Ep 31: "Whatever You Must Do"

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The evening of Trillaris 28th, Seldanna met with the King for dinner as arranged. Goodsberry and Seldanna discussed the Five. He asked if she knew anything about the Five and she explained she did not. She suggested he have arcane casters research the items used by them. They discussed it further and he told her that the magic item they used actually shrinks things rather than destroying them. He asked if she had any countermeasures, but she did not.
The King then began asking Seldanna what she wanted to be involved as regards the city. She requested to work with with trade, the arcane, and the university. The King agreed to all of them and then asked her how she would recommend he deal with people that oppose the crown. She didn’t answer and he went on to explain that he chose to marry Seldanna because she is good and he wants her to be his moral compass. As dinner was about to end, Seldanna asked him if there could be a teleportation circle within the city to assist with trade. He agreed to fund it as long as she found a means to have it cast and to keep it guarded.
The morning of the 1st of Iseris, the group went around preparing for the day like they would any other. Lark asked Mo if he wanted to have fun and took him to the Green Iron Village. They taught the goblins a game called “Touch-and-Go” and Boss added his own twist by using a crossbow with blunted bolts when he was “it”. Mari sold her sunflowers as usual and ended up chatting with Tybalt for a while before joining him to have tea with Jastra and Afra. She found out that Afra and Jastra had gone to school with Tybalt’s grandfather Kembrick and that they had been close. Nathan got himself ready to ask Mari out on a date and ran into Oisin, who had spent the morning attempting to talk to Tre. They discussed how Nathan might approach her and headed for the area by the Tea Garden where she always sold flowers.
Nathan and Oisin arrived to find Mari having tea and making conversation with the others. They joined them and awkward conversation ensued, particularly between Nathan and Jastra. Jastra argued that only blood mattered when it came to family, which did not sit well with Nathan. Eventually, Nathan pulled Mari aside and tried to talk to her.
He was interrupted by the same Firbolg that had been wearing Owen’s clothes the other day. The Firbolg tossed a dead mouse to Mags, accepted a sunflower from Mari, and left. At this point, Mari noticed a pastry with a note in her bag. It was from Haley, she asked Mari to talk later. Nathan finally got to express his feelings for Mari and asked her to go to tea with him. She accepted and, after collecting Oisin from the table, the headed to the Beer Forge.
Seldanna took the ferry to meet the group at the Beer Forge and ran into Lark and Mo along the way. Mo joined the group for lunch and chatted with them as they they waited for the others. It was especially empty that day and Seldanna took the chance to reprimand Lark for inviting random people into the Resistance. He tried to explain that he had not been able to get anyone else to confirm that it was alright to invite Juveha and talk to her. He didn’t really realize he was being scolded and waved it off when it was explained to him.
Mari, Nathan, and Oisin joined them at the Beer Forge and they discussed what their days had been so far. The talked about the Firbolg that kept appearing as well as questioned what might have happened to leave Owen in such a strange predicament. Lark and Mo also told them about their morning playing games with the goblins.
Seldanna brought up the idea of having Oisin ask Pinbòl to create a teleportation circle for the town. Mo spoke up and let her know that it had not been Pinbòl that created the circle at the tower. Pinbòl had been owed a favor by someone and that someone had created the circle at the tower. Mo couldn’t remember the name of the person, but promised to ask Pinbòl. Then, Mo left to run his errands.
Lark then told Seldanna that she had been a good influence for the city. She expressed concerns that she could not read the King well and had a bad feeling about the situation. The group attempted to comfort and reassure her that she was doing a good job. Lark told her she was bringing people hope and Oisin suggested that they all go to the spa where Saxi worked. They deserved to relax a little and the other agreed, but as they got up to leave everything changed.
A tiefling walked in with a gun and wearing armor. She was followed by others with similar clothing and weapons. They secured the door and she directed one of the workers him back to the bar when they attempted to try and stop them. After Ivy and her workers were behind the bar, the female tiefling flung a strange ball at the bar. Bright light streaked from the ball and in a brilliant flash, Ivy and the other dwarves were gone. The entire bar was destroyed in a spherical implosion as the nocturne had been before.
The tiefling looked over the group and picked out Seldanna as the queen easily. She directed one of her men to cast a Sending spell and waited. When she did not receive the reply she wanted, she decided to take Oisin next. They knew he was involved with Pinbòl and thought he would make a good demonstration. Lark refused to let them take Oisin and put himself between them. Lark made a comment about never being picked first and the woman responded with a remark about Lady Arasys choosing him. The tiefling ultimately decided it would be more trouble to keep Lark and took him outside with her.
She used a small bead to create a loud noise and get everyone’s attention. She drew a red line on the doors and told the people watching that they did not want her to get to five. She said when they reached five, they wouldl kill the queen. She pulled her gun on Lark and asked for his last words.
Lark, always a man of few words, said, “Whatever you must do,” and she shot him. The echoing sound of a gun shot, a bright flash of light, and there was only dust.
