Rhiallis: Not Right

      Today’s snippet, titled “Not Right”, is a piece I wrote about my PC in Mark’s new (Good) Pathfinder Campaign.
      Be forewarned, there may be mature themes and naughty language below.
– – – – – – – – – – –
      It isn’t right.
      Rhiallis sat across the table from two small sacks. At her left was Aimsley, at her right sat Sadie. Korael and Cole were at the bar, bickering about which of the three available stouts were most stout or something equally as inconsequential.
      It isn’t.
      Aimsley was silent.
      Sadie was silent.
      The two pouches on the table, filled with sandy grit, were silent.
      It just… isn’t right.
      Rhiallis closed her eyes tightly, tilting her chin as she summoned a familiar, pleasant memory – Viggo serenading her with his surprisingly tender singing voice – to drown out the hideous echoing sounds of her friends’ deaths. She knew it was not real, that her ears were not resounding with that terrible zap and the crackle that followed when their bodies burst into ash. That did not seem to matter, every few seconds the scene replayed. First Celeste, mid-syllable as she confronted the Wren – ZZZAP! – and then, a few heartbeats later as their eyes tried to adjust after Aimsley’s incredible, atomic firespell, Mira as well – ZZZAP!
      “…we’ll teleport to Kenebres in the morning then.”
      Aimsley nodded. “Yes. We will start there, and afterward – we shall simply have to keep trying the largest cities we can, until we can locate the gems required.”
      Rhiallis pursed her lips. She did not trust herself to speak; she did not trust that she could keep the thought running circles in her brain from spilling out into the open. Hating herself for thinking it, for knowing it, Rhiallis could only acquiesce.
      “We’ll need at least four.”
      Sadie said it so matter-of-factly that Rhiallis did not even register the discrepancy. Aimlsey, of course, did.
      “Four? Why four? We need only to resurrect Celeste and Mira. I count two.”
      “Graves?” Rhiallis glanced up.
      The hin pulled a face. “Sure, or that other elf you lost. Mytra? But I meant that we’re gonna get Seraphina back. Fuck what the demon said. If we’re going to be finding two humongous diamonds, you better believe we’re gonna find at least two more. Because my sister shouldn’t be fucked over for all eternity when she just wanted to help save the whole stupid world!”
      She was so defensive, nearly shaking, and Rhiallis wanted to reach out for her – comfort her with a hug and kind words. Yet her furor was unjustified for both Aimsley and Rhiallis understood all too well how much it hurt to lose loved ones, and to know that they were unable to get them back.
      “No, she should not,” Aimsley said, her voice soft as a cloud. “Of course, we shall do our best to restore her to life as well.”
      I wish we had never come across those bastards from Kenebres. Wren, with her sneaky little bird and those golden slippers – we never even saw her in the city, just them. The man with the trident and net and the cultist. They were amongst the very few who escaped us – back when we counted Kumiko as a brand new friend, before we lost Lucien, before the fateful foray into the Grey Fortress that cost so many lives – Mickey and Ema and Seraphina and Celeste… and me.
      Korael and Cole remained at the bar, deep in conversation about horses and where more could be imported from, as they were exceedingly hard to come by in Drezen these days. “Demons don’t use ‘em,” Cole said, tossing a salted olive into his mouth.
      “And dragons just want to eat them,” Korael clucked her tongue.
      Too soon, Rhiallis closed her eyes again, leaning her forehead upon her wrists on the table. Those dragons fled, but they are still out there and I imagine we shall have to confront them again too. And what shall we do if we come across Wren and her menfolk? We did not manage to even… faze her. She laughed at Aimsley’s most powerful spell – the one that practically seared our eyes from our heads.
      “We should have known it was going to be bad,” Sadie was saying. “There was a tree. In the Worldwound. That can’t be a good sign.”
      “It would seem so. That was the first non-illusory tree we found – and it nearly spelled our doom. I wish we knew what exactly the witch and her friends were doing down in that valley; why they believed – rightly so, from what we saw – that they could easily destroy twenty to thirty enemies. We did not have the time to investigate fully – the remains down there.”
      “It is a real conundrum.”
      Rhiallis, her head still down, said, “It was chaos. In that moment – who could think?”
      “Yeah. What happened to Celeste and Mira – it was so quick.”
      “We barely had time to scoop up their things before-”
      “Right.”
      “And I mean – we almost lost you, too, Rhiallis.”
      Rhiallis cringed, raising her head at last. “I was certain I was a dead woman, trapped in that bloody net, dangling from the sky as helpless as a kitten. Thank Iomedae you were able to dispel the skyhook, Aimsley. Otherwise…”
      The three of them nodded silently. Being raped to death before having my dismembered corpse paraded around as some banner of victory for whatever cultist army those three are serving – that’s all I could have had to look forward to if they’d gotten away with me still in that net. And to keep anyone else, ever from having to endure that – that’s why I have to keep fighting. That’s why I can’t abandon this mission, ever.
      She took a sip of watered wine and pushed a hand through her bedraggled braids. And that’s why it isn’t right, to go gallivanting around for expensive gems for days on end… as much as I long to see my friends again, as much as I wish Mira were here right now to make a face at me and tell me I’m too pretty to be so sad, or that if I don’t stop being so macabre and morose she’ll smack me… it just isn’t right. There will be time for resurrection, after the battle is done and the world is safe. Right now… we should ask Irabeth to recommend new companions and continue on.
      “If it were me,” she said aloud, staring down into her cup. “I’d say the same.”
      “Say what?” Sadie asked.
      Rhiallis glanced at her friend, bearing witness once more to the agony in her eyes, and shook her head. “Nevermind, Sadie. Hey – I think I’m going to go to bed. If James comes looking for me… tell him- Tell him…”
      “Tell him…?” Aimsley prompted her, rolling her hand in a circle.
      “Tell him I’ll find him tomorrow, early, before we leave. I think… I think I just want to be alone tonight…”
– – – – – – – – – – –
Signed, Josie
Note: Image is “King Jagiello Statue Central” by (Mulligand) from SXC.hu; edited by me

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