does it have pockets

luci: GIDLEY I SWEAR TO FUCKING GOD
talmage: PUT THE FUCKING KNIFE AWAY
[ashley]: he's awake!


everyone is wide awake at the circus. weapons are drawn, and raja can notice the camp has been rearranged to prepare for an attack. the group is brought to domino’s tent, the same one we stayed in before. we’re pushed in – the tent seems different this time. it seems bigger on the inside than it was on the outside.

gidley steps inside, pushing luci in who is trying to fight his way past them. gidley waves their hand and a bunch of bedrolls pop in comedically from the sides of the caravan cart and roll out.

gidley: get some rest!
gidley: stay quiet, we're gong to make sure nothing else comes about tonight.
gidley: but it seems like you scared most everything away, and they wouldn't test us here.
gidley: no leaving the tent until i come get you! good night

gidley zips the tent up, and a faint flash of bright gold light shocks the inside.

luci: gidley!!! let me fucking out of here, i didn't fucking do anything!!! gidley!!!!!
bishop: luci.
luci: what.
bishop: they specifically said be quiet.

luci sits down and crosses his legs.

talmage: they'll let us out after we take a nap, i'm sure.
raja: we're not being imprisoned here.
luci: this is definitely the prison caravan, what else the fuck do you think we use it for?
bishop: do you have a--
raja: why do you--
talmage: you've had prisoners?
raja: --have a prison caravan at the circus?
luci: for people who are in time-out and shit
bishop: so it's the time-out caravan and not the prisoner caravan.
rocco: that's okay luci, i get put in time-out sometimes! it's normal!
luci: how old are you?
rocco: ah ... 23?
rocco: i don't get put in time-out ... anymore really ...

talmage tries to hear outside of the tent, but he feels to uneasy to focus. he’s feeling a little suffocated in here. he’s pacing up and down his bedroll.

bishop: luci. may i see your arm?

luci hides his arm.

luci: what.
bishop: ... may i see your arm?
luci: why?
bishop: well, now it's because you're hiding it.
luci: mhmm?

he can see luci’s arm is blackened, as if it were burnt. the veins are popping out towards the top of his shoulder.

bishop: may i see it?

luci presents his hand, shaking. bishop can tell this is the result of a kick-back, of a magic-user not casting their magic properly.

bishop: this-- i'm assuming it's from the spell you did before, with the birds, but it-- is probably related to what talmage's teacher was saying.

luci looks down at his hand, letting bishop hold onto it, and deflates slightly.

bishop: you're-- he's probably right that you have to channel it slowly and not in big bursts-- which was very helpful, you did save our lives back there, but--
bishop: i don't know much about your magic, but if you need help, all of us are here to help you. you're an asset to our group, and i'm assuming to the circus as well, and i would hate for you to get hurt.

luci looks down and mumbles something.

bishop: i can't heal it right now, but in the morning i can probably take a closer look at it.
talmage: fuck-- when did-- when did that happen?!
bishop: you were knocked out. 
raja: do you want to know what it is you did?
talmage: he did that?! or something else did?
raja: you imitated the magic that i made, right?
luci: yeah, i-- you know, you were doin' it, it made-- it seems like the-- yeah.
raja: do you want to know what it was?
luci:
raja: it might help to know.

raja explains how she learned the spell [sacred flame] to luci. she explains how she channels her god’s energy but does not know what energy luci is channeling when he casts it.

luci glances at his arm.

luci: ... okay.

rocco suggests luci get some rest and he might feel better in the morning!

talmage: what about the clown?
bishop: which one?
raja: the one who can heal?
luci: oh, wyn?
luci: i don't know, he'd probably just smear some berries on it and it would be all sticky.

talmage is curious if anyone else has any more healing spells.

talmage: ... i could try to do--
talmage: i healed ... during the battle, i could try it again.
luci: 
talmage: ... if you want, i don't know--
luci: i mean it would be cool to like, use my arm again.
talmage: --YEAH, okay, then-- yeah, okay--
bishop: do you need another feather?
talmage: yeah ... also sorry? was that okay?
bishop: it's ... fine.
talmage: um, should i just ... do you have a preference of ... of where--

bishop shakes and a few feathers float down – talmage catches one out of the air. luci looks confused.

luci: why did you need ... bishop's feather.
talmage: i don't know, it was there, and i used it, and it worked?
talmage: i feel like it has something to do with his "holy energy" or whatever.

talmage dips the feather in his ink and asks to see luci’s arm. luci reaches over, talmage grabs it – the burns are worse at his fingertips and his palm. talmage paints sun symbols onto his skin, somewhat resembling bishop’s holy symbol. luci watches curiously.

suddenly talmage feels a rush of magic pushing against him, and his magic lights up a bright blue as he does double max healing.

