The Happy Muggers

Flashback Session 6: Showdown

Wherein it all ends and begins anew.

The gates of the Spiral Palace, easing open with a gliding motion at the faintest wind, are slightly more trouble to bypass than the guards who had flanked it, and though the formal garden within hold a multitude of places to hide, planning an attack on any interlopers, no such attack is made and we find ourselves opening the doors of the impressive building just as a magical device, its purpose clearly (to your humble narrator’s trained eye) some sort of transportation, glimmers before us and deposits a large, wingéd beastly thing, who though he looks nothing like himself straightaway self-identifies as Kalbon, whereupon I attempt a charade of offering our services to him and his allies, they being the new and likely long-term power on the island, and though he seems interested in the offer he asks a few too many questions and we instead must turn our trick into a surprise, which goes badly the moment a sword is drawn, as the very spirals of the palace leap from their foundations, swing too quickly to be believed, and drive little Lulu into the tile flooring, leaving nothing behind but a stain on the floor and a rage in the eye of Saya, the now-departed fairy’s blood sister, who in an uncharacteristic fit of good sense runs not at the perpetrators of the foul deed but at the master of the house, drawing her sword across the scaly skin and quickly sheathing it again in hopes that the spirals might not be disturbed by her if she does so, a trick which seems to work well enough, the spirals settling back into their edifices as the rest of the party scatters away from them, following her lead with quick strikes on the demonic form Kalbon has assumed, which goes as well as can be expected but does little to address the loss of our comrade, even as it hastens and then accomplishes the loss of Kalbon.

After ensuring that there was truly no hope of a recovery for Lulu, and after assessing the benefits of a continued assault versus a renewed attack another day, it is decided that we should make the passage through the portal that Kalbon has used, KD leading (as he always does) the charge into the danger, which is, when we emerge, slowly descending a vast crystal staircase, clothed in the borrowed skin of Caerwyn, though we all know her truly to be Soryth, her beauty stolen from the exhausted body of Julianna, who lays strewn across a settee in the corner, looking quite the worse for the encounter, which state will not be improved when she discovers that her love is dead, if she does not know already based on the state of the hag, who smiles at us with stolen teeth as she beckons two xivorts out of the shadows and toward us, which only serves to push KD into action, and before a blink he is at her throat, his focused sword drawing blood– stolen or not I have no idea– which sprays across the marble floors just as Saya follows along, her sword finding the perfect opening and digging deep into borrowed flesh, but then those stolen teeth smile again, and Soryth is suddenly between us all, and KD’s sword flashes and Saya’s sword rings out and we are all compelled– told– forced by the True Ruler of the Island to lash out at those who intrude upon her domain, and the blood on the marble is mine, now, and KD’s, and Saya’s, and in another moment the blood streaks as KD falls, his body sliding and then falling still forever, a moment later mimicked by Saya’s lifeless husk, her blonde hair stained with the gore, and when the hag calls out for Veleris and I to run lest we join our friends, my smile is true when I ask why I would care and why I would run, for they were no friends of mine and I have barely begun to learn the wonders of this Island, and when Veleris and I offer our services this time we mean it, and when she accepts them we know that the future holds many a year of study… and a clear path to power beyond anything we’ve yet seen.

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