Session 42:
Loss of Innocence

 

[JadedDM]: Dymin 8th, Lightday; 666.  After traveling a few miles east, the party finally broke camp that sundown.  A fire was started and Tugh attended to the horses while everyone was finally given some time to reflect on what had just happened.

[Viarra]: Viarra sits by the fire, trying to coax a tune (and Charr) out of the mandolin. 

[JadedDM]: All of Viarra's attempts to summon Charr have failed since the fight with the golem.  The cause of this is unknown.

[Lon]: Lon sits close to the fire, warming his hands, staring at the flames aimlessly.

[Viarra]: With a disappointed sigh, she puts the mandolin down and lets Spot out of her cage to hunt for the night. 

[Psyche]: Psyche glances around the camp sight, taking in everyone's actions. "How can you two just sit there?"

[Viarra]: "What would you have us do, Psyche?" Viarra gently asks. 

[JadedDM]: Tugh wanders back to the fire after she tends to the horses.  "Humph.  I knew that piece of scum was no good."  She winces suddenly, the strange black burn marks on her back still bothering her.

[Psyche]: "I....I don't know. It just doesn't feel right to just sit there while he's..."  Psyche shakes her head sadly. "He wasn't a bad person until that...demon took him over. That wasn't the Christophe I knew."

[JadedDM]: Marcus plops the chest full of gems by the fire and sits down next to it.  He pops it open and starts examining the jewels.

[Viarra]: "No, it wasn't," Viarra softly agrees. 

[Psyche]: Psyche sits down gently by the fire. "I let it happen, just like it happened to Ceara."

[Lon]: Lon laughs a hollow laugh. "How much did you even know about Christophe?" Lon shakes his head and looks at his feet. "I don't even know anything about any of you..."

[Viarra]: "How did you let it happen?" Viarra asks, her head tilting slightly to the left as a confused expression wanders over her face. 

[Psyche]: Psyche looks to Lon. "I've been around him for a lot longer than you have Lon." She looks back down at the fire before answering Viarra.  “Ceara let it happen to her to save me, apparently. I didn't stop her, I didn't even know about it until it was too late to do anything. Christophe, I saw the change but I didn't question it. I thought it was because of Draven, but it wasn't."

[Viarra]: "How were you to know the difference?  It seems that Christophe's had some hard blows dealt his way that would have killed another man." 

[Lon]: Lon continues staring at the fire, his appetite forgotten.

[Psyche]: "It doesn't matter if I knew the difference or not. If I just...I don't know, paid more attention to him, talked to him, or tried to help him through it he might have won the battle with Kassaroff!"

[Viarra]: "If Christophe was capable of giving you the chance to kill him on purpose, he could have also leveled with you about what was going on in his head.  You're not a mind reader and Christophe has never been the easiest person to approach." 

[Psyche]: "There is a reason why he didn't, though. Christophe was a private person, but I did get him to open up a few times. I could have done it again, but I didn't. Just like I haven't done with any of you. I can't say I know any of you."

[Viarra]: "How do you know that for sure?" Viarra asks.  "If you continue to blame yourself, Kassaroff will have won, again."

[Psyche]: "Who else is to blame but myself, Viarra? It could have happened to any of you, and I wouldn't have done anything about it. I wouldn't have even tried because I've been too caught up with everything else. I haven't even noticed the people around me or what they are going through."  Psyche tightens her fist around the hem of her robes.

[Viarra]: "No one is to blame, Psyche," Viarra softly says as she stands up to stretch.  "Bad things happen to good people.  That's why we're fighting this fight, so that fewer bad things happen to good people.  Along the way, there will be losses and setbacks, but, we cannot give into hopelessness and let our cause be destroyed.  It would seem that we are five relative strangers in the woods together.  We have two options.  We can call everything off and go our own separate ways right now, or, we can learn from our mistakes and keep fighting the good fight.  It's up to you."  She pauses to meet the eyes of all the party members. 

[JadedDM]: Marcus stops counting gems long enough to listen in.  He looks a bit puzzled by what they're speaking about.

[JadedDM]: Tugh sits down by the fire, on the opposite side as Lon.

[Psyche]: "I don't have anywhere else to go but with the New Dawn. I don't have a family or any other friends to speak of." Psyche pulls her knees up to her chest. "That is why I fought so hard and then..."  She stops herself from saying anymore.

[Viarra]: "And that's why we'll continue to fight hard," Viarra says.  "If everyone else is game, of course."  Her gaze drifts to Tugh and Lon. 

[JadedDM]: Tugh shrugs.  "I'm not really sure what you're fighting so hard for."

[Psyche]: Psyche looks to Tugh for a moment, as if about to say something then glances to Marcus. "...A dream of what Renosia should be."

[JadedDM]: Marcus stands up.  "Hey, I have a dream like that."

[Viarra]: "What's your dream like, Marcus?" Viarra asks with an indulgent smile. 

[JadedDM]: Marcus:  "A dream where we, mankind, are the force to be reckoned with in this sector.  Where the hobgoblins are the second-class citizens, and we push them around.  And where it doesn't matter who you are or who your parents were, but what you do that determines your position in life."

[Viarra]: Viarra's smile takes on something of a forced quality.  "I see." 

[JadedDM]: Marcus shrugs.  "Yeah, well...it'll never happen."

[Psyche]: "Do you even have an idea of who you sit with right now, Marcus?"

[JadedDM]: Marcus:  "What?  Well...no, not really," he admits.

