Top of the Round

Girl Talk is the sixth episode of the first season of Top of the Round.

Reunited at last! After getting more than they bargained for in the Wayward Wilds, the adventurers head back to Heaven’s Gate for something Talice desperately needs. No, not her medicine, a friendly conversation with a familiar face.

The Brad Report[]

to be added

Detailed Synopsis[]

Halfway through her mediation Talice sees Chaz start to materialize laying near the fireplace.  He is laying still, asleep.

Suddenly the cabin door opens and the Ivory Celestial walks in. Talice is deeply surprised. Seeing that Se'ku and the half-materialized Chaz are both asleep, the Ivory Celestial approaches Talice. He gives her a small black vial with a swirling purple potion in it. He instructs her to give it to Euphemia and make sure she drinks it. Then he leaves without another word.

By the time Talice is done meditating, Chaz is fully solid, same as Se’ku.  Talice wakes him and demands to know what happened to him.

Chaz tells them about Corvalis. He gives Talice the Moon Lilies from Corvalis. Talice is impressed, but doesn't show it.

The trio leave the cabin and try to find their way back. The path they followed into the woods is gone. They spot a purple glowing rune on a tree. Talice can remember the Jade Celestial teaching her about barrier magic, and recognizes the rune is connected to that. Chaz knows the druids use barrier magic, but has no personal experience.

Chaz spots another identical purple rune on a second tree further away from the cabin. He runs to look at it, and is shocked when he looks up to see the cabin has moved and is now in front of him. Se'ku also sees the cabin. When he glances back to where Talice remained at the first tree, he doesn't see the cabin behind her anymore. Chaz checks, and confirms the cabin that appear in front of him is the same cabin they just left. Se'ku remains at the second tree.

Talice remembers from her past lessons, that the way to break the barrier magic is to break the rune. She slashes at the rune on her tree with her short sword, while Chaz slashes the rune on the second tree with his yklwa (short spear). The rune are broken and the barrier magic that was confusing them is gone. Talice can see that she is standing on the path they followed in the night before. The two guys join her and the three of them easily find their way out of the Wayward Wilds.

On the way out, they pass a very large old gnarled white tree, which Se'ku recognizes as a gateway to his monastery. He doesn't mention this to the others.

They make it back to the lake, only to find their boat is gone. Chaz casts Walk On Water on himself, then Wildshapes into a horse. Talice and Se'ku get on his back, and he trots across the lake. Se'ku is embarrassed when the other halflings fishing on the lake all stare at the horse walking on water. Talice is instead impressed at Chaz's cleverness, but doesn't admit it out loud.

At the other side of the lake, Horse!Chaz just keeps going still heading toward Heaven's Gate. Once they come to the crossroads where Zeek's staff is. The staff has now bloomed white lilies and the glow that only Se'ku can see has turned black and white. There are two halfling corpses near the staff. The bodies look like very old mummies, they've been drained of all moisture. Se'ku feels bad that unsuspecting towns folks are being killed by the staff. He convinces Chaz to Mold Earth to make a staff-shapped hole, which Se'ku then puts the staff into. It's now buried so hopefully other passers-by aren't lured in by it. As they leave, two lilies sprout out of the ground where the staff is buried.

Se'ku and Chaz leave the staff and follow after Talice to Heaven's Gate.

Once inside the city, Talice wants an audience with Euphemia so as to complete the task the Ivory Celestial set her. She asks around for directions to Euphemia's castle and heads in that direction. Chaz chases after and joins her. Chaz assumes Talice is going to the Rose's Thorn to get her medicine from Claire. Talice corrects him, and Chaz goes with her.

Left alone, Se'ku is tapped on the shoulder by an invisible Hob, who relays that Euphemia wants to see him. Se'ku hurries off to Euphemia's castle, passing Talice and Chaz on the way. Chaz thinks its a race, and chases Se'ku. Talice does not try to catch up with them.

