Ep 20: "Hard Truths"

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Rumors of the drug Daydream ran rampant through the city. The safe green version had become very hard to find and the red was potentially deadly. Those that were addicted already had to choose possible death or go without.
With only a few days remaining till the big wedding, Jastra woke Seldanna up early to make sure she was ready for the seamstresses Jastra had hired. Seldanna had planned to get together with the others for lunch, so Jastra sent Stokes to the Tea Garden to  fetch the group back to the Arasys Estate.
As the rest of the group made its way to the Tea Garden, they couldn’t ignore the banners that had been hung all over the city. The were banners emblazoned with the King’s image in his colors and others were a blue, with a simplified image of  Seldanna, that matched her skin perfectly. The criers stood beneath the banners and declared that the King was to be married to a woman from a powerful family on the 17th. Carriages and Nocturne alike wore more banners, in the colors of the King and the blue of Seldanna’s skin, as they made their way through the city. Despite the truth behind the situation, the city had a celebratory atmosphere after the announcement.
Stokes was waiting for the group when they arrived at the Tea Garden. Pip, Saxi, Owen, Mari, and Rosie met at the Tea Garden and climbed into the carriage to join Seldanna at her house. Stokes took them to the Arasys estate as Jastra asked Seldanna about some of her plans for the wedding. Jastra met the group as they arrived. She recognized Owen as being Ivrissian and Mari felt a strange connection to Jastra.
Seldanna was joined by the women in the party. She admitted to them that she was terrified, not only for herself, but for what would happen to her family if she refused the King. She could not see a way out  of the situation and neither could the others; at least nothing they could accomplish on their own. They decided to speak with Pinbol and ask for his advice.
Rosie managed to convince Jastra to let Seldanna choose her own dress in the city and, during that discussion, also ended up as the wedding planner. The group gathered together and headed to Pinbol’s tower. They stopped along the way, when they encountered a drunken mob cornering someone.
The someone turned out to be a Braith. He had been speaking out about the wedding being used to distract the residents of Cinderhaven and some of the drunk celebrators took exception. The group managed to help disperse the mob with some well placed spells and only minor violence. The Braith agreed to meet with them later at the Tea Garden and the group continued on to Pinbol’s tower.
Mo greeted them at the tower and, flustered, admitted that he did not know whether he was blinking or winking when he closed his eye. He also told the group that he wasn’t used to living alone in the tower which prompted Rosie and Pesk to plan a sleepover. Mo told the group that Pinbol was in his other house and the group teleported to the floating structure.
The group arrived to find a very tired Pinbol. He had been sending many hours pouring over various Daydream samples and, though the group didn’t know it yet, he had also been testing samples from Cyl’s feet. Pinbol had already known about the wedding since he had received an invitation. He understood why none of the group was happy about the situation, but had a different opinion on what to do.
Pinbol, much to the group’s displeasure, felt that Seldanna should marry the king. He explained that he felt Seldanna could do a lot of good for the city as the Queen. He knew she did not want the marriage, but expressed his opinion that the positive possibilities outweighed the negative ones. The group was, understandably, displeased by this idea. They could not fault his logic, but they did not like his suggestion. As the group left, Pinbol asked Pip to tell Cyl that he needed to have a conversation with her.
After they left Pinbol’s and said goodbye to Mo, the group headed to the Tea Garden to meet with their new Braith acquaintance. The Braith told them that they could call him Eriss and he explained that he was a follower of truth in all things. Seldanna offered him her apartment to stay in since she would not need it anyway. As the group got ready to depart, Seldanna saw her mother at another table in the Tea Garden. Saxi flew Seldanna across the small strip of river next to the Tea Garden so that they could avoid Jastra. As they did so, Seldanna realized that Jastra was having tea with Afra and Tybalt.
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