|Session 04a: An Inn-Based Interim|
|Real World Date||June 1st, 2014|
|Game Date||March 18, Year 0|
Session 04: A Forested Frolic
Session 05: The Great Gamlet Gamble
Tahlarien isn't an alcoholic; she just firmly believes that the solution to certain problems is lots of mead. Isaac and Emilie ponder over the recent events. They discuss long-term partnership and the material benefits thereof. At one point, Isaac accidentally triggers a nerve, and can't figure out how he did it. Emilie shows a poorer side of herself, and talks about Tahlarien behind her back without provocation. In an attempt to cool the waters, the two adventurers steer the conversation to what the next appropriate steps might be. Isaac celebrates himself a bit, and Emilie finds herself starstruck; though not too much to notice that he is hiding a part of his life before the caravan incident. Emilie bids the artisan goodnight and attempts to start fresh with Tahlarien. This does not go as well as Emilie had hoped. In time, Emilie and Isaac return to their respective rooms, while Tahlarien simply passes out in the tavern.
Isaac splits off from the party after we leave the monastery. He addresses the others: "I'm going to gather a few things up... have an idea for something I want to build. I'll be back at the Inn, but g'night if I don't see ya. Great job today, all." With a smile, he heads off. Around an hour later he arrives at the inn; random scraps of silver and other materials in a bag. He finds a quiet table and begins to work.
Emilie walks around Creston for about half an hour and then goes to her room to sleep. A few hours later, awake and bored, she goes to the tavern to see if there's anyone cool down there.
Tahla is down there. Drinking.
(Namfoodle's going to hang out upstairs in the hotel room, reading.)
Emilie nods to Tahla and pulls up a chair at Isaac's table. "Bother you if I sit?"
"Go right ahead, Emilie!" Isaac says. "We didn't get a chance to finish our conversation earlier." He's shaping a piece of metal with a tool.
"I have to ask," Emilie says, sitting. "What is that?"
"This?" He lifts it up to the light. "Just a little idea that came to me while we were in the dark dungeon. I'm weaving a spell of Light into the metal. The idea is, I wear it, and touch it to activate the latent spell, lighting the place I'm at. This is what I do when I'm not delving into forgotten ruins! I create."
Emilie smiles. "That sounds fantastic! I'll admit you had me worried by saying you came up with an idea while we were in a dark dungeon.
Isaac laughs easily.
"I can't sleep. Sorry if you were looking for solace." Emilie pauses. "Then again, you do have a room you could go to."
"Exactly! I was hoping I'd be able to touch base with one new found friend or another. Glad that you were just as restless as I am."
"Well, you can always count on that," Emilie says with slight annoyance. "Usually I journal when I can't sleep but... I did that already."
"Journal!" Isaac says. "Excellent hobby. Keeps the mind sharp."
"Does it?" Emilie is encouraged. "That's good. Maybe I should pick up a craft too." She gestures at the earpiece that Isaac is crafting.
"Maybe!" Isaac responds. "I could teach you a thing or two. If we stick together" A non-committal shrug.
"I'd like that, honestly," Emilie smiles. "It gets tiring having to watch my own back all the time. Neither of us really leads quiet lifestyles."
"Mm! Glad you're on the same page as me, then." Half-smile. "You have a lot of ability, Emilie. More, you have a large amount of potential. I think you're going to make a good leader someday. I'm a great judge of character!"
"...Thanks." She looks a little irritated. "You're good at shooting things."
Isaac notes this. He tilts his head almost imperceptibly to the side. "But, of course, I like to think that I'll be a good leader too, one day. In a healthy party, everyone is a leader. It's not like anyone person is shouting orders! And, thanks! Though, it's not really my forte." He focuses back on his work in progress, but glances up on occasion, looking for her reaction to his what could be seen as backpedaling. (Tactical backpedaling!)
Emilie recognizes that he has noted her cold shoulder (ie: she knows that he knows that she thinks that he said something rude) and starts to feel a little uncomfortable. She looks over at Tahla and studies her for a bit.
Isaac nods at Tahlarien. "Enigmatic so far, isn't she?"
Emilie scoffs. "She's a piece of work. Thinks she's better than everyone for no other reason than that she deliberately acts differently from every civilized person in the world."
"Is that what you've picked up on? Honestly, I'll have heard from her is an Elven "Fuck you." I want to find out more... she is quite handy, to say the least."
"Yeah, I'll admit she's okay with a blade."
Isaac returns his focus to Emilie. "Okay?" He studies her. "Hm. You can disagree with her attitude, but you have to be objective with her ability."
"Alright, fine," Emilie relents. An uncomfortable silence follows. "Do you think Namfoodle's plan will turn up any leads? I'm a little concerned that even if we figure out what Lanaea is thinking, it won't be enough information to plan a next step."
Isaac breaths audibly. "I have the same fears. Personally I'm hoping that looking to the past will give us some hints for this whole... time thing. But, the present? The present... I'm not so sure how to proceed. Do you have any thoughts?"
Emilie folds her hands in her lap. "Unfortunately not. But you bring up a good point about the past. Did you find anything else in the catacombs? Can Nam read the tome? Maybe we can learn something if we get that echo image in the catacombs stable and watch the whole thing."
"I did find that even just the tome's presence increased the... intensity? Of time... abnormalities, I guess you could put it?"
The corners of Emilie's mouth turn up. "Really? Awesome. What did you see then?"
"We saw a fire," Isaac recounts, "and what looked to be prisoners running towards that mound of corpses we found before. I don't know if the tome merely increases the presence of already existing... time distortions? Or if it lets them exist. Which would be very different. I haven't yet taken it out when we weren't in the catacombs."
