A Dramatic Turn of Events – Recaps episodes 124-129

Galahad and Shanks seek out Fat Arguile to speak about a possible business relationship, and the Tiefling gives them the low down on what they know about the operation. He gives the two an address in the city for a meeting with the financier surrounding a new venture in Invenas. The group reunites to exchange what has developed and allows for the heavier news to follow later on. There is a lot of discussion on morality amongst the various party members. In a dream that evening Thiadikus, at least a version of him, visits Galahad and wants to get a look at Antonius’ protege and the person whom The Judge espoused respect for. Over breakfast the next day Galahad brings up his visit from Glad’s husband, and a discussion trying to sort out the news that the Constable indeed reports to someone higher than himself. Zechs then decides to inform the group of what he saw down in the Vineyard with Galahad and Glad. Eventually, he decides to give an update to Amina via the Speak with Plants spell again before the group heads off to their meeting. The results of the meeting saw them as controlling shareholders of Chubby Ts and any future potential franchises. More was to be solidified after signing NDAs and determining a proxy, but they now have, potentially, a nice source of income in about six months. With the Swift Hummingbird stocked and waiting, the party leaves the city of Nymora and makes their way west toward the Shattered Range, close to Salix’s hermitage. Days later, the group arrives at Salix’s hermitage, their former hiding place from the Web. They pause to reflect on the relief of no longer being hunted by the cult, exchanging words before settling in as the ship finds a landing spot. Just as the group gets comfortable they hear a MASSIVE explosion and upon investigation realize that the ship is under attack. Everyone rushes out and does their best to get to the scene as quickly as they can to help. Galahad and Duo take to the skies and Shanks can see the smoke from the ship beginning to grow larger while on top of a high tree. Hoshino is on the move with Arguile and uses the spell Dimension Door to get as close as they can. It’s around that time when Zechs taking in the scene realizes that this must be an ambush. Duo confirms that information and the group gets into a battle with Shanks’ past… The Wolf Pack! The fight does not look good for the group as they not only fight them but three of The Constable’s Lieutenants… Anti Salix, Anti Galahad, & The Executioner! Allies are falling, others are suffering immense damage, and others are trying to do what they can to ensure they all survive. It becomes apparent that they will have to make a tactical retreat as they are outnumbered and overwhelmed by the enemy’s immense power. There’s a moment of nervous energy as Galahad is shot out of the sky and begins to plummet, unconscious and unaware of what waits below him. Thankfully Glad was able to heal him and bring him back from unconsciousness. Upon coming to he applies Lay On Hands on himself for some healing as well, releases his wings, and regroups with the team towards safety. Everyone is doing what they can to help get some distance between the Wolf Pack, and The Constable’s lieutenants throwing just about everything they can from their bag of tricks. They follow Salix back to their hermitage where a force cage is dropped on them. It’s where they come face to face with The Constable yet again, but he is not alone. To either side of him is Shankise, an alternate version of Shanks, The Jury, and Alma, the woman who kidnapped so many children in Nymora, including Zechs and Kyver. The Constable and Hoshino stare at each other for some time, and the bard instinctively uses Dimension Door to flee the situation. Shankise is sent after him, a game of cat and mouse begins, and Hoshino uses “Seeming” to appear like one of the unassuming creatures of Sloane. Meanwhile, back at the hermitage, there is a tense conversation happening between The Constable, Alma, and the other members of Collateral. One that is seemingly stirring up Malar within Zechs, feeding on his rage towards the two figures in front of him. And we’re only getting started. The Constable is revealing more about his plans, who he serves, and WHY he does what he does. He even goes so far as to offer the group a place with him, in exchange for sparing their respective plane. No one takes the offer, but he assures them that they can take the time to mull it over. Things reach the boiling point when The Constable points out things that have been a thorn in his side and a wrench to his plans. Namely, Elrin, or it’s revealed… Arioch. With this revelation, the team looks at Arguile and Shanks for a reaction to this information. Shanks speaks with Arioch/Elrin all the while face to face with The Constable who is ALSO chatting with him. As Shanks’ head begins to spin with the