When Alten goes to wake Arxius for the next watch, he wants to do so without waking Meepo. If he succeeds in doing so, he beckons her to follow him and leads her down to the south room so they can have a quiet discussion for a moment. Assuming she follows, he checks to make sure that Meepo does not follow and possitions them in the doorway so he can see if anyone comes down the hallway. He whispers the following:
You seem to be growing fond of the Kobold. Don't forget this is an alliance of convenience and Kobolds are evil. They worship chromatic dragons. They practice canabilism - or close to it if they eat other sentient species. I'm afraid that when we find this Calcryx it will turn out to be a wyrmling or a bably dragon. I will be compelled to destroy it.
It has been a long and eventful day for our ranger who has shown uncharacteristic strength and courage through diplomatic negotiations, tactical decision making, and now through training her unlikely companion Meepo. Having finished target practice we now find Arxius sprawled out on her bedroll in the midst of a peaceful and dreamless sleep.
Arxius, about an hour into your slumber your peace fades as a bright white light shines into your eyes...
A constant low buzzing hum drones in your ears.
Your head aches.
You taste copper in your dry mouth.
Your stomach turns.
You feel cold hard metal underneath your fingertips.
You blink your eyes open.
A white light shines into them.
Fear washes over you once more.
You are afraid you will not be able to move.
You harden your resolve.
You try to shift your head.
You try to sit up.
You are free.
You bolt upright and find you are in a white room with glass windows and no door.
You jump off the stretcher and run to a window.
You look out.
Nobody hears you.
You pound on the window.
You close your eyes and dig deep, deeper than you have ever before.
You start to see shades of green. You hear birds and a the sound of a creek. You feel the warmth of the sun. You are in a forest, perhaps.
Something walks into your vision. It is four legged, hoofed, antlered, and white as snow.
It looks at you. It glows with a strange aura. The aura grows brighter, brighter, and brighter still until the deer is covered in a glowing white light.
The light races towards you.
You shield your eyes. You begin to fear, but instead feel warmth.
You open your eyes and you are in the white room. You yell and smash the glass with your fists. It shatters and you leap through into the blackness...
You suddenly start awake.
Your heart is pounding, but you do not feel fear, or pain.
You look around you and find you are in the Citadel, your friends beside you.
You smile to yourself. You feel like you can protect them now. You will protect them.
Arxius feels... full, she supposes is the best term for it. There is purpose and now there is identity. She will protect this group to the best of her ability, and something in her suggests her ability will suit that role just fine. It is almost as though she has created her own Clan. Vaguely she recalls The Scientist punishing The Assistant for allowing the children to form bonds. Clans are forbidden. Yes, she thinks, but so was escaping. She feels safer than she has in a very long time. Stronger. If they come for her now, let them.
[I'm taking a chance that because she woke up it's easier for Alten to draw her away]
She is smiling to herself when Alten comes for her. Her watch begins she expects and is surprised when he beckons her away from the group. A feeling almost akin to euphoria overwhelming her, she may or may not let her mind wander as to why Alten would be spiriting her away in the night. After all he is not unattractive and she thinks perhaps there might be something there. What that is she can't be sure... but a lecture is certainly not what is on her mind.
Arxius recoils slightly, frowning. The Scientist's words break through again, the warnings not to let her subjects bond. She keeps her voice low as she counters. "You mistrust him, when he has done nothing but aid us. He risked much taking us to Yusdrayl when he had been cast out. He needs us as much as we need him. And I do not appreciate being told who I can and cannot converse with. You may have Elf blood but you are not my Elder."
1. I'm not an elder. I just turned 21. And I'm just a half-breed in the eyes of elf elders.
2. I'm not telling you who you can converse with.
3. I don't trust Meepo, nor do I mistrust Meepo. He is what he is and I recognize that we need each other. That's why I called him an ally of convenience. At the time it was chosing what battle to fight. We needed allies and were not in a position to fight the Kobolds at that time.
But I know Kobolds, as a species, are evil. Chromatic dragons are evil. I'm charged by Torm to fight evil. I will cary out my holy charge because a Kobold tribe serving a Chromatic dragon is evil personified. The Cult of Tiamat almost took over Faerun a few years back. I can't allow dragons a new foothold.
How do you think this plays out? You think Meepo loves us, or will come to love us, enough to turn his back on everything he knows and stand aside when I must destroy his living god?
I will pray to Torm that's how it goes. It would pain me to have to hurt him. But I don't see him allowing me to do what I suspect I will have to do.
Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe Calcryx is just a stature and I can depart this place without a confrontation with the Kobolds. The Kobolds without a dragon to follow are not an immediate threat. I would love for that to be the case. But I'm prepared to face the reality that we don't always get what we want.
I'm sorry if that upsets you. I've come to respect you and value you as a teammate. I wanted you to be aware of what I'm afraid is coming and not have you blindsided.
"Alten," she calls out to him after a brief pause. A small smirk plays on her lips. She's not sure what makes her say it but she feels a need to reclaim that good feeling she'd had when she woke up. "I am two and twenty. Technically that makes me your elder."
Wizardry requires understanding. The knowledge of how and why magic works, and our efforts to broaden that understanding, have brought about the key advances in civilization over the centuries.
— Gimble the illusionist
Off all our characters who have experienced personal growth over the last few days Grom has certainly made the farthest strides. Drawing on the subtle weave of magic that permeates the cosmos, wizards cast spells of explosive fire, arcing lightning, subtle deception, and brute-force mind control. Their magic conjures monsters from other planes of existence, glimpses the future, or turns slain foes into zombies. Their mightiest spells change one substance into another, call meteors down from the sky, or open portals to other worlds. But, learning how to accomplish these awesome feats is no mere trifle. It takes determination, dedication, trial and tribulation to learn the intricacies of weaving magic — and many would-be mages perish in the process.
Those that do live long enough to become a master of the arcane arts pay another toll. The price that wizards pay for their mastery is that most valuable of commodities: time. It takes years of study, instruction, and experimentation to learn how to harness magical energy and carry spells around in one’s own mind. For adventuring wizards and other spellcasters who aspire to the highest echelons of the profession, the studying never ends, nor does the quest for knowledge and power.
Over the last few days Grom put his studies to the test and was rewarded with a taste of the future. For Grom each practical use of magic is confirmation that he is headed in the right direction. Having successfully cast two fire bolts, destroying quite a few enemies, and learning the limitations of magic we find Grom laying down exhausted.
Grom you feel proud and hopeful as you lay on your bedroll and exhaustion overcomes you. As your heavy eyes close and you think back on the day and your studies the lines of spells you hope to cast begin to dance across your lids. One rune in particular makes its way to the forefront of your mind and you suddenly bolt upright. You reach over to your canteen, twist of the top, and splash a few droplets of water into your palm. You utter a few words and the droplets of water suddenly race towards each other, coming together, then stretching out to make a long thin line in the palm of your hand. The line of water suddenly becomes freezing cold and expands into a long shard of ice that resembles a knife. You look down and smile at the ice knife and know that your difficult choices have not been made in vein.
As Arxius and Meepo assume their watch Meepo goes over to the dead goblins to pick at what is left of them. After a few minutes of rifling through the corpses, you hear a loud “crack” which you assume is just Meepo breaking off a choice piece. Another few minutes goes by and Arxius’ thoughts turn to Alten. Meepo wanders back over to where Arxius is resting against the wall and sits down to warm his feet by the fire while he continues to suck the marrow out of what looks like a thigh bone. He looks at Arxius and smiles offering her some of his treat, “Friend want some treat?”