After landing, most of the group left to check in at our hotel. My wife and I went to partake in a late, secret dinner with the British Ambassador, French Prime Minister, and French President. Jarod would be stuck attending his own meeting if Duncan had asked anything of the twins.
Unfortunately, I grew quite used to meetings such as this during my honeymoon. Alma didn’t even have to chide me for missteps anymore. I was, however, quite happy that in this meeting my wife was considered the honored guest, so I had little to do other than make polite conversation while she conducted business.
By the dinner’s conclusion, I could tell that my wife had quite enough of this meeting. Not long after returning home, she had confessed to growing rather accustomed with her lack of family work on our honeymoon. Now that we both knew more about the bigger plan, her family’s interests seemed rather petty, though they did have a role to play.
When we arrived at the hotel, those of the group who were planning to sleep had already excused themselves to try, given that midnight had passed. I did hope Dani managed to get some rest, but I doubted that she would fall asleep soon unless there were more people feeling sleepy than excited in the area.
Not feeling keen on trying the Paris nightlife at present, Alma and I decided to join Cosette, Raine, and even Maxine in a Pathfinder RPG adventure ran by Mila. Portentia was already out patrolling the city, looking for criminals. Even on vacation, she wanted to protect people more than anything.
I decided to roll up a Halfling Gunslinger who dual-wielded pistols, thinking the daring desperado would be intriguing alternate persona. I gave him a background where he had worked as a smith’s apprentice, was forced into a shootout with crooked soldiers, and had been on the run ever since.
Alma favored an Elven Arcanist, claiming she couldn’t abide a world where she lacked magic. She wrote a backstory around mine, speaking of a one-sided love with a lawless Halfling who had saved her from miscreants on the road where they met.
I did warn her that I might fail to role-play someone who wasn’t in love with her, but she argued that my Halfling was too concerned with survival to be easily caught up in a meaningful relationship.
Cosette was playing a Dhampir Rogue who specialized in hunting vampires. The Dhampir was born with fangs and a thirst for blood, but desperately fought her desires with her lust for revenge as she grew older. She happened upon the Halfling and Elf one night when she was on a hunt and asked them to help save a town.
“A Tiefling Paladin?” inquired Cosette with a smirk. “Is that even legal?”
Smiling, Mila said, “There’s no rule against it.”
“A redeemed villain is my calling.” insisted Maxine. “He’ll gladly fight the darkness alongside your character. In fact, if no one is against it, my character could start already in the town ready to face the undead horde.”
“Who said there is a horde?” questioned Cosette. “Vampires can be brilliant strategists, carefully taking what they need while manipulating the masses.”
“Are you certain? I’ve seen them portrayed as bloodthirsty monsters unable to resist the urge to feed.” replied Maxine with a smile as she pulled her collar down to further expose her neck.
“In Pathfinder RPG, they tend to be in control of themselves and others, but you’ll have to see how this plays out.” explained Mila. “Everyone ready?”
“No. How am I supposed to heal people at level one?” asked Maxine.
Mila shrugged and said, “Typically, you’d heal out of combat with rest and healer kits, given that none of you have a class that can use Divine magic yet. As part of your backstory, we’ll say Tina the Terrible found a partially used Wand of Cure Light Wounds. The wand has twenty charges left.”
“You named your Paladin ‘Tina the Terrible’?” questioned Cosette.
“Yes. She’s often misunderstood due to a low Wisdom and ranks in Intimidate. I plan for her to fail her Sense Motive checks regularly, jump to conclusions, and intimidate people into behaving.”
Grinning, Cosette told her “Okay. That does sound terrible. What are you playing, Raine?”
“C-Catfolk Sorceress with a ch-cheetah. B-bio… loaded.” she told us, pointing to the headsets.
“This thing’s a novel.” complained Maxine.
“I must say that it’s very well-written and gives an excellent sense of the character.” asserted Alma.
I couldn’t argue with either of them and wondered how long Raine spent writing it. Given an interface that could keep up with her, I could see Raine writing a full novel in under one second. I considered eventually writing one to see what I could manage.
The group met Raine’s character at the edge of the city, sweet talking the guards into allowing her cheetah to enter. From there, gossip led us to Tina the Terrible, who was already jailed as a lunatic due to her methods and rants about an undead overlord corrupting the city.
Playing Pathfinder RPG through the VR gear was pretty immersive. Mila easily handled acting as the numerous citizens to bring them to life while modifying the scenario based on our actions. Even Maxine’s “accidental” bar brawl became part of what tipped us off about undead in the room. I would have to thank Maple later for getting us started.