Following the death of Vixanis, in this episode, our heroes decide not to confront the Broken Sky and resume their journey to Talis'Val. However, Cam's undesirable action forced them to delay their plans.
Change of PlansEdit
The adventurers discover the lifeless body of Vixanis, with a note placed on her warning them not to probe the Broken Sky further. Cam, who is the only person left in the cave, walks to her body and prays to Avandra, giving a somewhat awkward commemoration of Vixanis' life. Jiǔtóu and Trellimar investigate further to find any signs of struggle prior to her death but did not find any physical signs of torture, although the way the cut on the neck was executed suggests magic could be involved. They also notice that she has been dead for about two days, around the time just before they entered Feyden. As the last thing Jiǔtóu could remember is that Vixanis was with them back in Tallfield, Elora and Trellimar inform Jiǔtóu of her last known location, that she is travelling to Briarcrest. They then discuss whether they were the direct cause of her death until Trellimar voices out that she was looking for a dwarven thief last spotted in Tallfield and that might be the cause of her death instead.
After discussing whether or not they should engage with the Broken Sky, they decide that it is better to head on to Talis'Val and confront them there. Despite the decision, Jiǔtóu feels that they should at least know the Broken Sky's reason to weaken the Dawn Republic by heading to Briarcrest. Unknown to them, she feels that her agenda may be aligned with the Broken Sky's.
Trellimar heads back to town, collects his armour from the blacksmith and heads for the tavern. Cam, Elora and Jiǔtóu stay and hold a burial for Vixanis, then they return to Feyden. Jiǔtóu sneaks off to the manor house while the rest enter the tavern. Cam kicks the door, shouting shots for everyone. Oswyn the barkeeper, who is still nursing a hangover, begrudgingly asks Cam what drinks he wants. Cam requests four shots, so Oswyn serves up four strong vodkas. Elora, still in dire wolf form, treads over to the unlit fireplace and snuggles by it. It is only after Cam pays for the drinks that he realises he is the only one drinking; Trellimar declines the drinks offered by Cam as he does not drink alcohol. Cam then starts downing the four shots by himself and is now very drunk. He then runs to the toilet and begins puking.
Jiǔtóu returns to the tavern with Falk, as well as Dimitriv, who insists on following them despite being freed by Jiǔtóu, as he is extremely traumatised by the whole ordeal he has been facing. Dimitriv shuts the door behind him and constantly peers out of the window, worried that the Broken Sky are coming for him. At one point, he even questions if Oswyn is with the Broken Sky. Jiǔtóu orders six plates of baked quarter chicken with salad, cheese and bread for Dimitriv, Falk and her companions.
Chaos at the TavernEdit
Trellimar starts a conversation with Falk, asking him about "The Look" that Cam has been boasting about and plans to put it to the test. He disguises into a beautiful lady and Falk promises to keep it a secret.
Cam stumbles out of the toilet feeling a little more sober and is stunned at the sight of the beautiful lady sitting by the bar. Whipping out his best-looking dagger Elfie, he sits in between the lady and Falk and starts showing off his dagger, sliding it towards her. He starts a conversation with the lady and later requests the barkeeper to get her a drink. Oswyn knows Cam has had too much to drink, so Cam is forced to ask for water for both of them.
Cam then leans towards the lady, his eyes fixating on her as he starts pouting. Cam asks her if it hurt when she fell from Avandra's plane. She responds by flicking her hair and tells him that she is embarrassed. Cam then takes out his remaining daggers and place them in front of her, by her request.
As the conversation starts to get weirder, Cam notices Falk is trying to maintain his composure, trying not to laugh. He then stares at the lady and notices that her posture and body language does not seem ladylike. Suspecting something fishy is going on, Cam drags his stool and sits uncomfortably close to her. He suggests that they should be in bed together. At this point, the lady starts laughing in a male voice, leading to Cam exposing her as Trellimar in disguise. He then takes the two glasses of water and sits by the fireplace, sulking. Jiǔtóu remains confused by the "human mating rituals" she just witnessed, questioning herself of why she had pledged to such people despite knowing that they did bring her back to life.
The food Jiǔtóu ordered earlier is now ready. Elora transforms back into herself, making Cam gag. Cam and Falk start gobbling down the food with their hands. Dimitriv is still a nervous wreck and starts inspecting his food, suspecting it has been poisoned, but eventually begins eating it, as do the rest of the adventurers. After their meal, Cam lets out a small burp while Falk's belch resonates the tavern. Jiǔtóu shares that belching is a tiefling culture that the patron enjoys the meal prepared by the chef. The barkeeper humbly accepts the compliment.