[Psyche]: "You don't have a clue as to why I...seduced you while drunk that one night?"

[JadedDM]: Marcus:  "I thought it was to rob me..."

[Psyche]: "The only thing we took was your armor...I think."

[JadedDM]: Marcus shrugs.  "It's all I had of worth.  Look, I'm not holding a grudge...anymore.  So long as I'm paid well, and you give me what you owe me."

[Psyche]: "We'll pay you what we can, but will that keep your loyalty?"

[JadedDM]: Marcus:  "Well, I can't really go back to the Overlord.  Not without some serious redemption first."

[Psyche]: "I see." Psyche sighs, glancing to the others.   "If we are to continue on then, we need to decide what to do with those gems and what our next move is. We need to return to the tower. I want to make sure Terrah is still there."

[JadedDM]: Marcus:  "Those gems are quite the haul.  I count at least 20 of them.  All of different types and colors.  I bet you could get maybe...fifty a piece."

[Psyche]: "Part of it should go the New Dawn."

[JadedDM]: Marcus:  "New Dawn?"

[Psyche]: Psyche nods. "That is who you sit with right now, though it wasn't always our name."

[JadedDM]: Marcus:  "It sounds like some kind of charity."

[Viarra]: "Half should go to the New Dawn, and the other half evenly split up between us." 

[Lon]: Lon looks up from the fire. "I don't want it," he says.

[JadedDM]: Marcus:  "I'll take his share then."

[Psyche]: Psyche turns to look at Lon, tilting her head very slightly. "Wait...why?"

[Lon]: Lon shrugs. "I hope you enjoy it," he says without any warmth.

[Psyche]: "Why don't you want it, Lon?"

[Lon]: Lon shrugs simply. "Why do I need it?"

[Psyche]: "There are many reasons why one would need the money, Lon. Food is on the top of the list.  But if you really don't want it, instead of giving it to someone else, it will be put towards the New Dawn then."

[JadedDM]: Marcus:  "What are you guys hording all this money for?  You plan on adopting a dragon?"

[Viarra]: "Yes," Viarra stoically says.  "It's a fund for orphaned dragons."

[Psyche]: Psyche looks between the two of them. "Do you want to get paid, Marcus? We also have other people other than us in the New Dawn that we have to take care of as well. Plus, the horses, so that is what the money is for."

[JadedDM]: Marcus crosses his arms.  "Sure.  I completely buy that story."

[Lon]: "No one cares if you buy it or not," Lon says.

[Psyche]: "You'll learn more later on, providing you prove yourself to us."

[JadedDM]: Marcus shrugs.  "Whatever then.  So where are we going?"

[Psyche]: "You've been there before. Frilothan's Tower."

[JadedDM]: Marcus frowns.  "You...work for the Bone Lord?"

[Psyche]: "The Bone Lord is gone. According to what I know a group of people took out the Bone Lord and all of the grievers. One of the people that took over the Tower was still there when we arrived. He went by the name of Riadlus."

[JadedDM]: Marcus:  "Riadlus?  I know that name."

[Psyche]: "He was a priest of D'lokka. He traveled with a man named Elam , a mage by the name of Ladonna, and then someone else whose name was Odessa ."

[JadedDM]: Marcus:  "No, there was also a goblin named Arak .  And a woman named Sorinak.  I traveled with them, briefly.  I don't remember a woman named Ladonna, though."

[Psyche]: "Ladonna must have joined up afterwards then. Either way, it was only Riadlus, Sorinak and a boy named Trey when we arrived."

[JadedDM]: Marcus steps forward.  "Trey?  Trey Fulmenos?  He is my younger brother.  I didn't realize he was working with you."

[Psyche]: Psyche's eyes widen. "I knew there was something familiar about you." She frowns, glancing to Viarra and Lon before looking back to Marcus. "He isn't working for us. When we got there, he was tied to the gate, badly hurt. We helped him try to stop Riadlus from gaining power to Zenan. Riadlus killed Sorinak to gain this power and then Trey sacrificed himself for Sorinak."

[JadedDM]: Marcus lowers his head.  "I see."

[Psyche]: "...I'm sorry about your brother."

[Lon]: Lon looks at Marcus, with a bit of surprise, though he quickly changes his expression to something more neutral.

[JadedDM]: Marcus:  "Don't be.  He knew what he was doing.  And I don't need your pity."  He turns away.

[Psyche]: "It isn't pity. I really am sorry." Psyche removes the golden ring around her finger. "I know what it is like."

[JadedDM]: Marcus does not look back.  "I'll take first watch," he announces, and heads to the edge of camp, away from the party.

[Psyche]: Psyche watches him walk off before looking to the others. "We might as well get some sleep."

[Viarra]: "Before we go to sleep, a few quick questions," Viarra says.  "Do you want that book from the library?" Viarra asks Psyche.

[Psyche]: "Oh, I want to take a look over it, yes."

[Viarra]: "Here."  Viarra gets the book out of her saddle bag and hands it to Psyche.  "Now, I also have two quarterstaffs.  Does anyone want one?  I don't mind if someone wants the enchanted one." 

[Lon]: Lon shakes his head.

[Psyche]: Psyche takes the book. "I want to at least find out what magical properties the staff has before anyone else uses it."

[Viarra]: "Are you sure, Lon?  Yours looks kind of broken.”  Viarra turns to Psyche, "And, if you could also look over that crossbow, I got, if you get the chance, I'd really appreciate it, Psyche." 

