Geometric Archipelago:Dragons on Semicircle Island/Chapter 20
Chapter #20: A Game of Ribbits
--- firtree is now known as Vivi_ <mainstreet> ---BEGIN SESSION---
<mainstreet> You enter the President's office apparently without incident thanks to Heather's authorizations and fast-talking. It's a simply but elegantly furnished room. There are three exits, including the one you just came in, and a guard posted at each exit. A small classical wood table sits in the middle, and the President sitting behind it. Standing next to it is someone that looks pretty similar to Lauren. You see a potted plant in the corner without an exit, and two more guards standing a fair bit behind the President. A large bookcase can be found on one side.
<mainstreet> The President looks quite shocked to see your group, as does Cecilia. "Now what's all this here?" the President demands irritably. "I don't think this large crowd here was scheduled..." he notices all of his children, including Lauren, who changes out of cat form. "...just what is going on here? Children, what are you doing?!"
<mainstreet> "We're here to remove that impostor. The real Lauren is right here," Heather points out coolly. "And you somehow have been convinced that that *fraud* is real, and that the real one isn't. But you don't dare tell *all* of us we're fooled like this!"
<mainstreet> Cecilia looks around slowly. "No. No. YOU are the impostors! All of you! Guards, kill them all! I will assist!" she yells suddenly, pulling a sword out of nowhere and starting to sing. The song is actually incredibly good, although you don't recognize it.
<mainstreet> A large black dog appears out of nowhere and tries to take a bite out of Nenni!
<mainstreet> A fire elemental also appears from nowhere, attempting to slam into Ascii!
<mainstreet> Unfortunately for the elemental, it only manages to slam into the table, setting it on fire!
<Ascii> Ascii looks on. "Nice one, bra."
<mainstreet> Cecilia herself seems to move around... and move around a bit more... while not accomplishing anything.
<mainstreet> Kaitlin grits her teeth and simply fires off Scorching Ray at the impostor.
<mainstreet> The rays go... straight through her. Kaitlin curses. "Illusion!"
<mainstreet> Guard #5 makes a straight run and attempts to stab Ascii with his sword.
<Ascii> Ascii snorts as the blade (and the guard) just sort of bounce off. "C'mon, HIT me!"
<Nenni> Nenni studies the president for a second and gleans that he's somehow prevented from doing or saying much just at the moment. Then he darts underneath the burning desk and manifests True Seeing.
<mainstreet> Nenni: You now see Cecilia just fine. It looks like the fire elemental and Shaow Mastiff, as you now recognize it, were the only things she had hidden.
- Hildyr looks at the guard next to her with contempt, and simply walks away over to the invisible Cecilia and takes a stab at finding her with the rapier
<mainstreet> Unfortuntaely, since Hildyr is trying to hit an invisible target, she fails to find her.
<Ascii> "No, Hildyr! Swing, not thrust!"
<mainstreet> Heather frowns and doesn't think she can contribute anything useful. Yet.
<Vivi_> Aeth attempts to find the invisible person and bite the meany one that Mistress doesn't like.
<mainstreet> A guard runs up to Hildyr and tries to stab her!
<mainstreet> Unfortunately, he's so far out of balance that he ends up stabbing wildly... and ends up poking Cecilia in the arm! It's right on the metal of her bracers, so she doesn't take any damage, but she's suddenly visible again. She gives the guard a glare but continues singing.
<mainstreet> Allan runs up and tries to slash at Cecilia with his swords!
<mainstreet> Cecilia laughs off the blows.
<mainstreet> Somehow, that laugh manages to integrate beautifully into her song.
<mainstreet> Heather pulls out the wand she was given and fires an attack with it.
<mainstreet> Cecilia suddenly finds herself unable to move!
<Ascii> "Nice one, Heather!"
<mainstreet> "Take THAT!"
<Ascii> Staying near the sisters to maintain his contractually-obligated protection of noncombatants (i.e. Heather), Ascii issues forth a quick prayer...if you can call it that. "Kill 'em all, and let Pelor sort 'em out!"
<Ascii> He begins glowing with an aura of divine power!
<mainstreet> A guard attempts to smack Allan.
