Daisy dramatically rides forward on Ambrosius into the middle of the proceedings and yells, “Stop! …*I* AM THE SHEPHERD PRINCE!”
Everything does stop. The grotesque assemblage all turns toward this unexpected outburst.
At the front of the chamber, Gleaming’s kenku lieutenant Corcuera is not having it. He gestures to his kenku goons to take care of the interruption and they slink towards Daisy, swords and axes raised menacingly.
One of the big winged demons at the back is all like, “Hey what is all this? A DEVIL TRAP!?” And another one mutters, “I knew it!”
This offends all the devils and their minions in attendance. They’re like, “Hey, we run a tight ship here. Keep quiet.” Which in turn offends the demons, and the two rival groups begin shouting back and forth.
Those of no particular affiliation are understandably uncomfortable with the dangerous tension in the room. They begin retreating to the back doors for safety, but their sudden movement only increases the attendees’ unease. Weapons, wands, spells and claws are all made more accessible. The threat of violence is palpable.
The mysterious dark-robed figure with its face in complete shadow looks ready to use its own weapons against Daisy.
Nim seizes the opportunity to push the volatile situation further (and keep Daisy safe). She quickly casts her Hypnotic Pattern spell around Daisy’s would-be assailants. At the sight of the swirling colors, most immediately stop in their tracks, their faces slack in fascination. The mysterious hooded figure is affected, too. It never even gets a chance to use the starknife at its belt. It stands there gaping with the other victims of Nim’s spell, completely mesmerized.
(…and somewhere far away a GM sheds a tear that his NPC is out of the fight. 😛 But hey, that’s how the dice land.)
Daisy heroically swoops in and grabs Tumn, throwing him up behind her on Ambrosius. But before she can make her get-away, an angry Trimphid places a hand on Tumn and casts a ghoulish spell which paralyzes the halfling and causes those around him to be sickened at the foul stench he emanates. Daisy rides with her stricken brother back to the exit trying to dodge Trimphid’s magic missiles and fireballs. Swarms of Gleaming’s ravens swoop down from the dais and try to attack her but get cooked by Trimphid’s spells instead.
Now the room is in total chaos. The abyssal faction comes to blows with the infernal one with clusters of brawls and duels breaking out all over.
Some are even using the bedlam to make grabs for the auction items. One of those opportunists is Dovienya, who sneaks up and takes the Xan-Hyrkanic Codex from its podium. Then he stealthily slips into Nim’s Hypnotic Pattern and pickpockets the entranced mystery person’s starknife from right under its shadowy hooded nose!
Nim, meanwhile, must suddenly contend with two fearsome Hamatulas (Barbed Devils), and is forced to use her two twister-stones to save herself. She throws them to the ground and the elven fighters pop into action and defend her. Then Nim makes her escape.
As fighting across the auction floor ensues, there’s a sensation that the magic keeping the structure of the place is weakening. Nim hears Mouse’s voice in her ears: “Hey, I think I might have found a thread to pull on here. Hehe, never give a cat a piece of thread…”
And then all Hell breaks loose (and technically the Abyss as well). The walls start to wobble and turn gray; ethereal fog is starting to seep in. The room starts to shake.
Then, from front of the room, a loud voice bellows, “ENOUGH!” All goes eerily quiet and still as Gleaming stands up from his throne.
He steps down from his dais. The room stabilizes… the demons, the devils, the chaos priests and weirdo mutants all freeze as the White Jester King addresses his court. All are captivated and immobile, waiting for the jester’s final act.
It’s time for him to put a quick end to this diverting performance… Gleaming lifts his arms to summon …
But then the room seems to explode with a flash of light. There are suddenly a group of figures in the room in between you and Gleaming. You recognize Furik with several of her Formian warriors joined with Averon and what must be another Sovereign (a female half-elf wizard), plus an exotically-dressed halfling with a glowing blue fighting-fan (the Rectoress?!).
Averon is like, “Gleaming!”
And Gleaming is all like, “Averon!”
And you realize there’s history there.