At the castle, Se'ku is allowed in and vouches for Chaz so he's allowed in as well. Before walking into the meeting with Euphemia, Se’ku warns Chaz to be polite.  

Euphemia thanks them for coming so quickly.  She apologizes to Se’ku, saying that if she’d known he was from the monastery she’d have entrusted the letters to him.  She tells Chaz to trust him, and share the quest and the letters with Se’ku.  

Euphemia explains that she wants to gather support from the other New Gods to kill Zek’kar and stop his Reapings.  Euphemia is the youngest of the New Gods, and therefore the weakest. This is why she requires the help of the other gods.

Euphemia agrees that if Talice has no ties to Zek’kar, then she may also be let in on the secret quest.

Chaz tells Euphemia about what happened to them in the Wayward Wilds, and his meeting Corvalis.

Euphemia is confused by this; she tells them that Corvalis has been dead for a long time. She produces a 500 year old book, “Corvalis’ Tome of History.”

Se’ku tells about the nest and skeleton of a bird body with humanoid skull he and Talice discovered under the floorboards of the cabin.  Euphemia knows there was an old Harpy camp that lived in the Wayward Wilds, and speculates that is what they found.

During the conversation, Euphemia’s eyes flash silver briefly before returning to normal. When Chaz tries to ask about it, Euphemia waves him off. She asks them to send Talice in to talk with her once Talice arrives.

Talice arrives just as Chaz and Se’ku are leaving.  She goes into to meet with Euphemia.  

Talice announces that she brings a message from the Ivory Celestial. Like Chaz, Talice also notices Euphemia’s eye briefly flash silver.  Like Chaz, Talice questions it, and is rebuffed by Euphemia who refuses to answer.

Talice produces the potion from her pack and insists that Euphemia must drink it because the Ivory Celestial commands it.  Euphemia refuses. Eventually Talice admits defeat and gives up.  She goes to leave the room, but as soon as she opens the door and steps out, she finds herself stepping back into the same room. Euphemia looks up and greets her.  It’s clear that time has just reset and Talice is now being given another chance to try getting Euphemia to drink the potion.

On the second time, Talice tries to persuade Euphemia to take the potion. This time Euphemia is willing to take the potion from Talice, but again refuses to drink it. Talice has failed again. Once more she goes to leave, and finds herself just re-entering the same room, with time reset all over again for yet another try.

On the third try, Talice attempts some slight-of-hand trickery.  She manages to sneak the potion into Euphemia’s Moon Lily tea, and then awkwardly has a long conversation with Euphemia in which she periodically toasts random things, in order to make Euphemia drink all her potion-laced tea.  

The conversation starts out about “boy troubles.” Eventually Euphemia brings the talk around to the Blood Lily Curse that the Cult of the Elders has been spreading rumors about. Talice realizes the strange old lady in the square that had yelled at her must be part of this cult.

The Cult of the Elders believe in the Old Gods. When Talice asks what old gods, Euphemia says one is a beast in the Wayward Wilds – almost like a large elk, with a human torso for a head. But she doesn’t know much more about it.

The first case of the Blood Lily Curse that Euphemia was aware of happened one month previous. Euphemia is trying to keep it all hush hush so there’s no mass panic. She then finishes off her tea, and the potion that Talice slipped in it.

Euphemia questions Talice about her connections to Zek’kar.  Talice grows angry and insists that she has no connections. Euphemia recognizes from Talice’s last name that she is the daughter of a high priestess. Talice states she doesn’t share her mother’s ideas, and she doesn’t like or agree with Zek’kar. Euphemia then tells Talice about the quest she gave Se’ku and Chaz.

Euphemia expounds a little more about how Zek’kar is causing the Reapings and killing so many people. She wants to convince the other New Gods to form an alliance against Zek’kar.

Talice leaves the office, and is relieved to find on the other side of the door is the foyer with Se’ku and Chaz waiting for her.  There are no more time resets.