<mainstreet> He succeeds, slashing Allan a bit with his sword.
<mainstreet> Another guard makes for Lauren.
<mainstreet> Lauren is also slashed up a bit.
<BLusk> Hans whips out his longsword and goes after Guard 5 after a pause to say thus: "I had a cousin who used a rapier. The name always made him snicker." He then attacks the guard outright.
<mainstreet> Lauren contemplates various spellcasting... then shrugs and turns into a tiger.
<mainstreet> She canters over to the side of the room near Cecilia.
- Vivi_ wiggles her hands at Cecilia and attempts to turn her into a frog.
<mainstreet> You hear the sound of clapping behind you all.
<mainstreet> With his attacker now a toad, Doug manages to shake off the domination. "...I was wrong. I apologize. Guards, stand down immediately! That is the real Lauren, the tiger, not the toad!"
<mainstreet> Nenni: Hmmm. You didn't notice this before, but you now see both Danielle and Leo in the room, both invisible. It was Leo, in fact, that was clapping. He seems to be moving towards the toad.
<BLusk> Hans scoops up the toad
<mainstreet> Hans: You wisely avoid the Shadow Mastiff's position as you proceed around to collect the toad.
<mainstreet> "Hey, can someone put out this fire please?" Doug asks pointedly.
- Nenni interrupts the combat for some late-breaking news, telling everyone that Leo has been spotted in the vicinity.
<Ascii> "Hold it right there, Leo. So, what, you just sat around on your big blue ass and waited for us to do the work for you?"
- Vivi_ uses Mage Hand to grab the potted plant in the back of the office, and dumps the dirt on the desk flames.
<mainstreet> Leo suddenly makes himself visible. "Essentially, yes. Well done, I must say."
<mainstreet> Leo throws a bag at Ascii's feet. "A reward for the work you have done. You will find I am not unreasonable. Now I will take custody of the traitor."
<mainstreet> Doug slams his fist on the desk. "I think not. She has committed crimes and must be held accountable under Island law. No vigilante justice here!"
<mainstreet> "Just try to stop me, 'President'. I assure you that would be a move you will regret."
<mainstreet> The President grimaces, knowing full well his guards aren't up to the task by themselves. He looks imploringly at the Party.
<BLusk> "I think not, Leo. I have a pet frog now, and you'll not be taking it away from me."
- Nenni is lurking under the smouldering desk, and manifests Animal Affinity and Feat Leech to improve the DCs of his powers.
<Nenni> Then he attempts to hijack Leo's mind, rewriting his memory of the encounter since their arrival with a fictional account saying Cecilia was disintegrated and perished in combat.
<mainstreet> Leo gets the feeling of disintegration... "Oh right. Thank you for obliterating her for me. Now, I will be going." Leo turns and walks for the door.
<mainstreet> The President still looks around. "Do we really just want to let one of the most notorious criminals in Rainbow City just walk out?" he muses to himself and to your Party.
<Ascii> "That depends. Are you going to pay us what you owe us for finding Lauren *and* add on a big fat bonus for capturing a dangerous gang leader?"
<mainstreet> "Did you bring back the mayor or the priest safely?" the President shoots back. "You could, you know, do something of concomitant value."
<Vivi_> Visions of a "pet" woman being flung across the room rise up in Vivi's sight, and something clicks. "No." She begins to cast.
<Ascii> "Hey, we found both of them! And only one of them was dead! And he was evil!"
<mainstreet> "Wait, what? ...Never mind, there will be time to talk later. Guards! Stop him!" the President commands
<Hildyr> "You're all out of your league. Leave the fighting to us."
<mainstreet> Kaitlin looks around and gently touches Ascii.
<mainstreet> Ascii: You feel like the hero you were always meant to be!
- Nenni thinks, and all it took was a woman's touch...
<mainstreet> A guard heads for the wall to try to help pin Leo in.
<Ascii> Ascii kicks the bag away, and cracks his knuckles. "Stand down, Leo, or you'll have every officer on the island after you. Assuming you survive the righteously-empowered, Pelorian-sponsored ass-kicking we'll inflict first."
<mainstreet> Leo sneers and pulls out his sword. "So now you're just going to harass me, is that it? Fine then. I will eliminate everyone in this room!"
