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Old 12-06-2017, 02:09 AM
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Default Some Kind of Duality

Hi! If you've been following my tumblr, you might have noticed all the DnD stuff! Telecod is great. You may also have noticed something I dubbed "The AU-ddan Chronicles", which is almost a role-swap of canon: my cleric is toting around a possibly-malevolent goddess, and her sort-of-girlfriend is tagging along for the entire ride because she's fascinated and also fucking hates Khyta for using the poor girl as a meat puppet. Also Dave from Morphic is there, but that's true of the campaign in general, hehe.

I wrote p much all of the already-extant ones (all four) on mobile, which for the most part means the occasional typo and weird formatting. Putting them on here - with a good title, even! - gave me an excuse to properly edit them! So if you saw these on tumblr, you might notice the occasional tweak for continuity, like the entire convo at the end of this one.

So enjoy this disaster and inconsistent divider lines! As said I have like four of these so far and a fifth in the making. Most of these don't have subtitles. Whoops!

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Wynn was used to how temples make her feel now. The abandoned ones feel cold, leaving the taste of rust and stone in her mouth. Blegh. The occupied ones depend on the deity they serve; her own, Lhira’s temples, make her feel giddy and light, like some sort of otherworldly breeze. She’s been to others, ones that taste of seawater, feel like a smoldering fire, make her wanna curl up and take a nap.

This one, though? It doesn’t feel cold, and the air doesn’t taste weird, but it doesn’t quite have the same thrum of life that the other active temples had. No, just a faint warm feeling, deep in her core, the faintest spark of…something.

This has to be it. She knew it was out there!

She pushes the doors open with all her might, slipping inside the second the opening was clear enough. She takes a moment to regain her strength: being a dwarf was nice in terms of stamina, but for Lhira’s sake, those doors were heavy!

She presses onwards. The temple looks…oddly well-kept. Sure, it’s a little dusty, but most of the temples she explored were either crumbling or turned into monster nests. This one? Everything’s still intact!

Well, the easier it is to explore, she supposes.

Nothing too complex, this one, just follow your heart! Literally, in fact; the little spark grew if she went the right way. Lhira guiding her along! Sweeeeet, she was gonna be world-renowned! Lhira’s best cleric ever!

And there it is. Rested on a small altar in the deepest recesses of the temple, a shining blue sapphire. (Oh, it was definitely Lhira’s, it’s blue, it’s gotta be!) She approaches the altar, keeping an eye out for traps…nope, none. What? Alright, that’s a little spooky…

Meh, easy to reclaim then! And her mentor said she’d need more “experience”. Hah!

She takes the sapphire in hand, fiddling with the gold chain it was attached to. A necklace, huh? A pretty one, at that. The other Joydancers were gonna be delighted!

But she can’t just leave it in her bag, no…pickpockets and thieves abound, and what kind of shitty cleric would let their Precious Artifact get stolen from right under her nose? No, she should wear it. Just to be safe.

She slips it over her head, and the chain suddenly tightens. It’s not choking her, but it won’t budge. What in Lhira’s name…

Her head feels like it’s about to split open.

She can feel the same spark she felt earlier, concentrated on that necklace, and the world around her seems to fade…

She comes to, and she can see everything again, but something still doesn’t feel quite right…Her body moves seemingly of its own accord, glancing down at herself, and she hears her own voice…

“Well, I suppose this one will HAVE to do.”

“Ummm….” Wynn can’t speak, it’s as if she’s locked out of her own body, but the voice responds all the same.

Oh, right, you’re here. No matter, just let me handle things from here on out.”

“And you are….”

“Khyta. Goddess of light, yadda yadda yadda, sealed away without getting all Her power.”

“Khyta…” Wynn searches her brain for why that sounds familiar, and she suddenly sees flames and devastation. “Oh no. Oh nononono. This won’t work.”

“Well, it has to. You’re stuck with Me till I Ascend.” And with that, Wynn can feel herself getting pushed back into control.

