Conversation 1: 10/02/16
Me: “Good evening Belltoll. You ok?”
DM: She looks up at you. She has been crying hard, but not recently.
Me: “Oh. Apparently not? What’s wrong? Are you and Tharul ok?”
DM: She shakes her head. She points to Tharul’s chair. She closes her eyes, and silently weeps
Me: “What? What happened to him? I thought he was healed?”
Bell: Alrighty. She signs, “The boat men took him away. He died. I tried many times to fix him but he died. He stopped breathing in his sleep.”
Me: “I’m sorry to hear that Bell. Thank you for being with him”
Bell: “I need to speak to you. Urgently. About the light and the lady-of-language.”
Me: “Why don’t you come to my house and we can discuss it”
Bell: “I cannot. I am bound to my post, even in death.”
Me: I hold out her contract and I attempt to give it to her.
Bell: She looks at it. “I cannot read. What is this.”
Me: “That is what binds you”
Bell: She follows her fingers across the page and voices out words slowly. “… control and property… to…. Pearce Atwood. You are new boss, I guess. Okay.”
Me: “Belltoll I gave it to you. You don’t belong to anyone”
Bell: “The purple woman told me I would be free. That she would free us. The slaves. She spoke but did not understand my hands. Why do you do this? I don’t know how to survive on my own. Have I misbehaved? What is wrong? Please don’t abandon me. I need a friend. You learned to speak to me. Please don’t go.”
Me: “Well if you want I have a house you can live at and a job for you”
Bell: “Yes. I would like that. I don’t know how to be free.”
Me: “Then let’s go to your new house”
Bell: She walks. “Is Apple abandoned?” She pauses.
Me: “It is” Pearce says with a sigh
Bell: She signs. “Not once in my life, even with you, have I sat in a chair. I am taking one.” She grabs s chair and walks out with you. “Nobody invites a slave to sit. If I am free, I want to sit.” Belltoll produces a key and a few small objects. A pearl whale statue sits among them. It’s well worn surface brings back your brief memories of Tharul. “His pocket. Before the boat men came.”
DM: You lock up the place and transition to Belltoll’s apartment
Bell: She looks around the rooms. “I hear death singing here.” She signs somberly. She puts down the chair and sits. She begins to remove her armor. “Okay. Can I keep clothes on, sir?” She signs.
Me: “You can do whatever you want… within reason. Don’t go around killing people. You know what I mean”
Bell: “Okay… I mean, what is job. Is it naked?” She looks frustrated and resigned.
Me: “Oh. No. No it’s not that. I just wanted a guard for my place. At least until you find a job you want”
Bell: She looks up, shocked. She re-clothes. “Like, I watch door, or I watch inside? Tired of watching just door all day at Apple.”
Me: “I’m sorry but it’s watching the door. You can have a chair though”
Bell: “Okay. Will you talk to me and treat me like.. friend? Not slave all day? Also not woman of night, I have taken vows.”
Me: “Of course”
Bell: "Okay. " She spits in her hand and offers to shake.
Me: I shake her hand
DM: Price and work conditions are decided
Bell: She is shocked by that price. “I’m only worth 400 gold now, as I am honor barren..
Thank you… you are a good man. You are not what the others say. You are a sane person.”
Me: “I don’t know what that means but that’s the job. Thank you for the compliment”
Bell: “You are my only friend.” She signs. She shakes your hand again. Spit time.
Me: I spit and shake
DM: She begins practicing some weird martial arts with her staff.
Pausing in just barely plausible positions to sign as you speak.
Me: I dance with her
DM: You dance, and spiritually express your relationship with Samantha better than words could ever do so. You don’t know how, but afterwards, Belltoll seems very invested in protecting the Book of Fairies, which Belltoll poetically uses to describe the dance.
And to protect your Purple Lady.
Me: Oh. Can I ask her to heal some of my wounds?
Bell: She heals you with the hands. She attempts to do it again, but only heals one point. She really struggles. Belltoll squeezes out another health point. “All for you.” You hear an “Fuuuuuck iiing stooooop” piercing scream from above.
