Join Alex, Helen, Bryn, Lydia and Ben as they come to terms with their new situation.
Everyone is waking up from their body-swapped sleep; cacophony ensues. Zolf stays at the helm, incredibly grateful he’s not down there. Eventually, the panic becomes quieter. Cel puts a name tag on everyone, in both English and Japanese.
The swaps are as follows:
- Cel, Wilde, and Zolf remained in their own bodies.
- Siggif is in Hamid
- Meerk is in Barnes
- Natun is in Carter
- Sassraa is in Earhart
- Draal is in Siggif
- Skraak is in Kiko
- Kiko is in Friedrich
- Tadyka is in Skraak
- Driaak is in Draal
- Carter is in Natun
- Earhart is in Tadyka
- Friedrich is in Driaak
- Barnes is in Sassraa
- Azu is in Meerk
- Hamid is in Azu
People keep going up to the wrong people, so eventually everyone ends up sitting in a circle. Azu (in Meerk) is clinging to Hamid’s side, both because Hamid’s one of her closest friends and because she hopes that staying near her body will somehow allow her to get back.
Cel speaks to the group and tries to establish some ground rules for this situation, such as refraining from drinking, romance, and unwinnable battles. They encourage everyone to be kind to the bodies they’re currently inhabiting. Hamid (in Azu) concurs. At this point, Barnes (in Sassraa) pipes up, searching for Carter (in Natun) and dead-eye staring at him; Carter looks very excited. Cel tells Carter a general “no.” Carter isn’t listening; he’s just playing with his tail.
Back to Zolf; the borealis is a few minutes behind them now. Zolf casts detect magic, and sees the equivalent of background static, which is far less than before. He calls out to below decks that it’s safe to come out, and Hamid (in Azu) questions whether this is a good idea. Carter (in Natun), however, immediately scarpers for the door. Everyone immediately grabs him. Cel wonders whether leaving the cage will make them return to their bodies or maybe make them stuck. Azu says, in distress, that she doesn’t want to stay like this, and Hamid reassures her that they’d all rather be themselves. Meanwhile, Kiko (in Friedrich) is looking at her new giant arms with appreciation.
Azu, Cel, and Hamid try to consider what might solve their predicament. Azu was taught at seminary that this level of disaster might just be “a god’s problem.” She knows that there are curses that might cause similar effects, but not to this number of people, and they’re very high level. Remove curse might work, but she doesn’t hold out much hope.
Cel and Hamid, combining their arcana knowledge, recognise that this is vaguely similar to the spell magic jar. It’s a necromantic spell that allows you to put someone’s soul in a jar and your soul in their body. It’s not inherently evil but it always has been in the past, because people rarely willingly part with their bodies. Magic jar is a difficult, expensive, high-level spell that’s only been performed a couple of times in history. Hamid knows that the spell can be removed with a powerful enough dispel magic, but isn’t sure if it’ll work in this situation.
Cel leaves the room to go check on Zolf, while everyone else stays in the box. Cel explains the bodywap to Zolf, and asks whether he’s okay or needs someone to relieve him. Zolf says he’s “broadly okay” and is happy to continue steering the ship while other people sort themselves out. He asks Cel if they know how to fix it, worrying that people won’t be able to do their jobs in unfamiliar bodies. Cel says that none of their potions will help, but explains how it’s similar to magic jar. Zolf has also heard of this spell; he learned about it in seminar, as a thing evil people sometimes do to try to live forever. They pass on Hamid’s thoughts about attempting dispel magic, but add that they would need to dispel it as a group, because just doing it to one person might leave someone’s soul floating around with no body. Zolf says that he can only do dispel magic to individuals. Cel asks if Zolf has a soul jar, and Zolf says no. Zolf suggests remove curse, but doubts it’ll work, because they’re more about the spirit behind which the spell was cast. [Editor’s note: Cel and Zolf talk about how there are no direct swaps, but this is wrong; Carter and Natun swapped bodies.]
Back downstairs, everyone’s really struggling with coordination; most people will have trouble doing their duties aboard the ship. Wilde comes over to Azu and Hamid and asks if she knows how to heal this. Azu says that she’s not sure; she could ask Aphrodite. Hamid repeats what he and Cel had discussed about Magic Jar and Dispel Magic. Wilde says he’ll talk to Cel and Zolf, and tells Azu and Hamid to keep everyone calm and busy. As Wilde leaves, he loudly jokes about how this could have been a lot of fun under the right circumstances.
