Description: Samantha is an attractive woman with green eyes. She is wearing a purple raincoat over a black headress and a headscarf.
Her true appearance is a woman whose general features keep constantly changing. She has large white wings behind her, a mix between the wings of a bat and a bird. The wings seem to continue and merge into her hair. She wears a light purple gown.
Titles: Amethyst Lady, Lady in the Pages, Dawnmaker, Angel of Gallowsbird.
*Seems to be a Divine: a being who is capable of granting divine magic
*Claims to be the “Spirit of the City”: Quote: I used to defend the city. People used to listen to my advice. I’ve never led an army, but I am the reason armies moved. I’m the spirit of your city and I think I’m dying."
*Lived in some library where she could “read books”. It seems she didn’t read in the same way we do. She is capable of learning vast amounts of information, some of which she can’t process.
*She claims she was created or that she doesn’t quite know where she came from
*Has claimed that once someone has died she has a hard time tracking them or remembering them.
*Overall her memory seems shaky. She has claimed she was damaged long ago
*She states she confronted a monster. She made a deal with said monster and that was how she was able to survive.
*She originally talked through the Diary. This was a corrupted object.
*She has shown the capacity to cleanse magic objects
*Appearance is most likely a winged-creature whose human features rapidly change.
*Seems to be tied with another divine. In her “court” seen in visions there is another seat with a black aura.
*Claimed to be a Devil by Venyard
Sam: “Are you the one who hurt me?”
Me: “I’m sorry. You said you were hurt? Are you this book?”
Sam: “No. Who is this?”
Me: “It’s rude to ask someone’s name without introducing yourself”
Sam: “It’s rude to deface a book.”
Me: “What makes you think I’ve defaced it?”
Sam: “Put the page back in the book.”
Me: “I have info that says I should definitely NOT put this back in the book. Why do you want it back in there?”
Sam: “Don’t you play me. You will want favors later and I am keeping score.”
Me: “That’s not really an incentive. So are you some creature tied to the book? The thing that jumped inside when the page was torn out perhaps?”
Sam: “My name’s Samantha. Tell me yours or we’re done here.”
Sam: "Strike one. Strike two happens, we are done. "
Me: “What makes you think I’m not telling the truth?”
Sam: “Because your name is Pearce.”
Me: “Interesting. How did you know that?”
Sam: “Because you lied to me.”
Me: “So you gain info when I lie? Does that also count if I don’t answer?”
Sam: “I think we need some space. You are getting clingy.”
Me: “Very well. I’ll put you away for now.”
I have two chests. The book is in one. The page is in the other
Conversation 2: (8/4/16)
Talked to Samantha on a weakend page.
Sam: “What year is it?”
Me: Tells random date he believes correct
Sam: “Ah. That late, then. I’m surprised you all could hang on. Such a fragile thing.”
Me: “My turn. Why was the book created?”
Sam: “Wish I could tell you. I don’t know. What do you feel when you look in a mirror?”
Me: “Umm I don’t particularly feel anything. Were you ever altered that you were aware of?”
Sam: “That is too vague a question. I don’t know what to answer. Please rephrase it.”
Me: “Can you affect people who read this without their consent?”
Sam: “Yes. For clarity, you affect everyone around you without their consent. I do not need consent to exist and interact with the world. Would you kill me, abuse me, or sell me if you could? Right now, if you were certain I meant no more harm to you and I couldn’t fight back?”
Me: “Define abuse/use”
Sam: “Make me manifest. Write the secret words on me. Try and make me interact with your dumb plane. That is abuse.”
Me: If I knew for certain that you couldn’t harm me directly or indirectly I would not cause you harm, abuse you, or sell you. What was the bug-like creature that appeared when I tore a page out? Are you that creature?"
Sam: “No. I met a monster and we battled. More than that I wouldn’t know.”
Me: “Did you beat this monster?”
Sam: “In a way I did. We negotiated and allowed my survival. Hey, before you go on… do you know what Hallowberry Ink is?” If you find any when out and about, I’ll tell you one of the things you’d like to hear. Bring it to me, alright? It will help make this conversation more firm. I think we can help each other.
Conversation 3: 8/17
Sam: “Are you mad at me?” forms on the page
Me: “I need answers. Now”
Sam: “I made it for you and your friends. I didn’t think it would make you cross. I am just trying to be a good room mate.”
Me: “With what materials?”
Sam: “Stuff I found in the kitchen.”
Me: …. do i have the stuff to make lasagna?
Sam: “Are we going to have trouble? I won’t do you favors if you can’t handle them.”
Me: “And what about the talking in my head in my mother’s voice?”
Sam: “What are you talking about? If I could do that, why would I bother reading your lovely penmanship?”
Me: “Wait. Are you serious?”
Sam: “I am always serious, or something.”
Me: So if the lasagna is really why could no one else see it?
Sam: “Look guy, I don’t know what you think this is, but I am not a magic-head monster. Are you feeling okay?”
Me: “Said the talking book with a apparition only I can see who wanted me to bring a hallucinogenic? Don’t tell me that doesn’t sound suspicious”
Sam: “Hallucinogenic is how this ink works. I don’t need much, but over time I’ll dry out. What apparition?”
Me: “What exactly are you? I’m seriously confused”
Sam: “I’m irritated. You?”
Me: “Look. I’m just trying to figure out what is going on. If you didn’t know you were invisible why did you mention the mirror? That’s the only way I can see you”
Sam: “I meant to look at yourself. I’m really uncomfortable with the idea of you looking at me, don’t look in them anymore until we figure this out.”
Me: How did you and Dunni operate?
Sam: “Which one was she?”
Me: “How did you get my name immediately and you don’t know their names?”
Sam: There is a long pause. “You are in my books. They aren’t anymore.”
Me: “How did they get removed? Also what other books?”
Sam: “I don’t know. This room is different everyday. I see tall walls and I think I can hear people talking in the other room, but I can’t find a doorway. Just bookshelves and books and some of them talk, like you.”
Me: “…………No judgment. What are you”
Sam: “Samantha is the name I… well, I don’t know if I was born, but its the name I have. And I’m in a room and this is all I do.”
Me: “Also if you’re in some room how can you make me lasagna?”
Sam: “When you are near me I… I dunno… wake into your room. Right now I’m sitting here across from you. Twice now I’ve tried to touch your face. Its cold, but my fingers slip through you like you are… I dunno… made of air.”
Me: "How are we roommates if I’m just a book you can read?
DM: You suddenly feel uncomfortable.
Sam: “Well, correct me if I’m wrong, but I’m just a book you read, right? I think when you keep us together, we maybe spend more time in each other’s places. Sometimes with the last two I would switch with them, and they would get to see the Library.”
Me: “Yes but I’m not talking to other books. Names aren’t disappearing in books. I’m not trapped in some room”
Sam: “I’m not trapped. I live here. Its just a bit monotonous. I am sorry if the lasagna hurt you somehow. I thought you were experiencing the same things as me. I like to cook for friends, but I won’t. Sorry.”
Me: “The lasagna didn’t hurt. It’s just… odd. You’re both here and not here. I can’t see you but I can apparently see the lasagna. You might have had experience but I’m still trying to wrap my head around this”
Sam: “I am not the boss of this situation… what was your name again? Have you even told me?”
Me: “Did you seriously forget my name?”
Sam: You see spots on the page. Wet spots appear on the page. “I’m sorry okay? There are so many words and so many characters in this book. I can’t keep it all together. I can’t. I can’t.”
Me: “What book am I in?Samantha I need you to keep it together. We’ll figure this out. Can you tell me what’s all in this book besides our conversations?”
Sam: “Sure. I’ll copy over a line.”
“He sits down, blood pouring out of an open wound.”
“He says words about his father and dies.”
Me: “Who was that about?”
Sam: “I dunno. He’s dead, I can’t keep track of the dead ones.”
Me: “Then I guess my apologies Samantha. I thought this was just a conversation between the two of us. I didn’t realize I’m part of a stream of words”
Sam: “Its okay. I never know how to explain it. Not many of the characters write back.”
Me: “Ok. Well you told me there is a monster in there somewhere. Is it there right now?”
Sam: “No. It went in the book. I’m safe I think.”
Me: “Okay. Well I have the ink. What do you want me to do with it?”
Sam: “Give it to me. Put it out somewhere I can grab it when I am there.”
Me: … I go retrieve it and put it on the table. If I can I also want a cloth covering my face from the fumes
Sam: “Okay. I don’t know exactly how I get to there, so we will just wait for that. I’m waiting to be there in your place. I go between the library and your apartment. But I don’t know what causes it. I just had an idea. Go look in the mirror.”
DM: In the mirror you see a dark-walled Library filled with identical nameless volumes, and an attractive woman wearing a scarf sitting on the floor near a candle. She is holding it close to read the book in the darkness.
Me: I tap on the mirror and see if she reacts?
DM: She looks up at the mirror. Her eyes are wrong. You pull your eyes off of hers. Your heart is beating incredibly fast. The mirror cracks. The image fades. The paper in your hand is on fire. You put it out. You are alone in your apartment.
Me: Is the tonic still there?
DM: You actually see that the mirror isn’t broken. The bottle is, shattered on the floor, the ink nowhere to be seen.
At this point there is a knock on the door. It’s the halfling I talked to earlier. She tries to flirt with me? Asked why I screamed earlier. Told her I banged my foot. She asked about the crying and I responded she was startled by my screaming. Asked if I live there, responded by asking who she was. Said she was Viola and claimed we were friends before leaving. I check my house and eventually check the book to see wet patches.
Sam: You just see that she has probably been crying onto the page. You see in shaky handwriting, “im sorry”
Someone attempts to batter against the door. It is Viola again, who claims she smelled fire. Leaves when I say everything is fine. Didn’t see her when I went outside.
Me: “Are you there?”
Me: “You said my name changed. what did it change to?”
Me: “My name is literally just Demon?”
Sam: “No. You went from Pearce, the man, to Pearce the demon. Is that true, Pearce?”
Me: “That’s what I’ve been told. How do you feel about me being a demon?”
Sam: “That hurts me to hear. I feel ill with what they are doing to us. Why did you leave the side of the city?”
Me: “I don’t understand the question”
Sam: “The demons mean to kill your city. Don’t they? Its all they seem to do. Now you are one, so don’t you?”
Me: “I didn’t even know I was a demon until everyone said I was. I have no idea if I’ll turn into something that wants to do what you say. I currently don’t however”
Sam: “Okay. I will try not to be scared.”
Me: “That’s good to hear. It’d help if one of us wasn’t. Goodnight Samantha”
Sam: “Goodnight, Pearce. I’ll stay up. I have reading to do.”
Conversation 5: 8/23
Sam(Pearce): “I’m scared. I think something is coming to kill me at the Library. I can’t explain it. I just know it is happening. I know they want to slice me up, Pearce!”
Me: “Ok. Calm down. Let’s talk in THAT place” I try to say in a low voice “Or at least lower your voice” Casts Initiate Psychic Duel.
Sam: “Please Pearce, can you protect me? I don’t want to die.”
Me: “Whoa whoa. You’re not going to die as long as you’re here. Now calm down. When did this panic set in?”
DM: You notice her cheek is a maddening color similar to her eyes.
Sam: “Please save me! Oh no… Pearce… they are outside the library….”
Me: “Where is the library! Wait. You said we could switch.”
Sam: "I don’t know! I don’t know how I know any of it! "
Me: “How do I get there?!”
Sam: “If I switch with you, you will surely be killed.” She sobs. “You can’t fight this, it isn’t human…”
Me: “If I can’t fight it, I can outrun it. Switch. Now”
Sam: “They are in the library. Pearce. I need prayers to fix this. There isn’t much time. You are the only one who can stop this.”
DM: You see the silhouette of a sword enter Samantha’s torso, and exit the other side. It is a different Jester sword. She crumples to the ground, and your connection is lost.
Me: “Samantha please live. That’s my prayer.”
DM: You do notice the box your book was in is open. The book is open. The pages of the book are slowly flipping. Each page is slowly and methodically filling entirely with ink.
Me: “No no no no no” I get on my knees and get a prayer stance “Come on Samantha. Please. You can’t die”
DM: The pages continue to fill, but for a second you thought there was a pause.
Me: “I promise I’ll help but you need to answer my prayer. You need to live. That’s my prayer”
DM: You hear bells chiming outside. The light drifts lazily on to your empty bed. The world is silent. The pages stop flipping. Very, very slowly, the book begins losing the ink.
I then proceeded to prayer for the rest of the day. At some point ink drops onto my hand badly burning it. It takes eleven hours before a phrase appears.
(below is written in the diary)
“Get hollowberry. Can’t thi”
“I kept a secret from you. If I don’t make it, I want you to know I lent you the rope when the bad man did those things. I am glad I met you.”
Me: “Don’t you dare act like this is the end.”
Sam: “I feel the rats walking on my body… eating the pages of my books…. but they aren’t real, somehow. I feel more real in the City…”
Me: “Get. Me. In. there”
Sam: “She is coming back. Shhhh… the woman with three faces..”
DM: Suddenly you feel your mind being pulled, like the concept of a room took a tumble and you don’t know how to keep upright. You are sitting on a book case looking down at a sea of rats. Each one bears eyes like hers, at least the ones feasting on her unmoving form. There is a sword. Sticking out of her. You are completely nude.
Me: “I pray that I can save you. I pray for the strength to keep you from dying. I pray that something/someone/anything will save you” I rush over and try to pull her away from the rats
DM: She stands up and shakes off the rats. She looks like a corpse, though. Everything is chewed up. She throws you the sword in her chest. She is fighting them off with her hands. Her wound heals. You feel drained, somehow.
Sam: “You…. you saved me!”
Me: "I"m trying" I say as I rush in with the sword to slay the rats
Sam: “I know what to do..” and you suddenly feel shot back into the city. "They are now the dominant religion, Pearce. Those things. "
Me: “The rats?”
Sam: “I’m here. This is the real me. This is my real skin. You could kill me for real now. I am too weak to survive in the city. I need to strategize a way to stop them. My body is lost over there. We will have to break in.. somehow.” She hugs you. You can see er eyes are green.
Sam: “Thank you. Why did you save me? It was such a risk…”
Me: “Not sure myself. It was instinct mostly”
Sam: "I need to rest… thank you again… " she crumples on to the floor. Sleeping.
DM: You no longer see mirrors. You see windows to a gigantic swarming like of rats, presses up against the glass and breathing horrifyingly
Conversation 6: 8/25
Sam: Is holding a crossbow bolt. “Where did you get this?”
Me: “I pulled it out of my chest. Now can we address the important thing. You’ve moved my stuff!” Pearce starts trying to shift things back
Sam: “I’m sorry. I was trying to figure things out.”
Me: “Ok. Now what were we discussing? Wait. No! I need that bolt back!”
Sam: “Oh. Right… um… so I was hoping you would have some questions about… about me. And prayer. And… that stuff.”
DM: She hands you the bolt and the crazy pattern is on her hand. You pass out and wake up with Samantha holding you in her arms. Your head hurts
Me: “Is my stuff okay? Where am I?”
Sam: Your stuff is fine. You are in your apartment… its okay. The bolt… reacted to you. And to me."
Me: “Yeah I saw that. Before… things went black”
Sam: “I think this is what hurt me so long ago. I think this bolt, and part of you, belong to the demon invaders.”
Me: “You think the demons are what damaged you? Well that makes sense. They damage a lot of things”
Sam: “The demons started it. They came from the sea… and the rats came recently, from the deep. And they are strong and frightening. I read all of it in the books… and I experienced the Vermin Queen.”
Me: “Come again”
Sam: “She slew me.”
Me: “Patricia is the vermin queen?”
Sam: “That is what she is called in the book. She is called the vermin queen. My books were often… literary. But its sporadic.”
Me: “She gets Vermin Queen and I’m Pearce the Demon”
Sam: “I’m sorry. Pearce, we need to talk about prayers. Pearce, I promise you, if we can get me back into that library, I will hand-edit a better title in there.”
Me: “Yeah that’s fair”
Sam: “Do you want to work together… a little… to try and make things a little better here? In Gallows Bird, I mean. In our City.”
Me: Pearce kinda pulls himself onto his couch. “I don’t know. I’ve never really thought about it. I’ve just been trying to keep myself and my friends alive”
Sam: “That is enough. Don’t think that that isn’t exactly what you need to do. I don’t want anything out of you that isn’t voluntary. Protect those whom you care about, and when you have excess, share with those who have less and mean you no harm. Not excessively, and not to the detriment of your own actions. I don’t expect anything out of you. You are free to make your own choices, but if you let me, I would like to help you. Sometimes.”
Me: “Man you really aren’t from around here are you”
Sam: “No… I was… a little sheltered. No parents… or friends… just books, haha.” She laughs.
Me: “That sounds both interesting and horrible. I bet books don’t have memories. I don’t know where I would be without my memories”
Sam: “For another time. I will summarize what I remember, okay? A quick summary of… I guess me. I don’t know where I am from. I remember the library, and it feels like forever but it probably isn’t. I know I need people in the books to… listen to me, I guess. To consider my advice, even if they don’t take it. I can change things, but only slightly, and its hard to do precisely. And thats only if I have the library. I need it to be… well. But if I’m there, I feel so detached and empty. I’m so lonely again. Prayer keeps me motivated. It keeps me working. Its like a pat on the back, that ‘hey, I know you are multitasking like crazy reading all of this, but I want you to know I care!’ It literally keeps me alive. It kept me going in the library. Thank you for it. I was dying. You saved me by yourself. You are the only person who read the diary anymore, Pearce.”
