posted Jun 13, 2020, 10:33 AM by Stephen Pliska-Matyshak

Nonotina 21st, Year One of the Reign of High King Ran

The trio relaxes in The Fiery Stag after their time in court. The inn has cleared out after those who took refuge during the darkday returned to their regular daylight lives.
Rael Octavius: What did you think of court? Kind of overwhelming? I slept for a day after my first time.
Perri Elastime: Wow, meeting the King was kind of exciting.
Fennimore: Sleeping for a day sounds like a great idea as long as I don't miss any meals.
Perri Elastime: I can't sleep that long. I have training tomorrow, but I still need a job.
Rael Octavius: All the moons aligned today. All the royals were there. That doesn't happen very often.
Perri Elastime: I wonder why?
Fennimore: The King is rather intimidating. I hardly noticed the Queen, Prince, or the rest of the Court.
Rael Octavius: He is the High King for a reason.
Perri Elastime: The court was interesting. It seemed like a lot of gossip with teeth.
Fennimore: I'm just glad to be back at the Stag.
Perri Elastime: Me too.
Rael Octavius: The Summer Court must be pretty interesting.
Rael Octavius: I had a conversation with Saemul the Court Wizard.
Perri Elastime: Lots of gossip and maneuvering for favors.
Perri Elastime: Spys and sneaks and liars abound.
Fennimore: Oh, my.
Rael Octavius: Sounds familiar.
Perri Elastime chuckles.
Fennimore glances at her, reddening slightly.
Rael Octavius: King Ran has a measure of magical control over that.
Perri Elastime: Were you saying something about the court wizard?
Rael Octavius: Most of us are under a geas of some fashion or another.
Fennimore: Sounds uncomfortable.
Perri Elastime: No free will?
Rael Octavius: Only if you can't control your tongue.
Rael Octavius: It is never forced. There is always an agreement. It is just a safeguard.
Fennimore: Well, I know how to keep a secret.
Rael Octavius: I spared the two of you from that kind of thing.
Fennimore: I owe you a thank you then.
Perri Elastime: Hmmm...guess it would cut down the number of bloody duels in the throne room.
Rael Octavius: Yes, that is much of the intent. I also had my geas modified so I could impart some information to you.
Perri Elastime: Thanks from me too.
Fennimore (hesitantly): Oh.
Rael Octavius: Let's go up to my father's private table and talk.
Fennimore (even more hesitantly): Okay
Perri Elastime: Okay.
Rael Octavius leads you into a raised area with a railing dividing it from the rest of the bar.
Perri Elastime catches Mindartis' eye and motions for another round for ale.
This area has its own fireplace and a table with several chairs around it. One notable feature is the taxidermied grizzly bear in one corner of the room.
Rael Octavius: Have a seat.
Perri Elastime: I wouldn't want to meet that unexpectedly.
Perri Elastime nods at the bear.
Fennimore takes a chair.
Rael Octavius: That creature introduced my parents to each other in a manner of speaking.
Fennimore: How romantic.
Perri Elastime sits down.
Rael Octavius: The story is quite frightening. Mention of the bear was what kept me in line when I was younger.
Perri Elastime covertly looks around to see who is taking note of them.
Mindartis arrives with a round of ales.
Perri Elastime: It seems quite dead now.
Fennimore: Let's hope it stays that way.
Mindartis: It will liven up in a few hours.
Perri Elastime: Thank you.
Perri Elastime looks surprised.
Mindartis (smiling): You are welcome, my dear.
Fennimore: Sorry, Mindartis, we were discussing the bear.
Perri Elastime pays for the ale.
Fennimore: Thank you, Perri.
Mindartis returns to the bar after receiving the coins from Perri.
Perri Elastime: You're welcome
Fennimore: Rael, do you know if Perri's tutelage comes with a stipend?
Rael Octavius: I imagine it does. Enough to live comfortably during the training, at the very least.
Perri Elastime: Really?
Rael Octavius: Martial training doesn't go very well if you are exhausted and starving.
Perri Elastime: Well you know me, always hungry.
Fennimore: You're just a thin whisp. How can you always be hungry?
Rael Octavius: I'm sure the Lord High Chamberlain will have something arranged for you tomorrow.
Perri Elastime: I can eat you under the table. I don't know why it never sticks.
Rael Octavius: So, my conversation with Saemul.
Perri Elastime looks attentive.
Fennimore looks concerned.
Rael Octavius: Since you, Fennimore, were originally involved with the Germanus heirloom thing, I wanted to be able to tell you something about what was going on, but not if it was going to kill me. The geas, you see, has consequences.