To make himself feel better after the beautiful lady incident, Cam jokes that the Broken Sky is surrounding the tavern. Dimitriv ducks under the table, yelling at them to keep them away. He then starts to sob. As Cam continues to worry him about the Broken Sky, Dimitriv gets up and grabs Cam by the collar, begging him to keep him safe. Cam pretends to be possessed by the Broken Sky saying he can't feel his hands. Jiǔtóu stomps on his foot, which makes Cam tell Dimitriv that he is lying. However, he does not believe him and hides behind Jiǔtóu. Cam then casts Charm Person on Dimitriv, which helps him relax. Cam insists that the Broken Sky are not around, much to Dimitriv's relief.
Knowing that the spell will not last long, Cam hurries the others to go forth on their journey. Not wanting to walk three to four days to Talis'Val, they approach the stables outside of the North Gate and rent three horses and a cart for 160 gold, cutting down their travelling time to less than a day. The stable owner tells them that they can get back 65 gold after returning the horses and the cart at the Frowning Fox Farms in Talis'Val.
Elora asks Dimitriv if he has any gold with him to help pay his share for the horses. He replies that he has about 100 gold back in the shop, so Cam takes him back to the shop on one of the horses. Jiǔtóu asks Cam to get her some cheese while he's there.
Upon reaching the shop, the two dismount the horse. At this point, the spell wears off and Dimitriv realises that he was under a spell. He accuses Cam of being a member of the Broken Sky and runs away. Cam throws his dagger at his knee, crippling him and he falls to the ground. He drags himself inside the shop and locks the door behind him.
Unable to break the door down, Cam lights a torch and sets the wooden window on fire in an attempt to smoke him out. Dimitriv yells at Cam that he would rather die than be in the hands of the Broken Sky. Cam just waits for Dimitriv to give up. Unknown to Cam, the fire eventually catches onto some oil lamps on a bookshelf inside, igniting the shop into a fireball much quicker than he expected. Dimitriv collapses on the ground after inhaling smoke. At this point, the guards at the town gates spot the shop on fire and run to fetch water to douse the flames.
The people of Feyden gather round as they become aware of the burning shop, with some assisting the guards to put out the fire. One of the guards manages to break down the door, revealing a shop filled with thick smoke. The guard attempts to rescue Dimitriv but faints due to the intense heat. Cam now enters the burning shop and rescues the fallen guard, who has suffered first-degree burns. He is later nursed by the townsfolk back to consciousness.
Back at the stable, around the time they were expecting Cam and Dimitriv to reach the shop, the companions see the billowing column of thick smoke coming from the town and start to run towards it.
Now wearing a bandanna over his mouth and nose, Cam enters the shop again to search for Dimitriv. He finds a fallen Dimitriv in the back room and casts Healing Word on him, not knowing of his condition due to the thick smoke impairing his vision. It is when he finally drags him out of the shop that he realises that Dimitriv had succumbed to his injuries and has died.
Cam prays to Avandra and pleads for forgiveness. As he does so he notices his holy ring has an unusual tarnish, and he does not sense that Avandra has heard his prayer in the way he normally does. Cam now realises the grave consequences he has caused.
After arriving at the scene, Jiǔtóu kneels beside the body of Dimitriv. She asks Cam to explain what has occurred. He lets them know of his actions that leads to his death, much to the shock of the others. One of the guards overhears him admit starting the fire and questions him too. Cam openly admits being responsible, leaving everyone in the town confused. Jiǔtóu looks at Cam, unsure of what to think of him as she thought he would never behave in this manner. Looking at Dimitriv's body, Rika mentions that he was technically a member of Broken Sky and is unsure of what to do, but acknowledges the fact that the group did help the town to get their lumber back. She questions Cam if Dimitriv provoked him to attack, but Cam quietly answers that he did not, and he did not deserve to die. The guard that Cam rescued speaks up and says that he did save him and did attempt to rescue Dimitriv.
Cam agrees to go with the guards to the manor house where Dimitriv had been locked up previously. Although not the official leader of the town, Rika says that she is the closest thing they have, so she will need to think about Cam's fate. Some of the townspeople take Dimitriv's body away to the mausoleum, where Brother Wald accepts it and prepares for the burial the following day. Jiǔtóu and Elora go with them and stay with Dimitriv's body. Elora druidcrafts a bunch of flowers for the second time today and lays them next to him. Jiǔtóu lit some incense and place it beside him.
