and fires wildly at the Summer Wolf.

[Christophe]: [1d20+2] -> [15,2] = (17)

[Christophe]: [1d4] -> [2] = (2)

[Christophe]: Christophe's bolt zips past the wolf, causing a very minor wound on its right side.

[JadedDM]: Guko:  "Looks like the Order of the Eternal Flame is down by two!  What a match!"

[JadedDM]: (Actions for Round 4?)

[Psyche]: Psyche tries her hardest to stand up straight as she begins chanting another spell.

[Psyche]: [1d10] -> [2] = (2)

[Christophe]: Christophe drops his temperamental new crossbow and pulls out the quarterstaff, closing in on the Summer Wolf... "Hey! HEY! Come and get me!"

[Christophe]: [1d10] -> [3] = (3)

[JadedDM]: Psyche's turn.

[Psyche]: Psyche pulls out her glowing moss, as this is a common thing with her as she chants before clapping her hands together, having the component for her spell disappear, which causes a bright light to shine through the Priest of Renos' eyes.

[JadedDM]: Adolfo cries out.  "Again?!  But I'm not out yet!"

[JadedDM]: Christophe's turn.

[Christophe]: [1d20] -> [18] = (18)

[Christophe]: [1d6] -> [6] = (6)

[Christophe]: Christophe charges across the battlefield, expertly twirling his quarterstaff. He swings and brings it down upon the skull of the wolf, causing it to growl out in anger.

[JadedDM]: Draven's turn.

[JadedDM]: Draven now spins on her heel and rushes to the wolf.  She comes up to its side after Christophe bonks it and slashes at it vertically, causing it to fly backward about a foot.

[JadedDM]: Adolfo's turn.

[JadedDM]: Adolfo prays loudly, despite being blind.  He holds out his hand forward, his fingers spread.  Three small globes of flame appear on his fingers, then drop to the ground.  Where they land, each one turns into a red and orange snake.

[JadedDM]: Kestrel's turn.

[JadedDM]: Kestrel:  "Azedeth, please help me...give me the strength to survive this fight."  She puts her hands together, and they both glow a soft, golden light.  Her wounds heal ever slightly.

[JadedDM]: Summer Wolf's turn.

[JadedDM]: The summer wolf quickly gets back up and growls.  It sucks in its breath, then lets loose a jet of flame straight at Draven.

[JadedDM]: When the fires die down, Draven remains standing there, apparently unharmed.  "That felt nice and toasty," she grins, readying her axe for another strike.

[JadedDM]: Draven's second strike.

[JadedDM]: Draven brings her axe down at the puzzled wolf's neck, severing its head.  Her body is still radiating heat.

[Psyche]: "Draven, Kestrel, Christophe! The...snakes!"

[Christophe]: Christophe stands there with his mouth agape, looking at his killing machine pseudo-girlfriend. "....Wow..."

[JadedDM]: Guko:  "I don't believe it!  What kind of weapon is that she's wielding?"

[Crowd]: The crowd begins chanting something, at first it's uncoordinated, but it builds in rhythm and accuracy. The word they are shouting is. "Axe!"

[JadedDM]: The snakes begin to slither toward the party, as if sensing their intent.

[JadedDM]: (Actions for Round 5?)

[Psyche]: Psyche begins chanting the words to another spell.

[Christophe]: Christophe turns to notice the snakes slithering towards him. He takes a low swing at one, trying to keep a distance.

[Psyche]: [1d10] -> [1] = (1)

[Christophe]: [1d10] -> [7] = (7)

[JadedDM]: Psyche's turn.

[Psyche]: Psyche chants the words to her spell, her hands starting to glow an unnatural black color. Once her spell is cast, she runs past the snake coming towards her to the man that brought the snakes to life in the first place. She reaches out her hand to touch him.

[Psyche]: [1d20+4] -> [8,4] = (12)

[Psyche]: Psyche misses as the priest dodges, even while blind. "Fast one, aren't you?"

[JadedDM]: Fire Snakes' turn.