“I mean,” she says aloud, “I’m a cleric of Lhira, and I’m-”

“Oh, HER. No matter, we can deal with that.”

“No, because your followers have been destroying my Lady’s temples.”

Wynn can hear a long, drawn out sigh in her head. “They’re idiots. They don’t have any concept of what My will is. ‘Your Lady’ will understand.”

Wynn tries to wrench the necklace off, but to no avail. She can hear laughter in her head. “Oh, honey, it’s not moving. Nice try.”

Oof. This was really gonna complicate her search for the relic…

—————————————————————————————————–

“What’s with the eyes?” Wynn’s eyes immediately flash, reverting to their natural hazel from the piercing gold that signaled Khyta was in control. She stops, eyes wide.

“Gift from my dear goddess, of course! Hehe…”

The wizard continues to scowl at her, murmuring “Lhira’s fucking blue.”

Wynn sheepishly grins, fidgeting with her holy symbol. If they know, that’ll surely be the death of her…and she really doesn't want that amulet in the hands of a Khytist. Play it cool…

She catches the eye of the very pretty sorceress who was accompanying them. The elf - Ruby, that’s her name - smiles warmly.

She can hear the booming Goddess voice in her head: “GO TALK TO HER, YOU PATHETIC GIRL. GOOD GODS.”

She rolls her eyes and draws her mace. Talk later; now, they fight.
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Old 12-06-2017, 02:13 AM
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Default Re: Some Kind of Duality

Part 2: in which we have already exceeded the word count of the novel I'm supposed to be writing, and also more Ruby, who I love.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
“Your eyes are fascinating,” the elf muses. Wynn, in turn, blushes; it’s hard to see underneath the beard, but the rest of her face is red too.

“What do you mean?” Wynn asks. (She knows full well what she means.) “They’re just hazel…”

“Sometimes they’re gold!” Ruby grins.

“Trick of the light?”

Ruby shakes her head. “They change from hazel to gold in the blink of…well, an eye, and back just as fast!”

Wynn freezes. She plasters a smile on her face—she’s had months of practice—and fiddles with her beard braid. “Well, that’s—"

She hears the Goddess Voice in her head. GIRL, SHE KNOWS SOMETHING’S UP, JUST TELL HER.

“I’m not going to tell her, Golden Bitch,” she mutters.

HOW DARE YOU CALL ME—

“Golden Bitch?”

Fuck.

“Uh, hehe, it’s nothing-“

She feels herself being punted out of control, gold creeping along the edges of her vision. She hears her not-voice speak (she is still not used to that, Gods): “Well, if she won’t tell you, I will. I am Khyta, goddess of light.”

Ruby raises an (immaculate) eyebrow. She asks, quietly, “Isn’t your goddess Lhira? You know, goddess of joy and happiness?”

Khyta sighs dramatically. “Yes, the girl’s primary deity of choice is Lhira. She just happened to be in the right place at the right time. Stumbled upon my temple, put on the amulet, blah blah blah. So now I’m using her body.”

Ruby’s eyes widen. “Seriously? You’re a goddess! Why can’t you just, you know, goddess-magic up a body or something?”

Another long, dramatic sigh. (Khyta should really add Drama to Her list of deific domains.) “Normally, yes, but I did not properly Ascend. So now I have to rely on the girl to do it.”

“Oh.” Ruby seems perplexed, and a bit upset? Oh great, she was gonna hate Wynn, and maybe tell everyone else and they’d ALL hate her, and then she’d have to leave and go back to doing this on her own—

“Well, I’ll accompany you then.”

Wynn’s thought process stops in its tracks. Khyta simply chuckles. “Well, you managed to stop her from panicking. Why, though?”

Ruby’s eyes gleam with a passion that Wynn honestly hasn’t seen before (Ruby is fairly laidback, she’s noticed). “I just don’t think it’s fair to piggyback off an unsuspecting mortal,” she muses. “So the quicker you Ascend, the faster she can have a normal life. You agree?”

