Fellowship of the Goose

Season finale: the sacrifice

Too big a grief can only be paid in ultimate price

The Magellan-shaped ooze attacks the Fellowship, promptly. “Traitors! You let me here to die!!” it moans. It reveals soon to be a tough opponent, by unleashing force darts powered by magical energy onto the adventurers, and slamming them with corroding tendrils of gooey matter. The fellows are veteran warriors now, though, and they are not intimidated by their enemy. They surround the creature, spreading the monster’s offence, and strike it down until it melts into a shapeless blob.

The company discovers a partially-collapsed tunnel leading out of the chamber, and notice amidst the rubble sparkling, eye-catchy valuables. Indeed at last, after 15 years, they found the prized treasure of the ancient war chief. A meager consolation to find it now, without a village to save anymore… but, oh well, shinies are shinies after all. After having patched up their wounds and dug out the treasure, they move on inside the tunnel, to discover an even more ancient complex of dwarven underground architecture. The passage leads them shortly into a subterranean vault, a dome filled of bookshelves, alchemical tables, and every other kind magic practice appliances. The heroes adventure in the vault, until their advance are stopped by an invisible force wall. Carefully writing at a desk facing the entrance, sits a woman of familiar appearance. She slowly ends the sentence, and without putting down the quill, she raises her face from the tome, looking at the fellows with deep, wise eyes. There are no more doubts about her identity.

" Ambrose ", say the fellows, “Long time have we searched for you. And you left us signs to find you here. It is high time we talk”. “Indeed it is”, answered the lady wizard “and it took you long enough. Let us talk”. It is so that the fellowship could confirm and puzzle together the clues related to the travels of Alfrond Ravenflight and his gang: the subtle mental influence the old wizard had on Ambrose, the murders they committed, the theft of the druid staff in Ashwood and imprisonment of the nature spirit, until that last moment when the old mage wanted to collect the blood and the soul of a young female elf. That was the last drop of evil that Ambrose could endure from his teacher. He snapped out of the mental control and murdered him at that time. “Alfred never worried about me turning on him”, he confesses to the fellows, “he never saw it coming. I guess that was the last (and maybe the first) of his mistakes.”

The fellows have a minute to finally discover Ambrose for who he is now. A troubled character, his mind half broken from the long years of mental enslavement Alfrond imposed on him, his soul torn apart with guilt and grief for all the pain he inflicted during the long years in service to the villainous magician… and maybe even prior to that.

The PCs share their adventures with him afterwards. He looks extremely interested about their space-time travel accident, and his/her eyes glow when they mention that they wish to go back to their original timeline and fix the problems afflicting this era at their origin: the fall of Morrain, the rise of goddess Nemesis, the Dragon Empire invasion. “A backwards time travel could be arranged with the knowledge I inherited from Alfrond”, claims Ambrose, his words shaking the hearts of the fellows with hope “but the ultimate price has to be paid: a self-aware soul has to be given up for the time to rewind itself.” A moment is given to the fellows to ponder about this fee, before Ambrose continues: “As a matter of fact, I myself am willing to pay this price for you. It is the least I could to to amend the deeds I inflicted upon these lands”. By these last words, the fellows realise of how much guilt and pain the wizard is living through. It is without grudge, but with acceptance, that they accept the conditions posed by Ambrose, and thus they prepare for the magic ritual.

Magic envelops them, and again they find themselves swimming among the folds of space and time. A floating window opens to a space they cannot reach: Ambrose is on the other side confessing to them: “I apologise. I lied to you about the soul sacrifice. That is not really a requirement for the spell. But after what I plan to do the outcome will be the same. Goodbye fellows”. Then a scene materialises behind the window: a scene from their past. A younger Ambrose and the blond girl Merigold are fighting in a underground chamber, their minds berserk, their crowbars clashing in the dark. As Merigold loses balance and young Ambrose is about to split her blonde head open, a older version of him appears behind him, and slightly pushes his arm into missing the maiden. She quickly rises up and kills the young man. Older Ambrose vanishes into nothing.

Time accelerates beyond the small window, and the fellows catch flashes, glimpses of times to come. They see Marigold, after the raid at the tomb, leaving Hommlet while feeling guilty about killing Ambrose. They spot her living in a lonely house among the mountains. They notice her getting pregnant by a traveller, and raising two children (could their names be Ambrose and Ambrosia?). They see these children grow strong, reach adulthood and leave their mother several years later to find their own path in the world. In a new world. But what world will that be, wonder the fellows?

No answer is given while the darkness embraces them and the curtain falls.

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