[Psyche]: "Once we get back to the tower then." Psyche clears her throat after putting her ring back on her finger. "Go ahead and take the staff, Lon. You'll need it one day."

[Lon]: "I'm fine, I don't need it," Lon says with a slightly raised voice.

[Viarra]: "All right."  Viarra shrugs.  "Now, how are we going to get back to the Tower?  Traditionally or magically?" 

[Psyche]: "While that spell is useful, we only have a limited number of them and for all we know, I could teleport us into a wall."

[Viarra]: Viarra nods.  "I understand the risk, but, I think that we should let the others at the Tower know what's going on as soon as possible, so that Kassaroff in Christophe's body doesn't get there before us, if that was his intention."

[Psyche]: "What about the horses?”

[Viarra]: "Could you transport them, too, if you were holding all their reigns?"

[Psyche]: "I suppose so." Psyche sighs. "Just as long as all of you know the risk involved in all of this, then I guess I can use one of the spells, but we cannot make a habit of doing this until I can actually learn the spell."

[Viarra]: "Of course, but, I don't think any one of us could live with ourselves if something happened to those at the Tower." 

[Psyche]: "I...I really rather not think about that, Viarra."

[Viarra]: "If you are capable of it, we should go as soon as possible." 

[JadedDM]: Tugh:  "We need some rest first, though," she says.  "We're in no condition to travel as we are."

[Psyche]: "If I'm to use this spell, we could possibly get rest in actual beds tonight instead of sleeping on the ground."

[JadedDM]: Tugh:  "I guess."

[Viarra]: Viarra casts her gaze up to the sky and lets out a whistle.  Within moments, Spot lands on Viarra's shoulder and she winces. 

[Psyche]: "Unless the rest of you want to stay here tonight. I'll leave it up to you."

[Lon]: "You're the one casting the spell, Psyche. You make the decision."

[Psyche]: "Everyone get your things. I'll go get Marcus." Psyche pushes herself up from the ground and then slowly walks over to the edge of the camp. She then places a hand on Marcus' shoulder gently to get his attention.

[JadedDM]: Marcus doesn't budge.  "What?" he asks simply.

[JadedDM]: Tugh gathers her things and goes to collect Valora.

[Psyche]: "I'm going to take us back to the tower now with the spell we found." Psyche lets her hand drop. "I wasn't going to leave you behind."

[JadedDM]: Marcus turns to face her.  "You can do that?  It's like four days away from here."

[Psyche]: "I won't lie when I say it is a risk, but the others are badly hurt and aren't really fit to travel those four days."

[JadedDM]: Marcus pauses a minute in thought.  "Psyche...is Riadlus dead?"

[Psyche]: Psyche nods. "He is."

[JadedDM]: Marcus:  "Good."  He goes to get Sorza.

[Psyche]: Psyche raises an eyebrow at the boy before following after him to get Snow Dancer. She takes the scroll out after she takes hold of the reigns. "All right, everyone hold on the reigns of the horses and make sure you are touching me."

[Viarra]: Viarra finishes gathering her things and places her free hand on Psyche's shoulder. 

[JadedDM]: Although it takes a bit of fumbling, everyone manages to get into position.

[Psyche]: Psyche lets out a small breath before she begins chanting the words of the teleport spell off the scroll.

[Lon]: Lon unconsciously takes a deep breath as Psyche begins to chant.

[JadedDM]: Once again, a large ring of arcanic runes form around the party.  The runes begin to spin along the ring, faster and faster.  Then there is a sudden burst of light, a strange, twisting sensation, and just as suddenly they find themselves again in darkness.  The black, looming tower is about 30 yards away, visible only by the moonslight.

[JadedDM]: Tugh:  "Ugh...I'm going to be sick."

[Viarra]: Expressing a similar sentiment, Viarra holds her hand to her mouth for a few moments.  "Thank you for getting us here, Psyche," she says in seriousness once she is able to talk again. 

[Psyche]: Psyche blinks her eyes a few times before looking towards the tower. "I'll take the horses to the stables, Tugh. Why don't you get some rest." She smiles very faintly to Viarra and gives a small bow of her head to her.

[JadedDM]: Marcus:  "That's even better than sex.  Well, wait...no, not 'better.'"  He nearly slides right off his horse before regaining his balance.

[Psyche]: Psyche looks over her shoulder to Marcus, wrinkling her nose slightly before she starts taking the reigns from everyone so she can lead the horses to the stables. "Viarra, check and see if Terrah is still here please."

[Lon]: Lon suffers the sensation in silence. His horse, however, protests loudly, adding slight motion sickness to Lon's already dazed senses.

[Viarra]: "Of course."  With a very slight jerk of the shoulder, Viarra sends Spot to accompany Psyche to the stables.  The owl hovers overhead for a few moments, matching the pace of the mage and horses.  Satisfied, Viarra begins to make her way towards the tower, looking for any thing out of the ordinary. 

[JadedDM]: As the party approaches the main gates to the wall surrounding the base, they see right away that the metal bars of the gates have been bent and warped out of place, as if someone had simply grabbed them and yanked them apart.

[Psyche]: Psyche's eyes widen upon seeing the bars. "....No..."

[JadedDM]: Marcus blinks.  "You guys haven't really taken care of the place as well as the Bone Lord."

[Psyche]: "It wasn't like this when we left."

[Lon]: "Nari? Terrah?" Lon calls out.

