Mirror, Mirror

The next day, the festival started. Damir wore a pirate costume "in honor of" Scurvy Rogue/Roguish Bard. Damir had asked Emby to the festival, but she told him that he would have to look for her there. He signed up to perform and Peregrine signed up for an archery competition. Shortly before his performance, Damir ran into Emby; he told her to come see him, and he played a new song for her (Falling for the First Time). His performance of 33 ensured him victory; he won a bronze plate enchanted to play his song whenever the edge is stroked. Peregrine won 10 gold in the archery contest after a fierce competition. While watching Damir's performance, the gnomish illusionist (wearing a Harlequin mask) who took second place in the illusion contest had an odd vision or sensation. He decided to follow Damir to see what caused the disorientation. When Peregrine came up to talk to Damir later, the gnome took an interest in Peregrine's magical cloak and came up to talk. Peregrine "left" but shadowed Damir and the gnome; he wanted to know why the gnome was following Damir. Damir chatted with the gnome, who gave the name Guilbo; Damir nicknamed him Sparkles in honor of his clothing and his illusion show. After a short while, they came to a small tent with a wizard standing outside. The wizard said that they had to enter separately to see the exhibit. The gnome went first; there were three mirrors inside, and each showed a different image of him, but distorted. One was purer, one baser, and one similar but just of a different path. When the gnome exited, Damir entered. He, too, saw three images in the mirrors. One was a noble Damir, wearing a chain shirt and a masquerade mask. The second wore a Lance Jethro costume and seemed more egotistical and less refined. The third wore an elven disguise, but despite the disguise seemed dark and forboding. He looked around furtively as he peered out of the mirror. As Damir looked into the mirrors, he felt something in his backpack tugging at him. He took the pack of and knelt to see what was going on; when he did so, the mirror in his pack lept out. As he grabbed for it, it and the standing mirrors exploded. He was peppered with shards and half-killed, and also knocked unconscious (20 points of Cha damage). The damage was so great that his heart stopped for a few rounds, and he forgot everything that happened after he walked into the tent. Simultaneously with the mirror explosion, the node surged and all of the magical devices and active spells around the transit platform went off or began malfunctioning. Peregrine saw a man stumble out of the exit wearing a chain shirt and a masquerade mask and went to talk to him - when he saw that it was Damir (but not quite Damir), he dragged this man into the tent. The mirror Damir, the good one, talked Peregrine into allowing him to tend to the real Damir's wounds and queried Peregrine about their exploits. The mirror Damir's memories were different than Peregrine's, mainly in the details, and the mirror Damir realized that he didn't belong here. He realized that the unconscious Damir was the "real" Damir, and told the priests so when they arrived (the gnome having gone to fetch one). The priest grabbed Damir and took him back to the temple, and the good Damir (who asked to be called Fellan) followed, as did Peregrine and the gnome. Peregrine also forced the wizard to follow. En route to the temple, when the wizard mentioned that there were three mirrors, Fellan realized that there had been four hand-mirror handles on the ground and he'd only had one. He assumed that meant there were two other Damirs roaming, and when he learned that one of them would most likely be evil, he ran off to find Emby. He found her and her parents at home and asked them to come with him to the temple of Pelor immediately; his tone of voice and insistance that he was not Damir caused them to hurry along next to him without further ado. On the way, he quietly asked Emby, "Are we dating?" Her reply: "You were wondering that, too?" He told her that he would take that as a no, and she would understand why soon. When they arrived at the temple and saw another Damir, pale as death but with color slowly returning (the others had found a high priest, who had healed Damir when the lesser magics failed to work), their jaws dropped. Fellan took the Mocmars aside and explained the situation to them quickly, asking Emby to stay behind and help the wizard try to figure the situation out (so that she would actually agree to this request). When Damir was informed of the situation, he tried to regain his composure quickly. He managed to do so, and he and Fellan immediately and simultaneously realized that the other Damir might head for Ferella's (cued by "one followed a different path"). They arrived at Ferella's just in time to see the second mirror Damir running out of Ferella's. He had met up with her earlier and walked her home, hitting on her a little on the way. When they had arrived at her house, he tried to start kissing and caressing her, and she backed away in confusion. After a brief conversation in which Ferella tried to convince the Neutral Damir that, if he was serious, his memories were mistaken, Ferella suggested that they take Damir to get looked at by the priests. Damir took that as his cue to run far, far away before the nice men in white robes came to get him. When Ferella saw Fellan, Peregrine, Damir, and the gnome chasing another Damir, her jaw dropped as well. Damir ran over to her to take her to the temple of Pelor, and the other three pursued the mirror Damir. Shot by Peregrine with a couple blunt arrows, Neutral Damir ran and turned himself invisible. The gnome and Peregrine followed suit, the gnome casting a spell and Peregrine downing a potion. Fellan simply ran after the neutral Damir. After a while, he was brought down by more arrows and a mind blast as he tried to flee. The group tied