talmage paints rocks, luci does yoga, bishop rescues a friend (?)
talmage: i think if you learned more about these things that you can do, you would be able to process that stress a lot better rocco: you know who's really good at magic, luci? talmage: (shouting) i LITERALLY can't cast most of the magic i used to be able to! rocco: ... i meant radious talmage: oh radious: *laughs* he thought you were talking about him
the group has lunch. radious spends most of the day cleaning and preparing his teleportation spell for that night.
bishop: radious? earlier, you cast a spell to figure out what the rocks did. radious: ... yes? i did use magic in front of you– bishop: oh, no – i was going to ask if you could identify another object for me. radious: oh! you knew the spell i cast! bishop: i know of ... magic, but i can't cast the spell myself radious: of course ... you came from an actual magic-using society ... what would you care for me to look at? bishop: i have this sword radious: ... you do. bishop: radious: ... i know this is the part where i'm supposed to say, if i do your favor, you have to do me a favor, but ... radious: just wash the dishes, and i'll do it
bishop hands radious his giant sword, and radious has a hard time holding it. he sets it on the table.
talmage: you've been using that, and you don't know what it does? bishop: i know it does ... sword talmage: bishop: things
everyone suggests the sword could come back after you throw it, like talmage’s dagger.
raja: where did you get it? rocco: i don't know if he remembers ... talmage: sometimes asking the question triggers the memory! bishop: has that happened yet? talmage: no, i meant in general, to normal people talmage: sorry for tryin'
radious pulls out his spellbook – small, pocket-sized, and taken from somewhere deep within his coat. bishop’s sword turns red, and the lights flicker as radious begins casting [identify]. he looks stressed as he casts it. after ten minutes, he sits back.
radious: ... it's a magic sword. everyone: radious: it told me it's called "the von orion" bishop: it told you? radious: a lot of magical swords have been rumored to communicate. i reached out, and it told me its name and that it was yours. rocco: wait, it talked to you?! radious: less words, more feelings; but it did say its name, very clearly, in your voice. talmage: what kind of feeling did it have? radious: confident, powerful ... general sword things. radious: if i was a greatsword, i would probably try to sound intimidating radious: why else would you be that unnecessarily large? [emily]: are you talking to bishop or the sword
rocco suggests that bishop talk to his sword more often.
rocco: it's like listening to nature! but it's a sword bishop: ... okay
radious also tells us the sword did not feel evil. it was from somewhere hot and warm; it felt like a star.
rocco approaches talmage and asks to borrow some paper. talmage gives him some and rocco begins to draw and write on it. raja also asks to borrow some of talmage’s ink.
raja: that poisonous ink that you have – it will write normally on paper, right? it won't burn through it? luci: it was really fucking expensive
luci is in a dark corner. with a knife.
talmage: you didn't have to take it! luci: talmage: i actually haven't used it yet, so let me know! i've been saving it for a special occasion. raja: i assure you that this is the most special occasion.
talmage asks radious about the bird summoning stone. he’s worried it can be reverse-traced back to them if they use it. radious is confident that won’t happen.
radious demonstrates how the stone works. he traces the swirl pattern on the top of it, and a bird appears out of smoke. he compares the bird to a temporary familiar: it can only be used once a day and has a range of 100 – 1,000 feet, depending on the caster. he flips the rock over – what the bird sees is shown on the underside of the rock.
talmage asks if the stones can be used during the day, given that they’ve only seen them used at night; radious says they can be used whenever, night is just safest since they don’t look like birds entirely when inspected closer. he also asks if it’s in the birds’ natures to track magic users, or if they’re controlled to do so – they have to be controlled.
bishop asks luci how long the birds have been watching the circus; ever since they got to highkeep and crossed the border, luci says. sometimes they would show up in other cities – vaselle – but there’s a lot more here. it’s been going on for a couple months now. talmage is worried someone really has it out for the circus if they’re sending this many. the bears are also new.
raja is concerned the vale has it out for us and not the circus. radious reassures us that if the vale cannot forcibly prove someone is a magic user, they’re not just going to arrest and kill someone.
