Episode description[edit | edit source]
Above the waves of the Alcyonic Sea, the second sun has not yet hatched. But below its blood red light, a plan has begun to. But what sort of plan is it? Is it a former paladin’s plan to protect his family? Is it the plan of a druid and a lord to stop a threat that has grown too large, too dangerous, to let continue? Or is it something grimmer: the latest, vengeful volley in the decade long arc of enmity between one who was once a wizard and one who was once a ranger?
This week on Spring in Hieron: A Safer Second
Both in your studies and in the field, SUCCESS is not an finality. It is only an opportunity for you to find new COURSES to travel and CONUNDRUMS to consider. The world is endless, and you will never bore for a lack of things to do. But the wise mage knows to tackle these many things with FOCUS and DELIBERATION. However powerful your magic, however full your book of SPELLS, it is a fool who thinks they can do everything all at once. When you find reality bending to your WILL, you may want to take the whole of the world on your shoulders. I promise you, students. It will crush you.
-An Excerpt from the Crystalized Lectures of the Wizard Fantasmo
Plot[edit | edit source]
The party assemble in the library -- Hadrian with both Benjamin and Rosana, Fero, and Ephrim with his retainers, while Throndir waits outside with Kodiak, lining up a shot. Arrell appears in the middle of the room, where he had been hiding, invisible. The two sides talk for a moment which ends when Arrell threatens to find more leverage, prompting Fero shapeshifting into a chimera of a bear and a scorpion, with exoskeleton and tail.
Fero and Arrell exchange damage, with Fero managing to pierce through all 5 layers of Arrell's magic armour, poisoning him. Arrell damages him back with 11 points of damage, which Fero shrugs off by dropping his chimera form.
Throndir then shoots Arrell. The bullet is deflected by his shield, but he successfully knocks Arrell's staff out of his hand. Hadrian hits him with his star-sword, and Austin tells the group why Art has a "suspicious torch" marked on Hadrian's character sheet. Ephrim then summons a weapon made of the Heat and the Dark, and kills Arrell.
Arrell gets back up, revealing that while his phylactery is still intact, he cannot be killed, which leads Benjamin to put some things together. "Who could be a safer second, than your child, Hadrian?"
Fero summons fire, burning and killing Arrell once more, and the flame draws its oxygen from Fero, dealing him 1 point of damage. Arrell talks to Fero, telling him that he is not here to lie to him -- he cannot die. Benjamin attacks Arrell with Magic Missile, an attack which the wizard completely repels; "all that you know of magic you learnt from a shadow of myself." Arrell again asks for the plates, but nobody reveals that they have any knowledge of where they are -- Ephrim, for one, is lying, having been on the boat when they dropped the plates into the ocean.
Ephrim attacks arrell again, cutting off his hand, and then reaches for the staff -- failing a defy danger, which, as a result, causes Ephrim to be controlled by Arrell, who forces him to return the staff, reveal the location of the plates, and stab himself in the chest with the sword made from the Heat and the Dark. Ephrim is now at 3 hit points. Benjamin runs towards Arrell, trying to summon a counterspell and save Ephrim.
Throndir, calling on his vampiric nature against living things[note 1], communicates with his vampiric sire to learn a way of killing Arrell. She reveals that the only way for Arrell to perish for good requires Benjamin to die first. Throndir asks whether or not he can resurrect Benjamin as a vampire afterwards, to which she replies, "No need. Simply have his father intercede with the Queen." Throndir immediately shoots Benjamin. Outside, the Blood Egg shatters. Throndir jumps through the window, joining the others in the library.
Fero, realising instinctively that Throndir's attack on Benjamin must, in some way, be caused by Arrell, turns into a mountain goat (not an Ibex)[note 2], and attacks Arrell, pinning him to the ground. Art uses Hadrian's most recent move, which prevents Benjamin (his ward) from dying, in a similar manner to a mixed-success on a "Last Breath" roll.
