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Mithril watched the conversation going on and smiled, the group was back together. No-one had left in the last few hours and, she thought as she snuggled Whiskers closer to her, no-one had died. Whiskers struggled indignantly, all this squeezing was not doing wonders for his image.
Natalia gives Miriam a significant look but says nothing about that. Instead, she says, "Maybe...For Hilsfar...Food and family more than gold. Find a place for all kinds." She doubts that distraction will work for whatever's bothering her though.
As Whiskers struggles, Natalia scratches him on his now-white head.
For roleplay purposes only (you'll see what I mean):
Disguise (including Disguise Self): (1d20+19)
ETA: The bluff was meant to be a +9, not a +19, so 14 total
Just as Miriam is about to leave for bed, the door bursts open and a halfling stranger somersaults in. He quickly regains his balance and shuts the door, sliding his back against it and panting while looking around wildly.
Once he sees the warriors start to react to the intrusion, the halfling cowers. "Ahhhh, wait, wait!! It's me, Shiny Shapeshifter, master of disguise and silver speculator!"
Upon looking closer, the party can see that the "halfling" is in fact a cleverly disguised gnome, and a familar one at that. He's somehow hidden his beard and changed his skin tone, probably using a magical illusion, but there's no mistaking Shiny.
Natalia just stares blankly at Shiny and shakes her head. "...Not even asking."
In their room, Natalia looks over at Miriam, who's staring blankly at the wall. "...Lying," she says. "More than that." It's probably got something to do with this poison in her. But... "...Tell when ready."
Mithril raised an eyebrow at Shiny's entrance, but decided to process it tomorrow. She was to tired to think about it now. As the group went to sleep, Whiskers slipped out of her now relaxed arms and curled up near Miriam's head. He had done so when Mithril's eyes had leaked and it had helped her.
Natalia curls up under the blankets that she would kick off halfway through the night. She has the distinct feeling that when Miriam finally lets loose, it's not going to be pretty. Somewhat uneasily, Natalia eventually drifts off to sleep.
Spun straw gold bending in the breeze broken by stringy black
Natalia rolls over, her arm falling off the mattress, her fingertips just scraping the floor.
She is standing alone in a circular room, just wearing her under garments. Sitting on a high chair is Calric, holding a powerful mace in his hand. Mary is chained at the bottom of the chair, breast feeding a child.
'So simple farm girl who knows nothing, what did you expect? You always been to dense to understand anything. I tried to teach you but you would never listen. You were my worst one. You could not even give me a son and let's not talk about your bedroom performance.. Now Mary, she was something ....'
'But ... but ..'
'But What? Listen, you are a simple farm girl who knows nothing and will obey me, your elder who knows. Understood?'
At that moment, Calric moves the powerful looking mace and a bunch of pint-sized Calric appear and point at her, mocking her and calling her names.
'So simple farm girl who knows nothing, do you understand?
'That's better. Now you feed that reject of mine to the ogre.'
The mini-Calrics rip her son from Mary and brings him to Miriam as a giant bloody Ogre head appears.
Miriam wakes up screaming 'NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO'.
She is all covered sweat, shaking violently breathing loudly and with difficulty.
She looks around at her friends 'Sorry .... bad .. dream ....'
Mirima rolls into the blanket and curls into a fetus position. She keeps repeating 'I will not do it. I will save him. I will not do it. I will save him. I will not do it. I will save him ..."
As Shiny burst through the door, Valen looks at him crossly, then turns and slugs Kurt on his good shoulder..."Told you it'd be a lynch mob."
Valen thanks Miriam for her kind hand, Watching Miriam go up to bed, Valen felt for her. Through his tough exterior he did not like to see anyone hurt, especially a woman.... Poor thing...hurting so... his sentiment is redoubled when she wakes from her night terror.
Once Shiny calms down, and spends a couple of minutes staring out the window, he finally flops onto a bed and goes to sleep.
To all external appearances, his sleep is perfectly peaceful and untroubled, free of the guilt or torment that afflicts the others in his party. But when it comes to Shiny, appearances can be deceiving.
Kurt just shrugs and flicks a copper to Valen. "Sometimes, you lose." The dwarf take a long hard look at Miriam, but the words get jumbled together in his throat and almost choke him when he tries to speak up. He gives her shoulder a light squeeze as he steps past her to go to bed.
Natalia has stolen more than her share of the blanket so she decides to get up and pray.
She goes into a corner and kneels. 'St. Cuthbert, I humbly asks you to give me a sign. I have learned horrible things done by one of your priests. I need to know why you allowed it and why you did not stop it. I feel empty inside. I need to feel your love St. Cuthbert. I need to know that you will not stand for chaos and injustice. Give me a sign. Talk to me. Please, I beg you. I am becoming a lost sheep.
After that she goes through her usual set of prayers, holding her holy symbol tighter than usual.
When she is done with her prayers, she looks at her sleeping friends:
- Natalia, so smart and yet so unsecure about what she can do
- Mithril, so na´ve and so serene at the same time, a breath of goodness
- Kurt, the quiet dwarf with the gruff outside and the heart of gold
- Shiny, the mysterious gnome whose life is much more complicated than he pretend it is.
- Valen, the mysterious warrior and sorcerer who does not share his thoughts and does not seem to care but has always been there when needed.
Yes, I am indeed lucky. These are good people. When ready, they will listen.
When Kurt wakes up, she approaches him and give him the same gentle squeeze he gave her and with an honest smile, simply says thank you kind Sir Dwarf.
Mithril hears Miriam's night terrors as part of a dream. She is entering Linwood, weary and missing her companions. All she can see are the burnt husks of the buildings and bloody remains of the former villagers. The scream echoes in voices of the not yet dead. Then a nicer dream takes over, Whiskers glows, lighting the path through a dungeon. When a skeleton comes to life to try to attack the group, he charges and bites at it, crumbling the bones to dust.
The next morning Mithril awoke, the dreams already fading into memory. She moved carefully so as to not disturb Natalia, and noticed Miriam talking to Kurt. Trying to be silent she picked up her spellbook and went to study in a corner. Which of my new spells should I pick? I don't want to run into ogres unprepared again
Natalia yawns and stretches awake. Pulling on her armor and checking to make sure that all her weapons are in good condition, she rubs the sleep from her eyes and walks over to Mithril, looking over her shoulder as she prepares the spells. "...New ones?" she eventually asks, noticing that the writing in the spellbook is fresh and different.
Natalia looks over at Miriam, who seems tired and weary. "...Okay...for the day?" she asks, not sure if even that could be entirely true.
"Let us hope we took care of the last of the ogres." Mithril looked at Miriam who didn't seem to have slept well. Mistaking her expression for worrying about Linwood, she tried to reassure her "Don't worry Miriam, we will make it back in time." Gathering up her things, and reattaching Whisker's collar she waited by the door to the room, eager to head out.