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Chapter 3: Another way

 
Chapter 3: Another way

The party does not have a lot of time to take in the sight of Nymeria before she swoops past her sister to sit before you. Now, Tailen . . . I would very much hate to tell mother about what you instructed these five obedient souls to do to me, and see you tortured for all eternity in of the pits Lolth saves for those who go against her authority. She grins at the older Drow, or not. But there's no point to it, since I am already the favorite, no? So, why don't you leave so I can talk to them, hmm?

The drow woman hesitates, a flicker of fear flying across her eyes before she settles herself down. I want to punish . . .the disobedience. The betrayal. She fumes, Give me just one of them, dear sister. Just one to show them how much I appreciate that they've brought you back alive. She nods, and I promise my mind will be at ease when you give me orders.

Nymeria looks over the party, and casually points to Lucan. Talia simply grabs the man by the neck and drags him out through the door, heading for her chambers and the torture lounge you all know is in there. There's a fairly good chance you won't be seeing him again.

Well now, says Nymeria, turning back to the remaining four party members, that turned out quite well, wouldn't you say? She grins mischievously, and you four do realize that you ARE going to do every single thing I say, and not betray me, or else your lives are forfeit? Yes . . . for starters, let's forget about that other creature you killed in the dragon's lair, shall we? She turns her gaze to Jil, and other past crimes . . .

She moves back to the door, I'll be sending someone else along to work with you soon enough. But you must be tired, and so full of questions. I'd recommend not asking them aloud. Come meet me at my quarters tomorrow at dawn. And try to stay out of Tailen's way. I'd hate to see such a useful set of tools get damaged. I already sacrificed one to preserve the rest of you four.

And at that, her demeanor changes completely. As she opens the door, a snarl passes over her face, and she trudges down the corridor in a foul mood. You manage to see her slamming a passing servant against the wall with an errant backhand before she turns the corner. You've seen her act similarly plenty of times before you left for your first mission.

The remaining four of you are left alone in the room. No one brought up the sword at all. Probably because the Namyria you saw had one that looked very similar to the original.

Fortune

Fortune has to summon all her willpower not to grin like a maniac. "Let's go get some rest," she suggests to the others, leading the way back to their chambers. However, rather than step into them, she motions for the group to follow her to a different place -- somewhere secluded,
This can be anywhere from the place they keep the driders, a place where they can train, or a spring where it is not uncommon to go fetch a drink. If no such place can be found, ignore the rest of the post.
where they are not overheard.

She makes sure to position her back against whatever place she can be watched from, to deny anyone reading her lips. Her voice is soft to make it hard to overhear, and she swiftly changes topic to harmless stuff as soon as they are not alone. "I am sure we are watched, so try to keep your reactions in check while I explain," she starts.

"Nymeria ... or at least this Nymeria... has only as much control over us as we let her have. She slipped us several important pieces of information, which we can use to our advantage." She grins ever so slightly.

"First, she doesn't want us to speak to anyone about this. What does that say? She's got something to hide. And if we share all we know, someone can put together two and two and make things uncomfortable for this Nymeria."

"Second, she changed her demeanor as soon as she left the room. She did something that practically screams 'Nymeria' despite her mood being quite different a moment ago. Why would the real Nymeria do that? She has no reason to pretend she's a different mood than what she really is in."

She takes a lazy sip of water, trying to keep up the illusion that they are just idly talking about their last task and relaxing.

"Third, Tailen will be in trouble if it comes out that she has ordered her sister killed. That gives her a good reason not to kill us unless she's certain she can get all of us."

"Fourth, she knew about the ambush in the caverns, and did not try to stop it. What's more, she was pleased that we returned victoriously. There are still unanswered questions, such as 'who killed the dragon?'. But bottom line is; this Nymeria wanted us to kill the other Nymeria. Possibly the real one."

"Fifth... I couldn't help but notice her looking specifically at you, githzerai. If you want to increase our chances of coming out of this alive, I suggest you tell us all you know."

"Now, make no mistake. We're in danger, and will probably be attempted killed soon enough. But we have a chance to slip out of Nymeria's claws now, and I'm not going to let it go."


She suppresses a fake yawn and looks tiredly around.