Khyta chuckles again—Wynn doesn’t want to think about what that means—and finally relinquishes control. Wynn nearly collapses, losing her balance for a moment as Ruby rushes to catch her.

“Wynnie! Oh gods, are you okay?” The elf looks horrified. Wynn stands upright again and nods.

She sits down on the edge of her bedroll. “It’s kind of exhausting, to be honest. Having to watch yourself do and say things against your will? Not to mention the ENDLESS MENTAL ARGUMENTS.”

She hears the Goddess Voice again. WE WOULDN’T HAVE THIS PROBLEM IF YOU WOULD JUST—

“Khyta, for once, please just shut up.”

Ruby sits down next to her on the bedroll. “What does helping Khyta Ascend entail?”

Wynn shrugs. “As far as I know, finding Her temples and getting power. I don’t know. She isn’t very forthcoming.”

Ruby frowns. “Well, I guess we’ll figure it out together then, right?”

Wynn genuinely smiles for the first time in a while. “I suppose so.”
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Last edited by Flora; 12-06-2017 at 02:21 AM. Reason: IT'S A Y, IT'S YOUR OWN CHARACTER'S NAME RACHEL
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Old 12-06-2017, 02:20 AM
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Default Re: Some Kind of Duality

Part Three: in which there is a library, and more Ruby, and a troll of a goddess, and someone really needs to make a move, dammit.

-------------------------------------------------------

Look, Wynn just wanted to accompany her crush–er, Ruby to the library. Studying’s hard, yo, and having someone to help you look for things is great.

You know what would be nicer? If Khyta would stop echoing GOOOOO TO THE LIBRARYYYYYYYY in her head like some perverse ghost. What the fuck, Khyta, good gods.

She was going anyway, Khyta, chill! Ruby needs info on what the things that nearly killed Wynn are, and as much as Wynn really doesn’t want to think about them, it will probably help them out in the long run.

They make it to the library and the second the doors open, Wynn hears it: LET ME RESEARCH LET ME RESEARCH FOOLISH GIRL

Wynn shrugs it off and follows Ruby, helping the sorceress pick out a book and settling down at a table. And ignoring the COME ON LET ME RESEARCH pounding through her head. This is okay. This is fine. This is honestly the most normal she’s felt since that amulet found its way to her.

And of course the minute she thinks that, her vision suddenly cuts out and all she can hear is her Not-Voice.

“Not THAT one, not that one, ugh…”

Wynn tries to communicate: UM…WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU DOING?

Khyta decidedly ignores her, but has apparently stopped criticizing the books.

It’s a few more minutes of silence on Khyta’s part—and the rest of the world, honestly—before her vision suddenly blinks into existence, and now there’s a pile of books on the floor and a very unsettled Ruby, muttering “don’t throw them on the floor Khyta they are to be RESPECTED.”

“Sorry…” Wynn murmurs. She moves to clean them up, but Ruby stops her.

“I got them, just check what your roommate left us.”

Wynn checks the table, and lo and behold, a…map? A map of the area, with an x marking…something?

“Maybe she’s trying to help me find my relic?” Wynn muses, though she really doesn’t believe it.

Ruby nods; they’ve discussed the mystery relic Wynn was searching for, as it was a fairly important part of how Wynn got the godsforesaken amulet in the first place.

And suddenly the gold creeps back into her vision. OH COME ON, Wynn chastises from inside her own head.

“Perhaps a bit later, I might help our dear cleric friend,” Khyta says. “But for now, this is a quest all my own.”

“One of your temples, perhaps?” Ruby wonders aloud.

“I believe so. I do hope our dear friend can handle the power I will obtain…”

Ruby frowns, presumably mulling over exactly what that means in her head. Wynn groans internally.

“Alright, alright, girl, I’m done now, nothing left to find. No need to rush me along…” The gold recedes from Wynn’s vision and she is suddenly exhausted.

