Just a Typical Day

Following their encounter with the Bedim sayer (speaking in their deity’s voice), the Last Born are mystically teleported back to Nia’s cargo bay. The two Aparusa blades are already there, looking bored and waiting for something to do. A few notice that their new crew member, Celia, is carrying a simple-looking brown leather pack over her shoulder that she didn’t have before the sudden teleport.

Before wordlessly inviting Celia back to his stateroom and slipping off himself, Xax introduces Celia to Captain Zyn. Celia drops to one knee in front of her captain, humbly asking to join her crew (wordlessly with her mind) after Mal confirms that Zyn holds the highest rank on the ship. Zyn, flattered but also embarrassed, mockingly demands that this is how everyone will address her in the future, then asks Celia to stand and explains that such formalities aren’t required. Unsure why top ranking isn’t revered, Celia asks for the the crew’s top to bottom rank, what is her place in it, and who is in charge when Zyn is off ship.

After one of the blades offers “sleeping with the captain” as a means to receive special considerations, Zyn suggests he ranks last, that Celia is just above him, and the second blade, Lochlan, is immediately above her. No sooner than Zyn assumes the answer would satisfy Celia, the dark elf immediately challenges Lochlan for his rank, suggesting that first blood determine the winner. As chaos briefly erupts among the crew, Mal intercedes while Hanos suggests he will devise such a contest rather than armed combat.

Disappointed that her ploy to prove ambitious in front of her captain had apparently failed due to misunderstanding the situation, Celia goes to Xax’s stateroom as invited. After he allows her in past the clerical ward protecting his door, Xax offers half his room to Celia, stating that he doesn’t need so much space and that the bed is useless to him since he meditate and doesn’t sleep. Celia confesses that she also meditates but still sleeps afterward. Used to much simpler accommodations, Celia accepts Xax’s offer but only if she can sleep on the floor.

Xax points out the alcohol stored in his room, which Celia identifies as “poison” after Xax explains its effects. He asks if she can cast spells, then learns she is blind when she cannot sense illusionary fire. She demonstrates her own ability to generate darkness and “shadow walk,” then explains that she is a warrior and protector by trade. Xax recommends seeking out Mal to practice with after Celia confesses she intended to impress Zyn with her challenge but fails; Xax disagrees about failing to impress their captain, then leaves Celia to unpack.

Going to the hiding place on board and meditating on the Sanguine geode, Xax contacts and catches up his brothers about everything that transpired since he last spoke to them, including Sophie and Celia. The Brothers mention Zyn’s concern for Thald’s “golden elves,” so Xax agrees to mind scan them before leaving to check out the next candidate sphere on Stern’s list of suggestions.

Meanwhile, Mal goes to talk to Kreel in the mine about keeping the peace in Moil Colony, revealing not only the Bedim and storm giants but Hestyn himself. Kreel begrudgingly agrees not to mess with any of Hestyn’s people so he won’t upset the underground flower-bearing elves or their giant kin. Kreel still doesn’t like Mal’s less than dwarf-like demeanor, but he knows that once a dwarf puts down his foot, it’ll take a planetary shift of tectonic plates to uproot it.

With information of their own to go over, Xax asks Zyn and Hanos to accompany him and Celia to see the captains. On the way, Hanos asks Celia, dressed in a hooded cloak, how she “sees.” When she cannot find the words to express it, Hanos creates small mystical meteors that swarm around her. To his dismay, Celia interprets this as a test and takes a swipe at them, fortunately missing them to prevent the impending explosion that might have resulted. Satisfied that she can indeed “see” to both get around and fight, Hanos dispels the meteors.

Arriving in the back room of the tavern, the Last Born talk to Tenth and Sterl, giving them the same report and request to keep the peace as Kreel was given about the Bedim, the giants, and Hestyn. Aftward, Xax, Zyn, Hanos, and Celia accompany Tenth to see the “golden servants.” Taking an earnest peek inside the minds of the golden slaves, Xax discovers that their minds appear damaged beyond repair and isolated to a specific “template personalty.” Residual necromancy over the entire body of the golden servants suggests they have been altered. When Celia asks Xax in her mind what he is doing, Xax explains as best he can, but Celia reveals that, to her senses, the “golden elves” are like Tenth, a human and not like herself. When Xax presses her for more information, Celia confesses she also senses Zyn’s half-blooded elven traits.