talmage: oh! one more thing, do you have a, uhh, spare pair of glasses lying around? rocco: did you break your – do you wear glasses? talmage: no bishop: do you need to wear glasses? talmage: i would like to ... have a pair of glasses? radious: ... okay
he rummages through a drawer and finds a broken pair of glasses. raising his wand, he taps them, and the glass fixes itself.
radious: i've been meaning to do that for a while anyway talmage: thank you! can i hold onto these for a little while ...? like borrow them for a couple hours, or ... longer?
radious sits down next to talmage.
radious: show me what you're going to do with them. talmage: i don't – know if i should do it here? i don't really – talmage: OKAY I HAVEN'T, LIKE, completely thought out what i'm gonna do yet, but because of that i'm a little worried to do it here ... so radious: ... sure. okay.
radious gets up and wanders away.
talmage: i don't know, i don't wanna set off my thing. cuz we're in a really – i don't know bishop: your thing? talmage: (angrily) my mark. rocco: are you worried at all that it – (whispering) glowed when you came in? do you think we should let radious know? is he in danger? talmage: UMMMMMMM talmage: do you think that c–cuz i didn't cast a spell – oh fuck – hm bishop: excuse me, mr. radious –
bishop confesses that talmage’s mark went off when he wormed his way through the barrier to get in here. radious shrugs.
radious: fuck, i don't know. radious: look, this place isn't exactly easy to get into if you don't know how to get here.
radious looks at talmage, and then at raja.
radious: a servant of alodia is a different story, of course. talmage: so do you think if it went off again that would be fine? here? radious: i would prefer you didn't cast magic in here? radious: i'd prefer if you didn't cast magic ... at all, until you get that taken care of. talmage: well, it – i found a way ... that doesn't make it go off?
talmage paints a [light] spell on the pair of glasses, and they glow faintly. radious checks talmage’s neck.
radious: ... impressive. talmage: (n___n) radious: nice work. talmage: thanks! (n___n)
radious explains that the mark would be triggered by magic like wizardry, what he used to do, and sorcery, like what luci does.
rocco: maybe luci could teach you some of what he does! radious: it doesn't quite ... work that way raja: i'm not sure luci knows what luci does. talmage: yeah, his magic seems like a ... passed down in his family, kind of thing ... rocco: well, you could just go unconscious, and bishop could bring you back to life, and then you might just get weird powers or something! talmage: i have thought about that bishop: please don't – talmage: i am the only one who hasn't gotten any of your ... ~cool visions~ talmage: i'm feeling a little left out bishop: i would rather ... you not try to not go unconscious on purpose. raja: given your history, that's a valid concern.
talmage rubs away the [light] spell and starts doodling on the lenses of the glasses.
raja and bishop leave to go to agatha’s bookstore. on their way there, they pass by vale guards on horseback announcing the daily news. the vale has apparently “caught the witch responsible for the earthquakes.”
[emily]: yikes [charlie]: WAY TO GO TALMAGE [ashley]: "there will be a public execution for their crimes–" [everyone]: OHHHHHHHH
raja and bishop make eye contact. they should probably tell talmage about this. once in the bookstore, bishop buys the book in the locked cage.
bishop: were there any other interesting books that this person left behind? agatha: not ... specifically. this one seemed important. would you be so kind as to open it up for me?
bishop sets the book on the desk, and the lock on it magically unhinges. there’s a red envelope tucked into the first page – it is addressed to bishop.
if you’re reading this, you shouldn’t be here. don’t follow me. don’t come looking for me.
i don’t want you here.
the rest of the book is on the solis family: information and dates of historic events. two pages are missing, ripped out after lorentio and before reno.
raja asks agatha where the vale might keep magic users who have been arrested. she explains that they have jail cells overlooking the waterfall.
bishop: then i suppose we can make a plan to help talmage's ... enemy? raja: at the very least, we can inform talmage of what has occurred.
they head back to radious’s bunker, but it takes a while to find the entrance again. it’s not where they went in the first time, and it’s not where they came out. bishop runs his hands along the alley walls until he finds the door as it deals 5 dmg to him.
while raja and bishop are gone, talmage spends his time attempting an artificer-style [identify] spell through trial-and-error. rocco drills radious on what it was like teaching at a school. radious liked it a lot; it was very important to him, and he hopes he can do it again one day.
