Chapter 14:

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Session Number: 200
Date: Sunday 16 February 2014
Venue: Densial's
PCs & Players:

Ariel Sor13 (Fergus) (kills: none)
Calico Drd13 (Yeran) (kills: none)
Lionel Rgr6/Wiz1/ArcA6 (Ash) (kills: none)
Rowaine Pal13 (Craig) (kills: none)
Troll Wiz13 (Densial) (kills: none)
Violet Drd13 (DM) (kills: none)

XP Awarded: TBA

"Are we done here?" Ariel asks. "Let's go back to Harkon."

"I believe we were still talking," Bob says to Rowaine.

Rowaine seems to agree. "Bob, I have a question for you."

"Go ahead. I'll try and answer it. Maybe."

"Are you a dracolich or are you working for one?"

"No, and no."

"Are you telling the truth?" Troll asks.

"Yes. Well, I am now. I did not know of a dracolich until you mentioned it."

"I find that very hard to believe," Rowaine says.

"I'm assuming dracolich means a dragon-lich?"

"Smart, too!" Troll says.

"Are you saying this because I keep referring to undead dragons and liches? Would you prefer me to use a different evil thing? How about a beholder? What if a beholder disguised as a person walked past you in the human kingdom?"

"Convince me that you know nothing of dracoliches," Rowaine replies. "And that you are not either one or in one's employ."

"I believe this agreement was to talk and get to know each other. Ask me some questions and I'll answer them to the best of my ability. How about you ask me a question that I will answer, then I ask you a question that you will answer? That's the whole 'equal footing' thing that we're doing here, isn't it?"

"Will you submit to the use of spells?"

"You can use spells if you want. I don't know if they'll work. I know that one of them doesn't work - some sort of ball of acid."

Rowaine tries a different tack. "So where are you from?"

"I don't know. I don't remember."

"How can one not know?"

"How can one not how they die? They just don't know it. It is the same for me with how I remember being."

"You have no memories?"

"No. My question. So, a beholder disguised as a person walks past you in the human kingdom. Do you act in any way, and if so, how?"

"I kill it. Now, where is the last place you remember being?"

"I've been here for a while. The last time I was anywhere was the human palace. So you'd go up to it and slash it and you'd kill it?"

"Yes, as quickly as I can. So before you came to Ashhope, where were you before then?"

"I don't know. Other kingdoms."

"Specifically."

"Alright. There are a couple of kingdoms on other continents. Like the one that Harkon resides on. I have been there as well. What if the king told you not to kill this beholder? The king of Ashhope said not to kill this beholder, despite the fact that you know of its presence. Would you then kill it, or not?"

"It depends. So…"

"On? That's not an answer!"

"Yes it is. It depends on … things."

"You are going to have to go into detail here, or else I'm not going to answer your questions."

"It was about as specific as 'other kingdoms'," Ariel points out.

"OK, the Falador kingdom in Eramor. I've been there before. And the really primitive ones around them."

"How do you know you've been there if you don't have memory?"

"I have memory, I just don't have a memory of when I was born."

"That's not what I asked," Rowaine says. "I asked where you came from. I don't know where I was born, but I know where I come from."

"As time has gone on, I have lost my memories."

"Where is the earliest place you remember?" Ariel asks.

"I'm sorry, but I'm going to need an answer to my question before I can answer yours. Under what conditions would you or would you not kill this beholder?"

"You see, I am now concerned that you are trying the find the way I operate so that you can use it against me and my companions. I refuse to answer that question."

"Are we refusing to answer questions now?"

"That was always the agreement."

"This was just an attempt to get to know you better. I was interested in seeing how you operate, yes, but the intention is not to know how to work around you. I just wanted to learn about you."

"Here is an apple," Troll says. "It is not the apple's intention to fall to the ground and break, but it will do so. It is not necessarily your intention to 'get around these things' right now."

"That is a very good point. Sun elves are very smart."

"Obviously we have to kill him. But it's OK to kill things you like, right?"

"It's harder," Rowaine says.

"Ehhhh…"

"So you are refusing to answer that question?" Bob asks.

A stony, silent stare from Rowaine. Then, "Right now, I do not trust you. Why would I give information that might be harmful to myself, my party and those I protect, to somebody that I have no trust in?"