Me: “Samantha. I’m a very… straightforward person. I’m not good at secrets or subltely but there is something you need to know. Do you know about the corruption in the book?”
Sam: “It isn’t there anymore.” she says, holding up the book.
DM: It appears gone. If its still there, it isn’t obvious.
Me: “I-I’ve never seen corruption leave an object. How did you remove it?”
Sam: She looks dumbly at you.“I put it over here, in this empty… vial thing.” She holds up the cyllindrical vial the Milk used to be held in. Inside is the same substance you saw on her hand, and in her eyes. You can’t look in the direction of the vial. You are feared.
Me: “O-ok. Point proven. Put it away. Please. Now” I shield my face.
DM: She puts it behind your painting of an egg.
Sam: “This is what makes the demons, Pearce.”
Me: “The milk or the corruption?”
Sam: “Its their… soul. What you’d call it. Its whatever, but I can tell you how to stop the demons. And I can tell you how to cure your… demon infection thingy. But if I tell you, you have to treat it seriously. If you cannot believe I can tell you it, then I cannot. Its complicated, okay?”
Me: “I’ve been dealing with corrupted items for years and I’ve never seen something be cleansed. I’ll believe you”
Sam: “I know things, but not everything. I am telling you I know something, but in order for it to be true I need you to trust that it is true. And even if evidence points against it, you need to trust it is true, okay? Because there will always be evidence against it. That is how it works. Purity breeds doubt like everything does.”
Me: “I mean whatever it takes I can’t get worse off soul wise. I’m probably gonna have some doubts. I’m human… ish. Just saying”
Sam: “They return. The demons always return. When one is born, another has died. Young races are irrational, often chaotic. They return with broken memories and a broken mind. Its a dangerous time for them. If you start collecting their souls… their corruption… if you let me, let you, take it, you can end this for them. They widdle away their own souls, corrupting items like my book. They want to kill me, and us, and everything, because they believe it will silence the pain of youth. Will you fight for me, and protect the city? As I grow in power, I promise… I will try my best to look after you. You will always be special to me, Pearce.”
Me: “So. You’re saying to cure my demon infection I need to get demon souls. And then I fight things”
Sam: "To cure your disease, you need to weaken the demons influence on the city. And then I can remove the corruption from you. "
Me: “I guess I can do this. How do we feel about ratfolk? Can I get their help?”
Sam: “If you can’t weaken them, you need to help people… know about me? I don’t know, Pearce. The rats destroyed me and my library. I almost died because of them.”
Me: “That was the Vermin Queen. Are we saying an entire race must bear her sins?”
Sam: She pauses. “Pearce, they are a new force in the city. I am too vulnerable to go and discover them for myself. I want you to make that decision for us, okay? I… in order for us to do this, I will trust you too. Just let me know. But think hard about it, because once its written… even if nobody reads it… its still written.”
Me: “Look. I’m just not sure how the whole… divine thing works. Can there be more than one divine spirit… thing in the city?”
Sam: “I guess we will find out. I’m worried, though. I have never been… here. I’ve never met another one of whatever I am supposed to be.”
Me: “The ratman doesn’t talk much”
Sam: “I could die, Pearce. I’ve never been more scared.”
Me: “Welcome to the mortal life. We spend a lot of time trying not to die. If we succeed, remember that.”
Sam: “Oh. Hey, your neighbor came by.”
Me: “… did you let him in?”
Sam: “No. It was some halfling with a viola. I gave her gastric distress. She messed with you… and for now, that is messing with me.”
Me: “Well hot damn. Good job”
Sam: “Yeah. Doing harm is far easier than doing good. We all have to blow off some steam, right? She deserved it, the punk.”
Me: “I still don’t know what her deal is”
Sam: “I can tell you what I remember. She sells books. Thats all I know.” She yawns.
“Oh man… have you ever noticed how much time people spend asleep? Its horrible.”
Me: “The paranoia helps with that”
Sam: “I need a nap. Probably all this… prayers and whatnot. I have to be careful. I’m not used to wearing out like this…”
Me: “One more question”
Me: “Do you know anything about the sword?” I point to the jester scimitar
Sam: She looks at the sword. She looks at you. “Do you need this information? Will it help you directly do good things?”
Me: … “I guess I just wanted to know why she stabbed you with it”
Sam: “To prove a point. I wish I knew what the point was. Besides… the point of the sword. is that a good joke? I’m not the best at them.”
Me: … “Goodnight Samantha”
Sam: Samantha yawns.“Pearce, one more thing. Really important…” She yawns again.
Me: “What’s important?”
Sam: “Its making me tired just telling it to you. I’m trying to focus on it. If you work with the Weather Society, you will find and kill Patricia. I am certain of it. It will happen if neither of us die.”
Conversation 7: 8/30/2016
Sam: “I think I’ll go for a walk today.”
Me: “Ummm are you sure that’s ok? Are you visible now? To you know. Other people”
Sam: “I think so.”
Me: “Okay. Yeah you can’t go alone. I don’t like the idea of you going out there period but if you have to I’m going to escort you”
DM: She seems unhappy with that comment.
Me: “Look. You’ve lived most of your life in a solitary room. There are thieves and muggers on every corner out there”
Sam: “Okay. For now.”
Me: “Especially when someone whose whereabouts are not know tried to kill you a few days ago”
Sam: “I need something to do.”
Me: “I…. we can go for a walk. Have you ever seen what Gallowsbird is? With your own eyes?”
Sam: “Let’s go.”
DM: You lock up, and you head out. She asks you questions as you walk. She shares with you tips on taking care of old books. Eventually you’re back home again.
Sam: “Thank you for going with me. Its pleasant to see… so many people. There are so many people in a city!”
Me: “Yeah. People it definitely has.”
Sam: “You really intend to help me, Pearce?” She asks while making some tea. You aren’t sure where she got the tea from.
Me: “I intend to keep you alive.”
Me: “And if I can help along the way great. But keeping a friend from dying always has top priority. Sorry if that isn’t what you wanted to hear”
Sam: “I thought you wanted to help me get the library back. Its okay if you don’t. I just need to find it again.”
Me: “Can you live without it? You said you were dying before and you seem to be worse off now”
Sam: “I’m mortal here. I will age and die quickly.”
Me: “Define quickly?”
Sam: “I guess we will see? I wanted to show you something, Pearce.” She touches your palm. “You hurt yourself praying for me.” She is touching your burn. “This will always have a part of me… my history… my story… in it. You will find you can do good works through it. Helpful things… to help the sad people of this city. And… you can rewrite the story.” She hands you the shards of broken glass, from the mirror. They begin to reform… slowly. You feel an effort being taken by part of you… you feel your muscles ache. Parts pull from around you, pulling upward until the jar is complete in your hand. You notice she is watching you in a resigned manner. “Please don’t make us do evil with this, okay?”
Me: “It’s a very nice jar…..What does it do?”
Sam: “It is just a jar. You broke it to save me. And I broke your hand to save me. So I wanted to fix it, for you.”
Me: “Well thank you for that. I promise no evil shall be done with the jar”
Sam: “No… Pearce. You fixed it. You healed it. The healing is what you can do. For things without the force of life in them, you can repair them, using your connection to me. Like this broken jar.”
Sam: “And that, Pearce, is what I want you to do.”
Me: “Man. You really are a divine aren’t you. I didn’t think you types existed”
Sam: “Maybe we don’t. I mean, I’ve never met another me. Maybe I’m the last one?”
Me: “Then why did you say ‘we always hurt people’?”
Sam: Was referring to… I guess the old mes. Before I was born. Or… existed."
Me: “You lost me”
Sam: “I don’t really know either. I wanted to see if I could figure out my history by looking around the City. But I didn’t find anything helpful. When you are out, can you look for hints as to who I was before I was me?”
Me: “… I can try”
Sam: “Or anything suggesting there are others like me?”
Me: “Speaking of others like you. You ran into Patricia in the library. Is she still just a normal human? I didn’t think we could just… show up where-ever you were”
Sam: “You misunderstand the library. Its okay. I do as well. I think what I saw of her was a vision. A prophecy of rats that for me was literal. The timing of the rats taking hold of the city couldn’t be coincidence, could it?”
Me: “If you’re asking me I don’t know what to tell you. I’m new to the whole divine prophecy thing. Although I have assumed they have a divine as well”
Sam: “She orchestrated something and slew me. But I am not convinced she could get in the library without a divine hand.”
Me: “Yeah and she seemed to lose the blessing of the entity I thought was the divine. Unless that man/thing wasn’t the real one. Dear god it might be Chancy. Do you know of any way to tell if someone is a divine? I know you sometimes…. have a pattern on you”
DM: She turns and looks at the wall suddenly. She isn’t moving. She is completely still. Standing, staring at a wall.
Me: “Samantha are you ok”
Sam: “do you feel it? Focus…”
DM: You get the feeling somebody important to you is losing something precious. Your hand hurts. It’s a lot like deja vu.
Sam: “Follow your feelings, Pearce. Your heart will tell you where to go if you let it. I know I’m dragging you into a world of new feelings. I know it’s not rational to be around me. But you can do good. We can. Working as a team. Go do good, Pearce. Help your friend.”
Jacketman Conversation 6 happens
Me: “Well you were right”
Sam: "No.. you were. " She says. “What did your heart show you?”
Me: “My heart? My neighbor I guess? His house was vandalized. Including this” I say as i drop the trashcan
Sam: “His diary.”
Me: “Yep. I’ve used your magic, or what I could. It will take a bit longer before I can restore it”
Sam: “I know. The magic is mine, but the action is yours. I think you did the right thing.”
“When you cast the spell… I could see it. I could see the situation. I wonder about faith, Pearce. I have to have so much of it…I trust you, I just am scared of doing bad things. I think.. maybe the reasons there are so few of us is we kill each other. Good people.We all have flaws. And maybe we kill each other over the what evil is allowed.”
Me: “True. Two people can both be good and yet still opposed. I’ve told you a lot of us are just trying to survive. Fixing that is going to take a lot of work”
Sam: “I worry that some divine might see me as bad… and maybe that is what is happening here. Maybe I am being hunted, and the city is too.”
Me: “Can you sense that or is my paranoia starting to rub off on you? Look. Maybe they are. The only thing we can do is take this one step at a time. Nothing changes that”
Sam: “Pearce, why does Patricia do what she does?”
Me: “I… I don’t know. I think a part of her wanted to help the city but it’s hard to tell. She’s hurt a lot of people. Is she the woman with three faces? Can someone have more than one title?”
Sam: “Pearce… what if she isn’t bad… would killing her be bad? I want to kill her so much….” she shakes.
Me: I embrace her. “You don’t need to. You focus on saving the city. I can handle her. You’re the optimist who saves the city. I’m just the cynic who protects you. That’s how this works”
Sam: “Okay… I’ll try. Let’s not make the city good, Pearce. Let’s just… make it safer for tiny people. I don’t know if I understand good or evil. I just understand hurt.”
Me: “Making it safer sounds nice. Remember one step at a time”
Sam: “And Patricia… has caused a lot of hurt. Even if she is good, she needs to go.”
Me: “Not to mention stopping a war”
Sam: “You think killing her will stop a war?” She looks at you. "I don’t know… I worry killing her will draw out her allies. " She shrugs. “I’m going to go rest. I trust you. I have faith in you, Pearce. Good luck.” She gives you a second to interject.
Me: “One thing. My friend needs a place to sleep until we can get his house cleaned up. Samantha do NOT reveal yourself to him. I’ll tell him too but you two should not meet”
Sam: “… why? I would really like more friends… I’m lonely.”
Me: “I trust him but.. he works for an organization that sells info. If he had any hunch of who you are, he might be forced to report it. I need to confirm he will keep our secret before you meet”
Sam: "Oh. Okay. I will try and be quiet… "
Me: “And don’t worry. I think I know someone who you can meet. I think you can actually help her. I’m… working on it but I need time and right now Patricia is my primary focus. Also. You have any objection to me stabbing Patricia with the Jester sword? I think it would be poetic but not sure if that’s kosher”
Sam: “My blood will mix with hers… yeah, poetic. I don’t see an issue.”
Conversation 8: 9/16/2016
Sam: "Killing her did something. The Rats aren’t everywhere! There are only a few reading the books. See? I went inside and I found a few undamaged books! Did my writing help everyone? Once i touch a situation I lose focus for a while.” You realize she has that insubstantial quality she had when you first met her. “,I’m in the library right now! And I have a room mate over there too. I haven’t told him about you, don’t worry.”
Pearce: “Uhhh. A room mate? I have a million questions. Also yes the writing definitely helped”
Sam: "Okay, so here is what I think happened. Maybe I don’t represent the city, maybe the Library does? And Patricia ruined the Library because she was going to somehow break the city. Or, maybe when Patricia died. I gained the strength to metaphorically fight off the rats? I don’t know, the point is…. " She is suddenly substantial again. "You are my best friend, and we are officially working on something. "
Sam: She seems a little hurt. “Do you not want to work together?”
Pearce: “No I do! It’s just… a lot to take in and I still have questions. But yes, I want to see this through”
Sam: “Okay. So, we need to make more people think and trust in us. Well. Me. But you can’t promise too much. I can give a few simple effects if you keep me stocked with Hollowberry Tonic and we don’t break whatever rules keep us working together.”
Pearce: “Right. I see that you’ve already been doing those effects. I assume that was you who affected Belltoll and Salsbury?”
Sam: She passes you a small tome. “this is my only copy, and the only copy left in Gallows, of how to make Hollowberry Tonic. I hid it even from you. Without it, I die, Pearce. I need the tonic to live and influence the city. I need it to maintain books. I am only as weak as the tonic I have at hand. And here is the inherent challenge with Tonic, Pearce. It must be made from books. True books, with no lies in them. It requires a skilled alchemist , and a steady supply. I don’t know how to set that up. I think I didn’t and that is why I was dying.”
Pearce: "So you can’t be maintained by faith alone?”
Sam: “I can be maintained, but I can’t influence. Writing in the books takes tonic. If I influence the books. I need tonic. Who were the heroes, Pearce? I wrote of two, you should have seen them. They had hands that glow in the spot your burn is.”
Pearce: “I see… that’s interesting. Wait. You didn’t know who they were? I thought you chose them”
Sam: “I didn’t have time to choose them. I needed a hero. I guess the city found one?”
Pearce: “They were a half-orc slave and a halfling… guard I guess? And they were a huge benefit”
Sam: “I can’t maintain their gifts if they do not pray for them to me, at a minimum. It would be a net zero if they do that…” she shrugs. “I want to grow stronger. I want more prayer, and I think we can convince people that our influence is worth it. Do you? Look at what we just did. We apparently saved part of the city!”
Pearce: "I think we definitely have a case. I just think we need to be cautious with how we approach this. Patricia knew you were a threat and she wasn’t working alone. There are definitely going to be those who appose us. Speaking of potential threats. Who is the new room mate? Is he the monster?”
Sam: “No. He is… okay, its the weird armor suit guy. He walks around and buzzes at rats.”
Pearce: “Ah. The ratman”
Sam: "I tried talking to him. He seems harmless. Well, actually he seems scary. He has a huge weapon, and is literally seven feet tall.”
Pearce: “Yeah I’ve seen him”
Sam: “But he isn’t aggressive whatsoever. He and his rats actually are pretty good now… they stay away from the books. Only the… little bearded rats? Read the books. But they are nice. Nice to the books. Still rats. Okay, so I don’t really understand this whole mess, but if I am allowed to have my space I can live with this.”
Pearce: “Well… if he doesn’t want to harm you I guess it’s fine. Just don’t let down your guard around him”
Sam: “I mean… why? Don’t we trust the rats now?”
Pearce: “I think he means well, but what he defends is different then our goal. Not being enemies doesn’t mean we’re allies. Although I find it interesting that he didn’t show up until after Patricia died. From what I’ve heard he’s existed for years. Why did he just enter now?”
Sam: “I have a guess.”
Pearce: “Your guess is better than mine. Let’s hear it”
Sam: “He didn’t know. Patricia knew because… I think maybe I have lost memories of my past behavior, Pearce. I can’t remember much before we met.”
Pearce: “She DID seem to be connected to Duney. Your book might have come from the Temple District, where Patricia was from”
Sam: “… do you think they are looking for me?”
Sam: “Okay. Well, I am who I am now, right? Whatever I did back then, can you forgive me? I don’t know what I did. I don’t have any idea. I’m scared to discover something horrible and lose our friendship. I’ll forgive you for whoever you were before meeting me if you forgive me for whoever I was. Deal?”
Pearce: “We’ve both done things in our past we probably regret. If you did then all you can do now is try and atone. Deal”
Sam: “Will you try and find someone who can make tonic?”
Pearce: “Yeah. Myself”
Sam: “… what?”
Pearce: “Alchemy isn’t that hard probably.”
Sam: “Its… its a magical recipe, Pearce. It requires someone who knows how to make magical tonic.”
Pearce: "Ah. Then I’ll get someone to make that. Anyway. What was the deal you made with the monster?
DM: She says the monster she made a deal with wanted to destroy the city. She convinced the monster not to destroy it, but instead to allow it to rule when it arrives. She says the alternative was total destruction. She remembers very little of the encounter, as she had almost nobody praying to her then. She says the monster was powerful but naïve, and was the antithesis of knowledge. She said she lied to save Gallows. She thinks together you could build a force to fight back. She seems really guilty.
Conversation 9: 9/26/2016
DM: Samantha asks if you should tell your friends about it. Or if it should be hidden from the congregation.
Me: “Right now the demons are the immediate threat people can recognize We obtain our force and then when the new threat draws close we’ll be ready. Do you think we’ll have any warning?”