rocco: was talmage a really good student? radious: no. rocco: why not? he's really talented– talmage: WOW
talmage looks up, his glasses coated in ink.
rocco: he found a way around the vale's thing and found a way to do magic – he seems pretty talented! he reminds me a lot of my brother. radious: oh, your brother hector? rocco: how do you know him too?! radious: i know everything magical that goes through this city. radious: i'll tell you right now, he's not part of our organization. rocco: i don't know if that's good news or not ... rocco: why wasn't talmage a good ... student? radious: he didn't pay attention in class unless it was him and aurabri getting into a fight, and then he'd finally get motivated. talmage: WELL, we don't have to talk about that ... that was the past ... i've clearly changed as an individual rocco: talmage always seemed like an independent learner to me! but you seem to like him anyway. radious: i do.
talmage approaches luci at the table.
talmage: hey, did you wanna, like, talk to him about anything? luci: no. talmage: you sure? he seems like, like he really knows what's goin' on–? luci: he doesn't know shit. talmage: he knew your family, i think –
the lights in the room flicker.
talmage: (gently) okay ..! alright ..! luci: what?? talmage: didn't you notice that? luci: the lights? talmage: that was youuu luci: no! talmage: that was youuuuuu luci: that was NOT me talmage: that was YOU luci: NO, IT WASN'T talmage: YES, IT WAS radious: (in the distance) yes, it was
talmage: i'm just saying, this is something that you should probably– you– ugh! talmage: i think if you don't control this, you could get the circus in more trouble. luci: it doesn't happen that often – i–i'm stressed out here, man– talmage: yes, and i think that if you learned more about these things that you can do, you would be able to process that stress a lot better rocco: you know who's really good at magic, luci? talmage: (shouting) i LITERALLY can't cast most of the magic i used to be able to! rocco: ... i meant radious talmage: oh radious: *laughs* he thought you were talking about him
talmage blushes angrily.
rocco: you're good at magic, too, talmage, you just can't use it right now! talmage: okay, whatever ...
talmage: back to what i said at the beginning, maybe you should talk to him? talmage: he's like, right here luci: i have eyes! [dee]: do you? talmage: you're probably never gonna see this guy again, when are you going to get another opportunity like this? luci: ... fine! luci: yo! radious luci: how do i make that not happen
he gestures to the flickering lights. radious talks to luci for a bit about his magic.
radious: once in a while, out in the woods, where no one can see you, try to ... let it go radious: your magic, and your family's magic, is tied to how you're feeling. if you're stressed out or sad or emotional, it'll come through more. i think you already know that. radious: so, at a point, it will come bursting forth, and you need to be ready for that.
radious grabs a torch from the wall and snuffs it out. he hands it to luci, and it lights up bright when it reaches his hands.
radious: these have been here for a very long time. try and just think about turning it on and off. that's about all i can do for you right now. radious: i don't know how your aunt trained, but i do remember her doing this quite a bit when she was first starting off in school. radious: i wish i could tell you more.
luci nods and squints at the torch, concentrating hard. suddenly, all the lights in the room go out EXCEPT for the one in his hands.
rocco: you just need to keep practicing, luci! you'll get better at it! luci: UGHHH rocco: if it's controlled with your emotions– luci: UGHHHHHHHHHH
the torch in his hands burns brighter.
luci: THIS SUCKS rocco: or we could do yoga? i heard people like yoga?
bishop and raja return to rocco and luci doing yoga. talmage acknowledges how flexible they both are.
rocco: we're doing downward dog! join in, bishop! raja: are we trying to stay in shape for our escape ..? rocco: we're teaching luci how to calm his emotions! [charlie]: because i'm not playing nadira, and i can't cast that anymore
bishop approaches talmage.
