Lizard folk in disguise
Reunions and Introductions - 5/23/2021
Rosa rushed to the side of the fallen woman and placed a hand on her forehead for a moment, and then felt around the throat feeling for swelling. “She’s alive, but she has a fever, and looks to be half-starved.”
The Blade eyed the darkness around them his bow turned level to the ground, and an arrow notched and ready, “We shouldn’t stay here,” he said.
“Well, carrying her is going to slow us down,” Rosa pointed out. “We should get her up and moving first.”
Doxx still cradling the woman, “She’s out of it right now. Any ideas on how to wake her up?”
“Well, you could just shake her awake,” Bookshelf pointed out.
Gossamer however had other ideas. After watching the others for a moment, he shook his head. He then reached forward with a paw and extended a single claw. He then reached forward and placed the sharp tip on her lower lip and pressed down.
Her eyes snapped open, and she gasped for air. As they looked at her eyes, they saw no pupils or whites, silvery mirrored orbs. She brushed the tressym’s paw aside as she panted for breath, as her head turned around wildly, confused. “Who…what? Who’s there?” she said as she struggled to sit up and failed, collapsing back into Doxx’s arms. “I…I can’t see you.”
“Its alright dearie,” Rosa said placing her hand on the woman’s cheek and looking at the blood streaks from her eyes. “You are Myrai right? We were sent to find you.”
“Yes…,” she said giving a sigh of relief and she relaxed a moment before turning her head towards the sound of Rosa’s voice. “Who would have…Taryn? Did he send you?”
“Indeed,” Sage said causing Myrai to turn her head in the direction of his. “Taryn said you had been missing, and he sent us to the ranch. We have been following your trail from where you were held.”
As she lay there, her breathing eased. “That sodding gnome infected me. I tried to clear up mu blindness…but it didn’t work for long.”
“How did you get into the rock?” Bookshelf asked, and Myrai turned her head towards the new voice.
“A ritual I had,” she replied. “I figured it would be a bit safer than hiding in the brush when I couldn’t see. It took a while to do, but right as I finished, two huge vegepygmies charged at me. I was able to get into the stone first though. I was able to send Gossamer out to find someone, anyone that could help.” She lay there still, sounding a bit winded. “I don’t suppose you have some food? I haven’t had a decent meal in weeks.”
“Just a moment,” and Rosa pulled out a sprig of mistletoe from her pouch and whispered in the druidic language and cupped her hands together. From nothing, grew a handful of large red berries. “Everyone take one and eat it; we’ll be good for the day.” Each of the others each took a berry, while the warforged looked at them with curiosity.
“I am not accustomed to eating.” Sage said, and Bookshelf nodded in agreement.
“Just eat it dears. Even your kind can benefit from it,” Rosa said as she took one of the remaining berries and pressed it against Myrai’s lips.
Myrai opened her mouth and as she bit into it, her eyes grew wide, and without any hesitation she quickly sat up and clumsily grasped Rosa’s hand and shoved the rest of the berry into her mouth. Her face had an expression of rapture as she swallowed the fruits flesh, and she licked her lips savoring the berry’s flavor. Her breathing eased and color started to return to her face. She smiled as she spoke, “It’s been a long time since I had berries like this. Druid berries if I am not mistaken? A life saver then too.”
“I have to point out, we should really leave here, and turn off that light!” Doxx said pointing at the driftglobe.
“Quite right,” and Bookshelf extended his hand, and the globe lowered itself into it and it fell dark, as Bookshelf put it back into a pouch.
Myrai chuckled, “Well doesn’t change my problem, I can’t see.”
Rosa then reached into her pouch and pulled out one of the vials from the smashed crate in the cave.
“Wait Rosa,” Doxx said. “We only have a couple of those.”
“I spent last night translating the book,” Rosa responded. “We can make more with the right materials and none of them are particularly rare. And we can’t have her follow us blindly. Not if we want to move fast.”
“Do it,” Mobad said gruffly, causing Myrai to turn her head at the sound of the new voice. “She must be able to fend for herself.”
Looking around, the others didn’t argue further. Rosa then popped the stopper on the vial and leaned over Myrai. “This is probably going to sting.” And she then poured drops into both of Myrai’s eyes, and the woman winced and gritted her teeth.
“Sting? Sodding Baator that burns! Worse than brimstone.” She then started to blink as tears welled up in her eyes. and turned her head looking around at her familiar and the others. “That…that worked. It feels different than when I tried. When I did it, my eyes kept itching and I was soon blind again. How?”
“It looks like Gwen had a cure as well as a plague,” Rosa said. “Can you walk? We probably should get somewhere safer to talk and rest.”
Myrai nodded, “I feel better than I have in days with a full stomach.” And she stood up and stretched. “Lead on, and we can talk.” She then bent over and retrieved her rod from where it lay on the ground and noticed that Doxx still stared at her.
“Your eyes,” the old woman said simply trying to lean in and look at them.
Myrai sighed and might have rolled her eyes, if anyone could tell, “I know, I know. Yes, I can see, and I was born with them that way. Anything else?”