The rest of the group was forced to sit and wait as they repeatedly cast Sending. Seldanna, emotionally distraught over the loss of a friend and embittered at the king’s lack of reply, suggested contacting her parents instead. Nathan tried desperately to bargain with his patron for aid or the power to help himself, but received no response. Mari, grieving the loss of a friend, tried to reach the Baba Yaga or Jastra, also with no response.
The tiefling decided they were not being taken seriously, and went to grab Oisin. Seldanna, tried urgently to protect her friends and cast Suggestion to stop them from touching Oisin. It worked, but another of the assailants shot Mags in retaliation and they told her not to do that again. Oisin and Seldanna tried insistently to convince the tiefling and her group that they were also trying to overthrow the King. They didn’t believe them, thinking it was just said it to get them to stop.
Seldanna stepped between the tiefling and Oisin, pleading that they take her instead.  She asked that they take her and not her friends. The tiefling said only that she would take Seldanna when they got to five. The tiefling shot Oisin, and again, there was only dust.
The tiefling made another red mark on the door and announced to those outside: “You don’t want it to get to five!”
Nathan wanted to confront the group, but Mari and Seldanna plead with him to stop and listen to them. Suddenly there was a knock on the door, and it opened to reveal the Firbolg from before. The leader quickly realized it was a disguise and threw dust on him, revealing Juveha. She is immediately shot and, again, there is only dust.
The male tiefling continued casting Sending, and said that the King wouldn’t come. They grabbed Nathan next. He hugged Mari and gave her a heartfelt, anguished kiss as he let her know he was glad he had told her his feelings.
The door was suddenly thrown open and the man nearest it was thrown back, into the hole. Haley entered, her eyes glowing yellow. As the group watched in stunned silence, the rest of the Five members were crushed to death. The same runes from the Nocturne glowed on Haley’s arms and she collapsed, the guard rushing in after her.
Seldanna, Mari, Nathan, and an unconscious Hayley were taken to the castle. On their way, Seldanna received a Sending spell from Juveha saying “We’re okay. We’re in a cell. We’re all together.” Their friends weren’t dead after all.
The King met them outside and asked Seldanna if she was okay. Mari demanded to know why he didn’t come and he explained that they knew the Five’s tactics and that they didn’t kill innocents. He told them that they were working on finding the others and went back inside. Seldanna demanded that she and the others be taken back to Reynard Manor without the King being told and they took Haley with them.
Lark, Oisin, and Juveha appeared inside a cell one by one. Lark gave each of them a hug as they arrived and handed Dermott, his giant teddy bear, to Juveha for comfort. They looked for ways to leave, but could find none and saw no way out of the cell..
A Nocturne, unexpectedly,  broke through the ceiling and pulled apart the bars to free them. She removed her face covering to show that it was Amy, the Nocturne from the ferry that the Five had attacked. Lark told Amy she shouldn’t wear the mask because she looks more friendly without it, and Amy replied that she needed to look intimidating sometimes. She asked if they could find their own way back, and they left for the Pearl District.
Not long after Seldanna, Mari, and Nathan arrived at Reynard Manor, the others found their way there. Juveha bolted into the estate and hugged Seldanna fiercely, then left to make tea for everyone. Seldanna, Mari, and Nathan went out to greet Lark and Oisin as they arrived. Everyone was happy to see each other and they did what they could to comfort each other and try to cope with what had just happened.
Seldanna sent letters to her parents and to their friends to let them know that everyone was safe.
Nathan stepped away to recast Find Familiar, distressed over Mags’ absence. Mari sat with Haley until she came to consciousness.
Haley hugged Mari and cried when she awoke. When she composed herself, Mari asked about what happened at the bar. Haley explained to Mari that she had died as a child and was brought back by a group of people. She had been brought back  “wrong” according to her older sister. Her parents had died, and her older sister had taken care of her. Then, they noticed she made people sick if she focussed on them for too long. This ability caught the attention of the group that had brought her back and the sisters were chased.
Haley also revealed that these events had happened 70 years before. She admitted sadly that she may need to leave now that she had used her powers. Mari showed Haley some of her Nikosta abilities to try and put her friend at ease over being so ‘different’. Hayley rested more, exhausted after the events of the day, and Mari stays with her.
Lark tried to  comfort Seldanna and told her that she “may not be able to see the light”, but she is in it, and will save the city. Seldanna thanked him and said when she was more mentally recovered she needed to talk to him about his relationship with her mother.
Oisin left in a carriage, at Seldanna’s insistence, to go to Pinbòl’s. They don’t feel safe in the city and want to be with him. Oisin told Pinbòl what happened and admitted to fear from the near-death experience and distress at being in a cage. He asked to stay with Pinbòl for a while, but Pinbòl said he was okay with forever.
As they all tried to begin recovering from the events of the day, Seldanna decided to refuse her next dinner with the king.
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