<mainstreet> "And whoever was stupid enough to attempt to electrify me, I'm a blue dragon!"
<mainstreet> "Well, half-dragon. But still!"
<Hildyr> "You'll be red by the time I'm done with you."
- Nenni rushes up to Leo and tries to turn him into a Flesh Lump!
- Vivi_ makes a mental note to check her books for color immunity correlations before fighting a dragon kin next time.
<mainstreet> "What was that supposed to do, exactly?" Leo sneers at the cat.
- Nenni licks him ineffectively.
<Ascii> "Fuse your flesh together into a horrifying unrecognizable mass of unreasonable pain and inhumane suffering."
<mainstreet> "Your cat isn't very good at this, is he?"
<Ascii> "Is that why? I just assumed it didn't work because you're already a hideous freak."
<mainstreet> Leo's eyes start to smolder.
<Ascii> Ascii grins.
<BLusk> "Wait, what? You should have tried something truly painful, like 'Inflict Wisdom'. He might actually get smart enough to realize how stupid he's being."
- Hildyr starts walking over to Leo. "You know, I don't talk a lot, but I think you at least deserve to know why I hate you, and why I'm going to kill you." She follows her words with the rapier.
<mainstreet> SLASH! The blade cuts sharply into Leo.
<mainstreet> Heather does the only thing Heather knows how to do.
<mainstreet> And yet again, she manages to Hold Leo in place! Or so it seems.
<Hildyr> "Can he still hear when he's like that?"
<mainstreet> "I have no idea. I'm new to all this," Heather admits.
<Ascii> "Yes, he's paralyzed, not time stopped."
<Ascii> "Aren't you, ugly?"
<mainstreet> Leo doesn't do much but growl.
<Vivi_> Aeth flies toward the frozen enemy and attempts to sting him.
<mainstreet> The President pulls out a crossbow from... somewhere, and fires a single bolt at Leo.
<mainstreet> Leo's armor stops the shot, however.
<mainstreet> A guard circles around and tries to hit Leo.
<mainstreet> Leo takes the hit, but it doesn't do much
<mainstreet> Allan also takes a swing with his blades.
<mainstreet> Leo suddenly leaps back into action as Allan tries to swing at him, having faked the paralysis! "Haha you idiots, I'm immune to that!"
<mainstreet> The first blade misses cleanly, then the second blade flies out of Allan's hand and ends up embedded into the wall behind him.
<Ascii> "Are you sure you didn't just forget you were immune?"
<mainstreet> "...Let's never speak of this again, no matter what happens."
<Ascii> "Agreed. Also, SHEEEAAARRRGH!" Ascii, high on magical buffs and testosterone, charges toward Leo's position.
<mainstreet> "Well, drat! I was sure I did something useful!" Heather sighs, and picks up a crossbow.
<mainstreet> A guard moves into position next to the President, just in case, and another gets closer to the action and waits cautiously.
<BLusk> Hans saunters over, casting a spell to try on Leo.
<mainstreet> Leo shrugs off the spell.
<mainstreet> Leo looks around carefully, trying to determine the greatest threat. He goes into... a RAAAAAAAGE!
<BLusk> Hans slaps him. Just to give him an excuse.
<mainstreet> Leo takes his sword and slashes at Hildyr. Hard.
<mainstreet> Hildyr is... alive. That's about... all that we can say, after that carnage.
<Hildyr> "Ah...that's...not good enough!"
<mainstreet> Lauren roars and realizes she has to bring out the big weapons. She casts a spell!
<mainstreet> Lauren roars in satisfaction as the spell connects, and...
<BLusk> Hans gathers up the second frog. "Now I have a matched set!"
<Hildyr> "Hey, now, I said I'd kill him. I was going to have a dramatic speech and everything!"
<Vivi_> "You can still step on him, if you can get him away from Hans," Vivi points out.
<mainstreet> "He almost killed you," Heather observes dryly.
<Nenni> "I suggest we buy the pair of them an aquarium and they can both live happily ever after together in it."
<Ascii> "Wait, what!? Aww, COME ON! I'm all buffed and everything and I didn't get to hit anyone even once!"
