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Session 111 - In Vino Veritas

posted Feb 2, 2014, 1:01 PM by Will McCain
The Maladroits wasted no time in engaging the Death Slaad. Lucas landed some good hits to open the battle. When the slaad took to the air, Knox gave Callon flight so the fighter could follow, Desangriev at the ready. Knox fell to a touch of death, but was quickly revived by Alera. A vicious strike from Callon seemed to herald a quick end to the fight, but the slaad had a contingency that went off when Lucas performed his follow-through. Alera suffered a successful strike of the death slaad's dreaded Implosion, and fell to the deck. Lucas hurried to her side and used the last of his Breath of Life scrolls to bring her back into the fight. The slaad then bought itself some time by covering the Dibs in Deeper Darkness. The group readied their actions and strained their senses, waiting for the perfect time to strike. When the slaad dispersed the spell, they ignored the two blue slaadi that it had summoned and focused their attacks on it, defeating their foe despite healing provided by its new allies. With the main threat dealt with, the larger but weaker blue slaadi were quick work for Callon's blade.

Before long, the Dibs had made its way into the intercosmic stretch of the Plane of Shadow. The adventures paused and took in the sky that surrounded them. The primordial dark of nothingness was littered with twinkling lights. Instead of stars, however, they were island universes, shining the lonely glow of entire other cosmologies into the void. Quiet and distant, the Maladroits thought upon the countless multitudes and the dizzying activity contained in each tiny light. They seemed so small and vulnerable, ready at any moment to be winked out by the surrounding darkness. Only a very few individuals, the Maladroits included, realized just how real that threat was.

Hurt, tired, and also hungry, the group decided it was time for a peaceful dinner with lots of drink. Before long, talk turned back to Dram and whether or not he had left some parting curse on them. Despite Knox's insistence that the group had nothing on them, Callon maintained that it had been a mistake to let him live. A slightly drunken argument erupted, with Alera insisting that Dram deserved a chance at redemption, Lucas asking if they were going to murder everyone they came across, Callon claiming that they had been the only ones who could have delivered the justice Dram so deeply deserved, and Knox watching in pensive silence. Each of them confessed a desire to change, but took issue with the advice given to them on how. Tempers flared, igniting on their tongues harsh questions and bitter insults. When Callon derided Lucas' travels as a carefree escape from responsibility, Lucas lost his cool and launched himself across the table at his leader. The nimble rogue began delivering blow after blow on the stalwart fighter, who tried to fend the young scrapper off. After being knocked into a nearby wall with a chair, Callon lost his own patience and loosed his immense strength, punching Lucas across the room and into the table they had just recently been sitting at. 

Alera came over and knelt next to Lucas, sighing to herself at his outburst, "Lucas, this is childish. You need to start acting like an adult."

Lucas, who had never had anyone ask that of him, was brought up short and had no response. 

Knox stood and tried to placate his friends, "Hey, let's not fight. Lucas, you kind of had that coming, but we still need you here."

Callon's blood was still hot, though, and he cast a look at the wizard. "He finally speaks. Glad to have you join the discussion, Knox. Tell me, after suffering his assaults twice in as many days, what should we do now? Kiss and make up?"

Knox was not used to being the focus of ire, and tried to lighten the mood, "Well, I don't know about the kissing part..."

"Calm down, Cap," Alera said, turning her attention to Callon, "Lucas shouldn't have attacked you, but now that it's out of our systems we can go back to discussing this normally. Or maybe it's time we all went to bed."

"Go back. That's what you want us to do? Just go back to the status quo? The person I admired most in this world is dead because I couldn't save her! That's what I go back to," Callon responded. He willed his fists to unclench, and spoke again, "And sleep holds no solace. I see her when I dream. I see her face every time I draw Desangriev. I was able to stop her when she was mad, but when was sane and needed me... I just wanted her to have a life where she wasn't always searching for an end to her grief or trying to stay ahead of something."

He lowered his head and voice, "I wanted her to have more than my life."

The Maladroits were silent. Not knowing how to address their leader's inner turmoil, they each slowly made their way to their cabins. As the otherworldly darkness they were sailing through settled around them and the tendrils of sleep closed in, they hoped that the next day would be better. And a little more sober.

As they slept, in the quiet and dark of the main galley where they had eaten, the Shard of Transmutation began to glow.