luci’s immediately hits the ground, passed out on one of the pillows. his arm looks completely healed.

talmage: OH GOD OKAY
rocco: HOW DID YOU DO THAT?! DID YOU KILL HIM
talmage: I DON'T KNOW IS HE OKAY
bishop: rocco, he's fine.
talmage: IS HE BREATHING
bishop: he's asleep. i think we could all follow - maybe not so extremely - his lead.

luci is face-up, uncomfortably passed-out on the ground.

rocco: what did you do?
talmage: i think that was him, okay, i don't--
raja: i have a feeling that we need to figure out how luci's going to channel his magic.

bishop adjusts luci so he can sleep more comfortably.

talmage: he's a ticking time bomb.
rocco: is he gonna, like, PCHEW in the middle of the night?
bishop: no.
rocco: how do you know?
bishop: because he's hopefully not casting magic in the middle of the night.
talmage: also it's linked to his emotions and stuff, right?
rocco: what if he has a nightmare?
talmage: ... oh, fuck--

we notice aurabri in the corner, looking really worried. they watch, wide-eyed, as flashes of magic are happening in front of them.

bishop: aurabri, you should go to bed too.
aurabri: ... you are all ... quite large targets for the vale.
talmage: that is not new information.
aurabri: from what i saw you do--

they look at raja, luci, skip over talmage, and then look skeptically at rocco.

aurabri: there's a certain type of person the vale looks for in recruits. you'd be worth a lot if the right person turned you in.
bishop: ... now, aurabri--
aurabri: i'm not threatening you, i'm just letting you know the situation that you are all in!
bishop: what do you suggest we do then, aurabri?
aurabri: ... did you kill everything?
bishop: what?
aurabri: did you kill everything that came last night!! are you sure of it?
bishop: yes, we did kill all of the birds.
aurabri: that will give you a head start, at least.
aurabri: you know how the birds work, you cast it earlier, correct?
aurabri: they can see what you do through their eyes, and it reports back to what would have been my colleagues.
rocco: can they hear sound?
aurabri: yes.
rocco: did we ever mention where we were going?
raja: i'm fairly certain that it's easy to guess.
aurabri: i was not privy to the plans that my superior officers had, we were just relaying information, but ... if they saw the kind of magic that you've been casting ... it's deeply valuable. and deeply sought-after by many people.
raja: the vale would use us to cast magic?
talmage: like you? would they recruit us to do what you did?
aurabri: i don't know. i don't know what happens to everyone that they catch, my job was just finding people.
aurabri: some of the come to work in teams like mine, others we don't ... see again.

bishop insists we are all very capable and probably safe at the circus.

talmage: how far are they willing to go?
talmage: like, distance. if we just--
aurabri: they're everywhere, talmage. you should know that.

rocco suggests we go to where bishop is from. bishop thinks that’s a bad idea.

rocco: well, i don't really wanna go there right now, cuz i got other stuff to do, but--

bishop asks the big question: why exactly is magic illegal?

aurabri: because it's dangerous.
bishop: anything can be dangerous. a sword is dangerous and you have swords. anything is dangerous under the wrong power. restriction is dangerous under the wrong power.
talmage: i was taught that magic came from demons.
bishop: magic comes from a lot of different places.
rocco: that's what my dad always said!
raja: ... my understanding is that magic in the wrong hands can do far more harm than swords in the wrong hands.
rocco: that makes sense. i mean, you saw what luci-- i mean no offense, he can probably can't hear us right now anyway but-- he's powerful! what if there's other people like him out there?
bishop: there are. but the world hasn't ended just because there are powerful people. as long as there's a powerful person who does bad, there are powerful people that do good.
rocco: that's true. like you!
bishop: thank you.

bishop asks aurabri if they recognize the creature they just fought. they don’t.

aurabri: i know what a demon is, that's what that was.
aurabri: it was under someone's control.
raja: have you ever known the vale to summon a demon before?
aurabri: the vale ... fights demons, that's all i know.

aurabri doesn’t keep eye contact with her.

rocco: (sleepily) i still don't understand why they wanted talmage so bad when there's so many cool guys like us? like, bishop's really cool--
bishop: talmage is also very impressive, rocco.
rocco: no, i agree, but why not take all of us at the same time?
bishop: we're stronger than them.
talmage: it might be because i attacked first ... i don't know.
rocco: they just really wanted you, i don't know ...
raja: they're being controlled by somebody, correct?
raja: got any more friends?

the group falls asleep. also we level up! yay


in the morning, rocco rolls over and gets bishop’s attention.

rocco: ready!
bishop: 
rocco: to like ...
bishop: ... yoga was you and luci's thing--
rocco: no no no no, ready to talk to the gods!
rocco: we can do it really quick! i'm just worried my hands are gonna light on fire again.
bishop: you're not luci, i don't think you'll have that issue ...