[JadedDM]: One goes after Psyche, one after Draven, and one after Christophe.  The latter two strike, but miss.  The first one, however, clamps onto Psyche's leg.  (Saving throw)

[Psyche]: [1d20+4] -> [16,4] = (20)

[Psyche]: Psyche cries out as the snake bites into her leg. Her body is kind of hunched over now, yet her hands are still glowing that black color.

[JadedDM]: Adolfo's turn.

[JadedDM]: Adolfo begins praying to Renos in a steady, rhythmic chant.

[JadedDM]: Christophe's turn.

[Christophe]: [1d20] -> [9] = (9)

[Christophe]: Christophe flails wildly at the snake in front of him, the little bugger managing to coil back and avoid the ironically named Viperstaff's swing.

[JadedDM]: Draven's turn.

[JadedDM]: Draven swings downward at the nearest fire snake.  She manages to severe its tail, but the snake still lives.

[JadedDM]: Kestrel's turn.

[JadedDM]: Kestrel:  "Azedeth, Wielder of Light!  Focus your warm rays into a weapon!"  The sun seems to respond.  A single ray of light focuses on the fire snake attacking Psyche and burns it.  However, it does not die.

[JadedDM]: Guko:  "Things look grim, but I wouldn't count Adolfo out yet!  One bite from those snakes, and it's all over!"

[JadedDM]: (Actions for Round 6?)

[Psyche]: Psyche is going to try and touch Adolfo again.

[Psyche]: [1d10] -> [9] = (9)

[Christophe]: Christophe swings at the snake again.

[Christophe]: [1d10] -> [6] = (6)

[JadedDM]: Kestrel's turn.

[JadedDM]: Kestrel retrieves her sword, then rushes to help the nearest person--Christophe.  She stabs at the fire snake, but it is too fast for her.

[JadedDM]: Adolfo's turn.

[JadedDM]: Adolfo continues praying in a chanting tone.

[JadedDM]: Christophe's turn.

[Christophe]: [1d20] -> [13] = (13)

[Christophe]: [1d6] -> [4] = (4)

[Christophe]: Christophe uses the end of his staff to bash the snake in the head. It slithers back drunkenly, but is still alive.

[JadedDM]: Psyche's turn.

[Psyche]: [1d20+4] -> [14,4] = (18)

[Psyche]: [3d6] -> [6,5,1] = (12)

[Psyche]: Psyche latches onto the priest that is chanting, the black glow from her hands moving around him, her body slowly becoming stronger while Adolfo's becomes weaker. The more she holds on, the more he seems to weaken.

[JadedDM]: Fire Snakes' turn.

[JadedDM]: The one attacking Psyche grabs at her ankle again.

[Psyche]: [1d20] -> [1] = (1)

[Psyche]: Psyche just as she pulls her hand away from Adolfo seems to freeze in place.

[JadedDM]: Psyche falls over, losing all feeling in her body.  The second snake bites Draven, but doesn't seem to affect her.  The third one bites Christophe (need a save from him, too)

[Christophe]: [1d20] -> [18] = (18)

[JadedDM]: Draven's turn.

[Crowd]: The crowd is quieter now, simply watching the action in anticipation of the next gout of blood.

[Christophe]: Christophe is bitten on the leg, but doesn't seem affected by any possible venom from the snake.

[JadedDM]: Draven, still radiating intense heat, looks around.  "Why the frell are we playing with these snakes?"  She rushes over to the blind priest and puts her axe to his neck.  "Surrender, or I'll make your skull into an ale mug!"

[JadedDM]: Adolfo smiles slightly.  "Very well.  I yield...this time."

[JadedDM]: Guko:  "What's this?  The woman, Draven, has offered Adolfo his life, and he accepted!"

[Psyche]: Psyche just kind of lays there, though is glad that they won the fight.

[JadedDM]: Lukia emerges and awaits them.  Draven goes to pick up Psyche, but stops.  "My's like it's on fire."

[Crowd]: The crowd boos and hisses.

[Psyche]: Psyche looks up at Draven, or rather notices that she is standing over her.

[Christophe]: Christophe retrieves his crossbow, and then looks at Draven. "It's... it's that axe, isn't it?"

[JadedDM]: Psyche can feel the heat from Draven, although she's not close enough for it to hurt her.