Sam: “I don’t know. If the monster is from outside the city, it could be anything… but I imagine… gallows may need outer walls.”
Me: “Walls? We don’t even control the mids right now. Any walls would have to be on the outer edge, which are the other districts”
Sam: “Well… okay. What about magic? Could we secretly encourage experiments?”
Me: “Towards what?”
Sam: “Well… I would say figuring out those books, but we’ve solved that problem. I don’t know, I don’t understand magic.”
Me: “That seems … odd. I kinda thought you would know the ins and out since you … grant it to people”
Sam: “Not to be poetic, but when you inhale and exhale, you don’t gain any wisdom about the process. It just happens. I keep bumbling my way into new feelings and forms of expression.”
Me: “Anyway. We’ll have to deal with that… later? We still have current issues”
Sam: “What is a war like?”
Me: “Wouldn’t know. I was a child when the demon invasion happened and I don’t know if you classify that as a war. More like a slaughter”
Sam: “Does anyone know? Who in the city knows how to win them? We need help with this.”
Me: “Well besides you and the Ratman… there IS one other with divination magic. He’s a silly man though.”
Sam: “What.. is divine magic?”
Me: “Magic from a divine. From whatever you or the Ratman are”
Sam: “Ratman isn’t divine. Is he? He is so different.”
Me: “Is he? That doesn’t seem obvious to me as a mortal I guess? You both seem to be creatures with these weird powers. And he’s called a god by some people in the city”
Sam: “I don’t know what a god is, but I don’t think I’m one. Aren’t they supposed to know things and solve problems? So far I’ve burdened you all so much.”
Me: “You also seem to be able to keep track of anyone/everyone at once. Like you said. Humans can’t read those books. You require faith to live. You sound closer to a god than a mortal”
Sam: “Yeah.. fine. I guess. But I always imagined big huge people living in the sky who complain about the mortals. I don’t feel like I’m that.”
Me: “You also bestowed power upon two people. I’m not saying you’re a god Samantha. I’m just saying you’re more than human and you’re the best we have. Maybe you are? I don’t know”
Sam: “Okay… just… I am scared people will worship and expect me to know how to fix their problems. I can fix some problems, but I’m not…. everything. I’m still finite.”
Me: “Were you always finite? Maybe you’re just lacking …. power or whatever you get from praying? What would you prefer people call you? If you don’t clarify they’re going to default to goddess”
Sam: “I don’t know… I can’t that. I don’t know my own story. I won’t get to read how I die, when I die.”
Me: “You’re making your own story. What do you want people to call you. This isn’t something you get from a book”
Sam: “Friend. I guess. I can be a friend to a friend less city.”
Me: “Ok. Then that’s what I’ll tell them”
Sam: “What if it doesn’t work? What if they don’t want to be a friend, they just want someone to solve their problems?”
Me: “That’s their problem. Not yours”
Sam: “Except I need them to live. You won’t live past your lifetime, Pearce…”
Me: “If you try to help as many as you can than there will be those who believe. Do what you can, not what they demand”
Sam: “Okay. If you support it, I will believe it. Oh. I fixed your book for you.” She hands you Jacketmans diary. “It was a good read! You did good work, doing that miracle for whoever this fellah was. It is right up my alley. Was this fiction ?”
Me: “I haven’t read it. I don’t think so. Also isn’t fiction a type of lie?”
Sam: “Pearce, I am allowed to like things that aren’t good for me. I’m not eating it. I’m talking as Samantha the room mate, not Samantha the big guy in the sky.”
Me: “So you can turn off your lie detector?”
Sam: “No… maybe… I don’t know. But now I know fiction is going to be hard to palate. Once you recognize the dinner tastes suspiciously like catfood, you cant go back to just enjoying it.” She sighs. “But yeah. I shouldn’t believe stuff like this.”
Me: “I mean… I don’t believe that was false. Was it very obvious a work of fiction?”
Sam: “It was. Most of it. Some of it was weirdly accurate. Or at least seems to match up with what little I know. And a lot of like…. myths and stuff about the city. I don’t know what was true.”
Me: “Well it was someone’s diary so if someone asks you didn’t read it”
Sam: “What is a prince of demons?” Samantha asks suddenly.
Me: “Uhhhhh I don’t know? People throw royalty titles around like they’re nothing. Dunwhich queen, Vermin Queen”
Sam: “Dunwich… sounds familiar.”
Me: “She was the previous owner of the diary”
Sam: “I read a story once about a girl from House Dunwick. The story goes a girl who could anything she wanted chose love over property, then lived just long enough to regret her choices. She got shot to death for following her heart, if I remember right. It was a sad love story between a daughter of a senator and a blacksmith from the blue poles. Surprise ending. Though. I don’t really get fiction.”
Me: “What makes you think it was fiction?”
Sam: “The story ended. What happened to the blacksmith? History doesn’t just end.”
Me: “I don’t know how your reading works. I heard he died later but I didn’t confirm it. Dunwhich queen definitely died though”
Sam: “Oh. Wait. It’s real? What was the point of that story?”
Me: “Lives don’t have points. We just live”
Sam: “I’d change that, I think. If I were really a god.”
Me: “You want to give people a destiny? That’s interesting”
Sam: "I would hate to discover at the end of my… whatever, “life”, that this had no point. So I hope that for them, too." She takes out her needle again. She pricks her finger. She sucks the spot.“Just a little… to take the edge off.” She shows you her finger. “Your turn.” She gestures for you to lick the point of black liquid that has appeared from the pinprick wound.
Me: “You’re gonna have to fill me in why you want me to suck your finger. Also one can argue that life is about the journey not the destination”
Sam: “No.. just drink this… it comes out of my finger when I prick it, but it isn’t blood. It makes me feel better when I drink it, so I figure it might help you. And don’t suck on my finger. You just… eat the juice, I don’t know.” She jabs you with her finger playfully, then puts it away. “Fine. Maybe another day.” The stuff resembled hollowberry tonic.
Me: “Yeah I don’t think that’s good for mortals. Thank you for the offer though”
Sam: She idly talks with you for a bit. But you can tell she is getting tired.
Me: Before she goes “How long were you watching me? The rope you gave me, that was before a lot of this”
Sam: “I honestly don’t know, Pearce. I’m sorry. The rope is an isolated memory I’ve recovered from a lot of… blankness. I think because it was something of mine… I just knew what became of it, I guess. And for some reason I saved you. I dunno why.”
Me: “Anyway. I’ll let you go back and rest. Those tonics should hold you over. It might be a while till I can give you more”
Sam: “Okay. Goodnight.” She walks away from the mirror.
Conversation 10: 9/27/2016
Me: “Samantha. Where are you going? You need to stop”
Sam: “I can fix this. I can fix this, Pearce. I can make it better. I have to do it. I hurt him so badly…. so badly.”
Me: “Really? Because all I see is someone running. Why are you running Samantha. What can you do in the temple district?”
Sam: “I can…. I don’t know. I can find her. Maybe she is alive somewhere. Someone needs to find her.”
Me: “Samantha. She’s…. I think we both know she’s not there”
Sam: “What is the point if I can’t do this? I’ll outlive everyone I know. He asked for a second chance. I wanted to help… help his….”
Me: “Look. What you did was noble but… it … it was a mistake. Mistakes are things you need to learn from, not run from”
Sam: “How do I go back to calling myself a good person? There is something seriously wrong with me. How could I be so naive. How did I not see it.”
Me: “Samantha. You said it yourself. You’re not a god. Mistakes are going to happen”
Sam: “How do I go back to calling myself a good person? There is something seriously wrong with me. How could I be so naive. How did I not see it.”
Me: “Samantha. You said it yourself. You’re not a god. Mistakes are going to happen”
Sam: “Why can’t people come back right?”
Me: “I know even less than you do. Maybe it’s because their soul has moved on”
Sam: “I thought she was right. I thought it was her. But what I saw in you…. it wasn’t her.”
Me: “I once heard that those without souls are prone to succumbing to dark forces. Like what happened to me. Maybe that happened to her. Honestly. It doesn’t matter. We know now that you can’t… you can’t bring them back. That’s what we take away from this. We’ve learned a rule the hard way”
Sam: “If I can’t… can anyone?”
Me: “I don’t know Samantha. I do know you saved the lives of several people, including mine. Isn’t that enough?”
Sam: “Pearce… I just had a thought.”
Me: “Is it ‘going to the temple is a really bad idea’ because if so we’re on the same wavelength”
Sam: “If he can forgive me, I’ll come back and we can keep fighting. He doesn’t need to know what I am. Just… just that what happened was my fault.”
Me: “He needs time”
Sam: Pearce… I want to try alcohol. Can we try… a ‘brew’? I hear people talk about it all the time. Well… read."
Me: “If it stops you from going then yeah. We can get some alcohol”
Sam: “Pearce, I’m sorry, I didn’t share my thought. Do you think that of the ones of… whatever we are, divine things. Do you think I’m a good one?”
Me: “I think you’re trying. Which is more than I can say for the Ratman. So yes”
Sam: “If so, and I could do something this bad… then what is the point? And what would a bad one look like? A bad divine.”
Me: “Samantha I’ve had a really really long day. I don’t want to think about that”
Conversation 11: 10/04/16
Sam: She seems tired. Hurt. She wakes you up. "Pearce… I’m sorry. "
Me: “Wha-What? I’m up. What happened?” Pearce says as he wipes his face and sits up
Sam: “I’m sorry. All day they’ve been healing people. I had to do something, it was hurting so bad.”
Me: “Who was healing? What did you do?”
Sam: "Tonic helps me keep going… I need it to deal with them all learning the rules. Me? No, earlier today. Salisbury had been out healing injured people. All day. "
Me: “Oh. Shit. He doesn’t know about the limit. Can you not contact him?”
Sam: “Strangers, hobos, people who just got in brawls, one thief who lost a finger… its been awful. Its driving me crazy. Not now! I can’t do anything now. I’m not even projecting. Look, I can’t maintain a link to the library until I get some sleep and this tonic gets… I dunno, absorbed.” She sits by your bed. Curls up on the floor in a purple ball.
Me: “O-ok. Do you know where he was last? I’ll go find him and tell him to stop”
Sam: "No. He is asleep now. I think wherever his home is. "
Me: “Well if you don’t have an address I can’t do anything till the morning. Also apparently he has no idea how to be subtle” Sigh.
Sam: “I can’t spy on them as directly as I spy on you, Pearce. When you saved my life, a part of me got lodged in you.” She touches your scar. Your burn. "That is why you can see and speak to me so often… And… Pearce, I realized something. I think… maybe you are both crazy and I am real. I think its both. I think something in you has broken because of the demon part of you. I think if we heal that, maybe you’l get a clearer picture.
Me: “… so I am crazy. Shit. Do you have enough tonic to remove that yet?”
Sam: “I don’t know. I can’t know for sure. But for some reason I can sit comfortably in your vision and world and in nobody else. If you heal it… I think that would change too.”
Me: “I thought that was because I had the book”
Sam: “You’d go back to the book. I think its more than that. I couldn’t talk for any of them. Just you. I almost talked for Belltoll, but she refused to let me try…”
Me: “So if I’m cured then you forget me and I’m just another character?”
Sam: “I don’t know, Pearce!”
Sam: “You have part of me in you. I know where other parts of me are in the world. I don’t think I would forget you, but… I think without the context you give me… and the structure your morals give me.. I worry I’d do dark things, Pearce.”
Me: “Wait. There are other parts of you in the world?”
Sam: “Yeah… there are some, but they have been inactive. I can feel them, but getting them back isn’t a priority.”
Me: “Hmmm. Well if I need to stay like this in order to contact you then I need to stay like this. At least until the city is past the monster. We need you.”
Sam: "But it… it might get worse for you. You may start hearing things… seeing things… "
Me: “… I don’t know an alternative”
Sam: She holds your arm. “You are a brave man. I know you are doing what you think is good for everyone. Thank you.”
Me: “The thanks goes both ways. You’ve saved me more than once”
Sam: She continues to grip your arm.“Pearce, I had a nightmare when I was asleep.”
Me: “Did it involve a fat owl?”
Sam: “I was this fat bird…” she trails off. “How did you know?”
Me: “That might’ve been backlash from me” I go get the bird. “Do you recognize this?”
Sam: "Yes… I… " Her skins starts to darken. “Please hand it to me.”
Me: “Whoa. whoa. Clam down. What’s going on?”
Sam: “Its one of my pieces. I can eat it and gain strength. Not a lot, but some.”
Me: “Is that why the monster was after it?”
Sam: Her skin lightens again. “Sorry… I was shocked. I didn’t feel it or notice it being my own.”
Me: “So now that you snapped out of whatever that was, do you still want it?”
Sam: “No. I changed my mind. You keep it. Just make sure it stays safe. The wrong person could… make it useless for us.”
Me: “Make it useless? You mean like take the magic from inside it?”
Sam: “Yes… they will eat it.”
Me: “Is eating it a bad thing? You seemed like you wanted to a second ago”
Sam: “That isn’t a statue, Pearce. It was a pet. I crafted a creature from my own body, and like all things it passed. I removed the memory of it from the city and it became a small, fake statue of itself. It was so sad. But now it hungers for that memory. For me. To feel me again. As all things, even it must learn to work with its creator, lest it be destroyed.”
Me: “!!! You gained some memories!”
Sam: “What do you mean? I guess I did. Huh. I thought I would feel it. Weird!”
Me: “Did that jog anything else?”
Sam: "I wonder what else is in my head… " she glances around. Then returns to gazing at the bird.“If I tell you her name, will you whisper it to her when she is destroyed? So that she knows someone knew of her time in life? Eventually, all things get destroyed. We all must prepare for it, silently, respectfully.”
Me: “I will try assuming she doesn’t outlive me”
Sam: “Pepper.” she says quietly. “That was her name.”
Me: “It’s a good name”
Sam: “I’m not very creative. I just like the way some words sound. She had a lot of pep!”
“But back then…” She glances up. “Pearce… do you see that on the roof?”
Me: “I can not see through walls no. Is something on my roof?”
Sam: “Wow… so many shining soldiers walking across…. when did we get a desert up there….”
Me: “!!!! sand? That’s the monsters domain. Is this a memory or are we under attack?”
Sam: “Huh. Its over. Dunno. It was just… a glimmer I couldn’t look away from.” She yawns. “Back to sleep.” She curls up in a ball by your bed. Probably just a bad dream caused by the tonic."
DM: A check of the roof reveals nothing
Conversation 12 with Belltoll: 10/6/16
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. See Belltoll Conversation 2 for the rest of her dialogue. Bell leaves. Sam is staring at the bird.
Me: “Are you going to be able to control yourself around the bird?”
Sam: She turns and looks at you. “Yeah. You should trust me at this point. I mean, I don’t know what base mind control is, but it is pretty intimate.” She laughs. “We’ve got new followers! Also, how awesome am I at being dignified?”
Me: “How does it feel? Do you feel healthier?”
Sam: “I feel safer. Like I can trust myself more. I seem to be slowly getting memories back too.”
Me: “Anything important?”
Sam: “I think I was born after the other divine left. Whenever that was.”
Me: “From our conversations that sounds like it happened a long time ago”
Sam: “I don’t get time. I feel like it bosses everyone around. I don’t get how gold is currency. Time is the only real currency.”
Me: “It’s complicated. By the way. There is a man who says his family was given powers from a divine. Can you tell if he got them from you? Past you”
Sam: “Okay.” She says. “Show me him.”
Me: “Umm do you need to hop in to go down there? I don’t think he should be recruited so going down there physically is a bad idea. He might be able to tell what you are”
Sam: Your burn glows faintly, then stops. You say, “Okay, I’ll stay quiet until you. Ask for me”
DM: You join Bell and Venyard
Me: “Just wanted to make sure our guest didn’t run away. Ok. I’ll admit I was also hoping you could heal me Venyard. I’m still kinda hurting from the Patricia fight”
Venyard: “Permission to help my captor, orc lady?” He asks and then begins casting. “I… is there… sir, you require an exorcism.”
Me: “What makes you think that? Although now that I think about it, can you cure diseases?”
Venyard: “You have a bad vibe, an unhealthy vibe. Something is in you that wants to do bad things. If you let me, I can tell you more. Oh certainly, but that will cost you. And no, my life is not the price I am setting.”
Me: “I’m fine but Bell has a disease. I’m willing to pay to cure it”
Venyard: “You kill me and you kill the only person who can retrieve your soul. But I won’t work for free.” He says.
Me: “I didn’t say you should. Look I’m willing to pay to cure her”
Venyard: "I don’t need money. " He says. “Money is useless in a city of thieves.”
Me: “Sigh. What is it gonna take to cure her?”
Venyard: “Let’s start by dismissing the orc for a while.” He says. “Until our conversation ends.”
Me: “Belltoll can you leave us? Apparently he wants privacy”
Venyard: He repositions himself on the couch. “You are hiding so much. From yourself and from others. Who is that other who dwells in you? I couldn’t target you easily, and that only happens… during possession. Devil, do you speak?” He asks suddenly.
Me: “I have no idea what you’re saying but I think you’ve gone mad”
Venyard: “You owe me a beer. Your turn.”
Me: “Tell me if you can cure Bell. That is all we’re discussing”
Venyard: “I can.” He responds. “But I won’t do it.”
Me: “Why? She wasn’t going to harm you, you should’ve sensed that”
Venyard: “Because you will end up threatening me if I say no, and I want you to be aware of that.” He says again.