[JadedDM]: Tugh whimpers.  "Let's go back.  I hear Janus has a very nice inn."

[JadedDM]: No response comes.  The entire base seems deathly quiet.

[Viarra]: Viarra looks to the skies, then back to the tower, sending Spot in to check for any unwanted presence. 

[Psyche]: Psyche looks as if she might have mental breakdown as she runs her fingers through her hair nervously. "Tugh...uh...stay back here with the...uh, horses."

[Lon]: Lon dismounts Glas and looks to the others. "You can stay if you want, Tugh. I'm going to see if they're still alive, though."

[JadedDM]: Marcus gets off of Sorza and readies his glaive.  "You think the base has been compromised?"

[Viarra]: "Good girl," Viarra whispers to the owl when she comes back and takes a confident step forward, following Lon.

[Psyche]: "We are going to find out," Psyche says before walking towards the tower.

[Lon]: "What are you doing taking the lead?" Lon chastises Psyche, stepping in front of her.

[JadedDM]: Marcus doesn't seem to like the answer.  "How many friendly’s are inside?"

[Viarra]: "Two," Viarra answers.  "Two human females." 

[Psyche]: Psyche looks around as she walks behind Lon, her hand clutching her staff, turning her knuckles white.

[Lon]: Lon heads for the tower, walking at a brisk, urgent pace.

[JadedDM]: The party proceeds onward, with Marcus protecting the flank.  They reach the tower to find the doors are both swung wide open.  However, there is no light coming forth from the door or any of the visible windows.

[Viarra]: Viarra begins to sing a song. 

[Lon]: Lon periodically calls out the girls' names.

[Viarra]: The song concludes, and Viarra tosses a piece of Phosphorus into the air and catches it.  At the end of the song, four torch-like lights are floating around the party. 

[Psyche]: Psyche starts to breathe a little heavier than normal upon seeing the doors.

[JadedDM]: As soon as the party enters the tower, they see some blood splattered on the floor.

[Lon]: Lon bends down and touches the blood to see if it's still wet.

[JadedDM]: The blood is still slightly wet.

[Psyche]: Psyche stares at the blood. "Nari....Terrah....oh Azedeth."

[Lon]: "Nari? Terrah? Anyone?" Lon calls out. Without a backward glance, he walks into the tower. "Answer if you can hear!"

[Viarra]: Viarra tosses a concerned look at Psyche before following Lon into the tower. 

[JadedDM]: You hear a slight groan from up ahead.  It's coming from the east staircase.

[Lon]: Lon hurries as best as he can in the dim light to the staircase. "Nari? Terrah? Is that you?"

[Viarra]: Viarra begins to run towards the groan, but stops short after a few steps with a wince and walks towards the east staircase as fast as her legs will take her. 

[Psyche]: Psyche hesitantly walks to the east staircase.

[JadedDM]: As the dancing lights illuminate the area by the staircase, you find Nari lying in a heap at the bottom of the stairs.  She has a rather nasty gash on her forehead, and she is lying in a small pool of blood.  She groans softly, coming to.

[Psyche]: Psyche dashes to Nari, slowly wrapping her arms around her. "What happened? Nari? Are you okay?" She almost seems frantic.

[JadedDM]: Nari:  "Psy...Psyche?" she asks, her eyes blinking open.  "Did someone get the name of that dragon that stepped on me?  Ugh...my head."

[JadedDM]: Marcus keeps alert, in case anything tries to sneak up on them in the darkness.  He pays Nari little heed.

[Psyche]: "We should have gone to get Kestrel and Wedge. This was a bad idea from the start. What happened?" Psyche holds back a small sob. "And where is Terrah?"

[JadedDM]: Nari:  "Who?"  She still seems out of it.  "Oh...gods.  It was...," she pauses, as if remembering.  "Psyche," she says, grabbing at the woman's robes, "it was...it was Christophe.  He...he's gone mad."

[Psyche]: "No..." Psyche shakes her head. "It wasn't Christophe. It was a demon."  She takes a deep, shuddering breath. "He made a deal with a demon and the demon took over. He took Terrah didn't he?"

[JadedDM]: Nari:  "Ugh...she...she was upstairs when I last saw her.  I was coming down to...to check on the traps, when he...he just appeared.  He started talking about...fate and gods, or something, and attacked me.  Bastard knocked me down the stairs.  That's all I remember."

[Viarra]: Hearing Nari's words, Viarra steps past the injured warrior with a quiet, "Excuse me," and heads upstairs to Terrah's room.  "Terrah?" she calls out, a bit of desperation seeping into her voice. 

[JadedDM]: Marcus:  "Is it wise for her to go up there alone?" he mutters to Psyche.

[Psyche]: "Lon...watch after Nari please." Psyche lets go of Nari and follows after Viarra.

[Viarra]: "Terrah?"  Viarra seems not to have noticed Psyche following her.  When she gets to the second floor, she looks about. 

[Lon]: Lon looks numbly at Psyche, then down at Nari. Noticing the gash across her forehead, he begins to tear off strips of cloth to bind her wounds, though the motions look half-hearted and unanimated.

[JadedDM]: Viarra ascends to the second floor, with Psyche and Marcus behind her.  The hallway is quite dark, save for the dancing lights.  Nobody is in the hallway, and all the doors are closed.

[JadedDM]: Nari:  "Ow...careful there, Lon."

[Viarra]: Viarra heads to Terrah's door, opening it without so much as a knock, and peers inside it. 

