Last time our heroes did some more experiments to find out what's going on around them. They found out that there was, indeed, a constant sound in Ekoba's air, and it made them not see the ominous white worms/columns sticking out over the city. Mary made some familiars and looked around, while in the noiselessness under the sea level, and thus was able to see the worms clearly and even got them to react to her ravens (eating them).
However, as soon as she was above water, she began forgetting what she'd seen and had to make sure to write everything down. Only in her journal, the truth was immortalized.
Mary and her friends were sitting in Trim’s Inn, having a quiet conversation and trying not to pay attention to their--by now seemingly permanent--headache. For the first half an hour they would quickly lose their line of thought, distracted by one thing or another. Aurum would then accidentally look at his forearm where he’d left himself a message (“Read Mary’s notes,”) and that’d get them back on track.
They found out that, the longer they talked about the forgotten people and the pale worms, the longer the memories would stay in their mind. And soon, through the searing headache, they could almost carry out a normal conversation.
“I am afraid,” Mary said quietly. She was mindlessly picking her nails. “These creatures… they don’t just kill people. They make them… not have existed at all. Lanurey was part of our group, she fought and travelled with us. We knew her only for a little while, but I think I used to like her. And now it’s like she was never there. And Loyosh and Trim? Their sons used to have mothers that now have never even been!” She went silent for a moment and then rose her eyes, glistening with unfallen tears. “What if Lilly and Bramble forget I was ever their daughter? What if Leefie goes through life never having had a sister?”
“Maybe the worms affect only people who’ve been to Ekoba,” Bruno said. “Like the locals and, you know, us. Maybe people who’ve never been here don’t forget.”
“Did you hear back from Tesaya?”
He went silent for a few moments and when he spoke, his voice was grave.
“She said she didn’t know a Lanurey but found her file in the Archive. She did help us against Kloth. And…” he sighed. “She is on the statue with us.”
They went quiet.
“I suggest we go find а worm and kill it,” Aurum said. He was fidgeting with the amethyst ring. ”They can’t be that tough.”
“We can’t see them without the help of a Silence spell,” Mary said. “And once inside the Silence, we can’t cast spells. You two may be able to fight without the use of incantations… but magic is all that I have.”
“We can determine where the worm is in the Silence and later go and shoot spells at the empty space we know it occupies?”
“I’ve been thinking,” Bruno said. “What if these creatures were sent by someone who wanted to have their opponents disappear from the conciousness of the people? Like a certain unpopular president that we know of?”
“I thought they were just an infestation preying on the city,” Mary said.
“Yeah, but if it was controlled by someone, would that someone come check on it if we harmed it?”
“So, you agree that we need to kill a damn worm?” Aurum said.
“Yeah, but let’s be cautious about it. Let’s find a safe spot to shoot it from afar. And without being seen by everyone on the street.”
They found a place. It turned out that there were a lot of empty buildings around Trim’s. Nobody had ever lived in them, or so the people said. Mary and her friends suspected the truth lay elsewhere.
The house they chose was near the back alley of the inn, where they’d determined a worm was rising from the ground. There was a notice on the door saying the building had been confiscated in the name of the President. Under it, an auction was announced.
But the trio wouldn’t wait for the auction. Later in the evening, they arrived at the back door of the house and Aurum tried opening it with Lanurey’s thieves’ tools. It took him a long time and after a while he started grumbling.
“Pssst,” Bruno whispered.
He had opened the shutters covering the ground window and gestured for the others to climb through the hole and into the house. The interrior was quiet and damp. It smelled of mold and… something else, something like iron.
Careful not to make noise and checking every corner for an ambush, Mary, Bruno and Aurum went up to the second floor and found a room with a window overlooking the back alley. It was broken from the outside in and some old blood covered the bedsheets of the nearest bed. Another forgotten victim, perhaps?
Mary reached into the Bag of Holding and, with some effort, took out a big pot of dirt she’d borrowed from the inn earlier. She put it in the middle of the room and kneeled beside it with her wand in hand.
“Are we ready?” she said.
Her friends nodded. She jabbed the wand into the pot and pressed down the dirt around it. The piece of wood sprouted roots and grew, just a sapling at first, then having its trunk thicken. The branches grew and reached the ceiling but didn’t stop there, they spread and encompaced the walls until the whole room was covered with leaves and hanging orange fruit.
“All right,” Mary said. “This should protect us from physical and magical attacks. I guess that we’ll have to peek through the window to cast spells but otherwise we should be sa…”
She looked through the branches and gasped. Just a few feet ahead, the pale body of the worm was rising between the buildings. Why were they able to see it without the use of a Silence spell?!
While she was pondering on that question, her friends didn’t lose time and attacked. Mary saw Bruno’s spiritual hammer hit the creature and watched it quake as the sound of Mosrael reached it. Once again, the attacks hit, and once again, the creature swayed, until it finally slacked, lifeless, and fell.
It crashed onto the nearby buildings and damaged their facades. Then, inch by inch, it started receding towards its base.
Mary looked down and saw a hole that hadn’t been there before. The worm’s corpse sank inside, as if pulled by something, and, in a matter of seconds, disappeared into the deep.
Yay! They managed to kill one of those things! That's such a huge success! And I'm so glad that the orange tree managed to resist the creature's strange invisibility. Let's hope that this good luck will keep following our heroes all the way until the manage to kill it!
See you next time!
Take care and be well!
(Also, here's a link to the Chapter Guide, the Glossary and the Map for the series. You're welcome!)
An important disclaimer: These are my notes from a D&D game turned into a narrative. All the worldbuilding and NPC encounters belong to our DM, and all the actions of the other main characters (Aurum and Bruno) belong to my co-players. My contribution to the story is only everything Mary-related (actions, reactions, inner thoughts), as well as the writing itself.