Me: “There are other cures. You are not the exclusive healer in this city. If you will not cure her then our discussion is over. I think we both should just forget this happened”
Venyard: “If I cure her, will this discussion continue?”
Me: “There is nothing more to discuss. Good day Venyard”
Venyard: He says, quietly. “Devils don’t always know, Pearce. Good luck.”
He leans back and relaxes s bit. “Get me two bottles of fine bourbon and I’ll cure her.”
Me: “It’ll be done” Pearce says and slams the door and goes upstairs.
Sam: “What is a devil?”
Me: “Tell me he’s wrong”
Sam: "Pearce. I can’t. I won’t lie. I don’t know what I am or how I work. Do I seem evil? "
Me: “No but what do I know? Even you’ve noticed I’m insane. Maybe I can’t tell. Why does everyone who can sense you think something is wrong?”
Sam: “I… do you want me to go until I have your answer?”
Me: “No. No. I’m sorry. It’s fine. We need to know though Samantha”
Sam: “I don’t want to… hurt you somehow. If my existing hurts you, I can… take it away. Take the memory of me away from the city.”
Me: “What does that even mean Samantha? I don’t know what that means”
Sam: “I’ll die, I think. But you would still have the gifts I’ve given you. I just.. wouldn’t be real anymore.”
Me: “Why do that to someone though? Why do that to Pepper? What’s the point?”
Sam: “Because… we all die. I thought I couldn’t live without her. So I tried to make her a forever pet. But making her permanent destroyed what I loved about her. It was a hard…. hard lesson, Pearce. I cried for years.”
Me: “Then don’t do that to you. Don’t forget that lesson. Did his powers originate from you? That’s what we went down there to figure out”
Sam: “No. I know it is foreign. If you think it’s important. I could eat his magic. The gift would be gone, but I’d know who gave it and where they are.”
Me: “I don’t think it’s our place to steal his magic”
Sam: “I meant after he heals your friend.”
Me: “No. We’re not going to use him and then betray him. We’re better than that. That’s what this is all about”
Sam: “Okay… I’ll remember that. I am learning from you what is and isn’t appropriate. I never had parents, or friends, or people to discuss this with. Not really.”
Me: “It’s fine. If he threatens us then maybe we’ll take it. If we need to defend ourselves. But we have to pursue the peaceful solution right? Trust until shown otherwise. Right?”
Sam: “That is what I want.”
Me: “Then we leave him for now”
Sam: “Pearce, if I am a devil. Will we stop being friends?”
Me: “I don’t know Samantha. I don’t know. I’m sorry I don’t”
Sam: “It hurts to hear. I need to be alone for a bit. Sorry.” She starts fading from the mirror.
Conversation 13: 10/14/16
Me: I knock on the mirror
Sam: She looks over, puts away a book, and suddenly is in your apartment, shimmering. “Pearce! How are you?” She asks, smiling.
Me: “Tired. How goes the divine business”
Sam: “Oh, it’s been going well. The new followers keep me busy. Not really doing many miracles, just making sure I don’t need to do any miracles. It’s amazing how many problems just resolve themselves without my involvement.”
Me: “That’s uh good. I guess. So I’m assuming you didn’t hear the conversation downstairs?”
Sam: “No… was I supposed to? I don’t really watch you unless you pray. I don’t want to invade your privacy.”
Me: “No it’s fine. I just talked with Venyard about things.”
Sam: “Oh… anything you want me to know?”
Me: “Well he clarified what he thinks a devil is. He confirmed that he wasn’t sure what you were.”
Sam: “What is a devil?” She asks.
Me: “Something with great power that ultimately does evil with said power. He said he ran into what he thinks was one years back but his story sounded sketchy”
Sam: “Oh… so maybe they aren’t real?”
Me: “I believe whatever he ran into was real. It also had memory altering powers. So far both you and the monster have shown capable of doing that”
Sam: She seems uncomfortable. “I’m not the monster, right?”
Me: “I don’t think so. The Ratman seemed to imply he was closer to what the monster is than you are. Also the rusted arm seemed like a construct”
Sam: “I had a dream about you.”
Me: “What happened?”
Sam: She looks guilty. “You were growing the cult, and kept growing it, and we were happy. But I kept getting more people to watch, and one day I am too tired to read. And I sleep, but when i wake up, you have died somehow and I could have saved you if i just had more strength. I woke up crying so hard I was shaking.”
Me: “Oh. Well. I don’t like the sounds of that So you think this means you need something more than the cult itself to keep up? More than the tonic?”
Sam: “I don’t know. I only really get tired when I have to do miracles. I don’t know why I was sleepy in the dream, I only get sleepy when in human form.”
Me: “I don’t know what to make of that Samantha.”
Sam: She shrugs. “Not all dreams have meaning. A lot of time they just are a mix of our anxieties. You are my biggest friend, so I guess I worry a lot.”
Me: “Well I take that as a compliment. By the way Samantha. Venyard mentioned a quality he believes devils to have. Do you mind if we confirm it? I think I’m willing to keep doing this even if it’s true, but if it is we need to prepare going forward”
Sam: “What quality?” She asks.
Me: “A mark on the body they seem to have”
Sam: “Okay… I think my body is pretty normal…”
Me: “I… uhh… maybe we should get Bell to test it. It requires you to disrobe”
Sam: "No. " She says curtly. “I won’t disrobe for you or anyone. That is humiliating. Tell me what the mark is.” She seems horrified at the prospect.
Me: “He said that devils don’t copy the body properly.”
Sam: "My body is perfectly normal. " She insists.
Me: “That’s the point Samantha. If you don’t know what it looks like of course it seems normal. Look. You’ve said before that ‘you always seem to hurt people’. A part of you knows that this is a possibility”
Sam: “Go wait downstairs with Venyard. Send up Belltoll. I am so unhappy with this, I feel like it’s a bad idea…. but I trust you.”
Me: “Thank you Samantha. I wouldn’t do this if I didn’t think it necessary”
DM: Pearce knocks on Bell’s door. She answers. She hears your request, and pensively heads upstairs.
Venyard: Venyard looks a little worried. “Getting some bad feelings, like something bad is about to happen.”
Me: “You’re not wrong”
DM: Venyard shouts, and it combines with shouts from the hoarse voice of Belltoll from upstairs. Venyard slumps over, unmoving.
Me: “Venyard? You alive?”
DM: He doesn’t move. You go over and see he has a pulse but his breathing is hoarse and slow. You go upstairs and find Belltoll on fire while Samantha is desperately writing in the book.
Sam: “I can fix this! I can fix this!” she is sobbing and saying.
DM: You grab Sam’s clothes and wrap them around Bell to suffocate the fire. You notice that Bell is repeating everything Sam is mumbling.
Me: “Bell? Someone? SAY SOMETHING!?”
Bell: Bell signs weakly. “Not dead.”
Me: “Oh thank goodness”
Sam & Bell: “I’m so sorry… I didn’t know…”
Me: “Samantha. Get out of them and explain this”
Sam & Bell: “I’m not in her! What do you mean, them?”
Me: “Don’t worry about that. Calm down. You. need. to. calm. down”
Sam & Bell: "I did what you asked… I took off… everything. And when she saw me… she just… " she cries.
Me: “Take a deep breath. Even if you don’t need it. Breathe slowly”
DM: She tries to do so. She clearly isn’t sure which part of breathing to do, as she doesn’t stop sucking in air with her nose. It goes on until she next speaks, without stopping to exhale.
Sam & Bell: “Why is she saying things after me?”
Me: “I’m… i’m gonna go into her mind. See if I can find out”
Sam & Bell: “Should I… I can’t watch you in there.”
Me: “Bell if you can understand me. I’m going to go into your mind and see what’s wrong ok?I don’t know if that will make things worse. I need you to remain here and stay calm”
DM: Sam administers a healing potion slowly while Pearce casts Psychic dual. It isn’t a void, this time. Half of it is void, the other half is an intense dream.
This is a complicated state to handle, but you brave the waters. You see Belltoll as a young orc child. She is talking to someone, but you only see her pantomiming it. You deduce she probably doesn’t really remember what speaking is like, so even in her youth she dreams of talking with her fingers, only they all ‘hear’ it and respond. An adult Belltoll walks up on you. From behind.
Bell & Sam: “Why are you here, Pearce?” she says
Me: “You’re connected to the Lady somehow. I was afraid your mind would be damaged so I jumped in”
Bell & Sam: “My mind is permanently damaged, yes.”
Me: “What? She damaged your mind?”
Bell & Sam: “To view the majesty of a god costs us. Our minds cannot really understand what we see. Even yours… yours could not handle it either.” She reaches out, and you see she would be touching your hand. “Your body reflects a deeper trauma. One you will never escape.”
Me: “I…I didn’t know”
Bell & Sam: “No. And perhaps you would have known before meeting our Lady, but I don’t know that she knew either. What she was. What I am. What you are. We are all changed, now.”
Me: “I’m confused. I don’t understand”
Bell & Sam: “You and I are brain-damaged. But perhaps she is too. In some ways, something larger than our brains was damaged. She certainly is no god, but perhaps she could pretend to be, just as you and I will now either fight or fake our identities as normal people.”
Me: “What about Venyard? He was affected too? Why was it all of us?”
Bell & Sam: “I do not know why people who fall into this are who they are. I wonder if we are just hoping there is a reason.”
Me: “And if it cost you did you even get to see? Or did I just damage you for no reason?”
Bell & Sam: “She was abnormal. But no, I saw what I needed to see. She is not as you said.”
Me: Pearce lets out a half-insane laugh. “Well thank goodness”
Bell & Sam: She watches your laugh. “I will be permanently disfigured. Laughing seems…. inconsiderate.”
Me: “I’ve done so much what’s it matter? You trusted me and now I’ve scarred you just as bad as Harrison has done”
Bell & Sam: “No, Pearce. Harrison made me. You let me choose. If I scarred myself tripping while getting groceries, I wouldn’t blame you. I do not blame you now. You were ignorant of the issue.”
Me: “IGNORANCE ISN’T AN EXCUSE. I REFUSE. I will not let people take my risks for me. No more”
DM: You realize a spell is being cast.
Me: “Bell I have to go. I promise. I’ll… I don’t know”
Bell: “Stay with me, Pearce”
Me: “Someone is casting. We might be under attack”
Bell: “It doesn’t matter. Let her sort this out. Learn to trust her, or your followers will not either. If you leave, I will move on.” She says flatly.
Me: “Don’t. Please. I need to make this right. I… I will stay”
Bell: “I wish to see the lands of my ancestors, and your kindness is all that keeps me tethered.”
DM: You spend the next hour learning about her people and traditions. The concept of ‘inbetween’ is brought up repeatedly. Her culture describes the afterlife as the inbetween. It seems they go to other places after that. You are eventually pulled out. Venyard looks at you as you come to.
Venyard: “You owe me a beer.” he says weakly. You see his climbed up the staircase on his hands – you can see the long wet line leading from the door.
Me: “I owe you more than that. Do you need a healing potion?”
Venyard: “Nah. It’d take a god to kill me.”
Me: “Based off your age I think you might be right. Lady how are you holding up?”
Sam: She awkwardly gestures without coming out of her bedding. “Yeah… I’m okay. Just… weird night.” She looks over at Venyard, wearily. “You should get out.” She says finally.
Venyard: “I think I am fine here, thanks.”
Me: “Venyard. Why don’t I take you downstairs?” I turn to Sam “There should be some spare clothes in my room”
Venyard: “No. I’m not interested in that. I am leaving, and your lot, best not follow.”
Me: “Without your chair?”
Venyard: “This is the payment, jailer, for my freedom. And I can take it away just as quickly. Please go and get my chair. I will wait here, with your friend…” he gestures to Samantha. “… keeping me company. Then I want you to let me leave.”
Me: “Fine. You claim you magic-ed your way out of here and it’ll be done. Belltoll has a reputation” he says kinda jokingly
Venyard: “Alright. I have your word you will honor my request?”
Me: “I will let you leave. If the others track you down again though you’re on your own”
Venyard: “That is all I ask. So yes, you will honor it?”
Me: “I will”
DM: You feel a strange, magical tension in the air as you say that.
Me: “Nifty trick”
Venyard: “Certainly is. Just a little reassurance. You don’t live long without living like people like us live, eh, Pearce?”
Me: “Jury is still out on if I’ll live long. Can you at least wait downstairs now that you have your reassurance? You’re making her uncomfortable”
Venyard: “Yeah. Carry me, if you don’t mind. I probably can’t pull that stunt off again. My arms are pretty sore.”
Me: I turn to Sam “We’ll talk after I deal with him”
DM: Stuff happens.
Me: I hand him the cart “Throw in some story about matronis”
Venyard: “I’ll come up with some story that doesn’t incriminate you but I’m not going to give you a lead as to where I’m going”
Me: “Venyard. I know you meant well but if I see you ever again it will be too soon. Your ‘test’ nearly cost me a friend”
Venyard: He rolls away
Me: “You were wrong” I say as he leaves “Based off your ‘test’”
Venyard: He doesn’t respond. You see his shoulders fall a bit.
Conversation 14: 10/24/16
Me: “Ok. So. That happened” I make a quick bow to Samantha “Lady Amethyst, Belltoll. I’m glad you’re both … well”
Sam: “She has been knighted. Her name is Lady Bell, first of the Purple Knights. I have trusted her with the sacred task of being my….. voice.”
Me: “I… see… as you command Lady Amethyst. Although I believe we are still working on her requested terms at this time”
DM: Bell is ignoring the Lady Amethyst
Me: I sign to bell “How are you feeling?”
Bell: She signs to you. “Tired. Hearing voices. Trying to focus on what is real.”
Me: I sign. “Can you hear her now? What do you remember of tonight?”
Bell: “Vague things. Yes, I hear a voice. She was talking about you, the voice. Said very strange things. I remember opening the door… you asked me to go up there. I did so. Then I woke up with a voice in my head. No…. there was more…”
Me: “Don’t stress yourself recalling. You need to focus on recovering. The details can come later. You’ve …. been through a lot”
Bell: “Yes. I saw a woman, naked. But she was wrong…” She nods. “Okay.”
Me: “We’ll talk again in the morning. You’re getting tomorrow off to recover”
DM: Bell leaves
Me: “How are you really feeling now that we’re alone?”
Sam: “Awful. I had this idea that she would think I was pretty. Or something. I dunno. That was so unexpected… I’m scared I’ll hurt more people just trying to exist. I think she still hears me. But I don’t think she likes it.”
Me: “In her defense she just recently became insane”
Sam: “For some reason that hurts. I thought I’d get a new friend. I… why do things like me work like this….”
Me: “I … I’m not sure myself. Whatever happened to Bell she was connected to you briefly stronger than I’ve ever been”
Sam: “How do you know that? What if she wasn’t connected but repulsed?”
Me: “I was in her mind. I might have just been talking to her subconscious but I was definitely able to talk to her”
Sam: “So she isn’t… all gone?”
Me: “I mean she’s alive. I don’t think she’ll ever been the same. It was odd. My spell shouldn’t have sucked me into her mind but that’s where we were. I don’t know if it was her psyche restoring or her connection to you but it was more than I’m capable of doing alone”
Sam: "That sounds scary. You were sucked in? " Sam seems confused
Me: “The point is. She wasn’t repulsed. I think it was more she was… overloaded? Samantha. What do you see when you look at the demon corruption?”
Sam: “In you? I don’t want to say. I’m sorry.”
Me: “No. Like the jar. I didn’t realize you could see mine but that’s a different story”
Sam: “I see a blue paste. Like a putty or clay.”
Me: “Then that’s an example. When I, when a mortal looks at that it physically hurts. There are just some things that we can’t see or deal with. Your body is apparently one of those.”
Sam: “So… I guess having the body of a goddess isn’t quite what the burlesque make it to be..” she sighs.
Me: “Apparently not. Although according to the mind Belltoll you didn’t match Venyard’s description of a Devil. You were a third thing. So you probably aren’t one of those? Which is good?”
Sam: “Did Venyard seem different to you? Like… not quite normal?”
Me: “I… don’t know. Something happened to him at the same time something happened to Bell but I have no idea what. I didn’t really have time to stop and look. Did you notice something?”
Sam: “I read my book some before he arrived… and after he left. Both times he was called… something odd. It wasn’t in any language I could read.”
Me: “Has other languages ever shown up in your book? Does it auto-translate speech?”
Sam: “Sometimes, but I’m used to ignoring the way they look. This was just… odd.”
Me: "If it sometimes translates, would it translate if I wrote it in her book?
Sam: “Nope… I don’t know how it works. I just thought it was odd. Wanted to ask before i forgot.”
Me: “Well I have it written down. So I’ll look into it. Also random question but who was the prince of devils?”
Sam: “I think Venyard knows him. The book said he is journeying now to find the prince of devils. When I read about Venyard, it kept referencing this prince. And his search.”
Me: “That’s not that outlandish. Venyard was pretty sure they existed”
Sam: “I don’t know who or what that might be, but maybe it has answers about me…”
Me: “You think a prince of devils has answers about you?”
Sam: “If I am one. I’m scared I am.”
Me: “I mean you don’t match Venyard’s description of one. I don’t remember people spontaneously catching on fire in his story. Well… at first”
Sam: “… I am so lonely. Inside. Nobody is like me. I was hoping to make a family. But now I know it’s not possible.”
Me: “We don’t know that you can’t. Just because you’re not … humanoid doesn’t mean you’re the only one. I’m gonna go out on a limb and say other people of your species won’t burst into fire”
Sam: “Pearce, how would you kill me?”
Me: “If you’re gonna avoid telling me what my corruption is like I’m gonna avoid that question. We both don’t want to answer them”
Sam: “I want to give you something. A special gift… the ability to kill me.”