[Lon]: "Oh... Sorry."  Lon finishes bandaging Nari's head, trying to be as gentle as he can.

[JadedDM]: Nari:  "I hope you guys at least got what you went for."

[Lon]: "It's a wonder we got out at all," Lon says with a hollow voice.

[JadedDM]: Stepping inside of Terrah's dark dorm, they see little until the dancing lights spread out, illuminating it.  Terrah is lying on her bed, her limbs each tied to a corresponding bedpost.  She is naked and bruised, although a sheet is covering her partially.  A piece of paper is pinned to the sheet.  She does not move at all.

[Psyche]: Psyche moves past Viarra to get the piece of paper, trying her hardest not to look at Terrah.

[Viarra]: Viarra begins to fumble with what it is that ties her to the bed post, attempting to untie her. 

[JadedDM]: Nari:  "Lon...I know I'm not all here right now...so I have to ask.  Did I see a Bloodguard with you, or is that just my mind breaking?"

[JadedDM]: After she is untied, Terrah stirs slightly.

[Viarra]: "Terrah, can you hear me?" Viarra asks the younger girl. 

[Psyche]: Psyche tries to read the paper through the tears in her eyes and with the limited light.

[Lon]: Lon grimaces. "That was Psyche's idea."

[JadedDM]: Terrah stares upward, not at all making any response or any effort to look at Viarra.  Instead, she simply starts to sob softly.

[Viarra]: "Shhh...."  Viarra uses her thumbs to wipe the tears from Terrah's eyes. 

[JadedDM]: The letter reads, "Dear Friends, I hope you don't mind, but I had to stop by to pick up a few things.  Sadly, young Terrah did not agree to join my little sojourn.  Heed this little warning I made of her.  If any of the New Dawn make any attempt to interfere with my plans, just remember:  I know where the other Limani's live.  I also know where you live.  And I have no issue with passing that information, as well as your true motives, on to the Overlord if you get in my way.  Cheers.  Sincerely, Christophe 'Viperstaff' Leroux."

[JadedDM]: Nari:  "Figures."

[JadedDM]: Terrah doesn't respond, other than to continue sobbing and shaking slightly.

[Viarra]: "Shhh....  It's going to be all right."  Viarra tries to reassure the younger girl while she pulls the sheet up to her shoulders. 

[JadedDM]: Marcus lowers his glaive and sighs.

[Lon]: "Can you stand?"

[JadedDM]: Nari:  "With a little help, yeah.  I've had hangovers worse than this," she says.

[Psyche]: Psyche clutches the piece of paper in her hands and looks over to Terrah and Viarra. "I'm going to kill him for this."

[Viarra]: Viarra glances to Psyche, then to the note.  "We will have vengeance."  She agrees through pressed lips.  "Sick bastard."

[JadedDM]: Marcus shakes his head.  "I'm going to check the rest of this floor."  He walks out.

[Psyche]: "Viarra, will you...uh check on the others please?" Psyche hands the note over to her as she walks over to Terrah's side and sits down beside her.

[Viarra]: With a final, comforting caress of the cheek, Viarra takes the note and silently stalks out of the room.  Once in the hallway, she tries to read it.

[Lon]: "Lean on me, then."

[JadedDM]: Nari nods and manages to get to her feet, leaning against Lon.

[Psyche]: Psyche gently runs her fingers through Terrah's hair trying to be comforting "I'm so sorry Terrah," she says softly to the girl.

[JadedDM]: Terrah does not seem to really respond at all.  It's as if she doesn't know or just doesn't care that someone is talking to her.

[Viarra]: Viarra's eyes skim the note and she inadvertently crushes it in her hands.  Tears of rage well up in her eyes and she bites her lip to control herself.  Once she has fought back the tears, she stalks towards Christophe's former room and flings open the door. 

[JadedDM]: Taking one of the dancing lights with her, Viarra enters Christophe's room.  It looks to have been stripped bare.  Nothing remains but the bed and chamberpot.

[Viarra]: "Gorram son of a whore!"  Viarra curses in a loud whisper as she kicks the chamberpot. 

[Psyche]: Psyche closes her eyes, letting her tears flow freely as she lifts Terrah and bit so she can wrap her arms around her. She makes sure to keep the sheet up over Terrah.

[JadedDM]: Marcus returns and comes up behind Psyche, his voice sounding a bit awkward.  "The...second floor is secure.  I think he's gone."

[Viarra]: The chamberpot clatters loudly against the floor, but the sound only makes Viarra angrier.  Her shoulders heave with painful gasps as she surveys the seemingly empty room.  After a few moments, she storms out of the room and clatters back down the stairs, looking for Lon and Nari. 

[Viarra]: Viarra catches sight of Lon and Nari heading out of the Tower.  "Need help?"  She asks, though her eyes still burn with anger. 

[Psyche]: Psyche slightly rocks Terrah as she nearly sobs. "He's...He's been gone for awhile."

[Lon]: Lon, supporting Nari, slowly walks to the entrance of the tower.

[JadedDM]: Marcus:  "He must have arrived just after he left us in that cave.  He apparently can teleport, too."

[Lon]: Lon shakes his head. "Did you find Terrah?" Lon asks, hesitantly, afraid to know the answer from Viarra's harsh tone.

[JadedDM]: Nari:  "Ugh...yeah."

[Psyche]: Psyche sets Terrah down slowly before she wipes her eyes, even though it doesn't help and turns to look to Marcus.  "You saw him step through that...portal. I should have known he was coming here."