“I wonder if…” Doxx said before straightening up, “Later I suppose dear,”
Myrai squinted a moment, and then shrugged, “Alright…sure. Where are we going?”
“Back to Denning citizen, “The Blade said before turning to Adrissa, who continued to stare at the strange woman. “Do you know a way or somewhere safe?”
Adrissa nodded, “We’re getting close to the Four Oaks camp, but that’s on the road. But I know of a deer blind that is secluded.
I was crying when my sight returned. Not just because of the burning pain of the ointment, but I was unsure if I was ever going to see again. I grew up being able to always see; I could create light so I could see the world in color, and when I was young, even the world in shades of grey was comforting. I had played some Sensate games, like “Game of You” that required blindfolds, or darkness. But that was a game, and the blindfold was discarded at the end, sight returned. I had met some that lost their sight fighting, some because of illness, and some that never knew it. But I never realized how frightening it was to lose it. I was thankful, and at the same time humbled at how precious a gift it really was. I now really understood how others felt, and how difficult it was to overcome such loss.
But I dried my tears and was surprised to find that this band was following a little girl through the valley. It wasn’t a question of skill, she clearly had it. But I couldn’t imagine Taryn hiring her. Or Melisandre recruiting her.
And unlike the others she wasn’t well equipped. She was in the equivalent of hand me down clothing in terms of a leather jerkin, and weapons. I was curious about her story, and how she was the one they relied on to guide them. For that matter the ancient woman that travelled with us was a puzzle too. She was very spry for someone her age, and her mind was pretty sharp. But I couldn’t imagine why Taryn would have hired her. It made me curious.
But I was curious about all of them. A full-blooded orc, a massive figure of muscle marched along side a halfling, who attire, and air spoke volumes about her; a druid I was sure after consulting with Gossamer. And then there was the two warforged; one ‘normal’ sized, who’s equipment reminded me of Beepu’s; someone skilled in magic. And then the other; a massive figure of metal plates, shield and a blade extending from an arm. Of the warforged that I had seen, he seemed to embody the term more than any other I had seen.
But it was the elf with the bow and the whip at his side, that I was most curious about. His poise and agility were exactly what I would expect from one, and his eyes never stopped looking ahead and behind for trouble. This was expected but what wasn’t was, well…a presence. Something about him tugged at me, and as we continued, I realized that more than a presence.
Somehow, I could feel my strands being drawn to him. Pulled gently, like two people walking by each other, and their sleeves catching on each other. And it wasn’t the strands I associated with light or darkness either; it was the ones that were a true part of me; the one that created light and my ephemeral wings.
But I dared not ask anything yet. The others had clearly met Vegepygmies out in the open, and clearly didn’t want to attract them now, which I had no issue with. Unfortunately, that meant I had only one person to talk to as we travelled.
--You really should be thanking me more. I think I deserve a—”
You know Goss; I appreciate you finding help, but you’re being awfully smug about it.
--And why not? I mean without my help you would have been pounded by that pair of overgrown mold!
And the fact that you cease to exist, the instant I am off to see my god has nothing to do with it?
--Well…it was a little bit of motivation.
Look, I’ll find you something of quality to play with or eat after we are somewhere safe.
--I was thinking about drawing up a list to…help you find the right rewards for someone of my importance.
Seriously?!? Alright that’s enough out of you. You’re going to be lucky to have a box to sleep in when we get to town!”
For miles this went on. I finally had to threaten him with being stuck in pocket space before he would let it go.
We kept marching and finally, Adrissa turned, and climbed up the side of the valley. It was a bit of a struggle, but finally we found ourselves on a small ledge, that was surrounded by what appeared to be a wooden palisade, with shrubs that had been planted around the outside. Within, there was a fire ring, and clear space for us to stretch out and rest.
The orc and the elf started to scout around, to make sure we were alone while the warforged stood in the center of camp and watched. I sat down, and sighed. My legs ached. I realized with a smile, that it had been months since I walked anywhere. How I tread the forests, the plains and swamps in Toril. I guess the rail and riding on horseback was spoiling me.
At that thought I reached into my pouch and pulled out a mirror. I steeled myself and then looked at myself in it. As I expected, I was an utter mess. The blood in my hair, and the filth streaked across my face. I knew that I had dressed in a hurry days ago, and that the rest of me couldn’t have been any better. And the less I thought of my body odor, the better. While I realized needed sleep, I needed to be clean first.
But what I really wanted was a warm hot bath, and bottle to ease the pain and the memories of the last several weeks. But I was going to have to just make do. So I began what used to be my ‘travelling on the road’ ritual that I had done with Wy. I slid out the silver wand and tapped it, summoning the shapeless force, and I whispered to it in my native tongue to help me remove my armor, and for it to hold it and my rod and sword belt. I looked under my shirt and remembered how much blood had left me and how much still stained my skin. And I didn’t really want to think about the rest of the filth.
So, I started to pull on the light strand and using the mirror I started to strip the layers of dirt, spattered blood away from my hair and face. I then started to clean the rest of me, when I belatedly realized I was being watched by the others. The orc and elf had returned, and everyone was looking at me silently.
“Sorry? I haven’t been clean…in a while,” I said pointing out the obvious, at least to me.