Fennimore (uncomfortably): I see.
Perri Elastime: Killing consequences?
Forget-Me-Not (to Fennimore): Listen closely.
Perri Elastime looks shocked.
Fennimore (projecting his thoughts): Can you hear my thoughts too?
Rael Octavius: I had the wizard modify the geas so I could speak to you, both of you about it...within limits anyway.
Forget-Me-Not (to Fennimore): If I let you, which I am.
Fennimore (to Forget-Me-Not): Can you get your property out of my bag without them noticing?
Forget-Me-Not (to Fennimore): You still have it?
Perri Elastime: If the crown is going to kill you, I'd really rather have the bodies on poles outside the castle so you know it is a possibility. This geas seems sneaky.
Fennimore (to Forget-Me-Not): Last I checked unless you took it back already.
Fennimore (to Forget-Me-Not): I'm afraid of where Rael is heading and Perri doesn't know to keep quiet about it.
Rael Octavius: King Ran has certain people working for him that he must tolerate to remain in power.
Perri Elastime looks around again.
Fennimore: Like Saemul, for example?
Perri Elastime drinks some ale.
Forget-Me-Not (to Fennimore): We can't have Rael discovering you have had it and he is really hard to deceive.
Rael Octavius: Among others.
Fennimore (to Forget-Me-Not): I thought as much.
Fennimore (to Forget-Me-Not): Maybe a diversion then?
Rael Octavius: The chamberlain is a piece of work as well.
Forget-Me-Not (to Fennimore): Make it good.
Fennimore: Yes, he seemed to have trouble walking with that pike up his butt.
Rael Octavius snickers.
Rael Octavius: Rumors have it that he had a local artist assassinated because he sculpted a mocking statue of "him."
Rael Octavius: Well, part of him.
Fennimore: Remind me not to cross him.
Perri Elastime: That's nasty if it is true.
Rael Octavius: You seem distracted, Fennimore. Are you alright?
Perri Elastime tummy rumbles loudly.
Fennimore: Oh, just exhausted from court. All this talk of backstabbing and deadly geases is upsetting.
Fennimore: I'm just a simple halfling.
Rael Octavius nods.
Fennimore: I really don't want to get involved with any court intrigue.
Rael Octavius (laughs): You are in a bit of close proximity to me for that to happen.
Perri Elastime: Well, I'm going to be spending a bit of time at the castle. I'd like to know who to watch out for and who to be wary of.
Rael Octavius: Keep your distance from the High Lords...all of them, for starters.
Perri Elastime: I might even get to hit the King with a sword. That'd be grand.
Fennimore: I'd be careful there too.
Rael Octavius: I guess.
Perri Elastime: Got it no High Lords.
Rael Octavius: So, this heirloom.
Fennimore: You know, I'm trying to keep my distance from that debacle.
Fennimore: Shouldn't you really be talking to Majestic?
Rael Octavius: I was with him through the latest operation. It went successfully. Forget-Me-Not got the medallion. This amulet, which is the heirloom in question, should be sliding its way into the castle by now.
Rael Octavius: Maybe that is why court was full today?
Forget-Me-Not (to Fennimore): Are you sure you still have it?
Fennimore spills his ale on himself.
Fennimore: Oh my, what a mess.
Perri Elastime: Everyone wants to see the heirloom?
Perri Elastime: That doesn't make much sense.
Rael Octavius: Woa!
Rael Octavius: Fennimore!
Rael Octavius stands up and takes up his staff.
Fennimore: Will you excuse me for a moment? I need to clean up. I'll be right back.
Perri Elastime: Hey, Fenn.
Rael Octavius: No, Fennimore! Behind you!
Fennimore: Behind me? What? Where?
Forget-Me-Not (to Fennimore): Shit!
Fennimore jumps up and stumbles back towards Rael.
The air somewhere behind Fennimore collapses with a pop.
Perri Elastime: Perri jumps up, hand to her blade.
Fennimore wobbles weakly.
Fennimore: Oh, I don't feel so good.
Rael Octavius: Something opened your pack and pulled out something on a chain.
Perri Elastime identifies that the pop was a dimension door or misty step or some other kind of teleportation.
The back door of the tavern opens and then slams shut.
Perri Elastime: I think someone just traveled nearby. Like how I got here.
Perri Elastime: Fenn are you hurt?
Fennimore dramatically moans and clutches his stomach.
Fennimore (weakly): The ale. I think it was bad.
