Last time: We hold a contest to see who wins the ring of jumping, Riaeki does some Stunts, we get dolled up to go out to the club, go to the club, Sharzad accidentally seduces someone who works for the family, gets offered a job, Sharzad attempts to do some mobwork, gets interrupted by a kiss (rude), apprehends the drug addict friend, covers their debt to get a job, offers the drug addict friend a job, Afa and Nalia ABANDON US, and Sharzad and Riaeki have a very non-standard Declaration, resulting in Riaeki kissing Sharzad, and Riaeki running out the door.
We pick up with Nalia and Afa, with Nalia eavesdropping. They gossip- Afa’s noticed that Sharzad’s ‘sparkly-eyed’, but is surprised that Riaeki kissed first. Afa composes a strange, farcical love song story of the events that is Very Much For Everyone Here. After that… bawwdy tale, Afa tells the story of her first kiss with her girlfriend, which involved jumping out of a tree to overcome height differences.
Sharzad, stunned, waits a few moments to go after Riaeki- but decides better halfways across the square and heads back into the tavern, playing knives to get out some emotion. And Riaeki is running.
The city around Riaeki, as she runs, is Calm, Completely Still, and Quiet. She runs and runs, through the entertainment district, past the huge elevators, until finally reaching a strange, high-arched bridge heading into the sky-ward. Finally, she ascends to the Statue, and she gets in it. She looks up at the statue and asks, “Is this allowed? Am I allowed this?” There’s no response. “I didn’t expect an answer, but you seem to have an opinion on everything I do, so I thought you’d have rules. But. If you won’t come down and talk to me about it, then I’ll do what I want.” Suddenly, she notices someone. A young woman, in her late teens, perhaps a half-elf, perhaps an aasimar? Her skin is silver, her skin a warm brown. She’s perching crosslegged on the fountain, and says, “Hi!”
They discuss the stormfather- her Uncle asked her to check in on Riaeki, but didn’t give lots of details- and after veering into plot-relevant material, they turn back to the issue at hand: whether or not Riaeki is allowed to have her own problems. She mentions that she loved someone once- the High Elf depicted in the statue. She says that Riaeki is allowed to liver her own life, and reassures Riaeki that she’s not going to be turned to dust when her job is done. They discuss being undead vs. Alive Again, the angel clarifies that Riaeki is the latter. Riaeki asks a personal question: “If Iroth had come for him, and you couldn’t do anything about it, how could you keep going?” She responds, “It’s hard to remember how limited you feel. It was a long time ago- I’m not sure. I think I would’ve become worse than I was if that had happened.”
“That’s what I was afraid of.”
“He became worse than he was after I left.”
“That’s the other thing that I was afraid of.”
“He always had that in him.”
Riaeki says that she doesn’t know how the find grace, and she doesn’t know what it is to look for it in herself. But she finds it the person who fights next to her- in the thing that happens when they’re together. The angel clarifies that divinity is inside all of us, and that’s how the gods were made. The angel lives, and Riaeki realizes it’s dawn (and Riaeki misty steps in response), and heads back to the tavern, arriving just as the dawn ccomes to full swing.
Sharzad had stayed up the whole night playing knives, and was asleep draped over a chain. Riaeki slips the ring of jumping on her finger. Sharzad wakes up though, seeing Riaeki for a second before she dissappears through misty step. Sharzad puts away the knives, and goes to sleep, stopping for a second upon realizing that Riaeki was inside.
The next morning, Afa, Nalia, and Riaeki get breakfast, while Selene and Sharzad take food, discuss northern dating traditions, and mercenary terms. They return and decided on how to deal with the mob, and choose mob names.
They head to the mob, are asked to give over their items. Afa keeps her rod, Riaeki keeps her sword, and Nalia’s staff. They enter. Sharzad messes up Afa’s name, calling her Nelly Hamara, and nalia on the spot chooses the name chaos, and leads the group to meet the Board. Inside, we see a halfling with blonde hair- who Afa recognizes. Afa introduces herself, the halfling doesn’t react much, and the man Sharzad met last night introduces himself as Khataar. They lay down the ground rules: cross them, we die, if we join up permanent-like, we get more cash. He offers 100 gold each for the job of clearing out this haunted house. We discuss terms, and head out. And as we leave, Robin the halfling follows us. Riaeki confronts Robin, and they talk- he knows who Afa is. He explains that Afa is Fae-folk, and that means she has no soul. We… disagree. Riaeki proposes we kill him, bu Afa disagrees.
Robin leads us to the Haunted House (taking a route over some very precarious bridges (rude)).It’s a single long building, two stories high. It’s… rough down here. People are on edge of death all around us. We approach a woman sitting on the stoop: “So you want to clear this place out again?” Robin: “Yep.” Sharzad goes to fix the ball for some kids. The woman asks why Sharzad did what she did, and she lies, badly, before Afa makes her tell the truth. Rila (the woman) explains that Things tend to move in when buildings get abandoned. The Things like kids. Riaeki asks about how the monsters hunt, and when the kids get Taken. We ask some questions about the beast together, deciding to consecrate any Remains we find, and Afa asks Riaeki to sense what’s within the building. Robin takes a moment to insult Afa one last time before entering, and Sharzad protests. Robin explains: he hates Afa because he believes she’s a child killer, and Riaeki lies about also killing children. Sharzad notices that Riaeki is lying, and Robin is not. We head inside, Robin leading. We head up to the second floor- and nearby, on the wall, is a small dark handprint. Bad.
We discuss tactics- perhaps Afa could scream like a child, amplified by prestidigitation? Riaeki wants not to fight in the hallway- she opens up a door, and we hear the sound of a laughing child. We Worry, but also some discussion of spirits, we enter the room. Nalia sees a face in the wall. We discuss consecrations. Sharzad hears a voice in the hall, and Riaeki sees a door open in the hall, with a childlike figure peeking out of it, before ducking back away. We discuss, and Sharzad tries to feel the Spirits within the place.
The spirit appears, and demands we entertain her. Riaeki attempts to Turn her with Divinity, but it doesn’t work. Afa sings, and Nalia makes dancing lights. Sharzad continues to meditate, while Riaeki reads the creatures’ mind. It’s old, and playful, and very dead. She dives deeper- it’s so old, it’s forgotten so many thing. Sharzad consecrates her weapon, and fires upon the creature.