As Wilde’s heading up to the top deck, Cel is saying they have no solution; Wilde turns around. Zolf calls after him to fetch Earhart (in Tadyka). Hamid thinks it’s safe for them to leave the box; if this were truly a temporary effect, it would probably have ended when they exited the aurora; he also encourages people to be respectful of the bodies they’re in. People don’t really pick up what Hamid’s putting down.
Wilde leads Earhart (in Tadyka) up to the top deck; she stumbles on the ladder, and he graciously helps her. She asks Cel and Zolf whether they have anything that will allow people to get up and going again; she’s having a lot of trouble with her tail, which “does what it wants to.” Cel can’t help (as their potions only work on themself), but Zolf does a “reflex test” on Earhart to figure out what’s wrong exactly, and thinks maybe he can help with a spell. No one knows exactly what time of day it is, but it’s probably late morning.
Back downstairs, Carter (in Natun) is now “trussed up” and Barnes (in Sassraa) is actively holding down his tail. Meanwhile, Friedrich (in Driaak) starts to cry quietly and Skraak (in Kiko) calls the kobolds to him for a pep talk; he reassures them that they’ve been in worse situations, and maybe now some of them can punch harder.
Zolf meditates for an hour to get his spells back. He assess who needs the most help recovering. Everyone in a kobold body (except Earhart) is dealing with coordination better, while Hamid (in Azu), who is normally very dextrous, has accidentally punched the wall multiple times and can barely control his limbs. He’s now trying to sit very still.
Zolf casts restoration on Hamid (in Azu), Earhart (in Tadyka), and Skraak (in Kiko) and lesser restoration on Sassraa (in Earhart), Natun (in Carter), Meerk (in Barnes), Draal (in Siggif), Friedrich (in Driaak.)
Zolf offers to stay at the helm while the “research-y types” think of a solution to the bodyswapping. Earhart says the people who have already been fixed can get to work (though Cel recognises that Earhart’s probably overstating how hard it is for people in kobold bodies to do their work.) She doesn’t want people doing risky maintenance; they’ll focus on keeping the ship moving. She calls Zolf to her office, and Wilde takes the helm.
Zolf tells Wilde not to push his luck; Wilde starts whistling “Row Row Row Your Boat.” Zolf, noticing Wilde’s genuine good mood, pulls Wilde down by the collar and says it’s nice to see him cheered up. Wilde is affronted and doesn’t know what to say.
Earhart (in Tadyka) heads into her cabin, and is slightly shorter than she used to be, so everything is a bit too big for her. She reaches into her empty desk drawer and slams it shut again. She says that she’s not worried for people in the short term, as they’ll be distracted by the novelty for now. However, if this continues for a long time, reality will set in for people and they might need to be removed from active duty. Zolf reassures her that Azu, Hamid, and Cel are on the case, and will find a solution. Earhart tells Zolf to keep an eye on Friedrich (in Driaak) and Kiko (in Friedrich) particularly. She agrees with Wilde that they should push the novelty to buy more time. Zolf says he’ll delegate Hamid and Azu to keeping morale up.
Zolf notices that Earhart lacks her usual fire; she’s like how she was when Zolf found her in Hiroshima. He tells her that things went pretty well, since no one’s dead or non-functioning. She’s glad the ship’s okay, but Zolf reminds her that the crew’s more important, and tells her that she can and should be a captain. If she loses her passion now, she’s letting Guivres win; she may have lost that battle, but she can’t lose this war. Earhart’s tail starts whipping back and forth and her clawed feet rip the carpet. He tells her to keep her morale up.
Meanwhile, Cel asks Wilde whose body he’d have liked to be in. Wilde excitedly replies Azu — he’d like to “punish” some people for treating him how they did when he was younger. He’d like to loom. Cel considers turning into Hamid; they’d like to do his dragon breath, but Wilde says that if you couldn’t do the magic, the upkeep would be too much work. Cel asks Wilde how he does his hair without magic, and Wilde replies that he sticks his head out the porthole in the morning. Cel apologises for mentioning his lack of magic, and suggests he might want to learn alchemy from them; Wilde says that he would. Wilde then excuses himself from the conversation, making jokes about what a good “old air hand” he is.
He loves a little bit of mayhem.Ben
I've gotten in the habit of sticking my head out of the porthole first thing in the morning.Wilde
- Cel & Hamid Knowledge (arcana) about bodyswapping: 20 (Cel), 25 (Hamid)
- Azu Heal check about bodyswapping: 23
- Hamid Diplomacy to talk about bodyswapping to everyone: 20
- Zolf Heal on Earhart: 28
- Zolf Sense Motive on Earhart: 28