After resting up, Teb prepares to meet with the mysterious Energy Vampire. It’s a risky move, but if they are ever going to make any progress in this land they should start forming allies. Should these allies form an underground society it could be incredibly useful as well. They would be able to lend wide support in secret and be able to respect the secrets that our party wished to keep. It would also help that Teb has something they want. Teb waits in the predetermined alley and around noon, the tattooed man shows up. But he is far from being alone. He is accompanied by a dozen or so men who are also hairless. Teb is glad Teb had the forethought to take a position atop a building. As Teb talks to the man, who Teb comes to learn is called Slylief; Teb gets a bit more information and tries to set a dialogue of trust between the two. But they do not wish to trust Teb when Teb is not sharing what he agreed to give him. Teb is a man of his word. After confirming that they will uphold their agreement and leave Teb with some power, Teb comes down to meet them. Teb then lowers himself to the ground to meet the PsiStalkers as they prefer to be called. A disheartening name to be certain, But Teb cannot make assumptions about people blindly based on their race or abilities. Teb allows Slylief’s companion to consume a portion of Teb’s power, but not before Teb obtains an earring from Slylief and adds it to his bag of trinkets. Teb inquired more about the Psistalkers, the Judges, and this land in general. Teb gets few more answers before the companion consumes the entirety of my power. Teb doesn’t want to assume that this is an outright betrayal of trust. Teb gives them an opportunity to do the right thing, but they foolishly squander this opportunity. This saddens Teb. He seems like just another person who foolishly overlooks the value of trust and friendship.
They offer to take Teb to their lair, an offer that is nothing more than a lightly veiled threatening demand. Teb cordially gives them a chance to save themselves from the retribution that will surely follow. But they refuse. This will not end well for them. How regrettable. Teb very politely opts to walk calmly with the men without the need to be bound. They might be untrustworthy brutes but that is no reason to be uncivil about the whole thing, even if he’s being hooded and carted away. This gives time for Teb to reflect.
Teb is fully aware of his peculiarity towards proper manners and politeness. It is one of the unavoidable marks of his station. There was on time when Greyber the reputable merchant was invited to the Strom manor to stay in hopes that a business deal might be struck. Teb had the distinct displeasure of learning how incredibly drunk and rude Greyber could be. Teb played the role as Target for the throwing of empty wine bottles, Groom of the Stool, and had to hold the bedpan for Greyber’s poorly aimed piss. All the while Teb smiled and thanked Greyber for the opportunity to serve. Teb knew better to displeasure his house. Until in one drunken stupor Greyber not only announces to Lord Strom that he will not be entering a business contract but intends to enter Lady Strom instead. At this point Teb, with the slightest of nods from Lord Strom and as much courtesy as could exist under such circumstances; Teb ushered the chair out from under Greyber, introduced his forehead to the underside of a platter, added some color to his pale cheeks by use of a butchers blade, allowed Greyber to feel the lush imported rug as he was dragged across it, and gave him the singular genuine experience of momentary flight as he exited a window. All the while Teb thanked Greyber for allowing Teb such pleasure of company, insisted that he need not apologize for the blood stains he was leaving, and apologizing for having used such large words in his presence.
Teb then realizes that they are leading him down a set if stairs. They are being very careful with Teb warning him of potential missteps. It would seem that they do not wish any physical harm to Teb. This could be useful information. As the reach the bottom landing they instruct Teb to take ten steps forward and then remove the hood. Teb is polite but not stupid. He removes the hood to see a large cage in front of him. It would appear that passivity was lots on these men. They wished to jail a man who followed them willingly, and steal from a man who had offered to give? Teb informs them of their errors to no avail. He refuses to be jailed futilely and stubbornly. When they try to force Teb into the cell, they find it far more difficult than they would have originally thought. Teb is able to dodge them and avoid the onslaught of attacks fairly well. But it is only a matter of time before they finally grab hold of him.
