Nix, Bennet, Korik, Jila, Talison and Lorawyn begin moving to the lip of the pit, ready to drop down and capture Geran. Ero questions who or what Geran is, Simon filling him in quickly on the agreement he made and apparently broke with Nix yesterday. “I do think it would be rather rude for us to murder our hosts’ other guests under their own roof. Surely the thing to do would be to greet him as friends, escort him to safety, and then murder him. Of course, then there’s the question of this elven princeling. Do you want a feud? Because this is how you start a feud.”
“A bit too late for avoiding feuds, I’m afraid. An elven feud was brewing before we even came in here.” Nix explains.
“I say let the Taihun decide his fate, little friend. But then I haven’t any personal stake in the matter. Still, I should hate to scare the shitaki out of our little friends.” Ero breaks from his serious tone at his joke, a wry smile stretching across his lips.
“Take him alive, preferably. Bennet or Korik might be the best for sneaking behind him to gag him immediately.” she says, looking at the two experts before her. They each give a look of understanding before turning and lightly jogging around the edge of the pit, avoiding the glow and using the stalagmites as cover.
Talison moves away from Jila while the group descends to the base of the pit, moving close to Nix to confide in her privately. “Why dont we just kill the smarmy bastard? We have no use for him anymore.” He shys from Nix’s look that she shoots at him. “Not that he has ever been much use.”
Lorawyn overhears. “Let’s try not to kill him…I wish we didn’t have to use violence at all.”
“I hope it doesn’t come to that. The death of an elf prince is never taken lightly. That means war. Though a public shaming might do more damage and keep us from bringing a whole elven family down on us.” Nix whispers eyeing Jila carefully. When she turns back to Lorawyn, she appears to have disappeared, a small cat appearing in her place, leaping from ridge to ridge and climbing down to the base of the pit faster than everyone else.
“Not if they never find the body. A cavern that houses an artifact like this is bound to be… dangerous…” Talison thinks on his words. “I am sure the meenlocks don’t give a damn about elven politics.” he says, seemingly as the idea enters his mind.
“I thought better of you. If it comes to that we might have to. But killing for pure power or ease is not my way. It is a coward’s way out.” Nix’s tone mirrors her sentiment.
“There is only one artifact. Do you think he is going to let us walk out with it? As much hell as he has put me through, I would love to kill him, I will admit that. But that is not the reason. This is preemptive!”
“If he tries to escape or not yield the monolith to the Order’s protection, then I will have no choice, unfortunately. If he goes willingly, then the order can pass judgement or deal with the elven courts.” Nix tries to reason with Talison, realising that she is speaking with a comrade in arms, and one that is likely to become a fast friend.
Talison’s voice loses its edge, a resignation on the surface. Nix knew better, though. She could hear Talison’s resolve beneath it, his strength and the sound of an idea being reconciled. “Of course, M’lady. You are right.” Talison slides down the next ridge, keeping up with the nimble wizard. “We will give him a chance. You have my deepest apologies. I am a warrior; I often tend not to think beyond the tip of my blade. I will trust your judgement.”
“There is not much I would like more than to just end it now” Nix concedes, resisting placing a comforting hand on his arm knowing that not only are they moving to arrest Geran, but that Jila is not far behind.
“I promise you, if he even utters a word of resistance I will make sure it is ended and justice is done. I will also make sure no harm is done to you and your colleagues, now…” Talison glares at Jila as the unaware, or perhaps simply focused, Elf clambers down the last few ridges “… Or ever.”
Theodore looks down at the wolf cub the small, childlike mushroom person is holding in front of him. The cut on its leg looks superficial, but the thing isn’t moving… Gently nudging the cub’s side, Theodore can see that it has died fairly recently. Instinctively picking it up to check it over, the creatures around him allow it and look on with a mixture of curiosity and reverence. Lifting its eyelids and lips, Theodore can tell from the colouration and the burst vessels that the pup died of a combination of trauma and starvation. Some months ago it was attacked, and has struggled since. It somehow lasted until the last few hours. Alas, there is nothing within Theodore’s power that can restore the cub to life.