[Viarra]: Viarra lets loose a string of curse words from about four different languages.  "He's a sick bastard."  She briefly describes the state they found Terrah in.  "And who knows what else he's done to her.  He's brutalized the young woman in the worst sort of way."  She collapses into another string of curses.  "Pardon the language," she finally, bitterly says. 

[JadedDM]: Nari's face goes pale.  "By Azedeth..."

[JadedDM]: Marcus:  "And he could come back just as easily then."

[Psyche]: "We don't have anywhere else to go."

[JadedDM]: Marcus shakes his head.  "I don't think it would matter.  If he has the power to just instantly appear wherever he wants..."

[Lon]: Lon looks confused. "Is she alive or no?"

[Viarra]: "Yes, she's alive, the poor thing.  Sick son of a zombie sheep."  The latter referring to Christophe, not Lon or Nari. 

[Lon]: "Oh..." Lon says quietly.

[Psyche]: "And I don't have a way to protect any of you."

[JadedDM]: Marcus:  "There are ways to fight demons."

[Viarra]: "I'm sorry."  Viarra sighs apologetically. 

[Psyche]: "Ways that we don't have right now." Psyche slides off the bed to the ground and hugs her knees.

[JadedDM]: Marcus glances to the sobbing young girl and looks away.  "Maybe this isn't the best place to be discussing this."

[Psyche]: Psyche looks up to Terrah. "I can't just leave her by herself. I...I don't even have a clue as to what I can do, other than be here."

[JadedDM]: Marcus looks about to say something, but then stops.  Instead, he just shakes his head.

[JadedDM]: Nari:  "I should have stopped him..."

[Lon]: Lon shakes his head. "There's not anything any of us could have done."

[Viarra]: "You couldn't have stopped him, Nari.  He decapitated a Bloodguard in those caverns without a single thought." 

[JadedDM]: Nari:  "How did this happen?"

[Psyche]: Psyche pushes herself up slowly and gently makes sure the sheet of the bed is tightly around Terrah before she stalks to the door, motioning Marcus out the door as well before she closes it behind her.

[JadedDM]: Marcus does not hesitate to leave the awkward room.

[Psyche]: Once the door is close, Psyche leans her head up against it and closes her eyes. "One thing after another...," she mutters.

[Viarra]: Viarra lets another sigh pass through her lips as she explains.  "Apparently, the demon Kassaroff hitched a ride with Christophe off of Hell Island , in return for his survival there.  When Psyche and Ceara completed the Ring of Sisterhood, it gave him enough power to get free.  Since then, he'd been biding his time to lure us into a death trap."  For once, Viarra gives the brief version of a story. 

[JadedDM]: Nari:  "You mean all this time he...?" she trails off.

[JadedDM]: Marcus:  "What now?"

[Viarra]: "Yes," Viarra solemnly says. 

[JadedDM]: Nari:  "I never really knew him that well...I did think he was acting kind of odd lately, but...oh, gods.  When Draven finds out..."

[Viarra]: "Let's not think about that just now," Viarra says. 

[Psyche]: "We were going to go to Edge Elm, but I can't just leave anyone here anymore and I can't take Terrah with us. I...I'm a little lost on what to do."

[JadedDM]: Marcus crosses his arms.  "I don't think he'll be back soon.  I think this was meant more as...a warning than anything else."

[Psyche]: "It was a warning not to get in his way, or so the note said."

[JadedDM]: Marcus:  "Then we should stay out of his way.  At least until we can fight back."

[JadedDM]: Nari:  "Poor Terrah...I just can't believe this happened...she, of all people...she doesn't deserve this."

[Psyche]: Psyche opens her eyes slightly to watch Marcus. "And while we are gone, who is going to watch over her? Nari is going to want to come with us to Edge Elm and I'm taking you with us. That leaves Tugh...what is she going to do for her?" Psyche motions to the closed door behind her.

[Viarra]: "No,” Viarra softly agrees.  "No one deserves this.  I will kill him.  Upon my mother's grave, I will kill him."

[JadedDM]: Nari looks to Viarra.  "Are you talking about Christophe...or the demon?"

[JadedDM]: Marcus:  "What's in this Edge Elm anyway?"

[Viarra]: "The demon."  Viarra spits.  "Christophe was just another one Kassaroff's victims, and, though I didn't know him, it's just the more reason to kill Kassaroff." 

[Psyche]: "Lost friends."

[JadedDM]: Marcus:  "I don't suppose they’re demon hunters?"

[Psyche]: Psyche shakes her head. "No, I'm afraid not."

[JadedDM]: Marcus takes a deep breath and thinks a moment.  "So you're choices are...go get your friends, or what?  Stay here forever?"

[Psyche]: "Or until Terrah can at least talk. There are so many other things we have to do, but Kestrel and Wedge are first on the list. Kestrel's...wisdom would be really helpful at this point."

[JadedDM]: Marcus frowns.  "Look...I've seen this kind of thing before.  She'll recover in time, but...it could be months.  Even years."

[JadedDM]: Nari sighs.  "We'll have to find him first."

[Psyche]: "Maybe I should take her back home."

[Viarra]: "He will find us."  Viarra says this with the utmost confidence.  "He seems to have a special interest in making us suffer." 

[JadedDM]: Marcus:  "Would she be safe there?"

[Psyche]: "....No, he knows where that is too and they are just simple farmers."