rocco prepares his first cleric spells!

aurabri is still here. luci wakes up later, after everyone has started moving, and very suddenly sits up in his bedroll, looking around wildly.

luci: what the FUCK happened?!
talmage: you fell asleep, it's okay--

luci holds his arm up, confused at its healed state.

bishop: talmage healed your arm and then you went to sleep.
luci: you knocked me out?!
talmage: that was you, i feel like--
rocco: he didn't like, hit you over the head! he healed you!

luci shoves talmage’s bedroll over.

talmage: h-hey!! okay, i just did the same healing i did before, and your fuckin' arm--
luci: what do you mean i fuckin' did that, i was knocked out!!!
bishop: i don't know who to blame for healing luci very well--
talmage: BLAME-- hmm.
bishop: --but i think both of you are better off right now--
talmage: i take full credit.
bishop: ... there you go, luci, talmage takes full credit for healing you very well.
talmage: (sarcastically) sorry.

luci takes his pillow and smacks talmage with it. they have a short pillow fight.

talmage: i didn't have to do it!!
luci: 
luci: LET ME OOOOOUT
talmage: how's your arm doing?? :/
luci: GIDLEYYYYYYYY
bishop: luci, how does your arm feel? does it feel better, does it feel normal, do you still have any restrictions?

luci stretches his arm a couple times.

luci: *mumbling* it's fine ...
talmage: (sarcastically) wooow!
bishop: talmage.
raja: oh no, let them continue. i think it's helping them get some energy out.
bishop: it is too early for that. you can bicker after noon.
rocco: talmage, how did you learn to do that so fast?
talmage: oh! uh, i don't really know ... i was kind of just freaking out.
rocco: that's really cool! i mean, i can't just pick up a paint brush and do that!
bishop: i mean you did wake up one time, your hands lit on fire, and punch through a ghost.
rocco: you gave me those powers!
bishop: i ... didn't.
rocco: we still don't know what happened there! :)
raja: am i the only only person here who knows precisely where their magic comes from?
talmage: i mean, i know where it comes fr-- ... well, no, maybe not--
talmage: it kind of came from-- bishop was probably involved--
bishop: i'm not giving you guys magical powers, i want to make that clear--
talmage: no, no, i know, but i feel like it was a big part of it?
rocco: like, you watched him and learned what he was doing?
talmage: no, like, literally, physically, i used a part of him.
bishop: i feel like you can cast it without specifically my feathers.

aurabri sits up and clears their throat.

aurabri: the way that you cast the magic, channeled through a very magical source, such as bishop's feather, is what cast the spell.
aurabri: it was thanks to his innate ability of being an ... aasimar.
talmage: ... isn't that kind of what i just said?
aurabri: not at all.
talmage: that's basically what i said.
aurabri: everything in the world has a value of magic attached to it. wizards cast it from spellbooks and arcane materials and words, sorcerers from inside themselves, and apparently there are clerics and paladins now who cast power through a god.
aurabri: talmage, you should have paid attention in school.
talmage: if i did, i'd probably be dead.
rocco: warlocks are scary! i know about them.
rocco: you have to promise to do things for somebody and they're like, spooky, and you never see them--
raja: how is that any different from a paladin or a cleric?
talmage: rocco, tell me about your current magical situation.
rocco: what do you mean?
talmage: what is your relationship with the entity that gives you your power?
rocco: well, they don't seem spooky!
raja: alodia does not seem terribly spooky.

we hear a click and shiiing as luci pulls out his knife.

luci: GIDLEY I SWEAR TO FUCKING GOD
talmage: PUT THE FUCKING KNIFE AWAY
[ashley]: he's awake!

bishop moves to the tent exit.

bishop: we're awake ... luci has a knife.
[shad]: we're trapped in here and he has a knife
lorelai: he has a lot of those!
bishop: could you let us out?

lorelai climbs up to the top of the tent, her claws sticking through, as she unzips the top enough to peer in.

rocco: lorelai!
lorelai: good morning.
rocco: i missed you.
lorelai: i missed you too! what was your name again?
rocco: oh ... don't you remember when we were hanging out?
lorelai: we did all the flips together, of course i remember you! i just don't remember your name, blue flippy guy--
rocco: rocco ...
lorelai: rocco! you were very good at flipping.

lorelai invites us to breakfast and explains there are a lot of vale patrols out right now, so if any come by we need to get back in the tent.

lorelai: also, we recommend the buddy system.
rocco: oh! i know how to do that!
rocco: so, should we make sure we have permanent buddies, or should we just do it when we need a buddy?
lorelai: who's your buddy, blue flippy guy?
rocco: uh, i don't know ... bishop, will you be my buddy?
raja: ... aurabri. i'll keep an eye on you.

aurabri gulps.

