Nat says she wants to go to the temple, so Dalish and I take her to speak to Fathers Carmine and Kevin. She asks to speak to the Dawnmother, so we have our prayers. Nat is disappointed when she doesn’t receive an answer. I could have told her that, so I mention that the only time we’ve spoken directly was that once, outside time. She says she needs to talk to Her, and the other gods as well. She thinks her vision of the six points of light are the gods, and they are the only solution to the current mess.
A few days later, word comes that Prime Jor was assassinated. The council is blaming the Black Knight. Jor had been hunting them, and they caught him instead. Other rumors said that another Prime did him in. Jor had no party to protect him. There is to be a deliberative to elect his replacement. There are three main candidates for his seat. A Utopian, a Conservative, and a member of Klyce’s party, the PPP.
It begins with a moment of silence. We are then asked to give our report on the situation with the Xingese. Klein confirms everything we have said, and accepts responsibility for his inaction. Hellicon, the conservative candidate speaks up, grandstanding on the “Xingese issue” and their operatives on our soil. Klyce mouths off to her about the kidnapping, and she says they should have gone through proper channels to get her back. Klyce objects on the grounds of torture and lack of oversight on the experiment in the first place. Remy throws in, and I even speak up to mention it was just one family, not the nation. She then wants to know what family, so they can be directly targeted for retribution. Klyce turns it around, that we should be more concerned with operatives here, rather than halfway around the world. A vote is taken to form another investigative body to find foreign operatives and retaliate for the murders.
UGH! Adults are so stupid!
The candidates all speak then, about why they should each be Prime. I barely listen. I hate all of this.
News spreads and riots begin. Remy goes to find out why and gets many stories. People are mad they have no voice in choosing the next Prime, or mad about the weirdos from the Bubble, or mad about the mana restrictions. The riots get worse. We ponder sending a message to the Black Knight, fairly sure he’s being set up. We send him a message, asking to meet at the church, to find the truth. He replies that he will kill us all and everyone we love if we contact him again. Well, that could have gone better.
Maribeth and Remy go into the office, but they come home again fairly soon. Seems we’ve been tasked with ending the riots before Rictus and his men go in and kill everyone. They are giving us four days to calm over 30,000 people. We hope it’s fae, or else we’ve got a lot of persuading to do. Maribeth and Gerhardt go see if James will help us with the calming. Remy talks to Aranea about what fae could do this, and if she could help us find them. Nat, Klyce, and I go for walkabout, to talk to the people and sniff out any fae.
Nat uses her magic to skim surface thoughts in a park with a large crowd. She gets a few pings of strong singular emotions. Digging deeper, she says there is compression and constraint, too much in one skull, and then an image of a fat green worm. Five people turn as one and shout that we three are mages, and everyone turns on us. I cast fly on Nat and myself and confirm their suspicions by pulling us both up in the air. Klyce gets big and tries to go grab one of the five. Nat tries to put people around him asleep so he can get through, but the mob just tramples right over them. Klyce tries to help, but in doing so, loses the one he was after. He turns to mist and flies up to join us and we make our escape.
Back at camp, Aranea says it’s a Yerak, and that they must be destroyed. They have a hive mind, but no one controlling it. She is able to see a bruised aura around the infected. We go talk to the Major in charge of containment. We tell him that we know the problem and we need three days. We explain that something is influencing them, and we need to root it out. He says we have two, if it’s an infection, he will erect barriers, but we need to wipe it out, or he will.
We go to the briefing of the troops, and scan them to see if any have been infected. Thankfully, not, though Nat is concerned that she cannot sense the Major’s mind. He tells them of the quarentine, and to prepare for heavier action should we fail. Nat explains the mobs in the park, and how they turned on us. Maribeth talks to the mages about what they may need to do.
We gather up, leaving James behind, as his calming spell isn’t actually what is needed here. We head in, carefully avoiding the crowds, back down the path we tread so many times in the bubble. Down into the bowels of the infirmary. The bubbled head of the beast is still there, but the Sheriff’s bubble is not. Just a headless corpse. Aranea confirms it is a Yerak. They mature, the brain and head burst open and then they go and make a new tree to reproduce and spread. There is no tree, here, though, where could it be?