"I suggest we DO go and speak with Tailen, but not all of us. For example, Jil, Gruunk and me will go. Jil scouts ahead, making sure we don't run into anyone I don't want to. Gruunk follow first, me after. If we do run into anyone, I'll hide while they talk to you, Gruunk, so I can slip past and move on. If they ask what you were doing, ask about the dragon or anything else you can think of."

"Tarner, you stay behind. If we don't return within reasonable time or if you're called somewhere, tell Orga you know about a betrayal within the house. I'm sure that will grab her attention. And, if necessary, reveal Tailen's treachery, and also all you know about Nymeria. Including that we killed her double. No reason to fool around with empty threats on our side."

Gruunk Bloodfist
Half-orc Barbarian (Berserker)
Current HP: 57/57 Bloodied: 28
Healing Surges Used: 0/9 (17)
Conditions:



Gruunk scratches his head confused. He shrugs and says, "Ummm, okay. If you say so... I think Therein mad because it looks like we didn't kill Nymeria. She may kill first and then ask questions...so not so sue it is good working for her. I don't know if we killed the fake or real Nymeria...if this one real I would almost rather die...would be less painful. If fake, then who is it? Why not kill us unless it is to figure us more?"

The half orc shakes his head not happy with their choices.

Tarner nods his head. Understood. Catalogued in memory banks for further reference. Plan of action seems reasonable." He looks back at where Nymeria went, and says, "I know of no methods to raise a person from the dead, and even then equipment would be lost. She is also part demon, so she shouldn't be able to be resurrected. Logically, I must conclude one or both Nymerias was an impostor."

Fortune

"If this is an impostor, she'll have an agenda which can yield a high reward. Otherwise it is highly unlikely that she would've done this high-risk task. So until she completes her agenda, we are probably useful. When that is finished, we are dead, or at least attempted killed."

Fortune's sends a piercing gaze towards the githzerai. "Jil, if you are insisting on not telling us anything, you're putting us in an uncomfortable situation. First and foremost, we're afraid you might betray us at some point. Can you please share what you know?"

If he refuses to share any information, Fortune simply shrugs. "Very well, then. I'm open for any other plans or suggestions thereof. If no one has any, shall we put it into action?"

Still not turning around, she nods towards Gruunk. "Can you see anyone keeping an eye on us?"


Gruunk Bloodfist
Half-orc Barbarian (Berserker)
Current HP: 57/57 Bloodied: 28
Healing Surges Used: 0/9 (17)
Conditions:



Gruunk listens to the tiefling and scans the area while they talk. "I...um...don't wanna talk to Tailen right now. She just killed Lucan...or make him wish he were dead. Did anyone notice if the...um...'not dead' Nymeria has a sword? That might be hard to fake. I think we just gotta wait to talk to fake Nymeria. Unless we wanna try to spy on her now...but that's risky. Jil and I could maybe do it...not the rest of us though...too much stomping," says the half-orc while he demonstrating the stomping motions (as if it was unclear to someone).


Fortune

"Do you mind if I talk to Tailen, then?" Fortune asks the orc.

Gruunk Bloodfist
Half-orc Barbarian (Berserker)
Current HP: 57/57 Bloodied: 28 Healing Surges Used: 0/9 (17)
Conditions:



Gruunk frowns, "I will be sad if your corpse darkens our doorway. Do not trust her now.Do as you wish."

Fortune

"Sad, yes," Fortune agrees, "Painful? Even more so."

"The question is really: Among the untrustworthy: Who do you trust more? This Nymeria, fake or real, or Tailen?"

She thinks for a moment. "There might also be a third alternative: We hold discriminating secrets about both Nymeria and Tailen. So if we find a third one to ally with...?"

Gruunk Bloodfist
Half-orc Barbarian (Berserker)
Current HP: 57/57 Bloodied: 28 Healing Surges Used: 0/9 (17)
Conditions:



Gruunk stiffens slightly and says, "Tailen was the only drow that I would call 'fair.' She at least gave you a chance to prove yourself. But do not disappoint her. We disappointed her, even though we did not. I think we killed Nymeria. She is dead. This one is a fake. Why and who? No idea. Do we trust fake Nymeria? Dunno who she really is so can't say. I know Tailen will be pissed. She will be even more pissed if she is fooled though. But do we have the proof we need? Is the sword enough? Dunno. Risky."




 

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