[charlie]: DEE JUST UNLEASHED THE BIGGEST POWER MOVE ON AURABRI AND EMILY
bishop: it seems we have our buddies, lorelai.
[charlie]: raja's like "i don't need a dick to swing it around"
[dee]: see, it was a power move for raja and a power move for dee

luci says nothing.

talmage: oh. okay
bishop: would you rather be aurabri's buddy?
raja: i feel like that would go poorly for everybody.
bishop: i don't think that's a good idea, and apparently you can heal luci very well--
talmage: okay, okay, yeah, it's fine, sure--
luci: lorelai, can't i be your buddy?
lorelai: no, i replaced you because you left me

lorelai unzips the tent and heads off, luci following behind her, leaving talmage behind.

luci: who did you fucking replace me with???

raja smiles at aurabri with all of her teeth. they look at talmage as if saying “help me.” talmage smiles back.


at breakfast, bishop approaches raja and talmage.

bishop: when i healed you guys, did you ...
talmage: *cringes*
bishop: --that's a yes - remember anything about me?
talmage: maybe? what all do you know about your friend?
bishop: i'm ... assuming less than you? what do you remember about my friend?
bishop: that he stabbed me. that i came up here looking for him. his name, what he looks like, what radious told us.
talmage: okay, um ... so you were ... kinda chained up? uhhh and then ... he let you go? he undid the bindings? 
bishop: okay.
talmage: so ... it seemed like a positive interaction? 
bishop: okay. thank you.
raja: in mine, he said that working together you could help people ... you weren't chained up.
talmage: how did you revive me, by the way
bishop: um
talmage: after that, was it just-- i didn't really remember a lot ... a lot was happening ...
bishop: i mean, i don't recall specifically what spell it was--
talmage: nothing special? okay, just curious--
bishop: why?
talmage: no reason

bishop squints at talmage, who looks embarrassed. bishop asks us to please continue remembering and explaining his memories for him.

talmage: are you like, writing this shit down?
talmage: maybe that'll help you piece everything--
luci: where's he gonna fucking keep a notebook, he doesn't wear any fuckin' clothes

luci comes over with two bowls of breakfast and hands one to talmage.

bishop: radious gave me a shirt!
luci: are you wearing it right now?
bishop: ... well, no ...
raja: does it have pockets in it?
bishop: i-- h-- i-- it-- it-- might-- i don't know!
raja: i've never seen someone get so flustered over pockets.

bishop leaves to get his shirt. talmage scoots over to raja.

talmage: *whispering* okay so
raja: what else did you remember
[shad]: I'M GOING TO FUCKING MURDER YOU
talmage: i think they kissed
luci: WHAT?!
talmage: SHH, YOU CAN'T-- I-- HOLD ON--
talmage: i don't know if this is good to--
rocco: what are you guys whispering about?
talmage: rocco, i'll tell you in a second--
rocco: why can't you just tell me right now?
talmage: because-- because you'll get really excited and loud and it's a surprise--
rocco: well, i like surprises ...
talmage: *whispering* i don't know if i should i tell him? i don't know if that'll like, aid, or--
luci: didn't he fucking kill him?
raja: yes.
talmage: and apparently he hasn't put that together yet
raja: well, i don't think it's going to make him feel better about the situation.
talmage: yeah, so like ... don't tell him? i'll wait a bit ...

in his tent, bishop unwraps the shirt from radious. inside is a red glass flask of holy water. it has the same holy symbol that bishop uses.


[emily]: look, that was a legitimate strategic choice
[emily]: if you're SAD about your not-boyfriend--
[charlie]: you don't wanna make him sad AND horny, god forbid he be JUST LIKE YOU
[emily]: shut the FUCK up

as breakfast wraps up, raja approaches gidley.

raja: when you have a moment, i have some of importance to discuss with you privately.
gidley: you hear that genevieve? "privately"

gidley offers their arm.

gidley: follow me to my tent.

they lead her to the back tent. it’s lavishly-decorated with tapestries and blankets and there are piles of pillows on the ground. there isn’t a bed anywhere. gidley flops down onto the many piles of cushions.

gidley: what do you need?
raja: you're very ... never mind

gidley stands.

gidley: my apologies, i'm supposed to sit after you.

raja sits.

raja: i need to meet with glendale rockfort. i suspect that you already know why.
gidley: i have assumptions.
raja: well, as i believe you already know, we are her royal majesty.

raja casts [disguise self] and transforms into her old self.