[JadedDM]: Draven:  "What if...what if it doesn't stop?"

[JadedDM]: Kestrel:  " me with Psyche."

[Christophe]: "It'll stop.... it has to." Christophe bends down to hoist Psyche up.

[JadedDM]: Lukia escorts them back to their room, giving Draven a wide berth.  When they return, she gestures to a chest on their table full of gold.  "Your next…and last tomorrow at noon."

[Psyche]: Psyche would nod or at least acknowledge the fact that their final match is at noon, yet she really can't at the moment.

[Christophe]: Christophe helps Psyche to the bed. "Can you... get her moving again, Kestrel?"

[JadedDM]: Kestrel:  "She's been poisoned...I can try and cleanse her, though."

[JadedDM]: Draven sits down at a chair, but it nearly bursts into flame at her touch.  She quickly backs away, nearly falling over.

[Christophe]: Christophe turns to Draven. "How do you feel now...?"

[JadedDM]: Draven:  "I feel....fine.  But I'm...I'm remembering things.  Strange things.  Is it me, or is it really cold in here?"

[Christophe]: "That good, huh?" He scratches at his hair.

[JadedDM]: Kestrel stands up.  "I've done what I can.  It will take time for the feeling to return to her body, but she should be able to talk now."

[Christophe]: "It's that bloody axe again... it has to be... "

[Psyche]: "It is." She mutters. "The effects of the axe should wear off, they did last time."

[JadedDM]: Kestrel:  "Will it?  I wonder...," she says ominously.

[Psyche]: "Just give it some time."

[JadedDM]: Kestrel:  "This was no mortal, though.  It was a creature from another plane.  Their souls are different from ours."

[Christophe]: Christophe looks murderously at Kestrel. "Of course it will! You're supposed to be optimistic, priestess!"

[JadedDM]: Kestrel takes a step back at his tone, surprised by his sudden passion.

[Psyche]: "Calm down, Christophe. Draven will be fine. We just have to give it time."

[JadedDM]: Draven thinks to herself.  "What...what's adamantite?"

[Psyche]: "Uh....uh, I'm not sure."

[JadedDM]: Draven:  "I have this...I know this stuff about it, and I've never heard of it.  It's...weird."

[Psyche]: "I told you that it was an effect of using the axe. You know the memories of the ones you attacked. "

[JadedDM]: Draven rubs her arms.  "Getting colder in here."

[JadedDM]: Kestrel regains her composure and walks to her bed.  "Tomorrow we face Shaka...I...I wonder if just the four of us is enough?"

[Christophe]: "It's... it's not cold, though... "

[Psyche]: "To Draven, it probably is considering she absorbed dwarf...thing.  And...and I think we can do it, providing we have the right plan, Kestrel."

[JadedDM]: Kestrel:  "I suppose you're right.  Odds are we aren't going to find an ally in a place like this."

[JadedDM]: Draven sighs.  "If this thing lasts forever...that would really put a crimp in my love life."

[Psyche]: "At least you have one." She clears her throat. "Go...go rest in the bath if it makes you uncomfortable, Draven. That might help."

[Christophe]: "You'd be the last flame I ever have..." he jokes. "I know... bad time for jokes." He looks at her sympathetically.

[JadedDM]: Draven grins, despite herself.  "Hey, if you think I'm hot now..."

[Psyche]: "Okay...okay! I don't want to hear this you two!"

[Christophe]: "Damn you, woman..." he can't help but laugh.

[JadedDM]: Draven:  "The heat wasn't as confusing this time."

[Psyche]: "There is still a lot we have to learn about that axe, Draven. I think it is because you were more prepared for if it happened again, so you were able to kind of control it."

[JadedDM]: Kestrel:  "It looks like it healed your wounds somewhat, as well."

[Christophe]: Christophe grabs his crossbow. "I want to re-string this piece of junk before tomorrow. You want to come outside with me, Draven? Don't want to disgust Psyche any further." He makes a face at the paralyzed mage from behind.

[JadedDM]: Draven:  "Sure..."

[Psyche]: Psyche sighs. "We need to discuss what we are going to do about Shaka, so do what you all need to do...while I lay here."