Noticing that Zyn is wondering what the private conversation is about in the silence, Xax catches he up on the entire conversation. Zyn puts together the possibility that that these may be human prisoners that have been brainwashed, polymorphed, and then sold into slavery, acts that she finds completely ghastly. When Celia asks why there are these concerns, Xax tries to explain to Celia why they are keeping elven blood a secret, because of racial pettiness.

Tenth agrees that someone should try to reverse the process, especially since they were human (a bit of a racist statement, to be sure.) Hanos fails his dispel attempt, but Xax’s succeeds in dispelling the polymorphed effect. The male still believes he is a golden servant, but the female is confused, trapped in a loop of fragmented memories conflicting with her imprinted personality. Unable to help her there, Hanos puts her to sleep. Both servants revert to human but look very much like Zyn’s people, causing her to storm off in a rage. Tenth is sent after her by Xax.

With the human female’s mind shattered, Xax decides his brothers may be able to help and wastes no time in getting to them. Contacting Hanos by mindlink, Hanos helms The Black Drake to get Xax and the human servant back to Nia, then takes the Drake back to the water after dropping everyone off. The Brothers do what they can through Xax’s contact with the human, but in the end, her mind cannot put the memories into a useful order anymore than she can function normally. Already familiar with the inner workings of Zyn’s mind to create the wild talent mind switch. Seeing it as her only chance to help a fellow Hyetalian, Zyn agrees to let the brothers use her mind as a template for a base set of functioning knowledge.

When the human woman awakens, she is confused but functional. Zyn uses her familiarity to fill in the blanks, naming the human female “Nia” and claiming to be her adopted sister to establish trust. The tactic seems to work.

While Xax, Zyn, and others are occupied, Sophie decides to snitch some of the alcohol in Xax’s room by busting through Xax’s ward, mostly to see if she can. After a rousing success, Hanos returns to Nia and catches the blades trying to hide the stolen booze Sophie is dealing out. To everyone’s amazement, Hanos decides to share a drink with them instead, collectively staying behind when Xax, Zyn, and the rest take Zyn’s new adopted sister into town for a meal.

At the tavern, Celia seems only happy with raw meat but realizes that others are taken aback by her enjoyment of the bloodier, uncooked flesh. Afterward, adopted sister “Nia” is taken to the priestess with the story she’s from Hyetal and came to train in the ways of Sanguine. Zyn hugs her adopted sister goodbye.

Back on board, Xax discovers Sophie’s break in and reports it to the captain. Zyn calls a muster in the aft cargo hold and has everyone line up. She lays down the law for privacy, then asks for the culprit to owe up or else the entire crew will be held responsible. Sophie steps forward. When Zyn asks who else knew, Hanos and the blades fess up, astonishing Zyn. Since Hanos was supposed to be in charge of presenting such things, Zyn asks for options to punish Sophie, then assigns him and the blades the same thing once underway: each scrubbing the top weather deck with a half-inch brush.

The smalljammer departs Moil Colony and “punishment” begins…

CONTINUE READING WITH “Semi-Random Encounters…”

Everyone totaling at 40000 XP (and recreating characters in Pathfinder!)

About Kevin A. Ranson

Content Creator, Horror Writer, Film Critic. Heeding a macabre calling listening to "Mother Ghost Nursery Rhymes" in kindergarten, Kevin started writing in grade school and filled countless notebooks with story ideas while touring the Mediterranean in the US Navy. He is the author of The Spooky Chronicles and the vampire thriller series The Matriarch, creator/critic for MovieCrypt.com and "ghost writer" for horror host Grim D. Reaper. WEBFACEBOOKTWITTER
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