"Huh..." Emilie thinks of what this could mean. "I wonder if the tome had something to do with the forest starting to move?"
Isaac shakes his head. "I don't think so. It was in an extra-dimensional area; that is to say, my bag." He pats it. "And it doesn't have much of an effect from in there. The forest is its own thing!" He snaps his fingers. "Mm, I just remembered. I did have *one* idea concerning the Nightingale Bandit. I was going to check out the theatre."
"I don't follow one bit."
"Well, he seems like a musical sort. If my read on him is right, then he wouldn't be able to resist at least visiting. Maybe there'll be some hint there. It's a long-shot to be sure." He shrugs.
Emilie shrugs as well. "It's certainly worth a shot. It's about the only part of this town we haven't visited."
Isaac puts his pointer finger on the table as if indicating a map. "That and the library, but... I don't have high hopes for that. Unless there's information about the disappearances there?" He lets out a bemused sigh. "There're a lot of problems in this town, huh?"
"Makes you wonder if it's worth saving," Emilie nods. "By us, no less! We weren't even invited into all this business. But it certainly is hard to ignore... very exciting. And I must admit I like it here."
"Oh, it's great!" Isaac hesitates. "I mean... not for the Creston folk, of course. But for me? It's exhilarating."
Emilie laughs brightly. "I love that you aren't afraid to say so like others would be."
"I can't emphasis enough that I sympathize with their plight!" Isaac is quick to proclaim. Then he leans in conspiratorially. "But this? This is what I live for. Excitement. Passion. Thrills. Only two things in this beautiful world give me those emotions. Treasure hunting and --" He raises up his current project. "-- infusing my essence into an item. Making it an extension of myself; my will..." He checks in with Emilie. "Sorry if that's a little too dramatic." He chuckles in a self-effacing manner.
"You make it sound appropriate," she smiles. "I don't care much for treasure, but I love the adventure and the intensity of fighting on the battlefield and... delving into the occasional zombie basement."
"Mm, no, not treasure," Isaac agrees. "Artifacts... that's more along the lines of what I meant. And fighting? That's alright. Adventure? Oh, yes. 100% yes. Zombie basements only every now and then! I need variety in my delvings."
She laughs again. "How come your last team didn't work out? You seem like you've got a good head on your shoulders."
Isaac considers the question for a moment. "Let's say... creative differences? In the end, I just wanted something else." He returns to his work. "For a while, I thought that 'something' might be solo work, but that didn't work out either. Glad I found some capable individuals on the ride to Glavdell! I expected to do weeks of scouting in the capital."
"I'm glad as well!" Emilie concurs. "Though if you don't mind me asking, I thought all you needed was treasure-hunting and tinkering. What kind of treasure-hunting group can't supply that?"
"Oh, those things they supplied," Isaac nods. "But they can't solve everything! How 'bout you? What led you here en route to Glavdell?"
Emilie notes that he didn't answer the question the way she clearly wished him to, but lets it go. "Like I said, I was just in search of work and travelling companions. I was considering mercenary contracts. Bounty hunting -- Mr. Nightingale," she indicates. "I never would have worked for him though. I would only have taken marks that deserved death."
Isaac frowns. "I don't think Nightingale is so much death as he is... robbing? My impression, anyway. But I'm glad I found you first!"
"Maybe he wouldn't have wanted my help anyway!" Emilie chuckles. A long pause follows. "I suppose I'll leave you to your work... thanks for the company!"
"Good night, Emilie," Isaac says, giving a little wave. "Nice chatting!"
Emilie sits by Tahlarien but hesitates to say anything. Finally: "You feeling any better?" Tahla: You mean from having that ghoul fever? And almost dying? Emilie: Yeah. Tahla: I guess so. What are you up to? I saw you over with Isaac. Talking. Emilie: We were discussing next steps. In case Nam’s plan fails. Tahla: Nam has a plan? Emilie: Well… yeah. He…. Oh, there’s a lot you need to be filled in on. Um, there’s this woman in the order of monks who’s in business with The Nightingale Bandit, so Nam is going to try to read her thoughts. Also there are echoes of an era past living in the catacombs you got bitten in. But I’m afraid Nam's plan might not turn up any useful information, so I’m trying to formulate back-up plans in case that one fails. Tahla: Plans about the woman? Emilie: About any of this. The disappearances, the Bandit, the woman, and this time magic stuff that’s been going on. Tahla: Mm. Emilie: It doesn’t make sense. Any of it. But I don’t want to give in. I feel like I’m part of all this now, you know? Tahla: I only care about one thing. Emilie: What’s that? If you don’t mind my asking. Tahla: I do.
Tahla: So what’s your story? Emilie: My story? Tahla: Everyone has a story. “If you don’t mind my asking.” Emilie: I went to school… graduated… and now I’m here. Tahla: But how did you get here? Emilie: Took a wagon. It was attacked. By bandits. Tahla: You’re quick. What’s your real story? Emilie: That is my real story. Why are you asking me this? Tahla: I'm curious. Emilie: Why should I tell you my life story if you won’t even tell me why you’re here? Tahla: I’m just along for the ride. Emilie: That’s not what you said before. Tahla: I’m a half-elf. I don’t belong anywhere. Emilie: Well, that makes two of us. Tahla: You’re a…? Emilie: Except for the half-elf part. Tahla: I see. Emilie: Anyway, this is starting to get invasive, so I’m going to bed. Tahla: You started it. Emilie: I did not. Tahla: You should calm down. You want some of this? Emilie: Good night, Tahla. Tahla: It’s the hard stuff. Emilie: Good night, Tahla.
- *Transcript has been edited to improve readability.