“Wynnie!!!” Ruby dashes over to her. “Are you okay?”

Wynn nods. “I was lucky enough to observe everything that time.”

“That time?” Ruby looks genuinely concerned. “Does she lock you out often?!”

“Not usually. She used to at night sometimes—“

“Yeah, I had to tell her to stop coming on to me.”

“What?! Oh my god is THAT why she was groaning incessantly for a week?!”

Ruby giggles. “Soooo, we got our temple, we got our footprints, on we go?”

Wynn nods. “Though I think I’d like to nap for an hour…or seven….oh gods I think I’m gonna miss An’s party…”

She defiantly ignores the booming YOU SHOULDN’T HAVE ACCEPTED IN THE FIRST PLACE in her head.

“Alright, let’s get some rest, Wynnie. It’s been a long few days.”
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Old 12-06-2017, 02:29 AM
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Default Re: Some Kind of Duality

Part Four: Sidekick Confessional

Or, Ruby was supposed to just talk to lead into the most iconic thing of the entire campaign so far, and then she went I AM INCREDIBLY GAY so instead it's 1159 words almost all about feelings. It's schmoop, and probably on its own more words than I have for the novel. Also the last I have for now! More eventually!

Note: there is one (1) attempted seduction. Nothing happens, I promise.

-----------------------------------------------------

No offense, but most of the dwarves Ruby met were kinda grumps. Nice people, absolutely, but good gods, some of them need to lighten up!

So it takes her by surprise when she takes up an escort job and finds an INCREDIBLY enthusiastic dwarf whose shtick seemed to be unbounded optimism. And loudness. But it’s endearing, in a way.

Riswynn Ironfist, she said her name was. A lovely name—perhaps the last didn’t quite suit her happy-go-lucky attitude, but it flowed nicely. A cleric of the goddess of joy Herself…ah, that would be where the optimism comes from!

The optimism was the first thing Ruby noticed. The second was her eyes.

At first it‘s just the lights that seemed to dance in them, a semi-permanent sparkle reflecting the vibrancy of her personality. Or something romantic like that. But then the woman who hired them asks them to fight each other, and something seems to change…

Her eyes gleam almost golden, and her entire demeanor changes; her posture stiffens, her bright smile shifts to a more intense smirk. Fascinating.

She spends so much time looking at Riswynn’s eyes that she gets nailed in the face by a Magic Missile. Oof.

The dwarf’s eyes fade back to hazel, and she dashes over to Ruby. “I got it! Don’t worry!” She murmurs a quick prayer to Lhira and Ruby feels a breeze drift over her, soothing her injuries. “Better?” The dwarf asks, smiling gently.

Ruby can hear the wizard who hit her gagging in the background. She doesn’t care.

She nods. “Thank you, Wynnie.”

———————————————

“What’s with your eyes?” The wizard—Dave, Ruby thinks—asks.

Wynnie looks panicked, for a moment. “Gift from my dear Goddess, of course!” Her voice is shaking.

Ruby, for what it’s worth, finds that acceptable, most of them do, really, but Dave instead murmurs, “Lhira’s fucking blue.” Huh. So perhaps there’s a bit more to this mystery…And Ruby loves mysteries.

Ruby opts to ask that night.

———————————————

“Cohabiting opposing goddess” was not the explanation Ruby was expecting. But things could be weirder, she guesses. She doesn’t quite know what to think of Khyta, yet…

But Wynnie herself looks to be at her wit’s end. And Ruby is many things—sorcerer, scholar, elf—but she is not the kind of person who will let the poor girl take on this quest alone. So for better or worse, she agrees to help.

(And okay, maybe Wynnie is pretty, and maybe that helps too. But she’s not gonna SAY that.)

———————————————

It’s fascinating, watching Wynnie in combat.

Her eyes flash golden, that semi-infuriating smirk graces her face, and she grips her mace even tighter. She looks more like a goddess of war than a cleric of joy. Or a goddess of light. Whatever.