[JadedDM]: Kestrel:  "The poison should wear off in the hour, Psyche."

[Christophe]: "It might be warmer outside for you anyway..." he keeps a little distance between them.

[JadedDM]: Draven steps outside with him.

[Psyche]: "Kestrel, I might have an idea on how to keep Makin out of commission. I don't know how it would work out though."

[JadedDM]: Kestrel looks to the paralyzed mage.  "What is it?"

[Psyche]: "I have a spell that can...permanently blind someone."

[Christophe]: Christophe starts heading toward the arena gate. "Uhm... so... still feeling it?"

[JadedDM]: Kestrel blinks at this.  "You want to blind Makin?"

[JadedDM]: Draven:  "What?  The energy?"

[Christophe]: "Yeah."

[Psyche]: "I do. That would keep him alive, but he would be kind of useless around here. The last thing I need is Duka after us. "

[JadedDM]: Draven:  " feels...a lot different from Jo'kar's."

[JadedDM]: Kestrel shakes her head and kneels by Psyche's bed.  "That won't work."

[Christophe]: "You ever think about... dropping that axe for good?"

[Psyche]: "I'm not sure what to do, Kestrel."

[JadedDM]: Draven shakes her head.  " makes me powerful.  More powerful than I've ever been."

[JadedDM]: Kestrel:  "Once, when I was in Dan'gen, I saw a soldier who was blinded in battle come to the temple.  The priests there healed his sight.  Makin may be able to do this, as well."

[Christophe]: Christophe pulls a face. "Yeah but... is it going to be worth it? I wouldn't want to see you go over the edge, so to speak."

[Psyche]: "It is possible, but I don't want to kill him Kestrel. I'm having a hard enough time trying to figure out how to deal with Shaka, but now I must deal with him too."

[JadedDM]: Draven:  "What good am I without it?  You saw me out there....I won that fight!  And it's because of the axe..."

[JadedDM]: Kestrel:  "I don't want to kill anyone, Psyche.  But sometimes it happens."

[Psyche]: Psyche sighs. "Fine...but there is still Shaka. I don't know how to convince her to surrender...well, I have an idea, but it is risky, and I'm not really sure it would work out right either."

[Christophe]: "What good are you? Don't ask silly questions. You're the best I've ever seen... axe or no axe. And even if you dropped your weapons and armour tomorrow, I'd still say you're one of the good ones. You can't put all your stock in some axe twisted with dark magicks we don't even comprehend."

[JadedDM]: Kestrel:  "What idea is that?" she asks, curious.

[JadedDM]: Draven:  "I think I can control it...I just need to get used to it, that's all."  The wavy air around her begins to settle down a bit.

[Christophe]: "You'd better...." He spots the tree he was looking for. "I want you to stick around, ya know?"

[JadedDM]: Draven:  "I don't want to go anywhere myself..."

[Psyche]: "Do you remember that scroll I picked up in Edge Elm? It had a few spells on it. The idea is to use one of those scroll spells to convince Shaka that she is somewhere else, someplace she knows, like Dan'gen...or the Stronghold. It might help convince her to surrender.”

[JadedDM]: Kestrel:  "Oh...I thought we would just threaten to go public with the information on her son..."

[Christophe]: He starts digging and picking around the tree for mulberry root. "Personally, I think it's quite sexy to be around a mercenary woman who can kick my arse in a fistfight." He smiles up at her.

[JadedDM]: The wavy air around Draven settles completely and she hugs herself for warmth.  "N-Not the dominant kind, eh?"

[Psyche]: "Oh, we will, but this would be to help it along a bit. To convince her that we mean what we say. She has to realize the true seriousness of the threat."

[JadedDM]: Kestrel:  "I'm not clear on how making her think she was somewhere else would effect her judgment."

[Psyche]: "I was thinking of showing her a place that has meaning to her, of course, I could just go in there blindly, fight her, weaken her to the point of exhaustion and then threaten to go public with her son."

[Christophe]: Christophe continues to gather the root, getting his gloves covered in soil in the process. "Eh... I don't know, really. I mean, I've only had one true... relationship in the past. It... um... didn't end up lasting too long, unfortunately."