Sitting in the cell Teb makes quick friends with Teb’s neighbor, who goes by the name Ornaught. Ornaught told Teb of many things. The PsiStalkers come down in groups of generally 8 or so to feed and such the energy every few hours. This could give Teb enough time to store the energy for one massive trick but it would be difficult to do alone. Teb then learns that there is already a resistance brewing. There is a mystical jewel that they have among them that can store massive amounts of psychic energy for later use and they are pooling their energies into it to coordinate a rebellion. Teb has just then plan on how to use the energy. After half a day of meditating, storing, and feeding; it is time for the plan to come to fruition. The combative Psychics all grab energies for themselves and are ready.
Unfortunately for this feeding we have more PsiStalkers than ever. 12 of the brutes are down to feed. This might get tricky. One such man approaches Teb’s cage and demands Teb come closer to allow the beast his ritual. Teb does let him close but then does something he does not expect. With a graceful touch of his skin Teb inhabited his body, and watched as Teb’s own body crumbled to the floor (Teb knew Teb should have placed some sort of padding on the ground there). Teb looked around and saw the cell keys on the waist of a neighboring PsiStalker. This should be easy enough. One more gentle touch and the keys are now in Teb’s borrowed hand, and unlocking the cage before him. Teb notices another Psistalker at the other end signaling to him. This must be another captive who has also borrowed a vessel. Teb makes his way to him and unlocks the cage of the unconscious form that must be long to this man. Then Teb unlocks the cage of the man he is told is a very powerful man, who Teb learns is called Wev. Teb then formulates a plan. The Other possessed man should cause a distraction to draw the PsiStalkers together where Teb can summon a shield trapping them. The plan goes off nearly perfectly, albeit with a few alterations. Wev actually is the one to cast the bubble, and the young man causing the diversion actually does it at the cage door of one of the captives causing the bubble to block his only route of escape. But this is still a relatively successful escape.
Teb instructs one of the other captives to continue unlocking the cage doors. Teb then makes his current vessel toss down his weapons walk into an empty cage, lock it and then releases control of it so that he may join Wev upstairs. Teb runs up the stairs and readies his weapons. He discovers six PsiStalkers already engaged in battle. They strike Teb and strike him hard. When Teb is outnumbered like this he cannot hope to win in direct battle. Teb used the nearly remainder of Teb’s power to pick up the three men attacking him simultaneously and clash them together over and over and over again until they expire. We then grab a chest of goodies and join up with all the rest of the freed captives.
Now that there are 30 some odd Psionicists waiting outside a bubble of 10 PsiStalkers, the bubble is no longer protecting from the PsiStalkers, but a protection for the PsiStalkers. The Psionicists want blood, which is understandable as some of them have been there for about 3 years. Teb is torn, He cannot allow the Psionicists to commit what is tantamount to genocide, which is the most despicable notion Teb has ever learned. But at the same time Teb had already offered forgiveness and peace to the PsiStalkers and they already refused it. They choose instead for lies, dishonor, captivity and rudeness. They have already shown that they will say whatever they need to say in order to get what they want. Teb feels his compassion being drowned out by righteous vindication. They should feel the torture they have imbued on others, especially those that have been captive for more than 3 years. The hunters will be hunted for once. Teb demands the PsiStalkers disarm and then they will be allowed a small head start whereby the Psionicists will give chase and hunt and do whatever they wish to any PsiStalkers they can catch.
Teb then goes back outside to talk to Wev. There is a small bit of chatting and Teb obtains a pendant for his trinket bag. Then a stampede of PsiStalkers erupts from the Lair and charge towards them, fearing for their lives as they righty should (after all some of them have been captives for 3 years). They yell at Teb to get out of their way. Teb cannot stand such rudeness. Teb will not be moving. Teb has bowed to your demands enough. Teb will move aside no more today. Placing one foot behind Teb’s self and his two trusty magical swords in front of Teb’s self, Teb lets the Stalker run himself through. Whether this was a statement to the world or simply himself Teb doesn’t care. Teb is exhausted and eager to relax.
All the Psionicists meet up and divide the loot that Teb found. Some are rather displeased with their share since the spent 3 years in captivity, but considering a rather small portion of them did any real work. They should be allowed the lions share. Teb may not have been expecting such events, but in the end he did make several allies, and that was in fact his end goal.
To Be continued
Image from Game of Thrones.