But the instant anyone is hurt, the gold slips away from her eyes, that bright smile Ruby’s grown fond of finds its way back onto her face, and she flits across the battlefield to heal the wounded. It’s actually impressive, considering she’s decked out in scale mail and a huge fucking pendant.

She sees an invisible monster slash at Wynnie, and more importantly, she sees the cleric collapse to the ground. Surely Khyta can see the battle through, right?

Wynnie still isn’t moving.

Screw attacking, she thinks, I don’t want to risk the good half of this duo being lost forever. She rushes to Wynnie’s side, potion in hand, and pours it into her mouth.

Wynnie sputters for a second, opens her gold eyes—dammit!—before murmuring “useless…”

“Hey!” The shout startles a large portion of the battlefield. Ruby lowers her voice to a whisper. “Don’t talk about the girl who’s saving your godlihood like that.”

Khyta begins, “I wasn’t…” but as she blinks, the gold fades from her eyes, and Wynnie is left breathing heavily and clinging to Ruby.

Okay, Ruby can feel the wizard staring, and she’d prefer he Not do that, thank you.

————————————————–

The first night starts normal: Ruby slips into her bedroll, Wynnie in her own beside her, and she closes her eye and starts to drift off to sleep…and suddenly she feels her bedroll shift beneath her.

Ruby opens her eyes and is greeted by the sight of two golden eyes staring right back at her.
She shifts backwards and stammers out a “w-w-what the hell??? Goldie, come on.”

With her sensitive elf eyes, Ruby can see Khyta smirk—it’s…different than her normal “I’m gonna kick your ass” smirk, somehow.

“Aw come onnn, Ruby…I’ve been stuck in that amulet for sooooo looooong…”

Oh. Oh for Lhira’s sake, is that how she’s trying to seduce her?! With Wynnie’s face?!

“Go to bed, Khyta.” Ruby rolls over and closes her eyes, only turning back towards Wynnie when she hears her muttering “Khyta come on I’m trying to sleep WHY ARE YOU GROANING”

The second night is the same; Khyta trying very hard to get Ruby to mess around with her, because it’s been millennia or whatever her excuse is, and Ruby rolls over, tries to sleep and painfully pretends that she can’t hear Wynn agonizing over whatever the goddess is doing in her head.

The third night, Ruby finally says, “Look, I’m not doing this while you’re sharing a body with Wynn. I’m just not.”

Khyta looks taken aback for a brief moment, but changes her approach. “The girl would be very much into it.”

“Somehow I genuinely doubt it.”

“Fiiiiine. I’m holding you to it, though.”

“That’s not what I—“

Khyta blinks, and now Ruby’s looking into the very pretty hazel eyes that drew her to the cleric in the first place. “Bee?”

(Wynnie, bless her, had mentally nicknamed pretty much the entire party, except for Dave. In her own words, “Dave might actually kill me if I nickname him.”)

“Go back to bed,” Ruby whispers. They definitely need to talk about this, but perhaps not tonight.

Wynnie actually gets to sleep that night.

———————————————

“So…Khyta was coming on to you?” Wynnie is ultimately the one to broach the topic as they take the afternoon off after the Library Incident. She immediately clutches her head, muttering “Khyta come on this stopped for like a week WHY ARE YOU GROANING.”

Ruby winces in sympathy. “Y…yeah, she said you would be…interested, I guess?”

Wynnie’s eyes widen. She a) nervously laughs and b) starts muttering “Khyta what the fuck what the fuck WHAT THE FUCK don’t give me that ‘trying to help’ nonsense—“

Ruby places a hand on the dwarf’s shoulder. “Wynnie, it’s okay.” She smiles, continuing on, “I mean, I’m not…uninterested?”

Wynnie stares at her in shock. “I…you….what?”