[JadedDM]: Draven removes her helmet and shakes out her hair.  "Just one, huh?  I can't count how many I've had...but...they were never serious."

[JadedDM]: Kestrel:  "It will be a tough fight.  Priests of D'lokka excel at weaponry."

[Psyche]: "I know. I was actually thinking of putting Draven up against her. Draven could mention her son to her while fighting, while we take care of the others."

[Christophe]: "Well, I had a few... ahem... encounters on Hell's Island ... but it was more of a ritual thing. I guess you wouldn't understand that. I'm not some crazed cultist or anything..." He looks up at the sky for a minute. "Boy... I wonder what you really do think of me sometimes..."

[JadedDM]: Draven:  " Hell Island ?"  She blinks.  "You were...sent to Hell Island ?"

[Christophe]: Having gathered what he wanted, he backs away from the dying trees and sits with his back up against the outer wall of the arena. "Sit down if you want.... Yes. I was sent there by the former Overlord. I told you about the pre-Rebel rebels, yeah?"

[JadedDM]: Kestrel:  "Hopefully, we will prevail.  And then..."

[Psyche]: "And then?"

[JadedDM]: Draven sits down next to him, still hugging herself.  " did."

[JadedDM]: Kestrel shrugs.  "We look for another Agent.  Maybe, if we can get Shaka to cooperate, she can tell us where."

[Psyche]: "I'm hoping she will. We have to get that last agent out of her, and maybe the location of the one that is in the Pride Mountains ."

[JadedDM]: Kestrel:  "And then, after our mission is over, we can return to the base."

[Psyche]: Psyche smiles faintly. "It will be so good to see Jerros again."

[Christophe]: He makes a strained face as he snaps the string off of his bow and starts fashioning a new string from the mulberry root. "Little trick I learned on the island. Didn't have much hemp there... so roots were the next best thing. Anyway... I lived among a tribe of lizardmen for a long, long time... fighting in a civil war against another tribe. I never even imagined I could make it back to the mainland, so I integrated myself with them to survive."

[JadedDM]: Kestrel smiles slightly.  "What will you say to him?"

[JadedDM]: Draven blinks.  "Wow...I never knew anyone who returned from there."

[Psyche]: "I don't know. I guess after all of this...all I can do is tell him the truth."

[JadedDM]: Kestrel:  "And that is?"

[Christophe]: "Mmmm. Well, here I am. Know that dark elf I was telling you about? We helped each other escape after my tribe won the conflict. Tell you the truth, I don't know how we survived."

[JadedDM]: Draven:  "Oh....well...wait a minute.  You said when you were on Hell Island , you had a 'few encounters.'  You're not talking about...lizards, are you?"

[Psyche]: "I...." She lowers her voice to a mutter. "I'm pretty sure I love him. I mean...after all, I am doing all of this...pretty much for him. Sure, it is helping the Rebel cause, but it is for him more so."

[JadedDM]: Kestrel:  "Why him?" she asks.

[Christophe]: Christophe looks at her and pulls another face. "I told you... I had to integrate myself with their tribe. I had to become one, essentially. But ah... I couldn't completely go through with the entire ceremony because the anatomy of an Eonian and a lizard... look, this is rather embarrassing for me okay?" He starts turning red and focuses on his crossbow string. "I've never told anyone about this... I'm not ashamed or repulsed though. I was just surviving..."

[Psyche]: "Well, I've never met anyone quite like him, honestly. He is...well he is handsome, but he also cares about people and I love everything he stands for. He is kind of modest too. "

[JadedDM]: Draven smirks.  " wonder I look so good.  I guess even a dwarven woman would after spending all that time with reptiles."

[JadedDM]: Kestrel:  "When I was studying under Daeval, he would sometimes tell me about Jerros and his family."

[Psyche]: "He knew of his family? Daeval, that is?"

[JadedDM]: Kestrel nods.  "Yes.  He fought in a war with Jerros' grandfather, in fact."

[Christophe]: "You really are a mean-spirited cow, you know?" He leans over and kisses her cheek. "Wow... still kinda warm, there..." He starts pulling the mulberry root string into place.