Me: “Don’t force it. Do only what you can” I tell Bell to wait and run upstairs.
DM: A brief conversation happens with Samantha
Me: I go down to Bell and explain to her that she shouldn’t push her power like that.
DM: A conversation happens that defines how much they can use a day.
Me: Okay. Well. I say goodnight to Belltoll and go back to my apartment
Conversation with Venyard and Samantha: 10/05/2016
Venyard: Bell has her weapon poised to destroy his throat. He is quietly talking. “Now now crazy lady… I made it better, not worse…. put down the…. stick sword.”
Bell: Bell makes a furious noise. With her mouth.
Venyard: “Fixed her mouth and this is happening?” He says meekly to you, holding his elderly hands up to Bell Toll in a clearly ineffective blocking position.
Me: “Belltoll calm down!” I get in between
Bell: She signs “he broke my vow. Let me do what is honorable.”
Venyard: “I thought she wanted it back… who wants to have a mutilated tongue?”
Me: “Ok. I get that your upset but just take a second to breathe. It was an accident”
Bell: Her breathing slows. She relaxed her posture. She signs, “I could have ended you. You owe him your life, pitiful man.” Venyard understood none of it.
Me: “Venyard. Can you just do me a favor and not agitate another person so I can get you out of this? Okay. We’ve all taken a deep breath”
Bell: She is observing him. She signs after a few moments, “I wouldn’t have done it. He is too old to be an honorable battle. He is ignorant and small.”
Me: I sign “I didn’t know you had a complex code Bell toll. I apologize. I thought you were just forced to fight”
Bell: “Both are true. I forgive you. I can kill for any aggression, but he made an error. I do not forgive him, but I choose to not punish him. He would die.”
Me: “Thank you Belltoll. Venyard could you please say you’re sorry to the angry orc who let you into her home?”
Venyard: “From the bottom of my heart, I wouldn’t have healed you if I knew it would have upset a woman as beautiful as yourself. I’m sorry.” She returns to her seat, staring at Venyard. He looks bewildered. “She has done this since you left…” he says to you. “just… staring.”
Me: “Yeah well she’s supposed to make sure you don’t escape. She’s really good at her job. Look if you don’t piss her off you get food and a spare bed. Better than a jail cell. We’re even for the ‘drink’ by the way”
Venyard: “Understood… yeah, I think I owe you one at this point.”
Me: “Belltoll are you still okay with him in your house or do you want me to carry him up to mine? I feel like I’ve inconvenienced you already”
Bell: She signs, “You have greater works ahead of you. I will guard him until you request him back. You are not inconveniencing me. You are a kind master for not hurting me.”
Me: I sign back “I’m not your master Bell. You’re free. That’s why I gave you your contract”
Bell: “Without you. I die alone in the city.” She says. “It is not weakness to know when your life belongs in another’s hand. It is weakness to deny a truth, even if it is hard.”
Me: “I… don’t know how to respond to that. Just know you always have a choice Bell. So what is this code? I thought you were a slave”
Bell: She nods. She seems to be very distracted by having a tongue. She signs “I am both. My people have long traditions, and a long memory. He cut out my tongue when I was young. I took it as a blessing in disguise, for it was a handicap I would one day be rewarded for, in death.”
Me: “Rewarded with what and by who?”
Bell: “I took a vow of silence. That is now broken, and my people are gone. I do not know what is to happen when I die. Rewarded by Death. The time after. The beyond place. My people believe it is waiting for us.”
Me: “Who are your people?”
Bell: She signs for ‘water people’. Which is different than ‘boat people’. “My people are gone. The sea ate them on the Dark Night. The wicked monsters crushed their secrets and left only bones.”
Me: “Anyway. Do you want to continue your vow or would you like to learn to speak?”
Bell: She asks for time to dwell and pray. She asks what the Purple Guardian would want
Me: “She told me she tried to speak to you but you refused. Would you like to talk to her?”