him up, but he escaped his bonds, escaped again, and cast another invisibility spell; another few arrows felled him, however, and he dropped to the ground, unconscious. The group took him back to the temple. In the meantime, Damir had been apologizing to the Mocmars for the inconvenience (trying not to let on how shaken he was) and then to Emby. He tried to help figure out the circumstances behind the mirrors' destruction until the group came back with another Damir. This one was healed and came around, protesting his innocence and asking to be let go. When he saw Ferella, he begged her to let him go and take him home, then eventually told her that he loved her. He stayed mostly silent, ignoring the wizard's questions about his memories, until Ferella adopted a sympathetic attitude and tried to gently coax the information out of him, trying to aid the wizard's analysis. Peregrine asked Fellan where the third Damir might be, but he had no clue; Damir volunteered to check Emby's house, then Ferella's, then the bars near their houses. Fellan, Peregrine, and the gnome came with him; again, they convinced Emby to stay behind. When they reached the Mocmars' house, they found no trace of the third Damir; they quickly continued on to Ferella's house. Peregrine noticed that the door had been forced a little as though someone drunk had been trying to open it. Peregrine started to track the third Damir; as he was hiding in the shadows nearby. When he cast Read Thoughts and sensed that Perigrien was thinking about tracking him, he panicked and pulled his Wand of Magic Missile. He fired, hitting Peregrine with three missiles. The two other Damirs tried to cast on him, but he saved successfully and was unaffected. Peregrine fired at him, wounding him with a blunt. The gnome quickly turned invisible. The evil Damir fired another volley of missiles at Peregrine, wounding him again, and Damir rushed in to grapple himself. The two fought for a while, trying to get ahold of him; when they finally pinned him, they tied him tight, took his weapons and wand, and bagged his head. They dragged him back to the temple as well. When this third Damir saw Emby, he told her she was dead and then ignored everyone from then on, snivelling in the corner. The wizard told them all that according to his calculations there were two options; they could let the Damirs fade out over time and return to the Plane of Mirrors, or they could dump magical power into them and try to keep them alive permanently. Given these choices, Damir just walked outside the temple, unable to cope with this right now. Shortly thereafter, Fellan announced that this decision would be difficult for Damir to make and told the assembled parties that they should give Damir some time to think. Fellan told the group that his presence would be unfair to Damir and that he would be leaving, heading for Peloria. He walked out and spoke with Damir briefly, telling him roughly the same thing. Damir shook his hand, telling him that he should stay because he was the better man; Fellan told him that he didn't belong and couldn't be Damir. As Fellan walked away, Peregrine intercepted him. Peregrine told Fellan that he was a good man and kind of a brother to Damir. He told Fellan of his backstory. Fellan told Peregrine that he would not abandon Damir but would not steal his life either. Peregrine then gave a masterwork arrow to Fellan and wished him luck. Fellan began to walk away, then told Peregrine that Damir was most like Fellan out of all of the "mirror Damirs." He then continued on, preparing to leave for Peloria to find his fate. Peregrine then walked over to see Damir. He spoke to Damir and asked him what he planned to do. Damir thought about this for a while, then told him that he'd have to find Fellan and help him since Fellan could do so much more than he could. Peregrine told him that he should be happy since he now had brothers; Damir asked him to think about how he'd feel had he been triplicated. Peregrine walked back inside, and Damir stayed outside for a while. When Damir finally went inside, he took off his sword belt and handed it to Emby. He then walked over to evil Damir and drew his dagger. He told everyone to just let him do what he had to do, then he knelt on evil Damir's back and told him that he'd cut him free. He told evil Damir not to struggle and not to attack him; the priests said "wait," then cast a Zone of Truth over the two. The priests asked him his intentions; he refused to answer. When they kept probing about his plans, he continued to stay silent. Damir cut him free as they told him they knew he planned to kill Damir. He struggled, incensed, and Damir drove the dagger into his heart, shoving it in past the hilt. As he did, the body of what was evil Damir shattered and faded away, dropping Damir to the ground. He sat, devastated, for a minute, then moved over to neutral Damir. Neutral Damir protested that he only wanted a chance to have his life with Ferella; Damir cut him free. Ferella insisted that he take a different name, so neutral Damir chose Ramius. Ramius asked Ferella out to supper to make things up to her and get a new start with her. Damir just walked out of the door, saying nothing. When he did so, Emby followed him, telling him to wait up. He slowed down a little to let her catch up, but he kept walking in silence until she asked him what he was thinking. He stopped and spilled to her, telling her that evil Damir had been the first man he'd killed, that he felt awful for having caused this disaster, and that now he had two twins wandering around. He told her that he had decided that he had to find Fellan; if anyone deserved to be Damir, after all, it would be him. Damir told Emby that he knew that he could never be the man Fellan could be. Emby chastised him for this, telling him that Fellan wasn't real. She didn't know Fellan, she didn't love Fellan, and Fellan could never replace