bishop: your...aurabri. talmage: mhm? bishop: that was who you were disguised as earlier, right? talmage: yeah, what about them? bishop: we were going to the bookshop, and we heard the vale might be having them ... publicly executed tonight talmage: bishop: so we have to go do something about that. talmage: oh............................. rocco: ohhhh, yeah, they're not as good as getting away from people as mr. graves is! talmage: AW...................... bishop: they also didn't know what was going on, because it wasn't them doing it. radious: they were falsely-accused for something talmage did? bishop: it's at sundown. talmage: AW– rocco: you are kind of responsible for this– talmage: agh, i know, aw fuck, god damn it rocco: look at it this way, if we get them out of prison– talmage: how?! how–how are we supposed to do that?! raja: i don't think we will be able to stop a legal execution in a way that is also legal. rocco: if we find a way to clear their name, they'll help us, right? if we save their life? raja: they're kind of already helping us? luci: so you think they're gonna help you because you're saving their life after you got them arrested? talmage: ... they cancel each other out? rocco: do they know that you got them in trouble? talmage: i don't know!! raja: how intelligent are they? talmage: talmage: i guess they're kind of smart ... radious: you're asking if they know that it was your group's fault after they exposed themself and gave you the summoning rock and told you what everyone is doing, trying to help save your lives? talmage: yeah okay radious: the only one who knew they were working for the vale? the only magic users who know them well enough to disguise as them in the city? talmage: talmage: FUCK talmage: AGHHHHHHHHHH
radious tells us he’s still working on the teleportation circle. he suggests we could rescue aurabri, get them here, and then all teleport out of the city together.
talmage: oh my god– radious: or ... leave them. bishop: well, we can't do that. talmage: bishop: WE CAN'T DO THAT. talmage: (mumbling) yeah okay
rocco has taken tours of the keep before and has seen where they keep prisoners. he also knows that it’s standard to keep the prisoners there and then later bring them to town square for public execution.
[charlie]: does rocco know if he can see the hanging cages from a certain vantage point? [ashley]: there are certain spots along the wall where people come up and look [emily]: it's a nice tourist spot [charlie]: take a selfie [emily]: "check out the bitch idiot from my class!"
we consider asking for agatha for help, but this isn’t something she usually gets herself involved in. as the group discusses their plan, talmage rummages through radious’s bunker for rock-like objects, occasionally interrupting the group to ask if he can have the objects he finds. eventually he locates two similarly-sized paper weights. he sits down and begins painting on them.
should we wait until they bring aurabri out for the execution to rescue them? all the guards will be out, and we can’t fight all of them at once. radious mentions our advantage is that we can all cast magic the vale doesn’t know about.
talmage: what if we just start casting shit in secret? and make it look like it's aurabri? rocco: we could set it all on fire!
rocco reminds everyone that he has a wind elemental – this is a very good backup plan.
rocco: what if we swap aurabri with another aurabri talmage: i don't ... have one ... lying around
luci offers to help pick the lock of the cage, but only if they can get the cage to him.
our final plan:
- travel down the tunnels under the keep to the bottom of the waterfall
- bishop flies up to the cage, breaks the chain, and flies the cage back down to the ground
- break aurabri out of the cage
- travel back up the tunnels to radious’s bunker
- teleport out of the city
talmage: if something bad happens and you have to let go of the cage ... they're gonna die anyway talmage: so like, don't feel bad bishop: i will feel bad if i kill this person
before they leave, radious approaches talmage and puts a hand on his shoulder.
radious: i'll see you soon. radious: you make it back here – and i have words for aurabri when they get here. but it's very noble of you to try to save them radious: i don't think i would be able to be that strong.
talmage hugs him, radious patting him awkwardly. radious hands the bird stone to raja and bows to her, then he turns to luci.
radious: don't get them caught. you're the one i'm most worried about. luci: i'm the sneaky one! i'm like, the thief here!! radious: and rocco– rocco: i'm rocco! radious: radious: it's good to know there's a greylock on our side. for once. rocco: we're doing the right thing! and that feels good. radious: i would have loved to have had you in my class.
talmage completes his rock project, and he hands a newly crafted sending stone to bishop and keeps the other. radious casts invisibility on bishop.
radious: don't make me regret this.
the group departs.
we travel down the tunnels to the locked doors. raja unlocks the door with the dragon staff. a sound echoes throughout the area, like drums. the doors swing open, and we can see the bridge ahead of us. suddenly, luci collapses.
luci: ow, fuck, that hurt luci: did you guys feel that shit? raja: is this some sort of sun/moon thing? luci: i don't fuckin' know ... bishop: do you feel alright? are you hurt? luci: i'm fine ...
we ask if luci wants to stay inside, if crossing the bridge will make him feel worse.