gidley: more beautiful than they told me before.
raja: flattery doesn't quite work on a princess.
gidley: wasn't expecting it to, but what do you need from me?
raja: well, the person currently on the throne of vaselle is an impostor. i believe it is the god aedith.
raja: obviously i need to talk to glendale rockfort in order to see if there is a way to resolve the situation. i'm beginning to think i don't even know the scope of it.
gidley: my grandfather is, of course, handling the investigation. he's the royal inquisitor of vaselle, after all.
gidley: we can get you to vaselle, but i don't know how much people are going to be looking for you. dragon-you.
raja: in a way, the dragon form is a blessing in the sense that i am able to fly under the radar, i am hoping that if i am able to meet with him ... we are somewhat close acquaintances, hopefully i would be able to convince him of my authenticity. 
gidley: i can get you to vaselle. give him a call to have lunch, and bring you there. but not much more. there are many people here who can't, for their own safety, get involved.
raja: it seemed fair to me that you knew who you were harboring.
gidley: you're safe here. besides, i knew you were coming.

they stand.

gidley: oh, alodia ... great benefactor, loves the show. had wonderful things to say about you! expects big things.
raja: ... so she's always saying. if a few of those expectations could become a bit more explicit ... *sighs* well, i suppose i'm asking too much.

gidley laughs unattractively and pours two drinks, offering one to raja.

gidley: you still have to perform while you're here, though.
raja: i've found that i somewhat enjoy it.
gidley: welcome to the circus, officially.

bishop returns to the group wearing his new shirt. it’s a tunic. it’s very tight.

talmage: does it got pockets?
bishop: no.
luci: we could probably find you somethin' with pockets.
talmage: do your pants not have pockets?

luci walks around bishop, sliding his hand down one of his back pockets. his hand goes all the way through.

luci: i don't think this is gonna work.

luci removes his hand.

rocco: why does he touch everyone's butts, like, all the time

rocco asks luci if he knows how to sew. he can. rocco asks if luci could fix bishop’s pockets.

talmage: don't you have a bag? just put it in your fuckin'-- why are we still on this
talmage: it was a joke-- okay, i was trying to make fuckin' conversation, you don't need to write your memories down, i'm sorry you don't have pockets, your shirt looks great

bishop starts taking his pants off. everyone is upset. they’re still eating breakfast.

lorelai: (distantly) TAKE IT OFFFFF

luci covers his face. bishop defeatedly pulls his pants back up.

we discuss our next plan. we’re looking for kairos, but we also promised to help the circus with the birds. talmage is worried if they can stop the birds, because why would they ever stop attacking?

aurabri: there's only so many birds they have. it's a limited, finite resource.

we’re worried about the vale showing up at the circus tonight.

aurabri: a few weeks ago we came, and even monsignor west-- he wouldn't raise a finger against the rockfort circus.
bishop: and gidley basically did magic right in front of him.

bishop looks at talmage and down at his ankle.

aurabri: ... i didn't know that your ankle was magically-snapped, but i did have some questions about it. your fall was much more embarrassing, but you did not land improperly on your ankle.
talmage: yeah, no, that was after, and deliberate, and very painful.

raja asks what talmage’s plan is – he wants to find kairos. he seems to be doing a lot of good. bishop is unsure what he wants to do if kairos doesn’t want to see him.

talmage: i'm sure whatever spat you guys had, we can just put that behind you ...
luci: didn't he fucking kill you
bishop: yeah, he did--
talmage: RIGHT, BUT LIKE--

raja asks how rocco plans on dealing with now being on the wrong side of the law. he wants to bring hector home, but he doesn’t know what to do after that.

luci: just so long as bringing him home doesn't mean bringing him back to the fucking circus ...
talmage: (to raja) god i really wanna see the way they interact with each other

bishop asks what raja’s plan is – that’s what she wanted to talk to us about.

raja: luci, can you watch aurabri for a moment?
luci: he's your buddy!
raja: i'm asking to switch with you for a moment. i need to speak with these three.
luci: ... fuck you too, i guess.

luci leaves without aurabri.

[dee]: i was TRYING to RESPECT YOU

bishop asks aurabri to stay here. raja takes the rest of us to the time-out tent.

raja: i intend to go to vaselle to meet with glendale rockfort and possibly ally myself with the magic users in removing the impostor queen, and the vale, from power in vaselle.
raja: he is the high inquisitor of vaselle and he is investigating the murder of the devrim royal family, of which i am the sole-remaining heir. 
rocco: woah

raja casts [disguise self], transforming into her true self – the older princess of the royal family.

rocco falls down in shock. bishop has no idea who this is.