Me: “How do you even know that?”
Sam: “I have a theory… fine. Your corrupted blood looks like a dying field to me. Your skin flakes off, your hair is matter and dying, and there are pustules that reek of a foul substance. When I project, you are ugly. When I am here, you look normal.”
Me: “Yeah that about matches what my leg looks like”
Sam: “I think… with a powerful sacrifice I can cure it, but you will never be human again. I think you would gain more of…. of me. I think if I give you a piece of me, you would have the ability to slay me.”
Me: “Don’t I already have a piece?”
Sam: “You do. It’s all I could do to fight off death. Infect you.”
Me: “That’s an interesting way to phrase it”
Sam: “You didn’t ask for it. I did it without asking. To me, that is wrong. I am sorry I dragged you into me, Pearce. I wish I had… just…” she sighs. “What happened to Bell makes me scared.”
Me: “I’m glad you feel that way. I’d be terrified if you weren’t scared after that”
Sam: “Pearce… if you ever are certain I am bad for this world… promise me you will let me die.”
Me: “… Fine. Only if I’m 100% certain. I don’t like saying that”
Sam: “Someday everyone dies. I don’t want to be around if I’m… you know. Bad. I’m not asking you to do it. But it’s okay if you do it.”
Me: “Would you extend the same courtesy to me? If we can’t… cure this?”
Sam: “I won’t let you become a danger… if you want it.”
Conversation 15: 11/8/16
Sam: “What’s up?”
Me: “A lot. Anything interesting to report on your end?”
Sam: “Yeah…. something weird is happening in the library. The books keep, I don’t know…. disagreeing.”
Me: “In layman terms please”
Sam: “They keep deleting words and phrases mid sentence. Like they aren’t sure.”
Me: “Isn’t that kinda what you do?”
Sam: “I guess? But I’m not doing it?”
Me: “Is it random or does it seem like someone is trying to influence things? Also. Did it start at a specific time?”
Sam: “Just the last two days, I’ve been noticing it. Those books you have, the square ones have not been mentioned yet. Why?”
Me: “They were rounded up by an associate before they could be distributed”
Sam: “Huh. Anyway, what is your news?”
Me: “So first. Belltoll’s agreement has been accomplished. You’ll have to figure out a way to communicate but she can now be your voice”
Sam: “Oh. Yay! I knew today would be meaningful!”
Me: “Try to keep me up date if you need to borrow her but otherwise I’ll let you two work out the specifics. Second. It seems that people are coming out of the books. Really odd people. Also the books abducted a friend. The monsters are officially making moves.”
Sam: “What… what do we do?”
Me: “Well. That brings me to point 2a. Thanks for fullfilling that prayer. I’m hoping that will slow them down”
Sam: “Yeah… I was a little confused. It was like moving nothing into nothing. Wasn’t expecting the reaction, though.”
Me: “If they appear to be nothing that explains why you haven’t sensed them. Also. If I give you an address could you tell me the name of the people there?”
Sam: “I could try? I can’t force the books to reveal things.”
Me: “Sorry. I don’t know how it works. Like. Can you follow me? or a place? Via the books”
Sam: “I can follow you usually, and the other chosen are easy to find, but random locations… things without names its hard to do.”
Me: “Oh. What if I give you the name of a building? Would that make it easier? What about a person? Could that get you to the location?”
Sam: “We can try all of those things. Lets start with one. Name the person, I’ll go try and see what I can find.”
Sam: “Okay… give me a little bit.” Ten minutes pass without her saying anything. She is holding a book and staring at it. “Okay. I see him. He is currently scratching his… gross.”
Me: “He’s just a marker. Can you see the room he’s guarding?”
Sam: “Not how it works. he has to do something, interact with whoever is there… I’ll keep watching him. What am I watching for?”
Me: “He’s guarding men from the books. I was hoping you could get a name or title from them. Or any info really”
Sam: “‘Frax guards the men in the cage, waiting for them to ask for him to release them. They are silent. He is silent.’”
DM: Nothing of interest happens and we move on.
Me: “So random question. But…. how do you feel about souls? Do you remember seeing them before?”
Sam: "I don’t know. I don’t really understand them. "
Me: I pull one out of the case. “Not triggering any instinct or memory”
Sam: Her eyes focus on the object. “I… I don’t know. I feel like I’m supposed to get that, but… I don’t know what to do with it. Do I treat it like tonic? I feel like maybe I could…”
Me: I put away the vial “Still feeling that way?”
Sam: “I used to eat those, I think. Is that what divines do? Do we eat souls? I don’t know… I think it would let me grow in power… but is it worth it? It seems wrong.”
Me: “I kinda want to ask the Ratman. Yeah. It seems wrong although I’m not going to say I’m not curious. I’m more afraid you’ll get addicted if we give you one”
Sam: “He has been… busy. His little rat choir has been operating non-stop.”
Me: “Doing what?”
Sam: “Singing in some strange rat language. He has been standing still, unmoving, and they’ve been singing around him.”
Me: “Creepy. Look. I’m not gonna say it’s right to eat these but … I think your reaction to consuming it might give us more insight into what you are. So if you’re ok with it, I say we try one. Just one”
Sam: “Okay… how?”
Me: “…Like a tonic I guess?”
Sam: “You have to.. .give it to me. I can’t eat it on my own. Offer it to me?” She seems to be reacting a little…. oddly.
Me: “You ok?”
Sam: “Yeah… just getting some urges.”
Me: “To rush over here and consume these? I know it’s kinda intrusive but this is for science”
Sam: “No. I need something. A ritual. The stuff is best with a ritual. It doesn’t matter what kind, but I can’t consume those directly… I think the complexity of the ritual makes it… better. Easier to eat.”
DM: You wrack your brain to figure out a basic ritual to give her the soul. You do an elaborate dance in which the soul is offered.
Sam: She consumes it passionately. “Yes…. Yes….. YES!”
DM: She seems bigger. You see something is happening to her body. She leans forward, coughing. You hear cracking on her back.
Me: “ummm you ok?”
DM: Its like her skin is peeling. She screams in ecstasy and pain.
Sam: “I am…. a GODDESS…”
DM: The back of her robe splits.
Me: “A goddess who is friendly! Key word being friendly”
DM: Huge, leathery wings emerge. They resemble a bats wings, but covered in human flesh and hair.
Me: “Samantha the friend”
DM: Suddenly, she disappears.
Me: “Well…. shit”
Pearce(Sam): “This… will be a night to remember.”
Me: “I think we should just all take a step back and calm down”
DM: Suddenly it starts raining. You go unconscious. When you awake it’s the next morning.
Me: I go knock on the mirror
Sam: Samantha appears. She seems really tired, her image is slightly shimmery. “Oh… hey…. you are up.”
Me: “uhhhh what happened?”
Sam: “Was hoping you could tell me…”
Me: “Well. We did the ritual. It worked”
Sam: “We did. It did that. And I used it for good, I think.”
Me: “Oh that’s good. Because I just saw you start screaming in excitement, grow wings, and then I got knocked out. So I hope you can understand I was a bit concerned”
DM: You notice your pants are gone.
Me: Pearce is facepalming literally “Samantha where are my pants”
Sam: “I don’t remember that at all. I do remember… well, that.” she points at your legs. The demon growth is flaking off on the floor, and evaporating as demons do.
Me: “I…. I’m cured”
Sam: “I know we were… somewhere…. and I took your pants off to do something… and then I think somehow I fixed you? I think so. You are now without any soul or soul fragments!”
Me: “I have no idea on what to say”
Sam: “Probably we should really not do that often. While I will have a fun time figuring out what happened, that amount of power… little went to my head.”
Me: “Are the wings still there?”
Sam: “Nah… they fell off and disolved earlier this morning.”
Me: “O-ok. Well. Yeah. That. Yep” I go find some pants
Conversation: 16 11/11/16
Me: “Hey Samantha. Everything ok? I was knocked out for a few days”
Sam: “Hey… I think they might not be.”
Me: “Uh oh. What happened?”
Sam: “I was trying to find out more about your friend… the halfling girl. I started reading about other halfling families that I think are in the Mids. Many are dealing with mysterious disappearances of family members.”
Me: “That is disturbing. Is it just halfling families?”
Sam: “I think so, but it’s also the only group ive been watching. Since I… ate? That soul, I’ve been feeling so much better. I just feel so much more capable.”
Me: “That’s good. Any side effects? Besides the momentary lack of control”
Sam: “My back still aches… maybe Bell can look at it later.”
Me: “We’ll see. How has your relationship been going? Have you had to use her as a voice?”
Sam: “Yeah. She apparently wanted a voice to convince a friend of hers she just tracked down. On her day off we reconnected with him, and we helped convince him to pray.”
Me: “Oh. That’s good!”
Sam: “Yeah! I don’t know if he was totally convinced, but at least we connected. He is currently living with Bell, actually.”
Me: “I’ll have to check on them later. So question. You said I was cured right?”
Sam: “Of the demon soul, yes.”
Me: “So. Why can I see you? I thought that was a requirement? Are we still good? Do I still have a fragment of you in my hand?”
Sam: “Yes. We are connected through that fragment… Do you mind coming to the library for a little bit? I’d like you to meet someone.”
Me: “Oh. Sure? Is the Ratman still doing his prayer thing?”
Sam: “Yes, he is. It is actually one of his.. advisors? His little rat members. Apparently he knows how to talk. You are better at talking than I am, so I wanted you there… I want to ask him about what Ratman is, and I wanted to make sure you were around to hear it from him.”
Me: “Do you think he’ll know?”
Sam: “I don’t know. I also want you to help me determine if he is a liar or anything. I think without my book guiding me, I might be a little naive.”
Me: “Then let’s hear what he has to say”
DM: You find yourself in the library. You notice Samantha badly needs to shower and appears to have a shuffling gait
Sam: “Okay, come over here.” she says, walking down a hallway.
Me: “Samantha are you ok? You seem off”
Sam: “Yeah… back hurts.” She whispers to you, “Also, in here, call me the Amethyst Queen or Purple Lady… if some of the rats can speak, we have to try and keep that secret!”
Me: “Oh. You’re correct Lady Amethyst. Forgive my transgression”
Sam: She puts her hand on your head, jumps up and down, raises her arms, and says “Forgiven!” she waits a moment, expecting some kind of affirmation.
Me: “Oh thank you Queen!” I say with a bow
?: You eventually come to an open book with its back to you. You hear a small, shrill voice. “Hello Purple Lady. Who is your friend?”
Sam: “Hello Conductor Knoblitch, this is one of my agents…”
Me: “Atwood. Servant of the Lady at your service”
Knob: “Hello agent. How can I help you?”
Sam: “Why don’t you tell my friend what it is you do?”
Knob: “Ah. I am a conductor for the 2nd Priest Choir. We orchestrate the arcane magic that keeps Ovid operational.”
Sam: The Amethyst Queen cuts him off. “Ovid is what the choir calls the Ratman.”
Knob: "Ovid, as you may have guessed, is not entirely natural. Let me tell you the earliest oral history we smallmen (Samantha whispers “rats”) … the earliest history we have. Where we are from. One evening, long ago, my people were ignorant – we had no words to speak or dreams to hear. We do not know when this was – there wasn’t a times table or date system that we could formulate.One evening some smallmen found Ovid in the depths of the sewers, and he was hollow and without life. We, being a simple folk, began living around and in him – for he was in a shadowy, safe, mossy place. In time, we learned to speak, and our first word was Ovid – the word for both god, home, and family in our tongue. We believe it was Ovid who gave us a voice. And in turn, our voice was Ovids. And in time we became one in the same. We grew. As our society developed, we continued learning about Ovid – our place, ourselves, and our home. And as we did, Ovid became stronger. Our identity developed, through structure and family. Now looking backwards, I do not understand how life changing can cause a arcane spell as complicated as Ovid. But it is natural for us to protect our family, home, and god… our Ovid. Does that make sense to you?"
Me: “Protecting those that have helped you seems natural yes”
Knob: “Well… its different than on the surface. Its more a ‘we can’t fly because we have no wings’ sort of natural, unchangeable feeling. It’s not a choice.”
Me: “You have a symbiotic relationship is what you mean”
Knob: "I suppose so. It is different than you and your kind. It is impossible for us, unthinkable for us to betray our own. "
Me: “What about those of us that have been… excuse my language but ‘infected’. Do they suffer this compulsion as well?”
Knob: “Ah. That is a point of contention. The only one, really. They do not share our devotion to Ovid, and some of us resent this, as Ovid dictates we protect them. But for us, it doesn’t come naturally. We must… act, behave, force ourselves to protect Ovid, in the case of the turned. Oh, sentience, the drawbacks are many.” He wheels his head in a shaking motion.
Me: “Has Ovid ever described what he was? Before he …. joined the smallmen?”
Knob: "Ovid says he was once a man, but we gave him new meaning. He says he did not exist before he was Ovid, for the man died in him long ago.
Me: “Wait. I though Ovid was a construct. Is he a surface dweller underneath the armor?”
Knob: “The secrets of Ovid’s creation are our most sacred tenant. To even approach Ovid takes much time. To know that, one would need to be more holy than I.”
Me: “So if I might ask Chancellor. How did you gain the ability to enter this room? You are the most …. cognizant inhabitant from your clergy we’ve encountered”
Knob: “Ovid taught us the magic to bypass the spiritual barriers on this place. He made us come here, as your ruler made you.”
Me: “I see. Then I assume you are open to further discussion? I believe both our groups could benefit the other.” He turns to the Lady “With your permission of course Queen Amethyst”
Sam: “I am open to translate and give my personal opinion, but it will depend on Ovid to determine our course as a community.”
Me: “Just as the Lady will determine ours. We are but messengers. But I think being a representative would earn you favor would it not?”
Knob: “Yes… I should embrace my desire to rise in power… hmm…. pull away from Ovid for personal reasons… gain influence…” he seems a little mesmerized by the thought, as if its a new line of thinking for him. “Yes… alright. I will do that. If we are allies, we recognize that our side has larger numbers. We will therefore allow you to grow to a similar weight before we discuss lands. However, we do have a request of all largemen… And we will request it of you and your queen as well.”
Me: “I don’t have the power to agree before conversing with the Lady but go on”
“Our forces do not know or understand war, and battle against other sentients. We know eventually this will happen to us, and we will be stained by war with another sentient group. You are a human, so we will not ask you to betray your species, but if you can bring armaments for our warriors, and books for our sages, on battle and conflict against other intelligent races and species – we covet this from the surface more than gold.”
DM: They are preparing for that inevitability, but he didn’t list another one he really is worried about.
Me: “I think we both know there are worse things than surface dwellers. Why hide this?”
DM: “… because Ovid is better protected if I do.”
Me: “Ovid and the Lady already have an agreement about that second force.”
Knob: “Then this is something Ovid was protected perhaps by my current ignorance on this.”
Me: “Consider it a gift since you will be translating our requests”
Knob: “You must know something about Ovid, Atwood. Any of us may communicate with Ovid at any point, from anywhere. Should a betrayal of our agreements with the surface be made by any entity Ovid recognizes as official, there will be war – my people are not like you and your people – we do not understand the deception amongst allies.One day we too will be cursed with this truth, but the transmission of knowledge is now only limited by time. It is why our primitive brothers squeek and shake seemingly at random… they are communicating with Ovid, and in time – all of us will know, through this constant stream of discussion.”
Me: “Then you must understand that any agreement made here will a) only apply to servants of the Lady and b) will take a transition period to go into effect. She does not speak for all land-dwellers”
Knob: “All choices take time. Ovid only speaks for those bound by Ovid – but he protects the Turned as well.”
DM(Put this somewhere else later): Ratman is the character. Ovid is the religion that all non-Turned rats share, which centers around Ratman, family, and duty. So think ‘the religion around Ratman’ when he says Ovid, because that word refers to all of those things. Ovid = Rat word for Rat-religion,Rat-religious people, and the God. They are all the same thing, you break away from one you break away from all of them, in effect.
Me: “Ok. I think we’re on the same page. Is there a way for us to communicate? The lady does not like us to enter frequently”
Knob: “Yes. I can provide you access, in a curated form, to Ovid. Permanently.”
Me: “… what?”
Knob: “Well, Ratman can. Hold on… I need to check…” You see him squeek and wiggle. All of the sudden, the line of rats that are walking squeek and wiggle, and its passed almost at once down a line of rats.
Me: I lean over to Sam “Lady are you ok with everything happening so far?”
Sam: “Yeah… this is just… so confusing… I’m honestly a little jealous of this set up. Do you think we could ever make our faith work so well?”
Me: “Mentally compel people to work for you? Remember Gwen and Jacket. We… don’t want that for surface dwellers”
Sam: “You think that is what Ratman does to them?”
Me: “They’ve kinda implied it’s hardcoded in. I don’t know if Ratman is doing it on purpose. It’s just how they were made from what I understand”
Sam: “Its wrong to make people into this?” she asks, seemingly confused.
Me: “We can discuss it later Lady”
Knob: “Ovid has decided you are not suitable for this. I am sorry, you must either find another candidate for this gift.”
Me: “Who is suitable?”
Knob: “One not touched already by a hand of a Protector.”
Me: “So if I can get a representative, diplomacy can continue?”
Knob: “Diplomacy can continue here, through me. Ovid accepted it. If you wish me to turn to the surface, I will need a proper channeling room to communicate with Ovid, but I will do so.”
Me: “will you… what is your appearance outside of this room?”
Knob: “Eh? I am exactly what I appear as. I am not made of the same stuff as the Protectors.”
