Cage Fight

Standing in the center of Andraki’s cage, Nemit tells us we don’t have to fight him – all we’d have to do is swear we’ll stay in this plane. From the other side of the shimmery steel bars of the cage, Andraki watches impassively. We try to talk to Nemit about what our options are, and he blows us off. Abruptly, Remi physically ages three years to 26, Kaiva ages physically four years to 31, and Yannic de-ages two years to 17, both physically and mentally. As he looks around, the only person he recognizes is Remi, since Yannic has forgotten all the events of the past two years.

Kaiva attempts to seduce Nemit, who flicks a dart at her, sending into the ethereal plane. The rest of the party loses sight of her, but Kaiva can still observe the material plane. Remi tries to protect Yannic while Fen also has a go at seducing Nemit. When that fails, Fen turns her charm on Andraki, who is similarly unimpressed. Andraki reiterates that she just wants the handcuffs.

Outside the cave, Keanvari falls to knees and starts crying. Andraki’s attention is immediately focused on Keanvari. Yannic, who thinks the person outside is Kean, rushes forward, and it takes both Remi and Fen to stop Yannic from reaching through the cage’s bars to comfort Keanvari. Andraki tells us we have six seconds to hand over the manacles before she leaves. Instead of paying any attention to the demon goddess, we climb over each other to keep Yannic safe from himself and Nemit, so Andraki leaves as promised, taking her sobbing brother with her.

Nemit tells us again to swear that we’ll stay in this plane. Remi agrees. We ask if we’d all have to swear, and we ask what will happen to the other plane. Nemit tells us yes to the first, and that the other will not be our concern. He also says Kaiva can still hear and see us, even though we can’t see her on the ethereal plane. As Nemit tells us to think about all the people we’ve killed, all the children we’ve killed, he moves closer to the group, and Yannic is thrown into the ethereal plane with Kaiva.

To Kaiva’s eyes, Yannic has de-aged to be a literal child who knows next to nothing, so she tries to explain to Yannic what’s going on with the apocalypse and whatever Nemit’s talking about with the planes. Nemit’s words about being responsible for the death of so many children ringing in her ears, Kaiva gives in and swears she’ll stay in this plane. Kaiva reappears in the material plane, leaving Yannic in the ethereal plane by himself.

Remi persuades Yannic to swear as well, even though he doesn’t really understand what he’s swearing, and Fen swears just as Yannic returns to the material plane. Ondelin confusedly swears as well, but Nemit tells him he doesn’t need to. Betha swears, finally, and Nemit tells us not to do any more world shifting. We tell him we didn’t mean or want to just as Nemit steps through the air and disappears.

We turn back to the cage bars, trying to figure out how to get out. Remi attempts Knock, to no avail. Betha makes sure Andraki or Keanvari aren’t nearby before Remi uses Sending to contact Andra. When Remi tells her briefly what’s happened, Andra laughs and comes to the party cave to laugh some more.

Remi Shatters the cave floor near the entrance, turning it into rubble we can move to go under the cage’s perimeter. Andra merrily leads us back to the safety cave, laughing in anticipation of Kean’s reaction to Yannic being de-aged. Upon seeing Yannic, Kean freezes and then proceeds to avoid Yannic as much as possible. Kaiva is upset with the Banishers, so she stays outside the cave.

While Kean makes soup for dinner, Andra sidles up to Yannic to ask how he and Kean first met. She says Kean’s told her, but she doesn’t believe his version of it, given his personality and social history. Yannic says Kean was nice. When prompted by Andra, Yannic agrees that Kean “just showed up” and gave him magic. Betha recalls what Sivoreen told her just before Banfey on this plane – different people and factions took interest in each of the kids who fought off the demon on Banfiend nearly ten years ago. Hearing this, Andra gets a strange look on her face, gets up, and goes to her room.