bishop: it might make you feel uncomfortable to go over there. luci: fuck you
luci starts crossing the bridge, bishop following briskly.
bishop: I'M JUST SAYING, every time we go into a moon place, it doesn't make me feel well– luci: and yet you still went through! you callin' me a pussy?! bishop: –i'm giving you a WARNING– [shad]: don't be a BITCH, LUCI
the group crosses the bridge and walks up a set of stairs. they emerge into a lush jungle on the edge of a riverbank. we immediately notice the sand in the area has ripple patterns in it.
bishop: welcome to calendora. [charlie]: god, i'm SO worried about dinosaurs
the area is sparkly and alive with magic. talmage squints more than usual. he asks for bishop’s arm and then thinks for a moment.
bishop: ... are we just gonna hold hands here, talmage– talmage: sorry, right–
he paints something generically-inspiring on bishop’s arm, casting [guidance]. bishop feels … motivated.
bishop unfurls his wings, the natural magic in the area swirling around him. he takes off with a powerful leap. he reaches the cage – aurabri is no longer wearing vale robes but a tattered white shirt and khaki pants. their arms and feet are bound and their mouth is gagged. bishop rises above the mist at full-speed and flies over. aurabri’s eyes go wide. bishop takes out his sword, casts [searing smite], and swings across the chain of the cage. the sun sets behind him.
the sword slices clean through. as the cage starts to fall, bishop catches it roughly and slowly lowers it to the ground. the group is extremely impressed.
rocco: that was amazing!!!!!
rocco runs up and jumps onto bishop, unsure what else to do with his excitement.
raja: luci, can you, uh ... luci: well, it's not gonna be as fuckin' impressive as that was ...
luci approaches the cage, but the lock zaps him as soon as he tries to touch it. raja decides to eldritch blast the lock – the magic hits the lock dead-on, but nothing happens. luci inspects it.
luci: you fuckin' broke the lock. luci: ... i guess you live here now, aurabri bishop: for god's sake–
bishop takes his sword, glowing red when the sunlight hits it, and slices through the bars. aurabri is pushed up against the far end of the cage, still bound and gagged.
talmage: alright, don't try any shit. we're saving your life talmage: okay?! okay? alright?
aurabri looks nervously at luci and then bishop.
rocco: should we just keep their mouth shut ..? talmage: maybe keep their arms tied, but they can run with us– rocco: do you want them to be able to talk to us? talmage: no.
aurabri casts [message].
aurabri: [let me fucking go, you asshole!!!] talmage: [are you gonna fuck us over?!]
the mark on talmage’s neck lights up.
[emily]: (quiet and betrayed) oh, ashley,,, [emily]: i feel like shad right now bishop: talmage!!
bishop cuts aurabri’s bonds and removes the gag.
raja: you immediately fucked us over!! aurabri: i didn't do anything!! talmage: AUGHHHH talmage: AHGHHHHH talmage: GHHGHHGRGH rocco: take a deep breath! yoga! talmage: WE DON'T HAVE TIME FOR STRESS YOGA bishop: aurabri. aurabri: (weepy) thank you for saving my life.
aurabri bows deeply. talmage growls.
bishop: you're welcome. do you know the inner workings of the vale headquarters well enough to help us leave the city? aurabri: i'm sorry – why are we going back up there, may i ask? bishop: do you know where we are? aurabri: well, not there. raja: do you want to immediately leave everything you've ever known? rocco: we could leave you here in the jungle, and we'll just go to our nice teleportation circle back to where we want to go! :)
talmage tries to determine if there are any hidden spells on aurabri but looking at them makes him too ANGRY.
bishop: we're gonna go up there, to your old teacher who's going to teleport us out of here– talmage: BISHOP, can you NOT– LISTEN– bishop: they're gonna SEE him regardless– talmage: is there any tracking on you? or scrying? or any way for them to find out where you are?
aurabri gestures to the back of their neck.
bishop: so you both just cast magic down here, right after we immediately freed you. is that correct? aurabri: he wasn't going to let me go!! raja: we were going to save your life! we just didn't want you to talk with him!! aurabri: (wibbly) which i am very appreciate of, but it's been a very stressful day, and i'm not sure why i was arrested! rocco: ... oh ... they're not sure why they were arrested– talmage: the point is they were going to kill you. talmage: public. execution. aurabri: rocco: ... did you not know about that? aurabri: ... no. i didn't. talmage: surprise.
