Need to Know

Once it's obvious that Saul has a stronger pull than the temple for this question, Maleos will put the compass away and catch up with him and start trying to get his attention.

Yeah, you have to yell a couple of times before you get his attention.

If Maleos has to jog a little to catch up, he'll do that rather than shout.

k

"Are you okay, Saul? You walked right past me."

"Sorry, I was just in thought."

"I believe it. Do you think we could talk? Privately? I've made an important discovery, and from the way you're acting, I suspect you've just made one, too. I'd like to compare notes. If that's all right with you."

"I wouldn't quite characterize my thoughts as discovery, but I am happy to trade notes."

"All right. Where would be a good place? My room?"

shrugs "That will work."

And yes, depsite you twice almost making me roll to see if the amulet was discovered by the cleaning lady, maleos still believes his room to be secure.

Is that what you think that was?

Uh…

Yes?

This "inn room" of yours, it has reasonably thick walls made of opaque material, no line of sight to the outside except perhaps through a small window with a simple glass pane or some shutters, and other light security features that automatically spring to mind when I hear the phrase "inn room," right?
Like it's not just a roof, a view, and an Endure Elements warding because Elves. You would have mentioned that if it were, right?

Small open window, no panes, but shutters. Small 8x8 room, one door, one window, one bed, one little trunk
Very well-crafted wood

Yeah okay, that's what I was expecting.
*sits down* "Go ahead and sit if you like, Saul. What did you learn from the Clerics?"

"Very little, in fact. We have been debating, but we have not reached any solid conclusions."

*nods* "I assume you were exploring the possibility that Pelor granted you this ability to understand everyone, and be understood by everyone?"

frowns "No, in fact, we were not. We were discussing the details of Master Tighearnán's visions from before."

"I see. What do you make of the vision?"

"Parts are clear, but then there are ambiguities. We argue about the specifics: the fire, the crossroads. So many theories, but no conclusion."

*sighs* "I know that feeling. Always the ambiguities. Did you know that when we found you, we were on a quest from Pelor? Still are, as far as I can tell. But the ambiguities. They perplex me. When not even the good priests of this town can penetrate Pelor's will, where are we to turn?"

"Why, we turn to our hearts, of course."

*chuckles, which turns into a pained, sad laugh, which he has to struggle to clamp down on.* "The fact, my friend, is that until today my heart has been genuinely *livid* with Pelor for not simply *explaining* to his supporters what he wants us to do. But then, a new way of looking at things occurred to me."

"Is that so?"

*nods* "Consider this question carefully, with all your heart, for I am only just discovering my personal relationship with Pelor, while yours is deep and mature: What if all of it, the confusing imagery, the vague hints, the ambiguity… even your memory loss… are all *absolutely necessary* in order for Pelor to see his desired outcome come to pass?"

"I suppose that is possible."

*nods once* "Also, I discovered that you are apparently our strongest hope for carrying on a simple, direct, verbal conversation with Pelor."

"Is that so?" thinks "I suppose that does make sense. We speak the same language, and I am devoted to Pelor."

"Wait, what? How do you know that we speak the same language, if you can't hear it when somebody speaks a different language?"

"Perhaps it would be more accurate to say we can easily communicate?"

*nods* "I am convinced… in my head, at least, you understand… that your role must have been to help Pelor communicate with those who need it. Perhaps even to bring people together in general. People who would have no hope of communicating without you. You are frankly… *spectacular* for such a role."

"It is possible. Master has discussed with me as well my role, determining that he and I share a similar connection, me to Pelor and he to his Onónion."

(Has Maleos heard the word Onónion before?)

Yes, that's what the Master called his diety. Onónion Birvir.

Ah!

Or, as you guys may know him, "pointy Pelor."

"Interesting that the spell didn't just say 'diety' or 'god' when you meant Onónion. It makes me wonder what the distinctions are… but I digress. I would be extremely surprised if Pelor is *capable* of telling you less about our mission than I can. We don't even know that much ourselves. Due to the ambiguity. What you need to know is that something terrible happened, and Pelor told us to 'Fix This,' therefore it must be fixable, and we are currently using every resource at our disposal to accomplish that."

"I see. If I may ask, what terrible thing was this?"