him. Damir had sat down and Emby had sat next to him to talk; when she said this, Damir sighed and nuzzled into her neck, just looking for some kind of comfort. She held him for a while, letting him just lean against her for comfort. After a while, he sighed, sat up, and then slowly stood. He helped her up, then continued on to his inn. They walked in silence for another few minutes, and Damir finally asked Emby what their relationship was. She stopped him, her smile speaking volumes, and simply said, "Complicated." Damir smiled a bit at this, and they walked back toward the inn. Damir told Emby that she now knew more about him than he was comfortable with, telling her that she'd seen the darkest side of him. He shook this thought away, then asked her if he could buy her dinner since she hadn't really eaten since lunch. She agreed, and he purchased her meal; they ate and talked for a short while, and Damir finally began to come back to "normal." He asked her if she liked his song, which she admitted she did. He then self-consciously asked if she'd like to hear some more of his music. She agreed, and they went upstairs to his room. He played her a few of his silly songs, then played her "The Life," perform check of 33. He told her that he wanted to tell her why he was doing what he was doing, and that is why he wrote this song. She told him that he was a hero if he really felt this way, and he, embarrassed and disconcerted by this turn of events, downplayed this. He told her he didn't think of himself as a hero; she told him that this made him MORE noble in her book. He then changed the subject, skipping some more songs and trying to find another silly one to play her. He found Dreams of a Child, which he had rewritten for lute harmony, and played that for her. As he played, Emby was mouthing lyrics silently to herself. After he was finished, Emby told his it wasn't what she was expecting, but that she liked the revision. She asked him if she could see the music he'd skipped, and he reluctantly agreed. She read through "Change" and asked, "Where's the rest of this song?" When he told her that was all of it, she asked if that was how he really felt. He told her that's how he felt when he wrote it, explaining to her when he'd written it and why. She also looked at the sketches while he was telling her this, but when he started explaining his love for her she stopped and paid full attention to him. After he'd told her this, Damir looked into her eyes and worked up the nerve to pull her a little closer and kiss her. When she responded to his kiss, he pulled her into his lap and kept kissing her tenderly for a long time. After an hour or so had passed, she stopped him, exclaiming how late it was and how she had to get home. Damir nuzzled her for one more minute, then apologized for keeping her so late and offered to walk her home. After a prolongued good-bye kiss, they sucessfully left the room. When they reached her house, her mother and father were waiting up. They told her to go to her room and glared at Damir. Damir explained that he had needed someone to talk to after the events of tonight. They accepted this explanation but told him never to do this again. Damir then told them that he knew their perceptions of him had changed much over the past few days; he told them that he was a good man and that they should not judge him too harshly without knowing the whole story. In very brief elfish, Mr. Mocmar replied that given the circumstances, their perceptions of him could certianly be worse. Damir bit his tongue, then turned and left.
Meanwhile, Ramius took Ferella to dinner and told her of his memories. She talked him into finally admitting that he loved her, or believed he loverd her. He nickel-and-dimed her back toward her apartment, finally convincing her to sleep with him. In the morning when he realized how much power he'd lost, however, he ran out the door with only a quick kiss for her, telling her that he had to find a wizard immediately. He was met at the door by Damir, who offered him a plan that might save his life. They went to retrieve Emby from her house. She met them at the door with her pack and they headed for Gwivonna. Damir told them to camp when they needed to, explaining that he would forced-march ahead to catch up with Fellan. He managed to meet up with Fellan and explain to him his plans about 10 miles out from Gwivonna; after that, he collapsed. Fellan waited with the sleeping Damir until the rest of the party showed up, including Peregrine who had encountered the group on the road near Tantor and Ferella who had decided to come along with the group so that she could see the girls at the Silky Doll again. They then woke Damir and headed into Gwivonna. On the way, Ferella pulled Damir aside and asked him how he would go about seducing her should he decide to, then clarified, saying that she was interested in what he thought Ramius would do. Damir told her that if it were him, he would aim for her white-knight complex and just be kind and thoughtful; he thought that she would fall for a nice-looking, kind, honorable young man should she find one without any deceit needed. When she clarified that she wanted to know what Ramius would do, Damir told her that he wasn't sure but figured Ramius might try a more egotistical approach because he reminded Damir of Damir at age 14. He said that Ramius would probably try to fast-talk her into the sack, but that he probably wanted more than just a one-night stand because he seemed to be genuinely in love with her. Ferella thanked him for the information. Upon approaching Gwivonna, Damir suggested that Fellan and Ramius disguise themselves so as not to cause as much of a stir in Gwivonna. They each did so, disguising themselves as a pair of brothers, olive-skinned humans with darker hair and thicker builds than Damir. Their disguise checks were 28.


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