Darrin and Adrik have both reached the base of the pit around the time Nix climbed up to warn others of the presence of Geran. Darrin feels a strong compulsion to reach out and touch the side of the monolith. Giving in to this feeling, he tentatively touches his fingertips to the nearest facet. His fingers slide effortlessly against the smooth surface. Sliding up, he pressed his palm against the facet and leans in to it slowly, pressing his ear to the crystal to see if he can hear anything. His movements barely feel his own.
Adrik, while not feeling the same compulsion, sees the odd Elfblood man hugging the Druidic Artefact before him. Hearing the party following and climbing down the pit, he turns to greet them. In doing so, he spots Theodore cradling the small, limp dead wolf cub. A sudden wrenching in Adrik’s stomach almost bowls him over, his gloved hand bracing against the monolith. Raising his bleary eyes to look at the crystal, his mind races. Looking between the cub and the monolith, Adrik quickly removes his glove and slaps his hand on the monolith, forcing his command of the Feyweave to produce a surge within him.
Adrik opens his eyes to see a bright white light all around him. The edge of his vision has tinges of a bright green. Everywhere he looks, nothing but white. In the distance, he can hear a sound that taunts the edge of his hearing. He tries to move towards it and cock his head to get a better listen. A sudden rush of wind blasts his face as the loud whiney of a horse rattles his ears. The beast wanders in front of him: Adrik is now stood in the middle of a village square… Somewhere familiar… Turning and looking around, confused as to how he got here, Adrik looks up at the sign of the tavern-looking building in front of him. The letters seem to shift as he looks at them, settling into one shape while he sees them. ‘Sheep Gut Pirate’. Looking away, Adrik tries to pick up on other clues as to where he might be. He sees a familiar looking smith hammering away at something on an anvil, and more carts, donkeys and horses pulling by. Turning back to the tavern, the sign now reads ‘Peppered With House’. Almost in a daze, Adrik ignores the sign and steps into the building. Inside it is completely empty except for a single person sat on a stone on a hillside, the wind blowing through her hair and the twilight dusk pulling at the colours of her dress. Spinning on his heels, Adrik simply sees more hills and grass behind him. Turning back to the woman, a small, Elf-looking maiden, he takes a step forward before she looks up at him and speaks from all around him without moving her lips. “All that can be will be in time.” She stands and approaches. “Life flows through life. A connection has been made. Your heart yearns for life.”
She looks caring and comforting, and gives a slight smile as she looks up at you, standing almost toe to toe. She looks very beautiful, and she almost seems to make you feel that beauty within the depth of your soul. Her face takes a slightly more serious shape, as though she’s concerned. “One cannot gain without giving. Do you give freely?”
As Darrin shakes his head and tries to push past the dissociation he feels when looking at people climbing down into the pit just as they did more than a day ago, he looks over to Adrik; the Dwarf is collapsed on the floor, one hand still touching the monolith, his eyes rolling into the back of his head and his jaw clenched tight.
As they work their way around the sides of the crystal, Nix and Talison look over to the other side where Jila and the cat are stood crouched, still out of sight of Geran who has his back fully to the crystal. Up above, Bennet and Korik stand by some stalagmites, looking down and waiting for a signal. Everyone is poised. Jila shifts his weight from foot to foot, the rope in his hands coiled and ready to be used to tie up Geran.
What do you do?
Nix, Lorawyn, Talison, could you 3 all roll for a Dexterity (Stealth) check for me? That’s 1d20 + your Dexterity modifier + your proficiency bonus if it’s a skill you’re proficient in. Talison, see below:
Talison has 1 level of exhaustion, meaning he has disadvantage on all ability checks. This does not include saves or attacks.