Hadrian is instantly transported to Adularia, meeting Adelaide -- and Hella. Ali begins describing the scene. Hella is surprised to see Hadrian and Benjamin, just as Hadrian is surprised to see Hella. She asks why he is here, and Adelaide reveals that it is due to Benjamin dying. Adelaide knows that Hadrian wants his son to live, in Hieron, and not in Adularia, and is willing to facilitate, but does remind him of the cost -- something which Hella says that they can wave, due to Hadrian being her friend. However, sadly, the cost does not work like that -- it is imposed by the Heat and the Dark. Adelaide, however, does want something -- Hella to live. She has Hella explain the situation, and then indicates what would need to be done; a life given willingly, or a the creation of a new body, or something else to trick the Heat and the Dark. Hadrian asks for clarification, and Hella explains in more detail how she died, and what the stakes are. However, Hadrian understood that part; the bit he is unclear on is how he could fix it. Adelaide clarifies; either someone needs to take the mark of one touched by the Heat and the Dark that Hella was left with after the events of the previous episode, or a new body needs to be procured. Hadrian agrees, saying that either he will think of something, or he will be the one to take the mark.
The focus returns to the library, where someone needs to take some kind of action against Arrell -- otherwise, something will happen. Throndir is attempting to drain Arrell's life force, doing so with a mixed success. As a consequence, Ephrim gains the understanding that it was Throndir who caused his wound to reopen the previous night, when Throndir fed on him.
Arrell arrives in Adularia, and immediately recognises the situation, beginning to negotiate with Adelaide, offering his services as death's servant in exchange for his continued life. However, Hella cuts this off, and Adelaide agrees, sending Arrell to the gates of the Heat and the Dark. However, before he leaves, Benjamin has one final conversation with the wizard, telling him that, though he wanted to help people, he didn't go about it the right way.
Hella regrets that they couldn't use Arrell to solve her problem, but Hadrian reassures her that she did not want his body. The Friends then discuss potentially housing Hella in a new Pala-din body, to which Keith expresses some concern about, believing that Tabard had revealed that all Pala-din always had a personhood. Austin quickly denies this; Tabard was a special case of Pala-din, created to be a commander, and so created with personhood. The other Pala-din, however, only gain their individuality over time. Austin also clarifies that the mark that Hella bares must be taken from her willingly. The Friends then talk about Kingdom Hearts for a bit.
Benjamin asks about the state of the university, and Blue J, and Hella tells him that they are fine, telling him that she'll tell them he said hello, before catching herself. Benjamin expresses a desire to potentially come back to Adularia at some point. As Benjamin and Hadrian prepare to leave, Adelaide reminds Hadrian of the time frame involved in saving Hella.
Hadrian and Benjamin then wake back up in the library, where Rosana is cradling Benjamin and sobbing. The group loot Arrell's corpse, finding an unsent letter to Alyosha. Throndir makes to leave before this, not able to stomach being in the same room as Hadrian, Ephrim or Benjamin. Before he goes, Fero questions him about what happened, and he reveals what Solomon told him.
The group find part of Arrell's spellbook, which Hadrian says Sunder will be reading before Benjamin is allowed to look at it. They also find "a mark of office" worth a thousand coins; a crown that Arrell made for Samot.
The group then talk to Tabard, who reveals that he could give them an inactive Pala-din body, but that they'd need some other work on it -- either by Samot in the City of First Light, or in Samot's Tower at the centre of the Mark of the Erasure. Fero once again tries to make a new frog which could tend to the Spring plants in a sustainable way, but unfortunately fails. However, in doing so, it is revealed that there is something in Fero which is similar to the way that Samothes was born from Samol in a desire for there to be someone to help people build things, or Maelgwyn was born of Samothes and Samot as they yearned for confidence; so too is Fero similar to something born of Severea and Galenica, out of their desire for change. And so, Fero could, potentially, create something similar again.
Finally, on the journey back, where they are carrying a blank Pala-din, Benjamin sneaks out late at night to talk to Throndir, asking him if he was really, truly sure that shooting Benjamin wouldn't kill him permanently. Throndir explains his relationship to the other Golden Lance members, and, seeming convinced, Benjamin vows to talk to his dad on Throndir's behalf.
Cast[edit | edit source]
- Austin Walker
- Sylvia Clare (Ephrim)
- Art Martinez-Tebbel (Hadrian)
- Keith J Carberry (Fero)
- Andrew Lee Swan (Throndir)
- Ali Acampora (Hella)
Other Characters[edit | edit source]
Notes[edit | edit source]
- Arrell counts as a living being, in a way that animated objects -- like the bones of Samol -- do not
- This is a creature that exists in the world, running the risk that Fero could wipe out all instances of that creature. Luckily, Keith rolls a 9
References[edit | edit source]