Ruby presses a quick kiss to the dwarf’s cheek. “I mean what I say. Come on, let’s meet the rest of the group for dinner.”

The rest of the night doesn’t go QUITE as well, but that’s another story. For now, as Ruby takes her dear Wynnie’s hand and leads her to the inn’s dining area, everything’s all right.
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Old 12-09-2017, 02:13 AM
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Default Re: Some Kind of Duality

Part Five: Sidekick Confessionals 2 (aka it's ruby's POV again)

In which everything happens so much, Dave is not only there but a very important part, CERTAIN goddesses REALLY need to pay attention to time and place, and I stg I will die for the "Khyta is Chaotic Good actually" theory. Also I WROTE MORE THAN THE GOOP OF LAST CHAPTER?????

----------------------------------------------------------

The dining room of the inn is bustling. Most of the party is there; the only ones missing are Dave and An. Ruby leads in her dear cleric, whose face is incredibly, incredibly red.

If no one saw them on the way out of the library, Ruby basically holding up Wynn post-Khyta-info-dump, they certainly now would figure out that they were…oh, they never did clarify that.

Well, in Ruby’s mind, they are girlfriends. And that is that.

No one really seems to take notice—Larry takes off to do…something, Stieletta is being her usual prissy self and making pained faces at Flavia and her hat collection, Mistil seems to have fully embraced her new role as hat stand. The only exception is Fred.

He provides them with scented candles, insisting, “No, no, don’t worry, I have 98 left!”

Ruby is too frightened to ask. Who needs that many scented candles…

Dinner proceeds as usual, no one looks bewildered at Wynnie basically shoveling food into her mouth (to combat the immense energy drain of the constant Khyta switching…at least Ruby thinks that’s why), and they’re genuinely enjoying themselves, even as they hear Larry and doggo interrogate a member of the bandit tribe they’re hunting down.

A stranger sits down at the table—a bard, apparently—and asks to join their merry band. Ruby is skeptical—who just strolls up to a random table at an inn and asks to join them in adventuring??—but Wynnie is more than happy, talking about Lhira and blushing when he compliments her eyes. (Still hazel, Ruby doesn’t need to look. It’s pretty easy to tell who’s in control just by how they talk.)

Wynnie seems genuinely happier than she has since Ruby met her. So the bard passes her test for now. Just lay off the eyes, buster.

And suddenly Dave comes tearing past, stopping for a brief moment to tell Wynnie to fuck off before he rushes into the inn proper. He reappears a few moments later, robes changed for some reason?, and seats himself at the bar.

Looks like he’s having a rough night.

Wynnie looks perplexed more than sad; she knows how Dave is (“a grumpy-gills with deity issues”, in her own words). She shrugs and goes back to picking at what’s left of her food (not much).

It’s when Dave comes back, robes green and emitting a new record of fucks, and sits down at the bar that it all goes to shit.

Ruby, Wynnie and Mistil make their way there, slowly. They take seats at the bar; Dave glares at Wynnie, but says nothing.

“What happened?” Mistil asks (thank Khyta she’s here, voice of reason and a—did she just invoke Khyta in her head? Dear gods.)

“Don’t fucking ask.” Dave takes a swig of whatever the bartender has decided to destroy him with. “Just go, it’s not a good idea for you to be around me right now, anyway. Just fuck off.” He casts another glance towards Wynnie—Ruby can see his eyes widen briefly before he turns, seemingly panicked, towards the door when someone walks in.

Ruby tries this time: “Dave, what happened? You’re our teammate, you have to tell us.”

Wynnie says nothing; she’s said before that she knows she generally tends to be a nuisance to Dave more than anything.

Dave turns back to them, still visibly panic-stricken, and hisses, “I fucking killed a guy. There, you happy?! Fuck off.”

The rest of the party crowds around.

Wynnie gasps. Ruby can see gold flicker in her eyes briefly, before the cleric shakes it off. “…how?” Her voice is lower than normal—not to the same level as Khyta tends to be, but definitely not the usual high-pitched sing-song quality it usually has.

