Wishful Thinking - D&D role playing scene
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    Feb 2011
    Long Beach, CA

    Wishful Thinking - D&D role playing scene

    In our regular D&D 3.5 game, my character (Wizard 11/Aristocrat 1/Eldritch Knight 2) had acquired a ring with a Wish on it. The Wish, however, was to be granted through the services of an Efreet, which made it a somewhat dangerous commodity.

    (As a reminder, Efreeti are Lawful Evil, and hate any form of forced servitude. Highly likely to mung a wish if they can. )

    As we hit a lull in the adventure, my character decided to use the Wish. What follows is more or less the way it all played out.

    "What's with all the fancies?", Mash asked as he saw Cyrano arranging the camp area. He'd insisted that they break early and set up the full camp. He'd erected a pavilion tent, with shade canopies, and had produced several comfortable chairs from somewhere. (Shrink Item).

    "I'm expecting a guest, and I want to make him feel welcome.", the Elf replied as he started setting out food. From his pack he withdrew a bottle of wine with an ornate label, and opened it so it could breathe.

    "Are you sure all this is necessary?", Ferguson asked. The Cleric of Kord knew his friend to be clever, but his judgment was far from perfect.

    "I just hope it's enough.", Cyrano replied as he produced a red iron ring from a concealed pouch.

    "Whoa there.", said Pax when he saw the ring. "Are you sure you want to do that? Here, now?" He knew what it was, and would have preferred to have it destroyed. But not everyone had the resolve of a Paladin, and the power it represented was enough to tempt any man. And like Ferguson, he knew that his friend was by no means beyond temptation.

    "Better in a town someplace, where there are innocents about?"

    "Better not at all." replied the temple knight in all seriousness.

    "If you can't watch this, I understand. It's dangerous.", Cyrano offered in what he hoped was a calming voice.

    "No, I'll be here, if only to pick up the pieces and say 'I Told you so'.", Pax replied. His tone was much lighter than his mood.

    Mash stood aside, his weapon hand empty, but the great scythe within easy reach. Seary, the rogue, looked at the scene and decided to go water the horses, even though they didn't need it.

    Taking a deep breath, Cyrano slid the ring onto his hand and sent his will forth to summon the fire devil. Okay, he wasn't technically a "Devil", but he was as close as you'd find outside of the nine Hells.

    The flames of the campfire swirled and burned higher, and from them stepped a massive man-like form, tall dark and imposing. "Who dares summon me!", he demanded, more than asked.

    Everyone seemed to take a half step back, though they hadn't given any thought to doing so. The newcomer simply seemed to require more space.

    The Wizard raised his hand, the ring on clear display, then bowed low. "Welcome to our humble camp, friend. I ask only the fulfillment of a contract."

    The Efreet looked at the ring, recognized it, and gave a small sneer. "Oh, that. Yes, you have the right.", he finished, barely an admission of anything.

    "Can I offer you rest or refreshment?", Cyrano offered, gesturing towards the best chair. An Unseen Servant wafted a tray with fruit and wine on it.

    The Efreet didn't move. This wasn't what he had come to expect from fleshy mortals.

    Cyrano's mouth was dry. He'd rehearsed this next part several times in his head, but this was reality and felt very different. Still, he pressed ahead. "One of the great injustices of creation is that your people were granted the highest gift imaginable, yet condemned to employ it only in the service of others. I can understand why you hate such servitude so deeply."

    "Hmm. Perhaps I will take refreshment.", the Efreet said. "You are not like other mortals. You surprise me." He seemed to think for a moment, then asked, "So, young Cyrano De Cognac, how is your mother these days? Still dodging suitors?" He grew smaller, more human sized, as he moved and settled himself into the chair.

    Cyrano was caught off guard. He hadn't given his name, yet the Efreet knew it, and knew of his family situation. "Well, yes, though she's more interested in arranging my own marriage.", he replied.

    And so the pair engaged in small talk as the other Storm Chasers stood back. Despite the light tone, this was a duel of wits and words. Who would blink first?

    To the surprise of many, it wasn't Cyrano. He smoothly brought the conversation back around to Wishes, but almost backed into it. "If I might be so bold as to ask, is there something you would have for yourself?", he asked. "As I understand it, you can't use your gift for your own benefit. Still, if you would care to express a wish to me, I could pose it as a request. Then you'd be granting my wish, for your benefit."

    The fire Genii pondered that for a moment. "I may take you up on that, but take care what you offer. "

    "I know what I offer.", the Wizard said with an assurance he didn't feel at all.

    "Then tell me what you want.", came the reply, as the dance drew to an end.

    "As you know, I'm going to be married. An arranged marriage.", Cyrano began as he poured his guest more wine.

    "My condolences.", replied the Efreet with dry humor..

    "It's not so bad. She's not uncomely, and seems to be of good temprement. In fact, I don't know why I'm being chosen. I have a family name, from my step father, but I've no lands or titles of my own and I'm not in line to inherit any, while she's a Baroness and niece of the King. Our childless king.", he added, leaving the implication to hang heavy in the air. "It's a political marriage and I have no political baggage. I bring a bond between houses, but nothing else, and I'm sure she realizes this."