[JadedDM]: Nari:  "That's what worries me."

[JadedDM]: Marcus:  "She might be safer with you then.  At least you know what you're up against now."

[Viarra]: "And a very small part of the reason we must kill him," Viarra agrees.  "But, foremost, we will kill him for making Terrah suffer so.  We will bide our time, gather our strength and resources, and Kassaroff will die." 

[JadedDM]: Nari:  "Can you even kill a demon?”

[Lon]: "Before that, we have to wait and rest," Lon says.

[JadedDM]: Nari nods.  "And then have a meeting."

[Psyche]: "It should have been me. She doesn't deserve this...no one does, but her least of all." Psyche pushes herself away from the door.

[Viarra]: "We will find out.  As Lon says, we will wait, we will rest, we will gather our strength and knowledge, and when the time is right, we will close the net around him like a caged animal and make him suffer the worst sort of death possible before removing him from existence." 

[JadedDM]: Marcus:  "Most people don't," he says, looking to the floor.

[Psyche]: Psyche glances to him from the corner of her eye and finally shakes her head. "I'm sorry. You don't have to stand there and listen to this."

[JadedDM]: Marcus:  "We should find the others."

[Psyche]: Psyche gives the door one final glance before walking down the hall to find the others,  her head bowed and her arms crossed as she walks.

[JadedDM]: Marcus follows her.  She finds the others sitting by the front door.

[Psyche]: Psyche stops short of the front door and addresses everyone. "Viarra, you told them I assume?"

[Lon]: Lon nods. "She told us."

[JadedDM]: Nari:  "Psyche...I'm so sorry.  I couldn't stop him..."

[Viarra]: "Would you like me to sit with Terrah while you talk to the others?" 

[Psyche]: Psyche offers a small smile to Nari and shakes her head. "Don't be sorry, Nari. It isn't your fault," she turns her head to Viarra. "If you would, please. I'll come back when I'm done."

[Viarra]: Viarra nods and heads back up the stairs, to Terrah's room.  "Hello, Terrah," Viarra softly says as she enters the room. 

[JadedDM]: Terrah still does not respond.  She has ceased crying, although her eyes are still filled with tears as she stares up at the ceiling.  It's as if she's been shut off from the world around her.

[Psyche]: Psyche watches Viarra walk back up the stairs before she turns her attention to the others. "I ultimately blame myself for all of this including Terrah's pain at the moment and you getting hurt Nari."

[JadedDM]: Nari shakes her head.  "That sounds like something you would say, Psyche."

[Viarra]: Viarra gingerly sits on the bed, next to Terrah.  "Okay, Terrah."  She takes a deep breath.  "I'm going to take a look at you to see if you have any other injuries that need to be taken care of, okay?  That means that I'm going to have to move your blanket." 

[JadedDM]: Terrah does not respond.

[Viarra]: Viarra waits a few moments in silence before getting back up.  "I'm removing the sheet now."  She says as she does it and looks for any visible injuries on the girl.

[Psyche]: Psyche looks down to the ground. "I can't leave her alone, but we still need to get Kestrel and Wedge."

[Lon]: "Like you said earlier, we're not in any shape to go traveling right now."

[JadedDM]: Viarra's dancing lights have all ready winked out, but Marcus had lit a candle in the room.  Viarra can see by its light that Terrah has bruises all over her body, including a black eye.

[JadedDM]: Marcus:  "She didn't mean we leave tonight, twit."

[JadedDM]: Nari:  "Hey...don't I know you?" she asks Marcus, a little sidetracked.

[Psyche]: "Marcus..." she looks to him, shaking her head.  "I'm going to give everyone a few days to rest up before we leave. That way I can look after Terrah."

[Viarra]: Viarra clucks her tongue and shakes her head.  "Okay, I'm going to roll you over now, to see if he hurt your back, all right?" Viarra says gently. 

[JadedDM]: Terrah doesn't answer.

[Psyche]: "And yes you do know him, Nari. Remember the Bloodguard from Dan'gen?"

[Lon]: Lon ignores Marcus' comment. "What I mean to say is... we might have to anyway. I mean, who's to say Christophe didn't go to Edge Elm after Kestrel and Wedge after coming here?"

[JadedDM]: Nari blinks.  "Uh....why is he with us now?" she asks in a whisper.

[Viarra]: After a few moments, Viarra says, "I'm going to touch your shoulder and your hip and roll you towards me."  She explains.  After a few more moments of silence, Viarra gingerly rolls the young woman on her side and looks at her back. 

[JadedDM]: Marcus looks at Nari.  "I'm right here.  I can hear you."

[JadedDM]: Terrah does not resist, although she whimpers slightly at being touched.  There are several black and blue marks, and some scratch marks, on her back.

[JadedDM]: Nari blushes slightly and coughs to hide her embarrassment.

[Psyche]: "I'll get to that in a second, Nari." Psyche looks to Lon. "He isn't going after them. He came here thinking that he could convert Terrah and she wouldn't convert so he..." Psyche shakes her head. "It was a warning to stay out of his way. Though, one day we will find him and we will kill him. I swear by Azedeth that he is not going to get away with this."

[Viarra]: Viarra gently lays the girl back on her back, and pulls the sheet back over Terrah, announcing all over movements before enacting them.  When she is done, she pulls out her mandolin and begins to play a calming melody. 

[JadedDM]: Nari:  "I hope you're right, about him not going after Wedge."