“It’s alright dear,” the halfling Rosa said. “Its not like you are bathing in the creek,”
I chuckled, “That is true, but you all do seem to know me by name, I know the little that Melisandre told me,” I said as I continued to clean my skin and clothes. The old woman I noticed squinted at me, as I said that, but didn’t interject.
“Quite right. Well, that’s Mobad,” she gestured at the orc, “Bookshelf,” nodding at the normal warforged, “Sage and —”
“—Sage Redoubt,” the massive warforged corrected.
“Yes dear,” the halfling smiled. “Adri…er The Blade,” she motioned to the elf, “the old woman you see is Doxx, the girl is miss Adrissa Tannoch, and I am Rosa d’Jorasco.”
“Well…thanks everyone for coming to help me. I…wasn’t expecting any help honestly.”
“Taryn was concerned to say the least, as were Flinsa Gask back at the inn.”
I nodded, “Well I guess I owe him my thanks as well. But where is Taryn and Debrika?”
“We don’t know,” The Blade said. “We were following you to the Tannoch ranch, and Taryn, Debrika and some Blademarks headed to a different one. We haven’t seen them since.”
“I don’t suppose you have seen Melisandre anywhere?” Doxx asked looking at me intently.
I was surprised at the question, “I saw her last was in Cattbron. She and Taryn introduced and put…put me in charge of some Blademarks,” I said glumly at the memory of Wy and the others. “But that was…what weeks ago? Why?”
“Doxx believes that the woman has led him here under false pretenses and wishes to question her.” Bookshelf said quietly.
I furrowed my brow a moment, “Um…him?” and I looked at the old woman, as Doxx glared at bookshelf.
Rosa rubbed her eyes, “Bookshelf that is a bit rude to expose our friend here.”
“I’m sorry,” I said. “I am a little…new here, but what are you talking about?”
Doxx rolled their eyes, “It means I’m a changeling.”
I must have looked confused, as Sage picked up on it quickly, “Wait. You don’t know what that is, do you? And you also said you are ‘new’ here? And you are also unlike any human that I have encountered or read about.”
I sighed, “Well, I’m not from here—”
“—From Karnnath?” The Blade asked. “I knew it.”
“From Eberron,” I said. “I fell through a portal from a world called Toril and found myself on my back in a bar in Krona Peak.”
Sage nodded, “So you are the one. I came through Krona Peak and heard stories of a strange woman with funny eyes that was, depending on who told it, wrecked a bar, escaped from prison, and stood trial and a Soldorak was imprisoned instead. The details were lacking though.”
I shrugged, “All of those things really. But as to your other question, I’m not human.”
“And I’m not a changeling,” Doxx said sarcastically.
“I’m not. I’m an Aasimar,” I said evenly.
“What’s that?” Adrissa asked.
“It means…that the blood of angels course through my blood. And in my case, I’m…a daughter of one.”
I saw Adrissa’s eyes grow wide, and her jaw drop open. This stood in contrast to Doxx who looked at me, like I was trying to bob him. The others looked at each other, clearly unable to decide whether to believe me.
I sighed and stood up. And taking out a greenie from my pouch, I focused a moment. I felt the rush up and down my back as I created a dim note of light on the coin. The warforged looked at each other and shrugged, and said nothing, while Doxx, Mobad, Rosa and The Blade all looked at me in surprise. But it was Adrissa that had the strongest reaction. She looked awestruck and she fell to her knees with tears in her eyes. I had seen that look before in Waterdeep, and usually I dreaded it.
But for her, I knew there was sad story behind her dead eyes. ‘Tannoch’ as in a member of the Tannoch family who owned the ranch. A ranch that as far as I had known, the Vegepygmies had killed everyone that lived there. Everyone but this little girl, forced to grow up and fight to survive. I had seen that look in Sigil during the Faction War. And now, instead of dead eyes, I saw a glimmer of hope in them, like a flower blooming in the frost; delicate and at risk of being frozen.
I smiled, and stepped towards her, and knelt and placed the coin in her outstretched hand. "It won’t last forever, but you can have it for as long as it lasts.” Turning again to the others, “I was told by Melisandre that Aasimar are rare here. But it seems that travelers from far flung places are even rarer.”
“I’ve never heard of a place called Toril,” Bookshelf said quietly.
“And I’m not even from there…I was born in Sig—” I started to say when my attention was diverted. At the edge of my vision, through the trees, I saw a pair of figures approaching.
“Ka’u’ ko’ali’o!” I said, and the shapeless force, flung my rod into my waiting hands. The others caught on quickly and grabbed for their weapons, as I turned and levelled my rod in the direction of the figures. The Blade and Adrissa point pointed bows in the direction I was facing, while the others brandished staff, sword, and axe.
Goss; go high and see who they are.
“I don’t see anything,” Adrissa whispered.
“Nor I; are you sure you see something citizen?” The Blade said in a low tone
I nodded and watched and waited. The pair approached slowly. At first, I thought it was simply caution. But it was clear something else was at play.
--Boss, I can see them now. It’s your employer.
“Taryn,” I said aloud.