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Cinder's Plea: Fleeting Thoughts on Vanishing

Posted in: Chapter One recap by Ariel on December 23, 2007

Hi Everyone,

So, I can’t get our adventure off my mind, and I thought while we are all standing here in this little room underground we could take a moment and talk about our situation and maybe come up with a plan. I don’t know if it’s a side effect from my translucent condition, but I’m in a contemplative mood and feel a need to talk.

The prevention of any of us gradually vanishing has become a priority in my mind, probably because that appears to be my own trajectory at the moment. I think what has me so worried is the fact that this vanishing is not as gradual as we might believe: I woke up this morning half-gone. Does this mean tomorrow morning will bring the other half of oblivion? It certainly seems that I am under an urgent time limitation to reverse the process, despite the lack of any physical pain.

I’ve been wracking my brain to remember everything we know about this condition and trying to pinpoint how I contracted it. It’s a difficult task because I have been admittedly foolish on more than one occasion. (Can we call it youthful exuberance? Newbie rogue naivete? I promise, should the fates see fit to pull me through this ordeal, I will be more cautious in the future!) This vanishing, is it a disease? A curse? Keegan told us about it the night you took him drinking, and I remember that it is an ancient Gnomish problem. He may have even called it a magical disease, but that may be my fading mind making things up – I couldn’t find the exact phrase in my notes. You folks spent more time with him that night. Do you remember anything specific he might have said?

I confess that I have been thinking that the vanishing was tied-in to the missing children, since we were questioning Keegan about their disappearance from behind his locks when he told us about it. At that time, I thought it was a sort of harmless transport spell to move the victims from one place to another and had only been thought of as a dreaded disease by people unaware of what was really happening. When I woke up this morning able to see through my own arms, my first thought was that I was gradually on my way to finding the kidnap victims. However, there’s nothing like the possibility of death to force one to think a situation through. The only kidnap victim we have come across has been Griffen, the dancing fiance, and it appears he was taken by force. While it may be possible that the kidnappers (the Skulks and Dark Ones that Keegan mentioned? Is that right?) may be using different methods to seize their victims, I no longer think this is the case, since they have a skeleton key made by Keegan.

Which brings me to thoughts on how I developed this condition. Even if Keegan is helping the kidnappers because they took his familiar, he is still guilty of these crimes. He’s the source of our information about the disease/curse. He is also an amateur wizard and (I believe) the creator of the trapped locks in Jzadirune. We have also been warned by the St. Cuthbert’s cleric (is that Jenya?) and by the sweet recorded message coming from the speakers here to avoid the magic in this place. My deepest suspicion is that I contracted the disease when I opened the sealed spellbook after we fought off the Choker in the theater. Unfortunately, I have been carrying around all sorts of Keegan’s items since that first night in his shop – his original spellbook, the map, some of the stuff we found in the armory, the vials and sunrods we found
in the alchemy lab, the bag of bunny tails.

Here’s what I intend to do, though I am certainly open to suggestions. I am going to drop everything I have picked up in this cursed place right here where we stand. (If you’re carrying anything from Keegan’s or Jzadurune, maybe you should drop it, too.) Perhaps a detect magic spell or somesuch could help us determine what’s safe to keep, but I am paranoid now. I also do not trust the vial we found in the lab that may or may not be a cure. It seems to me that if they had a cure down here, that infected skulk we found would have had access to it.

Instead, I will ask Indira to cast her Lesser Restoration spell upon me to see if it has any effect. (Even if it restores my charisma, I fear that it will not will not remove the condition entirely. Perhaps it will buy me some time.) I also think that my best hope is to make an immediate pilgrimage to St. Cuthbert’s to plead with Jenya to use her higher skill and knowledge to attempt to remove it entirely. My hope is that she will be grateful for the news I bring her of our mission so far and she will want to help me. I will not ask anyone else to accompany me, but it has occurred to me that there could be benefits to the whole party going above for a few hours or perhaps a day. If another member of our party should wake with the vanishing disease tomorrow, we would be in a better position to help her. If anyone needs supplies or rations, we could pick them up before going below again. We could sell some of the loot we’ve found. We could further question Keegan and decide whether to bring him back down with us, bring him to the City Guard for his role in the kidnapping, or let him go free. I am also wondering about the two brothers we met in the alley who gave us the list of victims. Can we find them again? Do they have any more information? Do they want to come with us?

As I said, I am prepared to go alone. I do not like the idea of leaving the party, but I am afraid that in a number of hours, I will leave involuntarily. I am certain that what we find down here can only get worse, and I want to be as fit and ready as possible for whatever we encounter. I do realize that buying us time also gives the kidnappers and their friends time to prepare for our return (we have not been quiet – surely they know we are here and are already preparing), but I can’t think of a wiser course of action. Can you?

In any event, this rookie rogue would like to take this moment to thank you all for inviting her into your party. If I don’t make it, please know how grateful I am for your trust and camaraderie, and for the valuable learning that may or may not have come too late to save me. If I should fade away to nothingness, please take for yourselves whatever meager gear and loot I possess and let my parents in the Dim Forest of Geoff know that I love them and that I might have acquired what they so desperately need if only I had had more time.

Hoping this plan will work…

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