rocco: WHAAAAT
raja: when i return to vaselle, i'm going to need allies.
raja: and based on what i've been able to ascertain about who the impostor is working with, i believe we are going to have to fight against, not only whatever allies she has supporting her on the throne, but also the vale who is keeping her there.
talmage: ... holy shit
raja: it is ... somewhat dangerous for you to know this, which is why i have not told you before now. which is why, if you are committed to fighting the vale on your own terms, we may be valuable allies to each other.
raja: there is ... one other thing.
rocco: i don't know if i can handle all these truth bombs right now ...
raja: while i don't know for sure, i believe the impostor on throne may be aedith.
rocco: oh! that's weird! isn't that one of your god friend ladies?
raja: she is not my friend.
talmage: that's the ... other one?
raja: she is the one who cursed me.
rocco: oh, your not-friend!
bishop: enemy, even.
raja: i also believe hector is helping ... aedith.
rocco: *pained noise*
raja: i don't know how. i do not know what is he doing there.
rocco: why would he do that
raja: if you want to know where your brother is ... i believe we may be headed to the same place.

raja explains she isn’t completely without resources, even as an exiled queen. she isn’t 100% positive hector is with aedith, it’s just very likely.

bishop: what's aedith's ... mantra
raja: she is extraordinarily focused on power, prosperity, and wealth. she is a very skilled negotiator, and very confident that she knows what is best for a country.
raja: i don't know why the vale has allied themselves with her, but i am not terribly surprised given what i now know about how they are consolidating power.
rocco: so you're worried about her spreading her influence?
raja: well, i'm worried about her ruling my country.

raja reminds us that aedith is not necessarily evil, just a god of plans and structure.

talmage asked how long ago this happened to her – just a month ago. two weeks before she met up with us. raja explains she didn’t include luci in the conversation because he doesn’t seem to be involved in any of this.

raja: luci is an extraordinarily-powerful ally, but if he is not committed to this cause, he could become an extraordinarily-powerful enemy. same with aurabri.
rocco: what if he just blows up the circus one day

bishop is concerned if raja wants to kill the people who took her throne.

bishop: what is your intent.
raja: my primary goal is and will remain to get the crown of my country back.
bishop: at what cost? in order to back you, i need to know how far you are willing to go and the lines you will not cross.
raja: the government of vaselle is my government. i don't intend to kill anybody that i do not absolutely have to. i do not think i could kill aedith, but i won't promise that i won't if it is necessary.
rocco: what if we just make her look really bad?
everyone: *laughs* you might be kidding, but honestly i think humiliating her might actually work!
rocco: i'm not kidding at all, in school if you really didn't like people running for class president you just do some sick burns on their locker ... but i don't know if that's gonna work in this situation ...
raja: she killed my family, bishop.
rocco: none of my class presidents did that ...
talmage: i mean, i think if raja is given the chance she kind of ... deserves the right to kill aedith. just sayin'.
rocco: but you didn't kill aurabri! you made a good choice!
bishop: yeah, i'm not exactly keen on the wording of "deserves to kill," but if your intent currently is to help the people who need it then i will follow you and help you with this. but if you goals change at some point, i can't promise that i will continue to.
raja: it's been charming getting to know some of the citizens of my country honestly.
rocco: ... oh, that's me!

bishop asks raja to clarify if she knows for sure that aedith killed her family.

rocco: did you watch it happen
talmage: rocco
rocco: i'm sorry that was really--
talmage: dial it down

raja saw the palace burn. aedith chased her out, and for sure was the one who cursed her. talmage makes a motion to pat raja on the back, but rethinks it.

raja: it's good to have people to ... talk to again.
talmage: i'm sorry.
rocco: i feel the same way! it's good to have people to talk to. i've never had this many friends.
raja: ... me either.

we’re curious if aurabri has run off yet – they can be seen chatting with the circus crew, trying to come up with their performance. we agree to tell luci what’s up, but won’t pressure him to join our cause.

raja leaves the tent. everyone breathes out a sigh.

talmage: does this like, change things??
talmage: how am i supposed to talk to her??
bishop: as you always would.
rocco: politely?
talmage: 
rocco: like ... don't be mean to her?
talmage: i kind of was, shouldn't i keep doing that??
rocco: you could try being a little nicer!
bishop: that wouldn't ... hurt. you could practice on everyone, if you wanted to.
talmage: ALRIGHT, OKAY

talmage leaves.

rocco: i don't know if that worked
bishop: well, he didn't curse at us

bishop finds lorelai. he extends a hand to shake hers.

bishop: you and luci are good friends right?
bishop: and he's friends with everyone in the circus?
lorelai: yeah, he's been here since the beginning.
bishop: he's not close to his family, does he have a boyfriend here or something?
lorelai:
bishop: like, are there--
lorelai: hup! i'm thinking.
bishop: 
lorelai: no. why?

her tail starts swishing.

bishop: if he, for any reason came with us, i didn't know if he had a significant other here that we should be worried about him leaving, or anything like that.
lorelai: ... this is not where i expected this conversation to go.
lorelai: he is single, if that's what you're asking!
bishop: oh, i mean-- no, but--
lorelai: we're not together.
bishop: ... okay
lorelai: he's a lot to handle emotionally, though.
bishop: we've noticed.
lorelai: he has a lot of feelings.
bishop: he does.
lorelai: it takes him a while to warm up to people, but he cares a lot about everyone.
lorelai: he's pretty shy.
bishop: yes, he is.
lorelai: so the whole, "ugh, i'm cool," is just like, totally an act.
bishop: he's a little cool. he's very good with the knives that he has.