[JadedDM]: Draven:  "Don't feel it...feel cold...damn, I hope this passes, too."

[Psyche]: "Oh..." She blinks, didn't expect that. "What do you know of his family? I just know that he has a brother and some sisters, but not a lot else."

[Christophe]: Christophe stops suddenly, puts the bow down and looks at Draven. "Did you um.... you didn't get the memories of Talthul, did you?"

[JadedDM]: Kestrel:  "Daeval told me that he has known Jerros since he was a baby.  Ever since he fought alongside his grandfather, Daeval has been a friend of the family.  He said...the Soulstaffs are something special--they have great potential, and their hearts shine with light."

[JadedDM]: Draven:  "Thank the gods, no."  She shudders at the thought.

[Psyche]: "I can believe it."

[Christophe]: Christophe wipes the sweat that was forming at his brow away. "Okay... good." He turns back to his work, almost finished. "I tried to look out for that boy, I really did. But I'm not babysitter, and I'm not a good mentor. He had it coming for a long time, really..."

[JadedDM]: Draven:  "He shouldn't have been allowed to live anyway.  I know hobgoblins, and they hate weakness.  Why his own family didn't kill him, I don't know."

[Psyche]: "Hmmm…" She yawns. "I think I'm going to get some sleep. We have a long day ahead of us tomorrow."

[JadedDM]: Kestrel nods.  "You know...with you and Jerros...and Draven and Christophe...I'm starting to feel a little left out of things."

[Christophe]: "Yeah... I know hobgoblins too. You're right... I suppose at first I thought the whole thing was a bit of an act. Or that he just hailed from some strange, nomadic, primitive tribes of hobgoblins that live out in the middle of nowhere. Then somewhere along the line I realized he really was that stupid."

[Psyche]: "There is always Wedge, Biggs..." She laughs faintly.

[JadedDM]: Draven:  "Personally, I think he was part orc or something."

[JadedDM]: Kestrel shakes her head.  "I think Nari and Wedge..."

[Psyche]: "So that kind of leaves Biggs, unless we meet someone new on the way. Of course...this type of the type of life we lead probably isn't a good thing."

[Christophe]: Christophe shrugs. "Maybe you're right." He finishes his re-stringing. "So tell me something about you. I want to know a secret... something at random."

[JadedDM]: Kestrel:  "I have no interest in Biggs," she grumbles, standing up.

[JadedDM]: Draven:  "A secret?  Like what?"

[Psyche]: "....Well..." She sighs. "I'm sorry, Kestrel."

[Christophe]: "I dunno... your first battle experience. Were you scared?"

[JadedDM]: Kestrel shrugs.  "Perhaps it doesn't matter."

[JadedDM]: Draven:  "My first battle experience...well, not counting first job was when I had my first fight.  Me and a few others were hired to protect a supply wagon that was being taken to the frontline."

[Psyche]: Psyche feels kind of bad now for the woman, so decides to drop the subject, by going silent.

[Christophe]: "What happened?"

[JadedDM]: Draven:  "We were attacked by Rebels.  Two of my companions died, and they got away with some supplies.  But I was able to kill two of them myself.  I remember being a little afraid, but the excitement kept me going."

[JadedDM]: Kestrel:  "Psyche, do you believe we'll really change things?  Make it so day, we can live peacefully and raise children safely?"

[Christophe]: Christophe breaks out into a hearty laugh. "Bwahaha.... oh... I'm just imagining you as a wet behind the ears, greenhorn. You must've been a sight."

[Psyche]: "I...I think so. It might take awhile, but in the end, I think it will work out. It has to."

[Christophe]: "It's funny how we both started on the opposite side of the fence.... and now we're here."

[JadedDM]: Draven:  "Yeah...I never would have believed it.  Fighting for the enemy...but here I am."

[JadedDM]: Kestrel:  "Sometimes it seems like it's so far lofty a goal."

[Psyche]: "That is because it is kind of far off. We are making tiny steps to a better Renosia, but they are important steps. I have to wonder...through all of this, if I am ever going to see my sister again though."