"Would you like to stop this conversation?"

"No."

"You want to learn about me?"

"I do. Because right now, my heart is telling me that you are aligned with evil, even though I cannot see it. My gut tells me that you are not working for good purposes. You have my attention."

"If I did some good things for the human kingdom, would that instill trust in you towards me? What's not to say that I have not already done so?"

"You may have. Show me the evidence."

"You may have done some bad things," Troll adds.

"Show me the evidence," Rowaine repeats.

"Alright, how about I give you a large sum of money to give to the king? An incredibly large sum of money that will increase the wealth of this kingdom?"

"Ruin the economy…" Troll says. "All of a sudden the people of other kingdoms will have nothing."

"What if I give money to every kingdom?"

"So everybody is still equal?"

"How about everyone on this plane has a bowl that is constantly full of fresh milk?" Ariel suggests.

"A magic porridge pot?" Rowaine says.

"Exactly."

"So you're going to ruin every farmer's livelihood?" Troll asks Ariel. "What are all those people going to do to get by?"

"Interesting," Bob says. "Does this mean there are no good or evil actions, only actions that benefit one and hurt another?"

"I am more interested in the intent behind the action, rather than the action itself," Rowaine says. "If all you are doing this for is to buy my attention, that speaks volumes to me."

"If you were good," Lionel says, "you would have already done good things."

"The opposite is also then true," Bob replies. "If I were evil, I would have already done evil."

"We already know of an evil act you have done," Ariel states. "The only actions we know of you are kidnapping and blackmail."

"Name one good thing you have done so far," Lionel asks.

"I have given people jobs in the castle. I have helped protect people in the palace."

"Why?" asks Rowaine.

"Are we arguing the intention now? OK… That's actually the sort of question I had for you. You wouldn't answer my questions, so why should I answer yours?"

"You asked what Rowaine would do, not why she would do it!" Lionel argues.

"I sought Rowaine's intention."

"So why not ask why?"

"I will know why once I have the answer to my question."

"I do not see a useful way forward in our dealings with Bob," Ariel says to Troll.

"Yup," Troll replies. "He's basically playing with us. There's nothing we can do and there's no point answering any questions. He probably already knows the answers."

"Who are you?" Rowaine asks Bob, point blank.

"Bob."

"You know the question," Troll says. "You are not answering it."

"I don't know who I am. I cannot answer that question."

"You said yourself that you go by many names," Rowaine says. "What are they?"

"Bob. Woodrow. Herbert. Antoine. Mosher. Hershel. Ethan. Ned. Aaron. Major. Gary…"

"What names have you gone by on this continent in the past hundred years?"

"Bob. I was known by Herschel before that."

"Who do you serve?"

"No one. And myself."

"Do you know of the gods?"

"Moradin? Ehlonna? Yes. Well, I know of them. But, unfortunately, you are not answering my questions so I cannot answer any more of yours. I feel like this conversation is coming to an end, so… See ya!" With that, Bob disappears.

"Some sort of Dimension Door, I'd say," Calico says. "One that did not require any components; it is as if he just willed it to happen."

The party thoroughly search Bob's quarters. What is immediately obvious is that it is not an abode that anyone lives in. It is more like an immaculately presented display home.

Go and talk to Harkon. Ezalor is there, as well as a tall greenish person that looks similar to Trina.

"Harkon?" Rowaine asks.

"That is I. Etella, I recognise you."

"What happened to you?" Rowaine asks.

"I was taken away from where I was by a creature I know nothing about. I have no memories of the time that I was not here. I have no memories before now."

"At all?"

"No. I know of me, I know what I did, but I don't have the memories. It's like remembering the alphabet, but not how you learned it."

"I wonder if he has been replaced," Rowaine says to her group. "Ezalor, can you confirm that this is indeed Harkon?"

"It looks to be him. I don't know if it is actually Harkon. I'm pretty sure the tree is."

Rowaine Detects no evil. "Do you have any memory of how this occurred?"

"I have a very vague memories of some time before now. I remember Ezalor visiting me. And Calico. And your party. I remember needing to get out of where I was, and so I had Calico start on that. I know not other memories."