lorelai winks.

lorelai: yes, he's very good with his swords, i know, i've had this conversation over and over
bishop: well he hasn't used them yet, aside from the sword-swallowing.
lorelai: he ... has a hard time with his family.
lorelai: he's touchy about his mom, she was really important to him. and then his dad? way worse. he's pretty bad.
bishop: the vale, right?
lorelai: you remember the big guy who watched the performance before, monsignor west, in charge of this area?
lorelai: but luci's dad, mr. lucille, is in charge of him. so he's ... 
bishop: very important in ranking.
lorelai: i don't really know, luci hasn't talked about what exactly he does, but ...
bishop: and then his sibling.
lorelai: he's got three of them!
bishop: one of them stabbed me. 
lorelai: was it ayden? ayden's pretty fun!
bishop: he had two different-colored eyes
lorelai: oh that's brayden! he comes around sometimes, but gidley always scares him away.

we find out ayden is a bounty hunter, and apparently the “disappointment” of the family for not being a vale guard. bishop tries to convince lorelai that luci is from a very important family, the calledaways.

bishop: he's used magic before, you know that right?
lorelai: he doesn't like it.
bishop: no, but if he doesn't use it, it might hurt him.
lorelai: why?
bishop: family thing. 
lorelai: is he okay?
bishop: i think so? just keep an eye on him.
lorelai: okay. but if you want to ask him out, you totally can. it would be very funny.
bishop: that's not what i came over here for.
lorelai: but you care about him a lot!

lorelai purrs. bishop leaves.

raja is constructing her evil dragon costume. talmage finds wyn, who is coloring with rocco. he thanks wyn for the help from the other night, and wyn smiles back. talmage then goes to find luci.


he approaches gidley’s tent just as gidley is exiting. talmage peers in and knocks at the air, clicking his teeth to mimic clacking on a door.

luci is sitting on the cushion pile, holding one close to his chest. he doesn’t look particularly happy to see talmage, but he isn’t crying. a glass of water sitting next to him.

luci: what do you want.
talmage: ... are you cool?
luci: yeah. i'm always cool.
talmage: you don't look cool.
[charlie]: WE JUST SAID TRY BEING NICER

talmage gets smacked in the face by the pillow luci was holding.

talmage: I'M JUST SAYING, you like, stormed away earlier, i just wanted to make sure you were okay
luci: (mumbling) i'm fine, thanks for your concern
talmage: okay!!
luci: 
talmage: i just thought i would give you ...
luci: 
talmage: never mind, okay, i'll talk to you later

talmage leaves.

[charlie]: that was a fulfilling conversation ...
[dee]: that was great, that was very fun
[charlie]: this is gonna take-- *sighs* ya'll slowburnin'
[emily]: *absolute panic*

talmage paces in front of the tent. after a moment, he stomps back inside. luci stands.

talmage: i was-- just gonna give you the-- i found a book.
talmage: the one your aunt had? and ... i can't use it, because we all almost died when i tried, so i'm going to give it to you.
talmage: do with it what you want.

luci takes it and opens it up. he looks nervous.

luci: ... it's a spellbook, right?
talmage: yeah.
talmage: i figured you should have it since ... it could be a personal item ... to you?
talmage: but if you are actually interested in ... your magic thing? i can try to help?
luci: um, uhh--
talmage: --but ... i don't wanna pressure you?
luci:
talmage: but also i think you might need to be pressured? *sighs* i'm worried that-- ...
luci: um. i-- you do know that the whole magic thing is what made me lose them, right?
luci: like, if they didn't ...

he holds onto the spellbook tighter.

luci: that was my family, and they're gone.
luci: and i don't know if this is like, me getting closer to them, if that's what you're trying to go for? but--
talmage: i'm just saying that if you don't-- if you don't get your-- *sighs* if you don't get your shit figured out, you could lose the family you have now.
luci: 
talmage: anyway, yeah, uhh.
luci: 
talmage: cool, okay, bye.

the group meets back outside. aurabri asks us what we decided to do. probably fight the birds attacking the circus? how do we do this.

bishop: were you the most skilled summoner?
aurabri: i was the best.
talmage: you were the best of six.
aurabri: i'm sorry, talmage, would you like to be tortured for a few years?

we talk about the summoners. the birds flew west when they tried returning to their summoners.

