2 Sydenstar (Da’lesen/Saturday) 845 PD
Leading in right from the end of Session 21. Stubby is thrilled with what Rinn has done against Oren and all that has happened, though ‘reassures’ him that Tāmarai will probably have a word or two for Rinn about him sneaking away. Tāmarai does, after she finishes speaking with Oren, though Rinn is already chastised enough about it that she doesn’t push her point too hard- next time, tell them where he’s going and when he should be back. Rinn is still trying to process all what happened with the fight, but says he didn’t think this was ‘big’ enough to bother them with. But helping to keep Rinn alive is no bother, Tāmarai reassures him, and easier than burying him where no one can visit his grave, to which Rinn points out they would. He has no one else. “Dead, gone.” Stubby reassures him that he has them now, so Rinn better get used to the idea of having people to rely on. Tāmarai also points out all that Rinn has done for them already, and what other things he will do, and now by what she says he has ‘promised’ to show her the dances from the Marrow Valley, which Stubby is delighted by.
They start back towards the Abundant Terrace, Stubby and Tāmarai discussing ideas for putting out the pillar of fire, (Oren gave Tāmarai a hint/clue), though Rinn is still preoccupied with trying to process what Oren said and what little information he was given.
(Rinn knows he should be trying to help figure out that problem- how to put out a magical flame that reaches up to the clouds that’s been burning for 5 years straight with no signs of stopping- but his mind keeps circling back over everything that happened since he came down into this pit. This Crucible, Forge, whatever. He probably should be focusing on the question of ‘did I just die or almost die or sort of die?’, but considering he’s alive at the moment, and compared to everything else, it’s actually pretty minor compared to the rest so he does his best to just shove it aside. There’s more than enough to keep whirling around in his mind, like being in the center of a whirlwind, and he knows exactly what that’s like, so it fits well. But it keeps centering on one thing, one fact. All he went through, all he suffered, was so he’d get to this. End up like this. Needed, for this. Supposedly he wasn’t alone- and his hands clench into fists before he crosses his arms, but it certainly felt like it. All those years with no one. No family, no friends, no support, as he tried to survive and hide and figure things out- and for what? To be better at this? Look at Stubby, Tāmarai, even Fisch. They had family, friends, people. Support and caring. And they all seem capable enough in what they do- or even more so. How can he be something, anything, when he’s had nothing? Was it all planned, or just a happy chance for Kord for whatever that god had planned? Yet, after getting the crap beat out of him by Oren- who then pulled Rinn into a hug as if he knew him, and said he was proud, and really, how could he?- Rinn agreed to it all. Entered into whatever sort of bargain- he wasn’t even sure what all it would entail, and wasn’t that the sort of stupid thing he was worried about with Stubby and the Raven Queen?- for some slim chance of something, anything that might help. And not for him.
Something, anything that might help him be better able to help these two. The only ones that have given him any sort of acceptance, of belonging, of hope he had for years. Rinn takes a deep breath, and closes his eyes. He’ll do what he has to, and keep to his end of things.)
Back at the Gardener’s House by the Birth Heart Tree, they decide on breakfast. Stubby figures she has the ingredients needed to make something like pancakes, so she starts putting those together while Tāmarai goes to fix her hair and clothing. Fisch goes with her, and gets an introductory course on the gnome’s grooming routine. Stubby manages to poke Rinn out of his introspection, having him use a slight arc of electricity to start the fire going, something he didn’t know could be done.
He mentions that he had once thought that if he could ‘spend’ all of his magic, (as he is out of spell slots and can’t do any of the higher spells right now), that maybe he would be lucky and it wouldn’t come back. Stubby does point out that it seems he’s gotten better at his control in the little time she’s known him, Rinn says he had to in order to deal with her. (Joking, mostly!)
Tāmarai starts singing as she does her grooming, and it’s a song common enough that even Rinn heard it back in the Dendwellian Empire, which brings to mind something else Oren said, that they would have to go back there. Stubby asks why he left, and Rinn admits that he left because some other thieves found out about his magic- that is, he had to use it to defend himself when they were trying to kill him. Stubby is taken aback, but Rinn points out that he had been hiding his magic for good reasons, and the area he lived in in Zadash, people were not used to just ‘normal’ neighbors and people having it. She still has plans against the people who made Rinn’s life difficult, especially being under the impression that Anslem (who had been behind the attack on Rinn) was training to be an assassin. Rinn reassures her that Anslem just didn’t like him, and that the motivation behind trying to kill him was mostly just personal. And even if they have to go back, Rinn not saying in Zadash as they go to Rexxentrum, Anselm probably wouldn’t bother them- since all he wanted was to be rid of Rinn. However, if Hirrathak, the dragonborn Rinn worked for found out Rinn was there, he would probably want the money back that Rinn stole from him when he left Zadash. All of it, plus interest.
By now, Tāmarai is done, and comes back out. Since it seems to have been decided that they group will stay there for the day, she’s gotten more dressed up than usual. And just in time for the ‘pancakes’ that Stubby has finished. Rinn is a bit taken aback, but Stubby is still trying to process that Rinn would want to pay back money to someone to not possibly be hurt just because he was back in the area- and confusedly asks if it is just usual for most people to owe money just to be alive (thinking of Tāmarai’s situation as well). Tāmarai answers yes, and tries to gently point out that Stubby is of the class of people that most others owe money to, which just upsets the young half-elf even more. Surely her family isn’t like that, and upset, Stubby takes off.
Tāmarai wonders what is wrong, but Rinn is already standing up to go after her, and let’s Tāmarai know that Stubby was already a bit upset, hearing that someone had tried to kill Rinn back in Zadash. The casual way he mentions it as he goes after Stubby affects Tāmarai more than the fact itself (which is still pretty upsetting.)
Rinn catches up with Stubby, who apologizes for not seeing how different their lives have been, and hopes that her family hasn’t ever been bad. Rinn reassures her that they aren’t, from what he’s seen of them during the communications through the stone, and from how Stubby herself is. Tāmarai arrives as well, apologizing whole heartedly, bowing low on the ground. Stubby reassures her quickly that things are alright, and that she promises she will work to be a good person. Rinn points out that she already is. Stubby counters that her mom was as well, and look what she did in that other timeline. Though both Rinn and Tāmarai know, it is the good people who are the most dangerous when someone they love has been threatened, and that was certainly the case for Vex. Things are different now, and the reason the three of them are a family are due to Stubby knowing how a family should be.
All of them comforted by each other, they head back to where breakfast had been waiting, only to find that Fisch is dealing with a hoard of squirrels determinedly stealing what was left of the pancakes.