<Ascii> Ascii stomps off toward the desk, scowling.
<BLusk> "Just put them in an aquarium in the President's office."
<Vivi_> "You might heal Hildyr, though," Vivi points out to Ascii.
- Nenni oggles at seeing Leo nude with True Seeing.
<BLusk> Hans shrugs and casts Cure Moderate Wounds on Hildyr.
- Nenni thinks half-dragon-humanoids are funny-lookin.
<mainstreet> The President rubs his head and sits back down in his chair. "That's... more excitement than I ever wanted to have. Lauren... my *real* Lauren... I apologize unreservedly.... I need to rest, I think... reflect and perhaps atone... eventually. For now, please take charge of the cleanup here. Heather, if you could arrange for the payment for these ladies and gentlemen?" Lauren shifts back into human form and frowns at him, but nods. Heather nods as well.
- Nenni whispers to Vivi via Aethnet, "So are we going back to the bar, to the private chambers of Leo, and telling his entourage they are liberated?"
<Ascii> Ascii stomps back over to Hildyr, still grumbling angrily, and casts Cure Critical Wounds on her.
<Vivi_> ("Yes, I think we should. After we get paid.")
- Hildyr eyes the magic items left on the ground. "I would like to keep my word, but I could be...persuaded to stand down."
<Nenni> ("I'm donating my payment to the local Arcana Academy... so I'm not fussed about payment. Ready to head off when you are.")
<BLusk> "Lauren, could you set up a nice aquarium for me to put these frogs in?"
<Ascii> Ascii then glances around, and pockets the bag of gold Leo tossed at him earlier. He's principled, but not *that* principled.
<mainstreet> Lauren shrugs. "Just go buy one at the general store," she tells Hans. "You probably can keep them locked up better than we can."
<BLusk> "Selling them to the Bayou Kitchen down the road isn't very nice."
<mainstreet> Ascii: You find 1000 gold in the bag.
<Ascii> "Hans we should really un-toad them and turn them over to the Prez here. Shouldn't we, sir?"
<Vivi_> ("NO!") Vivi objects strongly. ("They won't be able to keep him contained if we untoad him!")
<mainstreet> Hildyr: You find a halberd, a longbow, full plate armor, two rings, a Belt of Giant Strength, a Wand of Invisibility, and Wings of Flying on the ground where Leo was. You sense everything here is magical.
<Ascii> Ascii investigates the plate armor.
<Ascii> "What do you mean? Throw him in a dark hole in the ground and that's that."
<Hildyr> "Hmm. Anyone know anything about magic rings?"
<mainstreet> Ascii: Wow, this is SWEET armor. +5 Full Plate with Spell Resistance (17) and Light Fortification, as well as a glamer to look like normal streetwear.
<Ascii> "Holy Pelor!"
<BLusk> Hans rolled his eyes, then turned on the charm. "Say, do you have an anti-magic cell you can stick these two into, Mr. President?"
<Hildyr> "From the way those attacks felt, I'd guess Leo is strong enough to break out of most cells."
- Vivi_ goes back to copying the Teleport spell into her spellbook, while keeping an ear on the discussion of Leo's fate.
<mainstreet> The President sighs, having been caught on his way out. "For the impostor? I might, yeah. I have no interest in the gang leader, though. He's been a total menace, and frankly, the report is going to read killed in combat. If we attempt to contain him, he'll either break out or hire people to break him out."
<mainstreet> Heather slips back into the room and hands Ascii a large bag. "Your payment. For services rendered. Also..." she frowns. "Meet me outside, please? Both of you?" she looks at Vivi as well and then walks out of the room again.
<Vivi_> "Let Hildyr stomp him," Vivi suggests.
<mainstreet> Lauren starts picking up Cecilia's goods and placing them in a small box marked EVIDENCE.
<Ascii> Ascii glances at Vivi, then follows Heather outside.
<Nenni> ("No. Let's not kill something defenceless. It can live a simple life.")
- Vivi_ follows Ascii, but leaves Aeth in the room so he can overhear the conversation for her.
<Ascii> ("What if he retains his intelligence? We might get an angry toad coming after us for revenge."
<Nenni> ("He can't. Research it.")