Perri Elastime looks for signs of poison.
Perri Elastime sees a forget-me-not on Fennimore's chair seat.
Rael Octavius: What's that, Fennimore?
Perri quickly picks up a forget-me-not from Fennimore's chair.
Fennimore tries to induce himself to vomit.
Fennimore vomits.
Fennimore (sickly): Ugg.
Perri Elastime: Court must really be overwhelming for him.
Rael Octavius: Ewww.
Rael Octavius casts prestidigitation and cleans up the mess before it causes him to vomit as well.
Perri Elastime: Neat trick that.
Fennimore (sickly): Maybe we should continue this tomorrow. I need my rest.
Perri Elastime: I'll help you up to your room.
Fennimore (sickly): Thank you, Perri.
Rael Octavius: Hold it right there!
Rael Octavius: What's going on here?
Rael Octavius: That was Forget-Me-Not.
Rael Octavius (pointing at the flower in Perri's hand): That's her calling card.
Perri Elastime: Fennimore doesn't feel very well! Can't you see he's sick.
Rael Octavius: He made himself do that.
Rael Octavius: Was that the amulet on that chain?
Perri Elastime: What?
Rael Octavius: You can cut the act, Fennimore. I am on to you.
Fennimore coughs to clear his throat.
Fennimore: After our first mishap, I tried to disentangle myself from that bard.
Rael Octavius looks stern.
Fennimore: But, Forget-me-not tracked me down and warned me she would cause me more trouble.
Perri Elastime looks bewildered.
Rael Octavius: Mission accomplished.
Rael Octavius: What have you gotten yourself into? It's a good thing you have that letter from the King.
Fennimore: I don't know and I don't want to know.
Fennimore: She and that bard seem to want the same prize and I want nothing to do with it.
Rael Octavius: Wait. If that was the amulet, how do you still have it? It should have gotten back to the King under its own volition.
Rael Octavius: You brought it right into his presence and there was no notice of it.
Fennimore: It was probably a fake.
Rael Octavius: Really? Forget-Me-Not doesn't go after fakes. She planted it on you, didn't she.
Fennimore: Maybe she knew I was going to court again and wanted me to get caught with it.
Fennimore (meekly): Yes.
Rael Octavius looks at Perri.
Rael Octavius: Did you know about this amulet?
Perri Elastime: I knew of an amulet of the planes that plowed into my tummy.
Rael Octavius looks shocked.
Rael Octavius: How did you know it was an amulet...of...the...planes.
Perri Elastime: It really hurt too.
Rael Octavius winces as if waiting to be struck by lightning.
Perri Elastime: Because I looked at it.
Rael Octavius looks down at himself and then up at the others with relief.
Rael Octavius: You have powerful arcane senses.
Perri Elastime: If I'm going to be sucker-punched by an amulet, I'm definitely going to figure out what it is. Nasty piece of work.
Rael Octavius: What happened when you looked at it?
Perri Elastime: What do you mean what happened? I didn't try to trigger it. I just got here after all.
Fennimore watches Rael and Perri banter back and forth.
Rael Octavius: What do you mean, "Just got here?"
Perri Elastime: I arrived from the Between and met my first friend here, had supper, and went out in the snowstorm to check on a hobbit Lady who also fed me.
Perri Elastime: Speaking of which, I'm hungry.
Perri Elastime: Now untwist your panties while I take a minute and get some food.
Rael Octavius: So, what did you mean by "I didn't try to trigger it?"
Perri Elastime stalks off toward the bar.
Perri Elastime waves back after.
Rael Octavius looks at Fennimore, confused.
Fennimore: Don't look at me, I've told you all that I know.
Perri Elastime finds Mindartis at the bar.
Rael Octavius: So, Forget-Me-Not has the Amulet of the Planes and the Medallion of The Indigo-Sun, free and clear?
Mindartis: What can I do for you, sweety.
Fennimore: I don't know anything about the indigo sun and I'm not even sure the first one is real. After all, we didn't trigger any alarms in the castle and High King Ran himself didn't notice it.
Perri Elastime: I'm terribly hungry; not a bite to eat at court today. And, arguing always makes me famished. That, that man! Better bring some for Fennimore and Rael too. Maybe they can see beyond their eyelashes now.
Rael Octavius: I think she may have negated the recovery spell because she had so recently arrived from another plane.
Mindartis: I'll bring some food up directly, my lady.
Fennimore: Hmm.
Fennimore: Can't say I know anything about spells nor negating them.