Bell: Bell doesn’t seem to understand. “No. I wait for her. If she brings wisdom from beyond, yes.”
Me: “She needs to speak through your mouth Bell… and we can’t speak in front of him. He’s not one of us”
Bell: “What let’s him do what he did? It is like what she let me do.”
Me: “I’m trying to learn. I think he might have met another guardian. He’s very secretive. And… not. He’s very confusing.” Out loud I say “Venyard if we leave you here for a few minutes will you stay put”
Venyard: He says if you leave him a book or something he will try his best not to leave before you get back
Me: I give him a book on how to grow turnips
DM: You separate and notice rat growths on Belltoll.
Me: “Ummm. Belltoll. Have you had those growths on your leg for a while?”
Bell: She nods curtly. “Since working with the Apple.”
Me: “That’s … we’re gonna need a doctor for that. Unless you want to become a rat person. Don’t worry. We’ve found a cure before. We’ll find you one”
Bell: “Why did you ask me to come here? I worry about the captive.”
Me: “You wanted to talk to the Lady. We can’t do that around him. Well we shouldn’t.” I start praying “Lady Amethyst, Bell would like to speak with you. We would like you to talk through Bell. Bell just stay calm. It’s gonna feel weird if it works, that’s normal. Just go with the flow”
Bell: “It feels like him… my old master… Harrison. He would… make me say things. It feels like that.”
Me: “Do you want her to stop?”
Bell(Sam): “There, I broke through!”
Me: “Lady I apologize but I don’t think she’s ready. This is my mistake. Please use me instead”
Bell(Sam): “Oh man…. she is fighting this. I’m gone!” Bell bends over, holding her stomach. She vomits.
Pearce(Sam): “Pearce, how do I calm her.” She mouths to you, then gives you a chance to respond silently.
Me: “Remain calm and apologize. Tell her you did not mean to force her”
Pearce(Sam): “I apologize, Belltoll, for invading your mind. I bring great tidings of change and freedom, but I am still learning social norms among the population of the city. I am the Amethyst lady. I want to change the city for the better. I need a vessel who can speak for me. I want that vessel to be you.”
Bell: Sign “Are you Pearce?”
Me: I hold up my hand “Lady until recently Bell toll could not use her mouth. She speaks with her hands. I can translate if you desire”
Pearce(Sam): “What do I need to give you to gain your trust?” She asks.
Bell: “Find the man who owned me before. Tell me where he lives. And I will join you and let you use me for this.”
Pearce(Sam): Samantha whispers “I don’t have any idea how to do that…”
Me: “It will take time but we will try”
Bell: “When it is done, then I will allow this. It is my offer, Lady.” She signs
Pearce(Sam): “We have a deal. Pearce will work with you to accomplish whatever you need to find your former master. I will provide support, but I am limited until my following grows.”
DM: Samantha leaves.
Me: “That’s always an odd experience. I apologize again for that Bell. I was so eager for you to talk to her I didn’t factor that you might be uncomfortable with it”
Bell: “Misunderstanding is not an evil.”
Me: “Anyway. I’m now working for the weather where your former master was at. I’ll dig around there and see if I can find any info. Do you have any info you want to share about him or where he might have gone?”
Bell: “He was working as an ambassador, and briefly he worked for the Weather Society in that style. Perhaps he went back to the Temple, his home district. He is two faced. Always appearing to be one thing when really being another. Don’t trust him and do not make deals with him, he has no empathy. He owned another slave, my friend, but he sold him when he caught him copying his notebooks . I want to find him, I need to find who he was sold to.”
Me: “If you have any questions I can try and answer them for you but that’s all I wanted to show you. Do you have a name and description for this other slave?”
Bell: “Thomas. His name is Thomas. Half elf, has short facial hair unevenly trimmed. At the time he was trying to discover which camp his parents went to. He tells stories, he says his father was a storyteller and he has it in his blood. But I miss him. In truth, I loved him like a brother.”
Me: “Okay. Well I’ll try to track him down”