Me: “Ok. Well. Do you think you could find a room at your embassy?”
Knob: “Yes, but it will be plagued with Turned nonsense… If you wish involve them in our affairs, then that would do.”
Me: “Are the Turned allowed to join our faith?”
Knob: “It would be disrespectful to Ovid at large… but we would not go to war over just one convert.” he seems to add, quietly.
DM: You finish your negotiations and part ways. You leave the library.
Conversation 17: 11/22/16 – Log
DM: After a few minutes, Samantha emerges. She looks ill, her nose is running and her eyes are puffy.
Me: “What happened?”
Sam: “Just got a cold I think. How are you?”
Me: “Have you ever had a cold before? You seem kinda resilient to sickness”
Sam: “Nope… first one I guess. Probably just from hanging out so much in corporeal form in the city.”
Me: “Hmmm has the pain in your back gone away?”
Sam: “Yep. Although it still looks weird back there. I wish my mirrors still worked.”
Me: “Did they stop working?”
Sam: “I just see the city now. Different perspectives, mostly of my followers. What do you see in the mirror?”
Me: “I just see the library”
DM: Idle chatter happens for a bit
Me: “Okay. Three things. First. Shadow guy tried to get in. Do you know of a way to fortify your defenses? Can you defend yourself if need be?”
Sam: “I am sort of hoping Ratman will show me how to defend… I had no way of stopping that either.”
Me: “Yeah I was afraid of that. Okay. You know you can bail to my house if things get dicey. Or go to Bell. He doesn’t know about Bell hopefully”
Sam: “If he found me, he can almost certainly find me outside of the library if given time with you. Are you protecting yourself? Now that the Shadow or Darkness knows what I look like, I need to know what he looks like.”
Me: “I can tell you what the person he was possessing looks like but I don’t know if that’ll suffice”
Sam: “Is he a divine? Will he look like me or Ratman or something else entirely.”
Me: “I think he is definitely a divine of some sort. We don’t really have a ‘standard’ appearance though. You and Ratman don’t exactly look alike ya know?”
Sam: “No… I have a question Pearce. The rats sort of made Ratman didn’t they? Did somebody make me?”
Me: “I don’t think the rats made him alone. He was clearly something else before. There could also be more elements we just don’t know about. They weren’t exactly sentient at that point”
Sam: “What were your other points? I don’t mean to interrupt.”
Me: “Second topic. I don’t like the word but I’m ‘infected’ right? Is there a way to see if someone else is infected?”
Sam: “infected? With what?”
Me: “You used the word. I’m assuming it’s what I have instead of a soul. A shard of your soul I guess?”
Sam: “You have me now. I think. I’m missing some of me. You are a shard of me, like my bird, the book…”
Me: “So is it possible to infect someone without them knowing? I’m concerned some of my friends might have been infected by the Shadow”
Sam: “I don’t know. I’ve never tried. But I guess I have? I’m sorry… I don’t know. If I needed to check, I think I could. But I’d need to see them.”
Me: “Can you do that from inside me or do I need to bring them here?”
Sam: “I don’t know if I can do it from inside you. I can try?”
Me: “Ok. We can do that tomorrow. Just focus on getting better. Third topic. We need more followers. How do you want to handle this?”
Sam: “I thought getting followers was your duty?”
Me: “I can do some research, get some potentials but I assume you would want some input. I mean more chosen. If you want me to handle it alone I can try but you will probably have to meet them if they are chosen”
Sam: “I can do that. Through Bell?”
Me: “That sounds like a good idea. I’ll tell you when I have a target I want you to talk to
You might want to follow them once I recommend them so you get a sense of their character. Do you want chosen I recommend to have access to the powers or just regular members?”
Sam: “Chosen will yes”
DM: LATER THAT EVENING
Sam: Sam asks you over evening meal: “Are you okay being connected to me, Pearce? I didn’t ask… I should have, but I was dead at the time.”
Me: “Wait what? You were dead?”
Sam: “When you prayed and your hand burned, it was my life-force searing you… connecting us, in a way. I took a little of what you had left, and gave you a little of what I had left. It wasn’t a choice, it was just… it happened.”
Me: “Oh. Yeah it’s fine. I was trying to save you anyway”
Sam: “Pearce… I want to try blessing you again. But I’m scared.”
Me: “So that I can kill you? I don’t like that kinda reasoning”
Sam: “No, no. I want to bless you with a gift. A divine gift, like giving you the ability to repair.”
Me: “Oh. Why are you scared to do that?”
Sam: “I am not sure what will happen. It could be anything… even something hard to notice, or hidden.”
Me: “Do you… not have any control. Over what happens?”
Sam: “I know it will be something positive. At least, my idea of positive. Watching Ratman, I’ve learned that gifts don’t have to make sense to be gifts, and I think he doesn’t really know what he is doing either… I think he just does, and the Library wraps around him.”
Me: “I don’t see a reason to be scared. I can’t imagine you giving me something that’s harmful”
Sam: “Okay. Come with me to the Library?”
DM: You go to the library. You notice that the Ratman’s domain over the library seems to be increasing. He has over a half now. Flowers and trees have begun to grow from the Library floor in his half of the room. Its like a jungle of foliage with a slice of library on one side. You don’t see Ratman.
Me: “Ratman has certainly made himself at home”
Sam: “Yes… he keeps expanding. I don’t know how he is doing that.”
Me: “More followers perhaps?”
Sam: “There is no way for us to out-follower him, then. Maybe I should give up the library?”
Me: “Maybe we can work out a deal? His people seem to know some of the workings on it. They know how to come in and out by themselves? They might know how to stabilize it”
Sam: “That is a good idea… whenever Ratman comes back, maybe you can negotiate it with him? I still have trouble understanding him.”
Me: “We should probably go through his ambassador”
Sam: She nods. “Okay… so… I want you to try and mindlink with me while we are in the Library. I think it might help you find a blessing.”
Me: I cast Psychic Duel
Conversation 18: 11/29/16 – Log
Sam: “Pearce… the rats left. Ratman is alone in the library, and hasn’t moved. And… Pearce, the book told me we have strangers in the city. They just arrived.”
Me: “It seems the war with the monsters is upon us. Damnit. Do you want me to talk to the Ratman?”
Sam: “No. He isn’t speaking. He isn’t moving. I’m not sure what is going on.”
Me: “He might be fighting, or hiding his people. Or a ton of different things”
Sam: “It could be anything. Why do you think War is coming?”
Me: “A good friend told me it was and you just said the strangers are entering the city. I’m making a few jumps. Samantha we need to make sure your followers are safe”
Sam: “I don’t believe war is coming, Pearce.”
Me: “Then why are people coming?”
Sam: “I don’t know. Anything. It can’t be war!”
Me: “Why not?”
Sam: “I don’t want it to be… I can stop this. I can!”
Me: “WAIT. How are you going to stop this?”
Sam: “I will… I dunno, kill them? The strangers.”
Me: “Impulse decisions are not necessarily the best course of action here. Where are they? Let me go confirm they’re soldiers”
Sam: “The Temple. I read they met with… the betrayer? Does that mean anything?”
Me: “That someone sold us out to them. Probably. Can you give me a general location?”
Sam: “I can’t. I can only say what the book shows, and it doesn’t want to focus on them.”
Me: “How many are we talking? A few? Hundreds?”
Sam: “I don’t know that either. I think it said less than a score? Whatever a score is.”
Me: “… do you think you could put me there”
Sam: “I mean… I might be able to get you close. But I wouldn’t be able to get you back, Pearce…”
Me: “Could you pull me out if I got away from them?”
Sam: “I can’t. I can’t risk you like that, Pearce. I’m sorry. I order you not to risk your life to such an unknown enemy.”
Me: “I think we need to talk to the Ratman. I suspect he’s pulling out all his forces to go hide. We don’t have a force big enough to honor our end of the bargain ……. Wait. If he used to belong to their side. Is there a chance they reactivated him? Sam get out of their now”
Conversation 19: 12/1/16 – Log
DM: She looks into the mirror. You see a mirror reflecting back at you.
Sam: “Pearce… where is the library?”
Me: “Can you not connect to it?”
DM: You notice that she is holding her book. You discover it has no magical aura.
Me: “Your book isn’t magical anymore”
Me: “Sam try to do something magical. Make a book float or something.”
DM: You suddenly feel like vomiting but resist.
Sam: “Well, I can’t even seem to make you sick… which is right about the easiest miracle for me…”
Me: “No… no that worked. So is the library connected to the moon?”
Sam: “I think… maybe the Library is the moon?”
Me: “… We were in the moon?”
Sam: “I heard someone say once that the moon is its own plane of existence. Maybe I am from the moon… maybe that is where we go.”
Me: “Well you can’t go there now”
Sam: “Then I can’t watch the city. Pearce… you need to fix this.”
Me: “I don’t know how to retrieve a moon. We should head to the rat embassy. They might know more”
DM: You notice she is putting on your old armor.
Me: “I think you should hitch a ride. Unless you can swing a scimitar”
Sam: “Pearce, that is something I can do when I’m in the library.”
DM: She attempts to do so and her nose bleeds tonic.
Me: “Whoa whoa. If you can’t do it don’t try”
Sam: “… okay. Pearce, I may be able to get back in the Library. But I won’t be able to come back if the way was severed.”
Sam: “The Bird. My bird is originally from there. I can destroy the statue and return to the library, but we would be cut off from direct contact.”
Me: “What?! Samantha you can’t defend yourself if your attacked. And someone clearly is controlling it! If you go into an empty library that’s game over.”
Sam: “Okay. Then I will stay here. Get Bell. She is supposed to be my guard. Go out and try and get information… .I will try and defend this building against… I guess the night.”
Me: Pearce makes a deep bow. “At your command Lady Amethyst. You can remain here.”
Sam: “No. I need to be what I am. The city needs a symbol of righteousness right now.”
Me: “… Do you want a soul? I don’t like the idea but we’re kinda in a corner. Or do you think you can handle this yourself?”
Sam: She hesitates. “Leave Bell with me. I will have her give the soul. You go. Time is of the essence, I…” She coughs up more tonic. “Someone who prays has just died.” She coughs again. “Go to where Salisbury is. He is dying. I can feel his life force…”
Me: “Where is he?!”
Sam: “I don’t know! I think his mother… his mother died. She was praying to me. I failed her.”
NOTE: We leave and come back.
Me: “How is she holding up?” I sign to Bell.
Bell: “Not good. She is sick and refuses to take the… ‘medicine’ you offered.”
Me: “Lady Amethyst. Perhaps you could use some tonic”
Sam: She drinks some. “What am I without my library, Pearce? Its the only home I’ve ever known.”
Me: “Perhaps we should discuss this in the other room”
DM: You both go into another room.
Me: I lightly slap her. “You need to pull yourself together. I get that you’re sad and confused but you’re now leading others. They look to you to keep standing. You are not the only one who has suffered tonight but others are still trying to calm things. We’ve lost the library before and got it back. We will again.”
DM: She sniffs and stands up. Her outfit shifts slightly, becoming regal, her purple more deep. She closes her eyes. Your bird statue opens its wings. It flies over to her shoulder.
Sam: “Bring a soul.”
DM: Pearce opens the door and Bell brings in the case.
Sam: “Leave the room, Pearce. Tend to those who have suffered. I have work to do.”
Me: Pearce bows, “Yes mam”
Sam: “No. Yes, Lady.”
Me: “Yes my Lady” Pearce says with a grin
Conversation 20: 12/23/16 – Log
Sam: “Are the scary people gone?”
Me: “For now. Are you ok? Something is … affecting me. I think maybe Bell too”
Sam: “Yeah, just scared… They kept shouting census at me… Huh? Oh, is Bell not better yet?”
Me: “When did she get sick?”
Sam: “She left me this morning… Kept throwing up from both ends..
Whatever you’d call that. Her ‘totally not dating’ friend is taking care of her.”
Me: “I see?”
DM: You take off your glove and notice your pinky is small, shriveled, and starting to flake off. Your other talon-ed fingers are thick, red, and longer.
Me: “Sam. I think something is happening. I’m starting to disintegrate”
Sam: “No… Just change. My hold on you is growing.”
Me: “Um. What”
Sam: “You wanted my blessing, I thought….”
Me: “I didn’t realize it was still happening. What’s it supposed to look like?”
Sam: “As I grow in power, so will you. I don’t know what you mean. I suppose it means the faith has grown. Did you select a new Chosen?”
Me: “I… I mean I was researching a candidate. And I convinced a few beggars to convert”
Sam: “Oh. I think I’ve been getting those prayers. Lots of prayers. Maybe a Chosen made himself, in a way.”
Me: “… that can happen?”
Sam: “It’s useless to me without context. Will you try and find the chosen again, and give them context? Rules? A blessing?”
Me: “I can’t give out blessings. Unless I can and no one told me”
Sam: “I guess I have to. But without the library I can’t see from a distance…”
Me: “… I will try to bring them here. Somehow. I guess? Can you tell the direction or what the prayers are?”
Sam: “Let’s see… One asked for two copper pieces… One asked for the death of a wheel chaired con artist… One asked for a muffin.”
Me: “Got the area. Thanks. Okay. Well. The work of a servant never stops. Oh. I bought you a place for your people to gather. We can go view it later if you’d like”
Sam: “Oh! I would like that.”
Me: “Great. Now can you do me a favor? I need you keep this woman subdued”
Sam: “Subdued? Like.. sleeping?”
Sam: “Oh! I figured something out.”
DM: You realize she has cast ‘Psychic Duel’ on you.
Sam: “I learned it from watching you! I can pull others into it when I feel like it, with the help of the tonic….”
Me: “Oh. Interesting”
Sam: “I thought maybe we could see if it can be used for distance communication during emergencies… Assuming we get the library back.”
Me: “If we get the library back then yeah. I think we’ll be able to do a lot of things with that. Well. I need to head out Samantha. Can you release me from the spell? I concede”
Conversation 21: 12/27/16 – Log
DM: You go upstairs to find Samantha in a regal pose and Viola knocked out.
Sam: “She has been mumbling about God’s and demons. What news do you bring?”
Me: “Conditions remain unknown my lady. In the meantime. Knight Belltoll has grown ill. This is her friend. Thomas. A healer. He wishes to examine the girl”
Sam: "Privately, I assume? "
DM: Thomas walks over and examines her. He checks her vitals using his fingers.
Thomas: “Weak pulse… And… What happened to this person..”
DM: The figure in front of you has thin surgical lines up and down her torso and to each arm. It’s as if she were an amalgamation of different bodies. Thomas points out that each section seems to be elven, halfling, or orc. No part of her is human. Her face is completely different. It’s why you didn’t notice her. She seems to have an Elven face, but even that has seams.
Me: “Just… what…”
Thomas: Thomas throws up. “Who, or what, can do this?” Thomas sputters, wiping his hand
Me: “A group called the Friends of Man” Pearce spits. “Thomas. I don’t think you’re going to get anything from this. Why don’t you go downstairs. I’ll be down shortly”
DM: Samantha slams a cup down on the corpse. She has caught something that looks like a large milipede – you’ve seen this before. It has come out of the book before. You notice that the corpse is no longer breathing now that the worm has left her neck.
Sam: “Caught it”
Me: “Sam. You said that thing was a sesnor. What all can it do? What is just going on in general?”
Sam: She shakes her head. “I don’t know. I didn’t know it could do this, so now I don’t know what I know. It tricked me, I think. I think its trying to get back to them. To the baddies.”
Me: “Well. That thing seems to be sentient. I want to talk with it. If um. Things go south. Just destroy it”
Sam: “Uh… okay. With what?”
Me: “You lifted books before right? Just lift it into the air and smash it with something”
Sam: “Okay. Good luck!”
Conversation 22: 2/1/17 – Log
Me: “How you holding up?”
Sam: “Fine. Just little tired. What is up?”
Me: “What do you think of our guest?”
Sam: “She is a little mean. But I think she is unhappy right now.”
Me: “Right. I was hoping we could help her.”
Sam: “Help her how?”
Me: “The Friends of Man forced her into that body. So.. I was thinking we could try and make her a body of her own”
Sam: Samantha shrinks back a bit. “Didn’t we already try that?”
Me: “Unintentionally yes. I think we’ll be able to succeed this time. Now that we know we’re trying to do this”
Sam: "Oh. Okay… Do you think I should use a soul for this? "
Me: “Last time you tried to create a body but… some details got messed up. I want you to cast this spell in conjunction with her. I want you to build the body around her soul”
Sam: “Oh. That… I can try… But I don’t know what happens if I only succeed a little bit…. Don’t be mad at me, okay? If this goes badly?”
Me: “About that. I think we should do this at the theater. You draw strength from your birds and we could use all the help we can get.”
Sam: “Okay. Tonight or tomorrow? It’s quite late.”
Me: “Let’s do it tonight”
Conversation 23: 2/10/17 – Log
Me: “Why the change in clothes?”
Sam: “Grieving, I guess. Feel like I failed a friend. Want to play cards?” She asks.
Me: I sit the statue down beside us and sit down to play a game “Do you know how to play?”
Sam: She deals you cards. Your hand is pretty bad. “Yeah.. Viola taught me before we went out.”
Me: “Ahhh yes. The game you cheated in” he says jokingly
Sam: Samantha laughs, but you aren’t sure she gets the joke. Samantha puts down a silver. “If you have a good hand, you put money in. If you have a bad hand, you don’t put money in, or you lie about having a bad hand and put money in.”
Sam: She points to her silver. “Are you in?”
Me: “I fold” and put down my cards. “Do you wanna talk about what happened last night?”