“I don’t know! My fucking friend got us into a fight, and I accidentally killed someone. Fuck.” He mutters something to himself; Ruby can pick up “gold-robed fucking—“ before he seemingly cuts himself off.

He picks up his head and turns to Wynnie, glaring at her. “Your eyes.”

Still hazel, Ruby notes. What was he—no. Oh no no no.

She tries to derail him, but Wynnie cuts her off. “Gift from my goddess, like I said!”

Her hands are shaking. Poor thing. This isn’t how Ruby wanted this conversation to happen.

Dave lets out a single, harsh laugh. “Lhira’s fucking blue. Why would she give you gold ones?” He turns back to his drunk. “Fucking Khytist.”

“Khytist?” Mistil’s eyebrows furrow. “Can’t say I’ve heard the term before…”

Ruby turns to look at Wynnie and sees the hazel-gold swirl in her panic-stricken eyes…just like in the library that morning, cleric and goddess dueling for control.

For the sake of everyone here, Ruby hopes her Wynnie wins.

Wynnie’s current mental power struggle doesn’t seem to escape Dave, either. A sense of recognition seems to pass over his face, and the glare on his face grows even more intense. “Yeah. Fuck your god, fuck the rest of you Khytists…” He trails off for a moment before pointing accusingly at Wynnie.

“or, rather, fuck you. Right, Khyta?”

Oh gods no.

The gold fills Wynnie’s eyes now, and the Golden Goddess Herself speaks: “THE KHYTISTS DO NOT SPEAK FOR ME!”

Well, that’s reassuring, somewhat, but maybe don’t reveal yourself to the entire godsforesaken inn?

The next few moments are a rush of things—Larry draws a sword, Fred nearly faints, Mistil is amazingly unperturbed, and when Wynnie comes back to herself she looks like she’s about to cry.

“Let’s go back to the room, Wynnie,” Ruby begins, but the cleric shakes her head.

“I can’t just leave them with all that and no explanation!” She sighs and tries to begin her tale of godly woe—

But no, now the guards are here and Larry set the inn on fire????

Fred is the first to succumb to the smoke, Larry scooping him and Dave off their feet and running.

Wynnie is the next. She falls to the ground, coughing and still sputtering out short little bursts of phrase whenever she can catch her breath. “I’m so sorry” and “I didn’t want to—“ and “I just—“ before they cut out entirely.

Ruby doesn’t even think, just lifts the dwarf and carries her out of town as fast as her feet will take her. The party follows—er, most of them. But An, Stieletta and the bard will find them eventually….right?

——————————————

When Fred comes to, he tells them that they can stay in his village until everything blows over.

When Wynnie comes to, her eyes are golden.

Before Ruby can say a single thing, the goddess mutters, “She’s fine, just saving her a bit of pain.”

“Huh. Oddly considerate of you.”

She laughs hoarsely. “As much as the girl likes to call me ‘Golden Bitch,’ I’m not that horrible a headmate.”

Dave, nearby, mutters, “Knew she wasn’t a Lhiran cleric.”

“She is,” Ruby cuts in. “Khyta took advantage of her.”

“I HEARD THAT.”

“What’s your beef with her anyway?! She’s just trying to do her job...”

Dave laughs. “Lhira’s bullshit. All the gods are. She didn’t stop my temple from burning down, did she?”

Khyta barks back, “I NEVER ASKED THEM TO DO THAT.”

Then the gold blinks out of Wynnie’s eyes. She stares at Dave in horror, whispering “I...I’m so sorry...”

They keep walking, far far from the city as the inn blazes in the distance. The next time Ruby checks, Wynn is outright asleep, the exhaustion of the past day finally catching up with her.

But other than Dave (however justified he may be) and the whole sword thing, no one really seemed angry or upset about Khyta? Those who were functional seemed...okay with it?

Maybe tomorrow will be better.
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