Blood Ties, Chapter 12: Alone

Last time on Blood Ties, Conor, Abeke, Tarik, and Lishay started a fetch quest, but split up when they were waylaid by Bile-enhanced crocodiles. Will they complete the quest in time? Find out after the cut.

It was very quiet after everyone left the clearing. Jhi stopped licking Rollan’s head, but she lay down next to him and put a paw on his chest, where Essix had been sitting. Essix hopped onto the panda’s shoulder, wanting to be higher but not willing to be separated from Rollan.

So, how are you doing, Meilin?

Meilin: I’m bored. Rollan is sick, and I need something to punch. Is Jodoboda really going to cure Rollan when the party gets back?

Hey, I’m not spoiling that for you. You’ll find out if they get back.

Meilin: Ugh.

The good news is that Jhi’s healing abilities have removed Rollan’s rashes!

Rollan: Yay! Can I do something now?

No. You’re too sick to do anything.

Rollan: Argh! Why did I get sick in the first place?

Well, nobody in your party checked on you, you didn’t tell anyone that you were feeling feverish, and I needed an excuse for the party to do a fetch quest.

Oh! And look who emerges from the jungle. It’s Xue!

Meilin: What is she doing here?

Xue: I was supposed to sell pots to the Tergesh, but I guess they’re not here. Pricks.

Meilin: [recaps everything that happened so far]

Xue: Oh. Well, the good news is that banana gourd seeds really do help cure the Sunset Death, so Rollan should be fine.

Rollan: If they come back, dammit.

And it’s starting to rain.

Xue: It looks like I have a tent in my inventory. I’m gonna pitch it.

Okay. You pitch the tent. Unfortunately, Rollan and Jhi are the only ones who fit inside.

Meilin Oh you’ve got to be kidding.

Xue: Don’t worry, I also have an umbrella in my inventory, too. But you need to go out and collect rhino dung for a fire, Meilin.

Meilin: Oh, you’re sending me on a fetch quest now? Fine, I’ll go.

While you go collect rhino dung — it’s everywhere, it’s not much of a fetch quest —

Meilin: Thank god.

— you start to realize that you have feelings for Rollan!

Meilin: Wait, what?

Yep! You actually care for him. And you admire his loyalty.

Meilin: Ugh.

The rest of this is really boring. You build a fire, drink tea, eat some sort of soup —

Xue: Rat soup?

Yeah, probably. And then you go to sleep.

Meilin: That wasn’t much of a session.

It’s called character development. It fleshes you out more. Seriously, you folks need it.

Meilin: You know what? I liked playing with a full party more than going solo. I’m never going solo again.


Stuff I Forgot to Mention Above:
Xue reveals that she left the Greencloaks, but is considering rejoining them. And it’s mostly because Olvan and Lenori didn’t learn much from her. Yes, she’s that old.

Title Drop!

Meilin forced herself to lean back against the rock. It was too wet to lie down, but some of the warmth from the fire reached her. She was restless and tired at the same time. She watched Rollan lying with the spirit animals, his breath shallow. It was awful, being so helpless, knowing that unless Abeke and Conor and the others got back in time with the banana gourd seeds, he would die. But he wasn’t alone, and neither, now, was she.


Next time: Abeke and Conor finally find those quest items.

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