Starvale Adventures: A Prelude to Darkness – Chapter 18

Rowan’s eye is caught by the juggler’s act. She’d noticed this drunken doppelganger before, and hoped she was not here to cause trouble, but clearly she was not as drunk as she appeared if she could manage to juggle so nicely, and that triggers a nagging suspicion. Tonight is an odd one at the Boiling Kettle, and with so much at stake, she keeps one eye on the juggling woman as she approaches their table.

The pale-skinned Dragonborn appears frightened at Hajima’s demands, “I don’t know what you are talking about!  Please, don’t hurt me.” She implores him, all but wringing her hands.

Lanaver’s attention shifts back to the dwarf woman that Tuskor is harassing. He can’t help but think he missed something. He walks by the table only to stumble to crash into the dwarf in an attempt to fleece her. His deft hands finger her belt pouch, searching for one that contains something other than coin.

The Dwarf woman yells in anger and clouts him about the head for his foolishness, shoving him prone with surprising strength. The human moves quickly, trying to whisk away whatever he was concealing. The sound of glass shattering echoes through the room, and then the human screams as his body is surrounded by a blue crackling energy. He falls to the floor, a dagger-like object clutched in his hand. The dwarf at the same table pushes back her chair and runs for the door, leaping over the prone Lanaver.

Chaos erupts along with screams as the patrons of the Boiling Kettle run for cover under tables, and push at each other for the door. The pale-skinned Dragonborn flips the table that she sits at opposite Rowan and Hajima then flees from the room, using it as an obstacle to aid her escape.

Rowan leaps to her feet at the first sign of serious disturbance, and screams “NO!” when Lanaver goes down. She sends an empowering thread of magic to her downed friend, and then runs toward the arcing blue light. Looking over her shoulder as she maneuvers through the crowd, she yells to the half orc “Stop her!”

Skirt flying, Tallisk springs lithely onto the table, then vaults over the heads of several panicked patrons. With a fluid flexibility partially granted her by the amount of alcohol she’s consumed, she falls to her knees and slides under another table, coming up next to the female Dwarf who is almost at the door. Grabbing a nearby chair, she attempts to hurl it into the Dwarf’s path but one of the legs gets tangled in her skirts and she goes down in a flurry of cloth and the sound of splintering maple as the chair breaks under her falling weight.  As she falls, Tallisk begins swearing a blue streak, at the top of her not inconsiderable voice… in Dwarven. The oaths she uses would curl the beard of a seasoned veteran of the Mines of Drathgrodosa.

Lanaver pulls the tablecloth off and rushes to the man being electrocuted. He silently prays this is enough insulation to protect him as he wraps the object the man was holding in cloth before trying to pull it from the man’s hand.  The electricity causing the man’s muscles to clench makes it difficult, however Lanaver manages to pull it free with a grunt of effort and a snarl of pain as the arcing energies transfer from the man to him.

From the moment the Dwarven female began to run Tuskor has been muttering his sacred words. Worms writhe up from between the cracks in the floorboards to try and ensnare the fleeing villain.  The Dwarf’s fear was pushing her to greater speed however and she flies out the door just ahead of the groping worms.

Clutched tightly in the human’s hand is a long, dagger-like tooth, in her fearful haste she barrels through the door, narrowly escaping the entangling roots.

Disentangling herself from the broken chair, Tallisk darts after the retreating figure. Moving with a speed that seems almost unnatural, she easily catches up to the dwarf.  “Hey Lassie, what’s yer hurry?” She asks in Dwarven, a friendly smile on her face. “If’n yer in trouble maybe I cn help?”

“How do we turn this thing off?”  Sebastian shouts, looking frantically for a way to nullify the electrical shocking dagger.

Lanaver dumps out a wooden mug and drops the still crackling tooth wrapped in the cloth inside.  “By Corellon’s grace! The suckers gotta bite to it!” He shakes off the static energy still clinging to his fingers and it spatters and sparks in the air before dissipating.

The man who was inundated with lightning drops to the floor. Although it looked like he was dead, he rises to his feet with a sudden jerk. He walks, eyes closed, toward the door. He leaves the building, stops in the middle of the street, and stands as if waiting.  As he walks out, the lightning jumps to Schuyler, the half-elf food critic, who begins to shake violently as lightning arcs in and around him.

Sebastian will use detect magic on the man leaving, afraid he is waiting to get eaten by a dragon the dagger may have summoned.  He finds that the magic suffused within the man is animating his unconscious body to act, but to what end is unclear.

“Sebastian, figure out how to STOP THIS THING!”  Rowan shouts, nearly in a panic.

“Yes sir,” Sebastian obviously used to having orders shouted at him in combat responds readily to the fervent demand. “As soon as I figure out how, Sir.”

“Get these people OUT while we deal with this!”  Rowan yells to Blaizette, her singer’s voice pitched to cut through the clamor.  The Halfling girl nods and begins hustling people out through the clinic.

Hearing the screams of panic behind her, Tallisk reaches out to grab the Dwarf woman by the arm. “What’ve ya wrought in tha place full a innocent folk thenow?” She demands, her green eyes flashing.

Sebastian takes the mug from Lanaver and gingerly looks at it.  The electricity pulses all around it in time with the flashes of static that are currently crackling around Schuyler.

“You can do it, Sebastian! I have faith in you! You can control this force!” And she holds his arms, while she begins to sing the hero song she wrote for the team, focusing on the stanzas that told of Sebastian’s heroic actions.

Tuskor will concentrate on getting the remaining innocents out of harm’s way, herding folk away from the writhing Schuyler with his staff in some cases.

There is a press through the door, some people have resorted to smashing windows to escape the lightning. Schuyler down and the lightning arcs toward the Wild Elf ranger Surruk. She convulses violently as the lightning lashes her. Schuyler rises and moves through a broken window, not noticing the deep cuts on his hands from the broken glass, he joins the other man, hand in hand staring blindly at the sky.

The dwarf throws Tallisk’s hand off hard enough to spin her around. She easily catches up again. “Come now, I abhor violence in all its forms. Let’s no allow this ta come ta blows.”

“As I expected it’s the tooth of a mighty blue draconic beast.”  Sebastian says, “A Blue Dragon to be exact.”

Lightning arcs out leaving Surruk, who rises again and goes to join hands forming the circle outside. After the spell leaves Surruk, it flies out an open window and strikes a small Dwarven girl wearing a necklace made of safflowers.

“What do safflowers have to do with blue dragons? It’s there a blue dragon that made roost in the Quivering woods?”  Asks Sebastian, helplessly watching the circle forming.

“I’m no expert but we cannot let them complete that circle!”  Shouts Lanaver.

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