Ep 33: "Between a Rock & a Hard Choice"

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A usual, the party started their morning getting things done before the lunch meeting. Pesk and Mezrelokk went for a picnic date at the river. GB traveled to Pinbòl’s tower with a meat pie for Lark and flowers for Oisin. Cyl spent a lot of time painting herself in a manner similar to Lark’s tattoos. Nathan went to a lapidary to get his arcane focus, concealed in his eye-socket with an eye patch, reworked into a proper false eye.
Pesk was taking her bath with Mo in the kitchen when Lark came downstairs for breakfast. He joined the bath. Cyl arrived and gave Lark the pie from GB. Lark complimented Cyl’s paint job that resembled his own tattoos and the group chatted.
Pesk went up to see Oisin in the up-up stairs, lizard-tackled them with a hug, then invited them and Pinbòl down to meet the rest of the group. They arrived in Mo’s tower and GB gave Oisin the flowers. Pesk, thinking of Mezri’s request,  asked Pinbòl how much it would cost to get access to a teleportation circle for establishing a trade route. Pinbòl pointed her to the Sub Rosarium and offered to help occasionally shepherd goods for Mezrelokk.
Oisin asked Pinbòl what the ring that Bezel had taken actually did. Pinbòl explained that it only worked on targeted spells—there is a small chance that it would reflect a targeted spell at the caster and a high percentage chance of it canceling the spell out. Pinbòl explained that Tybalt seemed to have taken it to protect his father.
At the Brell Estate, Nathan spoke with Tybalt and asked him about how he felt about the resistance. Tybalt avoided giving an opinion about the resistance one way or the other. Nathan then sought Tybalt’s perspective on how to handle the anger and grief associated with losing his entire family at once. Tybalt expressed that he tried to live with the feelings and realized that terrible things happen to people all the time. Nathan extended his trust to Tybalt, revealing that he did something stupid in the aftermath of his family’s death. When Tybalt made an assumption about the type of mistake and asked what woman Nathan slept with , Nathan replied “the vessel” without further explanation. Upon further questioning, Tybalt expressed that he was fine with the current social order because it was good for him. He said he was not in a position to aid the resistance, but would not be turning Nathan or his friends into the crown. Nathan let Tybalt in and admitted his fear. Tybalt encouraged Nathan to not let his grief and fear control him or ruin him.
Back at the tower, Cyl told Pinbòl that she was able to get the sendings to her mother to work. Pinbòl told her that he’d been doing everything that he could to stop the altered daydream from changing anyone else. He informed her that, last he heard, the four new Goa were still living in the Temple District but would likely move elsewhere ,possibly either the sewers or the forest, as the Temple District became more inhabited. Pinbòl said that First and the other goa were taking people’s daydream, contaminating it, and then spreading it back into the populace. No one else had been turned yet though. Cyl reported what she’d learned in the sendings to her mother to Pinbòl and the others. She told Pinbòl that, before snowfall, more goa would be coming to the city.
The group made their way to the Tea Garden for lunch. Nathan met the group there and Mags, Nathan’s familiar, was acting weirdly. Nathan realized that it was not his normal familiar. It was not Mags. He caught a side-eye glance at the Vessel leaving and ran after her. The party followed.
Nathan reached out his hand to the familiar and actually took the Vessel’s hand. She appeared to Nathan as a small girl with short hair, pasty skin, and a very dark aura about her. When Nathan asked where Mags was, the girl pointed at GB. Nathan spoke to the Vessel, but all he got were more mimed responses. The Vessel walked over to GB and started petting and scritching him.
Pesk intuited that the magic of wizards and warlocks might work differently. The Vessel agreed, meaning that Nathan was summoning a specific entity when he cast a find familiar spell. When Mags was killed here, she truly died. When he cast the spell again, he summoned a new entity. The Vessel, having imparted her message, disappeared.
Nathan revealed to the party that his magic stemmed from something within the Hells, a demon or a devil, called the Vessel. Nathan commanded the new familiar to take flight and did not allow it to touch him. He was distraught over the renewed feeling of loss for his longtime companion Mags.
The party decided to go to the Chalice to work out some of their emotions about recent events. On the way, Pesk saw Wit dashing through an alley and peeking at the party intermittently. Pesk drew Cyl’s attention to Wit following them. Cyl, with Cawrl on her shoulder, went over to talk, but Wit turned away. As Cyl moved forward, Wit kept turning and getting further away. GB lead the rest of the party after Cyl as she got to the outer edge of Cawrl’s range. Cyl followed Wit into an open building’s door and downstairs to a lit, furnished basement. She found First, sitting with a book, inside. First told Cyl that he knew the others were around and had Al go grab the rest of the party.
Al led them down to where First and Cyl were sitting. He introduced the party to a “problem”: an old man who was frothing at the mouth and seizing. The signs of a person dying from an overdose of contaminated daydream. Might stepped in front of the exit, blocking the group from leaving, as Al pushed Pesk to “heal” the old man.
The party discussed what to do. They did not want the man to suffer, but also did not want to give the new Goa the ability to turn more people against their will. GB tried to get Al to understand that turning the man would provide the new Goa with an incentive to continue encouraging people to overdose. The party, and the new Goa, waited for the man to either die or for someone to heal him. Pesk waited until she was convinced there was nothing else to be done to save the man and ended the man’s suffering. Might moved away from the door, which allowed Oisin to rush out. Lark followed them, telling the new Goa to find another way and find people that wanted to convert. GB said that this wasn’t black and white for him, but he couldn’t help them. GB left. Uncomfortable, Nathan looked away from the dying man, but stayed with Cyl until she left. Pesk left last.
The party comforted Cyl and Pesk, and each other, as best they could. They headed back to Pinbòl’s place for a slumber party as no one wished to be alone. Pinbòl joined them, wearing a velvety onesie with “Glitter Wizard” on the back. Pinbòl also gave Pesk a stuffed plush of Mo that cast Calm Emotion when hugged.
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