Love, Lust, and Light Wounds

Upon entering Bastion, Damir set the party up with inn and stable accommodations for the night. He also gave Sparkles an extra gold for a meal and some drinks and told him that he'd talk to him some more later. Then Damir went directly to the temple and Peregrine went to the de facto clerk's office. Peregrine turned in his kills; the clerk told him that he would need to check with the priests about a reward that size, so they continued over to the temple. Guilbo went to the inn to drink and be merry, and Emby dropped her stuff off at the inn, then followed Damir's tracks over to the temple. Meanwhile, Damir was conversing with the dwarven priest of Pelor about the possibility of acquiring some platinum and a small amount of mithril and having those items delivered to Malicor. The dwarf agreed to contact the clan that would be returning to this area soon and have them drop those materials by Malicor's house on their way up. Damir paid the dwarf for this (100 GP for the value of the platinum, 10 GP for the value of the mithril, and another 40 GP for his trouble), adding a little extra to cover his effort, and also purchased some potions of cure light and cure moderate wounds. Peregrine, meanwhile, collected his reward for the creatures and gave the others' shares to Damir to distribute. Damir gave Emby and Guilbo their shares that night. When Emby approached Damir and the dwarf, the dwarf noticed the ring on Emby's finger. As the craftsman, he asked in typical dwarven style how she liked her hellishly expensive jewelry, jumping to the conclusion that she was Damir's wife or fiance. Emby was taken aback by his directness at first, until Damir introduced the dwarf as the craftsman; after this, Emby inquired calmly and calculatingly about its value when the dwarf kept telling her how impressive it was. When Damir told her and the dwarf confirmed, she then asked about the rest of the jewelry the dwarf had crafted. The dwarf eventually even told her that Damir owed them a blood-oath favor for this treasure. Damir left after his business was concluded, but the look on Emby's face told him that he was going to get it later; he went back to the inn, grabbed an ale, and waited in his room. Halfway there, he felt the emotional equivilent of someone pointing at him and going "You!" Looking around, wary of a possible follow-up assassination attempt, he instead discovered a nonchalant Emby heading down the temple steps, unobtrusively pointing at him and watching him through half-lidded eyes. He drank as much of his ale as possible while waiting for the inevitable. After a few minutes, he heard Emby coming up to his room and heard her knock. He invited her in, and she berated him for his foolishness in agreeing to honor a blood-oath for a stupid piece of jewelry. Damir explained the situation to her, which eventually calmed her down slightly; when he told her why he was so set on giving it to her, that calmed her down more. Emby offered an "amnesty program," telling Damir that she would withhold her anger against him if he came clean with her about everything. Damir agreed to tell her the last of his secrets the next morning. Unbeknownst to Damir, the sensor (which he had forgotten about) had picked up Emby's latest outburst (Acid Arrow), and Malicor had been watching the end of the exchange, including the part where Damir explained why he'd given Emby the ring (because he loved her and didn't think he could have her but didn't want her to forget him). Malicor made a point to listen in the next morning as Damir revealed the last of his secrets to Emby.
The next morning, Damir prepared his pants so that he could expose his scar without taking them completely off. He then awaited Emby. When she came, he told her that he would tell her two things, but he wanted one thing in return; he wanted to know what she'd been thinking the whole trip and why she'd been so quiet. Damir then told her about Chastity and what he'd been doing, admitting it wasn't the most moral thing he'd ever done, but explaining his reasons. Emby asked how this affected her, and Damir told her it didn't; he was just telling her everything, as she'd requested. She then told him that she wasn't sure what to think of this, but that his intentions were good; at least that was something. Damir then told Emby to prepare herself to see his lightning scar, then showed it to her. She could do little but wince upon seeing this, but then said that the knife wound looked worse because it looked more malicious. She hurried past this subject, though, seeming uncomfortable with it. Damir told her that he planned to return to the temple later this afternoon to have the priests remove the scars. Damir then asked what Emby's thoughts had been since she became so quiet, but told her that she didn't have to tell him everything. When she began to describe her fear and uncertainty, Damir was impressed with her resolve to improve herself and not back down. She also admitted that she hated the trip for the most part; she never expected it to be so dangerous, uncomfortable, and trying. Damir asked her if she thought nothing was worth experiencing, if she had learned nothing or gotten no good out of the trip. She then admitted that she did feel that she was learning a lot, not only about herself but also about how to really use magic and about him. Damir told her that he was satisfied with this answer, though Emby was certainly leaving much out. He then told her about the rest of his powers (suggestion - made her put her coat back on; Damir's Distraction, minimum level). Emby realized that this was a lot to digest. The two separated for a while, but Damir talked Emby into studying with him for a while. He then went to talk to Sparkles. He thanked Sparkles for saving Emby. Later, when Emby returned to Damir's room, he used his music to help her concentrate so that she could study more effectively. He also realized that she was blushing and acting nervous if he got too close or touched her. He decided to "poke this" a little, as it were, and kept her coming to study with him for the next couple days. Over those days, however, he touched her slightly more and leaned in slightly closer than he normally would. He noticed the reaction, but was still amazed when on the third day she stopped just before leaving and asked, head lowered, if she could ask him an uncomfortable question. He agreed, telling her that he could answer a hypothetical question, but she floored him by pausing and then saying, "Damir, you're really turning me on." Damir, thinking he must be going insane, simply replied, "… I don't think I heard you correctly." Emby confirmed that he had, and Damir asked her if it was a purely physical thing, or if she was emotionally interested in him as well. He quickly added that she knew exactly how he felt about her. When she admitted that she felt emotionally as well as physically for him, he told her the most objective answer that he could come up with would be to try to start something slowly. He added that they knew each other and got along well, and told her that a relationship based on their friendship might be the best thing possible. They chatted a while longer, then Emby told Damir that she would leave for the night and see him the next afternoon. She told him, "One kiss, open mouth, hands find a place and stay there." Not one to pass up a perfect opportunity, Damir carefully slid his left hand against the small of her back, ran his right hand up into her hair, and pulled her to him in a deep but tender kiss. He let go before too long, though, allowing Emby some space. When she complimented him on not letting his hands roam, he simply told her that he'd meant it when he said he wanted to start slowly. For the rest of their stay in Bastion, Damir and Emby wandered the town together, had meals together, and talked. Damir convinced Emby to study with him again, and let himself be used for his concentration-enhancing abilities. He always made sure to put himself in a position where he could put an arm or two around her or otherwise touch her lightly while she studied. Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end; with the coming of their fifth night in Bastion, the potions were delivered, and the party made plans to set out for the Elven forest to the west the very next day (they still needed to collect a log of rowan-wood at least 4' long and 3" in radius). Before they left, however, Damir did drop in on the priests and had them remove his scars (with lesser restoration spells). The removal took three castings, but with the last casting Damir realized that the spell in his head broke and he remembered everything about "Mr. Malicor" that had been locked away.

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