While the rest of us discuss what extraplanar factions might have taken an interest in whom, Kaiva goes to Andra’s room to ask who is in charge of the area the Monsterary is in. Andra says it’s either the celestials or the fey, but she isn’t sure because she mostly pays attention to the fiends. After dancing around naming the place, Kaiva asks if Andra’s heard of the Monsterary. Andra says she has, slightly. Trying another tack, Kaiva asks if Andra knows about Kean’s suppliers for his magical teleportation stuff. Andra says no, but she’s interested in sitting in when Kaiva says she’ll ask Kean himself.

Kaiva approaches Kean as he makes soup as far away from everyone as possible, and she tells him they need to talk about his suppliers, specifically Sylyarus. Kaiva wants to know what Kean knows about him. When Kean says he doesn’t know much besides that he’s in the “acquisitions business”, Kaiva admonishes him for being a fool who buys from someone he doesn’t know. Kean says he hasn’t talked to Sylyarus since he finished the magic thing he was doing. He offers to draw a teleportation circle for Kaiva, one that will take her directly to Sylyarus’ compound. Kean says he isn’t sure if he’s there or dead or anything, but he does draw the circle on Kaiva’s clipboard. Kaiva tells him she’s sure he’s still alive.

Seeing that Kaiva’s done, Andra asks Kean if he was making planar gates. Andra takes Kean’s silence as confirmation, and she walks away. Kaiva tells Kean to make soup and stay away from people like Sylyarus, and then she returns to her spot outside the cave.

A little while after, Andra walks through the cave to its entrance carrying a packed bag. Kaiva stops her and asks what’s up. Andra says she ran away from her brother for ten years because she thought he was evil, and now it appears he’s been doing evil things. Kaiva asks where she’s going and offers Sylyarus’ compound, since Kaiva plans on going there. Andra tears up and makes sure Kaiva wasn’t part of the group of kids on Banfiend ten years ago before agreeing.

Andra offers to teleport the two of them, though she does warn Kaiva her teleportation doesn’t always work well. Andra suggests they get Yannic away too, so they plan to take a watch together later and take Yannic. Plan made, Andra and Kaiva settle in for Pictionary.

Later in the afternoon, Fen passes by to find the boulder at the bottom of the hill. Andra and Kaiva decline to help. It takes until dusk, but Fen manages to push the boulder up the hill by herself. Andra and Kaiva try to persuade Fen to leave the cave’s entrance open. Kaiva tells Fen that Andra is upset with Kean, so they want to play a prank on him, like taking all of his stuff. Andra gets super into the idea of drowning Kean. Between their dubious explanations and the packed bag sitting next to Andra, Fen figures something is up and calls Betha over.

Betha asks what’s going on, and Andra explains that she’s angry with Kean and needs to leave for a while. Kaiva says she has some important errands to run. Fen tells Kaiva how hurt she is that Kaiva is leaving her. Andra and Kaiva don’t mention that they want to take Yannic with them, but they provide an explanation for why they want the cave entrance left open. Betha says she’ll join them during their watch since she plans on staying up all night to test Yannic’s theory about sleep anyway. Fen rolls the boulder back down the hill and sits by it, upset by Kaiva’s betrayal of their friendship. Betha offers to make a couple of Swift Step Draughts for Andra and Kaiva, and they agree to wait at least that long before leaving.

Meanwhile, Kean has finished making his soup, and he tells everyone dinner is ready. Andra looks as though she wants some, but she’s reluctant to enter the cave. When Kaiva gets some soup for herself and Andra, Kean tells her he’s made candy as well, but Andra will have to come and get it herself. Despite trying her hardest, Kaiva is unable to wrest any candy from Kean, so she goes back to Andra and tells her they should drown Kean and take his candy. Andra laughs and says she really misses her brother. She’s not sure if the Kean in the cave is her brother or not, but that was pretty funny. Kaiva tells Andra she could stay with her brother if she wants, but Andra says she’ll go with Kaiva to do some thinking. After she gets some of that candy.

When Andra enters the cave, Kean pulls out the candy and holds it in his hand, waiting. After a bit, Andra gives in and goes to their room, and Kean follows. From behind the closed door, we hear shouting for the next few hours.

At sunset, Kaiva returns to her normal age, but Remi and Yannic remain 26 and 17, respectively.


shannon_m_allred Millie

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