    "So why is she marrying you?", the Efreet asked curiously.

    "I don't know, and it worries me. She's not the one making the arrangement though, and that worries me more." After a thoughtful pause, the Elf made an unexpected offer. "Would you like to come to the wedding? I'd be honored if you would."

    That stopped the fire Genii cold. "Are you serious?"

    "Yes. I'd like for our meeting to be more than just the fulfillment of a contract. If I'm to join the ranks of nobility I'll need all the friends I can get. I'd be honored if I could count you among them."

    Now it was the Efreet's turn for a thoughtful pause. "You really aren't like other mortals, are you?", he asked. "But still, what is it you want?"

    "If I'm to be the head of a noble household, I'll need to be a leader of men, and I'm not that good at it. Some have the gift, some are raised to it, I'm neither. That is my Wish", he said, emphasizing the last word carefully.

    "This may be fun.", the Efreet mused, waving away another refill of his glass. "Your Wish is granted." He then looked at the others, the people standing half back, and smiled. "While I'm here, do any of your friends have a Wish?"

    And the floodwaters surged as if a dam had been broken. Mash asked to be swifter, and it was granted, though there was a caution. Dion asked for another animal friend, a bear. And this was granted, again with the note that he would owe a favor in return.

    "Remember to save something for yourself.", Cyrano cautioned, knowing that, at least by reputation the Efreet could use that power but three times in a day. Yet he'd heard the Efreet offer, and grant all three. Then a thought occurred to him: "If you have no Wish for yourself right now, feel free to call upon me at a time of your convenience. I'll be happy to provide when you're ready." After a moment more of thought, he added, "Or if you have any other service I can aid you with."

    Again the Efreet looked at him sharply. "Be careful what you offer. You have no idea what I might ask."

    "You may ask of me anything, as one friend might ask of another. I will at least consider it, though I can't promise I can always comply.", he added.

    An arrangement was agreed upon for the wedding invitation, and their business was concluded. The Efreet took his leave. As he did, Seary noticed that Pax had slipped quietly away. She followed him and found him packing his horse.

    "Is something wrong?", she asked.

    The Paladin's face was hard, his expression grim. "I can't stay here. You all made bargains with that creature, and never even asked the price. He's evil and you accepted his gifts, and Cyrano offered to be friends. Whatever you do, I'll have no part in it. " He gave the saddle cinch an extra tug, struggling to cage his fury. His friends had just turned against everything he believed in. It was a bitter betrayal. He would have struck the creature down, he should have struck it down. But it was an invited guest, and unless it violated the rules of hospitality, he couldn't.

    He found that he wasn't alone as he left the camp. The Monk, the one called Mathias, trailed behind, spurring his mount to catch up. He too couldn't stomach to see his companions so easily embracing evil, all for the sake of easy power. His discipline had taught him that power had to be earned if it was to be properly used. Like the Paladin, he wished his friends well, but couldn't be with them. Not, at least, until they had seen the error of their ways.

    Cyrano is my character. My basic plan was to butter up the Efreet a bit before asking for the Wish. The idea was that there was less of a chance of him screwing me with it.

    I got a total 21 on my Diplomacy check, not counting any circumstance bonus the DM might have applied. And since attitude shifts happen every 20 points on that scale, that was probably a good thing.

    The wedding invitation was a calculated thing. The character spent 20 years as a hanger-on in the Human court, and he knew that the smiles, salutations and pleasantries were the elaborate dance of a wolf pack. It was a dance he was not good at, and the others were expecting him to be easy prey. Showing up to the wedding with friends like him would cause more than a few schemes to be cast askew, and at a minimum would make the schemers take pause. It would take the target off his back.

    The extra Wishes offered shocked my character. That his friends accepted, in exchange for future "favors" shocked him even more.

    Since we take turns as DM in our campaign, my offer to channel a Wish for him, and possibly grant him a favor, were simply plot hooks being set, something a future DM can use to drive a story or adventure.

    In character, Cyrano knows that a leader doesn't have the luxury of dealing only with pleasant, nice people. Sometimes one needs to be able to make deals that should turn their stomach, and embrace people they'd never want to be seen in the same room with. Letting it be known that he had that ability was an important card to have in his hand.

    His Wish, by the way, was for the Leadership feat. I have no real use for it, in terms of advancing his adventuring career, but like the Aristocrat level (he needed weapon and armor proficiency for Eldritch Knight) it was a gesture towards fitting into the story. If the marriage actually happens, which is by no means certain, the character will probably have to retire.

    Mash's Wish was for the Run feat. Instead of giving him that, Mash got an extra 20 feet of base movement. When he uses it though he suffers a 20% miss chance on any attacks rolled in the next round.

    Dion's wish was essential for an Animal Friendship with a bear, something he could have done himself. And for that he owes a favor to a Lawful Evil being of frightening power.

    Oh well.

    Thoughts? Comments?
    Last edited by Greenfield; Monday, 4th June, 2018 at 07:38 PM.
    XP MoutonRustique gave XP for this post

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