Perri Elastime: I'll eat at least two dinners and I need some more ale. please. Thank you.
Mindartis nods with a smile.
Rael Octavius takes his seat at the table again, deep in contemplation.
Fennimore: All I know is this is more trouble that that bard has sent my way, just when I was starting to forgive him.
Perri Elastime: She does a quick circuit of the room and then heads back to the table.
Perri Elastime returns and sits down.
Rael Octavius looks up at Perri as she returns.
Perri Elastime (sighs): I got us some dinner.
Fennimore: Thanks, I'm famished.
Rael Octavius: How do we fix this? Fenn and I have a way out of a death sentence, but you don't, Perri, unless your status as the King's Pupil counts. It might.
Perri Elastime: Me too. Look at us just wasting away to nothing.
Perri Elastime: Fix what?
Fennimore: Death sentence? For what? For being duped again?
Rael Octavius: It's going to look like complicity.
Rael Octavius: I can't ignore what just happened. I'm obligated to report it.
Perri Elastime: What is the problem. I have been on my best behavior since I got here.
Rael Octavius: You disabled the King's trap for Forget-Me-Not. Even inadvertently, there are going to be consequences.
Fennimore: She didn't even know it was the King's trap. For that matter, neither did I.
Perri Elastime: If the King did not make his trap foolproof, he has no one to blame but himself.
Rael Octavius: Of course. How could you have known?
Perri Elastime: Next you're going to tell me he eats babies for breakfast.
Rael Octavius: Absolutely not.
Perri Elastime: It makes about as much sense.
Fennimore: Maybe, if he hadn't gone and gagged you, we might have found out sooner, but it's too late now. There is no point in blaming the King. That's a sure way to be on the wrong end of a pike.
Perri Elastime: Maybe we could look for it after supper.
Perri Elastime: Hey, kings are supposed to plan for fools messing stuff up.
Rael Octavius: This King is human, not some supernatural immortal entity.
Rael Octavius: OK, then. What happened stays in this small space. It does no good to pursue this since you are innocent.
Fennimore: I'm fine with that.
Perri Elastime: So we don't go looking after supper?
Rael Octavius: I think not. Best to just forget about it. Let Majestic figure out how to recover it now.
Fennimore: I should let you know that he's playing both sides. He wants the amulet to return it to Lady Astrid.
Rael Octavius: I figured that out right before their audience with the King. They all have a geas upon them, so they will have to be careful about how they approach their search.
Fennimore: Then, let there be no more talk of this damned amulet, so I can enjoy my dinner.
Perri Elastime: You know if she just said what this heirloom was when I asked this morning. But, no. She had to be all mysterious about it. Like I should bring her any powerful magic item I find in my travels and she will tell me if that is the one.
Rael Octavius raises an eyebrow.
Perri Elastime: Won't say another word about it.
Mindartis arrives with food and more drink.
Fennimore: Now, Perri, what was this challenge to eat me under a table?
Fennimore smiles.
Mindartis looks concerned.
Perri Elastime: I only ordered you one dinner. I ordered me two.
Fennimore: Mindartis, she thinks she can out-eat me. What do you think? Can the kitchen keep up with this ravenous halfling?
Mindartis smiles and turns to leave.
Mindartis: I'll put it on your tab.
Fennimore laughs.
Perri Elastime: I'm afraid my pocketbook will give out before either of us are so stuffed we could roll away.
Fennimore: I have a bit of change. Let's see how long that will last us.
Rael Octavius sets two platinum coins on the table.
Rael Octavius: This should cover it.
Fennimore: You're not going to join us?
Rael Octavius: I'll eat in moderation, thank you very much.
Perri Elastime: Hey, thanks.
Fennimore: Your loss.
Mindartis returns to the table and retrieves the coins.
Mindartis: I'll keep it coming until you tell me to stop.
Perri Elastime: Great!
Fennimore: Dig in.
Perri Elastime starts eating.
Fennimore joins her.
The elf and halfling gorge themselves while the half-elf watches and enjoys the company. The competitive eaters put away a lot of food, but in the end, they stuff themselves, leaving no clear winner but the inn.
Fennimore: Not bad for an elf.
Perri Elastime: I think food powers my magic.
Fennimore: I guess mama liked you for a reason.
Perri Elastime: Not bad for a halfling.
Fennimore: I didn't achieve this stature by fasting.
Perri Elastime: It's a fine physique.
Fennimore pats his overly plump belly.
Fennimore: I agree.
Perri Elastime: Someday, if I eat enough maybe I'll get there.