aurabri explains that guards had come to their apartment while they were sleeping, grabbed them, and brought them here. they had no trial and were told nothing.
talmage: (threateningly) okay, but we are on the same page here of like, you were gonna die in a couple hours? talmage: they were gonna kill you, okay? so if they see you again when we go back – because we're going back up – they're gonna kill you. aurabri: aurabri: i'm sure there's just been a misunderstanding– luci: guys, i got this
luci turns to aurabri and pulls out mr. graves’ knife.
luci: listen. if you don't shut the fuck and come with us, you can die here. luci: or, if you fuck it up, i'll just kill you up there!
aurabri is afraid of luci.
[charlie]: this is my emotional-support AND attack twink [emily]: HE CAN'T EVEN EMOTIONALLY-SUPPORT HIMSELF
rocco quietly suggests we use the dragon staff on aurabri if they try anything.
aurabri: are we not just going to fly back up there? where are we going!! what's going on!!! rocco: why would you wanna fly back up in front of the guards? that's a bad idea. rocco: i thought you said they were smart, talmage! talmage: (muttering) bishop: we have another way that will be less suspicious than flying back up, do you have a problem with that? raja: it doesn't matter, let's go.
rocco offers to hold hands with aurabri if we blindfold them.
aurabri: but first, i need to say something. aurabri: it was very kind of you to all come save me, especially after you attacked me in the forest. rocco: that sounded like a backhanded-compliment if i ever heard one ... raja: *laughs* aurabri: the first time i ever met you, i was getting attacked by that man over there!! luci: aurabri: i was planning on apologizing, explaining my situation to talmage, but i never got the chance to. aurabri: i was trying to find you in the woods, to give you something to help you get away from the vale, but i never got a chance to before someone– it doesn't matter. talmage: before what? aurabri: ... i tried to find you in the woods, but i didn't. talmage: ... you never found us? aurabri: no. everyone: talmage: what the fuck are you talking about?!
aurabri rubs their head.
aurabri: it was almost as if it was a dream or something– rocco: didn't you say luci attacked you..? aurabri: yes, i remember him, and there was a knife in my leg, and i remember leaving, but ... that was it. talmage: why don't you remember it? aurabri: what do you mean "why don't i remember it?" talmage: you gave me the stone. aurabri: you did something to me to make me forget! talmage: no?? bishop: (weakly) yes ... talmage: did you–? bishop: i didn't know then!! but, before we left, i did tell them "this never happened" and then we walked away ... bishop: it's just some magic stuff, don't worry about it– aurabri: i understand what a suggestion spell is. talmage: okay so, whatever happened there was an accident! right, bishop? he's really not in control of that specific spell, so ... accident. talmage: ... i don't know why i'm trying to reassure you, but– aurabri: it doesn't matter, he saved my life. i feel like i owe him a great debt. bishop: let's just say that we're even. aurabri: are you sure? bishop: between me and you, yes. bishop: between you and talmage? i don't fucking know
rocco hints that certain people have things they should discuss.
rocco: talmage. :T talmage: ... what rocco: talmage: (angrily) ... what the fuck is that? rocco: you have things you need to sort out with them! talmage: ... okay? rocco: so ... make sure you do that! it's important! talmage: you're not my mom. rocco: sooo, you want them to be upset with you for the rest of your life? :/ talmage: (yelling) i don't KNOW what i want right now! talmage: i want you to not TALK to me like that! rocco: ... i'm just trying to help you ... talmage: right, okay, you don't know what's best for me. rocco: ... hm ... okay, jeez. everyone: bishop: ... well i think we should get going–
the group starts traveling back up the tunnels – aurabri follows bishop closely.
bishop: aurabri, are you going to tell us all the secrets of the vale? aurabri: i can't. but i would if i could. talmage: you can't? what's stopping you? raja: your mark? aurabri: do you even know what this is? you don't, do you. talmage: (angrily) i heard that they work differently depending on who they're on, so i don't know what yours specifically does!!
aurabri spends the walk being generally obnoxious and telling us our plan to escape will fail because the vale always finds who they’re looking for.