Search for Dimlai
Week 6, Cleaning up loose ends
[We'll begin the action a few subjective seconds after the assassination attempt on Count Riotri but first an editorial note: in previous logs, Lorterrini was mis-identified as Lord Terrini. We regret the error. Now, on with the log....]
We take a few moments to stun the guard who managed to survive the grenade explosions, then head back to Co-Dominion/Helene to try in divine where in the Hreme Dimlai had teleported to when we deactivated the psilencers. Three places seem obvious: Kelmerian Manor, Lady Salindera's demense, or somewhere in the Black Mage's castle--or perhaps his hiding place somewhere deep in the bedrock of Hreme! (This might even have been a Holmesian insight, if it weren't so obvious....)
Opening a brief window a few objective seconds after the assassination attempt, we find that either luck or logic is with us and Dimlai is there. Relieved, we rejoin Lady Salindera and Lorterrini and inform them of the successful attempt.
"Say, that was quick," Lorterrini pipes up.
We briefly discuss whether scrying by Hremish mages will detect our actions and how and when to retrieve Dimlai from Telmeric's hiding place. After some discussion, we determine that while it can be determined that some kind of magic is involved, the actual nature will be fairly inexplicable but Salindera is concerned that the explosions and the rescues of Dimlai and Lorterrini will be connected. She opines that the Black Guard would certainly interrogate them if they were returned and the Kelmerian family would be at risk if they were not returned.
While pondering this problem, we retrieve Dimlai. A few seconds after we spotted her, we open a window and find her heading for Telmeric's cabinet/door. We use a little finesse and have our door waiting just inside the cabinet with Salindera standing within view for reassurance. Dimlai steps through after a few false starts and is pleasantly surprised at our speed in handling the assassination attempt.
We ask Dimlai about the situation and she agrees that something should be done. What we have managed was technically impressive but nearly invisible to the Black Guard and the rumor mills in Marlin. She suggests a more impressive (but risky) display of magic and power, enough to convince the Guard that she had sufficient power to destroy Riotri and gain the respect of the Black Guard, hoping by this means to avoid retaliation against her family.
She adds that the leader of the Black Guard would be "suitable" for such a demonstration, being a man of vile and wicked actions. Dimlai prepares several spells for protection involving illusions of a dramatic appearance and suitable noises, as well as walls of force and protections from physical weapons. We prepare our weapons and Dimlai prepares a few illusions to correspond to our firing of the weapons to make it appear that she is causing the damage.
Chris opens a door into a large hall, just a few minutes after the explosions, where many of the Guard are milling about trying to find out what happened. Dimlai steps through wearing an illusion of a dark and fiery red aura, her hair crackling with power, and her cloak billowing, and raises a wall of force. Almost immediately, one of the Guard fires a crossbow bolt, which both Kate and Lorilei try to counter with disflorgers.
The bolt lands but the crossbowman disappears. Dimlai covers his disappearance with an illusion of a fiery consumption. Ashleigh alertly uses his telekinesis to divert a second crossbow bolt while Dimlai puts up another wall of force. She screams at the second guardsman and casts an illusion of a beam of light striking him. Lorilei's disflorger does the real work and the second guardsman is finished.
Dimlai starts to leave but first tries to pull the bolt from her side. She faints but, fortunately, she is able to cast one last stylish illusion: the guards see her sneer and toss the bolt she pulled from her side back at them before walking away. The guards seem suitably impressed as Kate levitates Dimlai back through the door. Lorilei performs some healing magic and we put Dimlai to bed to rest.
We rest also, keeping a watch in shifts and letting Salindera and Lorterrini do most of the fussing over Dimlai. The next morning, as soon as Dimlai is ready, we open a window to show her how her encounter went, and the aftermath.
After Dimlai's departure from the large hall, the guardsmen are in chaos. Her vanishing causes some of the guards to realize that it's now empty and they quickly grab the burned and bloody crossbow bolt. "Someone show it to the count," pipes up one mind-present guardsmen. A team goes to find Riotri, in vain. They spot the guard we killed and then notice the smoke coming from Riotri's room. Cautiously, the lead guardsmen leans around the doorjamb, then yells: "FIRE!".We watch a few more amusing highlights of the guardsmen thrashing about then decide that it is time to return everyone to Kelmerian Manor. We arrive just outside the gates of the manor a few objective minutes after the rescue. The manor is astonished at the return of Lorterrini and Dimlai and the sudden worries about Riotri's guardsmen are quelled when Dimlai reassures her father, Findlorin, of their safety. Findlorin seems to take an special interest in Salindera but is otherwise gracious, if somewhat confused, and invites us all to stay for the evening meal.
Kumner spots us and catches Ashleigh's eye, leading her into his room behind the kitchen where he tells her that Salindera is a spitting image of Dimlai's mother. He then proceeds to babble on at enormous length about trivial family details. Fortunately, this fills the time between our arrival and dinner and Kumner sneaks Ashleigh back through the kitchen and into the meal hall where the serious questioning begins.
Dimlai is able to tell the enough of the truth to make a believable impression that she engineered her own escape and was able to kill Riotri and the guardsmen. She also says that she met us for the first time that afternoon and that we were responsible for transporting her and Lorterrini home. A few more details and concerns are exchanged but the meal is excellent and the company enjoyable.
After the meal we manage to have a few quiet moments with Dimlai and Salindera. We warn them that we will be crossing Telmeric's path in their future although that event is in our past. Dimlai nods in understanding. We then tell her that, well, we'd like to be her friend. Dimlai is taken aback momentarily: she mumbles something about it being heartless not to offer her friendship--and also foolishly stupid not to--and does so, graciously.
We spend some more time making idle chatter when Ashleigh and Alag recall a small detail: Alag conjures up a picture of Henderson as Ashleigh asks Dimlai to send him our greetings when she next sees him. We also set up a rendezvous with her in three objective years at Salindera's demense.
(We also contact Cantrel by telepathy and ask him to get outside the castle whenever it is convenient for him and we'll pick him up.)
We spend a good night's sleep at the manor and in the morning, some of us make arrangements for training: Alag wants to learn several months worth of magic; Chris would also like to learn as well. Lady Salindera is pleased to offer training: she hasn't had a student in a while.
We consult our memories of our time on Hreme and determine that we need to return shortly after we departed Salindera's for Marlin. This would give Alag and Chris about 10 months objective time before they will have to leave to avoid looping with the first time that they met the Black Mage. This seems agreeable to all parties and, after deciding on the time of pick-up, Salindera and Alag are dropped off at her home.
[the end...for now...]
Copyright © 1998, Jim Burrows. All Rights Reserved.