bishop: there was a bear one time.
aurabri: i cast the bear.
bishop: i fucked up that bear, i'm sorry about the bear. it was a tough bear.
aurabri: that's how i knew you were the most powerful of the group.
talmage:

do they have an unlimited number of stones? they might make more, but killing the birds does destroy the stone so killing them will slow the attacks down.

talmage: how are they making--
aurabri: the cicero company. didn't you already know that?
talmage: ... did mr. graves know?
rocco: maybe!

aurabri knows where the summoner tower is – they were stationed there before. we consider ambushing the tower and stealing or destroying their stones. rocco asks if talmage knows any other magic users that can help – he doesn’t.

we tell gidley our plan – they seem surprised we’re still willing to help them. bishop asks if anyone at the circus could help us get past the wards on the tower … they’re hesitant. they don’t want any of their friends put in danger. domino is willing to come with to help us.

for now, we’re going to stay the night at the circus in case they’re attacked again. wyn comes around and cleans up our bowls from dinner.

suddenly, the temperature dips and some of the torches around the circus go out. the atmosphere shifts drastically. bishop warns wyn that the circus will probably get attacked – wyn goes into gidley’s tent, and the rest of the group shuffles into the safety tent.

the moment is tense. we wait. it feels cold, aurabri puts their head in their hands. rocco suggests we stay put, so the birds won’t find us. talmage reminds him of the one time they unzipped the tent.

rocco’s getting antsy.

raja uses one of the summoner stones to peek outside, but as the bird slips out of the tent, the air outside is pitch black. a thick, black fog even blots out the night sky. suddenly, something envelopes her and she’s shocked back into her body. the summoner stone is lost.

raja: i don't think whatever's out there ... is a bird.
rocco: but we can't just let it walk around, what if it goes to somebody else's tent?
talmage: but ... it can't, right? it's not ... allowed to?
rocco: you just said that it unzipped out tent last time ...

we question if the vale is even allowed to attack anyone if they don’t have proof that they’re magic.

raja: they're not going to sic demons on the circus.
aurabri: do they have proof that the circus is magic? did they get anything to prove it?
aurabri: like a wand, or a staff, or a magically-created item that they brought back, that would be proof.
talmage: no, i got mine ... back. mr. graves ... got it ... back ..... he gave it ..... to me .................
aurabri: ... wait, so they did have something?
bishop: mr. graves had something.
talmage: it was the mirror ... but it wasn't like--
bishop: but it was magically-infused. and they had it for a little while.
bishop: well, if it's worse than a bird, i can't just sit in the tent and not fight it.

talmage asks why it might be so foggy outside – a spell? why would they be casting magic?

aurabri huddles away from the tent flap.

talmage: what's out there.
aurabri: i don't-- nothing good. i told you that they would keep sending something stronger.
talmage: should we go out and fight it.
aurabri: ... it might be too late if it's already been here this long.
talmage: what do you-- mean. what does that mean.
aurabri: i don't-- i don't-- all i did for the vale was, they forced me to look for other magic users with those birds.
aurabri: the only other interaction i really had with them was the last time i saw you, talmage.
bishop: alright, i think we should go. outside. if you guys want to stay in here, you can. but i'm going to go out.
rocco: yeah, i really wanna go out, i don't feel safe in here ... i'm worried about everybody else ...
aurabri: i think in here is the safest place.
talmage: but ... if raja couldn't see anything, what use would we be out there?
bishop: i have a big glowing sword. if you want to stay in the back, i'm going to open the flap and i'm going to go out.
raja: *sighs* i'm not going to let you go out alone.
talmage: 
bishop: you can stay in here, i won't hold it against you, but i have to go out there.

aurabri reaches out to talmage.

aurabri: whatever they sent last night is nothing compared to this.

talmage is having a hard time reading aurabri. he can tell that their fear seems off, doesn’t seem genuine.

talmage: bishop, hold on--
bishop: what.
talmage: i don't-- i don't-- what if-- 
raja: to be blunt, we are no good to everybody dead.
bishop: we can't not help them.
raja: they don't want them. the vale wants us.
bishop: luci isn't in here!
raja: luci's with gidley. do you think he's better protected if we go out there and die?
bishop:

bishop leaves the tent. raja sighs, summons her light and sword, and follows him. rocco also follows.

talmage can hear the sound of steel on steel and the smell of smoke.

the three head out into the dark fog, wandering until they find a small campfire burning. it’s a little eerie. slowly, the fire shifts to a dark purple turning white on the inside. it feels wrong, not radiant magic. the humidity rises.

a figure manifests in the smoke, horned and winged, a demonic appearance. it rises, hunched over the group.

figure: what are you here for. why are you here.
raja: we're here to protect these people.
rocco: ... what are you here for?

the figure fades, the smoke lifts, and wyn is sitting there. he’s on a bench, next to the campfire, roasting marshmallows.

wyn: welcome to the resistance.

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