[Christophe]: Christophe picks up a few pebbles and starts tossing them at the horizon. "My first fight... I got in a few really good shots on this poor farmer. Thought I was top of the world. Then there farmer's son shows up with a long bow out of nowhere and nails me right in the forearm with an arrow." He rolls his sleeve up and shows off a tiny scar.. "Damn thing never healed right. I just couldn't believe I got hit. The mighty Bloodguard are invincible... yadda yadda... it was all propaganda."

[JadedDM]: Draven:  "So what made you switch over to the other side then?"

[JadedDM]: Kestrel:  "I'm sure you will, but I can't say I understand why you would want to."

[Christophe]: "I just... I saw all these poor people having their faces shoved down into the cruk over and over again. I saw the Overlord robbing blindly from churches... even churches that paid tribute to him. I saw how miserable the common man was. Plus, my mentor in the Bloodguard worked in secret for the other side, and she was pretty influential in my early days. I figured it was the right thing to do."

[Psyche]: "She is the only family I have or...well, my only blood family. I don't like the idea of being alone out here, and...she wasn't always evil. I don't know what happened, but something did, and I want to know what. We use to get along."

[JadedDM]: Draven:  "The right thing to do.  The Rebels are always talking about that. seems like the 'right' thing is always the most dangerous and foolhardy."

[JadedDM]: Kestrel:  "Evil is in the air, Psyche.  It is in our food, our the ground.  It affects the hearts of everyone, but somehow we managed to fight it off."

[Psyche]: "Well, if I ever find her, I will help her fight it off or maybe I am just clinging to hope that I can do such a thing. I'm not sure honestly, after she tried to convince me to join the Overlord."

[Christophe]: "You're right about that. I've lost my taste for it somewhat recently. I still want to do good, you know? But I see that the death and destruction continues to roll on both sides of the conflict. When's it ever going to end? What's the point of fighting a revolution if, you miraculously win the thing, a few years later another one is going to start up and try and undermine the new regime?"

[JadedDM]: Kestrel nods.  "Hope is the light in one's heart, and Azedeth is the god of all light.  I'm sure he'll help you find a way."

[JadedDM]: Draven:  "Yeah...nothing short of a miracle is going to win this war."

[Christophe]: "I still hope for that miracle. I just hope if it does happen we all get a taste of it in our lifetimes."

[Psyche]: "I hope so." She closes her eyes.

[JadedDM]: Draven:  "Bah...they rely on their gods too much.  I say, if you want a miracle, you have to make one yourself."

[Christophe]: "I've gotten the impression that you're not very religious... but you seem to like Kestrel enough to not lash out at her."

[JadedDM]: Draven:  "She's naive, but...I'd rather avoid a lecture when I can, so I don't say anything."

[Christophe]: "I'm kind of torn on the subject, myself. I never was deep into prayer... but then again, I've witnessed a few things that make me believe there's something looking out for us... maybe not quite as much as Kestrel thinks... but still there at times."

[JadedDM]: Draven:  "Looking out for us?  Like what?"

[JadedDM]: Kestrel walks to her bed.  "I don't have any least, not any I know of."

[Psyche]: "Not that you know of?"

[JadedDM]: Kestrel shrugs.  "My father was a mercenary.  He...impregnated my mother during a one-night stay in town...and then left.  He never came back."

[Christophe]: Christophe flails his arms, clueless. "I don't know. The gods... little angels... mystic forces... I mean, I believe that every person has an everlasting soul. That bloody axe of yours should be proof enough. So there's got to be some higher power that looks after them, right? Or am I just babbling like Kestrel would do?"

[JadedDM]: Draven:  "Time and experience has taught me that the only one you can count on is yourself...and maybe the ones watching your back.  Maybe."

[Psyche]: "Oh...I'm...." She really isn't too terribly sure what to say to that. One doesn't say I'm sorry to something like that, she doesn't think. "So it was just your mother and you."

[JadedDM]: Kestrel nods.  "Yes...but...we weren't close.  I was nothing more than a cheap source of labor for her."

[Christophe]: "Just maybe? I hope I can change your mind a little..."

[Psyche]: "Doesn't sound like much of a childhood. How did you become a priestess then?"

[JadedDM]: Draven:  "I don't know...things are so...different now.  Maybe it's the axe...or maybe something else...but...I feel more at home here than I did back in Dan'gen."