[Lon]: "You've been wrong before, Psyche."

[Psyche]: "I know I've been wrong before, Lon. I'm wrong a lot of the time. That is why I'm going to use the spell I used to find them to make sure they are okay." Psyche holds back a few of her tears. "But I'm not going to risk the rest of you getting hurt anymore than you all ready are, okay?"

[JadedDM]: Nari:  "What do you mean, not going to risk it?"

[Lon]: "It's our choice, whether or not we risk ourselves," Lon says quietly.

[Viarra]: "Hey, remember how the mandolin was doing really strange things before we left?"  Viarra asks, "It turns out that a fire imp lives inside of it, and a pretty nice one, too.  Who would have thought that, huh?" 

[Psyche]: "But it is my job to make sure you don't. I can't lose anyone else right now."

[JadedDM]: Terrah doesn't answer.

[JadedDM]: Nari:  "So what are you going to do?  Go to Edge Elm alone?"

[Lon]: Lon shakes his head. "First, see what there is to see, before deciding anything."

[Viarra]: Viarra continues to pluck on the strings.  "It's too bad you haven't met him yet.  He has lots of great stories of places you and I can only imagine."

[Psyche]: "You aren't listening. I said I was going to give all of you a few days rest and then we will go. The reason why we aren't going right now is because you are all hurt, and I'm not going to risk you all getting hurt more on the way there."

[JadedDM]: Nari:  "I don't think anyone's arguing that, Psyche."

[Psyche]: Psyche sighs softly. "Did someone get Tugh?"

[Lon]: Lon stands up, sighing. "I'll get her."

[Psyche]: "Thank you. Afterwards, everyone get some rest, okay?"

[JadedDM]: Nari nods and stands up, still a bit wobbly.

[JadedDM]: Lon finds Tugh and the horses still waiting outside the tower.

[Viarra]: Viarra continues to play a series of calming melodies, occasionally glancing at Terrah to see how she's doing. 

[Psyche]: "You are okay, aren't you Nari?" Psyche looks to her with a worried expression on her face.

[Lon]: "How long have you been waiting here?"

[JadedDM]: Terrah remains unresponsive.

[JadedDM]: Nari frowns, but nods.  "I have a hell of a headache."

[JadedDM]: Tugh scowls.  "Since you guys left!  Does this mean it's safe?"

[Lon]: "Yes, it's safe," Lon says, taking the reins of some of the horses.

[Psyche]: "I suppose I need to explain why Marcus is here. He was the only surviving Bloodguard and I wasn't going to have him return just to be killed. So I'm going to pay him to work for us."

[JadedDM]: Tugh:  "Took you long enough."  She hopes off of Valora, and leads the rest of the horses to the stables.

[JadedDM]: Nari:  "Only surviving Bloodguard?  In all of Bloodtooth?"  She seems stunned.

[Psyche]: "No, not of all  Bloodtooth, just of the ones that went down into that cave of Solnack ’s."

[Lon]: Lon shakes his head. "I don't suppose you care one whit if Nari or Terrah died or not..." Lon mutters quietly to himself.

[JadedDM]: Nari:  "But I thought the Bloodguard weren't going to arrive until next week?"

[JadedDM]: Tugh:  "Well, did they?" she asks, her goblin hearing picking up his remark.

[Psyche]: "Christophe told us that so we would go down there. He hoped that all that was down there would kill us. "

[JadedDM]: Nari:  "He planned this whole thing.  But why?"

[Psyche]: "So he could get the key. I don't know why though. Kassaroff has a connection to my sister and Cefka as well." Psyche rubs her forehead. "I...I need to do research on both demons."

[Lon]: "What do you care if they're lying still on the ground, as long as you survive?" Lon asks calmly, as if asking about the weather. Once at the stables, Lon leaves Tugh with the horses.

[JadedDM]: Marcus:  "What was so special about that key?"

[JadedDM]: Tugh does not respond, instead working on getting the horses settled.

[Psyche]: "He can open the door to Zenan with that key or some other plane."

[JadedDM]: Nari:  "Why would he want to?"

[Psyche]: "There are a million reasons why, some I've yet to even think of." Psyche sits down on one of the steps.  "For all I know, he might want to take over Renosia, but who doesn't? I have a feeling it is something bigger than that. He might be trying to free Kulak. "

[JadedDM]: Nari shivers at that name.  "We should have a meeting and figure things out."

[Psyche]: "We will, but I want everyone to get some rest first. I need rest myself and I have spells the memorize."

[JadedDM]: Nari nods, and heads up to her room.

[JadedDM]: Marcus:  "So, which room is ours?"

[Psyche]: "The room...wait. Ours?" Psyche looks to him, almost amused.

[JadedDM]: Marcus:  "Yeah.  I mean, we gotta sleep somewhere, right?  I bet you've got us set up in the Bone Lord's room."

[Psyche]: "Well, you can have any room down here you like, but you aren't sleeping with me."

[JadedDM]: Marcus:  "You're right.  It's too soon, with all the craziness.  Plus, we don't want the others to think you're giving me special treatment.  We'll wait a little, until things calm down.  But...if you want to sneak down to my room in the middle of the night, I won't complain."

[Psyche]: Psyche stares at him in amazement, looking as if she might say something but just shakes her head and turns away from him, walking back up the stairs to Terrah's room to watch over the girl and to give Viarra a break.

[JadedDM]: (All right, since Joe ran off and we're at a good stopping place, we'll end it here.)
 

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