They decide to stable the horses temporarily since Trellimar says that they are now set back further into their quests, due to Cam's actions and cannot proceed to Talis'Val just yet. He also brings up to Falk the fact that this is not the first time Cam has been accused of murder, making him realise that Cam does not seem to be the person he thought he was.
Trellimar disguises himself as an old woman and heads to the manor house. He strides in and demands that the guards let her see whoever has killed his nephew Dimitriv, or so he claims. The guards are taken back but allow her in.
Cam is sitting with his back facing the cell door as the old woman is let into the cell. The guards lock the door and leave. The old woman then spins Cam around and, speaking in his normal voice, lets him know that she is actually Trellimar in disguise. He tells him to pull himself together and that they need to get out of here. However, Cam remains sombre and reiterates that he committed a crime and broke the law. Trellimar reminds him that they also helped not only Feyden but other towns as well and the group needs to move on.
Cam says he does not know how they will even get him out when he has murdered someone and asks if Trellimar is also going to commit a crime to get him out. He states that being a drow, other races have the impression that drows have committed every crime imaginable. Cam tells her that Avandra is his judge and she did not answer him, yet Trellimar thinks he can prove himself to her as a decent person in their future adventures.
Cam agrees to go with them but mentions that he won't be making as many jokes. Cam also mentions that he should seek the opinions of the others before planning the next step, as he thinks that the others may not wish to be with him. Trellimar disagrees as, despite his actions, they have yet to throw in the towel and are still standing by him. Nonetheless, Cam tells Trellimar not to commit any crimes just to get him out and suggests that he have a talk with Rika on the next step.
Trellimar transforms back to himself after leaving the manor house and heads towards the mausoleum. Upon entering, he acknowledges the body of Dimitriv. He shares his conversations with Cam to Elora and Jiǔtóu, mentioning that Cam is now a shell of his former self and will accept any punishment to his actions. Trellimar states that he will still help him and asks whether they will also do the same. Elora states that they should not leave him behind, but agrees that he needs to face the consequences. Jiǔtóu says that she has a life debt to him regardless of his actions and suggests speaking with Rika on the punishment, and still willing to have Cam as a member of the group. Elora and Trellimar head off to find Rika while Jiǔtóu remains behind to hold a wake for Dimitriv.
They find her at the tavern drinking away as she ponders a suitable punishment, conflicted by the good and bad actions Cam did for the town. She asks the two for their opinion on the matter. Trellimar says that Cam must be punished as a way to show repentance for the town, yet allowing some degree of leniency for him to rejoin the group with the promise they will leave town. Rika agrees to release Cam to them the following morning and will think of a suitable punishment for him. She then leaves the tavern. Oswyn then tells the two that Falk is resting upstairs and he can prepare the room if they wish to rest at the tavern for the night. The two sleep at the manor house instead, while Jiǔtóu rests at the mausoleum.
They following morning, Elora, Jiǔtóu and Trellimar attend the burial of Dimitriv presided by Brother Wald. The trio return to the manor house where Rika is waiting together with the blacksmith. A branding iron with its head the size of a coin is being heated by the portable forge and a bucket of water can also be seen. Rika says that she will release Cam to their custody as agreed and he must not return to Feyden. She also says that per the customs of the old kingdom, Cam will be charged with manslaughter and will be branded with a mark signifying as such. The trio does not reject the sentencing.
The guards bring Cam out to the front of the manor house in front of Rika, the blacksmith and his companions. Falk is not present. Unsure at first, Rika then sentences Cam to be branded as a murderer. She also warns that if he commits a similar crime again and is caught by any marshal, the brand will be taken into consideration as part of any future punishment. Asking Cam if he agrees to the sentencing, he accepts it. The guards grip Cam and hold his left wrist forward and the blacksmith places the branding iron on his wrist. She releases the branding iron and tends to the scar. Rika then tells Cam that he must now leave the town and shall not return, but still thanks him and his companions of the assistance they gave to the town.
Cam requests to see where Dimitriv was buried. Jiǔtóu wipes the sweat off Cam's forehead and silently brings him to Dimitriv's grave. Jiǔtóu then lights a stick of incense for Cam. He takes it and places it by the gravestone, apologising to him. Elora and Trellimar head to the tavern to look for Falk, but they receive a letter from Oswyn instead. Trellimar opens the letter and finds out that Falk has left for Talis'Val and that he needs time to think about the events that have occurred. The letter ends off stating that Falk will see them in the capital.