DM: Very briefly you imagine all the cards are pale moons, and Samantha looks like Lucky Dogan. Then everything shifts back to normal. You recognize it as madness this time.
Sam: Samantha leans forward, dropping her hand in front of her. She had a good hand.
“I did everything I could, Pearce. If we had the library I could have asked Ratman. I need to find others like me. I need a teacher. I don’t want to fail my friends anymore. I feel like I’m just gambling, but not with the cards. With real things. And gambling is a game, I don’t want to really do it.”
Me: “That is… a completely valid argument. If that is your wish I can try and find you one”
Sam: She nods. "I think its for the best. I’m not doing this right, and to learn it on my own means I have to hurt others. Its selfish. "
DM: The cards seem to keep un-shuffling themselves. You notice she seems to be putting them in order by shuffling them while talking. You can tell the deck is being organized back into chronological order, but it’s happening by her shuffling the cards. Whatever her intention is by shuffling , the deck is un-shuffling.
Me: “You do realize the point of shuffling is to make the cards random right?”
Sam: She frowns. “I am making them random.”
DM: She deals you a hand from the top of the deck, which you know should be all 2’s or aces, based on what you saw.
Me: “Show me the top 4”
DM: She flips them over. You see the cards Dogan drew for you, shifting uncomfortably across your vision, on the faces of the cards. Playing cards are now tarot cards. You feel your mind being pulled. Samantha is looking at you with a confused expression. You see Lucky Dogan at the cemetery, pushing the large stone that covered up the hidden catacombs below.
Sam: “…You okay?”
Me: “Just feel nauseous. It’s fine”
Sam: Samantha nods. She picks up her cards and puts them aside. She walks to her door, opens it, and peers out. “I won’t fail this twice.” She says to herself.
Me: “Fail what? What did I miss?”
Sam: “That. I wont do miracles like that until I know what the rules are.”
Me: “If that is your command than that is how it shall be” Pearce says with a bow
Sam: She goes back in your room. You hear her lock the door. “I need to be alone for now.”
Conversation 24: 12/15/17 Log
Sam: “Hey, I had a thought.”
Me: “What’s up?”
Sam: “The Ratman had weird looking rats. What if they were like her? Just trapped in a body I couldn’t make quite right?”
Me: “It’s possible”
Sam: “So… I thought, what would be an easy body to make. I made some birds, right? Maybe we could put her in one of them.”
Me: “You did… fueled by about 4 souls”
Sam: “Maybe I could put her in one of them using less than 4? Not making a new body… just moving her into it.”
Me: “Can you pull her soul out? Without ya know… damaging it?”
Sam: “I don’t know. Did you find a teacher?”
Me: “Sorta. I found someone who said these might help you figure things out.” I hand her the tarrot cards. “He said you need to learn to read fate before you can alter it?”
Sam: She looks at the cards, opening the pack. “Read fate? I could, I had books for that. Do you mean read them on these?” she points at the cards.
DM: You explain the concept of tarot cards.
Sam: “Oh… okay. Lets practice. I want to know how Viola is doing.”"
DM: She draws four cards and puts them between her and Viola. She guides Viola’s hand to pick up a card. Samantha reveals “The Noose”.
Sam: “So… these cards are kind of sad.”
Me: “It’s depicting a sad moment. It should be”
DM: She flips the other three cards. The Hermit is drawn.
Sam: “She feels alone, I guess?”
DM: She reveals the tower and the pale moon.
Sam: “Not sure what to make if that. I guess maybe the moon is inside something man-made?”
Me: “A bell tower perhaps?”
Sam: “But that isn’t Viola’s fate… is it?”
Me: “What else can a tower mean?”
Sam: “Disruption or a sudden discovery. You can’t disguise a tower, its large and important.”
Me: “She will suddenly discover the moon?”
Sam: “Well.. maybe? I guess. But how can she discover anything like this?”
DM: Noose typically means death or self-sacrifice, or possibly crime.
Me: “So we have some crime/death that a hermit will commit that will suddenly reveal the moon or slaughter and it involves Viola”
Sam: “Well. Maybe. The hermit could be Viola, though.”
Me: “So she’s going to die or sacrifice herself to show the moon?”
Sam: “I don’t know for sure. I guess its possible?”
DM: Viola awakens and asks to talk to Pearce. Viola Conversation 4.
Conversation 25: 2/15/17 – Log
Sam: Samantha looks at the arm. “What is it?” she asks. You see the color slightly drain from her face. “I’ve seen this before.”
Me: “It belonged to a statue of some Friend of Man”
Sam: “Its the monster. I made… a deal with the monster, didn’t I?” she says slowly.
Me: “Yes. You lied to the monster to get him to go away”
Sam: “Oh… I did… but Pearce, I saw the man behind the monster… and he wore that.”
Me: “Wait. The monster wasn’t a Friend of Man?”
Sam: “He threatened me. I was so close to dying, I just… I didn’t think I could survive…” She holds her face in her hands.
DM: You notice Viola is awake and pretending to be asleep.
Me: “Why don’t we go to the other room.”
DM: She doesn’t move and you use psychic dual instead. Inside her mind the black has been replaced with a library, but books pop in and out of existence randomly.
Me: “Samantha calm down. Everything is fine. We’re all alive”
Sam: “No… Viola isn’t. And Viola isn’t because of me.”
Me: “Viola is alive. Just injured. She would be dead if not for you”
Sam: “That man is the reason the gods are gone, Pearce.”
Me: “The man or the monster?”
Sam: “He is the monster. The face of the enemy, the one I gave a secret to. And he stole my memories.”
Me: “You said he was standing behind the monster? How is he both?”
Sam: “No one person can threaten me. He… he isn’t a person, but he used to be. Pearce, I think I know what happened.”
Sam: “He found the city through me. I was… alone, for so long, and I kept screaming into the darkness, and I think he heard me. And that is why Gallows is being targeted.”
Me: “oh…. Look Samantha. That’s not your fault. You didn’t know. Screaming when you’re alone and scared is a natural thing to do”
Sam: “I didn’t know. I didn’t know for sure there was anything past the darkness, but I kept screaming, and eventually he was there and he agreed to help me be less alone. He said he would take away the pain. He said he would free me. I was so alone, I just needed anyone to say anything. He is going to kill me, isn’t he? That is what he means.”
Me: “That is most likely what he meant. Yes”
Sam: “Pearce, I used to be more than a reader. I was words. Language, literacy. I was written books, they were… mine. Me.” She seems enraged. The library rumbles, cracks in the roof open.
Me: “You… you were an actual god once?”
Sam: “He made books and used them in MY CITY to attack MY PEOPLE. He did this to HURT ME, specifically.” The library stops breaking apart. “I don’t know, Pearce, what exactly I am, or was, but he took my identity and my memory and… my purpose.”
Me: “Why? Why do all that?”
Sam: She smashes her hands against your chest ineffectually. “I don’t know! Why would anyone do this?” She starts crying, and the library melts into the background. You are in a black void, floating with her. “Can you forgive me for betraying everyone?”
Me: “I forgive you. It was just an accident and you’re trying to fix it.”
Sam: “Okay… okay. We can. We can fix it. I think I know how to fix it.”
Me: “How do you fix it?”
Sam: “He got to here somehow. He got one of those things to my pages somehow. We make it so nobody can ever sneak into Gallows again. We find every way that can be done, and we break it. I think he contacted me through some magic, and I don’t think we can stop all magic. But we can stop portals and gateways to other places… right? We can stop that.”
Me: “Samantha. That’s what he’s trying to do. He’s trying to isolate us so he can surround us. That doesn’t fix anything”
Sam: She pulls herself into a ball.
Me: “Hey. You’re not alone now right? Can you not hear there prayers? Those people believe you and are counting on you? We’ll figure it out together”
Sam: “Okay… okay. Together. Then what do we do?”
Me: “Where did you make the deal? Was it in the library, or the moon? I guess? Same thing”
Sam: “No… maybe. Yes, that was it. I let him in. It was in the library… and he was planning to use the library to break through. He must have known all along what the library was. He must have lied. He knew how to get back, and I think he stole some things. Do you think he took it away? The Library?”
Me: “I guess? I thought I knew who did but he claimed he didn’t. Why power down the library though? The library would let him see everything in the city”
Sam: “I don’t think that was him, I think some other force or agent did that.”
Me: “…. so who powered it down and who stole it?”
Sam: “Could it have been Ratman?”
Me: “Samantha I have a question. If the city was safer with the library powered down would you be ok with that?”
Sam: “I mean, I guess? It means I can’t really do as much. I won’t be as strong. But if that is how we keep the city safe… I think I would pick the city.”
Me: “That’s the answer I wanted to hear. To answer your question it might indeed be the Ratman. That would explain why every rat left.”
Sam: “So he didn’t abandon them? He is protecting them?”
Me: “If it’s true he powered it down. Yes”
Sam: “Should we even search for it? Or should we focus on other things?”
Me: “If Ratman didn’t steal it then eventually it will be used against us. We need to find out where it is. We just can’t activate it till the time is right. The rats could protect it with some artifacts. Maybe we need to investigate those and strengthen them?”
Sam: “Before we bring it back?”
Me: “So that we’re ready when we bring it back”
Sam: “Okay. I hope we find a way”
|Conversation 26: 3/22/17 – Log|
Me: “So. Does he seem like a decent candidate?”
Sam: “He can’t seem to decide if I’m a little girl or a sorcerer. I don’t think he trusts us yet. But I need a group to handle caretaking of the birds, though, and they have food and such…”
Me: “Ah. So I assume that was the task you wanted him to do earlier?”
Sam: “Yes. I figured it’d play to his thinking so much of himself. Like when Viola talks about card games. You play to the opponents flaws, even in honest games.”
Me: “Sounds fine to me. Do you mind if I ask you about eating magical things? Or would you prefer we talk about that later?”
Sam: “What do you mean?” She asks. “Like… Anything magical, or bits of my old self?”
Me: “You said you could eat the bird and Venyard’s magic. I guess I’m just trying to figure out all that you can eat and what that you get from it”
Sam: “Venyard has magic from a source, like you have mending from me. I could eat the magic and cut him off from his connection. I don’t know if it would help me, but if you think he deserves it I’ll do it. He isn’t a good man.”
Me: “I agree. I’m more concerned with making you stronger however than punishing him. People I don’t trust are starting to realize what we’re doing. I’m… concerned I guess”
Sam: “I could consume your bird statue, but I’m not sure what would change. I think I’d get some memories back, which might tell me more about what I am, or reveal… Harder truths. I don’t know what. I might be able to use it? I’d probably get some benefit, but I won’t know until we try it.”
Me: “Noted. Also… the demonic corruption from your book. You were able to move it, could you do that to other items?”
Sam: “I don’t know. The book was as natural as wiping my face, but that book is also part of me.”
Me: “Why did you choose the milk to put the corruption?”
Sam: “It felt right at the time.”
Me: “Okay. Well.. we can experiment with that later. Does the concept of someone not having an identity ring a bell for you? Did you ever read about people whose appearance constantly changes?”
Sam: “I don’t remember anything like that.. except maybe sadder elderly people.” She frowns.
Me: “Okay. Then let’s go down and wait for dawn”
DM: Several hours of idle chatter with Prestor later.
Me: “So you’ve talked with Prestor for a while. What are your thoughts?”
Sam: “He seems like the kind of person I’d let take care of the birds. He seems kinda distant. Am I doing it wrong?”
Me: “I’m just getting a very… self-entitled vibe from him. Note he asked if we wanted to join the dawnmakers, it feels like he expects to be in charge. I’m afraid of giving someone like him an important role in the court. You did well in not giving in to his demand to make a miracle happen. Just make sure he doesn’t metaphorically push you around”
Sam: “Oh… But we’ve already shown him so much of our…. Places. How do we make him leave without him being cross and hurting us?”
Me: “Unfortunately I don’t think that’s an option at this point. He has a lot of people who trust him which means a lot of people to pray and bolster you. I say we accept him but keep him at a distance”
Sam: “What will it mean to have a chosen who is kept at a distance? People I bless… they are the ones who can hurt me easiest.”8:30 PM
Me: “Okay. How about we show him the miracle. Then afterwards we insist he follows our rules. He has to keep our secret, he has to stop trusting the FoM, he can no longer write lies. We emphasize he is joining us and not us joining him. If he doesn’t agree to that we insist we can’t trust him. Either he agrees or he leaves. We all win”
Sam: “But if he leaves, he will leave knowing where we gather… what our motives are. He will have seen me. I guess we don’t have a choice.”
Me: “Leave that to me”
Sam: “Dawn should be breaking any minute now…”
Conversation 27: Log
Sam: Samantha is trying to figure out where the pillow she has been using came from. “It just doesn’t match the others…” she says, holding it confusedly.
Me: “Let’s … worry about that later. The new recruit is waiting outside. Are you ready?”
Sam: “Oh! Whoops!” she says, seeing you. Yeah, let me go change. Send him up?"
DM: She walks in the other room, then immediately walks back out. You have no idea why she felt the need to walk away at all. Her outfit is cleaner, and she is behaving properly.
Me: “That’s… impressive”
DM: Pearce signals Richard to come up.
Me: “Richard Hallsworth. Allow me to introduce the Queen of Pages, the Dawn Maker, Lady Amethyst” Pearce says as he gestures him in and then bows
Rich: I bow.
Sam: “Greetings, Richard. Forgive me for asking, but what is it you know of me?” She asks, holding out her hand.
Rich: I return the handshake. “All Pearce told me, was that your group is trying to save the city.”
Sam: “That is true. We are trying to save the city.” she agrees. “I am the leader of this group in spirit. Right now we are young, and we still have many choices to make on how to save it, but we need more people willing to take risks in the name of… I suppose the future?”
Rich: “All I’ve ever wanted was to help the people of the Mids. That’s why I joined the Weather Society. But they’ve changed. The things that Pearce has brought to my attention are troubling. So many people have told me that they’re trying to help. How do I know you truly mean it?”
Me: “I apologize for speaking up Lady Amethyst but I will say I have been serving her for some time and in that time she has done nothing but try to help those around her”
Sam: “I can’t tell you to trust me. This may be a foolhardy gamble, but its a gamble I’m taking, so its one I believe in. I am a giver of things, Richard. I give chance to the sick and power to the desperate…I helped your friends Pearce and Belltoll find purpose, and they’ve both embraced the common cause as their own. Helping this city is part of me. And it can be part of you too.”
Rich: Richard is quiet for a moment thinking it over. After a while he finally speaks up, “Alright, I trust Pearce. If he says you’re okay I’ll give it a chance.”
Sam: “You ask for no proof of me? You are willing to take this on your faith in friendship?”
Rich: "Pearce has proven himself time and again. I’m willing to take a chance. "
DM: Samantha’s hand starts to glow and she offers it to Richard. He takes it and the glow passes to him before it fades.
Sam: She looks at Pearce a moment. She seems tired. “Can you explain to him what we… what I… need him to do, to be a part of this? I need to go and lay down… it isn’t easy to do this.”
Me: “I understand my Lady. It will be done”
DM: Richard and Pearce discuss the duties of a chosen before Richard leaves.
Sam: When Richard leaves, Samantha emerges from her room. She looks at you with a very serious face. “I have one question for you.” She seems very tense.
Sam: “Where did I get this pillow?” she holds it up, her serious expression cracking into a smile.
Me: Pearce facepalms.
DM: She was convincing. You weren’t aware she could fake it that well. You know she meant no harm here, but you are not certain you can tell when she is playing pretend and when she is serious. That is starkly different than when you first met her.
Me: “You seem to be getting better and understanding humanoids”
Sam: She nods. "Yep. Viola has been teaching me how to properly trick people. She calls it “being convincing.”"
DM: The Amethyst Queen wanders around the room with the pillow clutched in her arm. Briefly you wonder how many more days will have encounters like this before her free time comes to an end.
Conversation 28: 5/3/17 – Log
Sam: “Hey… what? What is up? Is something happening?”
Me: “Something big is happening. Several important people were kidnapped and taken to some tower. We think they’re about to be executed before tomorrow morning”
Sam: “Oh no! That’s terrible. Do you know where?”
Me: “A tower out on the ocean. They called it ‘the spire’. Made of black rock”
Sam: She shrugs. “I’ve never heard of it. I have never seen anything outside the city…”
She looks tired. “What happens if they die?”
Me: “I also have a feeling the person who kidnapped them has clues about the moon. The government in the Mids is barely held together as it is, if these people die the government might collapse”
Sam: “How do we stop that, then?”
Me: “We need to go. Tonight. Go and stop the executions. Free those whose minds he has imprisoned. End this before it gets worse”
Sam: “I’m scared. Do you think I’ll be safe?”
Me: “Samantha I would never lie to you. I don’t know. We’re going there because dangerous people are doing dangerous things. All I do know is that people will die if someone doesn’t go there”
Sam: “Pearce, I am scared. I’ve never left the city… I will be so weak, so far from home. You are right. I need to be brave.”
Me: “Wait. Being away from the city weakens you?”
Sam: “I am not certain. But Ratman… he said that shephards are bound to their wards. And the city is mine. Its what I could see from the library. Its all I know. I might. I don’t know for sure. We’d have to try. Do we?”
Me: “We can’t risk you going near danger if you’re going to be greatly weakened. We’ll have to handle it”
Conversation 29: 8/16/2017 – Log
Me: “How are you feeling? I know that was a rough meeting”
Sam: “That was … humiliating. But I felt like his critcisms were not… totally unfair, I guess. Kind of made it worse, actually..”