"Did you at any time speak to Etella?" Rowaine asks.

"No, I have not met Etella at all. I only know of him."

"Do the names Bob or Herschel mean anything to you?"

"Herschel… I believe there is some sort of king that used to reside in Eramor called Herschel."

"Do you know how long ago?"

"I believe that it was much before this time."

"Did you find the demon looking for Harkon?" Ezalor asks.

"Yes, think so," Rowaine replies. "Went by the name of Bob."

"That's unusual."

"Strange character. Immensely powerful."

"Did you slay it?"

"Can't," Troll says. "Too powerful."

"That's worrying."

"You want to come and help? Bring a friend."

"Bring many," Rowaine corrects.

"If there is a demon causing mischief, I can get someone to help," Ezalor says.

"I cannot verify that it is a demon," Rowaine says.

"But it's got horns and a pointy tail, right?" Troll says. "Metaphorically speaking."

"All I can say is that it was a mischief-maker that had very little social skills."

"Yeah!" Troll says.

"Was it evil?" Ezalor asks.

"Not that I could tell."

"I've got good social skills," Troll mutters under his breath.

"You're lucky I don't go around killing things with poor social skills," Rowaine says.

"I'm not worried! I have perfectly adequate social skills!"

"It was not evil, it didn't look like a demon…" Ezalor thinks. "An incredibly powerful being that wasn't a demon?"

"Not that I could tell," Rowaine replies.

"Just another adventurer?"

"I don't know how he would have amassed the amount of power that he wielded. He was essentially immune to everything that we tried: physical assault, spells, detection… It was like dealing with an adolescent demigod."

"That is very unusual."

"I thing we're dealing with something that's not being truthful," Troll concludes.

"I know nothing about this," Ezalor says. "I apologise."

"Not at all," Rowaine replies. "We feel much the same. We don't know how to prevent it from happening again," she says, looking at Harkon.

"Can't," Troll says. "We don't know what happened. And there is no way we can defeat this creature, so it can do whatever it likes. There's nothing we can do about it. Nothing you can do about it Ezalor, I suspect you are more powerful than me… As hard as that is to believe…"

"Meeting two in a day is quite unsettling for you, isn't it?" Rowaine chides.

"It's like if Moradin decided to do something, there's nothing you can do."

"The difference being I trust what Moradin does. This guy…"

"This is some sort of god?"

"He is exhibiting the powers of one."

"And he is mischievous but not evil…"

"Not detectably so," Rowaine says. "If you judge him by his actions, probably."

"Kidnapping and blackmail," Troll says. "Usually not a good sign."

"What was the name?"

"Bob. And before that, by about a hundred years, Hershel."

"Hershel was the name that Harkon recognised. I feel like I recognise it too but I don't know why."

"Do you have sages where you are from?"

Troll disappears back to Trina. The Tree of Life is smiling to herself.

"Trina, do you know the name 'Hershel'?"

"No, I do not. I sense my brother. Do you know of Harkon?"

"Harkon? Yeah, I've just been talking to him."

"He is back!"

Troll disappears and travels to Abbey.

"Hershel! You know a Hershel?"

"There have been many people by that name, dear."

"Are any of them super-powerful?"

Troll asks similar questions of all the towers, and asks Saju to check his memories. None bar Harkon know anything of note about people named Bob or Hershel. Saju cannot access any memories of Troll entering Bob's house. Troll asks whether the Dracolich had any minions; It did, but none that sounded like Bob or bore any of his names. Troll returns to Harkon.

"It is possible that my memory of the name Hershel did not originate on this plane," Harkon says after Troll recounts his findings.

The party consider getting Saju to examine Harkon's memories, but the wing is too young to allow it and Harkon seems unable to use the wing. They also consider getting future Troll to time travel back to right now to tell the party what to do. Future Troll does not appear.

Oh well, onto other things. Ariel departs, expressing that while everyone is cool, she finds being in the party too restrictive and that she wants to focus on other things. Before she departs, Calico takes her aside and lets her know about a dragon he has heard of.

Fergus' new character: Breg, a dwarven cleric of Marthammor Duin who specialises in search and rescue of dwarves in trouble.

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