They meet at the stable and this time rent only a single horse with a cart for 60 gold, having reduced their group back to just four members. After the stable owner returns 100 gold, Trellimar casually gives a remark to Cam that he at least saved them 100 gold.
Cam lies in the back of the cart with Elora and Trellimar sitting next to him, while Jiǔtóu rides the horse. The group then begin their journey to Talis'Val.
Along the way, Elora constantly checks on Cam's bandage ensuring that the scar will not get worse. Cam apologises to his companions of the trouble he has caused them and that the mark will be the demon haunting him for a while. On that night, Cam has a nightmare where he is inside a burning room. Avandra speaks to him in his dream, which is a rare occurrence, that he has failed her as she is a God of Luck, not a God of Vengeance. She also tells him that unless Cam makes up for his actions, luck will be against him.
With the capital in view, the group see a newly built outer wall with some parts under construction and an ancient inner wall. It is around midday as they now join the traffic that is heading towards the capital.
Upon reaching the South Gate, one of the guards wearing blue and silver livery, halts the group for a routine check, just like every other visitor to the capital. The guard welcomes them to Talis'Val and requests their names and purpose. Elora hands over an invitation to meet Korak the Champion given to her from the Spire of Eternal Autumn and Trellimar claims that he is her bodyguard. Cam, under the name Tam Muckland, hands over the Writ of Performance with his right hand. The guard recognises that it is for the Mason Guild's Feast of Stone taking place in one day's time.
When the guard sees Jiǔtóu, he gives her a caution that she should stay with her companions and keep off the street at night, stating that tieflings have been reported missing in the capital. She then tells him that her name is Mei Li and that she is a performing assistant for Cam, with him confirming that she does the fire breathing.The guard informs them of procedures before conducting trade and to avoid the district of Whisper's Walk at night. The group then ask for directions to Frowning Fox Farms, recommended taverns and places to get strawberries.
As they pass through the gates, Elora, Jiǔtóu and Trellimar are overwhelmed by the size of the city. Cam advises them to just keep moving forward to avoid the touting merchants. Jiǔtóu gets tense as she has heard bad things about the city run by dragonborns and slavery still being prominent. Despite the city being cosmopolitan, she does not see any tieflings amongst the crowd. They then return the horse and cart to Frowning Fox Farms and receive 25 gold back, not before nearly getting cheated by the owner.
After navigating around the district of Journeyman's Run, the group reaches the |Duck and Porter tavern that the guard recommended earlier. They enter the tavern and a domesticated red fox Houra catches Elora's eyes. She goes over and makes friends with it. The tavern owner, female dwarf Kari Silverstone, notices them and welcomes the group to the tavern. They request for rooms to stay and she rents them two rooms for 6 gold per night. As she is understaffed, she goes up to prepare the rooms while her fox climbs onto the bar table and stays on guard.
Case of the Missing TieflingsEdit
Trellimar sits by a side of the tavern and communes with his patron, who informs him that the thing he is searching for is underneath the district of Old Temple Way and Granamyr will be able to assist him.
Elora walks over to Cam, who is sitting by the corner and asks him of his performance. After a long thought, Cam decides to call off the performance for Korak given the recent events affecting his mood. However, Jiǔtóu insists that the performance must go on, mainly because it is the only way she will have the opportunity to meet Korak. Curious, Cam asks her about Korak. Instead, Jiǔtóu wants to learn of their favourable views of him.
Cam shares that Korak is a champion that carries a sword made from a fallshard, that he goes around the country to battle against the evil, and that he encourages the people to build settlements to protect themselves. Korak gained allies along the way and formed his own party of heroes; two of them are Elfus Kelly, halfling cleric, and the late Sir Francis Drakeborn, human knight. After gaining enough support, he founded the Dawn Republic and a new city rises from the ruins which now becomes Talis'Val. Elora then shares that her father told her that Korak is a gold dragonborn with scales that changes between gold and red, depending on the light he is in.