*shakes head once* "I dare not. If the vague outline I see is as bad as it looks, the worst case scenario far outweighs any good that could come of me telling you early. We can fix it. We're *going* to fix it, with your help. And may Pelor start shouting confusing, ambiguous visions and dreams at all three of us if I'm wrong."

"I see. Well, I will assist you as I can, at least until I can remember what is is that I am to do."

"My source tells me he wants us to go Southeast. The elves tell us we must put a stop to the creature to the West. What does your heart tell you?"

"Many innocents are dying. If we can stop this creature, it is right to do so." pause "And this isn't entirely selfless, as the aelphin may be more inclined to assist us should we save their villages."

"Well, the villages are gone… at least, the ones they told us about. If they mounted a proper defense here, they should have more than enough spellcasters to keep this thing at bay. I am thinking a ritual version of the spell that quenches fire, in particular. Unless there's something I'm missing, or the threat's bigger than they're letting on. I need to see if the master can arrange an audience for me with the town leadership to discuss such matters. If they have spellcasters such as these at their disposal, what am I going to do standing in a field flanked by two hammers that they cannot?"

"From what I have heard, their spells were not effective against the beast. The Master thinks, because of his vision, that we might have better luck."

*shakes his head* "The spells they have were designed to combat natural fire. The creature's fire burns unnaturally strong. What they need is an unnaturally strong Quench spell. That'd be a Ritual. And I was told by a man who witnessed the battle that it fled once they started casting Ice spells on it. Simply prepare those in advance and sleep in shifts so there is always a caster ready when the alarm is raised."

"That may work for this city, but what of the rest of the villages?"

*chews lip* "Do we know for a fact that there are more villages facing simmilar danger?"

"For a fact? I am not familiar with this area. But we saw the villages to the south, and the Master says many others are to the north of the city."

*nods* "I see. All right. Try to convince the Master to arrange for some sort of discussion with the people in charge of this town's defense— even if we do it, we might fail, and it would be tragic if these people did nothing when they could be forming a solid plan. If your heart tells you something is wrong, let me know immediately, especially if it's me. There's just one other thing— and this honestly slipped my mind until just now. I left off party of the message. He also said 'Hurry.' "

"He has spoken to the city leader."

*looks puzzled* "Really? About what?"

"All of the leaders, they have met about this city defense."

"Uh huh. What did they decide?"

"I assume many things. I am not privy to all, as I was not there. But apparently the leaders did discuss many of the options and decided on some. Apparently also the city's defenders reported that their attacks were not very effective, and the creature appeared to only be testing."

Maleos doesn't think LETTING them die is a good idea, but he's surprised this much magic muscle can't outfight us on their own turf.

Saul doesn't know if you can or not and would agree with you. But there was the vision. And if the priest is interpreting it correctly, then you might have luck where the others haven't. But as Saul said, he's not sure if the priest is interpreting his vision correctly.

Hence his deep thought.

Actually, wait.
Before I lock in what might be a huge mistake, I need to know something about my character.

K

Does Maleos know that there's such as thing as magic that can revive the dead?

No

That's what I was afraid of.

"All right. Well, let me know if you have any insights. You're ostensibly the voice of Pelor. I'm the jackass he apparently wants to point the way. I'll pester the Master with my ideas in the morning. Then I guess we'd better go try and stop that creature. Maybe it's finally the one big enough to actually hit Aida."

nods "As you say. Though may we all survive unscathed."

*nods emphatically* "If I have anything to say about it, we'll all be armored, invisible…" *pauses* "One more day in town. I need that Fire Resistance spell figured out. The rest are nice to have, but I need that one *finished.*"

"That does seem a good plan; I shall contribute to that."

Maleos is going to open-source I think pretty much all of his finished spells for Saul, though he's a little hesitant to divulge the secret of Hesitation, because it's kind of his signature spell at this point. In particular he'll recommend Elemental Weapon… do we have a chance of both doing Elemental Weapon and Resist Energy in one 16-hour marathon and then sleep for 8 hours, then head out?

No. You have to break between. But I think he has Resist.

(Turns out Maleos already had Elemental Weapon from when he levelled, which means he can learn Resistance and Saul can learn Elemental Weapon and we're good to go in one 8-hour sprint.)


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