They all start to wizard-duel and suddenly everyone can move again, and Mouse is there and fighting Trimphid in close melee. Nim hears his call for aid and runs over, casting her Spiritual Starknife to slash at the Gridean scoundrel.
And Dov is trying to make his way out to the exit, but the giant Heretic Devil is in his way and starts making devastating attacks. It wants to get into the room with the clear intention of killing everything in its path. And Dov is like, “Hey, aren’t you just supposed to be like the doorman? What’s with the insta-death claws?” But the Heretic Devil is just like not having it with all this mayhem. This is inexcusable behavior at one of his auctions.
The mysterious dark-robed figure awakens from his enchanted state, sees the situation surrounding him, and quickly makes his escape. He grabs the Divine Endling from its podium and disappears into the shadows.
Meanwhile, Daisy and the Rectoress are fighting Corcuera and his goons and taking them out with the Rectoress swirling around all bad ass with her magic fighting fan.
Dov gets out of the way of the rampaging Heretic Devil and heads back into the auction hall. He spots Daisy fighting Corcuera and plunges his rapier from the ledge above to strike the killing blow against the kenku that framed him for murder and made him a fugitive. Vengeance is sweet.
Then he sees Nim and Mouse fighting Trimphid in the back and heads up towards them, but not before grabbing hold of the milpreve – the druid’s gate key – on the way from its place on the podium.
With their immediate assailants killed, Daisy hands Tumn over to the Rectoress who makes her way with him to the exit, which is now clear of the death-delivering Heretic Devils. Daisy nimbly swipes Corcuera’s thistle-marked dagger from his corpse and then proceeds to charge back into the fray to help her friends.
Trimphid is getting blasted from all sides, his spells dispelled. Quite wounded, he makes a run for it, but gets spotted by Furik who takes her own shots at him. He successfully casts a spell to confuse Dov, who starts attacking Mouse and Furik. But the wizard succumbs to the many attacks and falls to the floor, dead.
Daisy and Nim both end up in the destructive path of the Heretic Devil and are one claw swipe away from Purgatory, but Mouse rescues them in turn, leaping onto their backs and phase shifting them out of the Ethereal Plane and back into the material one. They find themselves in a dark alleyway somewhere in Farglad’s highslope area. Dov is still confused when Mouse grabs him as well, but the dweomercat is basically made out of magic – so quickly dispels the effect, returning him to normal.
Mouse thanks you all for helping him take out Trimphid, then his ears abruptly perk up and he announces people are coming. With that, he disappears again.
You all turn and run, and begin getting chased by members of the city’s guards. Highslope is on high alert with multiple patrols seeking a halfling riding on a sheepdog. She and her prankster friends recently tripped some guards and ran away. Looks like it’s going to be tough for the Unsworn to stay in Farglad for much longer.
Once back in lowslope, your pursuers failing once again to apprehend you, you find a safe spot to meet up and debrief. Dovienya fishes out the starknife and hands it over to Nim. “Here ya go, got this for ya,” he says.
Nim is overcome with gratitude and gives him a big hug. Dov is speechless, arms outstretched awkwardly at his side. They have a moment.
The three friends decide not to head back to the Sapphire Fang that night, but go to the Whispering Owl instead, where rooms are purchased and word is sent to Midribin that you’d like to meet her the next day at noon.
That night, Nim studies the ring and boots she lifted from the Sibrillian ambassador’s house and learns their secrets. She decides to give the fancy boots to Dov. He really seemed to want them; it’s the least she could do. Before settling in for a long rest, she reverently holds her new starknife. It traveled across the Void to find her. Through some trick of time and memory, she already knows how to wield it. She begins to understands its true power.
Meanwhile, Daisy and Ambrosius head to their room to rest after the long night. She fiddles around with her new dagger a little bit. The symbol on it matches the one on her katana so it must be from the halfling homeland. Does it have magical powers too?
And alone in his room at the Whispering Owl, Dovienya can’t help himself. He opens up the Xan-Hyrkanic Codex and begins to read.
To Be Continued…