On Jiǔtóu asking for their personal opinions of Korak, Cam says that he never met him and that he is a myth to him, and Elora says that her father approves of him. Jiǔtóu then shares her personal story of Korak. The name she gave at the gate, Mei Li, was that of her mother. She then recounts her past, on a group of dragonborns raided her village and killing her parents, and on how she was forced to be a slave for a dragonborn, whom she believes is Korak the Champion. Reinforcing her story, she reveals the scars of whip marks on her back and described her experience as a torturous ordeal.
As such, Jiǔtóu does not think that Korak is the Champion that the people believe him to be. She wished to expose him for what others could not see of his cruelty and the murders that he has committed. Elora asks Jiǔtóu if that person is really Korak the Champion. Jiǔtóu says that she is certain that the dragonborn in red and gold is indeed him. Cam senses that Jiǔtóu is telling what she believes to be the truth, although there are fragments where certain details seem hazy. Still, he comments that any person of such power could not have done it without using force and has heard similar stories from other tieflings that escaped Bresseras.
Jiǔtóu shares that her initial purpose was to assassinate Korak, but after meeting Master Guanyin, she is shown another way, which is to expose and overthrow him. She explains that this is why she was desperate to find out the Broken Sky's reason for fighting against Korak and, if their agenda aligns with hers, that they could work with the Broken Sky. Cam changes his mind and agrees to put on a performance that Korak will never forget.
At this moment, there is a knock on the door. Kari climbs downstairs and opens it, revealing a forest gnome Officer Merrik Waendel, who is also wearing silver and blue armour with a tabard, and is in charge of the Journeyman's Run district. He starts questioning Kari of her missing bartender tiefling Sheng, arousing Jiǔtóu's curiosity.
Kari reveals that Sheng has been working with her for six months and enjoys working at the tavern. She also says that he lives in The Stacks and she is not aware if he has any friends or enemies. Officer Merrik tells her that it is difficult for him to find any information of the missing tieflings and will be glad if she has any further information.
Elora grabs the officer's attention to ask about the missing tieflings, which he eventually sees Jiǔtóu. Feeling flustered, he replies that there have been recent reports of missing persons in the area, most of which are tieflings. Elora clarifies if there are missing people that are not tieflings, which he responds no, confirming that all missing people are tieflings so far. He then gives the official statement to Jiǔtóu of not travelling alone at night, staying with any trusted companions and avoiding the city streets. Jiǔtóu then asks him of the number of missing tieflings. He replies that three has been reported missing so far, Lao, Lee and Sheng, although he is not sure of the actual number as some might have sneaked into the city unnoticed.
As for Elora's question on when the other two were reported missing, Officer Merrik shares that Lao went missing about a week and a half ago and that he was working at a smithery at The Stacks, while Lee was working for a jeweller at Dawn Square when he went missing. Jiǔtóu asks him how tieflings were regarded in Talis'Val. He responds that they are regarded like anyone else. He then awkwardly explains, while Jiǔtóu taps her guandao on her blunted horns, that tieflings are seen as keen workers and, from those that are willing to share, said that they escaped from the slavery happening in their homeland.
Changing the topic, Cam asks Officer Merrik if he is under the command of Korak. He replies no and says that Korak does not lead the military forces in the city. He mentions that his title of the Champion is ceremonial in nature, although he does have some final say on the Council's business. Since Officer Merrik now knows that a tiefling is staying at the Duck and Porter, he gets Jiǔtóu's pseudo-name Mei Li, the names of the companions accompanying her, and tells them that he will check with them often. He then leaves the tavern.
- City Watch
- Merrik Waendel, City Watch officer of Journeymen's Run division
- Unnamed City Watch guard by the South Gate
- Kari Silverstone, owner of Duck and Porters
- Houra, Kari's domesticated red fox
- Korak's former adventuring buddies
- Lao, Lee and Sheng
- Mei Li, Jiǔtóu's mother
- Unnamed Patron that Trellimar worships
- Broken Sky
- Brother Wald, priest of Feyden
- Rika Flamewind
- Elves and Humans of Feyden
- Missed Opportunity: Mark shared that Dimitriv would have had more information of the Broken Sky that has yet to be revealed.
- Parallel Culture: As Kim herself is Malaysian Chinese, her version of the tiefling culture of burping after one's meal and staying by the deceased during the wake are loosely based on certain East Asian culture, particularly the Chinese Culture.
- Brand Mark: Kim, Mark and Trott joke that the brand mark is a face of Mark with the word "consequences".
- Strawberries: Katie, as Elora, asks one of the guards of Talis'Val the directions of a place selling strawberries after seeing Kim and Trott eating some.