[Christophe]: "You were born there? Dan'gen?"

[JadedDM]: Kestrel:  "After I left home, I lived in the city for awhile.  One day...a man came into the shop I lived above to speak with Krev.  I overheard their conversation.  The man was Daeval--in disguise, of course.  It was then I learned about the Rebels."

[JadedDM]: Draven nods.  "Born and raised, yeah."

[Psyche]: "So you learned from him." she smiles faintly. "Daeval is...Amakaroro's father, correct? You were friends with her then?"

[Christophe]: "I lived there for a time with my brother. Wasn't exactly a paradise... then again... you can always do worse."

[JadedDM]: Kestrel:  "Well...we knew each other.  But I wouldn't say we were friends, exactly."

[JadedDM]: Draven:  "I had a decent life.  Fed well, my mom trained could have been worse."

[Psyche]: "What do you mean?"

[Christophe]: "Your mother, eh? So you had the fighting in your blood?"

[JadedDM]: Kestrel:  "She didn't really come along very often when Daeval would teach me.  She preferred to stay at the base."

[JadedDM]: Draven:  "Yep.  My mom was a mercenary, too.  She was the one who taught me to fight."

[Psyche]: "Oh. You know, even if you never have had siblings, in a way, you could think of the Rebels as family. I do...I live with them after all, and I tend to fight with them as I would a sibling sometimes."

[JadedDM]: Kestrel smiles.  "Yes...I guess I never thought of it that way.  I sometimes think...maybe we could have been sisters, in another life."

[Christophe]: "My mother... passed when I was very young. Plague. She could have easily abandoned me or tossed me to the orphanage... but she did her best.  I guess that's how the will to 'do good' got to be in my blood..."

[JadedDM]: Draven:  "Sorry to hear that," she says.

[Psyche]: "Us?" She smiles, rather brightly for her at the thought. "Really?"

[JadedDM]: Kestrel:  "Well...I've never had a sister, so I don't know what it feels like exactly..."

[Christophe]: "You'd think I'd be completely immune to it by now... losing those that you care about. But no matter how hardened you become, it still gets to you at some point."

[Psyche]: "It is hard to describe a relationship like that, I think. Not all sister/sister relationships are the same, but...I think I would have liked that, if you were my sister."

[JadedDM]: Draven:  "I guess when I think about it...I've never really lost anyone I cared about.  Although...the people I care about would make a short list.  I guess the only person is Starr--but she didn't die, she betrayed me."

[JadedDM]: Kestrel smiles wilder.  "Thank you for saying that."

[Christophe]: "You mentioned it before. What happened?"

[JadedDM]: Draven:  "It's a long story.  She was my best friend...the only person I trusted in the world.  We did every mission together, always fought beside each other..."

[Psyche]: "You're welcome. Um...should someone go get the others?"

[JadedDM]: Kestrel:  "They've been gone a long time don't think they know..."

[Psyche]: "Oh...." She wrinkles her nose up. "Where would they go?" She lets out a small laugh before she finally sits up.

[Christophe]: "And..? How did she betray you?"

[JadedDM]: Kestrel:  "I don't know...but I'm sure they'll be back soon."

[JadedDM]: Draven sighs and shakes her head.  She stands up.  "I don't really like talking about it...besides, it's almost nightfall.  We should get back."

[Psyche]: Psyche picks up her backpack and starts digging through it, pulling out everything she really does need, such as old keys and such that don't need to be in there.

[Christophe]: Christophe brushes himself off and stands. "Damn. We're gonna have to get that privacy sometime, you know?" He nudges her again.

[JadedDM]: Draven grins.  "Next town we stop at, we can get a room ourselves.  That is...if you think you can remember how," she jokes.

[Christophe]: Christophe balls his fist up at her, mockingly. "You'll regret saying that. You really will...."

[JadedDM]: Draven:  "I hope so," she smirks.  "Let's get back before they think we've run off on them."

[Christophe]: Christophe starts heading back inside the arena.

[JadedDM]: (Oooooookay.  And since nobody is saying anything, I guess we'll go ahead and end it here.)

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