information he begins to break mentally again, as we’ve seen once before at Zechs’ home in Nymora. Shanks begins to frantically remove items from his person, tossing them onto the floor before him. Eventually, The Constable and company have had enough of the team and leave, dropping the force cage. Shanks regains his faculties and Hoshino returns to the hermitage to the news of what transpired. Shanks reveals that he had a blackout and Hoshino questions his place within the group, his act of cowardice, and what the future holds for him. The discussion circles back to what the group will do with the new information about “Elrin” and check in on the crew for a status report. They receive back from Duo that the ship will need repair and that the Captain said there was a look of pity on the face of The Executioner as they acted out The Constable’s will. They realize she may have questionable loyalty to him sometime later as she is also a paladin for the Daughter of Light. The group decides to stay the night and go to Invenas to seek aid in repairing the ship. There’s also their new investment to check in on. Galahad, Shanks, Arguile, and Zechs head to Invenas to find Aeron Stormrider who would help with the repairs needed for the Swift Hummingbird. Hoshino, Glad, and Salix stay at the hermitage and assist the ship’s crew with any repairs and keep watch over them while the rest go into the city. The group collectively is hesitant about returning to Invenas given that their last arrival there went poorly. As they approach the city they let Shanks know that while he’s comfortable with his new appearance it might be best to keep it under the radar as they don’t know what the response will be to Elrin. He obliges and they head to the Vice Ward to see Iggy, who has a large chest for Arguile as per their bet on whether or not they would succeed in their attempt to free the city of The Web. They catch up and exchange pleasantries with Iggy before checking in on their investment. On the way they discuss the information that Iggy gave in regards to the Tell Tale Guild having yet to find the artifact they’ve been searching for. They go back and forth about what it could be, and the greater plans of the gods in play, and they are left to ponder the ramifications of what would happen if they found the artifact. Back at the hermitage, Hoshino begins to meditate and we see a glimpse of his story. We see his relationship with an unknown entity. It’s a story of fear, desperation, strength, hope, and more. We also get a glimpse of Sloane’s past, 4000 years ago in a place called The Serpent’s Strait. The visions and memories, during this meditation, leave Hoshino with a tear (or two) that runs down the side of his cheek. When we return to the Invenas group, they have made a pit stop to check in on their investment as they arrive at Chubby T’s. It’s there they meet the manager, Mr. Balderdash, and the “entertainment” if you wish to call it that, Little G and the Bahamuts. While some of the group seems uncertain of what they’ve entrusted their investment in, they hear out the plans for the grand opening and the future of this franchise. It’s a bit of relief and respite after an intense battle and exchange just a day before. With that, the group finally makes their way towards Aeron Stormrider. Glad, via astral projection, joins the group in Invenas and offers to help the boys out if need be. The group connects with Aeron Stormrider and explains the needs of the Swift Hummingbird. They then also inquire if he can make some improvements to the ship as the group expects that this wouldn’t be the last scuffle for the airship. Aeron explains that they’ll likely need another crystal to power the airship, but fortunately, they are naturally occurring throughout Sloane. Glad divines the location of the crystal before parting ways with the group to rest back at the hermitage. They are given some time for some light shopping before the group brings Aeron back with them to the hermitage. During this, they also take some time to gather research and find some useful information as well as items for their journey. With that the group uses Zechs’ bow, Jack of All Trades, to teleport back to the hermitage, but with some difficulty as Zechs is still getting familiar with this new ability. Reconnecting at Salix’s hermitage the group catches up with one another, and checks in with Hoshino, a bit shaken up still after his first encounter with The Constable. During the evening’s rest Shanks and Hoshino have a deep conversation ranging from their histories and beliefs, and share things that they’ve kept close to the vest. A conversation that started as warm and thoughtful, became one that brought with it a third uninvited guest to that conversation. Arioch, the Archduke of Chaos himself, whispering and planting the seeds of chaos into Shanks, and leaving an unease in the air.

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