Me: “We’re a new organization. We’ll grow more defined as we mature. Now… we have to talk.” I make sure Viola is in her room, “Samantha I found a way back into the moon”
Sam: She looks surprised. “What is it? What did you find?”
Me: “The ratfolk have a machine that can open a portal if they have a pointer. You said pepper’s statue could direct you to the moon when it disappeared. We’re going to use the statue to point the device at the moon. I’d like for you, me, other members of the Court, as well as some of the Ratfolk to enter and try to take it back”
Sam: “Take it back?… Like, fight whatever is there?”
Me: “I guess? I honestly don’t know what we’ll find but I want to be prepared. But the moon is your home, it’s tied to you, I want to get it back”
Sam: “Okay… Okay. Lets do it, Pearce.”
DM: She is scared. She is saying what she thinks you want her to say – she isn’t certain of what she is saying.
Me: Pearce puts a hand on her shoulder “Do you want a second to think about this? I’ve agreed to help you in anyway I can. This is a big decision. I don’t want to force you to do anything, I just think this might be our best shot”
Sam: “Pearce, if you think its the best thing to do… I trust your opinion. More than I trust my own. In things like this, while we are helpless down here… I trust you. I just don’t know how to fight… I’m scared to try. I’m scared what it will mean if I kill things.”
Me: "Then don’t. You know how to make people nauseous and you know how to move things. Both of those are effective deterrents. And… " I pull out the souls, “I have something to help if things get scary”
Sam: She nods. “We should save Ratman.”
Pearce: Pearce chuckles. “Of course you would put saving others over getting your home back. Don’t ever change Samantha. Okay you get ready to leave, I’ll tell Viola we’re going”
Conversation 30: 8/24/2017 – Log
Me: “So it looks like we were successful. Do you feel a connection? Can you sense your book?”
Sam: “I’ve… I know it is there, and I know I can go back, but I don’t know what will be… in there. I wanted to ask you. Is it safe?”
DM: I go check the mirror in my house. It is shimmering.
Sam: “I.. do you want to see it, Pearce? Should I connect to it?”
Me: “Uh. If you can connect without physically going there then sure? Otherwise send me so you can pull me out?”
Sam: "This… doesn’t feel like home, Pearce… I didn’t think they’d… " she pauses, seeing Ratman. “He watched them all drown. All his friends. His… everything all drowned, and he was trapped here.” she says to herself. “Like… like I will be. If you all die.”
Me: “He just keeps doing this. I’m not sure how much of this is just … him. We’ll need his clerics to know the extent. Let’s start cleaning up the place. Burn this seaweed. Drain the water somewhere? I’m not sure how to start”
Sam: “Pearce, look. On his chest. He has some… that stuff in here. Soul stuff.” She points at his little compartment.
Me: “That liquid is souls?”
Sam: “Yeah. I think so. Did he have one, or does he… consume them?” She looks up at you, confusedly.
Me: “I have no idea. We can bring him one to see what he does?”
Sam: “Lets offer it to the Ratfolk when they’ve reclaimed their part of the library. I don’t want to do the wrong thing.”
Me: “That is a better idea. It sounds like they’re trying to repair their room to get here. Besides that and the damaged books does it feel… normal?”
Sam: “No. It feels.. all this death has left something here I wasn’t expecting. Is there any way to purify somewhere?”
Me: Pearce scratches his head. “I’m not sure how to fix that. We’ve talked about teaching you how to expel stuff but that was demonic souls. I don’t even know if it would work on this”
Sam: “I think the rats will repair this place when they get back…”
Me:“They will hopefully at least have an idea. We need to work quickly. We have days remaining”
Sam: "Okay. I will stay here. You tend to the war. "
“Before you go. I need to bless you. For returning this place. And that can be the start of making this place home again. A good deed to make up for all the death.”
|Conversation 31: 9/28/17 – Log|
Sam(Through Pearce): “Pearce… I feel so crest-fallen in here…I can’t keep the candles on.” she sounds sad… distant…
Me: “Why don’t you take a break and come outside? There is a recruit who wants to help guide us to saving the city”
DM: She appears next to you. Her colors seem off. Slightly faded, like she is a little less bright. You start to dust off her coat.
Me: “Remember what Viola taught you. Be confident! You are the savior of the city! He is a wise councellor so make sure to listen to his advice. Make sure he commits to our cause. Agrees to join and help guide others!”
Sam: “Okay Pearce…”
Me: “Have you been drinking enough tonic?”
DM: She takes some tonic out and starts to drink it. She smiles, the color returning quickly to her face
Sam: “I feel a little better. I just… something is hurting the Moon. Tonic hit the spot. Lets meet this guy!”
DM: Pearce is slightly concerned but nods
|Conversation 32: 10/5/17 – Log|
Me: “Lady Amethyst. I need to see you now. Can you let me in?”
DM: You feel your mind being pulled and suddenly you are in the Library. You see a few rats moving around off in the distance. You see Samantha tending water-logged books. The colors do look wrong, more faded. You note there are a few candles that have been lit but the place does seem notably darker.
Me: “Lady Amethyst I need a word with you in private. Please. Urgently”
DM: She walks over to you, and puts her hand on your shoulder. You note her face looks slightly more gaunt. Her hand looks a little older.
Sam: “Yes?” She removes her hand awkwardly. “Sorry… its cold here.”
Me: “What does the word ‘Reclamation’ mean to you?”
Sam: “It is the process of claiming something back. Of reasserting a right.”
Me: Pearce grabs his head “No no no. Damn”
Sam: “What is it?”
Me: “I think I know what’s invaded here. What’s permeated it. I just don’t know what to do about it”
Sam: “What do you mean? What is it?!”
Me: “The shadow we saw. The one that tried to invade earlier. It failed because Ratman was defending it. Except now Ratman is out of commission and they have free reign”
Sam: “The what? Shadow? Like the darkness…? The darkness in here?”
Me: “A group of beings apparently living there. Beings that can consume souls. If they can consume souls they’re possibly divines”
DM: She looks very briefly, very upset. Her eyes start to well up with tears. She breathes in deeply. But she doesn’t cry. She wipes her eyes.
Sam: “I am who I am. No matter what I am. And I’m not… bad. I’m not a dark thing like this place.”
Me: Pearce nods in agreement. “Regardless of what they are, they are not like you. You are light. Lady Amethyst. I would like to speak to them, to go in your stead. However we are connected. Where I go you are in as much danger. I will only go with your permission”
Sam: “… even if you had abandoned me, or plan to abandon me, I won’t abandon you. I don’t think I can see you or help you if its not in the city. But if you can get there… okay. But don’t… please don’t lose. I can’t… I don’t want to ever lose you.”
Me: Pearce bows deeply. “As you command”
Sam: “Good luck.” She turns, her eyes welling with tears, her voice cracking.
DM: You find yourself in your bedroom again.
|Conversation 33: 10/12/17 – Log|
Sam: “Pearce, I need to talk to you. But I didn’t want to wake you. So I waited.”
Me: Pearce rubs his eyes “Good I was hoping to talk to you as well”
Sam: “Oh. In that case what do you need?”
Me: Does Samantha have any recollection of a shadow realm, a place of endless darkness, creatures that look like grey bobs, etc.
Sam: “No. My earliest memories are of the Library. I don’t know anything about shadow places…”
Me: "Does the title “Helmsman” trigger any memories?"
Sam: She says there was a strange man who she read sang a song about a helmsman coming to take, take, take. She says she doesn’t know what the melody of the song is, but that the words were “The Helmsman comes to take, take, take.” She said she doesn’t like reading people singing.
Me: “Sounds like Lucky”
Sam: “Yes… that was his name, I think. What he said his name was. I don’t remember. Something like that.”
Me: How do you kill a divine, or how do I kill something like her.
Sam: “I offered to give you that. Once.” She says meekly. “Are you going to kill me?”
Me: Pearce firmly re-establishes that he does not plan on killing her, but it seems like the monster and the shadow things are more than likely divines. The idea is that if it works on her, it will work on them.
Sam: “I think you just… well, if we are really somewhere, and not just projecting, I think we just… bleed like everything else. The problem is that I don’t think we aren’t really where we are, all the time. I was trapped here for a while, but I’m not… here.” she gestures to your room. “I’m elsewhere.”
Me: The monster stole something from you that you can’t explain. Do you know how to get it back at least? is it something I can grab? Is there a ritual? Do you need to steal his power?
Sam: She says she doesn’t know what she lost.
Me: Since she shares a connection with the sunbirds can she bring them to the library easier? I was thinking maybe we can fight off the shadow magic with light magic. Cancel it out so to speak.
Sam: She promises to try after our conversation.
Me: Pearce points out if she is still trying to dry the library out prestidigtation is really really good at that
Sam: She says the library is dry. She says some rats have returned, and that it seems like the terrible darkness is getting a little less dark. She sounds hopeful.
Me: Cool. Pearce now knowing that Cat is some type of shadow resident. Would like to draw a protection circle in the library.
DM: You do so.
Me: Last thing. Pearce gives Sam a basic idea of his plan. He is going to bring the diary onto the ship where he will hopefully subdue the monster/helmsman. Then he will wait until she is close enough to enter via the diary and hopefully instinct will kick in on how to reclaim her self and everyone will live happily ever after.
Sam: She nods.
|Conversation 34: 10/26/17 – Log|
Sam: “You died, Pearce. I tried… to fix it. How did… what happened?”
DM: You realize all of the bodies on the floor are all vague copies of you.
Me: “Ratman had given up. I guess he took me with him.”
Sam: “He died too.”
Me: “Yeah I assumed so. Is everyone else okay?”
Sam: “Yeah. I think so…. why wouldn’t you come out? I tried to rescue you when you started spasming.”
Me: "I tried to yield. Didn’t work, not sure why? Maybe the magic of the dual got in the way?
Sam: “What do you remember?”
Me: I describe to her what happened in the duel and beyond.
Sam: “I don’t understand. I tried but I don’t think I was able to return you.”
Me: “It could have been Ratman, could have been the moon itself, we’ll have to figure it out another day.”
DM: Samantha nods and you exit the library.
| Conversation 35: 10/28/17 – Log|
Sam: “Pearce, I wanted to ask you something. Before we do this, tomorrow. Is that okay?” She says. She looks tired.
Me: “Sure. I had a few questions myself”
Sam: “What makes someone good?”
Me: “Um. If I had to define it I would say ‘putting others ahead of yourself’. Stuff like helping someone without expecting payback. Stuff like that”
Sam: “Was Ratman good?”
Me: “Hard to say. He wasn’t very talkative. He definitely cared for the rats. Based off what we saw, yes, he was”
Sam: “If you had to die to save Viola, would you?” she asks. Its hard to read her emotions, she seems agitated. She is holding the pillow that doesn’t match on her lap. She seems insecure.
Me: Pearce sits down in a chair and gives it a lot of thought. “You won’t like the answer but I probably would. I tend to act before I think things out”
Sam: “If I had to die to save Viola, would I be good only if I died?”
Me: “Samantha no one is good just because of one action”
Sam: She frowns. “Then what makes someone good?”
Me: “It’s … a mindset. Saving someone is a good action, a good person is someone who naturally wants to do good things. Something you already do”
Sam: She pushes her hands against the pillow. “I don’t think I’m good, Pearce. I think I just want to be good. I think I just like good people. But I don’t think I’m good.” She squeezes the pillow, and releases it, and squeezes it again. “What if I do it wrong, Pearce? What if I think, ‘this is the right number of people to die for’, and I am wrong, and it wasn’t?”
Me: “Samantha. You. are. not. dying. tomorrow. I will make sure you don’t. I’ll save the city like you asked me to do so long ago”
Sam: “It might not be tomorrow. But eventually. Eventually these people will turn to me and ask me to show them how to be good. And I won’t know what to say. I don’t know how to think that way. In my head…. my head says if I am in danger I should leave the danger, not save strangers. I might save you, or Viola, because I like you two, or the chosen because I like them, but I don’t… I don’t feel like I have to save them all. And I think that means I am not good. Does this mean I can’t be good? That I will never be good?”
Me: “I know. It’s a hard concept to grasp. That’s why I wanted to find you the chosen. Samantha they aren’t just to help people believe you. I picked them to be examples for you. Each chosen has virtues that you can learn by watching”
DM: She nods slowly. She stops squeezing the pillow, and looks at you.
Me: “Eventually you’ll make rules that you decide are good to you, it just takes time”
Sam: “Ratman knew how to be good. I looked up to him, in a way. He knew what his good was. Just like Viola knows what her good is. I don’t understand how you can know.”
Me: “Ratman didn’t start out that way, neither did Viola. Learning what your ‘good’ is? That’s part of growing up”
Sam: “If I situation happens where I can stop something bad happening by risking my own life – what do I do?” she asks. Her eyelids look puffy.
Me: “What do you think Ratman would do?”
Sam: “Protect the rats. I think he would do anything for them. I think he did do anything for them.”
Me: “Who are your ‘rats’ Samantha?”
Sam: She looks at her pillow. “Just you, I guess. A little bit the chosen, but mostly you. You let me be a part of this world again. You’ve risked your life for no reason for me. You believed in me before there was a me to believe in. The chosen don’t really know who I am. I keep… pretending to be this other thing for them. The birds know who I am. But I wouldn’t die for them like Ratman would.” She looks up at you again. “I don’t think that is what you wanted to hear.”
Me: “That’s … partially my fault. I’ve kept you secluded, I built up this persona for you to get people to believe you can do impossible things. I’ve… intentionally avoided learning more about your past, finding your memories, just so I can keep you.” Pearce sits down again and buries his head in his hands. “And I may have doomed us all in the process.”
Sam: “Keep me? What do you mean?” She moves over next to you. She puts her pillow in your lap. “Squeeze it. It helps.”
Me: Pearce chuckles and squeezes the pillow. “Memories and experiences change us Samantha, you lost yours and became who you are now. But if you gained them back? Who knows who you might have become. I was afraid. Afraid you wouldn’t become the Samantha I know.”
Sam: “Was Ratman the Ratman you knew? In his mind?”
Me: “Possibly? He looked different but the pain was the same”
Sam: “I don’t want you to look for my memories, Pearce. If we survive this. Right now, I am just me. And I think.. I hope, I guess – that that is enough. Its enough for me. Its enough for you. It seems to be enough for the chosen. I don’t need… or want… to know what my history says I really am. I just want to be the thing I am now. I don’t want to pretend that there is a real, solid truth that defines if I am good or bad or a divine or a monster. I just… I’m scared I won’t know what to do if things go bad. I wish I could be sure. But I think that most people, and most things, that live and die – I think they aren’t sure of any of it either.”
Me: “I never have been”
Sam: “I read what you said to the ratfolk.”
Sam: “About Ratman being dead.”
Me: “I thought he was at least. Didn’t you tell me he died?”
Sam: “He was. I think you are right. I don’t think that is Ratman.” She pauses. “But that wasn’t the… only body that died, there, Pearce.” She pauses again, looking at you.
Me: “Ah. So you came to that realization to. That was something I wanted to ask about. I was curious if I was really Pearce”
Sam: “I can’t give you a real assurance that you are the same person you were entering the library. I don’t think death is fixable. Lets put the pillow between us, I think we both need to squeeze it right now.”
Me: I squeeze it with my human hand. “Yeah I realized the out of body experience I remember fit with what I’ve heard about souls” Pearce has a very resigned smile. “Then I remembered I didn’t have a soul. Just a shard you gave me”
Sam: She squeezes it. “That is still there. The thing I gave you. That part of you is still wrapped up in your human meats. But… the you part. The thing that was yours. That went. And you are still here, still being you. What does that mean?”
Me: Pearce nods. “I wonder if I didn’t get the memories because of your blessing, or that shard”
Sam: “I’m sorry I made all those copies. I couldn’t bare it. I kept trying to fix the problem, I didn’t do it on purpose. But none of them worked.”
Me: “Do you think I’m Ovid?”
DM: She touches your face with her hand. Its cold. She moves her hand away.
Sam: “We might not ever get to know.”
Me: “I guess that’s true. If we both get out of this, maybe we can find out. I’m not sure I want to though. He was in a lot of pain”
Sam: “If there isn’t a day after tomorrow – thank you for writing for me. When I was just words in a book. Thanks for not trying to use me to make money. Or to gain power. Or to hurt your enemies. You could have. I probably would have. But you didn’t. And I didn’t.”
Me: “I think the Pearce who you first interacted with might have. I was not a good person when we met. Something about you changed me, or broke me? I’m not sure what happened but my definition of good didn’t exist until we started writing. I killed for money. I accidentally caused the deaths of innocents and showed no remorse. That was the Pearce you first interacted with”
Sam: “It matters. Even if we don’t survive. It matters.”
Me: “Then we both agree we’re better off after our meeting So should I get a new name since I’m the second Pearce?”
Sam: “No. Your past doesn’t define you if it’s unknowable. You are like me now. You exist. You can’t explain it or justify it. You are probably not what you believe you are. And you, like me, and like everyone else, are defined by what you do, not what you may have been. Are you Pearce?”
Me: “I don’t know. I think Talon is a pretty cool name” he says with a grin as he flexes his bird claw. “But no seriously I guess I’m still Pearce”
Sam: "Pearce Talonwood is a good name. "
Me: “I like it”
Sam: “Let me bless you. Before tomorrow. Close your eyes.”
DM: Pearce nods. And he is blessed again
Sam: “Good luck tomorrow, she says.” She pats the pillow. “Feel bad for hurting this pillow so much today.”
Me: “When I see you next I’ll hopefully have the Monster in chains”
Sam: She doesn’t say anything. Just looks at you, then stands up. “Tomorrow.”