How A Child almost Lost Everything


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So this is a story about Ja Li, my Changeling Artificer of about 8 years old.  Her (she prefers the female gender) story in Eberron was a dark one. Her mother worshiped the daelkyr Dyrrn the Corrupter, raising Ja Li to eventually be sacrificed to him, that she may prove her devotion. The Mourning set her time table back a bit, as she lost much of her preparation materials and had to re-acquire many things.

However, when Ja Li became 8 years old, her mother decided it was time. She laid the child down on the slab, pretending it was a game. Ja Li closed her eyes, giggling, and her mother brought the dagger down. However, amazing luck occurred and a rumble happened, causing the mother to miss and nearby candles setting the house on fire.

Ja Li, smelling the smoke, escaped the wrecked and survived, but her mother died. Ja Li grabbed the dagger, noticing it's decoration and kept it. She cobbled together what she could from the wreckage, salvaging enough to fashion herself a small crossbow. Ja Li wanderered for some time, eventually going deeper into the city until she came to the docks.

This is where she met Squid, a Kalashtar Paladin of Redemption, a wounded veteran with a one arm who worked as a sailor. He was saving up to buy his own airship. He noticed the child wandering the dock when she absentmindedly grabbed tools and started fixing things with amazing skill. They were introduced properly and she told him how she was alone now. As a Paladin, he couldn't see her abandoned in a cruel world and took her in.

The two spent a couple years, forming a parent-child relationship. He noticed that even for a changeling she seemed to lack any form of deception, even using her normal almost formless face and forgetting to adopt a "mask" entirely. He taught her more about respecting other beliefs, that worshipping daelkyr was bad. He recognized the dagger but didn't have the heart to break to her what her mother had really planned.

The two managed to make a name for themselves among scrapyards as both salvagers and tinkerers. Ja Li had a prodigious talent for tinkering, turning the strangest things into even stranger devices. She managed to fashion him a rudimentary arm prosthetic that did little more than hold his shield, but it allowed him to take up his shield again.

Their work attracted the attention of a Noble House, who took them both in under employ. There they were attached to a team, one consisting of a Warforged named Aoki23, an artificer like Ja Li, and Jai, a Dragonmarked Storm Sorceror from the House.

Their first mission went fine, saving a goblin from some cockatrices. Aoki discovered that death didn't faze Ja Li too heavily, but she and Squid were the only ones to take damage, Squid taking over 10 and Ja Li taking 5. Ja Li then used Cure Wounds to heal all of his wounds while Squid used his Lay on Hands to restore her health as well,

The second mission was quite different, and trouble from the getgo. They went to a Church of the Silver Flame, where they were told about an artifact that had been stolen. Ja Li acted very disrespectful to the High Priest, trying to vandalize the altar and saying rude things about his religion. Squid tried his best to contain her behavior, but Ja Li used her Changeling abilities to look as creepy as possible, saying that the Silver Flame one day would fall before Dyrrn. The High Priest suggested that Ja Li be forced to serve in the Church and she tried to hit him before Squid grabbed and carried her away. He told her that she was very naughty and rude, that he was disappointed in her.

The first source of information they had was a Shifter bandit with two bodyguards, the owner of a brothel. When Ja Li wandered in, he became very confused as to who would let an 8 year old into his brothel. Aoki started demanding answers as Squid took Ja Li outside, so she wouldnt see anything… inappropriate for her age.

Eventually it seemed that the conversation was going nowhere and Aoki tried to intimidate the bandit with a Fire Bolt. An attack he rolled a Nat 20 on. The bandit had 8 hp, the Fire Bolt did over 16. The bodyguards ran away, panicking and screaming for the guards, as Aoki and Jai ran outside and the party fled. Ja Li tried to disguise herself as a dwarf so their party would look very different. (She did not remember to disguise her voice, however, causing laughter as an old grizzled dwarf spoke with the voice of an 8-year old.

Searching for whatever plot point we could with our only source of information, we ended up finding a note that led us to where the artifact was kept. And when we approached, it was being used to animate a giant scorpion made of corpses, a sight which drove both Ja Li and Aoki mad at one point within the fight.

The party did all they could, but the very ground they stood on was becoming fleshy and the Wisdom saves were generally awful against the insanity this creature was projecting. Ja Li and Squid stood side by side, crossbow wielder hiding behind a shield larger than her, when Squid could not do it any longer. He threw Ja Li out of the creature's range, tossing her quite a distance away (and she took 2 damage from the impact)

The creature descended on Squid, who had used his turn to throw Ja Li to safety. It rolled a Nat 20 to attack and death 3 times more than his total health. Ja Li watched as the Paladin who'd saved her, who'd given her a life worth living and been a father to her, was eaten whole by the creature, the only piece of him not swallowed was the mechanical arm she had crafted him.

The table fell silent. We spent a good amount of time in disbelief over the event. Our Paladin has been instantly killed outright. Ja Li had lost the only real parent she'd ever had that really loved her, loved her enough to sacrifice himself. There were tears shed over a character who had been sidelined for over 2 years. And after ten minutes of stunned players and a DM who seemed to want any way for that not to have just happened, Squid's player asked if he could use his Inspiration he'd gotten earlier to negate that Crit. The DM happily agreed.

The creature rolled fairly low in the events that followed, and Squid was alive, the events that had occurred were suddenly nothing more than a vision of insanity created by the creature in their minds. Ja Li had her father back.

Thanks to Squid attacking, Ja Li throwing Magic Stone pebbles and a well-timed Shocking Grasp from Jai, the creature died. Squid picked up a sobbing Ja Li, Who promised she would behave better, that she wouldn't insult any more churches if Squid would forgive her and never do that again. He hugged her tight and carried her back to the church as she cried in happiness.

They went back to the Church and were given their rewards, which were decent. And so the Changeling Child did not lose the only parent who had ever loved her. The two got to salvage from that day on, together. Never one without the other. And she gifted him with a new arm that functioned as well as a normal one, to thank him for everything he had done.


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