<Vivi_> ("The last thing we need is him accidentally coming under a Dispel Magic spell later.")
<Hildyr> ("I don't know about this magic stuff, but, hey, I'm fine if I get to kill him AND take some of his items.")
<BLusk> "Mr. President, that's fine. In a day or so, the odds are, he'll be nothing but a simple toad, and you can release him into the wild, as far as I'm concerned. But, holding him that long would be the smart thing to do."
<mainstreet> Kaitlin and Danielle suddenly vanish somewhere.
<mainstreet> The President frowns. "I think you've proven yourself more capable of doing that than I can. I allowed myself to get controlled by a fake daughter."
<mainstreet> "As I said, I believe we can hold the impostor. We have antimagic. But this gang leader... I would rather not."
<mainstreet> Heather goes outside and looks at Ascii briefly, then focuses on Vivi. "Look, today I had... well, frankly, more fun than I've ever had... all the things I thought were fun... just turned out... to be empty. This wand," she holds it out for Vivi. "You can have it back if you want. I want... I want to learn what you are doing. And I'd like to travel with you. For a while, at least."
<Vivi_> "Really?" Vivi says, surprised. "I'm fine with that. And you can keep the wand."
<Ascii> "Isn't that *my* wand? Feh, keep it, I don't like them anyway. As for adventuring...Heather, this is dangerous work. Like, really super dangerous. Leo nearly killed my friend in there in one shot, and there's plenty more like him out there."
<mainstreet> "Thanks!" Heather pulls it back to herself. "Yeah, I don't think me staying here is doing anyone any good. Especially since I think Lauren and Allan are going to be picking the pieces of Father up for a while. And I don't think I'm the right person to do that. I think I've been using him myself, too much."
<mainstreet> Heather looks at Ascii. "I know. But what's the alternative? I waste my life and just die? I spend time doing the politics games like Father... which I don't really like anyway? Yes, it's dangerous, but, well... so is being in a family surrounded by dragons. Especially with Lauren just increasing our connections on that front."
<Ascii> "Hmm. Well, if you really want to, I guess you can come with us. We'll look out for you as best we can, teach you what we know. Which admittedly isn't much in my case."
- Vivi_ nods. "I'd be happy to teach you everything I know. I have SO MANY books for you to read! It will be wonderful."
<mainstreet> Heather grins. "That sounds awesome."
- Vivi_ reaches into her bag and pulls out All You Want To Know About Arcana by Professor Brainard. "Start with this."
<mainstreet> Heather nods, opens it, and gets to reading.
<Ascii> "And this." Ascii puts his (very heavy) mace into her other hand.
<Vivi_> "And you'll probably need to read this one," she adds, pulling out Just How Many Levels Does Reality Have? by The Traveling God. Vivi stacks it on top of the other book without waiting.
- Vivi_ starts looking through her stacks of books, wondering how to prioritize them.
<mainstreet> "Hey, I can't read a book on top of an open book wait!" Heather falls to the ground in a small cloud of dust.
<mainstreet> Heather picks herself up slowly. "Next time, one at a time please," she says, handing the second book back to Vivi.
<Vivi_> "But you need this one, too..." Vivi says, trying to hand Heather a third book.
<mainstreet> Heather sighs and puts her face near Vivi's. "I respect you a lot, but I can Only. Read. One. Book. At. A. Time!"
- Vivi_ finally notices Heather having fallen down, and gathers the extra books back into her backpack. "Well, reading more than one book at a time would be a useful skill, but fine."
<Ascii> "Books are ovver-rated. You need to build some strength so you can wear proper armor." Ascii taps his chest with his fist.
<mainstreet> Heather frowns at Ascii. "I don't know much about this, but I do know that armor causes arcane spells to fail."
<Ascii> "Oh, a spellcaster? Yeah, I *guess* you could do that too. I guess." He looks mildly disappointed.
<mainstreet> "Hey, you do that too, you just have to do it through the gods. I'm... not that type of person. No offense."
<Ascii> "Yeah, I understand that. Not everyone can be *totally faithful* like I am, eh heh heh..." He glances around as if expecting someone to be eavesdropping on him.
<mainstreet> ---END SESSION---