Ep 8: "The Test"

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The usual meeting at the Beer Forge started like any other day. The group met and saw that the price on the “Cicely Special” had been set to 20 gold, a code from Ivy that the bar was safe to discuss sensitive topics. The group began to openly debate the need for more allies, especially in places like the Pearl District, and a man approached their table.
The man said that his name was Xylar and that he had heard them mention the Sub Rosarium. He was interested in that group and, since the menu board still said 20 gold, the group spoke with him more freely than they normally would. Pesk even offered to arrange a meeting with Afra for Xylar. Sensing something was slightly off about the man, Seldanna watched him closely as Pesk went to talk to Ivy. Ivy revealed that she had not changed the price to 20 gold and that she had never seen Xylar before.Their suspicions were further confirmed when Xylar made a hasty exit from the bar and tried to disappear into the crowd of Barrel Run.
The entire group hurried out onto the street to try and find Xylar. Allies names had been revealed and he needed to be stopped. Mari shifted to a cat form in order to climb and search for Xylar, Nathan sent his consciousness into his barn-owl familiar Mags, Seldanna made her way through the crowd after him, and the others scrambled to find Xylar. In a panic, realizing that he was disappearing into the crowded street where Mari and Seldanna could not see him well, Pesk brandished her holy symbol and used a gust of wind spell to clear the street. Unfortunately, her magic also summoned a Nocturne to the area.
To escape the Nocturne, Pesk dove into the river and swam as fast as she could away from the group. In order to aid her, and not send her off on her own, Primeheart joined her and they swam away from the scene as the Nocturne destroyed a house looking for them. Meanwhile, Seldanna and Mari continued to track Xylar. Seldanna tried calling out to him and was suddenly stabbed from behind and left to die. Mari, seeing Seldanna fall, rushed to her and was able to bring her back from the brink of death. Nathan and Owen caught up to them and, together, they all made plans to hide and lay low for a few days.
Not knowing of Seldanna’s injury, Pesk and Primeheart made their way to the Lightsmith Guild. Pesk was desperate to war Afra that she may be in danger. Upon arriving at Afra’s office, the two heard Afra yelling “YOU DID WHAT?!?! You were only supposed to test them!” Pesk and Primeheart entered the office to find Afra shouting at Xylar in his true form as a changeling.
Afra apologize and asked if their friend was alright, the first time that Pesk or Primeheart learned that one of their friends had been attacked. Eventually, they figured out which person had been attacked and Afra sent a sending spell to Seldanna. Afra pleaded with Pesk to understand why she had tested the group. She needed Cyl’s help to examine the Boat Lift and had to be sure of the group. She admitted fault in hiring Xylar as he had clearly turned out not to be the right choice for the job.
Pesk was barely able to contain her anger as lightning crackled along her scales and she pointedly asked Primeheart if she could stay with him for a few days. Primeheart immediately agreed and warned Xylar that he was now marked as Primeheart’s quarry. Pesk gathered her things and went to Primeheart’s hut in the woods. She promised Afra that she would tell Cyl about the Boat Lift and that they would talk, but not then.
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